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    An alternative way to explore and explain the mysteries of our world. "Published since 1985, online since 2001."

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Reality Checking

UFOs: An Evolving Perception of the Truth

By Brent Raynes

Mainstream ufology seldom acknowledges the true depth and dimensions of its eclectic multifaceted character. The “nuts and bolts” preoccupation of the mainstreamers obscures their ability to accurately perceive the proverbial “Big Picture.” A serious comparative study of religious, psychic, and shamanic lore and history should be a prerequisite to anyone wishing to probe and ponder the murky and mysterious undercurrents of the modern UFO phenomenon.

A comprehensive global and historical examination of UFO close encounter cases offers a far more balanced, objective, and revealing look into the complex and challenging issues and aspects of this enigma that need to be addressed. Dr. Jacque Vallee’s groundbreaking landmark classic Passport to Magonia was certainly one significant and very noteworthy step in that direction. Vallee pulled back the curtain of time and gave us a valuable glimpse into the startlingly similar “little people” and “angelic” accounts through the centuries, making thought-provoking and intriguing comparisons to our modern entity and UFO close encounter reports.

The one UFO magazine that probably made the most significant and meaningful contributions in the UFO field, was England’s Flying Saucer Review. It’s contributors were serious and often scholarly authors and researchers from all over the world who submitted detailed articles, frequently with photographs of witnesses, encounter sites, eyewitness illustrations of what was allegedly observed, and occasionally authenticated UFO photographs as well. For me, one of their most thought-provoking and fascinating editions that I had the pleasure of reading was a special issue published back in 1969, entitled Beyond Condon. It contained articles and footnotes from our own John Keel (most well-known for his book The Mothman Prophecies, which was later made into a movie with Richard Gere) and other authors who dared investigate some truly high-strangeness cases from that time period. I was a teenaged ufologist back then and Keel’s personal field investigative involvement and his ability to think outside the proverbial box really had me sitting up and paying attention. I devoured (figuratively speaking of course) his Operation Trojan Horse and Strange Creatures From Time and Space when they first came out back around 1970. I even began writing to Keel and engaging in some correspondence with him, careful to write intelligent, carefully worded letters, as I certainly didn’t want to sound like another one of those nutty and pesky “teenaged UFO buffs” that he seemed to frequently complain about in his writings. Obviously I did well as he even once wrote me a three page typewritten and single spaced letter.

Keel wrote about the possibility of a parallel universe as an explanation for the mysterious way in which UFOs and their apparent occupants seem to come and go without leaving any significant traces. His ideas were pretty revolutionary back in the 1960s and 1970s, though today quantum physicists speculate about how there may be up to eleven dimensions and no one much bats an eye anymore. Like Barbara Mandrel and country music, Keel was into like interdimensional realities and paranormal aspects when such things weren’t cool!

In my correspondence with Keel, he had encouraged me to study things like apparitional phenomena and other psychic occurrences. Around 1974, thanks to a researcher/experiencer named Ramona Hibner, I came into contact with a noted psychiatrist named Dr. Berthold Schwarz. Dr. Schwarz, a frequent contributor himself to the Flying Saucer Review, was (years prior to entering the UFO field) very involved in studying things like telepathy and precognition. Keel was really instrumental in making Dr. Schwarz aware of the psychic components of ufology, and they corresponded and worked on some cases together, and Dr. Schwarz and I engaged in an extensive correspondence that lasted pretty much up until his passing in 2010. In October 1975, living in Maine (where I was born and raised) an “abduction” case involving two young men (loaded with all sorts of paranormal elements) pretty much fell into my lap. I immediately notified Dr. Schwarz and in about three months he came up to Maine to interview one of the witnesses and his family. Researcher Shirley Fickett wrote up a report on the hypnosis that was done with the witness that Dr. Schwarz had interviewed, I wrote an article on my own preliminary investigation of the case, and Dr. Schwarz wrote about his investigations, with all of our write-ups appearing in Flying Saucer Review, and then later compiled as chapters in an extensive two-volume book that Dr. Schwarz put together entitled UFO Dynamics. In April 1977, I spent about a week in New Jersey visiting an apparent window area where there had been a lot of Bigfoot activity reported, UFOs, and poltergeist events. One of the key people there, who had acted as my guide, also had known the well-known 1950s contactee Howard Menger from High Bridge. He had also taken me one day over to show me where Menger and his family had lived and where the gatherings and alleged weird events had occurred. Then one evening he had a guest over to the house who shared with me his experiences with Howard Menger, which were quite strange, to say the least! Dr. Schwarz didn’t live too far away from where I was at, so naturally one day I visited him at his lavish home office and told him what I had been up to, and I was very interested to hear first-hand his investigation of a sensational UFO-Bigfoot case in Pennsylvania in 1973, as well as his investigation into the Howard Menger story. Though many “serious ufologists” had dismissed the Menger tales outright, Dr. Schwarz felt that there was something to it, and after the things I had heard that week, I was likewise inclined to go along with that.

Over the years, I have looked into quite a number of contactee cases up and down the East Coast from Maine to Florida (and once all the way up into Toronto, Canada), including situations that, like the Menger case, stretched back into the 1950s (which was the classic American era of the contactee/”Space Brothers” movement; a movement that still seems to have considerable influence in some places like Peru). I have heard first-hand myself credible sounding contactee stories wherein a contactee would telepathically make contact with the alien “intelligence” and “call down” the saucers so that others could see them with their own eyes! One of those I had interviewed in Maine had even been studied by people connected with our military intelligence – and there was even an effort to try “contacting” the UFO intelligence (but as to whether that effort was successful, depends on whose story you’re going to listen to). In Ohio, I came upon a “contactee” from Akron whose initial “contacts” began back in 1958. I listened to his incredible stories and interviewed others who claimed to be present when he “telepathically” brought UFO-type phenomena into their presence to observe. I discussed this matter with Dr. Schwarz and we agreed that the experiences were very reminiscent of what people had described in connection with séances. He had recommended that I read the late Dr. Nandor Fodor’s An Encyclopaedia of Psychic Science, which I did, and I must confess that the case for such a connection between UFO and psychic events certainly seemed very compelling indeed. Dr. Schwarz definitely felt that there were strong similarities between psychic mediums and contactees, and he noted that again and again the contactees proved to be extremely deep trance hypnotic subjects (which most people aren’t). So that seemed like a potentially significant clue perhaps.

In this issue, Peruvian born native and long-time ufologist Giorgio Piacenza Cabrera has contributed a fascinating, extensive, and very thought-provoking article dealing with his country’s UFO situation. They have certainly had some of the most perplexing and outstanding contactee cases in the world. Giorgio at one time had a temporary home in Miami, Florida, not far from where Dr. Schwarz had retired to in Vero Beach, so naturally this is how our paths crossed. Thanks to Dr. Schwarz my circle of interesting contacts was often expanded considerably. In this article, you will read about how Giorgio first became aware of the UFO phenomenon in his country, what his own experiences and investigations have thus far revealed to him, not to mention the relevance of the psychic components in these cases.

As I wrote in my last column, in John Keel’s 1970 book UFOs: Operation Trojan Horse, he had written the following:

Recently the U.S. Government Printing Office issued a publication compiled by the Library of Congress for the Air Force Office of Scientific Research: UFOs and Related Subjects: An Annotated Bibliography. In preparing this work, the senior bibliographer, Miss Lynn E. Catoe, actually read thousands of UFO articles, books, and publications. In her preface to this 400-page book she states:

A large part of the available UFO literature is closely linked with mysticism and the metaphysical. It deals with subjects like mental telepathy, automatic writing, and invisible entities, as well as phenomena like poltergeist manifestations and possession…Many of the UFO reports now being published in the popular press recount alleged incidents that are strikingly similar to demonic possession and psychic phenomena which has long been known to theologians and parapsychologists.

During a recent radio interview with long-time American ufologist Tim Beckley, we talked some about this particular document and Tim told me that Miss Catoe and John Keel were, at one time, very close friends. Obviously their conclusions were very similar, they had both read an extensive amount of the literature, and Tim even recalled how they had shown up together at one of his lectures at a conference in Ohio. Though Keel had not written anything about this Miss Catoe beyond what I have read here, that I am aware of anyway, it seems to me that they were something of a perfect couple, so to speak. I wonder if one had influenced the other in this particular direction, or if they both had independently arrived at such similar conclusions. Whatever the case, again an extensive review of the ufological literature and history had borne out strong parallels to historic psychic and spiritual literature. As Tim remarked with some measure of tongue-in-cheek humor in our interview, “That’s the closest that you could actually get to the government making a statement about flying saucers. It’s in an official book printed with taxpayer money.”

Though most mainstream ufologists are inclined to ignore this particular message, official or otherwise, a good many researchers worldwide have, through the years, carefully sifted through a large amount of such testimonial evidence and come to the same conclusion. UFOs and psychic phenomena often run a parallel course.

As John Keel had noted, many “ufologists” ignored the contactee claims since their truth didn’t reflect theirs, and they didn’t even bother to test out the simple methods and techniques that such percipients had alleged brought them into “contact” with these strange otherworldly entities. For example, it has been noted that one of this country’s earliest EVP researchers was contactee George Hunt Williamson who claimed that back in 1952 he and others found themselves communicating with alleged UFO beings through a ham radio operator. One night, a UFO was seen hovering over the ham’s radio tower. They reportedly found that the “voices” over the radio actually knew things that they were talking about in the radio shack when the microphone wasn’t turned on. Interestingly, I’ve experienced very similar things in my EVP studies, with “voices” coming over an AM radio giving us direct and specific answers to our questions (successfully, in fact, in long distance experiments, whether a hundred miles away or thousands of miles away, as well as right there in the same room). I have, in two recent sessions, hearing them mention the last name of a ufologist friend, asked them to say both his first and last name, and immediately both came through loud and clear! These sessions were recorded and witnessed by others. (I suppose this is a point that needs to be made here since a common delusion of schizophrenics is voices speaking to them through regular radios and televisions) They can also say things that would make a sailor blush (and believe me, I know about such things, since I used to be a seaman in the U.S. Navy). I can’t even repeat here some of the horrible remarks that clearly came through our AM radio frequencies recently that were definitely in serious violation of FCC rules and regulations. (Spirits and Keel’s “ultraterrestrials” obviously don’t give a damn what they say! They don’t have to answer to any officials on this side of the veil)

John Keel predicted that the “radio contactee” experience and bizarre radio anomalies would increase through the years, but it seems to be the paranormal investigators, the so-called “ghost hunters,” who have become most involved with this type of phenomena. In my sessions, my late friends “John Keel” and “Dr. Schwarz” (or, at least, voices identifying themselves as them) have often come through. Recently, fellow EVP researchers I have done sessions with have even reported hearing what may be Dr. Schwarz during some of their separate sessions. I also recently heard that a psychic study group in another state may be claiming it is in contact with Dr. Schwarz’s spirit as well, so I will be hoping to find out more about that soon.

As John Keel wrote many years ago, as to the question of why nobody from a UFO had ever contacted us, after describing all sorts of strange UFO related cases with radio anomalies, he concluded his article with, “Hell, why don’t we contact them? CQ..CQ..CQ…is there anybody out there?”

I am pretty much convinced they are, and that they’re ver-ry close by!

Saturday, April 13, 2024