We Need To Talk

The Hartzler’s peaceful midwestern farm had experienced the unimaginable.  Farm emergencies and late night work were nothing out of the ordinary, but bright lights in the sky followed by the Air Force invading and a visit from Project Blue Book officials were events a ten-year old boy (Jerry) would never forget.  Despite two days of investigations by the military and questioning by the local law enforcement, no answers were given… not then nor still to this day.  Finding any information about this sighting is virtually impossible.  Jerry has been told that declassified documents will be made available in 2017, but only time will tell if this actually occurs or not.

Don’t Say A Word…

Days One and Two were eventful to say the least, but what happened on Day Three is what has kept this sighting a mystery still to this day.  Jerry shared with me how 2 men dressed in black suits showed up in a dark sedan.  They spoke briefly with his parents only, and then left.  After their departure, his parents were clearly shaken and disturbed.  They vowed to never speak of the sighting again or entertain questions of what it might have been.  Sadly, they never shared with the family one word the men in black had said to them.  Even on her death-bed, Jerry’s mother refused to divulge the conversation.

Who were these men in black?  Were they from the government?  What did they know?  What did they want?  What had they said.  Why were Jerry’s parents so disturbed, and why did they go their graves keeping the conversation a secret?  The answer is—we don’t know.

Who are the MIB?

2-teleporting

10 MIB Encounters

The “Men in Black” are well known to ufologists.  Decades of MIB documentation abound from all over the world.  As can be expected, some of the MIB encounters have been proven as hoaxes, but the vast majority remain documented facts.  Who are they, and why do they often follow the departure of military investigators and law enforcement officials?  Though featured in many movies over the years, most notably the Men In Black movie series, they remain an unexplained phenomenon.  Psychiatrists may throw out phrases such as “fantasy prone personalities,” or “dissociative states,” and “constructive perception;” debunkers will do their work and describe rational causes; but no one has pinned down the MIB.

Theorists who affiliate UFOs not so much with outer space as with the paranormal suggest that the MIB are a form of demonic psychic energy similar to the poltergeist.  Some have said that the MIB were linked to a branch of the US Air Force Special Activities Centre known as the 1127th Field Activities Group.  This group was said to be comprised of underworld figures who were specialists in lock-picking and intimidation.  However, over the years there have been many US Air Force memorandums written by various high level officials, emphasizing the importance of UFO investigations, and warning military personal to be on the alert for people impersonating military officials who are “approaching local police and other citizens who had sighted a UFO.”  Others argue that the MIB were Tibetan monks who followed the Dalai Lama and the Khamba riders into exile, and placed their yogic powers at the service of the CIA.  This could help to explain why many reports of MIB describe their features as Asian.

Your Help Is Needed!

Sadly, much of what we know of UFO’s and the MIB’s is based on speculation due to two things:

  1. Superficial investigations which concentrate on obtaining descriptions of the flying objects rather than studying all the events and factors surrounding the sightings.
  2. Suppression of valuable information, namely the suppression of valuable firsthand information by discrediting eyewitnesses, intimidating them, and burying their testimonies in “classified” vaults.

If you can find any information about the Hartzler Farm UFO Sighting of October 9th, 1967, please contact me.  I’d love to help Jerry find some answers.  Thank you.

Read my thoughts on UFO’s here:  UFO’s Are…
Also, you might be interested in:  Why I Write About The Paranormal

Shoot It Down!

The Hartzler family farm was in complete disarray with fighter planes buzzing the property and HU-1 helicopters unloading troops.  The Lieutenant shouted out to Jerry’s dad, “UFO!” and then turned to command his troops:  “Charge the woods!  Shoot it down!”  Before the soldiers could reach the bright light, which had sat down in 5-acres of woods near the dairy cattle, the “craft” lifted and shot out of sight within 2-seconds.

Just like that, it was gone leaving behind no evidence other than a 30′ burn radius where it had been setting momentarily.  Incidentally, the Indiana Sheriff’s deputies arrived on the scene during this whole ordeal, but they were immediately brushed aside by the Air Force.


Read the first part of this real UFO encounter:

Don’t Look At The Bright Red Light!


The F-104 Starfighters retreated to Grissom Air Force Base and the soldiers loaded back up in the Huey’s they had arrived in.  The Hartzlers were left to wonder what had just happened.  Had an experimental aircraft experienced momentary trouble?  Was it the Russians?  What did the officer mean by UFO?  Why did it set down near the cattle, and then shoot away?  What’s with the big burn circle on the ground?

Project-Blue-BookThe next day Project Blue Book was on site to interview all witnesses while taking soil samples and additional blood samples from all the cattle and every family member.  The family was ordered by the Air Force to not sell their dairy milk.  They were to dump it on the ground out in the fields, and the government agreed to send them a check for their losses.  No explanations were given as to what exactly had taken place other than to confirm that this particular case was “unexplainable.”  Project Blue Book personnel confirmed that it was definitely not a weather balloon or experimental air craft, but fell within what they called “the 1%,” which was a category reserved for legitimate UFO activity.


Project Blue Book was one of a series of systematic studies of unidentified flying objects (UFOs) conducted by the United States Air Force.  It started in 1952, and it was the third study of its kind (the first two were projects Sign (1947) and Grudge (1949)). A termination order was given for the study in December 1969, and all activity under its auspices ceased in January 1970.
Project Blue Book had two goals: (1) to determine if UFOs were a threat to national security, and (2) to scientifically analyze UFO-related data.

Forty-eight years later, no further explanations have been given.  It was over as soon as it had begun.  The military had rushed to the sight, and the local sheriff’s department likewise.  But just as soon as they had arrived, they left with loads of collected evidence, leaving no explanations behind.  Years passed in silence while the work of the farm continued on as it always had.

Years later, one night while Jerry’s dad was working the fields alone, he saw the shadow of his diesel tractor on the ground.  How odd it was; after all, it was night-time.  He looked up to see the massufo1ive, silent light hovering over he and his tractor.  All of the sudden, the diesel died and then the light shot away just as it had years earlier (any farmer can tell you a diesel doesn’t just die immediately).  His dad, a complete UFO skeptic, leaped from his dead tractor and ran to the house, shaken and very nerved.  He frantically described to the family what had happened and didn’t return to night work in the fields for a short season afterwards.  Remembering the circus like atmosphere that had occurred years earlier, they chose not to report this incident.

In the years that followed, Jerry’s parents refused to speak of the night when the Air Force descended on their farm in full force.  It was just one of those things that they would have liked to forget, as if it never happened.  However, the motive for not speaking may not be what you think it was.  It was due to what happened on Day-3 of the original sighting October 9th, 1967, which insured a lifetime gag-rule.

Curious?  Stay tuned.  More about Day-3 to come shortly…

Don’t Look At The Bright Red Light!

UFOs, yeah right…

When someone brings up the subject of UFOs in a manner that is not skeptical or satirical, eyes usually roll and “behind-the-back” whispering soon follows.  I know; I’ve experienced it firsthand.  However, not because it was me being vocal in the coffee shop.  Whimages-1en it comes to UFOs and the unexplained, I’m predominantly a writer and not a talker.

Due to my internet articles, the kind of chatter I commonly experience is remote and far away from my hearing.  But I’ve seen the rolled eyes and heard the whispers as it relates to others who are raising the topic at work, family gatherings, restaurants, and the like.  Interestingly, with less than 36% of people outright rejecting UFOs, the negative reactions are far less than what they used to be.  Statistically, one has a 50% chance of finding a sympathizer.  This is why the following 48-year old story is now coming to light, and the eye-witness was willing to talk… to talk with me.


Hello, 1967?

I heard of Jerry’s story just a few short weeks ago.  The lead came to me through my mother-in-law who follows my writing closely.  One of my recent articles caused her to remember an incident that took place in 1967 with one her schoolmates.  She got in touch with him, explained who I am and what I do, and he agreed to chat with me.

Jerry is a busy guy, working his dairy farm, trucking, and keeping up with his family, but he found time to talk with me one evening last week.  He explained that, as a rule, he just doesn’t talk about what happened to he and his family years ago.  Initially, the incident made heaphone_f018-20111111231509-00005dlines, the military was heavily involved, and everyone wanted to know what had taken place.  But, that immediate curiosity eventually turned into years of general public skepticism.

Jerry told me about the few times he had been flagged down off of his tractor by a neighbor who wanted to wave a Bible around and tell him how the universe really works.  Jerry loves his faith, but doesn’t have a stomach for arguing.  He shared that he was willing to talk with me because I had been vouched for as an honest person, not interested in debates, just an open-minded guy searching for answers, as he has been all these years.  It’s always nice to hear that about yourself from someone else.


Don’t look!

The incident took place after dark in rural northern Indiana, October 9th, 1967.  Jerry was 10-years old at the time, and was at home in bed.  His dad was away on local calls (he sold insurance on the side to supplement the farm income).  The phone rang and his mother answered.  It was a call from his aunt and uncle who lived near by.  They were seeing a bright light moving quickly over the Hartzler farm fields and were concerned.  Jerry’s mom looked out the window to see the light racing towards the 5-acres of woods near their dairy cows on their 105-acre farm.

It was so large and fast she thought it must have something to do with Grissom Air Force Base not far away near Kokomo, Indiana.  So, she called the base immediately!  Remember, this was during the Cold War, and people in northern Indiana were concerned.  Thduckandcover_bert_the_turtle_0ey had an Air Force base in the community, and were located in-between the big cities of Chicago and Indianapolis.  At school, atomic bomb drills were just as common as tornado and fire drills.  Jerry recalls being told by his teachers, in the event of a giant mushroom cloud, drop to the ground, cover your head, and don’t look at the bright red light.  Years later in reflection, Jerry says: “Boy, were we stupid!”


Shoot! Shoot!

After making the call, 15-minutes later three F-104 Starfighters were buzzing their farm with their landing lights on.  It was deafening, blinding, and ground shaking, unlike the previous bright light that had made no sound at all.  Jerry jumped out of bed to join his mother’s side 3View-Color-Lockheed-F-104as they watched the mysterious large bright light touch down in the woods on their family farm.  As the fighter planes continued to shake the ground and scare the cows, soldiers arrived from Grissom in HU-1 helicopters.  Jerry recalled the commanding officer ordering foot soldiers to charge the woods and shoot whatever it was.  In the middle of all this, his dad arrived home, having no idea what was going on (this was long before cell phones).  He immediately called out to the Lieutenant in charge, “what the bleep is going on?”  The Lieutenant simply shouted back, “UFO!”


It’s classified…

Stay tuned; there’s more to the story, and I won’t keep you waiting long.  By the way, this incident is still classified by the United States Government.  Jerry will have his first look at the “Top Secret” documents in two years, and hopefully they won’t be filled with thick, black lines.  Fifty years are a long time to wait for answers…s119571398957059959_p71_i1_w1706

UFOs are…

Recently, I invited my followers to join me on an adventure as I read Keith Thompson’s book Angels and Aliens.  I promised to share my “take aways,” and the time has come for me to make good on that promise.


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1942, The Battle for Los Angeles

Overall, I found the book to be intelligent and well-balanced.  Thompson objectively covered famous and well-documented UFO encounters, including eye-witness accounts from ordinary people, to high level officials in the military and government.  For me, some of the most compelling accounts were the UFO sightings by mass groups of people, as well as, respected pilots who were willing to put their careers on the line.  In the book, Thompson does not try to prove or debunk UFOs.  Instead, he offers insight on the mythical power the phenomena has had on our society.

As modern people we like to think that we’ve outgrown the need for mythology, trading it in for sensible science.  But Thompson convincingly shows that the modern UFO phenomena is helping to resurrect ancient myths.  As a result, the desire to explore what lies beyond our five senses is being invigorated once again.  He concludes that the public’s fascination with these pixellated objects (UFOs) is really “a religious search to recover lost intimacy.”

For true UFO believers, Thompson’s philosophical views would probably be pure boredom despite the fact that he provides plenty of hard evidence from the first modern sightings in 1947 to Whitley Strieber’s bestselling confessions of the late 1980s.  Could UFOs turn out to be “alien” technological hardware?  Maybe… time will tell.  However, at this point in my life I’m more intrigued with the discussion by those who entertain the unexplainable phenomena as “an idea at work in the world’s soul.”


So, what do I think UFOs are?

Well, it’s complicated.  What I wish they are, hope they are, want them to be, imagine and philosophize them to be, and what they really are, are all separate items.  Here’s what I’ve concluded thus far:

  • UFO sightings are real enough to be physically witnessed.
  • Almost 20% of all sightings and encounters are labeled by the government as “unexplainable.”  However, those who believe in government conspiracies would argue that this percentage is higher, and I would agree with them.
  • Supernatural and paranormal phenomena have long been a documented experience in human history.  Just ask George Washington who had his own UFO/angel experience!
  • Such experiences are “real” enough to the point that governments have felt it necessary to investigate, and then disseminate misinformation to conceal their findings.  How unfortunate!
  • Religious leaders from the Pope to the famous evangelical Billy Graham, along with world-class scientists, philosophers, and high level government officials have postulated and worked together to investigate, and understand what’s going on.  So, in my opinion, interested individuals will find some good company to talk with.
  • As for the wild theories that surface from time to time, these shouldn’t detour us from getting to the bottom of what’s really going on.  Nor, should they cause us to angrily argue and push some away from the collective search.  Theories are all part of the discovery process.  There’s plenty of room at the table.
  • Whether explainable or not, there is a higher consciousness calling humanity to imagine, explore, discover, and create.  It appears to be no respecter of persons, manifesting to all social classes and ethnic groups.
  • Any talk of the “unexplainable” is going to be strange and unsettling for the mind, heart, and soul.  If we understood it fully, there would be no need to feel uneasy and argumentative.  Thus, there’s a need for not only scientists to engage the subject, but for religious leaders as well.

In the end, is it a bird?  Sometimes.  A plane or weather balloon?  Sometimes.  An unidentified flying object?  Sometimes.  A hoax?  Som20100826_ironsky_560x375etimes.  An angel?  Possibly.  Superman?  That would be cool!  But that would open a whole new can of worms.  After all, he was an alien you know.  Whatever the phenomena is, it remains deeply embedded in our collective consciousness.  And, because it’s manifesting itself with a greater rate of frequency and impact, perhaps the answers are just within reach.  Many suggest we will understand what’s going on within the next 20 years!

The invasion is imminent…

I want to confess that I personally feel this subject is a serious one.  My fundamentalist friends will no doubt be irritated that I even entertain this topic.  It seems they only have one explanation… demons!  Sorry, I love you, but experimental planes, crashing meteors, and strange magnetic fields are not demons.  And if there is “something” (intelligent or other) engaging humanity on a mass level, I feel it’s important for us to investigate with objectivity rather than rash, opinionated judgment.

Bottom line, our universe is multi-dimensional.  From what we can see to what we have yet to see, there is still so much to learn and understand.  I don’t know the answers, nor do I know anyone who does.  I do have a friend who’s ex-CIA, and another acquaintance who swears she’s been visited by aliens.  Both have a lot to say on the subject (privately, of course).  When they speak, I listAlien-invasionen… and I think long and hard.

In the end, I’d like to believe that the modern UFO phenomenon is a massive-collective-manifestation of humanity’s deepest desires and longings.  This theory has landed me squarely within what is known as the “Excluded Middle.”  Could these experiences be the physical manifestation of humanity’s growing desire for deeper intimacy, thirst for greater knowledge, and longing for security?  If this is the case, get ready for a massive invasion soon to come!

As for the movies, perhaps all those terrifying scenes of people running in fear from alien invaders is a depiction of our shared, subconscious, human fear—the fear of vulnerability when encountering unexplainable love.  Obviously, we’d be entertaining A LOVE SO MASSIVE that it would encompasses the entire universe.  Now there’s a thought!  Who knows; maybe I’m just a hopeless romantic.


To learn more about my views on pop culture, the paranormal, and the supernatural, check out my recent book:

BeyondTheRabbitEars

UFOs & The Excluded Middle

1992 was a watershed year for the UFO community–not due to any revelation from the ranks of the saucer-smitten, but for the publication of Angels And Aliens: UFOs And The Mythic Imagination.  For the first time in recent memory, an author with a fresh perspective wrestled with a modern history of the subject, and more importantly, the people who study, or, at the very least are affected by the phenomenon.  Keith Thompson chose to look at the 20th century evolution of the UFO phenomenon as a developing system of mythology, complete with heroes, villains, power struggles, battles and innocent bystanders.

Before I share my “take-aways” with you from this book, I thought you might enjoy a little insight from the author himself.  Here’s an interview he did in 1995:


QUESTION: Angels and Aliens is, to me, one of the most important books dealing with the subject of UFOs.  I’m curious about the process that inspired the book.  Was there a specific series of events or circumstances that led you to feel a book of this type was necessary?

AUTHOR’S ANSWER: I came to the UFO phenomenon, or it came to me, by a circuitous route.  One evening Walter Cronkite opened The CBS Evening News with a dramatic rendition of a UFO sighting in Michigan.  Dozens of witnesses reported a football-shaped object the size of a car performing gyrations in the sky, before maneuvering out to a nearby swamp.  J. Allen Hynek, the tragic hero of the Air Force’s ill-fated Project Blue Book, arrived on the scene only to be quoted — misquoted, actually — as saying the witnesses had seen “swamp galogo_350s.”  This in turn was taken as proof that the military had no intention of dealing sensibly or honestly with the UFO phenomenon and its ramifications.

My twelve-year-old psyche was captivated by this case, with its cast of confounded witnesses, befuddled military experts, know-it-all debunkers, and of course the media circus surrounding it all.  I grew up in rural northern Ohio, not far from where the sightings took place.  The debate immediately polarized between those who were sure UFOs “had” to be real and those who were equally certain UFOs “couldn’t” be real.  It was my first exposure to the “mythic electricity” that surrounds the UFO domain.  Soon the “Swamp Gas Case” was infamous, and the media forgot about it, and I did too.  I didn’t pay much attention to the UFO phenomenon until quite a few years later.


 QUESTION: What prompted you to return to the subject?

AUTHOR’S ANSWER: In the early 1980s I was associated with Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California.  I coordinated a series of annual think tank-style conferences on subjects such as altered states of consciousness, shamanism, mysticism, quantum physics, and parapsychology.  One day I came across an Omni magazine interview with J. Allen Hynek, the dean of UFO studies, and was impressed by his perspective.  Michael Murphy, Esalen’s founder and my longtime comrade in various adventures of the spirit, suggested that we invite leading UFO researchers to Esalen for a free-wheeling discussion.

There I was, about to receive a symposium of experts on a phenomenon I knew very little about.  I spent two months reading everything I could get my hands on, including the works of Whitley Strieber, Budd Hopkins, Jacques Vallee, and the classic books of John Keel.  It seemed clear that at least some of the “whatevers” called UFOs didn’t fit Big Science’s view of reality.  I ended up spending five days with leading researchers, getting steeped in UFO evidence, a world brimming with surrealism.  This was a phenomenon I could get along with just fine — I felt sure of that much.


 QUESTION: Before the book, you were involved in a public symposium called “Angels, Aliens and Archetypes.”  What struck me about that event was that even though each of you had your own ideas about UFOs, you all seemed, for the most part, to represent a “post-modern” or “new paradigm” or “excluded middle” school of thought — something rare in prior UFO conferences.  Do you view that gathering as significant in terms of increasing dialogue about new ways of looking at this phenomenon?

AUTHOR’S ANSWER: A theme that emerged throughout the two days of that conference, among practically every speaker, was best phrased by Jacques Vallee, who emphasized three points:

  1. the UFO phenomenon is real;
  2. it has been with us throughout history;
  3. it is physical in nature yet it represents a form of consciousness that is able to manipulate dimensions beyond time and space as we know them.

Vallee’s friend and mentor Allen Hynek had arrived at a similar conclusion as early as 1976, when he began expressing his doubts that UFOs are nuts-and-bolts spacecraft from other worlds.  He found it ridiculous to suppose that super intelligence would travel enormous distances to do relatively stupid things like stop cars, collect soil cropcircle2samples, perform repetitive “medical exams” on abducted clients, and generally go around frightening people.

Hynek decided it was time to “begin looking closer to home.”  A key idea at the conference was that UFOs may operate in a multi-dimensional reality of which space-time is a subset — an idea that doesn’t require the reality of UFOs to stand or fall with the extraterrestrial hypothesis.  I like to think the San Francisco conference may have helped encourage new ways to think about the phenomenon.  For instance, Vallee’s idea that the intelligence the phenomenon represents could coexist with us on earth just as easily as it could originate on another planet, or in a parallel universe.


QUESTION: One of the themes we found most intriguing in Angels and Aliens was the idea of ufology viewed as an evolving mythology.  What inspired you to take this approach?

AUTHOR’S ANSWER:  There were a couple of departure points.  First, as I began to immerse myself in the literature and attend various UFO conferences, I was struck that many of the personalities in the field of ufology spent much of their time doing to each other what the personalities of Greek mythology are famous for:  quarreling, settling scores, jockeying for position, seeking revenge, and so forth.  I wanted to find out which of the gods and goddesses, which actors from the timeless annals of mythology might have slipped into the UFO cosmos, like thieves in the night.

ufo-hoax-071

1973 Missouri UFO SIghting

But the idea that ufology involves “mythology” doesn’t mean I dismiss the reality of UFOs, although some readers thought that was what I was saying.  All of life has a mythological dimension, and the UFO phenomenon is no exception.  Myth offers a background of images that allow life to show up with greater richness and depth.  The assumption that UFO events must be either real or symbolic — but not both — is fundamentalist thinking at its worst.  Try as we might, life refuses to be reduced to any flat singular interpretation.  Interesting, that the word “symbolism” is derived from the Greek symballein, which means “to throw together.”  The word denotes the drawing together of two worlds.  Hermes is a spanner of boundaries, a mediator between realms, an ambassador between domains which seem separate but are connected by subtle thresholds.

In Angels and Aliens I was trying to show that UFO reality is complex, multidimensional, remarkably nuanced and textured — and above all, not cooperative with the mental categories to which the Western mind has become so attached.

number-3

Angels & Aliens

In my research, I recently ran across an intriguing book by Keith Thompson, Angels and Aliens: UFOs and the Mythic Imagination.  It was published in 1993 and received some pretty impressive reviews.  Here are just a few:

“Magnificent…no matter what your beliefs, [it] is the most fascinating book written on the subject.” – San Francisco Chronicle

“As original and provocative a book as you’re likely to run into this year…Keith Thompson has issued a bold new challenge to our imagination, and our perception.” – Esquire

“An important work.” – John E. Mack, M.D., Pulitzer Prize winner

“An intelligent, engrossing and often wryly funny analysis.” – Minneapolis Star Tribune

I ordered a used copy from Amazon for $3.99.  It arrived two days later.  I was impressed with the condition (Good), and upon inspe710P8PQ78RL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_.gifction found a few dogeared pages with some penciled stars, exclamation marks, and underlining.  It’s interesting to see what a total stranger found important over two decades ago.

From a quick scan, I learned that the author approached the subject matter with an intellectual energy, smart wit, and an open-ended perspective, while avoiding the dogmatism of true believers and debunkers alike.  According to the back cover, “Angels and Aliens invites the reader to enter a fascinating world with profound implications for our understanding of the human spirit.”

Carl Jung first spoke of the UFO phenomenon as “a modern myth in the making.”  Later, Joseph Campbell insisted that the first function of myths is to open the “mind and heart to the utter wonders of all being.”  Though I have trusted-friends who have seen UFOs, I personally don’t have a definitive opinion.  However, I welcome the opening of mind and heart “to the wonders of all being” no matter how it comes.

As I read this book, I’ll keep you posted of what I learn…


Check out my recent book!

BeyondTheRabbitEars

Available on Amazon

Alien Church (TWO)

Public opinion polling indicates that over 36% of Americans believe that extraterrestrials exist.  That’s almost as many who voted in the 2012 Presidential election!  In order to appeal to a laspockrger voting block, maybe presidential hopefuls should start making campaign promises to reveal the classified information on aliens and UFO research.  Can you imagine the TV ratings?  Live debates would be wildly anticipated, especially if Spock was behind one of the podiums!

Governments and aliens are old news.  However, “church and aliens” is making recent news these days.  You probably never thought of putting the two words together, have you?  Though atheists make up the largest group of E.T. believers (55%), people of faith are not far behind.  Here’s the breakdown:

  • 44% of Muslims
  • 37% of Jews
  • 36% of Hindus
  • 32% of Christians

Of the Christians, more than one third of the Eastern Orthodox faithful (41%), Roman Catholics (37%), Methodists (37%), and Lutherans (35%) profess belief in extraterrestrial life.  Only the Baptists (29%) fall below the one-third threshold, however, just barely.  Are you surprised by the numbers?  That’s an average of almost 36%; the same percentage of E.T. believers in the general American population!

Belief in aliens is not so “fringe” after all, is it?  And… it’s on the rise.


 Pope Francis + Billy Graham + E.T. = ???

In the summer of ’08, the Vatican issued a statement saying that belief in aliens doesn’t negate faith in God.  Father Jose Gabriel Funes, the Jesuit director of the Vatican Observatory was quoted as saying the vastness of the universe means it is possible that there could be other forms of life outside Earth, even intelligent ones.

“How can we rule out that life may have developed elsewhere?”  Funes said. “Just as we consider earthly creatures as ‘a brother,’ and ‘sister,’ why should we not talk about an ‘extraterrestrial brother’?  It would still be part of creation.”

Adding to the growing controversy, Pope Francis (whom I like and respect greatly) recently said that he would welcome martians being baptized (May 2014).

“If—for example—tomorrow an expedition of Martians came, and some of them came to us, here… Martians, right? Green, with that long nose and big ears, just like children paint them… And one says, ‘But I want to be baptized!’ What would happen?  When the Lord shows us the way, who are we to say, ‘No, Lord, it is not prudent! No, let’s do it this way…’” (source)

If you think Pope Francis is off his rocker, you might just have to think the same about the famed Protestant evangelist Billy Graham:

“I firmly believe there are intelligent beings like us far away in space who worship God… we would have nothing to fear from these people.  Like us, they are God’s creation.”  (source)


Want to learn more about the debate religion is having with the possibility of aliens?  Check these articles out:
Did Jesus Save the Klingons?
How Would Christianity Deal With Extraterrestrial Life?
What Different Religions Say About Aliens

It’s a big day for E.T.!

Check out my recent book:

Beyond The Rabbit Ears

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Alien Church (ONE)

Aliens have long been of great interest for the general public, not to mention a cash cow for the entertainment industry.  Ever siDay_the_Earth_Stood_Still_1951nce 1951 when the sci-fi movie The Day the Earth Stood Still flickered in black-n-white on the big screen, our modern pop culture hasn’t been able to get enough of humanoid alien visitors and their accompanying robots.  But is the topic of aliens only suitable for entertainment value?  Leading scientists and theologians don’t think so!

In 2009, the Vatican hosted a conference to discuss the implications on religion and human consciousness if extraterrestrial life is found.  Chief scientists, astronomers, and religious leaders enthusiastically participated.  And, at the close of their meetings they concluded that if aliens were discovered they would be part of God’s creation and therefore regarded as our “extraterrestrial brothers.”


NASA, the Library of Congress, and the Vatican discuss aliens!

Last year (2014), NASA and the Library of Congress teamed up, bringing together over 200 top scientists, theologians, philosophers and historians from around the globe, to host a two day symposium.  Their stated goal was  to discuss how to prepare the world for extraterrestrial contact, whether it be microbial organisms or intelligent beings.

“We’re looking at all scenarios about finding life. If you find microbes, that’s one thing. If you find intelligence, it’s another. And if they communicate, it’s something else, and depending on what they say, it’s something else! The idea is not to wait until we make a discovery, but to try and prepare the public for what the implications might be when such a discovery is made. I think the reason that NASA is backing this is because of all the recent activity in the discovery of exoplanets and the advances in astrobiology in general. People just consider it much more likely now that we’re going to find something — probably microbes first and maybe intelligence later. The driving force behind this is from a scientific point of view that it seems much more likely now that we are going to find life at some point in the future.” – Astronomer, symposium organizer and former chief NASA historian, Steven J. Dick. (source)

One of the theologians present was Brother Guy Consolmagno, who is the president of the Vatican Observatory Foundation.  Here is what he had to say:

“I Believe [alien life exists], but I have no evidence. I would be really excited and it would make my understanding of my religion deeper and richer in ways that I can’t even predict yet, which is why it would be so exciting.” (source)

One of the leading question asked at the conference was does an intelligent alien life form have a soul?  A Jesuit astronomer present answered he believed they do and would be excited with the discovery of alien life.  And we may not have to wait long for that discovery announcement!  According to NASA scientists, finding life out there is statistically inevitable, most likely within the next two decades.


If you believe in UFOs, you may be in better company than you think!

A 2012 National Geographic poll showed that 36% of Americans, about 80 million people, believe UFOs exist, and a tenth believealien-face they have spotted one.  The study also showed that 77% of Americans believe there are signs that aliens have visited Earth, and the TV show The X-Files best represents what would happen if aliens invaded Earth.

The study, in which a random sample of 1,114 Americans 18 and over was surveyed, also asked what respondents would do if aliens visited Earth.  Nearly a quarter said they would try to befriend the extraterrestrials, 13 percent said they would lock themselves indoors, and just one in 20 said they would “try to inflict bodily harm.”

Those numbers did not surprise longtime UFO investigator David MacDonald, director of the non-profit Mutual UFO Network, who said the idea of contact with extraterrestrials has become commonplace in the last few decades.

“We have grown up with ‘Star Trek,’ ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Battlestar Galactica,'” MacDonald said. “We’re at the point where we’d say ‘What planet are you from? Oh well, let’s have a beer.'”


ABC News report aired in 2012


If you’re curious as to what people of faith think about aliens, be watching for my upcoming post – Alien Church (TWO)!
In the meantime, download a FREE SAMPLE of my recent book:

Beyond The Rabbit Ears

The Watchers (SPECIAL EDITION)

Watchers are a specific type of angel referred to in the Bible, apocryphal literature, Christian lore, pagan mysticism, and in various ancient records.  The following article provides a look into the some of the ideas surrounding them, beginning with how they have recently been portrayed by Hollywood.  BTW – I’ve embedded lots of links.  Feel free to explore!


Noah, the epic!

Recently, interest in the Watchers was renewed with Darren Aronofsky’s 2014 biblical epic Noah.  In the movie, they are depicted as gigantic fallen angels encased in stone (picture below).  After defending Noah and his family from the violent mob led by Tubal-cain, all of the Watchers were killed.  As they died, their angelic forms were released from their stone bodies and returned to heaven, having been forgiven by the Creator.

The director definitely took creative license with the well-known Bible story; nonetheless, he received general approval from the Christian and Jewish communities.  Several organizations expressed support for the Noah film, i.e. American Bible Society, Focus on the Family, and more.  Even Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, found it “interesting and thought provoking,” while Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, an orthodox Jewish rabbi leader, hailed Noah as “a valuable film, especially for our times.”

Though Noah is revered as a prophet in Islam, Muslim support was virtually non-existent.  In many Islamic juristic schools, the portrayal of prophets is forbidden.  Therefore, the film was banned in Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, and Indonesia prior to its release.


Who were the Watchers?

Besides being mentioned briefly in the Bible, the idea of the Watchers has been found in the ancient religious records of Sumeria, Peru, Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Greece.  Most people are familiar with the Sumerian Anunnaki due to the History Channel’s popular hit series Ancient Aliens.  These beings were believed to have come to earth from the sky, and the Sumerians revered them as four enormous gods, known as:

  • An – (“Sky”), the source of rain and most powerful of the gods
  • Enlil – (“Lord Wind”), the power in “Growing Weather”
  • Ninhursaga – (“Lady of the Stony Ground”), mother of wildlife
  • Enki – rival of Ninhursaga

The term Anunnaki literally means “of the sky.”  Many scholars believe this term is also used in the Bible as Anakim, Anak, or Nefilim (nephilum).  In Hebrew nephilim has been interpreted to mean “giants” or “those who have fallen.”  Incidentally, the first major enemies that the liberated Israelis faced were the Canaanites, sometimes referred to as children of Anak – meaning tall, strong, and long neck.  The Israelites described them as being a fierce race of giants dwelling in massive fortified cities.  Later, during the days of King David, the most famous son of Anak was killed, his name being Goliath.

The Egyptian Execration texts of the Middle Kingdom (2055-1650 BC) mention a list of political enemies in Canaan, and among this list are a group called the ly Anaq or people of Anaq.  The three rulers of ly Anaq were Erum, Abiyamimu, and Akirum.  It was believed that these rulers were related to the Sumerian gods, namely Enki.  Robert Graves, considered the relationship between the Anakites and Philistines (Joshua 11:21, Jeremiah 47:5), identifing the Anakim with Anax, the giant ruler of the Anactorians in Greek mythology.

For the Egyptians, the children of Anak were related to the original Watchers, who they revered as Ptah, Anubis, Osiris, and Horus.  It was believed they came to Egypt from Ta-Ur, the “Far/Foreign Land.”  The Egyptian term used for the Watchers was Neteru (“guardians”).

“Wakeful Ones”

Ancient beliefs vary from one culture to another, but all seem to agree that Watchers were a specific race of heavenly beings.  In Hebrew they were referred to as nun resh ayin, or irinim – meaning “those who watch” or “Wakeful Ones.”  When translated into Greek, the same terms appear as grigori – simply meaning “watchers.”

The early books of the Bible speak of some vague heavenly beings called malochim (singular, malach).  Although malach is usually translated “angel,” its literal meaning is “messenger.”  Therefore, it was used to describe both angelic beings and human beings.  As far as the Hebrew term irinim goes, it was only used to describe a high class of angels, sometimes characterized as “archangels,” first mentioned in the book of Daniel (4:10-14).

In apocryphal literature…

Watchers are the fallen angels who took mortal women as wives (1 Enoch 6, 19, 64, 69; Jubilees 4, 7).  Their union produced a ravenous race of hybrid offspring (nephilum/giants) who devoured copious amounts of flesh and drank “rivers of blood.”  And to make matters even worse, it is written that they corrupted humans with the forbidden arts of weaponry, herb craft, astrology, divination, and sorcery.

In the books of Enoch, God sends the archangel Uriel to warn Noah of a coming deluge… the archangel Raphael captures the rebel leader of the Watchers and thrusts him into eternal darkness… the archangel Gabriel deals with the bloodthirsty hybrids… and the archangel Michael deals with the remaining Watchers and their surviving offspring prior to Noah’s Great Deluge.  For all of this, there appears to be only one New Testament reference found in Jude 1:6.

There are many other references to Watchers found in the Jewish/Christian non-canonical writings identifying their numbers to be 200, and residing in the sixth heaven where they perform celestial music (Gedulat Moshe).  Among the Dead Sea Scrolls, they are central figures in the mythic-gnostic theology of the Qumran priests.  Within the modern Wiccan tradition, some of these gnostic views are combined with Jewish mysticism and British mythology, assigning the four leading archangels to the four directions of the heavens, and marking them with the Winter/Summer Solstices, and Spring/Autumn Equinoxes.

Any survivors?

So, there you have it in a nutshell.  Darren Aronofsky’s movie portrayal of the Watchers as “rock-monster/Transformer-types” seems a bit tame in comparison, doesn’t it?  Definitely, more could be said on the subject.  Though our understanding of the Watchers may still remain partial, it’s not for a lack of descriptive material!

I guess one thing is for certain:  to learn who or what the Watchers were or are, really depends on who you ask.  Could they have once been a large group of archangels that split and fought with one another?  Is it possible that only four survived – Uriel, Raphael, Gabriel & Michael?  Or, maybe only two survived – Gabriel & Michael?  Or, have all the leading civilizations, from antiquity to modern days, conspired to keep the truth hidden in ecclesiastical musings, imaginative writings, and Hollywood special effects?  What do you think?


Noah 2014 (1)

Watchers in the movie Noah (2014)

If you’re interested in the paranormal/supernatural as it relates to pop culture, sci fi, mythology, and the movies, check out my book:

BEYOND THE RABBIT EARS

The Paranormal is Normal?

WILL HOLLYWOOD EVER GIVE UP THE GHOSTS?

Don’t expect producers to do so any time soon.  Paranormal TV series and movies are huge money makers.  Research shows the growing supernatural genre is meeting an increasing curiosity in unexplainable phenomena.

Sociologists Christopher Bader and F. Carson Mencken of Baylor University and Joseph Baker of East Tennessee State University report in their 2011 book Paranormal America that more than two-thirds of Americans have paranormal beliefs.  Leading scholars suggest, with the growth of an immigrant population more open to the paranormal, the pop culture demand for the supernatural is expected to only increase.

However, there are those who have no interest, mainly atheists and conservative Christians.  Though both groups rarely see eye to eye on anything, they both share an ardent disbelief in UFOs, ghosts, psychics, Bigfoot, etc.  Regardless, studies show that nearly half of all Americans believe in these things, including extraterrestrials!

Apart from the obvious group of skeptics, there is a growing majority of spiritual seekers in our generation who are opening their wallets to beliefs, practices, and experiences that are not necessarily respected by accepted science or conventional religion.  Their curiosity is making the paranormal a mainstream topic. “What we can say with certainty is that we live in a paranormal America,” write Bader, Mencken and Baker. “Put another way, the paranormal is normal.”

Author L.A. Emrich’s new book BEYOND THE RABBIT EARS explores America’s pop culture obsession with the paranormal by taking a look at popular music, literature, ancient myths, history, religion, the Bible, mystic poetry, TV shows, and movies.  You’ll be amazed at how much of what people consider “normal” has actually been strongly influenced by the paranormal!

Download a FREE SAMPLE and start tuning in a clearer picture of the supernatural and inexplicable…

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