Opening statement


Illustration by John Gordon Swogger

I have a fascination for people, the profound life-changing events that some claim to experience and the fringe belief systems that surround them.

Since 1988 I was very much interested in the subject of UFOlogy. It is a subject that is unfortunately riddled with ridicule but it’s also filled with a whole host of sceptics, so-called truth-seekers and those who like to hoax for fun. There are also those involved in the subject who look upon the UFO with a healthy open-mind, I’d like to consider myself one of these individuals.

Despite some of the ridiculous claims made within UFOlogy, the subject does incorporate a meaningful element for those who claim to have experienced an anomaly. In UFOlogy, these people are labelled witnesses. Whilst many researchers involved in the subject search for ET, I myself take a hard look at people and I try and examine how certain Close Encounter experiences have the capacity for changing people’s lives.

My research hasn’t yet led me to any secret underground alien bases or to hidden flying saucer wreckage but rather to the source of an unexpected invitation to those not normally interested in the subject. Some of these are people who might carry a hidden emotional yearning for great personal change.  I have found myself asking if there are people in the West who are having shamanic-like experiences that are largely visionary in nature or who are themselves fulfilling the roles of shaman, perhaps a role that is needed here in an increasingly secular modern Western world.

Some people believe that orthodox religion hasn’t helped to prevent the horrors of the world from happening and others believe that science hasn’t delivered us from those same horrors either but has instead introduced us to a plethora of products for the consumer. The widespread nature of warfare, poverty and violence that we have become aware of  seems to suggest that neither religion nor science has saved us from the very things that make us human. We are, after all, intelligent animals capable of both creation and destruction. For some people, the world has become a place of increasing chaos. Those among us who are not scientists might feel the need to mistrust science, because it is also a language that many of us fail to understand in any depth.

So perhaps by some mechanism yet unknown to us, there is a need to collectively address and express our fears and anxieties through a spiritual awakening of sorts that exists in the human psyche. A very Jungian concept and one that perhaps is closer to a truth. Spiritualist mediums, diviners, contactees and even abductees give us words of warning from their encounters – no longer are warnings focusing on the dangers of nuclear energy but these messages convey the need to care for our environment. If there is intelligence behind the UFO then it is clearly showing signs of cultural tracking i.e. the UFO mimics technology similar to what is currently being developed but it may also provide, through its own actions, a glimpse of a technology yet to come.

Today, very few people continue to report communication with angels and fairies, but many do believe that they have direct contact with, what is believed to be, an extraterrestrial intelligence. Some of the early founding UFOlogists such as Dr. J. Allan Hynek,  Dr. Jacques Vallee, John Keel and recently Dr. John E. Mack acknowledge that they are not necessarily convinced that the evidence for the UFO is about visiting aliens from another planet but rather an intelligence that expresses itself paradoxically in both a physical and non-physical form and that this intelligence is perhaps closer to home. An idea that isn’t popular with those who follow the Extraterrestrial Hypothesis.

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