Reflections about UFOlogy

Photograph from The Dragon and The Disc (1973) by F. W. Holiday: “This Disc was photographed by Mr. Lars Thörn at 9:55 a.m. on 6 May 1971, at a point 5 km. N.E. of Skillingaryd, Sweden. Two successive pictures were taken before the object moved away behind the grenade shelter on the right. Stereoscopic examination suggests that the object was a long way beyond the wall . . .”

Some of the conclusions offered by editor Charles Bowen in the UFOlogy anthology Encounter Cases from Flying Saucer Review (1977) include the first paragraphs from the final chapter “Beliefs.”

We believe that “flying saucers,” or UFOs, do exist: the evidence of sight, radar and sound indicates that either might be metallic, or might give the impressions of being metallic. We believe that they could be powered in ways as yet unknown to man.  There is ample evidence of their effects on electronic devices and on the electrical systems of internal combustion engines.  However it is realized that these effects might be produced by something quite apart from the “propulsion unit.” We believe it possible that these objects could be either of extraterrestrial origin, or that they could be coming to us from another time-space continuum, perhaps some “interpenetrating universe” (there is evidence of materialization and dematerialization to support speculation in this direction), or that they could come from both.

The book presents several accounts of anomalous human teleportation.  The following excerpt of a 1968 report is from the article “A South American ‘Wave'” by Gordon Creighton that was first  published in Flying Saucer Review, Volume 14, Number 5 (September-October, 1969).

Buenos Aires, Argentina.  La Razón of June 4 and the Correio do Povo (published in Pôrto Alegre, southern Brazil) of June 11, gave details  of an extraordinary recent happening to the well-known Argentine painter and sculptor Benjamin Solari Parravicini.  This gentleman claimed that  some time after midnight (precise date not given) he was walking home  from the theater in Buenos Aires, a copy of the program in his hand.   The night was foggy, he tells us, and in the view of the “fog” or “mist” mentioned in teleportation cases we should take careful note of this  point.  The streets hereabouts were deserted. Arriving at the  corner of Avenida Belgrano and Avenida 9 de Julio, Parravicini was  suddenly confronted by what he took at first to be a madman, a  fair-skinned Nordic type of man, “whose eyes were so light in color  that it looked as though he were blind.”  This individual detained him  and addressed him in an unintelligible guttural language, but his manner was “kindly and even gentle.”  Looking upward, on this man’s  instructions, Parravcini then beheld through the “fog,” and at a  distance of only about 50 meters, close to the tower building of the  Argentine Ministry of Public Works, an extraordinary aerial ship, with  no lights. Parravicini was  overcome by dizziness, and when he recovered he found himself along with three other individuals inside the machine, which was in flight.  One  of these people, very handsome, was questioning him in a language which  was unintelligible to him and yet his mind understood, or seemed to  understand, the thoughts of the alien being.  In other words, as  Parravinci said, it was a case of direct telepathic communication. The alien told  him not to be alarmed; they would merely take him for one trip around  the earth and would then put him down again at the precise spot where  they had taken him aboard.  A few minutes later, Parravicini found  himself observing surface features of what he recognized as Japan, and  then France, and then Chile.  And when he had returned, as he said, from this “dream,” he found himself back on the corner of Avenida Belgrano  and Avenida 9 de Julio—and there on the pavement nearby was his theater  program which had fallen from his hand before the experience . . .  Parravicini, for many years director of the art gallery owned by the  Banco Municipal, concluded by saying that the alien beings had now  contacted him several times.  He said they told him that they were  watching and patroling our planet to see that no catastrophe befalls it.

A later article by Gordon Creighton entitled “More Teleportations” in Flying Saucer Review, Volume 16, Number 5 (September-October, 1970) reminded that a white fog or mist had been described in many of the accounts of anomalous human teleportation.  This article may be read online in a PDF file yet it is missing the footnote about the Gallipoli case and the last portion of the article.
Creighton’s hypothesis of  “teleportation by UFOs” in the article “Teleportations” (from Volume 11, Number 2 March-April 1965) in Encounter Cases from Flying Saucer Review is a generalization reminding me that while  some people concentrate on researching one particular form of  unexplained phenomena such as UFOlogy, hauntings, channeling,  mediumship, Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP), Near Death Experiences, or psychic abilities/remote viewing, the articles at this blog indicate  the usefulness of being knowledgeable about all of these topics.
Consistent readers of this blog will notice in the account involving Benjamin Solari Parravicini an incidence of The ‘Bel’ (or ‘Bell’) Pattern and The Nine Pattern.  Other incidents of The Bell Pattern in the book include locations in or near Belgium and Belo Horizonte, Brazil; the address of one witness was on Calle Fray Luis Beltrán; and a close encounter case in Italy occurred to a couple named Bellingeri.  Although details are sketchy in some of the accounts, an occurrence of the ‘Michael’ Pattern is found in a 1965 French UFO sighting case at the St. Michel Observatory investigated by Aimé Michel with Charles Bowen.  Most oddly, a French 1974 case includes a space visitor compared to a Michelin advert.
In previous blog articles, I have devoted my attention to extensively documented case study books published by those who became known as the ‘contactees.’  In these books, recollected commentary is offered of space people sharing their spiritual knowledge.  Truman Bethurum in Aboard a Flying Saucer (1954) quoted the female Captain Aura (who was approximately four feet, six inches in height) as having told him: “We worship a Supreme Deity who sees, knows and controls all.”  During his contact experiences chronicled in The Secret of the Saucers (1955), Orfeo Angelucci wrote: “I had never been an actively religious man, but in that moment I knew God as a tangible, immutable Force that reaches to the furthest depths of Time and Eternity.  And I felt assurance that the beings in whose care I was at that moment were close to the Infinite Power.”  Daniel Fry followed up his first account published in 1954 with To Men of Earth (1973) that quoted his unseen communicator ‘Alan’ with defining an aspect of science (beyond physical or material science and social science) as being “The spiritual science which deals with the relationship between man and the great creative power and infinite intelligence which pervades and controls all nature, and which your people refer to as God.”  Arthur Shuttlewood in The Warminster Mystery (1967) quoted the apparent leader of the ‘Aenstrians,’ Queen Traellison, as having told him: “We are all children and living parts of the great Creator, the Living Force who controls every single particle of the universe, human or inanimate.”
The following is stated in a dedication found in one of the books chronicling the mediumship of Mark Probert, The Coming of the Guardians: An Interpretation of the “Flying Saucers” as Given from the Other Side of Life (Third Edition 1957) compiled by Meade Layne.

This book is dedicated to those metaphysicians of the Western World who, as yet, have not enlarged their frame of speculation beyond the boundaries of things corporeal.  It deals with the problem of the Aeroforms, or Unidentified Flying Objects, and concerns their nature, origin, and the reasons for their incursion at this historically climactic juncture. The separation of Science from Metaphysics and Occultism is arbitrary, and this must be recognized if the problem is to be understood.  This applies also to the existence of the ether(s) and the principle of emergence.  The Communicators here quoted are excarnate humans, but what they say is without philosophical bias and untainted by religionism. All that the compiler of this book can hope for, is that it may reach some readers sufficiently receptive to scan its pages without prejudice and try to consider the problem as a whole.  Future years will add much to its content, but the basic interpretation will neither be contradicted nor impaired.

The Foreword included the following:

The explanations of the Aeroforms and other phenomena given here, are sanctioned and expounded by excarnate human beings, who can and do communicate with here-living people in various ways — as well as by etheric beings themselves, who are not excarnate humans.  This, of course, raises a huge question-mark in the minds of millions of the prejudiced and uninformed.

Communicators from ‘the ascended realm’ have in common a penchant for  utilizing metaphors and hyperbolism as chronicled throughout a vast collection of  documentation offered in the cases of such famous ‘paranormal people’ as Guy and Edna Ballard, Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Rosemary Brown, Edgar Cayce,  Pearl Lenore Curran, John Dee, Elizabeth Fuller, Eileen Garrett, John of God (João Teixeira da Faria), Leslie Flint, Mark Macy, Mark Probert,  Andrija Puharich, Jane Roberts, and Chico Xavier (to name some of them —  all topics of previous blog articles).
Dana Howard recounted in her second book Diane — She Came from Venus (1956) an event “the world might call an experience in the ‘miraculous'” that also induced her to comment, “. . . there is nothing supernatural, but only higher arcs of the natural exemplified.”  On April 29, 1955 Dana attended a private seance of ‘physical medium’ Reverend Bertie Lillie Candler at the Church of Divine Light in Los Angeles.  After Reverend Candler went into a deep trance, Dana described seeing a rising glow of phosphorescence some ten or twelve feet away from Candler.

It was very tall at first, but out of this phosphorescent substance a form began to manifest itself.  She was definitely different from the other “spirit” manifestations, a solid, fleshly being, delicate in charm and manner. She called for DANA.  Overwhelmed with emotion I could not choke back, I went up to her, standing only inches away from the manifestation.  While I did not recognize her instantly, I knew there was something quaintly familiar about her.  Standing like a sylph-like goddess, and bowing low in greeting to the twenty-seven persons present, the rich tones of her voice vibrated through the little church. “I AM DIANE.  I COME FROM VENUS.” Once adjusted to the vibrations she dwindled in size until I judged her to be about five feet tall.  As she tossed back her well-shaped head revealing her perfectly chiseled features, there was no mistaking her identity.  She was the same “being of unsurpassed loveliness” who sixteen years earlier had escorted me to the waiting spaceship. I was speechless at first, my thoughts tumbling over one another.  I finally managed to say: “Are you my mentor . . . the person who has been giving me those wonderful discourses?” She answered: “Yes.  This is the first time we of the greater planets have been permitted to come to beings of earth.  From now on we shall be with you, always.” Diane then went into a few moments of profound discoursing the content of which I could not recall later.  Before taking her leave, as if to reassure me that she was not an imposter, she placed a corner of her jewel-bedecked garment in my hands that I might feel the texture of the fabric—materials I quickly identified as Venusian. She then went into a beautiful, thythmic dance described by one onlooker as “The rhythm of the ocean waves.”  She finally bade us all good night and with her fragile hand on my shoulder she melted into the nothingness.

Dana Howard collected descriptions from others who attended the seance that night.  Lucille Points of Los Angeles commented that “this was the most outstanding experience of my life.”  A confirmatory joint statement by Mrs. Gladys Campbell and Mrs. Maude Haas attested: “It was truly a marvelous thing to be present and see for myself such a wonderful personality, and I know you must be very humble and gratified to have the facts that you have brought before the public in your book —’My Flight to Venus,’ substantiated in such an unexpected manner.”
One is perhaps reminded by My Flight to Venus (1954) that if any planet would symbolize love, it would be Venus with a name inspired by the Roman goddess associated with fields and gardens, beauty and most especially love.  Blog readers might also recall my article “The Ectoplasmic Flying Saucer”.
In Guy Lyon Playfair’s biography Chico Xavier: Medium of the Century (2010), Playfair provided details about the circumstances of several of Xavier’s channeled books, including his sixtieth book Evolution in Two Worlds ‘automatically’ written in collaboration with another medium, Dr. Waldo Vieira, in forty days—twenty for each medium—in 1958.

Asked how he managed to write it in the first place, Chico explained that although in his normal state he was unable to understand a word of Evolution, during the actual writing he had been raised to the level of his superconscious mind, and had taken down, as dictated to him, the notes for a lecture course being given in the next world.  This is certainly what the book reads like, and I can find no other feasible explanation for its origin.

Playfair noted that while the book was being written, a similar book was published: The Corpuscular Spirit Theory, the first book of Hernani Guimarães Andrade. This book had taken Andrade “three years to write after more than twenty years of study and reflection.”
The word superconscious/superconsciousness can be found in transcripts from the work of channelers Edgar Cayce, JZ Knight and Andrija Puharich; and is mentioned in books by Eileen Garrett, Gordon Higginson, Gladys Osborne Leonard and Arthur Shuttlewood, among others.
Willy Reichel wrote in An Occultist’s Travels (1908) about many fascinating experiences with ‘materialization medium’ Mr. C. V. Miller (whose ‘principal control’ was ‘Betsy’), including the following excerpts.

. . . I saw three spirits undoubtedly in their outer form, without any muffling, and recognized them by their speech to be the departed persons whose names they gave.
. . . once two spirits materialized who said that they had been Egyptian dancing-girls; they wound up themselves a musical clock standing beside me, and danced, that is, made the dancing movements, similar to those I had seen the dancing dervishes perform in Cairo in January, 1902, after which they dematerialized before my eyes.
Another time beings appeared, shining radiantly from within outward—words of description fail me—they said they had never lived upon this earth, but were “Spirits of the Sun,” and allowed me to touch them, in order to convince me that, out of love for mankind, they had adapted themselves for this moment to the earthly sphere.
. . . the spirits which, in his circle, are distinguished as “high,” represent the theory of palingenesis, or reincarnation, not in the sense of the esoteric doctrine of Buddhism, but in the sense of Allan Kardec.
In reply to a question in regard to this asked at Miller’s, as to how I myself stood in this respect, I received the answer that I was already reincarnated for the fourth time.  The last time—about three hundred years ago—I had been a Bohemian king, who desired as such to give his people laws which would lead to progress, but he could not accomplish it, and therefore died discontented and weary of life; I had now reincarnated myself again to serve mankind by the dissemination of magnetism and occultism.

Contemplating Spiritualism with introductory notes for a 1974 edition of An Occultist’s Travels, Colin Wilson wrote:

While I am not a dedicated spiritualist, I am inclined to accept  the notion of some sort of “life after death” rather than not.  But I also suspect that what man really discovered in the mid-19th century were the strange forces produced by his own subconscious —or superconscious—mind.  Before we can even begin to grasp what happened, we may need a completely new picture of nature.

Colin Wilson wrote about the subject of UFOlogy with Alien Dawn: An Investigation into the Contact Experience (1998).  Instead of focusing primarily on firsthand accounts as I have elected to do with the articles of this blog, Wilson attempted to make sense of a diverse variety of topical books.  His “Selected Biography” includes books by Budd Hopkins, John Keel, Donald Keyhoe, John Mack, Brian O’Leary, Arthur Shuttlewood, Michael Talbot, and Jacques Vallee.  Wilson explained in the book:

When I began this book, my knowledge of UFOs was slightly wider than that of most newspaper readers, but not much.  I had even written a small paperback on the subject.  This did not prepare me for the effect of reading two hundred or so books about UFOs.  These left me in no doubt that something was trying to communicate with us, but that direct communication would be counterproductive.

In an Introduction for a 2010 edition of Alien Dawn, Wilson reflected about his experiences researching the paranormal.  Investigating a Yorkshire ‘poltergeist’ haunting in 1989 left him “totally convinced that poltergeists . . . are, in fact, disembodied spirits.”  Looking for s starting point for what he planned to be a “comprehensive study” of UFOs, he learned that crop circles contained complex geometrical theorems.  Wilson commented about John Keel’s The Mothman Prophecies (1975): “What Keel’s book sees to show is that there is no clear dividing line between UFO phenomena and the ‘paranormal’ . . .”
Wilson recounted having conversed with Andrija Puharich about his case study Uri: A Journal of the Mystery of Uri Geller (1974).  Wilson wrote:

I told him my view that his book on Uri had failed to make an impact because it was too full of utterly unbelievable events.  He assured me that he had, in fact, cut out some of the more preposterous anecdotes, because he was aware that he was overloading the reader’s credulity. . . . on one occasion in November 1973, Geller had actually been ‘teleported’ from a New York street to the house in Ossining.

In the Preface of Uri, Puharich wrote about what he had learned while researching the case.  He explained: “The controllers of the universe operate under the direction of the Nine.  Between the controllers and the untold numbers of planetary civilizations in the universe are the messengers . . . Some of these messengers take the form of spacecraft, which in modern parlance are called unidentified flying objects, or UFOs.”
Colin Wilson mentioned in Alien Dawn a synchronistic UFO sighting by his wife.

On 4 September 1997, while I was writing this book, my wife went out into the garden at about 11:00 at night, to give the dogs a final airing, when she saw an orange globe, about the size of the moon, which moved in the direction of an orange streetlight on the estate below, then turned and went back the way it came.  She had time to go indoors and call my son Rowan to come and see it before it vanished behind trees.  Yet she was so little struck by it that she did not even bother to tell me for several days, when I happened to mention that a large number of UFOs are orange globes, and she realised that she had probably seen a UFO.

A profile of metaphysical author F. W. Holliday—author of The Great Orm of Loch Ness (1969) and The Dragon and the Disc (1973)—in Alien Dawn includes a description of categorically paranormal incidents in his life.

In 1969, while he was investigating Irish lake monsters, Ted went to stay at a haunted house on the Isle of Mull.  He was awakened in the early morning by footsteps that he recognised—from previous experience—as ‘peculiar,’ as if, he says, they had a kind of double echo.  They were heavy boots coming upstairs.  He sat up in bed, expecting a phantom visitant through the door.  Instead it took a short cut through the wall, and stood by the headboard of his bed.  A Belfast-accented voice demanded, “Who the hell are ye?,” and a heavy blow landed on the headboard of the bed.  Then, slowly, the tension drained out of the atmosphere, the entity obviously having used up all its energy.  Ted lay awake until dawn.  It was clear to him that not only had he encountered a ghost, but the ghost had encountered him, and been indignant at finding its bed occupied. He also had an odd experience when driving his motorcycle in open country, and, just before roaring around a steep bend, heard a voice say clearly, “Mind the cows.”  He slowed down, and found the road around the bend full of cows that had broken out of a field.  Without the warning, there would certainly have been an unpleasant accident. While he was investigating water monsters, personal experience also led him to take an interest in UFOs.  In January 1966, fishing on a harbour wall near his home in Wales, he saw a luminous object skimming a hundred feet above the waves—a spherical mass of white light that pulsated once every two seconds.

There would be further UFO sightings for Holiday and his last book would be published posthumously, The Goblin Universe (1986) with a byline “by Ted Holiday” and introduction by Colin Wilson.
Upon reading Wilson’s Alien Dawn—as someone sensitive to synchronicities involving names and patterns of names—I noticed there were several instances of people named ‘Russell’ mentioned in the book.  (A previous article relating to this topic is “Adventures in Synchronicity”.)  Among the Acknowledgments, Wilson wrote: “Finally, I am grateful to Lorna Russell, of Virgin Publishing, for asking me if I would like to write a book on the possibility of extraterrestrial life.  Neither she nor I had any idea of what this would turn into.”  In the first chapter he mentioned being at a 1995 conference on Conscious Evolution where Peter Russell was among his fellow speakers.  His interaction with Uri Geller and Andrija Puharich encompassed work on a movie that the ‘space intelligences’ had recommended be done: “. . . the movie fell through.  (In due course, I was hired by Robert Stigwood, the theatre impressario, to work on a film about Uri, but that also fell through.)”  A film about Uri was eventually made by Ken Russell although this is not mentioned by Wilson.  Also, Wilson reported that impressive scientific testing of Uri was done by Hal Puthoff and Russell Targ at Stanford University, while Wilson’s comments about the Greek mathematician Euclid included the comment “Bertrand Russell had found him so enjoyable that he read right through the Elements as if it were Alice in Wonderland.”  Another statement mentioning someone named Russell is: “Yeats’s friend George Russell (the poet AE) contributed a section to the book [The Fairy Faith in the Celtic Countries (1911) by Walter Evans-Wentz] in which he describes his own fairy sightings with the precision of an anthropologist describing primitive tribes: shining beings, opalescent beings, water beings, wood beings, lower elementals.”
I, myself (Mark Russell Bell) was able to speak to Colin Wilson when he was the guest on the “Dreamland” radio show hosted by Whitley Strieber in 2001: “. . . I was hoping to hear  what optimistic conclusion he might’ve reached over the years.   And I wouldn’t mind hearing  something about God and spirituality or sexuality or whatever he would care to say.”  Wilson replied: “Basically, as Whitley observed earlier in the program, I am totally optimistic because I’ve seen that all human beings have this same capacity for the peak experience — bubbling, overwhelming happiness.”
In retrospect, during my research of unexplained phenomena encompassing UFOlogy, perhaps the most significant discovery has been the prominence of EVP among all audio and video recordings and broadcasts.  Previous articles with commentary about this include “EVP and UFOlogy — MP3 Audio: Arthur Shuttlewood 1968 Interview” and “Adventures in UFOlogy”.

Mark Russell Bell

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