UFO Conjecture(s)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

UFOs: Distortion and/or Insanity?

Copyright 2012, InterAmerica, Inc.


While some us think that UFO encounters – not UFO sightings per se – may be hallucinatory in essence, others (Jose Caravaca, Jacques Vallee, and some visitors here) believe that witnesses to UFO or UFO-like landings and encounters are dealing with real tangible or near-tangible events.

Who or what creates those “events” is up for grabs – some saying the “who” are extraterrestrials and others (Caravaca and Vallee) thinking the who or what is something a bit more esoteric than ETs.

My contention that mental aberrations account for some if not all of the events is questionable by virtue of what one finds when they look for aberrational images from those who can be said to be on the cusp of insanity or actually insane.

That is, if one examines the output -- writings, drawings, art and other “creative” outpourings by those adjudicated by psychiatry or commonsense to be off kilter mentally – one can only conclude that those who’ve reported UFO encounters are not mentally incapacitated in the same way as those who are permanently hallucinatory.

However, one can make the case for temporary insanity, but that seems, to me, to be a stretch too.

I think that UFO encounters may be exactly what they appear to be: interactions between something absolutely bizarre, maybe even other-worldly, and normal human beings.

For example, here are drawings and art work by people on the fringe of reality, mentally.

These images come from these two books:



(And one can find many more examples of hallucinatory art via a Google search using “outsider art” as the search criterion.)

The images:










Now here are some paintings by Henri Rousseau, who wasn’t insane, surely, but had an immature, naïve imagination when it came to his artistic output:




Would someone, with a similar mental make-up, have visions that made him or her think they had an other-worldly encounter?

Perhaps. That angle might be profitably pursued.

There was one drawing, by a six-year-old, Sasha Powers of Truro, Massachusetts, that I find interesting:


That is not outsider art but, rather, an example of some imagery that influenced this child, or a recounting of something she experienced perhaps.

But, all-in-all, one has to consider that UFO encounters differ significantly, from the images of those who have aberrant mental conditions, and therefore UFO encounters need to be taken at face value rather than be evaluated psychologically or neurologically.

I hate that that may be so, but mental quirks don’t seem to apply, at least not in the psychotic arena.

But there is the possibility that something else, besides a total mental break-down, is at work, something less than paranoia but something not quite right either – something that only a few experience while the whole of mankind doesn’t.

What that mechanism is may be Caravaca’s Distortion explanation, but why distortion at all?

It doesn’t make sense, logically, aberrantly, or in any other way….so far.



  • To play Devil's advocate - one of the most notorious outsider artists of the twentieth century - Richard Sharpe Shaver - was also a major precursor to many aspects of the UFO mythos. Similarly, the work of Outsider art legend "Prophet" Royal Robertson is replete with UFO imagery: http://2012diaries.blogspot.com/2009/10/outsider-art-prophet-royal-robertson.html

    That said, it may be wrong to try to explicate UFO experiences in terms of conventional mental illness and breakdowns. It may be that UFO experiences occur as a result of a natural,temporary release of the same kinds of neurotransmitters that are triggered by drugs such as DMT and ahahuasca. Here is an article about the ufologcial imagery in the paintings of ahahuasca artist Pablo Amaringo:
    From the article: "French anthropologist Francoise Barbira-Freedman, who did extensive work among the Lamista of San Martin province, told me that among her shaman informants spaceship sightings in ayahuasca were common. When I visited Don Manuel Shuna, Pablo's uncle, a vegetalista more than 90 years old, I showed his several photographs of Pablo's paintings. Pointing to the flying saucer in one of the photographs he told me with excitement, almost with stress, that the last two years he had been haunted by people coming out of machines like that. He said that these people fly standing slightly above the surface of the water. Don Manuel describes their machines as being about 50 meters long, with lights that make the night as bright as the day."

    My point, basically, is that ufo experiences could be entirely hallucinatory without needing to be the product of any kind of insanity, but rather of the kinds of altered states of consciousness triggered by DMT and ahahuasca.

    By Blogger Tristan Eldritch, at Sunday, January 29, 2012  

  • Tristan:

    I think you may be very right.

    And I would hope that we can track back on some of the reported encounters to see if altered states were triggered by drugs or other ingestions.

    We've provided Persinger's views as a possibility.

    Magnetic waves or microwaves can be the triggering mechanism.

    But that leaves us with why certain specific imageries show up, as Jose Caravaca's accounts show, rather than other kinds of imagery.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, January 29, 2012  

  • My take is the relationship of the brains biochemistry and electrical field is significantly altered in the presence of the plasma energy exhibited by either a unknown craft or a transients naturally occurring in the environment which creates apparitions, or more cogently, hallucinations. The craft may exist but the humanoid figures are non existent. Therefore it is also possible the craft in it's corresponding many variations may constitute a further effect of this field.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Monday, January 30, 2012  

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