UFO Conjecture(s)

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

The [UFO] Intelligence

Copyright 2013, InterAmerica, Inc.

My friend, Paul Kimball, an intellectual of the highest order, allows that UFOs may not contain alien/extraterrestrial intruders and, furthermore, such observations, including those of ghosts, weird entities (Big Foot, Loch Ness monsters, et al.) are actually an interaction with humans by an intelligent agent – almost like the “external agent” that Jose Antonio Caravaca proffers as the interference reported in UFO encounters.

(Mr. Kimball will clarify my simplistic presentation of his views, I hope; his views plumped out by the considerations of his departed buddy, Mac Tonnies, I think.)

Brownie/Susan would interject “The Trickster” here perhaps.

I hate the Trickster concept; it smacks of the theological Devil or Satan idea, when we all know that Satan is the fourth element of the God-head – Jung’s Quaternity, wherein the Trinity is fleshed out with another segment, Evil, as the Gnostic maintained as part of God’s inherent nature. Therefore the Trickster doesn’t work for me, and here’s why, as a counter to Paul’s suggestion and those of The Trickster devotees:

An interference of the kind or nature suggested by Paul, Brownie, and even Mac Tonnies, disregards the ineffability of the God-head or God, as described, brilliantly, by the Cabalists (or Kabbalists).

The idea of God – which you can find in numerable books, and one I like is God and the Unconscious by Victor White, O.P. (A Jungian) [Meridian Books, A division of The World Publishing Company, Cleveland/NY, 1961, reprinted from Harvill Press, 1952] – is considered by serious thinkers as contained within the restrictive parameter of Ineffability (beyond expression, indescribable, unspeakable, unknown).

Theologically, and intellectually, God (whether dead now, which I believe, or alive) is beyond comprehension, unknowable or hidden, as authors Richard Elliott Friedman and Gerald L. Schroeder (mentioned earlier here) have it.

Thus, the Fourth “face” of God – Evil (Satan) is also ineffable or hidden, far from interacting with humankind.

Is there a sub-set of God or The Trickster – an angelic minion, as it were – interacting with humans?

Perhaps, but isn’t the idea of flying saucers/UFOs with pilots and crew just as possible or reasonable as the idea of a “divine” or paranormal presence?

An intelligence that has been playing, allegedly, with humans, since time immemorial, in ways that are as bizarre as recorded, has to be psychotic in nature, if one can ascribe a psychiatric overlay to such behavior by this unknown presence.

The pattern of UFO sightings and encounters, and theologically oriented encounters, such as that of Jeanne d’Arc or the Fatima and Lourdes children are nutty, insane as anything anyone can imagine.

To call such behavior or activity as intelligent is oxymoronic.

To not go further astray here, let me conclude by saying that an intelligence interacting with humans is best described by Jose Caravaca as an “external agent” – one that is part of the Earth’s environment (physically or non-pysically) – the Mac Tonnies, Jacques Vallee view almost – is possible but not any more acceptable than the idea UFOs are intruders from other worlds, a view that PG and some other visitors here eschew, but one that David Rudiak champions, along with many others in the UFO arena.

Whether an external agent, The Trickster, an aspect of God, a non-delineated intelligence, or even extraterrestrial visitors from worlds far away, the interactions have been, by human standards, crazy and without meaning of any kind.

UFOs as observational forays is a possibility, but ongoing, for millennia?

UFOs as particles of intelligent manipulation by someone or something, without any kind of sensible or rational patina, as far as we can discern?

No, UFOs are just UFOs – phenomenological entities of a mysterious but rather prosaic kind; phenomena that eludes us because we are inclined to provide explanations that are as irrational as those cited above.



  • "I hate the Trickster concept; it smacks of the theological Devil or Satan idea"

    Really? With all due respect, that kind of comment tells me you've not really explored the trickster concept in very much detail. Binary opposition, antistructural behavior, marginality, liminal states and so on...have no more to do with theological constructs, past the equation of the boogeyman and the bump in the night. Which is an association that is ultimately the product of human perception through cultural and religious filters.


    By Blogger JR, at Wednesday, October 09, 2013  

  • "Smacks of" are the operative words there, JR...


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, October 09, 2013  

  • Rich, you saved yourself with that last paragraph. For a second or two I thought that you might buy into this "external agent" nonsense. Saying external agent tells us precisely nothing about the UFO phenomenon since we know (and can know)precisely nothing about the external agent. At least with the UFO display we do KNOW something. We know that UFOs exist in time and space and leave physical evidence of their existence. We have unexplained photos, radar tracks, landing traces; we also have multiple observations of round, triangular and cigar shapes; multiple light phenomenon; zig-zag and pendulum motion and extreme speeds; and E-M effects that are well documented in several hundred cases. Thus we know this beyond reasonable question....although, of course, we don't know exactly what the phenomenon IS. With the external agent notion we know precisely nothing. Everything is simply theory and speculation. It's the donut hole without the donunt.

    By Blogger Dominick, at Wednesday, October 09, 2013  

  • You've not got what I have been on about quite right. I agree with you that a divine God, should one exist (as I think probable, but not proven) is ineffable. But I never suggested that God was behind any of these "paranormal encounters" throughout human history; rather, I think we have often concluded it was an encounter with the divine (Henry Alline's experience, for example) when it fact it was an encounter with some form of non-human (or perhaps post-human) advanced intelligence. There is a difference there.

    Is there a message? I think so, although as I pointed out in my book I don't think it is the simplistic kind of message we humans would expect (i.e., instructions on how to build a better bomb, or anything so mundane). It is a nuanced message, different for each person who receives it (and I think we all have the ability to "make contact" if we open ourselves to it), and presented to us in varying forms that resemble the way artists interact with their audiences.

    Does that make the advanced non-human or post-human (and here I mean perhaps a collective consciousness from either the future, or perhaps even beyond death) "psychotic" as you would suggest? I don't think so, or at least not anymore psychotic than any artist, from Bach to Dali, is psychotic.

    Now, does any of this have anything to do with UFOs? Maybe, although the more I consider UFO reports the less likely I am to ascribe any explanation to them other than human error and misidentification of prosaic phenomena.

    But anything is possible... except, I would submit, space aliens traveling here in 1950s-era B-movie metal spacecraft. That I pretty much rule out as being the most idiotic of all possible explanations, a case of wish / fantasy fulfillment run wild, although in a terribly sterile and unimaginative way.


    By Blogger Paul Kimball, at Wednesday, October 09, 2013  

  • The problem, Paul, as Dominick implies, is that the intelligence and/or external agent is so iffy.

    Why be obscurant, requiring humans to decipher what has all the appearances of psychotic ravings?

    Since most people receiving the "intelligent" thrusts are almost illiterate or ignorant, the message is being squandered....the intelligence casting pearls before swine.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, October 09, 2013  

  • Perhaps our fundamental and fatal flaw is in looking for an external agent when we are still struggling (neuroscience included, although it would have us believe otherwise) with the basic questions of what is human consciousness and what is its operating mechanism.

    The solutions to those two greatest of mysteries most likely will explain all paranormal phenomena -- from ghosts to Trickster to synchronicity to Bigfoot (in all his regional permutations) to chupacabras to shapeshifters to portals to UFOs and their occupants to alien abductions, etc., etc.

    "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves . . . "

    By Blogger purrlgurrl, at Wednesday, October 09, 2013  

  • PG, as usual, you approach an epiphany...the unconscious, Freud's great creation or discovery.

    Is the unconscious the seat of such manifestations as UFOs, Big Foot, et al.?

    Is there no reality for them beyond that?


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, October 09, 2013  

  • I think the unconscious is a part of it, but we can't ignore how the brain functions physically as well as its biochemistry. I don't believe we can separate the brain from either the conscious or unconscious mind.

    Live with someone with Alheimer's, and watch their minds inexorably deteriorate, and you too will be convinced brain and mind are entangled in an unbreakable web.

    The unconscious might simply be a reflection of the brain's essential background biological functions that constantly take place.

    When it comes to brain and mind, the truth is we're still only in the earliest stages of exploration. Some of today's neuroscience "breakthroughs" might well be overturned in the relatively near future.

    By Blogger purrlgurrl, at Wednesday, October 09, 2013  

  • Yes, PG, the question of mind/brain or mind and/or brain remains unresolved.

    It's a hot topic once again, in neuroscience, my son Josh says, at U of M here he's working on his advanced degree(s) in neuroscience, and which he debates with son Richard, the psychologist.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, October 09, 2013  

  • "Everything is simply theory and speculation. It's the donut hole without the donunt."

    And that's precisely the point. Get it?


    By Blogger JR, at Wednesday, October 09, 2013  

  • I don't know what a donunt is...


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, October 09, 2013  

  • Let me try this by way of example.

    I think we can all agree, if we're being serious, that even the dumbest human being is infinitely more intelligent than an ant. I think we can all also agree that no human being is God, even though in terms of intellect we are far, far superior to the ant (or a dog, or cat, or any animal). Finally, we share the planet with the ants - we don't come from some distant star system.

    And yet, we interact with ants all the time, often without even realizing it (i.e. just walking down a sidewalk). Sometimes we do it on purpose, however. As a kid, I used to fry a few with a magnifying glass, or stomp on ant hills - call that version of me the Any Satan, or the Vengeful Ant God of their old Testament. The older me merely observes the ants, because I find them fascinating - sometimes I'll even conduct little experiments with them to see if I can divert their regular pathways to and from their nests, for example - call this version of me the reasonably benevolent Ant God.

    Am I trying to send a message to the ants? Perhaps, in the sense that I am trying to get them to change their behaviour in ways that the ants won't really understand but I do. But mostly I do it just because it interests me, on a very ad hoc and infrequent basis.

    This is how I suspect our advanced non-human, non-space alien "betters" function. We try to make it all about us, when maybe we're just the ants, and it really is mostly about them.

    In other words, Rich, you may be looking for meaning where there really is none, or at least none that we can comprehend... although perhaps our "betters" are trying to get us to change our path as well.


    By Blogger Paul Kimball, at Wednesday, October 09, 2013  

  • The point is not asking "what is it", but "what is it doing?". Asking what it is, is unproductive, as we just don't know enough about it yet - what's sorely lacking in the paranormal "fields", is studying what surrounds paranormal events.

    What it's doing, in part(to us collectively)is a sort of confounding. It suggests things, makes the brain try to sort out the confounding, bizarre, and frankly downright unbelievable nature.

    Thereby it's forcing us to reexamine our surroundings.

    Forget the UFO, the ghost, etc - that's just the facade presented and filtered through human perception.

    Pay attention to what it's doing. To people who've seen "it". Look for metaphor in accounts. Symbolic meaning.

    In a more direct sense, it's eroding faith in science - simply by the confounding. It demands an answer, and those answers go against current science and knowledge base (to some degree.

    There may be an answer or not, but the point could be the exercise in reaching for it.

    By Blogger JR, at Wednesday, October 09, 2013  

  • In that last comment I meant to add that of course I am neither the Ant Satan nor the Ant God, anymore than an advanced non-human intelligence is our Satan or God. But the ants could see it that way if they were capable of our kind of thinking, just as some people mistake the ANHI as God.

    By Blogger Paul Kimball, at Wednesday, October 09, 2013  

  • I get your metaphoric analogy Paul.

    It makes a kind of sense to me.

    But I'm wondering if your "intelligence" -- the "entity" not your IQ status -- is as cavalier as your trying to dissuade some ants to change their characteristic patterns of travel; that is, is the intelligence unaware that we humans are having a difficult time deciphering its attempts to enlighten?

    It's not omnipotent then?


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, October 09, 2013  

  • JR:

    See my response to Paul, above. It applies to your view(s) also.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, October 09, 2013  

  • RR,
    It's gradual evolution. Not enlightenment. There's no top down revelation here.

    And in the end, it could be a manifestation of our own making. We're sitting here trying to figure out the paranormal entities and we don't even know what the hell we are yet.


    By Blogger JR, at Wednesday, October 09, 2013  

  • Ah, JR, that damnable evolution, the whole thing we call the Game of God or God Game, addressed earlier here.

    The maliciousness of God or the "intelligence" is infuriating.

    No wonder Melville lambasted and exposed it in Moby Dick.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, October 09, 2013  

  • "The maliciousness of God or the "intelligence" is infuriating."

    Or, the true nature of reality, the mind of man and his perception of it all.


    By Blogger JR, at Wednesday, October 09, 2013  

  • The true nature of reality...

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, October 09, 2013  

  • ...well...the true enough anyway.


    By Blogger JR, at Wednesday, October 09, 2013  

  • With all due respect Rich, you have not gotten to grips with the Trickster concept. There is a reason it is so pervasive in world mythology (and I don't mean that in a pejorative way at all). The Trickster is the hub of the ufology wheel, maybe that's why it's so difficult to see, so difficult because it is staring us in the face. As far as the Trickster and theology is concerned, it is a complex, nuanced and multi-layered subject; and cannot be glibly understood or summed up in a few lines.

    Satan indeed has a strong Trickster element in him when Satan is understood metaphorically, and not literally the way religious fundamentalists misunderstand it all. Maybe it's literal minded fundamentalists who have turned some away from looking at it all with fresh eyes and a deeper and wider perspective. This Trickster element of Satan is clearly apparent in the Book of Job, where Satan makes his first appearance in the Jewish bible, and he is clearly intended figuratively. The Christian Church ignores all this (and censors it) and distorts Satan as a literal figure in order to control and condition their congregants (other reasons as well that I'm not going to bring up here, too much). I shouldn't need to point this out in the twenty-first century, but it appears I have to.

    Amusing that Rich dismisses the Trickster when it's central to Roswell alone (never mind the rest of ufology), heck it is Roswell. And Rich keeps digging up that corpse, pretending it has life in it.

    By Blogger Lawrence, at Thursday, October 10, 2013  

  • Lawrence:

    The Trickster, as an archetypal construct, is a euphemistic concept adopted by the UFO crowd which tries to separate itself from that Fundamentalist sect they disparage but actually replicate when it comes to the UFO theology, Roswell being the core of their belief system.

    For me, re: Roswell? I'm not writing it off as a non-event nor am I about to say (or write) that it is a non-ET event.

    The matter remains open to me, in light of what I know about arcane evidence yet to hit the UFO mainstream.

    Although I've griped, over the years, about Roswell being mined to the point where all that is left is slag or worthless detritus, I can tell you, and will be proven right about this upcoming, that there is new, unknown evidence which will allow the ETHers to have their day in the up-to-now befogged sun.

    Roswell, while a mythos, has at its core, a reality that belies all the skeptical hermeneutics of derision it has been doused with and continues to be.

    The Roswell corpse may become the metaphorical Lazarus of ufology.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, October 10, 2013  

  • Rich, I'm not all that firm on George Hansen's Trickster Theory applying to UFOs and their occupants but I do see the possibility of it applying to paranormal activities such as ghosts and poltergeists. It's been several years since I've read Hansen's book and just recently caught part of an interview with him. I think I'd have to re-read the book to refresh my memory.

    I had a very early close encounter experience (with other witnesses) that left physical affects and nightmares. In my late teens and adulthood I began to read many ufo books (some were my father's). The ideas put forth by mostly John Keel, Ann Druffel & Karla Turner made me suspect UFOs are not ETs, but could be something else such as fallen angels or jinn (faeries might be in this category too -fierce buggers they are!).

    Angels and jinn are alleged to be able to take solid forms, mimic other forms, behaviors and interact with humans and animals mostly to our detriment but sometimes in a positive way. Both groups are said to harbor animous towards humans because they were once able to live where we are (maybe in our dimension?) until they were exiled to another realm (by a higher power?).

    I would like to think ETs, who've managed space-faring, wouldn't behave in the destructive, cruel ways that UFOs and their occupants seem to behave - from chasing people in their cars to abductions to extracting one's spirit/soul temporarily [ Coral & Jim Lorenzen's 1970ish Encounters with UFO Occupants- included an account of a couple and their children being stalked/hunted by a ufo while traveling; culminating in one of the adult's having an OBE and taken up, sans body, into a craft where preying mantis-like beings awaited].

    There's also forced channeling of messages from the so-called ETs that are a mix of lies and truths; along with manifestations of obsessive behaviors (ala Roy Neary - Close Encounters).

    And, when people have managed to ask these beings if they have names, they often reply (telepathically) with a twist of a name that has occult origins. I don't think genuine ETs would have such earthbound names or even have names.

    Just my basic take on it, no doubt colored by the influence of the Eastern Orthodox Church on me. I might change my mind. I use to be an ETH proponent when I was a kid. ;-)

    ~ Susan

    By Blogger brownie, at Thursday, October 10, 2013  

  • Thanks Susan...

    Your stance has always been clear to me.

    The Trickster element is, as I've said in a comment here, the Archetypal equivalent to Satan or the Devil, and intuited by AmerIndians as such, which some UFO mavens use for the evil or Evil (and mischievous acts) that seem to occur to humans; the mavens using the Trickster in lieu of Satan or the Devil to dispel any indication that their belief has a religious overlay or underbelly.

    UFO people like to pretend they are above "belief" and using the Trickster as their paranormal foil achieves this for them, they think.

    (I'll be presenting some scholarly tomes on the matter, including Elaine Pagels judicious renderings about the origins of the Devil myth.)


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, October 10, 2013  

  • Rich, I look forward to your explaining the devil myth - re. Elaine Pagels.

    I forget to mention Vallee and Rosemary Ellen Guiley (her later writings - re jinn) have influenced me as well.

    You bring up a pithy point about some of us interested in ufos parsing the Trickster from satan because of discomfort with religion.

    There are also the opposites - Christian fundamentalist UFO investigators who've written a few books on their investigations and frankly they're just horrible. They don't separate fallen angels from demons and they treat an 'abductee' as if the person is demon-possessed and is sinning up a storm (their idea is sinning brings the ufos - you think of sex too much...bam! - a ufo will abduct you and demons will take well...you know).

    I don't think an evangelical fundie is going to deliver, in an exorcism, some poor sap from being taken (or whatever might be happening to him).

    ~ Susan

    By Blogger brownie, at Thursday, October 10, 2013  

  • There are many reasons to feel queasy at the Trickster concept. So I'm in sympathy with the author of this post.

    For one, it does smack of a Satan or Devil. Or better, it smacks of God -- a sort of supernatural entity that is all-powerful and has just one main characteristic or mode of personality. Just as God is only vengeful or loving, etc., the Trickster is 'tricky'. It's a caricature infused with belief.

    Of course, proponents here will object: It's not a person, it's an archetype! This only brings us to the second reason to become ill when faced with this 'concept' of the Trickster -- any body of thought that relies on the notion of archetype has more or less forfeited its usefulness from the start. What exactly is an archetype? Where do they exist? Archetypes are Platonism-lite: Platonic forms that instead of existing in an ideal, even geometrical realm, are instead said to exist in the 'collective unconscious' or elsewhere.

    Jung's thought is spectacularly obscurantist, though it furnishes great raw material for anyone who wants to construct his own New Age/occultist abode and employ evocative terms with purported deep meaning though they are really just metaphors. Jung is now enshrined in the online counter-tradition seeking to install itself as a new orthodoxy -- a pantheon including Vallee, McKenna, and others. Yet Jung's thought, if anything, has stymied understanding the UFOs, the paranormal, etc., because as a psychology it is worthless. As a set of causal explanations, it fails completely. It is as it appears to be: a mysticism, i.e. a set of terms designed to evoke rather than explain.

    Which brings us to that awful book of Hansen's, "The Trickster and the Paranormal". One gets the impression that this book is received with awe by people who understand nothing about it, such as JR above. It offers a brand new grab-bag of buzzwords. But at least to anyone who understands structuralism and post-structuralism, it is clear that Hansen understands neither. I read a good portion of his book and realized Hansen doesn't really understand how structuralism and post-structuralism are animated by the concept of difference. That is, a dialectically active concept of the negative. For Hansen, binary oppositions don't really oppose, they don't really stand in any dynamic tension. They are simply schemata, static and symmetrical -- a grouping. This shows all too clearly in his attempt at using the concept of liminality, which rather than invoking the paradox of the limit which is written all throughout (philosophical) structuralism and post-structuralism, instead is put forward as a kind of staid, two-dimensional actual metaphysical domain. This would appall anyone in post-structuralism which positions itself against all classic metaphysics.

    Hansen even says at one point that post-structuralism is concerned with power, and in context, it showed he really knew very little of what he was writing about. Foucault was the thinker who was preoccupied with the concept of 'power'. No other structuralists were, and no other post-structuralists were. And Foucault was only arguably a post-structuralist. He began as a structuralist, but then evolved his thinking into something very different than what is called post-structuralism today, the province of people like Derrida and Foucault.

    All in all, I think this post says what needs to be said. The author should be complimented. The 'Trickster' is another buzzword, another provocative and mind-bending idea for people who do not think very deeply. Hansen's book, which put this notion forward most recently, is a book that tries to gain credibility by deploying a number of concepts with which its author is not deeply familiar. Now, of course, it's a meme. It explains everything, yet like the term 'interdimensional', it doesn't really mean anything.

    By Blogger Lord Jim, at Monday, October 14, 2013  

  • Lord Jim...

    You get it exactly.

    There's hope for us all.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, October 14, 2013  

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