UFO Conjectures

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Alien Abductions and UFO Encounters: A Psychic Explanation

In Man and His Symbols, Edited by Carl Jung [A Laurel Edition of Dell Publishing Co., NY 1968], a Chapter by M. –L. von Franz, The Process of Individuation shows, on page 187, this image by Jan van de Velde II entitled Young Witch (1626):
The Chapter itself deals with Jung’s archetypes, the Anima, which is the universal female element that shows up in men’s dreams during times of psychical stress.

The etching by Jan van de Velde II provides some of the accompanying imagery that attends the dream.

Note the small creatures (imps) and demons that are represented.

Do these kinds of images seem similar in kind to the descriptives provided by abductees or experiencers?

The Animus, the male archetype that invades a woman’s psyche during times of stress offers imagery from the collective (and personal) unconscious also.

Franz includes this image from a female patient-dreamer [Page 233] – a golden disk or mandala, which looks very much like some images of UFOs drawn by witnesses:
What is being suggested is that psychic stress brings forth archetypal images or symbols, and I find that such imagery and/or symbology is at the root of abduction accounts -- the cause.

Even Jose Caravaca’s Distortion Theory can accommodate the images that Jung and his followers found surfacing during their excursions in depth psychology.

This means, for me, that alien abduction stories can almost always be attributed to mental stress or disorientations rather than a UFO kidnapping.

Also most UFO encounters, such as those enumerated here recently, can also be accounted for by analytical psychology, Jung’s theories of the archetypes particularly with a reference to the personal unconscious that allows for the things seen or experienced by Senor Carvaca’s UFO witnesses.

Other UFO sightings, generally, despite Jung’s thesis in Flying Saucers: A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Skies, are exempt in my mind from the mandala or archetype explanation.

Some UFOs are or have been tangible, material objects, leaving traces or radar signals and other evidence for tangibility, real existence.

(This is why I prefer calling UFOs phenomena rather than a phenomenon.)

But abductions and most encounters are or have been psychological, neurological in nature.

Those accounts come from within, not without, as Bruce Duensing seems to indicate.

Now let’s try to down or capture one of the hard material UFOs, to find out just exactly what those things are.



  • The word multiplex comes to mind.
    Anomalous experiential realities are a multiplex phenomenon can never be fully examined outside of its varying interpretations and socio-historical contexts, just as the consideration of any theory of a homogenous entity such as this is doomed from an empirical point of view, rather than shared spheres of influences that "infer", "suggest"( from a variety of sources) were the same as igneous rocks although everyone speaks about it as if it were homogenous and not individuated through a multiplex of lenses.

    How many varieties of craft, how many humanoids? One begets another by transference. There are only so many contexts in our experience, a finite amount, while they are recombinant, (individualized), we all so to speak, read from the same book of characters, symbols, shapes etc.
    Even the extraordinary comes from prosaic sources in imaging..eggs.

    I doubt that it is even as coherent a phenomenon as “socialism” and this is the entanglement of language. Mixing coherent empirical rationalism, or positivism with subjective interiorised conceptual forms that are defining makes the observer to be objective, which is absurd as if we believed nothing that lurks below the surface has existence of appearances,in cognizance, as Einstein blew the cover off that one long ago. Naive realism keeps us from exploring the real unknown territory, the observer which is not one but legion.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Wednesday, September 12, 2012  

  • I think that Jung has more to teach us about the paranormal, including UFOs, than all of the other "experts" combined.


    By Blogger Paul Kimball, at Wednesday, September 12, 2012  

  • > during times of psychical stress

    This is a legitimate idea. The papers I've been reading suggest people reporting abductions, while not psychotic, tend to be excitable types prone to anxiety and even dissociation. (And Mr. Rutkowksi's abduction book gives some clear examples.) Many people embrace alien abduction -- however improbable -- because it “explains” their distress.

    The problem is, abduction proponents will always argue that the abduction causes the stress, never the other way around. Budd Hopkins and the like made sure of this by propounding life-long abduction going back into childhood, heedless of the same error made by other proponents of repressed memory (advocates of SRA, MPD and undocumented CSA).

    Science, logic and history will not make abduction advocates see their error. It won't happen until an abduction investigator gets arrested or sued, followed by a wave of recantations -- just the things that quelled the surge of false SRA, MPD and CSA reports.

    After the law gets involved -- and subpoenas produce a mountain of documentation and affidavits -- then objective investigators and academics will come in and expose this nonsense to the broader public (think of Lawrence Wright and Kenneth Lanning for SRA, Ian Hacking and Herbert Spiegel for MPD, Elizabeth Loftus and numerous others for undocumented CSA).

    By Blogger Terry the Censor, at Thursday, September 13, 2012  

  • I don’t see UFOs as being in the realm of archetypal projection (although I have a big soft spot in my heart for Jung) or even psychic manipulation by mysterious outside forces or tricksters. I think there are as many explanations for what has been seen as there are witnesses to what has been seen.

    UFO imagery (photos, films, videos) has always been just too easy to hoax (and getting easier daily), so none of it has untarnished credibility. And besides, all the really great photos and footage were confiscated by some secret agency or other and all we have is somebody’s tall tale that it once existed and, golly gee, it was proof!

    Nevertheless, I do believe there is an unknown phenomenon repeatedly occurring, but that it accounts for a very, very small fraction of UFO reports, most likely in those cases where something tangible (e.g., a radar tape from the FAA) remains or multiple independent corroborations exist. Absent these, the credibility of the witness is always in question.

    I believe “good family man/woman” or “honest and hard working” or “why would he/she make up this story?” rhetoric about witnesses lends them not one shred of credibility or proves that they are incapable of misidentification or confabulation in the presence of something totally unknown to them, but nevertheless prosaic. Ditto goes for identifying witnesses as members of the military, pilots, and police. Sorry, but these professions don’t automatically confer credibility or infallibility.

    To date, Ufology hasn’t developed any tools for objectively interviewing witnesses or critically assessing witness reports. Asking if the object was the size of a quarter held at arm’s length is NOT more important than asking the witnesses if they were wearing their prescription lenses when they saw their Maguffins.

    Sigh. Without my glasses a helium-filled mylar balloon looks like a UFO to me.

    By Blogger purrlgurrl, at Saturday, September 15, 2012  

  • If these anomalies have no material basis and if my suspicion that hard craft and the adherents of that theory are akin to a loosely organized, faith based belief system then I think that we all begin to realize that this is more likely a multi-enfolded phenomenon, and there is evidence to support this.
    However, Jung alone as a framework only addresses imaging, images, and imagination that as a corpus. do not fall into either solely being products of individuated mindsets nor do they fall into strictly shared mind sets. To me, this is where subjective, individual creativity meets shared information which is influential.
    There are only X amount of symbols and from there there is the recombination of various attributes of one symbol or another that are unique. A good analogy to my mind are snowflakes. They are all snowflakes but no two are strictly alike.
    This is the scrim of just one layer of a anomalous phenomenon.
    I suspect these events take place in milliseconds. Everything I have learned about the processing speed of neurology from sensory inputs, the discontinuous nature of the senses, adds neurobiology to this creation of what I suspect are projections that are dream like hallucinations and of course that begs the question what are the predisposing ingredients of this multiplexed and interlocked series of multiple causation that produce vivid waking dreams? To me this seems to indicate a unique but rare statistical opportunity that has nothing to do with extraterrestrials except as a frame of reference as to anticipation. There are so many links to traditional ghost phenomenon, that have been sidestepped as a territorial ruse we have played on ourselves. The nature of this high strangeness with prosaic underpinnings seem to indicate a very terrestrial phenomenon.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Monday, September 17, 2012  

  • There is an interesting side-bar to this, Bruce.

    Jose Caravaca sent me, the other day, some (more) cave art representations.

    Jung posits the illusory aspect of the UFO sightings (and encounters), saying they stem from the anxieties of modern man or the vicissitudes of current cultural and societal elements.

    Jose Caravaca, himself, thinks that persons seeing UFO beings get the imagery from their unconscious input -- things seen in the past from magazines, movies, books, TV, et cetera -- tweaked by an internal agent with motivations unknown.

    But where did primitive man get his imagery? Neolithic people didn't have TVs, movies, or images to cull their art from, and they didn't suffer the existential anxieties that beset modern man.

    (Yes, primitive peoples had their own set of anxieties, but none that would cause them to draw UFO-like things or UFO-like beings.)

    The manifestations derive from something else -- very possibly an alien intrusion or some kind endemic neurological glitch of mankind.

    I lean toward a tangible construct or tangible beings that show up, by way of UFO craft or slippage into our dimension from time or parallel universes.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, September 17, 2012  

  • I think Jung was correct on modality rather than the cause of past perceptual anomalies. Psychology does have a role as well as does neurology.
    What I mean by this is the narrative details as well as emotional coloring as to this phenomenon's entirely projected theoretical intent followed the social script of the Cold War. Cold War gone, that story line in the narratives described vanished. This was pretty much hand in glove. I doubt this "coloring book" sort of bias projection is simply coincidental.
    Look at the earliest form of communication. It was images that are symbols, whether they were shamatic or representations of the earliest "religion" which was animism, the "spirits" of nature who then were copied \ borrowed as anthropomorphic representations of human attributes. So, I don't see this as all that troublesome.As anthropologists are learning our tribes moved all over the place and were fairly intelligent rather than the stereotype of grunting dumb brutes. Look at how the Neanderthal buried their dead..There was a lot more at work there than we currently know and that's a pretty safe bet in my book of suspicions.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Monday, September 17, 2012  

  • That primitive man wasn't a dumb brute goes to my predilection(s); that is, cave artists drew what they actually saw.

    The were the first representational artists.

    The drawings/art were not abstract imaginings.

    They were "photographic" in kind.

    The images did not come from neurological maladies.

    (Some "modern" UFO encounters do or did spark from mental glitches, but not those of early man.)


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, September 17, 2012  

  • I don't think you can pigeon hole art so easily as all of it is representational. I wish I could do so. I don't that art has changed that much except in terms of mediums and techniques. I think some concepts that are portrayed as representational are abstract, express ideas rather than material objects. For example, a stop sign is representational and yet it is not. It represents the shared rule to stop when you see it, which is a semiotic relationship that is not material but rather exists in the physical brain as a medium for what we call thought. If you can say thought is representational of exclusively material objects, then we are in agreement. Otherwise, we simply disagree on this.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Monday, September 17, 2012  

  • Bruce,

    You're making more of the matter than it requires.

    Art of primitive man was, typically, an attempt to show what was being experienced, visually.

    Modern abstractive art has been an attempt by painters to get at the essence of color, form, or nothingness.

    I doubt that neolithics were so inclined.

    Any cave art that seems to be abstract is merely painting done by a tyro.....bad art.

    Abstract paintings of modern times, after the Impressionists, is a creative stretch that has nothing to do with representation as such.

    Abstractionists were and are striving to get to a quantum reality about elements of painting.

    Cave artists, despite not being dumb brutes, were not so inclined.

    Your intellectual veneer goes too far.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, September 17, 2012  

  • P D Ouspensky was fond of often saying in terms of theoretical questions, perhaps we can agree that neither of us know. His pat answer was "I don't know. I was not there."
    All of this reminds me of Jayne's bicameral mind theory in terms of answering the question of organic hallucinations taken for perceptual representations that were akin to evolutionary glitches in brain development, like burning bushes, God speaking to Noah etc. For me, it was a bit too much of a sledgehammer to a complex question. According to some sources in the gnostic side of Islam, all of these were literally visionary and vivid dreams. I think it's too low a bar for you to be a positivist on this. I prefer an open ended agnosticism toward your theory of all primitive art being solely representational of material objects. No offense intended, but it strikes me as "naive realism" and pushing the theoretical to make matches that fit what you desire them to be. Which is not to say I have some superior concept in mind compared to yours. I think all of this much more foreign to us than any of us care to publicly admit inasmuch as it would change the dynamic of the conversation..open it up. Too many scared cows for this kid. I wonder as I wander.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Monday, September 17, 2012  

  • Sorry about the brain glitch LOL. Hmm..scared cows? Domesticated milk producers of the farmer having visions of becoming fast food?

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Monday, September 17, 2012  

  • All symbols have a cultural context. Due to historical events which have greatly influenced Western culture since the 1930s, the swastika has taken on a new symbolic meaning.

    I don't believe Jung's symbology is necessarily shared by all mankind. His symbology is a reflection of his own male, Christian, middle-European, late 19th/early 20th century cultural sensibilities.

    I don't think we can extend that symbology to the Neolithic or even to other cultures without having to force it very hard to try to fit.

    Even if all cave art is symbolic (which I don't totally buy into), we simply don't know the cultural context in order to accurately interpret the symbols.

    By Blogger purrlgurrl, at Monday, September 17, 2012  

  • Yah, Bruce....those "scared cows" can be troublesome, but not as much as scarred cows.

    I agree that trying to use current thought processes to divine how primitive mankind thought is fraught with error or misunderstandings.

    But commonsense can intrude.

    Do we really believe that cave artists were attempting to provide cubistic or neo-realistic abstractions of things they saw?

    It's an imagined possibility but stretches credulity, for me.

    Interviews with present-day primitives might enlighten however.

    Do they think in abstract ways?

    Do native tribe members in the Amazon rainforests see a snake or monkey and decide to create an insightful representation of the creatures contingent parts, DNA, skeletal makeup, spectrum coloring, et cetera?

    Or do they see the creature and try to capture what they see as best as they are able to, with the tools at hand?

    Do they want a picture of their obvious reality or so they want a picture of a transcendent reality?

    If primitives were so inclined to be abstract, why did art go through its representational [sic] periods?

    Why not jump right into modern day abstractions, a la Jackson Pollock?

    Bypassing the doodlings of Fra Angelica, Holbein, et al.?


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, September 17, 2012  

  • But PG..,

    Anthropologists (and we) can make some educated guesses about the cultural milieu, if there was such a milieu.

    Considering the dire environment and struggle to survive, it's interesting that some took time to be artistic at all.

    Perhaps, Bruce is right...primitive man was advanced in his or her thinking and creativity.

    But did that advanced creativity get stymied somewhere along the line?

    As for Jung being steeped in his cultural milieu, that may be so, but I like to think he rose above it, as creative geniuses are wont to do.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, September 17, 2012  

  • Everything we say about these Neolithic images is an unproven assertion.

    Maybe they were just the doodlings of exceptionally talented individuals made to while away the hours during the forced down time of long winter nights underground. But, this is just another assertion.

    A couple of years ago I read a piece by an art historian (I wish I could remember who and where) who convincingly debunked many of the purported UFOs depicted in medieval and Renaissance paintings by explaining them in light of some of the more obscure artistic conventions of their times. Many of his examples had been cited by Ufologists as "proof" UFOs have existed since the dawn of time.

    What I'm trying to say is that we need to be very careful about projecting our beliefs about UFOs onto something about which we lack enough information to correctly interpret - both in art and in real life events.

    By Blogger purrlgurrl, at Monday, September 17, 2012  

  • I generally agree with you PG,

    But I like to think that people (artists included) depict what they see or think they see.

    The modern day abstraction artists are or were just a bit nutty, trying to be unique and one-of-a-kind painter.

    Cave artists could have been just as loopy, but I find that to be a bit much -- not impossible just a stretch.

    That we should impose our thinking on those from the past -- the truly past! -- is hubristic surely.

    But Jung suggested we can "genetically" do that.

    The collective unconscious is open to us all....even Freud agreed.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, September 17, 2012  

  • The issue is always language. Like PR, ironically you are using 20th century terms juxtaposed against a non Euclidean mindset, a mind we can perhaps safely assume was in more direct contact with the natural environment which was mysterious to them imbued with spirit(s) behaviors, unpredictability, desires, gifts IE a tiger versus a horse. What was that about?
    They had no Darwin or knowledge of genomes to weigh them down or conversely enlighten them by way of our current own channeled or scientifically "trained" mindsets.
    Superimposing our own paradigms upon them leaves out what they thought as life being a magical verb.
    As a basis of comparison,advanced conceptual self awareness that is required for any art whatsoever,not simply confined to pragmatic tool making as an sociological arbiter that defines advanced.
    This advanced consciousness never went away, it has been suppressed in a parallel track with subservience to the context of our creativity harnessed to technological extensions and replaced with more complex and abstracted behavioral ruts and intermediaries, that lead to "errands" versus direct experience with the vicissitudes of nature.
    To say that our forebears were not prone to imagining to me seems an inversion of our own predicaments. Imagination was their only guide to learning, conceptualizing, otherwise we would be roasting alligators where we caught them. LOL.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Monday, September 17, 2012  

  • Maybe cave art was just the Neolithic equivalent of picking out a nice piece at Pier One to hang over the sofa.

    The urge to decorate our bodies and environment (shell jewelry, cave paintings, etc.) seems to be one of man's earliest impulses. Setting aside sexual display, could it be that our brains simply need continual stimulation so that in the absence or diminishment of stimulation we are compelled to create it ourselves? That mechanism would as well apply to music and language (poetry is not essential to communication, but life would be poorer without it).

    Could it be that the more complex our brains became the more stimulation was demanded from our environments by these brains leading to yet more brain complexity demanding more stimulation - a type of endless feedback loop leading to iPhones and Facebook?

    By Blogger purrlgurrl, at Monday, September 17, 2012  

  • Yes, PG, there is much in what you surmise, and some anthropologists would agree.

    But why some imagery as opposed to other imagery?

    Why the similarity to things that Ancient Astronauts see as ET-like in paintings from venues far and wide?

    I'll be adding those Caravaca-sends this week so you and others can see what I mean.

    The ET figure in one could have come from the pen of Betty Hill.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, September 17, 2012  

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