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"I would rather
live in a world where my life is
surrounded by mystery than live in a world
so small that my mind could comprehend it."
- Harry Emerson Fosdick
This week Conspiracy Journal brings you such teeth-clenching stories as:
- "There is an Afterlife" Says Once Skeptical Neurosurgeon -
- Declassified: Air Force’s Supersonic Flying Saucer Schematics -
- Was Noah's Ark A Strange Vehicle From Mars? -
- Real-Life Scientists Who Meddled With Life and Death -
AND: Number 33: Secret Societies, UFOs, Death, Destruction & Disneyland
~ And Now, On With The Show! ~
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- NO ATHEISTS IN THE FOXHOLE DEPARTMENT -
"There is an Afterlife" Says Once Skeptical Neurosurgeon
A skeptical scientist who had spent his career studying the mechanics of the brain and dismissing patient tales of journeys to heavenly realms has revealed his extraordinary conversion after his own encounter with the afterlife during a near-death experience.
Dr Eben Alexander spent 15 years as an academic neurosurgeon at Harvard but he was struck with a nearly fatal bout of bacterial meningitis in 2008 and had no brain activity when he lay comatose for seven days at a Virginia hospital.
Though he was unconscious and unresponsive during that period, he is now describing a 'hyper-vivid and completely coherent odyssey' to a place beyond, filled with butterflies and resounding music that has shaken his scientific viewpoint on human consciousness.
He says he entered a place filled with clouds and the sound of chanting, and was met by a beautiful blue-eyed woman.
Dr Alexander describes his paradigm shift from focusing solely on the scientific make up of the brain to considering the spiritual realm of the mind, in a deeply reflective essay in Newsweek in advance of the release of his book, Proof of Heaven.
'As a neurosurgeon, I did not believe in the phenomenon of near-death experiences,' he writes in his article, explaining how he had previously relied on 'good scientific explanations for the heavenly out-of-body journeys described by those who narrowly escaped death.'
Though he considered himself a nominal Christian he said he lacked the faith to believe in eternal life.
When his patients would tell tales of going to heaven during near death experiences, he relied on 'current medical understanding of the brain and mind' and disregarded them as wishful thinking.
But after he became the patient, he says he 'experienced something so profound that it gave me a scientific reason to believe in consciousness after death.'
The 58-year-old has an impressive pedigree. His ancestors were well regarded politicians and prominent fixtures in society in Tennessee. His father was Chief of Neurosurgery at Wake Forest University from 1948 to 1978.
The younger Alexander graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy and received his bachelor's degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1975. He earned his medical degree from Duke in 1980.
He spent 15 years teaching neurology at Harvard Medical School and the University of Virginia - lecturing on and researching brain mapping, the treatment of brain tumors and trying to understand cognition.
In 2008, the father-of-two was in 'good health and good shape,' preparing to embark on a hike with his son of a volcano in South America, he said in a July interview about the ordeal with Skeptiko.
Little did he know that he would soon become a patient at the very hospital where he taught.
The doctor's life was nearly cut short on November 10, 2008, when he awoke at 4:30am to get ready to go to work at the Lynchburg General Hospital in Virginia, where he worked as a neurosurgeon.
All of a sudden, he developed a severe pain in his back and within 15 minutes he was paralyzed in anguish and could barely even move.
His wife, Holley, rushed in to assist him and began to rub his back to relieve the tension but his condition worsened.
Before he began convulsing in a seizure, his last words to his wife were, 'Don't call 911,' and he lost consciousness and has no memory of what happened for an entire week.
Fortunately for him, his wife disregarded his advice and he was rushed to an area hospital and was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis.
'My entire cortex - the part of the brain that controls thought and emotion and that in essence makes us human - had shut down,' he writes in his essay.
'Doctors determined that I had somehow contracted a very rare bacterial meningitis that mostly attacks newborns. E. coli bacteria had penetrated my cerebrospinal fluid and were eating my brain,' he added.
He was placed on a ventilator at the intensive care unit and for six days he was treated with triple antibiotics to fight the bacteria but his brain had little functionality and he was unresponsive, leaving doctors to believe he would not recover.
As his family prepared for the worst, on the seventh day he suddenly opened his eyes.
His breathing tube was removed and he miraculously told doctors, 'Thank you.'
He suffered from amnesia and could not remember his life at all prior to his illness and remained in a haze for the first few days after he came out of the coma.
As he recovered though, he began to recall vivid memories of a magical mental experience during his time in the coma.
'There is no scientific explanation for the fact that while my body lay in coma, my mind - my conscious, inner self - was alive and well.
'While the neurons of my cortex were stunned to complete inactivity by the bacteria that had attacked them, my brain-free consciousness journeyed to another, larger dimension of the universe: a dimension I’d never dreamed existed and which the old, pre-coma me would have been more than happy to explain was a simple impossibility,' he writes.
He says he entered a 'place of clouds - big, puffy and pink-white,' filled with butterflies and angel-like creatures that were 'simply different from anything I have known on this planet. They were more advanced. Higher forms.'
In this heavenly realm, he says he heard 'a sound, huge and booming like a glorious chant, came down from above,' providing him with a sense of joy and awe.
A beautiful young woman accompanied him during his stay, 'she was young, and I remember what she looked like in complete detail. She had high cheekbones and deep-blue eyes. Golden brown tresses framed her lovely face.'
Alexander admits his description might sound like something straight out of Hollywood, but to skeptics he says he has a clear sense that is was indeed real and 'not some fantasy, passing and insubstantial.'
After his remarkable experience in 2008, Alexander says the impact has been both on the professional and the spiritual.
Now the scientist has committed his energy to 'investigating the true nature of consciousness and making the fact that we are more, much more, than our physical brains as clear as I can, both to my fellow scientists and to people at large.'
But the self-described Christian-in-name-only, now says his experience with heaven has deepened his understanding of God and strengthened his faith .
'At the very heart of my journey [is this], that we are loved and accepted unconditionally by a God even more grand and unfathomably glorious than the one I’d learned,' he concludes.
Source: The Daily Mail
Declassified: Air Force’s Supersonic Flying Saucer Schematics
Officially, aliens have never existed but flying saucers very nearly did. The National Archives has recently published never-before-seen schematics and details of a 1950s military venture, called Project 1794, which aimed to build a supersonic flying saucer.
The newly declassified materials show the U.S. Air Force had a contract with a now-defunct Canadian company to build an aircraft unlike anything seen before. Project 1794 got as far as the initial rounds of product development and into prototype design. In a memo dating from 1956 the results from pre-prototype testing are summarized and reveal exactly what the developers had hoped to create.
The saucer was supposed to reach a top speed of “between Mach 3 and Mach 4, a ceiling of over 100,000 ft. and a maximum range with allowances of about 1,000 nautical miles,” according to the document.
If the plans had followed through to completion they would have created a saucer, which could spin through the Earth’s stratosphere at an average top speed of about 2,600 miles per hour. Wow. It was also designed to take off and land vertically (VTOL), using propulsion jets to control and stabilize the aircraft. Admittedly the range of 1,000 nautical miles seems limited in comparison to the other specifications – but if you’d hopped on the disk in New York it could’ve had you in Miami within about 24 minutes.
The document also hints that the product development seemed to be going better than planned; “the present design will provide a much superior performance to that estimated at the start of contract negotiations.”
It begs the question – why was the project dropped? Why aren’t wars being fought with flying saucers? The cost of continuing to prototype was estimated at $3,168,000, which roughly translates to about $26.6 million in today’s money and wouldn’t have been an insane price for such advanced technology. The problem with the other flying saucers developed under the same program is pretty clear. They didn’t get anywhere near 100,000 feet in altitude, more like five or six if you were lucky – so the military finally pulled the plug in 1960.
However, there are several theories about the supposed discontinuation of this program. One being that the program went dark, allowing continued development without public scrutiny. The other theory is that the Avro saucer was merely a decoy to draw attention away from an already successful top secret flying saucer project. The reason for these suggestions is the bizarre discovery in 1967 by reporter Jack Pickett at MacDill AFB, Florida.
Pickett, who published an in-house aviation magazine for military personnel with his partner, Harold Baker, was approached by the Adjutant General's Office at MacDill AFB (Tampa Florida) to do a front cover, and two-and-a-half page article about vintage, historical or experimental aircraft. Jack and Harold learned that some experimental jet aircraft were being stored at the base salvage/scrap-yard. These particular aircraft had already been decommissioned/declassified, and were parked outside.
In September of 1967, both Jack and Baker drove together to where these aircraft were being parked. Upon arriving at the chain link fence, which surrounded the perimeter of the base near the scrap-yard, Jack saw in outside parked storage, four flying wing discs, measuring 20 to 108 feet in diameter.
Because they were the last remaining of their model, the Master Sergeant of the Non-Commissioned Officer's Club telephoned the Adjutant General's Office for permission for Polaroid photographs to be taken, even though all of the tires were completely flat down to their wheel rims. The General's Office (headed by base commander William M. Wilson) suggested that Jack use higher quality official Air Force photographs available at the Adjutant General's library at MacDill. Under armed guard, Jack was personally shown literally hundreds of official U.S.A.F. photographs of these aircraft in formation flight, on the tarmac, and was shown portions of motion picture footage of these aircraft in flight.
The largest of the four discs measured 108 feet in diameter, and stood 12' off of the ground. Each main landing gear consisted of 6 wheels, measuring 5' in diameter. The nose gear had an incredible 32 wheels, each measuring 2-1/2 to three feet in diameter.
Pickett was never briefed on the exact propulsion system utilized by the four craft, or who specifically built these aircraft, though later he learned that they had been built by Bell and Vought before 1962. However, Jack was told that these aircraft could fly so high, and so fast, that they were actually capable of achieving space flight.
With a top speed of 15,500 mph, and an almost unlimited range, they definitely still remain among the utter most classified aircraft in the U.S.A.F. inventory. Jack also inquired why they had been discontinued, and was told that it had to do with maneuverability problems, and that the U.S.A.F. now had "better ones."
Unfortunately, the four disc shaped experimental aircraft were never featured in the October 1967 issue of "NCO Club News." The O.I.C. (Officer in charge) of MacDill, decided that he should make a request to higher Air Force authority for the clearance needed for publication at that time. Even though the four discs parked at the scrap-yard had already been decommissioned/declassified, the Air Force told Pickett that it would be in the "better interest of the Air Force" to delay publication of his article.
- DAYS OF FUTURE PAST DEPARTMENT -
Visitors from Elsewhen: Time Travelers Among Us
By Scott Corrales
Time travel is a subject that has fascinated all manner of authors and given rise to a galaxy of speculation. Whether it’s the romantic, non-technical treatment of Somewhere in Time (1980), the high-tech action adventure of the Time Tunnel (1968) or contemporary projects like Looper (2012), the thought of going back to visit our collective historic past – or the subjective personal past – remains a gripping concept, and one that is surely to remain with us for generations to come. The ability to go back in time and change situations (the rise of fascism) or view historic events (the fall of Rome) has also fueled a number of plots that have become legendary in the realm of science fiction, which has explored the paradoxes of such endeavors.
But what does science have to say about this elusive, seductive subject?
In the 1950s, Arthur C. Clarke penned the essay “Things That Can Never Be Done”, included in his book “Report on Planet Three and Other Speculations”. Listed among these were immortality, invisibility, thought transference, levitation and the creation of life. “For my part,” wrote Clarke, there is only one of these that I feel certain (well, practically certain!) to be impossible, and that is time travel...” Fifty years later, Stephen Hawking and Michio Kaku have left the door ajar for the possibility, with a new understanding of physics.
Hawking originally scoffed at the possibility of time travel, suggesting that we would currently be hosting visitors from our future (perhaps we are, in the shape of UFOs?) and since we have no futuristic travelers among us, was never developed. One could argue that it was developed, but never used, much like a “doomsday weapon” whose consequences are too terrible to contemplate.
The Chrononaut’s Tale
Stories of time travelers – accidental or deliberate – in our times have multiplied thanks to diffusion on the Internet. YouTube presents us with videos of old movies showing characters dressed in an unusual manner for their time, or else using devices that did not exist in the era. 19th century daguerreotypes of people resembling popular actors like John Travolta or Nicholas Cage have been added to the mix, fueling further “time traveler” speculation. Millions of radio listeners were gripped by the time-traveling character who went by the name “John Titor”, sent from the future to obtain an obscure item of computer equipment that would prove vital in his time. While we can dismiss these as flights of fancy or hoaxes, their grip on the popular imagination still remains strong.
As it turns out, a similar time traveler emerged in South America in the year 2000.
According to the Crónica newspaper of Concepción (Chile) a man named Osvaldo Navarrete had arrived from our near future – the year 2012, to be exact. According to Navarrete’s testimony, he had been one of several subjects of a military experiment in time travel designed to return to the year 2000. Interviewed by journalist Richard Sierra, Navarrete made some predictions about the coming ten years, stating that a disaster would sweep the planet and have “terrible consequences for mankind.”
The time traveler informed the journalist that in the year 2012, the United States was governed by a black president, and that this head of state would inform the people of the discovery of vestiges of ancient intelligent life on Mars following the arrival of a space probe. Writing in mid-October 2012, we can say that the time traveler was on the money. President Obama, however, has made no such disclosure yet). The result of this announcement, stated Navarrete, would be worldwide unrest. Discovery of the Marian ur-civilization would prompt the great powers to work jointly against “an alleged alien attack”, adding to the worldwide social and political crises.
Chrononaut Navarrete was not forthcoming about the way in which he crossed the unsoundable gulf of time from 2012 to 2000. Did he appear in a baroque time machine like Rod Taylor in George Pal’s legendary The Time Traveler, or naked and disoriented in an alleyway like Michael Biehn in The Terminator? The question remains unanswered, and his whereabouts unknown. The last available information on this intriguing person is that he claimed to be “eluding pursuit”, vanishing after making a statement to a radio station.
As an interesting side note, an Argentinean novel about time travel – La invención de Morel (Morel’s Invention), written in 1940 by Adolfo Bioy Casares – is considered by many as the inspiration for the series “LOST”, with its copious doses of confusing time travel and interdimensional action. In Bioy Casares’s novel, the action plays out on an enigmatic island known as Villings, somewhere in the Ellice and Gilbert Archipelago, although the protagonist is never quite sure of the exact location. The characters on the island appear unaware of each other, as if existing in separate time streams, sometimes repeating conversations as though stuck in a “time loop”. The protagonist finds no sign of recent habitation on the island, but the tourists, as he calls them stage a reappearance out of nowhere in the evening. Even more disquieting is the presence of two suns and two moons in the sky, suggesting time and space being superimposed and out of synch.
The Possibility of Time Ships
Unassisted access to another place in time – by stepping into a distortion of what we understand to be space/time, or entering a sacred cave or structure – has been a constant feature in non-technological fiction on time travel. Thus, we have Christopher Reeves visiting Jane Seymour in the past of the early 1900s (Somewhere in Time) by surrounding himself with objects from the epoch, or a memorable Superman comic adventure in which photographer Jimmy Olsen places his head under the hand of a statue of Anubis and finds himself revisiting the Revolutionary War era. Such time travel – untrammeled by machinery – makes for better storytelling, no doubt.
But what about machines that can do the seemingly impossible – go from one age of mankind to another?
Andre Douzet and Filip Coppens, writing in The Chronodome (www.perillos.com/timetravel.html) provide us with the views of legendary author Jacques Bergier on UFOs. Bergier, they note, was ready to accept the notion of UFOs as time machines, not extraterrestrial craft. The gifted mind that gave us Le Matin des Magiciens believed that “a UFO was not a spaceship but a timeship. They were temporal capsules, created by our future descendants, who performed time tourism in them, visiting their distant ancestors – us – if not our own ancestors. For Bergier, this was the main reason why they never interfered with Mankind. Any such action, he felt, might have serious consequences in the future...”
One possible time machine that would have met with Bergier’s approval can be found in the works of the controversial academic Frank J. Tipler of the University of Texas (of Omega Point theory fame). In 1974, Tipler suggested that time travel would be possible by means of an object or spacecraft having the mass of our sun, yet compressed into a cylindrical form measuring 100 kilometers in length and having a diameter of 20 kilometers, spinning at 2000 revolutions per second. These rotations would create closed timelike curves, distorting the surrounding space-time. Approaching the distortion from the right angle, and departing it at the exact point, would conceivably result in an arrival taking place 50 years before the moment of departure. Pinpoint accuracy would be of the essence, as an infinitesimal variation could result in an arrival five hundred or five thousand years prior to the moment of departure.
In 1988, physicist Kip Thorne and colleagues presented a paper suggesting that it would be well within the reach of an advanced civilization to create machines able to “manipulate concentrations of matter-energy” to create closed timelike curves (CTCs). These machines would have little resemblance to Dr. Who’s TARDIS or the sleek stainless steel exterior of Marty McFly’s DeLorean in Back to the Future. In the early 1990s, Stephen Hawking’s own work on the subject (The Chronology Protection Conjecture) posited that time-travel was only possible on the microscopic level, and that CTCs could not be created. Describing - much less understanding! – the physics involved in these theories go beyond the scope of this article. Suffice it to say that minds not bent on science fiction or mysticism have approached the problem objectively and come up with interesting conclusions
There appear are instances, however, where moderately sophisticated man-made objects have become time machines.
The late Antonio Ribera mentions an unusual case in his Las Máquinas del Tiempo (Planeta, 1984) involving an AVIACO airliner on regular service between the Spanish cities of Valencia and Bilbao. At 16:45 hours on an unspecified day in February 1978, the airliner was over Bilbao’s Sondica Airport, awaiting clearance to land. Due to poor weather, the flight was redirected to Parayas Airport in the city of Santander. The AVIACO crew complied and climbed to twelve thousand feet over the sea, heading toward their new destination. Upon reaching their new cruising altitude, the airliner entered a whitish “cloud” and its avionics began to fail one by one, communication systems were among them. Ribera quotes the pilot: “The two VHF systems quit working. We could neither send nor receive. In other words, we couldn’t hear Bilbao or Santander, and they couldn’t hear us either.”
To the crew’s astonishment, the DME (Distance Measuring Equipment) continued to operate – only backwards. “As soon as we entered the cloud,” said the pilot, “the DME began counting miles, but in reverse. That is to say, if we’d covered 24 miles at the time from Bilbao, the DME did not proceed with its normal count forward, but to the contrary. To our astonishment, the DME began counting 23, 22, 21, 20 until it reached zero. It kept measuring another nine miles beyond Bilbao, backward.”
Upon emerging from the cloud, all systems were restored to normal operation, even the radar. The AVIACO flight was able to contact the Santander tower, which had frantically been looking for the missing plane, having received no transponder signals at all. But what astonished the crew was that thirty-five minutes had elapsed...an astonishing fact, considering that the normal flight time between Bilbao and Santander was ten to twelve minutes. Fuel consumption was commensurate to the 35 minute time span...a time period which would have put the airliner well past its intended destination.
A Russian Time Traveler in Stalin’s Gulag?
High strangeness constitute the lifeblood of Inexplicata, and we thank our friends at Chile’s Noticiero Ufológico Autónomo for supplying us this tidbit. The most recent update of the NOUFA blog gives us a newsclipping from Chile’s respected EL Mercurio newspaper, dated 12 March 1995, and from the files of Mr. Aquiles Castillo. We reproduce it here in its entirety:
EL MERCURIO – Sunday, 12 March 1995
Russian Journalist Purportedly Met a “Time Traveler”
MOSCOW, 11 (ANSA) – A man traveling from the future’s 23rd century landed in the Stalin-era Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, spending five years of captivity in a gulag and living for sixty years in the communist era without being able to return to his time. The news, published today by the presidential daily “Rossiskie Viesti”, is attributed to the testimony of journalist Vadim Chernobrov, who swears having met the mysterious – and disoriented – time traveler. According to the newspaper, Eugene Iosifovich hailed from the 23rd century, but arrived in communist Russia and was arrested for espionage. Apparently, those in the 23rd century forgot all about the unwary time traveler, thinking perhaps that a season in the Soviet Union would be punishment enough for going astray. Chernobrov also disclosed that the traveler had forecast the collapse of the USSR and Boris Yeltsin's rise to power.
Time travel is best left to the Time Lords, or to the ever-dutiful John Titor.
Source: Inexplicata (IHU) The Institute of Hispanic Ufology
- LEGACY OF THE SKY PEOPLE DEPARTMENT -
Was Noah's Ark A Strange Vehicle From Mars?
By Sean Casteel
Timothy Green Beckley just keeps those hits coming! Like a favorite Golden Oldies radio station, the old days are never really gone, and new shades of meaning continue to accrue.
Beckley's latest blast from the past is a greatly expanded update of Brinsley Le Poer Trench's "The Sky People," one of the earliest books to emerge on what is now the familiar concept of Ancient Astronauts. The new version is called "Legacy of the Sky People," and includes contributions from Beckley's stable of writers.
Most people nowadays consider Erich von Daniken and the late Zechariah Stichen to be the headliners for this ancient aliens show, but Trench, an Englishman who was also the 8th Earl of Clancarty and thus a member of the House of Lords in the British Parliament, was there ahead of both those distinguished gentlemen with his groundbreaking "The Sky People" from the early 1960s.
The story of Brinsley Le Poer Trench is close to Beckley's heart. Beckley began to correspond with Trench in the 1960s when Beckley was just starting out as a UFO journalist and publisher. The two flying saucer enthusiasts exchanged their respective publications ("Flying Saucer Review," published in the UK and Beckley's "Interplanetary News Service Report" in the US) and shared a warm correspondence for many years. In the 1970s, Trench invited Beckley to speak before a special committee on UFOs at the House of Lords, and Beckley made the trip to London without hesitation. Over forty years later, Beckley still speaks fondly of the late Earl of Clancarty, who died in 1995.
It should be noted that Beckley's Bizarre Bazaar/Conspiracy Journal publishing "empire" has not shied away from publishing works of great historical value on the arrival of interstellar beings throughout antiquity. He has previously published the works of the great Sir Walter R. Drake (i.e. "Alien Space Gods of Ancient Greece and Rome" and "Ancient Secrets of Mysterious America") as well as the controversial George Hunt Williamson ("Other Tongues, Other Flesh," "Ancient Secrets of the Andes and the Golden Sun Disc").
But Beckley hasn't merely repackaged Trench's book. He has also added new material from some of the best writers in Ufology with their personal studies of ancient astronauts theory. For example, Nick Redfern, one of the top researchers in the paranormal today, contributes a longish chapter to the new book in which he discusses the Biblical story of Noah's Ark.
Everyone is familiar with the story, taken from the Book of Genesis. But are you aware that the story - a great, world-destroying flood from which God spared only a handful of righteous mortals and two of every kind of beast - is also an integral part of other religious traditions, such as the Sumerian, the Babylonian, and the ancient Hindus? Redfern explains how the story of a human being instructed to build a ship to shelter a remnant of mankind from a looming world cataclysm is one of the most universal of religious myths, spanning the globe with its timeless tale of good triumphing over evil.
But Redfern's examination of the Ark story doesn't end there. Legend has it that Noah's Ark came to rest on Turkey's Mount Ararat. Redfern tells the intriguing story of how in 1949, a U.S. Air Force flight crew photographed an anomalous structure protruding from the ice and snow of Mount Ararat and started a decades-long effort by the military and intelligence communities to understand what the mysterious object actually is.
Working from declassified files obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, Redfern recounts how the anomalous object was thought to be something metallic, not the gopher-wood of Noah's construction, and therefore possibly a crashed alien ship. The chain of documents uncovered by Redfern makes for fascinating reading.
When 1950s-era alien contactees like George Van Tassel also took an interest in the mystery atop Mount Ararat, they came under the watchful eye of the CIA and FBI. Information on the structure was at one point leaking like a sieve, according to Redfern, and the government was determined to plug those leaks. What was the government so determined to hide? Was the discovery of Noah's Ark a national security issue? Or was it a case of another crashed UFO? Turkey's own version of the Roswell Incident?
My own contributions to the new edition of "The Sky People" are a couple of chapters in which I speak to Brad Steiger, one of the most prolific writers on the strange and supernatural in the world, and Giorgio Tsoukalos, the official spokesman for Erich von Daniken in the English-speaking world and the personality with that wild-and-crazy-styled hair who regularly appears on "Ancient Aliens," broadcast over the History Channel II.
Steiger recalls attending an Ancient Astronauts conference in the early 1980s at which the main speakers were Erich von Daniken, Josef Blumrich (author of "The Spaceships of Ezekiel," written when he worked at NASA) and Steiger himself. Not in attendance was our man of the hour, Brinsley Le Poer Trench.
"He was probably generally neglected," Steiger said, "because Erich von Daniken was the fair-haired boy at that time and was given a great deal of credit for coming up with the whole ancient astronauts concept. It was easier to do then. We didn't have the media that we do now. And a book such as 'The Sky People' was read by a few individuals, but the great masses of people then were not interested. Then something comes out and gets a lot of attention, like 'Chariots of the Gods?' As people said, von Daniken just happened to be standing in front of the cosmic slot machine when it paid off."
Steiger also praised Trench for his theories concerning the Planet Mars, specifically the idea that instead of Noah being an ancient Israelite, he was a great leader on Mars and the Ark was a giant spaceship intended to carry a surviving remnant to Earth.
"At the time Trench said it," Stieger continued, "people weren't prepared. But it's been interesting to see that in most polls the idea of life existing on other planets or in other solar systems is now generally accepted by young people. Whereas back in the 1950s and 1960s, it was rejected by nearly everyone. More and more, the idea that life could have existed elsewhere in our solar system doesn't get a door slammed immediately."
Steiger said he has come to feel that, "We have met the Martians and they are us," meaning we may have been genetically engineered by a superior race who originated on Mars and brought life to Earth for whatever unknown cosmic reason.
"I think, the more I study," Steiger said, "that we are definitely hardwired to perceive advanced beings as godlike, and I think we are hardwired just to perceive and understand a concept of God. Now, whether that has been hardwired by our progenitors from outer space, or it is just hardwired in terms of our evolution and our DNA, for how we perceive entities greater than we, is a question we could discuss endlessly. But I think it's just hardwired into us to perceive that we are part of a greater cosmic entity."
I also discussed the God angle with Giorgio Tsoukalos, who, along with his mentor Erich von Daniken, draws a definite line in the sand when it comes to calling the ancient astronauts the literal Creator God.
"Let's say you and I create an intelligent species in the lab," Tsoukalos said. "That does not make you and me God. The whole 'God question' transcends the extraterrestrial presence. The extraterrestrials that Erich von Daniken and I talk about are not ethereal beings. They were flesh and blood, physical people consisting of the same atoms and molecules and particles that every single human being and every single thing has here on Planet Earth.
"That is also why the extraterrestrials look like us," he continued. "The whole idea that extraterrestrials look like something out of the movie 'Aliens' or 'Independence Day,' that's a Hollywood stereotype. But both Erich and I think that there is an all-encompassing force in the universe. But you can't really put your finger on it. You can't really touch it. Even the extraterrestrials have the same exact questions about life, death, God and religion and all those different things that we are struggling with today. To suggest that the extraterrestrials have all the mysteries solved - I think it's not that easy."
Tim Swartz, another major writer for Global Communications and the editor of the online "Conspiracy Journal," also contributes a chapter to this updated edition of "The Sky People." Swartz gives the kind of broad overview of the ancient astronauts theory that will be very helpful for those new to the subject as well as for those more familiar with this strange territory. He begins by talking about paintings found in caves around the world.
"Cave paintings from Tanzania," Swartz writes, "estimated to be up to 29,000 years old, depict several disc-shaped objects that appear to be hovering over the landscape. Another painting shows four humanoid entities surrounding a woman while another entity looks down from the sky inside some sort of box.
"Inside the French cave of Pech Merle," Swartz continues, "near Le Cabrerets, are paintings from around 17,000 to 15,000 BCE that show landscapes full of wildlife with a number of saucer-shaped objects. One painting actually shows the figure of a man looking up at one of the overhead saucers. In northern Australia, there are a number of cave paintings, possibly more than 5,000 years old, that show strange beings with large heads and eyes, wearing spacesuit-like garments. The Aborigines call these creatures Wandjina, and according to legend, the Wandjina came down from the stars in the Milky Way during the Dreamtime and created the Earth and all its inhabitants."
The phenomenon of the cave paintings Swartz describes is the sort of thing that inspired Brinsley Le Poer Trench and the other researchers of the ancient astronauts theory to begin with, although Trench's ideas also depended a great deal on his groundbreaking interpretation of the Book of Genesis.
Trench was among the first to recognize that Genesis actually contains two different versions of the Creation Story and the Great Flood account. This has puzzled Biblical scholars for many years, who believe that the differing versions were probably inexpertly grafted together from earlier oral and written traditions. This fact is not taught in Sunday school or preached from the pulpits, but it is there for anyone to read.
What was Trench's take on the two different Creation Stories? For him, it was simple: two different races of man were created by two separate Creator Gods, one called the Elohim (which is actually a plural term) and the other called Jehovah, which Trench says is also a plural term, though not generally thought of as such.
The Elohim created a form of man who is telepathic, intelligent and sensitive. The Jehovah created a more primitive form of man, designed to till the gods' gardens on the Earth and otherwise be servile and docile. According to Trench, both races have survived into modern times, but it is the superior form of mankind created by the Elohim who will eventually win out. Some of us are rapidly reacquiring the telepathy we were meant to have from our very earliest beginnings and mankind will eventually become a sensitive, caring race living again in a virtual paradise. Meanwhile, the strain of mankind created by the Jehovah will eventually flounder in its paranoia and delusions of grandeur and gradually cease to exist.
This all sounds a little like the coming of a Biblically-inspired Super Man, and one wonders if the entire race being telepathic might not be a little uncomfortable at times. Alien abduction researcher David Jacobs also believes in a future telepathic world, but he questions how a person might function without the privacy of his thoughts? Like many issues raised by Trench, this one is not so easily resolved.
Trench also has a prescient moment or two when he writes about global warming and the threat posed by radical religious fundamentalism. Writing over 50 years ago, he seems to have his finger on the pulse of our own times. Was he a prophet himself?
The ancient aliens are still with us today, according to Trench. Some of them live among us unseen, working and raising families and going about the same everyday activities we all do. This also has been touched upon by more current UFO researchers, like the late Budd Hopkins, who claimed that alien/human hybrid creatures - who appear utterly human physically - walk among us equipped with telepathic and other "supernatural" capabilities. These same aliens, Trench believed, will prevent us from perishing by our own hand, with nuclear weapons or ecological suicide, which is a welcome departure from the more vocal prophets of doom. For Trench, our survival was guaranteed, not our demise.
So whether you're Bible-believing or a staunch agnostic, Brinsley Le Poer Trench and the other contributors to this updated version of "The Sky People" will give you new and different perspectives on many truths you may have long taken for granted about God and the evolution of mankind. Be prepared for a fascinating and complex dive into the unknown that will surely be worth more than the cover price.
Get your copy of The Sky People from the Conspiracy Journal Bookstore.
Read more articles by Sean Casteel at his website: http://www.seancasteel.com/
- ENCROACHING ON GOD'S DOMAIN DEPARTMENT -
Real-Life Scientists Who Meddled With Life and Death
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is a cautionary tale about the abuses of science — in particular, the potential pitfalls of screwing around with corpses and lightning. But people haven't always listened. Even before Shelley wrote her classic novel, scientists had meddled with the forces of life and death. And after Frankenstein came out, they kept on meddling.
Here are six tales of real-life scientists who tried to reanimate the dead, or create life using lightning.
Spallanzani was a Catholic priest, and a professor of natural history at Pavia University in the late 1700s. He started small, adding water to microscopic animals and announcing that he had managed a resurrection when they came to life. But he wasn't really satisfied.
For some reason, Spallanzani turned for spiritual guidance to noted French cynic and atheist Voltaire. Spallanzani asked him what he thought happened to the souls of animals after death. Voltaire must have liked the guy, because he replied gently that he believed Spallanzani about the reanimation, and that the priest himself would be best qualified to answer the question. Although the priest's next trick was cutting the heads off snails to see if they'd grow back, he was definitely the least mad of the mad scientists. He was the first person to prove that chemicals inside the body helped with digestion, and was the first to spot white blood cells.
Andrew Crosse was messing around with lightning in 1837. He strung about a third of a mile of copper wire around his estate, and concentrated all the electricity it picked up in his laboratory. Specifically, he focused on a sterile dish of a primordial soup, that he'd carefully prepared. After zapping the soup, he noticed that crystals were growing in it. Hoping he could graduate to something way cooler, he tried giving the soup long exposures to weak currents. To his amazement, he found that after long weeks, animals shaped like mites began to form, and then move around. He repeated the experiment again and again, and to modern readers it seems that he kept the environment pretty sterile if he followed all the procedures he described. Still, we have to assume it was contaminated. The Victorians assumed the same thing, but they also assumed that Crosse was a jerk. The scientists believed he was making a play for false glory. The theists assumed he was trying to play god. The neighbors just thought he was going to burn his, and subsequently their, house down. He was disliked by all and had to leave his estate, until the scandal cleared.
This was the actual guy who inspired the Frankenstein legend. He lived in the Frankenstein castle, and signed his name as Frankenstein. Surprisingly, he was less like the good doctor than most people think, since he was more interested in preserving life than reanimating it. He did rob graves in the area — or is said to have — but only because he wanted to mix up an elixir of immortality, and for some reason he thought buried corpse parts might do it for him.
The Doggie Scientists
In the first half of the 20th century, it was not a good time to be a dog. People were apt to, say, stick you in a tin can and send you into space. But at least, that way, you got to see something. You really didn't want to be in range of the doggie Frankensteins. Robert Cornish would suffocate dogs and attempt to bring them back to life via emergency medical measures. He actually managed to bring two back, although they sustained brain damage. Sergei Bryukhonenko attached his newly-invented heart and lung machine to a dog's head and kept it alive for quite some time, lying on a plate and eating and drinking.
Though these experiments were distasteful, at least they had a clear medical purpose and their results wound up saving many human lives. Vladimir Demikhov, meanwhile, just went nuts and decided to make two-headed dogs for a while. He managed to successfully put one dog's head on another dog's body twenty times over, but none of the two-headed dogs lived longer than a month.
Ja-bir ibn Hayya-n
Not much is known about this ninth century man — to the point where some people think he was a myth. He certainly had a list of accomplishments that made him unbelievable. He was an astronomer, a geographer, a pharmacist, a chemist and a mathematician. But it was his work in chemistry that puts him on this list. He was famous for pursuing the idea of the takwin, a type of synthetic life made in a lab. It's not specified what kind of life Hayya-n was pursuing. The takwin could be anything from tiny organisms all the way up to human life. Maybe he created copies of himself, in order to do all the stuff he was reputed to have accomplished.
Now this was a Frankenstein extraordinaire. Having learned about how to use electricity to make the muscles of a corpse jump, he took it to the extreme in public. He zapped the heads of slaughtered oxen, in order to get them to twitch in front of audiences. He moved on to the heads of executed prisoners, applying the electrodes to the ears. He cut open corpses so he could zap their spinal cords. He claimed he could zap the suffocated and the drowned, in order to revive them completely. And he bragged that he could "command the vital powers." He also took a sideline into researching whether or not there was a way to make objects and people fireproof. Not much is said about his experiments in the latter area — but perhaps that's for the best.
His tireless self-promotion never got him the chance to bring someone back to life, but it got him plenty of attention. He eventually traveled to Austria, where he was made a knight, and awarded a political position. Unlike many of the scientists on this list — and certainly unlike Frankenstein himself — Aldini died a rich and happy man.
- WHAT'S IN A NUMBER DEPARTMENT -
Number 33: Secret Societies, UFOs, Death, Destruction & Disneyland
By Andrew Nicholson
What’s with the number 33? To occultists and secret societies like the Freemasons, 33 is held in reverence. This supposedly magical number appears to pop up time and time again throughout many of history’s most significant and tumultuous events, from Biblical times through to the modern era. Is there really something to 33 or is it just another number like any other? Let’s don our shiny tin foil hats and plunge headlong down the rabbit hole to explore the possible significance of the number 33 in connection with secret societies, UFOs, death, destruction and Disneyland.
In her book The Secret of the Illumintati, Elizabeth van Buren wrote that:
“…in Spiritual Numerology, the numbers 11, 22, and 33 are the three ‘Master Numbers’, the highest being 33 … This highest of the master numbers was the age of the Master Initiate (Jesus) at his death, resurrection and ascension, giving more esoteric accents. The ’33? symbolizes the highest spiritual conscious attainable by the human being.”
So, in some circles at least, the number 33 holds esoteric significance as the “highest of the master numbers”.
In Freemasonry, the highest order is the 33 degrees of the Scottish Rite. The Scottish Rite within Freemasonry was established in 1801 with the formation of the Mother Supreme Council at Charleston, South Carolina. Perhaps it was no accident that Charleston was the birthplace of the Scottish Rite, being situated just 15 miles south of the 33rd parallel. Interestingly, it’s also where the first shots of the American Civil War were fired when Charleston’s Citadel Cadets fired upon a Federal ship, Star of the West, as it sailed into Charleston Harbor. As we shall soon see, many pivotal events of recent history have occurred along the 33rd parallel.
Another organization some consider a secret society with Luciferian links to the Illuminati, although to others it’s merely an inept world body lacking any real power or influence – the United Nations – may also find significance in the number 33. Take a look at the UN flag and you’ll see a world globe divided into 33 sections, encircled by olive branches. Coincidence, or is there some deeper meaning?
Death and Destruction
Now, back to the 33rd parallel and the pivotal role it has played in many major events of the modern era.
Apart from kicking off the bloody American Civil War in January 1861, the 33rd parallel also played host to the death of US President Franklin D. Roosevelt who died suddenly on 12 April 1945 of a cerebral hemorrhage after complaining of having “a terrific headache”. He died at his home, dubbed “Little White House,” in Warm Springs, Georgia, close to the 33rd parallel. Following Roosevelt’s death, Harry S. Truman, a 33 degree Mason, became 33rd President of the United States.
At the end of hostilities with Germany in 1945, Operation Paperclip helped cleanse the Nazi past from Germany’s top rocket scientists, so that they could continue their work for the US. Many of these former Nazi scientists ended up at the White Sands V-2 Launch site, or, as it was also known, Launch Complex 33. Again, located not far from the 33rd parallel.
The National Park Service describes Launch Complex 33 as: “Closely associated with U.S. testing of the German V-2 rocket, the origins of the American rocket program, and the leadership of Dr. Werner von Braun…”
The first atomic detonation (that we know of at least) occurred on 16 July 1945 at the Trinity test site near Alamogordo, New Mexico. The Trinity site also sits on the 33rd parallel. The following month, atomic weapons obliterated the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, despite neither city having much in the way of real political or military significance. Did the 33rd US President target these two Japanese cities on the basis that they both straddled the 33rd parallel?
Two decades later, in 1963, US President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas close to the 33rd Parallel on 22 November (11/22). And then just after midnight on 6 June 1968, JFK’s younger brother, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, was gunned down at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, California, about 1,245 miles east along the 33rd parallel from where his brother was murdered.
UFO Lore and the 33rd Parallel
The event that today remains synonymous with UFO and alien lore, the rumoured 1947 crash and retrieval of an extraterrestrial craft at Roswell, New Mexico, occurred, you guessed it, on the 33rd parallel. Another significant UFO event that shares more than one parallel with Roswell is the Phoenix Lights event of the evening of 13 March 1997.
The Phoenix Lights were reported by thousands of people in the skies above the city, in what appears to be two separate UFO events. The first wave of sightings reported from around 8pm were generally of a huge “carpenter’s square” shaped object flying slowly over the city. The second wave, occurring around 10pm, of a series of lights that appeared to hover, was captured widely on camera and video. But, based on this second sighting of the Phoenix Lights, the US Air Force claimed that what witnesses reported as UFOs in Phoenix that night, were nothing more than illumination flares dropped by a training flight at Luke Air Force Base.
Like Roswell, Phoenix is also located along the 33rd parallel. And as in the Roswell case, there appears to be some level of orchestrated military and government subterfuge involved.
And finally to Disneyland. Yes, the happiest place on earth also lies along the 33rd parallel. Some, like researcher and writer Walter Bosley, author of Latitude 33: Key to the Kingdom, contend that the site was chosen by Harrison Price (then of the Stanford Research Institute) in part at least due to its proximity to the 33rd parallel and that the famous Disneyland carousel was built in the exact spot where two powerful ley lines intersect – one of which runs along the 33rd parallel.
Then there’s Club 33, the exclusive private club, and the only place in Disneyland where you can order a stiff drink. Some say the club got its name from the original 33 corporate sponsors of Disneyland, but then …
So, is there really anything to the number 33? Is the supposed significance just us humans looking for patterns wherever we can find them?
Or, are the so-called “Powers That Be” orchestrating events to coincide with certain numbers considered in esoteric circles to be influential, powerful, or even magical?
Source: Mysterious Universe
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