books


Author and Dream Researcher Andy Paquette

Author and Dream Researcher Andy Paquette

I often wake in the wee hours and then go back to sleep after an hour or two. Sometimes I catch up on my favorite podcasts during that awake time. So during the early morning  hours of July 28 when that happened I decided to listen to the new episode of Skeptiko, an excellent podcast hosted by Alex Tsakiris. I have heard several of Skeptiko’s Andy Paquette episodes and I am a long time fan of Stanley Krippner, so listening to the latest episode featuring Andy and mentioning Dr. Krippner, I was a happy camper.

I am very envious of Andy’s prolific dreaming and have been thinking recently of working on boosting my dream recall because lately I haven’t remembered much of my dreams. Several mornings it seemed as though something very happy was going on and I wish I could have remained in the dream state/place. It occurred to me that some of my dreams were not clearly rememorable (have I just invented a word?) because I was not in a place with humans or like  Earth, so there is nothing in the dream to tie it into my human 3D experience. For instance, last week, there was a dream in which (as nearly as I can describe) I was rolling happily with some shiny wet globes almost like down a stream.
When Alex Tsakiris asked listeners at the end of the show to send examples of death dreams, I decided to relate this one from when I was about 5 years old. I believe it happened a month or two before I started kindergarten. I had a dream that there was an old lady who I did not know walking on our block looking for my grandmother. I saw her out the window and was slightly frightened of her as she seemed grayer than her surroundings. She rang both my doorbell and my grandparents’ doorbell, but I hid and would not answer it, nor did anyone come out to answer it. I do not think that my parents were home in the dream. When I awoke, I told my mother about it and she got a funny look on her face. She told me to tell my grandmother. I ran upstairs to my grandparents’ separate apartment. My grandmother was at her sewing machine. I told her and she asked me to describe the woman. My grandmother indicated that she thought the woman was her aunt who I’d never met. I recall my grandmother then showing me an old photograph with three women in it and me pointing to the one who was in my dream. Later that day or the next my mother received a phone call for my grandmother, who had no phone of her own, saying that this woman had died. This was one of my first experiences of psi (apart from seeing and playing with small metallic beings that no one else could see).
In the early morning after listening to the Skeptiko podcast, I wished for a religious or spiritual dream as described by Andy. Andy Paquette has had numerous dreams with religious figures in them. He thought that devout adherents of faiths probably had frequent religious dreams featuring the icons of their religions, but through research discovered that this was not the case at all. After setting my intention I fell back to sleep.
Later I awoke in the midst of a dream in which I was with an older man who was an avowed atheist and probably of Jewish background. He was bigger than me. He may have been an amalgam of several men I know. He had some facial hair and a prominent nose. I had insisted that he come with me to see the pope, the actual current pope, who was visiting a shrine which seems to have been in South America where we inexplicably were. We were at the location of the shrine with mobs of people and we were buoyed forward in the crowd and somehow we went through with the papal entourage into the shrine which was made of a white material (plaster?) and had a white marble altar. As we were entering unseen with the entourage there was a group of about 20 small children dressed in white short smocks like altar boys or a choir and they were sitting to one side inside the wrought iron gate to the shrine but outside the sanctuary. The papal entourage consisted mostly of monks who were wearing brown cassocks and a couple of white suited soldier types and of course the pope. How lucky we were, I remember thinking, that we got in and so close to the pope. The man and I were in the cool shadowy but white-walled sanctuary of the shrine behind the pope and his group who were doing something by the white marble altar. Suddenly I got frightened that we would be discovered and it also seemed that the entourage was about to leave. I pulled the man outside and went behind or near the children who now had their heads covered in white as well. I pulled this relatively large man down to the ground in a way that he was sitting on my legs near these kids. The entourage passed us by. I hoped to get a full facial view of the pope but only saw the side of his head. But one of the hooded cassock wearing monks looked directly into my eyes with huge light brown eyes. He had tan skin with reddish undertones like a healthy peasant farmer. The look was deep and though not hostile seemed to ask, “What are you doing here?” In retrospect, it would seem as though he was the only one who could see us. His look deeply affected me and I woke up suddenly.
Pope Francis and children in Paraguay recently. Courtesy of NY Times.

Pope Francis and children in Paraguay recently. Courtesy of NY Times.

I am generally not the type to go out of my way to see famous people and I am not now, nor have I ever been a Roman Catholic, though I rather like this pope because he believes in the sacred duty of good stewardship toward Earth and some other good things. I can’t recall offhand any other religious dreams. I never knew that I was so susceptible to suggestion!
Andy Paquette has written a book Dreamer that I am planning to read. He also has compiled the largest collection of dreams ever according to Dr. Krippner. His personal database of 12,000 dreams is monumental in the field of dream studies. Alex Tsakiris, the host of Skeptiko, has been a guest on Shattered Reality Podcast hosted by Kate Valentine and Fahrusha.
Fahrusha is a professional intuitive in the NY metropolitan area who has an avid interest in dreams. She can be contacted at fahrusha@fahrusha.com
 
 

In August I was browsing through the Kirpalu catalog and was seized by a heretofore unknown urge to sign up for “Holotropic Breathwork” with the venerable Prague psychiatrist Dr. Stanislav Grof and his assistant Tav Sparks. I’m not certain what made me so sure I wanted to do it, but I had absolutely no reservations. Hey, a weekend in the Berkshires in early fall sounds fab, no? Perhaps it was the influence of my holotropic therapist friend in Amsterdam, but no, we hadn’t discussed breathwork during my recent visit.

In any case, I signed up and as August turned into September, it was soon time to go to Kirpalu. I’d been there to visit once and then again to assist Lauren Raine in her mask making workshop several years ago.

Imagine my surprise, directly after checking in, to see my friend Dr. Joe Felser in the hall. He was also there for the breathwork class, drawn to it in an equally mysterious manner. Joe is a professor of philosophy at Kingsborough College in Brooklyn and well versed in metaphysical matters and the author of two excellent books, The Myth of the Great Ending and The Way Back to Paradise. We immediately decided it would be advantageous to choose one another as partners for the breathwork sessions. After all, the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know! 🙂 Actually we get along quite famously though we do not have that many occasions to meet up.

The actual sessions at Kirpalu were very interesting. I did manage to enter an altered state of consciousness which was very dreamlike during my breathwork. I was rather surprised at the demonstrative nature of some of the other participants in their altered states. I wish I was better prepared for that as I found it slightly unsettling. The weekend seemed too short a time to become immersed in this very heady work. I felt it was very compelling though I was not attracted to the idea of reliving the birth trauma. In general I am a fairly happy camper and not attracted to “re-suffering” anything. However this is a keystone in Grof’s method and has no doubt helped many individuals understand the reasons for certain traits and mental aberrations. I am very, very interested in learning the part of breathwork dealing with inducing non-ordinary states of consciousness.

Serious synchronicity began to manifest when I returned home. I had purchased and read most of Grof’s book, Holotropic Breathwork  and listened to a series of nine CDs called The Transpersonal Vision before attending the class. During the lecture portions of the seminar, Grof mentioned several times another book he had written called When The Impossible Happens. It sounded so familiar to me. I could even see a trade paperback with a blue and white cover, but I couldn’t remember reading it nor buying it. It was a curious feeling. Once I got home I lifted up a few clothes from a box to be put away and there was the book When The Impossible Happens staring me in the face. I don’t know where it came from nor how it got there, and I have no recollection of buying it and that is certainly not where I would have chosen to place it.

I thought that it was a definite sign that I should read the book.  And so I began to do so. In the opening chapter he speaks of meaningful synchronicity he has observed and that had touched his life. The first example concerned the well-known Joseph Campbell, who was living on the fourteenth floor of an apartment building in Greenwich Village. At the time he was deeply involved in studying a Bushman tribe in Africa that worshipped the praying mantis as a God or as the connection to God and then he found a praying mantis on his window ledge. Quite an unusual occurrence for a Greenwich Village apartment!

This is what I saw later that day INSIDE my home:

Indoor Praying Mantis

Indoor Praying Mantis

Look at that gorgeous face! I got him/her outside safely.

Later the author described his wedding to Joan Halifax the well known anthropologist. (They are no longer married.) They had an unusual shamanic ceremony surrounded by many similar minded friends in Iceland. Oddly, I went to a wedding that Saturday night at the Bronx Zoo where the entertainers and some of the guests dressed as animals, which is probably as shamanic as it gets in New York City. The truth is I hardly ever attend weddings, as most of my friends who are the marrying kind have already done so, and in former years I missed many of their weddings due to working at events on the weekend. I average going to a wedding as a guest less than once in five years.

At the zoo.

At the zoo.

After that I temporarily stopped reading the book. The synchronicity shook me to the core. Soon I will resume.

Postscript: I am sending out a big thank you to Dr. Stanislav Grof, Tav Sparks, my co-trainers, Nataliya Tarnovskaya and Allen Howell, and my breathwork partner Dr. Joseph M. Felser.

Post-post script: On Saturday October 12th, I attended a private meditation group which encourages sharing of non-ordinary experiences which may have occurred during the meditation. I had seen a figure of a dancing whirling blue Shiva figure during my meditation and felt I might have been very suggestible due to reading When The Impossible Happens, wherein are described a series of events of Shivaic synchronicity. However that does not explain why a majority of other meditators saw blue figures, blue energy, blue light and blue objects. One meditator saw swirling energy and another an alien figure in the same physical space where I saw the dancing Shiva.

Fahrusha is a spiritual seeker and professional intuitive in the New York area. She can be contacted by email at: fahrusha@fahrusha.com

Authors Linda LeBlanc and John Knowles and Artist Patty Ray Avalon

Awakening Far Memories Authors Linda Leblanc and John Knowles and Artist Patty Ray Avalon

Since reading The Search for Bridey Murphy as a child I have been fascinated by people’s accounts of their past lives. I actually have had three experiences wherein I had memories of what might be past lives. One experience when I was 14 was so strong, that I was actually transported to a different reality for a long moment. I may write about that in a later post, but now I want to clarify what I mean by a long moment. For what was about a second in our collective reality, I went to a different reality as real as ours, for the space of what might have been five to ten minutes in the different reality time.

The theory that appeals to me most regarding reincarnation involves the concept of “no time”. That is that there are both past, future and current lives happening simultaneously. When one adds to it the concept “We are all One” and the concept of multiple Universes, I think we may be getting somewhat beyond what the Monkey Brain can accurately fathom (but my monkey brain is trying). From here we can go in two directions: a. that our consciousness forms a “string” of lives for the purposes of Soul growth and experiences a multiplicity of roles in order to learn, or b. because we are all One, it is very possible that another consciousness or being can pass through our consciousness allowing us to see or experience a part of that soul’s incarnation on Earth plane. Either way, this is very compelling territory to explore.

Up until several years ago I had been wary of exploring that territory, especially if it meant being hypnotized by someone who had a fixed idea about reincarnation, since my thoughts are still flexible on the matter, which you Dear Reader, may have gleaned from the paragraph above. At that point a lovely woman I know named Patty Ray Avalon became the artist on a deck of cards and book called Awakening Far Memory, the Reincarnation Deck(Authors Leblanc and Knowles). I purchased the set for my collection and after some study began to use the cards with select clients. I did not offer the service of exploring past lives to the general public but only to those established clients who expressed an strong interest in the subject.

There are sixty one cards in the deck divided into five categories: Occupation (14), Culture (17), Environment (9), [Life’s] Theme (11) and Termination [cause of death] (10). When using the cards, I first give a general explanation to the querant about the method I am about to employ. We then move into a short purpose driven meditation together, after which I spread out each card category face down, one category at a time, and ask the client to pick a card from each. When five cards have been chosen the cards are turned over and we look over the selected cards to be sure that (s)he has the bare bones of the lifetime which (s)he is about to explore. It is a minimal discussion because I do not want to make extraneous comments which would affect the outcome of the next step. An example of card choice might be: Builder (occupation), Renaissance (culture), Town (environment), Freedom-Servitude (theme), and Accident (termination). As you can see, not too much discussion is necessary at this point of the reading.

Next I ask the person to lie down and relax to the sounds of a Hemi-Sync selection and gently guide them to a state of deep relaxation. I usually repeat the names of the cards selected and depending on the results of the purpose driven meditation I might ask a few neutral questions. I sit by, pen in hand, ready to record what is divulged about the newly discovered lifetime. When the meditation is over we discuss the experience the seeker has had while (s)he was deeply relaxed and focused. Often individuals who do this exercise report that their view of their present life has changed and sometimes their view of the nature of reality is altered as well. Amazingly more than one person has revealed to me that the lifetime they saw in meditation had also been the subject of recurrent dreams prior to the reading. This deck is a tool for serious research not play.

I have not yet discussed the excellent accompanying book here. One reason for that is because I have an unusual approach to utilizing new oracle and tarot decks. Because I want to get as much inspiration as possible from Source first, I study the cards by themselves. Later I read the book. In this case the book provided a wealth of knowledge from two very erudite esoteric scholars of recorded history as well as the arcane history of our planet.

Moving on to a Friday evening in the very recent past, I was sitting with several convivial colleagues around a warm candlelit dinner table, sipping some tasty Greek red wine at the Fallen Oak Bed and Breakfast, when two individuals I’d never met before (in this incarnation) entered the room and were introduced to the table as Leblanc and Knowles. Unable to control my excitement, I blurted out, “You created the Reincarnation Deck! I use it all the time. I’m so pleased to meet you both.” And thus began a friendship I hope will span lifetimes…

William Buhlman

During my life, I have had several spontaneous out of body experiences, many instances of sleep paralysis and vibratory sensations, and have often been “out of phase” with my body. Much of this has been very frightening to me, especially when I was a little child. As an adult I have worked to overcome this fear and this has resulted in a number of experiences in which I communicated with other non-physical beings. Please see: Bee Message for an example. But I could not initiate these experiences at will and I could not lose all fear, although going to the Monroe Institute has aided me greatly in my pursuit. I have been given access to others with similar experiences and techniques to lessen my apprehension.

So, of course, when I became aware that author William Buhlman was facilitating an Out of Body Intensive Workshop at TMI I knew I wanted to attend. I had read his two books Adventures Beyond the Body  and  The Secret of the Soul, both of which I recommend. So I attempted to reserve a space in the workshop, but alas, it was sold out with a waiting list. I was not to be deterred. I put myself on that list and took the ultimate leap of faith: I made non-refundable travel reservations. Then I visualized being a part of the group until <BINGO>a space opened up.

The other attendees were a very select group, but self selected. They were experiencers at various levels, some having had full-blown OBEs others having only been out of phase with their physical bodies and wondering what could possibly be going on. For forty years Bill Buhlman has been traveling out of body volitionally as opposed to spontaneously and practices everyday, but not every day yields an OBE. He gave us many techniques to generate OBEs that we practiced with great fervor in up to five sessions per day of approximately 45 minutes each. I experienced less fear during these sessions because I was intentionally moving my etheric or light body rather than having an experience by surprise.

Although Buhlman has constructed a sort of cosmology for himself based upon his many exploits out of body, he emphasized that we should not buy into the belief systems of others (even him) since with a bit of practice we could obtain direct experience. He believes that this direct experience will benefit us when our physical body dies and we are faced with choices.

For me the real sticking point is the point of individuation. Great sages have said we are all one. We are one with other humans, animals, plants, Earth and everything in the Universe. When we are out of body, travelling to other levels of being and consciousness how do we know if a being we meet is part of our higher self or in fact another entity still individuated on that level of consciousness? Buhlman says to create an intention in the form of a fairly strong demand and repeat it mentally if it does not become immediately clear. I used this strong repeated intention during one practice session to be able to see my etheric surroundings more clearly and to move up a level astrally. It worked!

More to come…

This summer has seen several big moments in the field of ufology. The first is a very sad occasion. On August 21st Budd Hopkins, 80, passed on after a long illness. He was a multi-talented artist who was known for his geometric paintings and sculpture. He was also an alien abduction researcher, giving compassionate attention to experiencers for many years though his Intruders Foundation. He wrote a number of excellent books including Missing Time and Intruders which substantiate the phenomenon of alien abduction through relating the experiences of ordinary individuals and finding patterns in them.  I was supposed to meet Mr. Hopkins several times at conferences and at his foundation meetings, but alas, to my great disappointment, this was not to be. Ufology has lost a valiant researcher. Rest in peace, Budd.

New York Times obituary.

On a different topic, (the glad part), ufology has made a wonderful advancement with the release of Break Thru Films documentary “Secret Access: UFOs on the Record” by filmmakers Ricki Stern and Annie Sudberg seen on the History Channel in a 2 hour special on August 25th. It is based upon Leslie Kean’s book, UFOs: Generals, Pilots and 344Government Officials Go On the Record and Ms. Kean is featured prominently in the presentation.  Leslie Kean has had a long history as a clear eyed researcher and investigative journalist who co-founded the Coalition for Freedom of Information (CFi) and was a producer with James Fox for the independent film I Know What I Saw. This documentary is a must see for anyone even vaguely interested in the subject of unexplained aerial phenomena. Its irrefutable evidence from sterling sources will turn anyone who is on the fence about the reality and importance of ufology into an advocate for more research into this paradigm shifting subject. In addition to the information also presented in the book, the film had some new data about the Phoenix Lights from NUFORC and a new research project, UFOtog, by special effects master Douglas Trumball.

Finally, I’m angry (mad) about the revelation that author and UFO researcher Philip Imbrogno has completely faked his credentials (bad). It was revealed by skeptic Lance Moody in his blog What the Hell Was That that Imbrogno’s degrees from MIT and elsewhere were entirely bogus. UFO researcher Don Ecker of Dark Matters Radio followed up by checking out his military bona fides. Imbrogno claimed he was a Green Beret in a select group executing missions in Cambodia during the Vietnam War. Ecker discovered it was a total fabrication.  This is a real shame because ufology is a study not given credence in all quarters because it is seen as a fringe topic. Any tinge of  dishonesty casts major doubt on any research on which the liar has worked. Furthermore it damages the entire field.

I will end this post on a bittersweet note sending my deepest sympathies and profoundest thanks to Leslie Kean who was both the personal companion of Budd Hopkins and the inspiration for this astounding groundbreaking documentary.

Please follow the links in this post if you want more information on the topics discussed herein.

Leslie Kean and Budd Hopkins

Thanks to les-repas-ufologiques.com

POSTSCRIPT: He says it better than I can.

Thoughts about the Budd Hopkins Memorial

by David Biedny on Tuesday, 11 October 2011 at 16:01

I wanted to briefly comment on the memorial held Saturday, October 8, 2011 for Budd Hopkins, at the 15th Street Friends Meeting House. The weather could not have been better, it was a clear, perfect day for this lovely affair celebrating the life and work of this wonderful man – one I’m proud to be able to call a true friend – and it primarily focused on his work in the art field, clearly demonstrating that Budd was really one of the most respected Abstract Expressionists of the famed New York School.

Leslie Kean started the proceedings with her cool, professional demeanor, even though it was obvious that she misses her partner, friend and love. Any of us would be blessed to have that kind of tenderness in our lives, and something that was plain to see was the depth of respect and love that these two people had for each other, it was both reassuring and inspiring.

His daughter showed slides of many of Budd’s artworks, which were bold, colorful and as direct as the man himself. Another thing that many spoke of was Budd’s sense of humor, and I can personally attest that he loved laughing like few others, and there was some really nice footage of Budd being, well, Budd.

Peter Robbins delivered an eloquent eulogy, describing working with Budd, and how much influence Budd had on his own way of thinking and dealing with others. Randy Nicherson played a video tribute to Budd, full of poignant, heartfelt scenes – there was another video compilation presented towards the end, done by Seth Keal and Charles Miller, with some really heartwarming footage of Budd dancing with his granddaughter. Another picture of Budd, his daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter clearly demonstrated the uncanny resemblance of Budd and his daughter’s daughter. He will live on in her.

David Jacobs spoke about Budd’s work in the field of abduction research, but what really came through was how much David loved Budd as a human being and close friend. That was also evident in the way that people spoke about Budd afterwards, small conversations overheard during the subsequent reception confirmed that there was not a bad thought about Budd anywhere near the event.

There are many more details – some interesting UFO folks were in attendance, but they were outnumbered by the artist friends, thankfully – but suffice it to say that any of us would be happy and fulfilled to have this much love manifest at our departures.

To those who would attack his research, and accuse him of being a flawed human, of not being 100% hardass about his dealings with alleged abduction victims and potential hoaxers – I personally witnessed the degree of comfort this brave man gave some very distraught people, folks who were scared, confused and who didn’t have anyone to turn to without being marginalized or ridiculed, and for that work alone, he should be celebrated and respected. If he was fooled by some unscrupulous folks, his decision to err on the side of kindness and compassion is perhaps a byproduct of his intensely powerful humanity and sincere desire to help others. Those who would vilify him would be well advised to check their own glass houses for hidden piles of large, rough stones.

Budd Hopkins was a great man, and I for one will miss him something urgent.

https://i1.wp.com/www.jerrypippin.com/Leslie%20Kean.jpg

The book in question is UFOs, Generals, Pilots and Government Officials Go on the Record by Leslie Kean. It is a well researched and carefully written book by a serious and well respected investigative journalist with chapters written by first hand UFO observers in multiple witness cases who are also (as the title suggests) generals, pilots and government officials. Mostly the book does not champion a source of these craft which behave as though intelligently controlled and appear to be metallic, however several of the witnesses propose the ETH (extraterrestrial hypothesis) as the most likely scenario. Other ideas put forth (not in the book) are that the craft are crypto-terrestrial, demonic, inter-dimensional, or time traveling. I personally have no trouble thinking of them as possibly both inter-dimensional and extraterrestrial but that may be fodder for another article.

Leslie Kean’s book is now on the New York Times bestseller list as well it should be. I recommend purchasing the book as a holiday or birthday gift for your skeptical friends because it makes a rather air tight case that the phenomena is real. Ms. Kean is also a founder of the Coalition for Freedom of Information and has pressed forward for US government documents using the FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) particularly around the 1965 Kecksburg incident in Pennsylvania.

The book goes on to explore the possible dangers to aviation that UFOs pose and makes a case for a serious UFO government agency to be established in the United States as such agencies have been established in other countries.

Ms. Kean has been interviewed on many mainstream news shows as well as UFO-interest radio shows and podcasts. I chanced to read James Oberg’s piece , an NBC reporter’s very biased critique of her book about a week ago and was stunned that he had the nerve to trot out the old debunker’s patently ridiculous statement that career pilots are no better observers of aerial phenomena than the average person. When anyone makes such an outrageous statement, for me, the argument is over. It defies imagination that he should expect anyone to believe him. I don’t think he believes that himself or he would be well advised not to travel by air. It can only be that he has another agenda, a reason that he wants the public to discount all reports of UFOs. It is the height of humano-centric hubris to steadfastly hold that there is no other intelligent life in our vast cosmos.  Is Mr. Oberg a disinformation agent? I don’t know, but he definitely has an agenda and that agenda is not to promote open minded inquiry. We must wonder why.

Today I came across a rebuttal of James Oberg by Leslie Kean herself and I reprint it here with the object that more readers will realize that Mr. Oberg is an agenda driven debunker:

SKEPTIC MISSES POINT BEHIND UFO BOOK
SOLID SIGHTINGS CITED IN UFOS¹; SERIOUS INVESTIGATION NEEDED
By Leslie Kean
MSNBC
September 7, 2010

http://nhne-pulse.org/ufo-leslie-kean-dismantles-ufo-critic-james-oberg/

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38977500/

When I wrote my book about officially documented UFO reports, I fully
expected the skeptics to react. That¹s why I was careful to focus only on
the very best evidence from the most credible sources in “UFOs: Generals,
Pilots and Government Officials Go on the Record.” <http://bit.ly/cH72wg>
Since 95 percent of all sightings are eventually identified, the book is
concerned only with the remaining 5 percent — those UFO events that have
been thoroughly investigated, involve multiple witnesses and ample data, but
still cannot be explained.

That didn¹t stop James Oberg, a space analyst for NBC News, from complaining
that the book was based on a ³questionable foundation.²

STORY: UFO BOOK BASED ON QUESTIONABLE FOUNDATION
By James Oberg
MSNBC
August 27, 2010
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38852385/ns/technology_and_science-space

In the biographical note appended to his commentary, he notes that he spent
22 years at NASA¹s Mission Control and has written books about space policy
and exploration. But he neglects to inform readers of something UFO
researchers already know all too well: that he is a founding fellow of the
Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI, formerly CSICOP), a group whose aim is
to debunk UFOs and any other unexplained phenomena that challenge our
familiar ways of thinking.

For many years, Oberg, while retaining his stance as an objective student of
the UFO phenomenon, has been a consistently vocal skeptic. His long list of
articles dealing with UFOs date from the 1970s and are posted on his website
under the heading “space folklore,” which accurately sums up his attitude
towards the subject. He may be qualified to serve as an unbiased, expert
consultant on Russian or Chinese missile systems, but not on UFOs.

His objection to my many varied cases has to do with his notion that pilots
are poor observers. To buttress this idea, he quotes J. Allen Hynek
referring to questionable statistics compiled in the 1960s by Project Blue
Book. He also cites Russian researchers describing two events in 1982 when
pilot sightings were accurately identified as “military balloons” after the
fact.

This is not surprising, since the vast majority of sightings can be
explained, and this kind of identification is made all the time. However,
such solved sightings — whether made by pilots or anyone else — have
absolutely nothing to do with the cases presented in my book.

I wonder if Oberg gave “UFOs” a careful read. He spent many paragraphs
quoting me concerning a report on aviation cases by French researcher
Dominique Weinstein. The problem is, those are not my quotes. The chapter
from which he extracted them was written by Jean-Jacques Velasco, head of
the French government’s UFO agency for over 20 years, as is obvious in his
byline and narrative about French research.

Oberg gleefully proclaims that I have ³faithfully vouched for² the cases in
Weinstein’s list, but actually, I have respectfully allowed Velasco to write
his own chapter. (About half the chapters in my book were written by highly
credentialed authorities and expert witnesses.) If Oberg wants to discuss
the Weinstein study, he’ll have to contact Velasco.

Oberg¹s fixation on the question of the reliability of pilots as witnesses
is not raised by the generals and aviation experts I have interviewed —
officials who have studied pilot cases and interviewed pilot witnesses for
decades. As described in “UFOs,” French Air Force Maj. Gen. Denis Letty
initiated an extensive study of UFO data because competent pilots he knew
personally were confronted by the phenomenon. Chilean Gen. Ricardo Bermudez
was instrumental in the founding of his country’s official UFO investigative
agency in 1997 because of inexplicable sightings involving pilots.

Richard Haines, who has written more than 70 papers in leading scientific
journals and published more than 25 U.S. government reports for NASA, was
formerly chief of the space agency’s Space Human Factors Office and served
for 21 years as a retired senior aerospace scientist at NASA’s Ames Research
Center. Having studied pilot sightings and related aviation safety issues
for more than 30 years, and having personally interviewed hundreds of pilots
during that time, Haines has concluded that pilots are indeed excellent
witnesses, given their thorough training, expertise and hours of flying
time.

Haines is now chief scientist for the National Aviation Reporting Center on
Anomalous Phenomena. Sadly, most pilots never report their sightings, as he
points out in “UFOs.”

Most importantly, the aerial cases documented in “UFOs” — and many more on
the record elsewhere — involve multiple factors such as:

– Sightings of long duration, allowing for accurate voice transmissions and
the refinement of the initial identification.

– Multiple witnesses — co-pilot, crew, passengers, other aircraft in
different locations, and occasionally observers from the ground.

– Onboard radar and ground radar recording the presence of a physical
object, often corresponding exactly to the visual sighting.

– Direct physical effects on the aircraft, such as equipment malfunction.

As an example, Brig. Gen. Jose Periera of Brazil, commander of air force
operations until 2005, reports on an “array of UFOs” observed over his
country in 1986. Two pilots chased one of the objects for 30 minutes.
Numerous other pilots saw the objects. Radar recorded them. Six jets were
scrambled from two Brazilian air force bases to pursue them. Some of the
pilots made visual contact corresponding to radar registrations. Both
military and commercial pilots were involved. Onboard as well as ground
radar systems confirmed the presence of the objects.

³We have the correlation of independent readings from different sources,²
Periera writes. ³These data have nothing to do with human eyes. When, along
with the radar, a pilot’s pair of eyes sees that same thing, and then
another pilot’s, and so on, the incident has real credibility and stands on
a solid foundation.²

In 2007, airline captain Ray Bowyer saw two gigantic, bright yellow objects
suspended over the English Channel, which he observed carefully for 15
minutes. His passengers saw them, another pilot on a second aircraft was
also a witness, and an object was registered on radar.

In 1986, three Japan Airlines pilots watched a series of UFOs for 30
minutes, communicating with air traffic control while radar operators picked
up the objects in corresponding locations.

I could go on with many more examples, presented in detail in the book.
Oberg says pilots may misinterpret visual phenomena when forced to make a
split-second diagnosis before taking immediate action — very rare cases, I
would assume — and no one would disagree with that. But, just as was the
case with the solved Russian sightings I discussed earlier, this is entirely
beside the point with respect to my book, because the cases presented do not
involve such a scenario.

In addition, “UFOs: General, Pilots and Government Officials Go on the
Record” presents many other cases that do not involve pilots at all — but
often military personnel and police officers — including:

– The famous 1980 incident near RAF Bentwaters in Britain, involving the
landing of a UFO and objects sending beams of light to the ground.

– The 1981 “Trans-en-Provence” landing case in France, investigated by the
official French agency GEPAN.

– Belgian Maj. Gen. Wilfried De Brouwer’s report on the wave of sightings in
Belgium in 1989-90, which includes a spectacular photograph.

– The 1993 “Cosford Incident” involving a UFO over two Air Force bases in
Britain, investigated by the Ministry of Defense.

– The 1997 Phoenix Lights incident that former Arizona Gov. Fife Symington
described.

These are just a few of a host of cases with abundant data that don’t rely
on pilot observations — and which are still unsolved. It’s the aggregate of
cases, the accumulation of evidence and the long-running but unsuccessful
attempts of qualified experts to resolve them that establishes the reality
of a yet-unexplained physical phenomenon with extraordinary capabilities.

Oberg says that “if investigators are unable to find the explanation for a
particular UFO case, that doesn’t constitute proof that the case is
unexplainable.² Fair enough. Perhaps there is some prosaic explanation still
to be discovered. ThereŒs always that possibility, no matter how small.

But we remain in a state of ignorance concerning UFOs, leaving us with the
conclusion presented in the book: We need a systematic, scientific
investigation of the skies that actively looks for these mysterious and
elusive objects. In the meantime, all I ask is that devout skeptics like
Oberg read the entire book before raising objections that actually have no
bearing on the matter at hand.

On October 10, 2010 I have discovered a very good article by another paranormal blogger about this subject and the airport shutdowns by UFOs in China.

http://tucsoncitizen.com/paranormal/2010/10/09/leslie-kean-ufos-and-the-need-for-timely-and-responsible-ufo-reporting/

 

 

Lisa Hirshfield, Larry "Ratso" Sloman, Anthony Matt, Doug Skinner and the infamous worm painting

On Sunday July 11, 2010 at 3:00 p.m. at the Jalopy Theater, 315 Columbia Street in Brooklyn, Doug Skinner and the Ullage Group organized an afternoon commemorating the life of John A. Keel. The afternoon included readings from some of Keel’s lesser known works read by Mr. Skinner, Lisa Hirshfield, Larry “Ratso” Sloman and Anthony Matt.

I had read with rapt interest Keel’s most famous work, The Mothman Prophesies, some years ago and I’d also seen the movie of the same name loosely based upon the book. When I read the book I remember thinking how some of the more random paranormal events (not related directly to the Mothman story itself and not depicted in the film) mirrored some odd events in my life. I knew that Keel lived in New York City and I was peripherally acquainted with a large number of people who knew or had met Keel. I’d expressed interest to some of them in meeting him, but alas, that was not to be.

The presentation began with Doug Skinner toasting the memory of John A. Keel by drinking a can of Glucerna (a nutritional drink for diabetics). I learned that Keel’s given name was Alva John Kiehle. Lisa Hirshfield then read his first published work from 1945 when he was 15 years old. His wry sense of humor was evident even then.

During his stint in the military in the early 1950s Keel worked for the armed forces network out of Cairo, Egypt. The audience was treated to an audio clip of his presentation from inside the Giza pyramid, followed shortly by a kitschy song named “Jadoo” promoting his book (of the same title) of adventures in the Middle East and Africa. I am a proud owner of the book Jadoo! We saw a remarkable movie he made in New York City in the 1960s called “On Exhibition”. In it Keel played a drunk at the Museum of Modern Art.

Keel wrote sleaze novels under the pseudonym Harry Gibbs. Some excerpts from these were read by Larry “Ratso” Sloman, Keel’s friend, sometimes employer, and editor of High Times Magazine. Soon after we saw the worm painting pictured above painted by 35 earthworms in October 1960 for Merv Griffin’s TV show “Play Your Hunch”, for which Keel was a writer.

Later in the 1960s Keel pitched a film treatment called ” Nudists From Outer Space” read  by Anthony Matt. Finally a video clip from John Keel’s appearance on the David Letterman Show in the 1980s was played. He discussed a variety of paranormal phenomena.

I really enjoyed this look into John A. Keel’s life, although I had expected more time to be devoted to the paranormal. I was pleased to meet some other anomalists after the performance including Geoff who is working on a fascinating movie about UFOs filmed over New York City  called “Believing Is Seeing“.

johnkeel.com = a blog about John A. Keel

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