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I was an Alien!

May 6, 2013

Okay, as bit of clarification is needed here before I get taken in for examination by the Men in Black .. I was indeed an alien and have been on three separate occasions but only an alien, not in the E.T. sense, but in once being an international on a working visa in Japan the UK and in different circumstances (my father worked and still lives in the US and is now a naturalised American) in the US. Even so the subject of extra-terrestrial aliens is a fascinating one and will not go away any time soon.

An enthralling book, ‘Mutants and Mystics; science fiction, superhero comics and the paranormal’ by Jeffry J. Kripal, that deals with alien encounters in fact or fiction is one that I have discussed in an earlier post. In it the author speaks of mythomemes, such as the six limbed, Tantric goddess Kali who like the aliens in popular mythology and in the recorded interviews of abductees by the reputable Harvard scholar the late John E. Mack, can render her victims paralysed yet fully aware. Author Kripal also gives an account of his own experiences under the spell of this all powerful being Kali while in India. He goes on to point out similarities between the black almond-eyed Kali with various super heroes like Spider-Man and so on.

The book is engrossing and I would recommend it to all students of matters alien and UFO.He mentions the famous alien abductee case of Barney and Betty Hill. The author recounts how this married couple were abducted in September 1961 and later gave descriptions aliens with massive heads, insect-like eyes, ‘slits for mouths, and bluish grey or metallic skin’. Kripral speculates that although ‘Barney drew these eyes from within a hypnotic trance state: the sketch looks like a child’s drawing of Spider-Man’s head. Other pop-cultural sources cited the Cheshire cat in Alice in Wonderland as well as the sci-fi TV classics the Twilight Zone and the Outer Limits. The latter is a favourite of mine (I have ancient VHS commercial tapes of many of the Outer Limits episodes including the one mentioned here) and an episode, the Bellero Shield, which featured an alien with wraparound eyes, was aired just twelve days before Barney’s hypnosis session.    

Yes it is all very intriguing yet none of this would really interest most hard scientists in a real world way. Even sci-fi writer Arthur C. Clarke (who collaborated on the script for the classic 2001 a Space Odyssey) commented that on the day a UFO really lands and can be seen and recorded by many the topic  would be off his radar (which he worked on during War 2) so to speak. Even his wife Betty asked him if he had been watching the Twilight Zone when he first witnessed the apparition in the sky through binoculars.

 With respect to UFO’s I would also agree with the wild eyed Dr Timothy Leary whom commented before his death in 1996, ‘I can’t believe that aliens would travel countless light years to abduct some elderly lady in Kansas. Now the good Doctor was known to have created more than a few mythologies of his own but I would concur with the adage that extraordinary beliefs or theories should be backed up by extraordinary evidence. So far that evidence has been scant despite such alleged sightings of a massive ‘Independence Day’ scale UFO over Arizona but no less than a former Governor of that state. Even former US President Jimmy Carter has reported a UFO sighting and while the craze was well and truly in high gear in the 1960’s I thought I saw one in the US state of Maryland. I’ve seen nothing like that since and I’m sure now it was a light aircraft with blinking lights. 

It could well be that my direct exposure to American life and culture has informed my work (my science fiction novel ‘Gaia Redux’ was published only weeks ago by Hot Digital Books) and my world view. Considering the potency of US pop culture from the Simpsons to surfing I am only one of a multitude in this respect.

Whatever happens I’m sure our modern mythologists, the science fiction writers and movie directors will keep on milking this mythomeme for what it is worth and I think that is perfectly legitimate. After all it’s only a movie, a book or a comic book until the real thing arrives, although I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting.Until then we can enjoy this mythomeme vicariously.  

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