Visitors From The Twilight Zone
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8. Hairy bipeds
10. Men in black
11. The astral world
There are numerous reported sightings of a wide variety of animals whose existence is controversial because of the lack of conclusive physical evidence; some of the species are completely unknown while others are officially thought to be extinct. These ‘cryptids’ include apelike creatures (e.g. Bigfoot, Yeti, Almas), lake monsters, giant octopuses, sea serpents, sauropodlike animals, and flying reptiles (resembling pterosaurs).1 While some may be survivors of once-flourishing species, others appear to be paranormal creatures.
There are reports of sauropodlike animals (e.g. Mokele-mbembe), with a long neck, small head, and bulky body, and of reptiles resembling stegosaurs, serpents, and lizards in remote areas of Africa and South America. Jerome Clark writes: ‘If living dinosaurs in Africa and South America seem at least marginally conceivable, the presence of such creatures in the United States or Europe is – it hardly need be stated – flatly impossible, at least this side of the twilight zone.’ Such ‘impossible’ reports do however exist.
For instance, in 1934 a South Dakota farmer claimed that a giant four-legged reptile forced his tractor off the road before disappearing into nearby Campbell Lake. Investigators found huge tracks on the shore. Prior to this sighting sheep and other small animals had been mysteriously disappearing. An Italian man reported being attacked by a ‘15-foot reptile, like a dinosaur’, at Forli in December 1970. Fifty miles northwest of there, in June 1975, a monster appeared in a field near Goro and badly frightened a farmer. It was about 10 feet long and 8 inches round, and looked like a ‘gigantic lizard’. Several other people sighted it and declared that it howled like a wolf.2
Traditions of giant freshwater monsters are commonplace. Lake monsters of the Middle Ages and earlier are known by such names as great serpents, dragons, and water horses. The idea that large unknown animals may reside in freshwater bodies around the world is a defensible one. The creatures generally resemble zeuglodons or plesiosaurs, and most reports come from the British Isles, North America, and Scandinavia, with the Loch Ness monster, Ogopogo (Lake Okanagan), and Champ (Lake Champlain) being among the most famous. Clark writes:
Films, photographs, and sonar trackings have given Nessie a deservedly high profile and established that something unusual is surely going on in Scotland’s most famous lake. Nonetheless, like Champ, Nessie blurs under intense focus. Some reports are utterly bizarre and zoologically senseless, more like manifestations of the Goblin Universe than of consensus reality. This is particularly true of the rare land sightings, which seem neither more nor less credible than water sightings but which sometimes involve manifestations that border on the surreal.3
In April 1932, for example, Col. L. McP. Fordyce and his wife were driving through the woods along the south side of Loch Ness when they saw an enormous animal cross the road 150 yards ahead, apparently on its way to the water. It was described as ‘a cross between a very large horse and a camel, with a hump on its back and a small head on a long neck’, but with ‘the gait of an elephant’. The man followed it on foot for a short distance. From the rear it looked grey and shaggy, with long, thin legs and a thin, hairy tail.
Similarly unlikely beasts have been reported in other land sightings over the centuries. Curiously, land sightings ceased after the mid-1930s, with the exception of an incident in 1960 when a man observed a long-necked animal with flippers; the upper half was on the shore with the lower half tapering off into the water. He watched it through binoculars for nine minutes before it half-jumped and half-lurched to the left, flopped into the water, and went straight down. Even aquatic sightings are not always of animals that look like the classic monster. People have seen things resembling a large alligator, a crocodile, a great salamander, and a huge frog.4
Fig. 6.1. Left: In 1972 a paddle or flipper, some 4 ft wide and 6 to 8 ft long, was captured on film at the same time as sonar echoes appeared to show two large objects in Loch Ness pursuing a shoal of fish. Right: An underwater photo taken in 1975, showing what appears to be the silhouette of a body with a long neck.
Some mysterious creatures appear for a certain period and then disappear without a trace, never to be seen again. Such reports go back a long way. The writings of Roman chroniclers such as Aulus Gellius, Julius Obsequens, and Pliny the Elder often mention extraordinary creatures – almost always vaguely humanoid – whose sudden appearance would spread fear among the population and which were considered to be harbingers of great changes or disasters.5 A number of more recent cases are presented below.
In September 1837 a strange being, dubbed ‘Springheel Jack’, assaulted four separate persons, three of them women, in and around London. In one instance he ripped off the top of a victim’s dress, scratching her belly with iron-like fingers. He was tall, thin, and powerful, wore a cloak, and had pointed ears, glowing eyes, and a mouth that spat blue flames into victims’ faces. After London’s Lord Mayor had declared him a menace, vigilantes attempted to capture Jack, but without success, as he was able to make enormous leaps or simply melted into the night. Sporadic attacks continued during the next two years and a few were recorded in 1843. In 1845, in daylight and in view of numerous witnesses, Jack bounded towards a young prostitute who was crossing a bridge in a London slum. Grabbing her by the shoulders, he breathed fire into her face, tossed her into the open sewer below, and watched her drown. This was the only murder to which he was linked.
Attacks continued throughout the 1850s and 60s. In 1877 nearly all the residents of Caistor, Norfolk, saw Jack bounding from rooftop to rooftop. In August he appeared before soldiers at a military base in Aldershot. He was clad in an oilskin suit and wearing a shining helmet. A sentry fired on him and claimed that his bullet passed through him without effect. Jack’s last known return to England was in Liverpool in 1904, when he was seen leaping from the ground to the rooftops and back again.6
Fig. 6.2. Springheel Jack’s appearance in Aldershot, 1877.
Investigating authorities in the 19th century assumed Jack must be a real person despite his weird appearance and behaviour. There was a rumour that he was actually Henry, the Marquis of Waterford, a young Irish nobleman, who supposedly used springs concealed in his boots to leap about. However, not only is it impossible to make huge leaps in this way, but Jack continued his activities long after Waterford’s death in 1859.
A figure similar to Springheel Jack was observed in the US in June 1953. Three Houston residents saw a huge shadow cross the lawn and bounce upward into a pecan tree. A dim gray light illuminated the figure. It was a tall man with a black cape, skin-tight clothes, and quarter-length boots. After a few minutes the figure just melted away, and his disappearance was followed by a ‘loud swoosh’ across the street and the rapid ascent of a rocket-shaped object.
On 12 September 1952, three boys in the tiny West Virginia town of Flatwoods saw a reddish sphere move slowly around a hill, hover briefly, and drop behind another hill. From the other side a bright glow shone as if from a landed object. On their way to investigate, the boys were joined by Kathleen May, her two young sons, their friend Tommy Hyer, 17-year-old Eugene Lemon, and Lemon’s dog.
The dog ran ahead of the group and was briefly out of sight. Suddenly it was heard barking furiously and, moments later, seen fleeing with its tail tucked between its legs. A foul-smelling mist covered the ground and caused the searchers’ eyes to water. The two leading the group, Lemon and Neil Nunley, who got to the top first, looked down and observed a ‘big ball of fire’ 50 feet to their right. Another of the witnesses reported it was the size of a house.
To the group’s left, on the hilltop and just under the branch of an oak tree, were two small lights. At Mrs. May’s suggestion, Lemon turned his flashlight on them. To everyone’s considerable astonishment, the beam highlighted a grotesque-looking creature with a head shaped like the ‘ace of spades,’ as several of the observers independently described it. Inside the head was a circular ‘window,’ dark except for the two lights from which pale blue beams extended straight ahead. In their short observation of the creature, the group saw nothing that looked like arms or legs.
The creature, which appeared to be over six feet tall, moved toward the witnesses; it seemed to be gliding rather than walking. Seconds later it changed direction, turning toward the glowing ball down the hill.
All of this allegedly took place in a matter of seconds, during which Lemon fainted. The others dragged him away as they ran from the scene.7
A reporter went to the site with one of the youths about half an hour later. He noticed an unusual odour in the grass that irritated his nose and throat. Returning to the site alone the next morning, he found ‘skid marks’ going down the hill towards an area of matted grass, indicating the recent presence of a large object. This encounter with what the press dubbed the ‘Flatwoods monster’ took place during a flurry of sightings of unusual flying objects in the area. One man told of seeing a bright orange ball circling over the area where the monster was reported. The object was visible for 15 minutes before shooting towards the airport at Sutton, where it was also seen.
In the classic 1954 science-fiction film The Creature from the Black Lagoon, archaeologists on an expedition along the Amazon River encounter a bizarre aquatic biped with gills and scales. In November 1958, a man from Riverside, California, was driving in a car near the Santa Ana River when he was attacked by a similar creature, with a ‘round, scarecrowish head’, shiny eyes, and scales. It left long scratches on his windshield, and as he accelerated, he hit it and drove over it. The following evening another motorist claimed that the same kind of monster jumped out of the bushes at his car.
In Loveland, Ohio, along the Miami River, reports of more or less reptilian bipeds have been made since at least 1955, when a driver reported spotting three grotesque-looking creatures with lopsided chests, wide, lipless, froglike mouths, and wrinkles rather than hair on their heads. One held a spark-generating, bar-shaped device above itself. The driver observed them for three minutes. On 3 March 1972, two Loveland police officers encountered a four-foot-tall, frog-faced biped with textured leathery skin. They saw it jump over a guard rail and descend an embankment leading to the Little Miami River. About two weeks later one of the officers saw the creature again, first lying in the road, then getting up to go over a guard rail.
Fig. 6.3. Frog-faced biped seen in Ohio, March 1972.
In the summer of 1972, at Thesis Lake, British Columbia, there were two reports of a silver-coloured creature which emerged from the water. In the first incident it chased a couple of young men from the beach, and one of them suffered lacerations in the hand from six sharp points on top of the thing’s head. A witness to the second incident said it was shaped like an ordinary human body, but had a monster-like face and was covered with scales, with a sharp point on its head and great big ears.8
Reports of flying humanlike beings are fairly rare but occur periodically. For instance, one night in 1952 US Air Force Pvt. Sinclair Taylor was on guard duty at Camp Okubo, Kyoto, Japan, when he heard a loud flapping noise.
Looking up, he saw an enormous ‘bird’ in the moonlight. When it approached, he got frightened and put a round into the chamber of his carbine. The ‘bird’ now had stopped its flight and was hovering not far away, staring at the soldier.
‘The thing, which now had started slowly to descend again, had the body of a man,’ Taylor recalled. ‘It was well over seven feet from head to feet, and its wingspread was almost equal to its height. I started to fire and emptied my carbine where the thing hit the ground. But when I looked up to see if my bullets had found home there was nothing there.’ When the sergeant of the guard came to investigate and heard the story, he told Taylor that he believed him because a year earlier another guard had seen the same thing.
In August 1969 several US guards stationed near Da Nang, Vietnam, saw a naked woman with batlike wings fly over their heads about seven feet up. Her body, skin, and wings were black, but she glowed bright green. Her skin looked like it might have been covered with fur rather than feathers. The skin of her wings looked like it was moulded to her hands, and the movement of her arms suggested they had no bones in them. At one point the guards heard her wings flap.
Some sightings are not of winged figures but of humans or humanoids flying through the air with the aid of mechanical devices attached to their bodies. For instance, on 6 January 1948 in Chehalis, Washington, an elderly woman and a group of children saw a man with long mechanical wings which he manipulated with instruments on his chest as he flew in an upright position. Six and a half years later a 12-year-old farm boy in Coldwater, Kansas, saw a dark-skinned little man, with pointed nose and ears, float toward a UFO hovering nearby.9
On 16 November 1963 near Hythe, Kent (England), four people in their late teens were walking along a country road at night when one of them spotted a particularly bright ‘star’ coming down from the sky. The group became alarmed when the reddish-yellow light seemed to head straight for them. It stopped to hover momentarily and then disappeared behind some trees. The frightened youngsters took to their heels, followed at a distance of about 250 feet by an oval-shaped golden light floating 10 feet above the ground. The object was about 15 to 20 feet across and had a solid core. When they stopped the light stopped, giving them the impression that they were being watched. The glowing object again disappeared behind the trees, and moments later a dark figure emerged and shambled towards them across the field. They described it as black, human-sized, but headless and possessing batlike wings on either side of its body. One of the boys noted that it seemed to have webbed feet. The four fled the scene. A week later investigators examining the site found a vast expanse of flattened ferns and three giant ‘footprints’ measuring an inch deep, two feet long, and nine inches across.10
Three years later, in 1966 and 1967, a similar winged monstrosity, which newsmen dubbed ‘Mothman’, was seen over the Ohio River Valley in conjunction with strange lights in the sky and other weird events, including poltergeist outbreaks, men-in-black visitations, problems with televisions and phones, and cars stalling when passing an abandoned TNT plant near Point Pleasant which seemed to be Mothman’s lair. In one case, Mothman kept up with a car travelling at 100 miles per hour. It was also sighted on the ground, terrifying dogs and people. At least 100 people saw the creature. It was between five and seven feet tall, broader than a man, and walked in a halting, shuffling manner on humanlike legs. It had no discernible head, but it did have two large glowing red eyes near the top of its shoulders. Its wings were batlike but did not flap when it flew, and it typically ascended straight up. Its skin colour was grey or brown. It emitted a screeching sound, and two observers said they heard a mechanical humming as it flew over them. ‘After 1967,’ says Jerome Clark, ‘Mothman faded back into the twilight zone.’11
Fig. 6.4. Mothman, based on eyewitness accounts.12
At 10:30 pm on 21 April 1977, 17-year-old Bill Barlett was driving home with two friends when he saw a bizarre creature by the side of a road in Dover, Massachusetts. The ‘Dover Demon’ had an oval-shaped, oversized head, two large round eyes shining like orange marbles, long spindly arms and legs, and large hands and feet. It was no more than four feet tall and its skin was hairless and peach-coloured. Two hours later another teenager, John Baxter, was walking home when he saw a short figure approaching him, but it scurried off down a slope. The youth followed and saw a silhouetted figure about 30 feet away, leaning against a tree, its feet ‘moulded’ around the top of a rock.
Fig. 6.5. The Dover Demon, based on drawings by witnesses.13
The final sighting occurred the next night. Will Taintor was driving a girl home when she spotted something in the car’s headlights. It was a hairless creature crouched on all fours, with a thin monkeylike body and a large oblong head, devoid of nose, ears, and mouth. The facial area around the eyes was lighter, and the eyes glowed green (not orange as in the first sighting).14
- Loren Coleman and Jerome Clark, Cryptozoology A to Z: The encyclopedia of loch monsters, Sasquatch, Chupacabras, and other authentic mysteries of nature, New York: Fireside, 1999; Cryptozoology, www.pibburns.com/cryptozo.htm.
- Jerome Clark, Unexplained! 347 strange sightings, incredible occurrences, and puzzling physical phenomena, Detroit, MI: Visible Ink, 1993, p. 104.
- Ibid., pp. 209-15, 220-31. See Henry Bauer, ‘The case for the Loch Ness “monster”: the scientific evidence’, Journal of Scientific Exploration, v. 16, 2002, pp. 225-46.
- Unexplained!, pp. 223-5.
- Daniel W. Murphy, ‘Through the looking glass darkly: impossible creatures’, geocities.com/bigfootrus/ThroughTheLookingGlassDarkly.html.
- Unexplained!, pp. 357-9.
- Ibid., p. 135.
- Ibid., pp. 327-9.
- Ibid., pp. 143-4.
- Patrick Huyghe, The Field Guide to Extraterrestrials, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1997, pp. 94-5.
- Unexplained!, pp. 278-81; John A. Keel, The Mothman Prophecies, London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2002 (1975), pp. 73-90; Mothman: the enigma of Point Pleasant, www.americanhauntingsink.com/moth; Mothman, https://cryptidlab.com/mothman-guide.
- Bill Asmussen’s Hominid Artwork, members.door.net/hominidartwork/Mothman.htm.
- Ibid., members.door.net/hominidartwork/doverdemon.htm.
- Unexplained!, pp. 105-7; The Anomalist, no. 9, winter 2000/2001, pp. 151-7.
8. Hairy bipeds
It is not inconceivable that a species of giant apelike creatures, known as Bigfoot or Sasquatch, lives in the immense wilderness of the northwestern US and far western Canada. Such a creature was filmed by Roger Paterson at Bluff Creek, California, in October 1967. Over the years, numerous footprints and hand prints have been found, along with hair and faecal matter, but no body or bones have yet been discovered.
Fig. 7.1. A female Bigfoot filmed by Roger Patterson in 1967. It was 7 feet 3.5 inches tall, and left footprints 14.5 inches long and 6 inches wide.1
Hairy bipeds have in fact been sighted in virtually every state and province in the US and Canada. As Jerome Clark says, the mere presence of such creatures in populated areas is biologically absurd.2 When they leave tracks, which they do not always do, the tracks may be two-, three-, four-, five-, or even six-toed. Moreover, some sightings of Bigfoot-type creatures involve elements of ‘high strangeness’ – the beings are largely unaffected, and apparently never killed, by bullets, and occasionally they seem to vanish into thin air. Witnesses to one Bigfoot sighting heard the creature running away after it had visually disappeared. Many people report that they have heard it breathing behind them or following or walking beside them, but can see nothing. For centuries, Native Americans have attributed supernatural abilities to Bigfoot, including telepathy and the power to become invisible. The cases presented below involve hairy bipeds that behaved more like paranormal entities than flesh-and-blood animals.
In the summer of 1960 numerous people around Parson, West Virginia, saw a gruesome eight-foot-tall creature covered with shaggy hair and equipped with two huge eyes that ‘shone like big balls of fire’. In October 1960, W.C. Priestly was driving through the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia when his car suddenly stopped. To his left he saw an apelike monster whose long straggly hair was pointing straight upwards. When a group of Priestly’s friends who were ahead of him in a bus noticed he was no longer behind them, they turned round and drove back to look for him. When the creature saw the bus, it dropped its hair and disappeared into the woods. Priestly was then surprised to find his vehicle had started to run again. He again began to follow the bus when all of a sudden sparks began flying from under the hood of his car, and he again noticed the creature beside the road staring at him. The bus backed up again and as soon as it appeared the monster melted into the forest. The points in Priestly’s car were completely burned out and had to be replaced, as did part of the electrical system.3
In 1957, at Wanoga Butte, Washington, Gary Joanis and Jim Newall shot a deer while out hunting, but before they could get to it, a nine-foot-tall hairy creature walked into the clearing, picked up the deer, and carried it off under its arm. Joanis, annoyed about losing his deer, fired several shots into the creature’s back with his 30.06 rifle, but the creature never stopped walking, though it did emit a ‘strange whistling scream’.
In Washington, during the summer of 1966, there were numerous sightings of a white/grey eight-foot-tall Bigfoot with red eyes, weighing at least 600 pounds, which walked like a human. A group of men often went looking for it, and usually found it in a gravel pit. One man fired at it from a range of only 20 feet, and hit it at least three times with his .270 rifle, but failed to knock it down. Another man fired his 10-gauge shotgun from 10 yards. The creature uttered a high-pitched squeal, but still managed to run away.
In May 1967 in The Dalles, Oregon, several teenage boys spent their nights hunting Bigfoot. On one occasion, they were moving through the woods when they came to a tree whose branches hung to the ground. Pushing past them, they found a creature about 10 feet away; it was 7 feet tall when crouched down. One of the boys blasted it twice in the chest with his 12-gauge shotgun, knocking it down. It rolled over twice and then ran off. It broke through a fence, snapping three posts off at the ground. The boys returned the next day to claim their prize, but the footprints disappeared after 80 to 100 yards, and there was no blood to follow.
In autumn 1968, in the Point Isabel area of Ohio, the Abbot family heard a noise like metal being hit. 15-year-old Larry Abbott, his father, and a relative went outside to look around. They found a creature 50 feet away, which started walking towards them. It was 10 feet tall, with 4-foot shoulders. It was covered with light brown hair, and had very long arms, prominent teeth, pointed ears, and glowing eyes. Larry reported that it seemed to put them into a trance, as he couldn’t move or talk. Suddenly it dropped to the ground and they lost sight of it. Later they heard it near the garage. The relative borrowed a .22 rifle and went looking for it. He crossed an open field, and suddenly it stood up 50 feet away. Larry pointed his flashlight at it, and the relative made a direct hit with his first shot. The creature uttered a horrible scream as several more shots were fired, then a white mist enveloped it. When the mist cleared, there was only darkness. They searched the whole farm, but there was no blood or any other trace of the creature’s presence.4
In August 1972, a young couple living in Putnam County, Indiana, began to receive late-night visitations from a shadowy creature looking like a large, hairy gorilla. Most of the time it was bipedal, but when it ran, it did so on all fours. It seemed to run and jump without touching the ground as it never left any tracks. When it ran through weeds, nothing was heard, and sometimes the witnesses could see through it. An hour before the first sighting, neighbours reported a luminous object pass overhead, which then exploded, though no debris was ever found. A farmer in the area lost all but 30 of his 200 chickens to the creature, which ripped them apart, draining them of blood but not eating them, and spreading their remains over a huge area. It was shot repeatedly from about 100 feet but seemed unaffected. At least 40 people claimed to have seen the creature before the sightings ceased late in the month.5
On the evening of 25 October 1973, near Greensbury, Pennsylvania, a farmer named Stephen Pulaski and at least 15 other witnesses saw a bright red ball hovering over a field. Pulaski and two boys went to investigate. As they approached, their car headlights grew dim. Continuing on foot they saw the object glowing brilliantly with white light and either sitting on the field or hovering directly over it. It was about 100 feet in diameter, dome-shaped, and made a sound like a lawn mower. Screaming sounds could be heard nearby.
Pulaski fired a tracer bullet, and two large apelike creatures with glowing green eyes, one seven feet tall and the other eight feet tall, were seen walking along beside a fence. They had long arms that hung down almost to the ground, were covered with long dark-grayish hair, and emitted a strong odour, like burning rubber. They seemed to be communicating by making whining sounds. Pulaski fired three rounds into the larger creature, which responded by whining and reaching out to its companion. At that moment, the craft vanished, leaving a glowing white area in the field. The creatures walked back towards the woods and were not seen again.
Later on when other investigators arrived, a dog began tracking something unseen, several people smelled a strong sulphurous or chemical-like odour, and loud crashing sounds were heard coming from the woods. At this point, Pulaski went berserk and started running around, violently flailing his arms and growling like an animal. He had visions of a man looking like the Grim Reaper, heard his name being called from the woods, and made confused statements, such as: ‘If man doesn’t straighten up, the end will come soon.’ Then he collapsed. He was later examined by a psychiatrist who concluded that the frightening situation had caused him to become temporarily unhinged and enter a dissociated psychological state known as a fugue.
This case was one of an epidemic of at least 79 ‘creature’ cases occurring in a six-county area of western Pennsylvania in 1973. They all involved werewolflike entities that mysteriously appeared and disappeared, and left few traces of their existence. There were some reports that they left tracks and emitted foul stenches. There were also cases where they were said to have killed chickens, ripped the hindquarters off a St. Bernard dog, and torn the throat of a pet deer, but there were no reports of injury to humans.6
During the evening of 6 February 1974, a lady living near Uniontown, Pennsylvania, was sitting at home watching television. She heard a noise on her porch and went to investigate, thinking the dogs were to blame. She took a loaded shotgun with her to scare them away. She turned on the porch light, opened the door, and was horrified to see a seven-foot-tall hairy apelike creature standing only six feet away. Thinking it was about to attack, as it had raised its arms above its head, she fired into its middle. But amazingly, it ‘just disappeared in a flash of light’.7
In Noxie, Oklahoma, in September 1975, a farmer and his neighbours reported seeing and hearing at least two hairy bipeds. The first stood six or seven feet tall, was covered with dark brown hair, and had glowing reddish-pink eyes. It was shot at on three occasions but responded by swatting its arm as if at a fly. It smelled ‘like rotten eggs or sulphur’ and left a three-toed track (all primates have five toes). Two of the creatures, one with red eyes and the other with yellow ones, were heard calling to each other; one sounded like a woman screaming and the other like a baby crying.
In August 1976 a woman sitting outside a farmhouse in southeastern Nebraska noticed a sudden eerie silence among the animals. 300 yards away, silhouetted against the sky, stood a huge hairy figure. It moved rapidly through the pasture towards her, panicking the dogs. It broke down the wire fence and was only 30 feet from her when it vanished before her eyes. It nevertheless left hair samples on the fence, but the state’s Game and Parks Commission refused to look at them.8
- Clark, Unexplained!, pp. 167-76, 418.
- John A. Keel, Strange Creatures from Time and Space, London: Sphere, 1979, p. 126.
- Daniel W. Murphy, ‘Can Bigfoot be killed?’, geocities.com/bigfootrus/CanBigfootBeKilled.html.
- Ibid.; Unexplained!, pp. 170-1.
- Richard L. Thompson, Alien Identities: Ancient insights into modern UFO phenomena, Alachua, FL: Govardhan Hill Publishing, 2nd ed., 1995, pp. 303-4; Unexplained!, p. 173.
- ‘Can Bigfoot be killed?’
- Unexplained!, pp. 171-2.
Several of the incidents already described involve humanoids or other creatures seen in conjunction with unexplained luminosities or objects in the sky (‘UFOs’). The following cases provide further evidence that ‘alien’ beings vary tremendously in appearance and often display weird and paranormal behaviour, suggesting that they are psychic visitations rather than extraterrestrial visitors.1
In the summer of 1968 a British woman was driving to Stratford with a companion when they saw a shining disc in the sky. They stopped to watch it dart and dodge, and another car also stopped to watch. After it disappeared behind some trees, the woman drove on, and during the drive she experienced profound insights into the nature of reality, which she said transformed her personality. That evening she encountered a malevolent-looking apparition in her home; it resembled a traditional faun, and she later called it a ‘scorpion man’. It was a four-to-five foot tall humanoid, with pointed ears, a long muzzle, and dog- or goat-like legs. It was covered in downy fur, and crouched and stared unblinkingly at her with light-green eyes that slanted upwards and had no pupils. The eyes shone and were very frightening. She thought it was trying to communicate with her but her panic interfered with any message. The goatlike legs and silky fur seem to connect it with traditional European demon lore, while its eyes and emaciated appearance are typical of entities reported in UFO encounters.2
The following three UFO close encounters involve monster-like ‘aliens’.
Shortly after 2 am on 28 November 1954, Gustavo Gonzales and José Ponce were driving from Caracas, Venezuela, to a nearby town when they encountered a luminous sphere about 10 feet in diameter, hovering just above the ground and nearly blocking the roadway. The two men got out of their truck to investigate, and a little hairy man, about three feet tall, approached them.
Gonzales immediately grabbed him, intending to take him to the police. To his surprise, Gonzales found the little man extremely light, weighing only about 35 pounds. His body was very hard and covered with stiff bristly hair. The little man gave Gonzales a push with one clawed hand and sent him flying about 15 feet. Ponce, who was Gonzales’s helper, became frightened, and ran to the police station located a short distance away. As he departed he noticed two other little men emerging from the bushes. They were carrying either rocks or chunks of dirt in their arms as they hopped aboard an opening in the side of the sphere.
Meanwhile the first hairy little man, eyes aglow and claws extended, attacked Gonzales. Pulling out his knife, Gonzales stabbed the creature in the shoulder, but the knife glanced off as if the shoulder were made of steel. Then another little man emerged from the sphere and shot a beam of light from a small tube, momentarily blinding Gonzales. When the two little men climbed back aboard, the sphere took off rapidly.
Gonzales arrived at the police station shortly after Ponce. The two were suspected of being drunk, but an examination revealed otherwise. Gonzales was found to have a long red scratch on his side. The two were given sedatives. Several days later a doctor came forward, admitting that he had seen the fracas with the creatures but that he had left the scene, as he did not want to be involved in undesirable publicity.3
Fig. 8.1. Hairy creature encountered in Caracas, November 1954.4
The following incident took place in Kelly, Kentucky, on 21 August 1955. The witnesses were Billy Ray Taylor, Lucky Sutton, and the Sutton family.
At about 7:00 P.M. on a hot summer night, Billy Ray told the Suttons he had just seen a flying saucer with rainbow-colored exhaust fly across the sky and drop into a gully near their farmhouse. The Suttons laughed at his story. Half an hour later, the dog began barking and hid under the house.
When Billy Ray and Lucky went to the back door, they saw an approaching glow that turned out to be a three-and-a-half foot tall creature with a round oversize bald head. The creature’s skin was a silver metallic color and glowed in the dark. Its yellow eyes were large and set halfway around the side of its face. The creature’s arms were almost twice as long as its legs and nearly touched the ground. Its hands were large and bore talons.
The men grabbed their guns, a .22 rifle and a shotgun, and waited until the creature was within 20 feet of the back door before opening fire. The shots sounded like they ‘hit a [metal] bucket,’ but the visitor simply flipped over backward and scurried off into the darkness. When another visitor appeared at the window, the men shot at it through the screen. Thinking the creature had been killed, Billy Ray went out the front door to find the body. As he paused momentarily under the roof’s overhang, a clawlike hand reached down and touched his hair. The family screamed and pulled him back inside as Lucky ran out, turned, and fired at the creature, knocking it off the roof. Both men then fired at another creature in the maple tree nearby, but it, too, merely floated to the ground and scurried away.
Unnerved by the ineffectiveness of their guns, the family bolted themselves inside the house. But the creatures kept returning to peer in the windows, and after three hours the eight terrorized adults and three frightened children piled into two cars and headed off into town to the police.
The Hopkinsville police returned to the farmhouse with the family and surveyed the house and surroundings but found nothing. Shortly after the police left at 2:15 A.M., the creatures returned, staring into windows, curious but never hostile. Again the men responded with gunfire. This continued until a half hour before sunrise. That morning investigators returned but again found nothing.5
Fig. 8.2. Creature encountered in Kentucky, August 1955.6
One morning in July 1983, in Mount Vernon, Missouri, Ron and Paula Watson noticed some bright silver flashes coming from the pasture across from their farmhouse. Through binoculars they saw two silver-suited beings running their hands over a motionless black cow lying on the ground. The beings made jerky movements with their hands over the cow, which suddenly rose into the air and floated up with the beings into a cone-shaped object that stood near a clump of trees. Two other strange-looking creatures were standing next to the object. On the left was a tall, green-skinned ‘lizard man’. Its glaring eyes had the vertical pupils of a reptile, and its hands and feet were webbed. On the right of the craft was a taller Bigfoot-type creature that also had yellow vertical slits in round green eyes. The beings entered the craft with the cow, and the craft then disappeared. The owner of the pasture later confirmed that one of his black cows was missing; it was never found.7
The behaviour of UFO entities sometimes shows parallels with that of legendary medieval beings such as fairies, sylphs, and elves.
In the morning of 18 April 1961, Joe Simonton, a 60-year-old chicken farmer from Wisconsin, heard a peculiar noise outside his home. Stepping out into the yard he saw a silvery object hovering close to the ground. It was shaped like two inverted bowls, and measured about 12 feet high and 30 feet in diameter. A hatch opened and Simonton saw three men inside, about five feet tall. They had dark hair and skin and wore outfits with turtleneck tops and knit helmets.
One of the men held up a jug, and motioned to Simonton that he needed water. When Simonton returned with the water, he noticed that one of the men in the saucer was frying food on a flameless grill. He saw several instrument panels in the ship’s black interior and heard a slow whining sound. When he made a motion indicating he was interested in the food, one of the men handed him three pancakes, about three inches in diameter and perforated with small holes. The hatch was then closed and the object rose about 20 feet from the ground before taking off straight south, causing a blast of air that bent some nearby pine trees. The whole affair lasted about five minutes.
Simonton ate one of the pancakes and described it as tasting like cardboard. Air Force investigators had a piece analysed by the Food and Drug Laboratory, which concluded it was an ordinary pancake of terrestrial origin. The official explanation was that Simonton sincerely believed his contact had been a real experience, but that he had merely had a dream and inserted it into the events taking place around him while he was conscious.
The question of food is one of the points most frequently treated in Celtic legends; tales about fairies exchanging food with humans are commonplace. Evans Wentz reports in his book Fairy-faith in Celtic Countries (1909) that an Irishman told him that the ‘Gentry’ eat fresh meat and drink pure water, and never eat anything with salt in it. Pure water is what the saucer beings took from Simonton, and the analysis performed for the Air Force did not mention the presence of salt in the pancakes. They did however contain buckwheat hulls, and buckwheat is closely associated with fairy legends in Brittany.8
One of the fairies’ pranks was to steal food. ‘Aliens’ have been known to do so too, as the following case shows.
In 1986 in the Russian city of Ulyanovsk, Mr N. opened his front door and found himself confronted with a man about seven feet tall, wearing silver overalls and boots. The man declared he was an alien and needed food. Mr N. was so shocked he took the guest to the kitchen and started packing groceries for him. He told the visitor he was late for work, and the visitor answered ‘I understand’ in a Russian spoken with a marked accent. The two left the house together, but when Mr N. got on the bus the strange visitor was nowhere to be seen.
All day he felt anxious and disturbed. Something urged him to return home as soon as possible, and he found an excuse to leave early. After unlocking the front door, he ran to the kitchen, where he discovered that the remaining food had been taken. Empty paper bags, packages, and wrappings lay everywhere, and there were grains of rice, millet, and salt in the cracks in the floor. The refrigerator and the cupboards were empty. But if the visitor was the culprit, why had he needed to unwrap everything? The man’s wife found his explanation for the missing food absurd. A terrible scandal followed and the couple came close to a divorce, a situation that is common in the aftermath of close encounters.9
- See UFOs: the psychic dimension, www.davidpratt.info.
- Jacques Vallee, Dimensions: A casebook of alien contact, New York: Ballantine Books, 1989, pp. 33-4.
- Patrick Huyghe, The Field Guide to Extraterrestrials, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1997, p. 74.
- Kevin Randle and Russ Estes, Faces of the Visitors: An illustrated reference to alien contact, New York: Fireside, 1997, p. 25.
- The Field Guide to Extraterrestrials, pp. 84-5.
- Faces of the Visitors, p. 30.
- The Field Guide to Extraterrestrials, pp. 82-3.
- Dimensions, pp. 43-51.
- Jacques Vallee, UFO Chronicles of the Soviet Union: A cosmic samizdat, New York: Ballantine Books, 1992, pp. 144-5.
10. Men in black
Some people who have made a UFO sighting or had a close encounter subsequently receive strange visits from sinister ‘men in black’ (MIBs), who harass, threaten, and intimidate them to prevent them from talking about their experience.1 They usually appear even before the witness has reported the UFO incident and must therefore have access to information that is not publicly available. UFO investigators have also suffered harassment from MIBs. The person who receives the visit is usually alone, and no MIBs have ever been caught or interrogated. As far as is known, MIB victims who have ignored the threats have not suffered as a result.
MIBs sometimes work alone, and sometimes in twos or threes. They may arrive in a large black car, often an out-of-date model, with licence plates which later turn out to be false. They wear dark suits, dark hats, dark ties, dark shoes and socks, but white shirts, and witnesses often remark on their immaculate turn-out and seemingly brand-new clothes. They are often dark-complexioned, perhaps Oriental-looking, and frail.
Conforming to a stereotyped CIA image, they claim to be government agents or produce identity cards which prove false. Sometimes they masquerade as journalists, insurance salesmen, or air force personnel. Their movements are stiff, their manner formal and cold, their faces unsmiling and expressionless, their stilted speech reminiscent of B-movie dialogue. In one case, an MIB had a large tape recorder with him, but didn’t know how to operate it. Sometimes there is no personal visit, only a phone call, or there is no black car, only an abrupt appearance and disappearance.
In May 1975, two weeks after a dramatic UFO sighting from his plane – a sighting confirmed on the radar screens at Mexico City airport – a young pilot was pursued down the freeway by four black-suited Scandinavian-looking men in a black limousine. After forcing him to the side of the road, they warned him not to discuss his sighting; the pilot was on his way to do a television interview. A month later one of the strangers reappeared and threatened him again while he was on his way to a hotel to talk to the prominent UFO investigator Allen Hynek. He described the MIBs as tall and strangely white, and said he never saw them blink.2
On the evening of 11 September 1976, Herbert Hopkins, a family physician from Maine, who was studying a UFO incident, was alone at home when a man claiming to be a UFO researcher phoned to ask if he could visit to discuss the case; he claimed he was from a UFO organization that was later found not to exist. The doctor agreed, and as soon as the phone call ended, he switched on the back porch light – only to see the man already climbing the porch steps. The man was black-suited, bald, had dead-white skin, no eyebrows or eyelashes, and wore bright red lipstick. He sat almost motionless, barely opening a slitlike toothless mouth.
He told Hopkins that he had two coins in his left pocket – this was correct. He instructed him to put one coin on the palm of his hand. Hopkins then saw the coin gradually fade into a vaporous ‘blue fuzzy ball’ and vanish. ‘Neither you nor anyone else on this plane will ever see that coin again,’ said the visitor. Having asked Hopkins to destroy any tapes, correspondence, or literature he had on the UFO case he was studying, the MIB rose unsteadily, saying, ‘My energy is running low – must go now – goodbye.’ On leaving the house, he walked towards a bright blue-white light shining in the driveway. Hopkins assumed this to belong to the visitor’s car, though he neither saw nor heard it leave. Marks in the centre of the drive, not those of car tyres, vanished by the next day. In shock, Hopkins erased the tapes and abandoned the UFO case. He never heard from his visitor again.3
The following incident occurred during the Mothman visitations in West Virginia. One night in January 1967, Mary Hyre, a reporter who had written extensively about the local sightings, was working late in her office when a man walked in the door. He was about four feet six inches tall. Although the outside temperature was well below freezing, he was wearing nothing but a short-sleeved blue shirt and thin blue trousers. His eyes were dark and deep-set, and he wore thick-lensed glasses. He had long, black hair that was cut squarely. He spoke in a hard-to-understand singsong manner, ‘like a recording’, and asked for directions to Welsh, West Virginia. Hyre found him terrifying. ‘He kept getting closer and closer to me,’ she said, ‘his funny eyes staring at me almost hypnotically.’ Alarmed, she summoned the newspaper’s circulation manager to her office and together they spoke to the strange man, who seemed to know more about West Virginia than they did. At one point, the telephone rang and while Hyre was answering it the little man picked up a pen from her desk and looked at it in amazement as if he had never seen one before. When Hyre told him he could have it, he gave a loud peculiar laugh, ran outside and disappeared round a corner.
Several weeks later, Hyre was crossing the street near her office and saw the same little man. He seemed startled when he realized that she was watching him, turned away quickly and ran for a large black car that suddenly came around the corner. He climbed in and it quickly drove away.
By this time, most of the Mothman sightings had come to an end. But on 15 December 1967, the 700-foot bridge linking Point Pleasant to Ohio suddenly collapsed while filled with rush hour traffic. Dozens of vehicles plunged into the Ohio River and 46 people were killed. During Christmas week, a short, dark-skinned man entered Mary Hyre’s office. He was dressed in a black suit, with a black tie, and looked vaguely Oriental. He had high cheekbones, narrow eyes, and an unidentified accent. He was not interested in the bridge disaster, but wanted to know about local UFO sightings. Hyre was too busy to talk with him and handed him a file of related press clippings. He was not interested in them and insisted on speaking with her. She finally dismissed him from her office. That same night, an identical-looking man visited the homes of several witnesses in the area who had reported seeing lights in the sky. He made all of them very uneasy and uncomfortable and while he claimed to be a reporter from Cambridge, Ohio, he inadvertently admitted that he did not know where Columbus, Ohio, was even though the two towns are just a few miles apart.4
John Keel says that MIB behaviour is reminiscent of the fairy hoaxes and games of an earlier epoch. Other researchers regard MIBs as a form of demonic psychic entity. As Michael Grosso says, ‘MIBs seem to slide in and out of reality, behaving like phantoms or nightmares one moment and assuming a daylight actuality the next’.5 The MIB phenomenon is probably fuelled by paranoia on the part of witnesses and ufologists.
Keel points out that groups investigating the assassination of President Kennedy have suffered harassment similar to that experienced by UFO researchers. Their telephones go haywire, they are followed by mysterious cars and suspicious Oriental-looking gentlemen, and their mail gets fouled up.
Students of witchcraft, members of fanatical religious groups, and even members of civil rights movements and both right and left wing political groups all become victims of this harassment. And each group tries to find a cause or culprit to explain it – the most popular being the CIA or FBI. Thousands of people are undergoing this kind of harassment continually, and no government agency is big enough, has enough personnel or a big enough budget to be the blame for all these incidents. Nor would any responsible government agency be motivated to spend a fortune to harass teen-aged UFO buffs and little old ladies collecting clippings about John F. Kennedy.6
It seems that anybody involved in controversial research who has to confront widespread hostility and is liable to paranoia may find themself suffering similar harassment. For instance, T. Henry Moray (1892-1974) invented a radiant energy machine that converted space energy into useable power and was able to produce more energy that was required to run it. Several scientists examined it and were convinced it was genuine. However, Moray also faced tremendous scepticism and opposition, had problems obtaining patents for his device, and became very suspicious.
He began to suffer strange forms of harassment. He became the object of death threats, and both he and his wife were shot at a number of times. The Morays decided to order a bulletproof car. One of his sons remembered being driven around town when the car was hit by a hail of bullets fired from a mysterious black sedan. Another son says his mother received a string of anonymous phone calls threatening their lives. In one of them, she was told that her husband’s life wasn’t worth ‘a plugged nickel’ unless he cooperated with the caller’s agents over the radiant energy machine. Moray’s home and laboratory were repeatedly broken into, but the machine was never stolen. In a subsequent incident Moray was shot in the leg while working in the laboratory. Moray firmly believed that this was all part of a plot to get him to hand over the invention.7
- Stuart Gordon, The Paranormal: An illustrated encyclopedia, London: Headline, 1992, pp. 437-9; Clark, Unexplained!, pp. 242-4; Daniel W. Murphy, ‘Men in black’, [www.geocities.com/bigfootrus/index.html].
- Unexplained!, p. 243.
- The Paranormal, p. 438; Michael Grosso, Frontiers of the Soul: Exploring psychic evolution, Wheaton, IL: Quest, 1992, p. 211.
- Keel, The Mothman Prophecies, pp. 109-10, 113; Mothman: the enigma of Point Pleasant, www.prairieghosts.com/moth.html.
- Frontiers of the Soul, p. 211.
- Keel, Strange Creatures from Time and Space, p. 199.
- Keith Tutt, The Search for Free Energy: A scientific tale of jealousy, genius and electricity, London: Simon & Schuster, 2001, p. 58; Jeane Manning, The Coming Energy Revolution: The search for free energy, New York: Avery, 1996, pp. 36-9.
11. The astral world
According to the theosophic tradition, the astral world or astral light comprises several spheres of increasingly ethereal, more plastic matter surrounding and interpenetrating the physical earth. It is the ethereal blueprint from which the physical earth derives, and corresponds to the astral body of each individual. Its lower reaches are not especially elevated as they lie only one vibratory range up from the gross matter of the physical world, but its higher reaches merge into the akashic or spiritual realms.
The astral light is said to contain a record of everything that has ever happened on earth, both in the present evolutionary cycle and in past cycles. For this reason it is sometimes called ‘nature’s picture gallery’. Since it records thoughts, emotions, and deeds of every conceivable quality, it comprises everything from the collective ‘unconscious’ to the collective superconscious.
The astral world is said to be populated by a variety of entities. Its constituent life-atoms can be thought of as simple elemental entities, which combine to form all manner of fleeting, shape-shifting creatures, known by the generic terms ‘elementals’, ‘nature-forces’, or ‘nature-sprites’. Elementals are the semi-automatic, quasi-conscious agents and building stones of nature, and are involved in everything that happens on the physical plane, since every physical atom is ensouled by an elemental. Everything that takes place on the physical plane is brought about by the deliberate or unconscious action of elementals, acting either for themselves or as the vehicles of higher intelligences. They may work individually, but more commonly in groups, waves, or flows. While some elementals are atomic in size, others are gigantic, with corresponding powers.
Although elementals do not possess selfconsciousness, conscience, or free will, those associated with higher subplanes can display a degree of intelligence. The vast majority of elementals have no permanent form of their own, and can change shape with great rapidity. They adopt shapes (and also clothing) that mirror the pictures and thought-forms existing in their environment, including human minds. The higher elementals may take the form of beasts, either living or extinct, and those on the mental plane tend to assume a more or less human shape. Some elementals are said to be hostile towards humans, and others friendly. The elementals of the air are the most dangerous, because of their close connection with the desire part of the human constitution.1
In theosophy, three kingdoms of elementals are generally distinguished, which are placed below the mineral kingdom. This means that the consciousness-centres (or monads) manifesting as elementals are in the earliest stages of their evolutionary growth, and still have to pass through the other kingdoms of nature: i.e. the mineral, vegetable, animal, human, and three superhuman (or dhyani-chohanic) kingdoms. From another viewpoint, there are seven kingdoms of elementals, as there are elementals associated with each subplane (or cosmic element), in increasing grades of ethereality or spirituality.
The medieval mystics divided elementals into four categories, according to which of the four lower elements they were associated with: gnomes (earth), undines (water), sylphs (air), and salamanders (fire). The Hindus distinguish many more types: lower types include pretas, yakshas, and dakinis, while higher types include gandharvas, vidyadharas, and apsaras. The former are said to be mischievous and dangerous, while the latter are benevolent, and, if properly approached, willing to impart useful knowledge of arts and sciences.2 W.Q. Judge mentions a very advanced class of elementals, called the saptarishis, which, though not strictly in our stream of evolution, sometimes communicate with mediums, and by their apparent knowledge give the impression that they are high spiritual beings whereas they are really of the same character as the lower devas of the Hindus.3 Since elementals cannot be studied with physical instruments they are a closed book to materialist science, but not to those who possess sufficient clairvoyant powers.
Humans’ astral model-bodies and ‘mental bodies’ are composed of astral substances of differing grades. The astral world is closely associated with all mental and psychic phenomena. Our minds attract ideas, thoughts, and images from the general thought-atmosphere or memory-field of the astral light, and send them out again in modified form. Thoughts, emotions, and desires are elemental energies, which assume a particular form and cohere for a period corresponding to the intensity of the originating thought. Groups of humans – families, nations, races, and religious, social, and political movements, etc. – build up collective thought-forms, some of which may assume a powerful life of their own.
The lower astral realms are inhabited by the decaying astral shells of deceased humans. These shells are left behind when the higher human soul ascends to the higher, akashic realms, and are often mistaken by mediums for the ‘spirits’ of the dead. Since they are instinctual entities, devoid of selfconscious intelligence, the communications received via mediums are often trivial and banal. Certain types of elementals can also draw on the information present in the minds of seance participants to give the illusion that the soul of a deceased person is present.
H.P. Blavatsky describes how at seances astral shells ‘fall on people like a cloud or a big octopus, and disappear within them as if sucked in by a sponge’. They vampirize sitters and mediums alike by depleting their vitality.4 Outside seance rooms, too, astral shells may be attracted by affinity to a person and sucked into their astral body, thereby strengthening whatever vice the person may be addicted to. A greater threat is said to be posed by ‘elementaries’ – the astral shells of humans who have led particularly depraved lives on earth, which take far longer to decompose.
Other beings inhabiting the astral realms are humans who have attained a high degree of occult power and are able to live or operate selfconsciously in the astral world after leaving their physical body behind, either temporarily or permanently. These may be humans of mahatmic stature, or their evil counterparts – the sorcerers, black magicians, or ‘brothers of the shadow’. Superhuman entities associated with the three highest kingdoms of nature inhabit the higher astral, or akashic realms.
Every physical planet in our solar system is surrounded by its own astral and akashic realms, which are condensed regions of the generalized astral and akashic planes that embrace the entire solar system. These various realms can be regarded as higher subplanes of our own cosmic plane, ‘above’ and ‘below’ which lie further sevenfold planes. According to the ageless wisdom, the boundless universe comprises an infinite number of planes within planes, worlds within worlds.
On the six cosmic planes ‘above’ our own, there are said to be 11 companion globes belonging to each of the planets we observe on our physical plane, with 12 globes making up a complete planetary chain. During the lifetime of earth, the monads embodying in each of the ten kingdoms or life-waves make seven circlings or rounds through all the twelve globes. On any globe, at any time, one kingdom dominates, and the bulk of its monads embody on that globe. The human kingdom is currently the dominant active kingdom on our own lowest globe of the earth-chain.
It is our higher human monads – and not of course our outer material bodies – that move from globe to globe, residing for millions of years on each one in turn during a planetary round. And in the course of even vaster periods of time, our spiritual and divine monads travel from planet to planet, and solar system to solar system. Our higher monads may also pass quickly through the other earth-globes and planets during sleep, after death, or during initiations. Just as each physical globe of a planet or star has its own astral and akashic realms, so does each of the higher globes.
Fig. 10.1. Schematic representation of the twelve globes of a planetary chain.
The possibility of our earth being visited by intelligent species who have evolved on other physical planets and have mastered the art of space travel cannot be ruled out. However, most of them would probably not be adapted to the earth’s gravity or able to breathe its atmosphere; nor would they necessarily look anything like ourselves. Advanced beings either from other globes on the physical plane or from other planes could also visit our own earth-globe and manifest in visible form by consciously projecting and then materializing their ethereal bodies.
However, given their appearance and behaviour, most of the wide range of otherworldly entities that humans have encountered through the ages are probably temporary physical manifestations of shape-shifting elemental and psychic energy-forms from the astral world immediately surrounding our physical globe. This means that they do not possess a relatively stable and permanent form and identity resulting from a lengthy process of evolution. In some cases their form may endure only for the period of their physical manifestation. And it may reflect witnesses’ own attitudes and beliefs along with ‘archetypal’ or other images and behavioural patterns recorded in the astral light. Such manifestations may either occur spontaneously or be orchestrated by intelligent agencies possessing the necessary powers, whose motives could range from purely benevolent to purely malevolent.
In our modern scientific space age, it is understandable that gnomes, fairies, and other traditional forms of elementals are now seen less commonly than UFOs and ‘aliens’. As Stuart Gordon says,
The images projected by individuals and maintained by group-belief have changed. But the basic process stays the same. The fairies and their ilk were literally diminished in stature and reality by the loss of popular belief in them – yet the mind-stuff of which they and other elementals are formed remains active – in us.5
While some otherworldly encounters seem to involve physical or semi-physical manifestations, others may be largely hallucinatory or visionary, or involve out-of-body experiences. But visionary experiences are not necessarily generated purely in our own heads, since our minds are immersed in the thought-atmosphere of Gaia and may be influenced by all manner of entities residing there.
Although ordinary humans are unable to predict when or where or to whom the next psychic visitation will occur, there is nothing accidental about it; ‘chance’ is merely a word we use to disguise our ignorance. Ultimately we reap what we sow, life after life, and encounter the experiences and challenges needed to enable us to correct our shortcomings and deepen our understanding of nature.
Astral entities require a source of energy to intrude into our own reality. This may be drawn from witnesses themselves or from the wider environment. It is noteworthy that certain geographical areas, characterized by geomagnetic and electromagnetic anomalies and disturbances, seem to attract a disproportionate amount of paranormal activity; they are sometimes called ‘window’ areas. There may be various factors at work which cause the materialization of astral forms and entities to become easier or more difficult at periodic intervals.
In his valuable book on unexplained phenomena, Jerome Clark alleges that the theory of visitations from other realms amounts to ‘obfuscation’:
To claim, as some do, that HBs [hairy bipeds] are dropping here out of another reality or dimension is to say nothing at all. Not, of course, that this could not be true; it is just that, given our present state of knowledge, we have no reason to believe it is true either. It is the intellectual equivalent of ‘explaining’ HBs by declaring them to be visitors from Cxkoikjlkfyl or any other fanciful place you want to make up.6
These remarks are a good example of ‘obfuscation’. Clark readily admits that some of the strange entities he describes in his book could be visitors from a ‘parallel reality’, ‘twilight zone’, or ‘Goblin Universe’; in fact this is often the only plausible suggestion he can come up with. But if these terms are more than just empty phrases, they most likely refer to the astral world of the occult tradition – a real, substantial, though more ethereal realm, interpenetrating our physical world and in constant interaction with it. Such a realm provides a key to understanding a wide range of otherworldly manifestations, and its existence has been recognized by mystics and occultists throughout the ages. The same can certainly not be said for ‘Cxkoikjlkfyl’!
- G. de Purucker, The Esoteric Tradition, Pasadena, CA: Theosophical University Press (TUP), 2nd ed., 1973, pp. 249-52; G. de Purucker, Questions We All Ask, TUP, 1929-30, 2:325-36; G. de Purucker, Fountain-Source of Occultism, TUP, 1974, 232-7; G. de Purucker, Studies in Occult Philosophy, TUP, 1973, pp. 49-52; Dialogues of G. de Purucker, TUP, 1948, 3:60-5.
- H.P. Blavatsky Collected Writings, Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1950-91, 6:169.
- W.Q. Judge, Echoes of the Orient, San Diego, CA: Point Loma Publications, 1975-87, 2:237.
- Blavatsky Collected Writings, 9:107.
- Gordon, The Paranormal, p. 206.
- Clark, Unexplained!, pp. xx, 175-6.
Visitors from the twilight zone: contents
Vampires and the living dead
UFOs: the psychic dimension
The ghost of Troutbeck