The Atheist Religion

V For Occupy

Tesla’s Legacy Under Threat

One Global Market

The End of Alchemy?

Mexican 2012-extraterrestrial secrets, or not?

Too Big To Fail

Cowboys and Aliens

Atlantis and Crete: an unhappy marriage

Roswell: the USSR hoax?

Tudor Pole’s Message for Our Time

Give Peace a Chance

Sitchin, aliens and gods

The Adjustment Bureau

E.T. is our home



Orion’s End February 5, 2012

Humanist MagazineThe Atheist Religion In recent weeks, the likes of Ricky Gervais and Bill Maher have been vociferous in proclaiming their atheist point of view. I have no problem with that. I do have a problem with those – like Maher – who proclaim that atheism is not a religion. It is.

I am the child of an atheist father and a Catholic mother. I believe there is a God, that Jesus was a great man but that he would laugh if we told him that he died to end original sin. And in recent years, I have become known as “an ancient alien theorist”, which in the eyes of many means that I believe that our ancestors mistook extra-terrestrial beings (though I prefer to label them non-human intelligences) as God or gods.

My dad believes that when he dies, there will be general nothingness. He was also convinced – until we discussed this point – that as a result, when he dies, there will be general nothingness, whereas when other people die, they will have to see whether or not they encounter God. It doesn’t work that way. What happens at death and what you believe happens at death is irrelevant. And it is one of my biggest beefs with the world of science that they do not study the near death experience, whether or not there is a soul, etc., using the excuse that this is not a topic for science, but one for religion. It is only sitting within the bailiwick of religion – belief – because science refuses to investigate it.

But not believing in god is a belief. Atheism is a belief there is no God. Maher and several other atheists state that they would gladly accept there is a God, if Jesus were somehow to come along for a Second Coming and thus show evidence of his existence. But it doesn’t work like that. The question of God really has nothing to do with whether or not Jesus comes back.

So why is atheism a religion? It is, if only because they believe there is no evidence for God. But what is evidence? Are we seriously considering that “proof of God” equals “Jesus’ Second Coming”? That is simplistic. In essence, the belief in God is that there is a higher force that has created and may guide life – and as a result human beings – on this planet, if not throughout the universe.

It is my belief that in the past, we were contacted by a number of non-human intelligences, like Viracocha, Quetzalcoatl and Oannes. These beings, our ancestors told us, taught us art but also morals. It is because of the latter that they were classified as gods. And in the Hermetic tradition, the wisdom tradition of the ancient Egyptians, we are told that the gods taught us about God. So if God was indeed an invention, it was an invention of the gods, and not so much our ancestors.

Some will jump on this to argue that God was therefore a suppression mechanism to keep our ancestors under control, but studying the Hermetica makes it clear that this is not at all the case. God was seen as a creating and guiding force, and at no point are there references to obedience or punishments. Instead, what we have are statements that we are closest to God when we create, innovate and think along those lines, rather than fall in repetition, fear and destruction. In fact, the ancient Egyptians did not have a word for religion; for them, the divine was not about belief, but about experiencing the world by creating, for God was a creator deity and best understood by the act of creation – one of the reasons why the arts were deemed to be so important.

Sadly, what atheists like Gervais and Maher share is a need to proclaim the dogma of atheism vociferously, on par with many of the fundamentalist right. In the case of Maher, he even sinks as low as putting on a magician’s hat and literal “mumbo jumbo” in efforts to substantiate his claims. It is belittling, rather than what he would see as “making a point”. There is a difference between being non-religious and an atheist. The main difference, in fact, seems to be that the atheist is on a crusade. In medieval times, the crusaders thought they were fighting evil; the atheists believe they are fighting religion. But in both cases, they are two shades of the same color. January 8, 2012

V For Occupy When Alan Moore was asked about the movie rendition of his graphic novel that was “V For Vendetta”, he said the American producers had played it too safe. The movie was made during the Bush Era, in the aftermath of 9/11, when even US hard-lined critics of the American regime and especially the Republican Administration that was in power seemed to fall in line with the official line, at least for a number of years, until it became clear that the War On Terror was another mirage which they had fallen for.

Moore disliked that the movie was set in England, whereas he felt that the woo of the world was truly in the United States. Fast-forward to the early fall of 2011, however, when it became clear that the movie was able to inspire millions as the masks that V wore during the movie became the face of the Occupy Movement which started in Wall Street. Indeed, TIME Magazine decided to name the Person of the Year 2011 “the protester”. The Year of Protest began on January 25, 2011 in Cairo, Egypt, blossoming into the Arab Spring and growing into a Western World Fall – though by the time winter came, certain key observations could be made.

For one, Moore had adopted the movement that had adopted his mask and the message that had been sent into the world via the movie. Secondly, the Occupy Movement had taken root in numerous countries – more than 2000 cities, it is claimed – and in most countries, the authorities did not know how to handle it. In London, it caused tremendous conflict within the hallowed walls of St Paul’s Cathedral, leading to two prominent religious leaders of that community stepping down over the manner in which the reaction to the protest movement had been handled.

In late 2011, especially the US Government came down on the protesters, most visibly in California and New York. It soon emerged that rather than a local idea, this was a co-ordinated effort, apparently instigated by none other than the White House. A White House which in the past years has received widespread condemnation as they feel that few if any of the promises Obama put forward during his presidential campaign in 2008 have come true.

But what emerged in late 2011 was, specifically, that the 99 percent identified with V and were apparently ready for a vendetta against the 1 percent. Indeed, when one was confronted with the harsh reality that the richest 400 Americans – indeed: 400 – have the same amount of money as the poorest 150 million citizens, there has to be something seriously wrong. In short, that are 150 million Americans with no hope for a better future, except if the balance of power becomes radically different and there are few means through which this can be done. Amongst the means known to the masses, it seems, is specifically the means put forward by V and his Vendetta. And though whereas that is largely set in London, in 2011, it became applicable – largely – to the streets of New York. So Moore had his dream come true.

So far, the 99 percent has lost out to the status quo, largely because the audacity of the protest is still ruled by fear. Revolutions only occur when the fearless and/or those with nothing to lose take to the streets and demand a future for themselves. That is the type of protester that took to the streets in Cairo and succeeded in bringing about change. And so whereas so far we have identified V For Vendetta as the image that rallied people into protest, we have forgotten that other aspect of the movie, which is how Evy and V become reborn, when they let go of their fear, become void of the F of Fear. It is the single most important ingredient… but maybe that is what will happen in 2012. Maybe the TwelF of 2012 will be about conquering Fear. November 18, 2011

Tesla’s Legacy Under Threat On Long Island, roughly sixty miles east of New York City, sits what remains of the Wardenclyffe Tower, one of the world’s most ambitious dreams ever – or at least, what was meant to be, but which never materialized. The tower was built between 1901 and 1917 by one of the world’s most incredible geniuses, Nikola Tesla. After an already illustrious career in inventing such things as alternating current, which laid the foundation for our modern everyday existence, the tower was meant to be part of a wireless telecommunications system that would show that wires were not required for telephones. It might have been an shocking concept in the early years of the 20th century, but a century later, wireless communications dominates the world. Indeed, it remains a total puzzle to me how thousands of megabytes seem to float in mid-air and yet somehow reach their destination!

In short, the world we live in, is Tesla’s. But the world does not remember Tesla; the tower is one of the few remaining monuments that physically remind us of his genius. There isn’t even a Tesla home, as he largely spent his life living in hotel rooms. And even the tower itself was never complete; in 1917, the uppers structure was blown up on orders of the United States Government, who feared the landmark would be used by German submarines approaching the East Coast. After the war, the facility was sold a number of times, eventually ending up with the Belgian photographic company AGFA, which closed the facility in 1992. Today, the tower stands for sale – for just over 1.5 million dollars – and there are plans to build a shopping mall.

When you read about the Wardenclyffe Tower, most commentators are quick to point out that the facility was never truly operational. To some extent, that is correct, as the tower was never used for the purpose it was built for. But Tesla did use the facility for a number of years, for other experiments. The reason why the tower was never used, has nothing to do with its original purpose, and all with what Tesla wanted to use it for.

The tower was almost operational in 1903, when Tesla decided he would demonstrate one other aspect of his genius: how electrical energy could be transmitted without the need for power lines. The entire project was sponsored by one of the richest men in America, J.P. Morgan. When he found out that wireless electrical consumption could not be metered, he stopped the development and made sure none of his fellow millionaires would offer Tesla funding for its completion. By 1905, all activity on the site was stopped, with employees laid off the following year. It marked the beginning of Tesla’s demise; he had become a dangerous eccentric, one who could upset the economies that ruled the world.

Today, Tesla is largely a forgotten genius. Ask people whether they know Edison, and they will. Tesla, not so much. But it is a fact that Tesla’s genius was several times that of Edison. It is just that Tesla was far more controversial. And thus, in the end, he was shunned and “actively forgotten”. But he retains a small but strong following. They have been vociferous in their attempts to designate the tower as a historic site, a campaign which started in the late 1960s. Today, the campaign is all about preserving the tower, as if a shopping mall will be developed, one of the last physical reminders of Tesla will be destroyed. The cost of keeping his name alive, it seems, is 1.65 million dollars. The question is whether more than a century on from J.P. Morgan stopping Tesla, the economies of the 21st century are any different. November 11, 2011

One Global Market The “Cluetrain manifesto” was written in 1999, when the Internet was still in its infancy. The 95 step manifesto asserted that the new medium would create a revolution for business marketing, which would need to be reinvented for this new medium. The central insights was that the internet allowed for human to human conversations, which is unlike the marketing models that big business was using. It argued that what was happening, was that the Internet was a global conversation, of people.

Markets, in the past, were places where people met. Trading was only part of a more total, more personal experience. People went there for social interactions, not just buying goods. “In many ways, the internet more resembles an ancient bazaar than it fits the business models companies try to impose on it.”

But then, as our society changed, the importance of the personal experience of going to the market disappeared, and was replaced by a one-way communication: the market and its leaders were talking to the customer and all they cared about was buying and what the customer should buy. But then the internet arrived and all of a sudden, the customer was empowered to talk back to the providers and about the products they offered.

A decade ago, Borders bookshop had two decades of advantage over Amazon. But what Amazon introduced in its market experience was that each book could be commented upon and rated. New markets like eBay allowed everyone to offer their goods without any real investment in shop fronts and like, meaning that everyone was competing at an equal footing. Trust in providers was once again created by a system of customer feedback and their experience and ratings.

But most refreshing of all was that the new methodology of buying had become more personal; these markets were conversations, not just when it came to leaving comments, but even the possibility of asking the sellers additional questions about their products. And everyone communicates in a language that is natural, open, honest, direct and often funny.

It was, in short, the end of business as usual and a return to “business as before” – the markets had functioned for millennia. But what the Internet had managed to accomplish was substitute the traditional, physical market place with a global market place, one where everyone could come to, hang out, and if they enjoyed what they were seeing, buy some products.

The 2012 phenomenon is all about the creation of the global village; the internet as the global market is an aspect of this, and it is no coincidence that this new market was created and grew from ca. 1993 onwards, the final katun of the Great Cycle of 13 baktuns of the Mayan calendar system. The Mayans’ message was always that the final katun of a Great Cycle was one that would see tremendous change and this has clearly been the case for our world. We have become a global village, but we should not forget that we are also becoming a global market.

What the web accomplished, was to bring back humanity and personality back to the marketplace. It satisfied a primordial need, which the corporate world is still largely incapable of delivering. For it to survive, it will need to find and put on a more human face and realize that when it comes to selling, we are back to basics. The internet is a global bazaar. October 26, 2011

The End of Alchemy? There used to be a time when alchemists were the right hand man of kings and emperors. The promise, whether fulfilled or not, of manufacturing gold almost out of thin air that would aid the royal or imperial treasure chests was always appealing and was an opportunity not to be missed, even if the alchemist’s proper credentials were not always in place. If an alchemist were not invited to the royal court, he might move onwards to another king, and bestow his skills on a competing royal – a risk too dangerous for most to take.

But where is alchemy in the 21st century? The notion of a man playing with the elements in his laboratory, trying to concoct gold from “baser elements” might seem like a dinosaur from a lost era, as today, we should know – as science has shown to us – that such alchemical transformations are impossible. Right? And therefore, we no longer find alchemists taking up cabinet positions or influencing the Obamas and Putins of this world. Or if it happens, at least not in public.

What happened? My suggestion would be that alchemy became irrelevant. However, do not get me wrong, I also believe that alchemy has been proven to be true at the same time that it disappeared. It is merely the case that we might have failed to notice this.

As the science of alchemy was so nebulous for so many centuries, the term has come to mean so many things. But most will agree that alchemy is about the transformation of our reality, the elements, through certain means. This knowledge was apparently passed down through secret(ive) schools, maybe from the time of the Ancient Egyptians onwards. At the core is the belief that “prime matter”, the atoms, which are all around us, can be transformed into something far more than what the laws of physics claim or manifest. For the ancient Egyptians, it was the creator deity, Atum – hence the name atom – who had created the universe and everything in it.

The conclusion that our reality is largely a thought construct, is precisely what quantum physics in the first half of the 20th century proved. It revealed that below the layer of what we see, is a sea of quantums, which can be influenced by thought. And this conclusion is precisely the evidence alchemy sought for thousands of years. But it is also the single event that apparently made alchemy obsolete. Somehow, the importance of the interconnected of those two events seems to have gone unnoticed by all, most of all, it seems, the alchemists themselves.

But not all. Dennis Hauck is a practicing alchemist with his own laboratory. He states that he refuses to photograph or videotape or let people in the part of his laboratory where he stores his original substances (which he will transform as part of his alchemical processes), as the alchemist tradition states that if someone were to merely look at their container, those thoughts will have an outcome in the alchemical experiment to be performed. This tradition – which Hauck follows to this very day – is clearly linked with the conclusions drawn by quantum physics, which is that thought influences matter: we can influence the outcome. And that is precisely the alchemical premise adhered to by thousands of alchemists throughout the ages.

Alchemy flourished when Christianity was all about making sure that there was a priest as an intermediary between you and experiencing the divine. That man would dabble in trying to alter God’s creation was an even worse sacrilege, if not demonic. Today, though mainstream science has popularly won the war with organized religion, it nevertheless has placed the same scorn on alchemy the Pope had used. Even though quantum physics is a proper science, “Science” as such likes to put it in the corner.

And so, one might say, alchemy was proven by quantum physics, but at the same time, quantum physics has made alchemy obsolete. Maybe. A succinct overview of modern alchemy definitely suggests that the modern alchemists’ preoccupations are isolated and somewhat outdated – without a proper context. Equally, I believe that quantum physics could learn more about itself if alchemists understood the new paradigm better and tried to see what their discipline could add to this modern science. This resulting synergy would be for the mutual benefit of both. For it is clear that whereas quantum physics talks a great talk, the great… alchemical transformations that this science preaches as gospel and knows to be true, have had little to no real applications for the common people, who would be in awe if they could see some of the magic that quantum physics holds to be true. Seeing is believing.

And so, on the one hand, we have a scientific discipline that knows the truth, but seems unable to visualize it, and alchemy, deemed to be a non-science, but specifically preoccupied with manifesting quantum physics into our reality and visualizing it. Is alchemy dead? No; like the phoenix, it has transformed itself into a new science, quantum physics. October 6, 2011

Mexican 2012-extraterrestrial secrets, or not? In recent years, I have become associated with the 2012 phenomenon, as well as the question whether our ancestors have been visited by ancient aliens – I am one of the faces of the popular and controversial History Channel documentary, “Ancient Aliens.” I drifted into both controversies largely because there is a stand-off between scientists, who argue that both subjects are without any merit, and the general public, who want to know, and if possible, find out the truth. It is why the skeptics call me a believer, and the believers refer to me as a skeptic.

It is now widely known that the Mayan calendar ends on December 21, 2012 AD. This simple fact has led to major Hollywood blockbusters imaging that it will signal the end of the world, while dozens of mass-market books speculate as to what will happen on that day. In spite of all of these things, we know very little about 2012. The only thing we do know, gleaned from one Mayan inscription, is that the Mayans themselves spoke of a return of the gods.

Over the past few months, the 2012 debate has been livened up by a stunning allegation made by film producer Raul Julia-Levy. As reported in newspapers and other media around the world, in an upcoming documentary, Julia-Levy’s “Revelations of the Mayans 2012 and Beyond” allegedly argues that the Mexican government is in the possession of secret information that shows the end of the Mayan calendar is linked with extraterrestrial beings. But does it?

What we do know, is that Julia-Levy claims that certain information has been held secret for eighty years and that his documentary is backed by the Mexican government, who is allowing him to film in many previously protected archaeological locations. One of these sites is Calakmul, where several rooms were discovered inside a pyramid. Tourism minister for the Mexican state of Campeche Luis Augusto Garcia Rosado confirmed that they were letting Julia-Levy film these sites.

Julia-Levy has also said that he had been made aware of secret Mayan information by former Mexican president Vicente Fox, who is a friend of his family. It then took him four years before he got the OK from current president Felipe Calderon to create this documentary. The English-language documentary will be directed by Juan Carlos Ruflo and began preproduction in October of 2011. The film seems to be one of the cornerstones of Mexico’s 2012 Mayan World Program, which is meant to bring tourism to the country.

Based on this information, it appears that the documentary is about archaeology. But the international media reported that the documentary is going to reveal secret information that the Mayans were in contact with extraterrestrial beings. Following these reports, it was said that Julia-Levy had been ordered (presumably by the Mexican authorities) not to talk about any of the more mystical possibilities. Indeed, it was not Julia-Levy, but the Tourism Minister Rosado who was quoted in a press release talking about contact between the Mayans and extraterrestrials. That statement has been recalled, and Rosado himself now paints this as a simpler, more archaeological-oriented documentary. When Julia-Levy was asked to comment on whether the movie would involve aliens, mystical elements or doomsday scenarios that have fueled the popular imagination, he declined to elaborate. “I can just say that the Mexican government is preparing to tell humanity and the world things that are critical for us, for the way we live, for the way we’ve been handling the planet.”

The alien angle was aided by – if not created because –Julia-Levy is involved in a similar project, variously entitled “Chronicles of the Mayan Tunnel” and “Secrets of the Mayan Time Machine.” In 2010, news of this project made it to the press and at that time, it was reported that the novel was being written with the help of “secret information” never before released by the Mexican government. But Julia-Levy says that this movie, with an estimated budget of 80 million dollars, has no connection to the current documentary. That film is on hold as it was to star Wesley Snipes, who is currently serving a prison sentence for tax evasion.

Since news about Julian-Levy’s documentary has circulated, Guatemala’s minister of tourism, Guillermo Novielli Quezada, has added that “Guatemala, like Mexico, [is] home to the ancient-yet-advanced Mayan civilization” and that it “has also kept certain provocative archeological discoveries classified, and now believes that it is time to bring forth this information in the new documentary.” On his personal Facebook page, Julia-Levy said: “I think the world is ready for the truth, we may have a strong opposition by the Vatican, but the truth is the truth and we can’t hide it any longer, I’m ready for this journey and ready to tell the world a story that will change their minds forever.”

So whether or not this story involves extraterrestrial beings, some great truth or merely first-time access to some archaeological sites, the world is watching this documentary, and will need to wait for another year, as it is scheduled to be made into a theatrical release by late 2012. September 16, 2011

Too Big To Fail “Too big to fail” is probably the scariest movie ever made. It is about those faithful months of August and September 2008, when mortgage companies folded and banks needed to be bailed out. The movie “Too Big To Fail”, made for HBO, identifies how as a result, ten banks were identified as simply too big to fail, for if they did, they would bring down not just the entire American financial system, but the world economy as a whole. They literally hold the fate of this world in their hand… and they know it.

As interest in the 2012 phenomenon began to rise, I began to look for what social changes were occurring and were forecast to occur in upcoming years. In one Google alert, an economic wizard – before the collapse of 2008 – predicted a world economic crisis for 2012. When the 2008 crisis happened, commentators congratulated him on predicting it, arguing that he did however get the year wrong. His reply: “no I didn’t.”

As the end credits of “Too Big To Fail” roll, it is clear that TARP, the government plan to solidify American markets, was a plaster on a broken leg. That the government realized certain incredibly draconian and major measures had to happen, as otherwise the world economy would collapse.

When you analyze the world economy, we all know by now that it is built on trust. But it is also built on thin air. The world economy has truly not been stimulated since the end of the Cold War, i.e. 1990-ish. Before, growth was largely the result of defense expenditure. Peace, however, all of a sudden meant less spending on the staple ingredient of a world economy based on fear. So a series of new economic motors were advertised, from the dot com bubble, to the housing market, in efforts to push the markets ever upwards. In between, 9/11 was used to even bring out the notion that security systems and like would help boost and inject the economy. Nothing worked… In medical terms, the world economy’s heart has stopped beating a long time ago and all attempts to revive the patient have failed.

So when the housing market collapsed, it became apparent just how grand the self-delusions – and greed – of the financial sector truly were. And because this was not just a folie à deux, but a mass hallucination, it not only brought down various parts of the financial industry, but almost brought down the entire system.

So we know that in the aftermath of this crisis, the banks for a period of time didn’t lend to customers, as the US government had hoped they would do with the money that was given to them. But as that hurdle is now apparently smoothed out, we all seem to live in the belief that the financial sector is once again stable. But is it? But is the global economy largely not surviving because there is little economic news to report these days? One might almost consider it to be a conspiracy of silence, in which the silence itself is there to guarantee – or enable, or maybe allow – the world economy to buy time, until “something” will happen that will re-inject some true spine in the markets. But how can this be when everywhere individuals, like American homeowners who continue to be foreclosed, have no faith in the future?

So the notion that the greatest economic collapse is still to happen in 2012 is not such a fantasy. And what 2011 is showing, is that whereas governments were still pretty robust in 2008, by 2012, this is definitely no longer to be taken for granted. To make matters worse: “world oil” largely moved from dollars to Euros in the last decade. That seemed a wise move, as the American economy seemed to slow down, while Europe seemed a cauldron of vitality. But in 2011, several European states are teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, and some of them are not small economies. In August 2011, Germany saw 0.1% growth, which largely resulted in an emergency summit between French president Sarkozy and German Chancellor Merkel, as this was potentially apocalyptic news for the survival of the Euro and the Union.

Creating an economy on a continent that does not have true political union was risky at best, but it might become the death of the world economy; for if banks cannot be bailed out by governments, some of whom are close to defaulting on their own loans, the end of the world as we know it, is truly near.

The collapse of this house of card will occur at some point. And it might not be long. And it might not necessarily be a bad thing. Why? Because it is not real. We are shackled to a system that fails, because it was never truly real and right now, we are keeping it alive, because somehow we feel it is vital. But if history has taught us anything, it is that it simply is not so.

When the Berlin Wall fell, one television reporter asked a commentator whether this showed that capitalism had won over communism. He answered that the Soviet bloc had never been a true communist regime, but he added that it merely showed that communism seemed to have more flaws than capitalism, implying dire times were ahead of that too. He too, was proven to be right, though it took almost twenty years before that became apparent. August 22, 2011

Cowboys and Aliens Putting Cowboys and Aliens together as the title of a film is an unlikely combination and from all the information gathered from the previews, there was a moderate chance that the film starring Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford would be cheesy, but the end product was not. In the early production days of Season 3 of Ancient Aliens, it became clear that the season’s start would coincide with the release of the movie, and hence, that same combination, of ancient aliens and cowboys, was explored in the first episode of the new season. The era of the cowboys is not necessarily ancient, but the era does define a rawness of mankind, an era of survival in a harsh often hostile quite often alien environment.

The Aurora Crash of 1897 is somewhat within the bailiwick of cowboys, but during the interviews for the show, what became apparent to me, was how the New World and its inhabitants was literally an alien landscape for the Western explorers. Here were people speaking a language no-one could understand, in a landscape that often looked otherworldly – imagine the first explorers walking into the Grand Canyon or Monument Valley. If we ever need to imagine how we would feel if we were to discover an extra-terrestrial civilization somewhere in the universe, the mindset of these explorers as they pushed west across America is one of the most touchable historic examples.

When it comes to areas of New Mexico (where the movie is set) or Arizona (or so many other states), you are confronted with Native American lore about thunderbirds and other gods that were once said to have lived amongst the local population, before they disappeared from interacting with these people. And it are such stories that make Cowboys & Aliens come to life. Here is a story of otherworldly beings, including magical other-dimensional beings that can rise from the dead.

But let us turn the perspective around and it becomes apparent that the arrival of the Europeans in the New World caused tremendous devastation. We were the alien invaders. Here were people with magical weapons that fired, which killed at an instant. They spoke an alien language which no-one could understand. Everywhere they went, they left disaster – often totally undesired, because of the various diseases to which Europeans were immune, but which wreaked havoc amongst the native population. If we weren’t the people conquering America, what would we have made of the fantastical accounts left behind by these Native Americans? Would it not have sounded utterly fantastical? The very stuff of myths and legends? I think the answer is a likely yes.

Director Jon Favreau was aware of the classic ancient alien discussion point, which is that the party with the highest technology has a distinct advantage. At no point in Cowboys and Aliens, however, are they mistaken for gods. But this stand-off between a low and high technology culture also means that the cowboys and the Native Americans come together in the hope of defeating the technologically superior culture. It is also often reported, in UFOlogical circles, that if Mankind was faced with a common, extraterrestrial enemy, the nations of the world would quickly unite. And this is on display in the movie.

Though the movie is largely there for entertainment purposes only and does not have any profound message for its viewers, below the surface, the big themes of the alien debate are present, worked into the framework of the movie, rather than in most visible layer of it. June 17, 2011

Atlantis and Crete: an unhappy marriage The number one hate of archaeology has to be Atlantis. The attempts to explain it away or park it somewhere safe remain a favourite kneejerk reaction from the armchair scientists. For them, the veracity of the Atlantis account as written by Plato simply cannot be, for scientists “know” a civilization cannot have existed 9600 BC in the Atlantic Ocean.

Though Plato wrote about Atlantis in a book on history, some “clever” historians have argued that it is nevertheless not a real civilization, but an “idealized state”. And they assume they can get away with it, by adding the word “philosopher” in front of Plato’s name. Others, like historian Alan Cameron, state: “It is only in modern times that people have taken the Atlantis story seriously; no one did so in antiquity.” No, Mr. Cameron; this is simply not true. Though many Greeks were indeed sceptical of the Atlantis story when they heard it for the first time, the story in its telling and context was Egyptian in origin, introduced to the Greeks by Plato, who recorded what he had learned from Solon, the man who had heard the story in Egypt. We could classify it as second-hand evidence or hearsay, but unlike today, the few enterprising sceptical Greeks actually went to Egypt to disprove Plato’s account. When they returned home, they confirmed that Plato had indeed written the truth: the Egyptians had an account that spoke of a lost civilization, known as Atlantis. They had seen the story written on the walls of the Egyptian temples themselves.

Whereas several scientists argue that Atlantis is an idealized state, a more common trend, in vogue in recent decades within the archaeological community, is to park Atlantis on the island of Thera/Santorini, an island just north of Crete. In the middle of the first millennium BC, the volcano that is Santorini had a violent eruption that destroyed some of the urban settlements on the island, like Akrotiri, though it had a far more nefarious effect on the Minoan civilization that reigned over the Mediterranean waters from Crete to the south.

In his Atlantis account, Plato wrote how “there occurred violent earthquakes and floods; and in a single day and night of misfortune all your warlike men in a body sank into the earth, and the island of Atlantis in like manner disappeared in the depths of the sea. For which reason the sea in those parts is impassable and impenetrable, because there is a shoal of mud in the way; and this was caused by the subsidence of the island.” It is the favourite passage from Plato that archaeologists and historians like to quote when it comes to the Thera=Atlantis solution, for of course Santorini was a sudden, violent event, which heralded the demise of the Minoan civilization. On the North coast of Crete, you can still see the various geological layers that testify of this event.

But what about all the other evidence, related by Plato, which does not fit with Thera and the Minoan civilization as being Atlantis? First of all, its location. Plato describes it as outside of the Pillars of Hercules, which today is better known as Gibraltar, the rocky outcrop that defines the southern tip of Spain. Thera is located inside the Mediterranean Sea, not outside the Mediterranean Sea. What about age? The volcano erupted in ca. 1500 BC, while Atlantis was destroyed nine thousand years before Plato. But most importantly: what about size? Plato gives an extremely detailed description of the dimensions of the walls of Atlantis, making it clear that the island was several hundred miles wide and long, with the “walls” of Atlantis itself roughly two hundred miles from the sea itself. This size is simply impossible to fit either on Santorini as well as on the far larger island of Crete.

When we take the three ingredients together, it shows that Thera or Crete simply could not have been Atlantis. For Thera to work as Atlantis, a tremendous redux has to occur of all the information Plato offered about this civilization. This pick and mix approach is highly unscientific, but when it comes to explaining inconvenient legends like Atlantis away, the scientific approach is the first to be thrown out. The question is: how often are we going to see science – and television stations, the BBC chiefly amongst them – regurgitate this fallacy? Atlantis is not Crete. June 3, 2011

Roswell: the USSR Hoax? My opinion on UFOs is that there is a genuine phenomenon, but that most of what we believe – from Roswell, via MJ-12 and “the conspiracy” – is deliberate government misinformation. My series of articles on this topic, collectively called UFOgate, are amongst the least requested articles by magazines for inclusion in their pages, suggesting not many alternative researchers want to hear this opinion.

I am therefore extremely happy that a book is tackling Roswell in an innovative way. The person responsible is Annie Jacobsen, a Los Angeles based journalist, who in her bestselling and high profile book on Area 51, has claimed that the truth about Roswell can be found with Joseph Stalin sending a Horten-disk equipped ship, manned by children, to the heartland of America’s atomic development, in an effort to frighten the US government.

The UFO researchers who maintain Roswell is all about ET have pointed out that “all” we have for this is an anonymous source – an engineer who worked at the site in 1978 – that spoke to Jacobsen, or that she herself might be part of a disinformation campaign to deny the “alien truth”. Some UFO researchers like Dick Farley have expressed their dissatisfaction with their colleagues who refuse to look at the evidence, or read the book, because that might make their fragile house of cards collapse.

Since the publication of the book, the anonymous source has been identified as 89 year old former EG&G Rotron scientist Alfred O’Donnell. When contacted by UFO researcher Anthony Braglia, O’Donnell confirmed he knew Annie Jacobsen, but he would not state outright that he was her source for the Roswell story, though he did not deny it either.

Jacobsen, relying on a single source, may not be totally correct, but is no doubt very close to the truth. The nuance is in some of the interpretation. I am not totally convinced it was meant to be an act of intimidation on behalf of Stalin. And engineers in Area 51 or the CIA would not have known the motivation as to why Stalin did what did. All we know, is that a Horten disk, apparently remotely controlled, with genetically manipulated children inside, crashed during a thunderstorm near Roswell, which at the time – before Area 51 existed – was at the heart of America’s nuclear program; Roswell was the only base where planes with nuclear bombs were stationed. In the days before satellites, Stalin must have done his utmost to get information from that facility, and the Roswell crash may have been an accident, as the craft did crash during a thunderstorm.

A Horten disk is one of those machines you read about in “free energy” books, for it was developed by the Nazis using “new” technology and then disappeared into oblivion, apparently into Russian hands. That Roswell was a Horten disk, is actually supported by better evidence than the words of one anonymous source. And whereas one might argue that the source was told a lie and that the craft was not Russian but alien, the following papers make it apparent that is not the case. In 1994, the US government responded to a Freedom of Information Act request by UFO researcher Timothy Cooper, releasing details about “Operation Harass”. This turned out to be papers showing that in 1947-8, the CIA were in a terrible hurry and tried their utmost to locate the Horten brothers, who somehow had not been rounded up by either the Soviets or Americans. The CIA eventually located them. Why did the CIA all of a sudden want to speak to them so urgently? The answer comes from a journalist who contacted Reimar Horten in Argentina. Horten agreed to be interviewed, but said he did not want to speak about the CIA. Why? Horten said that the CIA once came to him with questions as he had allegedly designed a flying saucer! This is very intriguing evidence that what crashed at Roswell, was indeed a Horten disk, and that subsequently the CIA went in search of the Horten brothers, to find out more details.

The question is whether the Horten disk was meant to spy on US nuclear facilities and whether its crash was intentional or accidental. Jacobsen believes the crash was on purpose and that Stalin hoped that the news would cause panic in the US, on par with what occurred following Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds broadcast in 1938. Until we find papers from Stalin’s era, I would argue a straightforward accident is the likeliest scenario.

So what about its occupants? They were believed to have been the result of scientific experiments performed on humans by Nazi doctor Josef Mengele. I think it is likely these occupants themselves were there as part of a test. Nazi Germany had a track record of experimenting with human beings. The basic idea was that the human body could be adjusted in certain ways as to better cope with high altitude and zero gravity. The Nazis had a inhumane approach to resolving the problem, but in the 1990s, it was discovered that the US government had used human test subjects too. It is logical to assume the Soviets would not have been left out.

So what Jacobsen’s book presents, is a new perspective on Roswell. It is no doubt very close to the truth, though may not be the final truth. For that, papers from 1947 will need to be released, especially the old archives of the USSR need to be located, for the truth about Roswell seems to reside there. But until that time, we can only hope that some people within the UFO field will take the opportunity to seriously look at Jacobsen’s and related material, and begin to redefine “Roswell”. May 20, 2011

Tudor Pole’s Message for Our Time Two years ago, we bought a CD in Glastonbury: “A Message for the Coming Time”, a recording made in 1963 by Wellesley Tudor Pole. He was one of the instigators of preserving Glastonbury’s Chalice Well, but on this CD, you can hear the man’s spiritual vision. In “2012, Science or Fiction?”, I list non-Mayan prophecies for our times, and in that line, I could have added Tudor Pole as one of those who saw our current era as one of great change.

In this lecture in 1963, he uttered his conviction that fifty years ago, a century had begun, which would culminate in fifty years – 2013 – and which would be a decisive moment: either we would move on to a higher spiritual plane, or Mankind would fall back to its most basest of living conditions. So from 1913 onwards – the year before the First World War – until 2013, Earth was at a crossroads. He believed that in this time, Mankind was guided by intelligences from beyond this plane of existence, and specifically mentioned the archangel Michael as the person who would make sure that light would conquer the forces of chaos, darkness. How? Tudor Pole was convinced that for this to happen, light merely had to shine. And when it shined, joy and happiness would be. And if we could live in love, joy and happiness, the forces of chaos would have no hold over us.

For this, the forces of good had apparently created a “Blended Ray”, which had blended the Energy of Love with the Energy of Wisdom. This Blended Ray was there to “bless and inspire Mankind as well as all life on Earth.” To put it in 1963 posh-English speak: “this Blended Ray has manifested in a particularly potent manner to inspire and prepare the way for the Dawn of a new Dispensation for the Human Race, an era of Goodwill, Brotherhood and Peace.”

So long before the Mayan Calendar became popular, or even before the Age of Aquarius reached its peak in the late 1960s, Tudor Pole was already emphasising our times as a time of great change – the end of one era, and the beginning of a new one. Instrumental in this change was the macrocosmos and the microcosmos. He speaks with great emphasis on the division of the atom that led to the atomic bomb, arguing that we needed to properly harness this energy, as otherwise, it could lead to serious repercussions. When we look at the historical record, it is clear that we have an imperfect score. Mankind did manage not to blow itself into annihilation, to which we came closest during the Cold War, and specifically the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962. But the “peaceful” exploration of the atom, especially for energy, has clearly soiled the earth greatly: Chernobyl in 1986 and the recent disasters in Japan stand out. And I find it interesting that Tudor Pole specifically warned for this peaceful usage of the atom – an unusual warning to be heard at the depths of the Cold War, and one which Mankind did not take then; it seems Japan 2011 needed to occur before several nations in this world began to seriously reconsider their atomic energy policy.

He also used the separation of the atom as an analogy for how in modern Man, the intellect and the heart had become detached and how this separation had lead to some of the greatest atrocities ever witnessed on the earth – and 48 years on, this is still the case. Living by the intellect, we have abandoned our soul. We live in a world of scientific reductionism, in which death, spirit, the soul and all things paranormal are “out of bounds”, however much our heart, when used, feels and knows those topics are the only true sciences worth studying. Indeed, the separation of the mind and soul seems to be so omnipresent with most of us, for there is no real cry of outrage that science should give the exploration of the “paranormal” total precedence. Or maybe it is because we perfectly know the attitude the mass of scientists would take if this challenge were placed in front of them? May 6, 2011

Give Peace a Chance In 1991, when President George Bush – now referenced as Senior – decided to attack Iraq because of its invasion of Kuwait, a group of musicians labelled themselves “The Peace Choir” and re-recorded “Give Peace a Chance”, originally released by John Lennon. The British BBC decided not to air the song either on radio or television, for it was felt that the song was too controversial. Of course, by 1991, the two decades old song was already world famous, hummed and whistled on a daily basis. But it was, together with “War Is Over” and “Imagine” part of a trilogy of songs written by Lennon that sent out a powerful message of peace, a message which the leaders of those and our times did not want to hear.

War, rather than peace, is the ambition of politicians, even though they declare that wars are instigated to protect “our freedom”, even though our freedom is condensed more and more by those same politicians, “for our protection”. Of course. Logical. Not?

The 20th century knew three fervent promoters of the Message of Peace: Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and John Lennon. All three were assassinated. Two were politically active, but Lennon was a musician. But he understood better than anyone that the entire world was his stage, due to the popularity of The Beatles. “The Summer of 1968” was in part Lennon’s creation, for an entire young generation listened to Lennon as one of their potential social leaders.

Personally, Lennon hoped that this new generation did not need or listened to leaders. He was convinced that everyone suffered from a “father problem”. He himself had grown up without the presence of his dad, but that was not the key problem: once an adult, Lennon believed, everyone looked towards politicians and religious leaders as substitute-dads and this was one of the primary problems of society. And though he preached a revolution, he felt that protest marches were not the right way to bring about change. Rallies were always abused by the authorities and the larger they were, the more death or destruction seemed to accompany them.

So how was the Revolution of Peace to come about? It was a subject that Lennon had pondered from the early days of his fame. Once a phenomenon, Lennon realized that everything he said, would not only be scrutinized, but also became headline news the world over. One somewhat loose remark about Jesus made him a most controversial figure in the United States and even resulted in a series of death threats. When he was asked about the war in Vietnam, he bit his tongue for many years, until he could no longer suppress his opinion. By that time, the world had come around to his point of view. He realized that people looked to him as a prophet. But as he realized that the entire world listened to what he had to say, and sometimes went ballistic over it, he realized that there were two distinct methods on how he could, if not should, manage the rest of his life.

He knew that his words could unleash commotion if not a revolt with an entire generation, if he so wanted to. He could become a demagogue. But if he were to, he would become a substitute father himself and that is not what he wanted to accomplish. Instead, he felt that the Revolution of Peace had to occur inside each of us. That he had to meditate and had to live in peace and harmony with himself. Internal peace had to be established and from this core, the world would change, if everyone could embrace this basic message. That was the Peace Message that Lennon wanted to send into the world and music was his initial vehicle.

And why was he murdered? Of course, the standard version is that it was a coincidence, but look beyond the official line and it is obvious that many authorities considered Lennon to be a lose cannon – a man who greatly upset the standard social status quo. He was world famous, had the ear of millions if not billions, and preached a message of peace at a time of war. Once The Beatles dissolved and he was married to Yoko Ono, the message of peace became coupled with a message of love. United, Lennon and Ono began to organize specific campaigns so that the world heard the message of peace and love time after time. It had become his mantra. But it was a mantra that was the opposite of the Message of the (Cold) War that the substitute dads preached. And thus Lennon was “accidentally” killed by a lone gunman. But thirty years onwards, his message remains present in the collective unconscious and hopefully continues to inspire more than just one generation of us. April 1, 2011

Sitchin, aliens and God As someone who appears frequently on The History Channel’s series “Ancient Aliens”, one of the more frequent questions or objections I receive is whether ET killed God. My answer is a definitive no, and let me explain why.

There are various types of ancient alien hypotheses and the more literal they are, the more often I find they are erroneous, especially if they are riding on the tail of a “mega-theory”. Take the most famous example of the field: Zecharia Sitchin introduced the notion of the existence of a twelfth planet into our solar system, arguing that this was knowledge possessed by the ancient Sumerians and that the race that lived on this planet, named Nibiru, had colonised Earth and genetically modified our ancestors into us. Only he could correctly translate the Sumerian language, he claimed, and though he maintained so for four decades, we know he read the Sumerian language – at best – poorly.

According to Sitchin, the planet Nibiru had an elliptical orbit, which according to astronomers – and common logic – is unlikely to be possible, especially if that planet would also be comfortable in sustaining life along its 3600 year orbit through our solar system. But the less evidence there is for Nibiru’s existence, the more fundamentalist some people come in their promotion and belief of it.

With the arrival of the 2012-phenomenon, Sitchin-fans decided that maybe it was a good idea to link 2012 with the idea that this was the return of Nibiru. But fact of the matter is that if this were the case, this planet would now be clearly visible in our skies, even if there was a massive scientific cover-up in place to “deny the truth”, as some would have it. But it does underline the all too common notion that if two unexplained mysteries are coupled, that somehow this is proof that both are right!

Sitchin’s fan argue that astronomers have noted an unusual pattern in the influx of comets as they enter our solar system, suggestive that maybe there is a planet far out there, in the so-called Oort Cloud. The anomalies could be explained if there was a planet one to four times the mass of Jupiter. Indeed, “some” astronomers argue that indeed, but there is no evidence for this planet, even though it should be easily detectable, especially if it were to be due for arrival near Earth next year. So, in short, the promoters of “Planet X” – as the planet is commonly referred to – have no evidence.

You might wonder why Sitchin or his theories are not more prominently part of the “Ancient Aliens” series. The answer is quite simple: Sitchin had theories and tried to make the evidence fit his theories. So, yes, whereas Sitchin states that “ET was here”, it is in the detail that his theory is lost. And I would go as far as to say that he did the entire field a disservice, for he was both vociferous and cantankerous in the defence of his theories. Sitchin mistranslated, but specifically misinterpreted. Misunderstood.

If Nibiru is anything, it is indeed a place of crossing: the crossing of one world to another. But not of planet Earth to planet Nibiru, but from the earthly realm to the land of the dead, and the gods. This is a metaphysical explanation, and yes, I do take the explanation of the soul crossing over literally. Not literally in a physical sense, but literally in a metaphysical sense. For I am convinced that there is more to this universe than the mere physical universe; that there are both extra-terrestrial and otherworldly beings… both of whom are definitely alien to our civilization but when you study such topics as the fairy faith of the ancient Celts, it is clear that these ancient civilizations were far more familiar with these creatures than we are.

So, once again, we live in an “and universe”: a universe with room for otherworldly and extra-terrestrial creatures. For we not only have one topic that science needs to explore, but several which it has shied and continues to shy away from. We not merely need to ask the question whether or not we were alone, but also ask questions about other dimensions. History and reality are far more complex than the neat theories of science, or Sitchin. Reality is complex. So is history. But that makes it all the more beautiful. March 18, 2011

The Adjustment Bureau In George Nolfi’s adjustment of Philip K Dick’s short story, “The Adjustment Bureau” is an organisation that makes sure “The Plan” is executed. Congressman David Norris accidentally sees hat-wearing “case officers” adjusting the fate of himself and his entourage, after running into his soul mate – a woman he is not supposed to see as “the Chairman” of the Adjustment Bureau believes that if they find love, “The Plan” he has outlined for the world will not come to fruition.

The paradigm of the movie is that free will and chance are antagonists, with the Bureau making sure that free will does not result in holocausts and world wars, but that it is instead curtailed – which is why there is a Plan. However, the key message is that The Plan is only that: a plan. And on occasion, things like true love – for Love Conquers All – are not only allowed to occur, but seem to be pushed so powerfully that it will change the course of planned history. But also that “Free will is a gift that you only use when you have to fight for it.”

The story therefore captures the beautiful dichotomy of destiny and free will. The dichotomy is most famous when it comes to astrology, whereby the story goes that we are moved by the planets – or at least that at the moment of birth, there is a cosmic imprint made upon us, which is our destiny. This is what will happen to us, unless we use our free will properly. It was one of the greatest astrologers and minds of all times, the Renaissance scholar Marsilio Ficino, who said that the true magus ruled his stars, rather than being ruled by the stars.

When we delve into accounts of people who have accessed past lives and life in between lives –Michael Newton has catalogued his research in a number of books – we hear consistent accounts that before our birth, we do agree to a plan: a map of as to how our life will unfold, with milestones planned in, very much like a project plan; that we want to see certain important things accomplished by certain dates/ages. Newton and others make it clear that this plan will guide a person’s development – his destiny – though adjustments to the plan can be made at any moment in time (though it rarely happens).

Take this idea out of the imaginal, otherworldly realm, and you end up with The Adjustment Bureau, in which angels are case officers and magical powers are only acquired if one wears a hat.

What the movie perfectly illustrates, too, is that the Chairman really is God; that They have created a dichotomy which is at its core, an illusion, so that we would really press hard for the rights of free will and use it to meet our true destiny. And this is where The Adjustment Bureau echoes Hermetic material, as the possibility to use Free Will is vey much like a Grail Quest: it is placed at our disposal, but David Norris needs to fight hard for it, and enter the Bureau Headquarters, to win the right – very much like the Grail knight needs to enter the Grail Castle and prove his worth.

Of course, in Newton’s and Hermetic thought, there is no real stand-off between destiny and free will. And this is why the Hermetic tradition also provides a path not mentioned in the movie, which is the path of surrender, in which the seeker entrusts the path in the hands of God. This Plan is the unity of free will and destiny, in which total faith and trust in God is given over to the Chairman – it is maybe what makes you an Adjuster. March 4, 2011

E.T. is our home Our Los Angeles home is in Porter Ranch, a residential area in “the Valley”, making up the north of Los Angeles. Hardly a day goes by when we don’t have to cross streets like White Oak Avenue, while Brasilia Drive is locally notorious for the house on the corner with Reseda, whose Halloween display attracts thousands of local visitors each year. None of these streets will ring a bell with anyone – not even most people from the Valley – as they are nowhere near as famous as other “real L.A.” streets like Sunset Boulevard or Rodeo Drive. But this area of Porter Ranch is where many of the scenes of Steven Spielberg’s “E.T.” were filmed. It is why Porter Ridge Park, at the top of Reseda, is better known amongst locals as “E.T. Park” than under its real name.

“E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial” is a movie that is remembered for all the right reasons. It left an imprint on an entire generation. Shortly after we had moved in, Giorgio Tsoukalos came to our home and we related the E.T.-connections of this area. He explained how as a child, he had identified with Elliot, but as he grew up, he realised that he was Peter Coyote’s unnamed character, but nicknamed “Keys” because of the keys he has on him. Though for many he is the nemesis of Elliot, “Keys” tells Elliot that he has waited to see an alien since he was ten years old. What is happening – alien contact – is therefore a dream come true for both of them.

The vision of E.T. was Spielberg’s, who developed an imaginary alien creature as his personal companion when he was a child himself, after his parents had divorced. The movie is largely autobiographical, on an imaginary scale. But living in Porter Ranch, driving up Reseda at night and seeing the lights of the Valley below you (as in the movie) or driving along White Oak and imaging Elliot take off on his bike are a magical dimension laid onto this landscape by Spielberg. The crew spent only eleven days filming here, but its legacy on Porter Ranch is – three decades later – still alive.

Porter Ranch thirty years ago was being built – as is apparent in many of the scenes. The police car chase ends with a view of Mission Peak and its surrounding area, a view we can see from our home which was not yet built at the time. Today, Porter Ranch is residential and known for it. The only somewhat weird activity that occurs in Porter Ranch and which is visible to residents is geocaching, but imagining NASA personnel walking through the streets with Geiger counters in search of extra-terrestrial beings is something where your mind wanders to because of the movie. For E.T. is so… real. It is like a layer laid upon reality, but touchable – and I guess to some extent it is, for you only need to put the movie into your DVD player and there it is.

What happens in Porter Ranch is to me a 20th century version of an ancient shamanic landscape. The shaman saw not only the land with his physical eyes, he always so it with his mind, as a result of which he saw spirits, demons, the ancestors, each and all of which he could connect with. The movie E.T. is like a film (pun intended) that is placed over Porter Ranch. Always there, as soon as you are aware that this is the landscape where E.T. was filmed. It is that knowledge that gives the eyes to see…

If E.T. was a religious experience, the sites immortalised on celluloid would have been marked with oratories and churches –to some extent that is what has happened. When the Porter Ridge Park playground was to be refurbished, there was a campaign to make sure that the caterpillar remained, as it was so linked with ET. It had become a landmark and when you go on film buff websites, you will find it is an important destination for those doing an ET pilgrimage to Porter Ranch. For them, the area has become sacred… Why? Because it is not so much that the gods walked here, but because it is a landscape where magic and emotions were experienced, and for which we want it to be remembered. The History Channel’s slogan is that history is made everyday. So are sacred places… February 18, 2011

Mindswap While reading my friend Mark Pilkington’s excellent book “Mirage Men”, I came across a paragraph in which he relates a short quote of Karla Turner, a “UFO abductee” and author of “Into the Fringe” – she also wrote “Taken”. Mark refers to her mention of floating silver spheres – UFOS – which she sees, but which to her are “repositories… where human souls are somehow recycled.” She further believed that inside the spheres, these souls were implanted into women’s wombs, a procedure that she described as both surgical and spiritual.

Most UFO abduction writers take most things extremely literally, which is how we have come to the point where extra-terrestrial – apparently malevolent – creatures are abducting human beings and engineering our DNA. But Turner goes beyond that and suggests that the aliens even interfere with our souls?

The same trend is apparent in Whitley Strieber’s relatively recent novel “2012”, subtitled “The War for Souls”. Strieber has mixed his horror-writing expertise with autobiographical accounts of his own anomalous, in his interpretation, extra-terrestrial abduction encounters and argues that “the war” the aliens are fighting is to harvest our souls – in some Luciferian apocalyptic plot.

I don’t want to spend too much space pointing out that abductions to other realms didn’t begin with the arrival of the UFO phenomenon – it is well-documented in fairy lore and other cultures and goes back hundreds if not thousands of years.

What I do want to spend time on, is the notion that we might be an “alien” soul in a human body. All of us. Not just “some” of us. It is something that was expressed for thousands of years and was written down in the Corpus Hermeticum. Seeing the Corpus was a synopsis of the Ancient Egyptian religion, it can be argued that this is also what the Ancient Egyptians believed and knew: that we had a body, but that our soul was somehow “alien” – from elsewhere. Today, we might indeed call it alien, or extra-terrestrial, but I prefer to call it stardust. Part of the Divine Spark.

In the Corpus, it is said that a human being has several levels of intellectual and spiritual existence, somewhat on par with the three levels of the brain that science has uncovered. The Hermeticists believe(d) that a human body had an intelligence of its own, but that this began a co-operation with a spirit that somehow came from elsewhere and entered it around the moment of birth. The end result is you, and me, and all of us.

As bizarre as this may sound, Michael Newton’s “Journey of Souls”, which describes case studies of people that he has hypnotised so that these people can describe the life between lives. The book is very much in agreement with the Hermetic assessment of how souls enter our body. The soul speaks of utilizing the body and that they don’t control the human mind as such, but try to elevate it.

Newton has reached these insights practically, through hypnotising people and analysing their stories. Indeed, in the West, we often think that religion was somehow either divinely inspired by the likes of Jesus or Mohammed or fabricated by the Church, but there is also the practical exploration of the mind, and from those observations, the creation of a framework. Thus, it is entirely possible that in our distant past, people experimented with the mind, reached the same conclusion as Newton, and wrote it down.

So where does this leave Karla Turner? Her observations might be totally correct, but her interpretation of these things being a purely extra-terrestrial affair, might be too small of a framework. But in the final analysis, we might indeed be alien minds occupying human bodies, and we don’t even know it ourselves. February 4, 2011

FutureMankind The Mayans and Hopi believe that we live in the Fourth World (though some traditions list it as the Fifth World). The previous eras were considered to be all about human evolution on a physical level, while the present world – which began in ca. 3000 BC and will come to an end in 2012 AD – is about psychological – or to be more precise spiritual – evolution.

Though some civilisations date back to 10,000 BC, mostly, civilisation as we define it today started in Europe, the Middle East, Northern Africa, Asia and pockets of the New World in ca. 3000 BC. Civilisation was a global event, often happening independent from each other, from ca. 3000 BC onwards… as if it was a cosmic imperative.

How civilisation came about is not truly the point. But it is clear that civilisation has brought us to the 21st century, where all of these civilisations have melted into one global civilisation, creating a global village where everyone is connected via phone networks, millions of flights crisscrossing our skies and an economy on a global scale. We are all connected. Whether we like it, or not.

Most of these changes, or at least radical revolutions, have occurred in the last two decades. This, too, is in accordance with the prophecies of the Mayans, who singled out the period of 1993 to 2012 – the final “mini-era” of the 5000 year cycle – as a time of great change. We are, as they say, in “the thick of it”.

With great periods of change comes great uncertainty if not fear. An old world is disappearing and a new one is born. What does the future hold for us? “We don’t know” is the answer… but it is also up to us to define it! The central legends of the Mayans state that at the turning point of each Age, “leaders” – selected individuals – convene to define the fate of the New Age with the gods. Though the general trend (e.g. that it is of a spiritual nature) of such a change is predetermined, specifics are left to be worked out. It is therefore an interesting combination of predetermination and free will.

The general trend of all ages is about evolution and human development. The general trend of this age will obviously be further human integration and spiritual growth. At the same time, each turning point has a review of the previous Age, where appropriate conclusions are drawn.

If we look at the world today, we might say it is in bad shape. Switch on any news channel and you will be told that the world is allegedly a very bad place. Indeed, it could be better. But look upon it from the perspective of 5000 years and make a conclusion based on that and a totally different picture emerges, I think.

5000 years ago we were largely individual tribes, going on an adventure that should be described as “tribal” or “national”. Today, we still have nations, but we also have come to the understanding that we are one world. However much some political parties feel they have to play the isolationist card – that “out there” there are “those” who are “out to get us” – the fact of the matter is that we are working together and working together is the only way forward. There is no alternative and anyone who pretends there is, is either stupid or a demagogue. Or both.

We ARE a global village and we have become global citizens. That is the FutureMankind. This comes with tremendous challenges and problems, which frustrate and infuriate many. But is that such a bad thing?

The challenge of the New Age is therefore to embrace this even further, and work on some of the outstanding agenda from this age that is not yet fulfilled. Don Alejandro, a Mayan elder, sees the world post 2012 as a world in which we can fly on airplanes without passports. Indeed, borders and the insistency in keeping them “solid” – including “Fortress America” – have no future. Reality is that borders are not solid (and never were) and they are in many cases total illusions – take for example most borders drawn in Africa or in the middle of a sea. But they continue to be the biggest contributor to division, death and war, for no real reason other than “national interests”, which truly have become another illusion too. There are no more “national interests”. In truth, there only ever was, is and will be “human interest” and our challenge is to understand to the fullest as soon as possible. That is FutureMankind. January 22, 2011

Orion’s End? Prince wrote that Orion’s Arms were “wide enough to hold the both of us”. The ancient Egyptians linked the constellation with their god Horus (not Osiris) and the Mayans saw Orion’s Belt and its Nebula below as the “Fire of the Sky”, where a New Fire was lit at the beginning of the Fifth World – the one to end on December 21, 2012.

Imagine my surprise, therefore, to find that right now, Betelgeuse, one of the brightest stars in the sky but also a principal definer of the constellation of Orion might stage-manage and star in the greatest show in the sky!

For some time now, Betelgeuse has been losing mass, indicative of a collapse. It could go super-nova at any time, though no-one has been able to put a definitive timeline on it. It could be a few years, or a few hundreds of thousands of years. But when Betelgeuse does go supernova, for a few days or even weeks, it will light up the sky to such an extent that it would be very visible, as luminous at least as the moon – the nights would not be like anything we know right now.

There is tremendous speculation about 2012 and the catastrophes that should occur at the end of the Mayan calendar. Nothing in the Mayan cosmology, however, speaks for the physical destruction of the world, though there are references to days being thrown off, somehow, by a cataclysm. Most quickly interpreted as an earthly cataclysm, Betelgeuse’s explosion – or a similar event in the sky – would have an identical effect. Indeed, such stellar displays would be far more prominent on the ancient Mayans mind when describing a catastrophe.

The Mayan ceremonies to do with the endings of these cycles of time also involve the Nine Lords of the Underworld killing the Thirteen Sky Lords. In Egyptian mythology, this balance of order and chaos was specifically linked with Horus – Orion! But now we learn – whether slowly or quickly – that the hero – a word derived from the name Horus – is dying, but will surely be born again, for that too is part of every creation myth!

The Orion Nebula is a huge complex of gas and dust where massive stars are forming; a stellar nursery – a perfect description for a “hearth”, as described in the Mayan cosmology! Though the Nebula and Betelgeuse are only visibly linked – in reality they are hundreds of light years apart – isn’t it a wonderful coincidence one of the greatest stellar nurseries exists visually near one of the most famous dying stars – and hence constellations?

Betelgeuse is the shoulder of the constellation Orion. When it disappears, will we compose myths that relate how Orion was wounded in the shoulder, or lost an arm in battle, no doubt in efforts to conquer chaos? Will it, in short, become the material of myths, just like similar events in the sky became part of ancient myths?

The latest scientific findings on the Nebula were taken by Igor Chekalin, who participated in the Hidden Treasures 2010 astrophotography competition, with this entry. Though the Nebula is visible with the naked eye, when seen through powerful telescopes, the innate beauty of the universe and this stellar nursery is simply overpowering.