Feature Articles –   The rise of the Watchers
“The Watchers”, biblical angelic figures are once again carving out a reputation. Their popularity is so much on the rise that some UFO researchers have actually argued that they might be the people abducting people. Whether or not the return of the Sumerian gods is factual or merely mythical – their popularity continues to rise.
by Philip Coppens

The Watchers. They first appear on the scene in Sumer. “Shumer”, it seems, literally means the “Land of the Watchers”. For the American author Zecharia Sitchin, they are alien beings whose specific task is to orbit the earth, monitoring events on Earth. For Sitchin, the Watchers are not a “race” or a “species”, they are merely a “job specification”. Their colleagues had abandoned their ships and had landed on Earth – they continued to orbit the Earth. Those who did land, either mated or genetically engineered Mankind into its present form. As a consequence, Mankind worshipped the Watchers as gods. Carl Sagan once remarked that we still have no clear perspective about the origins of the Sumerian culture. “Their language is foreign; it shows no resemblance to Indo-European, Semitic or any other language. We can only map them by the actions of their successors, the Akkadians, who created a voluminous Sumerian-Akkadian dictionary.”

The Chaldeans referred to the Watchers as “Ir”. The Egyptians “neter” means Watcher. And the Watchers are also in the Bible, where, in Genesis 6:1-4, they are listed as the sons of Gods who “fell” for the Earthly women, descended from heaven, chose women, and had children. They were described as “giants”, though the height of their fathers is never stated. Still, the giants did not sleep or spoke.

The Bible refers to the Watchers or Grigori as “evil”. They were the ones who “fell from heaven” and who were “weak” for the flesh of women. In this respect, they sit within the tradition of Lucifer, the leader of the Fallen Angels, who came to Earth. Could the leader of the Watchers and the biblical Lucifer be one and the same? The Koran has a similar story, though the strict good vs. evil of the Bible has been toned down. Two angels, Harut and Marut, watch the actions of Mankind and note that Mankind seems to be unable to escape temptation and sin. The angels’ negative comments are heard by God, who states that the two angels should not speak of Mankind in such manner. If the angels were placed in an identical situation, their behaviour would be similar. Harut and Marut consider this to be an invitation from God and are sent to Earth. God asks – demands – that they do not fall for the gravest of sins: murder, worship of the wrong deities, alcohol and unlawful sexual relationships. But the angels have just arrived and immediately fall in love with Earth’s beauty. When a passer-by seems their sexual adventure, they kill him, so that no-one will be able to report their sin. But God’s Eye is everywhere and God makes sure that their colleagues in heaven – the other Watchers – also get to see their crimes.

As the two angels were unsuccessful in their task, they are hung upside down in a water hole in Babylon, a punishment they prefer over Hell. At the same time, the other Watchers have to agree with God about his point of view on the difficulties of being a human.

It seems that this story is twofold: to repeat what is right and wrong, but also to teach those in Heaven some respect towards Mankind and its challenges. The Nephilim, the giants, continued to live on Earth. It seems that their biggest contribution on Earth was the creation of chaos. Most ancient civilisations had a major fascination with order vs. chaos, good vs. evil. Evil would create chaos and thus the Nephilim, the sons of the Fallen Angels, obviously displayed their fathers’ faults. This eventually leads God to decide to send a Deluge, to wash away the sins of these beings. Here, we find another parallel with the story of Harut and Marut: they are also “washed of their sins” in the water hole in Babylon. Water as the cleanser of sin is therefore chose in both – as opposed to a “baptism by fire”.

Still, Jewish history suggests that not all Nephilim perished. The Jews stated that they lived in Israel and the Anakim and Rephaim were both tribes considered to have been descended from the Nephilim. There remained a few Nephilim who fought in some of the battles, but they slowly seemed to have disappeared from the scene. Perhaps they married and their specific characteristics – apparently six toes and six fingers – disappeared within the larger genetic pool. The story of the Watchers fell in disrespect within the Catholic Church, who wanted to portray Heaven as good and perfect – whereas the Watchers were all too human, it seemed, to neatly fit within this depiction. The Book of Enoch, which provides great detail about the Watchers, was not included in the Bible. Its substitute was the Apocalypse of John, where there are no references to Watchers mating with human women. Still, some references remained. In Daniel (4:13, 17 and 23) they appear, even making an appearance in front of the king. In 1990, the Watchers were back with a vengeance. Sitchin had prepared the way, and others were now jumping on the wagon – in which UFO researcher Raymond Fowler made a major contribution.

Since 1979, Fowler has been researching the case of an alleged UFO abductee, Betty Andreasson-Luca, a deeply religious American woman who claims she has been abducted by alien beings. Fowler concluded that Andreasson’s story was legitimate – she had not confabulated this account to create attention or controversy. A series of books was the result, the third of which was titled “The Watchers”. The title is derived from information given by the abductors to Andreasson. They identified themselves as “The Watchers”, guardians of the Earth. They stated they had been present since earliest human history and that they had always lived next to us. Andreasson was given this revelation as they wanted Mankind to know that Man was more than just a body. Andreasson was tasked with giving this knowledge to Mankind; it was the main reason why she had been contacted by them. Fowler’s book created some interest. Gregory Little was most impressed and made a study of the Book of Enoch, in light of Andreasson’s revelation. He identified that the Book of Enoch noted that there were angels both at the gates of Heaven and Hell – mimicking the Egyptian neters, who also guard the gates of Heaven and Hell in the Egyptian Afterlife. Little noted that the guardians of Sheol – hell – were described as angels “grey of colour, small as children, with a shape that is somewhat similar to the human form.” Little observed that this description was not present in the Slavic edition of the Book (the most commonly used), but was present in the Hebrew version.

Little realised that Fowler himself was unaware of this passage, but was it not obvious that the “little grey aliens” seemed to be “witnessed” in ancient times, where they had been described as guardians of Hell – and not as extraterrestrial beings. Further research brought Little across a Jewish encyclopaedia. It stated that the Fallen Angels that shown Mankind how to “call upon” other angels from heaven. It involved a technique which allowed Mankind to make angels materialise. The technique was a ritual chanting, which had to occur at certain times and places to be effective. However, the key message was the “materialisation” of the “angels” in physical form – was this not another key ingredient of the UFO phenomenon? Betty Andreasson Reanalysing Fowler’s book, certain imagery there was similar to that of the Watchers. Andreasson had described how the Watchers guarded a door. Under hypnosis, she stated how she was shown a “Great Door” and how she was lead towards it. “The door is an entrance to the other world. The world of light.” Behind the door, was the abode of “The One”, “home”, God, whom she met – though she was unwilling to give further details.

Did the Christian Andreasson merely confabulate stories she might have seen in her childhood with reality? Perhaps. But it is clear that she is not the only person who claims to have been abducted. Fowler himself analysed the Book of Enoch and came upon an intriguing reference on the general UFO abduction phenomenon. Enoch is home alone, resting in a seat and falls asleep. Suddenly, he hears something, though does not understand what is being said. Two men appear at the end of his feet; they know his name. Enoch wakes up, sees the two men and is afraid. They tell him not to be afraid, “you will ascend to Heaven with us”. It is in Heaven that Enoch is brought in front of “the Elders” and the rulers of a “stellar hegemony”.

The events described by Enoch are identical – if not archetypal – of the events reported in UFO abductions. Fowler was also intrigued by references Andreasson had made. She had described a group of blond human-like beings that were in control of the grey beings. She named these blond people “the Elders”. True or not, there are important cultural parallels between the story of Enoch and the modern UFO abduction phenomenon. Budd Hopkins, who is largely responsible for the modern definition of the UFO phenomenon as an interaction of alien beings with Mankind for the creation of a hybrid race, has thus identified a modern parallel with the Watchers.

The Watchers materialised on Earth to have children with female women. The UFO abductors materialise on Earth to abduct people, resulting in pregnancies or a general interest in female genetic material. The consequences of these actions are “Giants” or “hybrid babies”.

The parallels are there, but what do they mean? Are they ancient legends, adapted to our modern civilisation? Or are they genuine events, written down both in ancient and modern times? Is history repeating itself? Or are we merely still intrigued by the same heroic and thrilling stories of our ancestors? Two scenes from Betty Andreasson’s meeting with “The One”, with “The Door” on the left and the beings moving towards the light (right). The article originally appeared in Frontier Magazine 2.1 (1996) and has been slightly adapted.