Updated: Jul 29
I listened to the Congressional hearing on UAP while studying the Anne and Whitley Strieber collection at the Rice University Woodson Research Archives. Something that stood out to me were the repeated questions and conclusions about the “threat” that UAP pose to human beings and to the security of the United States. For example, in his opening statement, Rep. Robert Garcia states, “UAPs, whatever they may be, may pose a serious threat to our military or civilian aircraft.” Later, Representative Ogles asks the witnesses, “Do you believe…that these UAPs provide an existential threat to the security of the United States?” All three witnesses respond “potentially.” Rep. Ogles follows up by asking Mr. Fravor and Mr. Graves if they would have been capable of defending themselves if their encounters became hostile. Both confirm that they would have had no means of defense. Ogles concludes, “There clearly is a threat to the national security of the United States.”
Fear is a powerful motivator, and while I am not surprised by these statements, it is disappointing to see UAP added to the long list of the United States’ enemies and things we’re supposed to be afraid of. There are safety concerns when dealing with vastly superior technology. But if we enter the mindset of fear instead of the mindset of possibility, I believe we’re making a grave error. I am of the opinion that if we want to fully evaluate the potential threat that the UAP intelligence poses, we need to be speaking with those who report direct contact with the UAP occupants: individual experiencers.
I was recently asked to defend my position that experiencer testimony should be taken seriously against the common line of objection that there simply isn’t good reason to believe the stories of individuals who claim to have been abducted by or had other forms of contact with the UAP intelligence. I will outline my response to that concern here:
First, while there are always outliers who are attention seekers and wish to profit off their stories in some way, these people are the exception rather than the norm. When reading the Strieber letters (letters that were written to Whitley Strieber in the aftermath of the release of Communion) I was struck by how many people began or ended the letter with some variation of “I’ve never told anyone about this before.” The overwhelming majority of those who report extraordinary encounters with a non-human intelligence are not attention seekers and have no reason to lie. They are reporting honestly about something that they perceived, often something that scared and changed them very deeply. We can suspend judgment about exactly who or what they interacted with, while still taking their perception seriously.
Second, the obvious objection from the western scientific worldview is that these people must be suffering from psychosis. Every study of experiencers has shown that this is simply not the case. Individuals who report contact with non-human intelligence, including abduction by alien beings, do not suffer from any higher rates of psychopathology than the general population. Even scholars who have been determined to explain away the abduction phenomenon with conventional explanations have been forced to admit that experiencers do not display any higher rates of mental illness or psychopathology, and the phenomenon cannot be explained away in these terms (See for example, “Alien abduction experiences: Some clues from neuropsychology and neuropsychiatry”).
Third, to additionally counter the psychosis hypothesis, we can appeal to the occurrence of multiple-witness encounters. John Mack conducted a study of multiple witness encounters that has not yet been published, and the Strieber letters report many events where the non-human intelligence was observed by more than one person. At the Ariel School in Zimbabwe in 1994, 60 school aged children reported seeing a UAP land and between one and three non-human beings emerge from the craft (See Ariel Phenomenon). The beings communicated a message to them about caring for the Earth and the environment. There are enough multiple-witness encounters that we cannot dismiss these experiences as happening only in the mind of the individual.
Fourth, many extraordinary experiences are accompanied by some physical evidence. Landing circles and indentations have been observed where the UAP have landed. Experiencers wake up with physical scars and injection sites on their bodies. The Strieber letters report recurrent nosebleeds and removing strange objects from their noses. While this physical evidence may not be enough to establish the validity needed for the scientific method, it is enough to take note that something is happening that is not limited to the experiencer’s mind alone.
Last, we have long relied on eyewitness testimony as important legal evidence. While the standards for legal evidence and scientific evidence are different, I have previously emphasized that we may never be able to verify certain aspects of the UAP enigma through the scientific method, as the phenomenon may operate according to natural laws that we do not understand or currently have access to. The scientific method will also not capture everything that goes into studying an intelligence. UAP experiencer testimony is dismissed because it violates the existing social ontology: the boundaries of what is or is not real that are imposed by our institutions and the “official” version of reality. As three high ranking, credible officials testified to the existence of craft that defy current technologies and allege that the US is in physical possession of both non-human craft and bodies, it seems the boundaries of that social ontology are becoming more malleable. This means that alongside the testimony of our high ranking officials, we need to be taking the testimony of experiencers seriously.
Which brings us back to the notion of “threat.” There are certainly ways that UAP and their occupants can pose a danger to us: when USAF Sergeant James Penniston touched the UAP in Rendlesham forest in 1980, for example, he experienced lifelong health concerns, likely due to the high levels of radiation (see Nick Pope, Encounter in Rendleshem Forest). When local military policeman Marco Cherese allegedly handled the non-human intelligence that accompanied the Varginha UAP crash in Brazil he became ill and died shortly thereafter in mysterious circumstances (see James Fox, Moment of Contact). It is certainly possible that people can be injured when interacting with the phenomenon.
But that notion of potential danger is very different than the framing of the UAP occupants themselves as having malevolent intentions or posing a direct threat to human welfare. If Wednesday’s testimony is accurate, we have been having visitations from these beings for at least 80 years, and by some accounts, much longer. Their technology is vastly superior to ours—if they wanted to harm human beings, they could have done so long ago. More importantly, much of experiencer testimony paints a different picture. In the Strieber letters, while many experiencers do report feeling immense fear and anxiety, many of them also report that they do not ultimately think the intelligence is malevolent. Moreover, they express that they believe their intention is to help humankind’s evolutionary process. Some of them report deep feelings of love for these beings.
“Their actions, motivations, effects and related factors are quite positive. While I think it’s possible that there may be some experimentation involved, I think it’s ethically and honorably done, and to good ends” (Letter 251).
“There’s no hiding from whomever these beings are. Any fear that I might have had has been replaced by great joy and love for all forms of life. They have expanded my mind and my heart. Joy is a pale shade of what I feel” (Letter 63).
“When the [non-human] girls would touch me, it was like they were giving me so much love. They were positive beings” (Letter 85).
It is recognized that these are just a few samples and there is a need for robust quantitative and qualitative analysis of the letters.
In his research, Kenneth Ring found that the most common message reported by UAP experiencers when it comes to a shift in worldview following the experiences is concern for the planetary crisis and an urgent need to change the way we relate with the Earth. Experiencers also report an increased belief in the interconnectedness and interdependence of all things (See Kenneth Ring, The Omega Project). This has been confirmed thus far in my own interviews with experiencers. The apocalyptic messages that many abductees report suggest that the intelligence wants us to know that we are a threat to ourselves and headed towards impending ecological disaster. Experiencers report that their project on Earth and reason for interacting with human beings is in some way linked to helping us avoid or transition through this crisis.
Experiencers are clear that a shift in human consciousness is necessary for understanding the full scope of the phenomenon, including a shift in the way we interact with each other, and the Earth. Continuing down the path of fear-based reasoning, and framing UAP and their occupants as a threat does not make this shift. The intelligence behind the UAP mystery is offering us the possibility for a new consciousness and a new way of being. They are presenting us with the opportunity for a new physical and ethical paradigm. A starting point to shifting into this paradigm is to transcend fear-based reasoning and the perception of the unknown as threatening.
It has been suggested to me that viewing the UAP as anything other than a threat will be “impossible” given current societal norms. I respond that the UAP themselves regularly perform feats that physics tells us are impossible. Experiencers report being floated through walls and windows and communicating with non-human intelligence, which has also been deemed impossible. Three high ranking officials testified in a Congressional hearing about recovered crafts and biologics of non-human origin. We live in impossible times.