Alien Dreaming Addenda: Cointel-UFO (UPDATE)

UPDATE: It seems that gov't infiltration of UFO groups hasn't escaped the attention of the mainstream media, as we see in this Wired article. For deep background, check out this Binnall of America episode with Ann Druffel discussing the more serious repercussions of the NICAP affair.

The New Outer Limits was not on the level of an X-Files, production-wise. It never seemed to have a huge budget, and that shows not only in the effects but in the overall presentation. And because of that deficit some of the ideas put forth in the writing may not hit you the same way they might in a network show. They also didn't integrate comedy into the mix quite as well, either.

But this episode- which owes a huge debt to any number of X-Files comedy eps- struck me a being a bit more profound than the overly-broad acting might hit you. The conceit here is "just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean they're not out to get you," but the ep also seems to incorporate some of the dirty tricks played on the UFO research community in the Fifties and Sixties, and to some extent, beyond.

But it also caught my eye in light of the Hutaree busts, and some of the other so-called terror cases that always seem to fall apart after the headlines die down. Although this is a comedy episode, there are a number of counter-intelligence techniques on display here that ring very true, and might be of a compelling interest to anyone involved in any kind of activist work.

On a lighter note, there's also the old trope in which "UFO buffs" are mocked in shows that present aliens as self-evident realities.* It's something we've looked at in the past here, and is tangentially connected to news stories that exploit the public's interest in the UFO enigma at the same time it subtly ridicules them for it.

Illustration by Mike Clelland! of Hidden Experience

I have a copy of Mac Tonnies' The Cryptoterrestrials on my bedstand and it's been firing all kinds of strange notions that tie into The Outer Limits. The second series differed somewhat from the first in that alien contact usually comes from some profound, transformative experience in the individual. The first series explored that motif, but not to the extent of the Nineties series.

Maybe the difference between the two was the popularization of psychedelics, which the Outer Limits series bookended.

This all ties into the ideas that CT theorists like Tonnies, Keel and Vallee have presented. But I think there may be something even more profound in TNOL contact narratives- something that not only ties back to religious and prophetic experiences in the past (particularly in the ancient Mysteries), but may offer some clue as to the exact nature of extraordinary experience. And more importantly, how those experiences can become a little less extraordinary (superordinary, if you like) and maybe even lead us to an understanding of the nature of human consciousness.

Something most of the writers whose opinions I respect on the topic seem to agree on is whatever the exact nature of this phenomenon may be, there is a profound evolutionary component to it. And perhaps that evolution will lead us to an understanding that reality is more interactive with our consciousness than some would prefer. And that's the point in which everything I write about on this blog converges.

PS: I watched this ep again and it seems as if the very broad comedy is camouflage. Pay close attention to the dialogue and to the machinations- particularly the psychological manipulation. Underneath the farce there is a lot of uncomfortable truth. Bonus androgyny points, too.

*It seems that any kind of nerd gathering is increasingly ripe for teasing from Hollywood, even though it's an undeniable case of biting the hand that feeds you.


  1. Mac spoke openly that his book was an attempt to open the doors to some healthy debate among the UFO "community" (in quotes on purpose).

    Right now, two bloggers are doing exactly that, having a very lively back-and-forth about the concepts of Mac's book. Both of these writers are quite open about their VERY strange set of experiences. Both blogs are a wealth of personal insights into a confusing (and sometimes scary) reality full of UFO's, abductions and soup of high strangeness. These are NOT armchair researchers, these two have some deep stuff to share.

    The dialog is (in my opinion) EXACTLY what Mac would revel in - it's downright juicy in it's depth! Check out these blogs, and scroll down to the comments.

    Article with comments below:


    Presently, due to the advent of on-line communications, there is an emerging collection of bloggers writing about their own set of VERY MYSTERIOUS experiences, some that involve UFOs, but mostly its a baffling soup of paranormal weirdness. Dan and Lucretia are both vital examples of how strange the personal narrative can be.

    I'll add that they are both smart and both good writers.

    Dan's Blog:

    - and-

    Lucretia~Heart's Blog:

  2. Also - Jacque Vallee and John Keel would probably NOT be considered CT theorists. They fall into something that (I think Keel coined) as Ultra-Terrestrialist.

  3. Hi5, dig this place/nemt; thewavyo wæve this dish2gather, man itcha miracle! - there's heavin9wroom4nerdterrestrials ass measlyellowf11sch... soundslike7tombme

  4. Its off topic kinda but I juss woke up from a dream where u had a post entitled something signs something where u were talkin about sleep deprivation and sexual repression. Wish I had a dvr for my dreams hint hint Sony/Microsoft.

  5. I thought it was funny. But then again, I find a lot of these episodes funny. They're still good though. I just saw The Beholder episode. Isn't irridium an ORME?

  6. Clellie- Thanks for the links. As to Vallee and Keel, I was referring to their not-ETI theories, without getting too much into the semantics, which are a matter of speculation anyway.

    Joe- Care to translate that into English?

    Just- Interesting, since both sleep deprivation and sexual repression are two of the most destructive phenomena to the human being, IMO. That's something I've thought a lot about even if I haven't written a lot about them. Very perceptive on your part

    Anony- I'm going to work up an Outer Limits for Beginners post. It was a very inconsistent series, with a few clunkers, mostly solid eps and a handful of eps that took the top of my head off. The Beholder was a good one- glad you dug it. As to irridium I'm not sure...

  7. Chris, Fringe's 80's throwback intro last week resonated nicely with your cyberpunk posts, and with them having been put up during Fringe's very pregnant 2-month hiatus ;]