Monday, October 11, 2010

The Netherworld (UPDATED)

There's "fiction" and then there's "nonfiction" and in between there is a netherworld of fiction/non/fiction that resonates on a level that neither truth nor lies can hope to equal. There are all kinds of videos and images out there a lot of people dismiss as hoaxes, but seem to take on a reality unto themselves. It's one of the strange paradoxes of the UFO/exopolitical realm. Another strange paradox is that even though there is no shortage of debunking voices, the emanations from this Netherworld seem to resist a definitive verdict. Defy it, more like.

Billy Meier has no shortage of enemies and his photographs have no shortage of critics. But they remain incredibly powerful, more than 40 years later. Even skeptical observers have to admit them their power, and experts are impressed by the logistics of recreating them without digital effects or expensive Hollywood equipment. I've seen attempts to do so and they never quite recreate the original impact. As tempting as it is to drop the usual pointy-headed bromides about the role of art and the media and mythmaking and tra-la-la and fiddledy-diddledy-who-gives-a-shit, the fact remains that the images seem to tap into something very deep and weird. Their temporal veracity is completely beside the point.

You see? That's the Netherworld.

Then there's this story (and accompanying video), which has been circulating in the underground for a couple of years now. It's about an alleged secret Apollo mission (a joint US/Soviet mission, it turns out) to investigate an enormous crashed alien ship on the Moon's surface. And once inside the spaceship, the astronauts reportedly discovered a mummified alien body. From an alleged interview with one of the astronauts (one "William Rutledge"):
"We went inside the big spaceship, also into a triangular one. The major parts of the exploration was; it was a mother ship, very old, who crossed the universe at least milliard of years ago (1.5 estimated). There were many signs of biology inside, old remains of a vegetation in a "motor" section, special triangular rocks who emitted "tears" of a yellow liquid which has some special medical properties, and of course signs of extra solar creatures. We found remains of little bodies (10cm) living in a network of glass tubes all along the ship, but the major discovery was two bodies, one intact.

"I don't remember who named the girl, Leonov or me -- was the intact EBE. Humanoid, female, 1.65 meter. Genitalized, haired, six fingers (we guess that mathematics are based on a dozen). Function; pilot, piloting device fixed to fingers and eyes, no clothes, we had to cut two cables connected to the nose. No nostril. Leonov unfixed the eyes device (you'll see that in the video). concretions of blood or bio liquid erupted and froze from the mouth, nose, eyes and some parts of the body."

Whatever your opinion is of the truthfulness of this story pales in comparison to the power of this image. It's one of those things that digs into your head and then sets itself in some very deep primal corner of your brain- the same place where Billy Meier's oddly-familiar flying saucers reside. The details are so alien that they seem to make perfect sense- those strange tubes glued to her eyes and mouth. I guarantee you that this image will stick with you for a very long time indeed.

That's the Netherworld.

It's the same effect that John Lenard Walson's videos had on me (which I wrote about previously here). Something about them was so insanely foreign, so completely alien that when that inevitable wave of familiarity washed over me the effect was all the more disconcerting. There's something so disturbingly real about the spacecraft and moon bases that Walson presents us with that whether or not they exist in this tiny sphere we call consensus reality is completely beside the point. When I first saw that luminous, insectoid architecture I realized something just like it had been lurking just outside the scope of my vision my entire life. I'd been waiting for those images my entire life, just like the Billy Meier shots.

Because they exist in the Netherworld.

I always hoped that Alternative 3 would as well. So much so that I was incredibly disappointed by its lameness, just as I was disappointed in everyone who fell for it. I couldn't even make it through the whole thing. Maybe the difference is that those guys didn't believe it- they didn't exist in that Netherworld. They aren't even aware that such a thing exists at all.

I can't quite explain it- but it's the same vibe I get from all of those corny UFO hoaxes. It's like being stuck working with someone who's painfully unfunny but insists on trying to pretend otherwise all the livelong day. The same goes for Alien Autopsy and all of the rest of it.

I never know where the entrance to the Netherworld is going to surface- it's like an unstable wormhole- I only know once I'm there. It's something I've spent my life chasing.

It's a reality that dreamworkers and psychedelicists are familiar with (David Lynch and people like him as well). It may well be part of that neural code that some people call racial memory- whispers and fragments of visitors, of things in the skies, and glimpses of other realities that our distant ancestors burned into the very fabric of our DNA. But it's important, and might be the key to other mysteries we never thought were related.

UPDATE: Speaking of which, Paul Weston has a post up today linking these issues in a very powerful way to the work of Carlos Castaneda and Whitley Strieber.

And upcoming Secret Sun guest Jeff Kripal is the subject of a related article in the Rice University magazine which you can read here. Jeff places the Netherworld in a much larger constellation of phenomena he calls "The Impossible."


  1. I always consider this material Science Fiction if Salvador Dali was President of SciFi, inc. The whole controversy about the Project Serpo issue belongs here too. Also we need to include Richard C. Hoagland's claim of a Secret US Space Program. Things just on the edge, and beyond our dreams, conspiring with our fears!

  2. Hi Cris,
    Just remembered this movie
    wich seems a lot like making the truth look like hoax ... It's hollywood telling about pop-culture that is send subliminal messages, but the final line is intresting --
    Never mind the music, they discovered that moovies are better way for subliminal messages

  3. I do think that a lot of these things are hoaxes. I just think they're very artfully done hoaxes.

    The Apollo 19/20 stuff is IMHO gorgeous and extremely well done. It has an immensely haunting quality and it definitely resonated with me.

    Even though it failed the 'sniff test' a little, this one still motivated me to do some basic research. I used to participate in the Paracast forums back when David Biedny was around, and I posted this:

    The big initial sniff test failure for me was the fact that they've got the EBE in the cabin with them just... like... sitting there. Hello? Biohazard anyone? The problem wouldn't just be the astronauts getting some weird ancient/alien infection but also the problem of contaminating the sample. Any sample return mission to an unknown artificial object would be an elaborately planned affair, and properly handling the samples would be probably the #1 item in mission planning priority. Even if it was rapidly improvised, they at least would have had a sealed body bag and they would not have opened their present until they got home. :)

    That being said... I do understand that objective reality is not necessarily what you're talking about here. These things do resonate, especially Mona Lisa. I do not totally discount the possibility that they are "faction." They could even be... accidental faction?

    Unintentional faction happens:

  4. I was contacted by someone a few days ago on youtube who believes the sun creates these tiny beings and that little 10cm beings are being crushed to death on mars by the mars rovers.

    He believes they live in the glass tubes on mars and that all the mars photos are doctored..

    Its liliput up there by the sounds of it:)

  5. she looks like Genghis Khan.

  6. It's funny that you mention racial memory. Something I call ancestral memory, which seems like basically the same thing, has been really rearing it's head in my life lately. I was up at 5 am and I felt compelled to go outside and look up at the sky. I wanted to see the Orion constellation because I ahven't seen it in a while. There it was pictured in perfect clarity. For some reason, right at the moment I first saw the constellation, the wind picked up through the trees and I got the strangest feeling that the wind had something to say to me. If I were more brave I would ask what it wanted to say but I'm not. That whole event is as close as I can come to experiencing the Netherworld.

    I can't explain why I get those fanciful notions. Some things just resonate with you on a level that is deeper and much much older than your present day consciousness. In looking for an explanation for it I can only point to ancestral memories as it's main source. Maybe one of my ancestors was gifted with some knowledge that allowed them to commune with nature and the stars. Who knows?

    I always kinda felt alone in thinking about ancestral memory. All I know is that the Netherworld can and does assert itself in my life. It's very real yet amorphous at the same time.

    Thanks for blogging on this.

  7. Chris,

    Thank you so much for posting this. My view of the nether is almost identical, and your post resonated with so much of my life.

    There is a lot of wisdom in your words - even hoaxes and fiction can be incredibly potent, or faction, as AdamI describes in the comment above. And the nether rarely pays much attention to our definitions of fiction/fact or reality/fantasy.

    If anything the nether and its denizens delight in sophisticated subversion, or at least it can seems so through the instruments of our perception. This post made me feel less alone. Thank you again for all the great work you do, Chris.

    Peace, brother.

  8. Alan Moore talks about 'Ideaspace' and then there's the ol' 'Akashic Field/Membrane' thang, not to mention Jung's 'Universal Unconscious', all of which also serve similar functions to yr 'Netherworld'.
    I myself tend to go by 'feel' when I'm assessing the validity of something. Things have to 'feel' right to me, to fit into my 'worldview' or scheme of perception - for example, Sitchin and Velikovsky feel right, whereas I remain unconvinced by, say, Hancock.
    I can get with Mark Cocking, but David Icke is a little unconvincing in parts (y'know, the lizardy parts).
    Austin Osman Spare and Jack Parsons both feel more correct to me than Crowley. I have an overarching view of how I feel things work and some things anf theories fit, and some don't, but I won't know what they are and WHY until I feel 'em out.

    Does anyone get what I mean here, or am I talking crazy?

  9. @Califia

    Your experience reminds me of my relatively new habit of checking out the sky every single time I go out at night. This started a couple years ago, and it seems really beyond my control at this point. I'm not really looking for ufos or anything, I just feel compelled by it's mystery I guess. It's a humbling experience.

    Joe Rogan *articulates* it best I think:

    Chris, I'm with you man. There's something beautifully haunting about those images.

    The Walson videos very much remind me of the Ship of Lights from the original BSG series:

    And that "Mona Lisa" contraption, if a hoax, was very artfully done. Rather visionary, from a design perspective. Almost Giger-esque.


  10. But what if it isn't a hoax?

    What if these people verify Roddenberry's notion of nearby galactic society?

    How far down the pit are we willing to go?

  11. I agree with the comment about the Gigeresque quality of the Mona Lisa EBE: both human and alien simultaneously. More shocking than another "Grey autopsy" because she is evidently female.

    Also the ship itself has some intriguing decorations that are almost Inca in style - it looks more like an ancient sarcophaus than our usual idea of a spaceship. (Compare it with the Navigators' ships in the Lynch Dune film...) There's a brief but intriguing shot of what looks like cloth on the mummy with more Incan designs.

    This YouTube user has made a nice compilation of the best bits:

    and noted the following:

    "I did find it curious that the Saturn V stage 1 separation footage did not match any I had seen before. The markings on the S1C stage also did not match any from previous Apollo missions, including Apollo/Soyuz (ASTP didn't use it's first stage) and Skylab. [...] Another thing that caught my attention was the interior of the module and the mission patch taped to the bulkhead. Since there obviously aren't many more Apollo modules lying around that you can climb in and film hoaxes, I almost want to believe this is genuine. Certainly perplexing.
    The rest of the rubbish I'm quite sure could be easily faked, including Mr Rutledge's back-story.

  12. @ Jim...yea it's been a long time habit of mine to look at the night sky. I'm not sure that I'm looking for anything either but I am always looking.

    @ The Thing that should not Be- No you're not talking crazy at all. I see and hear all kinds of things but I am able to accept or reject it based on the way it feels or resonates with me. That is just how it works for me.

  13. Pope: New Technologies Confuse Reality & Fiction

    "New technologies and the progress they bring can make it impossible to distinguish truth from illusion and can lead to confusion between reality and virtual reality," the pope said.

    "The image can also become independent from reality, it can give birth to a virtual word, with various consequences -- above all the risk of indifference towards real life," he said.

  14. To Dad2059, this Apollo Secret Mission could be real, if we accept the following. I remember the Saturn V launches, they were wonderous events and hard to hide. But I remember Richard C. Hoagland talking about a secret US Spacelaunch facility on Diego Garcia Island in the Indian Ocean. George Noory quickly went to commercial, and there was no further discussion on Coast! Since then Hoagland has never refered to that place again! Could we have seen the rehersal in ASTAP, and not the main event? Remember who was President at the time, Gerald Ford. Ford was a member of the Warren Commission that covered up the Kennedy assassination! Dad, your in Australia, you probably know more than we do about Diego Garcia! I think Roddenberry took a LOT of secrets to the great beyond!

  15. Heya Chris,
    The Netherworld sounds like the collective unconscious. What's your divergence from that, or is that basically what it is?

  16. Literally seconds after I read your Netherworld post, I clicked over to Yahoo and saw their headline "Family’s painting could be a Michelangelo" with an image of the woman's face from the painting. The face angle, open mouth and head covering look like the space mummy!

  17. I get to near the end of the post and then you mention David Lynch! HA! Funny, cause earlier
    I found myself watching a few David Lynch talks on TM on YouTube, which led me to watching part one so far of Fantastic Planet, and holy crap, it's fantastic!

  18. special triangular rocks who emitted "tears" -

    I like the way they say rocks WHO emitted tears.

    Speaking of tears what ever happened to Twinkle - the 13yr old from India that started crying blood?

  19. Yoko lighted the Peace tower on John Lennon Birthday, I wonder if there was anything symbolic in that? Also today here in Charlotte NC, the Duke Energy building is rainbowed out, wink wink to Batman and Robin meme...

  20. This is great stuff- I'm going to try to respond either later tonight or tomorrow. Thanks.

  21. Whether the Mona Lisa video is fact, fiction, or something in between, I'm intrigued by her facial apparatus.

    It could have been part of a life-support system. Or, given the statement in the Viewzone article about Mona Lisa being "not dead not alive" (sic), it could be a device for preserving the body in suspended animation -- and if so, removing it would have done tremendous damage to her.

    Maybe she died and her shipmates fixed the apparatus to her face as part of the death rites.

    I'd like to think it was her interface with the ship. Her voice, or even the movement of her lips, would control the ship's movements. Her sightless eyes would see through the ship's sensors, a blind Odysseus steering through wine-dark space.

    Christopher is right: "this image will stick with you for a very long time indeed."

  22. Wow. I was deeply moved by this post Chris. It's hard for me to put in words. Seems like you wrote about what I have ALWAYS felt. Man. Do you beleive those structures, high in the sky, are starships?


  23. Guys- we never went to the moon! Hello!!! It's why we've never been back, and why they cancelled the constellation program last year. It's why they "lost" the engineering drawings of the Saturn V, AND the drawings for the LEM! It's why the original landing videotapes were "lost", and why most of the moon rocks are "lost".

    The Netherworld of which you speak is the sorcery that has most people believing in such a blatant hoax! Now THAT is weird! For more amazing pictures of UFO's go here!


  24. Doug- Thanks.

    Carto- I'm a big fan of the SUSSP idea. It would explain a whole lot.

    Ela- Yeah- I have to watch that.

    AdamI- It's the Netherworld, is all. Whatever its genesis, it takes on a life all of its own. Maybe that's embedded in the genesis. Look at what we're told is reality- Snooki, hedge funds, endless war, outsourcing- why should all of that bullshit be privileged?

    1033- There's that number again.

    Atlantean- Fever dream reality paradigm.

    Califia- You're welcome and thanks for sharing. The science of DNA and memory is a fascinating frontier, one that will probably be quashed in the public sphere. But as you're saying, it's very much a part of our private realities, whether we choose to acknowledge it or not.

    Raj- Thank you for your support, Raj. I've got a whole host of nebulous ideas gestating as to reality being a construct, I just can't seem to articulate them quite yet. But this Netherworld concept is very much a part of that process.

    The Thing- Well, you're talking subjectively, about what resonates with you on a personal level. And that's related to what we're talking about, for sure. As far as Idea Space and the Collective Unconscious those are related yet not identical with what this topic is about, which is how hoaxes- constructs created to pass off as real- can take on a reality that's more real than supermarket tabloids, antidepressants and cheeseburger-flavored tortilla chips.

    Jim- Sure, definitely BSG and any number of Star Trek low budget effects that took on their own kind of Netherworld reality.

    More to come...

  25. Dad- Well, that feeling of uncertainty is a byproduct of descending into the Netherworld, absolutely.

    252- Excellent work- thanks for the links and the quotes. The ship also reminded me of the ones from The X-Files as well, with the writing on the hull.

    435- Well, this augmented reality stuff they're coming out with now certainly qualifies there. Thanks for the link.

    Carto- Damn- now I have to chase that Hoagland bit down! Yes, Roddenberry knew too much, it's all over his work and his progeny. How did he know it is the question.

    John- See earlier comments.

    Enik- I saw that too- just more everyday revelations, right?

    Liza- Lynch and FP? Interesting. What brought you there?

    Wotie- Twinkle's on True Blood now, isn't she?

    F- I'll check those stories out- thanks.


  26. 119- Yeah- enigma is braincandy. And that whole thing is nothing but enigmatic. And I've seen a lot of artists draw that same woman- it's like she haunts our dreams.

    Thrace- I don't know, but damn- they resonate like hell, don't they? Anyone who comes along with new information is immediately attacked, so I reserve judgement on the man and his work. But as raw imagery, it's powerful as all hell.

    1002- Ah, the Nazi UFO hoax and all of the rest of it. Works well if you've never seriously researched the topic. But it keeps the Alex Jones types off the scent, so it's obviously worth their investment.

  27. From the WTF files: Disney's Video 'Alien Encounters'

  28. Nice post, Chris…

    You eloquently place attention on the beauty and mystery of universe... on the earthling quest to experience the interface between entity and cosmos…

    “There’s more to the picture… than meets the eye… hey, hey… my, my”

    - Neil Young

  29. Here's some background on the very strange Disney "Alien Encounters from New Tomorrowland" video:

    Freak stat from video: greater chance of you having an alien encounter in the next 5 years than winning the state lottery. WTF! When they start making up stats, they're creating a psychological framework/matix.

    The show aired in 1995. Was Disney merely promoting its Alien World showcase at Disney World? At first I thought it was a mockumentary, but as you get into it, it appears to be a real documentary, hosted by Robert Ulrich.

    The video takes UFOs, alien abductions, Roswell, panspermia, gov't cover ups, etc. as a fait accompli. No ridicule, just the facts.

  30. Yeah, regarding The Netherworld, I think the first thing that popped into my head was Alan Moore's Ideaspace, although you seem more focused on the power of imagery. Dave Sim, of Cerebus fame, did a great interview with Alan Moore in the general key of From Hell, where they touched on all kinds of interesting topics, including this bit about how the idea of Ideaspace fits into the larger picture:

    "I myself see this phenomenon, both the male and female components of it, as a kind of echo in the "mind-space" of the period. Richard Dawkins might call it a meme, the information equivalent of a gene, a kind of replicating virus-like idea permeating society and influencing how we think and act. Rupert Sheldrake, much less respectable than Dawkins, might talk in terms of a morphogenetic resonance, a thought-form reproducing itself in what Sheldrake terms a "morphogenetic field." For my part, being much less respectable than either of the two above gentlemen, I would talk in terms of the murders being events not only in the "real" material world, but also in the terrain that I term "Idea Space", a kind of medium or field or space or dimension in which thoughts occur. I believe this space to be at least in part mutual, rather than discrete, which is to say that I believe that this "space" impinges to some degree upon all consciousness and that it is co-accessible. Sometimes, certain ideas or notions seem to be or are said to be "in the air." What do we mean by that? When James Watt invented the steam engine, it turned out that several other inventors had come up with the idea independently during roughly the same period. Charles Fort remarked on this to the effect that he guessed it was just "steam-engine time." I'm sure that you get the general idea: that consciousness, including at a group level, is a kind of medium in which ideas or thought-forms are the equivalent of solid objects or land masses, and in which the awareness and "self' of the individual can be seen as a moving point in the fabric.

    In terms of the Ripper crimes, I suggest that maybe the idea forms of Leather-Apron and his victims became almost like the compelling and archetypal figures in some Nohplay of the human soul, with at least part of the "audience" responding and identifying unconsciously, with the central players, even to the point of mirroring or mimicking their behaviour. This kind of conjecture be-comes especially interesting, to my mind, when you apply it to a case like that of the "Halifax Slasher," as alluded to in the notes for chapter fourteen. Here, there was no real material figure at the centre of the case. There was only the echo in the mind of the onlookers, a reverberation without a signal."

    Here's the rest of the interview:

    I've come across a similar idea about ideas in a more obscure source:

    ' "If ideas are to be productive," noted Sheerbart, "they must really be 'in the air' - in very many heads at the same time - even if in a distorted form". This realization arose in Scheerbart around 1893 when he noted affinities between his own notion of glass, theosophical beliefs in crystal power, and the mirror-lined walls of Aschinger beer halls. He would thus conclude, "I am convinced that every constructive idea will appear in many heads at the same time and quite irrationally; one should therefore not speak carelessly about the seemingly confused and crazy; it generally contains the germ of reason."

    - from "The Light Club: On Paul Scheerbart's 'The Light Club of Batavia'" by Josiah McElheny.

  31. While I doubt the Mona Lisa-Alien's authenticity, those eyes would have been mesmerizing...

    Anyway, my husband laughed and said the film's Apollo module is actually a toy! He doesn't remember the manufacturer; it's possibly Atlantic.

    I'll try to get it out of storage and take some photos.

  32. Note to Oyin, Robert Urich was the Co-Star of Star Trek: Deep Space 9's Avery Brooks, in ABC's Spencer For Hire. That Disney did this film, does not surprise me. Walt Disney and Werner Von Braun were joined at the hip friendship-wise. This makes everything here a nice tight package, don't you think Chris?

  33. I was thinking about this, about these apparent hoaxes. Could there be a course of study looking at the hoax as art form? Some of these hoaxes are more well put together than what passes for 'art' now. And like real art, they kind of draw the viewer in and get the viewer to interact with the work in a way that a lot of supposedly cutting edge mainstream 'art' doesn't do.

    Things like the toilet seat with a velvet rope around it that sell for thousands of dollars just aggravate people. No one cares, it doesn't interest them, it doesn't draw them in, or speak to them. It just serves to bother people that callow rich people will drop money on such trash. What about these hoaxes? Are hoaxers the real modern artists?

  34. Anon 111: Alan Moore reminds us that there is no fine line between art and magic, dictionaries and grimoires. I'd say the same porous membrane exists between 'art' and 'hoax'. Much art simply remaps or remixes 'genuine' art(ifacts). Think of the fake airplane safety cards in the film Fight Club:

    Further blurring the line, corporations speak to us in a similar subliminal manner. Try to pick out as many ad placements as you can in this video for "indie" band Torgny's track "Big Day", from the aptly named album "Chameleon Days"

  35. Always considered the Netherworld to be an intermediary space between Space-Time (here) and 'the Beyond'. We come into contact with it when we access the usually dormant 'eros' state (most of us live in a perpetural societally induced logos state, in constant irritation/stimulation by the power complex, a sort of rampant material 'control fetishism' which we project onto other people, situations, even seemingly inert objects..certainly onto nature...with deleterious effects..). The numinous and the liminal occur during 'will-lessness', episodes in which we are immersed in timeless observation. When a person makes art without particular aim, does anything (interacts with the natural world, enters a physical athletic state of flow and etc) from a place of 'goalessness', that's when the Netherworld can be best observed. But 'observation' is key -- one 'creates' (without will force) an experiential bridge to the realm of the Collective Unconscious, in Jung's terminology, in such a state. The 'collective unconscious' is, I feel, the Netherworld yes. And the Netherworld IS the anomalous 'bridge' between worlds... Eros 'ego' consciosness -- this is a term I discovered via Swiss psychologist/healer Remo Roth's groundbreaking work on his website. Check it out sometime. Chock full of insights and then some.

    Chris, thanks mightily for this, as ever..

    Cheers All.

  36. Third - I would say it's a whole lot more than that. Stacks more.
    We (and other entities such as spirits) project onto other people, situations, even seemingly inert objects..certainly onto nature - that is a fact, as the energy can linger and be magnified. So that means that they also project into us. Collective unconscious is just a new name for something that has probably been around since the beginning on time - shared Energy almost. It doesn't account for everything. I told my hairdresser about a strange time I have had and she told me about a woman she was once friends with. This woman was obsessed with a bloke that lived in the same town as her, so she used to drop by his house - a lot. Only not physically - spiritually! My hairdresser new this man quite well. So when this woman told her all about it, and described his house and his habits, in great detail, my hairdresser and this woman fell out.

    So that says to me that some people have full control in another dimension - a spiritual one. Does C. Jung explain that?

  37. A very mainstream example of the Netherworld was The Blair Witch Project.

    If you recall, when it came out there was massive hype about it, because the creators had carefully managed the perception that it was real, that it was found footage.

    It's a little known fact that The Blair Witch Project was the most profitable movie of all time (this is because it had the production budget of the lowest-end indie movie, but the profits of a full blown hollywood blockbuster). A clear example, I think, of the underlying passion among the public for something beyond the mundane world to be real, and I think it is this very passion that fuels the Netherworld.

  38. Something about Mona Lisa (i keep wanting to call her Lebe, the Dogon name for the Seventh Ancestor, who was apparently half Nummo/Sirian Mermaid and half human, but that's aside, although apparently she has no legs...heh heh heh) mesmerises me. She's almost catlike in facial features.

  39. none of the juicy video links work now :(