Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Signal

Impact caused a "seismic event," but left no trace of evidence

Mike Clelland and I had two marathon gabfests this past weekend on the Signal and the ECH. One of which went over a cliff of sidebars and the other one was a keeper. Mike put it up on the Hidden Experience blog, which I hope all of you have bookmarked.

• We spent a lot of time exploring 2001: A Space Odyssey and the subversive message it hides in plain sight (including my pet theory that the "Dawn of Man" might be a Roswell/Cold War metaphor).

•We covered the overall arc of the past two months (April and May 2011, to be exact) here on The Secret Sun, concluding that what we call "alien" is no such thing. Whether real or surreal, the phenomenon is as old as time and can only be understood in a radically holistic context, one that incorporates symbol and synchronicity not just as curiosities but as tenets.

• We looked closer at the parallels between the Eternals and the Deviants of the Kirbyverse and the Nordics and Reptilians of abduction reports which led to a discussion on why Jack Kirby matters to the culture at large, not just the tiny ghetto of superhero fandom.

We discussed the strange encounter I had last summer (which isn't that strange when you study the contact and sighting literature, it turns out) and I revealed another paranormal-ish oddment that I hadn't covered here, which led me to wonder if I'm not living near some kind of doorway.

• Which itself tied into our discussion about how the post that put me on the scent of the Elusive Companions (which may have led some of you here when it was linked to on Red Ice) coincided with a extremely strange and mysterious event in my town that made international news.

In short, strangeness, madness, otherness and the never-ending search for the strangers among us. The ongoing effort to tune into the Signal, which may well be leading us to the next stage.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Thor: Fit for the King

A typically-tardy, completely-biased review...

Every sci-fi and superhero movie of the past 30 years has at least a little Jack Kirby blood pumping in its veins (and most have a lot), as well as most action movies post-Die Hard.
The same goes for most video games as well.

A strange little man who grew up on the hardscrabble Lower East Side of the Depression, nearly lost his legs fighting for Patton and then spent most of his life grinding out the future for a lousy page-rate not only changed the look and rhythm of big-budget Hollywood, he also had an incalculable impact on the 60s counterculture as well.

Thor was always closest to Kirby's heart in many ways.
He was the apotheosis of the self-sacrificing warrior prince archetype that stormed through Kirby's pages as well as the long-haired, blond Adonis figure that Kirby had a nearly-erotic fixation on. Kirby reincarnated Thor as Ikaris in The Eternals (about which Secret Sun readers know all too well) and finally as Captain Victory, the dying-resurrecting cosmic warrior who's about to reincarnated once again by Alex Ross, the Michelangelo of the new Super-God Renaissance.

Thor's extremely close to my own heart as well, as longtime readers might remember. My first exposure to the great, shamanic Mystery cycle of the Descent to the Underworld came not in church but in a Marvel Treasury Edition, reprinting the saga in which Thor sacrifices himself to rescue his frenemy Hercules from Hades.

In typical Kirby fashion (Kirby was the main plotter on Thor after the first handful of issues, leaving Stan Lee to embellish with his dazzling wordplay), Hercules is lured to Hell by way of Hollywood, Pluto poses as a studio executive and tricks the superhero to a lifetime of servitude with a deceitfully-written contract.

And those old Kirby-Lee Thor's were a touchstone for me in my senior year of high school when I decided that sanity dictated an escape from the soul-crushing atmosphere of Braintree. I filled sketchbooks copying panels from old Thor comics, particularly from Tales of Asgard, the classic backup feature.

And it wasn't just Kirby, Stan Lee's writing might not be an obvious- or even visible- influence on my own, but it was Lee's obvious love for the English language that taught me that language itself is an art, not just means to an end. A lot of fans trash Lee for taking too much credit for stories that Kirby or Steve Ditko actually plotted, but their post-Marvel work showed how inseparable Lee's sparkling dialogue was from the Marvel Magic. Lee might seem like a odd duck in his dotage, but in his prime he was a word wizard of the highest order.

So a Thor movie has expectations that other characters would not. I read Iron Man comics, I read Spider-Man comics, I read X-Men comics but none of those characters resonated with me in the way Thor or Doctor Strange did (science vs magick, once again). When I heard that the Asgardians were to be aliens and not deities, there was an added burden placed on the film since that put the ball in The Eternals' court.

And the heavy emphasis on the Asgard setting not only pitted the film against Tales of Asgard, but also against the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I wasn't sure how Kenneth Branagh could pull off a film like this, given his hoity-toity background. And then there was a lot of static over the casting of Idris Elba as Heimdall, the "white god," a stock Branagh gambit.

Well, I'm happy to say that the film acquitted itself quite nicely. I'm not going to do a stock review here and go over the plot points and all of the rest of that. In fact, I really hate movie reviews for that reason. The plot should unfold as a complete surprise if the movie magic is to work, something these Cliff Notes trailer makers might keep in mind as well.

The writers and producers are all obviously aware of Kirby's legacy and seemed extremely mindful of it throughout the film. Plot-points are taken left and right from classic Silver Age Thor yarns, and a very healthy dollop of UFO and High Strangeness lore is smeared on like soft cream cheese on a warm bagel. For instance, Kirby depicted SHIELD agents as a swarm of anonymous suits when younger artists put them in form fitting yellow jumpsuits, and that X-Files/Men-in-Black vibe carries through here.

Better still, the action takes place in Ground Zero of modern UFO lore, New Mexico. The humans with which Thor interacts play like refugees from Race to Witch Mountain and Jane Foster (played by Natalie Portman) is no maidenly RN but a spunky parascientist, searching the skies for wormholes. The ultra-voluptuous (though tragically-overdressed) Kat Dennings plays the wisecracking sidekick with her usual charm and Stellan Skarsgard brings his usual world-weariness to his burnt-out mentor role.

But this is Chris Hemsworth's film and he owns every frame he appears in.
This is another Hugh Jackman star-making role we're looking at. He and Portman have good chemistry (though not as good as Downey/Paltrow), and that's a rare compliment from me, not being a big Portman fan. Branagh coaxes a nuanced performance out of him, though Marvel purists will immediately notice Hemsworth is playing the dashing Hercules from the Lee-Kirby stories, not the earnest Thor. Kirby would have loved it anyway.*

He also would have love to see his Boom Tube (with which the gods traveled on the "waves of the mind") on loan from The New Gods being used by his Eternals/Asgardians. He'd have loved the Kirby Krackle in the skies and the pagan majesty of Asgard. He'd have loved the AAT, Thor's moment of decision and all of the Kirbyesque ultra-violence. And he'd be very gratified that his weird-ass cosmodelic vision can be faithfully translated into a well-produced and successful summer tentpole.

There were disappointments here and there- the Warriors Three were well-rendered, but Volstagg was farkin' hilarious in the Lee/Kirby comics and is just kind of annoying in the film. Loki's motivations could have used a bit more fleshing out, though he was brilliantly played (even if I kept seeing Brent Spiner in his face). Balder is a central character in the comics and was MIA here. I thought they should have used some kind of vehicle in the Boom Tubes and really driven home the UFO meme.

Maybe the success of the Transformers series -- which borrows (well, steals) so much from Kirby's Eternals-- will one day lead to an Eternals feature film. The concept has never seemed to resonate with the very peculiar and tiny audience of comics fandom, but I think its time might well be coming for a big screen treatment.

Start combing the beaches of Australia for Ikaris...

BONUS SYNC: If you see the film, keep your ears peeled for the Magi Number at the beginning of the action...

*I should add that Mrs. Wibble loved it too, saying it was her favorite superhero movie thus far.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Ockham, the Occult and the Ultraterrestrials

Ockham's Razor is one of those famous dictums that people use in arguments and often do so incorrectly. The whole story of it is pretty tangled and is better explained elsewhere, but for our purposes let's stick to the common distillation of it, being that the simplest answer to a problem is usually the correct one.

"Skeptics" love Ockham's Razor, even if they don't always understand it. This is because "Skeptics" love-- no, that's not quite right-- they worship received authority and hate anything that challenges said authority. If the Razor was good enough for their professors, it's good enough for them, even if they often misquote it.

I've heard Ockham's Razor thrown around in UFO debates, with "Skeptics" gleefully oblivious to the fact that non-manmade aircraft is a much simpler solution to the problem than swamp gas, weather ballons, Venus, meteors, satellites, chinese lanterns, dirty lenses, low-lying clouds reflecting streetlights, and on and on and on and on and on ad infinitum. There are always the hoaxes, but since nearly all of them are perpetrated by the "Skeptics" themselves, they don't really count.

So let me repeat that: the simplest solution to the UFO problem is that they're some kind of non-terrestrial vehicles. Ockham, thou art revenged.

Of course, "Skeptics" have a much stronger argument in their corner, and that's the mind-twisting distances between star systems. Given the immense amount of energy that would be required to travel to another star system, thrown in the not-inconsiderable frequency with which unidentified objects are spotted (every day, now) and the numerous contact/abduction narratives and it all seems to beggar belief in "extraterrestrials," as commonly understood.

But if you delve into some of these contact narratives (which we touched on here) a different picture begins to emerge. One thing I've noticed is how vivid and downright numinous some of the reports seem. It's as if these experiences are engineered to trip a switch deep in the collective unconscious, in much the same way certain songs trigger a "dreamy" feeling (something we discussed back in the day here). I have no idea if it speaks to the authenticity of the stories themselves, but I've read a number of stories that seem realer than real to me.

But at the same time, there's that Trickster element to so much of this phenomena. This is something that becomes harder to avoid the more you read the literature. And as many others have pointed out this aspect of the story drags us into murkier waters-- the paranormal, magic and the supernatural. And as many others have also pointed out there are endless strands of continuity between modern UFO reports and ancient folklore of the supernatural world-- fairies, elves, djinn and of course, Leprechauns. Little people all. And like so many of the modern-day abduction narratives, sleep or some other variety of unconsciousness plays a central role in many of those olde tales.

Thornier still is the world of the Occult. If ETH adherents are wary of the paranormal, they're downright terrified of the Occult. But if you accept narratives from the Bible and other ancient mythologies as evidence of ancient contact-- like Enoch, for example-- what are we to make of Dee and Kelly and their Enochian Keys? How different is the Enochian alphabet from the various alien alphabets so many abductees have reported?

If Horus was an alien godking on Earth, what of poor Mrs. Crowley and her in-spired bit of channeled stenography? Then there's always Lovecraft and Lam, and the whole drift towards alien overlords in 20th Century occultism. Not the least of which are The Nine, who have a naggingly strange relationship to the current occupant of the Oval Office. All of those Secret Chiefs and Great White Brotherhoods didn't have to be from Sirius, certainly. Not directly, at least. It seems trenchant that occultism became especially potent once the Companions themselves entered the mix, whether in fact or by reputation. And let's not get started on JPL and NASA and all of that for now.

Of course none of this bolsters the ETH. But even as many of us come to grips with the whole UFO issue -- and many of not-us as well, such as the Vatican, the Royal Society and now National Geographic, of all people-- many of us also begin to wonder if these aren't aliens as you might understand them. In fact, they might actually be our companions. Elusive companions, maybe, but thousands of years of sightings and contact stories seem to show us they're elusive but never walk far.

The question then becomes not are we alone in the Universe but are we alone on this planet? Have we ever been alone? Then the question becomes if we're not alone, why do these companions of ours seem to take such pleasure in being such teases, giving us little glimpses and hints before they skulk back to the shadows? Certainly, anyone who's kept an eye on this little rock of ours knows what blood-thirsty savages we are at heart, so you can't quite blame any outsider for keeping a low profile. But at the same time it seems that the kind of phenomena we puzzle over here pops up now and then at particularly opportune moments.

The Elusive Companion Hypothesis explains the long history of sightings and contact narratives. Being aware of our technological and scientific powess explains why these companions have chosen to present themselves in a procession of guises- gods, fairies, spacemen- over the years. Even controversies like Roswell and the nuke installation flyovers make a lot more sense in the ECH-- our little jumps in technology happen in secret, catch them by surprise, and take a bit of time to adjust to.

Over-the-horizon radar might have been a bit of a shock to their navigational systems and then combined with a good electrical storm all of a sudden the savages have gotten a hold of one of your (non-spaceworthy) little hovercrafts which they promptly reverse-engineer, at least in part.

Now, the other reason why the ECH or Ultraterrestrial hypothesis works is that it satisfies Ockham in relation to AAT or Intervention Theory. It's no accident that now that the bilge-waters left by the Fundamentalist tsunami of the 70s and 80s have finally receded that AAT is suddenly all over the place lately (most recently in the late, unlamented NBC potboiler The Event).

The Designers might have been called away for whatever reason but would they go to all this trouble and not leave a sitter behind to keep an eye on the kids? Which makes even more sense that the sitters would make themselves known once the kids started playing with the atomic matches. If Ockham is to be satisfied than these ancient and modern skywalkers must in some way be connected.

It makes you wonder if there isn't some realization about all of this afoot among the ruling elites, given that we're seeing a parade of evil alien movies hit the screens (both big and small) whether we want them or not (mostly not, it seems). If some change in the status quo were in the cards, it makes sense that those with the most to lose from said change would want to salt the fields. Of course, there is that whole 2012 thing coming at us fast and furious. I've long wondered what all those defense billions are being spent on and it wouldn't surprise me at all if they were being spent to keep things the way they are as best they can.

Well, like anyone else I can't answer any of these questions. All I know is that the more I read about this ongoing mystery the less it feels "alien" in any real sense of the word. It seems all too familiar, like it's all part of some unactivated bit of shareware that came with our birthday CPUs.

There's a quote from a famous abductee from the 60s that I can't quite get out of my mind. Former Police Chief Herbert Schirmer believed he was abducted, reported the events, took a major beating in his life for doing so even though he passed all of the polygraphs and all of the rest of it. When asked about the motives of his skywalking friends. Schirmer responded "to a certain degree they want to puzzle people. They know they are being seen too frequently and they are trying to confuse the public's mind."

Tricksters, in other words. Quite insightfully, Schirmer added, "everyone should believe in them some, but not too much."

Just like Hermes, go-between for the gods. The ancients knew Hermes was around when Synchronicity began to pop up and so it often is with our Companions. As the blog archives will show I didn't think much about UFOs for years. That is until my first trip out to Esalen, where I gave a talk on Jack Kirby and Synchromysticism. As I also documented here, a strange electrical storm kicked off a spate of wildfires not long after, roaring all the way down the coast. The flames licked at Esalen's gates but spared the compound its wrath. How about that?

And of course Esalen itself is no stranger to the Companions, having been controlled by a channeler for The Nine (late of Sirius) for several years back in the waning days of the Cold War. Not a few people thought they were tricksters as well.

Jack Kirby was no stranger to the Companions, either. They starred in his epic series The Eternals (another touchstone of my life and this blog). In The Eternals, the Companions were composed of two races- the Deviants, who skulked in the underseas ruins of Lemuria (under the Bermuda Triangle, of course) and liked to pose as demons and the Eternals, who kept to themselves on the roofs of the world and were mistaken for the gods throughout history.

Think the Greys and the Nordics of UFO lore, more or less.

The Eternals were content to pursue meditation and other spiritual practices and the Deviants kept themselves busy with their infernal machines while humankind were ruling the roost. The two races only made themselves known to the world when the gods- or Anunaki, if you prefer-- returned to take stock of the Project. Kirby didn't seem to be familiar with 2012 prophecies but would certainly have incorporated it if he had. The story all kicked off in a Kirbyesque Inca tomb, which could easily be Kirbyesque Mayan if need be.

And this all brings us back to the shamanic and psychedelic realm, yet again. Kirby not only knew things he shouldn't have known, but he didn't even know he knew them. As far back as the Mithraic Mysteries and all of the way up to the modern Ayahuasca ones, strange flying disks show up when a certain state of mind is reached. It's almost as if there's a signal out there, one that's usually filtered out.

Shamans, occultists, sick children and other thought-criminals seem to pick up on the signal when the stars are all aligned. It's a fleeting state, but it's driven forward our evolution in ways we don't quite understand. Real evolution is never pretty, never fun and always painful. But maybe on the other side of it we'll get to know our Companions more intimately. And we can teach each other.

SYNC LOG: Speaking of sick children I was mulling the idea of losing the Ockham's Razor part of this piece until I happened over to Wikipedia and happened to scroll down and spotted an old friend...
Pretty necessary in this context, don't you think?

Friday, May 20, 2011

More than Meets the Eye (UPDATES)

If you're like me, you'll periodically check out the countless YouTube videos screaming "ZOMG!!UFOZ!!!!." And if you're like me, 99 times out of 100 your reaction will be "get a frickin' life already."

Then there's this video.

The story is that there was a massive blowout of transformers in Fort Worth, Texas following a nasty thunderstorm. This video was shot from the 34th floor of the Tower Apartments in the downtown area. The explosions are shocking (no pun intended)- a seeming chain reaction lighting up the night sky. But there's also a whole lot of anomalous to look at here.

Or listen to- anyone who's witnessed a transformer explosion will tell you they're loud as hell. We get them around here during storms and they rattle the windows. However, you don't hear a single peep here. Well, you do hear peeps -- of birds. Which in itself is a trifle odd for the common flocks you get in urban areas. Then there's the spectrum of colors- from time to time there's a kind of rainbow effect. Maybe it's the residual moisture in the air, maybe not.

Then there are the hovering lights. They seem to coincide with the explosions. They're certainly not ball lightning. Some think they're lens flares (reasonable, though if you look closely they appear to be behind the flashes and are obscured by them), some think they're helicopters. The guy who shot the video says they're neither:
"Still working on that. Originally thought traffic helicopters were getting close for a look, but they all say not in a thunderstorm and nobody has come forward with any videos from above the area."
Now, as I've said many times in the past, lights in the sky are just lights until proven otherwise. But in light of the anomalous situation we're looking at here (you feel its strangeness too), I'm starting to lean towards otherwise. What exactly is beyond my ken.

But it is worth noting that there's been a string of these transformer explosions across the country. The most recent was in Hoboken. A case of the nerves? Maybe. But there's also been a lot of weird in the air lately.

Bonus Sync: Oh, I forgot to mention. This building where this video was shot? It's two blocks away from "The Flying Saucer."

UPDATE: Speaking of Fort Worth. Can't say what this is either, but it's definitely not lens flares.

UPDATE: Good gravy- there's been a raging epidemic of transformer explosions. Thanks to Greg.

UPDATE: Camerman disputes lens flare theory: "This video looks just like it did to us watching it in person. Amazing. I have 7 more videos with 3 lenses I will put up next week." Let's see what turns up.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

AstroGnostic: Moon-Machines and Mindbombs

The first installment of this series dealt with the plasticity of memory, centered on the fact that my most vivid memories from my childhood were either nightmares or hallucinations, many of which had strands of commonality with abduction experiences.

The second part looked at weird strands of commonality within many classic abduction reports (which is to say, pre-Communion, pre-Intruders), many of which were not your typical nighttime visitation experience but were often daytime sightings followed by an encounter leading to some kind of beam emission which itself led to a bizarre experience which might include alien sex, a spin around the solar system and so on. Experiences almost tailor-made to make the witness seem foolish or fantasy-prone. But the kind of experiences (and sightings) seen in the post-war UFO literature are nothing new at all. As many have pointed out they're remarkably similar to folk stories of encounter with elves and fairies.

As I would point out, they have an even stronger similarity to ancient encounters with the gods, many of which are far more lucid and frighteningly familiar than the superstitious reports of Medieval peasants (during a epoch in which most of Europe entered a state of severe mental, scientific and intellectual retardation).

The Sumerians obviously watched too many UFO movies

This led me to speculate that perhaps we are not alone- never mind in the impossibly huge universe, but on this planet itself. We've never been alone- we've had an elusive yet not totally invisible companion race, whom the Sumerians called the Igigi and were later called the Grigori- a servant class of Watchers, left behind while the gods went back to wherever they came from (though in every telling, from Mesoamerica to Mesopotamia, this absence is only temporary, no matter how ancient this all seems to modern, attention-deficit addled cultures).

This race would be known today as the Greys, who some believe are in fact biological androids, which makes sense in many different ways.

It also led me to speculate that the abduction experiences themselves could be the result of some kind of remote control- namely the result of the weird beam that some of these witnesses reported being shot with just prior to waking up in the ship and going on the joyride. The mild radiation sickness many of these witnesses were diagnosed with could well be evidence of some kind of apparatus used to install created memories in the experiencer.

The third installment looked at Stanley Kubrick's landmark 2001: A Space Odyssey, the first of the great Hollywood tributes to the ancient engineers. I argued that none of the symbolic interpretations of the film are as dangerous as what's being presented onscreen. Master manipulator that he was, Kubrick might well have planted all kinds of symbols and distractions while the truly subversive message of the film hid in plain sight. To reiterate:

• The film tells us that mankind's incredibly rapid evolution was not the result of blind forces of nature but of technological intervention by an "alien" race (the term alien is meaningless in this context, but we'll use it as shorthand).

• It then sticks a fork in the eye of doctrinaire Darwinists by pointing out the obvious- that the evolution from simple toolmaking to high technology was not even the blink of an eye in geological time.

• After that eyeblink, we meet Heywood Floyd, a government shill sent up to the Moon to engineer a cover-up.

• The cover-up involves the discovery of an ancient alien artifact. Kubrick gives us no indication that this cover-up would be temporary -- Floyd and his cronies want this thing to stay buried, as it were. But as he and his team visit it, it sends a signal to an unknown party somewhere in the orbit of Jupiter.

• A mission is sent to locate the signal's recipient, but the onboard AI quite reasonably interprets Floyd's obsessive secrecy as a directive to silence the human crew and take over the mission.

• After disabling the AI, an astronaut takes a shuttle craft out to discover another alien artifact, which then shoots a signal at the astronaut's brain which triggers a joyride not totally unlike some of the experiences reported by abductees.

• Just like many of those experiences, the astronaut's joyride brings him to a weird, oddly-lit white-room, which becomes the venue of his apotheosis. From ape to man to god.

Enter Jack Kirby.

As we explored in a previous post, Kirby did a story for Race to the Moon in the late 50s (just prior to joining Stan Lee at Marvel) that sat in a drawer for several years, only to be published once 2001 was already in production. That story also featured the discovery an alien megalith on the Moon that also induced a hallucinatory rocket ride across the cosmos in the astronauts zapped by the thing.

Kirby would take on 2001 itself in 1976 when Marvel got the license from MGM. Though it might seem tailor-made for Kirby, he saw it as a hardship post. After an oversized adaptation of the film itself, Kirby was assigned an ongoing anthology series. He riffed on the film at first, moving up the historical ladder to neanderthals and cavemen and so on. He seemed to enjoy the psychedelic freakout aspect of it all but seemed to be troubled by something.

After an all-Starchild issue which ended in the future extinction of the human race, he back-pedaled to contemporary times in which the Monolith would endow the next phase of mankind's evolution-- namely, androids-- with sentience.

Funny thing though, these androids in their natural states looked more like Greys than anything else (the Grey not becoming ubiquitous until the late 80s, ten years after this material was drawn).

Another funny thing- Kirby also introduced a classic Grey in his contemporaneous Black Panther series. This Grey also had the ability to induce hallucinatory "experiences" in people as well. But the Grey was in fact a hyper-evolved human who is brought back into our timeline via King Solomon's Frog, a bit of ancient astronautical technology discovered by a secret society called The Collectors (huge chunks of this story were lifted for the most recent Indiana Jones film).

Kirby's android spun off into his own series, Machine Man. As with most of the second half of his third Marvel stint, it wasn't his best work. But that weird brain of his kept spinning. Kirby revisited another favorite theme in the book- telepathic contact with distant alien races (most remarkably explored in his sex-o-delic early 70s fumetti "Children of the Flaming Wheel").

In Machine Man, a mental patient is contacted by a distant starship, trapped in the gravity of an alien sun. But ever the paranoid, Kirby tells us that the alien is an evil android (named TenFor, a revealing reference to then-waning CB craze), reminiscent of John Lilly's Solid State Intelligence. Again, not the pearl of Kirby's career, but fascinating in that telepathic contact is then followed by the creation of an interdimensional stargate that allows TenFor to enter Earth.

But before all of that Kirby seemed to be obsessing subconsciously on the messages relayed in Kubrick's film, which combined with his regular diet of fringe literature and his own hyper fevered imagination. Kirby seemed fixated on the idea of alien threats lurking on nearby "dead" worlds. In the first issue of the regular series, two astronauts discover the ruins of an ancient city on an asteroid (and later discover a Lovecraftian cephalopod horror, significantly)...

...and his reincarnated CroMagnon witch discovers more Grey types on Ganymede (the Jupiter moon), shortly before her Stargate trip.

And let's not forget that at the same time Kirby was doing his 2001 adaptation, he was drawing Captain America entering a Stargate after being caught up in a secret shooting war (between unidentified forces) on the Moon....

...leaving the Moon and ending up in a movie studio, beating Jay Weidner to the punch by a couple decades.

And of course that whole experience was engineered by
a vaguely Grey-type extraterrestrial named Mister Buda, who abducts Cap and send him on yet another joyride through space and time (Captain America's Bicentennial Battles, 1976).

But none of this was anything new to Kirby. Back in the early 60s, he and Stan Lee sent the Fantastic Four to the Moon where they discovered the ruins of an earlier civilization and meet a Grey-type alien called, wait for it...

...the Watcher. Note the Starchild-like flying globes, filled with protohominids.

To commemorate Apollo 11, Lee and Kirby had yet another watcher android try to sabotage the mission, since mankind was forbidden by his masters to leave Earth's atmosphere.

But who were this alien's masters? The ancient astronauts known as the Kree. Unlike the Anunaki, the Kree only chose one group of prehumans for advancement, the race of the Himalayan superbeings known as the Inhumans, themselves inspired by all of the old "secret chiefs" myths handed down to comics from Theosophy via the the pulps. Predictably, the Inhumans have moved from the Himalayas to the Moon.

Now it's possible that Kubrick was reading Kirby comics when preparing material for 2001 and Kirby certainly saw the film. And this little matrix of connection isn't immune to cultural contamination by any means, in fact it's filled with it. But we need to remember that this is Jack Kirby here...

...who drew this, 17 years before the Viking mission...

...and this, 17 years before 9/11...

...and this, three decades before the Iraq War. There's plenty more where this comes from, just click on the Jack Kirby tag.

Now there's always those who'll say Kirby was an "insider" creating "predictive programming" but they don't know jack about Jack. We're talking about a guy who was politely referred to as a "guy hermetically sealed within his own imagination" to impolitely labeled "an idiot savant, obsessed with orgasm."

A guy who wasn't allowed to drive a car for fear of disaster, and a guy whose daily life was managed by his ever-vigilant wife. Kirbyvision might dominate Hollywood and Silicon Valley today, but in his life he was a working stiff who spent a long time in the wilderness of fan opprobrium after splitting with Stan Lee in 1970.

Kirby wasn't stupid, by any means. He was a genius in many ways, just not so much in others. He saw things differently, though. He said that Kubrick's monolith was "a ficitional element in a very real process." His obsession with UFOs and aliens embarrasses his conservative conservatorship, but it's a goldmine around these parts.

Kirby too suffered from deadly fevers as a child (at one point in his childhood only a gaggle of faith-healing rabbis kept him from death's door) and experienced the horrors of combat firsthand in Europe when his commanders decided his drawing talent would be best put to use sneaking behind enemy lines and sketching out his surveillance. That only earned a boat-trip back home with doctors unsure if his frostbitten legs needed to be amputated.

And unlike his conservatorship, I'm not convinced that he didn't undergo some kind of augmented therapy for PTSD in the mid-60s just prior to his psychedelic awakening.

Which brings me back to John Lilly. Like Philip K Dick, Lilly's pharmaceutical adventures convinced him that Earth was under the stewardship of electronic guardians, using as yet undiscovered means to communicate with their more attuned charges -- which is to say, those literally tuned into this continuous broadcast, for whatever reason-- using the chronological manipulation of events and symbols.

Synchronicity, in other words.

Friday, May 06, 2011

AstroGnostic: Stanley Kubrick and the Reality Stargate

Gnostic scholar Jay Weidner has been making the rounds with a new film series called Kubrick's Odyssey. It's Weidner's contention that Stanley Kubrick was enlisted to help manufacture film and photography for a simulation of an Apollo 11 mission for public consumption, which would keep the real mission secret. That the making of 2001: A Space Odyssey was in fact an R/D project financed by interested parties and that the techniques Kubrick and his team developed were later used by NASA for the Apollo 11 fakery. Here's the pitch for Jay's DVD:
This famed movie director who made films such as 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, The Shining and Eyes Wide Shut, placed symbols and hidden anecdotes into his films that tell a far different story than the films appeared to be saying.

Jay Weidner presents compelling evidence of how Stanley Kubrick directed the Apollo moon landings. He reveals that the film, 2001: A Space Odyssey was not only a retelling of Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick's novel, but also a research and development project that assisted Kubrick in the creation of the Apollo moon footage. In light of this revelation, Weidner also explores Kubrick's film, The Shining and shows that this film is, in actuality, the story of Kubrick's personal travails as he secretly worked on the Apollo footage for NASA.
The story has it that 2001 was based on Clarke's short story "The Sentinel," but anyone's who read the story will tell you the connections to it are thin. The tone (and intent) of the film is also quite different from Clarke's novelization, as it is from Clarke's fiction in general. One of the most significant differences is personified by Heywood Floyd, who's a hero to Clarke but a villain to Kubrick; a bagman and hush-up artist whose obsessive secrecy is responsible for the deaths of the Jupiter mission crew.

Now, dozens of people have written dozens of essays about 2001, interpreting the film in dozens of different ways, from the sublime to the cringe-inducing. It's a film that tempts people to read any number of symbolic or philosophic narratives into it, because the actual narrative of the film is unacceptable on its face.

You can expound upon myth, technology, sociology or even gender politics (believe it or not) in the film but you can't, you mustn't-- most especially if you work in academia, which blithely accepts all kinds of idiocy-- ever address what Kubrick himself went to unprecedented lengths to explain about the film's meaning. In Kubrick's own words:
[Extraterrestrials] may have progressed from biological species, which are fragile shells for the mind at best, into immortal machine entities and then, over innumerable eons, they could emerge from the chrysalis of matter transformed into beings of pure energy and spirit. Their potentialities would be limitless and their intelligence ungraspable by humans. These beings would be gods to the billions of less advanced races in the universe, just as man would appear a god to an ant.
They would be incomprehensible to us except as gods; and if the tendrils of their consciousness ever brushed men's minds, it is only the hand of god we could grasp as an explanation. Mere speculation on the possibility of their existence is sufficiently overwhelming, without trying to decipher their motives. The important point is that all the standard attributes assigned to god in our history could equally well be the characteristics of biological entities who, billions of years ago, were at a stage of development similar to man's own and evolved into something as remote from man as man is remote from the primordial ooze from which he first emerged.
The only reason the film is a mystery to polite society is that the extensive interviews that Kubrick gave about the film's meaning must be ignored at all costs by establishment opinion makers. Why? Because the actual narrative-- what is being shown on screen, not in the imaginations of amateur film critics and adjunct professors-- is a government cover-up of historical proportions.

The Heywood Floyd of the film is not the earnest science-hero of the Clarke novels, he's a duplicitous, well-trained overlord
, whose mission it is to remind the residents of Clavius to keep their god-damned mouths shut and sign the non-disclosure forms and security oaths already. Just how good Floyd is at his job is revealed on the space station, when he deviously leads a group of inquiring Russian scientists into buying into the bullshit cover story about an epidemic at Clavius.

For no reason at all he fails to inform the Jupiter mission crew about the true nature of their mission, leading the onboard AI to reasonably assume that they are a threat to the mission and hence decide that dead men tell no tales.

What is being covered up? Proof of the most dangerous idea in the world. That humankind is the product of outside intervention (using terms like "alien" seem ridiculous, if indeed this intelligence essentially created us). As always, theories and arguments are no threat to the established order-- they have all the money in the world to put forward counter-theories and debunkers-- but cold, hard evidence most certainly is.

A lot of theories have been put forth by Apollo 11 theorists, from the Van Allen Belt to the insufficient technology, even to theories that the Moon is crawling with aliens and mankind is forbidden to step foot on it. But 2001: A Space Odyssey itself presents us with another theory, hiding in plain sight.

Namely that too close a look at the Moon- especially the areas in which NASA most wanted to look- would provide that dreaded proof that someone (take your pick) besides us had been there first. In other words, the Moon missions weren't just some scientific lark- the crews were sent to specific locations that were determined to be of particular interest in order to see exactly who or what had been to the Moon before us.

There's no shortage these days of theories and stories that NHI (non-human intelligences, in place of more loaded terms like aliens or ETs) have bases on the Moon, or that the Moon is an artificial satellite. The new Transformers film will delve into this, fresh off the franchise's AAT bonanza of the previous film. But there's another narrative at work, one tying into the Ultraterrestrial theme of the Transformers franchise (that hidden Watcher race again) but also the induced reality of so-called alien abduction reports (that we discussed in Part 2 of this series).

Because an induced reality is exactly what we see Dave Bowman go through in the so-called Stargate sequence.

For all intents and purposes, Bowman's experience is identical to any number of abduction accounts in UFO literature. He's zooming along in his space-car, he's zapped by some kind of emission from the Monolith and all over a sudden he's zooming through the cosmos, missing time like you wouldn't believe.

But Bowman doesn't actually go anywhere- the entire trip is transmitted into his brain by the Monolith (the signal comes at exactly 2:01:42). Granted, Kubrick doesn't use the laser beam of the abduction reports he almost certainly had read (many of which were classified at the time the film was being made) but where does Bowman finish this trip?

In an oddly-lit white room, exactly as described in so many abduction reports dating back to the early 50s. In fact, one of the most famous cases involving the white room also includes a beam-zapping- namely the Travis Walton "Fire in the Sky" case:
He had now left the large craft, and entered a large room. Within this room he could see several other smaller saucer-type crafts. Travis was now taken through a hallway to another set of doors, which also automatically opened. Through this door he entered a totally white room with a table and a chair. Travis' attention was immediately drawn to three other humans in the room.
Bowman prefigures this in his own abduction (which itself is prefigured in the ancient Mithraic Liturgy). And what does he become?

The Starchild, so oddly reminscent of the alien Greys seen in so many of those same abduction accounts. Even more startlingly, the Starchild travels through space in a bubble, almost identical to an image that many Secret Sun readers are familiar with...

...the globular craft that Horus- the original Starchild- rides in with Osiris on his way to Sirius. This image is from Budge, but it's carved in stone in Philae, another site familiar to regular readers.

Sirius and beams bring us back to a motif I was looking at in the early days of this blog- the Heavenly Beam seen in so many posters for so many science fiction blockbusters. And as we discovered in the Stairway to Sirius posts, that heavenly beam at Ground Zero stands directly between the Stairway and the Monolith-- the Millennium Hotel based on the alien transmitter of 2001.

The Stargate and the Monolith in living color

So, when people talk about "disclosure," what's the real mystery to be disclosed?
Does anyone really believe that the world would flip out if contact were made with a bonafide ET race? What's more, given how long strange disks have been seen flying around in the sky (forever, basically) or how many times people have encountered weird little critters with bald heads and huge eyes over the past few thousand years does it really seem that we are talking about "aliens?" I don't think so anymore.

But believing they are extraterrestrial might be a lot more comforting to some people than what we have been dealing with since the beginning of our time on this planet. Not that I think it should be, but only a fool would underestimate humanity's need to see itself not only as the crown of creation but as the masters of its domain.

To summarize:

• Jay Weidner has put forth a very compelling argument that Stanley Kubrick was involved in faking visual documentation of the Apollo missions, using techniques he perfected in 2001, in order keep the real missions secret.

• Weidner also argues that The Shining isn't about the Stephen King novel but a veiled allegory as to Kubrick's role in the coverup.

• You don't need to look any farther than 2001 itself for an unveiled narrative about a coverup concerning a Moon mission.

• The Stargate sequence- which has puzzled so many people for so many years - might in fact be a stylized retelling of the experience commonly referred to as alien abduction.

And lastly, shit's getting weird out there....