Saturday, February 28, 2015

"Until It Happened to Me."

Recent news stories on near-death experiences crossed my path this week, for very different reasons. They were very different stories concerning very different people and leading to very different interpretations, but in the end they both led me to my conclusion: the paranormal is personal.*

Many in the Establishment have declared war on near death experience, primarily because the newly-disempowered Evangelicals have latched onto NDEs as proof of their interpretation of scripture. The elitist British newspaper The Independent recently ran a story of a man who died (twice!) and didn't experience anything at all. 

This is hardly news. NDEs are the exception, not the rule and the article deliberately avoids any discussion of the man's hospital treatment (if he was anesthetized it would explain his lack of any memory before being awoken). 

(Let me just say up front that the NDEs that most interest me are the ones that are accompanied by anomalous evidence or extraordinary circumstance. Otherwise the topic can become overly subjective).

What actually happened is that the man does not remember an NDE, which may well be a result of drugs or brain injury. But unfortunately we may never know for sure even if he did experience anything since the man in question is a doctrinaire radical atheist. 

The covert political agenda of the article is made clear by his own testimony, though he's surely only preaching to the converted in The Independent: 
"I have always been an atheist, but I have always had a part of me that hoped there was a God or Heaven or something greater than us. I mean, who wouldn't want there to be a Heaven? 
"I am still an atheist, and now I know that there is no such thing as God or Heaven. At least not for me. My reasoning behind that is no God would ever put a person and family through such a experience. 
"I am an Atheist, and always will be. But I believe that your belief is your belief. The only thing we can share is our own experiences and let people make up their own mind. People need to stop forcing their own beliefs onto others."
That last statement is curious, given the general live and let live attitude of near-death experiencers. It would seem the fellow is one of those types who thinks anyone disagreeing with him is an intolerable threat, something we see all too often these days. 

But the point is; If you distrust the "Jesus led me to the Elysian Fields" stories of a devout Evangelical, why would you trust the "I spent all my time in a void" stories of the devout atheist (especially given the fact that there's little reason for such a story in the first place)? Both are seeking to further a partisan agenda and reassure their fellow travelers.

One wonders what would have happened had he gone through the classic NDE. Certainly we've heard of these Road to Damascus events, where onetime unbelievers are so shaken by an experience that it changes the entire conduct of their lives. Near death experiences are well known for having this kind of effect.

Which brings me to my point here: there are people who are interested in paranormal topics but I think people only come to actually believe in the paranormal once they experience it for themselves.

Archskeptic Michael Shermer is the probable inheritor of the Skeptic King crown once that pedantic pedagogue James Randi shuffles off this mortal coil. But aside from the sex abuse scandals that seem to be emblematic of these types, Shermer made headlines recently when he briefly wandered off the reservation in response to the kind of paranormal event that many people have experienced and were once taken for granted*. In this case it had to do with a grandfather's old radio suddenly working after extensive efforts to repair had been in vain:
Anomalous Events That Can Shake One’s Skepticism to the Core 
What does this mean? Had it happened to someone else I might suggest a chance electrical anomaly and the law of large numbers as an explanation—with billions of people having billions of experiences every day, there's bound to be a handful of extremely unlikely events that stand out in their timing and meaning. In any case, such anecdotes do not constitute scientific evidence that the dead survive or that they can communicate with us via electronic equipment.
Jennifer is as skeptical as I am when it comes to paranormal and supernatural phenomena. Yet the eerie conjunction of these deeply evocative events gave her the distinct feeling that her grandfather was there and that the music was his gift of approval. I have to admit, it rocked me back on my heels and shook my skepticism to its core as well. I savored the experience more than the explanation.
To which I'd say Shermer is very easily impressed and really, really not qualified to pass judgements on the paranormal. But the point is that it happened to him and so it meant something (if it happened to you he'd be first in line to attack).

It was worth writing about, worth confessing to his fellow consensus/corporate reality-worshippers. Otherwise he would have shredded anyone else who made such a claim.

So you you really do have to wonder how many skeptics out there are simply sour grapes cases, bitter that the paranormal train never stopped at their station. 

And I wonder how many of these are actually incapable of experiencing or even truly understanding the paranormal because of their brain chemistry or some other kind of physiological issue. 

Listen, there's a lot of things I can't do that normal people don't seem to have any trouble with. And it's pretty well documented that a lot of people who can and do experience the paranormal don't exactly lead splendrous lives and usually had horrific childhoods.

Colin Wilson is an interesting case- he had his elite credentials in order, could write his own ticket on the British Sterility Express, but after delving into the paranormal for his must-read, foundational text The Occult in 1971, Wilson confessed what is utter heresy to the system that reared him:
"It was not until two years ago, when I began the systematic research for this book, that I realized the remarkable consistency of the evidence for such matters as life after death, out-of-the-body experiences (astral projection), reincarnation.

In a basic sense, my attitude remains unchanged; I still regard philosophy - the pursuit of reality through intuition aided by intellect - as being more relevant, more important, than questions of "the occult."

But the weighing of the evidence, in this unsympathetic frame of mind, has convinced me that the basic claims of "occultism" are true. It seems to me that the reality of life after death has been established beyond all reasonable doubt.
I sympathize with the philosophers and scientists who regard it as emotional nonsense, because I am temperamentally on their side; but I think they are closing their eyes to evidence that would convince them if it concerned the mating habits of albino rats or the behavior of alpha particles."
I had such trouble with the paranormal as a concept (thanks in large part to all that reality garbage on SyFy) that it took me a very long time to define my own experiences as paranormal and even to realize that experiences I saw as mundane were in fact anything but. But I believe true skepticism isn't saying "no" no matter what, it's only saying "yes" once you've satisfied the need for evidence. 

I actually think all the sloppy, evidence-free paranormal stuff you see out there is just boring. It's just flat soda and stale bread.

But here's an important point: I wasn't able to understand the context of my own experiences until I studied the experiences of other people. So I do think there's a major shortcoming in the solipsistic approach to evidence vis a vis the paranormal. Hoaxes and bullshit are pretty easy to sniff out after a while and it's important to trust other people and not see everything through the prism of your own experience. 

The Internet has certainly been a mixed blessing; it's given voice to the worst possible elements (I mentally file 'hoaxers' with 'child molesters' and 'politicians') but at the same time it offers tools that have never been available before. My 2010 experience may have been forgotten or hopelessly distorted by memory had I not been able to essentially liveblog it as soon as it happened. And that drew other people into the experience as well.

But I often wonder; would I have believed that experience if I read about happening to somebody else? The annals of the paranormal are filled with the testimony, "you know, I don't usually believe in that sort of thing, but..."

The paranormal can be a contagion. If you know a bunch of people who have had weird experiences but don't feel you have yourself, just think about this; the fact that you are attracting these people into your life is a paranormal experience in itself. You are what they call a strange attractor. 

The same goes if someone close to you confides about a profoundly weird experience. You have become part of the circuit now. I certainly feel a weird connection- a sense of being there- when reading about some of the old contact stories (I also very strongly feel that we're dealing with an occult phenomenon here and not an qoute-unquote extraterrestrial one, though someone like Kenneth Grant would chuckle at the distinction).

I'll leave you with this quote from Paracelsus:
Thus these beings appear to us, not in order to stay among us or become allied to us, but in order for us to become able to understand them. These apparitions are scarce, to tell the truth. But why should it be otherwise?  
Is it not enough for one of us to see an Angel, in order for all of us to believe in the other Angels? 

*UPDATE: This piece originally included a story - which has been widely circulated on social media- which a reader pointed out may be a hoax. It wasn't really important to the overall piece and it took up a lot of real estate so I deleted it and stuck with the Independent story. And a good thing too; the piece definitely reads better without it. 

But now I wonder if the Independent story isn't a hoax as well.

* I know of two events in my own extended family where grandfather clocks stopped working when their owners died and despite the best efforts of repairmen, never worked again.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Stargates and Solar Temples, Part One: Return of the Djedi

NASA has released a new poster for its 45th ISS mission, featuring the crew dressed as Jedi Knights. This isn't all that unusual; previous missions have used The Matrix, The Right Stuff and of course Star Trek to try to interest a jaded public in the low earth orbit science lab excursions, especially tough now that Christopher Nolan has upped the ante again with his wormhole surfing epic Interstellar.

But the timing was curious, in that the Jedi project brings us back to the Heaven's Gate/Gate of Heaven axis via the connection to the First Earth Battalion, which was either an attempt to revolutionize modern warfare and the armed forces or a total disinfo psyop, created to discredit, deceive and distract. 

Distract from what? Well, from more serious work being done in remote viewing, for one, which those perennial bedfellows, CSICOP and the Religious Right, had joined hands (once again) in opposition to in 1990s.

The famous/infamous First Earth Battalion manifesto/manual is a thoroughly strange document, and offers this strange philosophy, remarkably similar to Heaven's Gates belief systems:
Jobs in the First Earth are based on capabilities. Sex, age, color, or religious preferences are not considerations. Culture has, however, programmed men and women so that they feel pressure to relate to each other sexually. This sexual protocol can be overcome by a series of extended exercises requiring the absolute interdependence of all participants until a level is trust is developed that supercedes and rises above any kind of sexual relationship. Fortunately love is still the by-product. 
The FEB eventually evolved into Project Jedi, which was arguably even stranger than its predecessor. From "The Real Story of the Men Who Stare at Goats" by Danny Penman
Project Jedi was a top-secret military project to create a breed of ‘super-soldier'. If all went according to plan, the Jedi Warriors would revolutionise warfare. They would be fantastically strong and possess superior intelligence, cunning and intuition. They would use psychic remote viewing to spy on the enemy, disable nuclear bombs with telekinesis, and effortlessly kill with the power of thought alone. But not only that, they would have the ability to become invisible at will and to walk through walls. 
Strangely enough Project Jedi/First Earth Battalion has a LinkedIn page, offering a live link and a dead one. The page promises videos and tutorials in Jedi training and survivalism. 

The Project Jedi web page is extremely interesting. I don't know who exactly is maintaining it or what their connection to the military is, but their history of the Jedi Knights is extremely interesting, to say the very least.

In recorded history, the Secrets of the Force of the “Jedi” Knights’ were first taught among the Egyptian “Jedi” or Djedi, who may have received them from a much earlier pre-historical “Jedi” Knight order, perhaps one from Atlantis. One Djedi priest mentioned in the Egyptian’s Westcar Papyrus is said to have possessed the key that opened the “secret chambers of the sanctuary of Thoth,” who many esoteric historians believe was a missionary and Master of the Force from Atlantis.  
 With the esoteric wisdom he discovered, Dhul-Nun al-Misri founded the Al-banna, the Sufi sect of "Freemasons". According to the Sufi Idris Shah, the Al-banna were teachers of the Templars during the years the Knights resided in the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount. Much of the wisdom of alchemy and the Force that resulted from the Templar-Al-banna intercourse was later taken into the continent of Europe by Templars who assimilated it into fledgling Speculative Freemasonry.
Clyde Lewis wrote about the connections between Heaven's Gate and projects linked to the FEB/Jedi axis:
Coincidentally, three members of the Heaven’s Gate “away team” worked for Advanced Development Group, Inc. (ADG), a company that developed computer-based instruction for the U.S. Army. ADG later became ManTech Advanced Development Group; these organizations have connections to the First Earth Battalion, a psy-op group formed within the U.S. military to allegedly handle extraterrestrial affairs such as abductions or contact through telepathy or remote viewing, and to hold simulated extraterrestrial “drills” using holographic technology.  
The connections between the beliefs of the Heaven's Gate, the military and the Templars are going to recur several more times, in strange and terrible ways, many more times before we're through with this series.

We've seen that groups like Blackwater see themselves as the new Templars, and we see the revelation of secret societies we had no idea existed before. We have an iron wall of secrecy that's descended over any kind of parapolitical research (even the Snowden revelations were simply confirmations of long-held suspicions) under the aegis of Homeland Security.* 

We simply have no idea what is going on behind closed doors- what new sects or cults are taking power. We can only guess by the signals that leak into the media, but even so there's so much noise it's impossible to tell.

It's interesting to see NASA delve into the iconography of Hollywood in order to capture the fading interest of a distracted public. Both NASA and Hollywood have teamed up to sell the idea of space colonization over the past century (wasn't one of the first motion pictures ever made about a moon shot?), though certainly Hollywood's had a lot better luck than NASA.

And it could be argued that both NASA and Hollywood have sold the public on the idea of UFOs being extraterrestrial spacecraft. Certainly, most laypeople will buy into that idea if pressed, even though UFOs seem to be a permanent fixture of the human condition, going as far back as human beings first began to create graven reflections of their environment.


 * Richard Dolan said on a radio interview that what little we know about the government and UFOs was revealed during a very short period when President Carter relaxed the Freedom of Information Act. Reagan locked those doors back up.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

It's Coming Back Around Again

As I've mentioned before, I'm continually amazed by how many themes and issues I covered (read: "obsessed over") over the lifespan of this blog are re-emerging just as I reactivated it. 

I found it fascinating that Annie Lennox and Sia (both of whom I wrote about way back in May of 2008) appeared on the Grammies, considering that Lennox has been invisible for a long time and Sia (who wants to be invisible) seemed a bit too alt. to make it to prime time. People were more impressed by their performances than I was (Sia's seemed on the disturbing side of weird) but it was interesting nonetheless.

Monuments to the old gods and supernatural beings have been a thruline here on the Secret Sun, most recently the giant Kelpies in Scotland we saw in the Siren series. Back in 2010 we saw the Watchers being installed on Manhattan rooftops, designed by the same artist who created England's Angel of the North. Similarly in China we see this astonishing snow sculpture, described thusly:

Sculptors make a final touch to their creation “Moon Goddess” at the Jingyue Lake National Forest Park in Changchun, Northeast China’s Jilin province, December 25. 
The thematic sculpture, 25 meters high and 80 meters long, features a goddess unfolding a flag. The lake’s name Jingyue means “Clear Moon” in Chinese.

In 2012 I warned about the emergence of the new Atheist religion, and the dangers it posed. Tragically, we've now seen a clash of religions, with a militant atheist apparently gunning down three young Muslims in Chapel Hill, NC. The Media is predictably vague about his motivation but I took enough screenshots of his Facebook page to realize he's one of the Atheists who takes it beyond religion and into a hate movement.

I often feel that haters latch on ideologies almost at random, that what it is important to them is choosing a side from which they can lob the brickbats. I'm sure most people reading this have experienced this for themselves, and have been on the receiving end of that abuse, especially from atheists and debunkers. 

But I don't think we've seen the last of this kind of eruption, unfortunately.

Finally, there's a bit of a tempest taking place in the tiny teacup known as the Nuts 'n' Bolts UFOlogy community-- more accurately, in a small subset of that community-- over what has claimed to be slides taken of aliens recovered from the Roswell crash. 

One of the slides was released and the disenchanted yet ever hopeful ETH believers commonly known as "debunkers" pretty quickly dispensed with them. And not without cause-- they actually seem to be someone's vacation photos of a mummified child taken at the Museo de las Momias de Guanajuato in Mexico.

This follows on the recent Boyd Bushman controversy, where a retired (now deceased) Lockheed Martin engineer produced what he said were photos of a dead alien, only to see it "debunked" as a plastic doll sold at K-Mart. 

Yet UFO researcher David Sereda went on Coast to Coast to claim that the doll was part of a disinfo campaign and YouTuber put out a call for proof the doll indeed exists as a consumer item and it being sold in KMart. So far no debunker has taken up the challenge. I've yet to see any packaging or anything proving the doll was sold as a toy.

However, no one found the original images compelling enough to care. 

Personally, I found the entire story somewhat confusing and strange. We've all been down this road so many times before that it just didn't seem worth the trouble.

But the problem is that the Roswell slides and the Bushman photos come from the same line of thinking, that government secrecy is so lax that proof of the Roswell crash is going to be found in an attic or an estate sale somewhere. As if anyone who was involved in such a major operation wouldn't have been vetted and surveilled and searched from that day forward. 

It comes from a misconception that I wrote about in 2010:
There's a very dangerous meme out there that has it that governments can't keep secrets. It's absolute nonsense, and the same goes for corporations, crime networks, secret societies and on and on. So how do we account for all of the conspiracy media we see out there?
This is why you must be very careful when you read about this leak or that revelation. Governments have a whole host of ways of punishing whistleblowers, and the threat of facing an angry Uncle Sam is quite often enough to keep most people quiet. Always exercise your better judgment when presented with "mindblowing secrets revealed."

UPDATE: I thought I'd make a quick comment on Brian Williams, the NBC news anchor who's been caught making several fabrications. The media is going out of their way to protect and cover for him, as they do often when one of their own is caught lying. 

The New York Times reached a new low, if you believe that's possible after their risible "End of Snow" bollocks last year. The Times claims he's a victim of False Memory Syndrome. Hard to believe, but it's true. 

UPDATE: This is rather extraordinary. Someone involved with the Heaven's Gate cult released a new documentary film in late October 2014. It was posted by "Heaven's Gate Portal" here. So obviously this cult is not dead- someone is still out there.

Monday, February 09, 2015

"For The Nine"

I was recently on Ground Zero with Clyde Lewis discussing the strange goings-on since the Super Bowl, including the possible reappearance of The Nine and the bizarre synchronicities between the Valhalla-on-the-Hudson MetroNorth train fire, the fatal crash involving Bruce Jenner in Malibu's Solstice Canyon and last night's Grammy Awards.

Katy Perry aka Katy Hudson

Read all about the stunningly strange and impossible connections between all of these events on The Solar Satellite. Warning: your view of consensus reality may shatter.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Saucers, Snitches and Secret Space Programs

You can tell the Cold War is back for real when the US starts funneling money into exotic space weaponry. Not to mention the fact that Russian warplanes are buzzing Europe and China is openly discussing its plans to drive the US out of Asia, claiming the Pacific Ocean as its Mare Nostrum. What we know about the space budget so far:
Last year, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced a new “offset strategy” to develop breakthrough solutions to secure American technological dominance into the next century. This year, the budget request increases money for research and development by about $500 million, bringing it to $13.5 billion. 
It will be a great year for futuristic technologies that sound like they come from a comic book. But the budget also shows that every new invention has consequences and can raise new problems even as it solves others. 
Obama requested a slight increase in spending for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, which would bring their budget to $3 billion to work on next generation technology related to everything from synthetic biology to space planes. Money for electronic and laser weapon systems jumped to $67 million from a bit over $55 million last year.
So in other words, Star Wars. Democrats shat themselves silly when Reagan proposed it in the 80s but are silent as church mice when Obama shovels millions into the program today. Which shows what a farce our political system is. And of course, drones are big, big business as well. Tell me this doesn't smack of Skynet:
The document lays out a wish list of capabilities for the drones of tomorrow. They include the ability to process vast amounts of sensed data rather than just transmit it, stay over a target for days and communicate with a wider variety of other systems. The missions also expand from just ISR and close ground support to air combat (presumably drone on drone) and even “non-lethal crowd control.” 
The request also asks for 29 new Reaper drones, which are in demand to fight terrorism, a larger buy than last year.  
DARPA's not the only darling when it comes to government largesse. The Military wants in on the Star Wars Gravy Train and its getting its wish:
The military has its eyes turned again to space. The budget requests $7 billion for Defense Department space programs. Expenditures for Navy satellite communications systems rose from $11 million to nearly $21 million. Spying from space also became more expensive. The request for space-based reconnaissance jumped from $78 million to $100 million this year. Architecture and support for space electronic warfare rose from $18 million to nearly $30 million. The Air Force space situation awareness program rose from $9 million to $32 million (in the form of two satellites) and the nation’s $200 million dollar “space fence” a system to track bits of space debris and objects orbiting the Earth, received more money, bringing the total cost for that program to $243 million. 
243 Million for the space janitor program? Forgive me if I doubt that the "space fence" was created simply to clean up orbital garbage. Not at that price tag. 

The Secret Space Program has its hat out too:
But the military has plenty of secret spending as well. Spending on classified Air Force programs increased from $14 billion to $15 billion this year.
And the gov't is already parceling out the Moon to the highest bidder. In this case the highest bidder is none other than Robert Bigelow.
According to documents obtained by Reuters, U.S. companies can stake claims to lunar territory through an existing licensing process for space launches 
The Federal Aviation Administration, in a previously undisclosed late-December letter to Bigelow Aerospace, said the agency intends to “leverage the FAA’s existing launch licensing authority to encourage private sector investments in space systems by ensuring that commercial activities can be conducted on a non-interference basis.” 
In other words, experts said, Bigelow could set up one of its proposed inflatable habitats on the moon, and expect to have exclusive rights to that territory - as well as related areas that might be tapped for mining, exploration and other activities. 
   “We didn’t give (Bigelow Aerospace) a license to land on the moon. We’re talking about a payload review that would potentially be part of a future launch license request. But it served a purpose of documenting a serious proposal for a U.S. company to engage in this activity that has high-level policy implications,” said the FAA letter’s author, George Nield, associate administrator for the FAA’s Office of Commercial Transportation. .
Company founder Robert Bigelow said he intends to invest $300 million of his own funds, about $2.5 billion in hardware and services from Bigelow Aerospace and raise the rest from private investors.
That's a serious chunk of change. You don't spend that on an experiment. It's safe to say the plans have been drawn up and the program is underway. And you gotta love the governmentalese here: "We don't mean six, we mean a half dozen":
The FAA’s decision “doesn’t mean that there’s ownership of the moon," Bigelow told Reuters. "It just means that somebody else isn’t licensed to land on top of you or land on top of where exploration and prospecting activities are going on, which may be quite a distance from the lunar station.”
The best part about this is that it will drive the debunkers out of their fedoras.  

CSICOP relic Robert Sheaffer detailed how Bigelow- a mogul with very deep pockets, whose inflatable space habitats are serious business in the space field- engineered the merger/takeover of MUFON and the subsequent monopoly of what was left of serious UFOlogy. 

Doing so wasn't one of Bigelow's more vexing challenges- since Laurence Rockefeller's death, UFO organizations haven't had the endless channels of corporate and foundation money the major skeptic groups receive*. They didn't have much to write home about even when Rockefeller was alive.

And not a lot of players want to publicly associate themselves with the field, in no small part due to the endless squabbling and backstabbing UFOlogists are notorious for.
Bigelow’s proposal is to generously fund the efforts of MUFON investigators to enable them to respond quickly to alleged UFO incidents. The agreement between Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies (BAASS) and MUFON sets up a “Star Team Impact Project” (SIP), with an initial funding period from five months to a year, with the option to renew for a second year. Investigations will be limited to cases where physical effects of a UFO are reported or where “living beings” are allegedly sighted or where “reality transformation” is said to occur ...Anyone who is already a MUFON investigator can apply for a position with SIP, although new or inexperienced investigators are expected to demonstrate their skills by performing investigations of routine UFO sightings before moving up to SIP.
Sheaffer ended his piece by predicting failure for NUFON (sour grapes, certainly, in his case), but from what I've been told, Bigelow continues to recruit major people in the field. He's famously secretive, but an investigation of Bigelow and Skinwalker Ranch by Jesse Ventura on Conspiracy Theory got a lot of people who are generally skeptical of topic talking. The BAASS continues to keep its findings secret but Bigelow is said to have personally confirmed the validity of the ETH on a Coast to Coast appearance in 2013.

I recommend readers pick up the second volume of Jacques Vallee's Forbidden Science, his memoirs from the heady days of Silicon Valley, when all the technology we take for granted was being conjured. Most of those cats were as woo-woo as it gets. Computer technology was part and parcel of their war against consensus reality and a determination to hack the mainframe of corporate entropy. It all came apart when a conspiracy of superannuated grammar school snitches (and much worse) declared war on unconventional thought.

The skeptics were in fact very much part of the corporate oligarchy's strategy to reassert its dominance by driving the unconventional thinkers out of the citadel. This isn't speculation on my part- this was a deliberate strategy. It's no accident that real innovation ended a long time ago, that what we have now is just endless tinkering. It's why you have 140 characters instead of a jetpack.

Because you'll often find that the people who move things along, who change things, who make something out of nothing are usually tuned into different channels. (You think it's coincidence that the new HQ of Apple- the Valley's last major hardware pioneer- looks like a flying saucer?)

The question becomes are they receiving signals from different transmitters?