The Problem of Sources and UFOs [Trenchant Edges]

Even trying to get a sense for what's worth discussing is a huge challenge

Welcome back to the Trenchant Edges, the dailyish Newsletter where we hack our way through the thick underbrush of the fringe to try and find mysteriously disposed of firearms (true story!).

Estimated reading time: 9 minutes, 21 seconds. Contains 1871 words

The found gun is insight in this hamfisted reference to the last time I called the police.

I’m your host and guy who once found a gun while clearing bamboo and underbrush from a plot of land a friend bought, Stephen Fisher.

According to PA law, if the cops couldn’t tie that found gun to a crime in six months it could have been my gun. But I lost the case number and never followed up.

It wasn’t even that rusty!

Anecdotes aside, today we’re talking about something about as dubious as a gun someone threw as hard as they could into thick brush: Books about UFOs.

For all my criticisms of Amazon and its founder, I can’t deny that is a fascinating resource so I often start any search for insight there.

But hoo boy is it a bad trip of frauds and right-wing propagandists here. Let’s just take a look at the top 8:

Oh shit, the bestselling book here is Alex Jones’ spiritual grandfather and post-John Bircher Bill fucking Cooper.

Fuck, Erich Von Daniken is right behind him.

OK, so almost half the top list is outright goddamn frauds.

Then we’ve got two books from the same Author with spooky titles and a book of secret wisdom and prophecy. Oh, and a cow abduction model. Cool.

Who the hell is Dolores Cannon? Well, she’s a “trained hypnotist” who specializes in past life regressions who wrote 17 books and died in 2014.

That explains a bit about why I don’t know much about her, I’ve always been super skeptical of hypnosis and especially past life regression. Just seems too easy to prime or shape false memories.

So I guess we’re betting it all on “The book of secret wisdom.” OK, let’s just click in…

…OK, so I can’t come up with a description of this funnier than the blurb they chose so here it is:

In these troubled times, do you wonder about the future and the destiny of humanity? Do you want to know the true purpose of your existence on Earth and in the Universe? The most secret book in the world holds the answers you seek!

Named as one of the 100 Most Spiritually Influential Living People in 2020 by Watkins Mind Body SpiritZinovia DushkovaPh.D., is one of the few who has gained access to the million-year-old manuscript widely known as the Book of Dzyan, which contains answers to humanity's most pressing questions. Written in the language of the Gods, called Senzar, it is secretly hidden in the heart of the Himalayas, accessible to only a chosen few over the course of human history, including Gautama Buddha, Jesus Christ, Pythagoras, Plato, and Helena Blavatsky.


That was a fucking rush.

Thank god we’ve got one of the 100 most spiritually influential living people on the horn here.

And thank god for the *checks notes* million-year-old manuscript written in the *checks notes* language of the gods.

OK, I’m not going to belabor this because it’s clear this person is just building a cult. But whew, that’s the good stuff. Pure schlock unfiltered by shame or any kind of sense of the scale of the claims.

Well, maybe the top is trash but let’s take a look a little further.

Frankly, fuck yeah.

This is my kind of probably bullshit: Why rely on these other assholes when we can induce an experience in you?

And they’ve got a free pdf on their website? HELL. YES. Here it is: Anyone up for a group experiment in altered states? Bwuhahahahaha

Only apply if you can meet these 3 requirements:

  1. Connection to One Mind Consciousness (this one is easy if you exist)

  2. A sincere heart

  3. Clear Intention

Seriously though, I’m all in for testing this kind of thing out. This is the kind of ambitious weirdness that usually results in something either fun or insight-generating.

So CE-5 is a close encounter of the fifth kind where you psychically yell at aliens to get on the phone and I guess sometimes they just do. Rad.

These folks are part of the Sirius complex of channelers, who believe they’re receiving wisdom from extraordinary intelligences living in or at least identifying with The Dog Star.

There’s a whole constellation of similarly themed UFO cults/communities of discourse but I’ve never really taken them super seriously or tried to cut through their rhetoric. These subgroups are probably the source David Icke got his evil definitely not Jewish reptilian shapeshifters who just happen to repeat the blood libel and rule the world through secret control of finance and media.

Some, I assume, aren’t trying to spread fascist propaganda and are just wildly ideating without any process to winnow inspiration down to reality.

There are a bunch of different groups of aliens here from the classical greys and various mysterious beings of light to scary evil spirits.

Because they’re so idiosyncratic it’s hard to go into detail without spending a ton of time to figure out a particular subgroup’s deal.

So, CE-5 apparently comes out of the work of Dr Steven Greer, a UFOlogist who started the disclosure project and has been looking for a way to establish diplomatic ties with aliens. He apparently sent 45 pages of material to Bill Clinton asking for funding for the work that made it into the Clinton Library

I found almost 500 pages of the guy’s writing on Scribd. Incidentally, Scribd is my main source for audiobooks and if you want to support this newsletter you can save me $10 and get yourself a free trial of it here. plz support my habit. >_>

Shameful shilling aside, I usually look at disclosure people with a mix of pity and contempt. Like, if governments have been hiding UFOs for this long they’ve got powerful interests in doing so and asking is never going to get you that information.

It’s like joining an apocalypse cult but your best case scenario is the government saying you’re right. It’s kinda sad.

Moving on:

Next up we’ve got a weird mix of ancient aliens and alt healing modalities that’s a bunch of transcripts from the spirit Ra.

Kinda glad I talked a bit about channeling yesterday, lol. I’ve never delved into the Ra material, just not into Egypt I guess. Blame Steve Martin.

That said, this one has a real treasure of a review titled, “I’m not completely comfortable with the ra material, here’s why...” by C.B.

I’m not a big fan of the Ra material. Although I do believe we are the creator and the creator is us and we are one, as Ra says, there are many red flags that I’m not comfortable with. This demand for polarity is unhealthy. I choose to exist as I am and do the best I can. I don’t feel being told that you have to choose a side or one way or another is perfectly true, nor do I believe it will stunt me from moving on or leveling up. We have extreme polarity on this planet already and we’ve witnessed the pain a destruction it causes. It also stunts our growth as humans and separates us. To think that the after life, as Ra explains, is just as polarized is disconcerting to me, and frankly, repulsive. I feel Ra has a agenda. Whether it’s sinister or just self-serving/manipulative, I don’t know. You can’t take any channeling at 100% face value and you have to use your intuition. I actually prefer Seth material, it’s less mechanical/unfeeling and much more positive with dashes of wake up calls. However, I only apply seth in what my gut tells me and let the rest go. I feel the ra material is incomplete and half truths. It doesn’t fully resonate with me. It was disappointing because I was into this to begin with but as I read on there were too many things that made me stand back and say “ hold on a minute”. We must all discern for ourselves what feels right though. Trust your intuition.

Ah, someone trying to process received wisdom for themselves. <3

It’s always a joy to see someone working through this kind of thing.

They mention Seth, who’s also a channeled spirit, who I have a vaguely positive impression of for deconstructing ego and learning to live intentionally with it. Ask if you want to hear more. I wouldn’t mind looking back on that after a decade.

Next, we’ve got a retired military officer who wrote an apparently self-aggrandizing account of Roswell and also how he started the Cuban Missile Crisis?

It’s always a yellow flag when someone describes their nonfiction book as, “reading like a thriller.” Yeah, that can happen sometimes but it’s usually not how the real world plays out.

This one also has a fantastic negative review.

It’s taken us to #19 and #20 but we finally reached a couple books who at least seem credible. But first, one more fraud at the #23 spot because he was so influential for a while.

So, Zecharia Sitchin is one of the most influential ancient aliens guys who’s star receded a lot as the mistakes he made reading ancient Summarian became more obvious to nonexperts.

He’s one of the main proponents of, “there’s a secret new planet in the solar system” and probably everything you’ve heard about The Annunaki and Nibiru.

Mostly wanted to bring him up because he shows up in so many other places. His works are a lot of fun if you just treat them as scifi.

So let’s move on to the more credible stuff:

This book is kinda criticized for being mostly a list of UFO events, many debunked, without a lot of discussion for the inner workings of the national security state they mentioned, but I find that to be at least an honest way to approach the subject.

Haven’t read it, but it’s free on Scribd so I’ll probably flip through it at some point.

The challenge of understanding state parapolitics is that it’s always possible that whatever information you’re working off is disinformation or part of some counter-intelligence bullshit. So focusing on publicly verifiable info makes sense to me.

Sure, that might be propaganda but it’s at least clearly observable propaganda rather than having to trust some dubious source for insider information.

Even good Journalists can fall prey to this sort of thing. Annie Jacobson’s book on Area 51 was massively hamstrung by the way she mixed grounded discussion of the history of the Groom lake facility with a weird plot about Josef Stalin using breakout nazi tech to fake the Roswell incident.

I don’t have any clue what this book is about but Jaques Vallée is at least someone I know a bit about and we’ve discussed before.

We’ll be coming back to him as a source later so I won’t drag this one out more.

I hope this overly long post helps get across how much bullshit of so many kinds we actually have to work through to get at people even trying to be empirical or to think rigorously about this phenomenon. Low weirdness as far as the eye can see!

Tomorrow we’ll try and winnow the ufo books down to something managable.