Welcome back to the Trenchant Edges, where we plumb the weirdness at the edges of the world and try and drag some of it into the good lighting.
I’m Stephen, once again banned from Facebook, and I’m your research junkie and host.
Today I want to elide to a different issue in UFOlogy. The apparent widespread fact of stories about contact with some kind of inhuman other in human folktales and even well into what we might think of as grounded history.
UFO experts often throw these tales around as proof of longstanding alien visitation, but I think that’s grasping at straws. Similarities can be suggestive, sure, but with only the soft remains of those experiences in story or art, it’s hard to really call them proof in my book.
There are three basic possibilities: Aliens are making the physical trip to earth for some purpose involving genetics, It’s a psychological illusion of some kind, or it’s weird.
Getting Weird With it
It’s probably obvious by now that I don’t think either of the first two explanations is super likely.
The former requires technology indistinguishable from magic And that just seems kinda inelegant. You already know the arguments: space, super big. Light speed, super slow. No hard evidence for alien intelligence from SETI and etc.
The second immediately runs into some problems because lots of UFO/UAPs and abduction stories come with at least some physical evidence. So unless hallucinations can fake radar contacts and the like, that seems off the table as a general explanation.
To be clear, I’m sure that some sightings are hallucinations or misinterpretations.
But what makes UFOlogy fun is that others can’t be so easily pinned down.
Ergot poisoning and how suggestable memory is can take one a long way in explaining some of this stuff, but can it go all the way? I tend to think not.
I found these two gems in a paper called Alien Abductions: A return to the Medival and while it focuses on the abduction side of things, I do think it’s worth looking more at the phenomena adjacent to UFOs like crop circles, cattle mutilations, and so on.
Wait a minute. You know, I’ve kinda made a mistake here.
We’ve been just exploring random bits and pieces of UFO lore without really using my formal investigation process.
Well, that’s something for another day.
The overlap with our Terence McKenna material is contact with alien intelligence. And especially when it comes to high dose drug trips there’s a lot of overlap with the UFO community in the difficulty in trying to capture and express the sense of realness that can happen in those experiences.
Another thing worth getting clear about is that I haven’t had any experience with UFOs or alien abduction.
The closest to it has been a few cases of sleep paralysis where I had a couple moments of panic, realized what happened, and was able to slow my breathing to relax back to sleep.
Upsides of meditation, I guess. Or a downside of lucid dreaming maybe, as all my sleep paralysis episodes happened when I was experimenting with lucid dreaming.
Once in 2012, I saw some terminator-looking robot fucker looming over my bed while sleep paralyzed. But loudly thinking, “Piss off” was enough to get it to leave so I’m comfortable calling that one a projection of myself.
I don’t know, I’m just rambling at this point.
There’s a ton of this stuff and I need to sift through and process it more. Haven’t even mentioned hypnosis in this, which is how many alien abduction stories are “recovered.” Pretty suss.
What do y’all think?
Is there a continuity of phenomena between ancient times and now? Is a reasonable but not-dismissive explanation even possible? Is it desirable?
We’ll try and find out. Heh.