What If Missing Time Is Supposed To Stay Missing?

Dimensions book coverAccording to a report in The Houston Post of April 22, 1897, one Mr. John M. Barclay had an extensive interaction with a man from an airship who didn’t give his name. “Never mind about my name, call it Smith,” he said. Mr. Barclay asked him where he was from and where he was going. Smith replied, “From anywhere, but we will be in Greece day after tomorrow.”

God I love that. It’s a bit out of Jacques Vallee’s more-relevant-than-ever Dimensions. More relevant now because it was so ahead of its time when it came out that many ignored it and few of those who didn’t knew what to make of it. Now that quantum physics has hit the mainstream and the popular culture is prying itself off of Newtonian physics, perhaps some of the ideas contained in the book will make a little more sense to a lot more people.

But that’s not why I quoted the above. I think “Smith” gave a brilliant, truthful answer. Whatever this enigmatic other is, names are irrelevant and so is location. Therefore, so is space-time. In a roundabout way it reminds me of something a disembodied female voice once interrupted a dream to tell me: “I understand hither/thither and in that understanding shall neither be swept away nor carried on the seas of time.” (Into The End readers know what fun I had with that one in the realm of fiction.)

If you need a reminder of what great theater this “alien” enigma truly is, read Dimensions. He has a piece in there about alien abductions, basically saying that if we ignore all of the pitfalls of hypnosis and take the stories given under hypnosis as accurate, we still must see them for their symbolic value, because advanced aliens would not need the crude tools they are said to use, nor would they need to do the surgical procedures they are alleged to perform. These are antiquated by our scientific standards.

Dimensions was first published in 1988. Knowing what we do now about hypnosis and about the (not to be) trusted men who used it, I wonder if he’d even allow for that premise in a 2014 edition. Has anyone ever consciously recalled the alien doctor scenario? If not, we can, as Jeff Ritzmann says, safely attribute it to cultural contamination. And really, when you look at it, the irony is… it’s too logical to fit the scenario.

Go back. Read the accounts of “alien” and “human-from-airship” interactions sans hypnosis. They’re ridiculous. It’s as if the Rorschach test is alive and a few researchers said, “I see a wolf’s head. Everybody? It’s a wolf’s head. Now we’re going to put you under hypnosis and you’re going to tell us about that wolf’s head.” Meanwhile, in reality, it’s an inkblot that can look like a wolf’s head if that’x how your brain makes sense of it.

This gets me to a point about missing time. Missing time is the thing we fill in with hypnosis, right? That’s the whole reason for the hypnosis debacle in the first place: you have a weird experience and there’s a chunk of time missing and you want to know what happened. But if the consciously-remembered events surrounding this missing time are seemingly illogical, should you recall a logical space doctor interaction during the “missing” part? Nothing in past interactions suggests this.

Perhaps Jacques was wrong about the content of missing time being symbolically relevant but right about missing time in general. Perhaps it is symbolically relevant in and of itself. Maybe nothing happens during missing time. Maybe it’s there, like everything else in high strangeness, to keep the person’s focus on it. It can be another way to make the enigma undeniably real to the experiencer.

Or maybe it runs deeper than that. Maybe it’s a message waiting to be decoded, much like that of our friend “Smith.”

What’s missing? Not just time, space-time. Not just any space-time, a person’s or a group’s personal space-time. What’s missing? The person. The observer. You’re there, not there, and then there again. Do you wink out of existence and then back? Just like the very UFO you were witnessing?

We talk about these futuristic craft sometimes winking in and out of existence and how far in advance of our technology they must be and yet running parallel to that is the fact of us sometimes winking in and out of existence during the same experience. To my knowledge, no one has ever picked up on that. It’s easy to understand why–it is far too tempting to ignore the symbolism and say that aliens are using technology to wink the experiencer in and out of existence like they do their craft. Problem is, we don’t know those are aliens, we don’t know those are craft, we don’t know if the alleged craft is even piloted, and if you were to ask a supposed alien pilot, you’d just as likely be offered a pancake as you would be asked, “What’s existence?” It’s only through hypnosis that you’d have a prayer of being given a logical (or at least straightforward) answer by busy doctors.

¿Qué?

Ironically, what’s missing in missing time is missing time. We keep filling it with answers from ourselves. And maybe we are supposed to turn inward and ask ourselves about it. Just ask, not answer. Wait for the answer to come or for the next clue to unfold. And as I wrote that, something fell off a shelf in the next room. I hadn’t planned on ending it here.

And so it goes.

Abruptly into the night.

POST SCRIPT: As poetic an ending as that is, I realize I do need to make the point. Thankfully, I wrote it succinctly on Facebook and can lazily paste it here….

As I was going to get to before I was so rudely interrupted by a crash, maybe it’s a clue that there is no technology here, or if there is it’s one that runs on holistic consciousness (for lack of a better term.) The self “disappears.”

Like the other is saying, “You don’t get it. This isn’t advanced science. You can do this, too. This is how things are.” But we miss the meaning by looking at it the wrong way–as a hole to be filled with memory.

George Hansen Live From The Brooklyn Observatory

George Hansen speaking at the Brooklyn Observatory. First, a lecture on the history of  parapsychology and psychical research. Then, he asks whatever happened to parapsychology?

FEAST!

 

It’s Time To Help The Skeptics (Part 1 of 2)

Photo 203

Now do you believe in angels?

Hello, Fair Reader. If there is anything you’ve learned about me from this blog and my years in podcasting it’s that I am a kind man. A loving man. A giving man. You did, just… trust me.

Anyway, because I am all of those things I am going to give of myself freely yet again, this time to the skeptical community. A community of people who wear the word “skeptic” like a badge and like it still means doubtful or questioning and not what it actually implies nowadays, which is close-minded arrogant prick. That is what most of us think when we hear the word skeptic. Not skeptical, mind you. Anyone in their right mind and left brain is skeptical–but it takes a certain brand of disingenuousity, to coin a term, to want to be known as an across-the-board skeptic. That disingenuousity, to keep the term going, buries its roots in the unspoken fact that the origin of organized “skeptics” is Secular Humanism. Secular Humanism is a belief system that goes something like this: “Nothing exists outside of matter and material processes. The end, dummies. Fuck you, church.”

Maybe it’s harder to sell the term Secular Humanist as a title when battling the evils of bigfoot hunters and ghost hunters and UFO hunters and–what’s with all the killing? Fuckin’ White people. The point is, you can tell a TV producer “I’m a skeptic” and they immediately know your position is going to be anti-anything-outside-of-physical-substance-except-maybe-the-wind-and-temperature. If you tell them you’re a Secular Humanist, they might be all, “Seriously? What’s that, like a Mormon?”

And the honest answer after all of the arm crossing and harrumphing is: “Yeah, kinda.”

Well, no one wants a Mormon telling them aliens and ghosts and inter-dimensional whatchamahoosies aren’t real, do they?

But a skeptic. Aaaah, a skeptic. Now there’s someone you can trust. Or vilify when they talk down to you. What you can’t do easily is blow them off, because they sound all scientifical and stuff.

Correction–you can blow them off nowadays because they’ve shown their true colors so many times, and don’t even bother with science anymore except to point out that “paranormalists” use it incorrectly, if at all, that I think most people will go with the UFO nut on principle. It’s the same way you vote for the political candidate you want to have a beer with over the stuffy Poindexter who knows better than you.

Better than you more accurately describes the modern skeptic than scientific. And in a way I can relate to their arrogance because… well… most of the “paranormalists” or whatever, really are morons, delusional, and nerdly socialites protecting their status and their friendships with frauds over facts, truth, and what have you. You know, the things they claim to care about? No-no–they prefer speaking gigs and Facebook likes and will defend mind-raping hypnosis techniques if it means not upsetting a friend or a book deal.

Yes, admittedly, there is a lot of that. But a lot is not all. Just like a lot of UFO photos are birds, insects, and stop lights, but not all. Some are intriguing. Some are unexplainable. Some merit skeptically-minded investigation, but the skeptics are too busy assuring us there’s nothing to see here to help perform those. And they get real irritated when you challenge them because what I just listed above as my gripes with many of the people involved isn’t the skeptic’s gripe. Sure, he’ll agree with me that all of those negative points are true–but those aren’t really it for him. Those are not, generally speaking, the reasons he gets irritated when someone from the dope gallery challenges him. The reason he gets all huffy is that nothing anyone from moron to intellectual says about paranormal topics is going to be correct unless it’s a flat out denial that there is anything worth investigating. Because, again, he is lying about being skeptical. He’s not. He’s religious. Secular Humanist to be exact.

And so, when that rare breed of “skeptic” pops up–let’s give it a name, let’s call it a “Sharon Hill”–when that Sharon Hill pops up extending an olive branch to the paranormals because she’s a kinder, gentler compassionate skeptic you want to have a beer with, just know that it’s an act. And you can tell it’s an act because she sees legitimate debate as an annoyance. (There’s nothing to debate–it’s all crap, morons!) Also, a Sharon Hill may claim not to know anything about ufology to avoid questions about really good unsolved cases on, for instance, a radio program… but then go blog about the piss-poor science employed by ufology shortly thereafter.

A Sharon Hill might give speeches about how skeptics need to stop talking down to the black-shirt brigade–which I guess I could stop right there and point out the obvious, but let’s keep going–but then she’ll reveal that her good friends are those very same skeptics she’s referencing. If she’s not referencing them, then her speech doesn’t make sense. If she is referencing them, how is she still friends with them unless she is holding private conversations with them trying to help make them better public speakers on behalf of nothing to see here? 

Would a Bill Nye The Science Guy approach her after one of those rousing speeches and say, “You know you really touched my heart there. I’m going to stop being a prick and really try to connect with my audience.” Or would he say, “I totally disagree. Joe Public can take a hike–Think of the children! We must arrogantly dress down their parents for the children!”

I haven’t seen a change of heart out there in skeptic land, have you? If a Sharon Hill’s speeches fall on deaf ears,  her friends aren’t taking them seriously. How are they still friends?

I’m considered to be a figure immersed in ufology. I was once friendly with Steve Bassett. I figured out what he was about and it was icky.  I challenged him to reconsider his nonsense. He didn’t. Then I wasn’t friendly with him anymore. See how that works? I couldn’t give a speech about how the disclosure movement needs to shape up or ship out, then get upset when an interviewer agrees with me because Steve Bassett is my friend. That interviewer isn’t putting me on the spot, he’s agreeing with my sentiment about the people I was implicitly referencing. But if I’m a Sharon Hill, I’ll want to play both sides of that fence and get offended when anyone calls me on it.

There are numerous ways to tell a Sharon Hill from the genuine article. Derek Bartholomous is a member of the skeptic organization, IIG WEST. Somehow he hasn’t been excommunicated for properly debunking the Billy Meier con with the help of Jeff Ritzmann–a man who has experiences that would make a Sharon Hill cringe. I’m not sure what he makes of Jeff’s experiences but he certainly never passed them over with a shrug because testimony is meaningless as evidence. Who does that in a conversation? Sociopaths? Assholes? Sharon Hills? Whoever it is, it isn’t someone sincerely trying to get to the bottom of the enigma. It’s someone for whom the enigma is a delusion to be educated away–think of the children!–not a riddle.

Tyler Kokjohn is another example of someone who isn’t a Sharon Hill. He really does build bridges between the skeptically-minded scientific community and we creepy, sophomoric delusional types. What’s interesting about Tyler is… he’s a doctor! I mean, he’s a professor at a college and a guy working to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease–He’s actually applying scientific standards to things that matter, not wasting his energy on telling people what they are wrong about when he could not possibly, rationally know that. Even if he could know I suspect he wouldn’t waste his time with it because normal, sane people don’t form identities around subjects they find repulsive or idiotic. They ignore them and move on.

Oh, but the children! Think about the children!

You know what? He is. He’s teaching the children and he’s trying to cure their grandmas and grandpas of forgetting them. He’s doing all of that AND dialoguing with drooling infants like me who see people that can’t be in the room and objects that aren’t in the sky and not even martyring himself, calling attention to how hard it is to reach out to a different mind–something most of us call living or relating or anthropology–and then blogging about how he doesn’t understand why people call him a martyr. No, he’s not a Sharon Hill at all, he’s the authentic deal.

And so I reached out to Dr. Kokjohn to ask him one thing. One thing that has been bothering me most about the Sharon Hill faction of the skeptic/Humanist community. One thing that they throw in everyone’s face from bigfoot hunter to ufo hunter to Hunter S. Thompson. (Probably.) And that is this: Tyler, I asked, is it true that witness testimony is unscientific? I hear the Sharon Hills repeat that over and over–which is strange on the face of it because all of these subjects begin with testimony. Physical evidence is a scant side effect. The real reason anybody is  even talking about ghosts or bigfoot or UFOs is because of witnesses. Aren’t observation and reporting key components to scientific understanding?

I said all of that just like that. I was very elegant. I needed to know if Sharon Hills were correctly defining science or misrepresenting it to continue the merry lie that there is nothing to any of this. Of course I didn’t tell Tyler that last part because he would never ascribe motive to a person. He’s a gentleman. And a scholar. And he’ll forgive me if this is the lead-in to the real article, his article, which answers my burning question: Does witness testimony have a legitimate place in science?

Find out in part 2!

(Note to Tyler: It’s too late to turn back. Just pretend I didn’t write this. The Sharon Hills most certainly will.)

(Note to skeptics: I know I got you all psyched up with that title and then let you down with the delivery geared toward the true bleever crowd, but really it’s subversive. I’m giving you some pointers on how not to extend the olive branch, how to behave like rational adults–all the things you want to portray? I want that for you. But you may have to give up Secular Humanism (or its dark influence if you are not one) to do it. It’s okay. That doesn’t mean you have to go to church. God, no. It simply means you have to focus your critical thinking skills on the unknown instead of on how the unknown is always known unless you’re an ignorant fool delusional idiot. And in Part 2, a scientist will tell you what science is so you can have a better handle on that. I really do want to help! For the children!)