Monday, 30 March 2009

UFO Contactees: Whispers From (Inner) Space?

I wrote a Blog post back on the 17th October (2008) (three days after the fabled representatives of the 'Federation Of Light' failed to materialise) and while I didn't connect it to Blossom Goodchild (BG) or to the UFO phenomenon in any way, shape or form I still think it's fairly obvious that it was at the forefront of my mind at the time of writing.

(Apologies If you landed here looking for the Gray Barker documentary).

Was the Blog post even relevant?

Well, I'll leave that to the individual to arrive at their own conclusion…..

If anything I was merely trying to weigh-up one of the more ‘unspoken' options (informed opinions and all that) and tried to accomplish this by considering an oft misunderstood aspect of the human condition. It may seem a bit strange when talking of BG to speak of diverse aspects and then not to include her predictions as an example of this diversity, but strangely once you've read some (any?) of the many accounts/predictions from people who believe themselves to be contactees then the BG one was pretty much standard fare and was indistinguishable from the majority of its predecessors. I should stress at this point that this post ISN'T directed at anyone in particular and certainly not at BG but rather it's directed at the broader contactee 'experience' as well as other experiences which involve conversing with or hearing disembodied voice/s.

Also EVERY single person (EVER!!) who has put themselves out there and hazarded a prediction at the date of any future global –extraterrestrial- contact (and which has come and gone) has been hung out to dry by their alleged sources. Actually nearly every (if not every?) prediction ever made regarding cataclysmic or epoch-type event/s has been found wanting (obviously or we'd ALL already know of them) or at best have been open to massively differing interpretations.

But specifically regarding contactees I personally think the real question demanding an answer is whether the people making these predictions are merely hapless victims of the ‘cosmic-trickster' that the elusive UFO phenomenon masquerades as, or whether the perceived contacts and their celestial messages are the combination of many influences, a sum total of parts which is ultimately and exclusively a direct product of the human condition. (Hoaxers notwithstanding as surely, SURELY, all those who believe they have been privy to such messages can't ALL be deliberately deceiving, can they?)

Anyway, I just thought I'd (re)frame and present it in the context I originally intended.

Food for thought if nothing else.....

Hallucinations, Psychosis & Subjective Reality

  • Psychosis literally means abnormal condition of the mind, and is a generic psychiatric term for a mental state often described as involving a "loss of contact with reality".
  • People suffering from psychosis are said to be psychotic.
  • People experiencing psychosis may report hallucinations or delusional beliefs.

One important and puzzling feature of psychosis is usually an accompanying lack of insight into the unusual, strange, or bizarre nature of the person's experience or behaviour.

(Carpenter, William, Strauss & Bartko - 1973)


Hallucinations are essentially defined as sensory perception in the absence of external stimuli, i.e. perceptions in a conscious and awake state in the absence of external stimuli AND which have qualities of real perception, in that they are vivid, substantial, and located in external objective space.

These definitions distinguish hallucinations from the related phenomena of:

  • Dreaming, which does not involve consciousness;
  • Illusion, which involves distorted or misinterpreted real perception;
  • Imagery, which does not mimic real perception and is under voluntary control;

Hallucinations also differ from "delusional perceptions" in which a correctly sensed and interpreted genuine perception is given some additional and usually bizarre significance. (Hallucinations may occur in any of the five senses and take on almost any form).

Auditory hallucinations

  • Hallucinated voices may talk about, or to the person, and may involve several speakers with distinct personas.
  • Auditory hallucinations tend to be particularly distressing when they are derogatory, commanding or preoccupying.
  • Auditory hallucinations, and in particular the hearing of a voice as well as being a common and often prominent feature of psychosis are additionally thought of as particularly characteristic of people suffering from schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia is a group of psychotic disorders characterized by disturbances in perception, affect, behaviour and communication lasting longer than 6 months. Symptoms are often described in terms of positive and negative with positive symptoms including delusions, auditory hallucinations, and thought disorder. These are typically regarded as manifestations of psychosis and for obvious reasons it is difficult for a person to tell the difference between real and unreal experiences and even in the case of an acute psychosis people may be completely unaware that their vivid hallucinations and delusions are in any way "unrealistic".

“If you talk to God, you are praying.
If God talks to you, you have schizophrenia…..”

(Psychiatrist & Professor of Psychiatry, Thomas S. Szasz)

Normal subjects also report auditory hallucinations to a surprising extent and many studies have shown that hallucinatory experiences take place worldwide. One study from as early as 1894 in a report on the census of hallucinations (Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research) reported that approximately 10% of the population experienced hallucinations.
  • Bentall and Slade conducted a study in 1985 (Reliability of a scale measuring disposition towards hallucination: a brief report ) and reported that as many as 15.4% of a population of 150 male students were prepared to endorse the statement ‘In the past I have had the experience of hearing a person's voice and then found that no one was there'.

  • Green and McCreery (Apparitions) found that 14% of their 1800 self-selected subjects reported a purely auditory hallucination, and of these nearly half involved the hearing of articulate or inarticulate human speech sounds.

  • Posey and Losch in their 1983 paper, “Imagination, Cognition and Personality” (Auditory hallucinations of hearing voices in 375 normal subjects) estimated that 10% of their population of 375 American college students had had this type of experience and temed it as: “Hearing a comforting or advising voice that is not perceived as being one's own thoughts.”

  • A four year survey of over 13,000 people (Prevalence of hallucinations and their pathological associations in the general population. Psychiatry Research) between 1996-1999 reported a much higher figure, the results which were published in 2000 and revealed that a staggering 39% of people reporting hallucinatory experiences, 27% of which were daytime hallucinations, mostly outside the context of illness or drug use.

Although many people not suffering from a detectable, noticeable or diagnosable mental illness can hear voices as well and there are several support/advocacy organizations and charities geared towards people who hallucinate voices, but do not otherwise show signs of mental illness or impairment. As shown above, research has shown that the majority of people who hear voices are not in need of psychiatric help. There are various explanations for the experience of hearing voices which have been shown to empower voice hearers, enabling them to live with the experience in a positive way and, “The Hearing Voices Movement” was created to support voice hearers, regardless of whether they are considered to have a mental illness or not.

(The following was originally posted by Andrea Thompson at 15 September 2006).

Hearing Voices: Some People Like It

For some people, hearing voices in their heads is a positive experience, not a sign of mental illness or cause for distress. Researchers at the University of Manchester are aiming to find out why. Traditionally these auditory hallucinations, as psychologists call them, are associated with mental illness. They can be a symptom of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and sometimes depression.

But studies by Dutch researchers that began in the 1990s found that some healthy people also regularly hear voices. The scientists ran a program on Dutch television asking for volunteers who heard voices, and they got a surprising response. Many of the people who contacted them did not find the voices disruptive and had never felt the need to consult mental health services. Some even said they found the experience to be positive or inspirational.

The resulting studies found that more people might hear voices than psychologists had thought, perhaps around 4 percent of the population. Aylish Campbell, a psychologist at the University of Manchester , is hoping to expand on the Dutch study by investigating why peoples' reactions to hearing voices vary so widely. Campbell has just begun looking for study participants in Britain . Campbell and her colleagues suspect the variation could be caused by different life experiences. Childhood traumas, beliefs that other people are untrustworthy or dangerous, and feelings of vulnerability might react with fear to cause people to hear voices.

The experience might be enjoyed by people who have positive outlooks, Campbell thinks anyone can hear voices, particularly when stressed. For example, those who are grieving over the recent loss of a loved one might hear that person's voice.

"We're looking for people who hear voices who have a range of experiences…..It might just be a normal human experience…..People are susceptible to different degrees…..If we can understand a bit more about the factors, we might be able to use that knowledge to help people who do find it distressing," said Campbell.

Campbell hopes that learning what triggers different reactions could help develop new psychological therapies to help people—at least those who don't like the phenomenon—to cope with the voices.

Source: LiveScience – Andrea Thompson (15 September 2006)

Auditory Hallucinations:
A comparison between patients and nonpatients.

Honig A, Romme MA, Ensink BJ, Escher SD, Pennings MH, deVries MW. (Department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology, Maastricht University, Academic Hospital Maastricht, The Netherlands).

The form and the content of chronic auditory hallucinations were compared in three cohorts, namely patients with schizophrenia, patients with a dissociative disorder, and nonpatient voice-hearers. The form of the hallucinatory experiences was not significantly different between the three groups. The subjects in the nonpatient group, unlike those in the patient groups, perceived their voices as predominantly positive: they were not alarmed or upset by their voices and felt in control of the experience. In most patients, the onset of auditory hallucinations was preceded by either a traumatic event or an event that activated the memory of earlier trauma. The significance of this study is that it presents evidence that the form of the hallucinations experienced by both patient and nonpatient groups is similar, irrespective of diagnosis. Differences between groups were predominantly related to the content, emotional quality, and locus of control of the voices. In this study the disability incurred by hearing voices is associated with (the reactivation of) previous trauma and abuse.

Source: National Center for Biotechnology Information.

Sources/Further Reading

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Ministry Of Defence Release Third Batch Of UFO Files

Ministry Of Defence Release
Third Batch Of UFO Files
(Saturday, 22 March 2009)

The third collection of UK Ministry of Defence UFO files can now be downloaded from the The National Archives (TNA) dedicated website (here).

The initial media coverage seems to be as feverish as ever but really they are only working from the details released by Dr David Clarke who is the consultant for the TNA's UFO project. Dave prepared a detailed summary for both the national and international media and also recorded a podcast regarding this -the third- release of UFO MoD files.

Dave writes:

This tranche consists of seven files containing more than 2,000 pages of material. Six of the files contain UFO reports copied to the MoD's secretive Defence Intelligence branch DI55, between November 1987 and April 1993. During this period 1200 individual sightings were reported to the authorities.

The release of these papers is in itself a victory for open government. For as recently as ten years ago the British Government refused even to acknowledge the existence of DI55, let alone comment upon their role in the investigation of UFO reports. The arrival of the Freedom of Information Act in 2005 brought this ludicrous situation to an end. But even then for at time it appeared unlikely we would discover anything further."

Source: Dr David Clarke's Blog

For further information regarding this latest release then as well as visiting the official TNA pages you should also visit Dr David Clarke's new Blog as he has an excellent run-down of the documents as well as sharing his personal insights gleaned from years of UFO research.

I suspect that this means that just as it seems that media interest was waning then this recent release will yet again increase public interest which in turn will inject more urgency into the reporting of any anomalous aerial phenomena. To be honest I've been pleasantly surprised of late with the handling of the UFO reports by the media in general as the ‘giggle factor' seems to be decreasing so it's a shame that this urgency generally means reporting wholly identifiable objects as unidentified.

There are exceptions to this ridicule-free approach and right at the forefront of this irresponsible gutter journalism is a UK paper, namely “The Sun”. In my opinion the sooner everyone realises that The Sun is quickly becoming the new, “Weekly Word News” then the sooner their ludicrous reporting of the phenomenon will be afforded the contempt it so rightly deserves. More than once in the last few months The Sun have approached UK UFO researchers asking for comments on a UFO report they have received and were given a thorough and concise (earthly) explanation of what was seen before promptly ignoring the explanation and running the story as a UFO sighting anyway, often quoting an obscure expert as verification or even more worryingly enlisting the help of their resident UFO expert Nick Pope. The only reason this is more worrying is that Pope is perceived by the general public as the UK UFO expert due solely to the fact that he manned the MoD's UFO desk part-time for a couple of years in the 1990's, a job which was/is effectively a ‘front,' representing the public face of the MoD's interest in the UFO phenomenon, however with the recent release of the UFO files it's obvious that this ‘interest' was more of an annoyance, a necessary evil to placate the growing public concern.

As Pope is currently employed by The Sun then it appears to me that his opinion is bought and paid for then as such any comments published should ONLY be considered as those of a spokesperson for The Sun rather the UFO expert he is often touted as……

Friday, 20 March 2009

Alien Abduction - Nigel Watson & “The Alien Deception”

A new book has just hit the shelves (March 2009) which is titled, “The Alien Deception”.

Written by Nigel Watson it is an, “Exploration of the AlienAbduction Phenomenon” and while I haven't yet obtained a copy of the book the write-up for it does sound promising and is as follows:

The Alien DeceptionAt times, after such encounters, the abductee has little conscious recollection of these events, and usually through nightmares, flashbacks and hypnosis they eventually learn more.

Some abductees even believe they have been used as part of a breeding project to create hybrid alien/humans. Almost all are truly bewildered by their experiences.

Ultimately, alien abductions make us consider fundamental questions about our place in the universe and our future evolution as a species. Are abductions real events that have momentous consequences for the whole of humanity or are they the product of rumour, psychosis, hoaxes, media hype and sensationalism?

Is there a grand Alien Deception manipulating our minds and our governments or are we deceiving ourselves?

Nigel Watson's groundbreaking exploration of alien abductions takes a comprehensive look at the reports by the earliest abductees (such as Betty and Barney Hill), right up to the latest encounters. Watson considers the possible historical, paranormal, extraterrestrial, psychological and media influences that might help explain the origin of these reports.”

Thursday, 12 March 2009

The UK Spy-Drones (& The Thought Police…..)

Way back in May 2007 I made a post detailing the specifics of our quickly diminishing personal rights in the UK, also foretelling of a truly Orwellian Britain that wasn't just hearsay but which was based entirely on fact, it made for quite disturbing reading (the original post can be viewed here).

I referenced many facets of these pending encroachments of civil liberties and also spoke of the unveiling of the “MicroDrone” and the fact that the UK police were going to commence trial runs utilising it in a civilian environment and capacity. I very rarely speak of such things and admittedly I used a somewhat tenuous premise by comparing the, “MicroDrone” to a UFO, which to be fair was due in most to the recent Californian Drone Hoax which was (at the time) mid-flap and was taking up most of my time.

Well roll on February 2009 and the following article posted by the Daily Mail (online):

Big Brother spy planes that track the Taliban
may soon hover over your home.

Pilotless planes used to track the Taliban could soon be hovering over our streets, it has emerged. Remote-controlled drones are already used widely by the military. Now ministers believe they are likely to become 'increasingly useful' for police work. Armed with heat-seeking cameras, the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles would hover hundreds of feet in the air, gathering intelligence and watching suspects.

The Microdrone has been trialled by Merseyside police. The white top features GPS technology, which allows officers to navigate it. It contains a memory card to store recordings from several flights.

In theory, their advantages are clear. They are cheaper and quieter than conventional helicopters, can circle their target for hours without refuelling - and they don't get bored on long surveillance missions.

However, their use is likely to further fuel concerns about our march towards a Big Brother state. Britain already has more CCTV cameras than the rest of Europe put together. More than four million closed-circuit TV cameras cover the streets; cars are monitored using cameras that check registration plates and a new law will see footage taken of shoppers buying alcohol. The plan to deploy 'spy in the sky' planes is outlined in the Home Office's latest Science and Innovation Strategy.

It says: 'Unmanned Aerial Vehicles are likely to be an increasingly useful tool for police in the future, potentially reducing the number of dangerous situations the police may have to enter and also providing evidence for prosecutions and support police operations in "real time".'

Two years ago, Tony McNulty, then a Home Office minister, acknowledged that scientists were exploring the use of UAV technology for a 'range of policing and security applications' .

They could be used by MI5 to watch a suspect's address for long periods or track a car for miles. The drones could also help officers plan raids in locations that are hard to reach, to record and monitor accidents or to spot speeding offences or reckless or uninsured drivers.

Goggles enable officers to see exactly what the drone is filming:

Ministers are liaising with the Civil Aviation Authority about the introduction of UAVs, some of which measure as little as 2ft across. But the document cautions:

'We need to investigate how such vehicles could be used, and their ability to provide high-quality evidence for convictions.'

There are also safety concerns surrounding the planes. Those used by the military are prone to crashes on takeoff and landing. Many have been lost over battlefields. A trial by Merseyside police, of £30,000 remote-controlled miniature helicopters with still, video or infra-red cameras, highlighted more mundane problems related to battery life and the effects of bad weather on flights.

Mark Wallace, of the Taxpayers' Alliance, said: 'I think a lot of people would be concerned at the Home Office looking to use technology more generally associated with the tribal borders of Pakistan and the fight against terror over British towns to watch the British public…..It is not necessarily as glamorous or as high-tech, but a bobby snapping cuffs on a criminal is the most productive approach.'

Source: Daily Mail

Also posted on February 24th (2009) by the Daily Mail was the following article titled:

I fear a Big Brother state ( reveals David Blunkett)

David Blunkett will today warn of the dangers of allowing an 'oppressive' and 'eventually self-destructive' Big Brother state to develop. The former Home Secretary has concerns about plans for mass data sharing by public bodies and the Home Office's proposal for a giant database holding records of every phone call and internet click. In a speech today, Mr Blunkett will also suggest one solution to the identity cards row would be to make passports compulsory for everyone, with ID cards only being issued to those who want one.

Mr Blunkett will tell the 21st annual law lecture at Essex University: 'We need principles on which we can base actions which may otherwise, in the name of protecting freedom and decency, become oppressive, intolerant of difference and eventually self-destructive.'

Mr Blunkett, who had many run-ins with the civil liberties lobby when Home Secretary between 2001 and 2004, will say there must be 'very clear rules' to protect the public from intrusion by the state and private businesses.

Source: Daily Mail

Remember, this is the person widely heralded as the architect of the ID cards speaking, one of the loudest and most influential voices on the subject back in the day when he was Home Secretary, anyway...... Finally and on a much lighter note, check out this San Francisco Chronicle Mp3 from an unfathomably irate reader and his overly verbose rant on the etymology of the word, “Drone” (drone, drone, drone).