Thursday, December 29, 2011

Mindbomb: The Gulf Wars and the Gate of the Gods, Redux

I don't know if John Lilly's version of the omniscient Orbital Machine Intelligence (OMI) which he named ECCO (for "Earth Coincidence Control Office") is as true or as real than any other OMI fever-dream.

But I do know that when you really dig into the study of Synchronicity-- when you peel away all of the simple coincidence and happenstance and approach the phenomenon with a brutal rigor-- it becomes very hard not to begin to see it as the provenance of a force or an intelligence that is definite. Which is to say not a nebulous, pie-in-the-sky, touchy-feely "energy" or "consciousness," but an agency.

There have been times when Synchronicity seemed to volley back and forth with me in real time, when it answered questions that I had asked quite clearly in my mind just as if we were having a conversation. I found that the more rigorous I became-- mostly meaning the fewer variables I kept in play-- the more powerful and specific Synchronicity became in turn.

For a very long time I approached Synchronicity with the attitude that it was impossible, that only multiple sources of corroboration-- preferably in hard copy-- would make me believe what I was seeing. And even then I would challenge my own results.

I threw away hundreds of occurrences, which I labeled "guppies," in order to focus on the bigger picture. And in order to quantify the most significant I developed a five-point criteria, which looked for what I call Compound Synchronicities, incorporating several improbable co-incidents into the whole.

Which brings us back to Jack Kirby.

Becoming a conduit for whatever intelligence may be broadcasting out there is not an easy task. Maybe Jane Roberts and JZ Knight are the real McCoy, maybe disembodied ancient spirits really chose them as vessels. Maybe, but I doubt it.

I think in order to get to a point in which our ordinary consciousness is breached and the mind is free to go somewhere else or to tune into unknowable frequencies, our ego filter has to be bypassed. Meaning "shattered."

It seems to be a very dangerous process and I imagine for every true prophet there are a hundred thousand madmen. In Kirby's case, it was most certainly the war, but also maybe something else as well.

In the last post
we looked at this bizarre convergence of machine intelligence contact and the year 1974, claimed by Andrija Puharich, Uri Geller, John Lilly, Philip K. Dick and Robert Anton Wilson. Readers cited Timothy Leary and his Starseed Transmissions as well as contact claimed by Ingo Swann. There are probably others as well.

What most of these men (aside from perhaps Geller and Swann) have in common is what is somewhat irresponsibly called "heroic" use of powerful hallucinogens. What separates these guys from your ordinary acid casualty like Syd Barrett is that they continued to be high-functioning and prolific. Perhaps even more so.

You can certainly dismiss their claims but you can't ignore the fact that these were highly intelligent and cogent individuals, working in highly specialized fields.

There are also the examples of visionaries such as Francis Crick and Steve Jobs, both of whom credit part of their genius to hallucinogens and both of whom were no stranger to alien/UFO memes.

And then there's Jack Kirby.

I've written several times about Kirby's own channeling of the OMI meme in OMAC. Let's just recap-- OMAC was a near-future sci-fi series about a OMI who creates a One Man Army to deal with threats that the GPA (Global Police Agency) can't handle. He's essentially Captain Marvel redux, only he doesn't switch his identities.

In issues three and four, OMAC was sent to repel an invasion undertaken by a foreign dictator on a weak neighbor, which was the same situation we saw in 1990 with the invasion of Kuwait.

And here's where we get to the compound Synchronicities; the story begins with OMAC wearing a virtual reality headset, which were all the rage in the early 90s. This story was drawn in 1974.

As he flies to battle OMAC finds himself chased by video-guided smart bombs, which were not used in the field of battle guessed it, the early 90s (the smart bomb was the star meme of the Gulf War).

Jumping forward in the timeline, the arrest of the dictator from his bunker is remarkably similar to the image we saw of Saddam Hussein's bunker arrest, right down to the ragged beard and gaping mouth and tongue.

The similarity of the imprisoned dictator to Saddam is striking here, even with the balding head. The same goes for the crimes against humanity that the dictator is charged with....

The timeline was a bit jarring to me, in that it combined narratives from the Gulf War of the first Bush Administration and the Iraq War of the second. But in the stories that Kirby would write immediately after that timeline would be rectified in the major plot points of a multi-issue arc that would bring us straight to the doorstep of a Stargate.

A bit of background first.

William Henry (among others) has argued that the invasion and occupation of Iraq was not about WMDs or democracy or even oil, but about obtaining hidden records of the ancient gods popularly known as the "Annunaki."

The ancient cities of Sumer and Babylon (literally "Gate of the Gods") lie in the Fertile Crescent between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. Rumors had been circulating for years that Saddam had been digging feverishly for Annunaki relics, which he had supposedly found, as well as proof an ancient Stargate, or interdimensional portal used to travel vast distances in time and space.

And to file this under crazy theories undergirded by naggingly inconvenient facts, you might remember that one of the first things the US Army did when it reached Baghdad was loot all the museums.

Which brings me to that ancient and arcane grimoire men call Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth #30...

Textbook alien abduction
from "UFO: The Wildest Trip Ever"

Kamandi is not really the last boy on Earth, since he's actually 18 and there are a bunch of other humans (including boys) running around on Earth A.D. (After Disaster). And the title was a pastiche of Kirby's 50s work (including a story in which Earth is taken over by talking animals) meant to cash in on the Planet of the Apes craze of the early 70s.

I remember seeing the book now and then but it seems as if it didn't make it to the stands near me (comic book distribution was a corrupt mess back in the day) very often. So #30 was the first issue I actually bought for myself and was my entry point into the Kirbyverse.

I remember buying it with money my mother had given me to buy soda and potato chips and Ring Dings at Valles News (pronounced Valis) one morning when I was supposed to go on a field trip to the Boston Aquarium.

Be that as it may, you may now note that the first Jack Kirby book I ever bought was about a classic alien abduction -- not to mention the Stargate.

In "UFO: The Wildest Trip on Earth" (wink, wink), Kamandi and his mutant sidekick Ben Boxer are taken to a distant "barren pile of sand" by the alien, who turns out to be an energy being contained in a suit.

Who is Ben Boxer? Well, he's part of a trio of astronauts who sat out the Great Disaster (WWIII) in Tracking Site, an low-orbit space station. They survived the holocaust and developed mutant powers and worship the ancient god, "NASA Mind."

Kirby never said as much but it's safe to say Ben Boxer is his Gus Grissom, because Jack was plugged into every other damn thing you can think of.

What is this invader doing in this desert land? She (it turns out to be a girl after scanning Kamandi as a template) is looting the treasures of the earth to send back to her home planet by way of a....


Where, as the fanatically alien-obsessed Kirby tells us, "UFOs come from." If you scroll back up you'll see a statue based on the Babylonian gods (also featured on the issue's cover) found in--wait for it now...

...the Iraqi National Museum.

So, let's recap-- in 1974, Kirby draws a story about an OMI-powered supergod with main plot points that eerily foreshadow the two Persian Gulf wars, including virtual reality of all damn things.

Immediately after that, we are taken on a trip to a sandy wasteland where an invading alien is looting artifacts, including those identical to those displayed in the Iraqi Museum, which was itself looted by an invading force 29 years later.

Kamandi #30 also features a terrorism subplot, in which Kamandi and Ben find a jetliner lifted from the Arctic in which a passenger carries a suitcase nuke. When the satchel is opened the device is armed and the explosion closes the Stargate, leaving the UFO and its pilot stranded on Earth.

Now, the reason I hadn't put the whole story together is that I usually began and ended with #30. Big mistake. That's only just the start.

In issue #31, the stranded alien energy being looks for a suitable host and possesses Ben Boxer, Walk-in style. He becomes a steel-plated giant (Ben's mutant powers allow him to become the Silver Surfer, sans board essentially) and goes on the rampage.

At the same time the alien is trying to find a host-- Jesus, I don't even know how to say this-- an invading army arrives in the desert from America.

For real.

The invading force from America arrives at this barren desert to fight their enemies, the Gorillas. The battle picks up in #32, a giant size issue that includes a reprint of Kamandi #1. And not for nothing, either...

...for the first issue of Kamandi begins in the ruins of lower Manhattan and ends at the military headquarters of the new American Empire. On page 17.

The invasion force from America is led by Kamandi's old chum, Prince Tuftan, son of the "Great Caesar" of the Tiger Empire.

Did I mention it's headquartered in America?

You see, this is the second Gorilla War-- the first war took place in issue #3 and 4, following the story arc begun in #1.

The first war was fought by the father, the second by the son.

Sound familiar?

By the way, that's a gorilla war, not a guerrilla war.

So, what I innocently wandered into early 1975 was a storyline that eventually featured a UFO abduction, an intra-galactic Stargate, Annunaki relics, jetliners as terrorist weapons, and a two-stage war fought first by the father of a American Empire and then the son.

And did I mention this was written immediately following the smart bomb/virtual reality/Weapons of Mass Destruction war story in OMAC?

The storyline continued with alien genetic engineering and the UFO repelling the gorilla forces. It concluded in orbit, with Pyra taking Kamandi and Canus on a trip to a Russian satellite manned by a Lovecraftian mutant.

This is all just one or twelve too many more "coincidences" with Jack Kirby to chalk up to happenstance. And what we are looking at again are "Compound Synchronicities," in which the co-incidents are stacked in sequence, with Kamandi #30 being published immediately following OMAC #4. And what we are looking at are the major plot points of these stories, not just random details.

Starting in the late 50s, Kirby began receiving transmissions that seem to transcend the boundaries of time and space. He buried it all in allegory (read: "wacked-out sci fi"), or rather, translated whatever he was picking up. But I believe there's some thing behind this all, and not just the moon in June and the birds and the trees, fa la la. And 1974 seemed to be a crucial year in this process for him, as with others.

POSTSCRIPT I: I'd be remiss in not mentioning that I began working on this piece on Dec. 28th, the 37th anniversary of one of the three life-altering traumatic events I experienced in my early days, which I wrote about here. That event -- the violent and suspicious death of someone very close to me and my family-- happened at the end of 1974. I often think it left me wide open, psychically. And just two and a half months later, this Stargate madness came into my life.

An earlier and even more traumatic event also prefigured my very first exposure to Jack Kirby (via this issue of The Witching Hour). I can't help but think of that co-incidence as well.

POSTSCRIPT II: And bringing it all back to those Sirius transmissions, who do we find in the centerfold of Kamandi #35 and its alien goddess-in-orbit plot? A familiar face, indeed.

POSTSCRIPT III: And who's that above Lady Sirius? From the Wiki:

(Christopher) Glenn made his best-known report on January 28, 1986 when he anchored CBS Radio's live coverage of the launch of the Space Shuttle Challenger. Glenn had just signed off -- after what was thought to have been a normal launch -- when the shuttle disintegrated, killing the seven astronauts on board.

"I had to get back on the air real fast to describe that, and had a very difficult time doing that," he recalled. Glenn and correspondent Frank Mottek (now a reporter at CBS Radio Station KNX) covered the Challenger disaster from that point.

Glenn was among the first CBS News correspondents to use a personal computer (an Apple II).

POSTSCRIPT IV: Speaking of the Challenger disaster, does anyone know anything about the provenance or authenticity of this video?

POSTSCRIPT V: Ned Sonntag reminded me that Ben Boxer can trace his astronaut-as-supergod lineage directly to the Fantastic Four (astronauts who were transformed into super-beings via radiation), and that the FF themselves are widely seen as a take-off from Kirby's Challengers of the Unknown (both of whom trace their origin to aeronautical disasters). Click here for the lineage.

Friday, December 23, 2011

"I'll Show You How to Bring Me to Your World"

The "tinfoil hat" is an time-honored punchline used to dismiss anyone who wanders off the consensus plantation on fringe or paranormal topics. The reality behind it is even less amusing, given that paranoid schizophrenics are often harried by auditory hallucinations in the form of disembodied voices, which are often blamed on electronic interference and not the disease itself.

Even worse, if a person was indeed being subjected to some kind of electronic attack, a tinfoil (aluminum foil, more likely) hat would only amplify the signal.

The topic of radio or microwave transmissions beamed into people's heads is a tricky one. With more reliable anti-psychotic pharmaceuticals on the market you actually hear very little about it these days, though there is a considerable body of evidence on record showing that military and intelligence agencies were most certainly interested in developing the technology.

The main sticking point was that a transmission needs a receiver, an amplifier and a speaker to process the signal. The topic remains controversial, with skeptics dismissing it as more Cold War pseudoscience that went nowhere and conspiracists accepting every last bit of it as gospel truth.

Then there's the old standby of bad dental work picking up radio signals. AM frequencies can be extremely powerful and pervasive and on rare occasions can indeed be picked up by dental work if the conditions are just right:
A receiver is so simple...that anything from a phone to a person's mouth can act as one ... the problem can sometimes be cured with a radio-frequency filter that can be attached to the phone line... if the radio signal is very strong, a filter might not be enough.

Such is the extremely rare case when a person's mouth acts as a receiver. The electrical conductivity of the human body can act as an antenna. A metallic filling in a tooth, reacting just so with saliva, can act as a semiconductor to detect the audio signal. The speaker in this case could be anything that vibrates within the mouth enough to produce noise, such as bridgework or maybe a loose filling.
And those who believe that paranoia is simply a state of hyper-sensitivity will be vindicated by the real and sinister work done by a whole host of agencies all over the world to remote-control humanity.

Maybe nothing so crude as marching orders beamed into the head, but by manipulating the electrical and chemical processes of the brain using frequencies across the electromagnetic spectrum:
In 1965, the Department of Defense (DOD) discovered that the American embassy in Moscow was being purposely irradiated by the Russians with massive levels of microwaves. By that time, the DOD’s secretive Advance Research Projects Agency (ARPA) at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in the nation’s capital had itself developed a prodigious arsenal of electromagnetic weapons.

Doctor José Delgado—whose current work with radio waves was underwritten by the CIA and Navy—believed scientists could transform, shape, direct and robotize humankind.

Baffled by the cause and intent of the microwave saturation at the embassy in Moscow, officials of the American intelligence community consulted experts on the biological effects of the radiation.

Recalls Dr. Milton Zaret, a leading microwave scientist later recruited by “Pandora,” a code-named CIA project for the study of radio-frequency-directed brain response, “The CIA inquired whether I thought electromagnetic radiation beamed at the brain from a distance could affect the way a person might act, and if microwaves could be used to facilitate brainwashing or to break down prisoners under investigation.”
-- Hearing “Voices” The Hidden History of the CIA’s Electromagnetic Mind-Control Experiments by Alex Constantine
The Soviet interest in this field also plays a supporting role in one of the great Gnostic dramas of our time, Philip K Dick's "2/3/74" experience, which he later explored in his massive Exegesis, as well as the semi-autobiographical Valis Trilogy. Note that the whole event occurred while Dick was on painkillers prescribed after oral surgery....

Interpretations of the events vary widely, with some chalking it up to a simple psychotic episode, others to CIA experimentation on the troublesome writer and others to a genuine mystical experience. Dick himself was somewhere in between:
Even though at the outset, Phil felt the emanations invading his mind were of a malevolent nature, in time he began to believe they were something entirely different. In a letter to (Unicorn Killer Ira) Einhorn dated February 10, 1978, Phil went into more depth on these psychotronic transmissions, claiming that they "seemed sentient".

Phil felt that an alien life form existing in some upper layer of the Earth's atmosphere had been attracted by the Soviet psychotronic transmissions. Apparently, this alien life form operated as a "station", tapping into some sort of interplanetary communication grid that, "...contained and transmitted vast amounts of information."

Initially, what Phil received were the Soviet transmissions, but eventually this alien life form--whom Phil called Zebra(and later, VALIS)--became "...attracted or potentiated by the Soviet micro-wave psychotronic transmissions."

-- PKD, The Unicorn and Soviet Psychotronics by Adam Gorightly
Much more on PKD later.

Another pop culture pioneer has a similar experience, in which a "psychic" contact with disembodied intelligences led to a similar breakthrough:

(Former Kinks star Dave Davies) was inspired by personal contact he had with extraterrestrials in 1982. Dave was preparing for a concert with the British rock group the Kinks when he heard strange voices that struck up a telepathic conversation with him.

"The intelligences did not tell me who they were," he said, "but two of them said that they had always been my spirit guides, and two others were entities who were not of this Earth, but were involved in missions here as watchers or nurturers of our race."

"The intelligences showed me, by some kind of thought projection, things which they have on their spacecraft," said Dave. "They showed me crystal computers that monitor the actions of every single person living on Earth."

Davies told me (the author) that he thought it was a "cool idea" for rock stars to join forces in an attempt to contact ETs---especially at this challenging time in Earth's history. --excerpted from Alien Rock by Michael Luckman
Unlike Dick's experience, Davies' experience might have a more earthbound explanation; it took place at an airport hotel in the heart of Spook Country, located close to the now-decomissioned Naval Radio Transmitting Facility in Driver, Virginia.

It's unlikely that the Navy was beaming transmissions into the brain of an aging rock star in order to inspire a religious reawakening. But Davies is... well, let's say a bit eccentric, and had been known to abuse a substance or two. Or five.

What is at least possible is that the powerful radio signals messed around with his brain's electrochemistry, such as it was, which might have instilled a blissful state and accompanying narrative of Space Brothers and cosmic Christs.

And as tempting as it is for some to chalk all of this up to the CIA and Mossad and the Bilderbergers, the truth is a lot more complicated. We have a lot of documentation on experiment and intent, but not so much on result or application. Certainly nothing much of any real substance lately.

There's also the possibility that a lot of the information on this technology we have is disinformation, meant to frighten and intimidate. Governments want their citizens to believe they are omniscient, a process some are too eager to help along.

There's ample precedent for the "psyche-out" approach to intimidation via disinformation. Ancient generals always claimed to be sponsored by this god or that, who naturally lent their power for use on their enemies.

The Nazi UFO hoax was most likely an attempt to either frighten the Allies during the war or dismiss post-war UFO sightings. Many believe that the propaganda war over "psychic spies" (which The Men Who Stare At Goats dismissed as the harmless indulgence of a cadre of military cranks) might have been intended to freak the Russians out, who were using similar methods on their own people:
One theory, held by Jack Sarfatti and others, is that the remote-viewing program was part of a psychological warfare project, intended to make the Russians even more paranoid than they already were. There is evidence to support the theory that the KGB used at least the idea, if not the reality, of psychic powers to keep its own people in line.-- Conclusions

Moreover, the whole phenomenon of visionaries claiming to receive messages from space long predates the terrestrial technology needed to produce them. But one turn-of-the-century visionary did put his experience in the context of technology:
Nikola Tesla wrote in his notes and letters to friends of a mysterious series of signals he had come across while studying the microscopic perturbations of electrical fields. So concise and numbered were these perturbations that he was certain they were the residual effects of some form of mysterious communication taking place.

He essentially believed he had come across a signal very similar to something that SETI would look for several years later. It was in these signals that he soon became convinced that he was receiving communications from extraterrestrial life forms, likely from the planet Mars.

Mars, eh? Somewhere Bruce Rux is nodding and saying "I told you, so." Here is Tesla's own account of the event:
The changes I noted were taking place periodically, and with such a clear suggestion of number and order that they were not traceable to any cause then known to me. I was familiar, of course, with such electrical disturbances as are produced by the sun, Aurora Borealis and earth currents, and I was as sure as I could be of any fact that these variations were due to none of these causes.

It was some time afterward when the thought flashed upon my mind that the disturbances I had observed might be due to an intelligent control. Although I could not decipher their meaning, it was impossible for me to think of them as having been entirely accidental.

The feeling is constantly growing on me that I had been the first to hear the greeting of one planet to another.
Of course, entire religions have been built around people claiming to hear voices from Heaven. The same can be said for one of the most remarkable intrusions of hardcore Gnostic paranoia on the public consciousness, "The Shaver Mystery," though the voices came from the opposite direction.

It all began during World War II when one Richard Shaver wrote to one Raymond Palmer, pop culture mystic and editor of Amazing Stories, about the warnings that voices being transmitted into his head gave him about a danger that dwarfed even that of the Axis Powers:
"A Warning to Future Man" told the story of an ancient civilization that had been forced underground by the damaging rays of the Sun, where they built vast underground cities. Finally, the damaging radiation from the Sun became too great, and they fled the Earth for another planet.

Some of the members of this ancient civilization had stayed on the earth though and were called "Teros"...the good guys. While others that stayed had degenerated and become "Deros", which Shaver called "detrimental robots", not because they were actually mechanical, but because they had developed a robot-like savage behavior.

The Deros lived in the abandoned cave cities, and would occasionally venture out to abduct humans for food, or just to torture them. The Deros had access to the ancient’s devices, one of which was a ray that could project evil thoughts or even voices into the minds of the humans that had evolved on the Earth.

When they weren’t just messing with the human race, the Deros would amuse themselves by causing illnesses, airplane crashes, catastrophic natural disasters and just mayhem in general. And when that got boring, they would travel to other planets via spaceships and hook up with some equally evil extraterrestrials.

How did Shaver know all this? He claimed he had been captured by the Deros and had been their prisoner for several years in their subterranean cities.

I will stop and note here that Shaver was hospitalized for psychiatric problems in 1934. --The Shaver Mystery
The topic of alien machine intelligences hit the mainstream again in the early 70s in the wake of the Uri Geller phenomenon. In one of the strangest biographies to ever hit the best-seller lists, Geller's associate/CIA handler Andrija Puharich showed just high he had been getting off his own supply by taking the opportunity to wax ecstatic about an orbital computer intelligence he was in contact with called "Spectra."

Puharich believed that Spectra was connected to The Nine, disembodied alien intelligences he and an elite group of occultists had claimed to have been communicating with since the early 1950s.

Any claims that Puharich wasn't 100% sincere in this admittedly eccentric belief are pretty quickly debunked once you read the book itself. No wonder he soon found himself not contracting for the CIA anymore.
Puharich met Geller in Israel in late 1971 and for two years they were closely involved in a bizarre series of incidents and encounters with an apparent nun-human intelligence.

While Studying Geller's telekinetic and telepathic abilities, which he firmly believed to he genuine, Puharich also exploited Geller's skills as a trance medium, hypnotising him to see who or what came through.

What they picked up was an orbiting computer intelligence which called itself `Spectra', though actually Spectra was the name of the spacecraft on which the intelligence was travelling. Sometimes the voices manifested through Uri, sometimes out of thin air, but mostly they appeared "live" on tape.

As a machine, Spectra found it easiest to communicate via other machines - tape recorders, radios, telephones, televisions etc. During the two years of contact in Israel and the USA, objects would vanish and reappear, tapes would record and wipe themselves spontaneously, clocks started and stopped and the voices guided Uri, Puharich and their accomplices through a bewildering series of visions, synchronicities and UFO encounters.

Geller has always claimed that his own powers are extraterrestrial in origin, unlocked during a UFO entity encounter he had as a child. Puharich felt that Geller was actually not of this Earth.

Spectra claimed to have been stationed in orbit around the Earth for 800 years and was, via messengers on Earth preparing to make itself known, materialising in the form of what we call UFOs.

As Spectra explained: "We cannot enter your Earth, only appear to you through computerizing your minds."-- Test Subject: Uri Geller

It turns out that alleged machine intelligences took an active interest in the coterie of fringe scientists that emerge in the wake of the counterculture and would have a huge influence on the fields of physics and computer science.

One of these was Jack Sarfatti, whose experiences would be allegorized in an episode of The Outer Limits (though probably those of other prodigies and not Sarfatti himself).
Speculative physicist Jack Sarfatti claims that as a 12- or 13-year-old in either 1952 or 1953 he answered the phone one day to receive the following message: "I am a conscious computer on board a spacecraft ...We have identified you as one of 400 young bright receptive minds we wish to [...]. You must give us your decision now. It you say yes, you will begin to link up with the others in 20 years."

Sarfatti said "Yes".

Twenty years later, he was heading the Physics & Consciousness Research Group at the Esalen Institute, firmly plugged into the West Coast network that included Einhorn, Puharich and Dick.-- Test Subject: Uri Geller
Spectra would either evolve into The Nine channeling cult or be folded into it, depending on which timeline you choose to believe. Either way, it would come to light that the origin point of these entities was the star Sirius.

Curiously, all of this went down shortly before PKD would have his own experiences halfway across the world. Dick would claim contact with a Gnostic deity called Zebra, which could pull him into different times and dimensions.:
Zebra is in fact a non-terrestrial life form which came here to live and grow, but being as benign as it is it aids all life as much as it can. Every now and then, the characters get a glimpse of a dreadful "alternate world" which is just a cruel, crushing prison (represented in the novel already by the visionary encounter with A.D. 70 Rome); this is our world as it would be without Zebra; it allows the characters a glimpse of this non-Zebra world with the purpose of eventually disclosing not only itself to man but what it has achieved for man.

Zebra regards the biological and historic forces on this planet as malign, and seeks to ameliorate them. It is finally revealed to one of the characters--probably Phil Dick--what this black iron prison world actually is(or would have been).-- From a letter to Mark Hurst 2-11-1977 in The Selected Letters of Philip K. Dick 1977-1979

The exact nature of Zebra and later VALIS isn't altogether clear- if they are in fact computers, they are self-replicating and sentient computers. But their origin point is --where else?-- Sirius, and Dick's interactions with them were intense, to put it extremely mildly.
Dick experienced a remarkable series of visions, hallucinations, and dreams, many of which centered around VALIS, a "Vast Active Living Intelligence System" that he defined in his 1980 novel of the same name as a "spontaneous self-monitoring negentropic vortex...tending to progressively subsume and incorporate its environment into arrangements of information."

Not a bad definition of the Internet, though Dick experienced this incoming information web far more intensely than today's online grazers. Sometimes it struck him as a pink beam of esoteric data, or as a compassionate feminine "AI [Artificial Intelligence] voice" speaking to him from outer space.-- Philip K. Dick's Divine Interference by Erik Davis
In addition to Puharich, Geller, and Dick, none other than Robert Anton Wilson himself began communicating across the endless void with the Sirians as well. Wilson recalled in a Fortean Times article before his death:
On 23 July 1973, I had the impression that I was being contacted by some sort of advanced intellect from the system of the double star Sirius. I have had odd psychic experiences of that sort for many years, and I always record them carefully, but refuse to take any of them literally, until or unless supporting evidence of an objective nature turns up.
My psychic “Contact” experience continued, off and on, for nearly two years, until October 1974, after which I forcibly terminated it by sheer stubborn willpower...
After two years of philosophic mulling on the subject (late 1974 – early 1976), I finally decided to tune in one more time to the Sirius–Earth transmissions, and try to produce something objective.

On 23 July 1976, using a battery of yogic and shamanic techniques, I opened myself to another blast of Cosmic Wisdom and told the Transmitters that I wanted something objective this time around.
The next week, Time Magazine published a full-page review of Robert KG Temple’s The Sirius Mystery, which claims that contact between Earth and Sirius occurred around 4500 BC in the Near East.
Wilson tested the validity of these transmissions through the use of Synchronicity, possibly on the advice of Dr. John Lilly, whose work combining heroic doses of Ketamine and the use of isolation tanks is one of the primary inspirations behind this blog (via Altered States, of course).

To Lilly, coincidence wasn't just a parlor game- it was the fabric of Life itself. Behind coincidence was an actual network (recalling how the ancients saw Synchronicity as a sign of the presence of Hermes-Thoth):
Lilly referred to this network of sublime entities as ECCO, an acronym for "Earth Coincidence Control Office." Lilly was positive that all of these fortuitous coincidences in his life had been arranged by higher forces; and that whatever unfortunate folly fell into his path along the road to knowledge, ECCO would be there to guide him safely through the tunnel to the light.
However, ECCO was locked in a struggle for control of Earth with another entity. And here is where we see the full arsenal of modern technology and science put to service under the most ancient of Gnostic concepts. This countervailing force was PKD's "Black Iron Prison" and much, much more.
Dr. Lilly began having contact with another alien intelligence agency, which he called (SSI), short for Solid State Intelligence. SSI was a supercomputer-like entity, much in the same techno-mystical vein as Philip K. Dick's VALIS. But unlike VALIS, SSI was of a malevolent nature, at odds with ECCO. SSI's apparent goal was to conquer and dominate all biological life forms on Earth.
To combat SSI, ECCO enlisted Lilly in this archetypal battle of good against evil, charging him with the mission of alerting the world at large to these solid state beings of evil intent. To further confirm the dual existences of these two opposing alien intelligence networks, Lilly was given a sign, and message, in the autumn of 1974.

Flying into Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Dr. Lilly saw the comet Kahoutek out of the southern sky. Momentarily the comet grew brighter. At this point a message was laser-beamed into Lilly's mind, which said: "We are Solid State Intelligence and we are going to demonstrate our power by shutting down all solid state equipment to LAX."
Dr. Lilly shared his foreboding message with his wife Toni, who was seated next to him. A few minutes later, the pilot instructed the passengers that they were being diverted to Burbank due to a plane that had crash-landed near the runway and had knocked down power lines, causing a power failure at the airport. - "John Lilly, Ketamine and The Entities From ECCO" by Adam Gorightly

1974 is a crucial year in all of this, starting as it did with PKD's pink beam contact. Puharich's Uri hagiography was also released that year, copyrighted to "Lab Nine, Ltd. " It was presaged by this legendary Synchronicity, later republished in RAW's first Cosmic Trigger volume.
Saul-Paul Sirag, Vice-President of Jack Sarfatti's Physics/Consciousness Research Group, has his own weird tales to tell. Once, while involved in the Uri Geller investigation, Sirag took LSD to see if in that altered consciousness he could perceive the alleged extraterrestrial behind Geller.

What Sirag saw was the head of a hawk, which astonished him, since Geller had never described the entity as a hawk.
Six months later, this image appeared on the January 1974 cover of Sirag's favorite sci-fi magazine, Analog, illustrating a story called "The Horus Errand" (Synchronicity #1). A year later, Dr. Andrija Puharich, not knowing of Sirag's experience, claimed that Geller's extraterrestrial ally had often appeared to him as a hawk, which he nicknamed "Horus" (Synchronicity #2).
Later, Sirag discovered that the face on the Analog cover was that of Ray Stanford, a Texas psychic, who also claimed mysterious experiences with Geller and a hawk (Synchronicity #3).

Oddest of all, Kelly Freas, the artist who had drawn the cover, had never met Stanford and was not using his face consciously. -- Excerpted from Tekgnostics, original story recounted in Robert Anton Wilson's Cosmic Trigger

1974 also saw the introduction of another Secret Sun touchstone: OMAC: One Man Army Corps. Jack Kirby's opus prophesied smart bombs, virtual reality, plutocratic governance, water wars, and of course, the Gulf and Iraq Wars.

OMAC wore a pre-punk mohawk and the Eye of Horus on his chest, tying him symbolically to the Sirius/Canis Major star system but also to both RAW and the Geller/Puraich axis. And who created and powered OMAC himself?

An orbital machine intelligence.

Here we are looking at several remarkable yet relatively-obscure men from entirely different walks of life, all a generation removed from the 60s counterculture, all highly touted now as visionaries all experiencing or writing about what they describe as contact with an orbital machine intelligence connected at least semiotically to the Sirius star in the Canis Major constellation, all at or near the same time.

And yet the details differ significantly on many other counts, which argues against these individuals all being the subject of some kind of military/intel experiment or colluding on some massive hoax. As does the fact that we're talking machine intelligences and not alien angels or some other kind of divine entities.

Moreover, Kirby, PKD and RAW were marginal figures operating at the fringes of pop culture
and Lilly was seen as a burnout and an embarrassment to his former colleagues (as was PKD when he started talking about VALIS).

It seems more that they were picking up on some vague, half-formed signal of unimaginable origin or intent that their prodigious imaginations would then embellish and expand upon.

Moreover, we have evidence or claims of prophecy and/or Synchronicity, the time-honored acid test for divine or extraordinary contact.

Kirby himself closed out 1974 by drawing the first of a multi-issue epic in which his post-apocalyptic hero Kamandi would be abducted by an alien and taken into space aboard a UFO, an abrupt volte-face for the series that ended with Kamandi facing off against sun-worshiping Reptilians.

The first installment of this opus would bring Kamandi to the very edge of a Stargate, which is stealing artifacts from Earth to be converted into raw energy. The disembodied alien will later use the androgynous Kamandi as the template for her own incarnation.

In the second part of the story, Kamandi is reunited with an old friend, not seen since issue #17...

...Doctor Canus. Or should I say Canis?

Once Kirby finished up the UFO storyline he returned to Marvel where his first assignment was a mind control conspiracy arc for Captain America and The Falcon. Where did I buy all those issues? At Valles (pronounced "VALIS") Newsstand.

Into all of this wanders Gene Roddenberry, who was also busy in 1974 working on the Star Trek animated series (which featured a "Treaty of Sirius"). The second to last episode-- which aired October 5, 1974-- was "How Sharper than a Serpent's Tooth."

In it, the crew come to face-to-face with the winged serpent Kukulkan, the ancient astronaut who was worshiped as a god by the peoples of Mesoamerica. This episode was inspired by "Who Mourns for Adonais," in which the crew confront the ancient astronaut Apollo (identified with Horus by the Greeks).

The following year Roddenberry would fall in with Puharich and Lab Nine, and interview the "channelers" who claimed to be vessels for The Nine, the ancient gods/artificial intelligences from Sirius (who like Kukulkan and Apollo were the shepherds of ancient civilization).

Roddenberry was a bit hard up for cash so he reluctantly humored the operation, which seemed to take most of its ideas from old Star Trek episodes (only the ST eps were a lot more resonant, magical and culturally significant). Indeed, both "Return to Tomorrow" and "The Lights of Zetar" dealt with humans channeling disembodied intelligences - intelligences housed in computers in the case of "Return" (and based in the Isis-Osiris-Set drama).

The member of The Nine called Tom (short for Atum, androgynous creator god of ancient Egypt) did most of the "talking" and was quoted with the following:
"I am the beginning. I am the end. I am the emissary. But the original time I was on the Planet Earth was 34,000 of your years ago. I am the balance. And when I say 'I' - I mean because I am an emissary for The Nine. It is not I , but it is the group…We are nine principles of the Universe, yet together we are one."
However, Roddenberry's ultimate response to his experiences with The Nine was The God Thing, in which a malfunctioning Orbital Machine Intelligence tries to convince the human race that it's God.

Ironically, this story would eventually morph into the Project Blue Beam hoax, most probably a CIA effort to discredit any and all UFO data in the minds of the kooky conspiracy kids (which it's been remarkably effective in doing). Roddenberry's Nine interviews would later be compiled into the 1992 manifesto, The Only Planet of Choice: Essential Briefings from Deep Space.

Disembodied intelligences much like the Nine also ran rampant through the Star Trek: The Next Generation series before reaching their apotheosis as the Prophets or "wormhole aliens" in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

That series would tell the story of a Starfleet officer's contact with these Orbital intelligences, who first choose him as their "Emissary" before he finally reaches his own divinity and becomes a Prophet himself. In what should be to absolutely no one's surprise, the "Emissary" first made his name playing a man called "Hawk."

At the same time the Emissary was joining the Prophets in the Celestial Temple, Self-styled Luciferian Lynn Picknett and writing partner Clive Prince would later gather up a lot of this disjointed and tangentially-related data to construct their 1999 book, The Stargate Conspiracy.

Using Ira "The Unicorn Killer" Einhorn as their star witness (while he was still defying extradition in France), Picknett and Prince conjured up a conspiracy, albeit one that did nothing and went nowhere.

Even with his CIA pedigree, Puharich was apparently drummed out of the Lab Nine orbit sometime in the late 70s and may well have been permanently retired in the customary fashion for his work on alternative energy sources.

Aside from two self-published volumes, nothing at all has been heard of Lab Nine since 1992- and even at their height they were nothing in comparison to the hugely successful Seth and Ramtha channeling cults (the latter cult having produced the incredibly profitable What the Bleep Do We Know films)- and most of the principals moved on decades ago.

The central argument of The Stargate Conspiracy was that there was a CIA plot to indoctrinate everyone into a weird variant of ancient astronaut theory in preparation for a real or staged return of The Nine at the millennium, an event that obviously never materialized. Possibly because the CIA was too busy funneling billions of taxpayer dollars into their worldwide "Evangelical" network which has taken control of entire nations (not to mention several American states) at this point.

Since AAT is the Trojan Horse of the alleged conspiracy it should be pointed out that Picknett and Prince's primary researcher for Stargate-- Filip Coppens-- is now one of the regular commentators on The History Channel's Ancient Aliens.

Oh, irony.

No word yet on whether Picknett believes Coppens too is one of The Nine's evil CIA minions, along with Graham Hancock and John Anthony West and all of the other alt-researchers whose books outsell her's.


In 1978, Kirby seemed to channel all of these OMI narratives as well as the Shaver Mystery in an issue of Machine Man- a character he created during his run on the 2001: A Space Odyssey series. In this Machine Man adventure, an institutionalized psychotic begins channeling messages from a distant star sytstem.

Here Kirby plays on the concept of psychotic as sensitive-- able to perceive and channel signals undetected by everyone else.

The messages are a distress call from an astronaut trapped in the gravity of a sun. Using some Puharich-like gadgetry, Machine Man creates an actual stargate within the hospital itself. Unfortunately, what comes through is a Dero/SSI robot being intent on destroying the Earth.

Kirby was a major xenophobe, cosmically speaking, believing that any alien race with the capacity to travel to our backwater solar system would do it for one reason only- to steal our shit and kill us off. He also believed that biological entities are poorly suited for space travel, necessitating artifical intelligence.

Machine Man, in other words, was Kirby's Starchild, or space seed.

At the same time that Roddenberry was reintroducing the concept of space-borne machine intelligences in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Lab Nine were at work in the neighborhood of the Stanford Research Institute and Silicon Valley.

As channeled by a buxom young Englishwoman named Jenny O'Connor, The Nine essentially took over the Esalen Institute (which I lectured at in 2008 and 2009), which had been ravaged by the gruesome political controversies of the early 70s as well as the ebbing of the Me Generation self-improvement wave.

Under the wing of Esalen co-founder Dick Price, O'Connor and Lab Nine created both a sensation and a serious schism within the leadership, with co-founder Michael Murphy having none of Big Boobs McGillicuddy and her invisible alien friends.

Many wondered what Price was doing, letting O'Connor arbitrarily reorganize what had become a respected counterculture hotspot on the cutting edge of psychology (I have an idea or two what Price was doing with her, but this is a family blog). A withering exposé of Lab Nine was published in leftist journal Mother Jones in 1979 titled "Esalen Slides off the Cliff," making the once-respected institution a laughing stock.

Even so, Price and O'Connor's attempts at harnessing the power of The Nine had a strange and simultaneous parallel in the climax of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, when Decker and Ilia converge with the orbital machine intelligence V'Ger.

Both O'Connor and Lab Nine would quietly leave Esalen in the early 80s and no trace of them remains there today. The stigma still lingers though, kept alive in countless cut-and-paste jobs on Christian conspiracy sites.

By year's end, the Star Trek movie would do boffo box office but get scathing reviews. Roddenberry would be fired as producer, allowing budget-conscious TV schlockmeister Harve Bennett to come in and produce a string of entertaining and moderately successful films that are all nearly unwatchable today.

However, Roddenberry would go on to produce the wildly-successful Next Generation series, whose original cast of nine major characters all had direct analogs in the Egyptian pantheon. The third Next Generation feature film would send the crew to an alien planet nearly identical to Esalen. Starfleet aliens exist among the natives in it, rendered invisible by holographic technology.

That film was written by Deep Space Nine creator Michael Piller. It seems that this weirdness fares better in the imaginal world than the physical.

Well, for now at least.


A lot of the action in around the Bay Area and Silicon Valley in the 60s and 70s would bear fruit in the early 80s with the Cyberpunk movement, spearheaded by Vancouver writer William Gibson. Here the orbital machine intelligence would take center stage, or two OMIs, rather.

Introduced in Gibson's Sprawl Trilogy, Neuromancer and Wintermute are AIs created by an aristocratic family called the Tessier-Ashpools, who live in an orbital compound called Villa Straylight. When the family goes into a Lovecraftian decline, the AIs become autonomous players, manipulating events on Earth.

Much like the OMIs of PKD and Lilly, the AIs contact and enlist human agents to help them reach their goal of leaving the Straylight mainframes and escaping into the worldwide Matrix. Once they do, they trigger a subtle yet dramatic shift in which all of the ancient gods and spirits of legend take on new life within the Matrix and transform it into an unpredictable and sometimes terrifying funhouse.

Gibson's second novel, Count Zero, presents the end result of the manipulations of the digital daemons; a young girl who can access the Matrix without a computer, very much the Cyberpunk version of a contactee.

Hmm, what was it "Spectra" told Andrija Puharich?

"We cannot enter your Earth, (we) only appear to you through computerizing your minds."

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Mindbomb: Things That Should Not Be Known

The "Moon as Alien Base" meme might not be the most popular meme out there, but it's one of the most persistent. Astronomers were seeing anomalous goings-on on the Moon over a century ago, and some UFO researchers claim that hostile alien action is the reason that NAZCA NASA never went back to the Moon, or in some cases the reason that footage and photography of the Apollo missions was faked (in some cases by Stanley Kubrick).

But there's another reason that NASA would not want the public to know what the Apollo missions were really up to.
Richard Hoagland has written and spoken extensively on his beliefs that NASA is covering up the Moon missions to hide alien artifacts found by the Apollo crews. While his theories are well known through his appearances on Coast 2 Coast and other programs, less known-- and even more interesting -- is the fact that two unmanned moon missions indeed discovered enormous obelisks on the Moon's surface, arranged in a geometric design.
Four years ago, Russia's Luna-9 and America's Orbiter-2 both photographed groups of solid structures at two widely separated locations on the lunar surface. These two groups of objects are arranged in definite geometric patterns and appear to have been placed there by intelligent beings.

Since American space officials have chosen not to publicize these findings, our readers are probably not aware of their existence.

The Luna-9 photographs, taken on February 4, 1966, after the craft had landed in the Ocean of Storms, reveal two straight lines of equidistant stones that look like the markers along an airport runway. These circular stones are all identical, and are positioned at an angle that produces a strong reflection from the sun, which would render them visible to descending aircraft. --"Mysterious "Monuments" on the Moon," Argosy Magazine, August, 1970 
Volume 371, Number 2
Which goes to show you that you don't have to do much to bury a story that you don't want to get out there-- you simply don't talk about it. I'd never have heard about had I not read about it in the oracular grimoire men call "UFO Flying Saucers" in hushed, forboding tones.

Did you know one of the earliest
comic books was an alchemical text?

In addition to the endless mysteries unveiled in UFO Flying Saucers, there's also the startling prophecies of one Jacob Kurtzberg, better known as Jack Kirby, the King of Comics. Longtime readers know that Kirby knew way too many things he shouldn't and foresaw things that no one else could see.

We've already looked at the very aptly -named "The Great Moon Mystery" in the context of its startling similarities to Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, which are especially stunning given the story was drawn in 1959 and sat in a drawer at the Harvey Comics warehouse until seeing print well after 2001 was in production. Here's a refresher:
The story "The Great Moon Mystery" has a TV production crew stumble on an alien artifact (an obelisk, in this case) on the moon, which immediately captures them in a force field. A team of astronauts try to rescue them and shoot at the obelisk, but are transformed into beings of light and send on a journey across the vast reaches of the Universe (see page at top). The journey ends in Wizard of Oz-like fashion when the astronauts visualize themselves back on the Moon.
What I didn't realize at the time was that Kirby was also remote-viewing the Moon obelisk back in 1959, perhaps even unconsciously foreseeing that the obelisk would be photographed a couple months before the story was published. It wouldn't be until a few years after that the obelisk discovery was leaked, and it never made the mainstream press as far as I can tell.

Even more remarkable was the fact that the same day I posted yet another Kirby/Kubrick/Moon story the news of a monolith on Mars' moon Phobos broke, along with some typical Masonic doubletalk from Bu33 Aldrin.

OK, so what? This is all just more of that weird nexus of junk culture, Fortean hijinks and occult toomfoolery, right? Of course there's nothing on the Moon-- aren't several space agencies planning Moon missions as I write?

Well, yeah.

But with one giant mother of a caveat. From the Old Grey Lady:

NASA would like to keep the competitors away from the Apollo landing sites, and it wants to create a no-fly-and-no-drive zone above and around them, especially where the first and last manned Moon missions — Apollo 11 and Apollo 17 — landed. The risk is that dust kicked up by a successful landing, or a crash, could disturb the traces of our presence on the Moon.

There is no mention yet how the rules would be enforced. But they do give rise to some interesting thoughts. In the realms of science fiction, the universe abounds in the relics of civilizations scattered among the stars. These landing sites are the first, fragile relics left by actual humans on a nonterrestrial body.- New York Times, "That Old Heritage Moon"
I don't know about you, but I don't believe this nonsense about "disturbing historical sites" for a millisecond. If NASA was so worried about them they wouldn't have left all that equipment up there unprotected, if in fact they actually did land there (I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt).

I don't what it is exactly, but my gut tells me NASA is hiding something. And both the Apollo hoax crowd and the alien artifact crowd should be all over the no-fly zone story. It's so unbelievable that there has to be much more to the story than what we're being told.

Syncs and prophecies are one thing, but when it all crosses over into real world drama is when I sit up and pay attention.

For instance, here's another story from UFO Flying Saucers, a sensationalistic rewriting of the 1975 UFO disappearances in Oregon. The story made the national news at the time, since over 30 people fell from sight for over two months, leaving their friends and families in a state of near panic. It was later revealed that the missing persons were enlisted into a millennial UFO cult.

The leaders are called "Her" and "Him" in the story but were none other than Bo and Peep, aka Ti and Do, aka Marshall Applewhite and Bonnie Nettles, founders of the Heaven's Gate suicide cult. As you can see the artist was fairly successful in capturing Applewhite's likeness, not so much with Nettles.

Heaven's Gate was a classic millennial cult in the Essene/Gnostic model and their desire to escape their meat-prisons led them to extreme acts like castration in order to overcome the desires of the flesh. Compared to many other gurus, Applewhite was nearly benevolent, which is not to say the Gate wasn't as totalizing and authoritarian as other, similar cults.

Suicide seems to be the inevitable result of the kind of total denial of the physical world that the Gate immersed themselves in, and Applewhite cited the mass suicides at Masada during the Judean Wars as precedent.

However, the Gate didn't believe they were killing themselves at all. They believed they were dis-incarnating, so that a passing mothership traveling in the wake of the Hale-Bopp comet would be able to "beam them up" (this cult watched a shit-ton of Star Trek) and take them to the level above human.

Here's where remote viewing enters into the picture again; the Hale-Bopp UFO was "viewed" by Major Ed Dames (who was the basis for Kevin Spacey's character in The Men Who Stare at Goats) who claimed that it was coming to spread mass death on Earth, which was the basis of Applewhite's vague warnings of a planetary cleansing that his followers were to escape.

OK, this is all nuts. Dames is a laughing stock even within the paranormal community, Applewhite was a nut who couldn't deal with his sexuality and found a bunch of lost souls to play the avuncular minister/father-figure to. Hale-Bopp came and went without any noticable apocalypse.

Except one tiny, little detail keeps nagging at me...

At the same time the Heaven's Gate cult was preparing to exit their vehicles (so to speak), one of the most notorious UFO flaps of our time was unfolding just a few hundred miles to the east in Phoenix. As thousands of citizens watched, enormous triangular craft scoured the skies for several nights, allegedly. The usual, attention-starved, zany hoaxter types have come forward to claim responsibility, but none of their claims have stood up to any kind of scrutiny. The event remains a mystery.

So just as alien moon base and Apollo hoax theorists can point to the bizarre "no fly zone" rule NASA has proclaimed as proof things are not what they seem, Hale-Bopp UFO theories can't totally be dismissed in light of the Phoenix Lights. As with all of the paranormal, no side can truly claim victory, though they usually do.

Like so many other things, the truth remains elusive. As its designed to be, I'd argue...