|From the Contactee Support Guide|
I came across an interesting website earlier tonight, called The Contactee Support Guide. In it, the author Anthony describes what used to be called “alien abduction” encounters, though he considers himself a Contactee. Whitley Strieber, in his famous book Communion and its follow ups, describes similar encounters that straddle the line between a typical “abduction” and “contact” with nonhuman entities.
There are a number of strange parallels between what is considered the typical alien abduction experience and that of a typical contact encounter. It’s as if there is a large cosmic pot full of alien soup, and depending on the particular pour you get, you might wind up with more abduction than contact, or vice versa.
In this spoonful, you get a bunch of gray, bug-eyed aliens kidnapping people from their beds, performing medical procedures on them, and returning them to their beds with fuzzy memories and mysterious pains. In the next spoonful, you have some more Grays, but this time being supervised by blonde, human-looking beings with powerful telepathic abilities. Not unlike, say, a decidedly less pleasant version of Orthon. In the next spoon, the Grays themselves take the place of the Orthons and Solgondas by offering the experiencers a chance to grow spiritually and develop their psychic abilities.
Apologies for the clumsy metaphor.
Both types of encounters often feature prophecies of global disaster. In the fifties, nuclear war was a favorite, as was a global pole shift, which would cause massive earthquakes and tidal waves. But when the Grays are involved, these prophecies become more cinematic, taking the form of vivid telepathic visions with a potent emotional undercurrent. Nuclear war was still popular in the eighties, and in Communion, Strieber describes seeing the Earth literally explode in a vision given to him. Ecological disasters also feature prominently.
Classic Contactee stories almost always offer a way out of these dismal futures, either by averting the events or attempting to teach us how to navigate through them. But modern contact prophecies fall into a — ha ha — gray area, where it’s not entirely clear if these visions are the future, or a possible future, or some bizarre form of psychic torture.
Yet another similarity is the abundance of books written by the Contactees, both modern and mid-century, though there is a striking difference in tone. The Contactees of yesteryear reveled in their experiences and proudly spoke of them at conferences and sold books and went on radio shows. Adamski spoke of the Space Brothers like they were good friends that occasionally came to town. Angelucci was more reverential, talking about the Space Brothers as if they were angels. Van Tassel, in his channeling sessions, spoke to them like they were barely competent air traffic controllers. Beyond an initial shock of being faced with extraterrestrials, the mid-century Contactees didn’t describe any sort of trauma. Modern Contactees, by contrast, struggle with emotional trauma and have support groups, the aforementioned Contactee Support Guide, and this book, Healing Shattered Reality.
Why the difference? Whether you believe these stories or not, it seems that they spring from the same font, as it were. So why are people reacting so differently? Have the Others changed their tone? Or is it a cultural thing, that we are just more aware of the subtleties of human psychology today?
Perhaps. As humans got more sophisticated culturally, so did the stories of the Others. Before Sputnik, the Space Brothers looked like us and came from planets we knew, like Venus and Mars. Even when they were from the planet Clarion, it turned out to still be in our solar system. But after John Glenn and the Mercury program, the Space Brothers became Aliens and came from Zeta Reticuli. When the Space Brothers warned us about nuclear war, we didn’t do anything about it, so when the Aliens had their go at it, they filled our heads with vivid CinemaScope extravaganzas.
It seems to me that encountering an otherworldly entity would blow your whole worldview apart. In the fabulous Fifties, when a man was a man and Lucky Strike was the brand most doctors smoked, only awe and wonder were acceptable reactions to such a shattering of your reality. It also helped that the beings were beautiful people. The Contactees got their share of mockery, but it was nothing compared to what modern experiencers get, with South Park episodes like “Cartman gets an anal probe” and the like.
|Pictured: The largest recorded alien implant|
So in addition to having your paradigm shifted, you have to find a way to navigate society as well. To quote from The Contactee Support Guide:
When faced with something that sits outside your culture’s worldview, you can either adjust your mental model, get curious and interact with it, or shut down and pretend it never happened.
In most of the cases I’ve come across, the experiencers then proceed to “get curious and interact with it.” They see it as a painful, but powerful spiritual experience. Maybe it was for their midcentury counterparts as well, who only chose to write about the good bits.