Posts Tagged ‘Skylaire Alfvegren’
Skylaire on PsiOp Radio Three Year Anniversary Show
Skylaire on Eye to the Sky with Dee Andrews
Skylaire on Greg Bishop’s Radio Mysterioso
More to come…
Phenomenologist Charles Fort (1874-1932) spent 27 years of his life humorously shredding orthodox science by collating thousands of accounts of unexplained phenomena which orthodox science couldn’t—and still can’t—explain away. Fort sought interconnectedness between his phantasmagoria, (“our whole ‘existence’ is an attempt by the relative to be the absolute, or by the local to be the universal”) and philosophized about it in four groundbreaking works: The Book of the Damned (1919), New Lands (1923), Lo! (1931) and Wild Talents (1932). “We are not realists. We are not idealists. We are intermediatists—that nothing is real, but that nothing is unreal: that all phenomena are approximations one way or the other between realness and unrealness… our whole quasi-existence is an intermediate stage… like purgatory, I think.”
Fort first identified the fireball, the teleportation effect, and the UFO. He examined falls of blood, birds, “unctuous” and “phosphorescent” substances, flesh and coins from the world’s skies. He presented the luminous bodies encircling Mars and Venus; gave poltergeists the benefit of the doubt, and wrote that his ‘damned’ data would be proven as well as Moses or Darwin ever “proved anything.”
The world has only gotten more phenomenal since Fort’s time, and the League of Western Fortean Intermediatists (L.O.W.F.I.) ensures that his spirit lives on: neither cranks nor skeptics, Forteans are characterized by their objectivity, sense of wonder, good humor and lust for supernormal adventure. Based in Los Angeles, the League of Western Fortean Intermediatists’ focus is on the long, strange life of the American southwest, gathering to discuss its enigmas, peculiarities and unexplainable events. Operating as a “wire service of the weird” online, L.O.W.F.I. Boasts bloggers state by state from Oregon to Texas.
L.O.W.F.I. is a research-based, journal-publishing band of urbane explorers with interests in all shades of the paranormal, UFOs and unexplained aerial phenomena, cryptozoology and unknown animals, synchronicity and coincidence, religious cults, mass hysteria, giants and the ‘little people,’ inter/extra-dimensional visitors, oddball philosophies, evidence of pre-Columbian visitations to the southwest and other archaeological ‘anomalies,’ lost continents and vanished civilizations, spontaneous human combustion, sky falls, scientific hoaxes, earth energy/ley lines, conspiracies and enigmas, kooks and prophets, the people, places and events which make our corner of the world weird.
L.O.W.F.I. seeks to provide a clearinghouse for reports of such phenomena which will be archived and made available to the public, via a website http://www.forteanswest.com. In Los Angeles, we hold informal meetings, go on field trips and host visiting lecturers in an attempt to open lines of communication and create a sense of camaraderie amongst modern-day phenomenologists. You may already be a member!
L.O.W.F.I. founder Skylaire Alfvegren has spent a lifetime researching the weird, wacky and unexplainable history of her hometown of Los Angeles. Join her as she explains Fort’s importance and the objectives of L.O.W.F.I., while detailing some of her favorite local cases of unexplainable phenomena, for the Los Angeles Visionary Association (LAVA), Sunday, May 30, from noon onwards, at Clifton’s Cafeteria (upstairs).
648 South Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90014
213 627 1673
Skylaire at gmail.com
This Saturday, February 6, tune in to Eye to the Sky radio with hostess Dee Andrew, and Skylaire Alfvegren, master of disaster, as we discuss a number of subjects, including the Fortean mindset, my recent adventures in synchronicity, and undoubtedly, unexplained things in the sky.
7:00 (EST) 6:00pm (CST) 5:00 pm (MST) 4:00 pm (PST).
(Shows are archived on the site, as well.)
You kids and your technology!
BUDD HOPKINS – introduction by Skylaire Alfvegren
UFOs have been popping up again, en masse over Texas and Brazil, grounding planes in Chicago, appearing over foreign military bases; images captured by Royal Air Force employees recently made front page news in Britain’s leading daily paper.
It’s all growing more fantastic: the Vatican blessed a belief in aliens, which doesn’t, it turns out, “contradict a belief in God.” A respected former astronaut claims we’ve been lied to about the UFO subject for over 60 years. Disc-shaped and extra-terrestrial imagery are appearing once again in advertising, on television, and in movies (even Indiana Jones got in on the action).
“Don’t react to what might at first seem dubious,” cautioned veteran alien abduction researcher Budd Hopkins at the annual symposium of the Mutual UFO Network, held in San Jose, CA. A throng of about 50 investigators arrived a day early to listen to this ufological giant. Tall, snowy-haired and soft-spoken, one might not guess Hopkins to be among the world’s foremost experts on abduction phenomena—but he practically gave birth to its study.
Moving to Manhattan in 1953 after “discovering art with a capital A,” Hopkins reveled in the abstract expressionist movement of the time and “sort of immediately met the painters… de Kooning and Kline and Pollock and Rothko.” Hopkins’ art—found in the collections of, among others, the Whitney and the Guggenheim in New York, the Smithsonian Hirshhorn Museum in D.C., and San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art—exist light years away from what has brought the Wheeling, West Virginia-born painter, researcher, writer and hypnotherapist much of his international renown.
It began harmlessly enough: in 1975, Hopkins researched a multiple-witness UFO report with investigator Ted Bloecher. The next year, an article he penned for New York’s Village Voice caught fire and was reprinted in Cosmopolitan Magazine.
Hopkins was tormented by the experiences of others; levitating out of windows into silently hovering, lighted airships, and enduring medical examinations conducted by creatures generously described as “humanoid.” Many spoke of hours’ of irretrievable memories, which Hopkins would later dub “missing time.” To date, Hopkins can’t tally the number of frantic letters and teary phone calls he received–nor the number of hypnotic regressions he witnessed–in the early days of his research, but they number in the hundreds.
Abductions, impregnation, hybrid children, radiation sickness, near misses with civilian aircraft and undeniable evidence that something is out there—all casts the alien business in a sinister light. Unidentified Flying Objects–a loaded Air Force term which has slowly been replaced by the less sci-fi sounding “Unidentified Aerial Phenomena”—are apparently capable of disappearing at will, shutting down missile systems and stopping on a dime at speeds our Air Force can only dream of.
In our interview, Hopkins didn’t toss out a single assumption about the abductees’ origins, and only commented on their motives in passing. He stays, he says, “conservatively fixed in my area of expertise.” He admits that from his abductee research, “we don’t have much that’s pleasant or benign.” Years ago, he started the Intruders Foundation (www.intrudersfoundation.org), a non-profit organization created to document and research alien abductions and provide support for abductees.
Currently, Budd has nearly finished a multi-faceted memoir entitled, Collage: Art, Life and UFOs, while a documentary crew is examining the work of Hopkins and partner Leslie Kean, a journalist/UFO historian who organized a press conference last November intended to stir our government understanding why the phenomenon “should be made public, and why at least investigations should be made.” The press conference hosted two generals and 14 high government officials, from around the world. Kean has stated that “the U.S. is holding everyone else back.”
Budd Hopkins – interview by Skylaire Alfvegren
Skylaire Alfvegren: Harvard’s John Mack dedicated his book Abduction to “Budd Hopkins, who led the way.” For over 30 years, you’ve balanced a successful art career with the tenuous field of UFO abduction research. Interest in the UFO phenomena is incredibly cyclical. It hasn’t been as in the forefront of mass Western consciousness since the 50th anniversary Roswell incident 11 years ago.
Budd Hopkins: It’s a statement of what the public believes about the reality of UFOs, of the reality of abductions; those numbers keep going up. There have been so many new, interesting incidents—the Texas flap, of course, the O’Hare incident [where a UFO grounded planes and astonished onlookers at the Chicago airport in on November 7, 2006]—those things have certainly kept the subject in the public’s mind.
SA: In the introduction to your first book, Missing Time (1981), you referred to the abduction phenomena as an “epidemic,” claiming that 70-80% of such experiences went unreported. Do you think that figure has changed because people are more amenable to the concept now?
BH: I think it’s difficult to say. It isn’t just that people fear ridicule, which is absolutely basic to this phenomenon. Many letters I get start with a sad little statement: “I hope I’m not wasting your time,” or “there may be nothing to this, but it’s been bothering me for years and I have to talk to somebody.” And they may only remember fragments; they don’t want to believe that such a thing happened to them. I get letters and phone calls from people I can’t really do anything for because they live in distant places and I don’t have—there doesn’t exist–a really good list of therapists to refer them to.
SA: In Missing Time, you write, “I stated at the beginning of this book that the readers’ credulity would suffer perhaps unsupported stress. I made that statement just because the limits of my own belief system had been sorely strained by these unfolding cases.” So you didn’t start off as some wide-eyed believer.
BH: God, no. When I started, in ‘76, there were maybe ten or 11 known abduction cases. And in each one, people remembered a huge amount, like [Betty and Barney] Hill. They remembered the craft, the aliens in the windows… the ’73 Pascagoula, Mississippi incident where Charlie Hickson and Alvin Parker remembered being taken inside a craft, all before hypnosis. What I found out was that there were people that remembered very little, but knew that something terrible had happened to them at a certain place. They had some vague memories, which turned out to be those of classic abductions. Suddenly, a huge door opened as to how widespread this might be.
SA: Do you think an abductee’s memory lapse is the result of an unconscious blocking of traumatic experiences, or do you think its purposeful amnesia produced by the abductors?
BH: The latter operates very strongly, but the former is also true. People don’t want to remember what they do remember.
SA: In your book Intruders you quote a skeptic who said that people who take UFOs seriously are really cultists. Your response was, “cults are all beliefs and no miracles. The UFO situation is the polar opposite: all miracles and no beliefs.”
BH: Right. I had to learn to say and think about things as I went along. I had to learn, in a sense, how to conduct police style investigations. I’m ultimately self-taught. Folklore changes all the time, but these phenomena don’t change.
SA: And there’s no university degree, no handbook, for abduction researchers.
BH: This summer I’m hoping to present, at least in presentation form, a kind of mini-handbook for investigators on how to handle people who are afraid they might be abductees. What to say and not to say, and then, for those who work with hypnotists, or who are trained themselves, how to move the whole thing along, and recognize how to get around roadblocks.
SA: Did you study hypnotherapy as a response to becoming an investigator?
BH: When I first started running into abduction cases in ‘76, I hooked up with an interested psychologist, Dr. Aphrodite Clamar, and took my subjects to her. I would watch her techniques, writing notes, questions. As I’ve put it in the book, I had a seven-year apprenticeship where I didn’t do any hypnosis, but I sat in with God knows how many subjects, and other hypnotherapists, to learn how to do it myself. The major issues are how you handle the emotions of the people, how to question without leading, how to elicit information, despite a block. It’s really a question of how the whole session goes rather than how to get a person into a trance state.
SA: How have you remained so sane, while being involved in this for so long?
BH: I’ve learned to juggle lots of things. Learning to handle the media, which enjoys presenting some designated skeptic who can’t wait to blast holes through the subject. A few years ago, I appeared on Larry King Live. The subject was abductions. This woman wrote a book that claimed that all abductions were really sleep paralysis—including cases where people are driving cars! I said that there are basically two groups, two major attitudes, towards the subject: the first are the skeptics, and the second are the true believers.
SA: Where do you fall?
BH: I’m a skeptic, because I don’t know if something happened or didn’t happen, until I do my own investigation. I said, our friend here on Larry King is the true believer, because she knows in advance that no matter what anybody tells her, it didn’t happen, that it couldn’t happen.
SA: In your books and investigations, “now-familiar patterns,”–people being “frozen,” or pulled from cars, being “immobilized” or “switched off” while their companion is abducted–are repeated time and again.
BH: While writing Missing Time many of these patterns emerged. For instance, a screen memory is a false image imposed by the aliens in order to soften their actual appearance and reduce the abductee’s fear. That whole phenomenon wasn’t known until I wrote about it. I don’t know of any abduction researcher who doesn’t accept all of the patterns, but until I could collect them in the book, and understand them, they were unknown.
SA: You mention alien implants in Intruders, which was published in 1987, while Dr. Roger Leir [a southern California podiatrist who performs implant removal operations] didn’t publicize his first surgery until the ‘90s. What are your thoughts on these alleged implants?
BH: I definitely feel that implants have been placed in people. I have no idea what they’re for, or why they would’ve been put there, all without a scar!
SA: It irks me when Dr. Leir does one of these removals, and some TV show takes the object to one lab, and the one lab says, “The material components of this could have been produced terrestrially.”
BH: It’s very hard to prove a negative. And that’s Dr. Leir’s problem, once he’s removed one of these weird things, of establishing that it could NOT have been manufactured on Earth. It just needs a huge amount of intense lab work, which is unfortunately very expensive.
SA: You state that 19% of abductees studied have implants, but that the figure could be much higher, and that the indications were that “the ultimate destination for the implant was the brain.” That’s incredibly creepy.
BH: The entire business should give you an uneasy feeling. There’s no easy way to talk your self out of a metal object that shows up on an x-ray in the interior of the brain; something that couldn’t have been put there.
SA: The idea of a tracking device in the arm seems comparatively benevolent.
BH: I don’t think we have any idea what these things are for. The idea of tracking devices is so anthropomorphic. That’s the way we think about wild animals.
SA: Does it seem like there’s an increase in abductions in times of world or political crisis, or does it seem like they’ve got their own agenda entirely?
BH: I haven’t seen much evidence that they’re concerned about what’s going on. Linda Cortile was the only case that I have ever run into where there seems to be a deliberate attempt to present themselves to world leaders. [the New York housewife was allegedly levitated out of her Manhattan high rise during a series of abductions which featured complicated messages about the environment, as well as government complicity. Her story became the basis of Hopkins’ third book, Witnessed.] In some of the cases where they present imagery, where it seems to be real, the abductee is shown a beautiful, lush Earth and then it’s all burning up. That may have to do with a concern that we ought to take better care of the planet, but the problem is, is that going to be for us, or for them? But attempting to communicate with political leaders, or effect what’s going on has never been a central issue. Don’t forget that there are abductions that go back to the 1920s and all through WWII, decades before the dropping of the atomic bombs, and the murders of hundreds of thousands of people… there’s no record that aliens rescued one single baby from Auschwitz, or anything.
BH: One of the new patterns I discovered was what I call the “Mickey and Baby Ann” issue, the fact that Linda Cortile and Richard [who was intimately involved in her experiences] had been abducted together as children. Subsequently, I’ve run into a number of other cases like that. I have maybe four in the book, and these were all people who didn’t know about the original case.
SA: You’ve got abductions that date from the ‘20s, with the same elements present almost a century later. Like Susan Williams [who was paired with another child and abducted in the late ‘30s; decades later, she was abducted alone and artificially inseminated.] Such cases erode a widespread notion that the modern UFO era began with the atomic bomb and Kenneth Arnold [the pilot/UFO witness who coined the term flying “saucer” in 1947].
BH: The same patterns go way back… and the real interesting cases are in a certain way similar to each other.
SA: Why are certain individuals targeted for abduction and experimentation, and not others?
BH: We don’t know the answer. But the point is that the abductions… the removal of sperm and ova, the reproductive experiments, which result in the production of these little “babies” which are presented to their “parents” later on… I really don’t think anyone had written about that before I did. I discovered all of that in the middle ‘80s, and I think of it as the Rosetta stone of the UFO phenomena. Because what it does is explain what the whole thing is about, and why it’s covert.
SA: Were you the first researcher to use the term “hybrid”?
BH: Yes, I think that a better term would be “genetically altered beings.” We don’t know why they are being produced, but the implications aren’t good. It might happen again and again to the same person, for decades. And it might be generational. [The hybrids do] explain why abductions happen–and happen across generations–to members of the same family: you’re dealing with the same bloodline and genetic strain.
SA: Why are mid-Western housewives being abducted, as opposed to quantum physicists?
BH: The fact is that they’re taking chunks of people, literally, their flesh! They’re not only taking sex cells, they’re taking samples of flesh, or “scoop marks.” The abductors have all the brains in the world. Perhaps they lack our physical differences, our sexuality, and so forth. That’s the part they seem interested in, and maybe they’re not concerned with the person’s intelligence, as long as they’re the right physical type. They’re studying that person physically, genetically.
This is all speculation, but it seems like they can take anybody. I’ve met a NASA research scientist who is an abductee, and obviously extremely intelligent. High-ranking military, eight psychiatrists–I’ve worked with a lot of people who are very bright, incredibly gifted. But I think that the higher up the socio-economic ladder the person is, the less likely they are to come forward.
SA: That makes sense.
BH: There’s no way of knowing! [As researchers] we get those who come to us, which may not be a real sample of what’s out there in terms of abductees. I’ve worked with two MacArthur Genius grant recipients, but they didn’t want to come forward.
SA: You’ve taken measures to make sure that certain details of the abduction phenomena aren’t disclosed; like the craft symbols that some abductees have seen and written down. Your concern with the well being of these people is evident. You’re empathetic, but extremely analytical, and every chapter is a cliffhanger.
SA: In ’93, you learned of an “official investigation” into Linda’s case. I’m curious to know who or what agency might’ve conducted it.
BH: I’m not an expert on what branches of the government might be involved. I have reason to believe that the agents, Richard and Dan, were with the National Security Agency (NSA). But I don’t have any hard evidence. Obviously, somebody is doing it for the government.
SA: Later on in Witnessed, Richard’s associate states that UFOs were considered a “threat to national security,” but I don’t think that statement has ever been made publicly.
BH: They’ve tried to say the opposite, that it’s NOT a national security issue. [The U.S.A.F. commissioned, University of Colorado-penned] Condon Report [was written] mainly to determine if this was a national security issue, a safety issue, and decided it wasn’t.
SA: But during the “early days” of UFO sightings, so many U.S. pilots were shot down while trying to attack UFOs that an official ‘stand down’ policy had to be enforced.
BH: Those are subjects that I can’t speak about with any authority. There are other things, crop circles, government cover-ups, the removal of implants, crash retrievals—but abductions are enough to absorb your entire goddamned life!
SA: What do you think about the exo-politicans?
BH: I think the exo-politicans are doing enormous harm. They have this list of how many different alien races there are, which absolutely nobody knows, and they’re going to get ready when they land, and you have people like Stephen Bassett running around claiming the government’s about ready to announce disclosure, holds a press conference, and is totally lambasted. Or that [New Mexico] Governor Richardson was a CIA agent, in on the UFO thing… you can’t imagine what happens when they present that to the press, which immediately thinks of all of us—my work, everyone who’s serious—in the same way as the exo-politicians or the Ashtar Command.
SA: Media people decide they’re going to lump the kooks in with the real investigators because across-the-board derision of entire subject is the easiest way to avoid seriously investigating any of it.
BH: I was speaking at a conference in Italy, and this man had a power point presentation, and went through, I don’t know, maybe 20 different alien races. People who I knew to be total nut cases, who claimed to see some being with wings… it’d be listed as one of the races! And when it came to the people in the Hill case, he got the name wrong! He called them Betty and Barney Woods! He was ignorant of the basic material. So, this guy, like the exo-politicans, the ‘experts’ claiming there are 57 or 68 different races, there’s no evidence behind any of it, and they’re doing enormous damage. And there’s disinformation being spread: I’ve known two military who were shown different documents… one claimed there were 13 alien races visiting Earth, another, 69. It smells like disinformation.
SA: Who is abducting us? And what is their agenda?
BH: We don’t know their program, all of their techniques, we don’t really know what their goals are. Will they take over? Will they co-exist with us? They do seem to all be working together, however. It’s not one group doing A, and another doing B. It’s interesting, frightening and suspicious.
SA: Let’s talk technology. Is our technology capable of “switching” people “off,” during abductions, or rendering them invisible, as you talk about in your last book, Sight Unseen? [Wherein UFO cases are combined/contrasted with our developing technology or held up against the cutting edge of science.] JPL has already utilized adaptive camouflage, and there is talk of our capabilities to create giant holographic projections.
BH: This is all secret stuff so we really don’t know their capabilities. You’ve probably seen on television, the ray that can be emitted from a truck… it doesn’t paralyze a target or do permanent harm, but it can knock them, like, 80 feet out of the way. You just aim it at the guy, and down he goes. But despite all the talk about remote viewing, nobody has found Bin Laden! And soldiers had to stumble over Saddam Hussein. Even our smart bombs miss their targets occasionally. We don’t seem to have anything that’s anywhere near alien efficiency, with the ability to paralyze people, or control humans’ behavior by simple eye contact. We don’t have it, and I certainly hope we don’t get it very soon, either!
By Jeremy Rosenberg
December 11, 2009 1:30 AM
Tongues planted firmly in cheek, Ashley Powers and DeeDee Correll wrote about how a Denver ballot initiative next year will attempt to create an “Extraterrestrial Affairs Commission.” From the article:
This week, Denver officials announced that Peckman had gathered about 4,000 valid signatures needed to place the issue before the 350,000 registered voters of the Colorado state capital.If approved, the city panel would promote “harmonious, peaceful, mutually respectful and beneficial coexistence” between earthlings and extraterrestrials, in part by developing protocols for “diplomatic contact.”
For more Mile High reaction, TTLA checked in with our Denver Bureau Chief, Michael Gunstanson. His reply runs below.
Also, TTLA wondered, shouldn’t Los Angeles be doing something about this Denver gap? Should we start gathering signatures? Form our own space alien welcoming committee?
“That’s really funny,” says TTLA Paranormal Activities Bureau Chief, Skylaire Alfvegren (motto: “Yellow journalism, elfin magic.”). “I don’t think it’s necessary. I think this guy’s initiative in Denver is more of a gesture than anything else.”
Alfvegren is, among much more, the founder of the League of Western Fortean Intermediatists (L.O.W.F.I.), which she describes in part as a “wire service for the weird,” studying “the mysteries and peculiarities of the American West, including paranormal phenomena, UFOs, cryptozoology, and unexplained phenomena of every type.”
More down below from Alfvegren. First, though, here’s what Gunstanson, formerly with the L.A. Times and the Rocky Mountain News, wrote us:
“So you think that the city of Angels might want to follow Denver’s lead and get in on the act of communing with them, or at least their 21st century brethren, huh?
“Not surprising. For whatever reason, UFOs, extraterrestrials, grays, men from mars or whatever you want to call them, have been in the news a great deal of late. From their high-profile, if albeit tumbling ratings, return to network television in “V” to a veiled nod of their existence in the new SyFy channel spinoff: “Stargate Universe,” aliens seem to be everywhere at once.
“Why, no less an, ahem, authority on the subject, his Holiness, the Pope, recently convened a conference to discuss the matter:
“Though it may seem an unlikely location to happen upon a conference on astrobiology, the Vatican recently held a “study week” of over 30 astronomers, biologists, geologists and religious leaders to discuss the question of the existence of extraterrestrials. – Universe Today
“The Vatican’s chief astronomer says there is no conflict between believing in God and in the possibility of extraterrestrial “brothers” perhaps more evolved than humans.
“In my opinion this possibility exists,” said the Reverend José Gabriel Funes, head of the Vatican Observatory and a scientific adviser to Pope Benedict XVI, referring to life on other planets. – NY TImes
“Meanwhile, Monsignor Corrado Balducci, a theologian member of the Vatican Curia (governing body), and an insider close to the Pope, has gone on Italian national television five times to proclaim that extraterrestrial contact is a real phenomenon, according to UFO Digest. Balducci provided an analysis of extraterrestrials that he feels is consistent with the Catholic Church’s understanding of theology. Monsignor Balducci emphasizes that extraterrestrial encounters “are NOT demonic, they are NOT due to psychological impairment, they are NOT a case of entity attachment, but these encounters deserve to be studied carefully.”
“So you can see why Denver, having missed out on the spaceport race – mostly because there isn’t a piece of land big enough and flat enough to work – would want to be at the forefront of the UFO greeting race.
“Add in these facts: most UFOlogists — yes, I’m told that’s a word — believe Eisenhower only added “In God We Trust” to the money and pushed for “under God” to be added to the pledge in 1954 after meeting with aliens; Denver is a scant 9 hours from Roswell, where aliens reportedly crashed; Cheyenne Mountain was where the military stored the Stargate (if you can believe the writers/producers of Stargate: SG1) and you can see that Denver, and the state of Colorado has had a rich “brush with UFO fame” history in this regard.
“All that said, my guess is this measure will not pass.”
Back, now, to Los Angeles and Alfvegren. A veteran of the Cacophony Society (adults only) she’s also a freelancer for the LA Weekly and other pubs. Her L.O.W.F.I. puts on events in town once a month or so — a drive through Phillip K. Dick’s Fullerton; taking a psychic medium to the Richard Nixon Museum.
Saturday, December 12, L.O.W.F.I. is involved with L.A. Santacon, a Cacophony tradition. (Adults only — for more information, follow the links from the L.O.W.F.I. events page.)
To TTLA’s surprise, Alfvegren says L.A. has no business following Denver’s ballot initiative lead.
“We have so much to worry about in this state, in this economy,” Alfvegren says. “As interesting and life-changing as it would be to have someone make contact, well, I heard on the radio the other night that something like 70% percent of single mothers in Los Angeles County can’t meet their basic financial needs in terms of child care, health care, and food. You’ve got to put things in perspective.”
Okay, if a ballot initiative is out, then what if local politicians got directly involved?
“If a measure like Denver’s slipped in somehow,” Alfvegren says, “I don’t think anybody on our City Council has enough of a sense of humor to say, “Oh look, it’s promoting peace and harmony among everybody. Let’s okay this.’”
The L.O.W.F.I. leader also says she’s seen civic proposals she regards as stranger than the Denver idea: “Pot dispensaries having to be 1,000 feet from residential areas is a far crazier ballot initiative than one that’s promoting diplomacy and harmony and peace between us and whoever else may be out there.”
LOWFI founder Skylaire Alfvegren will be appearing Sunday, December 13th from 8-10pm PST on killradio.org, on the show Radio Misterioso w/ Space Brother.
UFOs, conspiracies, psychedelia, parapsychology, black budgets, disinformation and suppressed information. Interviews with mind mavericks, and music from people who will never get a record deal and just don’t care.
Archive and podcast at radio4all.net.
by Skylaire Alfvegren
For eons I have continued gathering strange and esoteric facts, traveling the globe in search of lost archeological wonders and heretical truths; consequently, many moons have passed since my humble words have graced these pages. But a tremendous burden has been laid upon my bosom, and before FIZZ rides off into the sunset, I feel it is my duty to share it with you, dearest reader.
A decade ago, when I was an impressionable elfling, E.T. represented all I was looking for in escapist childhood fantasy; he offered something no Cabbage-Patched monstrosity could. That interplanetary pug-ugly instigated my lifelong fascination with the unknown, the hoary nether regions of inner and outer space. I asked myself, ‘Is there life on other planets?’ ‘Is it smarter than us?’ and ‘Why can’t I make my finger light up?’ As I’ve matured, so have my queries, and they’ve been condensed into one that you’re to answer: Where were you in the Great Alien Invasion of 1997?
Observant readers will note that UFOs and the alien presence have never been brought up in File o’ the Damned. This is not for lack of material or opinion. (The 50 year-old UFO question is simply impossible to dissect in 2000 words). UFOs and alien imagery seem to be the hot topic today. Like all effective propaganda, it’s influence grew quietly, with Bill Barker’s stick-figured SCHWA graphics; ubiquitous, ovoidal cranium dimestore decals and smiley-face aliens decorating the psychedelic chests of cyber-hippie love muffins. Some time later came aliens smoking Locoweed on blacklight posters and T-shirts at the local Wal Mart, child-incinerating polyurethane Halloween costumes and cute household items. The archetypal Gray has become an icon, the ’60s smiley face updated for these apocalyptic times, found alongside Elvis, Marilyn and Jesus, even (if the wall art at my local 99¢ store is an accurate barometer of public taste).
Sure, extra-terrestrials have long been in the minds of the masses. They have provided thrills, chills and comic relief on My Favorite Martian, ALF, The Man Who Fell To Earth, decades filled with half-baked sci-fi entertainment. Aliens, in their various forms, have been a staple of pop culture. (E.T. and Invasion of the Body Snatchers are among the 25 films chosen for preservation in the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress.)
But never has the ‘invasion’ been pushed, as it is being presently. The press has become unusually straightforward about UFO stories; aliens, saucers and abduction imagery have been integrated into corporate advertising. No matter what side of the wormhole you fall, everyone agrees we super-advanced humans need a diversion. Predictable elements and time-tested explanatory systems are nearly gone: Communism, Capitalism, Religion, Tradition. ‘Acceleration at warp-speed’ can’t adequately describe the progress made in this century.
Historically, one can parallel the alien revolution of the 1990s to the spiritual movement of the 1890s, when Blavatsky’s mysterious Tibetan gurus resided, conveniently, on the spiritual plane. But an endless carpet of stars makes for an even greater hiding place than the astral plane. That was the end of century, this is the end of a millennium. The worries have magnified and compounded. The inticing images of spiritualist utopias have been replaced with demonic visions of a wasteland in need of extraterrestrial intervention, wisdom to make right the blunders of man. People are angry at science; after all, it gave us bombs, pollution and that damned personal computer. This makes some more receptive to mysticism; conversely, The alien of today has replaced the spooks of yesteryear, lurking under beds and in the dark corners of the bedroom.
Aliens are on the go; they have been thought to traverse sacred energy grids; to station themselves in underwater bases; blamed for livestock mutilations which came to light in the 1960s. (Which have been occurring for centuries, just like UFO sightings). Aliens are ascribed mystical powers, telepathic powers, the ability to travel inter-dimensionally. Aliens are blamed for everything, though UFOs are just as inconsistent as their enthusiasts. Some individuals are searching for something incredible, new smoke and mirrors to replace their Harlequin romances and karaoke fantasies. And while as a whole, the scientific community operates by dogma, ostracizing dissidents, it is just as unhealthy to discount it as it is to take Coast to Coast as gospel. Aliens probe, invent, heal and kill. They are very exciting.
New-agers have been quite taken by the idea of ETs as endlessly benevolent, peaceful beings concerned only with righting the ills of humanity (the environment, race relations, male pattern baldness). Their culture is advanced millions of light years beyond our own.
Current opinion polls have recorded the highest number of UFO believers ever; and 80% of those believe the government is lying about UFOs. We need aliens. They will save us. Or they will decimate our major population centers and enslave the miserable remaining few. But the action word here is THEY. They will control our destinies, our lives. We won’t have to! It doesn’t matter if they eat us or teach us to end war, the point is, we won’t be accountable for what happens. Sandy Duncan appeared on a talk show a few years ago speaking of ET visitations. “They want to save us,” she said earnestly. “They know we’ve practically ruined the planet.”
Earthlings love to blame other earthlings when things fuck up. This is a species-wide response. We blame the teasing our corrective shoes brought in youth for the bloated shrink bill we’ve run up as an adult; we blame our bosses for lack of motivation at work, we blame, we blame, we blame… for our mistakes, we blame everyone but ourselves. Sometimes we blame our government and represented officials, still a nebulous group, even though they do actually shape our destinies. (So stop griping and do something, dammit!)
The 50th Anniversary of the Crash at Roswell
Now that the hoopla surrounding July’s 50th Anniversary of the Roswell incident has wound down, one can examine our government’s real UFO policy. The Air Force explanations become increasingly dubious while allowing the idea of an extraterrestrial presence to flourish. The Pentagon claims “we’re not prepared for an alien invasion”. One response? “pre-emptive surrender.”
Col. Philip J. Corso’s ‘monumental’ expose The Day After Roswell asserts long standing, world-wide alien contact has been kept from the public; and that it can be thanked for propulsion psychics, fiber optics and pacemakers. (Our military didn’t want a repeat of the panic caused by Orson Welles’ 1938 War of the Worlds broadcast.) One would expect a congressional investigation when a retired Pentagon official exposes an half-century of government lies. But no. Our government is encouraging UFO confusion; they have released no decisive message, but have ensured the concept of ET contact is planted firmly in the collective unconscious.
What would the government get out of scrambling the UFO issue? Plenty.
Aliens are portrayed as sinister geneticists hell-bent on mass destruction and/or enslavement. Clinton embraces the corrupt leader of China, the last Red superpower. Who can the government make us scared of in this age of global understanding and tax-free trading? Inter-galactic enemies are an intangible, amorphous threat, and a great diversionary tactic: in this post Cold War era, the throngs must be convinced all those billions sucked up by the military aren’t wasted.
So now that the idea of ETs has finally invaded mainstream consciousness, we find the least camaraderie among believers. The more varied theories and ideas circulating the more confusion possible. One must ask, are alien activists like Art Bell, Whitley Streiber, Col. Corso and Richard Hoagland… for real? Are they government marionettes, egomaniacs or truly inspired? (Commander X, contactee/hybrid parent/philosopher is actually a well known conspiracy author fattening his bankroll during off-season) When one’s desire for the extra-ordinary becomes stronger than a desire for truth, you are in trouble.
The CIA is too busy overthrowing democratically elected governments in South America to deal with the ragtags who gather for UFO conventions; still, jokes are made about lecturers being tapped. When asked if the government were hiding their alien contact from the public, one observer commented “They could barely hide their sale of arms to the Contras; what makes you think they could hide ETs?” Conferences are a forum for non-academics to present their ideas, that’s important, but shouldn’t do away with principles of research. Everything in moderation.
In a nutshell, my message for today is: don’t be a sucker. Ask questions, read books, think thoughts. Few people have all the answers, and they all sit on the Bilderberg Committee, and you can’t talk to them anyway. The UFO question is still shrouded in mystery. Ask: Why are sightings of certain types of ‘ET’ craft concentrated in one part of the world? Why did triangular, mile-wide ‘holographs’ make nonstop appearances over Europe last year (Coast to Coast host Art Bell reported one of North America’s only sightings of such a craft in Nevada)? Why is Mexico inundated with ‘plasma crafts’, nebulous orbs pulsating with soft, amber light, which appear almost no where else? The naive days of George Adamski, Kenneth Arnold and Valiant Thor (a dapper emissary from the planet we call Venus) may be over, but the UFO question has only grown more complex. It would take a helluva lot more than pie tins to fake a saucer scare in this day and age….
Please send all letters, clipped articles, elf magic, alien artifacts, and general pleasantness to: Skylaire Alfvegren, P.O. Box 291842, Los Angeles, CA 90029. (enclose SASE for a recommended reading list and/or sparklingly witty response).
WHAT OF THE WEIRD, WAY OUT WEST?
It’s not that the phenomena that Charles Fort so diligently catalogued is rarer these days–quite the opposite! Living in the schizoid 21st century, we have galaxies of information at our fingertips-and to me, it’s a wonder that few have taken up Fort’s gauntlet in modern times.
Who am I, you ask?
I would say I was a Fortean in the womb, but truth is, I didn’t see my first UFO until I was six. I could say I was a Fortean in a previous life, but too many people have debated whether I am a very young soul, or very old, so much so that I quit the debate team. (No, I wasn’t Cleopatra in a previous life, but I have an inkling I once leapt to my death.)
Starting L.O.W.F.I.-I call it a wire service of the weird, serving the great western states of our sometimes-great nation-has been a long-standing wish of mine. It wasn’t a dream, because I knew it would happen.
The western states, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, number lucky 13, and are California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Hawaii, Alaska, Colorado, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, Montana, Wyoming and Idaho.
That’s quite a mouthful. Presently, L.O.W.F.I. has seven of those states represented by a “Bureau Chief”-a regional Grand Poobah of weird phenomena. My stars are blessed, because I’m surrounded by some of the sharpest minds in Forteana. I envision L.O.W.F.I. as a network of urbane explorers comparing data, collecting anomalous reports, going on Fortean expeditions-and having a damn good time while they’re doing it.
Literally and figuratively, the byways of our great western states reek, stink, and verily, almost ooze-the weird, the inexplicable and the unexplained. The east coast has boasted the Fortean Society since 1931, and the International Fortean Organization (INFO) has been around in Maryland since 1965. But they’ve largely neglected our wild and wooly west!
Our states boast Thunderbirds and Tesla and cemeteries for vampires; everyone knows Sasquatch makes his home in the Pacific Northwest. Ancient Egyptian tunnels fan out from the Grand Canyon. The ancient lizard race known as the Lemurians built their own network under the west coast. Skinwalkers shape-shift over our desert sands, and redheaded Native giants have roamed Nevada and the Utah basin. Haunted old west saloons dot the landscape; illuminated by the glare of a thousand UFO crashes.
While there are a handful of UFO organizations, and lots of ghost-hunting gangs out here-a tip of the hat to all of them-what exists for the lone crypto hunter? The conspiracy theorist with an interest in the paranormal? The UFO buff with a cracked, black sense of humor?
Or those of us who know that reality is like the contents of a rearview mirror-things in it are often distorted, much bigger than they appear, or can only be glimpsed out of the corner of your eye?
We are greater than the sum of our parts.
In Los Angeles, I’ve already had L.O.W.F.I. up and running for the better part of a year. One of the best things about it have been the wacky expeditions I’ve gotten to take people on. It’s been a gas to share a weird, musty Bible museum with pagans, hunt for the ghost of Richard Nixon with a posse of true independents, and explore the origins of tiki with people who listen to punk rock and Scarlatti. Forteans, I think share a particular mental aesthetic.
I’m shy. Actually, I’m a misanthrope with a heart of gold. But I’ve never been a joiner, and we’ve got something of an anti-club going on here. But it’s not all fun and games. L.O.W.F.I. is specifically interested in collecting and disseminating damned data, and for too long have we been deprived of a connecting force.
MY HOME, SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
David Bowie left Los Angeles after becoming convinced that his swimming pool was possessed by demons. In the documentary, Cracked Actor, he commented on the city: “Fancy building a bleeding wax museum in the middle of the desert. You’d think it would melt! Ha, ha, ha ha!”
It is my contention that, although an ever-shifting mirage, Los Angeles has an old soul, that the asphalt here is wise beyond its years.
Southern California is so central to the planet’s existence, that not one–but TWO-locations here have been christened the absolute apex of everything. Guru Krishnamurti proclaimed the “Center of the Universe” could be found in Ojai. But “The Center of the World” was drawn from the novel, Coe the Good Dragon, and is set at Latitude 32º 45′ 01″, Longitude 114º 45′ 55″, and is marked–for all to see–just off the I-8, with a bronze star and granite pyramid.
As a native Angeleno, I have spent my entire elfin life exploring southern California, its oddities and daemon-haunted spots. I track down eccentrics, or more often they find me in a crowd. I love my town, even though it has multiple personalities, and I vow to you, dear reader, to do the best possible job of bringing you all that’s weird, cosmic, and phenomenal about southern California.