Thomas E. Bullard
COPYRIGHT DAVID CHERNIACK PROD. LTD.
[00:20:35] SO MR. BULLARD, WHAT'S THE NATURE OF MYTH?
[00:20:43] Myth is the absolute worst term to describe something because it has so many meanings. It ranges all the way from fundamental truth to a complete pack of lies.
[00:20:59] The scholarly definition or one of them is a sacred narrative of fundamental truths. It's - but it has so many different meanings for other scholars and of course the popular meaning is that a myth is something that's completely a lie.
[00:21:20] But in common usage and in scholarly usage as well, myth often comes to describe a whole complex of beliefs, a belief system. We can speak of the Star Trek universe as being a mythic system because you've got the, you know, you've got your characters, you've got worlds and aliens and situations.
[00:21:47] And the whole thing - every part contributes to the other parts and it creates a sort of reality of its own that becomes quite believable. A myth is something of the same thing for say ancient people.
[00:22:04] Of course they didn't think of their myths as myths. They thought of them as the way things really were, the explanatory truths of the universe. Ancient Egyptians saw their gods and their ah - their beliefs in the afterlife as being fundamental truths.
[00:22:21] DON'T WE DO THE SAME THING?
[00:22:22] We do exactly the same thing. The only difference we try to draw is that ah ours can be justified by experimentation and observation whereas myths tend to be less based on observation, more based on faith.
[00:22:39] But in terms of say a UFO myth, we have once again a system that works together to explain a great deal of what goes on in history, in the everyday world. We have the idea that aliens came in the past and those ancient astronauts created the world we ah - the world of the past.
[00:23:02] They explained a great deal about what the government does today in many people's beliefs. And in that sense what we have is a mythical system where one part explains another and we get kind of a whole, self-sustaining whole that explains everything we need to know about how things are and what they are.
[00:23:24] WHEN YOU MENTION THAT MYTHS CAN BE VERY FUNDAMENTAL, VERY FUNDAMENTAL BELIEF SYSTEM, ARE RELIGIONS MYTH TOO?
[00:23:36] Yes. Religions are all based on myth. Now of course some people would say that okay, it may be a myth but it's also a truth and we could say the same thing about science as a world view that has some of the same systematic quality of a myth, the same fundamental explanatory values that we subscribe to.
[00:24:02] Of course we can argue that science is separate because it does have the obligations to confirm itself in accordance with nature and it does change to accommodate that, whereas ah the traditional myths tend to be supposedly self-evident, unquestionable and that's the way most religions are in fact.
[00:24:28] MAYBE THAT'S A GOOD POINT TO - OR SHOULD WE SAVE IT TO THE END - TO GET INTO MYTHOS AND LOGOS AS COMPLEMENTARY FORMS OF KNOWLEDGE. LET'S SAVE THAT TO THE END.
IT MAKES SENSE TO DO IT NOW BUT I'D RATHER DO IT AT THE END WHEN WE'RE NICE AND WARMED UP.
[00:24:52] THE RELATIONSHIP OF MYTH AND CULTURE.
[00:24:56] Okay. Well, myth is the fundamental expression of cultural beliefs. Every culture has its myths, every - every culture has a need to explain, a need to validate its morality, its understanding, its way of life, its customs and in that sense myth provides a sort of narrative structure that provides a connecting link between everything that the people of a culture do.
[00:25:39] Some cultures are of course much better organized than others. Ours tends to be a much more ah fragmented culture. To speak of it as a whole, in the term of a whole culture is probably difficult to do today whereas some ah less complex societies can have a very well organized mythical structure.
[00:26:04] On the other hand there is a - one theory that myth is a sort of way of thinking that is fundamental to all peoples and that there is a structural pattern or at least a structural way of thinking that's common to all peoples. So it's a fundamental part of every culture.
[00:26:28] CAN YOU ELABORATE ON THAT A LITTLE BIT? THAT WAS A VERY ABSTRACT POINT AND AH -
Yeah okay, let's see.
[00:26:35] I MEAN OBVIOUSLY WE'RE TALKING ABOUT SOMETHING THAT IS VERY ABSTRACT.
[00:26:41] Yeah the - the mythic structure that is supposedly a part of the way we think, it's also a part of the way we create language and kinship structures, according to Claude Levi-Strauss.
[00:26:57] It's simply inherent in us. It's how we organize all our thinking and with myth in particular it operates through the ah - through the narratives that people tell and it become a form of logic that organizes knowledge.
[00:27:20] WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY NARRATIVES THAT PEOPLE TELL? WE CAN GO BACK TO HOMER. EVERYBODY IS FAMILIAR WITH THOSE NARRATIVES BUT AH I THINK WHAT YOU'RE REFERRING TO IS STORIES OF UFO REPORTS OR STORIES OF ANYTHING THAT ARE ANECDOTAL FIRSTHAND EXPERIENCE THAT SOMEHOW REFLECTS - REFLECTS A MORE FUNDAMENTAL TRUTH OR A FUNDAMENTAL LEVEL OF UNDERSTANDING. OR REFLECTS A FEAR ON ONE HAND OR SOME KIND OF WISH ON THE OTHER, NO?
[00:27:53] In modern culture we have a great deal of reliance on abstract thinking. We tend to express things as logical propositions, mathematical equations. Scientific reasoning works that way.
[00:28:11] But that's a very recent innovation. A lot of people in the past relied on narratives to provide the kind of organization that deduction now provides. The stories that people tell interrelate many different aspects of life - morality, the physical world, the - the divine or spiritual realm.
[00:28:38] These things all put them together according to a supposedly inherent pattern and works just as well as logic by putting these, you know, these pieces of concrete imagery together in ways that, you know, they don't look like what we would consider a logical argument yet to the people who use them.
[00:29:04] They have the same explanatory power, the same logical compulsion that you get in ah, in a deductive argument.
[00:29:15] HOW DOES THAT WORK WITH UFOs, YOU KNOW, NARRATIVES OF UFOs. LET'S GET SOME CONCRETE EXAMPLES.
[00:29:21] Okay. In UFO stories the idea - well many of them were just basically explanatory. You know, why don't we know what's going on with UFOs? Because the government is hiding a great secret. They don't want us to know some particular ah great disturbing fact. And so that explains a great deal of what goes on.
[00:29:47] We even have these arguments that President Kennedy was assassinated because he was going to ah reveal the secret of UFOs.
[00:29:57] These ah - these UFO stories become the basis of our fictitious literature. The movies, a great deal - like Independence Day. There again you have, not even the presidents knows that we have the captured alien spaceship from Roswell.
[00:30:17] So a great deal of explanatory force goes into that. There's this huge conspiracy that explains everything the government actually does and it's all based on UFOs according to UFO believers.
[00:30:31] The same thing with the ancient astronauts. How did the Egyptians build those pyramids or the Easter Islanders raise those huge statues? Well, it's the aliens that did it. It's an explanation that is very compatible with our ideas that there has to be a complex technology behind this, that primitive peoples couldn't do these great monumental works.
[00:30:56] That aliens with ah laser saws and levitating beams would have no problem stacking, you know, huge mounts of blocks each weighing two and a half tons or more, into a pyramid.
[00:31:11] So there again it - it's a fairly simplistic thing but the way that UFOs have become mythical in an explanatory sense. But it's still a part of the same - the same pie that we see all though history of people using myth as a way of thinking about the world.
[00:31:36] THAT'S VERY GOOD. … YOU HAVE WRITTEN THAT REGARDING UFOs AND MYTHS THERE'S REALLY TWO DIFFERENT QUESTIONS AT WORK.
[00:31:57] Yes. Now there's no question that there is a mythology of UFOs. There's a tremendous belief system that surrounds the things. We have beliefs that certain events happen, that there was a Roswell, that ancient astronauts have come down to earth. We have all the particular stories. Many of them are elaborated, many of them are interpreted in terms that the myth supports.
[00:32:28] We certainly do a lot of thinking about UFOs and much of what we say about UFOs involves that thinking and that thinking involves the beliefs of the mythical system.
[00:32:40] But underlying all that there is still an experiential side as well. People do see things in the sky. People see some very strange things in the sky.
[00:32:50] Some of them don't lend themselves readily to explanations in conventional terms. Btu we've sort of lost sight of that because the ah the mythology has become so pervasive. You can't go into the grocery store without looking at some tabloid that tells you about, you know the president is an alien or ah people are having, you know, babies from their alien spouses and such -
[00:33:18] MY FAVOURITE TABLOID HEADLINE IS, I DON'T REMEMBER WHICH ONE IT WAS IN BUT IT WAS IN ONE. IT WAS DWARF RAPES NUN, ESCAPES ON UFO.
[00:33:32] (laugh) Exactly. It's the kind of thing that's become such a part of our culture that you know, you could have alien head salt and pepper shakers. You could have postcards and birthday cards with alien greetings and cartoons in the newspaper. It's just everywhere.
[00:33:50] There's just no getting around it. We have all these beliefs and these beliefs tend to cloud the actual experience of whatever people see. This has been true all through history.
[00:34:01] Like in 1897 when people saw strange sights in the sky they called them air ships. They described them in terms of the air ships that people expected to see at that time.
[00:34:14] In the 19- around the time of World War 1, people expected either, you know, German ah - the German airships or airplanes to be intruding on their territory and that's what people saw.
[00:34:30] In the 1930s the ghost fliers were supposed -
[00:34:33] '40S, '40S. GHOST ROCKETS.
[00:34:36] In the 1930s were the ghost fliers.
[00:34:39] Yeah. Over Scandinavia. And they were supposed to be liquor smugglers. Big airplanes with headlights that would fly in blizzards and sometimes were seen to land in certain areas.
[00:34:52] Then World War 2 you had German secret weapons. And then in - or in axis countries it was allied secret weapons. And then in 1946, ghost rockets again over Scandinavia, although they were fairly widespread that -
[00:35:09] AND THIS WAS WHAT PEOPLE EXPECTED
-BECAUSE GERMAN - THE GERMAN EXPERIMENTATION AT PENIMA.
[00:35:15] Yeah the V rockets.
[00:35:18] AND THE WORLD WAR 2 V2 AND V1.
[00:35:20] So there's been this - All through history there's been this sort of expectations. I mean you could even go back further than that, like the Romans didn't have - didn't see crosses in the sky. But as soon as Christianity became a ah became widespread the prodigies and portents that people saw turned into crosses oftentimes, sometimes elaborated to the point of seeing Jesus nailed to this aerial cross.
[00:35:53] All sorts of, you know, battles fought in the sky. All part of the beliefs of the day, the expectations of the time. And that's what it's been then till now.
[00:36:04] LET'S - IT'S A PERFECT - AND I WANT TO MOVE ON TO HOW THE MYTHOLOGY HAS DEVELOPED THROUGH THE COURSE OF THE UFO PHENOMENA THROUGH THE LAST 58 YEARS OR SO. BUT BEFORE WE DO THAT, LET'S GO BACK TO - BECAUSE I KNOW YOU'VE WRITTEN ABOUT THE AIR SHIPS.
[00:36:25] SO THAT'S ONE OF YOUR FAVOURITE TOPICS. SO LET'S GO INTO THE AIR SHIPS.
WHAT THE HELL WAS GOING ON THERE? HUNDREDS IF NOT THOUSANDS OF REPORTS TALKING TO INVENTORS AND PEOPLE COMING DOWN AND THEY'RE INVENTORS AND THEY EXPLAIN - YOU TELL ME ABOUT IT. WHAT WAS GOING ON? TELL ME ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED DURING THE BIG AIR SHIP WAVE OF 1896-97.
[00:36:50] Yeah. From November of 1896 until, oh middle of summer of 1897, there was this massive wave of phantom air ship sightings all across the country.
[00:37:03] WHAT DID THEY LOOK LIKE?
[00:37:06] The air ships were described as very strange devices, I mean they were things that would never have flown. They combined the - the gas bag of the lighter than air air ship and a gondola or boat underneath. But they often also had flapping wings, sometimes very large flapping wings, bat wings and swallow tails on the thing.
[00:37:31] So it was a very fantastic looking device. It also had a big headlight at the front and sometimes some smaller lights along the side. And -
[00:37:44] WERE THERE ANY SKETCHES, BECAUSE ALREADY LIGHTER THAN AIR SHIPS
Oh many of them
-I THINK WERE ON THE DRAWING BOARDS. SO THERE WERE SKETCHES OUT THERE OF WHAT THE DIRIGIBLES WERE GOING TO LOOK LIKE ONCE PEOPLE GOT THEM UP.
[00:37:57] Yeah. Ever since the Mungolfi 8 balloons went up in 1784, people started trying to design a steerable air ship. And the idea of an elongated balloon was something that came out quite early by 1800, that it was there.
[00:38:15] The idea of a, of a flying machine was an expectation that was current throughout the entire 19th century, was supposed to be something that, well, it's obvious we're going to - we're going to accomplish this.
[00:38:30] Yet all along with all these designs, every inventor in the country in some barn or backyard was designing and airship. Every town had had its little Darius Green and with his flying machine. And yet none of them flew.
[00:38:47] You know you had all these other remarkable inventions that just popped up out of nowhere like the phonograph, the light bulb, the x-ray, things like that and people were just amazed at all the wonders.
[00:38:58] Yet they were expecting the airship and it just wasn't - it just - it was always a disappointment. There were lots of people trying them and there were minor successes but there was never anything really spectacular, until late in the century you started getting these rumours.
[00:39:18] Like in 1892 there was supposedly German airships flying over Russia and the Russians were even shooting at the things. And there was supposedly one that passed over Warsaw and showed a big searchlight in 1892.
[00:39:33] And then in 1896-97 they started showing up in the United States -
[00:39:40] First over San Francisco. Then people would say that they could -
[00:39:43] THERE'S A POINT THERE.
[00:39:46] People could say that they could hear voices and they could see the design of the thing. Obviously someone had finally succeeded with this. And the story got out that, well ah he must be flying from California to Washington to patent the thing and is having fun showing people all the - showing people all over the country what this thing looks like.
[00:40:11] So in early April it showed up over Chicago, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, St. Louis and many of the large -
It did show up in Winnipeg.
[00:40:23] All over the country. And several thousand reports came in of people seeing this thing. In fact it became almost like a - a badge of honour that every little town had to have an airship sighting or you just didn't count.
[00:40:38] IN LOOKING AT THEM, WERE ANY OF THEM ACTUAL POTENTIAL WHAT WE MEAN BY UFOs DO YOU THINK OR WERE THEY ALL JUST HOAXES, MISTAKEN IDENTIFICATION AND NATURAL BODIES? WHAT DO YOU THINK?
[00:40:53] The phantom airships break down into several categories. On the one hand, you have very reliable descriptions of the planet Venus or some other star. People would say they see this thing that looks like a headlight, but you know, all that they see is a light. And the lights moves very slowly and it settles down into the west.
[00:41:14] You know, a perfect description of the planet Venus setting. Then you get another kind that's more spectacular. People would say that they could see the structure of the thing. They could see the lights and the thing would ah float over the - drift over the city. You know, go a certain distance.
[00:41:35] In most cases these were fire balloons. These were very common in those days. They used them as 4th of July celebrations. They were just gas bags, sometimes elongated, and it would have a candle underneath them and that would prove a light. You could buy them at local drugstores all year round.
[00:41:54] THEY'RE STILL BEING USED TODAY. THEY'RE GENERATING -
Still being used yeah.
[00:41:58] TO GENERATE UFO REPORTS BY KIDS DECIDING TO HAVE SOME FUN.
[00:42:01] That's right.
[00:42:03] SO A LOT OF THEM WERE THAT, RIGHT.
[00:42:05] And then you have just outright hoaxes which tend to be the most spectacular stories where people would ah - well sometimes newspaper - one newspaper in one town would play a joke on another town and say - they would give this elaborate article about this fantastic airship sighting in the other town. The town where it actually happens would say nobody here saw that thing.
[00:42:28] And then you'd have, you know, just some of the newspaper hoaxes that were rampant in those days.
[00:42:36] THEY DID IT A LOT DURING THAT TIME.
[00:42:38] Yeah, it was a form of entertainment.
[00:42:41] IN LIEU OF TELEVISION AND RADIO.
[00:42:43] Yeah. You'd have some spectacular ones like one that came from Aurora, Texas, where the thing supposedly crashed into a windmill and there was an alien Martian body found.
[00:42:54] It sounded like a good story except nobody going to the town ever saw the thing. There was another case in Iowa where some people built this enormous model, laid it out on the riverbank and then - laid it out overnight and then the next morning there were a couple of guys standing out there guarding it and saying that they crashed overnight, that they were the inventors and -
[00:43:19] And people from all over the - from all around came to see this thing. They'd take the story back you know, you know, it was a good joke. I mean they realized that.
[00:43:33] ALRIGHT. BUT THERE WERE SOME ACTUAL WHAT WE WOULD CONSIDER MODERN UFO REPORTS.
[00:43:39] My judgement is no, that there were not airship reports that cannot be explained in one of these three categories. I've looked over several thousand of these reports from all over the country and I don't find any of them that are convincing. You get either very good descriptions of very obvious natural phenomena or you get the ah the fire balloons or the hoaxes and there's just really nothing that stands out as a, as a genuine UFO in any sense that we would recognize.
[00:44:19] I KNEW THAT. BUT I NEEDED TO ASK.
[00:00:10] Sociological statistics is one thing he does. I mean that's what he got his doctorate in essentially. His ah - he - his work in UFOs has been with ah vehicle interference cases, with abductees, a psychological study of abductees. So he's ranged around quite a bit.
[00:00:36] HE WAS …
[00:00:54] LET'S GO TO KEHOE, THE '50s TRUE ARTICLES IN TERMS OF ESTABLISHING ASPECTS OF THE MYTHOLOGY.
[00:01:02] Yeah. Donald Kehoe was a key figure (chuckles) -
TO PUT IT MILDLY.
[00:01:09] -in the development of UFO mythology and I mean that in the sense of a belief system, not necessarily true or false. But Kehoe pressed the idea that these things were extraterrestrial.
[00:01:26] He had a unique position at the time. He had a lot of military governmental contacts who would pass information along to him that nobody else was getting. And this information convinced him that what people were seeing were genuine spaceships and that there was going to be some kind of ah - ah showdown eventually and that the government was hiding the fact out of fear that there would be some kind of panic as what happened with the War of the Worlds broadcast of 1938.
[00:02:03] That became for a generation the explanation of what was going on. Kehoe's aim was to convince Congress to hold hearings and blow the cover off. He thought at the time that it was - was the air force. He later came to think that it was the CIA that was behind this.
[00:02:25] He believed that there were sort of two schools of thought within the military - one that wanted to disclose and one that wanted to keep it secret and it was the keep the keep the secret group that won out - the silence group he called them.
[00:02:39] AND THAT - THAT PART OF THE MYTH IS STILL GOING ON. THAT, YOU KNOW, THE FACT THAT THERE ARE THOSE WITHIN WITNESSED THE DISCLOSURE MOVEMENT.
[00:02:48] Right. Yeah that established a thought. And you have to consider, that was quite unusual for the 1950s. People trusted the government implicitly at that time. And to question the government, to say that there was - that it was doing something wrong was quite a - was quite a departure, especially for an Annapolis trained Marine corps officer. (chuckle)
[00:03:13] But of course that was part of his ah, his authority that made him a respectable figure in a field where there weren't many respectable people at the time.
[00:03:25] AND HE MANAGED TO GET SOME EXTRAORDINARY INDIVIDUALS ON THE BOARD OF LA…
[00:03:32] INCLUDING ROSCOE HILLINGCOTTER
[00:03:35] Right The ex-head of the CIA. Which of course became ah a reason that's - that others suspected (MYCAF) as being a front for the government for the silence group.
[00:03:49] WHICH IS ALSO AN ONGOING THEME IN THE UFO-
[00:03:50] Exactly. Part of the developing mythology.
[00:03:59] THAT'S KEHOE. ALTHOUGH TELL ME A LITTLE BIT ABOUT KEHOE'S PERSONALITY
[00:04:09] He was a - when he came into the office, which apparently wasn't all that often, the ah, the people who worked there would say, oh the major's coming and they'd sort of (laugh), you know, straighten up and look busy and that sort of thing. But he was a -
[00:04:25] HE WAS A BULLDOG, I MEAN -
Quite. Quite so.
[00:04:30] I'VE LISTENED TO A LOT OF THE WENDY CONNOR'S DISKS AND YOU JUST LISTEN TO HIM. IN TERMS OF HIS ERUDITION, IN TERMS OF HIS PERSUASIVE IT'S SO-SO, BUT HE NEVER LET GO. HE JUST WOULD NOT YIELD AN INCH. AND YOU KNOW, HE HAD A TENACIOUSNESS THAT WAS -
[00:04:55] Very insistent. He was also a very ah entertaining writer which is one reason why his books were bestsellers throughout the 1950s and made him sort of the public face of what UFOlogy was in those days and why they wanted him for (NICAP) and why that was such a good match for him.
[00:05:17] (NICAP) did become by far the leading investigative unit of the day.
[00:05:25] LET'S JUMP A LITTLE BIT TO HIS NEMESIS.
[00:05:36] Oh yes.
THE FIRST DEBUNKER.
[00:05:38] Donald Menzel. Well a highly respected Harvard astronomer who just seemed to take a particular loathing to UFOs and went out of his way to ridicule and explain cases, sometimes very effectively but often with (chuckle) ah -
[00:06:05] DO YOU KNOW THE STORY, THE FIREFLY STORY? I NEED SOMEBODY TO TELL ME THE FIREFLY STORY.
[00:06:08] Fireflies? Oh, oh,
[00:06:12] THIS IS NASH HORTENBERRY.
[00:06:13] Oh yes, that they had a firefly caught between the panes of glass sin the window.
[00:06:17] TELL ME THE STORY FROM THE BEGINNING. JUST SET IT UP. DO YOU REMEMBER NASH -
[00:06:22] Yes I remember Nash Hortenberry. This was as the 1952 wave was really heating up in the summer and these two pilots were flying into - over Virginia, when they saw this line of six disks come just barrelling at them at tremendous speed. And they thought they were - the lights were going to hit them.
[00:06:47] But the lights stop. They flip over on their side and they shoot off in another direction. And then - in the opposite direction actually. Then there's these - this other disk or maybe there's two that come flying up behind like they were late to get into the procession, join the others and fly off. And the things change colour as they change speed as if there was some sort of relationship between the luminosity of the objects and their propulsion system.
[00:07:14] So it was a very spectacular sighting and trying to explain it there's been any number of efforts like, you know, searchlights on thin clouds or something of that sort which doesn't seem to ah fit very well with the idea that these things were glowing with the luminosity of hot coals.
[00:07:35] But Menzel had the - had the ah definitive explanation, that there were some fireflies caught between the panes of glass in the window and that's what they were seeing.
[00:07:46] I THINK THE RIDICULE FROM THAT EXPLANATION CAUSED HIM EVENTUALLY TO COME UP WITH SOMETHING ELSE.
[00:07:52] Yes. There were. There were more.
[00:07:55] BUT THAT WAS HIS FIRST STAB AT IT.
[00:07:58] Yeah that was - he was - he was quite willing to ah, you know, if one answer didn't work very well you try another. He wasn't really (chuckle), you know, just as long as you could throw a conventional answer out there, that's all he really cared to do.
[00:08:11] NOW PART OF THE UFO MYTH IS THAT OF COURSE MENZEL WAS AN EMPLOYEE OR WORKING FOR THE INTELLIGENCE AGENCY. AND THERE IS SOME EVIDENCE THAT HE DID HAVE THOSE CONTENTS, YES?
[00:08:29] Yeah, one of the stories that developed in the 1980s as the dark side mythology flourished was that Menzel was some kind of agent for the Silence group. He did during World War 2 have considerable contact with intelligence and did a great deal of work I think with codes and that sort of thing.
[00:08:58] Of course that's not unusual. Just about anybody who had some kind of technical education had some involvement in the war effort. So it wouldn't be at all surprising. Whether he really was on some kind of personal crusade or if he was doing it for some kind of organized government faction, that's another question. I don't know how to resolve that.
[00:09:27] YEAH BUT IT'S PART OF THE - IT BECOMES PART OF THE MYTH.
[00:09:31] Oh it definitely becomes part of the myth that the primary debunker really knew all the secrets. And the reason he was debunking was not because he thought it was all nonsense, which is certainly what he says in all his writings, but that he was really a part of the problem and not -
[00:09:50] WELL HE SHOWS UP SOMEWHERE ELSE IN THE LATE '80s TOO DOESN'T HE?
[00:09:56] A LIST OF 12 GUYS -
[00:09:57] Oh the MJ12, of course. That's kind of the - that's kind of the ultimate irony that ah that Menzel would be one of the MJ12 group. That's really, really funny.
[00:10:08] But now that's ah - that's myth making in the same way that Salieri became accused of poisoning Mozart.
[00:10:18] Yeah. But apparently on his deathbed he insisted that he did not poison Mozart, yet the myth transformed that to a deathbed confession that he did.
[00:10:32] IT'S MARVELLOUS. AND YET THERE'S ANOTHER THING. THE DEBUNKING MOVEMENT WHICH IS AS MUCH A PART OF THE EMERGENCE OF THE MYTHOLOGY AS REALLY FLYING SAUCERS IS BORNE OUT OF AH - I'M GOING FROM MY KNOWLEDGE, MY FIRSTHAND KNOWLEDGE OF THE PSYCHOPS GUYS RIGHT, BECAUSE IT'S THE SAME GROUP OF PEOPLE, MENZEL OR KLASS OR WHATEVER. THEY'RE ESSENTIALLY THE SAME GUYS. AND WHAT THEY BELIEVE, THEY BELIEVE IN RATIONALIZING. THEY BELIEVE IN THE FRONTAL LOBES AND ANYTHING THAT KIND OF POPS UP FROM THE CTHONIC UNDERWORLD IS SOMETHING THAT HAS TO BE STAMPED OUT BECAUSE MY GOD, IT PROVIDED HITLER FOR CHRIST'S SAKES. IT'S PROVIDED ALL THE HORRIBLE THINGS OF HUMANITY. SO IN THAT SENSE THEY'RE NOT EVIL BUT WHAT THEY DO IS IT'S LIKE ENDS JUSTIFY MEANS.
[00:11:38] Yeah exactly.
[00:11:41] IT'S THE SAME THING AS ANY KIND OF IDEOLOGICAL DISTORTION.
[00:11:45] You have the whole history of rationalism and not just beginning with the 18th century but you can go back to Cicero writing - debunking prodigies. But it became the sort of thing that became more and more necessary to combat the mythic thinking of, of religion, of you know, popular belief that rationality had to oppose all these ideas because they were introducing false beliefs and oftentimes dangerous ones.
[00:12:23] And you know, it comes and goes. Psychop originated as a sort of militant opposition to combat what they saw as being a resurgence of all these corrosive beliefs - creationism, hucksterism - psychic hucksterism and UFO belief.
[00:12:51] And they of course have become part of the belief system because they are so much a faith based thing that they have a mission to accomplish that they must not - you know, you don't just study these things as - with an pen mind as a potentially interesting phenomenon but as a dangerous belief that's undermining Western rationality. Our whole world view is crumbling because people won't see UFOs.
[00:13:24] HOW MUCH DO YOU THINK THAT IN TRYING TO DEBUNK UFOs SO STRENUOUSLY THEY ACTUALLY - THEY ACTUALLY ASSISTED THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE MYTHOLOGY, THAT THE VAST MAJORITY OF PEOPLE WHO AREN'T ERUDITE AND ARE NOT GOING TO READ SCIENTIFIC PAPERS BUT HEAR SOMEBODY DESCRIBE A UFO SIGHTING THAT ON ONE SIDE OF THE PAPER THEY SEE THE PILOTS DISKS APPROACHING THE AIRPLANE, TURNING ON SIDE AND FLYING AWAY. AND ON THE OTHER SIDE THEY SEE SOME EMINENT SCIENTIST, SUPPOSEDLY, DESCRIBING WHAT THESE PILOTS SAW AS FIREFLIES CAUGHT BETWEEN THE PANES OF THE GLASS OF THE WINDSHIELD. MY FEELING WOULD BE THAT THE PUBLIC IS GOING TO REJECT THE SCIENTIST AND SAY, HE'S OBVIOUSLY GOT SOME KIND OF STUPID AGENDA AND TEND TO BELIEVE THE PILOTS EVEN MORE SO.
[00:14:24] I MEAN I THINK THAT WHAT PEOPLE … THAT PEOPLE IN UFOLOGY DON'T RECOGNIZE IS THAT THE DEBUNKERS HAVE ACTUALLY ASSISTED THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE MYTH, CONTRARY TO THEIR BEST EFFORT.
[00:14:38] Definitely so. Definitely.
[00:14:41] CAN YOU ELABORATE ON THAT.
[00:14:42] Yeah. I would think that the ah the debunkers have done a lot of useful work in the sense that most UFO reports are genuinely conventional objects and unfortunately UFOlogists oftentimes don't pay much attention to that. They will just accept anything So in one sense they've done us a favour.
[00:15:10] The problem is they've overdone it. Instead of ah - instead of just going after the obvious cases and looking for some - some of the more interesting cases, they try to destroy the whole thing. They oftentimes attack the belief system which usually deserves attacking. But then they'll, you know, it's like throwing the baby out with the bath water, they throw the interesting cases out as well.
[00:15:39] Now it's not to say that they don't have some - some pretty trenchant ah - put in some pretty trenchant effort on even some of the significant cases like ah Phil Klass's efforts to explain the Coyne helicopter case. It's certainly interesting; it's not convincing. But at least in part it does seem - he does seem to have some worthwhile things to say about it.
[00:16:02] And it's certainly not a foolish or ah demeaning form of explanation. You know, it's certainly legitimate to try to explain a good case. Unfortunately they just try to say that, well that's everything. There's nothing left over and we shouldn't even spend much time on it.
[00:16:27] DO YOU THINK KLASS ACTUALLY HAD A DECENT ARGUMENT WITH COYNE HELICOPTER?
[00:16:32] With part of it I think he did.
[00:16:34] WHICH PART?
[00:16:35] I think Coyne actually did admit that the supposed, you know, something following them along the way had been, you know, before the - the object actually came close that he might have been looking at a star or something, something off in the distance that later, you know, under the influence of seeing this large and structured object became a, you know, they just combined that thing together with it.
[00:17:06] So you know, for that part of it, there are certain parts of the story that I think legitimately can be explained, but without destroying the whole story.
[00:17:18] And there are, you know, many cases throughout UFO history of people seeing the planet Venus or space debris entering the atmosphere and elaborating it into a spaceship with lights along the sides swooping down over the treetops.
[00:17:37] So you know, it's not at all ridiculous to say this sort of thing happens. It really does happen. Or the Exeter, the Exeter case. There were a lot of cases at that time. Most of them turn out to be the planet Jupiter. That's been pretty well established.
[00:17:57] But that main case at Exeter where the two cops and the young guy saw this object at close hand, now that doesn't work.
[00:18:05] IT SEEMS THAT THAT'S ALSO WHAT HAPPENED AT HILLSDALE. MULTIPLE - ACTUAL MULTIPLE THINGS SEEN IN THE COURSE OF A NIGHT, THE FIRST ONE BEING A GENUINE AH UFO ENCOUNTER AND SUBSEQUENT THINGS - THE IMAGINATION JUST TAKING OFF FROM THAT FIRST ENCOUNTER AND SEEING FLYING SAUCERS IN MAYBE A FRATERNITY PRANK, MAYBE A DISTANT STAR, MAYBE THE GLOW OF A CITY (OVERLAP)…
[00:18:31] Right. That's the thing. Once expectations are primed anything could happen and oftentimes does.
[00:18:36] AND OFTEN DOES.
[00:18:38] So you know, the debunkers are a very useful part, especially since oftentimes the … just don't police their own - don't keep their own house in order, so to speak.
[00:18:48] WELL UFOLOGY IS A VERY INTERESTING FIELD. FIRST OF AL WE CAN TALK ABOUT THAT. WE MAY AS WELL BRING THAT UP RIGHT NOW BECAUSE IT DOES COME UP. YOU DON'T REQUIRE A DEGREE TO BE A UFOLOGIST. YOU DON'T EVEN REQUIRE TO HAVE STUDIED ANYTHING TO BE A UFOLOGIST. ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS CALL YOURSELF A UFOLOGIST AND YOU'RE A UFOLOGIST. AND NOBODY CAN REALLY CONTRADICT YOU BECAUSE THERE IS NO SELF-POLICING … MAYBE YOU GUYS OUGHT TO ESTABLISH ONE, YOU KNOW. GRANT DEGREES OR SOMETHING
[00:19:20] Well, see, that's one thing the Internet's been undermining. There was sort of a beginning of an established structure in the past where you had the main organizations and there was a sort of - an effort - a tendency. But now with the Internet, the organizations languishing, people can get all the information they want for free.
[00:19:46] There's absolutely no control or there's no gateway, no peer review or anything of the sort. So you get all these, you know, once a bad bit of information gets into the system it stays forever. I mean there is just no killing it.
[00:20:03] THAT'S RIGHT. (LAUGH) … THE UNDYING MONSTER.
[00:20:08] It's absolutely an undying -
[00:20:12] LIKE PHIL KLASS.
Who unfortunately has finally -
[00:20:16] HE'S LEFT US FINALLY. PROBABLY FOR JAMES McDONALD'S CASE - OR SAKE 30 YEARS TOO LATE.
[00:20:26] (laugh) Well I have to say I liked Phil. I thought -
[00:20:29] DID YOU?
[00:20:30] Yes I really liked Phil.
[00:20:32] YOU KNOW, HE HAD HIS OWN CHARM BUT I THINK HE WAS JUST AN ASSHOLE.
[00:20:37] You know, maybe in his earlier days he was. When I knew him, I thought he actually ah was a good counter balance to the heavy atmosphere of credulity that often infested the ah -
[00:20:51] OH YEAH. …
[00:20:54] The conventions.
[00:20:54] I JUST THOUGHT THAT WHAT HE DID ABDUCTEES, I THOUGHT IT WAS CHEAP.
[00:21:01] Yeah. He did take some cheap shots from time to time but ah -
[00:21:07] OKAY. I DON'T KNOW HOW UP YOU ARE ON THIS. JUST THE WHOLE IDEA OF THE OCCULT IN UFOs. NOW IT'S BEEN THERE RIGHT FROM, WELL CERTAINLY RIGHT FROM THE CONTACTEES. Adamski WAS A THEOSOPHIST. SO WAS -
[00:21:31] Or Mead Lane and the BSRA. That started from the beginning.
AND THERE'S THAT WHOLE THING.
[00:21:42] Of course actually the theosophists also had a belief in visitors from space going back to the 19th century.
[00:21:47] IT WAS A VERY NATURAL MOVEMENT FOR PEOPLE TO MOVE INTO THEOSOPHY INTO CONTACTEES. THERE'S NO QUESTION. BUT THERE'S ANOTHER ASPECT. I WONDER WHETHER YOU'VE STUDIED IT. I MENTIONED IT IN THE PROPOSAL AND IT'S SOMETHING I HAVEN'T REALLY STUDIED BUT I KNOW IT'S GONE ON SINCE THE DAWNING OF INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES AND THAT IS THE USE BY INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES OF OCCULT AND FRINGE GROUPS TO PASS DISINFORMATION TO THE ENEMY.
[00:22:21] Ah. I don't know of any specific example. I know that's part of the mythic rumours that circulate around, that they ah - the Silence group has its way of spreading disinformation. And well back in the ah - the dark ages, that some of these intelligence agents were deceiving Paul Binowitz and -
THEY WERE WEREN'T THEY?
[00:22:52] BILL MOORES ADMITTED (OVERLAP)
[00:22:57] BUT WHERE I LIKEN IT TO AND I MENTION THAT IN THE TREATMENT TOO IS THE MJ12 PAPERS AND THE TIMING OF THE MJ12 PAPERS. RIGHT IN THE LATE '80s, RIGHT IN THE COLD WAR THESE PAPERS ARE RELEASED TO UFO GROUPS OR A COUPLE OF UFO - PLANTED WITH UFO INDIVIDUALS. AND WHAT IS THE UNDERLYING MESSAGE OF THE MJ12 PAPERS? THE UNDERLYING MESSAGE IS THAT AMERICA HAS BEEN IN CONTACT WITH ALIEN GROUPS, WHO HAVE PROVIDED ALIEN TECHNOLOGY.
[00:23:41] Yeah exactly.
WHO CAN KEEP UP WITH US?
MAY AS WELL CALL IT A DAY, BOYS, BECAUSE THE COLD WAR IS OVER. WE'VE WON, YOU KNOW.
[00:23:50] Of course that -
[00:23:51] I MEAN IT'S JUST AN IDEA. BUT IF I WERE AN HISTORIAN I'D BE SERIOUSLY INTERESTED IN TRYING TO GET TO THE BOTTOM OF THE MJ12 PAPERS AND WHERE THEY CAME FROM....THAT THE IDEA CAME RIGHT OUT OF THE TOP OF - WHEREVER (AFOSI) HEADQUARTERS IS. SO THEY WERE DOING SOMETHING AND IT WOULD BE REALLY INTERESTING TO TRY AND GET SOME RESEARCH. I'M SURE FUTURE HISTORIANS WILL BECAUSE THEY COULD HAVE - IT WOULD BE INTERESTING TO SEE HOW THE RUSSIANS REACTED TO THE MJ12 PAPERS TOO. THERE MUST BE PAPERS NOW IN THE KREMLIN AVAILABLE TO FIND OUT BECAUSE OBVIOUSLY THEY WOULD HAVE TAKEN NOTE OF THIS, JUST NOTE OF IT FOR SURE. BUT WHAT WERE THE ANALYSTS SAYING? INTERESTING
[00:25:04] Well didn't Regan say something to Gorbachev about the -
[00:25:07] YEAH. IF WE'RE ATTACKED BY ALIENS WE'LL JOIN UP.
[00:25:13] I WONDER WHAT ELSE HE SAID?
[00:25:14] REAGAN HAD SOME SIGHTINGS DIDN'T HE-
-TOO BEFORE HE BECAME PRESIDENT. DO YOU KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THAT? THIS - WHERE DID I HEAR IT? HE - THIS IS THE STEVEN SPIELBERG STORY.
[00:25:31] Oh let's see -
[00:25:32] JAMIE SHANDRA TOOK A GROUP OF - I GUESS HE WAS DOING SOME SERVICE PRODUCTION STUFF FOR A JAPANESE TELEVISION GROUP AND HE HAD ORGANIZED AN INTERVIEW WITH STEPHEN SPIELBERG. AND AT THE END OF THE INTERVIEW - HE WAS PRESIDENT - SPIELBERG TOLD HIM THE STORY OF THE SCREENING OF E.T.
[00:25:59] Oh yes you don't know how close to the truth that is, something like that. Yeah, yeah, I remember hearing that story.
[00:26:05] I'D LOVE TO DIG UP JAMIE SHANDRA. DO YOU KNOW WHETHER HE'S STILL AROUND?
[00:26:09] I haven't heard anything from him in years.
[00:26:12] YEAH I'M NOT SURE. BUT I THINK HE PROBABLY WAS PAINTED WITH THE SAME TAR BRUSH THAT BILL MOORE WAS PAINTED WITH BEING -
[00:26:22] Yeah he didn't - Shandra didn't actually publish much or anything. Moore was the main outlet for it. Of course there's always a story that Nixon showed Jackie Gleason the bodies or something like that.
[00:26:37] DIDN'T JACKIE GLEASON SWEAR TO THAT?
HE SWORE TO THAT.
[00:26:43] TELL ME THE STORY BECAUSE I'M NOT -
[00:26:44] I'm not really all that familiar with it. I just think, you know, they were buddies and ah -
[00:26:50] THEY WERE BUDDIES FOR SURE.
[00:26:51] And ah one time they were together and Nixon took him to see - see the bodies. I'm really not clear on the details of that story. (overlap)
[00:27:08] HERE'S SOMETHING YOU ARE UP ON.
[00:27:12] IN I GUESS 1968 THIS TURNING POINT YEAR IN THE CULTURE - KENT STATE AND -
[00:27:27] Well Kent State was '77.
[00:27:29] SORRY NOT KENT STATE - CHICAGO, PRAGUE AND PARIS, '68 - SPRING-SUMMER, THE ASSASSINATION OF BOBBY KENNEDY THE GREAT WHITE HOPE.
Martin Luther King.
[00:27:39] MARTIN LUTHER KING AND -
[00:27:41] War protests really became -
[00:00:11] WHEN YOU LISTEN TO THE SCENARIO THAT YOU'VE IDENTIFIED, THERE'S A COUPLE OF THEMES THAT PREDOMINATE IN TERMS OF ON ONE HAND THE EXPERIENCER THEME IS POWERLESSNESS ALL THE WAY THROUGH. VERY RARELY IS ANYBODY ABLE TO EXERT ANY KIND OF CONTROL OVER ANY ASPECT OF THE EXPERIENCE. THEY ARE PODS.
[00:00:42] ANOTHER THEME - GENETIC ENGINEERING. ANOTHER THEME - ENVIRONMENTAL DESTRUCTION. WHAT'S GONE ON IN THE CULTURE FROM THE LATE '80s ON. VAST FEELINGS OF DISEMPOWERMENT, I MEAN VAST FEELINGS OF DISEMPOWERMENT AT THE HANDS OF MULTINATIONAL CORPORATIONS, BIG GOVERNMENT. I'M A LITTLE COG IN A WHEEL THAT I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO … THAT'S ONE THING.
[00:01:12] OTHER THEMES - HUGE CONCERN ABOUT GENETIC MODIFICATION AND ENGINEERING AND ENORMOUS CONCERN ABOUT THE DESTRUCTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT. THE ABDUCTION EXPERIENCE PLAYS TO ALL THOSE THEMES WHICH ARE RIGHT THERE WITHIN THE SOCIAL FABRIC OF THE CULTURE.
[00:01:30] Exactly. And in fact if you want to trace the thing through history you can find all kinds - the idea of the space children, the hybrid children. There's your fairy change of - the fairy - the captive ah -
[00:01:49] Yeah the changelings - well changelings are not quite the same thing. They were the elderly fairies that were left in exchange for a human child.
[00:01:59] But the - you know, the hybrid human fairy children were often aid to have special powers. You also have the witches who were very anxious to kidnap children. The notion of white slavery as endangering ah young women in their reproductive years, quite another step on that same path.
[00:02:30] H.G. Welles wrote a story in 1937 called Star Begotten where he talks about cosmic rays sent from Mars were actually ways of slowly altering the human brain, creating a new race of humans gradually, an improved race that would not be so inclined to war and such like. But it's very much like ah you know, the children being born today are much brighter than they were a generation ago and it's because of this cosmic ray bombardment, the structured bombardment that's doing the will of the Martians. So we're becoming the Martians.
[00:03:15] But ah you know, in his scenario it wasn't a negative thing. WE were becoming better. We were becoming the, the saved beings of the contactees, only we were being altered to do it.
[00:03:31] THERE'S A GOOD ARGUMENT THAT THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT'S GOING ON. (LAUGH)
[00:03:38] But, you know, I would say that as far - in terms of a mythology, we can trace the steady course, and I mean it is steady in the sense that really not much changes over time, just means and ah a few attributes, mostly external attributes, you know technology for magic or something like that.
[00:04:07] And ah the mythology of - of the abduction, of UFOs in general, is very much in keeping with this. Now this doesn't say anything about the actual physical phenomenon or the more - or the consistent phenomenology. But what we interpret, what we make of it and even a great deal of our perceptions are at least influenced partially by our expectations. While all this prior baggage shapes those expectations so we're getting the same ideas repeated and it's not surprising, even if it's being grafted on to a different actual phenomenon.
[00:04:53] HOW DO YOU SEPARATE THE DIFFERENT - HOW ARE WE EVER GOING TO SEPARATE (OVERLAP)…
[00:04:57] Well it's very hard to do. I know there are certain cases where you can identify a seemingly independent phenomenology. The case of Kerry Mullis, the - the biochemist whose abduction-like experience even though he didn't actually go aboard a - remember going aboard a spaceship, much of what he describes of his experience is just straight doctrinal abduction.
[00:05:30] And he doesn't - he's too well aware of what that is to be fooled by it. He knows that he had the experience of, you know, walking around. He saw this raccoon, this luminous raccoon. He then wakes up 5 or 6 hours later realizing he's been walking around or - doesn't know what happened during that time and that he doesn't have any dew on him or like he's - he's been inside somewhere but he doesn't know where.
[00:06:03] So it's all very much a - an abduction type story that does not involve sleep, does not involve sleep paralysis, does not ah directly involve any kind of investiga- investigator or cultural influence.
[00:06:24] So there does seem to be an independent phenomenology, whatever its nature may be, that possibly by comparison if we can separate out from the cultural elements. Who knows.
[00:06:40] TIME WILL TELL.
[00:06:41] TIME WILL TELL. JUST A LOT OF GOOD RESEARCH NEEDS TO BE DONE.
[00:06:46] Yeah that's the trouble. Nobody is doing any work with it because it's tainted. There's too much of the mythological association to - scientists don't want to touch it.
YEAH. IT'S TOO BAD THEY'RE SO SCARED OF THE MYTHIC. TOO BAD THEY'RE SO SCARED OF THE MYTHOS AND SO ATTACHED TO LOGOS.
[00:07:07] Well you can do something with the logos. You can't do very much with the mythos.
[00:07:10] YOU CAN LIVE YOUR LIFE WITH THE MYTHOS.
[00:07:13] Ah yeah but try to get a grant for it.
[00:07:17] WE NEED A DIFFERENT KIND OF GRANTING SYSTEM. (LAUGH)
[00:07:34] CATTLE MUTES. … THE MUTES. THE FIRST TIME I HEARD IT I THOUGHT WHAT THE FUCK ARE THEY TALKING ABOUT, DEAD CATTLE? ANY IDEA WHAT'S GONE ON THERE? THIS IS ANOTHER ONE OF THOSE KIND OF MYTHIC URBAN LEGEND TYPE THINGS.
[00:08:00] Right. I remember, I think it was around 1975 the first time I heard about it. It was on the radio and they said that there was a - were some lights moving around thought to be helicopters or something like that and I thought, oh no this is going to be a UFO associated phenomenon before long. And of course without fail it - the UFO myth is imperialistic.
[00:08:27] It's one of those ideas that works well as an organizer of all things, all kinds of knowledge because it can take in almost anything and will. And so it's jumped on this. Crop circles too. The ties between UFOs, alien activity may be rather tenuous but for myth making purposes it's wonderful.
[00:08:54] You can do all kinds of things with it and people have. Now I don't know what the nature of the physical phenomenon is, whether it's a, you know, predators, insects and such like can do unusual things or whether there's some kind of government activity or - I don't think there are enough Satanists to go around but ah -
[00:09:18] In any case, you know, I really don't have much of a solution but as far as - as the myth making goes, it's an obvious match.
[00:09:31] IN THE SAME SIMILAR VEIN WE NOW MOVE INTO WHAT I CALL THE DS… THE DARK SIDE -
[00:09:42] Oh yes.
… EVERY MYTH HAS BOTH ITS LIGHT SIDE AND ITS DARK SIDE. IT HAS TO BECAUSE OF THE NATURE OF THE HUMAN BEING. IF THE, IF THE LIGHT SIDE WAS CONTACTEEISM AND THE SPACE BENEVOLENCE …. THE DARK SIDE IS THE VERY NEGATIVE ABDUCTION SCENARIO, YOU KNOW, THE REPLACEMENT - THE FACT THAT GOVERNMENTS HAVE MADE FAUSTIAN BARGAINS WITH ALIEN RACES IN EXCHANGE FOR TECHNOLOGY. YOU CAN ABDUCT OUR MEN AND WOMEN AND SLAUGHTER OUR CATTLE AND GO RIGHT AHEAD AS LONG AS WE GET THE TECHNOLOGY THAT WILL GIVE US AN ADVANTAGE IN THE MARKETPLACE.
[00:10:31] IT WAS INEVITABLE THAT SUCH THINGS EMERGE. IN FACT THEY DID EMERGE ALONG WITH THE SPACE BROTHERS. YOU KNOW, THERE WAS THE THING ALONG WITH THE -
[00:10:41] The Day the Earth Stood Still.
[00:10:45] EXACTLY. AND ALONG WITH "WAR OF THE WORLDS" THERE WAS "FROM TWO PLANETS," THE GERMAN NOVEL WHICH WAS-
[00:10:56] SO THE TWO THINGS HAVE BEEN MARCHING HAND IN HAND AS ONE WOULD EXPECT, LOOKING AT THE NATURE OF WHAT MYTH IS ALL ABOUT.
[00:11:06] Well, it's true myths reflect hopes and fears. I mean those are your -t he two poles of human - human con - greatest human concern. And you get the hopes and the salvation stories. But the fears - they can usually do better, just as artists usually were much more adept at depicting hell than they were heaven.
[00:11:32] AND THE FUNNY PART IS THAT THE DARK SIDE FILMS, GOING BACK TO THE FIFTIES, "I MARRIED A SPACE ALIEN" AND "THE THING" THEY WERE MUCH MORE EVOCATIVE -
[00:11:44] Oh they were, very much.
[00:11:46] ACTORS ALWAYS WILL TELL YOU THAT IT'S MUCH MORE FUN TO PLAY THE VILLAIN THAN TO PLAY THE HERO.
Yes, yes, yes.
[00:11:52] And villainous aliens were a staple and still are. Yeah. Of course even now the new version of the "War of the Worlds," you have the cathonic fighting machines coming up out of the ground.
[00:12:06] I HAVEN'T SEEN IT. IS THAT WHAT THEY'VE DONE, WHERE THEY COME FROM?
[00:12:08] Yeah. It's a bad movie but -
[00:12:11] BUT THEY'RE CATHOLIC.
[00:12:15] THEY ALWAYS WERE. THEY WERE I THINK IN WELLES'S DESCRIPTION THEY WERE CATHONIC LIKE BLOBS. THEY WERE TURDS FROM THE LARGE INTESTINE. THE OPERATORS OF THE ROBOTS IF I REMEMBER CORRECTLY.
[00:12:27] Well they were, they were us millions of years advanced. That story was based on evol- on evolutionary theory to a -
[00:12:34] OH WAS IT?
[00:12:35] Oh yeah, very much so. The ah the aliens, the Martians had become all head and hands. Their digestive system had atrophied so they just sucked blood out of lower animals and filtered that out. But they were - as organisms they were quite simple. Tremendous intellects and of course no resistance to earthly germs.
[00:13:02] DID YOU EVER SEE THE ORIGINAL - HOW OLD ARE YOU?
[00:13:07] YOU MIGHT BE A LITTLE BIT YOUNG. I'M 59. AND ONE SATURDAY AFTERNOON WHEN WE WERE WATCHING … AND CARTOONS AND WAITING FOR OUR MOTHERS - WAITING TO CALL OUR MOTHERS TO PICK US UP - THIS IS AT THE LOCAL BIJOU - WE'D STAY FOR THE ADULT FEATURE IF IT WAS INTERESTING BUT IT RARELY WAS. IT WAS USUALLY SOME LOVE STORY -
[00:13:32] … BUT ONE SATURDAY AFTERNOON UP ROLLED "THE INVADERS FROM MARS."
[00:13:37] Oh yes.
[00:13:38] IN FRONT OF 400 KIDS, VERY WIDE EYED AND TERRIFIED.
[00:13:47] I SWEAR TO YOU IT WAS AN EVENT. THE MOTHERS OF SOUTH WINNIPEG WENT BALLISTIC ON THE POOR THEATRE MANAGER, THE GUY WHO STAGES THE YOYO CONTESTS ONCE A YEAR. OH IT WAS, IT WAS SOMETHING. AND THE NIGHTMARES FOR MONTHS. AND THE INTERESTING THING WAS I DISCOVERED LOOKING AROUND INVADERS FROM MARS, GOING TO THE VARIOUS FILM SIGHTS, I DISCOVERED THAT THIS WASN'T JUST A SOUTH WINNIPEG PHENOMENON. THAT THIS HAD HAPPENED IN VARIOUS -
-SATURDAY MATINEES AROUND THE CONTINENT. BECAUSE THE SATURDAY MATINEE WAS A VERY COMMON THING IN LOCAL THEATRES. AND THE SAME MOVIES WOULD BE SHIPPED AROUND. SO I DISCOVERED OTHER PEOPLE WHO HAVE THIS VERY FOND REMINISCENCE OF THE DAY THEY WERE SCARED SHITLESS.
[00:14:42] I have fond memories of those old monster movies because my parents would take me to those things.
[00:14:44] DID THEY?
Yeah. When I was pre-school age, you know, I remember seeing Forbidden Planet, Godzilla -
[00:14:52] FORBIDDEN PLANET WAS A MASTERPIECE.
[00:14:55] Yeah, yeah.
[00:14:55] MONSTERS FROM THE ID, OH THAT WAS SCARY.
[00:14:59] Wow that was - yeah.
IT WAS SCARY. WHAT'S GOING TO POP OUT FROM ME.
[00:15:09] YEAH GREAT STUFF. GOSH. THOSE '50s THINGS. WELL THE WHOLE DARK SIDE THING.
[00:15:15] Well, to go back to that, I said that the UFO myth is imperialistic. Well it can also become the victim o imperialism. In the case of conspiracy theory picked up UFOs as one facet of a large problem. Conspiracy theories have of course been around forever. The witch hunts were all about that. Subversion by some secret enclave within society.
[00:15:48] THAT'S A KEY WORD. SUBVERSION. THE UFO IN BOTH ITS LIGHT FORM AND ITS DARK FORM IS SUBVERSIVE.
WOULDN'T YOU AGREE?
[00:16:00] IN SOME SENSE IT IS AFFIXED THROUGH CHANGE.
[00:16:04] Exactly, yeah. I mean we're bad. We're doing the wrong thing. We need a saviour to change us. And then of course on the other side, we're good so the bad guys are coming to subvert what our humanity, our culture, our biology, everything -
[00:16:26] IN CONJUNCTION WITH OUR OWN LEADERS.
[00:16:28] Oh of course. So we can distrust them even more.
[00:16:32] YEAH EXACTLY BECAUSE THEY'RE - WELL WE'RE GOOD, THEY'RE BAD.
[00:16:36] That's right. And they're not just bad. I mean they're betraying the whole species. (laugh)
[00:16:45] IT'S A LOVELY MYTH DON'T YOU THINK? I MEAN IT REALLY HAS SO MUCH GOING FOR IT.
[00:16:50] Yeah. That's why it stayed around so long.
[00:16:56] THE FASCINATION WITH IT, WHAT DO YOU THINK IS AT ROOT? FOR ME I SEE AH THE ARCHETYPE OF THE OTHER. REALLY SEE - THAT'S YOU KNOW, IN JUNGIAN TERMS THAT'S WHERE IT'S LEADING IS THAT - BUT GO ON. THAT'S YOUR THOUGHTS NOT MINE.
[00:17:17] The ah - well I'm not too inclined to archetypes but I think there may be some cognitive categories there, you know, something we inherited from our animal ancestor. The xenophobia fear that there is going to be something that's inimical to the group, to the welfare of our kin and such like. So we are very watchful for it and ah identify it in some form or other without any hesitation.
[00:17:52] And you know, no matter how many years away from that we get, we still keep finding it in some form or other. And then, you know, and the hope as well that there's still something in us that looks for a - looks for a saviour.
[00:18:11] OR LOOKS FOR - LOOKS FOR SOMETHING BIGGER THAN OURSELVES. SOMETHING THAT IS GOING TO LEAD US TO A BETTER FUTURE, TO A BRIGHTER FUTURE. THAT'S OBVIOUSLY SALVATION … NARRATIVE FOR SURE.
[00:18:34] We always have the ideal and then look for mechanisms to get us there.
[00:18:40] I GUESS WE ALWAYS HAVE. MY GUESS IS THAT WE ALWAYS WILL TOO.
[00:18:47] One interesting thing is that, you know, our technological utopias of particularly say the 1950s say, have soured. You know, UFOs were a good part of that because we did have such high hopes for technology in spite of the bomb, you know.
[00:19:08] It was still going to give us, you know - atomic energy was going to give us electricity too cheap to meter and cures for cancer and everything else. So life was just going to be so much better, the technological future. And then in the late '60s we started turning against that and it's been more of the same ever since.
[00:19:30] So there's been that tension between the - the notion of alien visitors who were scientific, technologically adept, and the ah, the ideal that we're striving toward which has been more ecologically friendly, more toward a simpler society, even at the same time as we keep consuming and living the old way.
[00:19:59] So I guess it reflects the tensions of our lives in a sense.
[00:20:05] MOST CERTAINLY IT DOES, ABSOLUTELY.