Gray Aliens: Origins and Objectives.

“But who shall dwell in these worlds if they be inhabited?…
Are we or they Lords of the World?…
And how are all things made for man?—”
— Kepler (quoted in The Anatomy of Melancholy) [as quoted in The War of the Worlds].

Though there have been many allegations with respect to their origins over the years, the most persistent allegation is that the Gray aliens described so often in abduction reports and alien encounters derive from Zeta Reticulum, a binary star system. To the best of my knowledge and amateur research, these allegations derived from at least three sources, the first of which was the 1961 abduction account of Betty and Barney Hill, though this happened in a remarkable and roundabout way. Subsequent to this, their Zeta origins were communicated to Bob Lazar as he was reading compartmentalized briefings in the late 1980s, and it was then quite literally spelled out to Kim Carlsberg in 1991.

Most recently, I heard this from Carlsberg, specifically through her 1995 book, Beyond My Wildest Dreams, which I should add is wonderfully illustrated by Darryl Anka. In her entry for October 6, 1991, she describes what is apparently just another rendition of a dream she had often had in which she found herself struggling as she was submerged underwater and forced to breathe the liquid. Once she finally did, she felt herself separate from her body and rise to the water’s surface, as was evidently typical of such dreams — though now, for the first time, she saw that her body remained alive despite the fact that she was outside of it. Before finally awakening from this dream, which she would later discover echoes the Breathing Pool experience described by many abductees, she heard a voice spell out “Zeta Reticulum” — first Z, then ZE, then ZET, and so on — after which she abruptly awoke.

So in her case, their origin was evidently announced to her by the little gray bastards themselves. The experience of Bob Lazar was more second hand in this respect, as he is not an abductee, though the whole of his experience as he describes it is at worst merely fascinating and at best an incredible wealth of information. I first heard of him back in the 1990s, far before Carlsberg’s experience, when my need to understand all I could about this subject and it’s periphery first manifested in my life. Though a controversial figure, Lazar’s story is an intriguing one that I’ve kept finding myself coming back to again and again over the years.

He claims that from December of 1988 to April of the following year he was employed by the Office of Naval Intelligence as senior staff physicist for Project Galileo, which was aiming to reverse engineer alien spacecraft at a remote installation known as S-4. He would arrive at the EG&G building nearby McCarran Airport in Las Vegas, and from there he would be flown to the ominous Area 51 — a mere stop on the way. Transported from there by a bus with blacked-out windows, he would ultimately arrive at S-4, an even more remote location on the Nellis Test Range than the pit-stop his story incidentally brought the media spotlight down upon.

This installation was built into the base of the Papoose mountains nearby the dry lake bed, it’s nine angled hangar doors covered by a sand-textured coating that served as camouflage. At one point he even saw all the hangars open, each revealing a distinct craft, their appearance inspiring Lazar to nickname them: the Top Hat, the Jello Mold, and so on. He only worked in a single hangar, however, and on one specific craft, which he called the Sport Model. And he saw only two out of three levels of the interior.

Early into his employment there he was often left alone in a briefing room with a table and chair, where he was left to read roughly 120 briefing documents contained in small blue booklets, each of which provided a swift synopsis of all projects in the overarching program. Though he could only confirm through personal experience that what they said of Project Galileo was true, the documents did provide disturbing information. Among these briefings he learned that the Grays, which they referred to as The Kids, derived from the Zeta Reticuli star system — specifically the fourth planet from Zeta 2, where a day is evidently some 90 earth-hours long. In the briefings, the planet was referred to as Zeta 2 Reticulum 4.

Though I currently hold the opinion that there may be a small chance that I’m mistaken, I believe that the first time I heard of the Zeta connection with the Grays was through hearing the account of Betty and Barney Hill. It was certainly the first time this star system manifested in UFO lore. They were taken from New Hampshire in 1961 while returning home from a vacation.

At some point during her hypnosis session with Dr. Benjamin Simon, Betty described how she had informed her alien escort that she was well aware that he wasn’t from around here and asked him where he had come from. In response, he brings her into a room and shows her what we would now describe as a three-dimensional, holographic star map. Some of the stars were connected with heavy lines that she was told denoted trade routes; those connected by dotted lines were occasional expeditions. In relation to the map, she again asked where his home port was. In response, he asked her if she could identify where she was on the map. Upon laughing and confessing she hadn’t the foggiest, he then said that if she didn’t know where she was, there was no point telling her where he was from.

After Dr. Benjamin Simon confirmed she remembered the map, he gave her a posthypnotic suggestion: if she could remember it accurately, she should draw it later. And so she did. Even so, as Stanton Friedman later put it, there seemed little chance that the map, even if accurately drawn, would help much at all with respect to determining their origins. Aside from what the alien had implied, which was that one the stars on the map might be our own sun, there was no point of reference. These could depict stars damned near anywhere in the galaxy, and that’s assuming they are indeed from our galaxy.

Enter: Marjorie Fish, a schoolteacher, astronomer and member of Mensa. She became interested in the star map and took the time to speak with Betty and collect the details firsthand. Ultimately, Fish made a total of 26 different 3D models of our local galactic neighborhood (which is to say 54 light years from us in every direction?) in the attempts to find a 3D pattern of stars that matched Betty’s 2D map. Having anticipated coming across a multitude of matches, she was rather surprised when she at first found zilch. Once she received good data regarding the distances between the stars and narrowed her search to the kind of stars most likely to host planetary life as we know it, however — and had some help from Walter Mitchell, Professor of Astronomy at Ohio State University — she found one pattern that matched “angle for angle, line length for line length,” as Friedman says.

The two large, foreground stars depicted in the lower, left-hand corner and connected by five straight lines on Betty’s map, according to Fish’s research, correspond to Zeta 1 and 2 Reticuli — the binary star system of Zeta Reticuli, residing in the constellation of Reticulum (“the net”). It is positioned in the geocentric southern hemisphere and resides roughly 39 light-years (or 12 parsecs) from our earthen sun.

As to whether there is any evidence for a planet around either of these stars: yes. Sort of. On September 20th, 1996, it was announced that a planet was discovered orbiting Zeta 2 Reticuli. It was then reportedly removed from the Extra Solar Planets Encyclopedia website some four days later, however, because “the data may have been misinterpreted and there probably is no planet.” Instead, the claim was revised: evidence has been found for a disc of debris around Zeta 2 with asymmetry suggestive of a planet.

Could the existence of this planet be verified, and might there be at least three other planetary companions as well, just as Lazar’s briefings suggested?

In his article “Zeta 2 Reticuli: Home System of the Greys?”, Joe LeSearne explains Bode’s Law, which states (in essence) that going from the star in question outward, each planet in a star system is roughly twice the distance from the star than the previous planet. According to Neil deGrasse Tyson, it should be said, this was based on our own solar system and may not apply to other star systems. Assuming it does apply to other star systems, however, and assuming the “discovered” planet around Zeta 2 Reticuli is the closest to its star (which at 0.14 AU is evidently a fairly good bet), one can then extrapolate where any other planets in the star system might be. Applying Kepler’s third law, we can then determine the length of the year on each of the hypothetical planets as well. None of this I understand sufficiently, as I do not “math” very well, but I can summarize his results.

At 0.14 AU, Zeta 2 Reticulum 1 would have a year that was but 18.9 earth-days long; for Reticulum 2, at 0.28 AU, it would be 52.8 days, and for Reticulum 3, at 0.56 AU, it would be 149 days. Zeta 2 Reticulum 4, alleged home planet of the Grays, would have a year slightly longer than Earth’s, at 422 days. This planet would reside at 1.12 AU which, he excitedly points out, rests between the distances of Earth (naturally, at 1.00 AU) and Mars (1.52 AU). Given the similarity between our two stars, this means that the alleged planet of the Grays would reside well within the habitable or “goldilocks” zone of their star.

If this is all true, what might the planet be like? Among alien experiences there is a description of an exoplanet — presumably their home planet — that has been fairly consistent across the board.

Many abductees have been shown imagery of this vast, otherworldly desert planet with two or three suns in the sky. This has surfaced in material provided by Whitley Strieber, David Jacobs, Karla Turner, and others. In his book, The Threat, David Jacobs remarks that “[m]any abductees have reported being in a desert-like terrain. Although the meaning of these settings is unclear, there are indications that such terrain may be a home environment for the aliens.” He then provides portions of the transcript from the hypnosis session of “Susan Steiner” (pages 51-52), who seems to be describing this planet:

“The sky is like reddish. There’s like cloud formations that are sort of hanging in the air very low, like very, they’re not like cumulus clouds. They’re more feathery type clouds. And they’re like all different colors. Like multicolored and they’re hanging in the air, almost like cotton candy or angel’s hair. It looks sort of like angel’s hair hanging there in the air. It’s just like all over the place. There’s like three, looks like there’s three suns in the sky. One of them has like little, like smaller things sort of like … I don’t know what you would call them but like rotating around one of the suns. The other two don’t have that, the other two are just plain. We start walking out into this […] hard sand. It’s not like beach sand, it’s like harder than that.”

Again, a similar environment is mentioned in Karla Turner’s book Taken, where she speaks of an abductee she calls Angie:

“In February 1989, she had another abduction in which she was called a ‘Chosen One’ and was also shown a scene familiar from other abductee reports. One of the aliens touched her forehead, she said, and ‘a series of graphic images exploded’ in her mind. She saw ‘a reddish-gold desert planet with two setting suns,’ a ‘galaxy,’ a ‘blood-red moon and a fiery orange sun exploding,’ and an ‘underground city’ before she blacked out. When she regained consciousness, an alien told her their home was ‘Cassiopeia in the heavens’ but that they had made a home for themselves on Earth before humans were created. After this, Angie passed out again and was returned home.”

In his book Confirmation, Whitley Strieber provides snippets from the letters many have sent to him describing their own bizarre experiences. On page 149, he cites an experience that sounds somewhat familiar:

“I was standing in the middle of a red plain. The ground beneath my feet was dust… like what I imagine moon dust would be like. There were no rocks, no chunks of anything. I appeared to be in the middle of a street. There were large, tan buildings running up and down this street, in all sort of strange configurations. They were not elaborate at all — just very angular. On the whole, they looked like Spanish missions, if those missions had been designed by Salvador Dali. They were made of some crenulated metallic material that on first glance looked like adobe. The sky above my head was white. Not bright white or cloudy white — it was more like the sky glowed, like it had some innate property of light. On the street were dozens of ‘gray’ creatures. They appeared to be gliding back and forth up and down the street. They gave off this feeling that I was sort of distasteful to them. I felt big and dirty and ugly.”

As I browsed through Albert Rosales compilation of humanoid sighting reports for 1989 on unfoino.com, I came across an interesting case that occurred in Mezhriybaza, Uzbekistan. On the fitting night of October 31, UFOFORUM in Russia reported that:

“A local bookkeeper, X. Saidov, spotted a large dazzling object descending towards the ground. After the object landed, a tall robot-like being wearing a silvery suit emerged from the object. Terrified, Saidov is unable to move and apparently loses consciousness. Waking up later, he finds himself in a desert like location standing among the sands. He could see hills and pyramids around him. He sees a man and woman exit one of the pyramids, but he remained paralyzed and felt the ground under him become soft. He soon lost consciousness again. Later he found himself standing next to his car close to the village.”

Such descriptions fit a type of exoplanet currently referred to as a land planet. In a 2011 paper in Astrobiology magazine entitled “Habitable Zone Limits for Dry Planets,” it is even suggested that life-bearing earth-like planets might be rare in comparison to life-bearing land planets, which would have a habitable zone around their star that is roughly three times larger.

Nuclear physicist and UFO researcher, lecturer and author Stanton Friedman has since made some interesting observations regarding Marjorie Fish’s discovery that might give us further insights into the Grays and their presumed point of origin. Zeta 1 and 2 Reticuli are the closest pair of “solar analogs” in our neighborhood, with Zeta-2 being the bigger, brighter and hotter of the two and the most similar to our sun. There is an ongoing debate regarding the age of these stars, however, which could be as young as two billion or as old as eight billion years. In other words, the prospect that life could have developed around any planets should they exist — judging from the amount of time life apparently took to develop on the earth — is more or less up in the air at the moment. In any case, it is possible that life on any planets there may have had a head start on us.

Though 39.17 light years away from us, the twins of Reticuli are a mere fraction of a lightyear distant from one another — far closer than our own closest stellar neighbor, Proxima Centauri, at 4.24 light years away. Light from one star in the binary system would take three weeks to reach its partner, which equals plenty of space for both stars to have their own planetary systems. Due to the close proximity of the stars of Zeta, on any planets around either of them the companion star would be visible — even in the daytime, assuming the planets in question were not tidally locked — shining some 30 times brighter than geocentric Venus. In addition, the residents of a planet around any one of the stars would be able to directly observe not only the other planets around its own star, but planets around the other as well. A sufficiently advanced planetary civilization would be capable of detecting life on another in the binary system, perhaps before ever leaving their home planet. Friedman has also suggested that given the close proximity of the other star and any planets surrounding it, space travel would have developed far earlier than it has with respect to the human species and underwent a rapid acceleration.

After exploring and colonizing their own binary star system, the most obvious targets would be the closest neighboring star systems, which Betty’s map reflects. Beginning at the right-hand side of the map and fanning to the left, we have four stars connected to Zeta-1 by means of those heavy lines: Alpha Mensae, the Sun, 82 G. Eridani and Gliese 86.

Betty’s captor described the bold lines as denoting trade routes, however, suggesting that there was life located in each of these star systems with whom they were trading. Are these stars, based on what we know, suitable for life, though, and have any exoplanets been discovered around them? I decided to find out.

Alpha Mensae serves as the lucida, or brightest star, in the constellation of Mensa, though it is the dimmest lucida present in our night sky. It is a main sequence star with the stellar classification of G7 V. It resides some 33.1 light years from our sun and shares a similar size and color, though it is slightly cooler and dimmer. It is also slightly older, at 5.4 billion years. Though suggestions of a circumstellar disc of gaseous matter were initially detected around the star, doubts arose once the Herschel Space Observatory failed to confirm it. Despite this and the lack of any discovered planetary companions, however, it was a prime target for NASA’s Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF), a mission which was ultimately cancelled.

Next in line, there is our own Sun, a main-sequence star with the stellar classification of G2V that is 4.6 billion years old. It has at least eight planets, at least one of which is life-bearing.

Next is the star 82 G. Eridani, alternatively e Eridani, HD 20794 or HR 1008, which resides in the constellation Eridanus. It is a main-sequence star with a stellar classification of G5 (or G6), making it similar to our sun in terms of color, though slightly smaller. It resides roughly 20 light years away from Earth and has an estimated age of 6 to 12 billion years; in any case, older than our sun. This star was also a prime target for TPF, as well as the Space Interferometry Mission (SIM), which has also been cancelled. Even so, on August 17, 2011, astronomers announced the apparent detection of three Super-Earths orbiting the star — unimaginatively called 82 G. Eridani a, b and c — though all with orbital period of 90 days or less, which means they’re close to their star and so unlikely to be habitable. In 2017, three more planets were detected, however, with one of them, 82 G, Eridani f, orbiting within the habitable zone.

Gliese 86, the last star connected by a bold line on the map, is a K-type main-sequence star of spectral type K1V approximately 35 light-years away in the constellation of Eridanus. It has a close-orbiting massive Jovian planet and a white dwarf (Gliese 86 B) located around 21 AU from the primary star, making the Gliese 86 system one of the tightest binaries known to host an extrasolar planet.

Though Friedman has never explored these individual stars or their potential exoplanets in his lectures or written works, he has made some curious observations of them as a whole. Despite the fact that only 5% of the stars within 54 light years of our own are sun-like stars, all of these trade-rote stars are, which is a strange coincidence. Friedman maintains the chances are one in several thousand that this would be the case. Equally eerie is that all stars exist on a plane — like pepperoni slices placed flat atop a pizza, as Friedman has put it, rather than like raisins scattered throughout a loaf of bread.

Though it isn’t entirely clear on the map which of the stars of Zeta Reticulum the Grays are native to, the fact that Zeta 2 is the star from which the trade routes to the four other star systems stem is strongly suggestive, and this would line up with what Lazar said and perhaps even the more recent potential detection of a planet around that star in particular.

Aside from their own home star system, there is the question as to who they are trading with. The five lines connecting both the stars of Zeta might indicate life naturally exists in both systems, or perhaps only that a faction of their own species colonized the other star system and they subsequently engaged in trade with them. This could also be true of the other star systems, which is to say that they denote trade routes with other factions of their species who have colonized those areas.

Conversely, they could be trading with extraterrestrial intelligences native to those star systems — among them our own. Though the question remains: trading what? And at least with respect to Earth, with whom specifically? Any attempt to weave this into popular UFO lore might lead to speculations involving the alleged 1954 Greada Treaty or any variants on the tale, which in any case certainly represents the extreme, dark and highly questionable deep end of UFO conspiracy allegations.

One source for this story is William Cooper. In his book, Behold a Pale Horse, he wrote about a variety of strange, conspiratorial things, not least of which dealt with the large objects that were detected moving towards the earth in 1953, initially thought to be asteroids. Once it was determined they were in actuality spacecraft of some kind and they had taken up orbit around the equator, there were efforts to communicate with them via radio using binary language. These efforts were fruitful and they were able to arrange a meeting. Before that meeting took place, however, another alien race communicated with aspects of the US government and made First Contact.

Most sources that I’m currently aware of agree that this First Contact scenario happened in February of 1954. As the story goes, President Dwight Eisenhower was on a rather abruptly-announced vacation in Palm Springs, California, between the 17th and 24th when, on the evening and morning bridging the February 20th and 21st, he went missing. The media began speculating that he might be ill or perhaps had even died. The next morning, he showed up at a church service in LA. According to his press secretary, he’d lost a tooth cap while dining in some fried chicken and was rushed to a local dentist.

To some, this smelled like a cover story — the dental treatment, even the abrupt vacation. An alternative story eventually began to circulate that on the 20th he was in actuality taken to an Air Force Base (AFB) where he had his first, historic meeting with members of an extraterrestrial race, though some discrepancies arise with respect to where this epic meeting took place. According to Cooper in the aforementioned book, it was at Homestead Air Reserve Base in Miami–Dade County, Florida, which was at the time called Homestead AFB. Despite this, there is a lecture of his posted on YouTube which I came across entitled, “The Secret Government, UFOs, the Alien Problem and the Origin, Identity, and Purpose of MJ-12,” which the poster believed to have been recorded at the July 2, 1989 MUFON Symposium in Las Vegas, Nevada. In this video, he says otherwise. With respect to this First Contact meeting, he claimed that: “I do not know where this took place. I wish I did.” Most (even Gerald Light, whom Cooper himself cites as being there) claim it actually took place at Muroc AFB, later named Edwards AFB, which is located in Kern County in southern California.

According to Cooper, four individuals aside from Eisenhower were chosen to be present during this event, the reactions of whom would be considered representative of the public reaction to potential disclosure. Among them were Dr. Edwin Nourse, who worked at the Brookings Institution from 1923 to 1946 in the Institute of Economics and ultimately resigned to become the first chairman of Truman’s Council of Economic Advisers until 1949. Then there was James Francis Aloysius McIntyre of the Catholic Church, who from 1948 to 1970 functioned as an Archbishop of LA and became the first cardinal of the Western US in 1953, one year before First Contact. Also present was Franklin Winthrop Allen, an 80-year-old, retired reporter formerly of the Hearst Newspapers Group, who was allegedly authored the 1918 Dispatch Press publication, Instructions for Reporters for Hearings Before the Interstate Commerce Committee, though through my feeble Google searching I can find no evidence of its existence that doesn’t reference this meeting, which I find highly suspicious. Finally, there was Gerald Light, a writer, clairvoyant, medium and UFO contactee that also went under the name of Dr. Kappa.

In an April 16, 1954 letter to Meade Layne, who was at the time the director of Borderland Sciences Research Associates, Gerald Light wrote the following:

“My dear friends: I have just returned from Muroc. The report is true — devastatingly true! I made the journey in company with Franklin Allen of the Hearst papers and Edwin Nourse of Brookings Institute (Truman’s erstwhile financial advisor) and Bishop MacIntyre of L.A. (confidential names for the present, please). When we were allowed to enter the restricted section (after about six hours in which we were checked on every possible item, event, incident and aspect of our personal and public lives), I had the distinct feeling that the world had come to an end with fantastic realism. For I have never seen so many human beings in a state of complete collapse and confusion, as they realized that their own world had indeed ended with such finality as to beggar description. The reality of the ‘other plane’ aeroforms is now and forever removed from the realms of speculation and made a rather painful part of the consciousness of every responsible scientific and political group. During my two days’ visit I saw five separate and distinct types of aircraft being studied and handled by our Air Force officials — with the assistance and permission of the Etherians! I have no words to express my reactions. It has finally happened. It is now a matter of history. President Eisenhower, as you may already know, was spirited over to Muroc one night during his visit to Palm Springs recently. And it is my conviction that he will ignore the terrific conflict between the various ‘authorities’ and go directly to the people via radio and television — if the impasse continues much longer. From what I could gather, an official statement to the country is being prepared for delivery about the middle of May.”

The official statement alluded to didn’t happen, of course — at least not that May, and certainly not so blatantly.

Why these particular individuals? In his article, “Eisenhower’s 1954 Meeting With Extraterrestrials: The Fiftieth Anniversary of First Contact?”, Michael E. Salla, Ph.D., makes the case that these individuals would have been logical choices if indeed the event took place as suggested. Each of them were elderly and high-status representatives of the spiritual, religious, economic and media communities that, given the context of American society during that era, would have served as effective representatives of how the public might react to disclosure and, given that disclosure was judged to be the sensible path, advisors with respect to how such disclosure should unfold. “Based on this reaction,” Cooper writes, “it was decided that the public could not be told. Later studies confirmed the decision as sound.”

In a 1991 interview with UFO researcher William Hamilton, Sergeant Charles Suggs, Jr, claimed his father, Navy Sergeant Charles Suggs, Sr, was also present at this event at Edwards AFB on that same date. “They met and spoke with two white-haired Nordics that had pale blue eyes and colorless lips,” Hamilton wrote. “The spokesman stood a number of feet away from Ike and would not let him approach any closer. A second Nordic stood on the extended ramp of a bi-convex saucer that stood on tripod landing gear on the landing strip. According to Charlie, there were B-58 Hustlers on the field even though the first one did not fly officially till 1956. These visitors said they came from another solar system.”

Cooper, Light, Suggs and the others agree that the event is said to have occurred on February 20, 1954 (save for Lear, who only referenced the year), and is said to have involved remarkably human-like, and specifically Nordic-looking aliens. These aliens were also said to have similar concerns. According to Cooper, these human-like aliens not only warned us about the aliens orbiting the equator but informed us that we, as a species, were currently treading down a path ending only in species suicide. Given that we were willing to do away with our nukes and learn to live in peace and harmony with ourselves and our planet, however, they were willing to assist us in our spiritual development. They refused to offer us their alien technology as we were clearly incapable of spiritually handling the technology that we already possessed and felt certain that any technology they might bestow upon us would only serve to accelerate our trajectory towards annihilation. This proposed trade deal was met with a great deal of suspicion, particularly when it came to disarming ourselves of our nuclear arsenal, which it was felt quite strongly would only leave the US vulnerable to potential enemies both terrestrial and Other. On this basis, these alien proposals were ultimately rejected, though some suggest that Eisenhower himself was not on board with this rejection.

The planned meeting between representatives of the US government and the aliens revolving around earth’s equator, which turned out to be the entities we have come to call the Grays, allegedly came to be at roughly six in the evening on April 25, 1954 at Holloman AFB. As a consequence of this meeting, an agreement was reached that has been referred to as the Greada Treaty. In the Cooper synopsis:

“The treaty stated that the aliens would not interfere in our affairs and we would not interfere in theirs. We would keep their presence on Earth a secret. They would furnish us with advanced technology and would help us in our technological development. They would not make any treaty with any other nation. They could abduct humans on a limited and periodic basis for the purpose of medical examination and monitoring of our development, with the stipulation that the humans would not be harmed, would be returned to their point of their abduction, would have no memory of the event, and that the alien nation would furnish Majesty Twelve with a list of all human contacts and abductees on a regularly scheduled basis.”

Evidently, it didn’t take long at all for them to realize the mistake they had made. He went on to say:

“By 1955 it became obvious that the aliens had deceived Eisenhower and had broken the treaty. Mutilated humans were being found along with mutilated animals across the United States. It was suspected that the aliens were not submitting a complete list of human contacts and abductees to Majesty Twelve and it was suspected that not all abductees had been returned. The Soviet Union was suspected to interact with them, and this proved to be true. The aliens stated that they had been, and were then, manipulating masses of people through secret societies, witchcraft, magic, the occult, and religion. After several Air Force combat air engagements with alien craft it also became apparent that our weapons were no match against them.”

Similar stories come from other sources, such as John Lear:

“… a deal was struck that in exchange for advanced technology from the aliens we would allow them to abduct a very small number of persons and we would periodically be given a list of those persons abducted. We got something less than the technology we bargained for and found the abductions exceeded by a millionfold than what we had naively agreed to.”

At first sniff, this narrative reeks of bullshit. I mean, why would they strike a deal if they were just going to violate it within a year and do what they wanted anyway? With this ultimately needless treaty, they would basically be handing over their advanced technology to the very species they were exploiting, which doesn’t sound like something an advanced intelligence would do. Unless, of course, they only meant to implicate the government, who would certainly lose the public’s respect and so their power over the public if it were to come out that they not only knew of the existence of ETI but gave them the go-ahead to abduct the very citizens it is their duty to serve and protect. Like it or not, they were stuck serving the alien agenda now and couldn’t come out with it to the public without threatening their own power and control.

The Grays also kept them busy trying to reverse engineer alien technology they couldn’t possibly understand, let alone replicate. To paraphrase Stanton Friedman, our efforts would be akin to time-traveling and handing Christopher Columbus an iPhone and expecting him to back-engineer it, though in our case we may have neither the knowledge to back-engineer it nor the materials required to build it. For instance, the memory metal often spoken about in association with the Roswell crash may have been a component necessary to the proper functioning of the craft and it’s certainly nothing we have found or managed to manufacture on earth. Even if we were handed such vehicles as the Eisenhower-alien exchange program suggests, we would have only prized possessions. Irreplaceable tools in our arsenal. Nothing short of absolute necessity would justify their use in anything beyond tightly-controlled test flights in remote areas. It would not pose a threat to the Grays, only feed the government false hope that they might be able to match their technology and have a fighting chance in a war against them. Cooper implied as much:

“Since our weapons were literally useless against the aliens, Majesty Twelve decided to continue friendly diplomatic relations until such a time as we were able to develop a technology which would enable us to challenge them on a military basis. Overtures would have to been made to the Soviet Union and other nations to join forces for the survival of humanity.”

There is also the question as to what the true motives of the Grays really are, of course, and Cooper offered some allegations that provide food for thought:

“Another finding was that the aliens were using humans and animals for a source of glandular secretions, enzymes, hormonal secretions, blood plasma and possibly in genetic experiments. The aliens explained these actions as necessary for their survival. They stated that their genetic structure had deteriorated and that they were no longer able to reproduce. They stated that if they were unable to improve their genetic structure, their race would soon cease to exist. We looked upon their explanations with extreme suspicion.”

As they should have. Abduction researcher David Jacobs suspects a very specific motive with respect to the abductions, and it is for the purposes of colonization — or, as he puts it, planetary acquisition.

There are a limited number of ways by which a biological species which developed on one planet might go on to colonize another planet, planetoid, moon, or asteroid. Watching movies and television shows like Star Wars, Star Trek, Firefly and so on, one might fall into the mistaken assumption that if FTL speed or warp drives were possible we would be able to go from one inhabited planet to another and be fully capable of existing within the atmosphere and other conditions on the planet and that there would be no concern for cross-contaminating one planet with viruses or animal species from another. While convenient for science fiction, this is a strange assumption, especially given that even going from one continent or island to another on earth has resulted in such issues.

An advanced ETI could only colonize another planet in a limited number of ways. They could create artificial Closed Ecological Systems (CES) on the surface or in subterranean cities on such a planet, but they could also utilize this to colonize lifeless worlds or even exist in space stations. If they desired to live in the atmosphere and within the ecosystem of a habitable planet long-term, they would either have to change the conditions of that planet through terraforming (also, and perhaps more appropriately, known as planetary engineering) or, to go the most economical route for long-term colonization of an exoplanet, change themselves to fit the present conditions of the planet through transgenesis. If the research and conclusions of David Jacobs are to believed, the aliens featuring in the mass of abduction accounts seem to be seeking colonization in just this way: to cross human beings with themselves so as to develop a new species that bears a body predominantly human, so as to be ready-adapted to the earth and naturally integrate into the ecosystem, with a neurology, psychology, or consciousness that is predominantly Gray alien.

If this is indeed the case, are the circumstances the same in the other star systems depicted on Betty’s map? Could this be a technique they’ve not only employed in our case, but other star systems as well? Are the Grays colonizing those planets and did they make similar trade deals with those planetary powers? Do they go to a planet bearing an intelligent and technological yet lesser-advanced civilization, ascertain who the powers that be are, confront them and offer advanced technology in exchange for allowing them to abduct members of their population without intervention?

In his book, The Threat, Jacobs describes portions of the four-and-a-half-day abduction experience of Allison Reed, during which she was taken to a room that seemed to serve as a sort of museum filled with “artifacts on shelves along with strange life-sized ‘holograms’ of several beings. Her alien escort explained what these figures represented and why the hybridization was undertaken.” These figures evidently represented previous attempts of the Grays to mix themselves with other planetary species, much as they were attempting to do with human beings now, but each had flaws, the most important of which was their shared sterility. Jacobs described three:

“The first had alien features with distinctive black eyes and a thin body; it also had a distended stomach with boil-like protuberances on it. The next hologram looked more human. He had blond hair and humanlike eyes, but he had no genitals, and his skin was extremely pale, like that of a “borderline albino.” The final hologram was a grouping of smaller beings, about five feet tall. They were very white and Allison received the impression that they were “mentally weak or something.””

Given the three former hybridization attempts shown to Allison plus the one currently being attempted with our own species, it is tempting to speculate that each of these species belong to the other three star systems marked “trade routes” on Betty’s map. It seems possible, even likely, that there is more than one life-bearing planet in at least some of the star systems, however, as this appears a bit too evenly-distributed. In subsequent interviews and lectures, Jacobs adds that due to the vast array of differing descriptions abductees have given for the creatures they refer to as reptilian, this likely represents another former hybridization attempt between the Grays and at least one other planetary species.

Some would claim that this style of “planetary acquisition” would technically not mean that the Grays are colonizing, as the transgenesis would suggest the new species would not even be the Gray species, let alone the specific individuals engaging in the program. As I have written of elsewhere (in UFOs and Recycling Souls as well as in Monism, Dualism, and Eating of the Tree of Life) this is not entirely true. We understand very little about consciousness, but given a long enough timeline and given that we continue on our present technological trajectory, we surely will. Regardless as to whether monism or dualism in the philosophy of the mind proves to hold, there is good reason to believe we will develop what has been called resurrection technology or consciousness-transference technology. A civilization such as the Grays, which are clearly far more advanced than our own, would have mastered this science and technology long ago. Transgenesis may be the means by which they generate optimal bodies native to the planetary ecosystem in question yet custom-made for their alien consciousness.

Sources:
Captured! The Betty and Barney Hill UFO Experience: the True Story of the World’s First Documented Alien Abduction, by Kathleen Marden and Stanton T. Friedman
Beyond My Wildest Dreams, Kim Carlsberg.
– Countless YouTube videos featuring Bob Lazar.
– “Zeta 2 Reticuli: Home System of the Greys?” by Joe LeSearne
The Threat: Revealing the Secret Alien Agenda by David Jacobs
Walking Among Us: The Alien Plan to Control Humanityby David Jacobs
Taken: Inside the Alien-Human Abduction Agenda by Karla Turner
Confirmation: The Hard Evidence of Aliens Among Us? by Whitley Strieber
– UFOinfo.com
Behold a Pale Horse by William Cooper
– “The Secret Government, UFOs, the Alien Problem and the Origin, Identity, and Purpose of MJ-12,” by William Cooper.
– “Eisenhower’s 1954 Meeting With Extraterrestrials: The Fiftieth Anniversary of First Contact?” by Michael E. Salla, Ph.D.

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Aliens and Insects IV: Alien Brains & Telepathic Superorganisms.

At the same time that many in the scientific community maintain that we have no reason to believe extraterrestrials would ever look like us (which is to say humanoid), they paradoxically maintain that such entities would nonetheless think just like us and communicate in a similar vein; interestingly, the accounts of alien abduction seem to indicate a diametrically opposing view. These humanoid, apparently insectival creatures have advanced minds, it would appear, but they seem to be minds quite distinct from our own, and the coexistence of those two facts when held up against the perspectives of comparative neuroanatomy are not as paradoxical as might be commonly conceived.

According to Paul Patton in his December 2008 Scientific American article, “One World, Many Minds: Intelligence in the Animal Kingdom,” as popular as Paul MacLean’s “triune brain theory” may be, it is an overly simplistic and misleading model. Rather than a linear process in which successful developments of the brain are piled atop one another, with modern, non-human species bearing brains that constitute earlier stages, parallel developments have been made, culminating in widely-divergent nervous systems across the animal kingdom. “Substantial cognitive abilities have evolved multiple times, based on differing neural substrates,” he writes.

In the attempts to grasp how different the central nervous system (CNS) of the Grays are from our own, we might turn towards the earthly insects with whom we are familiar, and here we find that they may indeed be quite alien to us.

According to Anna Stockl, the CNS of vertebrates such as human beings operates like a monarchy. It is, in other words, a centralized system, with the brain in the skull governing the body through the dorsal nerve of the spine. Among insects, it’s more akin to a decentralized federation. The CNS is composed not of a spinal cord but of a ventral nerve cord that stretches across the front or bottom of the insect and serves to connect the ganglia — clusters of neurons that function as brains — that occupy multiple areas of the body.

Two of these ganglia reside in the head, and they are known as the supraesophageal ganglion or anterior brain, located behind the esophagus, and the subesophageal ganglion or posterior brain, which resides just below the esophagus. The anterior brain is composed of three lobes: he protocerebrum, the deutocerebrum, and the tritocerebrum, which assimilates data from the other two lobes and connects them to the posterior brain, which in turn connects them to the ventral nerve cord. This nerve cord connects the dual brains in the head to the segmental ganglia, which occupy each segment of the insect body. Functions of those segments therefore have a decent degree of autonomy, which is why a decapitated insect can not only survive for days or weeks noggin-free but can continue to crawl around, fly and fuck as well.

While there are no cases to my knowledge in which someone managed to slice off the head of a Gray alien, I was reminded, in the midst of researching the insect hypothesis, of an online account a friend had me read back in high school that may have some relevance. It was an account by a man named Randy Terpstra who, my research suggests, has since died, and his story is strange, even for a presumably alien experience. I must confess that if there were not particular correlations between his story and my own I might have dismissed them in a reactionary sense (much as it is with respect to Strieber). He described a series of strange events centered around missing time episodes and vivid “dreams” featuring a disembodied voice that only identified himself as a “teacher”. In one of these dreams he found himself in a space engulfed in a pinkish blur before a metallic table, on which he found a creature, presumably dead, fitting the description of the Grays, which the voice tells him is an enemy that he will have to battle with. Terpstra continues:

“He tells me to turn it over. I reach out and push the body onto its side. It is cold and rather damp. It feels like a lizard, leathery and soft. I am looking at the back of the head. There is a hole (oblong) at the base of the neck where it meets the head. The Voice tells me that the creatures have two brains. Anterior and Posterior. (I have since learned that this means front and rear). The creatures use the brains simultaneously. Because of this, it is almost impossible to kill the creatures. If shot, unless shot in both the front and rear of the head, the creature continues to live. One of the brains is dead, but the other continues to carry on. If one of the brains dies, the ‘power’ is now diminished but not terminated.”

He was then told that these two brains are separated by a bulletproof bony plate that divides the brain cavities and are connected by a bundle of nerves that runs through it, and that aside from shooting them in the head from the front and back, the only way to kill them — and it would kill them instantly — was to penetrate the aforementioned hole at the base of the neck at a depth of 3-5 inches with the blade of a knife or perhaps a bullet.

While not all of this may not resonate entirely with what we know of our earthly insects, the parallels are close enough to arouse my curiosity. And while they may have evolved from an insect species, trying to learn about them by studying our own insects may only get us so far — as far as another alien species might get by trying to understand us by studying our simian ancestors, for instance.

If their ancestors were like our insects, intelligence might have dawned in the protocerebrum of the anterior brain. This lobe not only controls vision but contains the higher brain centers known as the mushroom bodies, which is what enables an insect to learn and store short- and long-term memory. The anterior brain can vary within species, however, and in eusocial insects it can also vary in accordance with caste.

Among eusocial insects, the aforementioned decentralized nature of the CNS may extend to the colony as a whole.

Take the Social Brain Hypothesis, which posits that individuals in social species like human beings develop larger brains (or at least larger brain regions that deal with processing complex data) because within the complex social interactions that characterize their society such adaptations have survival value. This may indeed be true for vertebrates such as ourselves, but it does not necessarily extend to insects. Case in point: when researchers elected to study wasps — some of whom are solitary, some of whom live in small groups, and others that live in the most complex colonies of which we’re aware — they found that this hypothesis doesn’t apply to them. The wasps’ reliance on higher brain regions was reduced as they evolved from solitary to more complex societies, and to help explain why this is the Distributed Cognition Hypothesis was developed.

Unlike us social vertebrates, most insect colonies are populated by close relatives. They therefore have a shared interest in carrying on their collective genes and rely upon one another to achieve the end of survival and reproduction, resulting in a highly organized, structurally-complex, goal-directed society in which the individual members are so tightly united that they hardly constitute individuals at all. Instead, the group takes on the collective traits normally ascribed to a singular organism and the “individuals” therein serve as its various functions. They are, in effect, a “superorganism.”

In the simplest, most general way, the reproductive castes serve as the reproductive organs, the sterile workers and soldiers it’s somatic body. This is also why the workers in a eusocial insect colony are frequently compared to the neurons in the human brain. Individually, neurons offer little more than simple, stimulus-response behavior; collectively, however, they form the brain, the emergent intelligence of which puts any individual neuron to shame. Similarly, workers in an insect colony have reduced individual brain power, making the members of a colony dumber than a member of a solitary species, but the emergent intelligence of the colony is superior because they have shared brain power — or distributed cognition.

Insects in a colony are different from neurons in some respects, of course, not least of which due to the fact that they are not physically bound to one another. Instead, cooperation within the insect colonies we are familiar with requires some form of communication, such as pheromones or, as in the case of honey bees, a symbolic dance language. In the case of the Gray Mantodea, that form of communication is undoubtedly telepathy.

In human beings, parapsychological studies seem to indicate that the strongest instances of telepathic communication are found between identical twins (naturally-occurring clones), and then increasingly less between other siblings, other relatives, close friends and married couples, and finally between distant friends and strangers. Aside from genetic and emotional bonds, age also seems to be a factor, which is to say that the younger one is and the closer two people are in age, the more telepathically conductive they are. Following this logic, we could assume that the strongest cases of telepathy would occur between a group of young, closely-related members of the same species and age group, which is precisely what the Smalls appear to be — and that’s leaving alone the fact that telepathy would appear to be their central if not sole means of communication. Given that telepathic effects are rather immediate, unlike the way our familiar insects communicate, there is good reason to think that the superorganism mentality may be more pronounced among the Grays than it is in earthly insects. The benefits and detriments involved in this kind of mentality are therefore also likely to be more pronounced than those which we have otherwise observed.

While they are not eusocial insects, some of the survival advantages of the superorganism mentality can be seen when flocks of birds or school of fish react more quickly as a whole than they do individually. They apparently accomplish this by means of picking up on the visual cues provided by the body language of other members in the group in response to stimuli such as prey or predators. Imagine how this effect might be amplified if such creatures used telepathy as their main mode of communication.

Just as we might fail to understand the Gray Mantodea given our tendency to anthropomorphize, they seem to have difficulty understanding the nature of individuality — and of how things operate among social animals, as opposed to eusocial ones. An easy example would be the plethora of occasions in which they show scenes of global cataclysms to abductees, either on a large screen or directly into their minds telepathically. They then either insist that the abductee must prevent such scenarios from happening or make them believe that these scenarios have already happened and then chastise them for not having done enough to prevent it. Though the objective may merely be to study emotional responses, it still provides some insight into their own psychology. It is as if they perceive the abductee as singularly responsible for the cataclysm; as if s/he could change the collective human perspective on a fucking dime. It reveals that they are clearly incapable of wrapping their bulbous heads around the concept of human individuality and the limitations of our ability to effect such collective change. They talk to an abductee as if they were speaking not to an individual, but an appendage of the human superorganism, implying more than a bit of psychological projection on their part.

In order to foster this superorganism mentality, what would be sacrificed is what human beings would consider our cherished individuality, as it would enable members to serve themselves or their faction rather than the colony as a whole. Individuality and personal liberty would serve as a threat to the security of the colony.

As a consequence, insects only perceive and interact with each other only as collective categories: colony, caste and age. The alien society, which seems to be merely a more complex rendition of the familiar social structure of the eusocial insect colony, also seems to embrace this psychology. Even in terms of clothing or other adornments, there are no individual differences — only ones that reflect the caste in question. Rather than providing personal names, they identify themselves only as their roles: The Doctor, The Leader, The Teacher, Scientists.

It appears that they may lack autobiographical memory — the life narrative composed of episodic and semantic memory which supports the sense of personal identity experienced by human beings. While we cannot know if this is the case with insects, it would certainly appear to support the superorganism mentality.

In his book, The Threat, Jacobs offers some abductee testimony suggesting that this is true, in the very least, with respect to the hybrids. “According to abductee reports,” he writes, “the hybrids have no memories of parents, siblings, family life, nurturing, or other emotionally important events that bond humans to each other. In a long conversation, one late-stage hybrid told Reshma Kamal that his memories were quite different from hers.”

The hybrid explained to her that while he has met his parents and understands who they are, he lacks the capacity to bond with them, to look back on personal “memories and histories” and recall things such as “picnics and parties” shared with them. Instead, his understanding is limited to medically-oriented “files” regarding his genealogy. He is a “robot,” he explained, in the sense that a robot is, as Reshmal put it, “something that you create and it does what you want it to do and nothing else.” Or as he put it, hybrids such as himself are “just here to do work” and the aliens are “in total control of everything.” Given that the hybrids operate alongside Grays as members of the worker caste and this sort of mentality supports identification with the group, we might assume this is also the case for the Grays themselves.

It should be noted, however, that while this superorganism behavior is seen quite clearly in the Smalls, later stages in development do seem to introduce more and more individual character. As they develop, they also appear to have more focus and discipline with respect to their personal telepathic abilities, suggesting that the telepathic superorganism effect we observe in the Smalls might constitute a sort of psychological womb out of which they slowly emerge as they develop as individuals; a dominant collective mind that nurtures them until they gain a more independent mind that can control their telepathy.

Despite what seems to me to be clear evidence of this superorganism mentality among the Gray Mantodea, however, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention a major critique of my comparison with it in the past to the “hive mentality” of bees. This came during a relatively brief period of weirdness of a kind that happens periodically in my life in which I had a “conversation” with someone regarding the very hypothesis I’ve attempted to flesh out in this paper. The Conversation either happened on the evening of September 9, 2011 or the following day, and I believe it may have been a half-remembered encounter:

“I remember explaining that the Small Grays seemed, in abduction reports, to be in a subordinate position to the Tall Grays, who in turn also seemed to have an authority: taller, slender beings in cloaks or robes that are often said to look like a Praying Mantis. The person said “Praying Mantis” just before I said it, which indicated to me — with great excitement and enthusiasm on my part at the time, I might add, forcing me to smile and give a little laugh — that they were actually listening to me, taking it all in, on the same page as me and, even better, were apparently well-read on the subject. It went beyond that at the time, however. I remember thinking just after the person said that how weird it was, because it seemed as though he had read my mind. I went on to say that the Mantis species we know on earth have young that do not always look like miniature versions of Mantises, but instead often look like ants, so it was my theory that the Grays were merely the younger versions, the “nymphs” of the taller Mantis beings. They were basically an advanced insect species. I then explained how they also seemed to be part of a “hive mind” like bees, and this is where the person again interjected, this time to express a difference of opinion, feeling that the “bee” analogy was insufficient or misleading.”

On a positive note, if this was indeed a telepathic conversation I had during an encounter that was veiled in one of their telepathic dream-scenarios, he seemed to confirm the heart of the hypothesis: that Grays constitute Mantis nymphs and they’re all an advanced insect species. So far as I can recall, however, he did not detail what was so insufficient or misleading about my bee analogy for the alien mentality. Did he mean the analogy as he understood it, which is to say that it did not fit with his advanced knowledge on both the mentality of the Grays and the mentality of our earthly bees, or did he merely mean to imply that how I personally understood (or misunderstood) the mentality of bees at the time provided an insufficient analogy? And what was a sufficient analogy, in either case?

It would be nice to have a follow-up conversation, is all I’m saying.

***

SOURCES:
– The Andreasson Affair: The True Story of a Close Encounter of the Fourth Kind, by Raymond E. Fowler
– Into the Fringe, by Karla Turner.
– Communion: A True Story, by Whitley Strieber.
– Majestic, by Whitley Strieber.
– Secret Life: Firsthand Accounts of UFO Abductions, by David Jacobs.
– The Threat: Revealing the Secret Alien Agenda, by David Jacobs.
– UFO Hunters, 303: The Greys Conspiracy.
– Inside the ant colony – Deborah M. Gordon
– Ant Colony IQ: Just How Smart is an Ant?
– How Monogamy Made Superorganisms Evolve
– What Is A Eusocial Animal? | Earth Unplugged
– Why the insect brain is so incredible – Anna Stöckl
– Do Social Insects Share Brain Power? Drexel University
– Do Bugs Have Brains? Neuro Transmissions
– Will Alien Life Resemble Life on Earth? Harvard Biologist Jonathan Losos Explains
– Convergent Evolution vs Divergent Evolution | Shared Traits Explained
– Top 6 Examples of Convergent Evolution
– Convergent Evolution speech by Richard Dawkins
– On Extraterrestrials– 3. Insect Nervous System– Why are there so many insects? – Murry Gans– Why Aren’t There Giant Insects?– The Social Brain: Ralph Adolphs at TEDxCaltech– What Happens When You Put A Spider And A Fly In A Vacuum Chamber? Will They Survive?
– How bees use swarm intelligence to make decisions
– How do insects become queens or workers?

Aliens and Insects III: Alien Exoskeletons.

According to David Aguilar in the third episode in the third season of UFO Hunters, the Grays would seem to have come from a world with less gravity than the earth, where being bipedal would be easier and where their bodies would grow to be tall and slender yet remain capable of propping up their gargantuan gourds. Growing hair might also he selected against in such an environment, as it would float around, obscuring their vision. We know that if humans were to exist in a low gravity environment we would need to keep up a rigorous exercise regimen, otherwise muscle tone and bone density would be lost, so evolution may have selected for alternatives — such as, perhaps, an exoskeleton.

The uniformly-colored, featureless “skin” of the Grays reveals no signs of a skeletal system or musculature, which would make sense if they were insects. Insects don’t have skin and bones, they have an exoskeleton composed of three main layers. There is the uppermost layer, known as the integument, beneath that the epidermis, and then the basement membrane. According to Jacobs, the “skin” of the small Grays bears “a soft rubbery or plastic quality.” Perhaps not coincidentally, in larval form the uppermost, integument layer of an insect’s exoskeleton is a hard though lightweight and pliable outer cuticle. The integument undergoes a process called sclerotization in insect adults in which it darkens and toughens, though remains flexible, perhaps corresponding to the reported “rough, leathery feel” of the Talls. Sometimes the Talls are also described as having wrinkles; similarly, with some spiders, a new exoskeleton is often wrinkled as the old exoskeleton could not provide enough space for the larger replacement growing beneath it.

For Grays in general there is also, despite the lack of genitalia, an often strong sense of the gender of a particular being. Both female and male genders have been encountered in every caste, as a matter of fact, including the mantis levels. If it is not mere projection on the part of the abductee, it might stem from the fact that while still at the stage of the Gray nymphs they cannot reproduce as they have not yet developed the plumbing required, sex is already determined and plays a role in their neurology, if nothing else, and so is consequently conveyed in their telepathy. Only in their eventual adult, imago form as the alien Mantis might they have developed naughties and be capable of reproducing.

Their exoskeletons also act as natural armor, protecting them from the environment, and even from the degrees of pressure in a vacuum chamber that would make mammals such as ourselves explode. These exoskeletons may also be advantageous for space travel. As Strieber references in Communion and others have referenced elsewhere, there was a November 29, 1983 letter written by physicist Dr. Robert I. Sarbacher, who was a consultant with the US Department of Defense Research and Development Board, to William Steinman that dealt with what he allegedly knew secondhand regarding recovered alien spacecraft and bodies. In this letter, Sarbacher stated:

“There were reports that instruments or people operating these machines were also of very light weight, sufficient to withstand the tremendous deceleration and acceleration associated with their machinery. I remember in talking with some of the people at the office that I got the impression these ‘aliens’ were constructed like certain insects we have observed on earth, wherein because of the low mass the inertial forces involved in operation of these instruments would be quite low.”

This exoskeleton may even explain why the Grays, despite their popular name, also come in different colors — pitch black, pale white, and in some cases even blue, at least according to early results of cross-analysis of abduction reports from MUFON’s Abduction Transcription Project. One means of natural camouflage the aliens may share with some species of the earthly Mantis is the ability to adapt the color of their exoskeleton to their surroundings. Called ‘fire melanism’, such Mantis species have the capability to change the color of their exoskeleton after their next molt so that, for instance, they can adapt to the black color of scorched earth rather than remaining green, which served as sufficient camouflage in their formerly grassy habitat. The Transcription Project also revealed that the rooms observed by abductees when aboard the craft were white, gray and, more rarely, black. Might the differing colors of the Grays be related to their prolonged stays on board craft with interiors colored in those particular ways?

Another characteristic that the exoskeleton might explain is their apparent lack of breathing. There is no expansion and contraction of the chest, Jacobs tells us, and during Mindscan abductees do not report feeling or hearing the inhalation or exhalation of air. It may only be that they don’t breathe in the way in which we do. A human being breathes by inhaling air in through the lungs, from which it is circulated throughout the body in the blood. Insects have no lungs, breathing instead through tiny holes in the sides of their exoskeletons known as spiracles, which open and close as the abdominal muscles expand and contract. From the spiracles, the air is taken through small tubes known as the trachea which carry the oxygen to the insect’s tissues.

If they are insects and breathe through spiracles, it may also give us another hint as to the nature of their home planet. The upper limit on the body size of an insect is dictated by the degree of oxygen in the atmosphere due to the limitations of the spiracle form of breathing. The current oxygen composition of the earth’s atmosphere presently rests at around 21%, for instance, and so could not support insects the size of the Grays. In earth’s past, however, Lady Gaea was a real airhead. During the Carboniferous period, some 359.2 million years ago, the earth’s peak oxygen content came to be roughly 35%, permitting gigantism for both the amphibians and arthropods, with the largest insects being about a foot and a half long. Due to their even larger size, if the Grays are insects they would have to have come from a planet with a higher oxygen content than the earth — even during the Carboniferous period. They may have evolved their tiny-slit “nostrils” and “mouths” to compliment their spiracles; they may even actually be extra large spiracles. While some may speculate that even if they had extra spiracles this placement in the areas of the nostrils and mouth would be unlikely, convergent evolution could potentially explain such correspondences.

These spiracles may even help to explain how they can exist within earth’s atmosphere, at least for a limited amount of time, without any apparent need for breathing apparatuses. The lowered oxygen, one would think, would have to be an obstacle, but there may be a way around this given their insect nature. It is known that by closing their spiracles and trapping air some insects can exist in an underwater environment for extensive periods; by an analogous process, perhaps the aliens can exist for extensive periods in an environment of depleted oxygen by “holding their breath.”

What a correspondence with earthly insects cannot explain, however, is how they eat and excrete waste, as Grays lack the typical insect mouthparts and even the antennae with which they would touch and smell their food. Perhaps they are in part plantlike, as others have suggested, as this would resonate to some degree with the spiracles already discussed.

Akin to an insect’s spiracles, every part of a plant respires or “breathes” through microscopic pores, which allows it to inhale and exhale in a process known as diffusion. In addition to breathing, however, plants also use these pores to acquire the ingredients necessary to manufacture their own food. Chlorophyll, which gives plants their green color, collects sunlight and carbon dioxide from the leaves as well as the water, nutrients and minerals that the roots have collected from the soil. From these ingredients the chlorophyll, through a process known as photosynthesis, whips up some simple sugars to serve as sustenance and poops the waste product, oxygen, out through its pores and into the air. Might it be possible that the Grays manufacture their food internally in an analogous process, not only breathing through their exoskeleton but drawing in the ingredients for sustenance and excreting waste in a similar fashion?

There have been peculiar reports regarding them entirely submerged in tanks of liquid without any evident breathing apparatus, like enduring, full-body baptisms. In one such case, an abductee was told that they were “eating and sleeping.” In addition, alien-looking young are described as being “painted” with a substance as a form of nursing.

Many abductees have also described being thrown into such vats of liquid themselves, as David Jacobs describes in his book, Secret Life. In Chapter 6, Jacobs details some specialized and “irregular” procedures that some if not most abductees never bring up, while others report being subjected to them continuously. One such procedure he calls the Breathing Pool. Here, an abductee is made to submerge themselves in a tank or swimming pool filled with a fluid and breathe it is as they would the air, and they find success in this endeavor. Jacobs describes the liquid as clear, resembling water, and that after the experience, the abductee is often but not always dried off. The single experience Jacobs offered as an example in the book — and all subsequent ones, as it was never mentioned again — was that told by abductee James Austino under hypnosis regarding an experience he had in 1988. An adolescent hybrid urged him to get into a big, ovular pool filled with greenish, nearly luminescent fluid of viscous consistency. Despite his initial resistance, after she slowly descends and stands in the pool up to her chest he ultimately submits to her insistence. He describes it as being body-temperature and inducing a sort of numbness. She then tells him, “Just lay back, and relax,” and then he then sits, sinks down about four to five feet to the bottom, and begins to breathe in this substance. She then pulls herself out of the pool and he blacks out.

Some time after I had first read Jacob’s book and the aforementioned experience, I came across an associated abduction account on YouTube. It was by a man who told of a very strange and intriguing experience, even for an an alien abduction. Interestingly, like James Austino’s experience, it occurred sometime in 1988. He recalled the experience in spurts, blacking out for a period of time before finding himself in another strange circumstance in an apparently ongoing sequence of events. Despite his apparently limited knowledge of the phenomenon, in the midst of his experience, in another period between coming to and blacking out, he described his own rather haunting experience with such a Breathing Pool.

When he awoke this time around, he described how his found himself naked in shiny, metallic, funnel-shaped pool roughly twenty yards wide and of considerable depth. It was filled with a greenish-black, gel-like fluid. With him were at least fifteen other captives, and he had the impression that some of them had been here for years. All were screaming in panic and most engaged in futile escape attempts. The fluid made the surface so slick that it made you slip if you made any effort to exit the pool, though gaining any ground appeared to be a futile effort anyway. He described one man who, despite constantly getting closer to freedom than the rest, would be hit by some beam of light that would send him back in. He found this man’s efforts to be utter madness, all too aware that even the guy managed to escape the pool and the beam there was simply nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. Someone — though he was unable to recall who — assured him that there was nothing to be afraid of and that if he submerged himself he could not only breathe the gel but eat it, digest it, and dispose of it in the natural manner.

He described, in other words, the fluids capacity to serve as a self-recyclable substitute for air and sustenance. If it works for humans, perhaps this is what the aliens rely on: their one-stop, self-recycling, food-court-and-restroom combo.

Aliens and Insects II: Extraterrestrial Eusocial Mantodea.

Eusocial insect species are said to bear three defining characteristics: they organize their colonies into caste systems, they rear offspring as a colony rather than relegate them to parental care, and there is an overlap in generations that enable the elder to educate the younger as they assist the elder. All three also characterize what we have observed, through abduction cases, of the alien society.

An insect colony divides labor according to four castes or less, depending on the particular species. Assuming there are four, the top two castes are reproductive castes comprised of Gynes or Queens and the Drones or Kings, both of whom are morphologically distinct from the bottom two castes, who are sterile: the Workers, who perform the labor, and the Soldiers, who are involved in defending the colony against enemies. According to David Jacobs, judging from the mass of abduction reports there also appears to be at least four levels in the alien hierarchy.

The first two types, from the bottom up, are what Jacobs calls the Small and Tall Grays, which are essentially similar but nonetheless differ from one another in important ways. In general, the eyes of a Gray are large, black, almond-shaped and slanted and stare out at you from a bulbous cranium shaped like an inverted guitar pick with a more bulbous topside. The eyes never blink and occasionally a ridge is reported around them. The nose is nonexistent, save for perhaps a bump or, according to some accounts, two slight slits for nostrils. While the mouth has on occasion been reported open like an oval or perfect circle of black, showing no signs of teeth or a tongue, typically they are described as unwavering, lipless slits. There are no changes in the mouth or any facial features for emotional expression. The relatively large head is connected to a spindly humanoid body by means of a narrow, featureless neck. Their long, stick arms and legs bend at their so-called knees and elbows. They have three long fingers and an additional digit that seems to serve as an opposable thumb. Their feet have no toes. Nothing about them physically seems to indicate a sex, either: there are no genitals or secondary sexual characteristics.

The “skin” not only appears smooth and is utterly devoid of hairs, bumps, bruises, cuts or other imperfections, but it provides no evidence of underlying bones or musculature. No jawline, ribcage, or vertebrae. No biceps or butt cheeks — or butt holes, for that matter. No evidence of hips, stomach or genitals. Their is also no suggestion of them swallowing or, for that matter, breathing. They have none of the associated chest movements, for one thing; for another, while they often hold their faces very close to the abductee for their telepathic eye-gazing, abductees never report feeling their breath. Despite their name, the Grays can come in different colors, but that color is uniform throughout their body.

At the ass-end link in the chain of command are the Smalls, which certainly constitute the workers. Standing at three or four feet tall, they do the bulk of the routine procedures with speed and efficiency and are surprisingly strong. They are felt to be male or female. They submit to the authority of the Talls who, aside from standing up to a foot taller than his workers and wearing a distinguishing coat, robe or cape, essentially looks the same, though sometimes their faces are reported as wrinkly. They have greater telepathic ability and an increased degree of personal identity than their underlings. They also move more slowly, observing and directing at a distance until they move in to carry out the more specialized tasks, such as harvesting eggs and sperm and conducting deep, telepathically-penetrating eye-gazing. Female Talls bear all the distinguishing characteristics and responsibilities that the males do and also tend to the children in the nurseries.

Presiding over the Talls are even taller beings that Jacobs calls Instectalins; others call them Insectoids, Praying Mantises, Mantis beings or Mantids. These alien Mantodea have triangular-shaped heads with large, rounded, black, wrap-around eyes. A long, flexible neck attaches the head to an incredibly thin and bony-looking humanoid body that can stand over seven feet tall. They often have to bend their necks to avoid slamming their heads against the ceiling. Their long arms, complete with long fingers, are folded upward in a messiah pose reminiscent of the familiar, earthly mantis, though they lack the pinchers and antenna. Some describe them as graceful; others speak of fast, jerky movements. They are sensed to be either male or female and are often witnessed wearing long, dark cloaks or robes with a high collar.

They may emit a high-pitched clicking sound that can be expressed both audibly and telepathically. They also have the ability to spontaneously disappear or reappear, which some interpret as a materializing and dematerializing ability. Others posit they may be exhibiting a more advanced form of the camouflage utilized by our familiar, earth-dwelling mantids. My hypothesis is that this is merely another hypnotic manifestation of their advanced telepathic capabilities. Telepathy cannot explain their ability to walk through walls, however, as they have done in some bedroom encounters. In any case, their telepathic abilities and sense of personal identity is even greater than the Talls, and if they perform any tasks in the abduction scenario, they are the procedures usually relegated to the Talls. They often remind abductees of seven-foot-tall praying mantises, less often of sizable insects that are often confused with the Mantis, namely grasshoppers or ants. Abductees sense that they are very old, even ancient.

As with the Grays, Jacobs believes there are two levels among the Mantis beings, namely ones that wear no clothing and those that are distinguished by the fact they they wear robes or cloaks with a high collar. I take some issue with this only because I haven’t seen a reason to distinguish two different castes among the Mantodea, and it seems to me they only represent a single caste. Having said that, he’s certainly known more cases than I, most of them undoubtedly cases in which he’s actually dealt with those abductees directly, so let’s accept for the moment that he’s right. This would mean that the top two castes share morphological similarity with one another, and so perhaps represent the reproductive castes; morphological similarity is also shared among the bottom two castes, as previously explained, which appear to represent the sterile castes.

Each of the four, going now from the top down, are shorter, have less authority, have weaker personal identities, and have a less-intense telepathic ability than the order above them. Though the top two castes are morphologically distinct from the bottom two, such a thing is certainly not unheard of in insect colonies, which is by no means the only reason we might assume that the Mantodea and the Grays are members of a singular, extraterrestrial, eusocial insect species.

There may be yet another, higher caste in the Gray Mantodea colony as well. Though rare in reports, at least insofar as I have seen, there do seem to be remarkably similar themes among incidents reported by abductees in which the aliens have brought them to an entity what would appear to be a tier higher than the Mantis beings — some central authority to whom even they answer.

One such story comes from Betty Andreasson Luca, specifically through Raymond Fowler’s 1979 book, The Andreasson Affair: The Documented Investigation of a Woman’s Abduction Aboard a UFO. While reliving an abduction experience from her childhood under hypnosis, Luca described how a Gray escort placed her on a glass-like floor before a “Great Door,” which was itself made of multilayered glass. It was then explained to her that it was time for her to enter the door, go “home” and see the “One,” at which time she had an OBE and, after looking back at her vacant body, entered the door. There she experienced a blinding light and with it a rapturous sense that “everything is one.” Despite attempts made in both this and another hypnosis session on May 15, 1980, Luca seemed incapable of describing to the hypnotist what resided beyond the door.

A similar experience was described by “Susan Steiner” in David Jacob’s 1999 book The Threat: Revealing the Secret Alien Agenda, where she explains what happened after an alien escorted her through a desert, alien landscape. “And then we’re like walking and he’s grabbing my hand,” she says. “He takes my hand and it seems like we’re walking up steps but there’s no steps. We’re just floating and we float up toward this building, these big glass doors.” Though the transcript provided by Jacobs does not include what, if anything, she might have remembered seeing beyond those doors, I have to wonder what her full account of this experience might reveal. Like Luca, was she simply unable to properly articulate her experience?

The frustration over the matter of what might be behind that huge glass door — or doors — continues in an account provided by abductee Kim Carlsberg, though in her case the memory did not arise under hypnosis. In her book Beyond My Wildest Dreams, she describes how on October 18, 1991, she awoke to a blast of light and found herself “walking through a sea of glowing mist, accompanied by an entourage of diminutive grey beings.” Astonished at her degree of lucidity and control, she decided to take the opportunity to discover who was ultimately responsible for what these creatures had been doing to her. Fully admitting the cheesy nature of the demand, she asked them to take her to their leader. To her astonishment, they then seemed to submit to her request:

“The vapor dissipated as we approached a towering set of double doors. The doors parted majestically and my mind plunged into blackness. I regained consciousness as I approached the same doors from the opposite side. My request had been granted but it was obviously deemed important that my interlude remain wrapped in a cocoon of forgetfulness.”

In reflection upon this experience in her book, Kim describes her sense that the Grays were appendages of some unified consciousness, akin to “a beehive, where worker-drones, soldiers, and nurses minister to the needs of the queen, all acting under the dominion of a vast, mass-mind… a ‘hive’ mentality.” This would seem to resonate with Betty’s description of the “One” residing behind the “Great Door.”

If Jacobs is in part incorrect and the Mantis beings represent a single caste, might they be the Drones or Kings, and might “the leader” that resides behind the door or doors be the Gyne or Queen, founder of the invading colonies, puller of all the strings in the interstellar Gray Mantodea colony? What might this being look like? Though it may be a leap, there are vague suggestions that we might have been given a glimpse.

In her first book, Into the Fringe (pages 102-103) Karla Turner describes speaking with her son, David, who had experienced an apparent recollection of two scenes superimposed over one another. One of these images depicted a sandstorm on a world that was entirely desert, and “the only way I could tell the sky from the ground was that the sky was a lighter shade of tan.” The second image depicted “an outside area at night, pitch-black. But I could see something in front of me. It looked like a fifteen-foot-tall tree trunk or irregular column, and it was covered with thick, dark brown fur” and while he “could see some sort of appendage near the top of the column”, he was clueless as to its nature.

As Karla Turner noted in that same book, this experience bears an uncanny resemblance to an incident described in chapter 26 of Whitley Strieber’s 1989 novel, Majestic, which is a fictional account based on the Roswell story. In the novel, Nick Duke, a Baltimore reporter, investigates a lead given to him by Wilfred Stone, an ex-director of the CIA. In the chapter in question, the character of Wilfred Stone describes what to him was a strange and confusing experience in which he seemed to have found himself on a planet which appeared like Saturn in which he was “standing in a desert. It was strewn with sharp black boulders that shone dully in the weak light.” He described “the grit underfoot” and how “the air was crackling dry and the sky was brown.” He felt as if he were some unthinking animal as he ran across the world. He described two suns, one that was just setting as the scene began, leaving him in darkness, and the other, red sun rising in the midst of his encounter with what appeared to be a gigantic insect. It was the furry tree trunk description that resonated with David’s mental image, and David seemed to be describing the insect’s legs. Strieber wrote:

“For an instant I saw the complex face of the thing that had held me. It looked like nothing so much as a tremendous mantis. But those eyes — huge, reflecting the red air — were not blank. I was shocked. Somebody was looking at me. Joy rang out. There was peace, wisdom and then a cock of the head: the irony of our situation. Soundless in the charged air, laughter.”

Among the earthly insects, queens serve as the founder of an insect colony and her primary function is laying an enormous amount of eggs that ultimately become colony members. They can live up to 500 times longer than the typical worker and have a longer lifespan than most insects in general. If this is the case for any hypothetical queen among the Grays, it would stand to reason that the pattern of those with more authority being taller would continue. In light of this, might the being behind the door merely be a far more mature and therefore taller rendition of the Mantis beings with which we are now at least moderately familiar with through encounter and abduction reports — and perhaps akin to the “gigantic Mantis” Strieber referenced in his fictional work? Is Jacobs perhaps wrong after all, and are the Mantodea we see during abductions all members of the same caste, the Drones, while the Queen resides inside a suitably large structure on their desert homeworld that bears relatively large doors?

If taken literally, it seems doubtful, as the Mantis creatures, much like the Gray nymphs, appear to have male and female personalities. It does seem probable, even likely, that some being of either sex resides at the top, however.

In any case, there is still the question as to what kind of insect-like caste system the Gray Mantodea might belong to, as the insect colonies with which we are familiar are distinguished in one of two fashions. First, they can be distinguished by polyphenism, as with ants, which is to say with respect to their morphology, and so are inevitably born into their given caste and can only ever hope to die their way out of it. If this were the case with our extraterrestrial Mantodea, the Mantis beings would be born into the reproductive castes of the colony as Kings and Queens and ultimately die there, just as the Grays would be born and destined to die as sterile members of the Worker caste.

Alternatively, the castes can bear age polytheism, where the elder generation of the worker caste educates the younger and duties are defined in accordance with age. In other words, it could be that the alien society is structured so that the Small sterile nymphs, being younger and less experienced, are automatically relegated to the lowest of the Worker castes, where they are apprentices to the Talls and charged with menial duties. Once achieving a certain degree of education and physical maturity, they would then develop into the equally sterile Talls who, being more experienced, direct the activities of the Smalls and only step forward to conduct more specialized tasks. Eventually the Talls themselves develop into the imago stage and become Mantis beings, at which point they may actually have the capacity to reproduce.

All things considered, age polytheism appears to be the appropriate description of this presumably alien society, at least based on their behavior as displayed through abduction reports as a whole. Higher castes seem to not only oversee the activities of the lower caste but coach them in more specialized procedures, as if they will one day at least potentially adopt their leadership role. This still fails to explain the extreme differences between the Mantodea morphology and that of the Grays, however, which by itself, if nothing else is considered, makes polyphenism seem like the more suitable interpretation. The ultimate answer might be found by taking a closer look at the developmental style of our associated earthly, praying and preying order of insects.

Insects here develop in one of two styles. Holometabolous insects develop through “complete metamorphosis” consisting of four stages: egg, larval stage, the inactive state called the pupa (such as when butterflies- and moths-to-be spin their cocoons), and finally the adult stage known as imago. Mantis species as we know them on earth are hemimetabolous insects, however, which is to say that they develop through three stages of “incomplete metamorphosis,” so called due to the fact that there is no pupil stage, but instead a gradual development involving the molting of old exoskeletons as they grow. They are first an egg, then a nymph and finally an imago, or adult, but it’s a relatively smooth transition. Mantis Nymphs are normally similar to the adults save for their size, absence of genitalia and, in some species, their color and the absence of wings. There are other species, however, in which the nymphs are morphologically distinct from adults, appearing similar to ants. As it molts it changes size and develops morphologically, and in the process its diet may change as well.

If they are indeed age polytheistic, could this help explain the differences and similarities between the Grays and Mantis beings? This could imply that the alien caste system is organized according to stages of development (age polytheism), and only according to size and morphology (polyphenism) incidentally.

This leaves the remaining characteristics of eusociality, namely the group rearing of offspring and an overlapping of generations. At least with respect to “hybrids,” as they have been erroneously called (with the most appropriate term presently available being “transgenic organism”), the young first develop in “incubatoriums” or “baby factories,” are then raised in nurseries, and finally in on-board habitats. All aforementioned stages involve the brood being cared for by either the female Talls or older “hybrids” rather than their actual parents. They then ultimately enter the hierarchy at the level of the Smalls, where they become apprentices to the Talls and climb the chain of command as they grow and develop — incidentally, providing more evidence of age polytheism being the nature of the Gray Mantodea colony. We might assume the same is also true for the “pure” members of the alien species.

Alien Triad.

Inside liquid
black eyes,
almond-shaped,

encapsulated
by the mirror

that is
your warped,
tangled,
knotted mind:

your reflection infects
you as you are suspended,
as if in amber,

empty puppet,
initially immobilized:

a marionette,
abandoned,

hung up
by its strings
haphazardly

on the weak limb
of some old

tree as the wind
whistles
a ghostly
melody,

and the oak,
she dances like an erotic
goddess

to the invisible soundtrack
of static
plus psychological projection,

consequently
completing me.

Instigated Controversy of No One.

Children of the stars:
that is all we are.

Nothing less, nothing more.

Chaos transmuting, glowing,
necessarily nothing and no one.

Egos, fate: all in what we make.

Trace a personal worldline
back far enough, your journey
is bound to escape the earth.

Accepting reincarnation,
considering origins,
it makes sense enough.

And I never saw my face.
Never caught a reflection
in my impossible memories.

Recollections of a planetary desert,
a world in ruins,
chiefly subterranean,
however likely a delusion,
is not necessarily too far out there,

so why does the mere question
make me so fucking scared?

On top of it all,
recall:

their nature is deceit,
that I have gleaned,
so why should their accusations
amount to anything?

Remember:

no one
can tell you what or who
you are.

No one
can tell you who or what
you are…

Eagles, Aliens & Hidden Observers.

A short time ago my mother emailed me some astounding screen shots she had taken of bald eagles. Aside from appreciating the pictures, she thought it might inspire some artwork on my part, and it certainly did. She also provided me with a link to the website she had procured them from, which I immediately found fascinating. It belongs to the Raptor Resource Project, a nonprofit organization which aims to preserve raptor populations. They set up various HD cameras focused on an eagle’s nest in the the city of Decorah, Iowa, allowing anyone to monitor them through online streaming 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Certainly, this is not the only project of its kind, but it was the first time I was aware of such a thing. It made sense, though. After all, the less influence we have on the animals we are striving to preserve and understand the more we consequently preserve, the better our quality of understanding, so this is a natural progression.

As intriguing as I found it to be that anyone around the world could hop online and observe — covertly, at a distance and around the clock — animals in their natural habitat, however, it also produced this knot in my stomach.

Long ago I noticed that when any mainstream scientist speculated out loud about the potential nature of extraterrestrial life, they presumed they were of one of two extreme natures equally distant from us. If they weren’t microbial life, than they must be extremely more advanced than us, a Type III civilization that would look upon us and our civilization much as we might look at a colony of ants on around alongside a highway. They never seem to contemplate the possibility that the distances between us and some ETI might be more akin to our relationship to monkeys, octopuses, or even eagles.

And if we can monitor these creatures covertly, at a distance and around the clock through some high-tech communication system beyond the reach of their understanding, perhaps we are subject to similar monitoring by a network of advanced ETI.

As I watch the Decorah eagles on my laptop, I wonder if they ever have the feeling that they’re being watched, as I often do.

The Nature of Child’s Play.

“Over the last couple of years, the photos of me when I was a kid, the ones that I never wanted old girlfriends to see… well, they’ve started to give me a little pang of something — not unhappiness, exactly, but some kind of quiet, deep regret. There’s one of me in a cowboy hat, pointing a gun at the camera, trying to look like a cowboy but failing, and I can hardly bring myself to look at it now… I keep wanting to apologize to the little guy: ‘I’m sorry, I’ve let you down. I was the person who was supposed to look after you, but I blew it: I made wrong decisions at bad times, and I turned you into me.”
— Nick Hornby, High Fidelity.

“Well, then get your shit together. Get it all together and put it in a backpack. All your shit. So it’s together. And if you gotta take it somewhere, take it somewhere. You know, take it to the shit store and sell it, or put it in the shit museum. I don’t care what you do, you just gotta get it together. Get your shit together.”
— Morty, Rick & Morty.

Towards the end of my high school career, when I finally went to see a psychologist regarding the strange memories and experiences that had come to envelop my life, I did so with some trepidation. My limited experience with social workers, psychologists, and psychiatrists had suggested to me that they could have just as easily been patients, and I feared this guy may just serve to reinforce my opinion. It turned out I was wrong. He was intelligent, passionately interested in the subject matter, and seemed to have a firm footing on more than one reality at a time. Though part of me was quite happy that he wasn’t judgmental, he seemed very careful about revealing any thoughts he had on my experiences. I knew I had to corner him, and I did, insisting that he tell me what he thought my flashback regarding the Doctor was all about.

This was a flashback that occurred somewhere on the bridge between 1994 and the following year. By that time I had remembered a wide variety of strange incidents and odd dreams, but it was nothing like what happened that evening. Unable to get any shuteye, I had been staring at my lava lamp while in bed and it suddenly seemed to have almost psychedelic effects on my vision, which was waving like the surface of a pond. When my eyes landed on a book on the shelf attached to my bed, a book I have yet to read — War of the Worlds, by HG Welles — I was instantly somewhere else, somewhen else. Later, when I would read Kurt Vonnegut’s book, Slaughterhouse Five, I was instantly reminded of the intense flashbacks I began having that evening. It wasn’t just remembering, it was reexperiencing.

Despite the length, this is the most condensed version I can muster. In this flashback, I had re-experienced hiding beneath my bed around five or six years of age. This I determined due to the leg braces I was wearing and the fact that I had worn them for a little under a year when I was a kid. From beneath the sheets and blankets hanging over my bed, I watched these creatures, some of whom had three toes, as their feet pitter-pattered across the carpet. They seemed to be going through things in the room, picking things up and examining them. Afraid they would eventually find me, I tried to scoot myself even further under the bed, but one of my braced legs hit a large box my parents had my sisters and I always keep there. It contained our drawings, report cards, and other such things. This not only made my leg abruptly jut out from beneath the bed, but made a loud noise for added effect. I winced and the silence in the room was deafening. When I finally opened my eyes again, I saw the feet and legs of one of the creatures standing by my braced leg, reaching down three, long, tan-colored fingers to touch it. Instantly it reminded me of the closing scene in the 1950s film War of the Worlds, which was my favorite movie at the time.

Certain for some reason that they would make me forget, with determined eyes I scanned this creature from his feet to his face so that one day, when my talents were good enough, I’d be able to draw him. I have in the years since, but I can never seem to get it right. I do know that he had eyes akin to those of a human’s, which is to say a white sclera, a yellow or brown iris, and a black-as-death pupil. His had a pug nose and his face was etched with deep wrinkles. His most memorable feature, however, was a long, deep-set, almost cartoonish frown.

Upon meeting his eyes, we were suddenly communicating mind-to-mind. They were scientists, I understood, and he was The Doctor. He was very old, very wise, and in some way served as a grandfather to me. After this, which seemed to be a form of internal yet interpersonal dialogue, I next found myself in a setting that seemed to be my room, but not quite. I was sitting down by my bed, looking up at the Doctor, though now he was different. He wore glasses that magnified his eyes instead of bearing eyes that were naturally that size, as was the case before. He wore a long white lab coat, had a stethoscope around his neck, held a clipboard and his cartoonish frown was inverted into a Cheshire grin. He told me that they just needed to run some tests, that this was just a check-up.

As he said all this, he seemed to be standing in front of me in a way that suggested he was purposely obscuring something, but all I could make out from behind him were bright lights, indecipherable chatter and a lot of activity a short distance away in my room. I also couldn’t ignore my growing suspicion that this was all a sort of dream we were sharing, one that he was sort of shaping into a false memory or cover-story.

It was an incredibly real experience, somewhere between a memory and mental time travel into my younger body. I experienced this formerly-forgotten event as if for the first time, and it was only the first of two such flashbacks I’d have that very night at sixteen. As my psychologist and I had been talking about the Doctor flashback, however, it was this that I so desperately wanted his opinion on, so I kept badgering him.

Finally, he let out a reluctant, “I think you had a confrontation with your Shadow.”

Though I knew what he meant, I had but a limited understanding of the concept. Before I had met him I had come across references to Carl Jung in my reading but had never read the words of the man himself. Around twenty years of age, I became rather obsessed with the ideas I found in The Portable Jung, however.

Jung referred to the total personality of an individual as the psyche, which he then broke down into three levels that constantly interacted with one another. The conscious mind, sensibly enough, would constitute everything we’re aware of at the moment. It’s the only sector of the psyche we ever experience directly. Regardless as to whether we have a present sensory experience, remember something or have a dream, we must experience it through consciousness. The personal unconscious is the basement or attic of psyche, the graveyard of the forgotten and repressed or dissociated. It is the giver of dreams and memories, shaper of perceptions, keeper of habitual behavior, passions and tendencies.

He saw yet another level to the psyche, however. Having studied myths from across the world, he saw recurring stories, themes and symbols, and in studying his patients, he saw many of the same themes and symbols manifesting in their dreams, fantasies and behaviors. In an effort to explain this, he posited the collective unconscious, composed of what he referred to as archetypes.

There are two ways of explaining archetypes that make some sense to me, and the first is a useful metaphor. Say that consciousness is a sheet of paper and all of our thoughts, emotions, and memories are iron filings sprinkled atop it. An archetype would constitute a magnet below that paper, arranging those iron filings in a pattern. The pattern of the iron filings provides the only evidence we have of the magnet, however, which we cannot perceive or interact with directly.

Another way of explaining archetypes is to compare them to instincts. They may, in fact, be extensions of them, but even if that’s not the case they serve as a useful metaphor. Upon reading The Portable Jung around twenty years of age, I remember Jung describing how a particular insect was driven to enact incredibly complex behaviors devoid of any training, which was essentially what he saw in his patients. Archetypes may then be seen as a bulk of instincts shared by the species that not only organizes behavior into specific patterns but also governs psychological forms and processes. As a consequence, they manifest not only in our behaviors and relationships but also in the realm of the imagination as well: our personal dreams, projections, hallucinations and delusions as well as in our literature, artwork, myths and religions.

While the manifestations differed from culture to culture and from individual to individual, they did so under certain constraints and in accordance with certain guidelines akin to how instincts function. Like instincts, archetypes are not learned but inherited, not personal but the legacy of our species. Like instincts, they cannot be directly observed, only inferred by their influence, their manifestations, how they arrange behavior and symbolic imagery. Unlike instincts, however, at least as popularly conceived, they influence not only behavior but psychology. It seems to me, as it did when I first read it, that archetypes are really the logical extension of instincts. Why wouldn’t they structure and animate the mind as they inspire and structure behavior?

In any case, Jung argued that these archetypes had a huge influence on the life of every individual and we must gain an understanding of them. To grow, to evolve as individuals, we must make the unconscious conscious, we must expand our consciousness. He warns us not to ignore the archetypal manifestations or to identify with them, but to become aware of them, to subject them to analysis.

All archetypes have a bipolar nature, which is to say they have within themselves what we might categorize as positive and negative qualities. Each archetype is also paired with a polar opposite, or shadow, and their relationship is one of interdependence. Whatever archetype we embody and personalize becomes our Ego, then, which casts its corresponding Shadow into our unconscious minds. The Shadow is essentially the anti-ego, serving as a collection of all we have repressed or have failed to bring out of latency in our conscious personality. We all bear both archetypes, but the degree to which each influences us varies in each individual and over time — and to have an excess of either is to live a life out of balance.

If the Doctor really was my shadow, then, at least at that point in my life, what kind of shadow was he — to what archetype did he correspond? If he constitutes an archetype at all it would by necessity be the Senex, which is Latin for old man. In his positive form, he often manifests as a mentor, wizard or shaman. Merlin, Obi Wan and Yoda are all often-cited examples. Disciplined and wise, he has often come from a distant, foreign land to offer knowledge and guidance. In his negative form, he takes the form of a tyrant, hermit or ogre who is bitter, brutal, greedy and stubbornly resists change. Rigid thinking, strict rules, harsh discipline and hierarchy are emphasized. He’s concerned with time, tradition and science. Prone to taking things seriously, he seldom if ever laughs or seems to enjoy himself. He is cold and distant, associated with depression, winter and death. With his frown, his interest in science, his status of a doctor, his claim that he was both wise and old to the extent of centuries and his clearly alien nature, the Doctor fit the negative end of the Senex polarity a bit too close for me to ignore.

Whether I was projecting the Senex onto the creature or the creature was purely a manifestation of my diseased mind is up for grabs, but at the archetypal level it doesn’t change the insight this might offer me about myself. Nimi, the female alien who used to come and visit me, typically at night, once told me that I was an Artist, that art was my “work.” If I am an Artist, it makes perfect sense that the Doctor, leader of his team of Scientists, would have served as a manifestation of my shadow. I am more creative and emotional; he is more logical and intellectual. As I said earlier, opposite archetypes attract — and Senex would serve as the shadow or antithetical archetype for the archetype Jung called Puer Aeternus, or the “eternal boy.”

Appropriately, the Puer is the predominant archetype when we are young and it focuses on play, as it is through play that we experiment, explore, and ultimately discipline our mind, develop our imagination, master our body and adapt to our environment. The Puer also has a bipolar nature, of course, and at the positive end of the pole you have the Divine Child, reflected in the mythical birth stories of figures such as Heracles, Horus, Cupid, Zoroaster, Moses, Christ, Krishna, and the Buddha. It can manifest as an adult with childlike qualities like Raymond from Rain Man, or a child with adult-like qualities like Calvin from the Calvin and Hobbes comic, Linus of Peanuts fame, or Allie Keys from Steven Spielberg’s 2002 Sci-Fi Channel miniseries, Taken. Despite coming into this world weak, vulnerable, and dependent on others to satisfy his needs, the Divine Child is powerful in that he attracts the attention of others, inspiring them, bringing joy, wonder and hope for the future. In its positive form, the Puer brings joy and wonder. He is optimistic and fun-loving, curious and creative, idealistic and insightful.

He is also fertile with possibilities and rich with potential, but this is but a temporary condition in our youth by necessity. Jordan Peterson explains that we have more neural connections at birth than we do at any other time in our lives, but that in that state we are essentially low resolution, latent potential. We contain possibilities and probabilities but are nothing for certain at all. Just within two years, however, we lose most of those connections, which he describes as akin to dying into your childhood personality. This is just the first period of neurological pruning we will experience as we grow, a process in which neglected associations are snipped away and only those that have been repeatedly reinforced remain. Use it or lose it: this is evidently how the brain develops what Huxley referred to as it’s “reducing valve.” With each brush-fire of the brain, the dead wood is burned away and our perceptions and character narrow further, specializing, adapting to the specific environment at hand.

As we develop, we come to see things increasingly less as objects and more as “shadows,” as Peterson puts it, though I think Colin Wilson hit closer to the mark when he used the word “symbols.” These symbols are only complex enough to let us do what we need to in order to survive and achieve our goals, little to nothing more. They are mental maps of sufficient detail: no more, no less. In terms of personality, our character becomes more solidified, which is why the hands that mold us when we are still soft are so influential. We further develop a relatively narrow set of unconscious and automatic programs triggered by familiar stimuli, or what Wilson refers to as the Robot Function. It happens again at the end of adolescence, between sixteen and twenty, where you die into the specialized, adult personality into which you are reborn with senses fine-tuned to your surroundings. When approaching adulthood, you settle on one role to the exclusion of all others. You adopt an apprenticeship, and so enter into an extremely narrow and limited training period that develops the appropriate skills. You become more competent at a specific set of things but become largely blind to all else.

Once we’ve adapted to life, after we’ve died to ourselves to do so more than once, we achieve the last half of life. We become the Senex. It is here that Carl Jung thought the proper path in our ongoing development was to come out the other side, that the head of the serpent had to swallow its tail. To adopt the positive qualities of the Senex, the old man must rediscover the child he once was and left behind and reintegrate him into his character. His work now involves opening old doors and rediscovering the world again, accessing new possibilities and regaining his capacity to play. He finds his source of enthusiasm, peace, creativity and joy for life. He not only gets to be what he has earned but regains the potential of the child he was forced to abandon in the process.

In Zen Buddhism, there is a concept known as Shoshin, or “beginner’s mind,” which is essentially a state in which you regain your lost sense of virginity to experience. Free of preconceptions, you approach something in a very present, open and enthusiastic manner. A much-quoted line from Shunryu Suzuki’s book, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, summarizes it nicely, explaining how “in the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.” This has clear ties to the positive aspects of the Divine Child and how an adult may integrate that aspect of themselves back into their personality.

This is not, however, the only form and path of the puer, nor is it the one most familiar to me, as I shamefully discovered months ago and has finally begun to set in. It was unnerving to watch a YouTube clip of Jordan Peterson profile the Peter Pan personality type. With every following word, I felt my wince tightening, my heart dropping further, my body sinking deeper into the sofa. My hand went to my forehead as if I were attempting to hide my face from someone in my empty apartment. With every following word, it became increasingly freaky, increasingly clear that he was talking about me. It was the story of the immature man-child, the old infant.

Pan is Greek for “everything,” which is appropriate enough, Peterson tells us, as he is the boy who refuses to grow up. He passionately strives to maintain the latent potential of childhood and resist the actuality of adulthood. This is largely due to his only available adult role model, Captain Hook, who is being chased by a crocodile with a clock always tick-tocking away in its belly. This Peterson refers to as the dragon of chaos, time and death, residing beneath everything. It has already bitten off his hand, in which place he has put the hook that earned him his name, and now the tick-tocking croc has got a taste for him. This, he explains, is a metaphor for what happens when you get older: time keeps biting off pieces of you and sooner or later, it will fulfill its destiny and devour you entirely. Just as a sense of mortality can spawn in some people, this circumstance with the croc traumatizes Hook so much he tries to increase his sense of control over everything, exerting power through cruelty, and so becomes at once a coward and a tyrant.

Seeing Hook for who he is, Peter Pan understandably refuses to end up that way, generalizes Hook as a characterization of adulthood as a whole and so naturally elects to extend his own childhood indefinitely. He flies off to Neverland, a place that doesn’t exist, to become King of the Lost Boys, which Peterson describes as a band of losers who can’t get their act together. Then one day it seems that his Shadow (which Peterson never seems to mention, despite being a fan of Jung and despite some clear correlations with the archetype of the same name) has somehow become detached from him and led him to London, into the bedroom of Wendy. She proves to be a mature girl that accepts her mortality and wants to have children one day. He sacrifices a potential relationship with Wendy, a real girl, however, and continues to content himself with Tinkerbell, an imaginary substitute, essentially the Fairy of Pornography, as Peterson suggested.

Though I’ve never read or heard it serving as an example, I think Rob Fleming, the lead character in Nick Hornby’s 1995 novel High Fidelity (and the subsequent 2000 film), certainly qualifies as a puer. There were two lines in that movie that articulated what Peterson’s saying here in a different way. One involved keeping options open to ensure you can always back out and never get trapped in something; the other, his realization that committing to nothing constitutes suicide by small increments.

A man in the grips of this shadow aspect of the puer aeternus detests restriction and oppression and values liberty and independence. He covets individuality and personal liberty. Individual freedom to the fullest extent. Unrestrained instinct, chaos and intoxication excite him. Limitations, restrictions and oppression are intolerable. He refuses the call to adventure into maturity, shying away from adulthood. Fearing commitment, this emotional adolescent forever extends his “temporary” life because he fears that in making a move he might lose himself and be caught in a trap of a career or imprisoned in a marriage.

Peterson emphasizes the fatal flaw in Peter Pan’s presumptions: you grow up whether you want to or not. Though you can postpone maturity in our culture without suffering an immediate penalty, Peterson stresses, the penalty accrues, and then when it finally hits, it hits much harder. You can be lost and clueless at 25, as it’s acceptable that you’re just trying things out at that age. When you’re instead in your 30s or 40s, people tend to be less understanding. You a have become a 40-year-old King of the Lost Boys, a man-child, an old infant, a living corpse of a child. So you might as well manifest some of that potential in a particular direction and choose to become something as opposed to nothing.

I’m 39. I’ll be 40 this November. Many who know me would undoubtedly say quite confidently that this is me in a nutshell. Since shortly after my high school career came to a close in 1997, I began referring to adulthood as the 13th grade and arguing that adults did not, in fact, exist. What we took to be adults were just children wearing masks, putting on costumes and trying to play the roles the culture tells them to play. They aren’t mature adults, they’ve just achieved that state of “seizure” a child experiences when playing a game of “as if,” as Joseph Campbell has put it, though not in this context. They mistook the game for reality, their masks for their true and original face, their roles for their souls. I always refused to do any of that. I opted out.

My most recent experience on psilocybin mushrooms seemed to communicate, among other things, that reality was a sort of multifaceted illusion, sort of a system of games, and the appropriate response was not to forfeit but to play. This resonated with the “child” theme that has followed me throughout my life and took in a rather life-like quality in the context of my strange experiences just shy of two decades ago. The ultimate message in the psilocybin experience was to play the game we call society or culture, to try and make this ride a meaningful one, to take these games seriously while simultaneously keeping in mind that it was all illusion and was ultimately of no consequence.

Now I find that the observations of those such as Jung and Peterson seem to suggest that it is futile to forfeit the game anyway, for in doing so you turn into precisely what I have become: an old infant, a man-child. Peter Pan in the flesh.

As additional reinforcement, there remains the fact that I’m still not convinced that a single, actual adult exists on earth. I still think our game is essentially stupid, but I am beginning to regret not having taken the game seriously, not choosing a role to play and having time force me into a rather pathetic and meaningless one. I’ve resisted intimate relationships, kept friends and family at an arm’s length, and have remained in an extended “temporary” job more suitable for high school kids. Fast food should serve as a sort of “scared straight” program to inspire kids to go to college and make something out of themselves so they don’t have to suffer this fate into their forties. For some, it’s worked out just fucking dandy; evidently, it has failed to work for me to this point. I’ve forfeited the game and remain here in a fast food McNeverland just because I’m afraid to play the role of the adult.

I should have identified an appropriate adult role for myself right out of high school, but I was too wrapped up in the craziness of what had happened, too depressed and anxious, too damned undisciplined and unstructured. I thought that of myself even then. I could have finished college when I finally went in my thirties, but the crippling anxiety that shot through the roof when I again attempted public speaking paralyzed me and I fled. I could have been a master of the visual arts and writing by now, translating what is in my mind more effectively. I might be living off my passions and expressing myself through play as a way of life.

I fucked up.

After enough sessions, the aforementioned psychologist gave me a homework assignment: to master the mundane. He told a tale of students going off on a vision quest, receiving a profound one, and returning to their master, excited for the next step, invariably disappointed when the master told them to chop wood and carry water. I needed to have my feet planted firmly on the ground, he told me. I needed a career, friends, a girlfriend. What he was saying makes more sense now than ever: I needed to go through the process Peterson described. And I didn’t, not really, and here I am, two decades later, with an inner child deserving of an outer adult to nurture it — an outer adult I have I have utterly failed to develop and provide.

3/22 Timewarp.

On Fatherhood.
3/22/05

“Don’t you ever want to be a father?”

I’ve certainly considered the idea. I mean, I can’t even get laid now, so that’s obviously far, far in the future, but I sometimes think it would be nice to have a kid. Then reality strikes my brain like a bolt of lightning: everything would have to change. I would have to change. I’m not the role model I’d want to be. Too many things would be in conflict between me and the girl, whoever it would be. I mean, I’d never allow my kid to grow up within the structure of some religion. I’d never allow her or him to be conditioned like that from such a young age. There’s no way. I’d have difficulty with the Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy thing, because that confused the fuck out of me when I was a kid.

“No, dear, there’s nothing to be afraid of. There’s no such thing as monsters. No such thing as ghosts. Magic doesn’t exist, except for the tricks.”

Yet I’m supposed to believe that some obese motherfucker in a red and white suit fits his bloated ass down our chimney, fills up our socks with goodies, leaves presents under the tree, eats milk and cookies and then, by placing his finger on his facial booger-factory, zooms back up that soot-covered smoke-hole back to his flying sleigh, parked on our roof, with eight flying reindeer and one with a luminous schnoz like Bill Clinton’s so he can do the same to every other children’s house in the world before making it back to his toy factory in the North Pole where crafty midgets make toys for all the world’s children with brand names on them?

And people wonder why our world is so fucked up.

And besides that, would I really want to raise a kid in this world? I really have to contemplate that one. I mean, I know it sounds pessimistic, but our education system’s crap, our society seems to be headed for self-destruction, and we’ve got a numbskull like Bush running the country. What am I supposed to say to him after I first see him as he squeezes out through the sacred lips of his mother: “welcome to hell, kid, somehow I thought this was a good idea”? Or, “it’s not my fault, blame the poor quality of the rubber”? I hate to be so bitter, but considering how miserable I feel and have felt, would I really want to throw a child into the same sea of vomit-inspiring stimuli? Is it better to be born into hell, or to never be born at all?

And another thing, which, judging from the fact that I held off throwing it in this post until just now when it’s been at the forefront of my mind all along, is actually more of a concern that I wish to let on, even though by saying that I might have let on: I know how weird and lonely I feel; how out of place. Whatever’s inflicted by brain — psychosis, neurosis, the introduction of various elements of extraterrestrial psychology by means of transgenics while still in the womb as part of a slow process taking place in certain bloodlines over generations in a program unerringly aimed at creating a perfect mix of humanity and them for the purposes of colonization through living in a body that has naturally adapted to the earth’s ecosystem over a long process of evolution, or whatever — would it be ethical to pass it on, to multiply it?

I just don’t know.

But the kid thing keeps popping up. I don’t even know why it keeps pushing itself into my mind. Like that child-hallucination I sometimes have in my lucid dreams — or astral projections or out-of-body experiences or whatever — the one that named himself Josh: is he, perhaps, just some fucked-up manifestation of my desire to be a father? Of my fear of being a father? I don’t know.

I always have that fear that years from now if I ever have a kid, I’m going to be there in the hospital holding him for the first time, and I’m going to look down into his eyes and — he’s going to give me a big Cheshire Cat grin and I’m going to get telepathically sucked into his pupils.

Don’t ask.

There are two pregnant girls at work. One’s just a little younger than me, and the other’s sixteen. Mitch the manager has a kid and keeps telling me about how cool it is to be a father, to watch this small being you helped create explore life with fresh, new eyes and senses, full of curiosity and wonder, touching objects, giggling, looking at you mysteriously, sucking on their pacifier. I mean, sure, it sounds a lot like just having a midget raver around the house, but still, it gives rise to this two dual responses in me that wrestle and fight like… well, like so many other things. but the point is, it keeps popping up lately. Why?

The girls around get all excited, start saying how they want a baby and all that. This is what Rena calls the `itch’ — seeing another girl with her child and wanting one of their own. Maybe all the talk of children and parenthood lately and the lack of any real purpose in my life has brought out of latency some male rendition of the `itch’.

Unlike so many others, however, I’m not ready to scratch.

My Naked Green-Eyed Monster.
3/22/06

Separating you from yourself and looking at yourself from a third person perspective (and then talking about it in second person) is incredibly amusing: makes every aspect of your insanity amazingly amusing.

This emotion is such a wild one: only guilt rises to meet it.

For instance, I’ve noticed not once, but twice this week now that in particular situations that the rate of value I hold in a person increases my disdain for their happiness when such happiness is not produced by me.

This is, again: jealousy. An unwarranted sense of ownership. A feeling of greed. A total fear of losing what somewhere, hidden beneath the rubbage of denial, you secretly consider `yours’.

Envy and jealousy are relatives. Envy is, through the eyes of the envious, wanting to possess what they perceive to be another’s possession: “I want his girlfriend.” Jealousy, on the other hand, is being protective over what you already consider a possession of yours: it’s your possession and no one else has the right to possess it: “She’s my girl, get your fucking hands off her.” Envy and jealousy go together in a way; it may in a sense be necessary, as you envy the rival possesser’s power over that which you assume possession — “I want the girl you have, because she’s rightfully mine” — but the true emotional focus, in jealousy, is not on the rival possessor and your envy of his powers, but the perceived possession of yours which you’re threatened to lose: “why does she want him instead?” It is a primitive, instinctual reaction to the threat of losing something highly valued: the more intense the reaction, obviously, the higher the sense of value you imbue the `possessed’ with.

Still, it seemingly reduces the subject to an object of possession, which is an embarrassing, shallow perception I seem to have trouble accepting in myself.

Evolutionary psychology says one thing, but your body says another: that’s funny, too. That for men, the act a woman he feels he `possesses’ means more than the meaning it holds for her: a man, they say, is more likely to get over the fact that she feels something for another man than he is to get over the fact that she’s fucking or kissing another man. For a woman, its reversed — so they say.

Perhaps this just goes even further to show that as heterosexual as I am, I tend to take on many psychological characteristics typically associated, in modern culture, with the feminine.

Because I’m looking down at that green-eyed monster right now, happy for the moment that I’m outside his skin, and I’m laughing and laughing at how ridiculous all this is: twice in the same week. Now, much angrier than before, of course, but that’s probably due to the long history with the second, the monster says to me in growls. I laugh. Whatever.

Excuses. Rationalizations. Eyes wide and green and fixated on her but blind to yourself, you’re such a goofy little fucker.

I shall call you: Othello.

I keep my little green-eyed monster in his cage, feed him well: like usual, yes, though now the curtain’s off. You need some sunlight. Little naked green-eyed monster, they can both see you now, because I’m taking this little photograph for them and putting it where they can see it if they choose. Can’t let another Kodak moment pass me by…

Moe’s Labyrinth and Saving Face.
3/22/08

“If this does end up to be a bunch of bullshit,” he says, “I really don’t think I’ll ever be able to trust anyone ever again. The way she made me feel, I never felt like that before. It was very sincere.”

I don’t want to say, ”I know how you feel,” even though I do, because I’m afraid it would close the door, that it would sound like I was dismissing his pain, that I was competing. That it would be a way of saying, “It’s not big deal,” a way of downplaying his present agony. And the last thing I want is to sound dismissive. Because I’m not being dismissive. I couldn’t possibly dismiss this, even if, well, even if I didn’t, know how he feels though experience.

To lay complete trust in another, after fighting against yourself just to keep your guard up so you won’t be shit on again, and then, after much interior battling and juggling, to finally be convinced it’s okay to open up, give in, let go and trust again, to let yourself be vulnerable due to the other’s convincing sincerity — and only, and seemingly inevitably, to be casually, and so coldly, shit on again…

But I remind myself, so as to not be blinded, that I really don’t know, from experience, how he feels: my circumstance with Kate was circumstantial. One could argue it really wasn’t her fault that she never came back from California. Here, in Moe’s circumstance, the girl is being downright malicious, or so it would seem.

Still, the way he’d explained it to me, how he’d finally trusted in the experience, how he finally gave into it just to have this happen — it sounded so familiar. It’s like you’re hanging on the edge of a cliff for dear life, and you’ve been hanging out there for as long as you can remember. It’s been a long and difficult time, but you’ve managed to keep a hold it all on your own. Then, one day, someone reaches out a hand. You hesitate, you try to be smart about it, but finally, after taking it from so many angles in your head, by honestly questioning and analyzing the situation, you reach out your hand and let it wrap around hers and her hand wraps around yours. You still keep your other hand hanging on, though, because you can’t be sure. A part of you is still suspicious. She’s so convincing, though, so convincingly sincere, and so eventually you put your guard down, open up, learn to trust again, and you let go off the cliff, you take her other hand. She smiles, holding you there.

And then, then she casually drops you. Or in the very least slaps or kicks you in the face.

Thing is, it’s hard for him to tell if he’s over-reacting at this point because he can’t really know if anything’s going on. Then again, regardless as to what’s going on, is he really over-reacting? After all, what she texted him was far beyond suspicious. I had just clocked in to begin my third shift, I was back in the kitchen area by the sinks, washing, sanitizing, and Moe walks passed he grills and fryer vats and he tells me something along the lines of, “I’ve got a bad feeling.” I ask him what specifically, and he tells me he doesn’t know, and I know from the way that he tells me, ”I don’t know,” that he really does know, and the next time I turn around he puts his cell phone up to my face.

On it is a text message. I don’t have to look at it to know it’s from his girlfriend, Stacey. I probably don’t have it down to the exact words, but it went something like, “I changed my mind about tonight, I’m hanging out with Bailey! Is that okay?”

Baily, you should know, is her ex-boyfriend, and they had gone out for quite a long time. Her parents still talk about him. Moe knows he still texts her, and he tries not to be suspicious or jealous, I know he tries to trust her, but it’s not the kind of thing you can ignore. Many might think he’s being unjustifiably suspicious, but this is just a lone node in a network of things; to think his reaction is unreasonable would require taking it out of context. Stacy has pictures of Bailey everywhere, and though I think she took down some since Moe had casually commented on it, they’re still around, and plentiful. She used to have pictures of him all over her bedroom wall. On the sun visor in her car. And as a screensaver on her laptop, which she asserts she does not know how to take off, even though I — not being at all that computer literate, understand — know damn well how to change my own background. And not a day or two ago, Moe tells me, she explained, basically, how much Baily is an asshole. And now they’re hanging out tonight. Not only that, but she’s breaking plans with her current boyfriend, Moe, to hang out with the guy, who is, as I said, her ex-boyfriend.

And take into account the fact that Stacey is not only a physically beautiful girl, but an indisputably intelligent one, which puts her in a certain disadvantage when it comes to people such as Moe and me, who just happen to know that she is intelligent. How could she text something like that and not think that it would spawn a relentless sea of worries in Moe’s head? That it wouldn’t spawn jealousy and concern in him?

Considering her intelligence, it’s just not possible that she couldn’t know. And since she’s not stupid, one must come to the conclusion that she wrote that text knowing that it was going to make him jealous. As a result, she either knows that he knows she’s trying to make him jealous or she doesn’t expect him, as jealous as she knows he is, to suspect that it was her intention to make him jealous, expecting instead that his value in her would blind him to the possibility that she could play such a game with him. And in that case, well, it’s just a blatant insult to his intelligence. And, of course, it’s as equally malicious as the aforementioned possibility, if not more so.

All too often I’ve witnessed and experienced girls playing these games, testing guys to see how they respond, to see how much the guy cares for them and trusts them. These women, do they realize the futility of this game? Do they know that this game is a lose-lose situation for the guy?

Think about it.

For instance, if Moe were to call her right away (and she actually answered the phone) and expressed how he felt, what would her reaction be? If he said he knows his feelings might be irrational, that he might be paranoid, but he can’t help but feel absolutely uncomfortable and insulted that she had broken plans with him to hang out with her ex-boyfriend, especially in such ambiguous circumstances and for totally unstated reasons that didn’t take into account his feelings in the matter at all. Really, if he was totally raw and honest with her, what would her reaction likely be? Probably, she’d think he was being a jealous, controlling boyfriend. Moe knows that, of course, and he doesn’t want to look like that, let alone be that, and this is one of the reasons why he’s hesitant to go that route.

But consider the other option: he says nothing. Tells her, “Yeah, it’s okay,” and then leaves it at that. Doesn’t question her, doesn’t express how he really feels. Takes her at her word, tells himself he’s just paranoid, reminds himself that a friendship is a facade without trust, and a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship even more so. What then? And what if she really was doing something with her ex-boyfriend? Moe would feel like a fool, Stacey would see him as a fool, and she’d think he was so naive she could walk all over him and he’d let her out of his immense value and deep care for in her. That or she would take this as an indication that he simply doesn’t care for her — for, she thinks, if he did care for her he would have said something, done something, expressed his disapproval. If he cared for her, in other words, he would’ve acted like the typical image one has of a jealous, insecure and controlling boyfriend.

It would seem he can’t win. Stacey, in a single text, has placed Moe between a rock and a hard place and now he’s just a ping-pong ball bashing his head back and forth from either end. I watch him, and his emotions are like an electric windstorm. He wants to cry, he wants to beat the hell out of something, he wants to scream, he wants to kill. He’s angry at her for putting him in this circumstance and he’s angry at himself. Alternatively angry at himself for feeling this way when it might be nothing, for doing nothing when it might be justified, but forever angry at himself for just not knowing what the fuck to do.

He texted her back when she threw him that text, and just said, basically, “Yeah.” That it was okay. He expected a response, expected her to say something back, but she never did, and so now this war is raging within him. It’s like an atomic explosion trapped inside an indestructible box. No matter what he does, no matter how much he kicks and punches and screams and cries and whatever, he’ll never be able to completely and accurately vent what’s within him. There’s so much within him right now nothing he could say would ever properly articulate it to himself, let alone anyone else. How do you translate that cyclone of emotion? You could be the best writer, speaker or painter in the world and you wouldn’t be able to do it. Nothing but pure interface could ever hope to express this.

I tell him that I know anything I suggest would sound stupid right now, any advice I could possibly give would necessarily sound absolutely lame. That being said, I suggested to him that he call her. Just tell her what he has managed, in part, to tell me. Tell her he thinks it’s fucked up that she would say that and not expect him to get angry. If he would explain to her how he feels, if he would explain to her the complexities I’ve just described here in his own words, maybe he could transmute this lose-lose situation into a win. Potentially, if he said it right, conveyed it in full, she’d know he cares for her and that he wouldn’t look like the average jealous, controlling boyfriend or the naive or apathetic boyfriend that can be pushed around, walked on, and yet raise no complaints.

But he tells me he can’t talk to her now rationally, that he couldn’t be calm about this, and I can totally see that. It just adds another layer of complexity to this. Another twisting hall in this dark labyrinth.

Outside, as I smoke my last cigarette for the night and he’s waiting for his father to come pick him up, I ask him what is going to happen if, as planned, they hang out tomorrow and she says nothing about it. If it all doesn’t happen how he expects it might happen. That he doesn’t get a call tomorrow before they’re to hang out, and she says, as he says has happened before with him, “I didn’t want to tell you because you’re such a nice guy, but it’s not going to work out. You’re just not good enough for me.” What if, in other words, she blows it off, acts all casual and natural and doesn’t break up with him? What if he sees her tomorrow and, amidst hanging out, he doesn’t see a hickey on her neck that she says nothing about and which he knows he didn’t put there; that when he comes in to kiss her she doesn’t turn away, push him back, and finally tell him she cheated on him and no longer wants to be with him. What then?

He tells me he doesn’t know.

I know he’s risking a lot by telling her, by being absolutely honest with her, by telling her how paranoid this makes him. I tend to think a degree of jealousy is natural in any relationship, and that, all things considered, Moe’s level of paranoia, jealousy, anger, fear, sense of betrayal right now — all this is a perfectly rational response to this circumstance, given the context. She was fooling around with other guys, after all, while she was still dating Bailey. Word of mouth, though always spoken in whispers, indicates her tendency to not take commitment seriously. Again, it’s only ”rumor” that has it in this case, and rumor has a lot of things, but again, one has to consider the whole, elaborate context.

Trust is pivotal in a friendship, and more so in an intimate relationship, and Moe has remarked that in the case of him and Stacey, for the first time, he seems to have both a friendship and an intimate relationship. I don’t believe, however, that trust can ever be complete. There’s always some doubt injected into the mix and there’s nothing wrong with that. So maybe it’s not the presence of that level of distrust, no matter how high or low, that makes a relationship a healthy or unhealthy one, but what you do with it. Maybe the important factor is the communication. The honesty. The doubt inspires decay if left alone; it inspires growth in one way or the other, at least, if it’s worked with.

He should talk with her about it. When he’s calm, when he can handle himself, he should tell her about his labyrinth of paranoia completely, with all its complexities, just like he told me. If she hears it in part, in only a condensed form, yeah, he’ll sound like a paranoid, controlling boyfriend. But if he tells her it all, like he told me, she’ll understand not only what he feels but, more importantly, why. And if nothing is going on between her and Bailey, at least he won’t seem like a jealous, controlling boyfriend, but a boyfriend who cares for her and is afraid of losing her because he’s been shit on before. And if there is something going on between her and Bailey, then at least he won’t seem like a naive fool in her eyes, like someone who can be pushed around and stepped over.

For if there is something going on and he says nothing, the time could come where she drops him, and he’ll feel like a fool, even though he wasn’t a fool, because he’d seen what he thought might be signs. And if she doesn’t drop him, he’ll still wonder whether something had gone on, if something is still going on between her and Bailey, and that unspoken suspicion, that lack of honesty with her, it will make him grow increasingly cold and distant from her. Secret thoughts and emotions will pile up and, in the end, things are just bound to get worse.

Communication may not abolish distrust, but it will open the lines, break through the walls building up between people, give the person a better chance at verifying or falsifying their suspicions. And in the long run, either way, they can save some face.

Thought-Talk Monologue Voice-Over.

Some might say
that you never existed
in the first place,

but your reality was cemented
in me through the nature
of our conversations.

Just as they use
verbal communication
atop nonverbals,

you use subjective still-frames
and mental motion pictures
complemented

by a thought-talk
monologue
voice-over.

Imagination
is your telepathic
nonverbal.

You’re the best voice
that’s ever been
in my head.