Where the UFO conspiracy theories roam

Robert Sheaffer

The International UFO Congress has been taking place each March in Laughlin, Nevada, for fourteen years (see www.ufocongress.com) and I had yet to attend, so I figured it was about time. Most UFO conferences are set up around a weekend and run concurrent sessions, forcing upon the attendee difficult choices like, “Do I want to hear about the alien stargate conspiracies, or the giant machines orbiting in the rings of Saturn?” But the Laughlin UFO Congress runs a full seven days, from Sunday afternoon to Saturday evening, and the presentations all take place in one huge hall, enabling those with an insatiable appetite for the bizarre and the impossible to take in every last glorious rant.

I decided that two days’ UFO enlightenment would be as much as I could stand, being careful to leave sufficient time for other important pursuits like sightseeing and gambling. Some people are surprised to learn that these days UFO conferences spend very little time talking about anything as mundane as sightings of flying disks. Unless you have a really elaborate alien abduction claim, or a new angle on some major conspiracy, nobody will be very interested in what you say, This will not surprise those who are familiar with Marty Kottmeyer’s depiction of UFOlogy as an “evolving system of paranoia”–it has “evolved” itself right out of its origins in Cold War weapons technology paranoia, and into contemporary New Age narcism and health obsessions. Every mark on your body, every minor ailment, may well have been caused by sinister abducting extraterrestrials, or by Chemtrail poisoning. So the speakers endlessly repeated claims of one conspiracy or another–government conspiracies, extraterrestrial conspiracies, medical conspiracies, etc., and if two or more of these conspiracy theories contradict each other, so much the better as it just shows the profundity of the phenomena they are confronting.

Getting into the paranoid spirit, I decided to attend dressed as a Man In Black: black shirt, pants, socks and shoes, a black necktie, and a big black Western hat. When I first appeared I drew more amazed, wide-eyed stares than I’d ever seen before in my life. One fellow who worked for the convention finally got up the courage to ask me, “So are you one of those Men In Black?” I replied, “Sorry, I’m not at liberty to discuss that.” I expected that he’d laugh, and then I was going to introduce myself. Instead he made a knowing gesture, and moved away. The MIB are taken very seriously by this crowd.

The first speaker I heard was the research astronomer Rudy Schild. He was careful not to specify his affiliation, but a Google search shows him to be at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I was hoping that perhaps he had been invited by the conference organizers to be the solitary voice of reason in a sea of uncritical claims. My hopes were disappointed. According to the program, “Dr. Schild describes how the phenomena reported for UFOs and alien abductions seem to be describing an important element in the universe that Einstein evidently overlooked.” Actually, his talk was much wilder than that. After beginning with an uncontroversial overview of recent cosmological discoveries, Schild told the audience that he was taking off his “science hat,” and putting on his “UFO hat.” Gone were photos of galaxies and gravitational lenses, replaced by a crude drawing of ETs floating inside a saucer. Schild went on to explain his theory of how the alien pilots are actually “controllers,” who use their “community communication,” or telepathy, to set up oscillations in the ship’s power supply, which is a “plasma.” At the bottom of the saucer, the source of its brilliant light is a “crystal.” The crystal amplifies the oscillations in the plasma, set up by the group telepathy of the ETs. (It all seems so obvious I was wondering why I hadn’t thought of it.) Schild cautioned, however, that not all of the objects we see are actual UFOs. Some of them are simply “projections” in the “quantum hologram” that surrounds us. This is possible because Einstein’s four-dimensional universe is “co-spatial” with the “frequency space” used by the ETs.

Moving beyond UFOs, Schild discussed the phenomenon of Near-Death Experiences (NDEs). He says NDEs indicate that it is possible to travel to “the center of the universe,” which is “where God is,” and back in just twenty minutes, probably using “wormholes.” He speculated that ETs have learned how to manipulate the “Higgs boson,” which allows them to control gravity and levitate abductees. It occurred to me that with the death of John Mack last year, Harvard had lost its most prominent out-on-a-limb UFOlogist. As if by some principle of Conservation of Academic Absurdity, Mack now has a worthy replacement.

Simon Hein and Ron Russell gave a rather boring and repetitive talk on “Resonant Viewing.” That is supposed to be the new name for what used to be called “remote viewing.” Hein did most of the talking. However, a comment about their Web site (www.resonant viewing.org) suggests that the name change may have been motivated by the fact that all of the “remote viewing” domains had already been registered. Whether “resonant” or “remote,” the viewer tries to receive an extrasensory impression of a hidden image, allegedly using resonant frequency vibrations. This has something to do with crystals. Hein described many claimed “hits,” but somehow forgot to mention even a single case where the “resonant viewer” missed. He apparently defines a viewing session as a “hit” if any accurate information was stated, no matter how much else the viewer may have gotten wrong. Just make a whole lot of guesses, and you, too, can become a successful “resonant viewer.”

The most popular conspiracy claims at the conference had nothing to do with UFOs, but with the alleged hidden government conspiracies involving the September 11, 2001, attacks. Various speakers and books being sold blamed the Bush family for planning the attacks, or the Neo-con cabal, the CIA, or else the Israelis: just about anyone except Islamic religious fanatics. Jim Marrs knows how to milk a good conspiracy when he sees one. Previously, his books have “uncovered” a JFK assassination conspiracy, “PSI Spies,” and the “Alien Agenda” of extraterrestrials living in our midst. His newest book is titled Inside Job: Unmasking the 9/11 Conspiracies. One proof of the government’s supposed lack of interest in capturing Osama bin Laden was its rebuff of an offer by a “military remote viewer” to help track him down.

According to Marrs, the World Trade Center’s principal leaseholder, Larry Silverstein, was unable in 2000 to sell out his interest in the towers, so instead he took out insurance against a terrorist attack. The conspirators needed to detonate the South Tower first, to maintain the cover story about hijacked airplanes bringing them down. They may have used a micro-nuke, as was used to bring down the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City in 1995. Just as Marrs was explaining to the breathless crowd about the airplane that didn’t crash into the Pentagon, somebody tripped the fire alarm, and the hall was briefly evacuated. Apparently some dastardly plotter will stop at nothing to prevent the truth from getting out! Finally, Marrs was able to resume, and proceeded to name the number one leader of the conspiracies: none other than Vice President Dick Cheney, who must have spent his first few months in office planting bombs and triggering fire alarms, while cleverly making us think that he was in the hospital. Marrs closed his talk with a stern warning against ever getting another vaccination for anything–but that’s a whole different conspiracy schtick.

Sean David Morton is a TV writer, director, and producer, whose proudest claim to fame was his discovery in 1989 of a giant underground UFO-related military base beneath the Dulce Archelata Mesa on Apache land in northern New Mexico. He spoke about what we can learn about the future of the world by studying the Bible code (hidden messages allegedly embedded within the Bible).

Morton spoke very quickly, making it difficult to comprehend the significance, if any, to what he was saying. Of course he has found another conspiracy. The current phase he has labeled “Phase I,” or “The Tribulation,” running from 2005-2012. (All of the paranormal conspiracists agree that something cosmic is supposed to happen in 2012, but they cannot agree on what it is or whether it’s good or bad.) The worst villain of this part of the conspiracy seems to be Clear Channel Radio, which is greedily buying up stations, and even canceling paranormal-related programs. This phase of the conspiracy does not seem very frightening to me, but then I am not a producer of UFO-related entertainment. But wait until Phase II starts! America will become the “new Holy Land,” with its capital in Denver, and all that Apocalypse stuff is going to get started. This can all be found in Bible codes, if only you look hard enough. Not only that, but between now and 2012 there will be lots of storms and magnetic disturbances. Our serotonin will increase, and link us chemically to the Ascension that is coming when the Mayan Calendar expires.

On the downside, Phase II will of course be marked by the rise of the Anti-Christ himself. And Morton is able to name the Anti-Christ a full seven years before the beginning of his terrifying reign of evil. It is none other than Michael Chertoff, recently sworn in as Director of Homeland Security. Now I’ve got to admit that even I thought Chertoff looked a little ragged and devilish when speaking to the press, but probably a visit to Bill Clinton’s hairdresser would end speculation about his qualifications to be the Anti-Christ.

Michael Salla, whose earlier comments about the “exopolitics” between President Eisenhower and extraterrestrials got him in academic hot water (“Psychic Vibrations,” November/December 2004), gave a very bizarre talk about the supposed Nazi-ET connection. Hitler’s SS, you see, “may have” established contact with extraterrestrials, using mediums trained by esoteric secret societies like Thule and Vril. They also may have retrieved one or more crashed saucers that apparently went down in the Black Forest. Salla’s idea of “research” is to read wildly speculative books about UFOs whose authors present no facts whatsoever, and to footnote them scrupulously.

The Nazis apparently established contact with tall, blonde, blue-eyed extraterrestrials, who hail from Aldebaran. Lucky for them they found the Aryan Aliens first, as one shudders to think how the Nazis would have treated today’s four-foot greys. The Nazis employed alien technology to build flying saucers. However, they were not able to employ these wonder-weapons before the end of the war, so as the Reich was crumbling they redeployed their ET-derived technology to secret bases in Antarctica, and possibly on the Moon (which may, by the way, be artificial), and on Mars, as well. The exiled Nazis are now said to be in full cooperation with advanced extraterrestrials, and thirsting for re-conquest. I think Salla has been reading too many comic books.

Dr. Len Horowitz (he usually deletes the letters “D.D.S.” from his title) is a high-energy motivational speaker whose spiel is so confusing that when you walk out you know you’ve just heard something brilliant, even if you have no idea what it meant. Horowitz began modestly by attempting to explain the “bio-holographic field of divinity.” This involves consulting a Webster’s dictionary. And not any other dictionary, either, because Noah Webster was a Freemason of the highest degree, and thus many Masonic secrets are embedded within it (think of the dictionary as the Da Webster Code), plus a rich helping of Bible codes as well. (Horowitz is apparently unaware that the dictionary name Webster’s is actually public domain, and several publishers have issued different Webster’s dictionaries that were not written by Noah Webster. The only dictionary directly derived from Webster’s original 1841 dictionary is Merriam-Webster’s.) Horowitz was pitching his new book titled Healing Codes for the Biological Apocalypse, which has something to do with getting your DNA in harmony with the divine healing frequencies concealed in Bible codes. We need this kind of linguistic guidance, because English is a language that had been derived from the original Hebrew for the purpose of dumbing us down (and if anybody takes that seriously, it proves that the linguistic plot has succeeded). The numerological value of the letter X is 6, as is that of the letter O, so that the seemingly innocent game of tic-tac-toe fills up the board with “666.” And worse yet, when the British Union Jack is quartered and rotated 90 degrees, it becomes a swastika. Oh, dastardly cunning, this plot!

But Len is up to the task of unraveling it. Clues abound in many places, most especially in the murals of the new Denver Airport, in which the conspirators have carelessly revealed the workings of their plans for all to see. His detailed org chart of the conspiracy reveals not just the usual suspects like the president, the FBI, and CIA, but even the dreaded American Home Products–a vast wing-nut conspiracy apparently for the suppression of the Electromagnetic Frequency Matrix of the Kingdom of Heaven. Getting right down to business, Horowitz explained how cancer cells are really just cells that are in “spiritual crisis.” Cancer can be cured by drinking “sacred geometric water” (water that has been prayed over), water that has been “structured” by having friendly words written on the outside of the jar (also seen in the film What the Bleep Do We Know?), and by a commercial product that he happens to recommend.

There was some discussion about UFOs here and there, mostly about supposed UFO abductees. Hypnotherapist Barbara Lamb (who was seen in the Alien Abductions segment of Penn and Teller’s TV show Bullshit!) conducted several sessions with “experiencers” claiming to have been abducted by ETs. The general theme of the sessions was: your experience is valid for you, and if you think you might have been abducted by aliens, then you probably were.

Next year’s UFO Congress really ought to be re-named the UFO arid Conspiracy Congress, but I doubt that it will. For UFOlogists are engaged in a little conspiracy of their own–to prevent the public from finding out how totally whacked-out bizarre the “science” of UFOlogy has now become.

Robert Sheaffer’s World Wide Web page for UFOs and other skeptical subjects is at www.debunker.com.

COPYRIGHT 2005 Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal

COPYRIGHT 2005 Gale Group

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