Angels Among Us: The Beyond Invoked as Angelic or Demonic Aliens
By Paul D. Collins and Phillip D. Collins
The following is heavily excerpted from the new book, Invoking the Beyond: The Kantian Rift, Mythologized Menaces, and the Quest for the New Man, which is available at https://www.iuniverse.com/en/bookstore/bookdetails/822540-invoking-the-beyond.
Few things can engender compliance like fear and few fears are more compelling than the fear of the unknown. When faced with ontologically and epistemologically overwhelming forces, the human mind tends to entertain the previously untenable transaction of liberty for security.
Thus, the invocation of such forces can be especially advantageous for would-be oligarchs. Those forces, however diverse and dissimilar, fall under a single descriptive appellation: the Beyond. The core commonality that unites them is their origin with that side of reality that has been arbitrarily deemed unknowable. As inhabitants of terra incognita, they are ontologically and epistemologically beyond man. Thus, each one of these supposedly unknown forces constitutes individual manifestations of the Beyond.
The Beyond functions as a sort of conceptual Rorschach inkblot. Aspiring oligarchs project their own pragmatically contoured divinities and sorcerous forces upon its indefinable surface. When faced with the Beyond, legitimate national governments are hopelessly overwhelmed epistemologically and ontologically. The world of politics plunges into an incoherent malaise that governmental decision-making machinery (e.g., parliaments, congresses, and other representative bodies) is ill-equipped to remedy. The Beyond must be managed.
Otherwise, national governments will succumb to the forces of global anarchy. At least that is the rationale espoused by those who invoke the Beyond in the realm of politics. Invariably, the managerial model proposed is, to some extent, anti-democratic and totalitarian. Needless to say, the Beyond has proven to be an advantageous construct for the forces of oligarchy, whose meddlesome fingerprints upon human affairs are made evident by the voluminous case studies of totalitarian regimes throughout the 20th century. As the alleged possessors of some vague gnosis, aspirant hegemons arbitrarily define the world “out there” and populate it with various iterations of the Beyond. Among those iterations have been extraterrestrial “gods.”
Aliens: The New Angels
Of all the invocations of the Beyond, none are as fantastical as the invocation of alien “gods.” Most Ufological and science fiction narratives depict extraterrestrials as the products of biological evolution. Like all other organisms, aliens supposedly arose from primordial soups not unlike the one that allegedly spawned all life on earth. Naturally, this narrative appeals to the prominently materialistic and atheistic sensibilities of the West. Yet, simultaneously, extraterrestrials are often portrayed as ethereal and spiritually advanced beings, as is evidenced by the tacitly angelic presentation of interplanetary visitors in Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Herrick, Scientific Mythologies: How Science and Science Fiction
Forge New Religious Beliefs 15). This angel motif likely originated with Jacob Ilive, an Enlightenment-era pamphleteer and printer who promulgated a “peculiar neo-Gnostic narrative” between 1730 and 1750 (Herrick, “Blasphemy in the Eighteenth Century: Contours of a Rhetorical Crime” 112). James Herrick elaborates upon this “neo-Gnostic narrative”:
In works such as The Layman’s Vindication of the Christian Religion (1730), Ilive ‘revealed’ a latter-day interplanetary Gnosticism that may have influenced subsequent religious radicals, such as the American religionist Joseph Smith, and that echoes in the works of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.
In his most complete treatment of these themes, The Oration Spoke at Joyner’s Hall (1733), Ilive announced his surprising convictions: ‘Man is an apostate Angel and a Body,’ and Earth, ‘that Globe we now inhabit,’ is ‘Hell, i.e. the Place inferior to Heaven.’ Our planet was created as a penal colony for ‘Rebellious Angels.’ Thus, despite the usual reading of Genesis, ‘no new Order of Beings was created on Purpose to people it.’ Humans are not divine image bearers for whom God created the earth as a gift and home; we are fallen angels and Earth is a prison planet: ‘The fallen Angels are in Prison, that is imbodied [sic]: so that man is an apostate Angel and a Body.’ Jesus said: ‘In my Father’s house are many mansions,’ a claim Ilive takes as evidence that God placed intelligent life on other planets as well. Humans as spiritually ascending angelic beings will eventually inhabit and rule these distant planets. Despite the dubious nature of such claims, Ilive asserts that it was ‘undeniably and indisputably plain’ and ‘that we are the very fallen Angels cloathed in Flesh, and that the Place we now inhabit, is Hell, and no other Place.’ (“Blasphemy in the Eighteenth Century: Contours of a Rhetorical Crime” 113)
Thus, a new angelology took shape during the 18th century Enlightenment. No longer were angels viewed as spiritual beings that intervened in humanity’s affairs for ends fair or foul.
Instead, they were embodied by man, whose ultimate eschatological hope was to be caught up among the stars as interplanetary colonizers. Ilive redefined the “many mansions” comprising the “Father’s house” as off-world habitations that were possibly populated by “intelligent life.” This was precisely the same contention expressed by another Royal Society member, William Derham (Herrick, Scientific Mythologies: How Science and Science Fiction Forge New Religious Beliefs, 197). In his 1715 book Astro-Theology, Derham writes:
“The usual Question is what is the use of so many Planets as we see about the Sun, and so many as are imagined to be about the Fix’d Stars? To which the answer is, that they are Worlds, or places of Habitation, which is concluded from their being habitable, and well provided for habitation.” (Qutd. in Herrick The Making of the New Spirituality: The Eclipse of the Western Religious Tradition, 183)
It was Derham’s conviction that Dutch astronomer Christiaan Huygens had actually observed humanoid life-forms scurrying along the surface of the planets he viewed through his massive telescope (Herrick, Scientific Mythologies: How Science and Science Fiction Forge New Religious Beliefs, 197). Commenting on these alleged sightings, Herrick states: “Thus, extraterrestrials make an Enlightenment appearance, and in direct connection with a new theological view—Ilive’s Gnosticism” (The Making of the New Spirituality: The Eclipse of the Western Religious Tradition 183). This Enlightenment-era appearance of extraterrestrials and its corresponding theological view established the overall hermeneutic according to which the
modern UFO phenomenon was understood. Suddenly, the Eschaton was transposed into the immanent sphere and was situated among the stars. Heaven, hell, angels, demons, and God were suddenly redefined as the extraterrestrial occupants of the physical universe. This neo-Gnostic portrayal of space has been reiterated ad nauseam through various pop culture artifacts, including sci-fi films and novels. It also pervades the views that typically circulate within the Ufology community, which is extremely susceptible to manipulation by deep state operatives and dark elements of the intelligence community. Whether angelic or demonic, this particular version of the Beyond invariably provides ostensible justification for the further empowerment of oligarchic forces.
Angels over D.C.
In 1952, a UFO flap would occur over the skies of Washington, D.C. from July 13 to July 29, with the most publicized and intense sightings occurring during the weekends of July 19-20 and July 26-27. While there are many in the field of Ufology who see this flap as confirmation of the idea that man is being visited by aliens, a meeting between Air Force officer Edward J. Ruppelt and a scientist from an unnamed agency suggests a different possibility. From late 1951 to 1953, Ruppelt was a participant in Project Blue Book. Known earlier as Project Grudge, Blue Book was a formal governmental study of the UFO phenomenon. In his book The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects, Ruppelt recounts his meeting with this mysterious scientist. He writes:
In some aspects the Washington National Sightings could be classed as a surprise
– we used this as an excuse when things got fouled up – but in other ways they weren’t. A few days prior to the incident a scientist, from an agency that I can’t name, and I were talking about the build-up of reports along the east coast of the United States. We talked for about two hours, and I was ready to leave when he said that he had one last comment to make – a prediction. From his study of the UFO reports that he was getting from Air Force Headquarters, and from discussions with his colleagues, he said that he thought that we were sitting right on top of a big keg full of loaded flying saucers. “Within the next few days,” he told me, and I remember that he punctuated his slow, deliberate remarks by hitting the desk with his fist, “they’re going to blow up and you’re going to have the granddaddy of all UFO sightings. The sighting will occur in Washington or New York,” he predicted, “probably Washington.” (187-188)
Needless to say, the unnamed scientist’s prediction unfolded with uncanny accuracy. It is doubtful that this scientist could possess such extreme foreknowledge if the occupants of the objects over the skies of Washington, D.C. in 1952 were aliens. Creatures from outer space, after all, would feel no need to share their flight plans with humans. It is also interesting to note that Ruppelt was unable to actually go out on July 21 and collect witness testimonies or visual confirmation of the sightings. Returning to Ruppelt’s book, The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects, one reads the following: “Major Fournet and I spent the entire morning ‘just leaving’ for somewhere to investigate ‘something.’ Every time we would start to leave, something more pressing would come up” (199). Ruppelt may have been intentionally prevented from going out because a comprehensive investigation would have uncovered terrestrial explanations for some of the sightings. In his book, Ruppelt even states that “a more thorough investigation…would have taken some of the intrigue out of” two radar reports (201). It took Ruppelt a year to gather the evidence necessary to reach that conclusion (201). Yet, as the Air Force officer points out in his book, the evidence “could have been collected in a day of concentrated effort” (201). The time lapse allowed for an elaborate myth involving extraterrestrial visitors to emerge. This myth would become a useful tool in the hands of those who inhabit the world of covert politics.
Seven years removed from the event, Dr. Leon Davidson, the famous chemical engineer and scientist who participated in the development of the atomic bomb, noted aspects of the 1952 UFO flap that suggested a terrestrial-based deception. In an article that appeared in the February/March, 1959 issue of Saucer Smear entitled “ECM+CIA=UFO,” Davidson pointed out that the relocation jet interceptors prevented the Air Force from obtaining visual confirmation of the objects appearing on radar screens. Davidson writes:
The jet interceptors which guard Washington were moved from Andrews Air Force Base (4 miles away) to New Castle, Delaware (90 miles away) to “permit runway repairs” during the month of sightings in Washington. This accounted for the delays and lack of sufficient interceptors. (Davidson, “ECM+CIA=UFO”)
The absence of jet interceptors, according to Davidson, would provide the ideal opportunity to manufacture a UFO wave using a form of electronic warfare and counterintelligence known as Electronic Countermeasures (ECM) (ibid). This technology had been in use since 1945 and could be employed to create radar blips with no actual objects as referents. Davidson elaborates:
By 1945, mechanical countermeasures against radar had become publicly known. Aluminum foil strips dropped from planes reflect radar waves and clutter up the enemy’s radar screens. Further developments to electronic countermeasures (ECM).
A “black box” in our bombers would pick up the enemy’s radar impulses; amplify and modify them; and send them back, drowning out the normal radar return from the bomber. The modification could be a change in timing or phase and could cause the “blip” on radar screen to have an incorrect range, speed, or heading.
By about 1950, ECM was standard equipment on our advanced bombers and was being developed for missiles. Advertisements started to appear about 1956 showing that this equipment could be used for creating simulated targets for training radar operators. (Ibid)
What organization would be interested in staging a UFO incident using ECM? For Davidson, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was a prime suspect. After pointing out the Agency’s extensive involvement in the UFO research field, Davidson writes:
I contend that since 1951, the CIA has caused or sponsored saucer sightings for its own purposes. By shrewd psychological manipulation, a series of “normal” events has been served up so as to appear as quite convincing evidence of extraterrestrial UFOs. Some of this “normal” activity includes military use of ECM on a classified basis unknown to the radar observers who were involved, leading to the radar reports discussed in this article. (Ibid)
In Davidson’s view, the CIA-sponsored hoax would have involved a mixture of ECM and tactics drawn from the field of public relations. Compartmentalization would also be employed to ensure that none of the participants would fully grasp the true nature of the operation.
The ECM operations would have been conducted under normal secrecy rules befitting their novel military character. The ECM personnel may not even haverealized that their operations would give rise to these UFO reports. The reports of the radar personnel show that they were not aware of any ECM possibilities and were genuinely “taken in” by display. Such proceedings would seem normal, honest, and perfectly proper in the name of military R&D. But I think we must draw the line at the next step – misleading publicity. I believe that the CIA “promoted” publicity on these sightings (at least the American cases) for the purpose of fostering stories about the “interplanetary” nature of flying saucers. (Ibid)
Eventually, Davidson’s criticism of the CIA and his assertion that the Agency was involved in manipulating the UFO field drew persecution. At one point, for instance, CIA officer Frank Chapin suggested that Davidson possessed ulterior motives and that an FBI investigation was in order (Coppens, “A Lone Chemist’s Quest to Expose the UFO Cover-Up”).
Davidson’s investigation into the 1952 UFO flap over Washington D.C. is very important because it draws attention away from the more sensational elements of the UFO phenomenon (such as bright objects in the sky performing incredible aerial maneuvers). For Davidson, these elements were meant to distract people and confuse the real issue. Davidson wanted researchers to look at the national security implications of the 1952 UFO flap. Some Ufologists would assert that those national security implications include the notion that alien craft are conducting business in the skies over planet earth while the militaries and governments of the world are helpless and ill-equipped to address the issue. That, however, is not the case. Davidson appears to have had something quite different in mind. If Davidson’s contention that the 1952 UFO flap was a CIA manipulation is true, then it means that Agency involvement in the UFO phenomenon includes serious jurisdictional violations. In the National Security Act of 1947, one reads that “the Agency shall have no police, subpoena, law-enforcement powers, or internal-security functions” (“The National Security Act of 1947 – July 26, 1947”). This passage is significant because it makes it clear that CIA involvement in the domestic sphere is to be extremely limited. If the CIA, as Davidson believed, uses the UFO phenomenon as a cover for domestic operations falling outside of the Agency’s jurisdiction, then this constitutes a serious national security issue. Davidson’s theory concerning the 1952 UFO flap suggests that the CIA has blurred legal lines and transcended its mission statement. Furthermore, if the 1952 UFO flap was a CIA covert operation in the domestic realm, then there is no reason to believe that it was the first or the last instance of such activity.
Assuming the CIA was the driving force behind the 1952 UFO flap, how would national security benefit from such activity? One is hard pressed to find any benevolent motive behind such an operation. Unfortunately, there is an impressive body of evidence suggesting that portions of the CIA manipulate social change to benefit elements within the deep state. The 1952 UFO flap supports the contention that such covert social engineering sometimes employs manufactured UFO incidents. It is doubtful that those elements of the CIA participating in the UFO deception concern themselves with whether or not such domestic covert operations help or hinder the majority of America’s citizenry.
Endgame: A Technocratic World State
What ends are served by invoking this particular version of the Beyond? The answer to this question occasionally surfaces within the Ufology milieu. In a 1976 interview, deceased Ufologist Stanton Friedman stated:
As soon as it becomes obvious to the people on the planet and widely accepted that flying saucers are real and from off the earth, there’s going to be a push for a view of man as “earthlings”… Instead of “I’m an American or Russian or Chinese. I’m an earthling.” There is no government that wants its citizens to owe their primary allegiance to the planet as opposed to the country. Nobody wants to give up their power. And, yet all of these jokes about “Take me to your leader”…
That’s wishful thinking. What’s funny about those is that there is no leader to be taken to. There’s nobody that speaks for planet earth. So, there are enormous political problems with anybody saying, ‘Yes, there’s somebody out there and he’s coming here and he doesn’t want to talk to me as a representative of the planet.’ How do we choose who speaks for the planet? I don’t know. (“Who Speaks For Planet Earth? Please Discuss!”)
Implicit in Friedman’s final rhetorical question is the contention that the present nation- state system is hopelessly inadequate for dealing with the inevitability of alien contact. The alleged obsolescence of the nation-state system is a consistently reiterated theme within the Ufological circles frequented by Friedman. One of Friedman’s friends and associates in the realm of Ufology was an enigmatic figure named John B. Alexander. A photo of Alexander with Friedman can be found in “UFO/Phenomenology Interests” section of Alexander’s official website (John B. Alexander, Ph.D.). Alexander, who has been involved with globalist enclaves like the Council on Foreign Relations, chronically articulates a pervasive derision for the nation- state system in his work. An April 2006 Joint Special Operations University report entitled The Changing Nature of Warfare, the Factors Mediating Future Conflict, and Implications for SOF is illustrative of this derision.
In the report, Alexander identifies the nation-state as one of several “sacred cows” that he has “gored” (Alexander, The Changing Nature of Warfare, the Factors Mediating Future Conflict, and Implications for SOF 1). He then describes the nation-state as “a failing concept with limited utility and great liability” (1). Later, Alexander states that “the nation-state as primary building block of geopolitical relations is questionable…” (11). He proceeds to present the tired argument that information and communications technology has somehow robbed the nation-state model of its relevance. Alexander writes: “While it has been a useful construct for the past two centuries or more, new relationships have arisen that suggest that the concept of primacy of the nation-state is failing. Advances in information and communications technology are accelerating this process” (11). Like most globalists, Alexander fails to explain how bringing Internet access to remote areas such as Tristan da Cunha necessitates the dismantling of borders and the abandonment patriotic sentiments. Nevertheless, Alexander parrots this non sequitur along with several other logical fallacies in support of his globalist contention. Alexander argues:
The assumption of the continued supremacy of the nation-state as the primary building block of macro-societal groupings is flawed. While nations will remain the macro-organization of choice in the near future, social restructuring based on beliefs, ethnicity, and other interpersonal relationships will increase.
Concomitantly, geographic boundaries will decline in significance as the primary contextual factor for social and business interactions. This notion will not be popular with politicians or academicians as several centuries of history supports and has solidified the nation-state model. Even considering new large-scale social orders will seem illogical and frightening to conventional thinkers. They have little experience outside the nation-state construct and see no viable alternative
model under which to operate. Several factors will dramatically alter the global social structure tapestry. These include continued devolution of old states, globalization of economic interests, continued widespread immigration, and formation of social groups based on common ideology that is ubiquitously communicated around the world. Ascendances of powerful groups that are not geographically defined have already begun to alter large-scale social interactions. (The Changing Nature of Warfare, the Factors Mediating Future Conflict, and Implications for SOF 12)
While Alexander does not view the end of the nation-state system as an imminent development, he believes that transnational commonalities will divorce people from the geographic confines of nation-states and aggregate them into larger social groupings. He writes:
The role of the nation-state is also changing, though it will remain the preeminent organizational structure of choice in the near term. However, large-scale social groupings of the future are more likely to be established by common beliefs and values, economic considerations and alliances, and ethnicity, than they are tied to geography. (The Changing Nature of Warfare, the Factors Mediating Future Conflict, and Implications for SOF 43)
Friedman echoed such sentiments, invoking alien visitation as the ultimate rationale for dismantling the nation-state system. Advocates of such global deconstruction tend to intentionally or inadvertently overlook the fact that democratic institutions have only been effectively encapsulated within the framework of nation-states. The nation-state system can be considered a large-scale expression of the rule of law. Within the nation-state model, power is decentralized and dispersed among several different countries. Such a model was realized in 1648 with the Peace of Westphalia, when the major countries of Europe signed a series of treaties that recognized and respected territorial integrity. The worldwide homogenization process touted by globalists has led to an erosion of Westphalian sovereignty through the transference of power to a small group of transnational and international entities.
The rationale for such planetary restructuring invariably assumes two forms. If the aliens are angelic, then the nation-state system is woefully sub-optimal for the purposes of establishing interplanetary diplomatic ties. If the aliens are demonic, then only the military might of a unipolar world order can withstand the extraterrestrial invaders. Yet, the true invaders are not descending from the heavens. Instead, they occupy the halls of power and the councils of government. The inhabitants of those darkened corners envision a technocratic world state. The Beyond, in this case invoked as angelic or demonic aliens, is the harbinger of that nightmare.
Alexander, John B. The Changing Nature of Warfare, the Factors Mediating Future Conflict, and Implications for SOF. Hurlburt Field, Florida: The JSOU Press, 2006.
Coppens, Philip. “A lone chemist’s quest to expose the UFO cover-up.” Philip Coppens Website
Davidson, Leon. “ECM+UFO=CIA.” Saucer Smear February/March 1959
Herrick, James A. The Making of the New Spirituality: The Eclipse of the Western Religious Tradition. Downer’s Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 2003.
—. Scientific Mythologies: How Science and Science Fiction Forge New Religious Beliefs. Downer’s Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 2008.
—. “Blasphemy in the Eighteenth Century: Contours of a Rhetorical Crime.” Atheism and Deism Revalued: Heterodox Religious Identities in Britain, 1650-1800, Wayne Hudson and Diego Lucci, ed. NY: Routledge, 2014, 101-18.
John B Alexander, Ph.D. <http://www.johnbalexander.com/>
Ruppelt, Edward. The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects. New York: Double Day and Company, 1956.
“The National Security Act of 1947 – July 26, 1947” 26 July 1947
“Who Speaks For Planet Earth? Please Discuss!” YouTube 23 February 2009