The clip by Carol Rainey on Budd Hopkins alleged secret UFO symbols raises a number of interesting points. One is the reaction of the American UFO Updates message board which was not only to ban Ms Rainey from its board, but also to ban any further comment on the issue of the alien scripts, though that did not seem to apply to Hopkins associate and abductee John Velez. As we in Magonia do not believe in censorship I will indeed discuss the clip on the alien script.

If readers look at the clip they will see both the large S symbol promoted by Hopkins and another wider set of symbols. These are not the only set of alien language going Look at the discussion HERE.

As you will see, attempts at constructing an alien language stretch back to John Dee's Enochian. Probably the earliest example of alleged extraterrestrial language was Helene Smith's "Martian" an example of which can be seen HERE, with a long discussion in the book From Indian to the Planet Mars, see HERE. 

In the UFO field there was a set of writing produced by a contactee in Sao Paulo in 1959, which you can see an example HERE. This was discussed by Gordon Creighton in FSR Vol 13, 3 (May-June 1967) pp7-8. Creighton, an expert linguist, wrote "on the basis of my own study and knowledge of language ... I find it hard to believe that this curious jumble of marks is a sophisticated script used by intelligent beings possessed of an advanced science" and noted of all the "alien scripts" he had seen only two were even vaguely convincing as real languages.

Unless one proposes to believe that Helen Smith was an abductee or that these scripts were the products of the jinn as Creighton did, one can assume that alien writing rather more sophisticated than Hopkins' sample can be spontaneously produced.

As Carol Rainey's clip shows, the main symbol produced by abductees was the capital S in some orientation or other. This symbol has quite a long ufological history, one going way back before Budd Hopkins. Probably its earliest appearance may be in one of the very first abduction reports, apparently from before the publication of the Betty and Barney Hill story. The story comes in the form of a letter dated 12 February 1965 sent to Dr Frank Salisbury and reproduced on pp 145-148 of his The Utah Ufo
Display: A Biologist's Report (Devin-Adair 1974), and the symbol is an S-shaped crowned serpent on the left hand shirt pocket of "the first man they called the master".

The story itself is about exactly halfway between an abduction and contactee tale. The writer was a largely illiterate youth and his tale is very confused, but seems to run something like this. He was just about to go to bed one night in June 1962 at his home in Estes Park, Colorado, when from his bedroom balcony his attention was drawn by a flash and he saw a blue globe land on a mountain top about 1 km away. He felt paralysed. It presumably then approached "against all the laws of motion" and appeared in front of him.

A musical voice invited him to enter this "blue glassy bubble" and he felt as if his body belonged to someone else. It took him to a giant black object with many levels above and below his position. He saw a marking on the wall three lines surmounted by an upwards arrow. A door appeared out of the wall and there also appeared "a very beautiful girl [with] [b]lond hair, blue eyes, about 5ft 4 inches tall with copper coloured hair. She pointed to a large room with men in black uniforms. One man said he was 7 ft. 4 in. tall and his companions are "my Brothers of far galaxies. They were Saurians, anxious to converse with him. Their clothes were black with silver disks on their shoulders. There is no clear ending, they conversed by giving him pictures in his head and examples of an alien language which he enclosed in the letter but which Salisbury does not reproduce.

The serpent motif appeared in another rather more publicised abduction story of the period, the Herbert Schrimer story, this time as a winged serpent on the uniforms.

This suggests we are dealing with cultural reifications of some sort of actual experience, and symbols such as crowned and winged serpents seem to appear in many cultures. perhaps these are also reifications of images seen in altered states of consciousness. In the original story we are probably dealing with a young man who sees a bright star in the distance and enters an ASC with elements of isolated sleep paralysis, hypnogogic imagery and eventual move into a dream like state. If abductees are coming up with this motif it may be because it and similar ones are generic to certain altered states.

These simple geometric forms may well be entoptic images formed from the physiology of the eye itself. Examples can be found on these websites:

And the discussion here: http://www.wynja.com/arch/entoptic.html

Entoptic images can be experienced in a variety of ASC's including hypnogogic states, and can then be remodelled by the brain into more familiar images. Images 5 on the second image site can easily be unconsciously turned into an S, a serpent on whatever.

This imagery may occur in the original hypnogogic and other ASCs out of which many abduction reports have been forged, but if you look at the set-up in which Budd Hopkins conducted his hypnotic regressions, with the subject lying down on her back on a couch, covered by a nice warm blanket, you will see that these are exactly conditions in which hypnogogic imagery, micro-sleep, micro-REM, and ISP might develop.

Such imagery and its elaboration may well account for many of these alien scripts, and perhaps not just alien scripts, perhaps the very first primitive beginnings of all alphabets were based on imagery seen by priests, shamans, etc in ASCs.
On more general points, it seems clear that in some quarters it is thought inappropriate to criticise Budd Hopkins work when he is seriously ill. Given that in the real world there are likely only to be two future situations, one in which Hopkins is seriously ill and one in which he is no longer with us (not even the most fervent aductionist actually suggests that the Greys might abduct and heal him as a overwhelming display of their benevolence and power, which gives a clue as to how little they really think these events are taking place in quotidian reality), it is not clear when now would be an appropriate time. After his death critics will be attacked for waiting till he cannot answer back etc. It is also perhaps significant that some of those now waving, as it were, the bloody shirt, were also most fervent in denouncing any critics of Hopkins when he was in rude health and at the height on his powers, when words like Torquemada were being hurled around.

It's also worth noting that only two groups of people are really in the know about what has been going on in the abduction movement, as with many other non-mainstream religious or political movements, are disciples and defectors. Both of whom have their own agendas.

1 comment:

  1. I see this column was written some time ago, but I've just now read the tart commentary on the ufological goings on. Such comments are much appreciated, as well as the refusal to suppress information. One comment, though, I might disagree with, respectfully. It's stated that two groups of people know the truth of what has transpired in the abduction movement--disciples and defectors. I agree that both of these parties have agendas. However, it has been my experience that the disciples of the abduction researchers are often even less self-aware than the two men they follow rather slavishly. And I have never in my life known two people so lacking in self-knowledge as the top American abduction researchers who were in the business of hacking into people's minds. I may be a defector from the camps of those two researchers, but I remain vitally interested in understanding, as ethically and scientifically as possible, the experiences that many people claim to have had.