Timothy Green Beckley and Sean Casteel (editors) Alien Lives Matter: It’s OK to be Grey. Inner Light/Global Communications, 2021.
This time Tim and Sean collect reports and stories that take a two-pronged attack on the biggest issues in ufology. The major part of the book is dedicated to hostilities between humanity and aliens and underlines the point that throughout history being Grey has not been OK.
The second part of the book shows that despite general assumptions African-American people do take an interest in ufology and report alien encounters.
As might be expected the variety and quality of the contributions and the stories vary considerably. Obvious and well-known hoaxes like the Aurora airship crash of 1897 and the disappearing soldiers at Gallipoli in WW1 are related as if they were never explained, and indicates how the mythology of ufology is stronger than any boring old facts. There is also a lot of space given to the alien spacecraft crashes and recovery of aliens peddled by Leonard Stringfield many moons ago. As folklore they are fascinating as true stories worthless. I particularly like the mention of a toy Buck Rogers type space gun found at Roswell, that probably no one believes but it does raise a chuckle.
On a more serious note, the book does show that UFO beliefs and experiences are not just a white cultural phenomenon. The influence of the subject on stars like Muhammad Ali, Sammy Davis Jr., and Jimi Hendrix are recounted along with many other African-Americans. And, it is pointed out that the ‘first’ abductees, Betty and Barney Hill were an inter-racial couple.
David J. Halperin in the chapter ‘The Betty and Barney Hill Abduction - An African-American UFO Story’ from his new book Intimate Alien, makes a powerful argument that Betty through her dreams created the abduction narrative but it was Barney who painfully felt it. For Barney the experience was the re-living of the ancestral abduction in the middle of the night, to a foreign land. It was this history - ancestral and personal - that caused his terror.
It is also noteworthy that Tim Beckley first heard about the ‘Mother Wheel’ from Muhammad Ali. According to the book Message to the Black Man in America by Nation of Islam founder Elijah Muhammad, the first wheel was seen in the sky by Ezekiel, but now it is a one-half mile by a half mile wheel-shaped plane, known as the ‘Mother of Planes,’ The finest human brains built this huge mechanical object to carry 1,500 circular aircraft (otherwise known as flying saucers) that can carry bombs to destroy the enemies of Allah.
In 1985, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, claimed he was abducted into the Mother Wheel. He has since said it is a ‘heavily armed spaceship the size of a city that will rain destruction upon white America, but save those who embrace the Nation of Islam.’ The wheel encodes the meaning of black bodies and is a UFO-based mythology to cope with a hostile cultural environment. As detailed by Prof. Stephen C. Finley in the chapter ‘The Mother Wheel and the Cosmology of the Nation of Islam’s UFO’ the concept of the Wheel ‘becomes inseparable from the ways in which he (Louis Farrakhan) understands and lives his experience.’
That viewpoint should be applied to this whole volume that shows the different strands of a growing mythology/mythologies based on the belief in flying saucer and alien encounters, that straddles many cultures and societies for a multitude of underlying personal and social reasons. Or you can just let the outrageous stories of alien experiences and rumours boggle your mind and forget about logic, reason or the mundanities of scepticism. -- Nigel Watson