Reality Checking—Alternate Perceptions Magazine, July 2020
by: Brent Raynes
The challenging world of UFOs and the Psychic-Nexus
Listening recently to an interesting roundtable discussion on Seriah Azkath’s “Where Did The Road Go?” [WVBR FM 93.5, Ithaca, N.Y., 06-20] noted British researcher Patrick Harpur, author of the thought-provoking Daimonic Reality [as I recall, it was one of Keel’s favorites], provided an overview of the challenging nature of inquiring into the complex matters lurking beneath the broad umbrella of the paranormal when he stated: “One of the troubles with paranormal events and things like UFOs or Bigfoot is that they run the whole gamut from the sublime to the ridiculous.”
With those words, I was immediately reminded of similar words expressed in a letter to me years earlier, back in March 1989, from friend and colleague Dr. Berthold Eric Schwarz, an imminent psychiatrist who waded into the whole controversial quagmire of ufology, cryptozoology and parapsychology with such books as Psychic-Nexus , UFO Dynamics  and Psychiatric and Paranormal Aspects of Ufology . Our conversation began when I presented him with a series of bewildering experiences provided me by yet another UFO contactee. “She gives you a typical account in many ways but now you tell me what it means,” he challenged. From his own studies of such experiencers he noted how they too often were a strange “mixed bag of the sublime and the ridiculous.” He added, “This ambiguity aspect is not unknown to field investigations of psi. We are dealing with the ‘people part’ of the equation and there are many layers of here and now information that must be grappled with before, if ever necessary, invoking esoteric explanations or succumbing in some cases to confabulations. Someday the official classification of various reaction states by the American Psychiatric Association will have to include psi, a most central and obvious but shamefully overlooked aspect of communication and behavior.” What is the value of such data? Returning to Harpur’s recent remarks on paranormal experiences he offered this: “They lead you to a completely different worldview – a whole philosophy of life in fact, and a whole different view of reality. C.S. Lewis said their unimportance may well be their importance. Everything they do is paradoxical. Not just the fact that they can be material and immaterial, but the fact that they can be both sublime and absurd at the same time. Quite a lot of paranormal phenomena are just witty.”
However, “witty” is simply not how the average experiencer and researcher generally reacts to, values and appreciates, and processes this “mixed bag” of paranormal manifestations. The researchers can exercise their options to deal with only cases or case details that are compatible or acceptable to their intellectual belief systems, which happens often enough, while the experiencer is left to more forcibly and directly deal with his/her memories on a far more personal, emotional and challenging level. One’s life journey is not a straight and narrow and perfect pathway, but one full of unexpected psychodynamic twists and turns, directions, misdirections, and dramas that weave on through life with anything other than a straight path, tailored to your specific desires, plans and expectations. Thirty-one years later, the language is similar and the lack of definitive conclusiveness and clear understanding about it all remains on a near identical parallel. We just observed 73 years of official ufology on June 24th. The numbers of claimants are staggering, up in the thousands upon thousands. It’s global, the details are very similar, and the experiencers often have all the appearances of being credible. However, does the mainstream ufological belief, or at least emphasis, on the explanation that this is a “nuts and bolts ET” phenomenon satisfactorily take in the full scope of what is being reported? Does such a theory hold water? Should we put all of our eggs in one single basket? John Keel, roughly half a century ago, described the state of ufology as being one of an infant pseudoscience. I’ve been immersed in this subject matter, as a researcher and field investigator, for a little over 53 years. Progress still seems miniscule.
Researchers don’t need to be biased in any way in their efforts to gather the critical data, from which our understanding necessarily evolves and is dependent upon. Sadly though researchers of say ufology have often overlooked a cryptid experience described by a UFO experiencer as unrelated to their particular field and thus not relevant to their investigation, as well as ghostly and poltergeist type manifestations, and the attitude is generally the same in those respective fields. However, if everyone would approach those interviewed in an open, unstructured sort of way, just simply inquiring at some point as to whether they’ve experienced other “unexplained phenomena,” even if outside of the interviewers particular discipline and comfort zone, then there might be a bigger picture to examine, as researchers like John Keel, Jacques Vallee, Dr. Schwarz, D. Scott Rogo, and others have pointed out. Additionally, if students from these different fields could come together and compare notes important clues and insights might be further uncovered in a multidisciplinary exchange and examination of such anomalous data.
Dr. Schwarz in interviews, in his book UFO Dynamics, and in his interactions with fellow students of ufology, myself included, frequently recommended that we read noted psychoanalyst and parapsychologist Nandor Fodor’s Encyclopaedia of Psychic Science, pointing out how there were “numerous accounts of UFO-like data – without the term ‘UFO’”, that were to be found in that book. Keel even cited Fodor’s book Haunted People, that contained some 375 poltergiest cases from A.D. 355 to A.D. 1947, claiming how “a great many of these cases are identical to modern UFO incidents.” For example, in 1836, globular looking lights reported around a home in Szeged, Hungary, with strange noises in the house and sightings of a “woman in white” that would inexplicably appear and disappear. In another case something described as a “floating, vaporous body shaped like a football” reported around a boardinghouse in New York in 1882, along with reports of dogs reacting in terror, unexplained rapping noises, and bedcovers being yanked from beds by unseen hands, with many claiming they awakened in the night to discover dark forms standing over them. Keel declared that “belief is the enemy!” Not only have our human beliefs potentially misled and directed us away from a more meaningful “big picture” of these things for 73 years, but Fodor and numerous other chroniclers shed light upon centuries of anomalous, potentially interrelated occurrences, for which we have likely, in many ways, failed to properly connect the dots. Again and again we react with assorted beliefs and disbeliefs as too absurd and ridiculous, at times too inexplicable or too frightening to truly and meaningfully entertain and integrate into the fabric of our human comprehension. Many times, such experiences can be incorporated into a positive, spiritual perspective too. Whatever evolves from such events we will frequently strive to understand them based on whatever level of understanding and whatever belief systems are existent during whatever particular epoch we experience such phenomena in.
While looking over this column for one final review for clarity and correct spelling, I double checked some data in my Dr. Schwarz folders and came across a letter he had written me, also in 1989, of how he had just gotten a pleasant phone call from Stan Friedman, UFO author and nuclear scientist, who he hadn’t heard from in quite some time. He noted, “He and his group had me to the Pittsburgh area years ago to study some unusual UFO-contactee-MIB-missing time cases. After all these years, and as you write, no one has the answer and as soon as you think you are on to something you will run into data that will immediately contradict your opinion. The paranormal aspects are still largely neglected and the experimental approaches, although promising, have been mostly ignored.” I recall a phone conversation with John Keel years ago and he remarked how us UFO buffs are like a dog chasing its tail, going around in circles, again and again. Getting nowhere he of course implied. But perhaps for now it’s like that old saying: it’s not the destination but the journey that’s important. We can agree to disagree, but let’s be civil with one another, as constructive as possible, and keep talking it through. Journey on my friends!
Sadly, we lost yet another great pioneering warrior researcher in the UFO and paranormal fields.
This time it was Ann Druffel of Los Angeles, a dedicated and hardworking investigator and researcher who had been on the UFO beat since 1957, beginning with NICAP [National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena] and in 1973 joining up with MUFON [Mutual UFO Network]. Over the years, Ann contributed some major books to the field, such as How to Defend Yourself Against Alien Abduction (1998), The Tujunga Canyon Contacts, with D. Scott Rogo (1980), Firestorm: Dr. James E. McDonald’s Fight for UFO Science (2003), and The Psychic And The Detective (1984) and Standing in God’s Light: In End Times (2006), both with Armand Marcotte. Ann Druffel passed away on June 12, 2020. She was 93, born on August 12, 1926.
I myself did an interview with Ann back in 2002 for Alternate Perceptions. She shared with me some great stories and quotes that I used in my book Visitors from Hidden Realms (2004). One of my favorite insightful quotes from her, which I’ve used several times since, concerned the Djinn, elementals, and their similarities to the modern “greys” of ufology.
“These creatures – the Djinns of the Muslim religion and the elementals in the Buddhist religion – they reportedly can materialize and dematerialize, and so can our Western culture’s abducting creatures. They shape shift in various forms, they delight in harassing and traumatizing human beings – for their own purpose. I don’t know why. They reportedly abduct human beings and transport them long distances in a matter of seconds, and that’s what happens here. And the Djinns, the elementals, and our own abducting greys [have taken] a sexual interest in human beings…down through the millenia. In every major culture of the world, and in many minor cultures, they all have these same folkloric stories, and even religious and philosophical texts in some of the countries talk about this ‘third order of creation,’ as the Muslim’s call it. They aren’t angels, they aren’t devils, they aren’t human beings. They’re something in between that share our world with us in a hidden state.”