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    An alternative way to explore and explain the mysteries of our world. "Published since 1985, online since 2001."

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Letters to the Editor—Alternate Perceptions Magazine, September 2022

Brent, I enjoyed listening to your interview on Nite Drift. I'm wondering, after all your study and experiences, does it seem like all these entities are such tricksters who seemingly do not have genuine goodwill toward us? Is it even worthwhile investigating them or is it just like sinking sand that draws us in because of our spiritual curiosity but actually just disrupts people’s lives and relationships? Thanks for your time!

Levi Waldon, Michigan

Levi, thanks for your thoughtful message and question. To begin I've been in the UFO field for a little over 55 years now (and believe me I'm not bragging). I've really struggled to get where I am today in my thinking about all of this and it is far removed from where I initially began, and where I am at present isn't for me necessarily the preferred destination of choice I long had in mind, but I cling to it because I see it as the most reasonable and responsible one, and we all should exercise responsibly by going where the evidence seems to truly take us, even when we're, mentally anyway, kind of like kicking and screaming a bit.

I'm reminded of how in an interview Tim Beckley did with John Keel, Tim congratulated him for his victory in waking up a lot of ufologists to the psychic components of the phenomenon that had long been neglected. Keel however, instead of taking a victory lap, replied that it was a hollow victory in reality. We had only opened Pandora's box, he said, and it was obvious at that point that we were dealing with an even far more complex enigma to have to try and wrestle with.

I highly recommend Greg Little and Andrew Collins' latest book Origins of the Gods. It delves really deeply into the evidence and theories of all of this and more. Years ago, Greg was one of the first people to try and explain to me the Trickster's role. All three of us were heavily influenced by Keel and his ideas, insights, and we had our own personal interactions with him. As discouraging as the trickster element may sound, recognizing its role and implications, doesn't have to be a "hollow victory." The trickster may also be a teacher of sorts too. But there must be that recognition of who and what we may be dealing with, how the game has been played in the past, and as Greg told me in a recent interview how Jung emphasized the importance of how the shaman learned to navigate around the trickster. (I'll provide a link to that YouTube interview at the bottom of this page)

We shouldn't give up. I feel that all of this is a very worthwhile subject to pursue in spite of how it has unfortunately had a negative impact in the lives of some. It's got to be approached with discerning objectivity and a science minded attitude. Ufology is a belief-ridden field booby trapped with much (as Keel called it) "cult literature". The field in a way becomes the trickster's playground instead of a grounded field of responsible research and investigations.

Rising above and maneuvering around the psychological trickster-related booby traps is something many are not capable of as they fail to recognize it for what it is. Keel wrote how this subject can become like "emotional quicksand" and how for some he recommends they get out of the field, take up another interest or hobby, be it stamp or coin collecting, fishing, whatever it takes. Sometimes people need to disengage and distance themselves from it. Especially for those who find the phenomenon turning reflective and psychic activity begins overwhelming them. Brad Steiger even shared with me in a phone conversation how one time he was working away on a deadline and suddenly poltergeist type activity had started to erupt in his home office and papers began to move around on his desk as I recall. Finally, he said he'd had enough and he yelled out something like, "Cut it the hell out!" Immediately, it ceased, and he was able to continue typing undisturbed. It appears his angry response short-circuited it. For many however such manifestations have not resulted in such good outcomes because fear fed the activity.

Keel's battle cry in Mothman Prophecies was "belief is the enemy!" He recognized how easily our belief systems can misguide and entrap us in false ones. What's happening to us in today's ufology is, I feel, but a small part of the complex mechanisms and processes of consciousness, physics, and things we have yet to fully understand, and such manifestations, in many different guises, have shaped and influenced us down through the ages. I believe it's very important for us to try and continue to unravel these great mysteries of life and how they affect us and have brought us to this place that we're at now.

Best of luck in your journey. You're not alone. Keep questioning!

Brent Raynes


Wednesday, November 29, 2023