Sludge Report #1
Updated: Nov 17, 2021
This is the first in a series of reports on random things relating to the UFO or paranormal scenes that highlight corruption, lies, stupidity and/or nonsense therein. If you've seen any "sludge", as I'll call it, please feel free to pass it onto me and I'll feature it in upcoming reports.
I sometimes revisit the comment section of Joe Rogan's 2019 interview with Bob Lazar just to see how badly people's critical thinking skills have declined. Here is a whopper of a comment (poster name withheld) that weaves in some mutations of Lazar's fable contributed by this person:
The amount of piffle in this comment is almost unfathomable:
-- The "higher dimensional beings" with their crashed saucers - 9 of them, according to Lazar (who was able to count them, apparently, despite the high level of "compartmentalization" of the "reverse-engineering program" and the regime of paranoia and fear he describes at the "S4 base") - who don't ever seem to recover their craft despite their tech being akin to magic.
-- What is a "higher frequency of consciousness", anyway? It's a New Age talking point that sounds sciencey but is actually meaningless. It's meant to tie physics concepts like quantum mechanics and strings together with consciousness, and integrate them into a single unitary system. Of course, there are genuine debates within philosophy of mind that do invoke quantum phenomena as possible avenues for understanding consciousness, and there are respectable positions within this field that invoke philosophical idealist notions, such as panpsychism. But these technical debates, whether one agrees or disagrees with any particular position, are quite removed from the cynical and cavalier usage of scientific terminology bandied about by many spiritualist gurus and grifters. I'm not saying that the comment poster is a cynical charlatan, but he might well be a victim of one.
-- The "Galactic Federation" is a motif that became famous in "ufological" circles when a former head of Israeli space security, Haim Eshed, spoke of their being a secret space program (which was itself already a common trope), joint alien/ human underground bases on Mars (reminiscent of the "Serpo" story), and a federation of alien civilizations in our galaxy. Eshed is 87 years old and may simply be reporting beliefs deriving from possible dementia (apparently, the latter is much less likely for many UFO fundamentalists than to suppose that there really is a Galactic Federation). He may also be be afflicted with an egotistical need to embellish his already accomplished career with tall tales, something for which there is also plenty of precedent and may explain why a former Canadian defense minister (Paul Hellyer), a former US army master sergeant (Robert O. Dean) and a former US Army Lieutenant Colonel (Philip J. Corso) have all told similar yarns about aliens, with precisely as much evidence provided for their claims as Eshed's. Needless to say, the Galactic Federation itself sounds like a ripped-off science fiction trope. Whether it was deliberately ripped off by Eshed, or whether it inadvertently formed as a doublet in his mind through a process of cultural acclimation and exposure, is something we may never know.
-- The star Arcturus has become a mainstay in some alien narratives as the home of advanced extraterrestrials who are communicating with us through subliminal or supernatural means. It has featured in sci-fi stories as far back as the 1920s and is now prominent in some New Age grifts involving ETs.
-- I cannot judge whether this person is picking up upon white supremacist motifs about the "Black Sun" (he mentions that the aliens are small and blue skinned, which deviates from the Nordic-type aliens favored by white supremacists; also, the "Galactic Federation" is a motif pushed by an Israeli former official, and Israel is seen as the devil incarnate by probably most white supremacists), but the notion that the "Galactic Federation is sending photonic energy to us" is at least reminiscent of the legend of the Black Sun. The latter legend purports that spiritual energy is being transmitted to Earth by a hidden sun-god or star (in some accounts residing in the center of the galaxy, but also in a type of interdimensional quasi-non-physical plane) that calls out to "Aryans" to complete their historic mission. This could be coincidental, of course; oftentimes, pseudoscientific stories converge on similar themes independently of one another. Other times, they benefit from cross-pollination, and the Black Sun mythos may have developed with the help of Arcturian luminescence rather than the other way around. But then we also have in the comment mention of Atlantis, which is definitely a widely held white supremacist narrative element favored by many on the far right. There is also mention of Pleiadeans, the mainstay of Erich von Däniken (who wove racist elements into his ancient astronauts spiel) and Billy Meier, who invokes regular contact with Nordic-type extraterrestrials. And then there is the part about "awakening our DNA", which might well be read as an endorsement of spiritualist themes linked to a "race memory", and is also resonant with the Thulean/Atlantean/Hyperborean mythos (note also that some white supremacists and outright neo-Nazis invoked Venus as the home or the conduit for Aryan god-men. Venus is the home of George Adamski's Nordics). Note again: I'm NOT saying that this person is necessarily invoking racist cosmic mythologies or deliberately insinuating them into his comment, but rather that there is substantial overlap with them and that anyone who decides to push pseudoscience would do well to consider how this pseudoscience might feed into toxic belief systems that they themselves might oppose.
-- The trope about "traveling the universe with our consciousness" is one that's again making the rounds with Stephen Greer's "CE5" scam. One wonders why, if we can travel the universe using consciousness, grifters such as Greer don't bless us with amazing and scientifically verifiable insights about the cosmos, and why the messages of the ETs are invariably indistinguishable from spiritualist hogwash. Of course, the answer to this is that the point of such stories and New Age practices is not to expand scientific knowledge but to facilitate one's immersion in a system of belief and immediate experience. The experience is the reality in this scheme, not the empirical verifiability of its claims. That, too, has very dangerous precedents. When pure emotion clouds rational judgement, who is to say what else might slip through?
-- Incidentally, Lazar's "sport model flying saucer" (the one he supposedly "worked on" at "S4") was directly inspired by a Billy Meier dinner-plate "beam ship", undoubtedly thanks to the suggestions of Meier defender, UFO fanatic and Lazar confidant John Lear. Lazar also mentions in the Rogan interview that he has a an inkling about being told by "Barry" that the one of the saucers was excavated from an archeological dig. Here we see Lazar using the well-worn trope of Ancient Aliens lore to make his story more resonant among believers while hedging his bets against scrutiny ("Well, I didn't say that it was actually excavated from an archeological dig! It's just what I sort of remember hearing." This is classic Lazar). It should be noted that stories about buried/dormant alien ships or beings are a dime a dozen, appearing in works such as Stephen King's "The Tommyknockers" and John Carpenter's "The Thing".
Again on Lazar, we find the following in the comment section of Arvin Ash's video about the Jeremy Corbell-directed Netflix documentary "Bob Lazar: Area 51 & Flying Saucers":
The commenter is alluding to Ash's minor gaff about wormholes (Ash invoked wormholes as being what Lazar was talking about when the latter spoke of space-time warping as the means by which alien craft traverse the universe. Many have suggested that Lazar was talking about something closer to an Alcubierre drive, though this is nonsense for different reasons. And, in any case, the energies involved would be prohibitive given the miniscule amounts of element 115 that Lazar claims the craft used as fuel. Lazar's account is simply science fiction, having more in common with "Star Trek" than with serious physics). The more interesting part of the comment, however, is the bizarre cult-like fanaticism with which Lazar is held up as someone to "defend at all cost" because he is, in the reckoning of these people, a "hero" who "selflessly" gave us the "truth". These same people, of course, will not heroically use a search engine to check the veracity of Lazar's fables or engage their own critical thinking and logic to ask themselves whether his story makes sense. Belief is what matters, and Lazar fans his fans by using their well-cultivated distrust of the government as an emotional hook.
Returning to the ancient aliens/astronauts front, Jason Colavito has correctly described a recent Tweet by Giorgio Tsoukalos (of "I'm not saying it was aliens, but it was aliens" meme fame) (https://twitter.com/JasonColavito/status/1456969428386656264):
Theosophy is a religion that was co-founded by and strongly tied to the ideas of Madame Helena Blavatsky and which is sometimes today still loosely reflected in fringe beliefs about world history, including UFOs and the myth of Atlantis. What Tsoukalos has written is clearly a religious take. Tsoukalos of course goes all in on the whole ancient aliens spiel, being one of its most vocal promoters. Perhaps feeling unable to climb down from the thoroughly debunked claims of ancient aliens lore and to decouple himself from a sunken-costs enterprise of pushing pseudoscientific nonsense for such a long time, the only avenue for him might be to escalate and to promote ever more extreme takes. Of course, it would also not be at all surprising to discover that he is a follower of Theosophy or ideas explicitly tied to it.
Dr. Eric Davis, a scientist and defense contractor who is a big name in "ufology" for his allusions to "off-world vehicles not made on this Earth", recently had a little meltdown when The Black Vault's John Greenwald Jr questioned some of the narrative surrounding AATIP/AAWSAP. Note Davis's weird combination of schoolyard-level homophobic taunting and boisterous, huffy seniority card-pulling: (https://twitter.com/blackvaultcom/status/1454956699974991872):
The seniority card, by the way, might well be another religious connotation of UFOs: we should not question the elders who hold sacred, esoteric knowledge about them. These same people, who implore the rest of us to be "open minded", become incredibly defensive when we open-mindedly ask questions about their claims. Not only are these people exempt form the "Disclosure" push to release all information, they are also, for all intents and purposes, celebrated for claiming to be sitting on such information. And surely, one would think that a heavy-hitting scientist would not need to resort to taunts involving "dick-in-mouth disease" - but one would be very wrong, apparently.
In my previous blog post, I mentioned that "ufology" may be getting increasingly militarized in its language and imagery. Here is the latest from Luis Elizondo (https://twitter.com/LueElizondo/status/1458234832534716417):
Isn't this "assault" language, as though he was planning a grand envelopment of any army, a bit weird? I hope I'm reading way too much into it and that it's just a "boys will be boys" sort of thing in which a UFO enthusiast is a tad too excited about some development in his chosen "field" (then again, he's a former counter-intelligence officer whom we're supposed to be taking seriously, partly due to his supposed level-headedness) but the overall feel and flavor of "ufology" just seems like it's getting taken over, or at least more frequented, by this type of thing.