Tuesday, July 9, 2013

I've Seen THE{?} LIGHT{s}: post four

Hello again, folks. Life has been a bit of a tornado lately [still is] as a house came up for sale which [with a lot of work] meets the characteristics needed to create an urban green-retrofit co-op spiritual community house here in Kalamazoo. The bank didn't misbehave too badly on this, and shortly I'll be $120,000 "poorer", but on the path of my last big contribution to help out in this wrongly-directed "civilization" of ours. Both my bank account and my heart will be lighter --- a fair exchange.

Because of that, it's been tough to focus here. Today I'm going to put something fairly narrow in the blog, nothing particularly surprising to any of us, but something that Fox sees as another important element in his survey of RERC spiritual light encounters book. This subject is specific religious apparitions.

Most of you will recognize, despite the out-of-focussed nature of the picture above, the famous claim of the Marian apparition at Zeitoun, Egypt. This manifestation is supposed to have shown itself several times during the years 1968-1970. For me it is one of the weirdest things in anomalies literature, and maybe some of you can give me the missing information to wipe away the weirdness.

First, though, the claimed phenomenology: during this time period, apparitions related to the Virgin Mary appeared many times, and in certain periods almost regularly, over the cupola of a coptic church in Zeitoun, near Cairo. Some of these apparitions were very distinctly "Mary", some fuzzily so, and some just "flying lightforms" called by some "doves" and by others blobs of light. The two things we see above are blobs. Sometimes these differing forms were part of the same "evening's entertainment", and sometimes only one or the other "sign" would be present.

Such was the phenomenology, now why I say it's weird:

1). these manifestations supposedly went on for nearly two solid years. Where's the flood of evidence? Why weren't camera crews from worldwide news agencies crowding in to get a piece of this story?

2). there are quite a few photos in books in my file on this thing. As far as I can tell, they all go back to just one citation. How the heck is THAT possible? Yet author after author seems to talk about this thing as if there were no doubts whatever as to the basic claims that these light phenomena did indeed take place [regardless of what explanation one wishes to ascribe to them].

I would be deliriously happy to know that the light phenomena took place at all [even just the vaguer "dove-like" lightforms], and then maybe one could begin a thought process.

Whatever's the case with Zeitoun, in theory it would perfectly illustrate what Fox is talking about, and at the same time compound the confusion between "religious" lightforms in the sky and "UFOs".

Whereas Fox doesn't mention Zeitoun, he does mention Fatima, Lourdes, Knock, and Medjugorje. Of these only Fatima has accepted [i.e. fairly well documented] elements in it which might confuse the UFO vs religious apparition separation. Even so, Fatima seems [to me] quite removed from UFOlogy [and, yes, I know there are many who disagree] and more like Zeitoun or Medjugorje. It is more like those in that all of these purport to have "messages" implanted in them of a distinct religious nature. Lourdes is like that without the little fly-around lights, and Medjugorje has its "spinning Suns" which only some people in a group can see. Knock, one of our favorite mysteries on this blog, is completely strange in that it has a vivid in-your-face Marianism-like apparition with no "message" at all.

The various Marian apparitions, with the exception of Knock, can at least be rationalized as some kinds of "moments of Spiritual desperation" [by God or by us] because of those messages. Other than Olde-style contacteeism and channeling, there are very few aerial displays with religious messages transmitted. Fox seems easily happy with the idea that these Marian apparitions/ lightforms are of religious significance and quite separated from almost anything in UFOlogy. And another thing seems to arise while reading of these things in the book: Marian apparitions are the most common "multiple witness" lightform incidents along with some UFO cases. Contrarily, and evading logic, visions of Christ are almost always solitary. This, by the way, has always boggled me as a Catholic who reads a lot of theology, and it has made Marianism a difficult phenomenon [socially as well as theologically] to accept. The Church itself is VERY tough about "approving" these claims, and I might be tougher than they are.

Fox gives several short tales of persons meeting a Light that they interpret as Jesus or generically "God". An agnostic was at a stage in his life when his inability to trust to anything greater was weighing him down.

"I was working in the field one morning... with a horse in a crop of sugar beet; then suddenly the horse stopped and a wonderful light shone around the leaves of the beet and between the horse and myself a lovely pair of feet appeared near the bottom of the gown. And a most beautiful voice said, three times, 'I shall come again'. From then I knew. There is a real God in whom we can trust".

Mundanely as it may seem, the witness was putting the horse's behavior up front in the story to make the experience more defensible as reality.


A divorced couple had decided to temporarily get back together and at least live in the same house for the benefit of their son having an intact family [at least to a degree]. This was of course awkward, as this was the first night back together after a separation of seven years. That night the wife was awakened.

"In the middle of the night I woke to see a light growing in the cabin. It grew in intensity until it seemed six feet or more tall, with rays shooting out in all directions. I put up my hand to try to pull the blankets off my husband in the upper bunk, to wake him, so that he could see it too. I was not frightened, just full of wonder. I was overcome by a feeling of reverence, and felt obliged to get out of bed and kneel on the floor and bow my head before the brilliant Presence. A voice seemed to say: 'you have made the right decision. A daughter will complete your happiness.' "

The light began to dim and turned all shades of pastels before going dark. These two people apparently re-found what they had originally seen in one another, continued their marriage as a true marriage, and had a daughter later, as the message seemed to promise.

The idea of "shining beings" is common across religions and particularly in Buddhism and Native American tales. These encounters may occur as the expected result of rituals or as accidents "on the path", usually privately. The beings are almost uniformly "humanoid" --- usually precisely so, but at least in the Humanoid Form sense of Head/ Torso/ bilateral symmetry/ normal distribution and numbers of arms, legs, and facial features. When encountered due to ritual, there are messages which seem profoundly important. When encountered accidentally {think Celtic folkloric}, there may be no message at all.

In the buddhist scriptures, the boddhisattvas come down from the Heavens glowing and on lighted clouds. One could stretch the UFO analogy there if one wished, which I do not. Fox's point would be the universality of glowing light in all these things.

That light has one particular element to it which, frankly, fascinates me. This is the presence of the "Aureole" of Holy Light which surrounds the heads of such boddhisattvas as [my favorite, naturally] Qu'an Yin [above], and all the Christian saints as well. I am sure that the literature is rife with diffusionist speculations on why this is so, but this seems an odd "coincidence" nevertheless.

Rumi's quote of course focusses on the issue of the moment. For these spiritual experiences, IS The Light the Same? Or, sweeping away the trivial objection that some of Fox's cases are errors or lies or hopeful wishing, are the rest of the experiences all derived from the same "light"?, and What is it's source?, and What is its profundity?

Of course in this whole bag of experiences we are dealing with some multiplicity. But Fox is on the hunt for some core truth deep within his 400 cases, just as you and I are searching our own "files". Fox thinks that's Something is there. The Dalai Lama thinks that Something is there. The Pope thinks that Something is there.

And I think that Something is there.

But of course, we're all prejudiced.

Blessings to all of you, from the Light --- Whoever It is.


  1. I live in Kalamazoo. Wish you well on your house/community idea.

    Rereading "The Omega Project" by Kenneth Ring per your suggestion and it's even better than it was 20 years ago. I have a clearer perspective now and I'm finding lots of intriguing stuff I missed before.

    I think in time science will discover qualities in light that bring spirituality and science much closer. I do have darker thoughts sometimes though, especially about Marian Apparitions and the transformative effect of these experiences with light.

    There's definitely a very slippery ambivalent quality to these experiences. Like, OK, it makes sense that, as RIng points out, many UFOEs had traumatic childhoods--hence the whole idea of 'spiritual emergency' and so forth, as well as easier access to dissociative states. On the other hand, if I were a predator I would maybe isolate such persons and mess with them first. Always there is this weird dualism. I think part of the experience is about moving past that dualism. I hope.

    Anyhow, good luck and thanks for your ramblings. Good to know I'm not the only person who does that.

    1. Well, hello to another Kalamazooan. I hope that you enjoy our little city as much as I do.

      My readings and my theology both push me towards the idea that all experiences have both potentials of good and evil influence. There are no "gift" pathways which one doesn't in someway have to earn, and there are no overwhelmingly catastrophic forces which one might not have the grace to spiritually oppose. However, UFO encounters in general are, for me, simply interactions with physical technology and its intelligent agents. BUT, such phenomenology MIGHT be used/imitated by other agencies for ill intent. I cannot read what went on in the Betty Andreasson/ Ray Fowler affair without seeing such a hypothesis as credible in that case.

  2. Hello,

    To the extent that you are willing, I would like to hear more about the "urban, green retrofit,co-op spiritual community house." That's a lot of adjectives. I understand privacy but am curious about your goal and the route you plan to take.



    1. I don't want to bore the rest of the folks with this, but here's a thumbnail: over many years and valued colleagues/teachers/writers, I have seen that Right Living will consist of three pillars of a tripod. These are "SUSTAINABILITY" {the physical component}, "COMMUNITY" {the social component}, and "SPIRITUALITY" {the foundational and "awareness" component}. The idea of the urban green-retrofit house is to create a living environment to facilitate this tripod.

      The physical part is easier to describe. It would/should involve a sustainable Energy basis for this lifestyle. That means radical insulation [including the expensive windows] and energy conserving devices, plus a bit of active solar cell electricity and passive solar hot-water heating. We would buy the green energy [wind-generated power] from the power company for the remaining needs. The materials system would be as cyclical [rather than linear] as it could be --- re-use, recycling, composting [including toilets], and informed purchasing. The more local the good, the better. There would be some rooftop gardening and a thorough understanding of the local food systems. Our communications systems would be 21st century, maximizing information transfer vs mass transfer. The small 5-person community would have a shared electric vehicle to go along with any personal car one would wish. I myself have no car.

      The community would share ownership in the house, and share as many meals as convenient to the various lifestyles/jobs, and everyone pitch in not only on monthly upkeep fees but chores. "Governance" would be by shared discussion and cooperative compromise. Although this "consensus" is very difficult in a large society [although I've seen it work quite well up to about 16-20 people], at 4 or 5 this should be functional in decision-making. The Spirituality part of this would involve recognizing many/diverse Spiritual traditions/ insights, and concentrating on the generic Spiritual elements ultimately rather than the religious. There would be a meditation room and probably "natural world cycle" feasts [like the Celtic Cross-Quarter Days] to honor the Creation and the Creator in whatever ways one wants to think about this.

      My initial "plan" is to just buy and retrofit the place on my money as sole owner, but once properly formed "sell" the place in equal shared partnerships to all the residents for something like a dollar. We'd have a "condominium-like contract" explaining this set of relationships, and what one's ownership rights and responsibilities were. All this has been thought out during our lengthy attempt to design a 100 person ecovillage.

      That's enough. There's a lot more to it.

  3. I wish you well in your endeavor. Thanks for your reply.


  4. Prof you've probably already picked up on this 150 year old British balls of light case but just in case


    A Victorian UFO tale?

    Updated on the 25 February

    Published 17/02/2009 14:03
    Email this Print this

    From: Mr James Rogers, Grove Street Starbeck.

    ALIENS visiting Harrogate. Strange lights in the sky. This is nothing new. Almost 150 years, on July 31, 1862, Fred Bainbridge of St George's Terrace, Harrogate, wrote to the Harrogate Advertiser:

    "Last night, a little before 12 0'-clock, my attention was arrested by a brilliant light proceeding down Oatlands Lane, which at the moment I concluded was a lamp of a carriage which seemed to emerge from the front of Mr Paley's house.

    “This light had proceeded down the road across the common for about 150 yards when it was followed by another taking the same direction at first, but which made a sudden turn on approaching the first light, darting off towards the railway, the first light speedily following, but not so far.

    “They both then wandered up and down, at one time slowly and then rapidly, much faster than a locomotive steam engine, moving with a gliding swiftness peculiar to meteors. At the same time as these two lights were passing about, now quickly now slowly, or coming to a standstill, a third light was stationary over the direction in the pool in Miss Paley's land, but which did not appear so brilliant as the others.

    “For half an hour I watched the vagaries of this "Will of the Wisp," or "Ignis Fatuus," which I very soon concluded it to be, and then entered my house and directed my wife's attention to it, who arose from her bed on purpose to view it.

    “The night was most favourable to the formation of this kind of meteor, being warm and dark with a gentle south-west wind and a misty rain, which soon increased, and at 12.30 extinguished the vagrant lights."

  5. ps

    Good luck with your $120 000 Kalama ZOO!

  6. As a hardcore experiencer of these sorts of things Prof I've learned a la Muhammed's Devil's verses not to automatically take these things as they present themselves because

    a) even if whatever the heck's doing the transmitting or whatever's being transmitted starts out as authentic what the heck does 'authentic' even mean in the first place?

    b) but skipping the matter of authenticity whatever the heck's transmitting/transmitted's immediately subject to one's own personal mental/intellectual/educational limitations when it comes to comprehending any of it

    c) then there's one's ego's influence as a filter which can fill you with fear you're in some sort of personal danger of going mad or being possessed or

    d) ecstasy you're a chosen one and somehow special or more precious than others or

    e) some combination of both

    f) not to mention one then has the problem of try'n'o distinguish between the various people/entities try'n'o insert themselves into the process either out of good/bad selfish/selfless intentions or claimed/actual experience/expertise

    But the main reason I recommend your approach like Nick Redfern or Beachcombing of try'n'o take in all the data and suspend judgement's Religion itself.

    People wonder if UFOs/strange lights etc're tangential to religion or vice versa but rarely ask WHAT IS RELIGION?

    Is it in fact what they think it is?

    I read all the religions right back to the Ancient Sumerians [if not the cave artists] and all I see's equations of a much higher order than E = MC2 and none of this believe what y'told t'believe business that supposeldy makes religion so execrable.

    Take Thou shalt not worship images of the Heavens the Earth or the Waters.

    Most people take this as primitive rantings against progress but to me this's just a straightforward warning not to fall in the trap of believing just because you can devise concepts or construct models of the Heavens Earth and Waters which work this automatically means the models're correct or even should be protected from all criticism or rivals.

    My point being are religious motifs really religious or even spiritual whatever the heck that means?

    In which case maybe all our notions about aliens from other worlds or beings from parallel dimensions or of other orders of existence're equally misskewed.

    But then you're sayin' pretty much the same thing yourself!

  7. Hi Professor,
    I'm a young french student and I find your work is wonderful. I wanted to know if you're agree to I translate your articles on a blog.
    It will signed of your name, of course.
    You can contact me here : astrophysiqui@gmail.com

    1. Hello, Paolo.

      You are welcome to use anything that you read on the blog. Just be accurate and respectful. The care and transmission of knowledge is a sacred trust.

      Not everyone truly cares. Blessings on your own attempts to carry the light as you honestly see it. This old planet needs a lot more of that.

  8. Hi Professor,

    Just wondering if you have received the Bullard/ Rodreigher lecture DVD's (SSE)- looking forward to finding out about their recent research, and your views on their presentations. I realize that you are very busy, but without your overview, many of us won't be privy to this information. Unfortunately I'm unable to purchase the DVD's at present. Thanks for all your great work, especially the Government UFO book which I enjoyed immensely.

    1. Yes, the company took their sweet time producing them and I just got the copies last week. THEN this new house purchase crashed in on me and chaos reigned. The @#%^##! disks have disappeared under some pile or another [I'm packing up some of my books to move over there].

      BUT you are right on time to remind me --- I was actually forgetting. I've just finished the main packing chore this evening. Tomorrow I will go about turning over debris to find the disks.