Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Unseen Neighbors: Intimations of Another Reality?

Unseen Neighbors: Intimations of Another Reality?
By Scott Corrales

There is no doubt that television programs and cinematic features have gone a long way in shaping our understanding of the occult, and conversely, many shows have benefited from a thorough knowledge of speculative matters. A recent example is the series Fringe, which offers its viewers the possibility of a “parallel Earth” in which the Twin Towers still stand -- and in which the Hindenburg never exploded, or so it seems. Even more suggestive is the presence of entities that are unmistakably the “Men in Black” or MIBs of ufological lore, depicted here as disinterested observers of the events that move the shows plot. But the creators of Fringe leave their viewers with an unequivocal message: some of the people in our midst, who look like us and sound like us, share our bus and subway rides, may look human, but are not fully so.

Let us explore this notion further. Would agents of another reality, on a mission to our own, bring their own devices or have to make do with ours? Would their senses of vision, sight and hearing be equal to our own, or more or less acute? And if they brought devices from their own reality, would they risk losing them to the authorities of our law enforcement agencies, or would these simply not function once whatever hypothetical barrier had been crossed? Aside from having to develop a taste for our fast food, our hypothetical interdimensionals may have other issues on their hands. Communications between their numbers might be achieved by rustic, old-fashioned methods such as the ones suggested here.

In the fall of 1985, the Washington, D.C. City Paper featured a small ad in its "Personals" column which read: "O.T.O, A.A.: where are you, brothers and sisters?"

Readers of this section of the free paper state that the bulk of the messages in the personals are communications between members of the gay community, drug dealers, illegal immigrants, etc. dealers. The aforementioned ad, however, hailed the attention of anyone able to recognize the initials for the Ordo Templo Orientalis and Argentinium Astrum--occult lodges of the early 20th century, which might perhaps be experiencing a rebirth toward the latter decades of the same century. On the subject of these hidden messages in our cities' newspapers and journals, Jacques Bergier, the prolific French author and scientist, commented: "I've often wondered if certain strange classified ads in the newspapers are in fact messages between superintelligent beings." Bergier, coauthor of The Morning of the Magicians, dedicated a great deal of study to the problem of cryptology as a branch of paranormal research, and he also believed that even more detailed secret messages could be conveyed under the guise of specialized works, novels or even philosophical tracts.

Bergier wasn’t alone in this. As far back as 1958, according to French author Patrice Gaston, no less prestigious a source than the New York Herald Tribune published a study on a series of disconcerting messages found in the paper’s classified section. The messages were apparently subjected to the scrutiny of several cryptographers, and despite their best efforts, were ultimately unsuccessful. The concern was understandable, as these messages were appearing during the chilliest moments of the Cold War.

If the existence of enigmatic, ciphered messages were confined to the newspapers, it would be possible to dismiss them as merely the pranks of a particular group of people, drug runners, or those soliciting companionship. The riddle posed by occult messages goes far beyond foolscap and into stone carvings on European monasteries, carefully etched metal tablets given to the founders of religions and the cuneiform-like messages given to the contactees of our UFO age by the denizens of other dimensions or worlds.

Would non-humans – interdimensional agents, superintelligent beings or simply human secret societies – avail themselves of such concealed messages to contact each other? It has been suggested elsewhere that the ever-present crop circles are intelligent messages, not necessarily aimed to humankind as a whole but to specific, mysterious groups. Others have discussed strange television commercials or interruptions in TV broadcasts that show a specific image for fleeting seconds – long enough to make an impression on the viewers brain before returning to normal programming. Some of these images include cartoons, odd symbols or text, or nonsense words. Simple gaffes of the television industry, or calls to action to a specific group of individuals? Oddly enough, the “Fringe” series referenced earlier features some enigmatic and out-of-place images in its breaks that hint at this. Perhaps it is a nod to Philip K. Dick’s novel VALIS, in which the author states: “in 1974 a cipher was sent out as a signal that the Age of Iron was over; the cipher consisted of two words: KING FELIX, which refers to the Happy or (Rightful) King. The two-word cipher signal KING FELIX was not intended for human beings but for the descendants of Ikhnaton, the three-eyed race which, in secret, exists with us.”

Patrice Gaston, mentioned a few paragraphs ago, also delved into the nature of mysterious television signals and suspicious TV programs. He concluded his study on the matter thus: “Television is a strange means of communication. So strange that one might as well wonder if human activities are being received and studied by unseen entities in order to keep abreast of developments.”

There is a case involving parahumans (or cryptoterrestrials, to borrow the term coined by the late Mac Tonnies) that has always resonated with me over the years. It comes from the endless casebooks of Spanish paranormalist Salvador Freixedo and is deliberately vague when it comes to details. He simply refers to it as the “Lula” case and it is featured in his 1989 book La Granja Humana (the Human Farm). During his years in Venezuela, Freixedo made the acquaintance of a woman named Lula, a society hostess who had left her husband to marry a parahuman, if not outright supernatural, individual named Jorge. Upon the latter's untimely death; a medical exam revealed that the man had lived without lungs! Jorge's uncanny talents and his jokes of coming from "another world" were no longer a laughing matter. An autopsy was forbidden at the time, but the enigmatic personage was known to hundreds of witnesses. When Freixedo returned to Venezuela in later years to attend the exhumation of the body, he learned that Lula had disappeared off the face of the earth. The story is much more involved than this brief synopsis suggests, and goes into the physical feats that “Jorge” the parahuman was capable of: tremendous endurance as he ran the length of the beach at Barqiusimeto for hours and hours back and forth at high speed, to the astonishment of the crowd; his eerie sixth-sense, and what is perhaps the only physical proof of all these claims: a small crystal jar that he kept with him at all times, and seemed to aid his labored breathing. When Jorge died, the jar shattered of its own volition.

This case is clearly anecdotal. We neither have the x-rays that startled the Venezuelan technicians, nor Lula at hand to be questioned. Despite “Jorge’s” good natured remarks about his otherworldly provenance, there was no suggestion that he was extraterrestrial – he was perfectly at home in his reality, was a successful businessman, didn’t shy away from contact with others. Yet his entire existence suggests that he was among us, yet not one of us. On the other hand, he did not belong to the same order of beings as the Men In Black – the socially inept characters described by the late John A. Keel in The Mothman Prophecies. Freixedo’s “Jorge”, on the other hand, was adroit and very engaging. Did he belong to a parahuman/cryptoterrestrial/ultraterrestrial group that has moved among us for centuries, keeping in touch with one another through a variety of means?

Back to the enigmatic signs: The infamous Voynich Manuscript constitutes a perfect example of such encoded documents that are meant to be understood by exactly the right person or persons, to the chagrin of cryptologists and those bent on unlocking its secrets. Allegedly, it was originally the property of Roger Bacon, the medieval Franciscan friar, and found its way into the hands of many Renaissance occultists, such as the infamous Dr. John Dee. The Vatican eventually acquired the manuscript, and some of its best minds attempted to crack the illustrated manuscript's coded mysteries. Some eighty years ago, an American antiquarian, Wilfrid Voynich, purchased the bizarre text which now bears his name and circulated it among the most learned minds of the time: some believed that its illustrations depicted the flora of another world; others hinted at charts of the constellations as they appeared thousands--or millions--of years ago. After World War 2, a scholar claimed to have deciphered part of the manuscript and obtained the instructions for a viable contraceptive method. The Voynich Manuscript could well be the factual basis for H.P. Lovecraft's accursed grimoire, the Necronomicon.

Professor Juan Rocha de Azevedo, author of En Los Límites de lo Inexplicable, relates the tale of Eugéne Canseliet, who belonged to the circle of adepts surrounding the shadowy figure of the "alchemist" Fulcanelli in the 1920's. At the time, members of the inner circle boasted that their master was on the brink of cracking the Philosopher's Stone. But as decades passed, Canseliet stated that Fulcanelli had long since disappeared--although he claimed to have visited him in Seville, Spain, in the 1950's, and that Fulcanelli had undergone extensive physical changes as a result of having ingested the Elixir of Life. Azevedo states that the nature of these changes was an overall androgynous appearance.

What we know for sure about Fulcanelli is collected in his books Mysteries of the Great Cathedrals and The Philosophers' Dwellings. Apparently, he was conversant in the matter of the secret symbols employed among those "in the know": "In the Middle Ages, the masters whose treatises have survived until our times would decorate their homes with esoteric signs and images". The reader is advised that one such symbol is that of a lion rampant and a dragon biting its own tail.

There is no dearth of "secret societies" to blame for the many coded messages in existence. At one time or another, the culprits have ranged from the Illuminati to the Catholic Church. The accusation? Being a cabal of dark "superminds" ruling the fate of a plodding, unsuspecting mankind. Obviously, any group capable of sustained existence from the depths of antiquity to the present must surely be remarkable, if we consider the ups and downs of human history and the propensity of organizations to come unraveled--unless we make the prodigious leap of faith that would lead us to accept that there could be "immortal" humans, or paranormal beings in human guise that guide the hidden groups throughout the ages. A few characters fitting the bill come to mind:

Apollonius of Tyana, a sorcerer/scholar from the city of Tyana in what is now modern Turkey. If what tradition is to be credited, we are faced with a man who was capable of teleportation, was most certainly immortal or extremely long-lived, and who was a master of Pythagoric doctrine and geometry. Apollonius traveled to Tibet led by his guide, Damis, arriving at a land of Greek-speaking people with an "unreal", mutable landscape (another dimension?). The dwellers of this hidden kingdom had mastered levitation, robotics and the artificial illumination. The errant philosopher learned that this land existed "in the world, but beyond it".

Returning to the Mediterranean area, then controlled by Rome, Apollonius was accused of treason against Emperor Domitian. Brought before Caesar, Apollonius declared: "You may imprison my body, but never my soul, and I will add, not my body, either!" In a burst of light, witnessed by Roman courtiers and a stunned Domitian, the captive vanished into thin air.

In esoteric circles, it is believed to this day that Apollonius is the same entity known as the Count of Sainte Germain, who was active in the 1700's and was renown for his great wealth and insight. Sainte Germain and Apollonius had certain powers in common: bilocation (the ability to be in two places at the same time--probably the ability most coveted by 21st century man!), the power of healing the sick and the ability to decipher "the language of birds". Fulcanelli could be merely another guise of this everlasting being.

Even if we do not give credence to such an idea, it could perhaps answer the question as to who or whom is the source for the cryptic messages and codes hidden in works of art and architecture. Furthermore, the years in which St. Germain operated were also those in which a number of scientific developments--some which were never followed through--became apparent. He could have been the catalyst for the Enlightenment, as others have suggested.

Roger Boscovitch, in 1756, circulated a tract on time travel, anti-gravity and bilocation, matters which are still unattainable to modern science. James Price, who was reputedly able to change mercury into gold in less than 15 minutes, lived roughly around the same time. Before he vanished from the 18th century, St. Germain allegedly informed a guest at a dinner party that he had to leave, in order to bring about more inventions that would be useful to humanity in the future: the steam engine and electricity. It would be this "secret society" of inventors and experimenters, then, that
would leave behind symbols and references that could only be understood by a peer or equal.

Lionel Fanthorpe, author of The Secret of Rennes-le-Chateau hints that one of the items whose location could probably be hinted at by the coded symbols are the Emerald Tablets of Hermes Trismegistus, the Egyptian deity Thoth, patron of magic. Possession of said tablets could have aided the medieval alchemists in attaining their goals. History reminds us, however, that the alchemists were merely proto-scientists, and that their life-extending elixir and the Philosophers' Stone were merely the stuff of dreams. Yet, could some alchemists have stumbled upon the secrets, and made use of them? Fanthorpe suggests that these symbols are still in use today, and make sense, naturally, only to the target reader or viewer. He considers the highly elaborate drawing of the Gates of Moria in J.R.R. Tolkien's Fellowship of the Ring to be one such device.

The reader might well feel cheated at this point--we are no closer to solving the mystery of cryptic messages than we were at the outset. Yet we are deluged by such messages, perhaps even more so in our television age, in which these mysterious communications could be broadcast subliminally to the intended receptors, or overtly –as we have seen-- through strange or unusual advertisements. Salvador Freixedo received a personal communication from the sources behind the controversial UMMO documents--a group of extraterrestrials allegedly on Earth, originating from the star Wolf 424, nowadays thought to be a mere disinformation exercise--and told to signal his interest in continuing communication with them by placing a classified ad in his local newspaper. Freixedo went ahead and placed the ad, which contained the "Ummite" word for "man" (OEMII). To avoid hassles from the paper's editor, Freixedo claimed that the unusual word was a brand of radionics machine! If we bear in mind that such messages do exist, perhaps we will find ourselves giving everything, from odd TV commercials to the graffiti on our streets, a second thought.