Many Dimensions (Part Two)
Beyond the horizon across the divide
'round about midnight, we'll be on the same side - Bob Dylan
The Secret Faith
A hundred or so years ago, poet and Golden Dawn adept William Butler Yeats wrote an encouraging letter to author W.Y. Evans-Wentz, who was then researching his landmark Fairy-Faith in Celtic Countries. (An e-copy of the book may be found here.) "I am certain that it [the "Celtic fairy kingdom"] exists," said Yeats, "and will some day be studied as it was studied by Kirk." That's Robert Kirk, author of The Secret Commonwealth (also available at sacred-texts.com), a 17th Century Scottish Minister whose work is a sympathetic bestiary of elves, faunes and fairies, as well as an accounting of related paranormal phenomena.
"The men of that Second Sight do not discover strange Things when asked," Kirk writes, "but at Fits and Raptures, as if inspyred with some Genius at that Instant." In other words, those whom Kirk knew who could visit the invisible realm and return with knowledge of it did so by entering trance-like states.
Thus I have frequently spoke to one of them, who in his Transport told he cut the Bodie of one of those People in two with his Iron Weapon...yet saw nothing left behind of that appearing divyded. His Neibours often perceaved this Man to disappear at a certane Place, and about one Hour after to become visible, and discover him selfe near a Bow-shot from the first Place. It was in that Place where he became invisible, said he, that the Subterraneans did encounter and combate with him.
Invisibility, teleportation, slayings and subterranean entities: these are universal Shamanistic tropes, shared also by modern UFOlogical mythos. (Jose Antonio Da Silva described being carried by hairy dwarves into a stone chamber where he saw human bodies stacked; even the Dulce disinformation of underground battles with reptoids follow the pattern.) Credo Mutwa has said about his own experience of communicating such profound liminal encounters that "Everything was put down to black superstition, and it still is, [but] Africans simply tell what they know. " Perhaps the Irish were simply doing the same for Kirk, who died suddenly at 48 while walking up the sacred mound of Fairy Knowe. It had been his daily practice to lie upon it with his ear to the ground, listening for sounds from the secret caverns beneath. "Locals," writes Alan Richardson in his introduction to the 2005 edition, "aware of his keen interest in what he termed their 'Secret Faith,' believed that the Sithe, or faeries, had taken Kirk into their realm, leaving a 'stock' or double behind." So in death, Kirk became his own abduction account.
Evans-Wentz's book, compiled from his own fieldwork at a time when the "Secret Faith" was even more secret than in Kirk's day, contains dozen of eyewitness accounts from respected and prominent Celts, and has the feel of a Disclosure Project about it minus the background noise of covert agendas.
TC Kermode, a member of the Lower House of the Manx Parliament, declares he considers belief in fairies to be "based on an actual fact in nature, because of my own stange experience." Forty years before, walking with a friend "on the Glen Helen Road, just at the Berry Farm," he looked across the river and saw a "circle of supernatural light, which I have now come to regard as the 'astral light'...in which spirits become visible." His companion said, "Oh look, there are the fairies. Did you ever see them?" Into the circle entered "in twos and threes, a great crowd of little beings." They were dressed in red, and moved like a troop drilling. After watching for a few minutes his friend struck the roadside wall with a stick and shouted, and the vision and light faded. Kermode also notes that he had "much evidence from old Manx people, who are entirely reliable and God-fearing," that they had seen many such things also, and consider the fairies a "world in themselves, distinct from our world," and provocatively adds "where the fairies actually exist the old people cannot tell, but they certainly believe that they can be seen here on Earth." One hundred years later and he might have added that he was prepared to swear before Congress that his testimony was true.
James Caugherty, a 58-year old witness from Peel, told Evans-Wentz a reputed child abduction story. A young friend named Robby with whom he often played was walking home one evening across the hills, "and suddenly saw a little boy and a little woman coming after him. If he ran, they ran, and all the time they gained on him." Upon reaching home he was speechless, his hands and feet twisted, and remained like that for a week. The family, and Caugherty's father, believed Robby had been replaced by a changeling. He returned while they were out seeking a doctor who could work charms for his recovery. "As soon as Robby came to himself all right, he said a little woman and a little boy had followed him, and that just as he got home he was conscious of being taken away by them, but he didn't know where they came from nor where they took him." Robby was still alive, Caugherty added, and was known as Robert Christian of Douglas.
Disconcertingly, the little people don't always keep themselves to old Ireland. There are, of course, the unexpected "machine elves" that populate DMT's hyperspace, as described by Terrence McKenna.
From Erowid's ayahuasca "Experience Vault":
It may be that Terrence McKenna has simply seeded the meme-space that surrounds some tryptamines with his famous tales on self-transforming machine elves that proffer various alien objects/machines/languages with an almost malignant glee. But I certainly know what he is talking about, and these fellows now haunt the tryptamine realm for me. Tonight they leaned in quickly: “Oh you are back. We suckered you in here once again!” And they proceeded with their mischevious chittering bee-dance, as if they were coaxing me into some kind of hyperdimensional circuit that would leave sanity far behind. I never “gave in” though, whatever that means, and by the end of the trip, I was utterly tired of their cavortings.
Is there a correspondence between the elves of Kirk and Evans-Wentz and those that haunt the tryptamine realm? At least to the degree that they are both the subject of human vision. And perhaps, if their nature is exterior to our own, then it is one which is no more contained by the hyperdimensional than are we. Because, via shamanism, out-of-body experience and near-death trauma, we have found ourselves there as well.
And still, today, these old, weird tropes bleed through into our mundane modern world.
Patrick Harpur, in Daimonic Reality, notes how the President of the Wellington Women's Institute and her daughter, vacationing in Cornwall, were both struck "cold with terror" at the sight of a small man by a gate "all in green with a pointed hood and pointed ears," who was silently watching them. And a couple of years ago, discussing Budd Hopkins predisposition to pass all things weird through his ET filter, I wrote this:
Hopkins tells the story of two credible witnesses who, while driving through the wheat fields of Iowa in 1952, "came upon an eerie sight: a little old man on a bicycle, wearing lederhosen and sporting a long white beard, like something one might see rendered in wood in a Bavarian souvenir shop." About a half hour later, when they drove over a gentle rise, they encountered the same little man, "pedaling happily along in the same direction, many miles ahead of the place they had first come upon him." There were no sideroads or short cuts the cyclist could have taken, and the men had not been overtaken by a vehicle which could have given him a lift. Hopkins isn't content to let the story stand on its own strangeness. Without any justification other than his presumption of an extraterrestrial hypothesis, he posits that the figure was actually a screen memory to mask an abduction and missing time episode. After all, we can't have odd, little elfen figures bending space-time in Iowa, now can we?
Mid-morning on September 6, 1989, hunter Juan Maestas was stalking a herd of elk up a hillside in Colorado's San Luis Valley. Suddenly a twig snapped to his left and he turned to see "a fat, ugly little guy, about three feet tall," staring at him from 50 feet away. "I know how this sounds," Maestas told journalist Christopher O'Brien, as O'Brien later recorded in his Enter the Valley, "but he even had on green overalls with suspenders and a flat-topped floppy hat."
His hair was kind of reddish, and it was sticking out from underneath his cap. He had little eyes, and they seemed red and bloodshot. I could not believe I was looking at a three-foot little man! My heart was going a hundred miles per hour.... We locked eyes, and it seemed I surprised him as much as he surprised me. He sort of gave me a smile, almost like he was embarrassed, and darted behind a tree... He moved really fast - one second he was smiling at me, the next instant he was gone.... I was over there in a flash; it couldn't have been over fifty or sixty feet. I was right there. I kept my eyes on the spot so I would see him if he moved. I got to the tree and he was gone.
O'Brien adds that two weeks earlier, a quarter mile down the hill from Maestas's sighting, a family of five also reported having seen a strange little figure in green overalls and funny hat.
Curiously, early contactee reports of the modern UFO era are perhaps suggestive of transitions from traditional folkloric "little people" to the familiar "gray." For instance, 1957's John Tasco case, in which a young man saw a "brilliant egg-shaped object hovering in front of his barn" and a being who told him, in broken English, "we are a peaceful people, we only want your dog." The entity is described as dwarfish, dressed in a green suit with shiny buttons and a tam-o'-shanter like cap, but its skin was also putty-coloured and its eyes "frog-like." (Researcher Coral Lorenzen, in Charles Bowen's Humanoids, further notes that its eyes were said to be "large" and "protuberant.")
UFOs and grays are one thing, but does the phenomenon want to make fools of us? Almost certainly.
The Secret Ceremony
San Luis Valley is famously a locus for many strange congruencies. It was home to Snippy the horse, America's most celebrated, strangely mutilated beast.
Snippy died 40 years ago but the mutilations continue. Though the "newsworthiness of the subject has died down," according to a rare, recent report in New Mexico's Gallup Independent, "there are still hundreds, if not thousands [of cases] reported worldwide each year."
How can this not be news? Perhaps because our modern world lacks the categories with which to make sense of it. Stories of mythic scale and significance can fall through the cracks because our newsrooms simply don't know how to tell them anymore, or even recognize them.
Investigator Robert Allen explains to the Independent that "people just can't grasp this unless they have actually seen the mutilated animal themselves.... You can either pretend that these things didn't happen or you can look at it with an open mind." Though Allen is arguably guilty of narrowed vision himself by presuming the simplest explanation for the mysterious desanguinqtion and anal and genital coring must be extraterrestrial R&D.
Similarly, though seemingly unrelated, a month-old story from the Guardian that has also fallen through the cracks:
Devil worship links to mystery man
Police in northern Italy are wrestling with a mystery that brings together a man with memory loss, evidence of devil worship and a blood-drenched flat. One evening a young man wandered into a police station at Vercelli, between Turin and Milan. He said he had no idea who he was, or why he was there. Three days earlier, on March 16, the owner of a bedsit outside Bergamo, more than 70 miles away, had broken into her flat. The tenant had not paid his rent and she wanted to know if he was still there.
She found signs everywhere that it had been used for a Satanic rite. There were upturned crosses, and the place was smothered with symbols written in blood. Forensic experts estimated that as much as three litres had been splashed around.
Only later was it established that all of it belonged to the confused man. He has since been identified as a 22-year-old called Daniele, who, until recently, worked in a factory. His family said his only hobby was UFOs. They told police that, last September, he had suddenly left his job and spent his savings, though his relations with his parents, who he now says he cannot recognise, continued to seem normal.
According to a report in the daily Corriere della Sera, doctors have found he has punctures on his body. But there is no evidence that Daniele had taken drugs. Among the puzzles are how a man who had lost almost three litres of blood could have made his way 70 miles across country - and what happened to him in the three days that he was missing. Prosecutors are treating it as case of attempted murder.
Psychiatrists who have examined Daniele are convinced he is not feigning amnesia. Doctors, meanwhile, have found he has a scar, about an inch long, on his right arm and a series of smaller punctures on other parts of his body.
But there is no evidence that Daniele had taken drugs, and the marks do not correspond to those left when blood is extracted in the normal way by medical staff.... As for the young man himself, all he can offer them is the faint recollection of an abbey.
A young man, noted only for his interest in UFOs, is found scarred and desanguinated; an amnesiac who can only account for what befell him with the "faint recollection of an abbey." And more recently, another story from Italy has three female teachers - churchgoers who also taught Sunday School - arrested for sedating and sexually abusing their students. Children's pictures of the "games" they had been forced to play included "a 'man in black' who wore a hood and drank his own blood, and said they had played a game in which 'a wolf chases a squirrel and eats it.'"
All of these stories, including the cattle mutilations, imply ritual and sacrifice. No wonder the media doesn't know what to do with them, how to connect them, or even whether they are "newsworthy." These are religious stories. And religious ritual and sacrifice pertains to intercession and the opening of doors.
The Large Hadron Collider, with its smashing of countless particles in order to make inference of another side (literally, with respect to extra-geometric dimensions), will also tell religious stories. As Patrick Harpur writes, "the so-called New Physics smelled a rat long ago. they began to compare the whole enterprise to oriental religion or to suspect that its reality is primarily metaphorical, not literal or factual." Whatever the "elves" or the "aliens" may be, I doubt what they represent to us is a representation of their literal nature. If we're being spoken to, or toyed with, the medium is metaphor.
Richard L Thompson in Alien Identities recalls the story of UFO contactee Pat Price. (Note that this is not the same Pat Price as Menlo Park's most accomplished remote viewer and "Operating Thetan IV," who was himself fascinated by UFOs and claimed to have remote viewed several. Though interestingly, John Keel has observed how the phenomenon is occasionally shared among those who share the same names.) Price, in conversation with Berkeley researcher James Harder, described his telepathic conversation with the "leader":
Price: He drew me a circle, and he showed me some lines, and he told me "people can coexist - and not no it."
Harder: What kind of lines did he draw in the circle?
Price: Parallel lines.
Harder: What did he mean by this do you think?
Price: He said, "What we do, destructively, will affect them too." [sigh] I don't know what he was talking about - he just scared me.
"You cannot lift your hand without influencing and being influenced by hordes," wrote Yeats.