Whitley and I have been so busy this past year writing books, thinking up ideas for movies and TV, and working to make Dreamland a success, that we usually work all weekend and we haven't even considered taking a vacation. So on the August 27 Dreamland, when Michael Glickman invited Americans to come to England and join the crop circle researchers because they need fresh minds in the field, I instantly began to daydream.
While Whitley talked with Michael and took calls from listeners, I sat across from him in the radio studio, but my mind was far away. I imagined myself in the wonderful green world of summer in the English countryside, staying in a small cottage and waking up each morning to a miracle: a beautiful new crop circle, magically laid down in a field that had been pristine the evening before. I wanted to pack my bags, book my flight, and take off immediately.
I began to wonder why some of the people there are promoting the idea that these extraordinary designs are all manmade, after they've been able to view them up close and see how suddenly they appear and how precisely they're executed. It's like being present at a miracle, yet denying it.
This attitude reminds me of a lot of that has gone on in the UFO field over the years. Whitley and I have seen many puzzling instances where formerly courageous, hardworking researchers have suddenly seemed to go over to the other side and begin criticizing all the work that has been done, including their own endeavors.
We've even experienced this on a personal level. One woman who was present at an extraordinary group encounter at our cabin later publicly denied that she had experienced anything. Years later, when we met up with her at a conference, she apologized to us and admitted the truth. She said, "I don't know what came over me," but I felt I could never trust her again.
What is the motivation for this sort of denial? In some cases, it's money. We've both seen formerly impoverished researchers join the disinformation process and become able to pay their bills. They're never rich, that would be too obvious, but they're suddenly solvent. Perhaps they sold out to a covert agency, but there are also a few wealthy private individuals who have been known to buy up information or people. We have no firsthand experience of this, since no one's offered us a cent, so we haven't had the opportunity to righteously refuse.
But there is a larger motivation present here. Most of us can't stand uncertainty, we want the security of knowing. And as science learns more, it also discovers bigger questions. I don't think it's a coincidence that a worldwide rise in fundamentalist religious belief is taking place at a time when we're making great scientific strides. People want to believe we have the answers about life and death and the future of mankind.
We need to stop and consider that the whole of human culture and civilization, from the Pyramids to modern art, is based upon the poignant fact that we do not know if we survive the death of the body or if the human race will survive the changes in our world. No matter how much we may testify to our beliefs, the truth is that we do not have this knowledge.
Since there are no sure answers forthcoming about UFOs and crop circles, only more and deeper questions, some people may try to escape the struggle through belief. But one can't believe in strange unknowable beings or energies that are flying around in our skies, entering our homes and leaving cryptic symbols in our fields because this only brings up more questions! So these people turn to prosaic answers: Abductees are crazy liars, UFOs are conventional aircraft, crop circles are created by people. And in order to justify their beliefs, they try to convince everyone else of the same things, the way certain religious sects slip tracts under your front door.
I think it's fear that motivates people who spread this kind of disinformation: fear of the unknown. And I feel a certain kinship with them, because we're all afraid of the unknown, we all want answers. It's just that some of us have learned to accept the fact that we're not going to get them.
But that doesn't stop us from enjoying the adventure of the search. And isn't that what the journey of life is all about?
NOTE: This Diary entry, previously published on our old site, will have any links removed.