Whitley's Journal

Can We Succeed at Contact?

I have been thinking once again about the possibility of open contact. It almost happened, as I understand it, in late eighties and early nineties, but was stopped when armed NATO fighters rose over Belgium each time an appearance took place. Once on the ground, there was a concern that the visitors involved would be attacked. I had some involvement in this situation, but I lost out, obviously.

Now, the possibility exists again, and once again the US Air Force is sending up heavily armed fighter jets when even the most quixotic formation appears in the sky over this country, and the same would undoubtedly be true over Europe, Australia, Canada or Japan, all places of interest for this to first occur.

The reason these countries, in particular, are of interest is because of their level of scientific advancement, social organization and personal freedom. China would be included but for the high degree of social control. India would be included but for the complicated religious issues that would arise, which would cause many people to integrate what they were seeing into the context of religious belief. This will also happen to some degree in the other countries mentioned, but the only one where it will be a real problem is the United States, and only a small minority of the population will hold a confused view.

With regard to the necessity for contact, things have changed a great deal since 1989. What was then a choice has become a necessity if the human species, and many others on earth, are not to endure a ferocious dieback. The aim of contact will be to help us direct our attention away from material culture by showing and allowing people to experience more of what they really are, and the extraordinary and highly desirable states of being that are available once we begin to see our material life as a foundation of a greater human experience, rather than the extent of human experience.

It is possible for contact to happen without damage to anybody no matter how much shooting the military does. They are not a problem anymore.

However, there is another problem, which has two levels. First, a culture of denial has emerged among those most able to think in our society. The best minds still believe that the visitors don't exist, very much as they once scorned anybody who believed that meteors came from the sky, or that fossils were something other than fish bones discarded by travelers, or the remains of mythical beasts.

They are not prepared for contact and are going to be badly shaken by it. However, time has run out. If we go much longer as we are, there will be no way for humanity to be helped.

The other problem is the media, primarily in the Anglo-Saxon cultures. The European continental media and the Japanese media are well able to respond in a useful manner. However this is not true in the U.S., Australia, the United Kingdom and Canada. The culture of denial that began when the US Air Force started lying in 1947, has profoundly distorted the response of the media in these cultures.

If open contact takes place to the extent that they must stop laughing and admit that they have been wrong for sixty years, they are then going to address the whole issue in the same way that they would any other, that is, with shallow inadequacy.

Personally, as I have said before, I watch very little television, let alone television news. But recently, I've had occasion to watch more, and, frankly, I can't see how the American broadcast media, given the editorial personnel they have available and the way they understand the world around them, can possibly succeed in communicating anything meaningful about what they will see unfolding in the context of contact.

If it happens, for the first short time, it will seem fairly understandable. The basic situation will be that there will be so many objects in the skies of the world that denial will become impossible.

Then there will be a phase of a couple of years where we will be given room to digest this and come to respond to it. There will, of course, be a great cacophony. But this is exactly what is wanted. The visitors are here to experience something new, which is extraordinarily difficult for them to do, so the more freedom we have to react, the better, as far as they are concerned.

But they are not what they seem, and the question is, will we be able to get far enough past our preconceptions about them to make it useful for them to take contact to the next step, which will be interaction with our intellectual culture.

Unfortunately, it seems to me that continued government confusion, media mistakes and a general lack of intellectual rigor on our part--by that, I mean hysterical, superstitions and imagination-based responses--will impede the second phase of contact, which is the essential one, where we experience what I described in my first book, a kind of wondering and uneasy communion, similar to both the love and violence of a wedding night, as it might be played out between an excited groom and an uninformed and unprepared bride.

Beyond that is a phase that I can certainly communicate about, but it is not necessary now.

Will contact happen? I don't know, of course, but, in fact, it is as close now as it was in the late eighties and early nineties. We need it now more than we did then. As will be seen in a very few years, we have already fallen off a cliff in terms of the planet's ability to support us, and are sailing through the clear air toward what is going to be a very rocky landing.

Our social institutions are very poorly prepared and not actually able to respond usefully, and the confused, frightened US government, its obstreperous military, the poorly staffed and unprepared media, and the culture of denial among western intellectuals, may combine together to cause contact to be put off indefinitely.

If so, they, somewhere in deep future time, our survivors, if any, will perhaps come to this new world, having seen the bones of the old one fall behind. But there will be so much suffering if we cannot manage to do this now. So very much.

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