Beginning in March of 2011, people began posting videos on YouTube of odd sounds that seemed to have no source. I first became aware of them about a month ago, when Anne and I briefly heard one filling the air, a great roaring that died away as suddenly as it had begun. It was just enough to cause us to take notice, but we thought no more of it. A few days later, there was a reporter here interviewing me about Solving the Communion Enigma. The moment he came into the apartment, he asked what the strange noise was. He described it as a sound like a glass harp. We couldn't hear it at all. He adjusted his equipment, determined that it wasn't being picked up by his recorder, and completed the interview. Later, he wrote me that "the moment you closed the door behind me, the sound ceased."
About that time, Linda Moulton Howe brought other instances of strange sounds to my attention, and began researching them. We have quite a good group of professionals to draw on, and they soon determined that, while some of the sounds were indeed unidentified, most of them were simply copies made by hoaxers. The unidentified sounds appeared to be mechanical in origin, but they came from so many different places in the world that it was hard to think that they would all have the same origin.
Because some of the recordings had a weird trumpet-like sound, they soon began to be called 'sounds of the apocalypse,' and I sensed a wave of real hysteria emerging. I well remember the horror of what happened as the Hale-Bopp Comet passed Earth, and the cynical attempt last year to induce the same sort of hysteria with Comet Elenin. Linda and I did a Dreamland that attempted to separate truth from fiction, and the truth was this: some of the sounds were of unknown origin, but most of the videos being posted were simply dubs of those sounds, or clumsy fakes.
Then, as quickly as it had begun, the strange sounds fad faded away. While a few videos are still cropping up, we have stopped getting emails about the at email@example.com. The hoaxes have done, in this case, an excellent job of quieting what looked for a short time there like a real panic. Not that the average person would have been affected, but some people are not average. Some people are fragile and foolish and easily duped. These are the ones who are liable to do things like jump off buildings in anticipation of the Apocalypse.
Personally, I don't see the end of the world as being any more likely in 2012 than it was in 2011, or, for that matter, in 1011. It's always possible that another gigantic comet could strike earth, or some other great disaster befall our planet. But it probably won't happen tomorrow, and there isn't any clear evidence that it will happen in 2012.
However, that doesn't mean that great and sudden change couldn't take place, nor does it mean that the sounds are without significance. They might be explainable as the engine-note of some sort of classified aircraft; despite their seemingly mechanical origin, they might be natural sounds; they might represent an escalation of the UFO phenomenon.
If they do, then it's worth asking what might happen if our visitors suddenly appear openly in our midst. For reasons that I detail in Solving the Communion Enigma, I consider this extremely unlikely, but not impossible. So, what if it did happen, what would it be like?
First, forget the fantasy that it would involve some sort of diplomatic mission from another planet. Our visitors are not like us. They will not be sending an ambassador or discussing hyperspace drives with Stephen Hawking. They are more different from us, almost, than it is possible to imagine.
My chief concern is that we may not just be behind them in terms of our knowledge and spiritual evolution, but that we may be organically incapable of seeing the world clearly enough to engage with them in any meaningful way. By comparison, while a chimpanzee can become used to human presence, as Jane Goodall has demonstrated, absolutely nothing you can say or do can ever explain even the simplest human artifact to one of these creatures. They will never read books, understand automobiles, know history, know science. They will never understand the greater world that they inhabit, nor the ways in which it threatens them, nor the ways in which they are dependent on it.
Let me assure you: we are in exactly the same position with our visitors. And they do not all have our best interests at heart, no more than everybody in Africa has the best interests of chimpanzees at heart. It should not be forgotten that there are butcher shops in London and Paris where bush meat is sold, albeit illegally, as a delicacy. I can assure you, as well, that there are things that are done with some of us that are as deletarious and incomprehensible to us as the notion that he might end up cooked over a gas ring in Montparnasse or Wapping would be to a chimp.
Those are hard words, I know, but also true ones, and true as well is that there are Jane Goodalls out there, and they have a notion that we will be able to evolve into higher realms, or they would not be here seeking communion with us. The extraordinary intimacy of our relationship with them simply would not be as it is if they did not know for certain that, on some level, we have the potential to be their equals.
They are already here. They are already among us. The world is filled with them and has been for generations. We filter our reality, though, just as the chimps do. A chimp can see a house or a car or a glorious painting and, quite simply, never integrate it into his reality. He simply does not see what is really there. That doesn't mean that it doesn't exist, though, only that he cannot apprehend its existence.
So maybe these sounds represent some sort of experiment of theirs, or even the arrival or deployment of some new sort of technology. Whatever their origin, if the visitors had anything to do with it, you can be sure that a major part of their purpose was sociological. They wanted to see how we would react. Would we address the matter with fear and the potential for violence that attends it, or would we show some increased capability to deal with the unknown?
The videos frightened people, with the result that the comments sections on YouTube were exceptionally vituperative. The average man was startled and afraid, and he was howling like a monkey lost in a shopping mall. But not everybody reacted badly. Linda Moulton Howe undertook an efficient and reasoned investigation. Careful analysis was done, and a reality was discovered and accepted: there was an element of the unknown involved, drowned in a flood of hoaxes. So, along with the hysteria and the banal stupidity, there was also rational analysis.
Did that mean anything to them? Will it bring any change? Will anything bring change? Well, I certainly hope that something will. I know pretty clearly at this point what will happen to us if the visitors do put in an unimpeachable public appearance. We will at once become aware of the fact that both the secular and religious enterprises of mankind are fallacious. We will become aware that we have failed to understand the world, and that all of our narratives are invalid. As we realize that all of our gods and all of our ideologies are nonsense, the human mind will take a terrific blow. An extraordinary shock.
This shock will rend the veil between the worlds as certainly as the veil was rent in the temple. From a religious standpoint, a prophecy will be fulfilled: "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed." And that is exactly how it will unfold: one moment, we will be one species with one way of looking at the world; in the next, we will be another species with an entirely different perception. The living and the dead will come face to face and the idea of death will itself die. A devastation of conscience will plunge the living into a fire of insight that for many will be agonizing. But we will come through it, we will survive, and on the other side, we will be made anew.
That is the change the visitors will bring, and that is why they are so careful in their stealthy in their approach to us. They need the energy of surprise if this is to work correctly, and the stakes are high. If we attempt instead to view them through the lens of reality as we see it now, there will be only one outcome: the human mind will be plunged into chaos and madness, and great fear will induce great violence.
The reason that the visitors continued to work with me back in 1986 was that I went out into the woods in order to face my own fears, and therefore stepped beyond the cycle of violence that makes wild creatures dangerous. I was like a dog of thirty thousand years ago, willing, in the end, to be drawn by my curiosity and my hunger for a new kind of love, rather than rendered impotent by my fear. I ceased to be a wild animal in their eyes, and became something that could be communicated with, that could be worked with, that could present them with a soul in its full meaning. So they took an interest in me, and educated me, and I have become what I am today: an outsider with an insider's knowledge and a voice therefore that can be heard by only a few, but a very important few, for it is on their shoulders that the future of our species rests.
We are like mudfish, this little band, tossed up onto a Permian shore, gasping and struggling in the last of the muck that has always given us life, while the sun burns our backs and our eyes return a blurry vision of a vast and incomprehensible new world, and we struggle alone toward a destiny that will, in the end, be the destiny of all our kind.