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Mac Tonnies was one of the few clear-headed thinkers in ufology. He passed away far too young, at age 34, in 2009. In this episode of The Experience, we listen back to an interview Mac guested for Jeremy Vaeni’s first podcast, Culture of Contact. Then, subscribers will hear the UFO encounter that was as amazing as it was outlandish and morbid, involving Jeremy and Jeff Ritzmann, with nods to the recently deceased and, incidentally, Whitley Strieber, as it first appeared on an episode of Paratopia in 2012.

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  1. Thanks for this. My one
    Thanks for this. My one “light in the sky” experience was a bright blue light. Jeff’s description of the spike quality of it is very accurate for my light too. I never change position to see if it was directional but it was actually flashing an intense blue beam across my face and around the room. I had the impression that it was surely trying to get my attention.

  2. Hey Jeremy,
    sounded like a

    Hey Jeremy,
    sounded like a standard guy with standard views. Nothing(from the audience viewpoint) was outlandish. But, i am of the belief that they(anomolous they) use our spirits to actually energize time/reality travel. I know, kookiness right? Again, I cant prove this idea so dont believe me unless you feel something like it. Youve got clusters of sources. They(again anomolous they) have the tech to remove the spirit from the body. WHY??!!! Like growing crossbred roses looking for the best combination, they can move back, adjust a specific reality, then move forward to see what shakes out. When done, they return just after the time where they took the spirit and put it back. Ok, yeah, its ok… roll the eyes here. I kinda want to apologize to whomever just read this….(note: Farscape Moya.)
    I think I’ll stop; Im sounding like a kook now. O.o

    1. The kookier the better. It’s
      The kookier the better. It’s probably closer to the truth than the obvious ideas. Let me know if you want to come on the show to talk about it. Maybe if a bunch of folks want to come on with their theories we can have a panel of theorists.

    2. You’ll have to provide the
      You’ll have to provide the experiences that led to your conclusions before I can properly judge your kookiness…if you give me a fair chance I’ll try to make a fair judgment…so, don’t prejudge people such that you believe they prejudge you. It’s better to present your experiences as you experienced them and ask for opinions rather than presenting your own conclusions to unstated experiences and then adding on the unstated and supposed conclusions of others as well. That leaves no room for discussion.

    3. Harley, what you said makes
      Harley, what you said makes sense. Thanks for posting it.

    4. HG
      Certainly food for thought

      Certainly food for thought for those with an open window in their minds to let fresh breezes of possibilities blow through. I think maybe you are a “crossbred rose” in the garden of this experience. I do so love gardens and roses.
      Verna Lee

  3. I don’t quite see the
    I don’t quite see the reasoning behind Mac’s preference for the cryptoterrestrial theory over the ETH, which it seems to me were the only two he considered viable, particularly because the cryptoterrestrial has inherent logical inconsistencies not present in the ETH.

    The main difference between the two seem to be that the interaction with ‘them’ would be more accidental in the crypto theory but more deliberate in the ETH.

    As to the logical fallacies, he seems to posit a necessity of them remaining secret even while coexisting with us on the planet so as not to interfere with our evolution or disturb our (illusory) sense of supremacy. It’s not clear why this is inherently important except that ‘it’s always been that way’, yet it’s always been that way only by their own choice and had they chosen to openly interact with us from the beginning their presence would have been assimilated into our evolution in a much more natural and non-destructive way. It’s not clear why he believes our sense of supremacy is such a necessity to our evolution that they need to ‘hide’ from us even though we share the same planet. He also states that they possibly ‘corralled’ us into cities in order to have freer access to the countryside, yet that conflicts directly with his theory of non-interference, and what use of the countryside could justify such interference other than flying through it unobserved? Any other interaction which disturbed it or left traces would essentially negate the motive for isolating us in cities, that is, to remain undetected. A third inconsistency exists if it’s in their interest to see us (eventually) reach their level, either to assuage their loneliness or as an inevitable result of the process of evolution. It’s not clear why isolating us from them assists this in any way. Logic would assume open interaction would expedite it and self-chosen isolation would actually inhibit it for as long as possible, unless there’s some cosmic necessity for us to ‘achieve it’ on our own; it’s not clear why this would be a necessity, except so as not to break the established isolation they themselves initiated, and actually conflicts with any motivation to have us ‘join them’, at least in as short a time as possible.

    He seems also to believe that their ‘paranormal’ aspect is more a technology akin to our internet rather than an inherent aspect of their being. No justification for this dichotomy is stated but perhaps its implied in that they are children of this planet as well and thus children of matter in essence, just like us, and since we can’t do that ‘stuff’, the only way they can is through artifice.

    Why all this made more sense to him than other theories is not clear.

    1. I don’t care for the
      I don’t care for the cryptoterrestrial theory myself, but the ETH has its own logical inconsistencies. I think he was an honest and intelligent enough person that he would have eventually abandoned it, though.

      I think seeing these phenomena as emanating from more closer to home than the word “alien” implies is a step closer to the truth in sentiment than ETH, but crypto theory is, to my eye, an attempt to try to frame the un-alienness of this in similarly materialistic terms. I don’t think the facts currently support either theory. But again, I suspect he’d have eventually figured this out because, as he made clear in the interview, he wasn’t so married to the idea that he’d cite blatant nonsense as sources of evidence.

      1. I agree. I didn’t mean to
        I agree. I didn’t mean to come across as hypercritical. I could see his mind wasn’t closed, I was critical of his theory which isn’t and wasn’t meant to be the same as criticizing him as a person, he was obviously sincere in his search for answers.

      2. Jeremy, I think the ETH is
        Jeremy, I think the ETH is redeemable as long as it’s not tied exclusively to the materialist paradigm. We could assume their home to be a planet other than ours as long as we also acknowledge that they’re using a plane other than the physical (but closely associated with it) to travel to us and interact with us. This would make them more than spirits or supernatural entities, allowing for an actual physical existence similar to ours, yet utilizing non-physical means to actually make contact. This would account for their uniquely physical yet alien appearance and also their close association with the whole spectrum of paranormal phenomena that seems to be native to a plane adjacent to ours and which they would be using to contact us. The argument of interplanetary vs. interdimensional would be resolved by postulating it’s neither exclusively but, comprehensively, both.

  4. Quite the show! I remember
    Quite the show! I remember hearing interviews with Mac Tonnies in the past, and being impressed with how clear-headed, and in many ways logical he was about it all. His presence and unique point of view are missed by many of us.

    I will be the first to admit, however, that I am not ready to grasp any one particular idea about ‘extra-terrestrials’ or Mac’s ‘crypto-terrestrial’ hypothesis either. I have a bunch of ideas of my own too, including one that IF they are ‘crypto-terrestrial’, perhaps they were previous inhabitants of our planet that could be ‘haunting’ us (Remember ‘The Martian Chronicles’?). Sometimes when I notice those ‘on the other side’, I have at times surprised them. “Oh, you can see us!”, and this dovetails also with Jeremy’s fly-on-the-wall experience mentioned in the Tonnies interview and the alien that gave off the “you-shouldn’t-be-here” vibe. (In that instance, maybe you were the one doing the haunting, Jeremy!)

    The story of the ‘green light’ also just shows how weird and connected everything is. The light itself may have had nothing to do with Mac, but something or someone was aware of Jeremy, Ritzman, and Mac’s connections and may have been having a good laugh at their expense…

  5. CL, that’s one of the things
    CL, that’s one of the things that stand out to me often in manifest phenomena like this, they often seem more interested in asserting themselves than in revealing anything subjectively useful. If you’ve ever looked at the Skinwalker ranch phenomena, they seem to have had a real attitude problem, and were far more interested in asserting their hegemony than in meaningful communication or establishing any kind of mutual relationship. Having access to a superior energy does not equate to actually being superior, though they would undoubtedly disagree. Even the astral planes have their Trumps.

  6. Happy Easter. Ok, since
    Happy Easter. Ok, since other listeners have ventured out… I guess I can step up as well. Firstly, Steve44, its a knee jerk reaction with me. I like others have had some things happen that were out of the general population ordinary. Its all good. =) Jeremy, drop me an email address or where i can get it and we can chat about …things. You see to always ask the right questions. My thing was the “333” times ive had. Waking up at exactly 3:33 am in clusters of 2 week intervals. I feel like something has happened but I dont really KNOW. I cant say with conviction…I Know.

  7. Hi Harley, Happy Easter.
    Hi Harley, Happy Easter. Well, if you share more of your experience, either here or even better as a guest on Jeremy’s show, we can put our ideas together about what may actually be happening. I’d be interested in hearing more about the theories you mentioned in your first post and how you arrived at them. Don’t worry about a lack of clarity or certainty on your part, that’s where discussion can help. I hope to hear more from you soon, and it would be great to hear you on Jeremy’s show!

  8. Sometimes, maybe we
    Sometimes, maybe we overreach, looking for answers that are way more complicated than they need to be. Last night, I watched one of my all-time favorite movies, ‘Harvey’, starring Jimmy Stewart. ‘Harvey’ is the story of Elwood P. Dowd and his invisible 6’3″ rabbit pal, Harvey (And, of course, all those friends and family around Elwood think he’s a little insane, then set out to fix that problem.) Many of us have shared our odd rabbit experiences on ‘The Experience’, and AMC, in its infinite wisdom (ha, ha), decided to run a movie about a giant invisible rabbit in honor of Easter. Just like so many things on ‘The Experience’, ‘Harvey’ and Easter are not even remotely connected, and yet they are…

    Here are a couple of abbreviated key scenes from the film, ‘Harvey’. The first scene involves Elwood telling the story of how he met Harvey, and to a psychiatrist who wants to have Elwood committed to ‘Chumley’s Rest’:

    The second scene involves a choice consciously made by Elwood:

    Happy Easter!

    1. Well….this IS Easter….
      Well….this IS Easter….

  9. This was a very good
    This was a very good interview. The discussion with Jeff and the synchonicities was enlightening. Jeremy, I wonder if you had ever considered some sort of street lamp interference that the green light could have been creating. Have you heard of people that experience street lamp interference? My personal theory as to why it affected the lamp by you and Jeff could have been because whatever the light was, it was focusing toward you, thus affecting the street lamp only in your vicinity.

    Understanding the whole story behind paranormal events can definitely make more sense of them as it comes to understanding them while applying the trickster model to them. I have had some unusual experiences myself and looking back on them, they seem to fit well within anti structural events. These experiences have transformed from “alien” encounters to something less defined, but involving more synchonicities. Although, I feel as though the type of interaction has changed, the thing that is interacting with me, whatever it may be, has the same source.

    1. QJ, don’t freak out or
      QJ, don’t freak out or anything, but when Elwood first interacts with Harvey, he sees him at night leaning against a lamp post…:-)

      1. And they never actually show
        And they never actually show the lamp post, just like they never actually show Harvey…that may have been no ordinary lamp post!!!

        1. Indeed! The playwright, Mary
          Indeed! The playwright, Mary Chase, may have been on to something…

          1. Really a very interesting
            Really a very interesting movie, especially for the time. A humorous critique of stifling social norms with the supernatural as the vehicle for criticism, which is a direct reversal of most movies where the supernatural is featured, where it becomes the subject of criticism, or the object of fear. Kind of ingenious really. The simplicity and potency of the reversal indicates an inspired source, and Jimmy Stewart nailed it.

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