Taken was one of the most popular programs ever aired on the Science Fiction channel. It depicted an attempt at alien contact that failed due to a wrong-headed and violent human response. In the end, the beautiful young girl who was part human and part alien had to return to the alien world because we were just not capable of handling a relationship with her.

This was primarily due to the activities of a violent, vicious and power hungry government group, who sought control over the situation and, most especially, the little girl. They were depicted as people to whom the lives of other human beings meant little, who were willing to murder in pursuit of their sick agenda.

The abductees in the story all had implants, which sent out signals that were designed to locate them. When the aliens left, the implants dropped out.

Prior to broadcasting the program, the SciFi channel did promotional documentaries about the Roswell Incident and the abduction phenomenon. Both documentaries took their subjects seriously.

Overall, Taken was a boost for the UFO community. It was especially interesting that major advertisers did not hesitate to support either the documentaries or the program itself. I can recall, however, when we did the Confirmation special on NBC, major advertisers had no problem with it, either. Taken was the highest rated show the SciFi channel ever put on the air. It received an average rating of 1.9. Confirmation was the second highest program in its time period, with a far higher rating of 8.5. But this is, in part, due to the difference in audience access between one of the big three networks and the much smaller SciFi channel. Still, both programs were hugely popular and successful, because the public has a very high level of interest in the UFO phenomenon.

But was Taken?s premise an accurate reflection of the situation that actually exists? Is there a vicious government conspiracy to suppress UFO evidence and gain control of alien technology and knowledge? Are we, in fact, failing to make the grade as a species worthy of contact?

The program did not answer any of these three questions correctly, but the answers were certainly available from the community of close encounter witnesses and in other places. Actually, the situation is extremely complex, but evidence supporting the Taken scenario is just not there.

The first deficiency with the program was that it essentially repeated Steven Spielberg?s continuing premise that wonderful aliens are here but being resisted by a government obsessed with power and control. The problem with this is that whatever is here?and it is by no means decided that an alien presence is definitely involved?has a dark side, and without addressing that, you cannot really make a meaningful statement about the situation. Secondly, the government?s position is much more complicated than Spielberg would have us believe. Third, the abductee community is not as it was portrayed, nor is the close encounter experience nearly as simple as it was made to seem.

In addition, the idea that the visitors do not have emotions is simply false. They have extraordinary emotions, and I say that as a person who has been involved in the emotional life of the beings called ?greys.? They are not androids, or creatures with vast intelligence and no feelings. On the contrary, they are rich, immeasurably complex personalities. In my relationship with them, there has been anger, joy, love, terror?every extreme of emotion you can name, including jealousy and desire and longing, and all of it writ large. The truth is, when they are seen by witnesses as cold or robotic, it is because they are afraid. Sometimes, they are afraid of the witness. Sometimes, they are afraid of their own desires, which can overwhelm them and endanger them, in the same sense that uncontrollable desires can lead, among us, to all sorts of violent and criminal activity.

I do not know exactly why there are aspects of the close encounter experience that are so awful, and so unlike what, for example, I have experienced. Once I got over my fear, my life with the visitors was tremendous fun. I got to do things and see things that I do not think anybody else has ever gotten to do and see, at least, nobody who has been willing to write about it. I had a fabulous adventure in inner work and outer discovery. In fact, it?s still going on. And there is no evidence whatsoever that the visitors are about to leave. On the contrary, they are both so compassionate and so greedy that I doubt that they will ever leave. In fact, they are as much a part of our world as we are.

I have wondered, however, if some of them might not be insane, or defective in some other way. Mr. Spielberg was right when he postulated that they were trying to make people that mix their being with ours. To some extent, it?s about DNA, indeed?but only in the sense that a sign is about paint. The mixing that is being attempted goes deeper, much deeper. There are elements of being that we have not yet named?that we vaguely refer to using the old Egyptian concept of the soul?that are very much a part of nature, and that are governed by natural laws just like anything else. There is no supernatural. There are only elements of the conscious world that we can detect and elements that we can?t.

The visitors not only understand the science of the soul, their technologies penetrate into levels of being that are hidden to us. Some of the things that they can do are completely incredible and appalling. Souls are vastly informed. The nature of consciousness is holographic. The brain is not a repository of intelligence but a filter of intelligence. This world is not an accident. It was constructed intentionally by conscious creatures who devised it as a place in which eternal being, infinitely informed, could experience the one thing that it does not have: the new. We filter out knowledge and awareness so that we can taste the full energy of our discoveries and our mistakes.

The real reason that we fear the visitors is that they are not like us in this respect. They cannot make discoveries or mistakes. They have reached the limits of knowledge. What they want from us is innovation: they are here to taste the excitement of the new. This is why some of the astronauts who went to the moon saw strange things. They were on a cosmic stage, engaged in one of the purest and most sought- after experiences in the whole history of consciousness: touching a new world, truly, for the first time. (And please don?t write me with crap about us never going to the moon. I know a number of the lunar astronauts personally, and I can assure you, they went. I also know, from the visitors, that they went, because I have seen and tasted what the visitors saw and tasted in those days.)

But how do you reconcile all of this sublime material with things like cattle mutilation, the sadistic destruction of housecats, and grotesque murders? I will tell you this: I have also been with beings who literally radiate evil. I have been face to face with such beings, and seen in their faces a lurid greed for me that was absolutely terrifying. It is possible to become addicted to emotional extremes, and I think that this has something to do with what makes some of the visitors go so wrong. Also, they very much desire to overcome certain barriers to their walking among us, and this has led some of them to do quite horrible things.

I have met and had in my life people who were created out of a mixing of species, so I don?t think that Mr. Spielberg was wrong about that, either. Such people do exist. But my experience of them was not anything like Taken. I have not met any angels, I can assure you. What I have encountered were complicated, almost deranged, chain-smoking, frantic beings who were obviously suffering. One of these beings spent years with us, living on the periphery of our lives. He was the most terrible person I have ever encountered. The idea that he was near us, was obsessed with us, was able to move around the country when we did, was able to participate in our thoughts and was avidly interested in our most private experiences?which he invaded at will?all of this was disturbing.

As needful and intense as he was, he was also protective of us. Back when we had our old cabin in upstate New York, Anne and I once went skinny-dipping in our pool behind our house. It was absolutely private. Nobody could see us and nobody was around. But he was there, in the woods just behind the pool, and he was absolutely appalled at what we were doing. He raced back and forth in the leaves breaking branches, slapping trees, grabbing limbs and shaking them, until finally we went inside. Later, I went walking in the woods. He appeared at a distance, hands on hips, glaring at me.

Later, when we moved to a condominium in Texas, he came too. But a condominium in a city was not the same as a house in the country, and he was soon the source of tenant complaints. They saw what they thought was a boy looking into windows and climbing on balconies. Finally, he left, huffing away down the middle of the street, never to be seen again.

He was an awful mess. He pried into our personal lives. He oppressed us. But it was all out of a zeal for a companionship that he could never quite achieve.

The reason that he could not achieve this level of total contact felt emotional, but its actual origins lie deep in the mysteries of physics, and lead me to the issue of what the government is actually doing and why, and why there cannot at this time be direct, open contact with the visitors, and why any sort of final, absolute government disclosure is unlikely.

The government and the visitors both have the same problem: there is a barrier in physics to direct contact that will remain in place until the human mind makes room in its fundamental reality for their existence. At the highest levels, the intelligence officers who work on the problem of the visitors believe that official disclosure would lead to general acceptance, most notably among the most highly potentiated human minds?the scientists and intellectuals who now believe that the whole thing is utter bunk.

What is this mysterious issue in physics that controls contact? It is succinctly stated by J.A. Wheeler in his participatory universe hypothesis: ?All things physical are information-theoretic in origin and this is a participatory universe?Observer participancy gives rise to information; and information gives rise to physics.? Conversely, this means that, if there is information which a constructing observer does not participate in, its physics will not be available to that observer.

This concept originated in the work of John von Neumann, who was profoundly involved in the original decision to keep the whole matter of the apparent alien presence a secret. For an interesting discussion of both Wheeler and von Neumann?s ideas, click here. I have also written a novella about von Neumann?s ideas entitled ?The Open Doors? that appears in the retrospective of my shorter fiction, Evenings With Demons. Unfortunately, the book is rare, but the story will be reprinted in a new anthology of alien-related writings this year that will be made available over this website.

The fact that we do not include the visitors in our version of the universe is why we have missing time when we are in contact situations. Nothing is done to us. In fact, the visitors are fighting missing time. They are fighting our minds for space in our reality. This is what the theatre in the sky is all about, it is the primary reason for the attempts at contact and interaction. They are fighting what is for them a very real war, and the elements that are here are a tough military force: they are fighting to get the human mind to include them in the basic information out of which it assembles its reality.

If?or when?this happens, there will be fundamental and absolute change. The visitors won?t invade. They will simply be here, all around us.

There are two ways that this could happen: one would be, presumably, if the government disclosed the fact that they were real and the leaders of our scientific and intellectual communities agreed. This might conceivably bring a weight of acceptance that would fundamentally alter the fabric of perception to include the visitors. But nobody is certain that it would actually change anything, and nobody wants to find out, for the simple reason that the door, once opened, can never again be closed. Without understanding what that would mean, the government will never make this sort of disclosure. And given the horror of some of the things that have been observed, obviously it cannot take the risk.

The other would be if the efforts of the visitors make it happen. Every close encounter, every UFO sighting, every program like Confirmation or Taken?all of these things play into the visitors? hands. It is possible, as I have stated in these columns before, that the balance could be tipped in 2003. The simple reason for this is that the closest Mars opposition in years will occur in August, and Mars oppositions enable the visitors to bring much more equipment, as it were, to bear on the situation. Using this oppostion, could they create such an extensive theater in the sky that official disclosure will become irrelevant? Possibly. The greater question is, do they want to, and only time can tell us that.

But is the fusion of perceptual systems that I am talking about really to be desired? It has happened on other planets, and in the cases I know about, been interestingly successful. But if there have been failures, I?m fairly sure they would have been concealed from me, especially if they resulted in particularly dreadful situations, as would probably be the case.

In the process of interacting with the visitors, I have been able to taste the sense of annihilation that comes from allowing oneself to be subsumed into their perceptual universe. It evokes a fear much worse than death, because the part of one that is eternal senses it as a threat. The shattering of reality is a much greater threat to the mind than death. The mind knows that it survives death. It has no way of knowing what will happen to it if the reality upon which it counts for its contact with meaning should suddenly be undercut.

But there are layers and layers to all this, and this gets me to another failing of Taken: it is not based on insider information, but rather on suppositions gained from talking to people who are not in possession of such information, or reading books that do not contain it. I do not define ?insider? here as a member of one of the secret government communities who know for certain that the visitors are real, but rather as a person who has had direct and viable contact?in short, an abductee who has overcome the crippling effects of missing time enough to include at least some of his encounters in his ordinary reality.

When he does this, he finds that he has another, separate self who possesses extensive knowledge of his hidden life. It?s why witnesses often report knowing their captors. It?s why, during my second hypnosis session, I unexpectedly flashed back to a childhood encounter with the same being I met on the night of December 26, 1985.

These millions are the insiders I mean, because they are the foundation of contact. It is their lives that will change first? that have already changed, in some cases?and they who will appear from the social backstreets and hinterlands to lead the new movement of mankind toward a life reconciled with the visitors, and at last extending the reach of human being beyond the confines of this one planet and into the cosmos where it belongs.

In this, also, Mr. Spielberg was wrong: we are not going to be abandoned by the visitors because we?re not ready. We?re ready as soon as we can correctly understand what?s going on. Our history, our violence, our greed, our beauty, our achievements and failures: none of these will cause us to pass or fail the test.

So I was very disturbed by the depth of negativity in Taken. Beautiful aliens were driven off by the greed of an evil government. But it just is not so. A very complicated, multi- layered event is unfolding here. If I managed to do anything right in my previous work, it was to say that the visitors are what the force of evolution looks like when it is applied to a conscious mind. Growth and change are not necessarily pretty. If you were a dinosaur, the objects that hit the earth and shattered their world would have seemed demonic in origin. But to one of us, looking back and contemplating that if the dinosaurs had not been killed, we never would have been born, those same asteroids seem guided by the hand of a benevolent God.

So it is now.

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