(This was first published in Ufologist, Vol. 16, No. 6, March-April 2013)
In a two part article “Identifying the UFO Entities”, which was published in Ufologist in 2011, I argued that genuine UFOs are not alien spaceships. They are extradimensional or paraphysical entities which are masquerading as aliens. The Bible calls these entities demons.
This follow-up article will look at the question of UFOs in the Bible and how our worldviews and preconceptions can shape and limit our understanding of the UFO phenomenon. I will also argue that the UFO entities appear to be manipulating our worldviews.
UFOs and the Bible
Even some non-Christian UFO researchers have noticed the similarities between UFOs and demons. The late John Keel wrote,
“The UFO manifestations seem to be, by and large, merely minor variations of the age-old demonological phenomenon.” (1)
Although John Keel could see the similarities, he was not a Christian and he did not believe the entities behind UFOs and other paranormal phenomena really were demons in the Biblical sense. This is evident in a passage from another book Visitors from Space,
“The UFO phenomenon itself is only one trivial part of a much larger phenomenon. It can be divided into two main parts. The first and most important part consists of the mysterious aerial lights which appear to have an intelligence of their own. They have been observed throughout history. Often they project powerful searchlight-like beams toward the ground. Persons caught in these beams undergo remarkable changes of personality. Their IQ skyrockets, they change jobs, divorce their wives, and in any number of well-documented instances they suddenly raise above their mediocre lives and become outstanding statesmen, scientists, pets and writers, even soldiers. In religious lore, being belted by one of these beams causes ‘mystical illuminations’. When Saul, a Jewish tentmaker, was zapped by one of these beams on the road to Damascus, it blinded him for three days and he was converted to Christianity on the spot and became St. Paul.” (2)
Keel attributed the conversion of Saul on the road to Damascus to the same intelligence which is behind the UFO phenomenon. He apparently believed the same group of malevolent “ultraterrestrials” is behind all supernatural or paranormal phenomena, including the miracles attributed to God in the Bible. His understanding of UFOs and the paranormal was clearly shaped by his underlying worldview. Other UFO researchers’ attempts to solve the UFO mystery are also hindered by the limitations of their worldviews. The materialistic worldviews of skeptics and debunkers lead them to simply dismiss UFOs and paranormal phenomena. Many proponents of the extraterrestrial hypothesis will not consider the psychic or paranormal aspects of UFOs or the parallels with folklore because they do not fit their belief that we are being visited by alien spaceships.
The details of Paul’s conversion suggest it was not the same as a UFO encounter. Apart from the bright light, Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus described in Acts 9 and 26 does not resemble a UFO abduction or contactee encounter. It happened while they were riding along during the day, not while Paul was asleep. There were others present who saw the whole thing, unlike UFO abductions where there have been no third party witnesses. I am unaware of any UFO encounter where a witness was blind for three days afterwards as Paul was (Acts 9:9).
John Keel believed the UFO phenomenon was paraphysical or paranormal in nature, rather than extraterrestrial and physical. Some, who believe UFOs are physical objects, alien spaceships, also believe there are UFOs in the Bible, but in a different sense. Proponents of the “ancient astronauts” theory, such as Erich von Daniken and Zecharia Sitchen, believe that the Bible describes encounters with aliens. Jesus and angels were aliens. Unusual clouds and other things in the sky were spaceships. Miracles and supernatural events were the result of advanced alien technology. This appears to be case of reading one’s own preconceptions into the Bible text. No one, who did not already believe in the extraterrestrial hypothesis, would conclude that the Bible describing aliens.
The ancient astronauts theory is not limited to the Bible. Its adherents argue that accounts of gods and mythological beings in other ancient texts are also really accounts of aliens and their technology described in primitive supernatural terms. During the 1960s and 1970s Raymond Drake wrote several books with titles like Gods and Spacemen in the Ancient East and Gods and Spacemen in Greece and Rome. In 2002 Erich von Daniken wrote Odyssey of the Gods: An Alien History of Ancient Greece. However, not all myths have a basis in fact. Sometimes a myth is just a myth. Ancient astronauts proponents cannot differentiate between when an ancient description of something supernatural has a basis in fact so it could be a description of aliens and what is just a story which someone made up and they are claiming is really about aliens. Some fictional myths are probably being presented as historical accounts of aliens.
Modern UFO encounters bear little resemblance to the miracles of the Bible. For example, the parting of the Red Sea in Exodus was supposed to be the work of a UFO, and the pillar of fire and pillar of cloud, which the Israelites followed for 40 years, was supposed to be a UFO. However, no modern UFO has ever done anything like part the Red Sea. No UFO has ever been observed by thousands of people day and night for 40 years.
The message of the Bible is completely opposite to the “New Age” themes messages given to modern UFO contactees. Much of their content is devoted to attacking Christianity and the Biblical view of Jesus. Brad Steiger has written,
“Generally speaking, in the Space Beings’ teachings, Jesus of Nazareth is not God, but is a Christ, an ascended master, who incarnated so that he might demonstrate the Christ-pattern for all humans to achieve in a like manner. Jesus, most extraterrestrials are said to claim, studied with the Essenes during the lifetime which is reported in the Bible. The “lost years” of Jesus are no mystery: Between the ages of twelve and thirty, according to these sources, he was receiving special training aboard a spacecraft or in a remote area of Earth selected by the space entities.” (3)
These differences suggest there must be different sources behind the events of the Bible and modern UFO encounters, which I am arguing are God and Satan.
Nevertheless, I argued that UFOs are really manifestations of demons, the fallen angels of the Bible, so we should expect to see some similarities between angels and demons in the Bible and modern UFOs. Genesis 6 contains this intriguing passage which refers to events before Noah’s flood;
“Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose … There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.” (Genesis 6:1-2, 4)
This passage is admittedly ambiguous, but it is often interpreted as describing angels having sex with human women resulting in angel-human hybrids or giants (nephilim in Hebrew). The apocryphal Book of Enoch written during the Second Century BC, elaborates on this passage and says that these “sons of God” were 200 angels, called the Watchers, led by Samyaza whose name resembles Semjase who has appeared to the modern contactee Billy Meier claiming to be from the Pleiades. This book is not part of the Bible, but it at least shows how the Jews of the time understood this passage.
Those, who believe the Bible describes UFO encounters, believe this passage describes aliens having sex with humans and producing hybrids. In a sense they are right. The same fallen angels, who were behind the events in Genesis 6, are also behind modern UFO encounters, including abductions which often have a sexual element which are also said to result in hybrids.
When Jesus was describing the events preceding his Second Coming, he said, “And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man” (Luke 17:26). Bible prophecy writers usually say this is referring to similar moral (or immoral) conditions. Some Christian UFO researchers believe this prophecy also refers to the same activity of fallen angels or demons who had sex with women before the Flood and the resulting hybrids and the same thing happening today in the guise of UFO abductions. In their book Alien Encounters Chuck Missler and Mark Eastman suggest that the coming Antichrist will be one of these hybrids, the offspring of a demon and a human woman (4). However, in “Identifying the UFO Entities” I argued that UFO abductions are not physically real. The experiences appear to be implanted. This means that the hybrids, which abductees believe they see, also cannot be physically real. Like most attempts to interpret Bible prophecy, I believe the best approach is to just wait and see.
UFOs and the Paradigm Shift
Regardless of what role UFOs may or may not play in Bible prophecy or whether hybrids are physically real, it appears that one goal of the UFO entities is to change the worldviews or bring about a paradigm shift in the West. UFO encounters, especially abductions, are transforming people’s worldviews, both Christian and secular, to more mystical or New Age ones. Back in 1977, David Tansley wrote in Omens of Awareness;
“Something is setting the stage for a radical change in our thinking, something is trying to release man from the limiting concepts that bind and narrow his existence on earth, something wants the human mind to take that quantum leap in consciousness that will radically alter its view of the world. UFOs are a device through which all men can be reached, for the disc which is the traditional flying saucer shape has profound psychological, spiritual and symbolic connotations for the inner man on the intuitional levels of his being.” (5)
John Keel also noticed that UFOs led to a shift from a materialistic worldview to a more esoteric one,
“The UFO waves of the 1960s were accompanied by the occult explosion – the rapid spread of witchcraft and magical practices. An interesting side effect of the flying saucer phenomenon is that many of the people attracted to the subject, people with very materialistic and pseudo-scientific outlooks, gradually drift into the study of psychic phenomenon, abandoning the extraterrestrial theory along the way. In retrospect, flying saucers were partly responsible for the occult explosion.” (6)
In The Omega Project Kenneth Ring argues that UFOs and NDEs (Near Death Experiences) have the same source and they are transforming our worldviews. He writes these “experiences tend to initiate some profound alterations in one’s personal values and belief systems as well. In many instances the changes are tantamount to an entirely new worldview (or, perhaps better said, view of the cosmos) and appear to lead to a distinctive pattern of behavior that serves to express and communicate to others the essential insights that such sojourns have seemingly implanted in these travelers to unearthly realms.” (7) He adds, “All groups show a very marked movement (and it is significant statistically) toward religious universalism.” (8) He concluded that “these experiences reflect a purposive intelligence and that they are part of an accelerating evolutionary current that is propelling the human race toward higher consciousness and heightened spirituality.” (9) Ring describes this development as the “shamanizing of modern humanity”, suggesting that “we could be in the beginning stages of a major shift in levels of consciousness that will eventually lead to humanity’s being able to live in two worlds at once – the physical and the imaginal [or spiritual]. This is of course precisely what the shaman in traditional culture is trained to do.” (10)
In his book Passport to the Cosmos John Mack wrote,
“We seem to be experiencing now in the United States, and more or less throughout Western culture, a kind of spiritual renaissance. It reflects a deep hunger for something missing in the lives of many people, a sense however vague, that there are other realms from which they feel cut off, and a growing realization that many of the catastrophic events of this century have derived from radical secularism and spiritual emptiness. It seems clear that people in the West are increasingly seeking out more direct contact with a higher power, which would usually be called God were it not for the anthropocentric connotation and other baggage that has become attached to this word.
Many of the phenomena documented in this chapter may sound familiar to students of the history of religious traditions. The longing for connection with Source or the ground of being; the anguish of separation from the Divine; the process of breaking down the barriers to connection or reconnection with Source; the cycles of the soul’s incarnation or reincarnation are all familiar aspects of spiritual transformation….. What seems to be unique about the abduction phenomenon, as documented throughout this book, is its reality-shocking content, its energetic intensity and its potentially rapid transformative power. This may enable individuals who, generally speaking, have not undertaken a path of spiritual practice to connect or reconnect with Source dramatically and quickly through the mind-shattering terror that often, at least initially, is produced by these encounters.” (11)
Raymond Fowler, who investigated the abduction experiences of Betty Andreasson Luca, is an example of this transformation. In his 1974 book UFOs: Interplanetary Visitors Fowler believed in the “nuts and bolts” hypothesis, that UFOs were spaceships piloted by aliens from other planets. By his 1995 book, The Watchers II, his research of Betty Andreasson Luca’s abductions and their paranormal or paraphysical aspects led him to more metaphysical conclusions. He now believed that UFO abductions and NDEs were related and “UFOs and their entities come from behind death’s Great Door.” (12)
In Identifying the UFO Entities I wrote how UFO abductions can be stopped by praying in the name of Jesus. However, for some Christians their abduction experiences also lead to a transformation of their worldviews and a rejection of their Christian beliefs. Kelly Cahill was a Pentecostal Christian who stopped an abduction in Victoria in 1993 by praying. However the abduction and the resulting paranormal experiences still led her to abandon her Christian faith. She writes in her book Encounter,
“So overall, the effect of the encounter has instigated a kind of ‘flushing out’ process of my traditional values and precepts – sort of wiping the slate clean, ready to begin again. This time, instead of being taught what to believe, I’m on an inner journey of discovery, where I can find and place my own beliefs according to where I have found truth.” (13)
In Passport to the Cosmos Mack mentions an abductee, “Dave” who grew up a “fundamentalist Christian” and he originally interpreted his experiences as demonic, but now they “had brought him a great spiritual openness.” (14)
In Soul Samples, Leo Sprinkle writes about Ann Canary, who was raised a Southern Baptist, but had an NDE in 1966 and UFO abductions in 1972 and 1980, resulting in her adopting a New Age worldview. She wrote,
“An alien invasion has already occurred upon Earth. The conquering power is not military or technological/economic superiority. It is a revolution in consciousness, and spiritual knowing that has been implanted within the minds of thousands of people all over the world.” (15)
John Mack argued that the goal of UFO abductions was apparently to reconnect us with “Source” or God and I agree that the secular West has cut itself off from God. However, judging by the impact of these experiences on Christians, it is not the Christian concept of God they want to connect us to. The universalist worldview, which is being promoted by the UFO entities, is clearly in conflict with the exclusive worldview of the Bible. They cannot both be right.
In her book It’s All in the Playing, Shirley MacLaine writes
“Whether they [a UFO contactee’s experiences] were “real” or not seemed irrelevant to me. The message was clear, a spiritual shift in consciousness would benefit humankind.” (16)
A “spiritual shift in consciousness” will only benefit humankind if it takes closer to the truth. In “Identifying the UFO Entities” I argued that the UFO entities are clearly lying to contactees and abductees and pretending to be extraterrestrials when they are something else. I quoted New Age UFO writer Brad Steiger who said,
“As a result of my own investigations and the research of others, I can no longer doubt that such ‘contacts’ are taking place on a global scale. I must, however, challenge the veracity of the UFO occupants, especially in regard to their place of origin, namely outer space. It seems to me that, since our earliest antiquity, the UFO entities have been lying to us about their identity and their true fatherland.” (17)
Since they are lying to us and cannot be trusted, it is naïve and dangerous to believe that they are leading us to the truth through UFO abductions, and not more deception.
One of the consequences of a paradigm shift when the modern Western worldview, with its emphasis on absolute truth and objective evidence, is replaced by a mystical one is that there is little critical thinking and people tend to believe almost anything. During a 1990 conference John Keel said,
“I’m seeing more and more excellent UFO investigators going off the deep end. They take in any strange theory, because they’ve been desensitized by all the strangeness for so long.” (18)
This can be seen in Mack’s own abduction research. Donna Bassett, one of the abductees he interviewed, made up her experiences in order to investigate Mack’s research techniques undercover. While pretending to be under hypnosis, she told Mack she had seen Kennedy and Khrushchev aboard a UFO during the Cuban missile crisis and Mack apparently believed her (19). When people are too eager to believe and critical thinking is lost and even a Harvard professor of psychiatry cannot tell if someone is lying and believes something so bizarre.
The Historical Foundations of the Christian Worldview
There is no denying that UFO abductees have had a powerful metaphysical or paranormal experience, but they are not the only ones. I know Mormons, Pentecostal Christians, New Agers, UFO abductees and David Icke fans who have all had experiences which suggest there is something beyond this physical world. The problem is their experiences point to different and contradictory beliefs and worldviews about what is really out there. They cannot all be true.
It may seem that the Christian worldview (and the subsequent belief that the UFO entities are demons) is just another worldview which is equally valid or invalid and ultimately unprovable as any other worldview. The Christian worldview is different in that it is based on historical evidence, rather than only subjective experience. It is impossible for any of us to know what God is like and what the correct worldview is through our own, intellect, imagination or experience. We can only know what God is like if He reveals Himself to us, which happened in Jesus of Nazareth. The New Testament says that Jesus of Nazareth was the Son of God incarnated as a human being. C.S. Lewis wrote in Mere Christianity,
“Among these Jews there suddenly turns up a man who goes about talking as if He was God. He claims to forgive sins. He says He has always existed. He says He is coming to judge the world at the end of time. Now let us get this clear. Among Pantheists, like the Indians, anyone might say that he was a part of God, or one with God: there would be nothing very odd about it. But this man, since He was a Jew, could not mean that kind of God. God, in their language, meant the Being outside the world, who made it and was infinitely different from anything else. And when you have grasped that, you will see that what this man said was, quite simply, the most shocking thing that has ever been uttered by human lips.
One part of the claim tends to slip past us unnoticed because we have heard it so often that we no longer see what it amounts to, I mean the claim to forgive sins; any sins. Now unless the speaker is God, this is really so preposterous as to be comic. We can all understand how a man forgives offences against himself. You tread on my toes and I forgive you, you steal my money and I forgive you. But what should we make of a man, himself unrobbed and untrodden on, who announced that he forgave you for treading on other men’s toes and stealing other men’s money? Asinine fatuity is the kindest description we should give of his conduct. Yet this is what Jesus did. He told people that their sins were forgiven, and never waited to consult all the other people whom their sins had undoubtedly injured. He unhesitatingly behaved as if He was the party chiefly concerned, the person chiefly offended in all offences. This makes sense only if He really was the God whose laws are broken and whose love is wounded in every sin. In the mouth of any speaker who is not God, these words imply what I can only regard as a silliness and conceit unrivalled by any other character in history.
Yet (and this is the strange, significant thing) even His enemies, when they read the Gospels, do not usually get the impression of silliness and conceit. Still less do unprejudiced readers. Christ says that He is ‘humble and meek’ and we believe Him; not noticing that, if He were merely a man, humility and meekness are the very last characteristics we could attribute to some of His sayings.
I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic – on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg – or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.” (20)
(This assumes that the portrait of Jesus in the New Testament is accurate and I have argued it is in “The Historical Jesus” (21).)
The historical evidence suggests that Jesus really was God, the truth personified (John 14:6), so what he taught and revealed to us must be the absolute truth and the Christian worldview is based on objective historical evidence, not subjective experience. This means the Christian argument that genuine UFOs are demonic, is not simply a superstitious reaction to the unknown. As I argued in Identifying the UFO Entities the characteristics and behavior of the UFO entities suggest they are demons and furthermore, this argument is based on an objective worldview which reflects reality.The fact the UFO entities attack Jesus and Christian belief and seek to change people’s worldviews away from one based on objective truth is further evidence of their demonic identity.
(1) John Keel, Operation Trojan Horse, Souvenir Press, London, 1970, p 299
(2) John Keel, Visitors from Space, Granada, London, 1976, p 46-47
(3) Brad Steiger, The Fellowship, Ivy Books, New York, 1988, p 170-171
(4) Chuck Missler and Mark Eastman, Alien Encounters, Koinonia House, Idaho, 1997, p 275, 280-281
(5) David Tansley, Omens of Awareness, Abacus, London, 1977, p 7
(6) Visitors from Space, op cit., p 109
(7) Kenneth Ring, The Omega Project, William Morrow, New York, 1992, p 172
(8) Ibid., p 183
(9) Ibid., p 190
(10) Ibid., p 240
(11) John Mack, Passport to the Cosmos, Thorson, London, 2000, p 228
(12) Raymond Fowler, The Watchers II, Wild Flower Press, Oregon, 1995, p 350
(13) Kelly Cahill, Encounter, Harper Collins, Sydney, 1996, p 230
(14) Passport to the Cosmos, op cit., p 43-44
(15) Leo Sprinkle, Soul Samples, Granite, North Carolina 1999, p 133
(16) Shirley MacLaine, It’s All in the Playing, Bantam, Toronto, 1987, p 324
(17) Brad Steiger, Gods of Aquarius, Granada, London, 1980, p 133
(18) William Alnor, UFOs in the New Age, Baker, Michigan, 1993, p 229
(19) James Willwerth, “The Man from Outer Space”, http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,164273,00.html
(20 C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, Fount, Glasgow, 1983, p 51-52
(21) Malcolm Nicholson. “The Historical Jesus”, http://malcolmnicholson.wordpress/the-historical-jesus/