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Apperception in the UFO Phenomenon

Our interpretations of worlds beyond will be shaped by what we already know, or assume to know.  British retro sci-fi art from the 1950s romanticizes the exploration of outer space.  See


By Dr. Raymond Keller, a.k.a. the “Cosmic Ray,” author of the Venus Rising book trilogy (Terra Alta, WV:  Headline Books, 2015-2017), available on while supplies last

            In my 52 years of UFO investigations, it has become clear to me that people interpret what they hear and see in terms of what they already know.  Psychologists understand this interpretive mechanism as being one of “apperception.”  Lacking any new knowledge requisite for the interpretation of any new phenomenon encountered, an experiencer would be hard pressed in developing any clear and concise descriptions, let alone explanations, for anything out of the ordinary impinging upon their physical senses.  Formulating ideas about such phenomena might prove to be difficult.  Without a proper “gnosis,” or base of knowledge, the best an experiencer can do is take some theorizing “stabs in the dark,” so to speak, about the nature of any newly encountered phenomenon. 

            The phenomenon may thus be thought of as being “alien” to the experiencer, but not necessarily in the context of extraterrestriality.  The closest parallel could be made with a foreign tongue.  The apostle Paul, when writing to the saints at Corinth (I Cor. 4:11), once declared that, “If I do not know the meaning of the language, I shall be a foreigner to the speaker, and the speaker a foreigner to me.”  Therefore, one could say that in cases of close encounters of the third kind (CE III), the word “other” might be appropriated to serve in place of the term “alien.”  Where intelligence is operative behind the phenomenon, manifesting as some type of entity, the otherness may or may not be of extraterrestrial origin.  Nothing should be assumed. 

            Unfortunately for the experiencer, whether an abductee or a contactee, they will, in all probability, remain as “foreigners” to their own experiences precisely because they lack the proper language that “registers” appropriately in the minds of the people not sharing in any experiential way with the otherness the experiencer is trying to communicate with them.  On the other hand, symbolic language can serve to bridge this communications gap.  Some figures of speech often evoke mental pictures of things people are familiar with in daily life.  The best examples come from the master teacher, Jesus, the Christ.  In the Synoptic Gospels, Jesus employed 164 metaphors, implanted in parables, to describe celestial realities or highlight spiritual principles.  As we read the parables of Jesus, pictures of objects and people form immediate connections in our mind’s eye.

            Jesus adeptly suggested pictures of things that the people were familiar with in their daily lives.  By means of such vivid illustrations, the master teacher was able to impart an immediate understanding between his mind and the minds of his hearers.  While Jesus spoke of the Kingdom of God and sundry things celestial, the experiencer attempts to relate an account of something un-Earthly, perhaps originating from another planet, another time, another dimension, or maybe a spiritual realm, or a combination of any two or several of the above.  Keeping this in mind, in all of my Venus Rising trilogy of books, frequent allusions are made to situations in comic books, movies, television shows and other elements of pop culture familiar to most of us.  The otherness of the contactee experience requires no less than this.  People need something they can get a grip on if they are ever going to begin to understand concepts and ideas pertinent to the presence of such powerful beings here on Earth. 

            Prominent Theosophist John Anthony West, writing in his groundbreaking book examining the high wisdom of ancient Egypt, Serpent in the Sky (Wheaton, IL:  Quest Books, 1993), 127, takes note of the overall importance of myth as a vehicle for the transmission of knowledge: 

            “Myth is a whole.  It transcribes a fundamental knowledge of the laws of genesis, which applies to everything.  Myth is a deliberately chosen means of communicating knowledge.  While it is possible, even probable, that the ancients could not have expressed that knowledge in modern philosophical language, this is no shortcoming.  It is we who are at the disadvantage.  To make sense of the myth, we must first convert it to a form the intellect will accept.  Thereafter, it may or may not work upon our emotional center and allow us to arrive at understanding.”

             But even apart from the entities involved, the UFOs themselves exhibit a “fade-in/fade-out pattern.”  Otto O. Binder (1911-1974), a prominent comic book and science fiction writer, as well as the author of five books about the UFO enigma, once declared that, “In numbers too great to be ignored, many UFOs are reported not to fly away, but simply to ‘fade away’ and also to ‘materialize’ before the eyes from thin air.”  Binder described three impressive cases of such “UFO phantoms” to illustrate this fact:[1]

  1.  Winter 1952, near Stockholm, Sweden.  Six witnesses saw a disc-shaped object about the size of the full moon.  (This would be about the size of a dime, in appearance, if you were to hold it arm’s length.  –R.K.)  As it sped over fields, it slowly disappeared in a strange way.  “It just went out,” one girl said, insisting it was not like an object vanishing in the distance, but more like a light being turned off. 
  2. September 8, 1958, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska.  A group of military personnel caught sight of a cigar-like UFO, surrounded by tiny black specks; and “as it continued on its westerly path…. It never did drop below the horizon- just faded away.
  3. December 24, 1960, near Durango, Colorado.  A family on a ranch saw a disc with a big dome on top, which remained stationary above them for 15 minutes.  Then its glow brightened, turned light green, and finally “faded out slowly, like a gas flame.” 

Perhaps these UFOs faded out of view due to flying through some haze in the distance. However, in these cited cases and a plentitude of others, the witnesses have adamantly declared that the objects did not decrease in diameter.  Ergo, the UFOs were not moving away when they faded from sight.  Rather, they remained hovering in a stationary position, just projecting a false image of darting away from the observer. 

Binder came to the same conclusion that J. Allen Hynek, John A. Keel, Jacques Vallee, and others eventually arrived at, namely that, “There may be something deeper to this phenomenon than we suspect.”  Very few there were who recognized that the future of humankind on this planet may well depend not only upon our acceptance of the presence of the flying saucers in our skies, but an embracing of the messages imparted by their occupants to the growing number of contactees, followed up by an implementation of political and social policies in conformity to the celestial order of advanced civilizations on Venus and other inhabited planets. 

Juan Posadas, an Argentine Trotskyist politician as well as a serious student of the metaphysical sciences, was in Paris, France, on 26 June 1968, addressing these very concerns to an assembly of the Fourth International.  His discourse was titled, “Flying Saucers, the Process of Matter and Energy, Science, the Revolutionary and Working-Class Struggle and the Socialist Future of Mankind.”  Later that year, it was published as a pamphlet in the French language by Éditions Réed in Paris.  Basing his talk on the experiences of UFO contactees such as George Adamski, Truman Bethurum, Gabriel Green, Howard Menger and others, he essentially explained how our adoption of the celestial style of managing the resources of the planet would lead the human race into communist utopia, and in the process garnering us membership into some type of galactic confederation of planets. 

Posadas asserted that life can exist on other planets, no matter where we find them.  He noted that, “The passage of matter from the inorganic to the organic state could take place in a different manner to how it does on Earth, such that energy could be used in a more effective manner.”  Posadas lamented that Earthlings barely knew how to make the best use of coal, oil, or even the nuclear energy that we have at hand.  On the other hand, the political theoretician said that, “The extraterrestrials may be on the way to exploiting all energy existing in matter.  They can use all the energy that we still do not know how to employ on Earth, and transform it into light.  It could be that matter is organized differently in other planetary systems or galaxies, in infinite combinations and in totally different forms to those that we know on Earth.  We cannot imagine what it is like; but we can imagine very well that there may be an organization of energy infinitely superior to what we have here.”

As to the UFOs, Posadas placed them in Friedrich Hegel’s dialectical conception of history.  Speaking for the Fourth International in this regard, the theoretician declared that, “All the news of UFOs around the various parts of the world coincides.  There are many coincidences, not all of which are exaggerations.  We believe and accept that these beings exist.  The majority of people who have seen them say that they are normal beings….” 

As to why the governments of the Western world were doing little to study these objects, Posadas mused that, “Capitalism has no interest in UFOs and, as such, makes no research into them.  It has no interest in occupying itself with these matters because they cannot reap profits, nor are they useful to capitalism.  But people see in UFOs the possibility of advancement and progress.”

Accounts provided by the contactees bear this out.  Highly advanced civilizations exist on Venus and other planets in our solar system and beyond.  They are organized along collective lines, much like a beehive.  For example, the astrologers and magicians of ancient Persia, the Magi, who served as the chief custodians of an older Zoroastrian tradition, knew all about such a complex and organized society on our sister planet Venus.  The Magi banded together in a mystical society known as the Sarmoung; and just like the pharaohs of Egypt, they took for their group’s symbol the humble honeybee.  Interestingly, Armenian and Syrian legends also confirm that the honeybee was associated with the mysterious power transmitted down from the time of the prophet Zoroaster that finally became manifest in its fullness with the appearance of Jesus, the Christ, at the very meridian of our planet’s timeline.  Recall that Jesus self-identified with the “Bright and Morning Star” of Venus in Revelation 22:16.  The beehive, ruled by a queen, is emblematic of a matriarchal order and the divine feminine.  The Sufi prophet Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī (1207-1273, C.E.), taught his disciples that the honeybees are indigenous to Venus and were brought to Earth millions of years ago as a gift for our ancestors. 

Our ancestors in ancient civilizations recognized the honeybee as a gift from the Venusians.




[1] Otto O. Binder, What We Really Know About Flying Saucers (New York, New York:  Fawcett Gold Medal Books, 1967), 160.

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