Edgar Mitchell, the American astronaut who flew to the moon and back, was also a great explorer of inner space. Dr. Mitchell was also interested in the UFO phenomenon, which since 2017 has finally been acknowledged after decades of cover-up in mainstream publications like the New York Times.
Mitchell’s research, which culminated in the publication of Beyond UFOs, is explicit about combining ufology and parapsychology under the unifying banner of consciousness studies. Bringing them together is natural enough for one simple reason; the literature of UFOs and alien encounter is shot through with paranormal reports: telepathy, levitation, dematerialization, supernormal healing, and so on. Unexplained aerial phenomena are a part of, and connect with, religious history.
Mitchell’s model opens to an expanded research program. The editors of Beyond UFOs (Hernandez, Klimo, Schild) have tapped into a huge, sprawling, and often hidden resource of information that the government and scientific culture have been shy about confronting. It does seem that the cover up of the incredibly complex UFO phenomenon is ending.
Beyond UFOs is the first volume in a series dealing with the expanded anomaly database. It should be mentioned that early researchers were aware of the paranormal dimension of ufology. I would single out Kenneth Ring and Raymond Fowler as having studied cases of people who had near-death experiences and close encounters with alien intelligence. Some near-death experiences open people up to having contact with angels, aliens, and related agents of transcendence. One widespread claim is that the purpose behind the apparent alien visitations is to boost, guide, and accelerate human evolution.
Human technologies have resulted in the pollution and over-heating of the planet, and set into motion forces that threaten life and civilization everywhere. A radical change of human values, attitudes and lifestyles seem increasingly necessary if we hope to avert unprecedented catastrophe.
Rey Hernandez has invited me to assist in sorting out the papers that will be used in subsequent volumes of this series. The volumes will be about presenting the extraordinary data of contemporary experiencers and the ongoing effort to explain them.
There is a common sense world that we all inhabit and need to honor and respect. But people everywhere are having experiences that shatter our assumptions about that commonsense world. Although in one sense we all inhabit the same world, it’s also true to say we don’t because we all experience the world differently. Sometimes the difference is so extreme as to suggest either that some people are crazy or that most of us are blithely unaware of what is happening. I think it was William Blake who said that where some people just see the sunrise, he, Blake, was seeing the sons of God leaping for joy!
But here’s the big point. As our minds change so does our world. The world that we experience is both filtered and underlined by our beliefs, memories, and feelings at any given moment. Learning something new, acquiring a new concept, realizing a new possibility can alter our lives and our relationship to other people. I’m saying all this in light of the eighty-five or so papers I’ve been reading and trying to sort out for the new volumes intended for publication.
I want then to mention several points that for me represent new ways of looking at the world. e remarkable accounts of high strangeness.
More people are having anomalous experiences than we might suspect, everyday folks as well people expert in academic and scientific experiences.
People are having many and various experiences, as if once the psychic door opens, traffic with the extraordinary increases exponentially.
Perhaps one of the most striking ideas is that people can consciously and deliberately induce these extraordinary experiences. I keep finding accounts of people who call upon the highly strange beings—and they come! I discussed this idea in my book on miracles (Smile of the Universe). The big idea to probe more carefully is that we humans can, if we choose to, strike up meaningful dialogue with beings and forms of intelligence that common sense and science think is impossible. Our lives have experimental potentials that we can scarcely begin to imagine.