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(for the readers of « General Epistemology»
I somewhat cleaned up this page, written in 2000. I am preparing a new updated version of my book «General Epistemology» which will make many things clear. Some interesting news are remaining however.
See previous new, lower on this page
Bertrand Méheust reedited his book, while adding some up to date comments: «Science fiction et soucoupes volantes, une réalité Mythico-physique», in french, reedition, paperback, 412 pages, Editor: Terre De Brume (France, 11 mai 2007); Collection : Pulp Science. Buy the book on Amazon France
At this occasion I exchanged some mail with Bertrand Méheust, who confirmed that I well submarized his thought.
A recent neurology study show a statistic link between persons who experienced a NDE and those who have sleep paralysis. So some persons may have a predisposition for those special consciousness experiences, possibly featuring parapsychological phenomena (Reference People with Near Death Experiences Can Differ in Sleep-Wake Control par Kevin R. Nelson (Neurology 2006; 66:1003-1009), a paper published in the section «Views & Reviews» of the review «Neurology» de «l'American Academy of Neurology» (issue of April 11, 2006). Summary of the paper.)
It would be interesting to find other personnality features in relation with this, but nothing was found yet (except of course the well know positive after effects of NDEs, but they are only consequances, not causes)
It is worth noting that, one more time, the authors try a bogus explanation of NDEs, which would be only a sleep paralysis, giving to think that the person is dead when she is not. This is really mocking at physicians, all the same able to differenciate sleep from coma or heart failure!!
From different sources I get news of neurological researches made on the brain of persons who practice meditation or similar techniques. I think that these researches are in the same time very interesting, naive and dangerous.
Interesting, as they at last remove the moronic taboo, and they allow to scientifically study what takes place in the brain of people undergoing meditation techniques or exhibiting parapsychological phenomena. Naive, as they alway look for a material explanation to facts, which, by definition, are immaterial. As if we were looking into the hardware of a computer the cause of the artwork the user is creating with it. And dangerous at last, as, if we too much try to materially explain what cannot be, we undergo the risk to create «material explanations» which would lock our understanding much more drastically than the simple censorship. Frankly, «I had a very enthralling vision of Christ» is clearer and more complete than «some techniques of mental visualization raise dopamin», isn't it?
So the scanner or the positron camera unravel which functions of the brain are active when such episodes take place. Well found, but everything depends on how we interpret these results. For instance we learn from Dr Andrew Newberg, head of the « Center for Spirituality and the Mind» (University of Pennsylvany) observed the brain of Pentecotists while they were exhibiting glossolaly (a strong and easily checkable parapsychology phenomenon which allows a person to speak a foreign language she never learned), then when these persons were normally chanting the Gospel. Their language centers were less active in glossolaly than in chant! And Dr Andrew Newberg to conclude (naïvely I think) that glossolaly would be produced... by another part of the brain!
(For the readers of «General Epistemology»)
From my humble opinion, this (important) observation would rather check my theory of the «psychical taking off»© I explain in the 7th part of my book «General Epistemology». In the above example of glossolaly, we would have a partial taking off, of only the language centers, which would only be used as a relay for commanding the moves of speech, all the syntaxic and lexical function being disconnected. This kind of functionning also matches with what is observed in advanced meditations (Shine, Zen...): beyond a certain level of concentration, into darkness, we begin to see lights, then images like in a dream. But if we grasp our attention on these images, they disappear instantly. Quite simply because, when doing so, we reconnect the immaterial mind to the visual cortex, whin then sends us back the usual vision of the black background of the retina into darkness. So the psychical taking off would mainly happen by disabling brain functions, without the immaterial mind itself stopping to function. Into transes or sleep paralysis, we would have some function more or less deeply disabled. But at the occasion of NDE and death, we necessarily have a complete taking off, as the brain is no longer functionning. (coma, see flat electroencephallogram). So my theory starts to show its ability to explain in an unified way a large variety of phenomena.
In 1978 was published a small book which should have changed the face of ufology: «Science-fiction et soucoupes volantes» (Science-fiction and flying saucers) by Bertrand Méheust. The thesis is about the scenarios of UFO sighting (or abduction) are basically onirical scenarios, which origin is thus into the mind of the witness, or of mankind. For some mysterious reason, very likely psychophysical, this scenario manifests in a concrete way to the witness, and even to physical measurement instruments if there are some nearby. The same functioning would be at work in other more ancient appearances (fairies, gnomes...) or religious (the Virgin).
Of course this book is today unfindable, out of print, forgotten, crushed by the Roswell-conspirationnist cacophony and the rout which followed. However I was able to find one in the «forum international d'Ufologie» which took place in Graulhet (Tarn, Fance) the 9 and 10 September 2006. This allows be today to present in a simplified way those famous «Méheust laws» I alluded to in my book « General Epistemology»:
1) Ostentation: The phenomenon basically behaves as a mise en scène toward the witness, as would do an intelligence with the purpose of showing, of appearing.
2) Elusivity: The phenomenon behaves as with the intent to elude the confrontation which would allow it to influence society at a whole. It has an infinite capacity to do so. Example: a «stranded spaceship» remains all night long in front of the witness, but it manages to «repair» just before the police comes. In a general way, witnesses never have evidences (other than psychological after effects), if there are, they disappear, close witnesses don't think to take a photo, etc. Never is taken the irreversible step which would place the whole society in front of an irrefutable evidence of the existence of the phenomenon (or of what it pretends to show).
3) Adaptation to context: The phenomenon, as a mise en scène, is adapted to the context: great UFO in nature, small UFO in a bedroom (and it never gets stuck into a window frame), silvery or black by day, luminous by night, answering by radio to a radar, on the right frequency...
4) The phenomenon is meaning bearer (Be careful here that the word «meaning» is not about the «messages» of «contactees» neither about philosophical consequences of the existence of extraterrestrial beings). In place of a physical phenomenon (natural or artificial) which produces physical effects (light, heat, sounds, shock) it directly produces images, scenes or sounds which have a meaning for the witness. The difference is a bit difficult to grasp, but it is fundamental: the effect of the phenomenon on a witness or on an object appears like an organized, complete and flawless, perfectly compliant to the purpose, to the contrary of a physical action which would necessarily have defects or unwanted after effects. For instance a healing happens without trace of intervention, only the concerned organ is put back in a normal state. This behaviour shows that the phenomenon really have a psychical nature, acting in a psychophysical way, manipulating objects of our physical reality as if they were elements of a dream instead of masses of atoms obeying the laws of physics.
I wrote this theory nearby 10 years ago. Since this time, other researchers contributed to the advance of this field, and this called from some revisions of my text. For this reason, I decided to remove some of the news of this page.
Morbid hoaxes and spy jiggery-pokery are far from brilliant side concerns of the scientific search on UFOs, that we should enjoy not to study, and even not to mention, especially on this site consecrated to positive things, if they not had a so nasty impact on this search. So we can put clothespins on our nose before reading what follows.
Thanks to the FOIAct (Law giving to American citizen the right of access to certain classified archives) an American ufology group, the CUFON, was able to obtain from the CIA a report about the Robertson Panel, the CIA committee which, in 1953, decided of the official policy of the USA about UFOs. (To see the role of the Army, see this recent book on Edward Ruppelt)(For USSR, it is still better, the censorship was organized even without any intervention of the KGB, see here on the site of the RIAP)
When I read this document, I was immediately struck by its amateurism and its subjectivity. The American citizens are treated with the utmost contempt (they are «psychological», they can react only with «belief» or panic, and the ufologist groups are «irresponsible» «to be watched») the novlangue is of course rife (to say «to educate» to mean «to induce an opinion») and worse there is no real basic reflection on the subject. The robertsonians, who so quickly pose themselves as judges of the psychological abilities of their fellow citizen, show themselves a complete lack of rationality, only selecting the facts which comfort their opinion and rejecting all the others with the back of their hand. For instance, page 19, two cases evoke the presence of radioactivity. But in one case, their would have be a problem with the measurement apparatus. The conclusion, as instantaneous as incredible, is that there was no radioactivity in both cases! And it is like that at every page.
And all this to decide that they should «avoid a panic» and thus forbid to the citizens to know the truth! So they decided to «educate» and even to «debunk» (the word is in the text). And, for this educative task, they hired very serious companies such as... Walt Disney! Yes really, I quite well remember, at that time, to have seen Donald mocking at peoples seeing saucers and cigars in the sky! This is completely ridiculous, and perfectly shameful, as this subversive propaganda was aiming at young children.
So this terrible Robertson Panel, that ufologists feared so much, does not hide no powerful politico-military stake, nor colossal Orwellian conspiration, juste a little session of burying heads in the sand. It would be very funny if the result had not be so much human drama (humiliated or intimidated witnesses), half a century of science in late and the unrecoverable loss of unique evidences. Worse, the observations themselves are now distorted by these incredible visions of US army men conspiring with naughty «extraterrestrials», a striking evidence of the immense disrepute now attached to these organizations.
It is now really time to stop this hopeless remnant of the maccarthyst paranoia. Without forgetting that the incredible hoaxes, the terrifying books and the racist anti-extraterrestrials movies could be elements of a much more elaborated and dissimulated plot. As a matter of fact, we can find in these movies precise allusions to real cases, and nice archetypal images of the 1960-70' distorted into visions of destruction and terror. This could be an evidence of who know what collusion or conspiration of unhealthy minds, with for purpose to discredit the idea of extraterrestrial encounter, and even to rotten our dreams!! To know the responsibles, look at who brings the financial...
This really regrettable situation is what happens when science refuses to investigate a whole field of reality.