The following essay was originally published in Conscious Choice Magazine.
While writing my books, I discovered that I was able to keep an open (if skeptical) mind, while exploring subjects that make most people flinch, whether shamanism, psychedelics or crop circles. These days, I continue to find myself curious about ideas and possibilities that lie even further out on the fringe, partially because of personal experiences I have had, ranging from UFO sightings to inexplicable manifestations. I seem to go through a process in absorbing a new pattern of information, first entertaining it as a vaguely humorous possibility and then slowly acclimatizing myself to it with increasing seriousness.
Lately, two new books have been tantalizing my worldview, suggesting new vistas of possibility. The books are Steven Greer’s Hidden Knowledge, Forbidden Truth, and Dark Mission: The Secret History of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration by Richard Hoagland and Michael Bara. Both books discuss extraterrestrials, alien technology and secret government cover-ups, but from different angles. While Hoagland and Bara offer the perspective that NASA is an occult organization that has concealed its findings of alien artifacts on the moon and elsewhere, Greer makes the case that there are numerous benevolent species of intelligent alien life, at a much higher stage of development than us, surrounding the Earth and ready to make contact when we are ready. Hoagland and Mara’s book is a weird, yet fascinating compendium of geometrical postulates and jarring details. Greer’s work, if true, is the best news that humanity has ever received.
Hoagland is well known for his previous work studying the "face on Mars" as a possible artificial construction, while Greer launched The Disclosure Project, getting military officers and intelligence agents to speak about classified encounters with UFOs and extraterrestrials. These accounts include that of Lieutenant Colonel Bob Salas, who was on duty, sixty feet underground at an ICBM missile base, on March 16, 1967, when a UFO appeared overhead, and the control systems for launching the missiles were suddenly deactivated. “Our missiles started shutting down one by one,” Salas reports. “By shutting down, I mean they went into a ‘no-go’ condition meaning they could not be launched.” The same thing occurred at another base, sixty miles away. “So that morning we lost anywhere from 16 to 18 ICBMS at the same time UFOs were in the area and were observed by airmen,” continues Salas. Greer proposes that the intelligences behind the UFOs were testing their capacity to neutralize the destructive capabilities of the military, and perhaps also indicating that the military was not going to be permitted to blow the planet to bits.
In Hidden Truth, Forbidden Knowledge, Greer tells an extraordinary personal story of his quest for understanding and his efforts to spread the word. He claims to be able to utilize meditation and psychic protocols to call in UFOs, which can be seen by himself and the people around him. “Any effort to contact ETs peacefully is greatly respected,” he writes. He notes that these ships — and the beings that inhabit them — can appear in fully materialized, semi-materialized, or astral form. He describes his meetings with major political figures and his interactions with a shadowy cabal that operates in secrecy and conceals their knowledge of the extraterrestrial presence and their advanced work reverse-engineering alien technology that could solve the world’s energy problems, along with many other applications.
I probably speak for many readers when I admit that I still find it hard to imagine that we are on the cusp of a new paradigm of extraterrestial communion that would literally usher the human race into a new world. Even if I allow myself to imagine it, I still find it a difficult psychological leap. This is the case, even though my own research into the crop circle phenomenon, detailed in 2012, led me to the hypothesis that the virtuosic formations were not human made, and had to be a communication — a teaching — from other levels of galactic intelligence. The accelerated development of our technology in the last decades suggests that we cannot imagine what a conscious species hundreds of thousands or millions of years more advanced than our own might be capable of creating, or what mechanisms they might use to travel across interstellar distances.
Having noted that, I also admit to being persuaded by the direct simplicity of Greer’s book and message, and delighted by his vision of an enlightened future for humanity, where the Earth has become a light-ship guiding us on a galactic mission of peaceful exploration. Near the end of Hidden Truth, Forbidden Knowledge, Greer offers this meditation: “Sitting quietly now, we see that we are joined by the angelic realm, the celestial beings, the astral worlds filled with our ancestors and with the beings from diverse worlds. And we see that there are extraterrestrial peoples joining us… And we hold within us this thought, and this vision of suffusing the earth in this golden light as it is brought in to this time of peace, and all the wars will be silenced and all the suffering will end.” If reality is somehow a co-creation of our consciousness, and we can determine which path to take, then I hope to join Dr. Greer in his reality tunnel.
Daniel Pinchbeck is the author of Breaking Open the Head: A Psychedelic Journey into the Heart of Contemporary Shamanism (Broadway Books, 2002) and 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl (Tarcher/Penguin, 2006). His features have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, Esquire, Wired and many other publications.