Brother Cthulhu
and the Great Old Ones of the Q:. Continuum

1995 by Godfrey Daniels

"These Great Old Ones ... were not
composed altogether of flesh and
blood. They had shape ... but that
shape was not made of matter. When
the stars were right, They could
plunge from world to world through
the sky .... When, after infinities
of chaos, the first men came, the
Great Old Ones spoke to the sensitive
among them by molding their dreams;
for only thus could Their language
reach the fleshy minds of mammals."
-H.P. Lovecraft, The Call of Cthulhu

"And they taught them charms and enchantments ... and they bear great giants, whose height was three thousand ells, who consumed all the acquisitions of men. And when men could no longer sustain them, the giants turned against them, and devoured mankind."
-Book of Enoch, VII.1-4


Spacecraft or Lovecraft? -- The Puzzling Nature of UFOs

A number of years ago while reading the apocryphal Book of Enoch, I came to a passage dealing with an evil angel called Semjaza. The name seemed familiar, and soon I remembered where I'd seen it before -- in a book by an alleged UFO contactee [Billy Meier], who identified "Semjase" as the name of one of the extraterrestrials he claimed had visited him from the Pleiades. After that I began noticing other similarities between UFO stories and other kinds of stories, similarities too precise to be coincidental. Especially interesting were the correspondences between UFOs and angels. Alleged contactee George Hunt Williamson even included in his books examples of "extraterrestrial" vocabulary words -- words that, interestingly, turned out to be nearly identical to words from the so-called Enochian, or angelic, language used by occultists from John Dee to Aleister Crowley.

At the moment the world is in the throes of an (as yet!) unrequited love affair with both angels and UFOs. Our attitude toward UFOs mirrors that of the film Close Encounters of the Third Kind, which portrayed and encouraged the widespread belief in the existence of angelic extraterrestrial visitors and the assumption that if beings are technologically advanced, they must also be benevolent. The history of our own planet demonstrates the flaw in that conclusion: the twentieth century, the most technologically advanced period in human history, has also been history's bloodiest, with at least 170 million people murdered by various governments -- and that figure doesn't even include the 39 million war dead. In spite of the evidence to the contrary, however, great numbers of people continue to equate intelligence with goodness, and those who believe in extraterrestrial intelligence prefer to put their faith in kindly technological "visitors" -- angels not from heaven but from deep space.

Might these visitors really exist? It's hard to say, partly because the study of UFOs has been so plagued by hoaxes, looniness, and misinterpretations of completely natural occurrences (such as meteorological phenomena, sleep paralysis, and the like). Nevertheless, the phenomenon of otherworldly contact has been so widely spread over time and place that it would not be unreasonable to believe that something is going on, something so consistent in its manifestations as to suggest the work of unknown intelligences.

Could they really be from outer space? Unlikely -- that is, if our current understanding of physics bears any relation to the nature of reality. The great distances from us to even our nearest neighboring galaxies make it highly improbable that any inhabitants -- at least, any physical inhabitants -- no matter how technologically adept, could ever reach us alive. But if the visitors aren't space aliens, then who -- or what -- are they?

One of the most intriguing answers to that question has been suggested by Jacques Vallee, the real-life model for the character of the French scientist in Close Encounters, and author of many books on the UFO phenomenon, such as Dimensions and Messengers of Deception. Vallee does not share Steven Spielberg's trusting view of the visitors, whom he believes are probably not visitors at all.

Vallee has made a history-spanning study of stories of supernatural contact -- Greco-Roman tales of sky chariots, Celtic stories of elves and fairies abducting children and mutilating animals, Joseph Smith's alleged heavenly visions, even apparitions of the Virgin Mary -- and found that such experiences closely parallel the experiences of UFO contactees. It seems that the phenomenon currently known as the contactee experience is almost coeval with human existence, under many different guises.

"UFOs have been seen throughout history and have consistently received (or provided) their own explanation within the framework of each culture," Vallee says.

These visitors, if they really exist, are obviously quite willing to conform to whatever mythology or beliefs they find; becoming whatever we want them to be and telling us whatever we want to hear. Modern mythology having shifted from the magical to the scientific, it's only logical that such beings would pose as scientifically advanced beings from space.

But what might be the purpose of this milleniums-long masquerade? Whatever the visitors are or might be, the important question is, do they mean us ill or good? Not even the contactees themselves know. Whitley Streiber, alleged UFO abductee and author of several books on the subject, has even questioned the wisdom of writing about it:

"What if they were dangerous? Than I was terribly dangerous because I was playing a role in acclimatizing people to them."

Given their willingness to pretend to be whatever they think we want them to be and their increasingly enlarged capacity for calculated manipulation, how likely is it that the visitors' intentions towards us are benign?

Anyone familiar with the tales of H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos can easily imagine, instead of friendly alien visitors, something more along the lines of the terrible pre-human inhabitants of earth whom Lovecraft called the Great Old Ones.

"All my stories," Lovecraft wrote, "are based on the fundamental lore or legend that this world was inhabited at one time by another race who, in practicing black magic, lost their foothold and were expelled, yet live on outside ever ready to take possession of this earth again."

Lovecraft's Great Old Ones and Elder Gods are reminiscent of the Book of Enoch's evil angels -- and the UFO visitors. Some of the contactees themselves have associated the visitors with the gods of ancient mythology. When the visitors told Streiber they were "very old," he found himself wondering, "Who were the old gods, really?" If the visitors are gods, they certainly conform to the ancient Greek conception of divinity: "Whom the gods would destroy, they first drive mad." Their dealings with Streiber nearly caused him to lose his mind.

"I years of eager study of everything from Zen to quantum physics had led me into some strange and tragic byway of the soul," he later wrote.

Streiber's attempt to understand the visitors in spiritual, rather than scientific, terms is not as strange as it may sound. Vallee, too, believes the UFO phenomenon is not primarily a scientific matter. "We are dealing here with the next form of religion, with a new spiritual movement," says Vallee. He draws a suggestive parallel between our culture, which looks to science for the answers to our questions, and the society upon which our culture is largely based, that of the ancient Greeks:

"At the end of antiquity, people were fed up with science. The Greeks knew the Earth was a globe. They knew how big it was, and how far it was from the Sun, and they knew the diameter of the Moon. They could compute the dates of future eclipses. They even understood the atomic structure of matter. But they couldn't tell people what the human race was doing here, and where it would go next. So their science was swept away and forgotten. Will the same thing happen to our science?"

The danger of which Vallee warns -- that people may rush into the spiritual void left by science -- remains the same even if the visitors are not real: "The group of people who will first manage to harness the fear of cosmic forces and the emotions surrounding UFO contact to a political purpose will be able to exert incredible spiritual blackmail." If, however, the visitors are real, then it makes no difference whether they are almond-eyed aliens or tentacled Lovecraftian monsters; as Vallee says, "In terms of the effect on us, it doesn't matter where they come from."

That we cannot say for certain whether or not the visitors even exist -- let alone who they might be and what they might want with us -- shows how little we really know, scientifically or otherwise, about our tiny speck of the universe. Vallee has some sound advice for those who would look to unknown intelligences for some form of salvation:

"Shouldn't we know something more about the helpful stranger before we jump on board?"

For who knows but that those who look for salvation from beings with unknown purposes might help bring about some version of the nightmare future envisioned by H.P. Lovecraft:

"Then mankind would have become as the Great Old Ones; free and wild and beyond good and evil, with laws and morals thrown aside and all men shouting and killing and reveling in joy. Then the liberated Old Ones would teach them new ways to shout and kill and revel and enjoy themselves, and all the earth would flame with a holocaust of ecstasy and freedom."

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