Thursday, November 20, 2014

This is not a hoax: the Area 51 phone call

This is filed under the category of found, lost and found. I listened to it years ago, back when I was first beginning to take YouTube seriously and use it as a source of information rather than just stupid cartoons and 1950s soup commercials. 

And yes, I DO look at alien footage sometimes late at night when I need a thrill before going to bed. Most of it is so ridiculous that I can't even laugh at it. And I know a lot of it is deliberate prank stuff, but there's something about this particular call that doesn't sound prankish to me at all.

This is an archival recording much cherished by the conspiracy theory community. In 1997, someone phoned Art Bell's Dark Matter radio program, sounding as if he was facing the apocalypse single-handedly. Either this guy is the best actor in the world, or something horrific has just happened to him. Or he has experienced a psychotic break and is spinning into an abyss of paranoia (all that illuminati/survivalist/freezedried/freemason/jesus-in-the-cheese-sandwich stuff). 

What he seems to be saying is that he worked in the mysterious Area 51, the ideal picnic spot for extraterrestrials around the galaxy, before being forced to take a medical leave. According to the distraught caller, what we call "aliens" aren't just little grey men running around in parking lots, as they so often appear in these YouTube videos, or laid out on slabs being autopsied. They're some sort of evil mind-controlling entity that transcends the physical. The buggers must be beyond evil, or they wouldn't be preparing for some sort of mass destruction of earth's major population centres (why?). I suppose one could conjecture that these entities took over the minds of the pilots of those doomed planes on 9-11, but I'm afraid that lets us off the hook too easily. 

When somebody really doesn't want to own something, some evil deed or some horrendous trait they harbour, they can in some cases split it off, shove it away in a dark closet, where it doesn't die but takes on a murky life of its own. Suddenly it's not "me" or "we", but "THEM", Humanity can't be that bad, can it (?), so therefore someone or something else has to take up the slack, to become the witch or the incubus or the - alien. This habit of finger-pointing and demonizing has been around for so long that it seems inseparable from the human condition.

I don't know if it's a reaction to fear, however, so much as a way to get ourselves off the hook. Fear we can deal with, or think we can. It has always struck me as a curious thing how much humankind loves having the giblets scared out of it - look at the whole horror film industry, with people paying perfectly good money to be shocked, squeamed, squicked, even horrified. Those are all extremely uncomfortable feelings, are they not? And don't most people prefer being in a state of comfort? Don't they go out of their way to achieve such a state (alcohol, cigarettes, too much TV)? I'm just askin'. 

We obviously evolved with the need to make a quick exit whenever a predator suddenly appeared (the worst predators undoubtedly being other human beings).Was that flash of raw terror necessary for the human race to keep on moving forward (in a manner of speaking - though since Roswell, I think we've been moving backwards)? Is THAT where we first developed our addiction to having the jeezly Jesus scared out of us? It must have come from somewhere.

It was weird to find this thing again, because it had no identifying marks on it that I remembered. I didn't recall the name Art Bell, the content of the call, or the fact that the transmission suddenly went dead. I just remembered a very strange video with a black screen, no picture, and someone in a lot of distress. Maybe a radio show or something like that? Things are amazingly easy to find on the internet, however, so with a few almost random search terms, the thing popped up again.

Not true, however, of psychic bridging, another mystery I want to deal with once I figure out what to say about it. Back in about 2009, while researching The Glass Character,  I came across a very strange web site and an even stranger video - both of which have vanished without a trace - which purported to explain a very bizarre form of time travel sanctioned by the government during the Cold War. Moreover, Harold Lloyd was directly involved and suffered disastrous consequences. If there's any grain of truth in it at all, I could sell it to the conspiracy theorists and retire in eternal comfort. 

POST-BLOG. As so often happens, I have a few more things to say. That psychic bridging web site/video was one of the strangest things I've ever seen. In almost every case, no matter how weird the subject matter, you can google a topic and find SOMETHING on it. Not so in this case. I realize now I should have cut and pasted and printed out the content, which I probably could have done, but it was just so freaky that I kept avoiding it. The video was long and strange and, frankly, boring. It starred a dull young Englishman from an industrial town (the accent) called Paul Simon - not "that" Paul Simon. (Can't find that, either.) He went on and on about experiences he had with psychic bridging. I don't know how this relates to remote viewing because I really don't have much familiarity with it. All that tin-foil-hatted/Jiffy Pop-headed stuff does kind of make me disgusted, or at least extremely skeptical, because there are lots of nuts and fanatics out there who seem to WANT the world to come to an end. Maybe they crave excitement, like that Wallenda guy who seems to want to go on and on until he's half an inch deep on the pavement like his ill-fated granddad on that YouTube video.

So if there was or is such a thing as psychic bridging, and if it really is a form of armchair time travel (i. e. you don't exactly physically GO to these eras, but envision or view them from the present), what happened to it? Was it an experiment that failed? The Jiffy Pop-head league might seem so absurd as to be completely dismissable, until you look into the LSD experiments of the Cold War. Some of these were methods of keeping soldiers awake for days and days, but some of it was an elaborate form of spying. So imagine the possibilities of going back in time and spying on them Russkies before they even dropped the fat one on us! Maybe we could even do something about it, to make them stop. Better yet, look into the future to see what they WILL be up to. Sounds good, doesn't it?

But there are problems.

What would be the freak-out margin of someone going back in time from the comfort of their armchair and seeing THEMSELVES scurrying around, doing all the things they did in the past? What if you discovered you had the power to "bend" those actions somehow, to change the past - and here we run smack up against the time travel paradox that always makes me go "oh for Christ's sake" when I read science fiction novels.

It's a riddle trapped within an enigma inside a pickle jar. My husband is a certified Big Bang Theory-type scientist who knows all this stuff to a degree that is a little bit spooky. Over the years, he has evolved into a sort of science Yoda, folding philosophy into pure science through long reflection and experience. I sometimes ask him science questions, though one time he made me cry just by talking about Einstein's theories. I just couldn't help it, it was so beautiful and terrifying. Not long ago, I asked him in a come-on-it-can't-really-be-true way if you could really be in two places at the same time, and he said, "Oh, yes, of course you can. Theoretically, it's quite possible." In quantum physics, a particle can actually exist in two places simultaneously. Then I envisioned the alarming possibility of meeting yourself and wondering (as in Star Trek and so many other sci-fi dramas ) "which is the real Captain Kirk".

I didn't want to spend much more time on that subject, but I had to ask him about that related subject: time travel. "Yes, it's quite possible," he said, and if my hair could stand on end like Harold's, it would have. Time and space, he explained to me, are not etched in straight lines but infinitely curved. The folds can touch each other and double back like switchbacks in a road or river. And then there are wormholes! Like black holes, they really do exist. I knew it was true that an astronaut comes back from a space voyage younger than when he left, and if this went on for long enough we might see a fetus in a jar rather than a grown man. Time, like all the other immutable "laws" of physics, might not be the straight-ahead boring thing we assume.

I am reminded of Wiggs Dannyboy, the Timothy Leary-like "immortalist" of Tom Robbins' masterpiece Jitterbug Perfume, who claimed that the universe doesn't have laws: "It has habits. And habits," he went on to explain, "can be broken."

So I don't know if Harold Lloyd went nuts over Cold War experiments, but I do know that he had a fervent desire to serve his country which up to then had been thwarted by the severe injury to his right hand. (And that whole accident/bomb thing was murky, too. A plot by Charlie Chaplin to blow up his rival? After all, he turned out to be a flaming Communist, not to mention a statutory rapist.) As a magician and the highest muck-a-muck in the Shriners (Imperial Potentate - could there be a more Freemasony/Illuminati-ish name than that??), he may well have been open to alternate realities and the expansion of human consciousness. Or not - maybe it was just an accident.

Some nut, some Paul Simon wanna-be may have made up psychic bridging, or hallucinated it, or specifically cited Harold Lloyd for obscure reasons of his own. But he did mention that the breakdown occurred while HL was "filming" in the 1940s. Yes, he did make his last film in the 1940s, and it was a disaster, taken over by the increasingly weird machinations of its producer, Howard Hughes. (Do you hear the theme from The Twilight Zone? That strange popping sound on the stove?). The way he described it was: "Actor Harold Lloyd became self-detached during filming in the 1940s and was hospitalized."  That's all.

So did his brethren in the Freemason/Shriner community help him out there? What happened exactly, or did any of it happen at all? Probably not, but it's an odd one. The fact it all vanished is also odd. I do remember bits and pieces of the rest of it, something about spirit entities getting trapped in cell phones. Not a common belief in anyone except major psychotics. I remember when email was new, everyone seemed to think there was something mystical and a little intimidating about it. Someone wrote a popular novel, an absurd thing about a woman who began to receive emails from a mystic in the 17th century.

Oh no!

The movie version didn't fly, though for a while it looked like it might. Reminds me of the bristling paranoia in the old Twilight Zone series, with computers taking up a whole room, rattling and whirring in a menacing manner and sometimes even talking, not in the slightly fey and sinister manner of HAL in Kubrick's 2001, but sounding more like Mr. Ed or My Mother the Car.  Reams of paper would spew out like vomit, covered with earth-shattering messages of doom. Technology was coming, and it was the end of the world as we knew it.

And, as a matter of fact, it was.

POST-POST BLOG. Maybe it's the pale light of reason the next day - I don't know. But when you play the Art Bell Area 51 call again, it sounds phony. It sounds like bad acting. There WAS someone who called in later to say "I'm the Area 51  caller", but the voice didn't sound the same at all, leading the Jiffy Pop crowd to cry "Coverup! Conspiracy!" So now I don't know what to think. I don't know much about Art Bell's program except that it was extremely hokey. And they went through a suspiciously large among of Reynold's Wrap.


(and this is the kicker): Lord forgive me for adding to this, but it has been a while since I've written at length. My blog does not live by gifs alone, though you'd never know it sometimes. I found some interesting stuff on Wikipedia about the influence on pop culture of the infamous Area 51 call:

  • This incident formed the basis of the song "Faaip de Oiad" by the rock band Tool which features said interview (with Art Bell's part cut out) dubbed in over frantic drumming and buzzing static.
  • The interview was also sampled in Konkhra's track "Religion is a Whore", The Faceless's "Planetary Duality", experimental Texas quartetThe Paper Chase's "It's Out There and It's Gonna Get You", MC Lars' "Lars Attacks!" and Sweet Valley's "So Serene" (around the 22:40 mark).

Anyway, this is what I found in WIkipedia. I've listened to them all, and yes, they do exploit this poor gasping sobbing man (or actor - I swear it sounds actorish to me now) in all SIX recordings. Most of them aren't listenable to me, so I won't bother posting them.

Just ONE more eekie fact, which I found out on the Wiki entry for Art Bell: the mysterious Area 51 call was made in 1997. . . on September 11.

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