America is obsessed with the paranormal. Certainly this is not a shocking revelation. One need only take a cursory glance at popular media to realize that America crossed over the line of obsession a long ways back. Since the beginning of the twenty-first century, about 400 movies have been made about werewolves, vampires, and zombies.* This does not include movies about cryptoids, aliens, ghosts, etc. Likewise, each season, a host of new paranormal reality shows and dramas are introduced on television.*
This fascination with the paranormal is nothing new. Popular media has been ruled by the paranormal for decades. Most recently, zombies have reigned as the undisputed king of popular media. Much of the current fascination with zombies can be attributed to the success of the award-winning television series The Walking Dead. Introduced in 2010, the show has broken various records for a television series. During its season three premier, the show boasted 10.9 million viewers, making it the largest telecast for any drama series in basic cable history. This record was shattered during the season three finale which attracted 12.4 million viewers.
Many ideas have been postulated for why zombies resonate with so many people. According to a 2013 Wall Street Journal article titled “The Lessons of Zombie-Mania:”
Zombies thrive in popular culture during times of recession, epidemic and general unhappiness. Traditional threats to U.S. security may have waned, but nontraditional threats assault us constantly. Concerns about terrorism have not abated since 9/11, and cyberattacks have now emerged as a new anxiety. Drug-resistant pandemics have been a staple of local news hysteria since the H1N1 virus swept the globe in 2009. Scientists continue to warn about the dangers that climate change poses to our planet. And if the financial crisis taught us anything, it is that contagion is endemic to the global market system. Zombies are the perfect metaphor for these threats. As with pandemics and financial crises, they are not open to negotiation. As with terrorism in all its forms, even a small outbreak has the potential to wreak massive carnage.
Similarly, a 2013 Esquire article titled “Why Zombies are Everywhere Now” reports:
They are a metaphor for Communism or for National Socialism. They are a metaphor for consumerism. They’re a way of describing terrorism. They’re a way of talking about AIDS. My personal favorite is the idea that zombies represent the sexuality of teenage boys, while vampires represent the sexuality of teenage girls. There are so many theories about the popularity of zombies that this magazine found, and interviewed, a scholar of zombie culture.
Regardless of why, the rotting corpses of the undead hold great appeal to Americans. In 2011, 24/7 Wall St. estimated that the zombie culture is worth at least $5,740,000,000 in America. Surprising as this sum may be, they believe this figure to be “grossly undercalculated.”
Prior to zombies, vampires ruled the world of popular media with television shows such as The Vampire Diaries, True Blood, and Angel. The Twilight series was a key catalyst for America’s obsession with vampires. In 2003, Stephenie Meyer received a “very vivid dream” about a human woman and a vampire who was in love with her but thirsted for her blood. She began writing a story whose main characters would be named Edward and Bella. On her official website, Stephenie Meyer recounts:
All this time, Bella and Edward were, quite literally, voices in my head. They simply wouldn’t shut up. I’d stay up as late as I could stand trying to get all the stuff in my mind typed out, and then crawl, exhausted, into bed (my baby still wasn’t sleeping through the night, yet) only to have another conversation start in my head. I hated to lose anything by forgetting, so I’d get up and head back down to the computer. Eventually, I got a pen and notebook for beside my bed to jot notes down so I could get some freakin’ sleep.
This supernatural revelation became the Twilight series.
Despite the fact that Stephenie Meyer had very little writing experience when she began crafting the first book in the series, Twilight became an immediate success. Publishing translation rights have been sold in nearly fifty countries, and well over 100 million copies have been sold worldwide. After the release of Eclipse, the first three books in the Twilight series spent 143 consecutive weeks on the New York Times best seller list. After the release of Breaking Dawn, the four books of the series claimed the top four spots on the USA Today’s year-end best-seller list in 2008 and 2009. Stephenie Meyer was the first author to achieve this feat. The series also won the 2009 Kid’s Choice Award for favorite book.
The influence of the Twilight series is phenomenal. In 2011, Search Engine Journal reported, “It might also shock you to know that there are about 8 times more Twilight fans than Jesus Christ fans on Facebook, and there are 4 million more Twilight fans than Metallica fans, who have been influencing the world for 30 years.” According to Statistic Brain, the Twilight series has generated an estimated $5,736,100,000 through its books, DVDs, and merchandising sales as of November 27, 2013.
Prior to vampires, witches and wizards reigned over popular media with television shows such as Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Charmed, and movies such as Hocus Pocus, The Craft, and Practical Magic. In 1990 an unknown author named J.K. Rowling began to create the Harry Potter series after meeting a young wizard named Harry Potter through her mind’s eye. In a 2000 Reuters article titled “Harry Potter ‘Strolled into My Head,’” J.K. Rowling recalls, “The character of Harry just strolled into my head… I really did feel he was someone who walked up and introduced himself in my mind’s eye. … [T]he idea for Harry just came. He appeared in my mind’s eye, very fully formed.” Likewise, in 1999, J.K. Rowling told the Boston Globe:
I really don’t know where the idea came from. It came into my mind when I was on a train to London. Harry as a character came fully formed, as did the idea for his sidekicks, the characters of Ron and Hermione. It started with Harry, then all these characters and situations came flooding into my head.
After being rejected by twelve publishing houses, Bloomsbury Publishing agreed to print her book. It became the best-selling book series in history, having sold nearly 500 million copies worldwide, and it has been translated into more than 70 languages.
The extent and impact of the Harry Potter series cannot be overstated. By 2001, according to a survey by The New York Times, almost 60% of children in the United States had read at least one Harry Potter novel. In 2003, Time Magazine reported that “J.K. Rowling has mesmerized an entire generation of kids …” And the great demand for Harry Potter books prompted the New York Times to create a separate best-seller list for children’s literature in 2000.
When Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was released, 9,000 FedEx trucks were used solely for the delivery of the book. It also set a new record when an astonishing 3.8 million copies were produced in the U.S. and the U.K. during its initial printing. This record was quickly broken by Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix with 8.5 million copies printed. Again, Harry Potter broke his own record with 10.5 million copies printed of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. For more than half a year before the book was released, it claimed the top rank on Amazon’s best-seller list. Finally, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows crushed the series’ initial record with 12 million copies in its initial printing. Two months before the July 21, 2007 release of this final book in the series, Barnes and Noble announced that it had already broken its pre-order record with over 500,000 books pre-ordered through its site. Likewise, Amazon had broken its pre-order record with 485,000 books pre-ordered. And on its day of release, it set a new record for the fastest selling book of fiction in 24 hours, selling 8.3 million copies in the United States alone.
Eight Harry Potter movies have been created, and in 2010, a Harry Potter theme park was opened in Walt Disney’s Universal Studios called The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. According to Statistic Brain, the Harry Potter franchise is estimated to have earned $24,751,000,000 through its books, DVDs, and merchandising sales as of January 1, 2014.
It appears as if witches are set to once again dominate popular media. Already we are seeing indicators of such a shift with a number of recently released movies and television shows featuring witches in key roles, such as OZ: The Great and Powerful, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, The Lords of Salem, Beautiful Creatures, Maleficent, Sleepy Hollow, The Originals, Salem, American Horror Story: Coven, and Witches of East End. Other movies, such as The Last Witch Hunter, The Witches, A Discovery of Witches: All Souls Trilogy, The Alchemyst, Into the Woods, and Seventh Son are expected in the near future.
Paranormal series such as The Walking Dead, Twilight, and Harry Potter have governed the imaginations of Americans for decades. The widespread influence of paranormal entertainment is further evidenced by how many Christians have incorporated these themes into their Bible studies. The Harry Potter Bible Study by Jarred Moore, The Gospel According to Harry Potter by Connie Neal, and Looking for God in Harry Potter by John Granger can be found in Christian bookstores, along with The Gospel According to Twilight: Women, Sex, and God by Elaine A. Heath and Parables from Twilight: A Bible Study by Diane Schantin.
However, paranormal activities are not limited to the world of entertainment. A growing number of Americans believe in the reality of paranormal activity. According to a 2005 Gallup Poll, 3 in 4 people believe in the paranormal. Likewise, authors of Paranormal America and Baylor Sociology professors, Christopher Bader and Carson Mencken, conducted a survey in 2010 which concluded that 70–80% of Americans believe in the paranormal. Of course, this might be little more than a return to mankind’s roots. Prior to the rise of modernism, paranormal activity was taken for granted. History is replete with stories of the supernatural. Nearly every culture shares similar stories of werewolves, vampires, zombies, ghosts, witches, giants, extra-terrestrial visitors, unidentified flying objects, and non-human creatures that abduct humans. The pervasiveness and consistency of these stories among all cultures, all walks of life, all religious backgrounds, and at all points in history indicates that these stories are rooted in some degree of truth.
Until recently, the Christian church accepted incubi, succubae, satyrs, fauns, unidentified aerial crafts, and demon manifestations as an established fact.**** In his book City of God, St. Augustine writes:
There is, too, a very general rumor, which many have verified by their own experience, or which trustworthy persons who have heard the experience of others corroborate, that sylvans and fauns, who are commonly called “incubi,” had often made wicked assaults upon women, and satisfied their lust upon them; and that certain devils, called Duses by the Gauls, are constantly attempting and effecting this impurity is so generally affirmed, that it were impudent to deny it.
Franciscan theologian, exorcist, and advisor to the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Roman and Universal Inquisition in Rome, Ludovico Maria Sinistrari, also writes, “Subject to correction by our Holy Mother Church, and as a mere expression of private opinion, I say that the Incubus, when having intercourse with women, begets the human foetus from his own seed.” Additionally, in his work Demonality, Sinistrari recounts in all seriousness a tale of a nun having sexual intercourse with an Incubus within the confines of the Monastery.*
One of the more well-known examples of the Christian church accepting paranormal entities as a fact of life is the story of St. Anthony’s journey to visit St. Paul the Hermit. St. Anthony lived around 300 A.D. and is considered to be the founder of Christian monasticism. According to a translation of “The Life of Paulus the First Hermit” in Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series:
All at once he [St. Anthony] beholds a creature of mingled shape, half horse half man, called by the poets Hippocentaur. At the sight of this he arms himself by making on his forehead the sign of salvation, and then exclaims, Holloa! Where in these parts is a servant of God living? The monster after gnashing out some kind of outlandish utterance, in words broken rather than spoken through his bristling lips, at length finds a friendly mode of communication, and extending his right hand points out the way desired. Then with swift flight he crosses the spreading plain and vanishes from the sight of his wondering companion. But whether the devil took this shape to terrify him, or whether it be that the desert which is known to abound in monstrous animals engenders that kind of creature also, we cannot decide.
8. Antony was amazed, and thinking over what he had seen went on his way. Before long in a small rocky valley shut in on all sides he sees a mannikin with hooked snout, horned forehead, and extremities like goats’ feet. When he saw this, Antony like a good soldier seized the shield of faith and the helmet of hope: the creature none the less began to offer to him the fruit of the palm-trees to support him on his journey and as it were pledges of peace. Antony perceiving this stopped and asked who he was. The answer he received from him was this: I am a mortal being and one of those inhabitants of the desert whom the Gentiles deluded by various forms of error worship under the names of Fauns, Satyrs, and Incubi. I am sent to represent my tribe. We pray you in our behalf to entreat the favour of your Lord and ours, who, we have learned, came once to save the world, and “whose sound has gone forth into all the earth.” As he uttered such words as these, the aged traveller’s cheeks streamed with tears, the marks of his deep feeling, which he shed in the fullness of his joy. He rejoiced over the Glory of Christ and the destruction of Satan, and marvelling all the while that he could understand the Satyr’s language, and striking the ground with his staff, he said, Woe to you, Alexandria, who instead of God worshippest monsters! Woe to you, harlot city, into which have flowed together the demons of the whole world! What will you say now? Beasts speak of Christ, and you instead of God worship monsters. He had not finished speaking when, as if on wings, the wild creature fled away. Let no one scruple to believe this incident; its truth is supported by what took place when Constantine was on the throne, a matter of which the whole world was witness. For a man of that kind was brought alive to Alexandria and shown as a wonderful sight to the people. Afterwards his lifeless body, to prevent its decay through the summer heat, was preserved in salt and brought to Antioch that the Emperor might see it.
It could readily be argued that the above accounts are exaggerations, fabrications, or the consequence of ignorance. Whether these accounts are entirely accurate is not the issue. The point is that these accounts reveal that there has long been an acceptance of the reality of the paranormal even among some of society’s most well respected institutions and scholarly minds.**
Society is returning to a belief in the paranormal. Constant indoctrination that anything which defies the scientific method must not exist combined with media criticism and ridicule of the paranormal had convinced most people that anything supernatural must be a misconception, a fraud, or the figment of one’s imagination. However, modern science, the preponderance of eye witness and video testimony, and a rejection of secular humanism in favor of cosmic humanism and post-modernism have changed this thinking.
Today, more people in England believe in the existence of UFOs than believe in the existence of God. According to a 2012 survey by Opinion Matters, 52% of UK adults believe UFO evidence has been covered up because widespread knowledge of their existence would threaten government stability, whereas only 44% believe in the existence of God. According to a 2012 National Geographic poll, 36% of Americans believe UFOs exist; 48% are unsure whether UFOs exist, and only 17% do not believe in the existence of UFOs. Similarly, a 1996 Gallup Poll and a 2002 Roper Poll reports that 45–48% of Americans believe UFOs have visited earth, and 12% say they have seen a UFO.* This equates to approximately 32 million Americans in 1996 who claim to have personally witnessed a UFO.
Millions of Americans believe they have encountered the paranormal. Millions believe they have witnessed a UFO, or that they have been abducted by aliens, and untold numbers believe that they have witnessed a ghost or a cryptoid such as Bigfoot, Hell Hounds, Thunderbirds, etc. This has generated such great interest that paranormal investigators, crypto-zoologists, and alien abduction psychologists are now recognized vocational fields. Even so, the typical Christian reaction to stories of the paranormal is one of trivialization, dismissal, or mockery.
Christians are wise to not immediately accept every account they hear. However, it is wrong to dismiss an individual’s testimony before critically evaluating it. Not every strange story deserves to be dismissed. The majority of paranormal experiences have natural and reasonable explanations. However, there are some accounts which defy natural explanations. It is easy to laugh away these accounts, but good research and investigation into these accounts will often reveal more substance and evidence than we might have initially given credit. Often such investigation will reveal that there are solid reasons which lead people to believe in some otherwise incredible things. This is not to say that they are correct in their conclusions. Nevertheless, some of these paranormal activities do seem to have a genuine reality about them. As for which ones, and to what extent, such consideration stretches far beyond the scope of this book.
To illustrate how some commonly ridiculed and rejected experiences may have more credibility than we might initially accept, consider the UFO phenomenon. This is a field which has been disgraced by frequent hoaxes, outlandish claims, pseudo-science, and conspiracy theorists. Moreover, most unidentified flying objects have natural and reasonable explanations. Nevertheless, there are a significant number of credible accounts which cannot be explained and which cannot be ignored. An honest evaluation of the UFO phenomenon has led many skeptics to a point where they are compelled to acknowledge that something unexplainable is occurring.
In a 1964 paper on “Exobiology” presented at the First Annual Rocky Mountain Bioengineering Symposium held at the United States Air Force Academy, Dr. Frank Salisbury writes:
I must admit that any favorable mention of the flying saucers by a scientist amounts to extreme heresy and places the one making the statement in danger of excommunication by the scientific theocracy. Nevertheless, in recent years I have investigated the story of the unidentified flying object (UFO), and I am no longer able to dismiss the idea lightly.
In a memorandum to the Military Director of the Scientific Advisory Board, former United States Air Force Director of Information, Major General E.B. LeBailey, writes:
However, many of the [UFO] reports that cannot be explained have come from intelligent and technically well qualified individuals whose integrity cannot be doubted. In addition, the reports received officially by the Air Force include only a fraction of the spectacular reports which are publicized by many private UFO organizations.
Likewise, Dr. Richard Haines was a NASA Senior Research Scientist at Ames Research Center and the Research Institute for Advanced Computer Science where he worked on the International Space Station. He was also a psychologist specializing in pilot and astronaut “human factors” research for the Ames NASA Research Center in California where he retired as Chief of the Space Human Factors Office. In his book, Observing UFOs, Dr. Richard Haines writes, “We’re not dealing with mental projections or hallucinations on the part of the witness but with a real physical phenomenon.”
The widespread extent of UFO sightings has led to a number of official investigations. These include:
- The Interplanetary Phenomenon Unit (1940s and 1950s). This was conducted by the Army.
- Project Bluebook (1947 – 1969). This was previously known as “Project Sign” and “Project Grudge.” It was conducted by the Air Force.
- Project Twinkle (1948 – 1951). This was conducted by the U.S. Army and Air Force.
- Ghost Rockets (1946 – 1947). This was conducted by the U.S., Swedish, U.K., and Greek militaries.
- The CIA Office of Scientific Investigation Study (1952 – 1953)
- The CIA Robertson Panel (1953)
- Project Bluebook Special Report Number 14 (1951 –1954). This was conducted by the Battelle Memorial Institute.
- The Brookings Report (1960). This was conducted by NASA.
- The public Condon Committees (1966 – 1968)
- The private internal RAND Corporation Study (1968)
- The private Sturrock Panel (1998)
Documents released under the Freedom of Information Act reveal that many agencies collected—and still collect—information on UFOs. These include the Defense Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigations, Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency, and intelligence agencies of the Army and Navy.
In addition to the official investigations, there have been a number of civilian investigations into the UFO phenomenon. These include:
- National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP, 1956 – 1980)
- Aerial Phenomena Research Organization (APRO, 1952 – 1988)
- Mutual UFO Network (MUFON, 1969 – today)
- Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS, 1973 – today)
Many more investigations have been conducted by foreign nations. The very fact that this phenomenon has sparked so many government and civilian investigations around the world testifies to the reality of the phenomenon. This is not to say that there is no natural explanation for these sightings. In fact, these studies conclude that most UFO sightings do have reasonable terrestrial explanations. However, about 5 – 20% of the thousands of investigated incidents remain unexplained.
Recent UFO sightings have become so extreme and prolific that even the mainstream media has been compelled to report sightings as legitimate news. This is a far cry from their former position of ridicule, mockery, and misrepresentation of the subject. An anchor for Fox News, when reporting on a UFO sighting in China, even declared on the air, “Alright, that’s a UFO if I’ve ever seen one. That’s undeniable.”
Many credible government officials, military personnel, astronauts, and scientists have gone on the record to declare the reality of the UFO phenomenon. United States astronauts and Russian cosmonauts who have affirmed the existence of UFOs include: Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, Edgar Mitchell, Colonel L. Gordon Cooper, John Glen, Eugene Cernan, Scott Carpenter, Dr. Jerry Linenger, Major Robert White, James Lovell, James McDivitt, Dr. Brian O’Leary, Joseph Walker, Donald Slayton, Al Worden, Major General Pavel Popovich, Major General Vladimir Kovalyonok, Victor Afanasyev, Yevegni Khrunov. United States presidents who have affirmed the existence of UFOs include: John F. Kennedy, Gerald Ford, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Harry Truman, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and George H. W. Bush Sr. These are not tin foil hat individuals.* These are men who have earned the credibility and respect of the world. In the case of the astronauts and cosmonauts, they have undergone rigorous mental and physical examination. At what point do we acknowledge that there is substance and credibility to at least some of the UFO reports?
Pacific Commander of Intelligence in WWII and first Director of the CIA, Vice-Admiral R.H. Hillenkoetter affirmed the reality of the UFO phenomenon. According to a 1960 New York Times article titled “Air Force Order On ‘Saucers’ Cited,” “Admiral Hillenkoetter said that ‘behind the scenes, high-ranking Air Force officers are soberly concerned about the UFO’s.’ ‘But through official secrecy and ridicule, many citizens are led to believe the unknown flying objects are nonsense,’ the retired admiral said. He charged that ‘to hide the facts, the Air Force has silenced its personnel’ through the issuance of a regulation.* Similarly, founder of the CIA’s psychological warfare staff, former special assistant to the secretary of the Air Force, advisor to NATO, and board member of NICAP, Colonel Joseph Bryan III said, “These UFOs are interplanetary devices systematically observing the earth, either manned or under remote control, or both.” He also said, “Information on UFOs, including sighting reports, has been and is still being officially withheld.”
In a 1960 letter to Major Donald Keyhoe, U.S. Representative and Former Speaker of the House, John McCormack, writes:
Some three years ago, (1957), as chairman of the House Select Committee on Outer Space out of which came the recently established NASA, my Select Committee held executive sessions on the matter of “Unidentified Flying Objects.” We could not get much information at that time, although it was pretty well established by some in our minds that there were some objects flying around in space that were unexplainable.
In 1965, he said, “I feel that the Air Force has not been giving out all the available information on the Unidentified Flying Objects. You cannot disregard so many unimpeachable sources.”
The world’s former leading aerodynamicist and mathematical physicist, Dr. Maurice Biot once said, “The least improbable explanation is that these things [UFO’s] are artificial and controlled … my opinion for some time has been that they have an extraterrestrial origin.” Similarly former Deputy Public Relations Director at NASA and former U.S. Air Force Spokesman for Project Bluebook, Albert Chop said, “I’ve been convinced for a long time that the flying saucers are real and interplanetary. In other words we are being watched by beings from outer space.”
We may not agree with the conclusions of these individuals, but we certainly cannot doubt their credentials as reliable witnesses. A 1957 New York Times article titled “High Speed Objects Reported In The Sky” reports:
A retired rear admiral, once head of the Navy’s guided-missile program, said today reliable reports indicated that “there are objects coming into our atmosphere at very high speeds.” Admiral Delmer S. Fahrney told a news conference that, “no agency in this country or Russia is able to duplicate at this time the speeds and accelerations which radars and observers indicate these flying objects are able to achieve.” There are signs that “an intelligence” directs such objects “because of the way they fly,” the admiral went on.
Likewise, Dr. H. Marshall Chadwell, former Assistant Director of the CIA’s Office of Scientific Intelligence, in a memo to the Director of the CIA, General Walter Smith, writes, “Sightings of unexplained objects at great altitude and traveling at high speeds in the vicinity of major US defense installations are of such nature that they are not attributable to natural phenomena or known types of aerial vehicles.”
The number of credible witnesses and sources who have affirmed the reality of unidentified flying objects which defy known explanations is staggering. These are men and women who deserve our utmost respect. Their testimony ought to challenge us to give serious consideration to the phenomenon that they are reporting.
Captain Eddie Rickenbacker, known as the, “American Ace of Aces” and a Medal of Honor commander of the 94th Aero Pursuit Squadron in WWI, with 26 “kills” said, “Flying saucers are real. Too many good men have seen them, that don’t have hallucinations.” Additionally, United States Air Force Captain Edward Ruppelt who served as Chief of Project Bluebook—the official Air Force investigation into UFO’s—writes in his book The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects:
When four college professors, a geologist, a chemist, a physicist and a petroleum engineer report seeing the same UFOs on fourteen different occasions, the event can be classified as, at least, unusual. Add the fact that hundreds of other people saw these UFOs and that they were photographed, and the story gets even better. Add a few more facts – that these UFOs were picked up on radar and that a few people got a close look at one of them, and the story begins to convince even the most ardent skeptic.
He also writes:
Personally, I don’t believe that “It can’t be.” I wouldn’t class myself as a “believer” exactly, because I’ve seen too many UFO reports that first appeared to be unexplainable fall to pieces when they were thoroughly investigated. But every time I begin to get skeptical I think of the other reports, the many reports made by experienced pilots and radar operators, scientists, and other people who knew what they are looking at. These reports were thoroughly investigated and they are still unknowns. Of these reports, the radar-visual sightings are the most convincing. When a ground radar picks up a UFO target and a ground observer sees a light where the radar target is located, then a jet interceptor is scrambled at intercept the UFO and the pilot also sees the light and gets a radar lock on only to have the UFO almost impudently outdistance him, there is no simple answer. We have no aircraft on this earth that can at will so handily outdistance our latest jets.
Additionally, Captain Ruppelt writes:
What constitutes proof? Does a UFO have to land at the River Entrance to the Pentagon near the Joint Chiefs of Staff offices? Or is it proof when a ground radar station detects a UFO, sends a jet to intercept it, the jet pilot sees it, and locks on with his radar, only to have the UFO streak away at a phenomenal speed? Is it proof when a jet pilot fires at a UFO and sticks to his story even under the threat of Court Marshal? Does this constitute proof?
Contrary to popular opinion, the UFO phenomenon is not limited to the United States. Nearly every major nation has experienced its own UFO sightings and has investigated the phenomenon. Often these nations are more open regarding their investigations and conclusions than is the United States. Chief of Staff of Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force, Lieutenant General Akira Hirano, said, “We frequently see unidentified objects in the sky. We are quietly investigating them.” Likewise, Secretary General of Belgium L. Clerebaut, who was in charge of investigating UFOs, said:
Scientifically we eliminate the simple hypotheses: It’s not a plane. It’s not a helicopter. It’s not a natural phenomenon because the descriptions don’t match. Therefore this global phenomenon resists any other explanation. The only remaining hypothesis is the hypothesis of extraterrestrial origin.
We may not agree with the Secretary’s conclusions; nevertheless, this quote reveals that there is enough credible evidence to classify this phenomenon as a decidedly paranormal event in the mind of one of Belgium’s leading officials—an official who was assigned the task of investigating the phenomenon. Therefore, it is not unreasonable to accept the idea that some people’s personal experiences may be based upon a very real and seemingly supernatural experience. Not every person who claims to have experienced something paranormal is mentally unstable, confused, or intentionally deceitful.
The head of the Royal Air Force during World War II, Air Chief Marshall Lord Dowding, was quoted by Rueters in August of 1954 as saying, “Of course the flying saucers are real, and they are interplanetary.” Likewise, former Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev has said, “The phenomenon of UFOs does exist, and it must be treated seriously.” Prince Philip, His Royal Highness, Duke of Edinburgh has also said, “There are many reasons to believe that they (UFOs) do exist: there is so much evidence from reliable witnesses.” Additionally, Commander-In-Chief of the Indonesian Air Force, Air Marshall Nurjadin Roesmin, has said, “UFOs sighted in Indonesia are identical with those sighted in other countries. Sometimes they pose a problem for our Air Defence and once we were obliged to open fire on them.” Former French Minister of Defense, M. Robert Galley, has said:
I must say that if listeners could see for themselves the mass of reports coming in from the airborne gendarmerie [French police officers], from the mobile gendarmerie, and from the gendarmerie charged with the job of conducting investigations, all of which reports are forwarded by us to the National Center for Space Studies, then they would see that it is all pretty disturbing.
And Lord Hill Norton, Former British Chief of Defense Staff, Minister for Defense, Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, Admiral of the Fleet, and Member of the House of Lords has said:
The evidence that there are objects which have been seen in our atmosphere, and even on terra firma, that cannot be accounted for either as man-made objects or as any physical force or effect known to our scientists seems to me to be overwhelming… A very large number of sightings have been vouched for by persons whose credentials seem to me unimpeachable. It is striking that so many have been trained observers, such as police officers and airline or military pilots. Their observations have in many instances… been supported either by technical means such as radar or, even more convincingly, by… interference with electrical apparatus of one sort or another …
Given the above testimonies, it would seem that the subject of unidentified flying objects is a subject that is worthy of serious consideration. Why then are testimonies regarding UFO sightings immediately dismissed and ridiculed by so many? Likewise, most testimonies regarding anything paranormal are generally trivialized and dismissed by Christians.
If we would take the time to honestly investigate the paranormal, we would find that there is often more credible testimony and evidence undergirding this topic than we might imagine. This is not to say that Christians ought to spend their time investigating the paranormal. Often times a study of these topics will lead a person into spiritually dangerous territory. It is difficult to sufficiently study the paranormal without also studying New Age and Occult doctrines. Also, many investigators develop an unhealthy fascination with the paranormal which steals their attention from other spiritual matters necessary for personal growth in the Lord.
How then should we as Christians respond to the paranormal? To begin with, we should acknowledge its reality. In its pursuit of being viewed as credible and scientifically accurate, the church has habitually denied the reality of anything supernatural. Its sense of the supernatural has been supplanted by the philosophy and tenets of modernism. The church has embraced secular humanism’s tenets that everything must have a rational and scientifically verifiable explanation, and that a belief in the paranormal is the result of ignorance and superstition. To protect these tenets, the Christians actively conform Scripture to make it comply with modern scientific theory and historical understanding. Many of the supernatural aspects of Scripture have been ignored, allegorized, or rejected. Consequently, those who claim to have experienced something paranormal are generally disbelieved. They are told that they were confused, that they misidentified the object, that they dreamed it, or that they imagined it. Too often, without fully listening to the individual’s testimony—and certainly without critically considering the individual’s story—Christians have defaulted to a dismissal of these accounts. By so doing, the church has pushed away the individual.
Many people have had a very real experience that they cannot understand, and they are seeking answers. Unfortunately, the church has lost respect and credibility among those seeking answers because of its consistent denial of all things paranormal. Many have been angered by accusations that they simply imagined their experience. Many have been hurt when the church has suggested that they receive psychological help. Many feel abandoned by the church. Many have felt as if they cannot express their experience for fear of how their church may respond. Many have even been run out of churches because of their experiences. Today, people who seek answers to the paranormal are compelled to look beyond the church because of these experiences.
Coast to Coast AM is one of the most popular radio shows in the nation. It features guest speakers who range anywhere from the highly credible to the extremely suspect, and it covers issues and theories which range anywhere from the scientifically verifiable to farfetched speculation. No story is too bizarre to be considered. Consequently it has established a venue to discuss all forms of the paranormal in a non-threatening atmosphere of acceptance. Everyone is made to feel welcome regardless of how strange their experience or beliefs may be, and they are encouraged to share their testimonies. Because of this, the show attracts numerous spiritual seekers and even many Christians who desire answers but cannot find them within the church.
Coast to Coast AM should not be the primary venue for people to discuss paranormal activity. The church should fulfill this role. Of all people, Christians should be the most likely and most well-equipped to believe that paranormal events occur. Our entire belief system is based upon the paranormal.* Consider what we believe for just a moment. We believe that a spiritual being called the Devil interacted with mankind to convince Adam and Eve to sin. God divinely elected the people of Israel and supernaturally protected them. God became a man, performed miracles, and rose from the dead. Christians receive special abilities from the Holy Spirit, and the early church spoke in foreign languages that they had not learned, healed the sick, prophesied, and raised the dead. We hope for the resurrection of the dead and the future return of God to earth to wage physical war with mankind, the Devil, and the demons. And all of this is recorded in a book which was delivered to us via Divine inspiration.
At the heart of our belief system is a conviction that paranormal activity exists. Moreover, we believe that not only is there a physical and a spiritual world, but the two frequently interact with one another. Not only is it possible for the inhabitants of the spiritual world to contact those of the physical, but the inhabitants of the physical world can also initiate contact with those of the spiritual world. If Christians truly believe this, then why do so many immediately deny every account and testimony which may serve as an example of this interaction between the physical and the spiritual?
Scripture is filled with examples of paranormal activity. God warns His people in Deuteronomy 13:1–5 that there will be those who correctly prophesy the future even though they are not of God. He also warns in Matthew 24:24 that there will be individuals who can wield great power to perform miraculous signs and wonders. People have been Divinely made sick or struck dead as well as healed (Acts 5:1–10; 1 Cor. 11:27–30; James 5:14–15). Angels have manifested themselves and interacted with men (Acts 5:19; 10:1–6; 12:7; Heb. 13:2). God gives people special abilities through supernatural gifting (1 Cor. 12:4–11; Rom. 12:6–8). It is also possible for people to be possessed by spiritual entities (Matt. 17:14–18; Mark 5:1–13).
As Christians, we should recognize that not all paranormal events are demonic in nature. Most of the examples in the above list do not have demonic origins. We know that angels are regularly ministering to the saints (Heb. 1:13–14). The Bible teaches that Christians can interact with angels in the physical realm, sometimes unaware (Heb. 13:2). This is, by definition, a paranormal event which is not demonic. Just because something is difficult to understand does not make it inherently evil. When Christians blame the Devil for anything which cannot be explained, they lose credibility among those who are genuinely seeking answers. If the Devil is to be blamed, then we must be able to provide Scriptural reasons for our conclusion.
As Christians, we should be willing to accept the reality of paranormal events. Moreover, we must move past our fear of looking ignorant. It is okay to admit that something does not make sense to us. We do not need to shift the blame and attention onto the Devil. Sometimes authentic paranormal activities happen, and they are not always demonic in nature.
Most of the time, there is a reasonable explanation. By definition, “paranormal” means that it is an event which does not frequently occur. Most Christians will live their entire lives without ever experiencing a genuine paranormal event. Of course, just because an event has a reasonable explanation, does not mean the individual experiencing it understands what is occurring. Regardless of the cause behind the experience, it is a genuine experience to the individual. Even if the experience is entirely a figment of his imagination, he has still had an emotional and mental experience. This experience—whether it be natural, paranormal, or imagined—is significant to the individual; therefore, it ought to be significant to us as well. Denial and belittling of the experience is, to some degree, a denial and belittling of the individual.
Crucial in all of this is that we know how to be discerning. Not every paranormal event is genuine. Not every paranormal event has a supernatural explanation. Not every paranormal event is demonic. Having said this, some paranormal events are demonic. This is why we are called to test the spirits to determine whether paranormal events are truly from God. 1 John 4:1 says, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.”
As Christians, we should recognize the significance of the paranormal in our society. We have been granted a prime opportunity to connect with society and to provide real answers to those who are seeking the truth. The paranormal opens wide doors of opportunity to discuss the reality of the spiritual realm and the consequences of ignoring and rejecting God’s free gift of reconciliation and salvation. We may not have the answer to every paranormal experience, but we do possess the answers to life’s most meaningful paranormal issues. However, we cannot accomplish this if we put our heads in the sand and pretend as if all things paranormal are restricted to the imagination and to popular media.
- The following is not an exhaustive list: How to Make a Monster, Red Riding Hood, Werewolf Hunter: The Legend of Romasantra, Wild Country, Dog Soliders, Big Bad Wolf, Teen Wolf, The Wolf Man, Bloodz vs. Wolvez, Chimera, Cursed, Wilderness, The Feeding, The Wolves of Kromer, Tomb of the Werewolf, DarkWolf, Lycan Colony, Lycanthropy, Werewolf: The Devil’s Hound, Never Cry Werewolf, War Wolves, Thor: Hammer of the Gods, The Beast of Bray Road, Necroville, Skin walkers, Werewolf Women of the SS, Wolves of Wall Street, Big Wolf on Campus, Underworld, Underworld: Evolution, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, Ginger Snaps, Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed, Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning, Blood Moon, Blood and Chocolate, Blade, Blade 2, Blade: Trinity, Blade: House of Chthon, Not Like Others, Twilight, Twilight: New Moon, Twilight: Eclipse, Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1, Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2, Vampires Suck, Van Helsing, Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant, Salem’s Lot, The Forsaken, Vampires: Los Muertos, Frostbite, Translymania, Vampire Clan, Vampires Turning, Out for Blood, Gothic Vampires from Hell, Life Blood, Vampires Anonymous, Zombies Anonymous, Carmilla, the Lesbian Vampire, Ninjas vs. Vampires, Bloodsucking Redneck Vampires, Cowboys and Vampires, Vegas Vampires, Vampires in Vegas, Feast of the Vampires, Lord of the Vampires, Serena, a Vampire’s Tale, The Vampire’s Dance, The Vampires of Bloody Island, The Vampires of Zanzibar, 30 Days of Night, Mona the Vampire, Against the Dark, Blood: The Last Vampire, BloodRayne, BloodRayne: Deliverance, Coming Out, Day Watch, Daybreakers, Dracula 2000, Dracula 3000, Dracula II Ascention, Dracula III Legacy, Dracula: Pages from a Virgin’s Diary, From Dusk Till Dawn III: The Hangman’s Daughter, Hellsing Ultimate, Lesbian Vampire Killers, Let the Right One In, Lost Boys II: The Tribe, Lust for Dracula, Moon Child, Perfect Creature, Queen of the Damned, Samurai Vampire Bikers from Hell, Shadow of the Vampire, The Hamiltons, Dark Shadows, The Last Sect, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, The Little Vampire, The Thirst, The Twins Effect, Trouble Every Day, Vampire Academy, Vampire Blvd., Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Wannabe, Priest, 28 Days Later, 28 Weeks Later, A Day in the Country, Aaah! Zombies!!, Acne, After Sundown, After the Day, All Souls Day, American Zombie, Automaton Transfusion, Autumn, Aversion, Awaken the Dead, The Beast Within, Beneath Still Waters, Beneath the Surface, Beyond Re-animator, Biker Zombies, Biohazard, 4D Executer, Biophage, Black Sheep, Blood Moon Rising, Boy Eats Girl, Brain Blockers, Brain Dead, Brainiac, Breathers: A Zombie’s Lament, Broken Springs, Carriers, Children of the Living Dead, Choking Hazard, City of Rott, Colin, Corpses, Corpses Are Forever, Creatures from the Pink Lagoon, Curse of the Maya, Dance of the Dead, Dark Floors, Dark Forest, Dawn of the Dead, Dawn of the Living Dead, Day of the Dead, Day of the Dead 2 Contagium, Days of Darkness, Dead and Breakfast, Dead Air, Dead and Deader, Dead Clowns, Dead Country, Dead Creatures, Dead Fury, Dead Heist, Dead Life, Dead Meat, Dead Men Walking, Dead Moon Rising, Dead Noon, Dead Snow, Dead Summer, Deader Country, Dead Hunter, Deadlands: The Rising, Deadlands 2: Trapped, Death Valley: The Revenge of Bloody Bill, Deep River: The Island, Demon Slaughter, Diary of the Dead, Die and Let Live, Die-ner (Get It?), Doghouse, Doom, Doomed, Dorm of the Dead, Eat Me!, Edges of Darkness, Electric Zombies, Enter…Zombie King, Evil, Evil – In the Time of Heroes, Exhumed, Fading of the Cries, Feeding the Masses, Fido, Flesh for the Beast, Flesh Freaks, Flick, Forest of the Damned, Frankenhood, Gangs of the Dead, George A. Romero’s Survival of the Dead, Ghost Lake, Grave Mistake, Gravestoned, Graveyard, Graveyard Alive, Grindhouse, Headhunter, Hide and Creep, Homecoming, Hood of the Living Dead, Hot Wax Zombies on Wheels, House of the Damned, House of the Dead, House of the Dead 2, Husk, I Am Legend, I Am Omega, I Sell the Dead, I’ll See You in My Dreams, Infection, Insane in the Brain, Johnny Sunshine, Junk, Kill Them and Eat Them, L.A. Zombie, Land of the Dead, Last of the Living, Livelihood, Lynch Mob, Machine Head, Meat Market, Meat Market 2, Monsters Gone Wild, Mortuary, Motocross Zombies from Hell, Mulva, Mulva 2: Kill Teen Ape!, Mutant Vampire Zombies from the ‘Hood!, Mutants, My Dead Girlfriend, Necropolis Awakened, Necroville, Night of the Bums, Night of the Jackals, Night of the Living Dead 3D, Night of the Living Dead: Reanimated, Nightmare Alley, Ninjas vs. Zombies, OC Babes and the Slasher of Zombietown, OneChanbara, Open Grave, Otto; or Up with Dead People, Pathogen, Plaguers, Plane Dead, Planet Terror, Platoon of the Dead, Pontypool, Pot Zombies, Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead, Quarantine, Raiders of the Damned, Rammbock, REC, Red Lips: Eat the Living, Reefer Madness, Resident Evil, Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Resident Evil: Extinction, Resident Evil: Afterlife, Resident Evil: Retribution, Retardead, Return in Red, Return of the Living Dead: Necropolis, Return of the Living Dead: Rave from the Grave, Ring of Darkness, Romeo and Juliet vs. the Living Dead, Route 666, Sabbath, SARS Wars, Severed: Forest of the Dead, Shadow Walkers, Shadows of the Dead, Shaolin vs. Evil Dead, Shaun of the Dead, Sick and the Dead, Skin Crawl, Slither, Stacy, Stiff Odds, Stone’s War, Storm of the Dead, Swamp Zombies, Tales from the Grave, The Convent, The Crazies, The Dead, The Dead Hate the Living!, The Dead Outside, The Dead Season, The Death of Seasons, The Forever Dead, The Ghouls, The Hell Patrol, The Horrible Dr. Bones, The Lost Tape: Andy’s Terrifying Last Days Revealed, The Mad, The Quick and the Undead, The Rage, The Returned, The Revenant, The Rising Dead, The Roost, The Ruining, The Signal, The Skeleton Key 2: 667 Neighbor of the Beast, The South Will Rise Again, The Stink of Flesh, The Veil, The Wickeds, The Worst Horror Movie Ever Made, The Zombie Apocalypse, The Zombie Diaries, The Zombie King, They Came Back, Tokyo Zombie, Town Creek, Trailer Park Terror, Trick ‘r Treat, The Zombie Movie, Undead, Undead or Alive, Urban Evil, Vampires vs. Zombies, Versus, Warriors of Terra, Wild Zero, Woke Up Dead, World War Z, Xombie: Dead on Arrival, Yesterday, Zibahkhana, Zombie Apocalypse, Zombie Brigade, Zombie Campout, Zombie Chronicles, Zombie Dearest, Zombie Farm, Zombie Girl: The Movie, Zombie Honeymoon, Zombie Massacre, Zombie Nation, Zombie Night, Zombie Planet, Zombie Strippers, Zombie Town, Zombie Wars, Zombie Women of Satan, Zombiegeddon, Zombieland, Zombies, Zombies Gone Wild, Zombies! Zombies! Zombies!, Zombiez, Zone of the Dead. ↵
- Ghost Adventures, Ghost Hunters, Paranormal State, Celebrity Ghost Stories, A Haunting, Ghost Hunters International, My Ghost Story, Haunted Highway, Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files, Most Haunted, The Dead Files, Unsolved Mysteries, Paranormal Challenge, Scariest Places on Earth, Paranormal Witness, Ghost Hunters Academy, Psychic Kids, Haunted Collector, Supernatural, Sightings, Celebrity Paranormal Project, Haunted Mine, Destination Truth, The Haunted, Haunted Collector, My Ghost Story, Ghost Stories, Ancient Aliens, Is It Real?, Haunted Hotels, Ghost Lab, Monster Quest, Haunted Lives: True Ghost Stories, Weird Travels, Dead Famous, Lost Tapes, Nostradamus Effect, Mystery Quest, Most Terrifying Places in America, The Vampire Diaries, Sightings, Derek Acorah’s Ghost Towns, Paranormal Cops, MTV’s Fear, Fortean TV, Mysterious Journeys, Finding Bigfoot, Beast Hunter, Rescue Mediums, Beast Legends, The Othersiders, Paraprobe, Psi Factor: Chronicles of the Paranormal, True Blood, Being Human, Fringe, Fifth Quadrant, Sanctuary, The Secret Circle, Grimm, Teen Wolf, Haven, Legend of the Seeker, Ghost Wisperer, Beauty and the Beast, Lost Girl, Kyle XY, Reaper, Blood Ties, Hex, Medium, Eastwick, Demons, Poltergeist: The Legacy, Witchblade, American Gothic, Drop Dead Diva, Afterlife, So Weird, Point Pleasant, The Witches of East End. ↵
- IMDb, “The Walking Dead (2010) Awards.” ↵
- Goldberg, “‘Walking Dead’ Season 3 Premiere Shatters Basic Cable Ratings Record.” ↵
- Goldberg, “‘Walking Dead’ Season 3 Finale Sets More Ratings Records.” ↵
- Drezner, “The Lessons of Zombie-Mania.” ↵
- Marche, “Why Zombies Are Everywhere Now.” ↵
- Ogg, “Zombies Worth Over $5 Billion to Economy.” ↵
- Official Website of Stephenie Meyer, “The Story Behind Twilight.” ↵
- Little Brown Book Group, “Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide Announced Today.” ↵
- Grossman, “Is a Mormon Vampire Novelist the Next JK Rowling?,” 49. ↵
- Minzesheimer, “Sellers basked in Stephenie Meyer’s ‘Twilight’ in 2008.” ↵
- Anthony DeBarros, “Best-Selling Books: The annual top 100.” ↵
- Vena, “Jonas Brothers And ‘Twilight’ Rule Kids’ Choice Awards.” ↵
- Fach, “#Twilight Saga and Breaking Dawn Stats [SEJ Infographic].” ↵
- Statistic Brain, “Total Twilight Franchise Sales / Revenue.” ↵
- “Harry Potter ‘Strolled into My Head,’” Reuters, July 17, 2000, Source: Schimmel, “Twilight, Harry Potter, The Wizard of Oz and the Wiccan Revival.” ↵
- Loer, “All about Harry Potter from quidditch to the future of the Sorting Hat.” ↵
- Farr, “JK Rowling: 10 facts about the writer.” ↵
- Hypable, “Harry Potter – History of the Books.” ↵
- T. Race, “Most wanted: Drilling down/Harry Potter; Rowling's readers are ready for film,” New York Times, April 9, 2001, 10, Source: Knapp, “In Defense of Harry Potter: An Apologia.” ↵
- Grossman, “Is a Mormon Vampire Novelist the Next JK Rowling?,” 50. ↵
- Smith, “The Times Plans a Children’s Best-Seller List.” ↵
- Fierman, “Wild About Harry.” ↵
- “Harry Potter hits midnight frenzy.” ↵
- Ibid. ↵
- “Record print run for final Potter.” ↵
- Wearden, “Pre-orders spell record sales for Harry Potter.” ↵
- Lynch, “World Book Day: Our Top Ten Reading-related World Records.” ↵
- Rich, “Record First-Day Sales for Last ‘Harry Potter’ Book.” ↵
- Statistic Brain, “Total Harry Potter Franchise Revenue.” ↵
- Moore, “Three in Four Americans Believe in Paranormal.” ↵
- “Survey reveals that 70 to 80 percent of Americans believe in paranormal activity.” ↵
- An incubus is a spirit that seeks sexual intercourse with women. ↵
- A succubus is a spirit that seeks sexual intercourse with men. ↵
- A satyr is a typically an ugly dwarf-like man who possesses various characteristics of a goat. Often his ears, tail, and sexual organs are of a goat. He is known for his sexual prowess. ↵
- A faun is a man who is a goat from the waist down and human from the waist up with the exception of goat horns on his head. ↵
- Aurelius Augustine, The City of God, Source: Schaff, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers Series I, Vol. 2, 303. ↵
- Ludovico Maria Sinistrari, (Whitefish: Kessinger, 2003), 27, Source: Putnam, Exo-Vaticana, 127. ↵
- “In a Monastery (I mention neither its name nor that of the town where it lies, so as not to recall to memory a past scandal), there was a Nun, who, about trifles usual with women and especially with nuns, had quarreled with one of her mates who occupied a cell adjoining to hers. Quick at observing all the doings of her enemy, this neighbor noticed, several days in succession, that instead of walking with her companions in the garden after dinner she retired to her cell, where she locked herself in. Anxious to know what she could be doing there all that time, the inquisitive Nun betook herself also to her cell. Soon she heard a sound, as of two voices conversing in subdued tones, which she could easily do, since the two cells were divided but by a slight partition. [There she heard] a peculiar friction, the cracking of a bed, groans and sighs, her curiosity was raised to the highest pitch, and she redoubled her attention in order to ascertain who was in the cell. But having three times running, seen no other nun come out but her rival, she suspected that a man had been secretly introduced and was kept hidden there. She went and reported the thing to the Abbess, who, after holding counsel with discreet persons, resolved upon hearing the sounds and observing the indications that had been denounced her, so as to avoid any precipitate or inconsiderate act. In consequence, the Abbess and her confidents repaired to the cell of the spy, and heard the voices and other noises that had been described. An inquiry was set on foot to make sure whether any of the Nuns could be shut in with the other one; and the result being in the negative, the Abbess and her attendants went to the door of the closed cell, and knocked repeatedly, but to no purpose: the Nun neither answered, nor opened. The Abbess threatened to have the door broken in, and even ordered a convert to force it with a crow-bar. The Nun then opened her door: a search was made and no one found. Being asked with whom she had been talking, and the why and wherefore of the bed cracking, of the sighs, etc., she denied everything. But, matters going on just the same as before, the rival Nun, become more attentive and more inquisitive than ever, contrived to bore a hole through the partition, so as to be able to see what was going on inside the cell; and what should she see but an elegant youth lying with the Nun, and the sight of whom she took care to let the others enjoy by the same means. The charge was soon brought before the bishop: the guilty Nun endeavored still to deny all; but, threatened with torture, she confessed having had an intimacy with an Incubus.” (Ludovico Maria Sinistrari, Demoniality: Or Incubi and Succubi (Isidore Liseux, 1879), 235–245, Source: Putnam, Exo-Vaticana, 125–126.) ↵
- St. Jerome, Jerome: The Principal Works of St. Jerome, Source: Schaff, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers Series II, Vol. 6, 300–301. ↵
- This acceptance has never been universal. Agobard, who was the Archbishop of Lyons, France and “one of the most celebrated and learned prelates of the ninth century,” writes, “We have, however, seen and heard many men plunged in such great stupidity, sunk in such depths of folly, as to believe that there is a certain region, which they call Magonia, whence ships sail in the clouds, in order to carry back to that region those fruits of the earth which are destroyed by hail and tempests; the sailors paying rewards to the storm wizards and themselves receiving corn and other produce. Out of the number of those whose blind folly was deep enough to allow them to believe these things possible, I saw several exhibiting in a certain concourse of people, four persons in bonds—three men and a woman who they said had fallen from these same ships; after keeping them for some days in captivity they had brought them before the assembled multitude, as we have said, in our presence to be stoned. But truth prevailed.” (Agobard, Liber de Grandine et Tonitruis, Chapter XI, Source: Vallee, Passport to Magonia, 9–10.) ↵
- Agobard’s understanding of this incident differed greatly from the philosophers, or scientists, of his day (see previous footnote), “In vain does a Philosopher bring to light the falsity of the chimeras people have fabricated, and present manifest proofs to the contrary. No matter what his experience, nor how sound his argument and reasoning, let but a man with a doctor’s hood come along and write them down as false—experience and demonstration count for naught and it is henceforward beyond the power of Truth to re-establish her empire. People would rather believe in a doctor’s hood than in their own eyes. There has been in your native France a memorable proof of this popular mania. The famous Cabalist Zedechias, in the reign of your Pepin, took it into his head to convince the world that the Elements are inhabited by those people whose nature I have just described to you. The expedient of which he bethought himself was to advise the Sylphs to show themselves in the Air to everybody: They did so sumptuously. These beings were seen in the Air in human form, sometimes in battle array marching in good order, halting under arms, or encamped beneath magnificent tents. Sometimes on wonderfully constructed aerial ships, whose flying squadrons roved at the will of the Zephyrs. What happened? Do you suppose that ignorant age would so much as reason as to the nature of these marvelous spectacles? The people straightaway believed that sorcerers had taken possession of the Air for the purpose of raising tempests and bringing hail upon their crops. The learned theologians and jurists were soon of the same opinion as the masses. The Emperor believed it as well; and this ridiculous chimera went so far that the wise Charlemagne, and after him Louis the Debonair, imposed grievous penalties upon as these supposed Tyrants of the Air. You may see an account of this in the first chapter of the Capitularies of these two Emperors. The Sylphs seeing the populace, the pedants and even the crowned heads thus alarmed against them, determined to dissipate the bad opinion people had of their innocent fleet by carrying off men from every locality and showing them their beautiful women, their Republic and their manner of government, and then setting them down again on earth in divers parts of the world. They carried out their plan. The people who saw these men as they were descending came running from every direction, convinced beforehand that they were sorcerers who had separated from their companions in order to come and scatter poisons on the fruit and in the springs. Carried away by the frenzy with which such fancies inspired them, they hurried these innocents off to the torture. The great number of them who were put to death by fire and water throughout the kingdom is incredible. One day, among other instances, it chanced at Lyons that three men and a woman were seen descending from these aerial ships. The entire city gathered about them, crying out they were magicians and were sent by Grimaldus, Duke of Beneventum, Charlemagne’s enemy, to destroy the French harvests. In vain the four innocents sought to vindicate themselves by saying that they were their own country-folk, and had been carried away a short time since by miraculous men who had shown them unheard-of marvels, and had desired to give them an account of what they had seen. The frenzied populace paid no heed to their defence, and were on the point of casting them into the fire, when the worthy Agobard, Bishop of Lyons, who having been a monk in that city had acquired considerable authority there, came running at the noise, and having heard the accusations of the people and the defence of the accused, gravely pronounced that both one and the other were false. That is was not true that these men had fallen from the sky, and that what they said they had seen there was impossible. The people believed what their good father Agobard said rather than their own eyes, were pacified, set at liberty the four Ambassadors of the Sylphs, and received with wonder the book which Agobard wrote to confirm the judgment which he had pronounced. Thus the testimony of these four witnesses was rendered vain.” (A.H. Clough, Introduction to Plutarch’s “Lives,” Source: Vallee, Passport to Magonia, 11–12.) ↵
- Speigel, “More Believe In Space Aliens Than In God According To U.K. Survey.” ↵
- Wrenn, “More than a third of Americans believe in aliens (and only 2% would try to attack if they bumped into one).” ↵
- Newport, “What If Government Really Listened To The People?” ↵
- “Sci Fi Channel / Roper UFOs Poll 2002: Highlights,” The Sci Fi Channel, http://www.syfy.com/ufo/roper/02.html, Source: UFO Evidence, “Sci Fi Channel.” ↵
- Additional public opinion polls can be found at http://www.ufoevidence.org/topics/publicopinionpolls.htm. ↵
- Population Estimates Program, Population Division, U.S. Bureau of the Census, “Historical National Population Estimates: July 1, 1900 to July 1, 1999,” April 11, 2000, Revised June 28, 2000, Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, “Historical National Population Estimates: July 1, 1900 to July 1, 1999.” ↵
- “Re: Credible Statements about UFO/OVNI subject.” ↵
- Condon, “Scientific Study Of Unidentified Flying Objects.” ↵
- “Credible Statements about UFO/OVNI subject.” ↵
- Wikipedia, “Unidentified Flying Object.” ↵
- Ibid. ↵
- Ibid. ↵
- Ibid. ↵
- terr547, “UFO Mainstream Media Coverage—MASS SIGHTINGS TAKING PLACE.” ↵
- UFOShock1, “Best of UFO News Clips Compilation Video.” ↵
- TheUFOsightings, “BREAKING NEWS FBI DISCLOSURE ON FOX NEWS.” ↵
- terr547, “UFO Mainstream Media Coverage—MASS SIGHTINGS TAKING PLACE.” ↵
- Bible UFO Connection, “Government Witnesses: Astronauts.” ↵
- Bible UFO Connection, “Government Witnesses: United States.” ↵
- “The term tin foil hat is generally used as a derogatory remark toward someone advancing a conspiracy theory or other story that is considered unbelievable. It appears to have been coined to describe people who claimed UFO sightings or claimed to have been previously abducted by aliens. It was suggested that such a person might wear a hat made of tin foil in order to keep aliens from intercepting his or her brainwaves. There are some people who actually construct such hats, however, believing they will protect against mind control programs, radio waves, and electromagnetic radiation (EMR).” (wiseGEEK, “What is a Tin Foil Hat?”) ↵
- “Air Force Order on ‘Saucers’ Cited.” Note: This article contains a typo in The New York Times database. “Force” is spelled as “forge.” If searching The New York Times database, the article is titled “Air Forge order on ‘Saucers’ Cited; Pamphlet by the Inspector General Called Objects a ‘Serious Business.’” (http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F50A12F9345D1A728DDDA10A94DA405B808AF1D3) ↵
- UFO Evidence, “Military UFO Quotes.” ↵
- Bible UFO Connection, “United States Legislature.” ↵
- Ibid. ↵
- UFO Evidence, “Scientists on UFOs.” ↵
- True Magazine, January 1965, Source: UFO Evidence, “UFO Quotes by Government Officials.” ↵
- “High Speed Objects Reported In The Sky.” ↵
- Hall, “Extraterrestrial Psychology.” ↵
- Hall, The UFO Evidence, 37. ↵
- Edward Ruppelt, The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects (New York: Doubleday and Co., 1956), 133, Source: King, “The UFO Problem,” 42. ↵
- Ibid, 314, Source: King, “The UFO Problem,” 27. ↵
- Ibid, 8, Source: King, “The UFO Problem,” 27. ↵
- Bible UFO Connection, “International Military Witnesses.” ↵
- Bible UFO Connection, “International Quotes.” ↵
- UFO Evidence, “Famous Quotes on UFOs.” ↵
- Bible UFO Connection, “International Quotes.” ↵
- Ibid. ↵
- Bible UFO Connection, “International Military Witnesses.” ↵
- Bible UFO Connection, “International Quotes.” ↵
- Ibid. ↵
- For the purposes of this book, no technical distinction is being made between the paranormal and the supernatural. The supernatural is not perceived as being ordinary, and therefore, it can be considered paranormal. ↵