Bugs Bunny And Other UFO Victims
Reality isn't always consensual

Although few people remember this, Bugs Bunny was the first UFO "abductee" in a 1952 cartoon called "Hasty Hare."

See also...
... by Robert Anton Wilson
... in the Whoa! section
... from December 13, 1999

The next case did not occur until nine years later, in 1961, when Betty and Barney Hill famously encountered the "greys" from Zeta Reticuli, who molested them sexually and otherwise, and were also wearing Nazi uniforms. At least, Barney Hill remembered the malign midgets as garbed in Nazi regalia; Betty, for some reason, never did recall that poignantly puzzling detail.

Now, many millions have allegedly suffered the same sort of "extraterrestrial" sexual abuse, according to Abductees Anonymous, a support group for survivors. Budd Hopkins has become rock star famous for helping people "remember" such experiences. And this is not just another New Age fad. Dr. John Mack, a distinguished scientist on the staff of the psychiatry department at Harvard University, has written two books on the subject. And Harvard, which once gave Dr. Timothy Leary the bum's rush for having weird ideas, allows Dr. Mack to remain on their staff, with all the prestige that bestows upon this eldritch and Lovecraftian topic.

I've met Dr. Mack, and he seems like a sane and sensible man. He frankly admits that he's not quite sure what kind of "reality" these experiences occur in, except that it sure ain't consensus reality. It's something more like the non-ordinary reality of Carlos Castaneda's Don Juan books, or of the mystics of all traditions -- or of Leary and his merry band of acid astronauts.

Peculiarly, both law enforcement and mainstream science seem to have no interest in this matter at all.

I find that startling. Imagine what would happen if "many millions" of U.S. citizens said they had been sexually assaulted by aliens from Mexico or Iraq, instead of aliens from Outer Space. Obviously, there would be no scientific taboo against investigating such cases, and Congress might even have declared war on the invaders by now. If the subjects claimed, as most of Dr. Mack's subjects do, that they now love their kidnappers and have received important ecological warnings from them, as well as learning from their extraterrestrial sermons about how wicked and wretched our society is, this would be considered evidence that they had been "brainwashed" as well as raped (think Stockholm Syndrome). The differences in scientific and political reactions to atrocities by human aliens and nonhuman aliens seem even more confusing than the rest of this mystery.

Bill Cooper, who claims to be a former Naval Intelligence officer, alleges that he saw papers revealing a treaty between our government and the "greys," who are providing our military with advanced technology. The little bastards have broken the treaty, Cooper says, not only by meddling sexually and/or genetically with our citizens, but also by mutilating a lot of cattle. But our government can't stop them because of their superior weapons. The Outer Space monsters were also behind the assassination of John F. Kennedy, he says.

Dr. Mack, on the other hand, isn't sure about the literalness of alien abductions. In his second book, Passport to the Cosmos (Crown) he no longer calls his subjects "abductees," but "experiencers," although he remains convinced that they experienced something and that the experience is real in some sense.

Consider, in this context, the investigations of Dr. Corey Hammond of the University of Utah, former president of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis. Dr. Hammond has had a lot of clients who, under hypnosis, remember hideous incidents of Satanic rituals, infant sacrifice, sadomasochism, coprophilia and assorted horrors. Dr. Hammond believes that these cases, and the data he has unearthed on Satanic cults in general, prove that three distinct groups are working together -- Nazis, the CIA, and NASA -- who have been secretly and brutally programming American children for over 50 years to make them part of "a Satanic order that will rule the world."

Can we believe both Dr. Mack and Dr. Hammond at the same time, and accept that while extraterrestrials or even weirder nonhumans have been raping people and teaching ecology, another conspiracy is simultaneously torturing and reeducating children to make them Slaves of Satan? Or might we more economically assume that a lot of people have had a lot of non-ordinary experiences -- psychedelic trips without drugs -- and we all tend to interpret these according to our own hopes and fears?

Consider the model offered by Dr. Jacques Vallee, who has been investigating UFOs for more than 30 years. Dr. Vallee has suggested as one possible explanation a vast experiment in mind control and behavior modification by some Intelligence Agency (he doesn't try to guess which one). Could both Dr. Mack's cases and Dr. Hammond's cases represent persons who fell victim to this and retain only shattered and distorted memories of their ordeal? Considering what has already leaked about the CIA's MK-ULTRA research, this hypothesis does not seem altogether extravagant.

Bill Cooper, the guy who says the greys were behind the JFK hit, has also considered a variation on Vallee's theory. He himself, Cooper says, may have been deceived by his superiors in Naval Intelligence. But in that case, he points out, the government (I no longer feel safe in calling it "our government") must be using the "grey mythology" as a cover-up to hide something else -- something even worse than selling us out to rapists from Reticuli.

Frankly, I cannot accept either the blind faith of the True Believers or the dogmatic denials of the Establishment. Like Dr. Mack, I think the whole topic needs less sensationalism and more open-minded research.

After all, the next person engulfed by this non-ordinary reality might be you or me.

Robert Anton Wilson is the author of 32 books, including Everything Is Under Control, an encyclopedia of conspiracy theories, and maintains the Web's strangest site @ www.rawilson.com. He also serves as CEO of CSICON (the Committee for Surrealist Investigation of Claims of the Normal).

Robert's column runs every other Monday on GettingIt.