Back in the summer of 1968, I got involved with an organization in northern California formed by a Methodist minister who claimed to have been abducted by space aliens near Mt. Hood in Oregon. After he returned from the abduction, he quit his ministry and filed a series of patents that made him very rich.Then he founded a Marin County-based group called Frontiers of Science. They met at least weekly, in a storefront at a strip mall off Highway 101. When Hamrick sold Syndyne Corporation, the company he formed after his abduction, he used some of the money to put up a down payment on an old fixture in the Lake County hot springs area, Harbin Hot Springs.
I had just been hired as a caretaker at the fallow resort, when about 100 Hamrick followers showed up in early July. At first, along with most of the other hippy caretakers, I resisted the semi-cultish interlopers. But there were some really lovable, whacked out people among them, including a few musicians who invited me to help with teaching music to the 20 or so kids that came with their parents, and to participate in setting up an event called Celestial Synapse.Some of the people who had been attracted to Frontiers of Science came to Hamrick's San Rafael lectures in 1967 and 1968 because they also claimed to have had encounters with extra-terrestrials.
On September 21-23 1968, Frontiers of Science held a conference at the resort, which Hamrick had renamed Harbinger Springs. During the conference, Hamrick gave a series of lectures which had been distilled from his longer series, called Physiology of the Higher Body. Important figures from the World Council of Churches, IBM and fledgeling Silicon Valley think groups attended the September conference. So did several representatives of fringe religions on the West Coast, like Jim Jones and Love Israel.I attended one group composed of people who related their experiences with extra-terrestrials. They compared notes, so to say. Going in, I wasn't just a skeptic. I thought all the UFO and ET stuff was total bullshit. Going out of the four-hour session, I wasn't so sure.
II. The thing that always made me the most skeptical about visitors from far away places was time. Do these beings live hundreds or thousands of years? Or something approximating "forever" from our viewpoint? Do they go into suspended animation on long trips? Can they move faster than the speed of light?Or do they understand something beyond how we comprehend time and space? Is there more than a single time-space continuum occurring at once, only one of which most people can comprehend?
From my experience over the years, if the multiple time-space continuum scenario is valid, most of us don't deserve to go there, let alone learn how to deal with what might make 11th dimensional chess seem a breeze. We can't even handle the three dimensions we're in.The movie Contact is the most popular attempt to take on this subject. Supposedly, the plans for the module that drops though some sort of electromagnetic field come to Earthlings in real time. But the resulting contraption goes somewhere very distant almost instantly, upon passing through the field. And afterward, when the politicians dealing with information on the event seek to hide the enormity of what has assuredly transpired, they dissimulate, just as politicians always do.
One thing rational beings often conclude, looking at the myriad galaxies exposed to us by the Hubble Space Telescope, is that the possibilities for life are plentiful, almost beyond current understanding.
III. Last week I had the pleasure of my first extended, one-on-one conversation with ex-Alaska Governor Tony Knowles. He sought me out. Partially because he had a bone to pick with me. But he claimed he wants to know what I think about a number of things, including current Alaska politics. After I asked him what he's doing now, though, most of our conversation centered on that.Tony has been heading oil billionaire George Kaiser's National Energy Policy Institute since 2008. Here's a description of their goals:
Tony was animated as he tried to describe to me how he's trying to get some visionary people on the board he heads for Mr. Kaiser. I suppose I'm not free to name some of the people he mentioned, but they aren't industry hacks, and one is one of our great environmental visionaries.
For over three decades American political leadership has espoused the goal of ‘energy independence.’ Yet today we continue the downward spiral of ever increasing dependence upon foreign oil. The consequences are clear. The oil producing countries have hijacked America’s foreign policy, our economy and our environment. We have passively collaborated. What are we – finally – going to do about it? Somehow we must change from a de facto energy policy that is, in the words of some observers, the ‘sum of all lobbies’ towards a positive and aggressive energy policy that is the ‘sum of our best wisdom.’ The result will be clean energy security and the underpinnings of a dynamic expanding economy.
Making that transition begins with accepting the fact there is no silver bullet. We must relinquish the worn out delusion of good public policy based on anecdotal, self serving, and single interest manipulation.
Real progress towards a solution will require accepting a broad portfolio of strategies, selected on the basis of a rigorous comparison of effectiveness and cost of accomplishing universal goals. There are two clear and simple universal goals – reduce the amount of imported oil and reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions.
Each strategy must be measured and ranked on the cost per barrel of reducing imported oil and cost per ton of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Other social and environmental costs, in addition to the scale of individual strategy results, must be considered to establish effectiveness and feasibility of each strategy. The results will become the basis for decision makers to advance a comprehensive rational national energy policy. From this policy we can generate through technology transfer, basic and applied research and targeted public action and incentives an era of new job creation and new business development.
Our institute is committed to conducting independent, expert analysis for clean energy security in conjunction with job and business incubation and thus will help answer the urgent call to a safer and better 21st century.
As Tony vividly stayed on point, articulating how to "advance a comprehensive rational national energy policy [that] can generate through technology transfer, basic and applied research and targeted public action and incentives an era of new job creation and new business development," I was beguiled by his description of the complexity's challenge, but wondered where he thinks our human race actually is in terms of CO2 emissions.We also discussed the ongoing BP Gulf catastrophe. He agreed that it will have worse long-term effects than have been acknowledged. I asked him if he would consider putting Dr. Riki Ott on is board. He was hesitant, seeming to lean more toward somebody like his former Lieutenant Governor, Fran Ulmer, who is currently on Obama's Gulf Task Force.
I described how I see the CO2 battle:
He laughed, coming close to agreeing.
"You just described a very complex set of moves we have to make, running a ponderous carbon-burning machine we call human civilization. Imagine the last voyage of the Exxon Valdez. You seem to think we're just leaving Valdez Harbor with our load of crude we might deliver safely, should we navigate some perilous passages.
"I think we're somewhere between Potato Point and Bligh Reef. Not only that, Tony, people like Bill McKibbon are yelling that the Busby Island light is on the wrong side of the bow.
"That's how close we are."
IV. What does this have to do with little green men taking over nuke bases? More than almost anyone imagines. Whether or not there are multiple simultaneous time-space continuums, it is very hard to turn the clock back. Or change the course of ponderous global civilization whose endgames in energy, armaments and public health make the maneuverability of the Exxon Valdez headed toward Bligh Reef look a lot like Rudolf Nuryev compared to where we now are.
Mythology is replete with stories of situations where a supernatural being or beings from another place or dimension has to rescue us from foibles ranging from a "God" being caught in bed with a mortal or mere demi-goddess, to bailing out the sub-prime mortgage with dwarves and giants on Valhalla, to ending worldwide deluges. The events today, surrounding these ex military personnel feeling now is the time to tell their tale may be a bright shining object from another dimension.