Alien Dawn: An Investigation into the Contact Experience Paperback – January 1, 2001
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If you are new to UFO abduction and the possible psychic connection, or if you have not ever heard of any explanation for ufo/abduction other than the visitors from planets in spaceships theory, then this book will really open your eyes to a side of ufo/abduction that makes lots of sense but is not so often talked about by mainstream ufo people who prefer to think of metallic craft from other planets or dimensions travelling to our universe.
Colin Wilson writes in an easy to read manner and does not fall prey to the weakness of making assertions that rule out other evidence. IN fact, he is a generous person when dealing with other individuals and their experiences, and is good at bringing up aspects of cases or unknown cases that get overlooked in other places.
This is especially a gem given the price of used copies. I recommend this highly.
Wilson is renowned for deeply researching his source material prior to pulling it all together into a tentative hypothesis, and for this project he read more than 200 books on the subjects under scrutiny and conducted a number of interviews. The pervasive and very physical UFO phenomenon with all its attendant strangeness; the evidence for the reality of alien abduction (substantial and compulsive, according to the author); cattle mutilations; 'Bigfoot' and crypto-zoology; crop circles; out-of-body experiences; quantum physics, new ideas of inter-dimensionality and the nature of time; the complexity of human consciousness and spiritual awareness are investigated and examined with knowledge and insight.
The author seems particularly impressed with Jacques Vallee's unorthodox theories, formed over several decades of careful field investigation and the application of scientific methodology. Between 1965 and 1995 Vallee wrote an impressive series of books detailing his evolving ideas on the UFO issue, all of which Wilson has obviously read and studied.
The result is a mostly interesting book of commentary and analysis which invites the reader to expand his/her paradigm of what constitutes 'reality'. Ultimately no hard-and-fast conclusions about the meaning of these diverse phenomena encroaching into our lives is offered, beyond acknowledging that they are mostly real and should not be dismissed because they do not fit the conventional paradigm of reality. Wilson once again returns to expounding his ideas about low-pressure and high-pressure human consciousness, and the possibility we are living in an 'information universe' where everything is interconnected (not dissimilar to Michael Talbot's 'Holographic Universe' model - though Talbot's work is not cited in the text, his book is quoted in the bibliography). In this respect, Wilson is more focussed on the spiritual and experiential aspects of the whole alien-contact issue and its meaning, rather than the reductionist preoccupation about whether they are objectively real or not, in a nuts-and-bolts way.
Colin Wilson is a very good writer - one of the best. His prose is intelligent, literate, racy and informative, and very easy to read; his books are always enjoyable and usually page-turners. This one would be a good starting point for someone in no way familiar with the subject matter, or conversely for someone who has read so much on the subject that they feel they now can't see the wood for the trees and might benefit from an informed, knowledgeable summary which tries to bring the diverse and complex strands together into a more coherent narrative. The book's content and concluding ideas are in fact much wider and more encompassing than the slightly new-agey title might suggest, and indeed a better title for the book might have been chosen by the publisher - so don't be put off by it. It's good, and worth reading.
If you're a fan of Colin Wilson (as I am) you'll not be too put off by his unusual treatment of the subject. But if you have never considered the possibility that reality actually consists of much more than we perceive with our senses, never looked at the evidence for the existence of a spiritual world, then you might have problems following his logic. Once you accept the reality of other worlds that coexist with ours and occasionally break through to ours (ie, seeing ghosts), you can begin to understand the argument that UFOs might come from those other realities. But does that mean they are not solid objects? No, when they are in our reality, they are solid. Is there any technology involved? Yes, apparently so, but not in a way we can understand since we begin with the wrong assumptions.
Wilson draws heavily on the ideas of Jacques Vallee (also my favorite UFO writer) who relates the UFO experience to reports from past times of fairies, gnomes, elves, and "little people." In Vallee's estimation, we are wasting our time trying to figure out alien propulsion systems. We should be examining our own culture and our own consciousness to find out why we see and experience these things. Are they somehow built into us or are they built into the universe we inhabit and which our science has misunderstood?
Wilson provides a summary of Vallee's views on UFOs over the years he wrote about them beginning with his seminal work, Passport to Magonia. Vallee moved from France to America where he was an associate of Dr. J. Allen Hynek who is most remembered for declaring a series of sightings over western Michigan as "swamp gas." I live in Michigan and I well remember that incident. Everyone was indignant that sightings of numerous reliable witnesses were so easily (and stupidly!) dismissed, and the swamp gas excuse became a local joke. Wilson says the "swamp gas" episode was the beginning of a new public interest in UFOs. It was also the beginning of the realization that the US government did not intend to be honest with the public about UFOs.
Wilson has done a service in pointing out the similarity of UFOs to other strange phenomena. His relating them to what is usually called spiritualism is an especially good insight. There is a large and mostly unknown literature that sheds light on this spirit world. I was pleased to see Wilson is familiar with the works of Allan Kardec (also known as Leon Rivail). He wrote down what he learned from contact with advanced spirits, given through mediums, and what he learned is contained in The Spirits Book. The ideas in this book and his other writings have taken hold in Brazil, where they are the basis of the popular Spiritist movement. But Spiritism is not a "religion" as such. Most Spiritists are Christians, but they use contact with spirits (who are all around us) to help attain greater spiritual advancement. They also understand that spirits exist on numerous levels (or frequencies) and we attract spirits whose level of spiritual power is similar to our own. Bad attracts bad. Good attracts good. Spirits lie and deceive just like earth-bound humans. Wilson provides some stories of contactees who were given advance knowledge of events that actually came to pass, but then suddenly were given false information and ended up humiliated. One professor so duped by a spirit (or alien?) lost his academic job after predicting the end of the world.
Many characteristics of aliens and their powers seem to relate to the afterlife, where our own spirits go after physical death. This is exactly the conclusion of another UFO researcher, Raymond Fowler, who has spent a lifetime studying the case of Betty Andreason Luca, who was repeatedly abducted from childhood. Her aliens could go through walls, and Betty herself seemed to be taken both in and out of body. Her aliens seemed to use both technology and powers of mind. Fowler concludes that aliens come from our own afterlife, or to put it another way, they come from the invisible spirit world. They have learned how to break through to our own world. (I recommend The Watchers and The Watcher II by Raymond Fowler)
To what purpose are these aliens deceiving us? Wilson concludes that through our perception of and attempts to understand these anomolous happenings, mankind will be able to shift into a higher level of consciousness. These events help us "wake up" to a new vision of reality. This is a very different conclusion from those who see aliens as evil beings from Zeta Reticuli who intend to take over our planet.
While I loved this book, which was full of interesting stories and drew on so many rich concepts, Wilson's overall conclusions fall short. A new understanding of reality makes sense of many anomalous events, including a lot of incidents categorized as "UFO activity" but it doesn't deal with other aspects of the UFO problem. Wilson neatly avoids writing about Area 51 or the testimony of Bob Lazar who claims to have seen a flying saucer in a hangar there, where American technicians were trying to reverse engineer it. He seems to regard the Majestic 12 documents as forgeries, but does not give us any reasons why (other than a lame comment about Truman's signature). He does not deal with the obvious government cover-up of information relating to UFO sightings. None of these failures invalidate his main ideas, but we are left with an incomplete picture of the "what" and the "why" of UFOs. But maybe that just proves Wilson's thesis that it is our endless searching for answers that will bring us to a higher state of consciousness.
Top international reviews
He really comes down to crack on the inconsistent, fabulous nature of "alien" sightings and synthesizing hundreds of accounts with philosophical and psychological theories, as well as some cheeky quantum physics here and there, he comes to an unexpected conclusion in the last chapter.
As an aside, I have to say that for what was a very small cost the book was in excellent condition. All, in all, very much value for money.