E tu, ET?

What's behind increasing interest in alien communication?

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Move over, Carl Sagan. While his Project SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) passively scans skies for unusual radio frequencies, SWAT teams from North Carolina emergency room MD Steven Greer's CSETI (Center for the Study of Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) are aggressively initiating contact with aliens. Whenever, wherever, UFO sitings reveal a 'window' to aliens, CSETI teams arrive, flashing ultra-bright lights, broadcasting tones, and beaming good vibes.

Skeptical? Then read Greer's defense in Keith Thompson's spellbinding Yoga Journal (July/Aug. 1995) account. In Tennessee ('91), Florida ('92), and Mexico ('93), UFOs winged toward the team, blinking back in patterned response. And because of such efforts, Greer predicts that in five years human/ET contact will confirm his notion that aliens want to be our friends.

Thompson, whose extensive UFO research culminated in Angels and Aliens: UFOs and the Mythic Imagination (Addison-Wesley,$12), also believes the time is ripe to investigate 'windows.' But he sees rising UFO interest as synchronous with the current fascination with angelic visitations, near-death experiences, shamanic journeys, and age-old figures like Celtic elves and Indian tricksters. Where CSETI sees ETs, Thompson envisions some contact with 'an unexplained source of energy in their [UFO fans] physical and psychic environment.'

In other words, there's something out there, but it probably isn't actual space creatures who, notes Thompson wryly, 'speak the native tongue of every nation they visit.' Others believe UFO sitings are also symbolic, 'more akin to a cosmic educational program to expand humanity's sense of the possible,' as Jason Keehn writes in his Brain/Mind Bulletin (May 1995) review of Zen in the Art of Close Encounters (New Being Project).



But what if Greer's right that there's a quasi-governmental multinational group that has incontrovertible proof of UFO contact -- info that CSETI-like groups are dying to have unveiled. As Thompson notes, government cover-ups of important information are not unprecedented.

If such revelations occur, many earthlings will nod, 'I told you so.' These believers network, appropriately, in the etherworld of online, in spots where ET wannabe friends can learn such basics as '10 things you can do if you encounter a UFO' -- stay calm, document everything, don't touch anything they've left behind, and report it. But even then, will you be believed? Should you?