Hick Alert

UFO Abductions? Wilber, a philosopher of consciousness, has his doubts

| November/December 1999

UFO abductions. I saw John Mack on a talk show with several 'abductees.' It was painfully obvious what was happening. These people had all been 'abducted,' given a physical exam, subjected to the ubiquitous anal probe, and had sperm or ovum collected from them. And then--this was the primal scene, the dark heart of the hallucination--they had been shown their sons and daughters, produced by a cross-fertilization between their sperm/ovum and the aliens'. These people, in other words, were the fathers and mothers of the new race that would populate the Earth. And right there the staggering narcissism becomes perhaps too obvious. I really don't mean to be cruel, but you keep thinking, If these folks are the parents of the new race, we're in deep trouble. . . .

The giveaway, as usual, is the narcissism. The comedian Dennis Miller nailed it: 'Only man is a narcissistic enough species to think that a highly evolved alien life force would travel across billions and billions of light-years--a group of aliens so intelligent, so insouciant, so utterly above it all, they feel no need whatsoever to equip their spacecraft with windows so that they can gaze out on all that celestial beauty--but then immediately upon landing, their first impulse is to get in some hick's ass with a flashlight.'

What do people really want when they think about UFOs? What are they yearning for at the thought of something extraterrestrial? Why, they want something bigger than themselves. They want to know that, in the entire, wild, extraordinary Kosmos, there is something other than their meager egos.

Well, there is.