The Only UAP Photos I’ve Ever Taken, Part 1

In the 1970’s I was still under the thrall of my family’s very own “orgone guru,” the late, absolutely bonkers Austrian Freudian psychiatrist Dr. Wihelm Reich. I lent what skills I had to proving to skeptics that “orgone energy,” which I really can’t explain here except to say that it explains EVERYTHING, existed, could be measured and, possibly, photographed with the appropriate equipment, filters and film.

Thus it was I found myself working with D. Richard A. Blasband, one of the last orgonomists to be trained by Reich, a rather humorless man in his mid-40’s who had established an ergonomically-correct (no fluorescent lights, not near a nuclear power plant, etc.) laboratory in the countryside outside Doylestown, Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

The thing that made Blasband interesting was that he had constructed a “cloudbuster,” a purported weather-control device with which Reich claimed he had made it rain in the Arizona desert, among other achievements. You can see something like it in the Kate Bush/Donald Sutherland video “Cloudbusting,” but that’s sort of the Terry Gilliam version of one; Reich’s, as you can see, was much less complicated! (The photo is uncredited and in the public domain.)

The Mad Scientist with his Weather Machine

Basically this isn’t a machine at all, as it has no obvious energy input, and you can only detect the output if you are a sufficiently “open” or “sensitive” or “unarmored” or “orgastically potent,” which all are ways of saying you’ve paid some Reichian therapist (they drift rather far afield, these days, from what Reich wrote) a lot of dead presidents to treat the chronic muscular tensions that are the root of all your neuroses, psychoses, repressed desire to kill/fuck your mother/father/poodle/FFA project or whatever is bothering you.

The cloudbuster’s nothing but a bunch of telescoping aluminum tubes on a gimbaled axis that allows it to be swung and aimed at any point of the sky, preferably from the horizon to the zenith. The tubes, in turn, are, by Reichian logic, grounded by connecting them to a body of water (running is best) with flexible metal BX cable that has been wrapped in adhesive cloth tape. The theory is that the cloud buster will then “draw” the orgone energy from the sky to the body of water, and, depending on how you manipulate it, make all the clouds in the vicinity of where you point it either grow, or shrink.

(Hey, clouds are either doing one or the other, so you’re bound to win, right?)

With this contraption, Reich’s heirs (Such as Charles Kelly, James Trevor Constable, Blasband et. al., claim to be able to do wondrous things such as change the path of mighty hurricanes by influencing the Earth’s “orgone energy envelope,” which is the force that controls hurricanes, natch.

(Hey, it’s Reichian physics, the less objective sense it makes, the greater its appeal!)

Let’s get one thing straight: Reich was trained as an M.D. and a psychiatrist, and that’s what he should have stuck with. His fascination with the microscope and his discovery of the “bions” (basic units of life) was the beginning of his endless fall down the rabbit hole of his own ego. Just because a man has a couple of interesting social ideas or espouses an appealing philosophy or writes a textbook titled “Character Analysis” doesn’t mean he, himself, can’t be totally fooled by a slick, sadistic, pedophile quack psychiatrist named Dr. Albert Duvall, who will molest virtually all of his pediatric patients as well as break his Hippocratic and psychiatric oaths with his adult patients.

Dr. Albert Duvall, the serial pediatric sadist, with his cloud buster. Notice the pack of cigarettes in the shirt pocket. Duvall always stank of cigarettes.

Hmm, this piece is getting rather long, since I still have the original notes from the experiment, and the rather extensive analysis of the slides to refer to. Perhaps I should make this Part 1, and continue later in the day, it being 12:07 a.m.? Perhaps indeed.

Silver Shadows of the Past

It was so long ago that I still had a job reporting for the Charlotte Sun, which meant a regular paycheck (even if it was only a measly $9 per hour in 2003) and money in my pocket, free to burn if I wanted. I haven’t had that very often in my life, so it felt good, and I felt like indulging myself a bit.

I was in Port Charlotte, driving west on Edgewater Drive, a road that crosses US 41 to become Harborview Road (not to be confused with Harbor Drive, some miles further north). Harborview consists of a shopping center named Schoolyard Square and a bunch of run-down looking freestanding business, including the Sun. But the other side, Edgewater, holds some very nice, upper-middle class homes in addition to churches, and one of those homes happened to be holding a moving sale. So I pulled the truck over and went in.

A cursory inspection didn’t reveal any of the unusual or antique cameras I always hope to find at such sales, so I asked the lady who seemed to be running things if she had any.

“Cameras? No, we don’t take many pictures ourselves… you know, Christmas and 4th of July on the same roll? But we do have some old pictures,” she said, and pulled out these, in much the same condition as you see them now. “I don’t know where they came from, myself, but you can have them for, oh I don’t know, $12, if you want.”

I did, and I bought them all. Now, with some time on my hands, I have meticulously scanned and toned each one, to best restore the quality of the the original and redact the ravages of Grandfather Time.

The subjects in these photos, the people themselves, and the art of the photographers are on display, working as they had to with the cumbersome large-format cameras, plate films, slow lenses and limited light sources in the late 19th to early 20th Century. The pressures of war led to the development of new technologies: smaller, sharper cameras utilizing more sensitive films; coated lenses; Kodachrome and Agfachrome, the two original color films; and the electronic flash, developed by Harold E. “Doc” Edgerton at MIT. A flash Doc made for taking Army Air Force reconnaissance photos at low altitudes was so powerful, with a single discharge it could set fire to a sheet of newsprint held a yard away from the enormous flash tube!

Styles of photography changed, became more casual, and today? Today we have cameras built into our phones, and phones built into our cameras. Color is compulsory, B&W optional. Flash tubes are now smaller than the lenses that take the picture! Like sorcerers in some distorted dream, we send images flying through the ether, to land continents away, or be as wildly distorted as any vision in a nightmare. And it’s all so easy and automatic, we don’t even have to think about it!

Well, remember those days, because these days are built on them. The cell phone in your pocket has its camera because photography exploited the demand for what had once been obtainable only to nobility, the personal portrait. Here they are, and I would like to know: Of all the photo studios named here, have any survived into the 21st Century?

I wonder.

The Fountains

by Malcolm J. Brenner

If I could reach inside and staunch the flow

of pain that wells like fountains from your heart,

the angry ghosts that wander to and fro’

and drive the wedge that forces us apart

would cease, their restless ramblings finished.

Bright beams, the warmth of rich brown earth

would bind those wounded spirits, and as your pain diminished

the fountains that so fiercely vent and flow

would dwindle to a babbling limpid brook

where, by sighing willows birds call home

we’d bide a while and live our lives unbound

by what those chilly phantoms hid, or took.

– For Vera

Written October, 1995/Recovered from memory May 29, 2020 © Malcolm J. Brenner

Please address requests for reprint rights to the author, address at malcolmbrenner.com

 

A New (Old) Interview, from 2019

greyscale dolphin
Photo by Valeriia Miller on Pexels.com

CAUTION: AUTHENTIC LANGUAGE EMPLOYED HERE! SENSITIVE SNOWFLAKES, YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

https://medium.com/@benderbbender/an-interview-with-malcolm-brenner-1361a95dc40a 

It’s a good interview, wherein I get the chance to discuss some of the DoS attacks against me after the Bubba the Love Sponge interview in 2011. And Mr. Bender showed a lot of sympathy, or at least empathy, with me as a zoophile.

As he points out, I’ve inadvertently become the poster child for zoophilia! When I’ve NEVER advocated it as a way of life, simply for some tolerance, and a new view of animals as something other than victims.

Well, better me than “Mark Matthews,” right? At least I can write, and I had the good sense to tell my story as a novel!

View at Medium.com

 

 

 

 

John C. Lilly Interview, Part 2: “Your god isn’t big enough!”

Lilly2B
Dr. John C. Lilly has dolphins on his mind. Project JANUS is an attempt at interspecies talk.

John C. Lilly Interview, Part 2, Future Life, August 1980

In Part 1, Lilly described early work with the sensory isolation tank that led to his interest in the dolphin mind, and his attempt to bridge the human-dolphin communications gap with (then-current) high speed computers, Project JANUS. Here, he continues to describe the project.

MB: So you don’t anticipate nearly as much trouble on the dolphins part as it would be to phonate in air, as you were doing earlier?

JL: Oh no, this is all underwater. Though they have started to phonate in air, mimicking JANUS’s output. Apparently they’re eager to learn.

MB: Have you received widespread public support for Project JANUS?

JL: Enough. We’ve always had just enough money to keep going, never too much. I’m glad we didn’t have too much. I found out long ago that if there’s too much money available for something, all sorts of people move in on it and waste time. If you have just enough to go on, you eliminate all the people that aren’t really dedicated to it, because they feel they can’t afford to stay in it, and they can’t. So the people left in the JANUS Project are the people who feel they can afford do sacrifice large salaries and affluent living just to be able to do this program.

MB: One question raised by Ian Watson’s novel The Jonah Kit is whether there might not be dangers in interspecies communication, specifically dangers for the dolphins in contact with the alien human mind. Look at the history of slavery, or the American Indians, for instance; take away their food source and their land, their power base, and you render them ineffectual. lMight we not “ghettoize” the dolphins, the way we have other human races?

JL: Well, there’s quite a difference, isn’t there? There’s a limited territory on the land; and land is only 29 percent of the total surface of the planet, and of that only 10 percent is inhabited by humans. So humans take up only 2.9 percent of the planet, and of that 2.9 percent there are very stringent requirements for survival of people. You have to have agriculture and manufacturing and so on for human survival. When you contrast that with the 71 percent of the of the planet that is inhabited by cetaceans, you have a freedom of territory — or a lack of territory, more like it — freedom of travel — that none of the terrestrial mammals have ever had. It’s an entirely different universe, so there’s no way to compare it with restrictive human depredations on humans and territorial aspects. The whole territorial concept kind of disappears.

MB: Yes, but obvious our pollution of the sea must represent a threat to their existence. The whole problem with the dolphin kills at Iki, Japan, comes from the fact that the northern waters got pollute, forcing those populations south. Could the day come when the sea w9ill no longer support dolphins, and they’ll be dependent on humans for their existence?

JL: I don’t know. I don’t have the global view yet. I think we’re overrating our abilities to pollute the oceans. Once we thought the oceans were an infinite sink for all our wastes. Local effects, yes. Off large cities with huge manufacturing and all that, you can poison the fish with mercury, but it’s still a very shore-based view of the oceans; an ocean is a big place. You just fly across the Pacific from here to New Zealand and look at all that water! I think it’s rather egomaniacal to think we can influence that very much, especially if we can get our awareness up to the dangers of certain kinds of chemicals and reduce that. I go along with one of the biologists, John D. Isaacs, who was writing about so-called “pollution.” What are our concepts of pollution? One of them is sewage. I’m not talking about industrial waste, now; I’m talking about human shit. What is it? Mainly a culture of Escherichia coli, the colon bacillus, and according to the biological view the colon bacillus is a universal symbiotic inhabiting the colons of all mammals. Now, whales and dolphins all shit in the sea; the colon bacillus seems to be one of the basic substratum for the perpetuation of life. So you can look at it not as a contaminant, but as a substrate for the building up of bacteria, of protozoans, plankton, krill and hence, finally of multicellular life such as mammals. So if you look and a much more thoroughly biological viewpoint about the turnover of life on the planet, the colon bacillus is somewhere near the bottom of it, and is essential.

To people who like clean bathrooms, and don’t like shit around, and object to other people throwing it around, this may sound like a radical point of view, but it isn’t; it’s basically scientifically correct as far as I can make out. So when we confuse pollution with the whole basis of life, that shows how far away from nature we really are, and how far away from nature most of our knowledge is. The shore areas are where we know most because that’s where man is. I can’t speak for most of the sea. If you can get floating cities, and really look at the ecology, and get people who live at sea, not in the usual vessels we use to cross oceans, but the kind where you can live in intimate contact with the sea creatures, I think we’ll know a lot more. Farming the sea would be a much better way to approach it; encouraging the organisms that are essential to other organisms. The oxygen on the planet depends on it.  Somebody was saying the other day that three-quarters of the oxygen in the atmosphere is produced by photosynthetic organisms of the sea, as opposed to those on land, so the essential support of the atmosphere depends on the sea, for the absorption of carbon dioxide and the creation of oxygen which is necessary for all for of aerobic life. Of course, the anaerobes could take over, as they do in a stagnant lake…

MB: You have observed that the dolphins seem to be a as interested in communicating with us as we are with them. Do you think that, in the future, they will be interested in cooperating to help us run the planet?

JL: Well, that’s a question I’ve stopped asking. There are lots of questions I’ve stopped asking with the prospect of being able to ask them of the proper people — the dolphins and whales. At the time you open a new doorway, as we are hoping to do, you stop asking questions about what you’re going to find on the other side because you’re waiting to find it.

I don’t know that we’re bring enough to do this, to work out means of communicating with the dolphins; then after we work out the means, are we bright enough to understand an alien mind? I don’t know, but we’ll give it a good try. And hope that we get some really bright people who will exert their best efforts in this area. Not just in our group. I think orcas are going to be very interesting…

MB: There are reports of unusual psychic experiences with dolphins., are you investigating those avenues of communication?

JL: Not at present; they’re not reliable enough. Nobody has yet worked out a way of giving good, solid demonstrations of network of mind, except through physical means of communication. This depends on your basic belief system about mind. Is mind a universal network all over the planet, of which we’re only vaguely aware, or is mind going from one isolated mind contained in a brain to another one? I have no way of making a choice. As I keep explaining to audiences that keep asking about ESP and mental telepathy, in the people I’ve come in contact with it’s either a “wild talent” without much discipline or it’s a mediumistic sort of thing. Whereas communication by sound is universal in both our species, and if we can work out the proper means, anyone can use the method.

MB: Has the work of any science fiction authors influenced you in any way?

JL: When I was doing the early tank work, I began to look for people who had the freedom and imagination I was finding. And people like Olaf Stapleton and Frank Herbert were obviously getting into the same realms of thinking and experience that I was already in. So I used them as examples. Herbert’s now on the Board of Advisors of the Human-Dolphin Foundation. I also asked the staff of Project JANUS to go see the movie Alien, because it presented such an alien alien. Something utterly un-human. (Nothing like a dolphin, of course.)

MB: Then you find yourself on common ground with certain science fiction authors?

JL: I don’t know what “common ground” means, we’ve been talking about infinities! Openness to new domains is more like it. In The Star Maker I felt Stapleton had finally gotten a god that was big enough. Like the old story about the minister and the astronomer. The astronomer is showing the minister the Andromeda Galaxy, and the minister looks up from the telescope and says, “Now doesn’t that prove the existence of God?”

And the astronomer says, “That’s not the problem. The problem is, your god isn’t big enough!” Stapleton’s god was big enough.

MB: What is your dream or hope for the future of interspecies communication?

JL: To get it going…

(The End)

###

(The opinions expressed here are those of the respective parties, and publication of this interview doesn’t necessarily mean endorsement of those opinions.)

Not to boast, but Lilly later told me he thought this was the best interview anyone had done with him. I felt very proud hearing that!

John C. Lilly, a fascinating combination of characteristics, had the mind of a scientist, the heart of a mystic and the vision of a genius. Unfortunately, it never really came together.

 Ric O’Barry, Behind the Dolphin Smile, 1988

Read Part I here

Best Interview Yet?

So this guy named Dan Schneider — aw fuck, why tell the story over again, when he’s already done it?

From: “cosmoeticalist .” <cosmoeticalist@gmail.com>
To: malcolmb2@centurylink.net
Sent: Sunday, April 12, 2020 2:33:57 PM
Subject: Interview Request: Malcolm Brenner

My name is Dan Schneider and I am the founder and owner of the popular and influential arts website Cosmoetica. Here is a link: http://www.cosmoetica.com/. I have a Youtube series that interviews individuals and panels of people on the arts and sciences, called the Dan Schneider Video Interview: https://www.youtube.com/user/cosmoetica. My interviews provide depth that harkens back to the days of David Susskind, Dick Cavett, WF Buckley, and Phil Donahue.

I recently discovered your videos and find your range of topics interesting- from zoophilia to psi to orgone. I have interviewed many academics, artists, theologians, and sometimes people with views outside the mainstream. If nothing else, your life seems to have been a varied and interesting one, and that wd be the focus- who you are, your beliefs, and so forth. This wd be a serious interview, and not some goof.

I am a great interviewer, and if you look thru some earlier shows you’ll see I get the the core of an issue like no one else.

Cosmoetica will go down as one of the most influential websites from the early Internet years, and easily the most influential in the arts. I hope you agree to be interviewed. If you agree, I can get things ready. The interviews require a good Internet connection, Skype on both ends- a free download, having a good webcam so we can see you, and my little recording device.

Please let me know if you would be interested in an interview. I think it might be mutually beneficial.

Thanks,

DAN

And my well-reasoned, calm, collected, rational reply:

Dear Mr. Dan,
A miracle!~ And on Easter, too! A podcaster who is interested in talking about something other than “sex with a dolphin”?? YES! Yes, I’ll do your show even if I have to run kite string from wherever you are to my house with tin cans on both ends so we can talk!
Actually I have an old but effective iMac, use Skype, and have recently received a superb Blue microphone from my daughter Thea (pronounced TAY-ah), who is a large part of my success, at least since 1984. We have the same birthday, which is one of many odd coincidences in my life… but shit yeah man, I’ve been trying to get Bill Skywatcher at KGRA to put me on one of the paranormal shows he produces, so I can talk about what human-dolphin telepathy has to do with UFOs!
As to my beliefs, I’ll tell you straight up front, I try to avoid “beliefs,” because a belief is a defect in your knowledge with you fill in with a fantasy, and as a former reporter I prefer to deal with facts. That’s why the 3 books I’ve written are all autobiographical: I cannot as a writer come up with stranger or more fantastic stories that what has really happened to me. (If that seems to conflict with the previous paragraph, both human-dolphin telepathy and UFOs are facts.)
Anyway yeah, let’s do this and let’s do it right, I did an interview a while ago that was really annoying, using a cheap pair of earbuds w/built in mic, and it sounded like MEGA-SHIT, but the bastard interviewer didn’t see fit to let me know that, so that’s an hour of my life wasted.
But yeah, I accept, where do I sign? — Malcolm

Now, I wouldn’t make you read all that nonsense without leading you further along the primrose path to more nonsense, would I?

WOULD I?

 

Or, if you’re the scholarly type and prefer to get it from an archive:

https://archive.org/details/dan-schneider-video-interview-280-malcom-j.-brenner-a-life

I must admit, I thought Dan was polishing his apple a bit, comparing himself to the great news interviewers of the 20th Century… and let me say this about that, he’s not an altogether modest guy.

But, he is the best interviewer I’ve spoke to so far, because he genuinely seemed interested in me as a person, rather than the punchline to a bad joke, like Howard Stern did (damned if I’ll link to him), or someone to be rude to, like Bubba the Love Sponge (him neither), or simply brainless questions like “Did it feel good?”

And that, strangely enough, is important to me; not approval of what I am, but simply acknowledgement that I exist as I do for certain reasons, which Dan gave me a chance to explain. And for that, I thank him.

What also endeared him to me is that he records his shows in 22-minute segments, for some reason (that’s the space allotted them on his HD?), and after recording the second segment, he somehow managed to lose it entirely while trying to save it.

He made an attempt at an apology — what can, after all, one say, given the volatility of digital media? — which I graciously accepted, and we re-recorded (you can say “retaped” if you want, but you date yourself to the 20th Century and its technology) the segment, but the reason this accident was so endearing is I thought things like this only happened to me!

Seriously, I did. Hm. That makes me also remember the press photographer I knew who shot a whole assignment without having a memory card in his camera… but that was long ago, when I worked in the press. Perhaps I am not alone in screwing-up occasionally (see Wet Goddess: Recollections of a Dolphin Lover, Ch. 4, “Fatally Fogged Film,” which describes in detail the procedures required to load and safely unload film from the Jacques Cousteau-designed, Nikon-manufactured Nikonos underwater 35mm camera, and how I managed to defeat them while perfectly straight).

I might warn you that my sound is a bit dodgy, because I think I had the gain on the mic turned up too high, and the earbuds I was wearing down too low. So the beautiful, expensive Blue Yeti mic my daughter sent me isn’t responsible. As the HAL 9000 computer said in 2001: A Space Odyssey“I’m sorry, Dave, but this appears to be a case of operator error.” I intend to recalibrate the settings and try again, the next time someone wants to talk to me.

I’m glad you’re reading this, because while you are, I know you’re not here, filling the air around me with deadly viruses! And President Bonespurs is wrong, as usual: the way the coronavirus is being spread isn’t a conspiracy by the diabolical Chinese, it’s a plot by the Stupid People. They’re trying hard to commit suicide, and they’re willing to take Grandma with them, if that’s what it takes! Hey, it was her time!

###

Interview: John C. Lilly, M.D. (Part 1)

ch29#1

“YOUR GOD ISN’T BIG ENOUGH:”
An Interview with John C. Lilly

By MALCOLM J. BRENNER, FUTURE LIFE #20, August 1980

John Cunningham Lilly is that rare breed of scientist willing to talk openly about his belief in God—or, more precisely, his belief in his mind’s ability to simulate God with a reasonable degree of accuracy. An M.D. with psychiatric training, Lilly is best known for his sometimes controversial research on interspecies communications with bottlenose dolphins, a study he’s pursued for over 25 years (Man and Dolphin, Mind of the Dolphin, Lilly on Dolphins, Communication Between Man and Dolphin).

A self-described “permissionary” possessed of a sometimes dangerously insatiable curiosity about the workings of the human mind, Lilly has also immersed himself in sensory isolation tanks (Programming and Metaprogramming in the Human Biocomputer, The Deep Self), experimented with hallucinogens and Sufi mysticism (Center of the Cyclone), deep dyadic relationships (The Dyadic Cyclone with Antoinette Lilly), and explored the fringes of his own consciousness in The Scientist, a “novel autobiography. ” With Antoinette Oshman Lilly, his wife, partner and “soulmate,” he has started the Human-Dolphin Foundation headquartered in Malibu, CA.

Lilly is currently conducting tests at a California oceanarium on a new computer program designed to overcome the difficulties of human-dolphin communication, Project JANUS (Joint Analog-Numerical Understanding System). Dr. Lilly was interviewed during the Second Annual Mind Miraculous Symposium of the Church of Religious Science in Seattle.

MB: How did the sensory isolation tank work you did at the National Institute of Mental Health in the early ’50s lead you to the dolphins?
JL: I began that work at the National Institute of Mental Health, just wondering what would happen if you freed yourself up from a lot of external stimulation, and lowered all the inputs to the lowest possible level; what would happen to your mind under those conditions? It was just curiosity, just that sort of extracurricular activity one does in one’s general research; they didn’t even know I was doing it on my own time. I was working on monkey brains, and I’d go off to the tank and come back to the lab with a different perspective.

When they got wind of this, they asked me to get deeper into it. I was floating around in the tank in 1954 and started wondering about these things. I was beginning to find that my freedom of thinking was immensely increased, freed up from the necessity of temperature and gravity and light and sound and all that. There was this huge freedom of imagination, of experiencing things inside, which isn’t there any other way that I know of. And I was just wondering whether there wasn’t somebody floating around 24 hours a day their whole life who might be experiencing this all the time, and who would consider it absolutely normal.

So I began to talk to various people about dolphins, Pete Scholander and various others, and got interested. And then the brain thing came in, looking at their brains, seeing if the substrate for mind was there. And it was.
MB: When you were doing that early tank work, did you have any of the type of apparent “contact” experiences with other civilizations or creatures from other planets or dolphins you wrote about in Center of the Cyclone?
JL: No, there was a period there from ’54 to ’58, when I left NIMH, where the dolphin work and the tank work were overlapping. I began to see that the dimensions of mind were far greater than I’d been assuming they were, and were assumed by psychiatrists and psychologists. And I didn’t own up to it at the time it was happening. I didn’t own up to it until I was free to set up a tank in the Virgin Islands without all this government support and financing.

In fact, none of the tank work was ever directly supported by government grants; it was all done extra-curricularly. And I didn’t realize how important it was until I began to see how my thinking was changing as a consequence of these experiences, and the kind of vastness of the whole business. The mysteries of the mind… I was really immersed in them. And I began to see that the dolphin mind was probably far greater than our consensus reality allowed our minds to be. That’s why I want to communicate.
MB: In the early ’60s, you got a lot of publicity from media like Life and Newsweek, and there was a big surge of interest in the possibility of interspecies communications with dolphins. Did that make your work more difficult? Did it make other scientists more skeptical of you because you’d “gone public” before your results were confirmed?
JL: That was unplanned; the results began to come out in sources like The Journal of Acoustical Research & Engineering, and the media got interested. They were reporting on what we were doing; we weren’t seeking them. Now, as to what you mean by “other scientists,” I don’t know.
MB: Other marine mammalogists.
JL: Well, I’m not a marine mammalogist. Never have been. I’ve never been a cetologist or a delphinologist in the narrow sense that those people call themselves. I’ve never approached dolphins that way; I’ve always approached them from the standpoint of mind. They won’t even assume dolphins have a mind, so right off the bat we’re in entirely different domains of discourse. I’ve never felt that conflict they’ve felt; it’s their conflict, not mine.

MB: Between the period in 1968 when you released your dolphins and the beginning of Project JANUS, did you get discouraged about your dolphin research?

JL: Well, the time wasn’t right. The computers weren’t fast enough, small enough, and didn’t have large enough memories to do the job I wanted them to do.
MB: Between Aristotle in 350 B.C. and the resurgence of dolphin interest in the ’50s, due largely to your work, we have a terrible gap in our curiosity about these creatures. Why? How did we lose that closeness with the dolphins that the Greeks and some other ancient peoples had?

JL: The Mediterranean was much warmer in the time of the ancient Greeks, and they were much closer to the sea. And Aristotle was, I think, a kind of observing genius who got in contact with fishermen and people who were in close contact with the dolphins. And they must have had dolphins in captivity, caught in shallow pools or something like that, and they just were free with them, spoke to the dolphins, and the dolphins spoke back. It was this intimate contact, which we reproduced in experiments back in the ’50s and ’60s, which led to Project JANUS. In the modern oceanaria there isn’t much of this. It’s beginning, but it’s not there yet.
It’s shallow-water intimacy with the dolphins. Humans in deep water are pretty ineffective; dolphins in extremely shallow water are pretty ineffective, but you have to balance those two things together, and I think that just by chance the Greeks did that.
If you follow the history of humans since then, they got away from that, away from the sea. They stuck to deep water when they went to sea, and this tidepool thing just disappeared. The whole attitude—the belief systems and so on—were counter to it. The Jewish-Christian-Muslim ethic took over, and we totally moved away from that free-floating thing the Greeks had. The interest in dolphins as reincarnated humans and all that disappeared.
MB: One point Robin Brown makes in his book The Lure of the Dolphin is that, in terms of their morals and their scruples, the Greeks actually placed the dolphins above their own gods! One can detect a lot of the same thing in your writings—that there is a morality in the dolphins that prevents them from harming humans, under most circumstances.

JL: Ethics. It’s taught. The Greeks worshipped dolphins; they had a dolphin cult. Temples to them were found in the Negeb desert in Jordan, for instance. It was a very, very different socialized belief system which disappeared. And the modern point of view, which we started going after, was just sort of empirical approaches to them based on all sorts of considerations the Greeks didn’t have, such as their large brains, their behavior in captivity—those sorts of things.
MB: Do you think the Greeks kept dolphins in captivity for religious purposes?
JL: Yeah, I think that the original Delphic oracle, before the gal who was breathing vapors from a vent in a volcano, was probably a seaside thing that was never written up, in which certain people began to use dolphins speaking in air as oracles—spiracle oracles, you might say. But that’s speculation.
MB: You said earlier that you weren’t expecting a “breakthrough ” at this stage of Project JANUS. Is it fair to ask what you are expecting?
JL: A lot of hard work, one step after the other. For a while we’re going to have to be really restrictive, because it’s going to be a lot of hard work by a very few people. It’ll be a while before we can get our feet on the… get our feet wet. We don’t talk about “getting our feet on the ground’’ any more.
MB: What level of communication do you think you can achieve with the equipment you now have?
JL: I don’t know; that’s open-ended. Imagine starting out with humans, say, somebody that didn’t know your language, with the JANUS program. Now, in the JANUS software there is a program which chooses alternate tables of frequencies; one for the dolphins, based on their frequency discrimination curve, and one for humans, based on ours, and we’ve been working with humans on this. Turns out that there are new gestalts that develop. For instance, if you type H-E-L-L-O and activate JANUS, it comes back with the frequency for H, and the frequency for E, the frequency for L, and repeats it, and the frequency for O. This makes a little tune. And that word has been used so many times around the lab that everybody knows when the computer’s saying “hello!”
MB: Like the tones on a touch-tone phone?
JL: No, it’s not, because the touch-tone phone is designed so you can’t do that. Each button has two tones, so a pure tone won’t affect it; they’re fouling you up on that. It doesn’t have the clarity it would if they were pure sine waves. The basic idea is quite different, actually. What does the phone have—12 buttons?—of which we only use 10 for normal dialing. And we have 48 buttons, each one of which gives you pure sine waves, and each of which you can remember, without trying to untangle multiple frequencies. So you’re hearing pure tones the way you would keying a synthesizer with only one oscillator instead of three.
MB: But you type in ”hello” and what comes out is a characteristic tune?
JL: A gestalt, right. An easily recognizable acoustic gestalt. It looks as though we will be doing a very peculiar job, which reminds me of Herman Hesse’s Bead Game in Magister Ludi, in which they’re combining mathematics, logic and music in a very complex game. And that’s what we’re doing, really—developing a whole new vocabulary in the acoustic sphere which is representable by ordinary typewriter script. John Klemmer came up and started playing with it, and he wants to write music this way. So now you can type out music on an ordinary typewriter. For instance, we worked out what that theme they used in Close Encounters of the Third Kind means, where they start communicating with the aliens. You have these five notes. Well, it turns out that on the JANUS program those are S, U, Q, B and K.
MB: Not much of a message…
JL: Yes it is, because anybody who’s seen CE3K recognizes it instantly. So you’ve got all these new degrees of freedom in the acoustic versus the symbolic typing. For instance, we can type out a very long message on JANUS, put it through a phone line, bring it back into JANUS, and JANUS will type out what those sounds mean.
MB: Why did you decide on a computer system, rather than a frequency-shifting real-time vocoder, as described in Mind of the Dolphin?
JL: I wanted a system that is more easily, reliably reproducible than a human talking.
MB: Punch a key on the computer and you always get the same sound out the other side?
JL: Right. It’s an elementary approach where you have a chance of learning new things about the dolphins’ perceptual systems. Then you can eventually design something that’s much more sophisticated, based on the basics you discover with this approach.

It’s what you might call a survey apparatus. You’ve got a general purpose computer you can reprogram; general purpose interfaces you can reprogram through the computer so the voice can be reprogrammed, the ear can be reprogrammed. So you can try different approaches. We’re initially starting with pure sine waves as the output to the dolphins, from about 3,000 to 40,000 Hz., and varying the duration. We’ve had to modify our initial guesses to match their frequency-discrimination curve a little better. We may then add clicks, continuous FM whistles and tones.
This is just the initiation, the opening-up of the whole field. JANUS is the first system that has total round-trip feedback, where the computer has a voice and ears, instead of dictating to the dolphins, as some other researchers are doing. They ignore what the dolphins have to say, mainly because they don’t have the sophisticated approaches that allow the computer to hear and interpret the sounds.
MB: Will the computer have a memory system that will allow it to build up a vocabulary of dolphin sounds?
JL: Not initially, though we will be building that up through the transitional symbolic vocabulary. We’re starting with 48 symbols, which is a sufficiently large population so we can get a large number of different strings. English has 44 phonemes in it. That should appeal to the dolphins; they like long strings and complex strings, a great variety of sound. And we’re covering their frequency-discrimination curve where they’re best at it, the way English covers the human curve.
MB: So the objective of JANUS is to set up an intermediary language between humans and dolphins?
JL: Yeah. Now language… we’ve set up a code system to develop any number of languages, and we’ve tried to arrive at a reproducible standardized system, which you can’t do with a vocoder, because of the variations in individual voices… yet vocoders have degrees of freedom this doesn’t have. The vocoder will respond to different kinds of voices, and the dolphins will answer in different voices. But here, we’re requiring a rather narrow slot in performance on their part, which we can record and follow.

So at one end of the spectrum you have this rather rigid system we’ve devised, and at the other you have a somewhat more flexible system. We’ll probably meet in the middle somewhere, so there’s more flexibility and it’s more like a voice.
MB: Now, if I were a dolphin inputting into JANUS, would I have to input in the same pure sine wave tones JANUS puts out to me?
JL: Well, we had a gal who put a pair of headphones on—we used the human scale on this —and she had a Moog synthesizer, the keys on it marked like a typewriter, so you can tell just what you’re typing out. She was typing things in, listening to the tune, then singing it back into JANUS through a microphone. And she could make the transfer; she would type out words on the synthesizer, hear them, then with her own voice sing to JANUS, and JANUS would type out the same thing. But she’s an expert singer.
MB: So you don’t anticipate nearly as much trouble on the dolphins’ part as it would be to phonate in air, as you were doing earlier?

JL: Oh, no, this is all underwater. Though they have started to phonate in air, mimicking JANUS’s output. Apparently they’re eager to learn.

MB: Have you received widespread public support for Project JANUS?

JL: Enough. We’ve always had just enough.

###

Read Part 2

On the Subject of UFOs…

desert UFO

(ABOVE: Is it REALLY a flying saucer? Wouldn’t you like to know! But hey, doesn’t that sun flare look great?)

…Why schlep a bunch of water around the Universe, or between the Worlds?

I inherited my interest in “the dodgy subject of UFOs,” as Jimi Hendrix so aptly put it, from my father, the radar engineer. He was a fucking brilliant man who could sit down with a mechanical pencil, a slide rule, a couple of yellow legal pads, a pack of Camels and a bunch of reference books and design the electrical circuits for your radar set!

This is an intellectual feat of which I am utterly incapable. My mind just doesn’t work that way, and to my regret it never has. I am not that organized, numbers do not speak to me and I have trouble visualizing (my way of understanding) how electricity works. The differences between voltage, amperage and resistance elude me. My talents lie elsewhere, and they are not those of my father. I shoot better photos than he ever did, and I’ve written three books, pretty good books I’d say, one of which may outlive me, which he never presumed to do. I guess he had no stories of his own to tell. Mine are clawing through my chest to get out.

When I was very young, my father, having served honorably in the U.S. Army Signal Corps in World War II operating a radar unit on fucking Iwo Jima, as soon as the Marines got done cleaning it up, continued to work for the Army as a civilian after the war. He helped design the Missile Master, the first radar-guided, computer-controlled anti-aircraft missile system in the world, and this was when computers that were only four-bangers filled whole trailers with their vacuum tubes, and another trailer with the air-conditioning system required to keep the vacuum tubes from melting under their own heat.

His name was Millard Maxwell Brenner. It had been Cohen, but he and his younger brother, on the advice of his professors at MIT, changed it because they warned him that with a Jewish name like Cohen he’d never go anywhere in the electronics industry, no matter what his skills. My father was a realist; he didn’t have an axe to grind, and gave in to what then must have seemed like the inevitable. It wasn’t like the government wanted to tattoo a number on his arm, after all!

When I was about 5 I became aware that on his bookshelf there were a number of books about UFOs, which were a much more interesting subject in the 1950’s or 60’s than they were in the 1970’s or 80’s. These included Edward Ruppelt’s The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects, M. K. Jessup’s The Case For the UFO, and Sir Desmond Leslie and George Adamski’s rather more dubious Flying Saucers Have Landed, among others. And as I grew up I read them. My father had an open mind; he wouldn’t have been doing his job as a radar engineer if he hadn’t been interested in “angels,” as anomalous returns were then called. So he remained non-comittal about the subject, but he did acknowledge, years ahead of the scientific establishment, that the Universe was probably full of habitable planets and life. Earth, he assumed, must be run-of-the-mill for habitable planets; there probably wasn’t anything special about it, given the law of averages.

So that is how I came by my lifelong interest in the dodgy subject. I inherited it.

Most recently my thinking on the subject has evolved rather quickly, inspired by both the work of cybernetician and astronomer Jacques Vallee, and by the real-life events that led me to write my most recent novel, Mel-Khyor: An Interstellar Affair. Vallee is famous for having started his career as an associate of Dr. J. Allen Hynek, and writing his first two books in support of the extra-terrestrial hypothesis (ETH) as being the likely origin of the UFOs. That didn’t last long. He quickly developed not only a number of questions about the ETH, but a skeptical attitude toward the groups providing researchers with “channeled” information (expressed in the very memorable Passport to Magonia, which ought to be the title of a TV series based on Vallee’s life and investigations. You wouldn’t have to fictionalize it nearly as much as Project Blue Book does to Hynek’s!).

What Vallee had noticed was something that also attracted the attention of American folk-lorist and UFO researcher John Keel: The reported close encounter of the 3rd kind (CE3K) with a UFO was functionally identical to many of the tales of religious experiences, demonic encounters and visits to the land of the “shining people” or the Sidhi, as the Celts called them, one encounters in Medieval literature, and earlier writings. It raised a number of questions about the phenomenon and the encounter experience which the ETH utterly failed to answer. I will not detail them here, as Vallee has done a great job of that in his books.

This made a lot of sense, and up until 1993, when I met the woman I identify as “Susie Louise McGonagall” in Mel-Khyor, I was convinced that UFOs were as much paranormal as mechanical. Susie’s story of a crashed alien spaceship and its humanoid occupant, who was very much flesh-and-blood (to the point of having consensual sex with her several times during his stay), landed with a lot of weight, partially because I was familiar with the person who told it.

And, as the years passed and different opportunities presented themselves to check aspects of the story out, I did. The decision tree always broke in Susie’s favor, but I could never prove anything; I just couldn’t disprove it conclusively! Nothing ever contradicted her memory of events, and that story is told in Mel-Khyor. It is so much a nuts-and-bolts event (pardon the pun) that it seems to argue strongly for the extra-terrestrial hypothesis. So I found myself examining it in the light of Susie’s reported case, and the evidence for the origins of UFOs to be paranormal, or, more specifically, multi-dimensional. It may be that we are limited in what we can accept is “normal,” but I really doubt the existence of the supernatural. There are simply realms of nature with which we are as yet strikingly unfamiliar.

What do I mean by “multi-dimensional”? Nothing woo, nothing about “vibrations” or “higher awareness.” Time for some geometry! We inhabit what is commonly referred to as a 3-dimensional world, because you need a minimum of 3 coordinates to locate an event or object in space: width (X), height (Y), and depth (Z). But this description is incomplete, because our universe contains an extra dimension, but one in which our movement is restricted to one direction only!

I refer, of course, to TIME. You can’t leave that out of the description, because in addition to an object’s coordinates in space, you also have to mention when you’re talking about, because if you forget to specify what time, you end up in an episode of Dr. Who, where one time is as likely as any other!

So we seem to live in a 4-dimensional universe, but is time really an extra dimension? It has the unique property that it’s the only dimension in which we have no freedom of movement. Our trajectory, if not our destination, is determined at conception. We move from young to old, from life to death, from low entropy to high, from now ’till then. Perhaps time is not fully a dimension, but a fraction of a dimension intruding into the matter universe. One can imagine a creature that is as free to move about in time as we are in space, but as many science-fiction writers (notably Robert Silverberg, see The Masks of Time and Up the Line) have mined this vein to death, I’ll let it lie.

So when I write about a multi-dimensional being, I mean one from a universe where more than 4 reference points are needed to locate an object or event. That’s all… it sounds simple, but think about it for a moment. If you move a line at right angles to itself you get a plane, and if you move a plane at right angles for itself you get a cube. But how, in our space, do you move a cube at right angles to itself? It already has all the angles that fit in our universe!

I guess you move it in time, but I have no idea how to do that, other than waiting.

What does this have to do with higher dimensions? Just this: UFOs behave in our world not as if they were real objects, but as if they were merely 4-dimensional projections out of a higher dimensional world. As projections, they don’t have to obey the rules of our universe, just appear to at their discretion! They can accelerate instantly, decelerate the same, turn upside-down or any direction, shrink, expand, appear, disappear, change shape or penetrate solid matter because they have no mass, and no inertia. It is not until they choose to interact with us that they become “solid,” as we understand the term, i.e. where all the electron probability shells in all the atoms of this world remain intact when objects meet.

Because UFOs seem to have this ability of themselves, I believe humans are the victims of sleight-of-hand on a cosmic scale. Since the beginning of time we have been dealing with the occupants of the UFOs, in all their multi-species glory: the Annunaki and the Greek Gods, the Grays and the Nordics, the Reptoids and the Mantis Beings, etc. These sock puppets have distracted us from the real intelligence behind these multiple masks: THE VEHICLES, THE UFOS THEMSELVES!

Consider this: human beings and all life forms on Earth are made of protoplasm, and protoplasm is 70% water. Is protoplasm a good repository for memory? Well, until we developed electronic memory, it was all Nature could come up with! That doesn’t mean it’s ideal. Compared to solid-state memory, the central nervous system, brains and all, is delicate, over-designed, fussy, demanding, requires a complex support system (the body) and careful programmatic instruction (we call it education) to yield optimal results. Even when it’s operating right, it’s subject to subjectivity, the limitations of its evolved senses, environmental influences and distractions, disease, aging and ultimately death, if senility doesn’t wipe it out first.

Compared to solid state memory, hardly ideal.

So, if you are a race of beings with the power to control what we laughingly refer to as “reality” in all the ways the Visitors (to use Whitley Strieber’s term for them) do, it kind of begs the question:

WHY SCHLEP AROUND A BUNCH OF WATER, WHEN YOU CAN JUST SCHLEP AROUND ITS MEMORIES AND THE INFORMATION IN IT?

What we should assume, then, is that after we sight a UFO, any interaction with it occurs in an altered state of reality where the usual laws of physics appear to be suspended. But does this reality have to be our reality? Are abduction experiencers really transported through closed glass windows, even solid walls? Not if, like a stage magician, you don’t have to break the laws of physics if you can simply convince someone that you have.

This doesn’t mean that the Visitors are, in any sense of the word, unreal, or that the abduction experience is in any way distinguishable from a real event. “In the province of the mind, whatever one believes true either is true or becomes true, within certain limits. These limits are to be determined experimentally and experientially,” said Doctor John, the Night Tripper — I refer to Dr. John C. Lilly, M.D., of course, the bastard father of interspecies communications.

What it means is that any interaction with the UFO or its occupants can be interpreted as being manufactured on the spot to order. It’s the UFO itself that’s yanking our chain, not the aliens it disgorges. They’re just so much window dressing, like all the hangars, workshops, control rooms and operating rooms inside UFOs are. Whether they are real or not is a moot point in investigating the experience, because the abductee is convinced by the immediacy and weirdness of what she sees, hears and feels that everything is real, from the cold steel table under them to skinning their knuckles punching an alien jaw.

When the abduction event is over, the interior rooms disappear, and the Visitors themselves are debriefed and sucked back into the UFOs memory, to be recalled as necessary. Thus, the UFO can be entirely solid-state when traveling between stars, or when it interpenetrates our universe. The needs of a crew constructed of bone and protoplasm need not be considered, greatly simplifying the requirements of the vehicle-operator!

This realization, that UFOs are themselves a multi-dimensional solid-state intelligence capable of manifesting all the physical events of the UFO encounter or abduction experience (at least in such a way that the abductee is overwhelmed by them), is, I think, as far as I can carry my analysis. Having reduced the CE3K encounter to its simplest explanation, I can go no farther, unless some other idea comes to mind.

Well, there it is, but what does it mean? It means we can disregard the multiplicity of alien species appearing on our planet and look at the experience itself, on the common factors between all UFO encounters. Perhaps the use of lights, which UFOs use in the same manner as bioluminescent squids: to attract their prey! There is no reason why UFOs cannot approach someone without giving away their presence, as indeed they often do, but the colored lights hanging in the sky silently command our attention in a way nothing else can.

Where does this leave me with regards to Mel-Khyor? I’ve always said that in our observations of the UFO, we are probably confusing several phenomena, like really unusual ball lightning, sprites and cold plasmas, secret government black-ops recon projects, alien spaceships and perhaps even multi-dimensional beings. One hypothesis doesn’t rule out the others! Susie’s story about Mel-Khyor may be true, or it may be an elaboration or a complete fantasy, but if she made it up she was lucky, and struck the truth without meaning to an unusual amount of times.

I think this elaboration gives us a handle to understand CE3K events, and especially the abduction event, in a new light. Once we accept the established fact that the UFO itself represents an intrusion on our reality, it becomes wise to carry the thought to its logical conclusion, which is what I’ve tried to do. I hope I’ve made myself clear, even though my expression of the ideas here is somewhat clunky or clumsy… if I had more time, I would have made it shorter!

Have a nice day, keep one alligator length apart for social distancing, and, in the immortal words of Kevin McCarthy in 1956’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers, KEEP WATCHING THE SKIES!”

(Oh, and that photo at the top of the article? It’s a Frisbee I painted silver and threw in the desert with one hand while I snapped the camera with the other. Sorry, when I get a picture of a real UFO, you’ll be the first to know it!)

Who Do You Trust?

Prologue

(Photo: Dolly, a dolphin I once knew, and yes, I mean that in the Biblical sense.)

{Photo © 2011 by Malcolm J. Brenner. All rights reserved.}

An Essay at the Request of the

Beautiful Cadaver Project of Pittsburgh,

but it was rejected for the anthology because “it didn’t fit with the other pieces.” Gee, I wonder why?

[As it turns out, I can only find this, for some reason, in .pdf format for now, and since I don’t have a .pdf >.txt converter, let me try this.]

Who Do You Trust

If you’ve got an opinion about this piece, I’d really like to hear it. It challenges what it means to be human! Please leave a comment. Thanks.

Dropped

surrender
I give up!

The Holroyds, that brother-sister UK couple who wrote The Perfect Pair trilogy, just sent me a “Dear John” letter.

For those of you unfamiliar with the lingo of WWII GI’s, a Dear John letter was a letter from your girl friend telling you what a great guy you are, and how she’s glad you’re defending her freedom, but while you were overseas fighting The Hun or The Yellow Menace or The Gooks, she met this really nice guy who isn’t being drafted because he has bone spurs, and now he takes her to tennis matches in his convertible…

…in other words, blowing you off. Well, that’s what the Holroyds’ have done, when they realized I’m really a ZOOPHILE.

Just for the record, the New Oxford American Dictionary defines a zoophile as “A person who is sexually attracted to animals.” Yeah, that’s me. I’ve been married twice, mostly successfully (I’m sure my daughter would like to think so), because I was able to expand my definition of acceptable partners to include women, the human species of female that comes into season more often than any other mammal on Earth.

In addition to having nice, smooth skin free of fur or bristles, women can drive cars (despite what they say in Saudi Arabia), raise children (often with a man’s help), balance check books (some of them) and perform other useful household functions that will puzzle a dog or even a cat. Don’t leave home without one!

I don’t go out of the way to advertise the fact that I’m a zoophile, but I don’t try to hide it either, because I’m lousy at lying, hiding or disguising anything. I wear my heart on my sleeve, where it belongs.

I also could fault the Holroyds for not reading Wet Goddess, or watching Dolphin Lover before they adopted me to carry their standard, but what’s the point? It’s kind of moot, now. They need me like another hole in the head.

I never figure on being a professional outcast.