Sunday, November 8, 2015

New book alert - "Illuminations."

Hi all,

I have just been reading a book about a very different approach to the subject of UAP. Author Eric Ouellet has written a book titled "Illuminations: The UFO Experience as a Parapsychological Event." The work is published by Anomalist Books, San Antonio, Texas, USA; ISBN 978-1-938 398 537.

Image courtesy Amazon Books
The Author

"Eric Ouellet is a professor of military sociology with the Royal Military College of Canada, and he is Head of the Department of  Defence Studies at the Canadian Forces College in Toronto...He is a professional member of the Parapsychological Association...he graduated with a PhD in Sociology from York University in Toronto."


Ouellet argues that "...since the early days of the modern UFO phenomenon...we have been stuck between two untenable alternatives: they are either aliens from another planet (or dimension), or they are all misperceptions...The enigma persists mainly because of another problem. Only a few of those who are seriously studying UFOs are willing to look at alternate approaches." (p.1.)

"This book proposes a way out of this situation...It proposes that UFOs are parapsychological phenomena." (p.2.)

Chapter one

This chapter reviews "What is known about UFOs." "UFOs tend to have electromagnetic properties." (p.16.)

Ouellet reviews the work of John Keel; Jacques Vallee; Paul Devereux; Michael Persinger and Albert Budden,in this area. Noting the elusive nature of UFO physical evidence, the author closes by noting that "A small number of UFO researchers have actually advocated since the late 1960's that the UFO phenomenon could be paranormal events. " (p.24.)

Chapter two

Here the author takes a look at what various researchers have noted about UFOs  and paranormal events. He cites the psychoanalysts Carl Jung "...eventually concluded that UFOs are probably shaped mental images triggered by socially stored anxieties." (p.26.) He remarks that Jacques Vallee "...came to believe that the UFO experience might indeed be a paranormal or parapsychological phenomenon." (p.27.)

On the topic of John Keel, "...led him to think that the UFO phenomenon was difficult to distinguish from the paranormal." (p.28.) He goes on to note that  "Scott Rogo, one of the very few parapsychologists who seriously studied UFO phenomenon, also found a number of parallels between the UFO experience and the poltergeist disturbances." (p.29.)

Also mentioned are the views of Pierre Vieroudy; Bertrand Meheust; Jenny Randles; Berthold Schwartz and Manfred Cassirer.

Chapter three

Ouellet opens with an important differentiation. "This book is based on what I called the 'parapsychological hypothesis" which I wish to distinguish from the paranormal hypothesis regarding the origin of the UFO phenomenon." (p.34.)

The author elaborates "...the parapsychological hypothesis on UFOs does not incorporate any notions that UFOs are related to "dimensional beings", "ultraterrestrials" or any other non-human entities." (p.35.)

"Hence the basic assumption of the parapsychological hypothesis I will explain here is that humans are responsible for subconsciously producing paranormal phenomena - including UFOs." (p.35.)

Parapsychologists refer to the idea of "psi," in two forms, i.e. ESP and psycho-kinesis, with the subconscious or unconscious playing a key role in generating psi effects.

Parapsychologist Dean Radin has proposed "social psi" which "...implies that when many people are engaged in a common experience, this collectively contribute to, and are affected by, psi effects." (p.37.)

Walter von Lucadou noted that poltergeist events go through four phases ...they first tend to increase in intensity, then peak, followed by a decline, until finally they disappear."(p.41.)

Ouellet postulates that "...the following set of criteria could help us assess not only if a series of UFO events could possibly be unfolding like a poltergeist event, but locating a possible source of social psi that could account for the more impersonal dimensions as well." (p.46.)

These four criteria are:

1. "The observation system is social;" i.e. the general public note the UFO event.

2. "Geographical proximity" i.e.sightings will occur in areas where social tension is released.

3. "Chronological proximity" i.e. sightings will occur around the time of this social tension release.

4. Symbolic relationships" will carry emotional tensions.

Testing his hypothesis, Ouellet cites the 1954 French wave and notes it was a public event; hence the observation system was social; it was centred in one country - geographical proximity ; the Algerian/French conflict provided chronological proximity; and finally the symbolic relationship is between the conflict and things seen in the sky.

Subsequent chapters

Multiple chapters that follow, examine the 1952 Washington wave; the Belgian wave of 1989-1991; the Rendlesham incident of 1980, and tests his working hypothesis that they "unfolded like a large scale RSPK (poltergeist) event." (p.75.)

The author concludes that the Washington wave "...unfolded in ways that are structurally quite similar to a poltergeist disturbance. Left no tangible physical traces...was characterised by a high degree of elusiveness... These characteristics are the fundamental features of a paranormal event." (p.65.)

On the Belgian wave, it was "...a mixture of very personal experiences occurring simultaneously with those on a larger and much more impersonal scale...The synchronicity of the Belgium wave with the fall of communism in Europe is striking..." (p.89.)

As regards to Rendlesham, it "unfolded very much like a RSPK event, except that it happened within the social realm of people in positions of authority." (p.105.)

In later chapters, Ouellet looks at the Canadian wave of 1966-67 and the Betty and Barney Hill abduction, in the light of the parapsychological hypothesis.


"I argue that the paranormal is actually the core of the phenomenon." (p.161.)

"I think that by systematically integrating ideas and models from parapsychology into the study of UFOs we can get one step closer to making sense of the strangest aspects of the paranormal." (p.161.)

It is important to realize that psi phenomena are produced within a context of what sociologists call the social construction reality. What this means is that the actual experience is constructed based on our social and cultural assumptions. We see UFOs in the space age as we once saw ghost carriages in the pre-industrial era." (p.162.)

"The parapsychological hypothesis I have presented here is based on the notion that truly enigmatic UFO events are psi-related. The implication of this hypothesis is that, ultimately we are the ones producing UFOs, both as subjective projections of ourselves and as objective, but temporary, alterations of physical reality." (p.162.)


  1. Interesting idea (will add this to my reading list) and often wondered similar things but I get the impression the author is throwing out the baby with the bath water since this explanation would seem to ignore pre - space age observations. Definitely the two arenas are linked but the UFO phenomena appears to bridge both realities rather than just being a subset of one.

    1. Hi Warren, thank you for your thoughts. I have interviewed a number of individuals who have reported intertwined paranormal and UFO accounts.

  2. Interesting book Keith. I think some aspects of the UFO phenomenon are definitely generated by humans such as electrical sensitivity and street lamp interference. These effects also emerge in people who report near death experiences as well as other events, and seemingly as a result of emotional and or physical duress among other reasons. That's usually when synchronicity chimes in as well. There is a huge human psychological, emotional and psychic component to the UFO phenomenon but that's not to say it doesn't have its physical component too such as ground traces, the likes of over 4000 collected by Ted Phillips. Re Carl Jung, even though he decided the UFO phenomenon was a psychological manifestation, I remember he said that this didn't explain how they still showed up on radar.

    I agree with our unspoken thoughts that the UFO community needs to cast its net wider than the nuts and bolts if we are ever going to truly understand the UFO phenomenon.

    1. Hi Sheryl, from my own research into NDEs and paranormal phenomena in general; i agree that we need to cast a wider net than just the ETH.

  3. So cameras taking photographs (digital captures) of UFOs, crop circles and soil imprints are parapsychological expressions? There was no mention of the "future human time travelling tourist" theory of mankind coming back to view history. Next you will be telling us that the Westall School UFO event was a radiation reading balloon three years after the British Nuclear Tests were over.

  4. Once around the year 2000 there were two of us coming back from the Nullabor Plain. We were heading East to Port Augusta on the A1 highway, roughly north of Port Lincoln when my passenger said "Look at that". We stopped, got out and stood there watching it. I observed a comet like thing, big round head, firey tail, but the tail was not much wider than the round sun-like head section. No sound.

    To me it barely moved, perhaps at the speed an orbiting satellite would move, which was strange considering the activity in the tail part. There were red ladders in the tail part. But my friend recalls an object with no tail, that zipped about doing impossible turns. Yet we were watching it at the same time. So we both experienced something, yet have very different descriptions of it.

    We switched on radio national. If you were out side there is no way you would not noticed this thing (it was big and bright to me). So we expected it to be all over the news. Within 30 minutes there was a news report saying over 300 people had called police reporting a large bright object traveling east in the Port Lincoln area.

    I've since seen more UAP, but this sighting made me wonder what part our mind plays a part in filtering the things we see somehow.

    I will be happy to provide more details if you want, I'll check back on this post.

  5. Thanks for this one, Keith, the book Illuminations. In Chapter One, the author writes about "UFOs tend to have an electromagnetic field". I'm a keen photographer and have countless images of objects, taken at any given day. My camera is not a mobile one. The lenses are spotless, so it's not dirt or anything. But I have never been able to get a complete clear outline of the objects. It's the same for images you see elsewhere of what is supposed to be UFOs, nobody has ever seen a clear outline of any unidentified object - always blurred. An electromagnetic field would cause that.


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