Friday’s Entry, Part 1 (The Return Of Quetzalcoatl)

Todays Entry is so large I have had to break it up in 2 parts, this being part one…

On this entrys’ grill

Daniel Pinchbeck: ’2012 : The Return Of Quetzalcoatl’

A Story: Titlacauan Tempts Quetzalcoatl

Mayan Poetry for Quetzalcoatl


This book seems to be generating some stir:Book of Daniel

Daniel Pinchbeck: ’2012 : The Return Of Quetzalcoatl’ Chapter One

In the popular culture of our secular age, the gods, demigods, fairies, and gnomes of the old mythic realm have returned as extraterrestrials. Our mingled longing for and dread of contact with some unknown consciousness or superior alien race has been reflected in a century’s worth of books, films, television, and radio plays. I grew up on Star Trek, The Planet of the Apes, Star Wars, ET, and 2001, on Ursula K. Le Guin and Kurt Vonnegut and Stanislaw Lem—as an adolescent, I loved the Silver Surfer and Orson Welles’s The War of the Worlds. The pleasure of these artifacts was in the possibilities they threw out, like so many sparks. They returned the cosmos to a capacious state of “what-if?” that our mechanistic science seemed to deny. The exploration of fictional worlds is a kind of dreaming while awake; the complex ecosystem of the cultural imagination may also have a protective function. Through such stories, we absorb ideas in sidereal fashion, perhaps readying ourselves, on some subliminal level, for future shock of various stripes, before it arrives.

After I finished my article on the crop circles, the images, and their implicit intent, continued to linger in my mind. I was perplexed by the rectangular Arecibo Response formation, dismissed by current SETI astronomer Seth Shostak as a “nice example of grain graffiti,” unworthy of further investigation. I was equally confounded by the “Face” that had appeared in halftones on the date of my daughter’s birth. Whether accident or synchronicity, this correspondence seemed like a personal invitation to visit what the writer Robert Anton Wilson dubbed “Chapel Perilous,” that vortex where cosmological speculations, coincidences, and paranoia seem to multiply and then collapse, compelling belief or lunacy, wisdom or agnosticism.

Considering the scientific evidence, gathered by Eltjo Haselhof and others, suggesting the phenomenon had some mysterious legitimacy, as well as the many personal accounts I absorbed while doing my research, SETI’s blithe dismissal of the Arecibo Response glyph, a direct response to a message beamed into space by SETI in 1974, seemed flat and unreflective. Shostak insisted that an alien civilization would not communicate in such a manner when they could simply leave an Encyclopedia Galactica on our doorstep. But how could we determine the means that an alien civilization might use to communicate? He was perhaps recalling the Fermi Paradox, which noted that any technologically evolved civilization on a nearby star system should have emitted radio waves during its development that our sensors would have picked up. The physicist Enrico Fermi asked, in the absence of these signals, “Where are they?” But the answer might lie beyond the limits of our present knowledge.

The SETI astronomer pointed out that the original Arecibo greeting was sent out to the M13 star cluster, over twenty thousand light-years away, and it therefore made no sense that it could have been answered already. It seemed equally logical to theorize that whoever—whatever—had crafted the reply knew about the original message as soon as it was sent, that they might have observed activities on our planet for a very long time. But even if one could imagine an advanced species watching the Earth, awaiting the proper moment to reveal itself to us, the Arecibo Response still made little sense. Who was meant to receive the transmission? And what were they—or we—supposed to do with it?

Small, big-headed figures with silicon added to their makeup and an extra strand of DNA, as depicted in the Arecibo Response, suggested the peculiar narrative, or evolving postmodern myth, of the Gray aliens. Over the last decades, the Grays infiltrated the global subconscious, through best-selling books such as Whitley Streiber’s 1987 Communion, the TV miniseries Taken, and T-shirts, plastic figurines, cartoons, and other mass-cult detritus based on accounts of abduction. I had never paid more than a glancing attention to the UFO phenomenon or to alien abduction accounts—it seemed like some hysterical symptom of our cultural malaise, adolescent and turgid, overliteral, and deeply disreputable. The notion that three-and-a-half-foot-tall cardboard-colored aliens made nightly invasions of middle-class bedrooms across the United States and the world to insert rectal probes and take sperm samples did not seem plausible, or the type of behavior one would anticipate from a futuristic civilization.

And yet, much like the surprisingly tangible evidence on crop circles, the accumulated data on UFO sightings and alien abductions reveals jarring levels of complexity and downright weirdness that do not allow for a blanket rejection of the phenomenon. Harvard psychiatrist John Mack, author of a Pulitzer Prize–winning biography of T. E. Lawrence, dedicated the last decades of his life to studying the psychological phenomenon of adbuction by “the visitors,” as Whitley Streiber called them. Considering the data gathered by a 1991 Roper poll, Mack thought it conceivable that as many as three million Americans had undergone an abduction experience. His study of abductees led him to conclude that the phenomenon had validity beyond any psychological mechanism: “There have been numerous psychological studies of these individuals; none has discovered any psychopathology in great degree that could account for the experience.” In many cases, abductees “have been witnessed by their relatives to not be present during that time. They are physically gone, and families become very distressed. . . . One of the things most difficult to accept is that this can actually have a literal factual basis. . . . Abductees may wake up with unexplained cuts, scoop marks, or bleeding noses.” Mack optimistically proposed that these experiences had some sort of therapeutic value.

The narrative of contact between modern culture and the UFOs has developed over a long period, beginning with mass sightings of mysterious “air ships,” like souped-up blimps, in the late nineteenth century. After World War II, accounts of flying saucers became rampant. “Between 1947 and the dawn of the age of abductees in the 1970s, there were at least six major UFO sighting waves,” writes Brenda Denzler in The Lure of the Edge: Scientific Passions, Religious Beliefs, and the Pursuit of UFOs. Each wave produced thousands of eyewitness accounts. Sometimes picked up by radar, the UFOs would execute impossible aeronautical feats, hovering, plunging, zigzagging, skipping across water, suddenly disappearing.

On July 8, 1947, the Air Force intelligence office on Roswell Army Base in Roswell, New Mexico, announced the recovery of a crashed “flying disc” in a press release published in the San Francisco Chronicle, among other places. “The many rumors regarding the flying disc became a reality yesterday,” the release began. The military retracted the information on the following day, explaining that the disc recovered by two intelligence agents turned out to be, upon further inspection, a weather balloon. Since that time, an entire industry of conspiracy theories has developed—books and films propounding government cover-ups, secret deals made with the aliens, issuing from that peculiar incident, and a few others like it.

During the 1950s, witnesses reported seeing saucers that had landed or crashed, with small, silver-suited humanoids standing around or working on them. Sometimes, these humanoid “aliens” would wave at the bystanders. Abduction accounts began to surface in the 1960s. The first famous report—that of Barney and Betty Hill, an interracial New Hampshire couple, whose abduction memories were recovered through hypnosis and published in Look magazine in 1966—established the template followed by the vast body of the tens of thousands of accounts logged since then. The “salient features,” according to Denzler, include “missing time, physical examination while on board the UFO, a tour of the ship, conversation with the aliens, and the use of hypnotic regression to recover lost memories.”

UFOlogist Jacques Vallee links alien abductions to ancient folktales in which humans trespassed or were cajoled into the realm of the fairy folk. Putting the episodes in the same category as Patrick Harpur’s “daimonic reality,” he sees them belonging to “the domain of the in-between, the unproven, and the unprovable, . . . the country of paradoxes, strangely furnished with material ‘proofs,’ sometimes seemingly unimpeachable, but always ultimately insufficient. . . . This absolutely confusing (and manifestly misleading) aspect . . . may well be the phenomenon’s most basic characteristic.” The visitors usually appear at night when the abductee is sleeping, often paralyzing them and then floating them out of their bed and onto a ship, where rapid, confusing, painful, and often repugnant events transpire.

Once selected, abductees tend to be picked up and tormented by the Grays again and again—and hypnosis often reveals that these contacts go back to early childhood. The visitors communicate telepathically, their tiny mouth slits and large black eyes never moving. They seem lacking in affect—although some abductees find them afraid or sad or amused at certain moments—and are puzzled yet fascinated by human emotional reactions. Their behavior is consistently bizarre and unpleasant, as if their actions represent a kind of mangled syntax, their true intentions concealed or distorted in some way. To take one of many examples, at the end of an abduction, the visitors exhorted one abductee, over and over again, to “eat only cow things.” In another account, a male Gray paraded in front of its victim wearing her high-heeled shoes. Another abductee described a group of “small Grays” (they come in different sizes) gathered around a Christmas gift they had found in her car, opening and clumsily rewrapping it. Their hectic movements and the seemingly senseless operations they perform give the visitors an odd, fugitive quality, somehow out of sync, like figures from an old silent movie.

For the abductees, the most prevalent emotional response is one of extreme terror and violation—although some abductees, in what might be an extradimensional version of Stockholm Syndrome, come to believe in and trust their visitors, overcoming their initial reactions of horror. They convince themselves they are in league with the visitors—or were (or are) Grays in another life. They accept the claims sometimes made by the visitors, that they are here to salvage humanity and the planet from our destructive mania. Abductees often report rapes and procedures where small BB-sized implants are painfully deposited under their skin, deep up their nose or their rectum. In some cases, these implants have been retrieved and analyzed in laboratories—but they are of indeterminate origin and inconclusive proof of anything otherworldly.

In 1981, the abductions were declared an “invisible epidemic” by researcher Budd Hopkins, author of Missing Time. In the 1980s, Hopkins and other researchers noted the prevalence of reports describing the removal of eggs or sperm, and the compiled accounts began to suggest that the Grays were engaged in a massive “hybrid” human-alien breeding program. In dozens of reports, women are abducted, gynecological procedures performed, and then, back in their normal lives, they test positive for pregnancy. A few weeks later, their mysterious pregnancy disappears. Under hypnosis, they would recollect an intervening abduction and the removal of a tiny fetus. In future abductions—as revealed under hypnosis—the women would be shown developing fetuses, babies, or children and told that these were their hybrid offspring. A sordid ambience of accusation and guilt clings to these memories. In several accounts, abductees trying to escape from the tortures or experiments the Grays had designed for them were told by their captors: “Don’t you remember? You agreed to this.” As his captors inserted a needle into his brain, Streiber shouted, “You have no right to do this.” The visitors answered calmly, “We do have a right.”

The abductions have the ambience of intensely lucid nightmares, and some researchers suspect they are hypnagogic, chaotic, or nonlinear events that the experiencers reorganize into a more logical narrative afterward. To a certain extent, hypnotherapists may help shape the abduction narratives through subtle cues. Yet the similarity of encounters reported on different continents, the identical details picked up again and again, in thousands of reports from credible and often reluctant subjects around the world, suggest, at the very least, that something is happening that cannot be reduced to current categories of psychology, or fit into accepted frameworks of meaning. As John Mack noted, “What characterizes the abduction experience is that it is physically real and it enters the physical world, but it is also transpersonal and subjective. It crosses that barrier between the hard-edged physical world and the spirit/transpersonal world.”

Although perfectly willing to concede his experiences could represent something other than alien contact, Whitley Streiber wrote: “If it is an experience of something else, then I warn you: This ‘something else’ is a power within us, maybe some central power of the soul, and we had best try to understand it before it overcomes objective efforts to control it.”

In Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind (1995), an intelligent and honestly astonished account of the abduction phenomenon, New Yorker contributor C. D. B. Bryan crafted a physical portrait of the visitors, exploring their many anomalies. “The aliens’ bodies are flat, paunchless. Their chests are not bifurcated; they have no nipples. Nor does the chest swell or diminish with breathing,” he wrote. Culling from reports and his own research, he found, “The lower part of their anatomy does not contain any stomach pouch or genitals; it just comes to an end. . . . The Small Gray’s body appears frail, with thin limbs and no musculature or bone structure.” Some researchers assume they are less like biological organisms than machines, powered in some way we cannot comprehend, as they do not seem to eat, drink, or excrete. Nor do they have a slot for inserting batteries. Incongruous details abound: In Britain, the Grays are associated with the odor of cinnamon; in the United States, their smell is of ammonia, almonds, and lemon.

Bryan’s book offered no coherent thesis to explain the phenomenon. More alarming and pointed in his conclusions than Bryan was David Jacobs in The Threat: Revealing the Secret Alien Agenda (1999). A hypnotherapist and professor of history at Temple University, Jacobs believes that he has, after years of work, distilled a completely logical and entirely horrifying picture of what the Grays are doing and planning—and he is disconsolate over it. He describes the breeding program, including haunting details from abductee accounts.

Captured humans are often brought to play with the children of the visitors, who are described as melancholy and lethargic. The Gray children play with blocks, similar to the blocks used by human children. But the alien blocks do not have letters or numbers on them—instead, they emit different emotions when they are turned. Since they seem to be telepathic, the visitors have no need to learn spelling or counting. The toys seem to indicate, instead, that they are trying to learn how to feel. Could it be that this yearning for affect is one reason the visitors seek human contact? Does it indicate something of their intent?

“I can discern a visible agenda of contact in what is happening,” Streiber wrote in Communion. “Over the past forty or so years their involvement with us has not only been deepening, it has been spreading rapidly through the society. At least, this is how things appear. The truth may be that it is not their involvement that is increasing, but our perception that is becoming sharper.” Even the difficulties of retrieving memories of these experiences could be part of a process in which the visitors are slowly acclimatizing us to their existence, Streiber speculates.

During the encounters uncovered in Jacobs’s hypnotherapy sessions, abductees are often shown images, like propaganda films, of an apocalyptic event—nuclear war or sudden climate change—followed by clips of hybrid human-aliens walking arm in arm across a transformed earth, the sun shining down on them peacefully. The Grays state that their breeding program will repopulate the earth after the approaching cataclysm that makes the planet uninhabitable for our type of life. The alien agenda, Jacobs believes, has three stages—“gradual, accelerated, and sudden.” We are currently in the accelerated phase. Under hypnosis, abductees report being trained to operate the Grays’ saucers, and to help herd masses of people, like frightened sheep, into them, when the moment is right for the “sudden” phase.

Jacobs hypothesizes that the visitors’ frequently nonsensical and bizarre behavior is a way of covering their direct intent. Like cunning cartoon villains, the visitors have used our own propensity for disbelief to render us defenseless to their agenda: the incipient takeover of the earth. One abductee reports, “After The Change, there will be only one form of government: The insectile aliens will be in complete control. There will be no necessity to continue national governments. There will be ‘one system’ and ‘one goal.’” Jacobs ends on a note of dread: “We now know the alarming dimensions of the alien agenda and its goals. . . . I do not think about the future with much hope. When I was a child, I had a future with much hope. . . . Now I fear for the future of my own children.”

I found something wearying—not just foggy but almost smutty—about studying the abduction accounts. Almost from the first moment of pursuing it, it was as if a veil was falling down over my mind and my senses. Whether projections of our own mind or literal entities or both, the Grays call to us from a feverish twilit world of shades of grayness without clear definition. The path to understanding what may or may not be known about them by the government leads to an opaque barrier of reports of unverifiable authenticity, military and CIA panels with names like “Project Grudge,” “The Robertson Panel,” “Project Blue Book,” and “Majestic 12,” a plausible yet unreal history of covert operations, secret underground bases, cattle mutilations, alien crashes, possibly paranoiac accounts of former military personnel, and disinformation campaigns. The endless mass-market books on the subject include, inevitably, black-and-white photographs of disc-shaped objects and blurry streaks that look entirely unconvincing and somehow antiquated—a kind of 1930s idea of what a futuristic technology might look like.

But what if there was a literal truth to David Jacobs’s narrative? Was it possible that the Grays, as horrible as they sounded—as disreputable, somehow, as the entire enterprise seemed—were actually orchestrating an imminent evolutionary shift for the hapless human species?

Reading scores of abduction accounts, I felt a pitiful sense of helplessness against this telepathic, sorcerous, affectless enemy—“the bugs,” as many abductees call them. I thought about my disappointment with the human race, seemingly hurtling toward ecological collapse and nuclear disaster, unable to control our worst impulses. Was this all part of a process, to create the forced conditions for a transformation that would, indeed, be apocalyptic at a very deep level? And if this might be the case, then what would be our best response to “The Threat,” as Jacobs called it? Should we try to resist the visitors? Should we surrender to their morbid mastery? But then, why was there something so laboriously theatrical, tacky, and fraudulent about all of it?

In June 2002, I went with my partner and our baby to the opening of the Documenta11 exhibition, in the West German town of Kassel. As a journalist writing about art, I had always hoped to visit this exhibit, which takes place every five years. I associated Documenta with the hard-core cool of the conceptual art of the early 1970s, with the German conceptual artist Joseph Beuys, known for his neo-shamanic self-mythologizing and iconic displays of iron plates, felt, and fat. Unfortunately, by the time I finally managed to attend, my mind was filled with other, stranger matters.

We stayed at a hotel in the Wilhelmshöhe Bergpark, across the road from the city’s baroque castle. The castle had beautiful gardens, old gnarled trees, and a towering stone monument of Hercules clad in a lion skin at the end of a long reflective pool and fountain. The Brothers Grimm had lived near the park, and their house was a local attraction. During the day, we toured the exhibition halls spread across the city, in old factory buildings, breweries, and railway stations. Organized by Okwui Enwezor, a Nigerian curator, the exhibit was starkly political. It featured numerous Third World artists, and minority artists from the West. Many works addressed the destructive excesses of globalization, allegorically or directly. One film documented the bleak, monotonous lives of South African diamond miners, in bunkers and tunnels deep under the Earth. Sculptures mocked the modernist visions of utopia, parodied colonialism’s slave-driven delusions of grandeur. The exhibit was angry, inspiring—a post-Marxist assault on global imperialism.

In the hypersophisticated ambience of Documenta11’s numerous receptions and parties, standing amidst espresso-drinking aesthetes and stylish art dealers chattering in various Romance languages about museum shows and beach resorts and the latest art world gossip, I found myself thinking incessantly about the abduction saga, the postmodern myth of the visitors. Were these glamorous and well-heeled aesthetes soon to be fodder for an orchestrated alien takeover, doomed to explain Neo-Conceptualism and Post-Pop to short, affectless, hyperdimensional invaders?

One night, after a long day of art-going under the pouring rain in Kassel, I had a vivid dream about the visitors. In the dream, I went with two friends to meet one of the “Gray Alien” commanders in an Upper West Side lobby. The alien resembled a Chinese woman. She wore a red silk dress, had large almond-shaped eyes, and four fingers on each hand. She spoke as if we were going to make some kind of deal.

“It’s going to be great for you when we take over your planet,” she told me. “We can’t wait to help you. We want to show you around the galaxy.” She called for her assistants. They were hunchbacks with bulbous features, resembling medieval trolls. They put my two friends on their backs and gave them piggyback rides. The alien commander pointed upward, where cheap tinsel stars and planets were stuck on the lobby’s domed ceiling. She acted as if this were an impressive sight, and my friends did seem impressed. I was disappointed: Was this all they had to show us?

Confused, I left the lobby and went, alone, to a crowded, seedy nightclub where a long-haired weirdo came up to me with his girlfriend. They were “hybrid” human-aliens. The man laughed and put one of his four fingers deep into my mouth. Immediately, in the dream, I turned around and put my finger just as far into his girlfriend’s mouth. Then we all laughed about this almost obscene exchange.

I awoke from the dream and recalled the details before reaching for my notebook—over the last years, while exploring shamanism, I had developed disciplined habits of dream recollection. Wide awake, I reflected on the dream’s particular seamy, swampy ambience. Before I started to write it down, my partner, in deep sleep, suddenly sat up and leaned toward me. She opened my mouth with one hand. She brought her other hand to my face, and put one of her fingers into my mouth.

Startled, I woke her immediately. But she remembered nothing of it—or what she had been dreaming.

Later, I learned that the area around Kassel—an ancient area similar in some ways to the stone-circle-studded landscape of Wessex in England—is the center of German crop circle activity. Several new formations appeared in local fields on the weekend that we were there.

The doors of Chapel Perilous swung open to welcome me inside.

If you are interested in this book, you can order it here:


Titlacauan Tempts Quetzalcoatl

Because of the Toltec’s great fortune, other gods became jealous of Quetzalcoatl’s success. However, after a time, the people of this land became slothful. They had so many large fruits and vegetables that they tossed away the smaller ones, in waste. They grew so easily that they had to work less as the land was fertile. Their paradise made them soft.

Three demons decided to ruin this paradise at Tula. They were called Uitzilopichti, Titlacauan, and Tlacauepan.

The demon called Titlacauan decided he would turn himself into a weak, little old man. No one notices an old man. He made himself pitiful and bent over, and he walked with a limp. He decided to travel to Tula to meet Quetzalcoatl, the pure. When he arrived at Tula, it was said that Quetzalcoatl was sick. No one could offer him relief. This set Titlacauan’s mind to plotting a trick.

The old man walked aimlessly around Tula so that people would notice his presence. His long white hair and his pitiful way of walking made the villagers feel sorry for him and many helped him from time to time. One day, one of the temple workers saw the man and asked if he could assist. The old man told him he wished to meet their great leader, Quetzalcoatl.

The man told his lord about the man, but cautioned him about the intent of a stranger. His men thought it could be an evil trap. However, Quetzalcoatl was a good man and wished to help the old man. Upon seeing Quetzalcoatl, the old man called him “grandson” and offered him a healing tonic. A potion he said he made for himself for his weary bones.

Quetzalcoatl offered the man his hospitality, but refused his potion. Quetzalcoatl then said he was tired and wished to rest. The old man again told him that his potion was miraculously soothing and intoxicating.

Quetzalcoatl refused it again, saying that he needed to keep his mind clear.

The old man tried to tempt Quetzalcoatl by saying: “There is another old man who can testify to the greatness of this elixir. He gave me his formula. You can be strong like you were in your youth. You can get it from him if you like. He lives in Tollan.”

“I have done poorly since I have saved this for you alone, I can make more and restore myself, but I thought that you would appreciate its power. Let me know and I will give its secret to your people, ” the old man promised. Quetzalcoatl said he was too weak to travel.

The old man told Quetzalcoatl a few days later: “Drink this potion and be of good cheer! You look very sick, this will help you feel better.”

Again Quetzalcoatl refused.

The old man/Titlacauan was getting angry now. Why can’t I get him to drink this? he thought. I have used every form of flattery and sympathy on this man. Then he had a new idea. The old man then asked: “Why don’t you just take a sip? If you don’t like it I will understand and I won’t bother you again.”

Quetzalcoatl didn’t want to insult the man anymore, so he took a sip, just to get him off the idea.

“Hmmm,” Quetzalcoatl smiled, “This is very pleasant.” With that he downed the rest of the brew. Quetzalcoatl then felt relieved of his ailment. He felt no pain.

The old man said he had more of the tonic in his knapsack. He again, offered it to Quetzalcoatl saying: “It will give your body strength, it won’t hurt you, it can only help.”

After drinking the second batch of the elixir, Quetzalcoatl felt very odd. The liquid was soothingly warm and medicinal tasting. A feeling he never had felt before. Then he noticed his balance and vision were altered.

“What was that elixir made of?” Quetzalcoatl questioned.

The old man gave a toothy grin and said it was made from a local cactus juice.

Quetzalcoatl began to weep, now realizing that he had been tricked by the devil. “Why did you trick me?”

The old man told Quetzalcoatl that this was a white wine that fermented in the teometl plant. Titlacauan plotted to give the formula to the entire village.

You see intoxicating drinks were only for sacred occasions, and vision quests, not for everyday. Old men and women were the only ones that were allowed intoxicating drinks for the pain of aging. To drink frivously was frowned upon.

Quetzalcoatl was ashamed. Titlacauan was happy. Now the people of Tula would learn to crave intoxicating drink, which was disguised as a rejuvenator.***


Poetry for Quetzalcoatl

Yucatan Mayan Prophecy

Eat, eat while there is bread,

Drink, drink, while there is water;

A day comes when dust shall darken the air,

When a blight shall wither the land,

When a cloud shall arise,

When a mountain shall be lifted up,

When a strong man shall seize the city,

When ruin shall fall upon all things,

When the tender leaf shall be destroyed,

When eyes shall be closed in death;

When there shall be three signs on a tree,

Father, son, and grandson hanging dead on the same tree;

When the battle flag shall be raised,

And the people scattered abroad in the forests.

…from the Books of Chilam Balam (sacred book of the Yucatan Maya).


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