Monday, September 24, 2012

Book Review - The Cryptoterrestrials by Mac Tonnies

            Mac Tonnies died of heart problems at the age of 34 in 2009.  It’s a great shame, because this guy could write stimulating, thoughtful questions and observations.

            He starts from a simple question:  What if the UFO phenomenon reported by witnesses is essentially as reported -- but (no matter what the UFOnauts say) what if they’re not from OUT THERE but from HERE on Earth?

            Jacques Vallee said some of the same ideas when he observed that the modern generic “alien from space” character appears to fulfill the same mythological/cultural niche as fairies and “the Good Folk” in Celtic societies -- they are The Other, able to do un-Human things, and are often not to be bothered with Human concerns, but they are definitely also native to the planet we live on.

            Similarly, in his writings, John Keel describes some of the silly, repetitive actions of UFO intelligences as appearing to simply be the latest manifestation of a supernatural race of beings that are trying to restructure man’s view of reality.  After all, we only took samples of Moon rocks over SIX Apollo voyages; UFO occupants have been witnessed doing apparently the same thing HUNDREDS OF TIMES.  (Maybe they have a bigger collectibles market?!?)

            But where Tonnies differs from these Great Old Men of UFO Thought is his next “what if”:  What if they are not supernatural (vide Vallee) or Ultraterrestrial (vide Keel)?  What if they are physical critters?  Think of the last Japanese World War II soldiers hiding in the jungle, not knowing the War was over -- and their worry that somebody might burn the jungle down and drive them into the open.

            If a group of such theoretical refugees in an occupied land were forced to forage in the outer world, what “cover stories” might they invent?  And if the pockets of refugees (or “leftovers” from a once-mighty civilization) had lost contact with each other, mightn’t they provide conflicting fibs?

            If “they” -- these elusive critters who CLAIM to be from “out there” -- were stuck here with us, this would explain the sudden warnings against global destruction and ecological disaster that arose as Man’s Atomic Age dawned.  What if these reputed “Aliens from space” are flesh-and-blood and merely possessed of a *slightly* higher rate of technology than us?  Consider our own inklings of how electronic fields can influence the brain’s perception of reality.  Or, imagine a cloud of nanoparticles capable of instant coalescence into the material objects necessary for a little “reality charade.”  Such a concept could explain the impossible aerobatics of UFOs -- they’re not solid objects UNLESS THEY CHOOSE TO BE.

            These Cryptoterrestrials’ role would be akin to Grandma in the backseat watching as her drunk grandson drives the family car at a high rate of speed on a mountain highway.  “Slow down before you kill us all!”

            And if the warning sounds more credible if relayed by a cop than if given by Granny -- what if “Granny” can (briefly) appear like a cop (to our eyes) if she wants to?

            Now, Tonnies posits this kind of question a lot more insightfully.  Somebody could make a much longer book by simply unpacking a few of his paragraphs.  The book is 127 pages long and was finalized by friends after Tonnies’ sudden death.  It doesn’t seem truncated at all -- it just packs a big punch into a small package.

            He also considers where “they” might be living/hiding, and why they seem to take so many different forms.  But you’ll have to find out for yourself!

            If you have ready access to the book through your library, grab it NOW.  I suspect that, like me, after reading it once you will then buy yourself a copy.  It is a worthwhile book for many reasons, not just for the author’s “Might They Live Here?” theory.  He also makes many simple observations about various other theoretical explanations for UFO sightings that are “wow” moments many times over.
            You should really read this book.

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