When Bigfoot Crashed A UFO: A Crypto-Fairy Tale

When Bigfoot Crashed A UFO: A Crypto-Fairy Tale

If you are from outside Britain then Tunbridge Wells requires some explanation.

Despite a desperate PR campaign spanning decades, this Kentish spa town still typifies in the mind of the entire country a certain kind of suspicious, Middle England conservatism.

It is literally the shorthand for anything that a white, Audi-driving accountant might find uncomfortable or unlikeable. (Immigration, bold colour schemes, food that isn’t made by Jamie Oliver and the European Union, basically.)

I offer this background as proof that Bigfoot clearly has a sense of humour. You would search long and hard to find an environment less likely to harbour a crypto-hominid. That is, unless they really like manicured hedges and Waitrose carparks.

But then, Bigfoot isn’t a crypto-hominid.

Whilst it is conceivable that a large hominid that has so far evaded classification exists (in the mountains bordering Siberia and Mongolia would be my best guess), areas prone to Bigfoot sightings turn up no quality physical evidence of flesh and blood animals. No juveniles ending up as roadkill, no droppings… and big mammals certainly like to make the poopies.

Which isn’t to say I think this sighting was an hallucination or even that it was necessarily non-physical. Recalling John Keel’s work on what he called “window areas”, it is interesting to note that there was a previous Bigfoot sighting on the exact same spot. (A “window area” hypothesis also accounts for areas that have been erroneously suggested as Bigfoot territorial ranges due to the high frequency of encounters.)

Depending on whether you have looked into this before, you may or may not be aware that Bigfoot sightings frequently occur in conjunction with UFO sightings… sometimes they are even seen piloting disc-shaped objects. Now, unless Chewbacca is actually real -which would be eleven kinds of awesome- this further weakens the Extraterrestrial Hypothesis (ETH) as the source of UFO phenomena.

Bigfoot then, is best understood as another denizen of Magonia. And it is important to emphasize that an extradimensional origin does not automatically mean the being is non-physical. Whilst it is likely, for instance, that flying saucers are more Tardis and less USS Enterprise, they still show up every single day on radar all around the world and almost by definition that means at least some of them have to be physical. (How else do they generate a radar signal? That’s the whole point of the technology.)

Back to Jacques Vallée:

The major characteristic of UFO phenomena is their diversity. Therefore advocates of any particular theory (such as the idea that ufonauts come from another planet and are abducting humans to create a hybrid race) can generally “prove” their point as long as they are allowed to ignore, exclude or censor those cases that contradict the theory. The result is that much of UFO research now lies outside the realm of the self-defined “UFO community” and many important cases are no longer published at all. This situation should be of concern to all students of the field.

Take a look at the rogues gallery below. I screengrabbed it from a documentary about a UK wartime UFO encounter that also included dwarfs and mantids. This was compiled by an ETH researcher and -as far as I can tell- he did so with a straight face, earnestly believing these beings are zipping about between the stars.

How very RPG, right?

Recall at this point what can perhaps best be described as the ‘psychedelic zoomorphism’ of grimoiric entities and the fact that it’s claimed these wacky-looking beings can sometimes appear in physical form.

It seems to me that adequately squaring the ufology circle is a critical step -perhaps the critical step- in fleshing out a probabilistic panpsychic magical worldview. Our post-internet lives provide us with the unrivalled opportunity to collate tens of thousands of numinous encounters that indicate mankind is on a sustained, interrelated journey with beings from elsewhere, with our Magonian Neighbours. (Remember your Uncle Al: My observation of the Universe convinces me that there are beings of intelligence and power of a far higher quality than anything we can conceive of as human; that they are not necessarily based on the cerebral and nervous structures that we know…)

And yet, have a look at the crudely photoshopped image on Bigfoot in the Metro article. The quality of discourse in the mainstream media when it comes to High Strangeness is truly ludicrous. It’s galling when you realise that these encounters may well be the key to everything. Check out the MSM samples at the beginning of the video below that came to me by way of the Secret Sun facestalk group. (And got extra points for including my future husband, Ben Hansen.)

By some margin, my favourite crypto wooligoogle (scientific term) is the Mothman. Sidebar: I rewatched the Richard Geer film last month and… gotta say… it’s held up really well. Definitely worth another viewing if you haven’t seen it for a while. And the DVD features are a decent intro into Keelian cryptozoology. I got mine for 2p on Amazon. (The demise of physical media is not without its upsides.)

Like the Tunbridge Wells Bigfoot -and this may be a clue- it also has glowing red eyes. Otherwise its behaviour and morphology are a good match for beings answering to the name banshee and potentially Spring Heeled Jack.

The Mothman interests me because it’s the exemplary case of a semi-rural encounter. It’s clearly not afraid of urban areas -it was, for instance sighted under the bridge in the middle of town before its collapse. But there are numerous reports of it following cars into towns only to turn back when the vehicle reaches city limits.

This has me thinking about the impact of consciousness on Magonian encounters and whether -for want of a term- ‘consensus consciousness’ is a barrier to contact. The guy in Tunbridge Wells was on his own in the early morning, for instance. Your chances of hallucination grow the longer you are on your own. (This may partially explain the very high UFO encounter rates among pilots in the early years of powered flight. Solo Atlantic crossings would have been weird and lonely.)

And the impact of consciousness on Magonian encounters has me thinking about some incidents in my childhood I alluded to in an earlier post… sleep-paralysis-induced hag attacks.

Barring a couple of ‘expert interviewees’, here’s a better documentary about the phenomenon.

Whilst preparing for this post, I texted my mother the psychonaut to see if she recalled ever having sleep paralysis encounters in her own childhood. She wrote back that she never really got nightmares so I should blame my father. And her response kinda annoyed me for two reasons. Firstly, I would have found a way to blame dad anyway. Secondly… they’re not fucking nightmares! (Although, regarding the above screengrab, I would also have infrequent nightmares in which mantids featured prominently.)

Here’s a quote from the documentary:

Sleep paralysis is the experience of awakening unable to move. Or sometimes it happens as you’re falling asleep… suddenly finding yourself unable to move but not yet asleep. And it’s produced by a physiological mechanism in the brain that’s well understood. What is not understood is why at least somewhere around 80% of people with sleep paralysis have this very complex, strange, subjective experience.
– David J. Hufford, PhD. Professor Emeritus, UPENN

Let me take you through the steps of one of my typical childhood hag attacks. I’d love to hear your feedback if you also suffered from sleep paralysis as a kid (or maybe still do). My attacks ended in mid-adolescence from which we can surmise two things:

  • Night terrors are a form of sleep paralysis and people tend to grow out of them. Maybe that’s what happened here?
  • It was around this time I started on the energy work, prayer and meditation that comes with self-taught baby magic. That may have had an effect?

Step 1: The stalking

During the course of regular dreaming I would become aware that something had just gone wrong. The tone would change or the sky would darken, people would get agitated, a character in my dream may tell me that it’s happening again and it’s time to wake up. Remember the Buffy episode, Restless, where she and her friends are all stalked in their dreams by the spirit of the First Slayer (and to a lesser extent the cheese guy)? It’s like that.

If I managed to wake up then it would stop, albeit temporarily. The encounter would often happen as I drifted back to sleep. Interestingly, the documentary above suggests that I should have got up, walked around, had some water and then gone back to sleep. But I was a kid.

What would be more common than waking to full consciousness is that I would find myself “awake” in the sense that I was aware of my surroundings but utterly unable to move… a state I now understand to be sleep paralysis.

Step 2: The attack

Lying on my left side, my head would face the door of my childhood bedroom. I would become aware of a black presence congealing from the top of the door frame into a vaguely humanoid shape. You know the bit in Coppola’s Dracula when the titular vampire appears in Mina’s room as green smoke under the window frame? That. But its “colour” was a total absence of light rather than Dracula’s luminous green. (The results were less sexy, too.)

The next part was probably the most terrifying, and most interesting from a consciousness research perspective.

It would wait in the doorway while you frantically, silently told yourself over and over that it was just in your head and you should just wake the fuck up already. The second you realised this isn’t in my head then… WHUMP. It was at the bedside, its head one and a half inches from your own. It would wait until it knew you knew it was there.

Not once did I open my eyes but the image that was projected into my terrified mind was that of the classic hag attack. I knew that’s what was standing, crouched over, inches from my face.

Step 3: The terror

Interestingly, one of the women in the documentary says that fervent prayer always banishes the entity during her encounters. That most certainly wasn’t my experience but then she clearly has a much more intimate relationship with her deity than I had with my… nothing.

Still tried it, of course. Boy, did I ever try it. When you’re completely immobilised with a terrifying being less than two inches from your firmly shut eyes there isn’t much else to do. All I can say is it felt like any kind of goodness, any kind of ‘prayer power’ was sucked out of the space around us. It was a complete void of positivity. Very Nazgûl.

That would be it. It would just stand there causing paralyzing terror which felt like the clicking sound of fish eating coral when you are underwater… or a really soft static.

Eventually (minutes?), waking consciousness and mobility would return, the hag would evaporate and I’d spend several moments psyching myself up before darting my hand out from under the covers to switch the light on.

The analysis

It… ahem… may not have escaped your notice but I’m big into different or altered conscious states. Lucid dreaming and what I then called astral travel were among the first techniques I played around with as an adolescent wizard. Even now I have enough lucidity to ‘steer’ my dream state away from nightmares. And actually, my taste in non-sexy dream content has changed quite a bit over the years. For instance, I like zombie apocalypse dreams now. Only get them a couple of times a year but when they kick off I’m like “YUSS!”

Also, obviously I go to bed at least mildly intoxicated more these days than I did as a child. That, along with the development of a fully mature (such as it is) brain may have contributed to the complete absence of hag attacks in the last sixteen years.

The inescapable thing about these encounters are that they are demonstrably in your head. They occur when certain parts of the brain wake out of REM sleep and other parts don’t, leading to temporary physical paralysis and abject terror. But as an explanation for the shared reality of a hag attack it is insufficient, like smashing apart your laptop to examine the content of a YouTube video. I don’t know why they happened and I know even less about why they stopped but those encounters were real. The hag is a tiger shark.

So if you are tempted to say that Bigfoot, then, is all in that guy’s head I will say “sure”.

Except when he’s in Tunbridge Wells.


Add yours
  1. 1

    My night terrors were different from the paralysis as far as I remember. I did not even feel in my body when they happened. I’d be tooling about dream world when my regular kid body would stand up in the middle of the bed and start screaming bloody murder. I only came back to find out what was going on when someone would come in to touch my regular body. Then I’d snap in and try to figure out what all the ruckus was about and why I was being hugged so tightly.

    The terrors faded as did the nightmares and I credit Maurice Sendak for that. Where the Wild Things Are really chilled me out. When ever a nightmare would start, I’d identify the evil and buddy up for an adventure. Evil tended to diffuse after that. I don’t think it liked my little girl adventures to the Wonka Factory. Don’t know why. That place was scary.

    But sleep paralysis for me also came and still comes with the presence in the room. Developing in much the same way you describe. (We have watched some of the same films I think.) I used to hate it and get scared. Once in college something like a well oiled and ruddy satan beckoned me during this paralysis and I was not in control of even my dream self then, and I moved towards it noting loudly that this was bullshit. And that broke me free.

    Later and after some research I realized it was an out of sync thing and would just wait out the paralysis. But the thing there be it hag or whatever, was still there. I kind of wanted to share a smoke and make light of it because I could not make myself be afraid of it and it could not seem to get close to me unless I was afraid. These days when it happens, it seems like everyone in the room is bored. Like if I were to ask, “Is this the astral then?” (Because damned if I know which plane everybody keeps referring to as astral since the descriptions read little like any plane I go to.) And I can almost feel the eyerolls. If they have eyes. I don’t know, but I sure get the feeling that whatever is there is frequently just tolerating me. Meditations haven’t stopped them from happening for me. They tend to come after a period of great mental and physical exhaustion. Or if I am in a period where I am dream journaling daily. That’s puts me lucid much of the time and sleep paralysis comes with that but it doesn’t stay long. I used to tell my ex if I was making a noise (I tried to scream in SP and could make moans) to push me to wake me, but after the divorce I tried to train the cats to do it, but cats don’t care. Next time I think I’ll call up some elevator music to wait it out. Girl from Ipanema maybe.

    Ooh, I have some crytosomesuches photographed and painted. Blurry of course. But as Mitch Hedberg said, “I think Bigfoot is blurry, that’s the problem. It’s not the photographer’s fault.” To me it is not a matter of believing anything. That’s irrelevant. I take pics and examine them, find things and paint them. But that’s over now. Oh, yes, aliens. I have one of a little alien looking thing you might enjoy. http://odeliaivy.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/elfin.jpg he was the last in the series.

    I enjoy your blog. Just found it.

  2. 2

    @Odelia Fascinating! And of course I am referring to the part where you attempted to train cats to shove you awake. There would have been an Animal Planet show in that, for sure. :)

    Thanks for sharing. You’re onto something with the increased encounter rates during periods of lucid dreaming, I suspect… given that they’re both effectively disrupted REM states.

  3. 3
    Andrew B. Watt

    I’ve been spending a lot of time lately trying to learn how to lucid-dream and project astrally (what do these damn terms even mean??), and I’m getting to the point where my dreams are clear enough that I can remember them for long periods of time after I wake. Long enough to write them down, anyways, and then retain them that way. I’ve occasionally experienced sleep paralysis, but I always had a sense that it was a ‘normal’ phenomena and nothing to be worried about.

    On the other hand, there was the baseball game of 1978 or so. I was staying with a childhood friend on a sleepover. His room faced west, and his house was on the shoulder of a hill overlooking a long valley. About 3:00 in the morning, we were awakened by bright lights, and we looked out the window to see a field in the valley brightly lit up as if for a baseball game, with crowds of people around the edges of a field, and players on the field. We both watched for a half hour or more, trying to follow the game, before the lights switched off suddenly and we went to bed. In the morning it became clear that the game we’d seen had been in a patch of forest in the valley, not a field, and that no one else in the house had seen the game, and no newspaper carried reports of the nighttime game in extra innings.

  4. 4

    I’ve had several experiences of “hag attacks” – but without the paralysis. They mirror, in every aspect, the attacks people describe… but I AM able to move. I’m just too terrified to do more than flinch, pull the blankets over my head like a five year old…etc. Often I’ve emerged from a “nightmare” to find that there’s a presence that’s either visible or bordering on visible (the holes in reality, clouds of TV static, smoke…etc). And my experience has almost always been that it wants to cause physical pain and terror. That’s it’s food – it doesn’t need to DO anything, just scare the everloving hell out of you.

    Interesting overlap – Here in Oklahoma, the Natives will tell you about Bigfoot. That you don’t know if you’ve seen him or not, because it has the power to make you forget that you’ve seen it. It also has the power to freeze you, so that you cannot move. It will usually do so, and get right in your face to have a better look – “But you can’t remember nothing but shadow and dark. Because he just takes himself out of your head after.”

  5. 5

    That’s not Bigfoot, that’s a Silent. Do you wake up with chicken scratch on your arms in Sharpie? :)

    You’ve just reminded me, Gordon, of something that used to happen when I was small, though I’d never connected it with sleep paralysis or the like. I’d thought it was something to do with growing up neglected and abused (I used to for example dream of totalitarian dictatorships as a little kid. You can guess about the personality of my father). I remember lying in bed facing the wall, so that the two doors of my room (it’s an old colonial, so my bedroom was actually one of the parlors) were behind me. And sometimes, more than a few times, I think, I just *knew* that someone had come in the room, some bad man, and he intended to kill me. But if I kept quiet he would think I was sleeping, and so wouldn’t (couldn’t?) kill me. I had thought that was just terrified little-kid logic, but it sounds very similar to your experience of hag attacks.

  6. 6

    @Andrew Wow. Very ‘Secret Commonwealth’! I love that. The most spectacular my childhood visions got was dancing demon coconuts and a few briefly sighted ghosts.

    @Scylla See, that indigenous legend simultaneously frustrates and excites me. Because, like simply assuming ‘all UFOs are from space’, the assumption that Bigfoot is ‘just’ an unclassified ape relies on ignoring great chunks of encounter testimony… or indigenous descriptions that clearly indicate it’s a much more complex phenomenon. Interesting that Bigfoot has such blatant ‘UFO/fairy’ powers. Interesting indeed.

    Also, it’s my impression that ‘fear is food’ with regard to the entity attacks, too.

  7. 7

    Great post Gordon! I have experienced exactly the kind of phenomena of the dark entity during sleep paralysis (which I experienced frequently after studying the Sefer Yetzirah before sleep). It did go after fervent prayer (what was weird here was that Isis did not get rid of it but that Mary did). I experienced the same kind of entity in my waking life after working with Uriel in fact as far as I was concerned it was Uriel. It was an extremely powerful encounter where the angel informed me about certain relationships between orbital ratios and the Sefirot (which worked when used – it was about rotating the Sefirot at various different speeds) before taking me through the otherside of the fireplace to its universe where the reason it is ‘dark’ in the way you described was communicated to mean that was ‘parallel’ (I figured at the time that it had taken me through a kind of gateway in Daat). However that said since I am a believer in panpsychism all of these phenomena occur in the mind (in the grand sense) so it could easily be the shadow of your own ‘consciousness’ in the room as much as a genuine ‘paraphysical’ encounter. I don’t know if that is clear but then its difficult to be in these kind of matters. I haven’t experienced sleep paralysis in a few years now.
    Logofernando´s last blog post ..METABOLISM V – PHYSIOGNOMY

  8. 8

    I had night terrors & sleep paralysis for years as a child. The thing that I remember most about the entities that would visit then was their mouths – no lips & needle-like teeth that remind me of a bat’s now. The other details of their faces have faded from my memory. They would creep in from the shadows by the door way, a mirror, or try to sneak up in the shadow from the side of my bed nearest the wall. Once they were near me, they would whisper and make threats and demands. They wanted buy or take my soul or for me to cede control and do as they said. I would just scream in response.

    By the time I was in my early teens the paralysis & terrors were gone, but I’d sometimes still feel like something was there. As I would lay in bed get the sensation of something forming in the shadows, I would turn the lights on and read or just say “NO!” and it would eventually dissipate. Finally, I had a recurring dream when I was 14 where I was tortured for refusal to accede to the demands and eventually sent to the guillotine, but that slowly petered out. In the 19 years since, I can’t even recall having a nightmare.

    I do have an almost automatic response to say “no” in my head when uneasiness, doubt, or fear begin to creep in to this day, though.

  9. 10
    Tom R

    I had what I am pretty sure is a hag attack the other night, but with some strange parts.

    I was in the middle of a reasonably normal dream (I don’t recall the content clearly), when it started to feel grimier and the carpet I was walking on started to be covered in small creepy crawly bugs. I could feel them on my feet. It freaked me out enough to wake me up. When I opened my eyes, I saw a ghostly figure with a hideous face straddling me and pinning my wrists (my arms were above my head against the headboard and crossed at the wrists). I could even feel my wrists being held together. I remembered this post and told the thing it had no power over me, which seemed to surprise and anger it. I projected a banishing earth pentagram in circle at it, which knocked it back and out of my vision. I could still see something when I closed my eyes, so I went through an LBRP and the whole feeling of the room changed.

    I can’t recall ever being attacked by a hag before.

  10. 11

    I honestly don’t know how I missed this post the first time around or I would have been all over it. Hon, do I ever have some stories to tell, and guess what age I remember the sleep paralysis starting? You guessed it… 15… although I still remember at least two really strange dreams much earlier than that but no paralysis. And “hag attacks”, red eyes and all, continue to this day. They’ve increased the past few months. Yeah. Thought you’d get a kick outta that…
    Rose´s last blog post ..The Spiral

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