Mourning the Dead and the Futility of War

November 10th, 2018

Poppy

 

Remembrance Day has never been about honouring or celebrating war, but about mourning the dead.

On the 100th anniversary of the end of the Great War, the war to end all wars, I will quote from the Canadian Encyclopedia:

The total number of both civilian and military casualties is estimated at around 37 million people. The war killed almost 7 million civilians and 10 million military personnel. Many more returned from the war mutilated in mind or body. ?

War is futile. 

Twenty-one years later, the Second World War began.

Tomorrow as the day and clock strikes 11.11.11. I will remember my grandfather Milhaly Demeter. He was a kind hearted man according to my Mom and others who knew him. I was 7 when he died, so my memories are clouded by fun trips to the park, and hugs, and cookies.  He loved farming, and his violin, and Miami Beach, where he lived out the final years of his life. He was a devout Catholic, but married my grandmother Juliana who was a protestant and was ostracised by some of his family for that. Yet he never lost his faith and went to mass regularly here at St Michaels.

 He was a loving Dad and grandfather.

During the Great War he was a part of Austro-Hungarian army. I guess by today?s terminology from this side of the conflict a member of the? axis of evil.? And I had to reconcile that fact while growing up in a country that would recite John McRae?s poem that calls for the fighting and killing of the foe.  His scars from burns and bullets were a result of the people who fought on behalf of my own country and the Commonwealth, and who in school I was being taught were the ?good guys.?

In war, itself, there is no good and bad....

My grandfather was not evil, nor is the majority of humans who find themselves on opposing sides of conflicts. 

War is futile. And its toll on humanity is enormous. I hope one day we as humans can find intelligent ways to resolve disputes that rejects violence in all its forms.

Lest we forget.

Poppy field Bologna Italy 

 

Images are my own, which were taken May 2018 in a field of wild poppies near Bologna Italy.

UFO Contacts In Italy: A Review

February 11th, 2018

Book Cover UFO Contacts Italy

Cover of UFO Contacts In Italy: Vol 1 featuring a famous Italian case where a UFO was witnessed by several military personnel and civilians hovering over a restricted NATO base. This highly intriguing case included all sorts of strange aspects such as a power failure that lasted for the duration of the UFO experience.   

I am a long time student of exceptional human experiences, myths, and folklore, and most recently I have been focusing my research on a marginalised group of Italian witches from the Middle Ages known as the Benandanti. I am making connections with the witches, central European faerie folklore, and I am finding similar patterns to modern UFO experiences in that region of the world. In the midst of this study of mine, Flying Disk Press published what I had hoped would be just the right book that  I needed to help me with my own efforts. So it was with much interest and pleasure that I dove into a copy of UFO Contacts in Italy: Volume One: 1907 - 1978 by author and Centro UFOlogico Nazionale  (CUN) researcher Dr Roberto Pinotti.  

Dr Pinotti who's educational background is in political and social sciences is a distinguished scholar of UFO encounters and formerly served in the Italian military  The Centro UFOlogico Nazionale, which he founded in 1967 is an Italian equivalent of the North American based MUFON (Mutual UFO Network) in that it handles cases (over 12,000) which are compiled and actively investigated in the field, by directly interviewing witnesses, cataloguing their experiences, and visiting the locations of the sightings. It is from this database of sightings that the author has picked out the cases that he has found to be intriguing and most worthwhile for our own consideration, and presented them in this first volume of a planned two part series.

Volume 1 begins with an introduction and speculation as to why Italy may be of interest to extraterrestrial visitors. This sets an automatic tone that will appeal most to those readers who subscribe to the extraterrestrial hypothesis as the cause of UFOs. In the sake of fairness and disclosure I do not share that belief. I do not rule out some alien other as being behind some UFO experiences, but I am far more interested in other alternative hypotheses and lenses from which to explore these cases. With that said, I found the reports that the author has presented us with to be interesting.

The cases Dr Pinotti includes in vol. 1 begins with the first known UFO contact in modern Italian history. It is described as a "strange, luminous, egg-shaped object" hovering over the village of Bosa (Nuoro), Sardinia, in 1907. Later investigations sparked by a letter in 1973 to the IL GIORNALE DEI MISTERI of Florence in 1973 concluded there were multiple witnesses to this event and over two separate occasions

Further UFO experiences are presented in chronological order, and include famous Italian UFO flaps such as the1954 wave. The author demonstrates how Italy factored into other International waves including the numerous worldwide sightings that occurred in 1973. There are famous cases, which can be explored in the book, including Polish/American UFO trickster George Adamski and his connection to Italy. There are many other cases unique to Italy that will likely be unknown, and therefore new to English only readers. There are reports of contact, and an interactivity between the UFOs and the witnesses that have that absurd, or "high strange" factor that I love and feel are a key to better understanding whatever it is UFOs really are. To his credit the author does not shy away from these more controversial cases. The alien contacts in Pescara of the 1970s particularly intrigued me as they lie in that ambiguous realm of possible hoax, but perhaps not a hoax at all.  A very Trickster-like series of events that CUN had a direct hand in investigating.

The book concludes with a UFO wave in 77-78 that was very well documented including the strange, and absurd aspects that seem to lend themselves more to PSI (parapsychological hypothesis) or magical in my own humble opinion.


As I've stated already, this book will appeal to those who subscribe very hard to the ETH or extraterrestrial hypothesis. The author's bias in his own belief is not hidden.

The first volume does not give us any meaningful analysis so we the readers are left to ponder our own ideas on what may be the origin of the experiences. Dr Pinotti does state he will offer his own  thoughts and conclusions at the end of the series in Volume 2, but I assume they will definitely lie within the ETH. I am hopeful, but If the reader is seeking something innovative they might be disappointed, there is nothing really new in the way of ideas, or models or analysis within Volume 1, however from a strictly historical perspective I would give this book huge props. It is clear that Roberto Pinnotti deeply cares about the subject and these cases were meticulously collected and investigated no matter what his beliefs. This alone makes his book very valuable and well worth its purchase price. The author includes many exclusive photographs, and drawings that adds to the contents richness. An excellent, extensive collection and addition to a UFO library. 

I definitely recommend this book to readers that enjoy UFO reports, and particularly how UFOs are experienced and reported in Italy. I look forward to Volume 2 


UFO Contacts in Italy: Volume One: 1907 - 1978,
Author: Roberto Pinotti,
(c) 2018
Published by
FLYING DISK PRESS
4 St Michaels Avenue
Pontefract, West Yorkshire
England
WF8 4QX
ASIN: B0795WJB6Y

Available through Amazon.


Imbolc 2018

February 1st, 2018

Honouring the goddess Brighid

Imbolc 2018

Bride of the earth,
sister of the faeries,
daughter of the Tuatha de Danaan,
keeper of the eternal flame.
In autumn, the nights began to lengthen,
and the days grew shorter,
as the earth went to sleep.
Now, Brighid stokes her fire,
burning flames in the hearth,
bringing light back to us once more.
Winter is brief, but life is forever.
Brighid makes it so.

Honouring the goddess Brighid 2018

Mighty Brighid, keeper of the flame,
blazing in the darkness of winter.
O goddess, we honour you, bringer of light,
healer, exalted one.
Bless us now, hearth mother,
that we may be as fruitful as the soil itself,
and our lives abundant and fertile.

A supernatural love of rocks

January 17th, 2018

 St Clair loves her rocks 

I think I had a supernatural experience when...I first picked up a stone and put it in my pocket. I must have been super young because I can't recall a time before I have loved them. I collect seashells, and bits of wood, and pine cones, but rocks have a special place in my heart. I have stones from around the world. I have ones from every continent other than Antarctica that friends have found and sent to me. They are all different types but my favourites are metamorphic. I call them my UN of rocks. I also like to give people stones and crystals that I pour my own good wishes into. 

 

The photo above is from a part of my collection

International Woman of Mystery

January 16th, 2018

Susan Demeter St Clair

 

There is a place, like no place on earth. A land full of wonder, mystery and danger. Some say, to survive it, you need to be as mad as a hatter. Which, luckily, I am.

~ Lewis Carroll ~
Alice in Wonderland

Some Ultra-terrestrial Inspiration

December 31st, 2017

I had a little ultraterrestrial inspiration, a blank canvas to fill,  and some acrylic paint over the 2017 festive season. This is my work in progress so far. I originally envisioned him as a little elf boy. Note my flying saucer ornament is hanging just above the canvas to the left. I didn't plan that when I snapped the pic, and had a good giggle when I saw it. Cosmic shenanigans and synchronicity. 

An ultraterrestrial appears on my canvas

A close-up below. I call him JR and I dream about him sometimes. His messages in a symbolic dream language tend to be very peaceful and loving, and occasionally very, very mischievous.  

JR Closeup

Ultraterrestrial Agents of Cultural Deconstruction

From Cyberbiological Studies of the Imaginal Component in the UFO Contact Experience by Carl Raschke, (Archaeus, Vol.5, 1989)

"I substitute the prefix ultra- where one would expect extra-, so as to stress that the phenomena in question may be not only from beyond the Earth, but from outside the very matrix of space, time and matter. Such a surmise is not as outlandish as it may seem on first consideration, since many theoretical physicists today have acceded to the notion that everything that falls within the range of normal, empirical science may be only a thin strand of intelligibility interwoven with hidden alternative folds of reality. [4] The spatiotemporal order, whose geometry was formulated summarily by Einstein, may be little more than than a single vibrational "rate" within what John Wheeler has called "superspace." [5] Thus UFO "visitations" or intrusions may be traced back to some hyperdimensional point of origin. Furthermore, the "visitors," rather than systematically "studying" our ways out of magisterial curiosity, may be working with methodical dispatch to make us transparently conscious of, if not to elevate us toward, the realm in which they move and have their being."

4. For the clearest and most provocative exposition of this view, see the book by the British physicist David Bohm, Wholeness and the Implicate Order (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1980).

5. See John Wheeler, Geometrodynamics (New York: Academic Press, 1962).

A New Year A New Dawn

December 31st, 2017

Happy New Year 2018

I release all things from my past that might have caused any negative attachments. I prepare myself to welcome new changes, new lessons, and new adventures. I welcome new opportunities to grow emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. 

This is not a joyus time for many of us, but I do want to take a moment to add my wishes for a peaceful and healthy 2018 to all. I am an optimist and I feel hopeful for the future. I am embracing the darkness and the quiet of winter for much needed inner work, and reflection, while at the same time I look forward to Spring and new beginnings.  

The image above is a photo I took on very chilly Christmas Day 2018. I was walking along the frozen lakeshore of Lake Ontario when the perfect moment appeared. There are no filters on this image and it came straight off the camera.

My Christmas tree. 


 

The Otherworld as the Unknown

June 14th, 2017

 Daimonic Reality ? Patrick Harpur

My own beloved copy of Patrick Harpur's Daimonic Reality


"... But to return and view the cheerful skies, In this the task and mighty labour lies."

The above quote a key to accessing the Otherworld, the Other Realm, Faerie Land, Oz, Magonia.....

I want to give a shout out and some love to one of my favourite books that tackles UFOs among other Fortean subjects. Patrick Harpur's Daimonic Reality: A field guide to the Otherworld is a brilliant and unique contribution to the literature. A rich and complex thesis, this book builds onwards, and outwards from the ideas of Blake, Jung, Yeats, Vallee, and Keel among other original thinkers, and across time and cultures.

Harpur's book is a scholarly study, that argues for the "reality" of the OtherWorld as Anima Mundi or the Soul of the World which manifests itself into this reality, and his ideas are backed up by excellent research. It is also quite literally an enchanting read.

"The book has three parts. The first is dominated by well-told examples of the events and the people who observed them. Harpur tells the story of his carefully chosen events well. He also makes sure that the reader can see the larger picture -- how each event fits into the developing description of the Otherworld.

Part two looks at the concept of seeing, starting with visions of the Blessed Virgin Mary. He goes on to talk about daimonic traces, the pieces of evidence left behind after Otherworld events. These include Bigfoot footprints, and why they are sometimes not there even when they should be. The traces also include a three-inch fairy shoe, an extraterrestrial pancake, pictures of Nessie, and crop circles.

Part three goes on to look at journeys into the Otherworld. Shaman and witch doctors purposely go to be educated be spirits there. Ordinary people, especially in places (such as the U.S.) that don't have a magical tradition, are often swept into the Otherworld against their will, being abducted by UFOs as they were once captured by fairies.

The book concludes with Harpur's thoughts on how to travel safely in the Otherworld. Among others: "Travel light."

The following is an excerpt from this book to give you a taste. 

From Daimonic Reality: A Field Guide to the Otherworld by Patrick Harpur

The Otherworld as the Unknown 

"The Otherworld is always imagined as beginning at the edge of our known world. It can be the wilderness outside the city walls or the unexplored regions at the edge of maps labelled 'Here be dragons'. It can begin at the brink of the ocean?or at the garden gate. As the boundaries of the Unknown are pushed back, the world largely mapped, the Otherworld is located in outer space. Early aliens claimed to come from Venus, Mars or the Moon; later, when these planets seemed more local, less remote, they claimed to come from distant star systems such as Zeta Reticuli or the Pleiades.

the Pleiades 

Religion sets the boundary of the Unknown at the limits of human life. In traditional cultures, the other world beyond life, after death, is immanent?another reality contained within this one. In Christianity, it is transcendent, a separate reality removed from Earth. Scientism recognizes no Otherworld, but ... daimonic reality has a way of subverting it. Thus scientism constructs its own literal versions of a transcendent and immanent Otherworld. The former appears in the weird models of the universe articulated by astronomers and cosmologists; the latter appears in the speculations of nuclear physicists.

It is worth lingering a moment over the Otherworld of the nuclear physicists, if only because their discipline is widely held to be the doyen of sciences. They, above all, seek to establish the "facts" of the matter. I would maintain, however, that their subatomic realm is merely another variant of daimonic reality. Everything that is predicated of it could, for instance, be applied with equal justice to the land of Fairy. Both worlds invert the cozy Newtonian world we inhabit: laws of time, space, causality and, of course, matter are ignored. (Once past the "event horizon" of a black hole, say the astrophysicists, time slows to a standstill; or, once inside the black hole, it "runs backwards".) Subatomic physics introduces extra dimensions?"string theory" allows for ten, I think: our four, plus six more, compacted very tightly. Multi-dimensionality is a staple of science fiction and ufology.

The daimons of subatomic "inner space" are called particles, although strictly speaking they aren't?elecrons, for example, are both particles and waves at the same time. They are paridoxical, both there and not-there, like faeries. Like UFOs they cannot be measured exactly: we can calculate their speed, or their position, but not both. This, roughly, is what Werner Heisenberg called the Uncertainty Principle, and it applies to all daimonic phenomena. We cannot know subatomic particles in themselves; we can only identify them via their daimonic traces. Like minute yetis, they used to leave tracks in vats of detergent placed at the bottom of mines; nowadays they are more likely to leave their spoor on computer screens linked to particle accelerators.

They tease their investigators mercilessly. Each newly discovered particle promises to be the fundamental building-block of matter. First there were atoms; then electrons, protons, neutrons; then quarks, their playful, even Mad Hatterish nature evident in their Lewis Carrollian name. I remember when there were only four quarks, daimonically named Upness, Downness, Strangeness and Charm (good names for UFO types). The last time I looked into them there were more than forty, and counting. Ever smaller, ever more impish and less substantial?the massless particles?they recede from us like quasars, those enormous daimons said to be moving towards the edge of the known universe at speeds close to that of light.

As with all anomalous entities, the very act of observing the particles disturbs them. Observer and observed, subject and object, cannot finally be distinguished. Particles whose existence is predicted obligingly turn up. If we didn't know better, we might almost say that they had been imagined into existence. The so-called New Physicists smelled a rat long ago. They began to compare the whole enterprise to oriental religion or to suspect that its reality is primarily metaphorical, not literal and factual. This is not to say that daimons cannot manifest concretely, as we have seen. In fact, the smaller they are, the more powerful they can be, viz. the atom bomb.

Students of the daimonic?spiritualists, ufologists and so on?excitedly invoke subatomic physics as evidence that other dimensions, other worlds are possible and real. They are encouraged to believe that one day their own favorite daimons will be acceptable to Science. But the subatomic realm is not a literal world of facts from which they can derive support for the literal reality of their own. It is simply another metaphor for the Soul of the World. It is not even an especially good one: daimons prefer to appear as persons, not as impersonal, quirky little particles. The subatomic Otherworld has its own elegance and a certain stark beauty, as the physicists are keen on emphasizing; but it is grey and meaningless compared to the world William Blake saw in a grain of sand. Indeed, while special instruments, such as the microscope and telescope, extend sensory limits, they do not increase its qualitative depth. They produce an ersatz vision, a shadow of that true imaginative vision which alone reveals meaning.

The Einsteinian model of the universe?more like a great thought than a great machine, said Sir James Jeans?reverses the Newtonian model. They are variants of each other, images of a universe whose final reality can never be known. The Otherworld mirrors ours. It can be benign, like paradises that reverse this world's suffering; or it can be uncanny, like the realm some tribes ascribe to witches who walk or talk backwards, wear their heads upside down, their legs back to front. These characteristics are sometimes attributed to the inhabitants of neighbouring villages, reminding us that, to people of imagination, the Otherworld has always been in this one. For such people, to wake is, in a deeper sense, to fall asleep; to die, to live. There may well be an end to this literal world of ours, but there can be no literal end to it because it is continuous with that other world, without end."

Well worth your consideration if you have any interest in Otherworldy subjects..... A Must Read. 

Daimonic Reality: A Field Guide to the Otherworld
Patrick Harpur
Pine Winds Press, 2003

E-book version

Author's website