A.J. Gulyas: Contactee-O-Rama

Historically, the subject of the Flying Saucer Contactees has been anathema to “serious” UFO research groups, and this is one of the reasons why we discuss it regularly on this program. A.J. Gulyas has just written a scholarly historical treatment of this underrated movement (entitled Extraterrestrials and the American Zeitgeist) and we dissected it on June 9th. Aaron is a history professor at Mott Community College in Flint, Michigan

Aaron says, ultimately, that the question of the Contactees boils down to this: “Why did they decide that making up easily disprovable stories about space brothers was the best way to get their political ideas out to the people?” This may surprise (and even disturb) some, but we both agree that at least some of the contactees may have actually had some sort of paranormal experiences.

We also went into a lengthy comparison of John Keel’s Mothman Prophecies as compared to Gray Barker’s The Silver Bridge and decided that Barker’s book is ultimately the hipper, cooler version of the Mothman story. We also talked about the strange book Trance Formation of America and its weird, hilarious and disturbing tales of personal abuse and intrigue by elements of the U.S. power structure. There was also a segment where we tried to top each other with vintage Contactee books that we have in our collections.

This was just the sort of rambling conversation that I always love and I hope you do too.

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33 comments on “A.J. Gulyas: Contactee-O-Rama

  1. AJ Gulyas on said:

    I had a great time doing the show. I’ll try not to sound so tired next time! The next day in class, I actually talked a bit more about the Contactees and their decline in the face of real, bloody, violent social upheaval in the 1960s. I’m gonna get this topic to be legit if it kills me :)

    At the risk of sounding overly commercial, y’all can find me at:

    Web- http://www.contacteebook.com & http://www.ajgulyas.com
    Facebook- http://www.facebook.com/aaronjohngulyas
    Twitter- http://www.twitter.com/firkon

    • Ward on said:

      Hey Greg and Aaron!

      You were a great guest last week Arron. It’s surprising this is your first appearance, you and Greg sounded like long time friends. Also i really appreciated your insightful answers to my questions when i called in, i completely agree on the Streiber angle, again it appears he experienced something “real” originally but what it has spun into, extremely similar if not for all intents a modern day contactee.
      A classic RM show, hope you make many more appearances.
      I will definitely be getting your book on Kindle. Thanks again for a fun show Greg and Arron,

      Ward

    • Greg on said:

      Once again, thanks for a fun show! I’ll order a book this week.

  2. Paul Kimball on said:

    Well done, gentlemen… and good work by Aaron in giving the Contactees their rightful due as a social movement in 20th century American history.

    PK

    P.S. It’s “The Chaos Conundrum,” by the way. I just got the foreword from Nick Redfern, so publication is imminent (i.e. a couple of weeks at the most).

  3. Martin S. Kottmeyer on said:

    I thought I was the only contactee bibliophile. Just for envy’s sake, I just have to brag. I got a copy of the Varo edition of Jessup’s Case for the UFO with the annotations in red. I picked it up at a library sale for one dollar.

    • Greg on said:

      Great to see you here Martin. You win. I’m ridiculously jealous. Want to come on the show sometime and talk?

      • Martin S. Kottmeyer on said:

        Me? Resigned to the curse I have no gift for the talking arts. It’s no accident people only know me through my writings.

    • AJ Gulyas on said:

      My envy knows no bounds. Wow.

    • Isaac Koi on said:

      Hi Martin,
      Good to see you posting online.
      Was I the only person to find the annotations in the Varo edition hilarious?
      As with far too much ufological material, its hard to be sure whether the humour was intentional or not. Unfortunately, I only have an electronic copy of that edition. Original copies now tend to be offered for sale for even more than original unedited/uncorrected copies of the Condon report – which is the most expensive UFO publication I’ve bought.
      (Hey, if you can brag then I might as well do it too!)

  4. gheron on said:

    So many books on my to read list and so little time.

    Greg -you need to get some siren based merchandising going:). Give those Paracast guys a run for their money:).

    Will be interesting to read the books written about the exoplolotics movement in years to come. Is Steven Greer destined to become the George Adamski of his generation?

    • Greg on said:

      When there are no ore sirens, we will need to invent them.

      I don’t know about Greer being the new Adamski. They never had Adamski at a MUFON national conference (or NICAP or NUFOC, or whatever “serious” researchers were doing then.) I was surprised to see that he is on the speaker list for this year’s con in Las Vegas. What is going on?

      • Kirk on said:

        Probably Billy Meier is the modern Adamski. He’s an active contactee with a political agenda, and he is shunned by serious research organizations.

  5. gheron on said:

    Just had to add that many decades ago, when I was kid living in the UK, I discovered a Boxcar Willie album in the bargain bin of a local store. I showed this to all my mates and for some reason we found it completely hilarious in that way that only teenage kids can. Boxcar Willie remained an in joke amongst us for many years. So imagine my shock when I stumbled across the lurking horror that is Trance: Formation of America and there he was in all his lizard glory.

    I have only read extracts from the book and agree that it, and the associated mind control mire, are not for the faint hearted. It’s one hell of a rabbit hole. You just can’t help but think what did happen to these people. The recent sad and disturbing revelations about UK celebrity Jimmy Saville have thrown a whole lot of petrol onto this big crazy camp fire.

    • AJ Gulyas on said:

      The Saville/Operation Yewtree stuff has had a huge impact. Henry Makow, board game creator and career antifeminist has some weird stuff up on his site by a guy who claims to have been at Bohemian Grove and witnessed this kind of thing involving Jessica Simpson, Beyonce, etc. http://henrymakow.com/2013/06/Memories-of-Bohemian-Grove%20.html

      It’s all a quagmire– there’s some truth there, but it’s difficult to tell where it is.

      • Greg on said:

        I’ll bet the true part is not what we would think or want it to be.

      • Greg on said:

        Someone just wrote a comment elsewhere in the site that said simply “Greg Bishop is a weak egoist who makes fun of victims.” I erased it as trolling. I hope they don’t see this comment!

  6. Red Pill Junkie on said:

    When Aaron mentioned how the Condon report somehow ‘defused’ the UFO movement in America, I couldn’t help to chuckle –in Spanish, ‘condón’ means condom :3

    A very apt metaphor, since that infamous study impeded the UFO seed to fertilize the Earth –and maybe that’s why UFOlogists have been doing nothing but jerking off ever since :P

    PS: Since you mentioned the beatnik beret preferred by Aura Rhanes, Greg, do you think that’s the reason Linda Howe likes to wear them too? ^_^

  7. Great interview, been on a break from all this fortean madness, perfect way to slide back in. All the early contactee stuff is fascinating, and having two very knowledgeable guys talk out the details is fun, historically illuminating, a good overview and intellectually stimulating.

    Also, found the Buck Nelson booklet on scribd:

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/90648001/Buck-Nelson-My-Trip-to-Mars-the-Moon-and-Venus

    Abe in 1860. Gabe in 1960.

  8. AJ Gulyas on said:

    I tend to agree–Meier has a lot of similarities, down to the close circle of hangers-on and apologists/publicists.

  9. Ay-non on said:

    Hi guys, great interview. Think you’ll be interested in this video – Farewell Good Brothers was shown on Channel 4 in the UK in the 90s and is a look at Contactees. Quite amusing with lots of good interviews. In multiple parts here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WgvE1cpMNW8

  10. Emma on said:

    I was interested to hear Aaron talk about his conversation with David Jacobs about the contactee movement. Jacobs said the same thing to me when I was his research subject.

    In regard to Jacobs “believing” his subject’s hypnotic memories, he uses leading and suggestion to implant the memories into his subjects himself, during the hypnosis sessions he conducts. I have hours of audio of the hypnosis that he conducted with me in which he does that. So, it is not a case of him “believing” his subjects, but more a case of him constructing the narrative himself, and implanting it into his subjects. He then talks and writes about the narrative that he is creating this way as though it is objective “data” that he just happened to stumble across.

    Take care,

    Emma

    • Thank you Emma. I have always suspected this about Jacobs, and to a lesser extent, other abduction researchers, even if they seem sincere and believe themselves to be so.

  11. H J Price on said:

    Interesting show as always. Never been greatly interested in the contactee movement but as I get older it does seem to get more interesting. Maybe something to do with people writing more books on it or something (?), or am I just getting older?? :D

    Anyway, that bit at the beginning about the strangely fascinating for a complete psycho that is, Dr David M. Jacobs, made me mull over in my mind my thought that there is something much bigger going on with the alien abduction thing than just some guy hypnotizing people and believing in what they are telling him. After listening to Emma Wood’s audio files on her website, it looks much more sinister, and I am starting to believe that he may be part of a wider, bigger program maybe even linked to MK Ultra. After all, Jacobs didn’t start off believing in what Budd Hopkins was doing, and poo-poo-ed hypnosis, and then around about the time that old Strieber put out Communion, he turns around 180 degrees. And … he manages to keep his job in History at Temple University as well … hmmm … something smells big time somewhere.

    And throw into this heady mix the fact that if you listen to the audio files mentioned above, it seems he actually implants ideas about Multiple Personality Disorder, other thoughts, and weird, perverse scenarios into his subjects rather than actually believing what they are telling HIM. Also that thing about the chastity belt … woooahhh horseee!! There is a another doctor at Temple, Richard Klufft, who specialises in MPD (he calls it Dissociative Identity Disorder) who has been the MPD consultant on the tv programme, “United States of Tara”. Something in the water at Temple. maybe???

    It all smells like a great steaming pile of agenda to me.

    Still … great show as always. Have you thought about having George Hansen on the prog??? I think it would be a fascinating conversation.

    Anyway, onwards and upwards,

    Best wishes

    H J Price (aka paraschtick)

    • Jacobs had tenure at the time and as far as I know, it’s really hard to get someone with tenure removed from a Univeristy staff, unless you can prove criminal activity and intent.

      Your vote makes more than a couple for George Hansen. I should contact him.

  12. Steve Ray on said:

    In medieval times, there were nonfiction books describing wise rulers and enlightened societies, but they were located on other continents (http://www.graveworm.com/occult/texts/pjohn.html) or faraway islands (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antilia#Medieval_beliefs_and_the_Age_of_Discovery), not distant planets.

    Mike Clellan, or one of his interlocutors, suggests that punchline memories (like pulling a train for Boxcar Willie) are mixed in with the more pragmatic brainwashing as insurance, so any mind-control victims who overcome their post-hypnotic amnesia have stories no one will believe.

    • I have considered this idea. Whoever is using these people (and I would guess that it most likely does go on) may tell them things to make them repeat even more outlandish stories to mask the real stories. The impressionable and easily led may be prime candidates. I know I laughed about it in the show, but there is often another side to the story, even if it is mostly unnoticeable.

    • gheron on said:

      Interesting idea.

  13. drew hempel on said:

    “somehow insidiously exopolitics had become madestream.” EXACTLY!!
    Great interview. Greg – I started a new podcast with the qigong master who befriended me! http://jimnancexperience.wordpress.com — ummm… I asked the qigong master about aliens and e.t.s and he said they don’t physically visit here because the frequency of consciousness on Earth is still too low. So I told my friend about what else the qigong master said and then my friend did plant-based DMT and said he could see this tall alien lady downloading information to him about the cosmos. So I was actually talking to my friend while this happened to him and later I said that I know DMT visions are based on my subconscious since I rely on full lotus yoga position when I did plant-based DMT. Anyway so then my friend got into Greer, etc. and I sent him this podcast to listen to. haha. THANKS GREG!!

  14. Martin S. Kottmeyer on said:

    Responding to Isaac Koi.
    There’s humor and then there’s humor. Allende (born Carl Meredith Allen) was not indulging in a whimsical exercise in creativity, but maliciously deceiving Jessup for his own jollies. Robert Goerman’s privately published 1982 dossier on Allende leaves no question that he was a spiteful person, filled with anger, one who harassed people to get what he wants, one who readily issued ugly death threats, and utterly friendless. The bizarreness and silliness is deliberate and was likely intended to make a fool of Jessup, which, with Jessup being a believer, Allende probably thought made him an easy target.

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