Allen Greenfield – The Occult and UFOs

Allen Greenfield has been in the UFO biz almost since the beginning. He has been on the board of the National UFO Conference (NUFOC) since its inception and was there in the 1950s and ’60s along with James Moseley, Gray Barker, and later, Tim Beckley as they pulled off legendary UFO conferences attended by thousands.

He is also heavily steeped in occult lore, particularly Aliester Crowley’s Ordo Templi Orientis. I have long believed that the mind-expanding rituals of Western Occultism may be an important key to the solution of the UFO enigma, and Greenfield’s 1992 book, Secret Cipher Of The Ufonauts made that connection for many.

On this program, we talked about the early NUFOC gatherings and the strange and famous people who used to show up, including James Randi, who gave a talk about the mysterious Nazca Lines. We also spoke about Jim Moseley and Gray Barker’s juvenile jokes and hoaxes which were pulled on anyone they considered deserving targets, such as John Keel and George Adamski. Greenfield recalled the weird antics of Albert Bender, the man who brought the term and idea of the “Men In Black” into public consciousness. He says that Bender may have been performing some sort of ill-formed rituals that summoned these entities and that he didn’t know how to get rid of them.

In conclusion, Allen said that what needs to be done with UFO study is to use our limited human comprehension to examine various aspects of the unknown and make connections between what we find in order to understand the underlying structures.

Guest intro stolen from Adam Gorightly’s Untamed Dimensions podcast.

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16 Responses to Allen Greenfield – The Occult and UFOs

  1. Robert Oliver says:

    Greg, Absolutely the most fun, fascinating show!!! Allen G. Is my new hero and no one but you could have done this interview so well. What a spectacularly interesting guest. Thanks!

  2. Anon says:

    Greg, have you seen Her yet? It’s a fun take on the idea of superintelligences without the typical ‘and the AIs take over the world’ ending.

  3. Frits says:

    Greg, fun show made me laugh and smile!
    What is the name of the band/artist/song playing in the first 30 seconds or so of the podcast?

  4. Chris Anderson says:

    Hey Greg,

    I got really excited when I saw this interview up. It was great to hear Allen so peppy and I love that you let him just go where he wanted to go. I have a beloved copy of Secret Cipher that I found in a used bookstore in Berkeley CA when I was in college. Those were the days of heady delirious discovery of connections between all this crazy stuff…

    My only complaint is that I want to hear what YOU think of the occult + ufo connection. I’ve long hoped you’d go more into this. I’ve heard you make vague references to your own occult/esoterica studies in the past, and the handful of times you and Redfern have agreed that it’s a key to the UFO engima. However, I’ve never really heard your explicit take on it.
    (And mentioning Redfern – he wrote a really interesting review on Louis Proud’s Dark Intrusions on Amazon, a book about the paranormal interpretation of Sleep Paralysis, saying in effect that anyone who still believes nuts and bolts ufos are abducting people after reading this book just doesn’t get it. He also said something in a review for Steiger’s Shadow World.)

    What do YOU think? Or do you remain more agnostic on the whole ultraterrestrial/spirit/etheric /lower astral/ etc. etc.?

    AND – I think Allen has a hell of an idea of leaving a note for Albert Bender making a discrete offer to lend him a sympathetic ear – that is, if he’s still alive.

    • Greg says:

      Hey Chris,

      I studied a little in the OTO and more heavily with the Builders of the Adytum here in Los Angeles in the 1990s. I think the connection is mainly that the person who knows about these traditions can see that the self is a very important part of the equation when dealing with things that are not rooted in our three or four dimensions and that language is just a tool and an inaccurate representation of reality, or realities. I think that many who study UFOs are unwittingly involved in a crude form of evocational magick and don’t realize the things they say and believe have an effect on their perceptions and maybe even on the phenomenon itself.

      I don’t know. I may leave Bender a note. I have to find the old Saucer Smear where Moseley published his address.

      • Chris Anderson says:

        Thanks for replying.
        You have a very zen-like, noncommittal stance. I like ‘crude form of evocational magic.’ Well put.
        I’m not sure where I stand on the ontological models of the occultists. I keep going back and forth. When I first really cracked into that stuff I did the whole ‘this is IT!’ thing, until I slowly realized that it’s just another mythology, and one that can feel just as claustrophobic and dogmatic as any other worldview.
        And you’re so right when you hit on language. For instance, I really latched onto ‘astral’ for a while, in terms of lower astral entities, earthbound spirits, elementals, that whole schtick, until I realized etymologically it comes from ‘star’ and was originally identified with the heavenly vaults. Somehow I think in the occult revival of the later 19th century it began to take on a more ‘subtle plane’ meaning. That’s speculation. But in the end, what does that word mean then? It becomes kind of hand-wavy. I feel that way as well about the pseudoscientific jargon that’s applied to the paranormal field. In the end it starts to feel like ‘pick which language schema you feel most comfortable with.’ Science/techie, occult/paranormal/shamanic, Jungian/archetypal, etc. etc. and in the end everyone is basically saying the same thing. Sort of.

        btw – I REALLY appreciated Greenfield emphasizing his take on the Bender episode and the possibility of Bender’s fear distorting the experience. That is something I’ve been grappling with lately: realizing how powerfully my inner state can warp things. I’m tired of the knee jerk paranoid response a la Keel. That has been me for too long, and its exciting to feel that the relationship with the Other doesn’t have to be on such terms.

  5. PurrlGurrl says:

    Not a clue what he was talking about half the time but, nevertheless, one of the more fun guests you’ve ever had on your podcast. I bet there’s a twinkle in his eyes.

  6. Sue Johnson says:

    Possibly my most favorite interview so far. By all means encourage him to come back to talk more. I liked the story about the conversation with what, an OTO guy? about who should feel more ashamed to associate with each other, the occultists or the ufologists. It was very funny and also very true. I came from the occult side of things originally and had NO respect for UFOs whatsoever until fairly recently, at which point I had to go back and reexamine all my assumptions about why I drew the line where I did. Greenfield articulates this fault line really clearly, which not many people can manage. Ask him what he thinks about co-creation.

  7. Anon says:

    I could have sworn this was an interview from your archives. I distinctly remember hearing most of this before..especially towards the end..and even the music he requested. And I only say this because I really loved this he was filled with so much knowledge, wit and a great sense of humor. Not to mention the kind of “behind the scenes” info and gossip you just can’t get from anyone else in this field. Have you interviewed him before and maybe I’m just remembering some things you guys have discussed in the past? It’s hard to forget a guest like this..and I know I’ve heard you talking to him before..or..I’m losing my Either way..please bring him back. Or may I suggest making him a regular monthly interview the way Linda Moulton Howe appears on C2CAM? Truly a phenomenal gentleman! Thanks for the interview.

  8. francis dec says:

    Neptunians from Brit supermarionation classic Space Patrol are classic greys, or is it grays?

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