Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Earth's Indigenous "Aliens"... and Our Convoluted Narratives

No, this is not a Hopi petroglyph! *
(click on images for enlargements)

"It may sound like the perfect plot for the new and upcoming series of The X-Files. But, it’s worth noting that this is a scenario that has surfaced on a number of previous occasions. In 2010, Anomalist Books published the final title from the late Mac Tonnies: The Cryptoterrestrials. Highly thought-provoking and deeply controversial in equal measures, the book focused on the idea that UFOs are not the products of alien races, but of very ancient, terrestrial people that dwell deep underground and who masquerade as extraterrestrials to camouflage their true identity."

From Nick Redfern's 2015 (Mysterious Universe) article: Roswell Slides and the Ant People.

"One of the most intriguing Hopi legends involves the Ant People, who were crucial to the survival of the Hopi—not just once but twice. The so-called “First World” (or world-age) was apparently destroyed by fire—possibly some sort of volcanism, asteroid strike, or coronal mass ejection from the sun. The Second World was destroyed by ice—Ice Age glaciers or a pole shift. During these two global cataclysms, the virtuous members of the Hopi tribe were guided by an odd-shaped cloud during the day and a moving star at night that led them to the sky god named Sotuknang, who finally took them to the Ant People—in Hopi, Anu Sinom. The Ant People then escorted the Hopi into subterranean caves where they found refuge and sustenance." 

From a 2013 article The Ant People of the Hopi by Gary David.

"The First People of Tokpela, the First World, were safely sheltered underground as fire rained down upon the earth. Volcanoes and fire storms destroyed all that was above them until the earth, the waters, and the air itself was all elemental Fire.

While this was going on, the people lived happily underground with the Ant People. Their homes were just like the people's homes on the earth-surface being destroyed. There were rooms to live in and rooms where they stored their food. There was light to see by, too. The tiny bits of crystal in the sand of the anthill had absorbed the light of the sun, and using the inner vision of the center located behind the eyes they could see by its reflection very well."


(Since posting this article two days ago, I happened upon Greg Bishop's latest radio show over at Radio Misterioso which, as it turns out is strongly related to the role of the story - and/or the "narrative" - and its relation to "paranormality."  I wish there was a transcript of Greg's and "Robert's" profound conversation, but, in lieu of that I can only recommend listening to “Burnt State” – The Story’s The Thing", if you haven't already. Had I listened to the show before I'd written this post, I would have surely mentioned it,  so I've updated the post to compensate for my unintentional omission.)

It's been a strange several months and, as for myself, after falling down a rabbit-hole (a sort of existential wormhole), I've become firmly entrenched in the mythology of the Middle Ages. (!) It began with a work of fiction I'd begun writing in January - also set in the Middle Ages - and then, thanks to the rabbits, dove-tailed into an exploration of medieval women's contributions to the arts. Now, you're probably asking yourself, what does this have to do with Mac Tonnies? Well, actually, medieval women aside, mythology is at the core of this post - as it was with the afore-mentioned fictional tale & the Trans-D posts - and, possibly with a little "narrative glue" (as Mac used to call it) I can tie a number of seemingly disparate threads into... well, one immense knot!

In any case, I've been avoiding the internet as of late and, so, it's of no great wonder that it took me a week to find Nick Redfern's article, Roswell Slides and the “Ant People”, over at Mysterious Universe. (Sorry, Nick!) His article brings up the topic of the Hopi Pueblo's mythic "Ant People," a benign subterranean race which rescued the Hopi from cataclysmic earth events in the First and Second "Worlds" of their history. This, in turn, led him down the Crypto trail - another sort of rabbit-hole - into Tonnies territory, specifically his compadre Mac Tonnies's Cryptoterrestrial theories outlined in Mac's posthumously published book... well, you know the book. The question NR asks is: might the Ant People actually have been bona fide cryptoterrestrials; that is, indigenous "aliens" who lived underground? From the descriptions it certainly seems possible....

Then again, it looks like Nick Redfern has been busy following his own collection of rabbits after inheriting the files of the late UFO researcher, Kathy Kasten, in 2012. He is now in possession of a voluminous archive of notes and data, at least some of which deals with the topic of Roswell and, moreover, intimates a possible connection with the presence of Ant People. Unfortunately, the waters of Roswell have become so muddied over the years - (a convoluted narrative for sure) - one hesitates to even "go there", so while I sympathize with both Redfern and Kasten, I'm hesitant to weave the Roswell thread into this present account.

Because we are talking about stories, aren't we? And, more than anything else, humans love stories. Now, when I say "story" you might immediately jump to the conclusion I'm referring to fiction, but that isn't the actual meaning of the word. The Middle English root of the word "story" denoted an actual historical account. Its present definition involves both real and imaginal "accounts" used for the purpose of "entertainment". And, in the last analysis, the stories we bring to the table are an odd combination of all of the above; part fact, part fiction (and/or speculation), and part entertainment. One might say, every story, whether "historical" or "mythological" is comprised of those same three elements in varying proportions, their threads so skillfully woven together they become impossible to pry apart. So, ultimately, the question of "Is it fact or fiction?" becomes relative to the eye of the beholder and the corresponding agenda which needs to be served.


An interpretation of a Muryan

"In Cornwall, it is believed that Faerie Glamour is not infinite and that each and every time a Fay shape-shifts or casts a transformation, part of their vitality - the life-force known to mystics as Prana - diminishes. The oldest Faeries (and those who have been wanton in their use of magic) will therefore in their final phases appear as ant-like creatures known as Muryans. Other people, though, believe that the Muryans are actually the souls of Druids who died refusing to accept Christianity, or are the spirits of children that passed away before being baptised.
In Cornwall therefore, it is considered foolish and unfortunate to tread upon ants."

- This quote and the image above taken from: Supernatural Creatures of the Celtic Underworld by Andrew L. Paciorek.

"... for old folks always believed of the fair people such things as she told him, and they disliked to be seen, above all by day-light, because they then looked aged and grim. It was said, too, that those who take animal forms get smaller and smaller with every change, till they are finally lost in the earth as muryans (ants), and that they passed winter, for the most part, in underground habitations, entered from cleves or earns. And it is held that many persons who appear to have died entranced, are not really dead, but changed into the fairy state."

- Via this Sacred Texts page.


But, I particularly like the story of the Ant People, because, oddly enough, across the pond in Cornwall, UK, another fabled Ant humanoid also exists; that is, the subterranean Muryan. The Muryans were not beneficial to humans, however, but, as with many of their faerie counterparts there was an almost tragic aspect to their enigmatic nature. As in the case of the other faerie denizens, they, too, were often confused with the spirits of the dead. As it was, in order to somehow explain their existence within a religious context - the preeminent paradigm in existence at the time - the Muryans and other pixies, sprites, elves, etc. were either heretical or not "baptized".

In contemporary scientific paradigms, of course, these creatures simply never existed. Which, as Mac Tonnies noted in his book (quoted more extensively here) "This analysis is attractive on several levels. It neatly does away with the specter of the Other we repeatedly encounter in myths."

And I think this was one of Mac's most relevant statements in his book. Because the "specter of the Other" not only exists, but it, and its stories, comprise the "power" behind the psyche's "throne". Science tends to want to erase our stories, believing perhaps that the specters' existence depends upon them. But, this might be one error of scientific inquiry. For, in the end, the question of any story's relevance is not so much "Is it fact or is it fiction?" but, "On what level does the story resonate with us... and why?"

Then again, in the case of those "monster" tales which seem to recycle themselves over and over again, presenting similar specters in slightly different guises, perhaps the real question is: "Essentially, what came first, the specter or the story?"


"Reality itself is s seriously discontinuous event; we just create narratives to make things seem normal to us."

Speaking of specters and stories, the quote (above) is from "Robert", a high-school teacher, via his and Greg Bishop's conversation: “Burnt State” – The Story’s The Thing" on Greg's show Radio Misterioso. Amongst other things - within the context of the narrative, the legend, the tale, and even our digital communications - they discuss UFO sightings, alien abductions, and technological future scenarios. Taken from the show's post:

"Robert is interested in the way that we use storytelling to make sense of the world; particularly the stranger parts. Any witness to something that shouldn’t be has to find a way to make sense of it and in many cases communicate the experience to others. In this  insidious way, weirdness remains locked in a context that we have created."


* I was having a lot of problems coming up with an introductory image for this post. Apparently, thanks to proponents of the Ancient Alien Hypotheses**, imaginative individuals are all over the Ant People like white on rice. Moreover, I notice a lot of the petroglyphs presented on their pages do not necessarily represent Hopi Ant People, and therefore I didn't want to join that crowd. Instead, I was trying to find an authenticated petroglyph... and, as this wasn't possible, I chose the most ant-like petroglyph I could find.

As it turns out, this ant-like figure was the work of the Hohokam civilization which, like the Hopi, originated in Arizona. although they had strong cultural ties to Mesoamerica. The Hohokam were also extremely advanced. For instance, they engineered the largest and most sophisticated irrigation system in the Americas. But, mysteriously, just as they, apparently, appeared out of nowhere... "the Hohokam constructed their last large irrigation network on the river and used all of the available water to irrigate crops. This stressed their most critical resource, water. Major changes in Hohokam culture resulted, including the construction of the mounds. While these changes appear to be in response to a need to share water and feed an ever increasing population, their attempts fail. From 1350 to 1450 the population plunges and traces of the Hohokam disappear from the archaeological record." (Source: see "ceramics" link below)

Hohokum ceramics

** As i've mentioned before on this blog, I think the Ancient Alien Hypothesis (another story) is cool. I'm just a tad dismayed that it's proponents are currently running roughshod over every myth or artifact they can get their hands on, tagging it with a glib "Could it be alien?" and thereby short-circuiting all the myriad other possibilities - and Other stories... and, they're not helping their own story, either! ;-)

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