UFO Conjectures

Friday, March 08, 2013

Tacitus, Vico, and subliminal UFOs

Copyright 2013, InterAmerica, Inc.

The great 18th Century polymath, Giambattista Vico, writing in The New Science …[Cornell University Press, Ithaca, 1948/68, translated by Thomas Goddard Bergin and Max Harold Fisch] provides this anecdote from Tacitus’ (Roman historian  c. 55 A.D.- c. 117 A.D.) Germania:

“… Germans dwelling about the Arctic Circle … spoke of hearing the sun pass at night from west to east through the sea, and affirmed that they saw the gods.”  [Section I, Poetic Metaphysics, Page 117]

Anyone scouring early extant works, such as Tacitus’ Germania, will find, almost hidden, in the texts, references to what we would call today UFOs, with observed beings.

That is what one finds in the Ezekiel account of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) and a plethora of other writings, listed, conveniently, in Vallee/Aubeck’s Wonders in the Sky.

But what are such off-handed accounts telling us?

That, for millennia, things, mostly aerial, have been observed and noted – not pronouncedly but rather subliminally. (Ezekiel’s detailed account was used and is used by Biblical exegetes to augment a religious theme, not recognizing the alien, allegorical, or hallucinatory aspects of the recorded event.)

Ancient Astronaut “theorists” use such arcane references to bolster their theses of visiting extraterrestrials, which is, for me, a creative hypothetical hodgepodge that is not off-putting, intellectually, although rabid skeptics of the AA theory become incensed by the views, offering counter arguments that are also acceptable to me, intellectually.

The hypotheses and counter views about AA visitations show that the discussion is hardly conclusive on either side, much as the UFO mystery remains an open question, even after myriad years of debate and anti-debate.

But setting aside the potential animus-evoking AA mention, one has to agree that, for mankind, some kind of mental or neurological aberration has been occurring from time immemorial, or something or someone, out of the ordinary, has been observed.

Most of the recorded accounts, such as that found in Tacitus’ Germania, are benign in nature and have had little or no impact on humanity’s social evolution and certainly not on humankind’s intellectual evolution, even when a religious or mythological patina is added to such observations or events.

The Fatima sightings, for example, may have provided a temporary fervor among Catholics in 1917, but no Catholic doctrine was altered or enhanced by the alleged events.

The 1947 Roswell incident intrigues a few UFO mavens but humanity, as a whole, remains unaffected by the supposed event, whether it was an ET visitation or something else.

Just as the Germanic note that the sun passed, from west to east, through the sea, and the gods were seen confirms the bromide of something passing in the night, the notation takes us nowhere.

It merely titillates.

And that’s what UFO reports do, and that’s all they do.

Getting worked up about UFO sightings, with or without beings, is, itself, a mental aberration, and not a healthy one; it has created a sub-culture in human society that is pathological and unhealthy.

So, dear readers, if you presume to be psychologically whole, you will scourge any energetic defense of UFOs or equally counter offenses.

UFOs are a footnote, as Vico provided, and nothing more.

They always have been and will always be, it seems…