Thursday, November 22, 2007

Looking down from a sufficient distance, human habitation recedes to the merest glimmer. As night devours the continents, our seeming dominion vanishes, replaced by scattered constellations, the haughty gleam of our cities suddenly as substantial as a skein of campfires. As the dark deepens, we realize with mounting unease just how tenuous our presence is; the mountains, prairies and lakes, denuded of daylight, taunt us with their enormity.

Then there are the oceans, almost entirely vacant of man-made lights. Our seas, so often taken for granted, are like vast tombs from which even the most unseemly phantasms might emerge; we ply their waters at our own peril, distantly aware that we might find ourselves in the company of others.





The Earth is ancient, its biosphere only slightly less so. For four-billion years our world has has secreted life. The advent of homo sapiens is alarmingly recent in comparison. We're like foundlings washed upon some alien shore, stifling our fears by pretending to a feeble omnipotence. Having launched spacecraft to the outer planets and inspected the crater-pocked wastes of Mars through the unblinking eyes of rovers, it's easy to entertain the idea that we're the first, evolution's sole successful stab at the phenomenon we casually term "intelligence."

Yet as we watch night erode the familiar highways and stadiums and ever-encroaching suburbs, our confidence falters. Already, technological forecasters envision a near-future populated by our artificially intelligent offspring. Perhaps as our most cherished certainties crumble in the glow of a new century -- full of danger, portent and enigma -- it's become relatively easy to contemplate the presence of the Other: not an other new to our planet, but one predating our own genetic regime. Something unspoken and ancient yet nevertheless amenable to science . . . an intelligence with an almost-human face, until recently content to abide by the shadows of our complacency.

But since the middle of the last century it seems to have asserted itself with a vigor hitherto found only in the domain of folklore. Understandably daunted, we've relegated its existence to the margins of perception: hallucination, war fever, misunderstood natural phenomena, delusion, butchered recollections of dreams best left forgotten. We see lights dancing in our sky and invoke impossible meteors. Landed vehicles accompanied by surreal humanoids become military test aircraft and their diminutive pilots. The emaciated creatures seen aboard apparent spacecraft -- or, more portentously, within rock-walled caverns -- are summarily dismissed as sheerest fantasy or, at best, as the spawn of novel brain dysfunctions.

In the decades since 1947, dawn of the contemporary UFO era, we've confronted a parade of strangeness that has rallied uncritical enthusiasts and rattled entrenched authority, leaving a bizarre residue that defies attempts at categorization as certainly as it elicits hypotheses.

(Work continues on "The Cryptoterrestrials" . . .)

16 comments:

mr. intense said...

Oh, yeah! _That's_ what I was talking about. Excellent writing, Mac! More, more! Bravissimo!

I can almost feel the languid, portentious, dark enigma unfolding before us....

TJ said...

Hey that's pretty good - you should be a writer or something.

AnonFan said...

With just a few keystrokes you have evoked the very soul of what drives the human race. The whole passage has the haunting immediacy of a photograph taken by an outsider.
Perhaps you could be enticed to give us glimpses of your writings more often. What a pleasant suprise to have such a tasty little morsel of insight to take with me on my travels today.

Elan said...

Where can I register for pre-sales?
Seriously.

Anonymous said...

hey you should submit this to the Bulwar Lytton contest:

http://www.bulwer-lytton.com/

I think you'd have a good chance.

Seriously dude, edit out the turgidity.

Elan said...

anonymous, you went too far by insulting one of our brightest light in the field.
Mac's post is eloquent, brilliant, provocative and evocative.
It is some of the very best Forteana writing ever, on par with Vallee and others at that level.
Turgid? You took a cheap shot and one that I suspect the vast majority of this blog's readers will reject with vigor.

Mac said...

I'm glad to see this is (for the most part) going over well. Thanks, folks.

Mac said...

Where can I register for pre-sales?

I'll let you know if that's an option -- but first I have to actually assemble the damned book! :-)

Katie said...

I love the flow of your writing, Mac. Your descriptions are poetic, and the imagery you invoke are superb.

Anonymous can go suck eggs IMHO. :o)

Mac said...

Thanks Katie!

I wrote this in longhand about a month ago; it's been sitting on my desk ever since, literally gathering dust. Maybe I need an assistant!

mr. intense said...

I volunteer!

Mac said...

Intense--

I promise you: that's a gig you don't want!

mr. intense said...

You're probably right, now that I think about it--after living 30 years in Marin, San Francisco, and Berkeley, I don't know if my wiggly brain could survive in Missouri! 8^}

I'd be as happy as an intoxicated clam, though, to provide (cough) peer-review of your manuscript after final draft and your editor massages it, for suggestions, alternate viewpoints, plus grammatical and syntactical mastication. Heh! Such a deal!

Brent said...

If that was turgid, then give me more

Elan said...

brent, agreed!
If this is a morsel of Mac's book, i for one look forward to gorging on the feast.

david biedny said...

Mac, that pulled me right in and made the issue so very clear - we've been here an eyeblink, and think we actually know the history of this planet. Excellent, eloquent and insightful. We need more voices like yours in the world, not just the paranormal playpen. I'm really looking forward to the book.