Thursday, December 27, 2007

In this fascinating series of outtakes from the film version of "Communion," we see a contemporary iconography in the making. Christopher Walken's silent dialogue with the "Grays" is like watching a mind in the process of discovering itself, a testament to Whitley Strieber's seminal book.

The interior of the craft in "Communion" has always struck me as oddly plausible. It has the spatial logic of a dream, boundless yet confining. And the aliens -- obvious marionettes -- are somehow creepier and more believable than their CGI successors. After all, would a real alien show its true self to you? And if it did, would your mind have the dexterity to construct an accurate translation?


dad2059 said...

I dunno. Strieber kinda creeps me out.

He's no different than anyone else who had these kinds of experiences.

And the movie is creepy.

Dr. x said...

"After all, would a _real_ alien show its true self to you? And if it did, would your mind have the dexterity to construct an accurate translation?"

There's a triple presumption there. First, how would one know if the face of the "alien" presented to you was the true one or not?

I don't think one could presume either way.

And if it was the "real" face of an alien, why should one assume that one would thus require a dextrous mind to somehow "translate" the given imagery thereof?

That assumes 1) what is seen, if real, (in the sense that any such display of an alien entity is as it actually is morphologically shaped) would suggest a form of "honesty" on the part of the alien (as opposed to deception, as suggested in the Communion outake segment where the big-eyed "grey" removes the lower half of its "mask," revealing a snake or reptilian counterpoint) or 2) some inherent limitation on the part of the percipient to accurately observe and recall what is displayed visually or facially.

Neither option is necessarily the case. It could be 3)more subtle, various, and indirect than that--what if an alien showed you its actual face, which also presumes it has one, and, in turn, due to the high strangeness of any such encounter, a mental effect or image triggered by fear or panic resulted in a misperception organically, either due to recalled archetype culturally conditioned, or possibly due to other factors, such as any form of radiation which might accompany such an "alien" presence, or nearby "craft," which might cause a physical neural effect that distorts perception and/or accurate recall?

What if there were no "alien" at all, but you perceived and recalled some kind of close encounter, with related observation of an alien, etc., when, in fact, one might have just gotten too close to a radiative form of highly condensed energy, such as forms of ball lightning or rare atmospheric plasma formation?

Then the question that would remain to the truly objective mind is: what did I just see and what is my recall or memory "recording?"

Or, if an alien did actually show you its "true appearance," what makes one presuppose it would require your "mind [to] have the dexterity to construct an accurate translation?" The implication there is that any such "display" would require some feat of very high-level mental interpretation, based on the second-level presumption that any such "display" or appearance would be something other than what is seen. Maybe. Maybe not. Or there could be some interactive, reactive mixture of "yes" or "no," to the question of just how accurate one's recall may actually be.

There are many variables to these questions, dependent on mind, perception of one's own mind and it's accuracy or ability to see or recall, the cultural context, and the variations in the origins and nature of the cause of the "encounter experience" itself.

Several questions are thus begged, even though I understand what you are suggesting, I'm countering that with alternative, serious possibilities.

I suspect part of your suggestion is subconsciously linked to and too closely related to the scenes and fictional scenario outlined in both the Communion movie, the ostensible subject of your post, and Strieber's book and the myriad mystical implications therein.

It ain't necessarily so, any way you slice it. I know this from personal experience.

Sometimes you just have to accept that something happened, or might have been seen, but whether that was necessarily similar to one visual, recalled scenario or another, created internally or seen externally to your mind and by perceptual faculties, especially in cases of very high strangeness or anomalous experience, may never be resolvable in any particular way, which is most problematic and paradoxical to our need to understand our experiences and reality. But it may be the most true, to leave any such incident in mind as portrayed, or seen, without categorization or analysis based on one or even two incidents, or to "put it in a convenient box," as to then interpret or define the experience may lead one away from the truth. Or may not. This is more than an intellectual dichotomy or dualistic notion.

To be truly objective, one must consider one's own potential subjectivity as a factor in perception, let alone any deceptive or incomprehensible intent on the part of any possible non-human form of intelligence.

This is only one reason (or several, actually) as to why uap/ufo/entity encounters or incidents are so much of a conundrum wrapped inside an enigma; they are often so radical in nature and out of our ordinary understanding that they can and do take on mythic aspects, especially when they are often very brief, occur only once or possibly twice in a person's life, and present or involve such, dare I say it, "alien" or unusual physical and psychological factors that one should never presume in any way about this kind of extraordinary matter. To begin to believe one or more interpretations is just an issue of faith, and comfort, not reality, or the best of science.

That's also why it's so fascinating. An encounter with the amazing is just that. Ipso facto. Be careful what you end up believing.

And, yeah, Communion is pretty creepy. That's why Walken is so good in it--he's kind of naturally off-kilter already. In fact, he's famous for his "presentation." A good choice for portraying Strieber.

Remember Walken in all those old SNL sketches? Check out YouTube under "Walken." Oh, and btw, he's being "drafted" to run for President in 2008!


OTOH, I may just be subjecting your logic to "extreme techniques of interrogation," or waterboarding your assumptions. Or not. Perhaps you are fully aware of all these permutations and more. Then, we may agree. If so, my apologies. And then, where is _my_ logical editorial analysis? Probably still on Xmas vacation.

Need I say more? Thought not. ;')

dad2059 said...

I have to agree with dr.x on one aspect, the experience depends on how ones mind perceives reality. My own UFO experience was when I was eight years old, during the time of the Gemini launches. I must've watched just about every one.

In the summer of 1967 when I went outside to walk to my grandmother's house, I heard a loud humming sound over my head. It was like the sound an electrical transformer makes, but there wasn't any of them close to the house. I looked up and about tree-top level I saw a machine that looked like the Atlas rocket with the Gemini capsule attached. But it wasn't spewing flames or vapors like a jet or rocket. It had antennae sticking out in front of it. And I just watched it hum and glide away. It kind of scared me because of the humming noise, but I was transfixed by it.

That was my first and only UFO experience.

Did alien nanobots/utility fog read my mind and produce that image that obviously came from a memory?

Or was I just an impressionable kid hoping to get a glimpse of something I thought was cool and hallucinate the image from a mundane object like a helicopter?

I'll never know. But I've been watching for over forty years since.

Elan said...

Has anyone else seen a brand new release of Communion with a newly written preface?

Elan said...

Is this part of a special DVD release with Director commentary?

dr. x said...

Not a helicopter, Dad. Before you saw anything, your attention was distracted by a "loud humming sound," right?

And what you subsequently looked overhead and observed is both amazing and not uncommon, in that often what is seen is almost what (an eight-year-old mind in particular) might have been somehow "expected," given your Cape Kennedy Gemini-watching experience. But what explains the antennae? There are some interesting clues in your recall of the observation.

You definitely seem to have witnessed an unidentified flying object of some sort--the question is how and why did your mind or whatever create the imagery cited?

Internally generated or externally synthesized? Or both or neither? Only you can decide. Or not.

Mac said...


I've never seen a "new" version of "Communion." And yes, I think this is from one of the DVD extras.

Anonymous said...


"Has anyone else seen a brand new release of Communion with a newly written preface?"

Are you referring to a new edition of the original book with a new preface? If so, and not the movie, what does the new preface say, as opposed to any earlier one, if that's the case?

dad2059 said...

dr.x: Antennae possibly relating to the TV? Dunno. But the antennae wasn't like an ordinary TV antennae of the period, more like a satellite's. I don't recall watching any satellite launches and subsequent simulations, but this was forty years ago, so I very possibly could have.

The sighting, what ever it was, inflamed my interest in science and space. I have taken many detours over the years, but after starting my blog early this past year, my researches have connected me with some very interesting people and theories.

If the 'Net evolves into the GooglePlex and then into sentience, I'm not too sure if I'll be upset about it. Author Greg Egan supposes people will upload as the next step in evolution. It might not be a bad thing.

elan said...

"Are you referring to a new edition of the original book with a new preface? If so, and not the movie, what does the new preface say, as opposed to any earlier one, if that's the case?"

I can only tell you what I saw, which was the cover - no graphic, but with a super title saying: "The Classic #1 New York Times bestseller." Also, something about a new forward or preface...

Anonymous said...

Communion was a fantastic movie that really captured the essence of the abduction experience. It's terrifying, confusing, enlightening, strangely comforting and important. Those who have been there know that this is hitting very close to the mark.

Brent said...

See also someone posted the abduction scene from Fire in the sky on Youtube which is quite frightening.