Earth: An Alien Enterprise – Book Review
Author: Timothy Good
Publisher: Pegasus Books, 80 Broad St, 5th Floor, New York, NY
Copyright: 2013, ISBN: 
Cover: Michael Fusco, MPluse.Net
Reviewed by: Lynard Barnes, February 21, 2014
Summary: UFOs, lights in the sky and non-human entities. Through his work Timothy Good sets the standard for exploring UFO matters. In this Good establishes, perhaps unwittingly, the firmest foundation presented thus far for analyzing the “extraterrestrials are among us” argument as something more than a fringe element exploring a hypothetical reality. The fringe is there. The hypothetical reality; not so much. Whatever your position on UFOs, this book will definitely solidify your opinion.
As an armchair historian I have always been fascinated by the mysticism that permeated upper class Russian society before the fall of the Russian aristocracy. There are those who would argue that the emergence of communism in 1917 Russia was a direct result of the Gnosticism encircling the early era of Christianity. The essence of this argument is correct: there is an aberrant strain of rationalism (i.e., logic dressed-up in logical proofs) in Western thought that allows for the rise of such rational based paradigms as Soviet communism (as opposed to socialism), “scientific” Nazism and today’s “religious-nationalistic” terrorism. This aberrant strain is no small matter. It is however occult. This aberrant rationalism comes down to the quintessential question of whether you should accept my reality or whether I should accept yours. Rationally of course, this should not even be a question.
What does Gnosticism have to do with lights in the sky and flying saucers?
In addition to the lights in the sky reports and expected single-person alien encounters, EARTH: AN ALIEN ENTERPRISE explores two extraordinary UFO related topics that not only stretch the definition of reality, but undermine what we customarily define as reality. Therein lies the connection to Gnosticism and the flow of non-traditional Western thought perhaps Eastern thought as well. The world could very well be The Matrix of The Wachowski Brothers with “sentient machines” subjugating the entire human race. Or the world as we experience it could be smoke and mirrors artfully manipulated by beings from outer space. To argue otherwise in contesting the possibility is to fall into a Mobius trap in which your knowledge is your ignorance on display. Gnosis, Gnosticism—you either believe you know or you are simply ignorant. There is no middle ground.
Into the Depths of Esoteric Reality
In Chapter 13 of EARTH: ALIEN ENTERPRISE, Good provides rather detailed information on Amicizia. The Amicizia consists of a group of well educated, culturally influential people in Europe (Germany, France, Russia, Italy) who have been befriended by aliens—thus, Amicizia or Friendship. The group started in April 1956. It was then that Professor Bruno Sammaciccia and two others went to the crest of a road leading to the Rocca Pia castle near Ascoli Piceno. There they met two entities, one more than eight feet tall and another slightly over three feet. The two entities were extraterrestrials from different “races”. They had come to earth to help humankind. They offered friendship. Good examines the Amicizia organization in some detail because he is “convinced of its relevance to our assessment of aliens and their motives regarding Earth”. For possible discussion, consider this: Aliens must have purpose. Their purpose must concern earth. Why?
Earthlings meeting aliens is not unusual. Good discusses several such encounters. In Chapter 1, he summarizes the 1932 alien encounters of Leo Dworshak and his younger brother Mike. According to Leo, who died in 2007, the purpose of these encounters was to determine how humans were destroying the environment. Good reveals two other alien encounters occurring before the July 1947 Roswell event. These early reports of alien encounters have the effect of showing that it was not a post-July 1947 phenomena.
While Chapter 13 and the Amiciza discussion is the center-piece of these alien encounter stories, all have an underlying theme of “saving human kind” or planet earth from eventual destruction. Please note in passing that the earth and humankind have been under imminent threat of destruction or annihilation since recorded history. (The ancient Egyptians seem to be one of the few cultures without a doomsday mythology [or science?]).
Ultimate Nihilism for the Masses
“Saving humankind” from itself is just one theme running through this book. The other of course is the “worldwide conspiracy” to keep mankind in ignorance and the true extent of alien dominance in human affairs. In Chapter 4, Good re-introduces the idea that President Dwight D. Eisenhower met with aliens in 1954. From this meeting, an organization created whose goal was or is to assure co-existence with extraterrestrials. This co-existence strategy is implemented on the human side by what retired U. S. Air Force colonel, L. Fletcher Prouty calls The Secret Team. It is also the name of his book on the subject. To bolster this supposition that aliens are real and are among us, Good brings to light some factoids that by themselves are meaningless, even silly. My favorite is the reference to Gary McKinnon. McKinnon was arrested in 2002 for hacking into U. S. Air Force Space Command (AFSPC) computers. McKinnon reported that he discovered and examined a document containing a list of officers under the heading “Non-Terrestrial Officers”.
Much has made of this heading in UFO circles. Good reports on McKinnon’s findings in Chapter 14 and leaves possible implications of what the “Non-Terrestrial Officers” heading might mean up to the reader. My take was to consider the name of the agency, Air Force Space Command, and the possibility that the agency consists of regularly commissioned military officers (Air Force Academy, field officers, etc.), and officers specifically commissioned for their skills at space exploration (such as the ever pervasive academic experts in various fields of science)— “non-terrestrial officers” if I wanted to be a bureaucratic wiz kid.
The other factoid in support of the “aliens are already among us” supposition is a quote Good delivers from Ben Rich.
After citing Ben Rich’s credentials as the man who once headed Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works (pages 136 to 138), Good reports Rich as saying in a March 23, 1993 University of California, Los Angeles alumnus meeting:
“’If you can image it, Lockheed Skunk Works has done it . . . We already have the means to travel among the stars. But these technologies are locked up in black projects and it would take an Act of God to ever get them out to benefit humanity. Anything you can imagine, we already know how to do.’”
It is an extraordinary quote. Is it braggadocio? If you assume there are things our current-day science does not know it does not know, Rich may be correct. Science being science, this is doubtful however. Science advances based upon hypothesis. A hypothesis requires “knowing”. Not knowing is not an option.
On the other hand, if we assume science knows there are things it does not know, Rich may still be correct. Rich, who has been described as a maverick, is expressing a faith in science that only a true scientist could express. But to make the leap to viewing possible human interstellar travel as a gift from extraterrestrials is, as of this date, a leap into faith-based science. This is the context in which Good brings up the quote. Yet, the quote does not say or imply that technological advances in aviation are the result of alien technology. In fact, it seems to be saying just the opposite.
Books and entire cable-television networks have been built around exploring the idea that our level of civilization is based on help from extraterrestrials. There is an alternative explanation is even more provocative and more in line with the quote from Ben Rich. Faith-based science is possible if we accept the proposition that there is more that science does not know than it knows. Science knows this though it is very, very reluctant to recognize the fact. It is the “not-knowing” is not an option factor.
For instance, it is entirely possible and more than likely that human civilization is much, much older than the current scaffolding on which we stick “history”. Our civilization is no more advanced than it was a thousand, ten thousand or even a million years ago. What has changed, not advanced, is our attitude toward our environment and our place in it. If we are to accept even our circumscribed description of history, we have created new world views—gestalt to use the German term—within the last two thousand years. The creation of this new world view emerged ten to twelve thousand years ago and continues to evolve. We are, probably like the civilizations before our present one, on track to arrive at “the truth” about ourselves and our existence. There are no aliens. Only us. Encouraging if you have fear of the future; discouraging if you are waiting to be saved from something.
The Inner Alien
Suppose there really are aliens and that governments all over the world have conspired to keep the fact hidden from the public? Or suppose there is a “secret team” of people whose sole purpose is to prevent humans from finding out that the world really is ran for the benefit of extraterrestrials? Stop here and imagine yourself in 13th century Spain: Before the accepted idea of a round-world: Before Columbus. Can you imagine asking yourself whether there were secret powers trying to keep secret the idea that the earth was round? Evidence abounds that people knew the world was not flat before Columbus. A flat world was a more acceptable idea at the time. But the opposite idea was around (no pun intended): Truth hidden beneath the fervor of conventionality is the fertile soil of conspiracy mania.
Scratch lightly beneath the exterior of any conspiracy theory and you find a truth smoldering under a fiery blanket of fear. The fear can be anything: Fear of entities with special powers (aliens, demons, ghosts, government officials); fear of ideas; fear of change.
The most tantalizing tidbit found in EARTH: AN ALIEN ENTERPRISE is when Good brushes up against what may be the truth underlying UFOs and alien encounters. He is not the first and will not be the last. Like UFO authors Jacques Vallee (in the 2008 DIMENSIONS: A Casebook of Alien Contact and REVELATIONS: Alien Contact and Human Deception) and Raymond E. Flowler (his 1996 work, Watchers II: Exploring UFOs and the Near-Death Experience), Good hints at a mental state venting a greater reality than what is before our eyes.
In Chapter 16 titled “Leviathans of the Skies”, after discussing some alien encounters and abduction cases, Good says that he is often asked whether he has ever been abducted by aliens. He answers the question by doing a rift on “the process commonly referred to as ‘night paralysis’, often associated with the abduction scenario. . .” The less common description for “night paralysis” is hypnagogic state. It is a conscious condition preceding sleep (hynopompic being the paralysis state felt upon awakening).
In my book, A Short History Of Memory: Neuroscience and the Search For the Mind, I discuss the significance of the hypnagogic state or hypnagogic hallucinations. Hypnagogic hallucinations, or even more precisely, the state of consciousness in which we feel as if we are not in control of our environment, goes a step farther than the usual purpose we ascribe to sleep. The hypnagogic state is a giant step above neuroscience’s concept of memory maintenance; a giant leap from merely rehashing the day’s events. Like the other abduction experiences Good describes and his own sleep paralysis event, the hypnagogic state is almost always characterized by a desire to “resist” a force “pulling” or attempting to manipulate the experiencer. In Good’s case, he was being pulled toward an object in a “dark blue sky”. After mentally calling out for help, he suddenly found himself “’back’” in his bedroom. He was back from an episode in which he was lying on his back “on a country lane lined with hedgerows.” He goes on to dismiss this episode as possibly an “astral” projection of his body. This explanation of course begs the question of what exactly is an “astral projection”, but that is a subject for a different discussion.
My own hypnagogic hallucinations, of which there have been many, contain many of the elements Good mentions in describing UFO abductions and his own experience. There are the disembodied “little people”, the initial and intense fear, the sense or feeling of being “elsewhere”, knowing that you are in the current time and place yet surrounded by weirdness. In living through a hypnagogic hallucination, the hallucination is reality.
It is a reasonable to assume that most people have experienced at least one hypnagogic episode in their lives. It is also reasonable to assume that such experience have been similar to the one experienced by Good. Most people, like Good, do not view it as an “abduction” experience. This is true even though the sense of an altered reality, of a peculiar otherness, is very strong. How many of us stop to consider that the reality-set, what we perceive as reality, is really not something etched by the laws of our physics but rather is something molded by the mere act of perception (the physics we know and the physics we do not know)? Aliens, ghosts and demons could be constructs of another reality of a physics of perception of which we know little. But does that explain the simple lights in the sky? Is there any reason it could not?
In September 1987 while at the United Nations, President Reagan set forth the proposition that if the earth were threatened by extraterrestrials, the world would quickly forget its differences and unit against a potential threat. Many have viewed this statement as evidence that Reagan knew something about the “alien conspiracy”. But I think there is a greater truth underpinning his speculation and it has to do with how civilization itself moves, not societies—secret or bureaucratic.
EARTH: AN ALIEN ENTERPRISE contains nothing new about the UFO controversy. However, Good has managed to weave a thread that leads to the threshold of new insight into the phenomena and is well worth the reading.
Other Timothy Good books read by reviewer:
Above Top Secret: The Worldwide U.F.O Cover-Up (1989)
Alien Base: The Evidence For Extraterrestrials (2000)
UFO Report (1991)