The Black Lodge, Part 1
"Now the veale is pluckt away" - Edward Kelly,
in John Dee's Liber Mysteriorum Quintus, 1583
"Where we're from, the birds sing a pretty song"
Now, here's an anniversary that shouldn't be allowed to pass without mention.
On this day in 1969, a Brazilian military policeman named Jose Antonio Da Silva, "of excellent personal character and reputation," was fishing on the banks of the Rio das Velhas, north of Belo Horizonte. Suddenly, about 3 p.m., he became aware of movement in the brush behind him, and saw a "burst of light" hit his legs. Da Silva quickly became numb, and dropped his fishing rod and fell to his knees.
In Dimensions, Jacques Vallee writes that Da Silva claims he was then "seized by two masked individuals about four feet tall, wearing dull aluminum suits, who took him to a machine that looked like an upright cylinder. Inside the craft the beings gave him a helmet similar to their own, tied him up, and took off."
During the flight - or at least, during the sensation of flight - the creatures "talked among themselves in an incomprehensible language with many R’s. At one point in the journey the craft seemed to turn on its side for a while."
After travelling for an "interminable" time, the machine landed and the creatures unfastened Da Silva. They bandaged his helmet, so he couldn't see where he was being taken, and he was forcibly dragged past the sound of many strange voices. He was placed in a backless seat and the bandage was removed.
Vallee writes that "Jose Antonio found himself in a large quandrangular room, thirty by forty feet, about fifteen feet away from a robust dwarf who stared at him 'with apparent satisfaction.' The dwarf was extremely hairy."
The following description of the strange figure comes from an investigation of the case recorded in the November/December, 1973 issue of The Flying Saucer Review:
His long tresses, reddish and wavy, fell down behind past his shoulders to his waist; his beard was long and thick and came down to his stomach. He had wide-set eyebrows, two fingers thick, running right across the whole forehead. His skin was light-colored, very pale. His eyes were round, larger than is the norm with us, and of a green shade like the color of green leaves beginning to wither.
Other similar beings entered Da Silva's field of vision, until about 15 filled the room. The three walls he could see had neither doors nor windows, appeared to be made of stone, and were adorned with frescos of animals, including a jaguar, monkey, giraffe and elephant, as well as paintings of vehicles and houses. "To his left," writes Vallee, "was a low shelf with the corpses of four men." At one point he was given "something to drink out of a cubical stone glass, and the cavity containing a dark green liquid was in the shape of an inverted pyramid," which restored his energy and seemed, somehow, to aid communication.
The principal dwarf began gesturing to Da Silva, in a manner which the soldier interpreted as a request that he be their guide in the human world. He gestured his refusal, and began to nervously finger his rosary.
According to the FSR report:
The leader stepped towards him and, displaying irritation for the first time, seized the crucifix and snatched it from him. One of the beads rolled onto the floor and was picked up by one of the little men, who showed it to the others. The crucifix was passed around in the same way, arousing curiosity in all of them.
Da Silva claims that at this time, he had a vision of a Christ-like figure, barefoot and wearing a dark robe, who revealed something to him of a coming disaster that would affect all humanity, which may be averted by the intervention of other beings. (Da Silva has refused to reveal any more details of the communication.) As the apparition vanished, "the irritated dwarves blindfolded him again, and he was transported back.... He woke up alone near the town of Vitoria in the state of Espirito Santo, 200 miles away from the spot where he had been fishing." He had been missing for five days.
Twelve days after his abduction, Da Silva was awakened by a sudden urge to go outside, where he saw three of the red-bearded creatures. Quickly, he re-entered his house and locked the door against them.
Since the weird account rests almost solely on Da Silva's words, perhaps we should ascribe it to a desperate attempt to cover some mundane "missing time." And indeed, this is the kind of case which "respectible" UFOlgists like to cull from the data, because it reads more like a visitation of fairies or trolls than by curious explorers from Zeta Reticuli in a nuts and bolts spaceship. (Did the "stone room" exist on an alien world, or an alien Earth?) And the religious element - the Christ figure - would discount the value of the episode to most "serious" observers.
But what if "UFOs" - which are unidentified, but which often are seen to not fly, as we understand flight, and which sometimes don't behave like material objects - what if "UFOs" are, on a certain level of meaning, another variety of religious experience? And a particular experience which is always capricious and often deceitful, which regularly violates witnesses' physical and psychic boundaries, and occassionally is manifested malevolently.
Jacquess Vallee notes how closely Jose Antonio Da Silva's experience mirrors an occult initiation ceremony:
1. The candidate is confronted by members of the occult group wearing a special costume.
2. He is blindfolded.
3. He is led by the arm through a rough and difficult route.
4. He is taken into a specially designed chamber with no windows and placed in such a way that he can only see part of it.
5. He is brought in to the presence of a "Master."
6. He is given a test and made to answer questions.
7. He is shown a variety of symbols designed to remind him of death.
8. The situation suggests that he may not survive the ordeal.
9. He is given ritual food or drink.
10. He is blindfolded again and led outside.
"All of these elements," Vallee writes, "are present in the case of Jose Antonio. To this we must add that everything in the room appeared to be made out of stone. The drinking cube with the inverted pyramid cavity is an exquisite last touch."
"Through the darkness of futures past, the magician longs to see.
One chants out between two worlds: 'Fire Walk With Me.'"