channelled languages and similar phenomena 9 (non-historical ‘fringe’ linguistics 18)

December 10, 2012

Hi again, everybody!

Some reports of entire UFO-related languages involve alleged ancient visits to Earth by extraterrestrials; otherwise unknown scripts presumably encoding otherwise unknown languages of alien origin are described. For example, George Hunt Williamson reports that some Amerindian tribal peoples live close to rock faces (some of them known as ‘Rocks of Writing’) upon which mysterious ‘hieroglyphs’ are carved; they deny any connection with these symbols, regarding them as ‘timeless’. (Shades of the Bradshaw Paintings of Western Australia!) Williamson attributes the symbols to extraterrestrial entities who visited the area in ancient times. However, it is not in fact clear that these symbols are linguistic or even symbolic in character, still less that they are of genuinely mysterious origin.

One especially dramatic case of this kind (albeit ultimately lacking any corroboration) involves not written language but 716 grooved stone disks thirty centimetres in diameter, hardened with cobalt and displaying central holes, which were reportedly discovered in the Bayan Kara Ula mountain range in Western China in the period 1938-1962. It is suggested that these disks can be compared with vinyl records and may contain much data. The story presented recounts that a scholar called Tsum Um Nui (whose existence has not been confirmed) claimed that the grooves contained script and eventually announced a decipherment; the translation offered (the details were later disputed) indicated that the disks were artefacts of the inhabitants of an extraterrestrial spacecraft which landed in the area around 12,000 years BP and was unable to take off again. The oral legends of local tribes-people apparently referred to a massacre by their remote ancestors of small-statured, ‘ugly’ newcomers; this description was interpreted as referring to the aliens. The case was allegedly published in 1965 by Chi Pu Tei as ‘The Grooved Script Concerning Spaceships Which, as Recorded on the Discs, Landed on Earth 12,000 Years Ago’. This matter has been a ‘favourite’ among believers in extraterrestrial visits to Earth.

One Karyl Robin-Evans (1980), supposedly published posthumously, allegedly contacted a small-statured tribe known as the Dropa in the same general area. The Dropa believed that their ancestors were not human but had come from the Sirius system; after a crash-landing in the remote past which brought them to Earth, many were massacred, but the community was able to survive and eventually became the Dropa. This legend was interpreted as referring to the Bayan Kara Ula event. The story appeared suspicious to interested parties of all persuasions, and much later David Gamon (1995) admitted that he had been the hoaxer. It appears probable that the entire case is itself a hoax; but, in any event, if the disks ever existed they have now apparently disappeared, and further study is thus (at present) impossible.

Some other claims of this general type are even more extreme, for instance the utterly implausible claims (linguistic and other) surrounding ‘Mantong’, which (as I have recounted elsewhere) is said to be an ancient language/script reconstructed from the English names of the letters of the Roman alphabet and various short English words associated with these. The background story (often termed ‘the Shaver Mystery’) involves alleged subterranean humanoid but non-human beings known as the ‘dero’ (degenerate and wicked) and the ‘tero’ (good), the products of a disaster which occurred 20,000 years BP.

In like vein, Alexandre St. Yves d’Alveydre reported that the ancient ‘Vattanian’ language, along with an alphabet of 22 letters (suspiciously corresponding one-to-one with those featured in Indian, Hebrew, Roman and other human scripts), was revealed to him in 1885 by a race of beings living in the paradise of Agartha. The Vattanian vocabulary allegedly expresses archetypal notions and some of its words and concepts supposedly persist in human languages; there is, predictably, little attention to matters of grammar.

Some Latter-Day Saints sources continue to promote the veracity of the ‘Reformed Egyptian’ in their Book of Abraham and other texts associated with The Pearl of Great Price. Some of the texts are read as referring to other inhabited planets, which feature in LDS theology (notably, the supreme planet ‘Kolob’. When the early LDS leaders claimed that this was the language of the plates which an angel lent to them to be mystically translated, Egyptian had not yet been deciphered, but the small pieces of genuine Egyptian text presented in LDS sources were already known at the time and have subsequently been interpreted quite differently.

There are also cases where alien linguistic items are said to have been ‘borrowed’ into human languages (spoken and/or written) – or where humans themselves are said to be of extraterrestrial origin, which is reflected in some linguistic features. For instance, Brian Crowley and Anthony Pollock hold that the builders of the alleged monuments on Mars (such as the ‘Face on Mars’) were themselves human; the species initially evolved (contrary to all appearances) on Mars and only later migrated to Earth as local conditions worsened. They trace various names and other words, found in Welsh, Irish Gaelic, Egyptian, South American languages, etc., to a Martian language. Of course, as with channellers of ‘Atlantean’ and other such material, they are free to propose any forms which they believe might lie behind the human language data, claiming that their extraterrestrial sources provide corroboration.

As ever, detailed references on request. More next time!

Mark


Luna Petugine’s Story

December 8, 2012
  1. Following the initial diagnosis, eleven hours of emergency surgery took a hard toll on Luna and left her very weak on her left side and unable to swallow (she was fed through a tube after that). Conventional therapy was very hard on Luna, but in December 2008, the tumor had shrunk enough that the doctor could attempt surgery, and they went through a course of dangerous surgeries over the next few months, which Luna tolerated fairly well, according to her parents’ website.  But the tumor kept growing, and this made them desperate.
  2. They met with Anthony Michalski, their consultant in pediatric oncology at the Great Ormand Street Hospital. This interaction and the collaboration of the pediatric oncology department at GOSH was partially documented in the BBC 2 film, A Tough Line. When they review scans following her string of surgeries, the entire team–an entire room of specialists–agrees that the tumor, which is now compressing her brainstem is recurring and that the current treatment is not working. Michalski wants Luna to go on etopocide to prolong her life; a cure, while possible, would likely not be the ultimate outcome. They agree to go on the meds, but when no physician in the UK can offer them a cure, they find Burzynski on the Internet. 
    He tells them exactly what they want to hear. According to Luna’s website:

    There is no more treatment that can be done in the UK. We went home and cried for several days then we looked at Luna and thought hang on she’s not crying we cannot give up she has fought so long and hard and not a day passes that through all of this she hasn’t smiled. So we searched and searched asked questions and somehow found contact with another family who’s daughter had exactly the same disease and discovered there was something out there.

    A treatment call Antineoplaston therapy which has had amazing results in the US. We have to try this.


    The cost to meet the Doctor for assessment is £20,000 
    If Luna is accepted the treatment then costs £50,000 a year.

  3. In late May, and early June, Luna’s story was in the media, in The Sun, in the Watford Observer, and the Sunday Express as the family was actively raising money for Burzynski:
  4. At the end of July, 2011, the family arrived in the United States searching for a cure. By the end of August, back in the UK, they knew that they would be in Houston by September 12. 

    The traditional treatment seems to be having an effect, keeping the disease from growing. It is an “effective agent,” perhaps the best possible outcome at this point. Nonetheless, the family presses ahead fundraising for Burzynski. They raised £100,000 for Burzynski in a mere 8 weeks.

  5. They report to their consultant in the UK after their trip that Burzynski told them that he has 30% of patients have a good reaction, using the clinically substandard metric of “stable disease”  a substitute for “success” that no other researchers find acceptable (especially when he has mentioned there might be a cure!). According to a site review at Burzynski’s clinic
    “Moving from protocols to results, I am surprised by Dr. Burzynski’s statement that stable disease is a positive outcome. That runs contrary to established criteria for trial design. In the context of phase II trials, which are short-term studies, stable disease is not reported as a positive outcome.”
  6. After this consult in the UK, Luna’s doctor remarks, 
    “But what you hear quite a lot is, ‘how do you know that he or she is going to be ‘the one [who has a successful ‘miracle’ treatment]? … And the phrase that makes my heart sink is ‘We’d never forgive ourselves if…’. Actually, it’s not about them forgiving themselves. It’s about them doing the best for their child. And the focus should be what’s happening for the individual child rather than parental emotions. It’s tough because it’s so understandable […] that you are going to do everything in your power to hunt down the last chance of cure, but where that becomes a futile exercise is a difficult call, a difficult line. ” 
    This is the point that an ethical, concerned doctor takes away from a professional lifetime of caring for children, something that Burznyski seems to have never considered. (It apparently doesn’t fit his business model.) 
  7. Here is a photo of a physician watching parents walk away from a treatment that is working as he’d hoped: http://pic.twitter.com/EQ1vEIQK
  8. On October 10, this photo was uploaded to facebook:
  9. I have so many photos in front of this…tomb that it’s hard to imagine. They really are at death’s door.
  10. One week later, on October 17, the message goes out:
    Little Luna is currently in hospital and not too well. Our thoughts are with all of you xxxxx
  11. So quickly does Luna’s condition deteriorate it’s difficult not to think about how quickly Rachel Mackey nosedived after starting ANP and how groggy she was. 
  12. Once Luna was on the Burzynski treatment, her sodium level went insanely high. Her REAL physician’s reaction to this news, which was captured on film by the BBC, tells the whole story about what a horror antineoplastons are:
  13. Here’s a doctor hearing that Burzynski’s ANP treatment had put Luna in the emergency room with a sodium level of 178. http://pic.twitter.com/TjzNXKQ0
  14. This is much the same deadly side effect that nearly put Adam McArthur into a coma. That Luna is in a sorry state is immediately apparent. She is chugging water incessantly throughout the clip and slobbering uncontrollably. No matter what a Burzynski supporter says, this is a toxic treatment.
    (I should note that this disturbing film is really important to understand the horrible choices that parents are forced to make. I recommend it, lest you think anyone can take writing about these issues glibly. You can’t.) 
  15. By February of this year, the ANP has proved to have been a resounding failure. Burzynski, just like with Adam McArthur, tries to get them on his ridiculous “gene-targeted” therapy; it’s basically a Chemo Colatta, apparently mixing drugs that have not been tested together, but don’t take my word for it:
    Luna and her family have been talking to Doctors in the US at the Clinic, who have agreed it is unsafe to put her back on the Anteneoplaston Therapy because her tumour is so close to her brain stem. They have however suggested they put her on a treatment called Gene Targeted Therapy. This is where they take a sample of the tumour and in a lab test it’s genetics and test what drugs will work against it. Then then will give those drugs to Luna. The family are very excited because they knew the Anteneoplaston could eventually be too much for Luna, with possible fatal consequences and of course they are desperate to cure her. The Gene Targeted Therapy is having amazing results in adults so we pray it will do the same for Luna. We now need to continue to fund raise so the family can start the treatment and carry on with it. Any fund raising ideas please email us via the website. Thank you x

    From this point on, it is uncertain to me what their relationship with Burzynski is. They seem to have continued fundraising but were working with doctors in Boston. 
  16. In early March, Luna’s mother appeared in a strange article on the typically useless HuffPo, apparently convinced that breast implants had caused her daughter’s cancer:
  17. The announcement goes out on the 25th of June:

    It is with a heavy heart that we write this update. Despite battling against all the odds over the last 3 years it saddens us to tell you Luna is losing her battle. Lucy and the family took her back to GOSH on Friday after she appeared to be deteriorating in front of their eyes. A CT scan gave the devastating news that not only had the tumour grown but that it now appears inoperable and beyond treatment. The family have been told to take Luna home and cherish the time they have left with her. The picture here shows Luna, her siblings and cousins enjoying a family day for their Popsies birthday. The family continue to show unprecedented strength and dignity throughout and we have nothing but admiration for them – especially Luna x
  18. They carried their daughter very, very far. Her father ran a damned marathon for her. These parents did everything that their instincts told them to do.
  19. On August 8, 2012, the sad, sad news came that Luna had died:

    On behalf of Lucy and Mario It is with great sadness that we share with you that our Beautiful Luna fell asleep very peacefully with mummy and papa holding her tight to become a shinning star, and we thank her for all the wonderful memories she leaves with us, and thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all your support and love you have shown us in everything that you have done.

  20. On the 16th, the family–and the whole community that sprang up around her—said farewell to their daughter. 
  21. Her family has continued to memorialize their daughter, and I do hope that they continue to press Parliament for more funds for brain cancer research. 

    To learn about legitimate clinical trials, please visit clinicaltrials.gov. To help children receive top-notch, free cancer care, please donate to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital

Adam McArthur’s Story

December 7, 2012
  1. This is an especially sad story. His wife tells the story about the first days, waiting outside while Adam was in the operating room. The surgery was successful and the doctor suggested it was “possibly a mid-grade [glioma].” In three days, Adam had sprung back:

    That’s when we started researching like crazy.  Regardless of what the result was, we were going to go alternative.  Adam definitely did not want chemo or radiation, and the more research we did, the more comfortable we felt with that decision.  

    If the tumor recurred, Adam’s prognosis was probably very bad. They made (generally healthy) lifestyle changes and stopped using cell phones, hoping to ward off a return of the cancer. They also got in contact with the Burzynski Clinic, who are completely incapable of making any promises. Apparently, by the end of January, they were planning to go to Houston.
  2. Their first consultation with the Burzynski Clinic was on the 6th of February of 2012. The parents were not available and missed 2 of their children’s birthdays during that trip. They rented a Chevy HHR, left the kids with the grandparents, who were in from the UK, and drove down to the clinic. And then they were hit with the bad news, and an interesting look at what goes on inside the Burzynski Clinic (emphasis added):
  3. Dr. Szymkowski met with us to discuss Adam’s medical history and confirm the details of his brain cancer.  She also briefed us on the two possible approaches that Dr. Burzynski would take in Adam’s case.  The first case scenario is his patented antineoplaston therapy.  To qualify for that therapy, you have to apply to the FDA for special permission, and show that the cancer is “persistent” after using traditional therapy.  Well, we assumed that this approach would not be appropriate, simply because the tumor has been removed and hasn’t had time to become what could be considered “persistent“.  We then got to meet the man himself!  The meeting lasted less than 10 minutes.  He briefly explained that he would most likely be using a “gene targeted” approach to treat Adam’s cancer.  […]  One of the medications is sodium phenylbutyrate, which is one of Dr. Burzynkski’s signature medications.  We were definitely excited about that one, because obviously we can only get that here.  After being shuffled around a bit more, we were then sent to the financial coordinator.  She showed us the fee chart that we had already received in our information packet.  So, no surprises there.  But… then she starts lis[t]ing the medications that Dr. Burzynski has prescribed for Adam, which are not included in the treatment costs.  Sprycel… $8,314.80.  Votrient… $3,098.40. (emphasis added)
    The family found that the cost would be in the area of $25,000 a month
  4. Clearly these patients were being told that Burzynski would be treating these patients. Legally, this is very interesting since the entire premise of the TMB withdrawing their complaint against Burzynski in October was that Burzynski was not directing treatment.

    Bullshit. And this is going on even as his lawyers are arguing in court that he is not responsible for the “decisions” that his doctors make, an excuse that actually persuaded a judge! I wish I were more familiar with the workings of law, as I suspect that such behavior is as ethical as perjury. The family then became aware of the serious side effects of these chemo cocktails that Burzynski was proposing, contrary to the hippy-dippy natural side-effectless hype that his supporters parrot:

  5. At home we started talking.  I did some online research into the drugs, and really didn’t like what I was reading.  Side effects like “severe or like-threatening liver damage”, and “may cause you to develop a hole in the wall of your stomach or intestine”.  My favorite one was, “may cause abnormal passage in the body”.  Abnormal passage?  So, not only would we have to spend $25,000 a month for the drugs, but Adam might develop a whole host of other problems as a result. 
  6. The family had initially decided against any chemo treatment, but (surprise, surprise) when they announce this to the Clinic, the doctors tell them that they have found lesions on the MRI, which makes Adam a potential candidate for one of the 60  bogus ANP trials that never seem to get finished or result in any meaningful publications.
    The family is about to back away from the therapy and, and only after that threat to Burzynski’s bottom line does the Clinic bother to inform them that there are more lesions in Adam’s brain:
  7. Dr. Sano was very nice, and said she would certainly repect our wishes.  However, since they found lesions in Adam’s brain this morning, it looks like the cancer may have returned and therefore the drugs would really be necessary.  I nearly dropped the phone.  Lesions?  Already??!!  It just wasn’t posssible.  The doctor explained that due to the change in circumstance, she would need to meet with Dr. Burzynski and discuss what he wants to do next, and she asked us to go to the waiting room where she could talk to us face-to-face.
  8. Boy, Texas Medical Board, it sure looks like he is directly managing patient care, doesn’t it? And that doctors working under him defer to his judgment instinctively, doesn’t it? I wonder whose signature is on those records? That would be very interesting to know. 
  9. And we were totally honest with [Dr. Sano].  We can’t afford the meds.  We just can’t do it.  She told us that it was now possible that Dr. Burzynski might want to put Adam in the clinical trial.  Now he had a “persistant” tumor, and there was something measurable.  If he was given permission by the FDA to receive the antineoplaston treatment, now there was material they could measure and watch it shrink.  This is essential to be considered for the trial.  […] (emmphasis added)
    Later that evening, they receive a phone call:
    Dr. Burzynski is putting Adam forward for the trial.  He is going to receive the antineoplaston therapy.  The therapy we have read about from the beginning.  The real reason we came here.  She doesn’t know anything about the financials, which we’ll have to work out with the counselor tomorrow.
  10. So, the Burzynski Clinic is doing a wallet biopsy, the only procedure that they are any good at. The McArthurs went ahead with ANP. They are desperately looking for supernatural signs that what they are doing is right, and they find them everywhere.
  11. On the 15th of February, they received news that the FDA would abet another patient’s entry into a trial:

    Adam’s approved!!!!!  Tomorrow morning Adam has an appointment at a Houston clinic to have his catheter fitted, then Friday he gets hooked up to the antineoplastons. […]Also, we’ve been told that Adam’s sodium intake has to be meticulously watched, and his fluid intake and excretion carefully monitored.  I’ve been told, “If you can’t wake him up in the morning, get him straight to the hospital.”  Fluid can accumulate in the body or brain and cause complications. (emphasis added)
  12. As always, even the ANP can have dramatic and potentially lethal side effects, no matter what you hear. 
  13. And, WOW, when you look at the status of all those lesions that Burzynski’s group found on the MRI, it looks like their status/existence was not completely certain:

    We also had an appointment with the radiologist which was a bit depressing as well.  We were misinformed before.  The current tumor was NOT there immediately post-surgery.  The post-surgery MRI shows a clear cavity.  But, 6 weeks later there was definitely a “suspicious” enhancement within the cavity.  It’s no bigger than a pea, but it’s probably a recurring tumor.  There’s a small chance it might be nothing, only time will tell.  I don’t know why, but that news really got me down.
  14. Are you paying attention, Texas Medical Board? That needs to be clarified. 
  15. Although Adam had drank 11 liters (yes that’s right) of water, he had excreted 12 liters.  His weight had dropped by 2 pounds, so Dr. Barbara explained that he is probably dehydrated.  She recommended that we only increase the dosage by 20ml on Saturday just to be on the safe side, but to keep an eye on his fluid intake and weight.  So, Adam has been drinking and eating like a champ and polished off a massive dinner last night.  He drank even MORE water this morning to make sure his weight was back up.  He still came up a bit short on his fluid totals (intake was 12 liters, but output was 13 liters), but weighed in at a much healthier 155lbs. this morning.  But, the substitute doctor wasn’t happy.  She thinks that Adam is retaining water.  What??  He excreted more than he took in.  He can’t possibly be retaining water.  What the heck is he retaining?  His weight gain can be easily explained by the mountain of penne bolognaise I forced him to eat last night.  But, she refused.  No increase in dosage. 
  16. So who’s really in charge of the patients at the Burzynski Clinic?

    The other good news is that Adam is at his target dose.  Dr. Burzynski himself has been reviewing Adam’s case, and for mixed gliomas the dosage can be lowered and still be effective.  Adam is NOT on any steriods and has not suffered any fatigue at all.  This is nothing short of miraculous.  Many patients have ended up in wheelchairs because of the debilitating fatigue.  And everyone has to take Decadron to keep cranial pressure down.  Adam hasn’t needed any.  Everyone is really pleased with how well Adam is doing so far.  And Dr. Burzynski has a prediction… he believes that Adam’s tumor will be gone within 2 months, and after 8 more months of maintainance treatment, it should never recur.  I LOVE that prediction. (emphasis added)
  17. Since I started exploring extraordinary claims, I have noticed that people are willing to pay almost anything for 1) hope and 2) flattery.
  18. In March, after Adam and Vanessa have returned home, they received the results of their first MRI after treatment began:
  19. We just received a call from Dr. Barbara.  The radiologist still has to do a few more measurements, so he cannot say for sure if the tumor has shrunk.  However, there is considerably “less enhancement” in the tumor.  This means that there is less activity, and the tumor is showing up less dense on the MRI than before.  That explains why it is so difficult to see in the image.  All good news!!!  Dr. Barbara said, “Geeve Aatum beeg hug frum mee and goa celebrate!” 
  20. I’m no doctor, but it just doesn’t sound like the tumor is shrinking. And this seems to be confirmed in the May 12th update, when it is revealed that the tumor has grown 20% in the last 8 weeks. (The progress of the disease, as is often the case w/ Burzynski, seems independent of the ANP dosage.):

    The MRI showed that the tumor that had shrunk by 40% 8 weeks ago, has now increased in size by 20%.  There is also another lesion that has remained unchanged.  […] The tumor seems to be affected by the treatment, but apparently this dosage level just isn’t going to cut it.  So, Dr. Barbara has decided to increase Adam up to the maximum dosage.  To put it bluntly, this sucks.  It sucks on so many levels.  
  21. Soon he is up to drinking 12 liters of water a day! By the end of May, the family’s finances have gotten so bad that Amanda starts talking about it on the website.
  22. On June 11th, we get a report that looks like someone at the Burzynski Clinic nearly gets Adam killed (they never find out who it was…apparently they don’t put things like “calls to patients” in patient files at the Clinic or something) when they call saying that his blood work is bad, setting off a chain of events that leads to him nearly slipping into a coma.
  23. On the 22nd of June, the MRI shows that Adam’s tumor is “stable,” which is a “success” at Burzynski’s Clinic, but it is a loose interpretation of “success” that no other researchers find acceptable. According to a site review of Burzynski’s clinic: “Moving from protocols to results, I am surprised by Dr. Burzynski’s statement that stable disease is a positive outcome. That runs contrary to established criteria for trial design. In the context of phase II trials, which are short-term studies, stable disease is not reported as a positive outcome.”
  24. By August it seems that the tumor is growing again, and we get the sad news in one of the most bare moments I’ve seen since I’ve started this project:

    It’s 5:00 in the morning, and I just can’t sleep.  Adam and I have been talking, holding hands in the dark.  The bedroom is actually dark for the first time in 6 months.  And completely silent.  The whooshing of the pump is gone, as is the pump’s bright display that used to cast a glow around the whole room.  It’s over.  We received a call yesterday that shocked both of us to the core.  Adam’s lesions have grown since the last MRI 8 weeks ago, and there is now a third lesion.  The treatment didn’t work.  It’s worked for so many others.  It is the one treatment that gave us any hope of Adam seeing the boys grow up.  He probably won’t ever get to meet his grandchildren.  He probably won’t see his boys get married or finish school.  He may not ever get to hear Finlay say “Daddy”.
  25. What is all the more galling, that after failing to help Adam in any meaningful way, the Clinic suggested that he come back and start a NEW course of treatment:

    We don’t know what we are supposed to do next.  We have discussed a few options, but they all look so awfully wrong.  The Burzynski clinic is encouraging us to come back to Houston so he can start gene-targeted therapy.  It just feels wrong.  First of all, we need to come up with $30,000 to start the other treatment, not to mention all the expenses of going down there.  It makes both of us nauseous just thinking of going back to that place and starting over.  The monthly cost of the treatment is over $20,000.  And it has a much lower rate of success than the antineoplastons. 
  26. They eventually moved on to another therapy. I wish them the best.
  27. For reliable information about clinical trials, visit to clinicaltrials.gov. Please contribute to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, which cares for sick children even if they can’t pay. Unlike Burzynski.

This Week in Conspiracy (2 Dec 2012)

December 3, 2012

It’s a balmy day here in Wisconsin. In December. It’s probably just the sun or hippies or something.

A week of editing, writing, crusading, and, above all, grading has passed, and I am up to my eyes in tales of small groups of people doing very naughty things in secret. So let’s get to the conspiracy theories!

Twit of the Week:

Jesse Ventura started a rumor this week that TruTV is messing with his show. Curiously, he has not updated his twitter feed since. Perhaps his overlords at the network are reminding him of who he works for? Muahahahah! Then this came across the feed:

CT W/ Jesse Ventura @CTWJV

Jesse Ventura: Is Time Warner Sabotaging Conspiracy Theory? If you are A cable, dish network, or directv… fb.me/1r0pwb6XD

Headline of the Week:

From the Southern Poverty Law Center:

Conspiracy Theory of the Week:

And with that, let’s face it, conspiracy theories are now done. They just don’t get any better than that! It’s all downhill from here, folks!

RJB


channelled languages and similar phenomena 8 (non-historical ‘fringe’ linguistics 17)

December 3, 2012

Hi again, everybody! I’m back!

Some specific claims regarding relatively ‘orthodox’ communication systems (‘languages’) reported as used in the context of alleged contact with extraterrestrial entities. As ever, detailed references on request.

One especially prominent advocate of the reality of extraterrestrial languages of a more ‘orthodox’ nature is Mary Rodwell (Perth, Western Australia). Rodwell organises support groups for ‘experiencers’ (most of them ‘abductees’) and produces books, videos etc. on the subject, with samples of the written and spoken forms of alien languages as well as alien-inspired artwork. Rodwell promotes the view that these experiences represent actual physical happenings. Her ideas are discussed at length in the ‘Alien Semiotics Project’ papers mentioned earlier. The spoken and written material cited by Rodwell is produced by ‘experiencers’ rather than directly by aliens; the forms and sequences are outlined in largely self-reported case studies, notably that of the repeat-experiencer Tracey Taylor. The written material has the appearance of text written ‘grass-stroke’ style in a range of large alphabets, syllabaries or (parts of) logographies. There is too little material in each sample to be more confident, especially in the absence of useful translations. In fact, the translations offered for both the spoken and the written material are typically holistic only; they represent entire messages rather than individual words or phrases. Morpheme-by-morpheme translations are not available, and this point is actually emphasised by Rodwell. This conveniently excuses Taylor and others from being asked to assist linguists seeking to analyse the languages in the normal way by breaking utterances down into meaningful units and analyses using substitution and other such exercises.

Other cases involving alleged extraterrestrial languages include one presented by Janet and Colin Bord, who report the alleged finding (by John Reeves) of paper bearing an unintelligible manuscript; as this finding immediately followed a UFO sighting (in 1965), the material was interpreted as alien (‘Martian’) in origin. A decipherment was later offered but with no authority or conviction. A similar case, also reported by Bord & Bord, involves the ‘Silpho Moor Disk’ (eighteen centimetres wide) found in Yorkshire, UK, in 1957, containing copper foil sheets and bearing ‘hieroglyphic’ inscriptions on both disk and sheets. These too were ‘deciphered’ as containing extraterrestrial messages. Bord & Bord refer also to the similar texts presented by George Adamski and to the supposed links with Marcel Homet’s work (see above).

One very forthcoming reporter was the 1960s contactee Bernard Byron, who claimed fluency in seventeen written and spoken extraterrestrial languages (some of them extrasolar) and was happy to provide specific translations. He was interviewed by the skeptical astronomer Patrick Moore, but unfortunately his material was never recorded at sufficient length for useful linguistic analysis.

Allen Greenfield commences from the alleged oddity of the names reportedly given by extraterrestrial aliens for themselves, and argues that aliens (and now contactees) are in fact using a Kabbalistic cipher which is related to the Roman alphabet as used to write English.

The experiences recounted by Alec Newald, who had a ‘missing time’/UFO-abduction experience, involved ‘telepathy’; but he does report a series of written single numerical symbols corresponding with the integers 0-12 (suggesting that the aliens use Base-13 or a higher base, see below on Jim Sparks).

Another set of claims involves the ‘Wingmakers’, extraterrestrial beings (‘a specialized training faction of the Central Race that – for the most part – is not incarnate in a physical form’) who have allegedly provided contactees with large amounts of information ‘translated from a language that does not easily translate to human definitions’. This belief system arose from the claimed discovery in 1996 of an alien artefact near Chaco Canyon in New Mexico.

The ufologist George Hunt Williamson claimed to have experienced many communications with aliens – some through devices resembling ouija boards. Although he uses the term tongue (‘language’), the linguistically novel elements of these communications very largely involved only individual alien names and other single words. In addition, Williamson presents a series of some 81 symbols, channelled to his associates in 1952 and identified as the ‘Solex-Mal’ system. Each symbol is linked with an alien word spelled out in the Roman alphabet. Some of the symbols form structurally-related series, and, where symbols form such a series (and thus share features), the associated words are phonetically similar. A number of the symbols/words are provided with English glosses (words or phrases). Williamson also promotes bizarre etymologies and analyses involving the mystical significance of the positions of letters in words, such as English ladder and its earlier form with initial h-.; he links these claims with his views on alien contact with humanity extending over the centuries. See also later on Williamson and the ‘Rocks of Writing’.

Another case involving alphabetic writing is that of Jim Sparks, who claimed to have been taught an alien alphabet in which the number and direction of the strokes making up each character was crucially important (or so perceived). Suspiciously, the characters correspond directly with the letters of the Roman alphabet (except Q, X and Z) – or with integer symbols, but only 1-6 (this might suggest use of Base-7, comparable with the Base-13 suggested by Newald’s data as reported above). In writing, the alien users of the system would place one symbol over another, until only a black spot was visible, although Sparks believed that the aliens could still resolve this into characters when reading. Sparks was initially taught to read alien texts from right to left but was later presented with texts arranged in circular form.

There are various cases in which no coherent account of alien language could be provided but where individual alien words or unintelligible alien speech were reportedly heard or where witnesses later attempted to imitate or reproduce alien speech-sounds without any understanding, and other cases involving unintelligible symbols (sometimes possibly non-linguistic in nature) reportedly observed on alien craft.

More next time, involving alleged ancient visits to Earth by extraterrestrials!

Mark