Written in June 2004
The recent release by the Mexican government of a video apparently showing 11 flying saucers circling one of its patrol jets has boosted the claim that this planet is regularly visited by trippers from outer space. Belief in UFOs is now an established part of the worldview of millions of people, especially in the western world where for many it has become a substitute religion. This is the subject of a video ‘The X Files’ in which Michael Penfold gives fascinating insight into the nature of UFOs (available from us for £9.99 + £1 post and packing). These are some of the main points he makes.
When former US President Jimmy Carter put a message in the Voyager spacecraft for aliens to read and hopefully respond to, he was expressing the desire of many to make contact with some other beings in the universe. Belief in visitors from outer space is not new – it can be found in ancient Egyptian and Roman civilisation – but it is now widely accepted as an undeniable fact that UFOs are real. The current preoccupation with UFOs began in 1947 when Kenneth Arnold, a US pilot, claimed to see 9 flying saucers at Rainer, Washington. Two weeks later it was claimed that two UFO craft crashed in Roswell, New Mexico and that the US government has since conducted secret experiments on alien corpses. Since then there have been numerous sightings, some witnessed by thousands like one in Gibraltar in 1989.
95% of supposed sightings can be explained away as not really UFOs. Either they are deliberate hoaxes or something else – meteors, weather balloons, birds, tricks of the light or the imagination of the viewer. But there are 5% which cannot be explained this way. Michael Penfold looks at the possible ways to explain these sightings.
Option 1. They are visitors from outer space.
There are an estimated 20,000 billion, billion stars in the universe. These stars have planets around them. So, the reasoning goes, there has got to be life on one or more of these planets somewhere. For those who believe life on earth began by the chance process of evolution, finding life elsewhere would be a tremendous boost to the credibility of their theory. If life could have spontaneously come into being somewhere else in the universe it would give weight to the idea that this is how we came to be here. For those who are perplexed at the state of the world today the idea that aliens from a more advanced civilisation could come and help us out of the hole we are in is a comforting thought.
It is impossible for humans to go outside this solar system to find out whether there is life in space, because the distances are too great. But that does not stop us trying to find out if there is life out there. A major motivation for the project to land a man on Mars is to determine whether that planet has ever supported life forms. The Seti (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) project is backed by some of the world’s richest men and uses the most powerful radio telescopes to search the universe for signs of life. However nothing has been discovered. Carl Sagan has written, ‘The receipt of a single message from space would show that the transmitting civilisation has survived. No such message has ever been received.’
Life requires an incredibly fine balance of circumstances to exist. A planet needs to be stable, the right distance from the star so that it neither fries nor freezes, packed with the ingredients to support life (air, water, soil etc), with an atmosphere shielding it from dangerous elements in space and protecting the environment below. There are at least 100 different parameters for life to exist and if any of these were altered by a fraction life would disappear. Even if you have a planet which has the right conditions to support life, you also need the right circumstances for life to come into existence spontaneously if you accept the theory of evolution. (We do not believe in evolution and have a number of books and videos available on this subject).
If such a life form could come into being in a distant galaxy it then has to develop the most incredible technology to cover the vast distances in the universe to reach us. The nearest star to us is 4.3 light years away. The Milky Way galaxy is 100,000 light years wide. The closest galaxy after the Milky Way is 1.5 million light years away. A spacecraft travelling at one million miles a day would take 70,000 years to cover the 4.3 million miles to the nearest star. To reach a distant star in the Milky Way or another galaxy altogether and we are beginning to talk in terms of millions of years.
A craft travelling at the speed of one million miles a day would be going so fast that if it hit even a very small object in space (which it probably would) it would explode. Leaving this problem aside, only beings with the most incredible technology who have a life span of millions of years and do not need a huge supply of food and drink to keep alive could cross the universe in spacecraft. If we are to believe the claims of UFO magazines such craft are not only making it across the universe but also doing so in huge numbers. Almost every day there is a report of a sighting.
The sightings themselves raise a number of problems. At the same event they may be seen but not photographed or photographed but not seen. Despite apparently reaching incredible speeds of up to 18,000 mph they have never given off a sonic boom. They violate the laws of physics making 90% turns at very high speeds. They may change shape, size and colour at random. This is not the behaviour of a physical craft or being. This raises the possibility of a second option.
Option 2. They are supernatural entities.
Some UFO researchers who are not believers in God or the Bible have come to the conclusion that this is a possible explanation. J Allen Hynek in an article ‘Machines made of Shadows’ has written: ‘The spiritual theory explains why UFOs can make right angle turns. It explains why they can be dematerialised, why sometimes they are picked up on radar and sometimes not.’
Michael Penfold shows that this is the most logical conclusion from the evidence available. He says that aliens are supernatural beings manifesting in a form which makes them acceptable to the modern mindset. Based on the evidence he also comes to the conclusion that they are malignant supernatural beings, i.e. demons or evil spirits. Whereas in the past evil spirits may have appeared as hobgoblins or ghosts or leprechauns today people are reluctant to believe in those things. So they appear as aliens – something which has become part of our mainstream culture through films like ‘ET’, ‘Independence Day’ and ‘Men in Black’. He gives 5 reasons why this explanation fits the facts.
- ‘Aliens’ share the menacing characteristics of demons.
- Alien abductions and UFO experiences come primarily to those who are already involved in the occult.
- Post alien abduction symptoms match post occult experience symptoms.
- Alien messages match the messages channelled by demons.
- Alien names match names of demons.
Whitley Striber, in his book ‘Communion’ about his supposed abduction by aliens, wrote ‘I felt an indescribable sense of menace. Whatever was there seemed so monstrously ugly, so filthy and dark and sinister. Of course they were demons. They had to be.’
David Jacobs in ‘Abductions and the ET hypothesis’ wrote: ‘Physically the abduction experience can seriously harm a person and significantly alter the course of one’s life. Although the physical effects of abduction can be extremely severe it is the psychological problems that have the most destructive effect.’
William Alnor in ‘UFOs in the New Age’ wrote ‘After reading literally hundreds of messages from space brothers during the past several years and carefully analysing their views, I am convinced that these entities are trying to sell humanity one of the biggest deceptions of all time.’
Michael Penfold agrees that the UFO phenomenon is all about spiritual deception. It ties in with other influences like yoga, TM, hypnosis, Zen Buddhism, drug taking in altering consciousness so that the normal function of the mind is bypassed by a spiritual entity aiming to deceive. To back this claim up he cites the five main messages which have been communicated by supposed contact between humans and aliens:
- We are on the threshold of a New Age of enlightenment.
- God is an impersonal force of which we are part. We are god and our divinity is within.
- There is no death. We are endlessly re-incarnated.
- Good and evil are only illusions and one side of the same coin.
- Jesus is just a great teacher and all roads lead to God.
This in itself should show us that these entities are not aliens crossing billions of miles of space. Why would they bother to make this hazardous journey in such vast numbers as is being claimed, just to give us the same message as you can find in books on the occult in most bookshops?
Dr Pierre Guerin, a secular researcher, wrote in Flying Saucer Review Vol 25 No 1: ‘UFO behaviour is more akin to magic than to physics as we know it. The modern UFOnauts and the demons of past days are probably identical.’
To confirm this it is remarkable that the names ‘aliens’ have given themselves are almost identical to the names given to pagan gods and demons throughout history. UFO contacts have been receiving messages from a being calling itself Ashtar for years. Variations of this name such as Astaroth, Asharoth, Astarte appear ancient literature, including the Bible, in relation to pagan gods. John Peel in ‘Operation Trojan Horse’ writes, ‘Mr Ashtar has been around a very long time posing as assorted gods and demons and now in the modern phase as another glorious spaceman.’
This raises the conclusion that these supposed visitors from outer space come from very much closer to home. We are not alone in the universe but we live alongside angels and fallen angels. Human rebellion against God has opened us up to the deception of Satan and his demons.
Most of the manifestations of UFOs come in the form of ‘bright lights in the sky.’ The Bible tells us that Satan is ‘the prince of the power of the air’ (Ephesians 2.2), that he is able to produce ‘lying signs and wonders’ (2 Thessalonians 2.9) and that he is able to transform himself into ‘an angel of light’ (2 Corinthians 11.14). Satan is using this phenomenon to change the way we think and to soften us up to accept his counterfeit Messiah, the Antichrist, as the answer to human ills. He also wishes to blind people to the real truth, the Gospel, and take as many people to hell with him as possible.
Going back to the 5 main messages of UFOs mentioned above, they are all wrong.
- We are not on the threshold of a New Age of enlightenment, but on the edge of the Great Tribulation, the worst time in human history which will precede the glorious return of the Lord Jesus the Messiah to the earth to judge the world in righteousness.
- God is not an impersonal force, but a loving heavenly Father who can be known through faith in Jesus the Messiah.
- We have one chance to get it right in this life. The lie of the devil in the Garden of Eden is ‘You shall not die … you will be like God’ (Genesis 3.4-5). This is being recycled in the New Age Movement of which UFO culture is a part. In fact after death we face the Day of Judgement when we give account of our lives to God.
- The idea that right and wrong are only illusions and part of the same whole is Chinese Taoist philosophy which is also being recycled for popular consumption through movies like Star Wars and the Harry Potter books. In fact God is the Creator of all things and wholly good. The Bible teaches us the difference between good and evil and how to live in the light of God’s truth. Satan is a created being who is the source of evil and who is doomed to spend eternity in the lake of fire.
- There is one way we can avoid joining him in this fate – through repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus the Messiah who died as a sacrifice for our sins and rose again from the dead to give eternal life to all believers. Jesus is a great teacher, but not just a great teacher. He is God made flesh who revealed the ultimate truth to all mankind. Humanity has once been visited on earth, not from outer space, but from Heaven itself. If we reject the words of this heavenly visitor, then there is no further enlightenment coming for us from anywhere else.
Simon Edge writing in the Daily Express (14/4/04) explains the widespread belief in UFOs: ‘People often say it would be lonely otherwise. Certainly there is something infinitely terrible about the emptiness of the universe – think of the scene in the movie Moonraker in which a space walking astronaut is cut off from his craft and floats screaming into eternity. In an irreligious age, fear of the void is even greater.’
There is no need to have this fear. We can make contact with an infinitely good God who cares for us and is able to communicate by the Holy Spirit to help us and guide us through this life. He also gives answers to the big questions: ‘Where do we come from? Why are we here? How can we know what is right? Where are we going?’ Don’t be conned by the subtle deceptions of our culture. Follow Jesus who says, ‘I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.’ John 8.12.