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Thursday, December 5, 2019

The Curious Case of the Fish Doctor and the Man From Ashtar Galactic Command, Part II

"The Path has, absolutely has: to be forged, not merely followed; alone- quite alone; by the seeker."

- Rex Dutta, Reality of Occult / Yoga / Meditation / Flying Saucers

So who was Rex Dutta? During my early correspondence with Steve, I tried to find information about the man so I wouldn't have to admit that I didn't know who he was. It proved exceedingly difficult. I found his books listed online easily enough, and eventually bought all three titles of his that dealt with the Flying Saucer question - and read them all, but not in the right order. But finding biographical information or even a picture of Rex took a lot of effort. When I asked Steve questions, I could get a lot of personal details about him in regard to his personality - but Steve had questions as well, it seemed. I took it upon myself to find the answers, along the way wrapping my mind around his Theosophical interpretation of the Saucer phenomenon while at the same time building a friendship with Steve over meandering Fortean conversation - what he calls "whibble about dribble". It was clear from the start that Steve had a great admiration for Rex; in one of his many Above Top Secret threads he says "Rex was a personal friend and I guess, it's only in retrospect one realises how much someone took you into their "inner circle" and felt able to speak freely and at length about such subjects. Rex was the mature English gent to my 18 year old wildness and yet, he felt comfortable enough to take me into his confidence." The further I dug into research and the more I whibbled and dribbled about "wyrdshit" with Steve, the more interesting the whole story became...

Rex was born Reginald Sirdir Mohammed Dutta on July 11, 1914, in Lahore, India (modern day Pakistan). His father was Indian, his mother was British. He moved to England with her and his sister in 1926, eventually attending University College London majoring in French and History. He served with British Intelligence during World War II, losing part of his leg from a motorcycle collision during a recognizance mission in France. He claimed to have had lived past lives as a soldier, and this wound, along with his eventual evacuation with many others from Dunkirk, was a sign to him that in this lifetime he was meant to pursue a different path. That path, it seemed, was the rehabilitation and study of fish - his books on fish care are still considered among the best and he had clients all over the world from his business, Fish Tanks LTD. That is until, as mentioned in Part I, he received and read Flying Saucers Have Landed, and shortly thereafter joined the Theosophical Society.

He continued running his business on Blandford St, in London, while also running his magazine "Viewpoint Aquarius" from the same address. He seemed to dive into Theosophy wholeheartedly, while at the same time absorbing much of the contactee literature up to that point - Howard Menger, George Hunt Williamson, George Adamski and others get frequent mentions in his writings. The two subjects may seem very separate and unrelated - one doesn't necessarily picture Flying Saucers when someone mentions Madame Blavatsky - but when dealing purely with the contactees mentioned, Theosophic concepts like Ascended Masters and higher beings align neatly with Venusians, Saturnians, and all manner of Space Brothers. He wrote 23 books in total (there's that mystic number 23!) - 20 about fish, and three about Flying Saucers / Theosophy.

Rex's mentor in the Theosophical Society, the man he considered to be his guru, was Edward L. Gardner. Gardner was an influential writer and lecturer in the English Section of the Theosophical Society, serving as General Secretary in the 1920s. He wrote extensively on fairies, and notably promoted the authenticity od the Cottingley Fairies photos alongside Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. He was also among the first to suggest that similarities in Fairy Lore and Flying Saucer contact cases denoted a common source. It's easy to see the direct lineage from Gardner's concepts down to Rex, who would become a well respected voice and subject matter expert himself. The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett, a famous series of correspondences channeled by Madame Blavatsky, were held in a trust at the British Museum, and following the death of Chairman of the Mahatma Letters Trust, Judge Christmas Humphreys, in 1983, Rex took on the position. His contributions to the preservation and analyses of this manuscript was greatly appreciated by Theosophists worldwide, who benefited in their studies greatly from his efforts and lectures. 
E. L. Gardner with N. Sri Ram
In 1976 Rex was giving a lecture at City of London Polytechnic (currently City University) on the heels of publishing Reality of Occult / Yoga / Meditation / Flying Saucers, and this is where he met Steve. By Steve's account, Rex strode right up to him with a wide grin and shook his hand firmly saying "So are you psychic because of a natural ability or because of psychotropic drugs?" to which Steve replied, "Surely you should know." Rex burst out laughing and said "You'll do!" and thus began their friendship. The picture Steve paints of that era of UFOlogy and the investigation are strong motivators for me to get to work on a time machine so that I could be a part of it - "I will never forget the 4 of us visiting some country pub in Kent to interview a TV engineer about the incident. Quite what the locals made of two guys in leather jackets and waist length hair accompanied by two elderly and unbelievably well turned out, one was an ex RAF officer handle bar mustache and all, companions I will never know. At times, it was all very Sherlock Holmes and a little like something from a Hammer film." His lifelong interest in UFOs has sustained based on testimony from former military witnesses to phenomena they were never allowed to talk about - men who were honor bound to keep secret the bewildering experiences they had, who really needed validation from an outside source that they weren't entirely alone in these encounters.

Rex and Steve would soon begin investigating the 1971 call from outer space, just before the Ashtar interruption in 1977 occurred. They would investigate that as well! More on that as our story continues in Part III...