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Monday, January 20, 2020

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

" call came through claiming to be from Outer Space; the rather-stunned telephonist on the exchange put the call through to the only phone that 'happened' to be available - that of the Assistant Producer."
-Rex Dutta, Flying Saucer Message

The conversation on the night of January 8th, 1971 between a skeptical Assistant Producer of a London radio program and a mysterious man from Outer Space is recounted in depth in Rex's book Flying Saucer Message, which was released in 1972. He notes that the Assistant Producer had the presence of mind during the call to "a) to switch it through on internal studio loud speaker so that all the twenty or so of us in the area heard each word and b) to tape-record it. A copy of that tape exists."

Upon Steve's first visit to Rex's house, in late 1975 or early 1976 - well after Rex's last book about Flying Saucers - he and Rex were able to listen to the tape, courtesy of a radio station employee who snuck it out to them. The engineer who gave them the tape also provided some great technical insight - the call from Outer Space seemed to use every channel of the analog switchboard, blocking all other incoming calls.The show's Producer tried and failed to cut off the call. The voice seemed as though it had been "treated" in some way, suggesting that the voice was an automated message cutting directly into the phone line. Robert Short, in his book Out of the Stars: A Message From Extraterrestrial Intelligence notes, quoting Viewpoint Aquarius - "...the engineers were flabbergasted because there was no echo or feedback, i.e., nothing was registering on the dials in their transmitting stations, although the 'space voice' was clearly being heard by all in the studio. Normally, the needles on the dials rise and fall as a human voice is loud or soft, and electrical pulses register on the instruments. In this case, the needles were inert at zero. The 'voice' was clear. No earthling instrument was used. But unknown power was..."

Sadly, the whereabouts of the tape these days is unknown. We have only written accounts and recollections of the event to go by. This gets into Rex's derisive attitude toward the "Official Line..."

The "unknown power" referred to in the above quote was what Rex would have considered an Occult Power, which is natural for higher beings. In fact, the whole affair must have been very amusing (or frustrating, depending on your perspective), to Rex - through his Theosophical view, it was clear to him that the voice from space (and most visitors, Space Brothers, and extraterrestrial contacts) was an intelligence existing on a higher vibrational realm, a different dimension entirely. He's keen to explain these concepts in exhaustive detail in his books, and it's way too involved for me to explain here in this blog (supposing I even understand it properly); suffice to say, what you see in the transcript with Rex's notes is something akin to a language barrier. It's even worse than just language, though; Venusians in Rex's view possessed Whole Manas, and have evolved beyond the need for names, physical bodies, etc, thus lacking context for simple questions like "Who are you?" Their enlightened and Ascended status likewise came about as a result of altruism, so selfish reasoning and our Earthling anxieties and unwillingness to help ourselves - always looking for a savior - are anathema to the Venusians. 

The resultant confusion in the conversation between the Assistant Producer and "Voice" in Flyer Saucer Message lends itself to humor very well. It occurred to me reading it the first time that it could well have been a bit between Abbott and Costello, although I eventually decided it was surreal enough and, bearing in mind the language difficulties explained in the preceding paragraph, more like a bit between Groucho and Chico Marx. Some of my favorite moments:

AP: Why are you calling us?
VOICE: I have not phoned you. I am speaking by Thought-Transference Computer.
AP: What does that mean?
VOICE: It means how do you do.
AP: Very well. How do you do, Sir?
VOICE: Yes. Evidence of life in outer space is not visible to Earth eyes except the chosen few have celestial ability to appertain and to appreciate higher intelligences.

And, later, after asking the Voice's whereabouts:

AP: What are you doing there?
VOICE: I am speaking at the moment to you by Thought-Transference System.
AP: Why don't you speak to me face to face?
VOICE: I have no face. I am very sorry.

This leads to questions about whether space people look like us, to which the Voice explains that it is possible to take a human form for a short period of time. When asked why they would take a human form, the Voice simply says "Amusement". Finally, toward the end of the call:

AP: How could I contact you again?
VOICE: Call Outer Space sometime.
AP: How do I call you?
VOICE: Call me Sir.
AP: How do I call you, Sir?
VOICE: You call me Sir anyway you like. I don't mind. Any way, I must return to Outer Space.

The humorous element presented here, the absurdity and silliness, is among the most remarkable aspects about the Call From Outer Space. On the one hand, it bears all the hallmarks of a put-on. The confusion and inevitable failure to satisfactorily answer many of the questions seems like something a prankster would do, were it just a simple crank call. On the other hand, and bearing in mind the technical difficulties inherent in pulling off such a prank, these comical bits of dialog may actually also represent a genuine lack of understanding that goes both ways, between two intelligence entities very alien to each other. 

Most of the sentiment contained in the call that fascinated Rex was typical of contact messages of the era, in the sense that it warned us as a race to abandon war and nuclear technology. This main message, the titular Flying Saucer message, are interrupted constantly by the Assistant Producer's more mundane questions - typifying in Rex's mind the self-obsessed nature of the average man. One of them was the classic "Take me to your leader" type of question, where the man asks "Have you spoken to Mr. Heath?" referring to then Prime Minister Edward Heath. The Voice seems taken aback by Rex's estimation - "we rate men high, men of power;" he writes, "Saucers rate high men of 'pure aura' and such earthlings seldom reach Power / Authority, etc." Another concept, lost in translation. We ask why the spacemen don't just land on the White House lawn, when the answer it seems is that the occupants of the White House are just as remarkable (or less so) than any other human on the planet - other than the ones with 'pure aura'. To its credit, the Voice says he knows of Mr. Heath, but Heath is sleeping in another country... this, it turns out, was true - PM Heath was abroad on official duty and it would have been early morning hours in that time zone.

The Voice goes on to reveal that there are men among us who can help us, but we ignore them. When asked how the Voice intends to help, it responds:

"The only way you can be helped is not by doing for you that which you must do for yourself. But possibly by guiding the way, but indirectly not directly. It is not possible to say to man, 'You must do this,' because it is in the nature of man not to do this, but to do something different because there is in the nature of man perhaps a perversity which we observe. But never mind, it is possible perhaps if man uses only one thing - that is intelligence. The greatest danger in man is pity. Man has a strong feeling of pity for his fellow men, for suffering. It is good but it is not the highest good. In the universe, the highest good is balance, is justice, not pity. A very interesting thing but justice is the most important element in the universe. And if man will find justice, there is hope for man."

In Rex's view, the Venusians (or Saucers, you may have noticed that Rex makes no distinction between the Saucers and their occupants) are not so different from us here on Earth - they just seem alien because they serve a different purpose. When you understand what Rex means by "Oneness Is", you realize that he's talking about the whole of creation being so intricately connected that each individual thing or consciousness is but a part of a larger organism. The metaphor is made that Earthlings are the thumb, and Venusians the foot... both parts of the same cosmic body but distinct in their purpose and design. Underlying all of what appears to be disparate real and physical bodies exists the Lipika Webs, a network that "sub-stands all substance". It matters not that the 'thumb' might reject the concept of sharing cells and a body with the 'right foot', it's simply the truth... and a balance needs be secured that affects not just the people of Earth who ignore warnings from Saucers, but it naturally affects the Saucers, too. In Rex's view, it was down to the People of the Web to help restore this balance, and move us well into the Age of Aquarius. 

While Rex Dutta had been invited on the program as a representative of the Lunatic Fringe of Flying Saucer Fanatics, the irony is he may well have had a better idea of what was going on than anyone else present. The concept of contact with extraterrestrials via radio was far from a new idea - the aforementioned book by Robert Short (which I might add gives the fullest account of the 1977 broadcast interruption I've come across) talks about his early experiences as a Channel for his "source", Jon-Al, and his early days at Giant Rock with George Van Tassel. While Short primarily used Automatic Writing to channel messages from the stars, others at Giant Rock would employ ham radios. Van Tassel would go on to build the Integratron - a place that "concentrates and amplifies the Earth's magnetic field". Of course Rex would have been familiar with these concepts as well. Short describes the method of message delivery in his book as Translators or Tensors, which utilizes the Subspace Radio Network and UFOs to monitoring devices. From here the message can be picked up by Instruments or Translators... in his words: "These Instruments or Translators include human channelers, television devices, radio communication, vast distance communication, called radar telephonic, and lastly, through the mind's ability to send images over distances, called telepathy."

Van Tassel and Short are both also intimately connected with the origins of Ashtar Galactic Command's messages to Earth. While Van Tassel was the first to claim contact with Ashtar in 1952, Short founded a group called Ashtar Command shortly thereafter. Van Tassel eventually stopped using the name Ashtar in his writings. Incidentally, in 1977, the same year of the broadcast interruption, a woman calling herself Tuella took up the mantle of main channel for Ashtar taking it in a new direction entirely... but more on that next post!

In a way, the 1971 conversation with a Voice from Outer Space is a greater mystery than the ITV interruption of 1977. At least the internet has preserved the TV interruption, and it can be found easily enough on YouTube. The tape of the 1971 show seems to be lost to time, though I hold out hope that an mp3 file of it is archived online somewhere. The aftermath of the UFO show that January night was one of silence, of pretending it never happened or brushing it off as a prank. Steve's first visit to Rex's house makes him likely one of the few around these days who have heard the full recording. It's all part of this crazy story I'm slowly getting around to telling, and the following few years would bring (among other things) the broadcast interruption that started me down this rabbit hole. Sit tight, folks, we're in the home stretch...


Flying Saucer Message, by Rex Dutta
Out of the Stars: A Message From Extraterrestrial Intelligence, by Robert Short
"The Reverend Robert Short's Ascent to the Stars" (Chasing UFOs Blog) by Adam Gorightly
Ashtar Command (World Religions and Spirituality Project Entry) by Christopher Helland