[White Zombie’s] Legendre, with his non-specific Eastern European accent, devilishly effete facial hair, and spiderlike control over the regional economy, is nothing if not the classic demonic Jew; in Dracula, the anti-Semitism was even more explicit, with Lugosi, as the titular vampire, wearing the Star of David in a number of scenes.
In keeping with the ridiculous, in the September edition of the Fortean Times, I read a bizarre account of “UFO journalist” Sean Casteel’s odd ideas about how Bob Dylan has secretly encoded alien abductions into his music. Normally, I wouldn’t write about so bizarre a claim, but the more I thought about it, the more clearly it seemed to illustrate the faulty maxim of “looks like, therefore is” that animates so much of fringe culture. Sadly, I am not able to link directly to Casteel’s claims because his website was removed from the internet sometime before Peter Brookesmith published his piece a few weeks ago. The Internet Wayback Machine suggests that the site went offline sometime in 2014. Before Its News has a copy of a small part of the Dylan piece from 2013, and the Wayback Machine preserves the whole text here.
I am not sure why Brookesmith considered Casteel’s essay to be news now, indeed going so far as to recommend that readers visit the webpage for the essay, which has been offline for several years. He also criticized a 2006 online explication of “Hotel California” as an alien abduction narrative.
According to Casteel, he discovered the secret alien meanings in Dylan’s songs because he of his twin teenage obsessions with both subjects. It’s rather astonishing how many people form intense interests in their adolescent years and never really move beyond the worldview and opinion they formed of the subject during those years.
So, what about Dylan? Well, when I first heard the song “10,000 Men” from the “Under A Red Sky” album, I was struck by the appropriateness of the line “10,000 women in my room, Spilling my buttermilk, Sweeping it up with a broom.” Using “buttermilk” as a euphemism, Dylan gives us a fairly straightforward account of a sperm sample being taken. Even the female nature of his alien attending physicians squares with many other UFO abduction accounts in which human subjects are matched with aliens of the opposite sex.
But what takes the cake for Brookesmith is this passage in which Casteel alleged that Dylan had secret knowledge of the Roswell Incident!
"The farmers and the business men, they all did decide, To show you where the dead angels are that they used to hide . . ."
Although that line dates from 1966, "Sad-Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands," it seems a fairly good summation of the now famous "Roswell Incident" in which a New Mexico farmer named Mack Brazel reported finding a crashed disk with the bodies of dead aliens strewn nearby. The "dead angels" were subsequently covered up by the military and the whole incident was said to consist of nothing more than a downed weather balloon.
Dylan's unconscious mind was somehow directed to write a neat little summary of the incident in rhyme nearly 13 years before the public knew anything about it. Perhaps you've heard of New Mexico Congressman Steven Schiff's attempts to get records of the incident declassified by the Department of Defense. Some part of Dylan "knew" the truth even when some members of the government remained shut out.
There is, though, ironically a small consolation that Casteel wasn’t aware of: The song is laced through with references to the Book of Ezekiel, and Ezekiel was famously employed by ancient astronaut theorists as witness to a UFO. Casteel recognizes that Dylan used Biblical imagery (though not Ezekiel), but because Casteel is soaked through in UFO lore, he can’t see that for what it is. Instead, he interpolates an added layer, claiming that Dylan’s Biblical imagery derives from aliens because the Bible is itself an account of space aliens! “In fact, the Bible is sometimes called ‘the worlds’ (sic) greatest book of Ufology’ because many of the miracles described by the ancient Hebrew writers have been duplicated in the 20th century by UFOs. Dylan’s immersion in the Bible from his childhood on is certainly no coincidence in this context.” The trouble is that the space aliens are extraneous here, and can be safely excised with no impact on the argument. In other words, they have been added because of Casteel’s obsession, not Dylan’s.