Last week the RRR Group blog, which I am led to believe is associated with longtime ufologist Rich Reynolds, published an article on George Adamski comparing his encounter with Venusians to the divine revelations imparted to Muhammad and Joseph Smith. The discussion was going along so well until it took a left turn into illogic near the end.
Let me issue a disclaimer right here before we begin: The RRR Group is the one making claims about Muhammad and aliens. I am not. Please direct all messages about such claims to the RRR Group.
Reynolds describes himself as ufology’s “biggest pain in the ass” and has apparently upset older ufologists by suggesting that “old geezers” retire from active UFO investigation. His RRR Group blog posts are copyrighted to InterAmerica, Inc., which is the name of a Washington, D.C. public relations firm. I can’t imagine they are the same company, yet I can’t find any other information for the InterAmerica that owns the copyright on RRR Group content. The name is not trademarked, so there is no trademark record, either.
Anyway, Renyolds or the RRR Group or InterAmerica or whoever they are began by describing his viewing of PBS’s recent broadcast of the Life of Muhammad, at which point it struck him that George Adamski’s encounter with the Venusians was very much like Muhammad’s visit from Gabriel, or Joseph Smith’s visits with Moroni. In discussing the post-Qur’an Islamic story of Muhammad’s assumption to heaven at Jerusalem astride his horse (attested in the earliest hadiths), he writes: “How does that differ, substantively, from Adamski’s alleged trips in his extraterrestrial scout ships to Venus or the other side of the Moon?”
Interestingly, in the Sahih Muslim, a collection of much later material about the life and sayings of Muhammad that Islamic scholars claim is one of the two most authentic such collections, Muhammad allegedly said that his nighttime trip to heaven occurred
...in a state midway between sleep and wakefulness, (an angel recognized me) as the man lying between two men. A golden tray full of wisdom and belief was brought to me and my body was cut open from the throat to the lower part of the abdomen and then my abdomen was washed with Zam-zam water and (my heart was) filled with wisdom and belief. (1.309)
If this tale can be trusted (and the hadiths cannot be independently confirmed to be true), it is possible to read this as paralleling modern alien abduction scenarios, including the extraterrestrial medical operations. But more importantly, even if you believe the story is a literally true account of an angelic encounter, it also parallels closely the known effects of the gray area when falling asleep where intense visions (known to science as hypnagogic dreams) can occur. Some believe that this is a period when the brain is most receptive to supernatural or divine communication, while modern science tells us that such visions occur due to brain function when falling asleep.
But this isn’t the direction that RRR Group wants to go with this. Ancient Aliens, on much flimsier evidence, declared all the Abrahamic faiths false cults of alien worship, so it shouldn’t have surprised me that RRR Group took a turn in that direction. First, the writer asks a sensible question:
Who is to say that George Adamski was not riddled [sic] by the same force or “external agent” that interacted with Ezekiel or Joseph Smith? Or can we conclude that the major progenitors of religion were all just mentally afflicted? (brackets in original; no, I don’t know why—it isn’t marked as a quote)
He discounts this possibility on the grounds that “insanity” is “unique” to the insane person; therefore, figures as diverse as Joseph Smith and George Adamski would not have had the same delusions of visitation, nor should their message of doing good, loving one another, etc. be so closely aligned had they sprung from an internal source. Naturally, having dismissed both the divine and the neurological, all that’s left is aliens:
So perhaps, we shouldn’t be too quick to dismiss Professor Adamski. He may have been fooled by the very same “divinities” that fooled Moses, Jesus, Muhammad, and Joseph Smith, among many, many other lesser lights.
(By the way, to easily offended readers: Please note again that the RRR Group is the one claiming that aliens “fooled” Muhammad. I have nothing to do with that claim, so please direct all messages about it to the RRR Group.)
But RRR Group isn’t so certain that unidentified flying objects are piloted by alien beings. According to a post from a week before:
When we UFO buffs get into a mysterious presence at the heart of the UFO phenomenon, we are entering a theological-like mind-set, and I don’t think UFOs are worthy of such. UFOs are a manifestation of an odd, as yet unknowable series of things-seen or interacted with, a phenomenon for the quirky.
I’m not exactly sure how these things are supposed to relate, frankly. If the UFOs are simply “odd” and “unknowable” “things,” then how can their pilots be creatures capable of meeting with, inspiring, and fooling humans? If we are not to read UFOs as a modern form of earlier encounters with the supernatural, wouldn’t the earlier post refute the later post on Adamski?
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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