Let us be vigilant and firm in the faith, so as not to be seduced by a plot that aims to prepare us for events orchestrated with objectives that escape our understanding.
Newsroom (02/08/2022 12:08 PM, Gaudium Press) There are many issues that are controversial. The existence of life on other planets is one of them, and the possibility of contact with aliens is even more controversial. Among those who defend these hypotheses are those who use as justification the fact that it makes no sense to have an infinite universe and only the “insignificant” planet Earth inhabited.
Well, we must agree that there are many more things that do not make sense, for example, our own existence and our destructive capacity being among them. The Holy Scriptures, which contain the essence of everything we need to know, do not mention life on other planets. Those who refute this statement usually base it on the passage of the rapture of the Prophet Elijah “as they went on their way, talking together, behold, suddenly a fiery chariot with horses of fire separated them from each other, and Elijah went up into Heaven in a whirlwind.” (II Kings 2:11-12)
Yet even the Word of God, when fragmented and taken out of its context, can appear to say things it is not saying. A few verses earlier, the Second Book of Kings says “Behold what happened on the day the Lord caught Elijah up to Heaven in a whirlwind” (II Kings 2:1). The words are very clear and leave no room for rambling interpretations: God caught up Elijah. This is something difficult to understand and hard to explain, and Elisha himself must have used familiar figures to explain the surprising event.
From Genesis to Revelation, the Scriptures make mention of the manifestation of Angels. They appear, enter places, become visible to some people, and converse with them. There is no mention of Angels coming from other planets, arriving here with their intergalactic ships, with green skin and strange physiognomy. But everyone has their own reasons and justifications for believing what they want to believe, or what they have been persuaded to believe.
The first reported appearance of an unidentified flying object (UFO) dates back to 24 June 1947, when American aviator and businessman Kenneth A. Arnold claimed to have seen nine unusual disc-shaped aerial objects near Mount Rainier in Washington. The date became a milestone in the history of ufology (term coined from the acronym UFO, a set of issues and activities associated with the interest in these objects and related phenomena). The event had great repercussions and gave origin to the famous term “flying saucer”.
Other reports started to emerge after that one and the interest in the subject grew to great proportions, especially in the 1960’s and 1970’s. “Were the Gods Astronauts?”, by the Swiss writer Erich von Däniken or one of the many titles by the American Isaac Asimov became bedtime books for many people. Restless minds started to dive into the possibility of immediate contact with alien beings, looking for the ideal places for these contacts. Brazil became a point of interest for many scholars and curious people; and exotic places became part of the “alien tourism”.
Many got lost in these daydreams, compromising their own mental sanity, but many studied it with a certain impartiality, trying to make a scientific analysis of the subject. Like many other things that became feverish at certain times in human history, the growing interest in flying saucers later cooled down. Many from the hippy culture, who traveled around the world searching for evidence of extraterrestrial life, eventually stopped, cut their hair, changed their style of clothing, got a job, started a family, and the subject stopped being so interesting for most of the generation of searchers of stars and life beyond Earth.
What should concern us Catholics is not whether there are or if there cease to be flying saucers, aliens, spaceships, and contacts with extraterrestrial beings. What should concern us is the way in which this kind of subject can be manipulated to mislead people into believing something in a certain way.
On 17 May of this year, many people were surprised by a public hearing held by the United States Congress, with the presence of high-ranking authorities to talk about the report released by the Pentagon describing 144 unidentified aerial phenomena that have occurred since 2004, mainly involving military pilots of the United States Air Force.
There has always been speculation that the US government was hiding information on this subject. What has happened now, however, is that they have decided to expose the subject, previously kept under lock and key, by making public very controversial videos about these phenomena.
Ronald Moultrie, US Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security, the Pentagon’s top intelligence official, told the US Congress that the now-called UAPs – unidentified aerial phenomena – pose “potential risks to the country”. He explained that through rigorous analysis, 18 of the 144 phenomena showed “unusual patterns of movement or flight characteristics”.
Even former President Barack Obama spoke about it in an interview: “What’s true, and I’m really serious now, is that there are images and records of objects in the skies and we don’t know exactly what they are. We can’t explain how they move, or their trajectory. They didn’t have an easily explainable pattern.”
John Ratcliffe, director of National Intelligence during Donald Trump’s administration, had said in an interview with Fox News in March that “there’s a lot more out there than we realize” and that more hard-to-explain unidentified object events occur than are released to the public.
Last year, John Brennan, who commanded the CIA (the US Central Intelligence Agency) in the Obama administration, stated in a podcast interview that he found it “a little presumptuous and arrogant to believe that there is no other form of life anywhere in the universe”. In April this year, Robert James Woolsey, who was CIA director in the 1990s, told the Black Vault website that he is “no longer as skeptical as he was a few years ago about UFOs”.
The report released by the Pentagon did not present anything conclusive about these phenomena being caused by extraterrestrials, but they also did not refute this hypothesis, leaving it vague and open-ended.
So let us look at things things from another point of view. Professor Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, in his book “Revolution and Counter-Revolution”, a work of compulsory reading for those who want to understand everything that is happening in the world, states that “the revolutionary process is the development, by stages, of certain unruly tendencies of Western and Christian man and of the errors born from them.” He explains that “at each stage, these tendencies and errors have an aspect of their own. The Revolution is thus metamorphosing in the course of history.”
And he concludes his reasoning by saying that “these tendencies begin by modifying mentalities, ways of being, artistic expressions and customs.” In his wisdom, Dr. Plinio made clear the Revolution’s use of “metamorphoses” to advance and to operate the necessary tactical retreats.
As we said, there was a boom in the dissemination of information about the appearance of UFOs, studies were done, high commissions were created and the subject took shape, reaching a large number of people, some less inclined to believe, others more so. But the main objective was achieved: to sow in people’s minds the doubt about something they had not even thought about, and today there is a large number of men and women who have difficulty believing in God, but who believe in life outside this planet and in contacts with these extraterrestrial beings who “circulate around here”. Books, films, news, reports, and a lot of money has been poured into the dissemination of this belief.
The Pentagon, the Air Force and the American authorities were silent on the subject for 50 years, and now, out of nowhere, right after a pandemic that stopped the world for two years, with a bloody war in progress – in which, indirectly, the USA is very involved, supplying (and testing) armaments and, in a certain way, fomenting the conflict between Ukraine and Russia -, high authorities appear to divulge top secret videos and charitably share with the world this very serious subject that “puts the country at risk”. And when the US is said to be at risk, it is understood that the world is at risk.
It is not difficult to see the revolutionary strategy behind this, as Professor Plinio has so well outlined. Let me go into another polemical subject, to try to facilitate the understanding of this point of view.
Preparation for acceptance
In 1998, a TV station aired a soap opera in which there was the suggestion of a romance between two female characters. The subject generated much criticism and protest and the case was solved with the explosion of a shopping centre, killing the couple rejected by public opinion.
In 2003, the theme was brought up again in another soap opera, by the same network. This time, the female couple was formed by two teenagers and public rejection was lower, although a survey made it clear that people would not accept a kiss between them, which was resolved subtly, with the two girls being the protagonists of the play Romeo and Juliet at the school where they studied and ending the scene with a quick kiss between the Shakespearean characters they played.
In the same year, the theme was repeated in another soap opera, in a less veiled way. And, since then, there is hardly any film, soap opera, advertisement, or even many cartoons for children that do not include this theme, which has become common place. And, it should be understood that we are not discussing right and wrong here or externalizing prejudice, just using the example to demonstrate how this theme has become commonplace and has become part of everyday life.
Following this line of reasoning, it will not be strange that the number of unidentified aerial phenomena and even “manifestations” of beings from other planets will increase, and our minds will already be prepared to accept this as something trivial, expected, and common.
I try to imagine what kind of action could be provoked by an outbreak of this phenomenon. Since the threat to their airspace is the justification used by the US government summit to open up classified information and share it with the world, who can guarantee that in the near future there will not be invasions of sovereign nations under the accusation that they are harbouring extraterrestrial beings?
After all, is there anything left in this world whose occurrence is impossible? It is good to be prepared for everything and I close this dissertation with words of hope, uttered in the same book cited, by Dr. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira: “A soul in the state of grace is in possession, in a greater or lesser degree, of all the virtues. Enlightened by Faith, it disposes of the elements to form the only true vision of the universe.”
Let us be attentive and firm in faith, so as not to be drawn into a plot that aims to prepare us for events orchestrated with objectives that escape our understanding.
By Afonso Pessoa
Compiled by Sandra Chisholm