The X-Files -or- ET Phone Home

Janice, American 31 years old

I was looking outside my bedroom window at the night sky - i saw a huge UFO - rectangular in shape with many angles and millions of different red, green, yellow lights. it was flying over my house towarrds the back end.  on either side of the ufo were angels flying - they had the classic face of the alien - big eyes and small chin and were dressed in white robes - there was one on either side of the ufo and one behind. as i looked down into my garden i saw an ond man sowing seeds in my garden, and an old woman in my driveway with a basket, not sure what she was doing.  i instinctively knoew they were dead, and i was looking into another world.  I quickly ran to call me daughter to come and see and went to the back side of my house to look out the window to see the ufo again.  but when i looked outside, there were hundred of crafts - i thought they were ufos but on looking better they were all helicopters - green camouflaged helicopters full of brown (all the same shade of chocolate brown) people flying them - they were all wearing camouflage army fatigues - one helicopter flew by the window we were looking out of and then flew away. This dream left me with an immense sense of awe.

Mr Hagen's Reply; In a Galaxy Far Far Away -or- Beam Me Up Scottie

The dream begs the more esoteric question, does extraterrestial life exist on other planets? Are UFO's just some sort of military conspiracy? If life on other planets does exist will they and have they come to visit us? As a dream researcher my primary interest the last nearly 35 years has been about life and its problems on this planet, the planet Earth. However the answer to these questions during my life time have not been without a sense of perennial interest.

In terms of dreams and dreaming I have a great interest in the cultural effects of media on the collective unconscious and everyday behaviour. As Thomas M Disch The Dreams our Stuff is Made Of: How Science Fiction Conquered the World tells us; "science fiction has come to permeate our culture in ways both trivial and/or profound, obvious and/or insidious. And its effects have not been limited to the sphere of 'culture,' in the narrow sense of one art form's influencing others. The influence of science fiction, as we shall witness abundantly in the pages ahead, can be felt in such diverse realms as industrial design and marketing, military strategy, sexual mores, foreign policy and practical epitemology--in other words, our basic sense of what is real and what isn't."

In this sense your dream is speaking about media influence and effects or what has also been termed the McLuhanesque, named after the media expert Marshall McLuhan. Your dream is talking to us about how media has shaped consumer reality and created a sense of realism specifically American realism. Many dreams received by the International Institute for Dream Research (IIDR) speak about media influence on consumer behaviour. In the dreams Amerika and Planet Hollywood and Deny Everything we can see how American media and the Hollywood dream factory has shaped dreaming in the global village.

My memories and understanding of the concept of extraterrestial life has been shaped by the kaleidescope of images and stories provided and told by popular commercial culture. Before I was born Orsen Wells had induced mass panic via his 1938 The War of the Worlds radio show (based on H. G Wells novel). Serials such as Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon fueled the cultural imagination and laid down the graphic basis for future popular science fiction (SF) dreamers such as George Lucas and Steven Spielberg to name a few.  As a young child I watched the SF television show Fireball XL5 (listen to music theme song video). The show used a transporter device before it was used in the Star Trek franchise. Then a few years past and my interest in Fireball XL5 gave way to the Star Trek mythology which still holds my reverent fascination. Star Trek's influence on popular culture and my own thinking is undeniable.

Especially from a technological perspective Trek stories were far ahead of their time, cell phones, computer pads, tasers all have the look and feel of the Gene Roddenberry's futuristic Star Trek vision. Other television shows that featured space travel to other planets and mythological aliens included The Invaders, Battlestar Galactica, The X-Files, and the Stargate franchise. From a literary perspective I found (as an adolescent) the SF literature of Robert Heinlein Stranger in a Strange Land compelling. The anatomy of the SF genre was given form by John Clute and Peter Nichols who have compiled one of the most in-depth catalogues in their Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. These Amazing Tales continue to feed the appetite and fuel the imagination of the Earth's audience with such archetypal SF stories.

Popular SF films such as Metropolis, Invasion of the Body SnatchersWar of the WorldsThe Forbidden Planet, The Day the Earth Stood StillStar Wars (and its mythology of the Force) StarmanE.T.Close Enclounters of the Third KindAliens, Independance DayA.I. (at the end of the film, the robot protagonist David goes "to that place where dreams are born"). The most recent and most financially successful alien encounter film was James Cameron's 2009 film Avatar. We learn that human's have traveled to another planet, because life on our planet, the planet Earth has been made uninhabitable ("they killed their mother", meaning mother nature) without the rare earth (unobtainium) found in abundance on the planet Pandora, the earth cannot survive. From a different perspective The Three Stooges in Orbit, Spaceballs, Galaxy Quest and what some would argue is the greatest popular cult classic parody of SF films Rocky Horror Picture Show (watch video of Science Fiction-Double feature) round out the humorous aspects of the SF genre. The music sound track to Rocky Horror are a tribute to Hollywood B Movies and serials. Your dream is a testimonial to all these films, music, literature, TV shows and their media effects on dreaming and our consciousness. The dismembered lips in the theatre of SF images above is Man Ray's "Lips", which was conceptually used in the opening song of Rocky Horror Picture Show.

In your dream the UFOs turn out to be helicopters, fueling the mythology, folklore and US military conspiracy theories surrounding what is popularly known as Area 51 and the Roswell UFO incident. The X-Files were repleat with such conspiracy theories. It is true that we live in an anthropic universe (fine tuned to create life), how is this possible? Scientists in the 19th and 20th century began to piece together an answer that involves the understanding of the molecular evolution of life. All life on Earth is written in the same genetic and chemical molecular code, using only four letters of this molecular alphabet, nature constructs the biodiversity we see on our planet.

From a quantum physical perspective the atomic and molecular basis of life (see Gilbert N. Lewis Atom and Molecule, also watch video making molecules with atoms) as we understand it becomes possible using what has become known as the Pauli Principle, named after the physicist Wolfgang Pauli. (I will be posting papers in the near future (summer 2011) at the IIDR website about Dreams and Quantum Physics, the papers will discuss the collaboration and work of Carl Gustav Jung and Wolfgang Pauli as they relate to dreaming and life on our planet.)

I believe that life is the teleological (following the ideas of the ancient Greeks such as Plato) inherent aim of this universe. Said otherwise, I believe that there is an intelligent design in nature, whether there is an intelligent designer is in dispute. It does not follow from the teleological argument that because there is an intelligent design that this proves the existence or presense of a creator. Once put into motion, molecular evolution could be explained by nature's intelligent use of self organizing principles. From an artistic perspective Leonardo Da Vinci's Vitruvian Man inculcates Leonardo's belief that the geometric (of the circle and square) workings of the body are analogous and personify the scientific, architectural and artistic workings of the universe.

From a scientific perspective, the Search for Extraterrestial Intelligence (SETI) has until now failed to prove the existence of alien communication with Earth. Scientists such as Fred Hoyle (and his theory of panspermia) and Carl Sagan have proposed theories surrounding the origins of life and extraterrestial life. Stephen Hawking issued a warning in 2010, that should aliens come to visit our planet that they may not have friendly intentions.

Further Reading and Viewing;

Carl Gustav Jung Flying Saucers: A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Skies

Alexei and Cory Panshin The World Beyond the Hill: Science Fiction and the Quest for Transcendence

Mark Rowlands Philosophy from Socrates to Schwarzenegger (reviews films from Frankenstein to Blade Runner).

Frederic Jameson Archeologies of the Future: The Desire Called Utopia and Other Science Fictions

What the Bleep Do We (k)now!? (watch film trailer)

Fred Alan Wolf The Dreaming Universe


All material Copyright 2006 International Institute for Dream Research. All rights reserved.