Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Ophiuchus Code, Part 1

(The following is pure speculation and observations, possible true and false assumptions, there’s nothing definitive in the following points. -MA)

"All modern thought is permeated by the idea of thinking the unthinkable." – Michel Foucault

Recently there was a documentary on the History channel about sixteenth century Seer Nostradamus and the alleged Lost Book. It would be an understatement, but Nostradamus is more in fashion now then he has ever been, everything, including such as speculative shows like "The Nostradamus Effect" which explores prophecy, to the Heavy Metal act Judas Priest, releasing an epic two disc concept Opera about Nostradamus’s life, is in circulation. It is rather interesting that Chris Carter would so shrewdly reference Nostradamus in the first season and the pilot of Millennium. Fittingly and by random chance, in 1994, at the height of the momentum of The X-Files, Italian Journalist Enza Massa, while visiting the Italian National Library in Rome, stumbled onto an unusual find, a manuscript dating to 1629, titled: Nostradamus Vatican Code, the author’s name was inside, Michel de Nostradame, and was handed down by the prophet’s son and was later donated by him to Pope Urban VIII, thus began a wave of controversy that remained little noticed by the general public for a long time.

About Nostradamus

Michel De Nostradame was born in December between the 14th and 21st, 1503, in Saint-Remy-de-Provence, The south of France. While little is known about his childhood, at 15, he studied at the University of Avignon until it closed a year later due to the outbreak of the Plague, after eight years of traveling and studying herbal medicines, he entered the University of Montpellier, yet soon was expelled after his years of being an apothecary, a manual trade forbidden by the university. After which, his fame rose after he created a "Rose Pill" that supposedly protected against the plague. His first wife and two children died of the plague in 1534. After having pursued a spell of travel including alleged visits to France and Italy, he returned to his place of origin, and assisted prominent physician Louis Serre in his battle with a plague outbreak in Marseille and Salon-de-Provence.

He met his second wife, a rich widower and had six children with her, three daughters and three sons, in 1547. By 1550 he began writing his first almanac. These Almanacs, taken together, is believed to have included at least 6,338 prophecies as well as eleven annual calendars, his fame grew as a seer, and Medieval Astrologer, and it brought him to the attention of various noblemen and prominent figures. Around this period, he began taking on his most famous project, and published his book of one thousand quatrains titled Les Propheties (The Prophecies), written in a cryptic stylized hybrid, incorporating Greek, Italian, Latin and Provencal. By 1555 he offered counsel to Catherine De Medicis, the queen consort of King Henri II of France. Such access gives him protection from a court that would have otherwise executed him for heresy at the height of the Inquisition. Nostradamus died by June 1566 due to Odema. It is believed that the lost book, Vaticinia Nostradami were watercolor drawings created by his first son Cesar de Nostredame, probably when Cesar was a boy of twelve, the dates of these images could not be determined accurately, but there is a postscript dated 1629. The reason why some believe this book of images has a bonfire connection to Nostradamus has to do with the fact that several images correspond with several known Quatrains that some believe have already come to pass.

The Lost Book and Quatrains

The following article isn't really interested in regurgitating interpretations about Nostradamus's Quatrains or the collection of watercolors that are tied into his work. It's really more of the general Longview perspective about the symbolism of his work. There has always been wide controversy about the legitimacy of Nostradamus's work, and his ability as a psychic prophet. Often proponents of Nostradamus will site various 'hits' within his quatrains, the most famous being of predictions of three anti-Christ's, one being Napoleon, the second being Adolph Hitler.

From the deepest part of Western Europe,
A young child will be born to poor people,
Who will by his speech seduce a great multitude,
His reputation will increase in the Kingdom of the East. – Century 3, Quatrain 35

Beasts ferocious with hunger will cross the rivers,
The greater part of the battlefield will be against Hister.
Into a cage of iron will the great one be drawn,
When the child of Germany observes nothing. – Century 2, Quatrain 24

There has always been a number of serious issues with Nostradamus's work, all of his quatrains operate within a random order, none of his quatrains are sequential, and are open to wild interpretations. While at a superficial glance this would appear to be a hit, skeptics have pointed out problems with translations as well as the mere coincidence of his Quatrains, at the time of Nostradamus's life, "Hister" referred to a geographical location near the Danube river, most of his quatrains were written in a vague, cyclical, cryptic style, and therefore they are prone to interpretation and assumption, that over the course of hundred of years, that some historical events would line up with his predictions, just by coincidence.

Another example of am argued ‘hit’ would be the following Quatrain:

Earthshaking fire from the center of the earth
will cause tremors around the New City.
Two great rocks will war for a long time,
then Arethusa will redden a new river. – Century 1, Quatrain 87

Which many believe is a reference to 9/11. A parallel to that Quatrain is the following watercolor sketch, Plate 46

There's a fundamental problem here, first with that Quatrain, Atethusa, in Greek mythology is a nymph and the daughter of Nereus, a Titan who is referenced as the old man of the sea, who was said to be a shapeshifter with the power of prophecy, the symbolic mythology of Atethusa, is one of transformation. Unless the last line references this as a transformative event, there’s no geographical reference that would connect this line to the middle east or Iraq war. Then there’s the problem of the image, a burning medieval tower could have any connection, aside from 9/11.

While the following point may seem flip, one could read Book of Revelation prophecy in some of Salvador Dali's surrealist work, if one was inclined to do so, as could be illustrated here, in his work The Temptation of Saint. Anthony;

The Millennium episode, "The Sound of Snow", referenced the following Quatrain 70, Century Six,

Chief of the world will the great "Chyren" be,
Plus Ultra behind, loved, feared, dreaded:
His fame and praise will go beyond the heavens,
And with the sole title of Victor will he be quite satisfied.

Now, what do we make of the word, "Chyren"? In this episode "Chyren" would usher in the end of the world and Judgment for all. The episode dealt with cassette tapes containing white noise that would make the listener hear the things they fear the most and this would triggers deadly hallucinations. One character comments, after comparing the ability of whales to hear for a thousand miles, that humans don’t hear very well, perhaps, an implication that most of us fail to observe the coded messages, and symbolism that surrounds us? The episode also references Saint Peter's gate, and the theological Christian view that not everyone will pass through, "Our pasts are what we are," One character explains, "Every choice has it's consequences."

It has been suggested, by some, the word Chyren, references an associate of Nostradamus, Pierre Plantard, who was known to use the pseudonym, Chyren, and is believed to have authored an unpublished manuscript, "Le fabuleux Tresor de Razes" under the name Louis Chyren. Now here’s where it get’s interesting. Chyren could be interpreted as Cheiron, the famous Centaur in Greek mythology, who taught the Hermetic sciences to Ophiuchus, The Serpent Holder. We'll get back to this in a moment. This Quatrain has been interpreted as relating to the future Anti-Christ. Cheiron is known for having a duel nature, and so this could be interpreted in two fashions as a prediction of destruction, or a new era of enlightenment, we’ll get back to this later.

To be continued...

Special thanks must go to the following sites, Ellie's Lost Book of Nostradamus page, The History Channel, as well as Seven Star Hand's work.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Perception and the Unexplained...

Recently, I’ve seen a lot more discussion about aspects of the UFO phenomenon,
namely what these extra-terrestrial, or ultra-terrestrials could be. I have no more answers then anyone else on the credibility and speculation of these issues. I have recently revisited a fascinating documentary from 2004 that I highly recommend, "What the Bleep Do We Know?", which mostly deals with physics, religion, and, in part, perception. There’s one fascinating segment that deals with an account of what indigenous people of America, in the Caribbean saw when Columbus was arriving in the new world. The natives could not see the approaching ships, it was the Shaman who for many days, watched the changing patterns in the water until finally they saw the on-coming clippers, it was the shaman who the natives believed and trusted that caused them to see the ships themselves. Due to present neurological scientific research, our receptors, our eyes, ears, and senses, receive four hundred billion bits of information per second, yet our brain only process two thousand bits per second, think about that. In other words our brain imprints the ability of what we can see. We can only see what we believe is possible.

A second point in this documentary touches on an experiment conducted in Japan, with the notion that ideas, words, and thoughts could alter the molecules of water, the point being that if an idea can alter the nature of water, what could it do to our own bodies? That’s a pretty astounding notion. If we create our own reality, isn’t it possible we create our own inhibitors to what we can perceive?

Now, taking a leap with what is going on with the UFO phenomenon or our exposure to ET / UT’s. Chris Knowles recently disclosed his thoughts on aspects of the UFO phenomenon, and theories about Ultra-Terrestrials.

November entry

Past July Entry

I won’t reiterate here all of his points, but I welcome everyone to take a look. The only point I will add is, what if these Ultra Terrestrials are more evolved variations of ourselves, humans that have mastered time travel, and are visiting us to influence, shape our present to insure our future? Which brings us to the main point cited, perhaps what has been referred to in the past as Angels, Demon’s, Farries, or at present Greys, are all part and partial of the same thing? Even that idea, that our future race, perhaps not even from earth anymore has traveled back to our present would boggle the mind, and operate beyond all of our point of reference, but perhaps this entire issue is far more Terrestrial then we’d like to accept.

Connecting this idea with the framework of that documentary, if we only have a framework, or a point of reference, wouldn’t it make sense we interpret these visitations as Extra-Terrestrial?

On the day we are able to open the floodgates and able to widen our perception, taking in closer to that Four hundred Billion bits of information we presently cannot process, will the construct we operate under be radically altered? Could we have contemporary shaman’s that are helping to alter the reality we presently create?

Maybe H.P. Lovecraft was right when he spoke of elder gods that would drive mortal men to madness upon seeing, and grasping. Perhaps it will all depend on the kind of personal heaven and hell we bring into that processing. Just something to ponder.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Something fun...

Not much to comment on, but I finally had access to a Blu Ray player and found the special thanks credit that’s hidden as an Easter egg feature of “I Want To Believe”, And so I took this picture.

It’s a long story, but enough time has gone by that perhaps this is fitting to do this. Blu ray players will probably rule the world before too long.

For anyone interested in finding this on your own: You can go to the Complete X-Files Timeline, Goto season 8, episode “Alone”, where you see an “X” beside the title. After you watch the video clip, replay the clip, and play around with the top / bottom / right / left buttons and that should trigger the page. My profound thanks as always to Mike Marek, I hope to make it up to him someday.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Truth and How to Hide It

Editor's note: Introducing Diego's fantastic article, enjoy! - Matt

(The following post will be full of inherent contradictions, half-truths, right out lies, and rushed conclusions. I hope the generous reader will kindly point them out so that we can together clear up the weak or obscure assertions.)

If someone makes a mystery of something, we assume that the ‘something’ is important. The more convoluted the mystery, the deeper the recesses in which the key is hidden, the more essential and revealing we expect the truth to be.
This seems to apply to individuals and groups alike. We realize someone is hiding something from us, and our curiosity is instantly piqued. What is hidden becomes of absolute importance. All the other information we may have about that person suddenly hinges on that one fact that can put everything we know in a new perspective.
(For some of us this becomes a way of life – we set out on a constant search for glimpses of truth that will make who we were obsolete. Shedding layers of skin. Melting frozen postures of mind and body. “Beyond a certain point there is no return. That point has to be reached.”)
The problem with us is that our reasons for hiding something about ourselves are usually vanity, shame, or fear. Our secret is a trifle, a speck of dust, and we make of it a mountain. If we were at peace with ourselves we would have no secrets. In our complete openness to the world we would not need to keep things behind closed doors, for the world would not be a threat to us.
But sects, cults, secret societies and schools like to introduce a mystery where there was nothing. They literally build up a mystery surrounded by impenetrable walls. If we want to reveal the secret, we need to play their game. That means time and effort (everything does). But we spend or waste our time and effort because we feel that the secret we will gain access to is worth it. The irony of the whole quest is that we don’t know if it was worth it until the moment of discovery –if we ever reach that moment.
When the search is for esoteric knowledge, the road is dangerous, especially if it becomes long and winding. You never know who to trust. And since you are trying to find your real self, by definition you cannot even fully trust yourself (the one you are at present and whom you hope to leave behind).
Literature can also become a fatal adventure. We risk becoming entangled in the story and forsaking real life. Stories are sometimes so much more beautiful than life. And the danger is higher when storytellers deal with mysteries, puzzles, enigmas. When they can say, even after nine years of weaving a tale of tales, “What have they seen? Of the whole, they’ve seen but pieces.” And we are left to wonder.

Sadly, “The Philosophy of The X-Files” does little to reveal the mystery. The essays in books such as this one many times read like scholarly papers, and I don’t mean this in a good sense. One gets the feeling that all the references to the show could be replaced by references to some other work, and the main argument would not be significantly altered; that the argument is not based on the show but, on the contrary, the show is being used to illustrate a presupposed argument. “Even though Radford’s comments are here focused on the fictional character of Anna Karenina, they apply just as well to Agent Scully,” says one of the writers. And that’s just the problem here. Isn’t Scully worthy of a unique analysis? Doesn’t her character force us to think of things in new terms, to reconsider old concepts under a new light or to create new ones? Doesn’t philosophy at its best work that way, creatively, much like poetry? The “philosophy” of this book is not the creative act that guides us to uncharted regions of the mind, but merely a tracing of The X-Files onto weary systems of thought. The task is quite sterile and we are left with a dry taste in our mouths, after being fed too many summaries of old philosophies and too little X-Files.
Having said that… at least every chapter offers one or two valuable insights, and there are several fascinating pieces among the bunch. And, after all, spurred by my reading of the book, I am writing, though randomly, about The X-Files.
Anyway, out of all the chapters, the one that really stands out is “Musings on a Cigarette Smoking Man” by Timothy Dunn and Joseph Froy. The book is worth buying just for this brilliant piece, which tackles what I unoriginally believe to be the show’s core issue: the truth and how, why, and when to hide it or reveal it. Surprisingly, this question is not given as much thought as it deserves. Metaphysical and ontological discussions surrounding “the truth” are rare among the critics and the fandom. Our basic tenet is that “The truth is out there,” but there is someone who hides it from the seekers. So what could be more important than examining, first of all, the phrase itself –e.g. In what sense is “truth” to be understood? What does it mean for the truth to be located somewhere?–, and secondly, the person who hides the truth? CSM is, like it or not, the keeper of the key. We may be on Mulder and Scully’s side, but within the story’s general structure, it is CSM who holds the most power and has access to more information. As it is presumably better to examine an issue with more facts at hand and the widest perspective possible, we should stand in CSM’s shoes if we want to come closer to the truth (understood here as “the facts”), and see the story with his eyes.
I urge you to read Dunn and Froy’s essay, so I’d rather not discuss it at length here. Instead, I will try to outline some questions I had before coming across the piece, precisely because after reading it most of these questions (and others) had found, for me, a satisfactory answer.

For the sake of argument, what if Mulder’s quest is “wrong” and CSM is right? William B. Davis has repeatedly stated he believes CSM to be the actual hero of the show, and he has always played the character with that idea in mind. Well then, to what extent can Davis’s presentation of the conflict be correct?
This hypothesis would force us to leave aside the “hero’s journey” aspect of the myth. Or to see it from the point of view of the “enemy.” According to Duchovny, who has cited Joseph Campbell among his inspirations, the show would be another (excellent) example of the archetypal hero's journey.
To simplify things terribly: in the beginning, it is (seemingly!) only Mulder's journey. But with time Scully’s path gains importance and we finally realize it was Mulder and Scully’s journey all along. But ironically, CSM was in control, pulling the strings, all the time. It was he who “created” Mulder, he who assigned Scully to Mulder, and he who time and time again directed, redirected, blocked, and diverted their path(s). In this sense, can CSM be seen as an Olympian God? Are Mulder and Scully free, or only pawns in his game?
CSM’s rationale for keeping the facts from the public is that “If people knew the things I know, it would all go to hell.” That is, aliens would take over immediately. Regardless of how people react to the news, the aliens would know we knew. And the invasion would be imminent. In this light, Cancer Man is a humanitarian, a protector of the human race. He simply has no choice but to act as a guardian of a fatal secret, the ultimate threat.
(But what about the non-UFO X-Files, which in fact make up the majority of the cases investigated? Is a coverup ever justified? This question needs to be examined in detail.)
According to some esoteric lines of thought, knowledge is material, and as such, some knowledge is precious, and not for everyone (!). Certain knowledge, certain ideas, would be better left hidden, known only to a few, because the mass of people would not understand them and would therefore corrupt them, distort them. In fact, “hidden” is the wrong word, because that knowledge is already out there. It is simply hidden in plain sight, and those who have eyes see it, those who have ears hear it. (For all this and more, see Millennium, season 2.)
So if CSM has come by certain knowledge, we must assume it is because he did what was necessary for gaining it, that he has made the required sacrifices. No one enters a closed circle by chance, but only through long, sustained effort.
Mulder and Scully must, in turn, be “initiated.” They must make their own way into the circle. Notice how in the show arriving at a minor or major truth often involves going inside a place, entering a closed territory. Again, the truth about the world is located somewhere, so for finding it the seeker needs to acquire access. In this world, power is access.
Just as importantly, the truth about ourselves requires we look inside. “Know thyself.” For we are aliens to our own selves. We are not who we are. The truth must set us free before we can pierce through the smoke of deception and finally read the writing on the wall.
CSM, as someone who has already climbed the ladder of initiation, is in charge of leading Mulder and Scully. But neither our heroes nor us can judge CSM’s actions until the end, simply because we don’t have the knowledge he has. We cannot judge, especially, his sense of timing, of when to show and hide, give and take, confess and deceive. Only he knows when they are prepared for a certain truth, a certain experience.
The main ojection to this point of view is, Does he have the right, does anyone have the right to guide and direct someone else’s life, let alone the destiny of the entire world? The list of CSM’s “methods” includes subjecting people to cancer and barrenness, abducting and murdering family members, political assassinations, and a long etcetera. Can all or any of this ever be justified?
The utilitarian answer depends on what is at risk. What is to be gained after these sacrifices? Continuing the esoteric line of thought, What knowledge will be gained and at what level of being or consciousness will one be left after these experiences? Must knowledge always come at a price? And who is to set the price?
On a side note, there are unexpected parallels between the “villain” of the 1990s and one of the “heroes” of the 2000s – Jack Bauer. Both resort to ruthless actions in the name of the greater good. They sacrifice themselves and become corrupted by the evil they fight because the abyss has also looked into them. And both, the first much more than the latter, allow themselves moments of sadistic violence. The main difference perhaps is that Bauer is not concerned with power, while power in itself is everything for CSM (in one view). It would be interesting to explore the lines of continuity between these two emblematic figures, for at first sight, one decade’s villain is another decade’s hero. Is it only a question of how the characters are presented? Or do they reflect changes in our attitude towards world issues?
Going back to the conflict at the heart of The X-Files: Mulder starts out as an idealist, believing he can spread the word and everyone will take heed. That the truth can be spoken aloud, to thousands, to billions. But if we are to believe CSM, as "The Truth" clearly demonstrates we should, the truth is inherently esoteric, mysterious, dangerous, and difficult to understand. If you are not strong enough to face its otherworldly light, it will crush you. So finding the inner truth, from which to derive an unflinching strength of spirit, is a task that must be undertaken before or as one sets out to find any truth(s) “out there”. It is a lesson Mulder and Scully have learned, “the truth we both know” – that there is no greater fortitude than the fortitude of trust, love, and true faith.
Had this romantic duo not fought the battle with trust as their shield, their decade-long search together would have been the crusade of two blind fools! Even so, from the first scene in the Pilot to the last scene of “The Truth,” who could say that it didn’t feel like a vain pursuit? The sense of pointlessness was there right from the start. CSM, in the shadows, knew it all, and he was not telling. Thankfully he didn’t, for if he had, there would probably have been no quest. “Allow [Mulder] his ignorance. It’s what gives him hope.” CSM, in feeding that innocence, was the real hero. (Mulder will end up adopting the same attitude towards Scully, “protecting” her from the inevitable truth of the end of the world. What makes that an act of love, and CSM’s approach egoistic?) It is obvious CSM’s story matters as much as Mulder and Scully’s.
Another side note, in relation to this: Was “Musings…” successful in terms of portraying the “true hero’s” journey? It’s certainly a magnificent episode, but it would have been nice to have one more episode like “Musings…” that contradicted this backstory. (But perhaps the greatest shame is that there was no Krycek episode. Alex Krycek is the other complex key figure who begs to be examined in depth.) Yet, if there is one thing The X-Files does extremely well is presenting contradictory versions of events. Fans often complain about this “lack of continuity”; I think it is a wonderful example of The X-Files’ ‘Rashomonic’ nature. We see events as Mulder and Scully see them. Facts, dates, events are conflicting, and reality appears inscrutable. Fortunately a wise man once told them a heartwarming truth, on which they learn to base their convictions: “Memory, like fire, is radiant and immutable.”
So as regards the Syndicate, what can they do? Are they fascist or not? Did they ever have an option? In what measure are they heroes and/or villains?
What were our chances of being saved? Wasn't humanity doomed already? So what we should judge are the Syndicate's means. But anyway, doomed to what? Aren’t we aliens already? What is this fear of becoming-other but a fear of becoming who we really are? The great fear of dying in order to really live.
If the myth of The X-Files is, in the end, about the end of the world, then what is its philosophy in the face of this final destruction? For anyone interested in Deleuze, I would argue the ending of the series is in a way completely Deleuzian: M&S in flight, M&S the creative line of flight of love. Much more on this question on a later post!

A final turn of the screw. Chris Carter is, above all, CSM…. He has said in interviews that Mulder and Scully are the two sides of himself. But what Carter is not telling us, because it is plain to see, is that he is as much CSM as he is Mulder and Scully. In practical terms, regardless of how much he depends on the rest of the crew, he will always have the last word. There is always something the rest don’t know. And the way he deals with this knowledge is exactly like CSM’s. Take for example the way he handled the secrecy around “I Want to Believe.” “There's as much good information as there's misinformation.” Half-truths, lies, truths. “As I've always said, Deny everything.” (I’ve always said? Shouldn't that be CSM always says?) “Trust no one.” And so on. In interviews, Carter uses the same phrases he put in CSM’s mouth, he hides behind the same philosophy CSM hides. Of course, we love him because, when all is said and done, he is just an entertainer… right?

We have only been skiing over the deep waters of philosophical enquiry into the X-Files. By now, I’m thinking that the only thing that could satisfy my appetite for X-Phileosophy is a university course on “The Philosophy of The X-Files”!


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Remembering past genre late night television...

Technically, this ties in with my previous blog about remembering past genres, while this isn’t relevant to The X-Files, I have little doubt the host(s) of the following local television show would have interviewed people connected to The X-Files or Millennium, back in the 90s, had this show still existed.

Recently there was an event at a local theatre that was special. A evening and a special projected broadcast re-run of a 1973 episode of a local horror TV show that aired double features of old horror and science fiction movies, and was hosted by an unassuming, and unlikely chap named Bob Wilkins. "Creature Feature's" was locally produced at Oakland, CA TV station KTVU channel 2 from 1971 until 1984. The following Trailer should give you an idea:

Back in the 1970s, as a child, I distinctly remember staying up late to watch this show from 11 to 1, on Fridays or Saturday nights, as I was permitted to (encouraged by my Dad, another lover of these genres), and usually fell asleep before the movies ended. But Bob Wilkins and his eventual replacement John Stanley, were the personalities who exposed me to a great many horror and science fiction genre shows, before the advent of the VCR, DVD, Digital Cable, Tivo, Blu Ray, or iMovie.

Bob Wilkins with Christopher Lee

While this show might not have been nationally syndicated, for residents of the greater bay area, Northern California, and who came of age in the 70’s and early 80’s, Bob Wilkin’s was truly beloved. As well as his benefactor, John Stanley, who continued the show from 1979 to 1984. Stanley went on to write a great collection of genre movie guides titled "Creature Features: The Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Movie Guide”, published by Boulevard Books, and highly recommended if you can find it. This show became so popular locally that it was beating the ratings of network shows like Saturday Night Live, much to the incredulous feelings of network executives.

Wilkin’s in the seventies interviewed an amazing pool of talent that was connected to these genres. Christopher Lee, Leonard Nimoy, William Shatner, Forest J. Ackerman, William Marshall, Larry "Buster" Crabbe of Universal serials, "Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers" fame, John Landis, Ray Harryhausen, and countless others. George Lucas was a fan of the show and has acknowledged watching Wilkins when he had a show in Sacramento in the 1960s. The Creature Features set was cheep and cheesy, but that never mattered.

You can get a further taste of Wilkin’s here:

Bob Wilkins had a certain dry humor in the way he hosted, he didn’t take himself too seriously, nor the film's he showed too seriously, he wasn’t a fan of horror or science fiction, but most importantly he respected the fans that enjoyed these genres. He had an unassuming quality that made him a very unlikely person to host such a show, and he never depended on gimmicks, he never talked down to his audience, either adults or children. He didn’t need to. While he featured many truly awful B genre movies, he once commented: "I knew that if I told people to watch this film, they wouldn’t. I told them to not watch it. I had a TV guide and told them what was on the other stations at the time." Of course, it worked like a charm, people would stay and watch the movie. Bob was smart enough to surround himself with people who understood these genres, and he respected the fans when they would write back and correct him when his information was incorrect.

Even the cheesy 70s funk theme that opened the show’s credits, had a certain charm to it, and still can make me smile:

Once Star Wars broke in 1977, Bob Wilkins created an afternoon program for kids titled Captain Cosmic, while he was hidden in a superhero costume with a helmet, everyone knew it was Bob. The show ran Japanese kids shows, like Ultraman, Spectraman, Star Blazers, and Johnny Sokko and his Flying Robot. Thus, predating the rise of Japanese Anima that is common today. Again, the sets were cheesy, as well as the prop boxed robot, 2T2. But it was popular and remembered to a certain generation.

John Stanley on from 1979-1984

Back in the 70’s, there was a latitude with local programming to allow production of such quirky shows. Before the advent of media consolidation, or specialized network programming like CNN or HBO, or a sophisticated audience that has become somewhat jaded to such niche programming. This kind of a show wasn’t uncommon; there were other similar programs throughout the United States in the 1960s and 1970s at local stations. Of course some of the profile names that come to mind, as far as nationally syndicated programs are concerned, would be Elvira and Joe Bob Briggs, as well as Mystery Science Theatre 3000. But I do tend to feel with everything that has changed, something has been lost. In this day and age, on-line sites, and genre bloggers are the people who are substituting for this gap, but it hasn’t compared really.

You can find out more about Bob Wilkin’s at the following site:

Bob Died in January 2009 after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s.

Most important, John Stanley’s site covers a lot of current information, as well as some fairly significant news.

A 75 minute documentary about the history of Wilkins and Stanley’s "Creature Features" is available on DVD to purchase, and that can be found of Stanley’s site.

I am certain there might be others who visit this Blog who had similar experiences as children, either in the States, UK or Europe with similar shows, and I’d like to hear about them. Everyone is welcome to comment about their own shared experience.

I’d like to close with a favorite, humorous, Americana Slogan of Bob’s:

"Watch Horror Movies – Keep America Strong!"

Saturday, September 26, 2009

What's coming up....

This might be not the most exciting blog, as it is update business, but we're going to shake things up a little soon. Around the time of my last publication, I was pondering the concern that this blog had turned into "Matt's vanity project", and so I decided to do something about it. There always seems to be these gaps where I don't write anything here, and it's for the simple reason that the muse doesn't always strike me, or I am too busy with website issues usually. So, I invited several Lexicon staffers to write blogs / articles to be featured here. Soon Diego, one of our good fellows who works strictly behind the scenes, will be posting an interesting article that I suspect people will be fascinated with. Stay tuned!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Who is ‘seeing you’, thoughts on The Prisoner...

Making a connection between Patrick McGoohan's seminal late 60s BBC show, "The Prisoner" and "The X-Files" may seem a stretch. Yet from a thematic standpoint, there are general connections to be made. I should add, I can't claim there's any evidence that Mr. Carter, and Mr. Spotnitz, or any other writers who worked on "The X-Files", were influenced by "The Prisoner". Yet it would be difficult to believe that "The Prisoner" hadn’t left an impression with some of the regular writers that worked on "The X-Files".

For anyone who is not familiar with this series, and there are many, "The Prisoner" has remained one of the most critically praised series by fans and critics alike, as well as being the most misunderstood series to come out of the UK in the 60s. The show, which only ran for a specific number of 17 episodes, was first broadcast in Britain from September 29, 1967 until February 1, 1968. It used elements of science fiction, the spy thriller genre, surrealism and allegory, and the counterculture environment of the time as a vehicle to comment on the nature of modern society. The opening teaser brilliantly set up the premise. A British spy resigns his position in outrage, arrives at his residence to pack, is rendered unconscious by a gas, and wakes up in a strange residence, an island that is a resort-like prison and is only referred to as 'The Village'.

clips download by docwertham

Indeed, a number of shows owe a great debt to "The Prisoner", David Lynch’s "Twin Peaks" probably would not have been given as much latitude had it not been for the template established within "The Prisoner's" use of surreal dream imagery. Many of the themes in "The X-Files" were touched upon on "The Prisoner". A mistrust of government or corporate institutions, a criticism of social conditioning via mind control or drugs, comments on education being used as a social conditioning tool, comments on politics and the election process. Yet while these themes played themselves out in a subtle manner on "The X-Files" and over the stretch of 202 episodes. "The Prisoner" was very pointed and focused on these themes in the span of 17 episodes.

Clip download by 9umber6ix

This man, who is never identified with a personal name, is referred to as Number 6, and is told by the village authority, Number 2, that the reason why he has been detained is they are seeking "information" as to why he resigned. This task of getting the information and breaking him down is carried out by the ever changing circles of Number 2’s, who act as the village’ chief administrator as well as proxy to the unseen Number 1. Per episode each attempt to break Number 2 fails, and Number 6’s initial attempts to escape the island of the Village fail with dismal results. The village is secured by various monitoring systems, and security forces, as well as a device or entities called Rovers: bubbles that rise from the oceans, they can chase escapees at high speeds, and kill through suffocation.

Still pulled from AMC tv.

Slowly, Number 6 begins to figure out how to achieve his goals by integrating himself, to a degree, into the village. He begins to turn the tables on his captors. The various number 2’s become so desperate for number 6’s information that they take drastic measures. During the second to last episode, “Once upon a time”, extreme social conditioning under the name ‘Degree absolute’ is employed. The exchange between Patrick McGoohan and Leo McKern became so intensely emotionally that McKern had to be hospitalized upon finishing shooting. The final episode, ‘Fall Out’ triggered the greatest controversy and left many viewers outraged. All of the allegorical themes of the series play out in the final.

Still pulled from AMC tv.

An excellent interview was conducted by Warner Troyer in 1977, broken in four parts. McGoohan’s comments about individuals being conditioned to be ciphers is an interesting observation. McGoohan was an interesting man, he was approached by the James Bond producers in early 60s to play Bond, but declined. He had charming leading man qualities, but he had a fierce intensity and a strong rebellious streak, as well as intelligence that perhaps made him not fit in well with the more shallow aspects of the industry.

Clips downloaded by Dougo13.

Not every episode was flawless; such episodes as "Living in Harmony" and "Do Not Forsake me, Oh my darling" did feel like filler for my tastes. Yet there are few shows that have remained so interesting, has aged well, and manages to remain very relevant.

So, exactly how do I see thematic parallels between both shows? These parallels are general, but can be made.

Mulder, like Number 6, is a renegade within his field, you could argue that once Mulder abandons Bureau mainstream to work on The X-Files, he, in effect, resigns from a promising career track. Mulder, like Number 6 begins as a lone wolf. Unlike Number 6, he becomes dependent on Scully, thus she will go on to be his salvation. Of course his salvation plays out over 200 episodes, whereas the role of the renegade in played out in 17 episodes on "The Prisoner."

It should be noted, a better parallel can be made that The Lone Gunmen, throughout the series and their spin off show, follow the template of Number 6. Three non conformists who have confrontational, and cynical temperaments at some moments are closer to fitting Number 6’s renegade nature. I could see Langly, Frohike, and Byers having a real affinity for the show and McGoohan’s character

It’s true that while an organization seeks out "Information" from Number 6, thematically, it is played out in reverse on "The X-Files", Mulder seeks out information about broad government conspiracies. On the other hand, since the series works within allegories, once could make a broader connection. If the Village represents social conditioning to accept a certain fate, then the agenda’s of the Syndicate in "The X-Files", as well as the Millennium Group in "Millennium" tie in well globally with this theme. In the X-Files universe, we are imprisoned by the agendas of others.

Both shows included iconic slogans or phrases, "Be seeing you" has as much of a multiple meaning as does "The Truth is out there".

I’m certain others could find more parallels.

In essence, this series dealt with breaking out of the prisons and situations we entrap ourselves in. As well as the cyclical or Sisyphus subtext of breaking out of one entrapment to soon be ensnared in another.

For X-Files and Millennium fans who seek out shows than can entertain while remaining altruistic, and while realizing "The Prisoner" can be an acquired taste, the un-initiated will find a great deal of riches.

Not only must you not trust anyone, you might want to be weary of the phrase: "Be Seeing you."

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Problem of the ‘Designated’ Hero Archetype...

First off, I want to apologize for the delays in writing anything here at the Lexicon Blog, I’ve been overwhelmed with 'behind the scenes' projects with the proper Lexicon site, as well as some personal, and creative projects.

Last February, Past Lexicon contributor Chris Knowles was interviewed by Aeolus Kephas of the site, Stormy Weather, for a fascinating discussion, that can be archived here in two parts.

Stormy Weather pt. 1 interview

Stormy Weather pt. 2 interview

Aspects of this interview touched on some issues that I have been pondering and have been preoccupied with for years, the skeptical deconstruction of the Hero Archetype. Chris’s own site, The Secret Sun, is preoccupied with finding connections between contemporary symbolism and ancient symbolism. My personal preoccupations have always been how the hero archetype has evolved from classic Greek mythologies, as well as the mythologies around the world, into the kind of serialized notion of the hero.

Of course, all of the following points have been discussed without end, by others who are far more altruistic and intelligent than myself, but these are my gut observations about these issues.

The Hero archetype has been examined at length through the work and writings of Joseph Campbell. The classic hero archetype, the journey of the hero to find his place in the world, is ancient, potent, I believe is deep seeded in our consciousness, or to reference Jung, our collective unconsciousness. The development of what I coin, the "Designated" hero has evolved with the trend of the superhero over the last hundred years. Elements of the Superhero have always existed, but have become more narrowly defined within pop culture

Here’s my dilemma, once you think about, and analyze the role of "Designated" Hero, you forced to the see the flaw in the very notion, of the very nature is of this type of specific character archetype. That there is a diminishing return to the role of an individual saving others, or a city, or community, or the world on a regular basis, and this is what made the movie version of The Watchmen so fascinating. There has been accusations by some comic book fans that author Alan Moore hates Heroes. It is my observation that some of these accusations are similar to the types of accusations leveled at filmmaker Stanley Kubrick over his entire body of work. Both men have been dismissed for their cynicism; I would argue that Moore and Kubrick were less 'cynics' than realists about human nature.

It's one of the reasons why I found Christopher Nolan's Batman films to be so interesting, exactly for their insight into human nature. I have observed, from his past observations, that Secret Sun webmaster, Chris Knowles has been disillusioned about Nolan’s interpretation of the Batman character, and that we share a different reaction to these films. I have always felt that Chris Nolan is building up a point by point argument and illustrating that Batman's brand of vigilantism would never work in the real world, it is a flawed ideal to begin with, and only could lead to diminishing returns, in spite of good intentions. This is why I predict the final film of Nolan's trilogy will be the bleakest, and why it will lead to the self destruction of Bruce Wayne, it's already set in the cards.

One of the interesting things about the character "Dr. Manhattan" from The Watchmen was in fact that he was omnipotent, wise, and detached from other humans. It is hard to not see that Superman displays the same traits; the fundamental difference that prevents Superman from holding that same kind of detachment for humanity is the fact that he was raised on a farm by a mortal couple, the Kents. Thus, he has retained a connection. It’s one of the things I found interesting about the hero deconstructionist approach of Superman Returns, I predict Superman must die so that the son, a kind of alien / human hybrid, can lead his fellow mortals through example, though his son's own connection to humanity, and that his son’s diminished abilities will bring about a greater connection and sense of responsibility.

For myself, I find it much more interesting to find out what happens to Harry Potter after his daring feats of heroism, what price must be paid, what toll it will take on Harry to have the expectation of his friends that he can find a solution to every crisis, and what will happen when an older Harry can't find a solution to every crisis. A lot of my unpublished writing has been concerned with the very price to be paid for such heroes, when the nature of being a hero no longer works, I have found this an ongoing preoccupation as well as puzzle. When does the good example set by heroes become a self destructive obsession?

Billie Joe Armstrong, and the rock band Green Day, has focused on the issue of patriotic jingoism, as well as American mythic ideology, on their last two albums. The lyrics to the song "See The Light", from 21st Century Breakdown raises a very valid idea. And I’d argue, in their own way, Green Day is questioning the American hero archetype.

"I just want to see the Light, I don’t want to lose my sight, I need to know what’s worth the fight."

What happens when a hero is no longer clear about what he is fighting for?

Songwriter, Stephen Sondheim, brilliantly examined how fables, and by extension, certain archetypes, are interpreted and understood in the song, "Children Will Listen" from the musical Into The Woods.

"Careful the wish you make, Wishes are children, Careful the path they take, Wishes come true, not free. Careful the spell you cast, not just on children, Sometimes the spell may last, past what you can see, and turn against you, Careful the tale you tell, that is the spell, Children will Listen."

The tales we tell can have a potent impact on how we view the world and yet isn’t this the essence of why stories are told? Should the teller of such tales operate with greater care? If we cling too tightly to the conventions of our hero archetypes, don’t we risk having it working against us in real life?

A side preoccupation, brilliantly illustrated in Chris Carter’s Fox series Millennium, has been the danger of prophecy, which I have also become increasingly skeptical toward. The problem of Prophecies is not in their existence, Prophecies on their own are harmless, but the danger lies in their interpretation, and the willingness of men to take action and make them happen. Thus, the very fabric of the notion of 'Fate', does fate exist, or do we create out own fate? This is why I always identified in one of the key sentiments and phrases of Terminator 2: Judgment Day – "No fate but what we make."

In other words, will we take the final chapter of the Christian Scriptures to heart? Is the Book of Revelations a kind of wish fulfillment? Will we interpret those signs correctly? Or,... for example, the multitude of other religions that believe in Armageddon and reinforce the idea of a global fate in their own contructs? If prophecy is the construct of mortal men to begin with, then don’t we have the choice to reject those constructs?

I realize the following prior point is very loaded indeed, and touches on a very Nietzscheian notion. Should we spit in the eye of such beliefs, such constructs as fate and destiny? What if all of the scriptures of the world’s religions, which were interpreted by mortal men, no less, what if those interpretations strayed from the real intention of a higher power? Historically, there is ample evidence to the negative outcome of religions to cling to rigid dogmas. To tie this together with the issue of mythic archetypes, what does it mean if the accepted archetype of the hero itself has been misinterpreted?

Which brings me now to Mulder and Scully, (did you not think I’d bring this up?), relates to this question. Mulder falls into the same example of the "Designated" hero, and we have witnessed the same diminishing returns as well as the cost illustrated throughout his history and his actions. While Mulder’s instincts have nearly always been correct, and his obsessions might have brought about great good, it came at a terrible cost for himself, Scully, his parents, and associates. Was Mulder's decade long efforts worth the final outcome? I guess it would depend on understanding what was at stake, of knowing what was worth the fight, and what wasn’t. With a destination that hasn't been reached in the X-Files mythos.

This isn't to say the message and the meaning of the hero is inherently wrong. During this period of our history, we do need heroic examples. The central point has always been the same and will always remain true, that everyone is capable of being heroic, and it doesn’t have to result in grand sweeping gestures, or the ultimate in self sacrifice. Heroism can be found in daily little gestures, as well as the bravery of holding true to ones convictions. If we have the choice to reject the constructs that drive the belief in destiny, then the "Designated" hero can simply choose to walk away, and let others set the example.

This isn't a bad thing. To hold into this skepticism of the traditional role of the hero archetype, it is indeed healthy, and it might be needed as we move into the 21st Century.

Ultimately, perhaps the role of the hero is no longer needed if we can learn to stop being passive in our interactions with the world around us, or dependent on others to guide our lives. If we can keep things in perspective, with a clear and objective view about how to live our lives, and use as an example the best qualities of what makes someone heroic, as a template for how to deal with real world challenges, then we can move into something that I see as hopeful.

There is a lot of wisdom in the concluding point: You can't save others, until you can save yourself.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The show's title inspired by a music video?

I came across something interesting last night while watching the music video for Jon Bon Jovi's 1983 single, "Runaway". On the opening montage, there's a series of newspaper clips about some kind of nuclear fallout and exposure. There might even be a reference to Pyrokinesis. There's a piece of paper with the following: FILE X-8026, check it out.

Bon Jovi music video, "Runaway"

The video, directed by Phil Griffin, seems to have a loose paranormal theme, it's really inspired more by Steven King's book "Firestarter" than anything else. Nevertheless, this is interesting, people should be reminded that "X" in mathematical terms represents the unknown. Yet, could the video have been an indirect influence on Chris Carter when he came up the title of the show? I'm looking into this through direct sources, and so stay tuned for more on this....

Friday, March 20, 2009

Remembering Past Genres...

First off, my apologies for taking so long to update here.

One of the interesting outcomes of my recent interview with Bob Goodwin, was the connection I felt with our shared liking of old 50s genre films. I was very much tickled to look at the posters and lobby cards for “Alien Trespass”, it triggered memories of my avid interest in 40s and 50s Science Fiction and Horror posters, I had an huge interest in the subject when I was younger. I share many of the same favorites that Mr. Goodwin mentioned. Some include War of The Worlds, Earth vs. The Flying Saucers, It Came from Outer Space, Howard Hawk’s The Thing, invaders From Mars, the iconic The Day The Earth Stood Still, as well as such interstellar epics as Forbidden Planet, This Island Earth, and George Pal’s Destination Moon. Unfortunately, with today’s contemporary eyes, and due to the sophistication and production values that Sci Fi genre fans have become accustomed to, many of these films probably seem quaint or crude. By fans dismissing them, they miss out on an important part of pop culture history, and most importantly, many of these films for their time, successfully captured that sense of wonder that a 10-year-old holds.

Much in the same way that, by the mid thirties, the Flash Gordon / Buck Rogers Universal serials with Buster Crabbe captivated children, and those serials were upholding the tradition of the Science Fiction Pulp magazines of that era. There’s something to be said for the naive exuberance of that era, before astronomical science had caught up to the point of changing the sensibilities of genre writers. One of my great collecting obsessions has been the premiere Science Fiction Pulp magazine of the 20s and 30s: "Amazing Stories." Before Steven Spielberg co-opted the title for his 80s anthology. "Amazing Stories" was a ground breaking publication in the mid 20s. below is a copy of the one of editions I have.

Yes, I’ll admit the aliens with the huge ears is hokey, but there was again a charm in the na├»ve exuberance to the magazine, the artwork, and the stories. Its publisher, Hugo Gernsback had as an interesting and compelling story, as compelling as the personal life of H.P. Lovecraft, or Edgar Rice Burroughs. Gernsback was an entrepreneur who was born in 1884 in Luxembourg, Germany and immigrated to the United States in 1905. He founded radio station WRNY in 1925, and was involved in the first television broadcasts and is considered a pioneer in amateur radio. He published "Modern Electronics" in 1909, as well as founded the Wireless Association of America. He created "Amazing Stories" in 1926, and it is generally considered that he founded modern science fiction by creating a magazine dedicated to the genre. He even founded the phrase "Science Fiction", although it was awkwardly dubbed "Scientifiction" in the beginning. He also wrote Science Fiction in 1911, "Ralph 124C 41+", although, it should be noted, it was an awkwardly written book filled with interesting ideas. The magazine depended on reprints of H.G. Welles, Jules Verne, and Edgar Rice Burroughs in the beginning, yet talented writers did start their publishing careers from the magazine, such as A. Merrit, and E.E. "Doc" Smith or eventually John W. Campbell. It could be argued that editor Farnsworth Wright for "Weird Tales", did recruit a more important and influential pool of talent for that magazine. But Gernsback’s important role should not be ignored. The "Hugo" award, given out by the World Science Fiction Society, is named after him. He died in 1967 in New York City.

I mention all of this, to remind fans, that is it important to be aware of the past history of certain genres, both on film and in print, as such knowledge can only enrich your appreciation of it.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Danger of "Seeing is believing"

One of the problems and dangers for ufologists, or people who believe in alternative theories, is taking certain photographic evidence at face value. The adage, "Seeing is believing" isn't necessarily true concerning photographic evidence, and for those who do believe, or who are open to the extreme possibilities, they should allow for a degree of skepticism. There are two examples I will site, to illustrate my point. The first is a controversy that brewed in the summer of 2007, in various locations throughout California, the alien "Drone" ship(s) flap.

Photos were taken of various drone objects between April and May 2007, the most circulated were from Capitola in May 2007.

As well as evening photo’s in Lake Tahoe May 2007, and Big Basin.

To complicate matters, there were earlier reports of similar objects in Birmingham, Alabama in 2006, and allegedly Georgia (Russia, assumed) in 1996.

There we’re also claims in a disclosure from someone named "Issac", who worked in Palo Alto, California in the eighties. That he was working on a project to reverse engineer UFO technology. And had documentation to prove these "drone" ships were real.

Mufon has investigated the "Drone" issue and issued a report, determining is was an elaborate hoax, as well as the claims from "Issac" and this can be found at the following PDF file (you will need Adobe Reader to pull).

Mufon report

To any objective eye, the photos should have looked suspect. They looked a little too pristine, and looked like the construction of CGI modeling. It was probably due to some on-line viral marketing campaign. Yet, as I recall, some of these pictures went out to the national media. The problem lies with Ufologists who mistakenly took this at face value.

The second example of the problem of "seeing is believing" has to with Richard C. Hoagland, a former science curator and advisor to CBS news during the Apollo missions of the 60s and 70s. This is problematic for a great many who follow his work. He has argued that advanced civilizations exist or once existed on the Moon, as well as Mars, and some of the Moons of Jupiter. That the American government and NASA collaborated to keep these facts a secret, he has published a book titled "Dark Mission: The Secret History of NASA."

He was interviewed in a program titled: "Project Camelot", which featured his claims that the Apollo NASA missions were executed to secretly uncover evidence of ancient glass domes on the surface of the moon, as well as evidence of the head of an android that can be seen in one of the landscape photos. Mr. Hoagland makes the standard argument that the discovery of extra-terrestrial life would trigger a crisis of global faith. An argument I never personally understood for the following reason: Why couldn’t God create life on this world and life in other worlds in the universe? and why would such a possibility be a conflict?

Indeed, is it hard to know what to accept with Mr. Hoagland. He seemed founded in the principle of scientific research, yet it is possible somewhere along the line, he went astray in his scientific pursuits. Regarding his claim of a droid face on the moon? It is human nature to find patterns in nature and objects. Examples would be shapes found in a cloudy day, or a face that can be found in the shrubs of a tree: "Seeing isn't always believing".

Then there is his other assertions later in the interview, that NASA astronauts photographed evidence of glass domes, and that these domes we’re twenty times stronger than steel, he argued generally, if you mix the glass with various minerals and metals, there are various things that could be done with glass.

He basically argues that if you turn up the brightness of certain photos from the Apollo missions, you find various hidden patterns, grid work, structures, scaffolding and buttresses, as well as evidence that support the argument for glass domes because of light prisms in some of the photos. These discoveries were made based on image processing that was analyzed by architect Robert Fritech, where a model grid was created. He also asserts that after these photos were taken the negatives were tampered with. My issue is, my question is, was an outside, objected party brought in, and recreated exactly the methods behind Hoagland’s image processing analysis? It would add to the credibility of his argument, and would demonstrate an example of proper scientific method. There’s no known evidence of such an effort being made.

It should be noted, based on arguments from detractors, that Mr. Hoagland once argued the lunar landings were fake, and has done a reversal to support his present arguments, which can be found here (although the tone seems needlessly hostile):

Bad Astronomy argument

I asked a friend with a fairly solid background in structural engineering if Glass could be stronger than steel in outer space. He concluded it's not possible in theory. The other point that should be questioned is the possibility that light distortions are being misinterpreted in the photographs. Unless someone can come forward with a credible explanation, can anyone claim or fully conclude that video and film imagery reacts in outer space exactly as it would in our atmosphere?

The issues concerning Richard C. Hoagland are more complicated, but no less problematic. For those who believe, or are open to the possibility of extra-terrestrial life, they should be careful to take at face value Mr. Hoagland's conclusions: "seeing isn't always believing", and for those who want to believe, that there are truths out there, they should allow themselves to be discriminating in the pursuit of such truth.

Special thanks to UFO casebook and Mufon.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Obama and real X-Files Intelligence

There's a long spell where I haven't added anything to here. It's really hard to believe that with this election, we have officially entered the 21st Century. We'll soon see how things develop, both pro and con. My deepest hope is that we will no longer be bound and shackled to 20th Century thinking. There was an interesting article about Obama's appointment for Director of National Intelligence, retired Admiral Dennis Blair.

Blair will have limited access to the intelligence communities classified files on UFO's and Extra Terrestrial life. On a side note, a random thought, there's a rumor that CIA Director, Leon Panetta's associate, John Podesta is a big X-Files Fan, As well as being known for advocating for the declassification of Government documents.