Bob Dylan And A Possible UFO Connection
By Sean Casteel
There have been innumerable attempts to see past the artistic guise of Bob Dylan's lyrics and poetry to what underlies his genius-what the actual creative process is that results in Dylan's lyrical outpouring and what the bedrock of inspiration is that he seems to have drawn on so effortlessly for more than 30 years.
I am here to suggest an explanation that has, to my knowledge, never been previously offered-UFO contact. I base this on a fairly rigorous study of UFO interaction with humans and a listener's fascination with Bob Dylan that I began as a 12-year-old in 1970.
Let me first give some background on what typically happens when a person experiences contact with the alien occupants of a UFO. A person will often be asleep in their bed and then suddenly awake feeling paralyzed and with difficulty breathing. Then a blue beam of light will appear to shine down into their room from nowhere. The blue beam of light then floats the person off their bed, through their unopened window, and into a waiting craft outside.
The most consistently reported description of what these aliens look like is as follows: gray-skinned creatures who are from two and a half to four feet tall with over-sized, embryo like heads and large, black, almond-shaped eyes. These humanoid creatures, called "grays" by most researchers in the field, then lay the subject on something like an operating table and began to perform various medical tests and procedures. The ultimate purpose of those medical examinations is still basically unknown but is often thought to be for the purpose of breeding experiments designed to create a hybrid race of half-human, half-alien creatures.
I know this may offend some of you, but the alien breeding experiments often call for the removal of ova from female subjects and sperm from male subjects, which are then blended accordingly with their alien counterparts. It has been stated more than once by these "grays" that their genetic material is compatible with that of human beings.
So, what about Dylan? Well, when I first head 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.
I will discuss more lyrical allusions along those lines later.
Another point to consider is that a UFO abduction experience is often not consciously remembered. An abductee is typically left with only a memory of a block of "missing time," sometimes hours that they can't account for. There is another phenomenon that sometimes happens called a "screen memory" or "cover story," in which a more acceptable memory is inserted by the aliens to block out what is the usually traumatic abduction experience that has just taken place. This is what many UFO researchers feel is a "merciful" amnesia.
But back to Dylan. One of the most important aspects of Dylan's body of work is obviously his social conscience, his concern for all human beings and their right to various personal and political freedoms as well as a very healthy dose of the fear of God-like an Old Testament prophet's sense of reverent social criticism. Here again Dylan has very much in common with a UFO "experiencer," as they are now sometimes called.
Everyone from Harvard psychiatrist John E. Mack, a firm believer in the abduction phenomenon and considered a major researcher in his own right, to the bestselling author of "Communion," "Transformation" and "Breakthrough," Whitley Strieber, reports that in the aftermath of the abduction experience a person is awakened in new ways to certain social issues like never before. This change in world view brings with it a huge upsurge in interest in subjects like nuclear warfare and the environmental decline of the world. A deeper concern for the planet and their fellow man than they have ever felt previously begins to take hold of them.
Abductees are often shown a holographic image of the world on fire which imprints on them permanently an apocalyptic sense of the immediate future that tends to manifest itself in increased spirituality and implants the notion of unselfish devotion to their fellow man. Whether this change is intended by the aliens or is simply a common "side-effect" of the abduction memories stored in the unconscious mind is not known at this point.
Is this a possible explanation for Dylan's extremely moralistic social and political stance and his dire warnings of doom through decadence and unrestrained wickedness?
Just like "you don't need a weatherman to tell which the wind blows," you don't need a UFO to tell you the world's in an evil mess. But my argument remains that there are a great many allusions in Dylan's lyrics to experiences he has in common with UFO contactees.
Remember I talked about "missing time" and "screen memories," the two methods the aliens use to block a person's memory after an abduction is completed and the subject is safely returned to their bedroom or automobile or whatever. It has been demonstrated by more than one researcher that a person can have multiple UFO encounters over their entire lifetime and yet have no conscious memory at all of either ships or aliens. All that is left behind is a confusing jumble of memories stored in the unconscious mind and perhaps a nagging feeling that something is "wrong." Perhaps Dylan doesn't discuss UFOs because his waking memory retains no knowledge of his experiences.
"Saw a shooting star tonight, and I thought of you," from the song "Shooting Star." When a UFO is conveniently explained away by debunkers, a shooting star is often offered as an explanation for the movements of the craft-usually aerial maneuvers that cannot be duplicated by current human aircraft technology and certainly not by shooting stars.
"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.
The experience Dylan had in late 1978 or early 1979 in which he was alone in his house and experienced a "presence" that was rattling his windows and trying to communicate was also a possible incidence of UFO contact. Dylan interpreted what happened as message from Jesus Christ that he should convert officially to Christianity, which Dylan did.
The history of UFOs and their contact with mankind being religiously interpreted goes back at least 6,000 years to ancient Sumeria, and arguably even further. Many of the miracles recounted in the Gospel, such as the Transfiguration, Resurrection and the Ascension have been linked to UFOs, called throughout the Bible "the clouds of Heaven." The healing miracles Christ is thought to have performed are similar in many ways to comparable effects in the wake of an abduction. Often a subject is surprised to see some aliment of theirs has been mysteriously cured overnight.
In fact, the Bible is sometimes called "the worlds' 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.
Did Dylan ever comment directly on UFOs? In Robert Shelton's biography of Dylan, "No Direction Home," Dylan is quoted as saying "The 60s was like a UFO landing. A lot of people heard about it, but very few actually saw it." His reference is made in passing as an intended joke, but it may yet prove to be the tip of an iceberg buried deeply in the nearly infinitely complex unconscious memory of Dylan. And if this is true of Dylan, he is most certainly not alone.
A recent poll conducted in 1992 by the Roper Organization in cooperation with well-respected UFO researchers like Budd Hopkins and David Jacobs asked a few questions designed to indicate whether a person had been abducted without ever realizing it. The questions dealt with certain kinds of experiences that are commonly remembered after an abduction in spite of the amnesia imposed by the aliens themselves.
The results of the poll indicated that a tiny minority of the population of the United States, around 5 million people, reported having had these experiences. However, on another scale, that tiny minority was also consistently more socially and politically active than the average non-abductee respondent.
There is therefore at least a tenuous connection between the UFO abduction experience and a person's waking need to be of service to mankind in social and political ways. The association with Dylan's body of work should be obvious.
There have been numerous UFO sightings by celebrities from Elvis Presley to Prince Charles to Jimmy Carter to Muhammed Ali. Just as much ridicule is heaped on the belief in the reality of UFOs by the government and the "straight" media, there is a counter-balancing wealth of sightings by famous people and occasional government admissions that not all sightings can be explained away as natural phenomena.
The belief that we are not alone in the universe usually strikes the intelligent person as being more likely than the alternative. Was the lyrical and musical genius of Bob Dylan created in some kind of spiritual vacuum? Or is it the result of careful tending of a delicate flower by alien gardeners with a magic touch?
"As you stare into the vacuum of his eyes . . ." (From "Like A Rolling Stone," 1965)
Dr. David Jacobs, the UFO researcher who brought a new psychological depth to the study of alien abductions, discusses in his book "Secret Life" the various effects the gray's large, black, almond-shaped eyes have on people. Everything from interrogation of the subject to a warm and peaceful anesthetic-like effect can be attributed to staring into the gray alien's eyes. The staring is one of the most commonly recalled events of the abduction experience and has been consistently reported by thousands of "experiencers."
With a little background on the subject stored in your waking memory banks, knowledge gleaned from actually reading up on the subject, these loose associations between popular culture (such as song lyrics) and UFO contact may start to make themselves felt without much effort on your part.
Other artists who seem to be under this same alien influence include Leonard Cohen ("Sisters Of Mercy," for one) and The Band ("Chest Fever"). Both songs deal with female entities as nocturnal bedroom visitors who both charm and terrify.
And if it is true that the aliens behind the UFO phenomenon are here on Earth seeking a "Chosen Few," who could begrudge them their choice of Bob Dylan as a human specimen deserving of their special care and attention?