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The Cryptoterrestrials by Mac Tonnies - A Review

Discussion in 'The UFO Forum' started by Paul Kimball, Mar 18, 2010.



  1. Paul Kimball

    Paul Kimball Guest

    [​IMG]

    When you exclude the peripherals, from the table of contents and acknowledgements, to the foreword and afterward written by Nick Redfern and Greg Bishop respectively, The Cryptoterrestrials, the final work by the late Mac Tonnies, comes in at a slim 98 pages. However, in a prime example of quality over quantity, Mac has left us with an impassioned and thought-provoking clarion call for a new way of thinking, not just about the UFO phenomenon or even the paranormal in general, but about ourselves.

    The UFO phenomenon is the focus of The Cryptoterrestrials, at least on the surface. Mac takes direct aim from the beginning at the purveyors of ufological orthodoxy, namely those people who are convinced that the Extraterrestrial Hypothesis is the Extraterrestrial Fact (a subject I've written about here). He pulls no punches, skewering the majority of ufology both for their blind adherence to the ETH, and for their willing self-marginalization.

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    "The ufological 'community' suffers from creative anemia," he writes. "While its luminaries might noisily claim otherwise, ufology collectively wants to be marginal. With the lamentable exception of a few spokesman who feel the need to 'explain' the phenomenon's intricacies to a wary public (often in the guise of would-be political discourse), the ostensible UFO community remains afraid of stepping into the rude glow of widespread public attention. And it has a right to be afraid." (p. 25)

    It's not that Mac rejected the ETH - indeed, in the book he writes that it remains a viable, if shopworn, hypothesis. What he rejected, and what people like Nick, Greg and I reject, are those who say that the ETH is the only answer, or even the best answer. After all, how can one say any hypothesis is the "best" hypothesis when faced with something as weird as the UFO phenomenon? With the ETFacters, it isn't a matter of science anymore, or logic, or following the evidence to where it leads - it's become all about the perpetuation of their belief system within an ever-shrinking community of flying saucer evangelicals. People like Stan Friedman have done more to undermine the cause of the ETH within the broader public than a hundred Seth Shostaks or James McGahas, not necessarily because they are wrong, but because they are so convinced that everyone else is wrong. Mac rejected, as Greg, Nick and I do, the intellectual rigidity of the ETFacters, as well as their lack of any true sense of wonder, or appreciation for the mystery of it all.

    If Friedman et al have spent the last few decades hunkered down in the ufological equivalent of an intellectual Jericho, then Mac is the guy standing at the walls with the trumpet, and The Cryptoterrestrials is the blast that should bring the whole decrepit edifice of certainty crumbling down. In his foreword, Nick compares Mac to the Ramones and the Sex Pistols, the brash and liberating antidote to what had become a stale status quo. It's a perfect metaphor, for there will indeed be more than a few people who read The Cryptoterrestrials and think Mac is the ufological version of the Anti-Christ. But if anything could use some anarchy, it's ufology.

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    In the end, however, it doesn't matter whether people within ufology "get" what Mac is saying, because he was aiming his sights a lot higher. Rather than just reinforce existing views, or rehash old ground, Mac takes the foundations that have been built by writers and researchers as diverse as Jacques Vallee, John Keel, Whitley Strieber and David Jacobs, and expands upon them, even as he points out the flaws in their theories. His goal is not to find a definitive answer, or to create an alternative orthodoxy, but rather to ask as many questions as he could, and try to come up with some ideas about where we may find the answers. He was a true revolutionary, a New Light for the paranormal.

    So, what are the cryptoterrestrials? In Mac's hypothesis, they are a race of indigenous humanoids who share this planet with us. Technologically superior in many ways (but not, perhaps, all ways), they are on the decline, even as we continue to ascend - they are, if not a dying race, then one whose time has passed. And we are the noisy, and in many ways dangerous "new" kids on the block. Unlike Vallee or Keel, Mac does not sidestep the physical reality of the UFO phenomenon - in his hypothesis, they exist in this world, literally.

    I interviewed Mac in Kansas City in 2006 about a number of subjects while filming Best Evidence, including the cryptoterrestrials.

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    Does the cryptoterrestrial hypothesis make any sense? Anyone who reads The Cryptoterrestrials will be hard pressed not to admit that it makes as much sense as any of the other theories on offer, and perhaps even more. What began as a thought experiment for Mac (I know, because I was there when he first started thinking about it seriously, on a trip to Los Angeles) became in the end a thorough review of the evidence and the literature, and some pretty grounded speculation about what it all points to. But it wasn't Mac's intention to write a definitive conclusion to the discussion about the UFO phenomenon, or the paranormal; rather, it was his intention to get that discussion started again, and to get people thinking, for the first time in a long time, about what really might be going on - including the possibility that we are being visited by beings from another world.
    Unable to disprove a negative, I have no choice but to concede that some UFO encounters may originate in space. And it would be the height of arrogance to proclaim that the Extraterrestrial Hypothesis and the Cryptoterrestrial Hypothesis are mutually exclusive. And of course, cryptoterrestrials don't preclude "inter-dimensional" travelers either. (p. 52)
    What was important to Mac, at least at this stage, was to ask the correct questions, because only then might we be able to get back on the road to finding some answers, if not about the phenomenon itself, then about ourselves, and our almost symbiotic relationship to it. "If we're dealing with a truly alien intelligence," Mac concludes, "there's no promise that its thinking will be linear. Indeed, its inherent weirdness might serve as an appeal to an aspect of the psyche we've allowed to atrophy. It might be trying to rouse us from our stupor, in which case it's tempting to wonder if the supposed ETs are literally us in some arcance sense."

    [​IMG]

    Earlier in this review, I called Mac the "New Light of the paranormal." Most readers won't understand the reference. Let me explain. In the late 18th century, in the Maritime colonies, religion was dominated by the Congregational Church, which maintained a rigid, Calvinist orthodoxy. In 1776 a young preacher, Henry Alline, began to travel amongst the communities of the colonies, talking about a better way - free will, an almost mystical view of faith, and a personal experiential relationship with the divine. Most important, he rejected all of the man-made conventions that he called "non-essentials," over which various denominations argued incessantly, as nothing but hindrances to the central message - the redeeming love of God. Like Mac, Alline died far too young (in 1784, at the age of 36). He was derided by the guardians of the old order, who called him the "ravager of churches," in much the same way as I suspect Mac will come to be viewed as the ravager of the ET orthodoxy. Finally, like Mac, he presented a simple, concise, and transformational message. He was a true "New Light" - and so was Mac, who insisted that we must not lose sight of the central message: that we are dealing with a non-human intelligence which remains a mystery. Amidst the noise, that is the signal.

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    In a world where hyperbole has become the lingua franca, The Cryptoterrestrials is the rare work that deserves to be called a "must read." It represents a true paradigm shift in our understanding of the mysteries of the paranormal. This is a book that deserves to be read far and wide, and which offers up an opportunity to revitalize the UFO subject, and make it relevant again - but only if we are courageous and intellectually honest enough to embrace it.

    Paul Kimball

    (original at: http://redstarfilms.blogspot.com/2010/03/cryptoterrestrials-review.html)
     
  2. Gene Steinberg

    Gene Steinberg Forum Super Hero Staff Member

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    Folks this is a fabulous, thought provoking book. As I said in the last issue of our newsletter, I recommend Mac's final book to everyone.
     
  3. Paul Kimball

    Paul Kimball Guest

    I obviously concur. We could probably do two episodes discussing it, and what it all means.
     
  4. Gene Steinberg

    Gene Steinberg Forum Super Hero Staff Member

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    Exactly. :)
     
  5. Gareth

    Gareth Nothin' to see here

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    Paul, although I will buy this book, and I expect that your review is accurate, I really don't think it comes from a place of objectivity.

    You and Mac were really good friends.

    Anyway. Can't wait to read it.

    Let me add that I know you call it like you see it, and if you didn't agree with something you would say it. But still, I think writing reviews of books written by close, close friends is asking for comments such as this.
     
  6. blowfish

    blowfish Whittingham

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    Hi Gene,
    Just been listenig to your mp3 archives and Mr Binnalls of Professor Mc Tonnies wow its a shame he was so young :(and have his books on the wishlist:D Now this sounds like the king expert on strange awarness.:)

    Cheers,
    Blowfish
     
  7. Gareth

    Gareth Nothin' to see here

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    I hope someone can post a message on his blog that the book is available. I guess the publisher at Anomalist books wouldn't have the login deets huh?
     
  8. Paul Kimball

    Paul Kimball Guest

    Whilst I respect your opinion, you clearly don't know me very well. You can ask Nick Redfern whether or not I have any problem with writing a critical review of a good friend's work (in his case, Body Snatchers in the Desert).

    At worst, if I didn't like Mac's book, I would have just said nothing.

    Paul

    ---------- Post added at 06:41 AM ---------- Previous post was at 06:38 AM ----------

    Hi,

    Mac wasn't the "king expert" on anything, and he would have shied away from anything that smacked of the term (even though I know you mean it in the best possible way). He was a voice, and an important one, silenced far too soon... but there are others worth listening to as well.

    Paul
     
  9. Gareth

    Gareth Nothin' to see here

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    Which is why I added this:

    But yeah, point taken.

    It was just the first thing I thought when I saw your review.
     
  10. Ron Collins

    Ron Collins Curiously Confused

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    Objectivity is a fallacy. We all bring life experience, world view paradigms, intellectual and social bias, and a billion other concepts that completely destroy our ability to honestly deploy objectivity to any situation. With that being said, I have no reason to doubt that Paul approached this book with as open a mind and as much objectivity as is humanly possible. Of course if Paul really is a cyborg....
     
  11. Paul Kimball

    Paul Kimball Guest

    No offense taken. :)

    ---------- Post added at 06:54 AM ---------- Previous post was at 06:54 AM ----------

    Uh oh... the secret is out!!
     
  12. blowfish

    blowfish Whittingham

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    Hi
    Yes and I have just purchased Professor Mac Tonnes book 'The Cryptoterrestrials '.:)

    Peace and beyond:),
    blowfish
     
  13. Kieran

    Kieran Paranormal Adept

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    Mac theories about UFO's are from his own ideas and thinking about the subject. I Guess why i have a real interest in his work stems from the fact that it closely resembles what the Celts believed and handed down to future generations orally. The Celts believed there once lived on this planet a race of humans that were shapeshifters and were gifted in the use of magic and were stronger and powerful than mere mortals. Celt never considered them to be gods but different. The story goes that there was a conflict between these different races and human's. The Human army; was led by a Spanish king called Milesius/ who some have suggested was the king of the fable island Atlantis. There is myths and legends that come from Spain that speak of a historical figure called Milesius.

    Large battles took place, a few battles happened in Ireland which was home for most of this different races. There was heavy losses on both sides, eventually, the Humans won and signed a treaty with the different races. The story goes; that the fairy folk agreed to leave this world and Return home. The Celts tradition states; they returned to the world that was beside our own/ a parallel world only to venture out later at night long after they were forgotten about. There is another story that states that the fairy folk headed to underground/ a spiritual kingdom realm of some kind. Is this anyway factual; who know's for sure but makes you wonder considering how the UFO Phenomenon interacts with us as a species. And talk of interdimensional beings who appear and disappear, and craft, morphing/ changing shape; disappearing after suddenly appearing. Odd stuff for a craft that would be considered Nut and Bolts

    I see why people have problems with Mac's theory, but maybe we haven't got a clear understanding of the planet's history. Ufology is looking for Aliens that are coming from other planets in our solar system, universe or galaxy. But what evidence is there that they come from planet x.y.z
    This theory could be true, but the evidence we have comes from people's stories. All we known for sure is that this phenomenon is an Earth based phenomenon. So you exhaust the theory; the theory that we could be dealing with a race that was once indigenous to the planet, since we are obviously dealing with a phenomenon that has been here longer than anyone know's for sure; we have substantial evidence that would be considered interesting( Artwork that depicted Aliens and Craft, Ancient Discoveries that still have not been fully answered, unknown relics discoveries from a time long forgotten, and the myths and legends that have come from Ancient cultures who talked of UFO's and Aliens. Countries like India and countries in South America have this legends. For me this is a clue, there was a non human intelligence, before long ago, and now, having interacted with early man, classical man, and modern man.
     
  14. icculus

    icculus Paranormal Adept

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    Thanks for the review, looks like a great read, definitely a must-read, especially considering I don't really subscribe to this theory. It just doesn't make any sense.

    I think it's much more probable that a highly advanced civilization could master the laws and physics of our universe utilizing technology that would appear as magic to us.

    Then again, who knows...Maybe Jar-Jar Binks and his peeps are deep underwater somewhere in giant bubble cities.
     
  15. trainedobserver

    trainedobserver Paranormally Disenchanted

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    CTs makes as much sense as ETs or trans-dimensional beings. We could be as blind, deaf, and dumb to a CT civilization/society as say goldfish or ants are to human society. Something appears to come and go as it pleases leaving us only with a partial (and probably unintentional) awareness of their presense in the form of the UFO and paranormal phenomena. In "Left at Eastgate" the entity behind the screen tells Warren it is part of a reality that he (Warren) cannot comprehend. It is entirely within the realm of possibility that living beings higher up on the food chain than us could exist along side humanity and remain entirely hidden from us by virtue of the limitations of our sensory/nervous systems. After all the illusionary 3 dimensional world only exists within a concious mind, outside of the mind and the limitations of the senses the true mulitdimensional (11 dimensions?) real world exists.

    In fact as the years have gone by I have doubted the classic ET hypothesis more and more.

    I look forward to reading the book. Thanks for the review.
     
  16. Frank Stalter

    Frank Stalter Paranormal Adept

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    Great science fiction . . . not very good hypothesis.
     
  17. Gareth

    Gareth Nothin' to see here

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    Well its more like a thought experiment right? Rather than a hypothesis. Looking at the evidence and seeing what makes sense -- rather than forcing the evidence to fit whatever preconceived idea you want to make sense. Like so often happens in the UFO subject.
     
  18. Frank Stalter

    Frank Stalter Paranormal Adept

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    Pre-conception has nothing to do with it. The hard science that's coming in is astounding. There's water on the moon! More than 400 extra-solar planets have been discovered. Life in the galaxy, which obviously extrapolates to the billions of other galaxies in the universe, is likely ubiquitous. There no speculation in any of that. The speculation is in the question as to whether or not any of that life has risen to the level where it can get here from there.

    Comparing the work of Hopkins and Jacobs to the world's top astronomers, who are making these discoveries and pushing further every day, is pretty dubious.
     
  19. Kieran

    Kieran Paranormal Adept

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    The notion that the UFO phenomenon must be aliens from another planet is crazy. It is a accepted fact based on what exactly? In fact if you see the amount of Disinformation put out since 1947, must if not all the information released wants us to believe we are dealing with Aliens from another planet. Why? it is my believe it is a distraction to fool people into believing a particular theory. There is less to fear, from Aliens who come from Other planets and go home again. Then Aliens that are closer to home or occupy a space between our world and their's
     
  20. Frank Stalter

    Frank Stalter Paranormal Adept

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    I didn't and wouldn't say it's accepted as fact but it's based on solid vehicles being credibly witnessed and tracked on radar that exceed the speed and maneuverability of any aircraft built by any nation on Earth. There it is, in a nutshell.
     
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