Feb 23, 2019 I Miguel Romero

“SPEAK LOUDER” Asked the Aliens from Planet UMMO

It was 2 in the morning on a placid summer night of 1996 in Catalonia, Spain, and the only activity inside the luxurious country house of Rafael Farriols was focused inside his semi-circular study, located at the top floor. There, Farriols had locked himself in after his family had retired to bed, and was circling around his broad work table, whispering. But he wasn't praying or conducting a meditating practice; instead the elderly Catalonian gentleman was doing something far more unconventional: trying to communicate with extraterrestrials, as they had expressly invited him to do so in a letter he had just received in the mail.

Rafael Farriols, during a UFO conference

Just by these early brushstrokes of the larger picture I'll be trying to paint, you might be left with the impression that the man was just another crackpot, and yet nothing could be further from the truth. Rafael Farriols (1928-2006) was a respected, bright and wealthy industrialist from Barcelona, who had successfully applied his studies in chemistry in order to make his company one of the biggest exporters of acrylic plastic in Europe. He was an animal lover and his fortune allowed him to raise horses, raptor birds and other kinds of exotic pets. He also had a passion for photography and philosophy; but without a doubt the reason his name transcended the frontier of his business interests and numerous friends was his active interest in "platillos volantes" (flying saucers), a mystery which found fertile ground in Spaniard soil, with regular news of sightings and even close encounters of the 3rd kind reported by newspapers printed all across the Iberian peninsula ever since the modern age of UFOs began --and even way before that, as dogged Spanish researchers have found out, when looking for witnesses of those elusive objects and their occupants amid remote villages where people could barely read or write, and such sightings were often regarded as supernatural portents rather than otherworldly visits.

One such researcher is Juan José Benítez, an author I've mentioned in previous articles, who has published more than 50 books about UFOs and other topics. It is in one of those books that Benítez mentioned the incident with Farriols --who was a dear friend of his-- as part of a larger tapestry of weirdness, deception and half-truths that constitute the infamous UMMO affair. Just like Roswell symbolizes the 'American-ness' of the UFO narrative --"Them aliens crashed in the desert and we retrieved the wreckage, Yee-ha!"--  UMMO is perhaps the most Spanish example of alleged contact with Extraterrestrials you will be able to find in the Literature --"Rediez! The extraterreshtrialsh want to keep correshpondenze with me"-- which is probably why to this day what most people in the anglophone side of UFOlogy know about this fascinating series of cases is just the iconic )+( glyph, faintly reminiscent of the astrological symbol of Uranus, or a Cyrillic letter

Explaining the whole UMMO enchilada (um, paella?) would take way too many pages and it's not the real point of the present article, so to make a really REALLY long story short: in February 8th of 1966 a newspaper from Madrid published the story that a landing of a UFO had reportedly taken place in the neighborhood of Aluche two days earlier. The ground of the site was burned, and later inspections found deep rectangular impressions with a weird cross mark in the middle, along with faint traces of radioactivity. One of the witnesses, a man by the name of José Luis Jordán Peña, wrote a letter to the press describing the sighting of the object, which had the typical shape of a flying saucer except for one detail --a strange, dark emblem in its underside that resembled a vertical line between two inverted parenthesis symbols.

Around the same time several individuals in Spain started to receive letters with postage stamps from all over the world, displaying a similar marking as a form of a rubber stamp. Among them was Fernando Sesma, a flying saucer enthusiast who in 1954 had created the "Sociedad de Amigos del Espacio" (Society of Space Friends) and was very interested in the topic of contactees. Sesma said that in January of 1965 he received a call from an unknown individual with a strong foreign accent, who told him he would soon receive "items of an extraterrestrial order." Sesma's dream of interacting with entities from other planets had come true, and soon he would be joined by other similar contactees, who began a series of regular salons at the Café Lion in the Madrilenian street of Alcalá, to exchange impressions on the astonishing information they were getting through the post mail. Among them was Jordán Peña, the Aluche witness mentioned above.

The authors of the lengthy typewritten letters introduced themselves as extraterrestrial emissaries who had come from a planet called UMMO, orbiting the red dwarf star Wolf 424, located in the constellation Virgo (some 14.2 light years away from the Earth). Unlike most Contactee cases, these nordic-like visitors were more than forthcoming in describing themselves, their culture and technology to their astonishing recipients using highly detailed explanations that were peppered with words supposedly written in the aliens' native tongue --OYAGAA was for example the name they had given to planet Earth, and all the rest of the Ummite language made anyone sound as if they were suffering a stroke if spoken out loud.

Here, it seemed, was the holy grail UFO enthusiasts had been waiting for. Instead of the psychic means like channeling employed by American contactees --which was too resemblant of spiritual mediumship, for the taste of both the scientifically-oriented and the religiously conservative-- to get in touch with the Venusian space brothers who seemed to be only interested in spreading the gospel of interplanetary peace among the warmongering people of Earth (rather than dabbling in the finer points of advanced Cosmology) the rational explorers from UMMO were more pragmatic and preferred to get in touch with their chosen ones (the recipient of the letters eventually expanded from Madrid to Barcelona, and then to France, Argentina and Italy) through more conventional methods; aside from the mail, sometimes they would also use the phone to call their contacts, like they did with Sesma, and their voices sounded nasal and aphonic; the explanation being that Ummites were so advanced their main form of communication was telepathy (duh) and so their vocal cords were severely atrophied. The Ummites were even incapable of typing their long epistles themselves, due to their high sensitivity in the fingertips, so they had to rely on terrestrial secretaries who were handsomely paid for their transcribing services, as well as their discretion.


(The above clip is an alleged recording Farriols made of a telephone call with a 'Ummite' in 1969)

These extraterrestrials' science and theorems, delivered in an extremely dry and technical style and accompanied by elaborate hand-drawn diagrams and illustrations, seemed not to be too far-fetched and in conflict with our own scientific knowledge. Even the stern admonitions of the Ummites to not take their revelations at face value had a certain whiff of plausibility, since that sounded like the kind of cautionary approach real aliens would take during a gradual acclimation program, in order to establish a formal relationship with humanity without causing a total social disruption by their arrival. At least that was what I believed when I first read about UMMO as a very young boy in the pages of a 1978 book written by Alejandro Vignati, a little-known Argentinian UFOlogist --their computers, for example, stored vast quantities of information in quartz crystals instead of magnetic disks; something that sounded like Flash Gordon stuff in the late 1960's, but is now a reality as incredibly as it may sound.

I even thought the photos of a white disk sporting the now-famous )+( symbol, allegedly taken near a castle in San José de Valderas on June 1st, 1967, were indisputably authentic, even though they had been sent to the press by an anonymous photographer (a clear red herring, but back then I hadn't learned of such things). This particular close encounter of the second kind, by the way, had actually been announced by the Ummites on a previous letter received by their "OYAGAA brothers" in Madrid the previous month, and near the place where the disk had supposedly touched ground a mysterious metallic tube was said to have been found by a local child who carelessly opened it, revealing a green plastic film inside it marked with the typical UMMO logo. The San José de Valderas case was seen as confirmation by the Madrilenian circle that the documents were real, and it attained international attention thanks to the book "Un Caso Perfecto" (A Perfect Case) originally published in 1969 (a second, revised edition was printed in 1973), co-written by legendary UFOlogist Antonio Ribera and Rafael Farriols, the same Catalonian industrialist I introduced in the first paragraph of this article, who eventually became a key figure in the UMMO affair and a recipient of many letters himself --when Ribera passed away, Farriols became the repository of all his UMMO files, and he also ended up buying the original San José de Valderas negatives for the pricey sum of $30,000 pesetas.

"Don't believe in us, and don't disseminate these letters to the masses" was the counter-intuitive mantra repeated again and again in the UMMO letters. And yet, how could their growing number of adepts not believe, when they had been chosen as grassroots liaisons between our world and a superior civilization? How could they not shout the good news to the winds?? The popularity of the UMMO topic grew, more books were written, and conferences were organized where the true converts and the mere curious gathered, much to the annoyance of 'serious' UFO investigators who thought the whole thing was pure nonsense --an echo of the contempt NICAP and other groups in the United States always showed to the contactees (and later to abductees) because they stole the media spotlight and scared away the few scientists genuinely interested in the phenomenon.

In his book "The Invisible College" (1975) Vallee devotes the entire fourth chapter to UMMO ("The Function of OEMII") where he speculates whether it could have been some sort of experiment in socio-psychological manipulation, perpetrated perhaps by a military intelligence group. His reasoning was backed by the analysis of the metal and plastic samples from the San José de Valderas case, which had been obtained by Farriols through a third party --the man who had allegedly obtained them and told the story of the kid who found the metal cylinder, Antonio Pardo, was never interviewed-- and were sent to the Spanish National Institute for Space Research (INTA) whose president happened to be an uncle of Farriols. The laboratory analysis concluded the metal was a very pure (99%) alloy of nickel, and the plastic film was polyvinyl fluoride, which was only manufactured by the DuPont company with the commercial name of TEDLAR, and was used by NASA (and the military!) due to their very special chemical and dielectric properties. So even though the material was not found to be of otherworldly origin, neither it was something you could purchase in any hardware store in Madrid.

The years passed. The supply of new letters ebbed and flowed, which was explained as the result of the Ummites leaving and returning to Earth. Unlike most contactee groups, there was never a centralized leader who was the sole repository of information, and the mail recipients formed groups that would later dissolve or split --one of those groups, Eridani, was presided by Jordán Peña, who took a very skeptical approach to UMMO and UFOs in general. Also unlike typical contactee groups in the United States, there was never any grand prophecy foretelling a massive arrival of OAWOLEA OUEWA (the alien word for their lenticular spacecraft) at the major cities of the world. The Ummites were bound by a strict 'cosmic law' --a sort of 'prime directive'-- which forbade them from overtly meddling and interfering with human society.

Only once or twice did the UMMO affair took an apocalyptic spin, by warning their followers in one of their collective messages (meant to be read during a general assembly at a predeterminate date) that there was a very high chance of a global nuclear conflagration due to the Yom Kippur war of 1973, and they even offered refuge to their terrestrial allies inside a nuclear shelter they had prepared under the Sierra de Gredos mountains in Salamanca; the catch though, was that each follower could only bring nine other companions to the extraterrestrial base, mortifying those who took the warning seriously and were waiting for final confirmation from the Ummites, while trying to determine who among their friends and family to save, and who to leave behind! Fortunately this 'orange alert' did not devolve into a true tragedy, and to my knowledge no one ended up committing suicide or selling all their possessions, like in the book "When Prophecy Fails" --perhaps because the Ummites didn't claim to know the future with absolute certainty, so instead their predictions were the result of mathematical and sociopolitical probabilities. Or maybe because all those typewritten "don't believe us!" had actually sunk in after all...

By 1993, when nobody cared about the Space Brothers of the '60s and the UFO scene started to be monopolized by Roswell, alien abductions and Area 51, José Luis Jordán Peña --the skeptical president of the Eridani group, and one of the witnesses of the Aluche landing-- gave the biggest 'mea culpa' in the history of Spanish UFOlogy, by claiming he was the sole mastermind behind the entire UMMO affair. It was him, he announced, who had written all the letters and drawn all the diagrams illustrating them. Not only that, but he also claimed to have fabricated the Aluche landing, and hoaxed the San José de Valderas photos using a small model made out of translucent picnic plates and suspended through a thin nylon wire.

"Case closed!" announced the hard-line skeptics... Or was it?

In UFOlogy the will to believe is only superseded by the will to disbelieve, depending on where you stand on the issue of alien life. No matter how tenuous and improbable a debunking explanation may turn out to be, that's always a better alternative than opening the Pandora's Box of a true anomaly for people who adopt the "it can't be, therefore it isn't" posture (what we call "big 'S' skeptics"). Remember the Belgian flap of the 1990's? It only took one person to claim he had been the one who had faked that famous 'triangle UFO' photo, which has been considered by some to be one of the best graphic evidences in history --without providing ANY sort of evidence to back up his claim, mind you-- for skeptics and the media to buy it without question, and use that as an excuse to dismiss the entire series of sightings of unidentified objects that occurred in that country, which were reported by both citizens as well as civilian and military authorities.

A similar thing happens with the self-proclaimed culpability of Jordán Peña, who could very well be compared to Richard Doty both in infamy as well as trustworthiness. Without providing any claim of evidence whatsoever, he bragged that his little 'social experiment' as he called it, had been supported and financed by none other than the CIA ("Joder, tío!"). They were the ones who had provided the scientific expertise needed to fabricate the illusion of the highly advanced UMMO technology, and who also mailed the forged letters at post offices scattered all around the world, in order to give them more believability.

The Aluche landing marks and burned ground? He and a couple of friends --who were the ones who entered a bar to report their alleged sighting of the flying saucer-- dug up the rectangular prints using a beach bucket and burned the ground with a blow torch, he said; he had even acquired a small amount of radioactive sand (provided by the CIA, of course) that he spread around the site. The problem is Jordán Peña leaves out the fact that he and his accomplices were not the only witnesses of the landing: they were also some soldiers who claimed to have seen the object that day. Even after the incident, Jordán Peña and his wife received the visit of a man in uniform who claimed to be an officer of the Spanish Air Force, to interrogate him about the event. The officer told him he had also seen the object, which completely surprised Jordán. How could this military officer claim to be a witness of something he had made up? He thought.  The officer advised Jordán not to talk about the incident any further "because it could all be the work of the Americans." To complete the MIB tone of the incident, the man gave Jordán Peña a card with phone number where he could be reached, but months later when Jordán tried to call the officer, he found out the name and number were completely fictitious! Was the CIA 'experimenting' with their own operative?

With regards to the San José de Valderas photos, Jordán Peña claimed to have traveled to the site a few days beforehand with one of his accomplices (Vicente Ortuño) and took the photos of the model when there was no one in the area, they processed the photos themselves and sent them to the press anonymously. 'Antonio Pardo' --the guy who supposedly took photos of the nickel cylinder and sent them to the press with the metallic and plastic samples-- had been him using an alias, and the samples had been fabricated by "the Institution" as he referred to the CIA. But once again, Jordán dismisses the fact that there were more witnesses that observed a strange object with an orange glow that evening, who were interviewed by Antonio Ribera and Rafael Farriols for their book "Un Caso Perfecto." Were they all liars? "Yes," said Jordán, dismissing the whole thing all too conveniently.

Which leaves of course the big, lenticular-shaped elephant in the room? WHY did he do it?? "I wanted to study the behavior of sects, masochistic conducts and leader figures," he told Juan José Benítez when he interviewed him years later. "It was clear to me the UFO subject was a fallacy --meaning a deception or lie intended to harm a person. Thus was born UMMO as an experiment to prove the extraterrestrial issue was just another falsehood." Which is why the name he coined sounded just as the Spanish word for 'smoke' (humo).

With this in mind, Jordán said, is that he put himself in touch with two American anthropologists, to see if they would be interested in helping him both professionally and financially with his social experiment --he was after all, a lay person with no scientific degrees in psychology. According to him, one of the academics rejected the idea and considered it completely unethical. The other one was not as dismissive but didn't agree to it either; yet months later --according to Jordán's testimony to Benítez-- that same anthropologist (who was never named) contacted him again out of the blue, telling Jordán his proposal had been discretely sent to the CIA, who had conducted a study of his profile and background (in the 1950's he had worked for Fé Católica, an intelligence service run by the Jesuit order) and the Intelligence organization was willing to fully support his project.

What could the Yankees possibly get out of his little UFOlogical deception, though? According to him, the "Institution" was capable of sending ciphered messages within the letters to infiltrated agents behind the Iron Curtain --East Germany and Romania, predominantly. Even though such a notion does not sound totally implausible, to this day there's never been any news of UMMO letters received in Germany.

'Project UWW', which was supposed to be the codename given to the contactee deception, ended in 1989 "coinciding with the fall of the Berlin wall," in the words of Jordán. Yet it's far more likely the real reason the UMMO megalomaniac stopped sending letters to the still-expectant UMMO fans was the fact that in 1988 he suffered from a stroke caused by a brain clot which left half of his body paralyzed (hemiplegia), rendering him incapable to keep typewriting the letters or drawing the Ummite diagrams --perhaps it was a fitting punishment, that the man behind the guttural language of UMMO ended up having a difficulty to properly communicate phonetically for the rest of his life...

Jordan 3 640x881
José Luis Jordán Peña, after he suffered his stroke

Juan José Benítez interviewed Jordán Peña several times for many months, as it is stated in his book "El Hombre que Susurraba a los Ummitas" (The Man who Whispered to the Ummites), and it is clear from his 'testimony' that the man was a pathological liar with delusions of grandeur, who kept changing his story again and again --on one occasion he told Benítez his first meeting with CIA representatives took place by late 1965, but on another occasion he said the offer to support the UMMO project happened on November of 1966. Sometimes he explained the San José the Valderas maquette was held with a fishing pole held by Vicente Ortuño, and another time he said the model was supported by a frame resembling a soccer goal. As Ortuño, his old accomplice, told Benítez: "Jordán makes a sport out of lying."

Should we dismiss then the idea that the CIA could have been involved in the UMMO deception? Here's where things get even more messy: you see, contrary to what Jordán claimed, people were still getting letters allegedly sent by the Ummites after 1989. One of them was none other than Rafael Farriols, who still thought Jordán's '93 confession was not enough to explain the whole UMMO affair. He had, after all, used some of the scientific descriptions explained in those documents to attain a couple of patents; other scientists and engineers, like Jean-Pierre Petit --senior researcher at National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) as an astrophysicist in Marseille Observatory-- to this day still find the UMMO ideas to be very ingenious and too advanced for their time.

On July 15, 1996, Farriols received a letter signed by "OOLEEOO 2, son of EEWAANII 1", who had just been stationed on Spain with the mission of re-establishing liaisons with the old network of like-minded Earthlings with whom his Ummite comrades had been in touch in years past. OOLEEOO 2 was requesting Farriols's aid in this matter, and should he accept, he had but to express it by way of openly voicing it out loud inside his studio, as they had instructed him how to do so on previous communications --the Ummites had not only told Farriols they had conveniently tapped his phones (which he seemed to be okay with him) but also that they had installed a minuscule microphone inside his studio with which they could listen and record his voice.

The letter also warned him about a new outbreak of equine fever, and urged him to take the necessary precautions. Remember Farriols was an animal lover and horse breeder, and at that particular date he was considering the possibility of exporting some of his horses to Germany, so  that equine fever recommendation was certainly an interesting 'coincidence'. But what really caught Farriols off guard was that in the letter the UMMO beings were praising him for his book "El Hombre, El Cosmos y Dios" (Man, the Cosmos and God) even though they politely encouraged him to re-examine the paragraphs he'd written with regards to Marx's theories and Gauss's mathematical theorem. What Impressed Farriols wasn't the fact his buddies from the Virgo constellation had taken the trouble to read his book --what else are you gonna do to pass the time during an interdimensional trip, right?-- or that they were correct in their assessments regarding the Marx and Gauss segments (he later corrected them) but the fact that the book hadn't even been published yet! The manuscript, which was kept as a word processing file inside his computer, had yet to be sent to his publisher for approval, and the only hard copies in existence had shared with a small circle of close friends and family members. How could Jordán Peña (who never set foot inside Farriols's country home) have known of its existence??

A Casa de Rafael Farriols 640x360
Home of Rafael Farriols. Notice the UMMO symbol at the top of the round study

Which brings us full circle to the beginning of our story: with Farriols pacing around his studio, completely alone, gently whispering questions to his Ummite friends, instead of uttering them out loud like he had done so on other, numerous occasions. Perhaps this time he was 'testing' to see if, despite all evidence to the contrary, this crazy adventure that had consumed so many decades of his life wasn't a total fabrication spawned by a sick individual. Well, proof that there was something else afoot came in the form of a new letter --received on August 26th, 1996-- in which the Ummites courteously requested of him to formulate his answer to their previous query at a tone of voice louder than 17 decibels, since they could hardly hear him the last time! How could anyone have known that this time he whispered his response?

When confronted with the question, Jordán responded to Benítez: "It was the CIA the ones who were spying on Farriols. They have the means to detect voices by way of the vibrations in the glass of windows." In his book (published in 2007) Benítez didn't sound too convinced by this explanation, and attributed it to yet another one of Jordán's lies. But thanks to the Snowden's revelations of 2013 we now know using laser beams in order to snoop conversations inside closed rooms is more than possible. When googling 'laser microphones' Wikipedia tells you the first concepts existed since 1947 (using infrared beams, since the laser wasn't invented until the 1960s) and a US patent for a device that uses a laser beam and smoke or vapor to detect sound vibrations in free air was issued in 2009.

Could the CIA have the same technology 13 years earlier? That's highly probable. Could it have been used to spy on a harmless Spanish civilian who thought he was in touch with benevolent aliens? That sounds more unlikely, but not entirely impossible. What these spooks might not have known, though, is that all the windows in Farriols's studio were not made out of glass. Instead, the plastic industrialist had used bullet-proof acrylic that was 20 millimeters thick (¾") which also insulated the room against outside noises. Could that have rendered his voice to low for the glass-calibrated laser microphone employed by the CIA?

What about the 'hacked' computer and the 'leaked' book? In 1996 the Internet was in its diapers yet email was already a reality. Although Benítez never mentions whether Farriols's PC was connected to a modem or not, the idea of accessing the contents of an Internet-less computer is not within the realm of possibility. Again, in the case of a man whispering things to imaginary (or imaginal) extraterrestrial beings, it is not so much a matter of 'How' but 'Why'. Why the hell bother?

Psy-ops shenanigans or true anomalous phenomena, Farriols went to his grave believing there still remained a kernel of truth at the heart of his beloved UMMO. He published his book, which I hope to get my hands on some day, and eventually died of lung cancer (his Ummite friends, unfortunately, never warned him of the dangers of tobacco). At the top of his countryside home there always remained the cryptic symbol as a proof of enduring loyalty. Where he managed to get the inspiration from said symbol, and what else was buried beneath the mountain of lies and deceit he had built for more than 4 decades, is something Jordán Peña --who himself passed away in 2014-- never satisfactorily answered in the eyes of his critics. Such a mountain seems so big, so murky and so fetid most UFO investigators today dare not to touch it with a ten-foot pole; those are the kind of naive individuals who still dream of that unquestionable silver bullet --a 'perfect case', like in the title of Ribera and Farriols book-- that will finally set the record straight on the reality of UFOS, and let them say "I told you so!" to their critics (Tic-tac anyone?)

Jordán Peña´s obituary. The incluson of the UMMO symbol was his son's idea, and not according to some post-humous wish

But unfortunately for them, not only is there no such thing as a 'perfect' case in the world of UFOlogy, but those things they call 'imperfections' are --paraphrasing Robin Williams's character in "Good Will Hunting"-- the 'good stuff' for the open-minded Fortean.

Because the open-minded Fortean acknowledges that, despite the fact the UMMO letters are more than likely a hoax, that does not discount the fact that the UMMO symbol has been reported in dozens of other genuine UFO cases all around the world --a point for which Benítez provided ample evidence in his book. Some of those cases even preceded the UMMO activity of 1966-1967, but the best example of is without a doubt the famous Voronezh encounters of 1989 --when 'project UWW' officially ended, according to Jordán--  in which the witnesses (most of them children) reported the )+( emblem. Even Jacques Vallee himself acknowledged this confounded contradiction in one of his later books as an example of the trickster-like nature of the phenomenon. And HERE is where we might start getting some answers...

Drawings from the Voronoezh witnesses

If we accept the more-than-likely possibility that one or more intelligence agencies were involved in the UMMO affair --perhaps the CIA or maybe even the KGB, which would actually help to explain Jordan Peña's cagey attitude and proclivity to change his story, since being in bed with the communists would have been an unforgivable sin in the ultra-conservative Spain of Francisco Franco-- perhaps said agency or agencies were the ones who encouraged Jordán to use the UMMO symbol in the first place; a theory Benítez himself puts forward in his book.

But here I'm daring to go even one step forward than Benítez, and speculate that perhaps the REAL purpose of the project was not to discredit the UFO phenomenon and the UMMO symbol, as Benítez believes, but to actually MANIFEST genuine UFO events! In which case the symbol could be used as some sort of 'marker' to try to determine which activity was the direct result of the experiment, and which one was 'natural' or 'uncorrelated'.

In this outlandish hypothesis hereby proposed, I'm not only invoking the ideas I've learned by reading such books as "Mutants and Mystics" and "The Super Natural", but also the parapsychological possibilities explored in the famous 'Philip experiment' as well as the 'Entity Letters' experiences, which have been the subject of previous Mysterious Universe episodes. I ask you: what could be the result of so many people starting to devote so much time and energy focusing on a given belief system, which was syncretized by a particular symbol which may have already had a deep, esoteric significance? Could that actually translate into actual 'eclosions' of true paranormal energy? Critics would say that such a theory would be discredited by the fact that at the time of the Aluche and San José de Valderas case, not too many people were cognizant of the UMMO affair to begin with; to which I would reply those are only contradictions from a primitive 'linear' interpretation of Time --psychic investigations in phenomena like remote viewing, however, have amply proven Time does not flow on a straight line as we would normally perceive it, and even cutting-edge physics theories are comfortable with future events affecting the past.

Not only that, but in this kind of framework --as will surely be appreciated by seasoned MU fans-- hoaxes are an important (but misunderstood) component in the scaffolding of high strangeness phenomena.

In the Philip experiment and Alexandra David-Néel's famous story of the tulpa she allegedly created, the invented thoughtforms started to get a life of their own, and got out of the control of their originators until they sought to 'starve' their creations of energy. Could the UMMO Frankenstein monster seek to set itself free from its arrogant maker, and look to subsist within the minds and energy of the still-faithful followers of the Ummite doctrine? At this point I'm willing to bet the Discordian friends of Robert Anton Wilson, Greg Hill and Kerry Thornley, would have giggled at how the Trickster sought to prick Jordan Peña in the ass with a H-like shaped fork once or twice, as I have mentioned on previous paragraphs.

And with this final stroke I see this UMMO portrait complete and ready to be hung. I hope you found it enjoyable enough --if you got this far, chances are you probably did!-- and as a final admonition I will leave you with this: Do not throw the entirety of this affair in the wastebasket, for hoaxes do have a frustrating role to play in the unfolding of these confounding mysteries. And be on the lookout, because you never know when and where that pesky old symbol (sigil?) will pop its cryptic head once again in the future --remember: signs don't shout. They whisper.

Miguel Romero

Miguel Romero a.k.a. Red Pill Junkie is a cartoonist and fortean blogger who writes at Mysterious Universe

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