Apr 06, 2019 I Nick Redfern

An Extraterrestrial Presence or Unknown People?

The late Mac Tonnies told me only a couple of months before his death: “After devouring countless books on the UFO controversy and the paranormal, I began to acknowledge that the extraterrestrial hypothesis suffered [from] some tantalizing flaws. In short, the ‘aliens’ seemed more like surreal caricatures of ourselves than beings possessing the god-like technology one might plausibly expect from interstellar visitors. I came to the realization that the extraterrestrial hypothesis isn’t strange enough to encompass the entirety of occupant cases.” It was this same realization which made Tonnies look elsewhere. Not to the stars. Not to the galaxies. And not to the world around us. Rather, to the world directly and deeply below us. The theory Tonnies developed was that, perhaps, some of the intelligences behind the UFO phenomenon are not extraterrestrial or inter-dimensional, as many assume or believe them to be, after all. He called them the Cryptoterrestrials.

Rather, he was following the idea that the so-called “Grays” and many of the other bizarre humanoid creatures seen and presumed to have alien origins, were from right here, on Earth. Tonnies offered the theory that his aliens of the terrestrial variety are, actually, a very ancient and advanced body of people. They are closely related to us, and have lived alongside us in secret – deep underground – for countless millennia. And, perhaps in fortified mountains too, not unlike the U.S. military’s Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station in Colorado Springs, Colorado, which exists under 2,000-feet of granite. Tonnies added to me: “If we’re dealing with humanoid beings that evolved here on Earth, some of the problems vanish. I envision the Cryptoterrestrials engaged in a process of subterfuge, bending our belief systems to their own ends. And I suggest that this has been occurring, in one form or another, for an extraordinarily long time. I think there’s a good deal of folkloric and mythological evidence pointing in this direction, and I find it most interesting that so many descriptions of ostensible ‘aliens’ seem to reflect staged events designed to misdirect witnesses and muddle their perceptions.”

Tonnies offered me the following, too, on the matter of what have become known as Contactees – those to whom the very human-looking aliens of the 1950s and 1960s appeared. Tonnies noted to me of these extremely human-looking entities: “Commentators regularly assume that all the Contactees were lying or else delusional. But if we’re experiencing a staged reality, some of the beings encountered by the Contactees might have been real; and the common messages of universal brotherhood could have been a sincere attempt to curb our destructive tendencies. The extraterrestrial guise would have served as a prudent disguise, neatly misdirecting our attention and leading us to ask the wrong questions; which we’re still asking with no substantial results.”

As for why the cryptoterrestrials opted to head and dwell deep underground - when they had the entire planet above them on which to reside - it may have been due to nothing less than critical, panic-filled necessity provoked by war, suggested Tonnies. In eras long gone, and faced with irradiated landscapes, flattened cities, and untold millions dead, heading deep below the surface of the planet may have been the only way for the survivors to continue to live on, he suggested. The deadly fall-out – coupled with the “every man for himself”-style carnage that was undoubtedly breaking out among the ragged, sick survivors of the wars who stayed topside – would be a dark but vital incentive to stay way below the surface. And, maybe they chose to remain there permanently, rather than one day surfacing to reclaim the territory that was once theirs. Until, that is, they destroyed it.

In addition, Tonnies theorized that in today’s world the cryptoterrestrials may well be declining, in terms of both their numbers and their health. He mused on the possibility that this may be due to continuing genetic issues provoked by the effects of ancient atomic wars. If, one day, we resort to the unthinkable, and global, atomic war erupts all around us, the after-effects – massive death and destruction, the onset of a so-called “nuclear winter,” and the terrible toll that radiation poisoning would wreak upon the straggling survivors - would ensure recovery would likely take not just centuries. It would probably take thousands of years. Far more likely, however, our civilization would never recover. It would be largely erased from the planet and, eventually, from memory, too.

Instead, we would eventually see the birth of a new, savage and primitive civilization – one far smaller than ours in size and scope, probably almost completely lacking in technology, and filled with stunted, illiterate, sick people possessing nothing but legend-like memories of the mysterious people who came before them and who suddenly vanished in a violent, fiery, planet-wide Armageddon. Namely, us. And, with the progression of time, those memories would almost certainly fragment to the point where, eventually, we would become like the Atlanteans – nothing but the fabled inhabitants of a fantastically advanced society that most people believe to be little more than folklore and mythology. Tonnies also suggested that the cryptoterrestrials might make use of a great deal of subterfuge, camouflage and deception to try and ensure they appear far more in advance of us, when – in reality, today – they may not be struggling to hang onto their society and their ailing health.

Mac Tonnies also had a very interesting theory as to why our supposed aliens – who may well have been his cryptoterrestrials - constantly warn abductees and contactees that we should not destroy, or pollute, our planet. Let’s face it, why would extraterrestrials from countless light-years away care even in the slightest about our small, insignificant world, about what we decide to do with it, and about our massive atomic arsenals? A most reasonable argument could be made that they wouldn’t care. Why should they? If, however, some of them are actually cryptoterrestrials who – due to circumstances beyond both their and our control – are forced to secretly share the planet with us, then their need to see the Earth preserved wouldn’t just be a wish or a desire. It would, for their continued survival, be an overwhelming necessity – even if they dwell deep below the planet’s surface. They would be all too well aware of the terrible mistakes they made thousands of years ago.

Therefore, they would also know how important it would be to try and ensure we don’t follow their mistake-filled path. In that sense, their seeming concern for us is actually a concern for them. And, considering what they may have gone through in the distant past, they could hardly be blamed for that. Such theories are most assuredly not new ones: tales, stories, myths and legends of advanced, humanoid entities living deep below the planet’s surface have circulated not just for decades or hundreds of years, but for thousands of years. Of course, there's nothing new about tales and theories of ancient "underground civilizations." Mac Tonnies just brought the scenario to a new audience in a new era.

Nick Redfern

Nick Redfern works full time as a writer, lecturer, and journalist. He writes about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including Bigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, alien encounters, and government conspiracies. Nick has written 41 books, writes for Mysterious Universe and has appeared on numerous television shows on the The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and SyFy Channel.

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