As many of you already know, among the curious reports filling the news cycles lately, Senator Marco Rubio, who chairs the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, told CBS news that he hopes the advanced UFOs that have been filmed in our atmosphere in recent years doing things that seem beyond our understanding of physics or technology is “the Chinese or Russians or some other adversary” who perhaps have made “some sort of technological leap” that “allows them to conduct this sort of activity” because the alternative—that they are alien craft—would bother him a great deal more.
On the heels of his testimony the New York Times cited Harry Reid, the former Nevada senator who was instrumental in funding the original UFO program, saying he believes that “crashes of objects of unknown origin may have occurred and that retrieved materials from ‘not of this world’ are now in our possession under top secret study.”
Of course, some of you may know this was partly behind the investigation I conducted some years ago that led to the book by me and Cris Putnam titled ‘Exo-Vaticana’ [FREE IN COLLECTION!].
As part of that project, Cris and I and my son Joe Ardis wound up on top of Mt Graham in Arizona where we visited the Large Binocular Telescope, the radio telescope, and the Vatican’s Advanced Technology Telescope where the Jesuit father on duty that day (whom we got on film), told us that among the most important research occurring with the site’s Vatican astronomers is the search for extrasolar planets and advanced alien intelligence. He then proceeded (as did our guide) to show us all around the observatory, from the personal quarters of the Church’s astronomers—where they ate, slept, relaxed, studied—to the control rooms, computer screens and systems, and even the telescope itself. While we were given complete and unrestricted opportunity to question how the devices are used and what distinctively sets each of the telescopes on Mt. Graham apart, we had not expected the ease with which the astronomers and technicians would also speak of UFOs! This was especially true when we walked up the gravel road from VATT to the LBT, where we spent most of the day with a systems engineer who not only took us to all seven levels of that mighty machine—pointing out the LUCIFER device (which he lovingly referred to as “Lucy” several times and elsewhere as “Lucifer”) and what it is used for, as well as every other aspect of the telescope we tried to wrap our minds around. He also stunned us as we sat in the control room listening to him and the astronomers speak so casually of the redundancy with which UFOs are captured on screens darting through the heavens. Our friendly engineer didn’t blink an eye, neither did any of the other scientists in the room, and we were shocked at this, how ordinary it seemed to be.
But as much as the commonality of UFO sightings on Mt. Graham’s telescopes intrigued, this was not the primary reason for our being there. We had come with deeper questions, similar to what Steve Quayle is raising during this virtual conference, concerning high-level Vatican astronomers and what they had been leaking to, and discussing with, the media in recent years—including captivating comments from Jesuit priests like Guy Consolmagno, a leading astronomer who often turns up as a spokesman for the Vatican. He has worked at NASA and taught at Harvard and MIT, and currently splits his time between the Vatican observatory and laboratory (Specola Vaticana) headquartered at the summer residence of the Pope in Castel Gandolfo, Italy, and Mt. Graham in Arizona. Over the last few years, Consolmagno has focused so much time and effort in an attempt to reconcile science and religion in public forums, specifically as it relates to the subject of extraterrestrial life and its potential impact on the future of faith, that I decided to contact him during the Exo-Vaticana investigation. He agreed to be interviewed via the Internet from Rome. However, it seemed once he knew who I was and what I wanted to examine, he kept his answers short, if not altogether evasive. On the upside, he was gracious enough to send me a copy of his private PDF file for a booklet that he had authored entitled Intelligent Life in the Universe: Catholic Belief and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligent Life, which had been pulled by the publisher shortly after it was authorized by Rome in 2005 and is no longer officially available anywhere. It is a gold mine of what he and the Vatican are considering regarding the ramifications of astrobiology and specifically the disclosure of advanced extraterrestrials (this is perhaps the reason it was pulled). In it, he admits how contemporary societies will “look to The Aliens to be the Saviours of humankind.”[i] To illustrate the theological soundness of this possibility, Consolmagno argues that humans are not the only intelligent beings God created in the universe, and these non-human life forms are described in the Bible. Now, after I published parts of his material, he went on the Vatican Observatory website and denied he had written or said any of what I quoted. So I began making his pdf available to whoever wanted it free so they can read it for themselves. In his booklet, he starts by pointing to angels, then surprises us by actually referencing the Nephilim:
Other heavenly beings come up several times in the Psalms. For example, look at the beautiful passage in Psalm 89 that calls out, “Let the heavens praise your wonders, O Lord, your faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones. For who in the skies can be compared to the Lord? Who among the heavenly beings is like the Lord?… The heavens are yours, the earth also is yours; the world and all that is in it—you have founded them.” Likewise, God asks Job (38:7) if any human can claim to have been around at the creation, “when the morning stars sang together and all the heavenly beings shouted for joy.”
Are these “heavens,” “holy ones,” those “in the sky,” the “morning stars…and heavenly beings” more references to angels? Or do they refer to some other kind of life beyond our knowledge?
…And these are not the only non-human intelligent creatures mentioned in the Bible. There’s that odd, and mysterious, passage at the beginning of Genesis, Chapter 6, that describes the “sons of God” taking human wives. With it is a frustratingly oblique reference to “The Nephilim…the heroes that were of old, warriors of renown.”
Most Biblical scholars suggest that the Nephelim [sic] and the Sons of God in Genesis can be explained away as a left-over reference to the creation stories of the pagans who surrounded ancient Israel, that they were written by the kind of people whose culture saw anyone Not Of My Tribe as being unspeakably alien. Likewise, the references to heavens and stars singing and praising the Lord can be seen simply for the beautiful poetry that it is.
But whether you interpret these creatures as angels or aliens doesn’t really matter for the sake of our argument here. The point is that the ancient writers of the Bible, like all ancient peoples, were perfectly happy with the possibility that other intelligent beings could exist.[ii]
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Think about that, then ask yourself: Did the Vatican’s top astronomer actually mean to use the story of the Nephilim from the Bible as an example of the kind of “space saviors” man could soon look to for salvation? This incredible assertion is only topped by what he says next. In quoting John 10:16, which says, “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd,” Consolmagno writes: “Perhaps it’s not so far-fetched to see the Second Person of the Trinity, the Word, Who was present ‘In the beginning’ (John 1:1), coming to lay down His life and take it up again (John 10:18) not only as the Son of Man but also as a Child of other races?”[iii] (emphasis added).
That prompted me to contact Consolmagno again with the question, do Vatican scholars actually believe Jesus might have been the Star-Child of an alien race? Does he and/or other Jesuits secretly hold that the virgin birth was in reality an abduction scenario in which Mary was impregnated by ET, giving birth to the hybrid Jesus?
All this would seem impossible theology if not for the fact that other high-ranking Vatican spokespersons—those who routinely study from the “Star Base” (as local Indians call it) on Mt. Graham—have been saying the same in recent years. This includes Dr. Christopher Corbally, vice director for the Vatican Observatory Research Group on Mt. Graham until 2012, who believes our image of God will have to change if evidence of alien life is confirmed by scientists (including the need to evolve from the concept of an “anthropocentric” God into a “broader entity”[iv]), and the former Vatican Observatory director, Father Josè Funes, who has gone equally far, suggesting that alien life not only exists in the universe and is “our brother,” but will, if discovered, confirm the “true” faith of Christianity and the dominion of Rome. When the L’Osservatore Romano newspaper (which only publishes what the Vatican approves) asked him what this meant, he replied: “How can we rule out that life may have developed elsewhere? Just as we consider earthly creatures as ‘a brother,’ and ‘sister,’ why should we not talk about an ‘extraterrestrial brother’? It would still be part of creation,”[v] and believing in the existence of such is not contradictory to Catholic doctrine.[vi]
Such statements are but the latest in a string of recent comments by numerous Vatican astronomers confirming a growing belief (or inside knowledge?) that discovery may be made in the near future of alien life, including intelligent life, and that this encounter will not challenge the authority of the Roman Catholic Church.
From the ’70s through the ’90s, it was Monsignor Corrado Balducci—an exorcist, theologian, member of the Vatican Curia (governing body at Rome), and friend of the Pope—who went perhaps furthest, appearing on Italian national television numerous times to state that ETs were not only possible, but were already interacting with Earth and that the Vatican’s leaders were aware of it. Furthermore, speaking as an official demonologist, he said that extraterrestrial encounters “are not demonic, they are not due to psychological impairment, and they are not a case of entity attachment, but these encounters deserve to be studied carefully.”[vii] He even disclosed how the Vatican itself has been closely following the phenomenon and quietly compiling material evidence from Vatican embassies around the world on the extraterrestrials and their mission. For example, at a forum concerning the enormous UFO flap in Mexico, he stated, “I always wish to be the spokesman for these star peoples who also are part of God’s glory, and I will continue to bring it to the attention of the Holy Mother Church.”[viii]
Whatever you make of his claims, Balducci was a member of a special group of consultants to the Vatican, a public spokesperson for Rome on the matter of extraterrestrial life as well as UFO and abduction phenomenon, and his assertions have never been contradicted by the Catholic Church.
Perhaps most intriguing was Catholic theologian Father Malachi Martin who, before his death in 1999, hinted at something like imminent extraterrestrial contact more than once. While on Coast to Coast AM radio in 1997, Art Bell asked Malachi why the Vatican was heavily invested in the study of deep space at the Mt. Graham Observatory we visited. As a retired professor of the Pontifical Biblical Institute, Malachi was uniquely qualified to hold secret information pertaining to VATT. His answer ignited a firestorm of interest among Christian and secular ufologists when he replied, “Because the mentality…amongst those who [are] at the…highest levels of Vatican administration and geopolitics, know…what’s going on in space, and what’s approaching us, could be of great import in the next five years, ten years” he added).[ix]
Those cryptic words, “what’s approaching us, could be of great import,” were followed in subsequent interviews with discussion of a mysterious “sign in the sky” that Malachi believed was approaching from the north. While this could have been an oblique reference to an end-time Catholic prophecy of the Great Comet, people familiar with Malachi believe he may have been referring to a near-future arrival of alien intelligence.
Yet, if ET life is something Vatican officials have privately considered for some time, why speak of it so openly now, in what some perceive as a careful, doctrinal unveiling over the last few years?
UP NEXT: Francis, Consolmagno, Alien Saviors… and a Demonic Plot
[i] Guy Consolmagno, Intelligent Life in the Universe: Catholic Belief and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligent Life (London: Catholic Truth Society, 2005), 5.
[ii] Ibid., 33–34.
[iii] Ibid., 37.
[iv] Roger Highfield and Tom Leonard, “American Association: Martian Life Will Change God’s Image, Says Vatican,” Watcher’s Website, February 17, 1997, http://www.mt.net/~watcher/ufovatican.html. (Article originally appeared on The Electronic Telegraph: http://www.telegraph.co.uk.)
[v] “Vatican Astronomer Says it’s OK to Think Aliens Exist,” USA Today, May 14, 2008, http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2008-05-14-vatican-aliens_N.htm.
[vi] Father José Gabriel Funes, S.J., “Believing in Aliens Not Opposed to Christianity, Vatican’s Top Astronomer Says,” Catholic News Agency, May 13, 2008, http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/believing_in_aliens_not_opposed_to_christianity_vaticans_top_astronomer_says/.
[viii] Paola Leopizzi Harris, “Monsignor Corrado Balducci Says Mexico Blessed with UFO Sightings,” MUFON [Mutual UFO Network] Journal, March 28, 2006, http://www.mufon.com (site requires membership; alternatively, see full article online on the following page: David Ben Yakov, “Catholicism and the UFO Reality,” DelusionResistance.org, last accessed December 4, 2012, http://www.delusionresistance.org/ufo/catholicism-ufos.html).
[ix] “Comet and Father Malachi Martin” (ART BELL INTERVIEWS FATHER MALACHI MARTIN: Transcript of the April 5th, 1997 interview with late Father Malachi Martin by Art Bell), Godlike Productions, January 7, 2007, http://www.godlikeproductions.com/forum1/message326615/pg1.