Clifford Wilson made his name in Ufology with Crash Go the Chariots (1972), a book specifically written to answer Erich von Daniken’s Chariots of the Gods? (1968) and his Ancient Alien Astronaut theory.
In 1974, Wilson wrote a new book based on his further investigation of the UFO phenomenon, UFOs and their mission impossible. Wilson’s solution was that UFOs require a “paraphysical explanation.” While the book is well researched, the chapters dealing with this theory are heavily influenced by John Keel’s Operation Trojan Horse (1970). In fact, the book cites Keel no less than 70 times, 36 of which occur in the two chapters on the paraphysical hypothesis. For the record, there were a total of 47 reference citations in Chapters 12-13, meaning that he uses Keel as over 75% of his citations for the paraphysical hypothesis. Yes, that’s a lot, especially when Chapter 12 is preceded by the following note:
Some of the concepts dealt with in this and the next chapter are so ‘way-out’ that a number of other writers are quoted extensively. This is to make it clear that these are not the unsupported views of this writer. At the same time it should be stressed that the interpretations are his own.
Yeah. For the record, he also cites:
- Otto Binder (Unsolved Mysteries of the Past) [twice cited]
- J. Allen Hynek (The UFO Experience) [twice cited]
- Brinsley Le Poer Trench (The Eternal Subject)
- Brad Steiger and Joan Whritenow (Flying Saucers Are Hostile)
- Donald Keyhoe (Flying Saucers from Outer Space)
- W. Gordon Allen (“UFOs and the Sonic Boom.” Flying Saucer Reader)
The only one quoted “extensively” is John Keel.
Wilson’s interpretation of Keel isn’t surprising. It’s hardly a great logical leap from a generically paraphysical hypothesis to the Christian equivalent: the Demonic Hypothesis of UFO. Especially when Keel helpfully tosses around terms like demonology and demons in his book.
Regarding the Nephilim, Wilson notes that there is some disagreement as to what the Genesis 6:4 entails. After making a case for the Sethite view, he nonetheless notes:
“However it is true that many scholars hold that these verses do refer to a union between angelic beings and women. If their view is correct, that could explain why there are so many Legends around the world about gods having sexual relations with women, and godlike men being born to them. It is now recognized the legends usually have a basis in historical fact: this could be in that category.”
To keep the UFO phenomenon 100% demonic, he rules out the idea of heavenly UFOs thusly:
“Other space writers major on the more benevolent acts, and the many references to angels in the Bible. The inference is that they move around our planets by means of UFOs. There is no entitely convincing evidence for this theory, but even if there were, it would simply mean that the method was thereby better understood. Belief in angels, and in the great Creator-God, would mean belief also in His power to make possible the accomplishment of His will through the universe.
However, as we have already said, it seems more likely that certain principles are utilized, rather than UFOs as such. Angelic beings would hardly be limited by the laws of gravity – they are spiritual beings, not ‘contained’ by flesh and blood. Nor do they all need wings, as artists have so often suggested. Creatures of earth are limited by time and space, but that does not apply to heavenly beings. Nor do angels in the will and service of God need to convince men by displays of material or physical strength.
To argue that God’s heavenly messengers need UFOs to achieve His purposes is to limit God’s power, and His thoughts, to those of men. Much of the modern writing about UFOs and the Bible tends to think of God as little more than a glorified astronaut. The Bible shows Him as omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient, and His servants are not limited by earth’s laws of physics. The physical principles by which UFOs operate might well be utilized for the purposes of God, but the Bible certainly does not confine Almighty God to a heavenly ‘super-car.'”
Before I comment on this, let me say that at least Wilson attempted to provide some justification as to why heavenly angels could not account for some of the UFO phenomenon too. Most folks who espouse the Demonic Hypothesis of UFO are silent on the subject.
Wilson did well here to debunk the God-as-an-ancient-astronaut tack taken by some Ufologists, but his logic went a bit too far. Just because God does not require a flying saucer does not mean that His angelic messengers cannot appear as such. Just because God is capable of giving angels the ability to go forth without the need of a conveyance of some sort does not require Him to do so. God could certainly teleport me from church to church to deliver sermons, but last time I checked I still drive a car. Even though angels are supernatural beings, the Bible, in fact, mentions heavenly chariots and even horses, suggesting that angels go forth in some kind of vehicles, at least on occasion.
Of course, there is a bit of special pleading. He seems to be saying that the Devil’s angels go about in the form of UFOs but heavenly angels don’t have to because God has the power to get them around by other means, but wouldn’t that mean they still have at least the same abilities as fallen angels?
Interestingly, Wilson allows for the possibility of extraterrestrial life:
“Not everyone will accept the argument that UFOs and spiritism are in the same category. Therefore it is relevant to ask if the Bible allows for the possibility of life on other planets: could that explain UFOs? The answer is that the Bible is silent on this subject. It is a revelation as to life on this planet, earth, and is not a textbook on biology, astronomy, or other sciences dealing with extraterrestrial life. While man has the right to believe that he is in unique relationship with God – with a special covenant for his salvation – he does not necessarily know that there are no other manlike creatures elsewhere in the creation of God.
Many – including this author – have some sort of deep-seated belief that there are no other ‘humans,’ but if it could be proved that there were other man like beings, it would matter little. No Biblical doctrine would thereby be put to one side.
Elsewhere he clarifies that such life would be the product of creation rather than evolution; nevertheless, aliens could certainly have been created by God:
“Life IS possible on other planets: if the Christian concept of creation is accepted, God the Creator could bring life into being according to His will, wherever He chose.
..let it be said that if God is brought into the picture there is no problem as to life on other planets. Belief in an all-powerful God would mean that there was no problem in believing He could create when and where he willed.”
Of course, the most interesting claim of this book has to do with the Devil’s UFO sleeper agents. I confess I’ve never read anything quite like it.
On page 172 of Chapter 12, we find the intriguing heading, “Hypnotized Slaves Await the Signal.”
Here, Clifford Wilson tells us that all of these experiencers could possibly be pre-programmed Armageddon Hour sleeper agents awaiting some sort of signal. An army of hypnotized zombie slaves. The ultimate Manchurian Candidate scenario.
The fact that I apparently missed this little nugget when I read John Keel’s Operation Trojan Horse floors me, but what’s even more astounding is this:
Why hasn’t this been made into a movie yet? I would totally watch this movie!