After the Tyger
In my new lexicon, "ET" does not stand for "extraterrestrial;" it stands for "extreme terror."
Before we turn to the terror that may be induced by coming encounters with the perceived inhabitants of Unexplained Aerial Phenomena, or UAP, perhaps we should think about the variables that contribute to a feeling of extreme terror in less exotic circumstances, so that we can measure the visceral fear that is to come, as a consequence of the Big Disclosure, against ET whose sources are, in a literal sense, mundane.
Intelligence, perhaps in part as a proxy for power to do us harm, if harm is intended.
And Strangeness (the experts speak of "high strangeness" when referring to certain reptilian and insect-like creatures, for example).
And so, playing at being scientific, we might adopt a formula:
ET = MISS
What does it mean? The level of extreme terror is proportional to perceived malevolence times perceived intelligence times size times strangeness.
The Tyger himself. The terror can be quite extreme because the only thing missing from the equation is strangeness. The creature is quite beautiful.
Compare coming into a clearing to see an elephant in the wild. She is more intelligent than the tyger, she is huge, she is quite strange in her composition. But the jury is out on malevolence. She will probably live and let live if you don't come too close or threaten her offspring.
Compare the pretend creature seen in a viral video that some wit with time on his hands was able to construct. He built a very realistic spider costume to be worn by his friendly and lovable dog. When the dog runs, the legs of the spider bounce up and down in such a way that they appear to be propelling the spider. Two young girls push the button to call for an elevator. When the doors open up, what appears to be a two-foot-wide tarantula runs after them! The terror is extreme. It's only wildly funny because the malevolence is a mirage.
When people experiment with the powerful hallucinogenic drug DMT (which is said to be released routinely by the brain as death approaches), it is common for them to see "elves" or court jesters. These creatures seem "more real than reality." They also seem to know everything about the experiencer. They often mock him or her, as if giving life instruction in the form of "calling out one's bullshit." Having high strangeness and high intelligence, if only modest relative size, they will induce ET, or not, based largely on their perceived level of malevolence.
What about God Himself? Well, one might want to ask "Which One?" The Gnostics believed that the god who built all of creation, including us -- "Yaldabaoth" -- who is the same as the god of the Old Testament, was a petty tyrant -- jealous and downright evil. It might well induce ET to find oneself face to face with him, in a way not much different than when Dorothy and her friends first encountered the Wizard of Oz. (His malevolence, size and strangeness, and yes even his intelligence, are fabricated of course, and it takes less than a minute for the terror to evaporate once he is revealed to be the celebrated "man behind the curtain.")
On the conventional earthly plane, I might Eye Dee the giant squid as the creature who best proves out my theorem. In a little storefront on the street in Manhattan outside the Museum of Modern Art this past summer, a fascinating video played out in a continuous loop. In the video, a normal-sized squid investigated, then devoured, a chambered nautilus in his chamber, which was somehow shown in cutaway view. (The film was not animated.) The squid inserted one tentacle into the nautilus's shell all the way in a conventional spiral into its deepest interior. There it found its prey. The squid then compressed itself in such a way that its body could make its way halfway along the spiral path. Then it tore apart at its leisure the poor animal hiding in the center, using its suckers to move little pieces to its mouth.
If we place ourselves in the posture of the nautilus, it is hard to imagine anything that could be more terrifying. And if we place ourselves in scuba gear in an underwater cavern, with a hungry 30-foot giant squid coming upon us, well, there we are in solidarity with the nautilus. Our terror is only rendered more extreme if we look upon the eyes of the Creature and remember, from our science books, that it is more intelligent than your average chocolate Lab.
By all accounts, the perceived inhabitants of UAP come in various sub-species, or perhaps in various put-upon guises. Some, such as the crash victims of Roswell, are too helpless to pose a threat, so they can't be said to be malevolent in the moment. They may induce wonder and bewilderment in us, but not terror, at least not directly.
But then on the other end of the scale there are the reported reptilians with anal probes, who may or may not telepathically communicate to us that "this won't hurt a bit." There are also the perpetrators of cattle mutilations proximate to UAP sightings, fantastically strange and merciless operations that are too ubiquitous to be dismissed as nonsense.
How do these various species or guises relate to each other, and who is in charge? Is anyone in charge?
Humankind in a collective state of ET for the first time in the history of the world, that's what I am thinking about.