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Return to the Past

Author : Colin Biggs ©

While browsing in the UFO section of the second-hand book store ‘Archives’ (Charlotte St, Brisbane) recently, my eye chanced to alight on a book bearing the title ‘Flying Saucer Message’ (1072) by a certain Rex Dutta. The author’s name rang a bell. Way back in the early 1970s I had purchased an earlier book of his entitled ‘Flying Saucer Viewpoint’ (1970) [hereafter abbreviated to ‘Viewpoint’ and ‘Message’]. My curiosity aroused, I bought ‘Message’ and had soon read it in conjunction with ‘Viewpoint’; not a difficult task as they together total only about 200 pages of text and can be comfortably devoured in one sitting. As the theme of these two books is exactly the same, for the purposes of this review they will be treated as a unity. Of the author himself, I know next to nothing. The dust jacket of his earlier work states that he is a ‘university graduate, of good war service and good business record’ but little else. He seems to be associated with a publication known as ‘Viewpoint Aquarius’, and is obviously strongly affiliated wit the Theosophical Society. Being British, and with a surname like Dutta, I would assume that he belongs to the Anglo-Indian community. If any readers of this journal can provide more information in this man, I would be grateful.

Reading these books came as a mild revelation. What a difference 30 years can make. Such books simply not be written today in the light of events and developments within the field of Ufology over the past three decades. If there is one word I would use to characterise Dutta’s outlook and approach, it would be ‘innocence’; not the kind of innocence born of naivety or denial, but a positive affirmation of the universally benign and spiritually advanced nature of all ET’s. this attitude was still possible back in the period 1970-72, before greys, reptilians and other assorted nasties had reared their ugly heads; before the scenario of covert alien interference in the lives of millions of people had been conceived; when the Betty and Barney Hill abduction case was a one-off event. On the one had, today it is al too easy to smile in amusement an condescending tolerance at Dutta’s rosy picture of benign ET’s whose sole aim in visiting Earth is to aid in the spiritual uplift of a degraded humanity. On the other hand, however, at least a partial return to the past would not be totally out of place. In the confused welter of recent developments within Ufology (or, as some less charitably inclined than myself would have it, before Ufology became abducted by abductions) it is easy to forget that a variety of alleged human/ET interactions occurred in the early days of the UFO phenomenon whose tone or flavour was entirely different from the modes of contract seemingly prevalent today. Of course, it is possible that such contacts – friendly, unforced encounters in which humans and ET’s are on equal footing – are just as frequent today, but they stand little chance of being noticed, let alone investigated, by a UFO research community seemingly fixated on greys, abductions, etc. in relegating this kind of contact to the outermost fringes of acceptance, modern day Ufologists could be doing their field of study a grave disservice. In rejecting the ‘embarrassment’ of those early benign contact claims, they incur the serious risk of throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

So what does Dutta have to say on ET origins and purpose in visiting Earth. At the beginning of a chapter in ‘Viewpoint entitled ‘Where do they come from,’ he maintains: ‘..probably from many more places and from many more states of consciousness than ever we think at present.’ (Viewpoint, p. 38). Having sad that he then proceeds, somewhat simplistically in my opinion, to divide the whole spectrum of ET’s familiar up to 1970 into tow broad categories. First come the ‘little men’ whom Dutta regards as ‘least important, because least advanced,’ and belonging solely to our three-dimensional physical reality. According to him, it was this category of ET’s who featured in the alleged UFO crashes of the 1940s and 50s in the American southwest and elsewhere, and in the great European UFO wave of 1954, among others. The second category, supposedly more advanced than the former in all respects and much more like humans in the form in which they manifest to Earthly contactees, is labeled with the broad designation ‘Venusians,’ although it is not entirely clear if Dutta is specifically referring to inhabitants of the planet Venus or simply using this as a convenient, catch-all term for a whole variety of similar ET groups. The latter make themselves known to us in three ways, according to Dutta. Firstly, a brief interaction between a human contactee and the crew of a landed saucer; secondly, those ET’s on a longer ‘mission who infiltrate human society for specific purposes, living among us entirely unrecognised, appearing and acting as normal human beings, generally influencing their environment for the better; thirdly, they may incarnate into normal earthly bodies for an entire lifespan. This concept should be familiar to us through the works of George Hunt Williams (eg. ‘Other Tongues, Other Flesh’) who coined the term ‘wanderers’ for such incarnational voyagers.

One feature I found particularly striking re-reading ‘Viewpoint’ after a lapse of 30 years. Dutta appears to have been one of the very first to have acknowledged and fully realised the ramifications of the fact that at least some UFOs exhibit polymorphism, ie, an ability to change shape in the eyes of the beholder that is not contingent upon a mere change of position or viewing angle. Not only this, but they also display an ability ‘to be visible or invisible; reflect radar or not; be solid or allow you to walk through their walls; to materialise or dematerialise; to read thoughts; to travel with the speed of though, not merely of light.’ (Viewpoint, p. 57) an awareness of these features actually places Dutta at the very forefront of UFO research in his own day. Many latter day Ufologists still have enormous difficulty grappling with these ideas, especially those of a more scientifically oriented persuasion. The following comment on the limitations of science as practised in 1970 is just as relevant today. Our science, Dutta maintains, would be horrified ‘to face the totally different idea of dematerialising good old solid matter in one place and rematerialising it almost instantly at another, ie. moving with the speed of thought. Yet, saucers seem to do it. That’s just one of the maddening things about them, they refuse point blank to play things our way and to limit behaviour to three neat little dimensions. That’s why its so much more comfortable to say saucers don’t exist; its much easier than radically changing our basic concepts.’ (Viewpoint, p. 38)

According to Dutta, ‘changing our basic concepts’ lies at the heart of the UFO mystery, its very raison d’etre. UFOs , with their seemingly impossible behaviours, act as a kind of gadfly, stinging and goading us into questioning deeply-held beliefs regarding the nature of the universe and our role in it. I tis only through a radical meltdown of our local ‘village concepts,’ as Dutta calls them, that humanity as a whole ca upgrade its spiritual status to that of our ‘Venusian’ friends it is an absolutely fundamental point, however, emphasised by Dutta again and again, that UFOs can only point the way. They are prevented offering more overt assistance by cosmic laws of non-interference and by the very real potential for societal breakdown if contact is prematurely forced upon us. Dutta has scant regard for those among us awaiting salvation from on high or a mass landing in Hyde Park (the British equivalent of the proverbial landing on the White House lawn). That is not how things work. Individually and collectively, it is humanity which must make the considerable effort involved. According to Dutta’s theosophical tenets, each human being is a sevenfold entity (physical, etheric, mental body — etc). at our current stage of evolutionary growth, we tend to identify exclusively with the gross, physical body, but we are almost ready to turn the corner and being the long ascent from separation to Oneness. When we being to identify with and operate from higher levels of our being, we will start to emulate the ‘Venusians’ in their ability to manipulate gross matter, ‘to travel with the speed of thought, make solid matter change shape and quality, make physical bodies with local materials to look like yours and mine, to make bodies heavier or lighter.’ (Viewpoint, p. 91)

Now let’s hold it right there. Did you catch the full implications of that last quote? The notion that ‘Venusians’ may be able to literally create their own physical bodies around them while on Earth mission out of local Earth elements is, for me, the most extraordinary idea in Dutta’s books. In an earlier contribution to this journal, “The Trouble with Humanoids’ (Issue 191, Dec/Jan 2000), I canvassed many divergent opinions as to why most ET’s seem to bear a humanoid, or even completely human form. One approach I advocated was that things are not as they seem, or in other words, what we may be perceiving is not an ET’s true form, but a mask, image or projection. At the time I wrote that earlier article, I had not conceived the notion that some ET’s may be capable of literally ‘thinking’ a body around them for the sole purpose of interacting with humans, composed of normal earthly elements, and able to perform all normal earthly functions such as breathing our air, eating or drinking etc. many insurmountable problems concerning the idea of aliens almost identical to ourselves thus be negated. For Dutta, his ‘Venusian’s’ have evolved beyond the need for dense physical bodies and probably bear little resemblance to humans at all, could be but perceive them in their ‘real’ forms. For what it is worth, Dutta provides an example of one lady at a UFO conference who claimed to originate on Venus. According to her, it had taken seven hole days to ‘make’ her physical body, though others could do it quicker. (‘Message, p. 71) Nor is this the limit of Dutta’s ideas on this theme. He appears greatly taken with the observed fact that many of the ET’s encountered by humans apparently wear seamless space suits, and the craft themselves usually possess no visible seams or joins. If ET’s can manipulate matter to materialise a dense physical body when required, then ‘thinking’ a seamless suit or even rearranging matter to construct a seamless craft should be equally possible. It is because of ides such as this, in my opinion, that Dutta’s books deserve to be take seriously, despite their obvious drawbacks in other respects.

Dutta also goes on to consider the very nature of contact itself. According to him, this is determined by the quality of contactees’ lives, particularly the attributes of gentleness and selflessness. ‘We don’t choose you, you choose us,’ say the ‘Venusians.’ Humans can also initiate contact by the intensity of thought alone, but if not sufficiently developed in the spiritual sense, such contactees’ face the possibility of having their circuits blown, as it were, resulting in ego inflation and exposure of personality flaws. Such a fate seems to have befallen more than one of the better known contactees of the 1950s, and 60s. ‘that is why, so it is said, out of the thousands of contacts on the followers and martyrs are known. The real contactees seldom talk.’ (‘Viewpoint’ p. 76)

Of Dutta’s two books, ‘Viewpoint’ is much more informative, containing all of his basic ideas, to which ‘Message’ adds nothing new most of the latter, in fact, is nothing more than the message of the Theosophical Society as interpreted by the author, rather than the message of the saucers, although Dutta regards them as practically identical. Towards the end of ‘Message’, however, occurs a highly interesting chapter entitled ‘A Flying Saucer Broadcast.’ If genuine, this is possibly a unique event, as far as I am aware. Alleged radio contact with ET’s is not unique per se (see ‘The Saucers Speak’ by George Hunt Williamson) but the format of this particular event probably stands alone. The alleged contact occurred in the context of a panel discussion and subsequent phone-in from listeners conducted by a British radio station in 1971. A call purporting to originate from space was put through to the station, and for certain technical reasons, Dutta, who was a member of the panel, considered to caller to be what he claimed, ie. an ET. Some of the consequent exchange between the alleged ET and station interviewer is fairly banal, along the lines of: Earth is in for a rough time in the immediate future; humanity is immersed in triviality while ignoring important principles etc etc, hardly inspiring or original material. Other comments, however, deserve to be taken more seriously. Consider the following, for example: ‘Evidence of life in outer space is not visible to Earth eyes except the chose few have celestial ability to appertain and to appreciate higher intelligence (sic)’ (‘Message’ p. 81) the alleged ET seems to be saying that humanity as a whole will not begin to encounter ETs until we learn to perceive in higher dimensions. So much for the SETI programme. When asked by the interviewer of ETs exist in the way of normal human beings, the ‘ET’ responded: ‘It’s possible to assume a human appearance. Yes.’ (‘Message’ p. 86) this would seem to corroborate Dutta’s assertion that some ETs can create a physical body around them, alluded to earlier. The interviewer asked several times why ETs don’t proffer more direct and open assistance to humanity. ‘ETs’ replies are most revealing. ‘The first rule of life is that every creature must help himself and use his own intelligence. It is possible sometimes to guide the way but very often guidance is ignored.’ (‘Message’ p. 87) And again: ‘The only way you can be helped is not by doing for you that which you must do for yourself. But possibly by guiding the way. But indirectly, not directly.’ (‘Message’ p. 89) these last two quotes aptly summarise Dutta’s approach to ET contact as a whole. We cannot rely on external intervention to save us, only unobtrusive guidance and our own efforts.

So there you have it. Should we regard Dutta’s books as an outdated relic of a bygone age in Ufology, irrelevant to our latter day interpretation of the subject? There are numerous points of criticism which could be levelled at his works. Firstly, his style is individualist, quirky, at times irritating, and decidedly unpolished. On those occasions where he discussed actual UFO sightings, he displays a cavalier disregard for factual accuracy which would be unacceptable in Ufological circles today, though one suspects that Dutta would regard this as mere pedantic quibbling. To him, the message was all-important. Another questionable assumption in Dutta’s approach is that the saucer message and the doctrine of Theosophy are essentially one and the same. Throughout his books, Dutta never misses an opportunity to extol the virtues of his ‘pet’ doctrine. By far the most serious criticism, however, is his assumption that all ETs are basically benign in intent, with all human/alien interaction being essentially unforced, non-traumatic and spiritually uplifting. With over two decades of abduction research now behind us, we know that this is simply not the case. On the other hand, if read with discretion and an open mind, his books contain many captivating ideas, some of which I have outlined above, and some of which were far in advance of the general run of ideas current in his day. Even today, the mainstream of Ufological opinion would hardly embrace with alacrity many of Dutta’s assertions. Thus, if we bear in mind that the kind of contact envisaged by Dutta represents only a small portion of the total picture, rather than the whole, his book can still be read with profit today. So fascinated have we become by more lurid and sensational modes of contact, we tend to forget that a more open, equal mode of contact was seemingly more prevalent in the early days of the UFO phenomenon, which for all we know could be just as prevalent today, exerting a subtle influence on humanity’s development out of all proportion to its current obscurity.

Both ‘Viewpoint’ and Message’ are doubtless long out of print, and are probably only available through secondhand bookstores or libraries.

Flying Saucer Viewpoint, Rex Dutta, Pelham Books, London, 1970
Flying Saucer Message, Rex Dutta, Pelham Books, London, 1972

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