UFO Theology


  • Charles Upton. Cracks in the Great Wall: UFOs and Traditional Metaphysics. Sophia Perrenis, 2005.
  • Robert Trundle. Is ET Here: No Politically but Yes Theologically and Scientifically. EcceNova, 2005.

Superficially you would think that ufology was a mythology of modernity and technological progress, with its claim for the ubiquity and boundlessness of “advanced technologies”, therefore its appeal to people on the furthest edges of the philosophical and theological (and indeed political) right is something of a surprise.

Upton is a devotee of something called the Traditionalist Movement or the Perennialist Philosophy which claims to have uncovered the central spiritual core behind the outward appearance of world religions. This is an idea which might seem attractive to any number of liberal minded theists, but the rub here is that particular philosophy here comes from a French philosopher Rene Guenon, who like many people after the carnage of the First World War found the modern world an entirely uncongenial place, adopted a philosophy of absolute rejection of modernity and progress, and of democracy.

Upton’s account of this philosophy is clearly somewhat bowdlerised for an American audience. He makes much of the great chain of being, and to a hierarchy of spiritual spheres, which, despite Guenon’s protestations to the contrary seem to owe more to Theosophy than traditional Christianity, but conveniently omits that fact that this cosmic chain is seen as operating in the microcosm of human affairs. Guenon was a passionate opponent of democracy and individualism and a supporter of aristocracy and the Indian caste system. Upton lists a number of thinkers he is indebted to, but notably omits Julius Evola the radical Italian fascist and intellectual guru of the Bologna bombers. A traditionalist political programme for the United States and Britain would be an absolute monarchy under a restored house of Stuart.

Upton’s opinion of UFOs is that they djinns or demons. That might sound familiar as this was the great claim of Gordon Creighton, one time editor of Flying Saucer Review. Creighton’s eclectic mix of traditional Christianity, Buddhism and Islam would make perfect sense if he was a member of this Traditionalist School.

One of Creighton’s great obsessions was with feminism, and this is a complete obsession with Robert Trundle, a traditionalist Catholic philosopher. While Upton at least argues a case that is coherent from his religio-philosophical perspective, is elegantly written and even makes several cogent points, Trundle’s title seems to be little more that a rehash of his earlier UFO book, and is an absurdity, a mish-mash of stuff scissored and pasted together, interspaced with rants about liberals and feminism, and uncritical references to the likes of George Adamski, Robert Lazar, Philip Corso and other well known bullshitters.  | PR |

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