Horror to be relevant as an art form must have some hook of reality to it before it can be considered effective. The best horror writers avoid topics that are so fantastic that they extend beyond belief. Among the best of the horror writers was a creation that John Keel would later term more scientifically as “ultraterrestrials” and that would be H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu. This is a dominating creature that lives outside of human time and space pushing against a cosmicism of projected reality driven by limited human senses to manipulate the actions of the technically defined living being. In theory those who attempt to reach beyond their senses into that world of Cthulhu run the extremely high possibility of insanity as minds often fold over on themselves once they leave the boundaries of four dimensions. Cthulhu was a fictional creation by a writer who lost both of his parents to an insane asylum and had himself suffered tormenting dreams by strange creatures from a very young child. But like all great horror writers, Lovecraft’s Cthulhu has its roots into a reality we all understand—but fear to comprehend for many reasons. The mythology of Cthulhu allows human beings to explore those strange possibilities from the safety of their senses without plummeting over the edge of sanity into a realm they clearly are not ready for. It is in that realm however that my own eyes have always looked as the cause of much misery and defaults in living as the primary source of superstition and religion—and a barrier to the truth.
When talking about such things I prefer the term ultraterrestrial to reference the type of creatures that Lovecraft wrote about in his Cthulhu mythos which has taken on a life of its own since his death in 1937. The stories Lovecraft wrote were well ahead of their time as it has only recently been proven that there are more than 10 dimensional realities known to mathematics—and probably more. Lovecraft’s stories explored the possibilities of beings from those other dimensions visiting from their realms in ways humans could not—which was a terrifying prospect. It still is, and is why even nearly a century after his death there is a cult following of H.P. Lovecraft. The reporter John Keel seemed particularly obsessed with this type of reality and reported about it in The Mothman Prophesies. In that book Keel was very level-headed and factually based even though the subject matter was extraordinary—UFOs interacting with people, strange monsters appearing out of nowhere, Men in Black walking about dressed as government agents not quite appearing human—being slightly off to those who spoke to them. Keel in that book was knocking on the door to Lovecraft’s Cthulhu and it could be said that the Mothman of Point Pleasant, West Virginia, or the “Bird Man” of ancient Cahokia or the many thousands of gargoyles poised from the buildings of gothic structures—particularly the Budweiser brewery in St Louis—were there to appease the demons who come into our world to terrorize and manipulate our reality. Keel’s other books, Strange Creatures From Time and Space, Our Haunted Planet, Operation Trojan Horse, The Eighth Tower, The Cosmic Question, and Disneyland of the Gods are all works obsessed with this realm of Lovecraft’s Cthulhu. Keel had been opened to the possibilities before his investigations into the strange creature in Point Pleasant during 1967 and once there had everything confirmed as though it was tailor-made for him by what he would later call ultraterrestrials—or tricksters. Because of their power and influence he would spend much of the rest of his life all the way to age 79 when he died in 2009 avoiding any kind of electronic device such as computers, phones, televisions etc., because Keel believed that the “tricksters” used those devices to control and manipulate the world of human beings with impunity to counteraction.
As time went on Keel’s books became more and more paranoid, and his subjectivity diminished for a time as he appeared to have gone too far down the rabbit hole of sanity for a time. Perhaps not as far as Lovecraft’s parents did—but the rope to reality which Keel held on to was slipping. Toward the end of his life he regained some of his grip on reality. The 2002 film adaptation of his book The Mothman Prophecies appears to have helped him and he spent the rest of his days giving lectures as the film brought his ultraterrestrials with the help of Richard Gere into the mainstream.
I have personally noticed this manipulation of these ultraterrestrials by Keel’s definition for a long time. The lazy relegate their definition of ultraterrestrials as angels and demons but that has never suited me. I have never been comfortable handing over my fate to beings that just flash in and out of my life with some advice—or appear in a dream to leave an imprint of instruction for me to execute. If I had been Noah and God appeared to me in a dream telling me to build an Ark, I would have woke up the next morning and told him—“dude, I don’t have the time to build you a stupid boat.” And I would have ignored the command. When the floods came, I would have survived somehow regardless of the advice. My opinion is that unless the motives of such individuals from other worlds is known, there is no way to attribute value to them leaving you to play the part of a pawn. Without knowing those beings personally there is no way to validate if the sources are good or evil. My assumption is that they are almost always evil posing as good. So to properly serve the good in the context of universal merit, those beings should be ignored. In this way for years I have poked and prodded into their world without the usual fear of insanity because I simply don’t trust any of them even though they have constantly tried to throw me off the trail.
One night on New Year’s Eve my family was playing a late night game of Pirates the Constructable Strategy Game. We were between rounds so as everyone got up and stretched I resumed to my living room chair to read another quick chapter of The Mothman Prophecies which I had taken an interest in after seeing the movie. In the book there was a surprising amount of coverage of UFO lore and as I was reading it I couldn’t help but wonder if Steven Spielberg had read this very same book to inspire him to write Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Poltergeist because this was the subject matter by the very fact based reporting of John Keel. I found the book terrifying refreshing and a key piece into a lifetime puzzle I had been assembling most of my life which attempted to define the world of Lovecraft’s Cthulhu. As I had conceived that very thought outside my front window clearly over the golf course was a UFO floating freely over the tree line. My first rational thought was that it was a helicopter picking up a crash victim, or maybe even some kind of pyrotechnic display celebrating the New Year. But it was just floating there enticing me like a seductive siren attempting to lure me into the hidden rocks in the choppy waters of the ocean. My children were in the kitchen so I calmly grabbed their attention and directed their sight asking them to identity what was there. They went through the same process I did, helicopter, fireworks—UFO. Once we realized that the strobe displays on the vessel did not look like anything Wright Patterson Air Force Base nearby could have put out—it was too large for a drone—and too lit up to be stealthy we put on our shoes to rush out and meet it. We piled into our car and raced down the road to intercept it as it was now moving slowly. We turned left onto a road about a hundred yards north of our home and saw the vessel floating over a home valued near a million dollars and the strobe lights flashed down upon it. I blinked to make sure my vision was not faulty and when I opened my eyes it was gone. I stopped the car, got out and looked to the north. The entire sky was filled with a blacked out vessel roaming northeast. The moonlight had been showing the outlines of clouds, but this vessel concealed them all. My kids saw it too and we watched as it was there moving toward downtown Trenton one moment covering the entire sky from our home, over the Miller Brewery all the way to Trenton. It appeared to be about 7 or 8 miles wide. Then within the blink of an eye, it too was gone. If my kids hadn’t seen it with me, I would have thought it to be an illusion, but it was actually much more sophisticated as other minds witnessed it simultaneously. Within 30 seconds of the encounter we were left wondering if we actually saw what we saw. I got out of the car and walked up to the house where the vessel had loomed over and they had lost power. Nobody appeared to be home at the time, but their internal lights had flicked back on and a computer in the living room that had been on was in a reboot phase. So something material had been there and it caused the power to drop then come back on.
We had seen our first UFO as a family and it was exciting—it certainly wasn’t our imagination. However, I was skeptical and not so sure that little green men came down from E.T.’s home planet to pick some flowers. Rather, I was thinking of Keel’s ultraterrestrials—or even more cynically something like Lovecraft’s Cthulhu. It was more than a coincidence that I was studying The Mothman Prophecies and reading about those exact occurrences at that particular moment. And out of all the years I had been alive I had never seen a UFO until that moment. I didn’t even have to leave my home to see it, the thing practically landed in my front yard to get my attention. But as soon as we could chase it down for confirmation and get our cameras turned on and toward the object—it was gone. My intentions as it was happening was to find a way to get on the vessel and pull one of the pilots off and capture it so I could conduct a proper investigation. I doubt that was the intention by the perpetrators—but that’s what was going to happen.
I did the same thing as I spent some time hunting for a Mothman one summer in the regions where sightings had occurred. I was determined to capture the creature and put it in a zoo dispelling any folklore about it with scientific fact. But the more I looked, the more obvious it was that I was not going to find it—it would have to find me because those things only appear in our dimensional plane of reality when they want to. Over time I concluded that the UFO at our home, like the Mothman hunting, was a creation by ultraterrestrials to bait me into insanity by feeding my curiosity and thus directing my thoughts on the matter into a direction they desired. The circumstances were just too perfect to be real in the context presented. After that event I had a lot more respect for John Keel—he was certainly on to something. And without question H.P. Lovecraft was as well. The reason his Cthulhu mythos is so terrifying and is still very much alive after a century of development is that deep down inside we know there is some truth to it. The fictional creation of Cthulhu is an attempt to put into mythology a reality that is difficult to otherwise deal with.
To a writer like Lovecraft who had been tormented by ultraterrestrial monsters in his dreams from a child to an adult constantly and lost both parents to insanity his philosophy of cosmicism is understandable. The philosophy of cosmicism states that there is no recognizable divine presence, such as a god, in the universe, and that humans are particularly insignificant in the larger scheme of intergalactic existence, and perhaps are just a small species projecting their own mental idolatries onto the vast cosmos, ever susceptible to being wiped from existence at any moment. This also suggested that the majority of undiscerning humanity are creatures with the same significance as insects and plants, who, in their small, visionless and unimportant nature, do not recognize a much greater struggle between greater forces.
John Keel had come to many of the same conclusions as Lovecraft when he said at the end of his book The Complete Guide to Mysterious Beings, “there are entities on this planet, and around it, that are far beyond all efforts to translate them into understandable cellular creatures. They are not real in the sense that we are animals motivated by sex and emotions. They are part of the energies that were scattered into space billions of years ago. Their intelligence is so vast and so ruthlessly inhuman there is no way for us to comprehend it or communicate with it as we talk to dolphins.” Keel would then propose twice in that same book, “Someone within two hundred miles of your home, no matter where you live on this earth, has had a direct, often terrifying, personal confrontation with a shape-shifting, unbelievable. (ultraterrestrial) Our world has always been occupied by these things. We are just passing through. Belief or disbelief will come onto you from another direction.” What Keel was talking about was essentially Lovecraft’s Cthulhu.
Charles Fort said in his 1931 book Lo! during the time of Lovecraft, “There may be occult things, beings and events, and there may be something of the nature of an occult police force, which operates to divert human suspicions, and to supply explanations that are good enough, for whatever (minds) human beings have—or that, if there be occult mishiefmakers and occult ravagers, they may be of a world also of other beings that are acting to check them, and to explain them not benevolently, but to divert suspicion from themselves because they, too, may be exploiting life upon this earth, but in ways more subtle, and orderly or organized fashion. In “The Call of Cthulhu”, H. P. Lovecraft describes the fictional Cthulhu as “A monster of vaguely anthropoid outline, but with an octopus-like head whose face was a mass of feelers, a scaly, rubbery-looking body, prodigious claws on hind and fore feet, and long, narrow wings behind.” Cthulhu has been described as a mix between a giant human, an octopus, and a dragon, and is depicted as being hundreds of meters tall, with human-looking arms and legs and a pair of rudimentary wings on its back.Cthulhu’s head is depicted as similar to the entirety of a giant octopus, with an unknown number of tentacles surrounding its supposed mouth. Cthulhu is described as being able to change the shape of its body at will, extending and retracting limbs and tentacles as it sees fit.” This description is remarkably like the Mothman and is a creature of imagination brought to life through the reality of some ultraterrestrial shape shifter which is a trick as old as time.
Most people are happy to carry a lucky rabbit’s foot, avoid unlucky associations, or pray to a deity to navigate through the minefield of the ultraterrestrial traps. I have seen the attempt firsthand to divert my own attention obviously when doing an investigation by having those same beings throw me a bone as a UFO flew outside my front window to take me in a direction of inquiry they approved of—a classic case of misdirection. Entire societies have adopted the notion of sacrifice in substitution for productivity to essentially satisfy their unconscious appeasement of these metaphorical Cthulhu’s which loom like gargoyles over charity events and suck off the vanity of opulent socialites and the perfume bathed on to cover the smell of their decaying flesh. From the darkness of other dimensional realities our world is observed and manipulated to suit the needs of the ultraterrestrial, not our own as the strings of many living marionettes are tied to the fingers of an actual Cthulhu.
Good horror touches these known truths—these deep suspicions we all have that just walking out to the mailbox may be the last time our bodies inhabit the earth. We all know someone who has suffered from paranormal experiences yet nobody discusses it because we feel the breath of the Cthulhu on the back of our necks. We try to counsel ourselves that the breath we feel is God and we seek to appease him with more sacrifice at churches, or financial donations and our prayers, but deep down inside we suspect that God is really a Lovecraftian monster ready to yank our lives from our bodies and consume it like a snack on Superbowl Sunday. So we don’t name the evil for fear that it has power over us, we don’t talk about it with others for fear that we might be discovered betraying our overlords. But those beasts have no real power—only the ability to operate from concealment. Cellular attacks can be countered, diseases overcome, and mental breakdowns—alleviated by a strong—well-read mind. If one is playing the Arkham Horror game which is a Lovecraftian journey I said weeks ago that I would take because of the nature of it, the characters of Harvey Walters and Sister Mary who both have a sanity of 7 would be the type of examples I’m refereeing to. I like Harvey and would like to teach everyone to be more like him so that they could have a proper defense against the Cthulhu terrorists of inter-dimensional sacrifice. But man’s fate is not destined to yield to these creatures, rather the other way around—which is the big secret they don’t want you to know about dear reader. The human mind has the power to create these Cthulhu monsters—but it can also destroy them. The reality of the horror of the Cthulhu is that they cannot match the productive enterprise of human imagination and effort. With those efforts the driving force of humanity, the Cthulhu has no defense leaving the ultraterrestrial empire without armament in a war that is as old as time. It would be my position to teach people how to make those Cthulhu into pets instead of Gods and the horror of their imprint into a children’s story.