The original Ancient Alien?
If one is looking for an overview of how some ancient civilizations, cults (and occult), religion and other supernatural concepts intersect with the UFO phenomena, “Sekret Machines: Gods, Man and War” (Tom DeLonge, Peter Levenda, Jacques Vallee, 2017) provides the inquiring mind with an effective overview. But it’s much of the same that many of us have read before albeit updated and tied together with its own particular slant.
I suppose this information might be necessary for the uninitiated in this often odd field of interest. But then how many of those reading this would still be at Level 1? As I too found myself in the library during elementary school, digging out UFO and occult books to read, just like Mr. DeLonge. (actually, I cherished the occult ones since Anton LaVey always had half-naked women in his section—it was either that or National Geographic)
As such, this was an unnecessary exercise. At least for me. In fact, reading Vallee (who pens the introduction to Gods) and watching In Search Of (along with Serling’s other UFO doc) would be a thoroughly more entertaining and enlightening experience than Gods, Man & War. Perhaps Mr. DeLonge’s non-fiction “Sekret Machines” book is more compelling, as seems evident from the reviews.
I do have to admire (and am grateful to) Mr. DeLonge’s passion to get a new generation interested in this subject and am very appreciative of his efforts. Still, it’s a lot of chatter AROUND a subject instead of just laying out his perspective in clear English. After all, if you have a theory or theories or specific knowledge, let’s hear what they are. Otherwise, we’re just going back to review what many of us already (think we) know.
I also disliked the focus placed on the occult / supernatural in the book which seems very influenced by the co-author, Mr. Peter Levenda (a star in his own right).
If any of this “phenomena” is real, it must connect to the scientific method and the natural world—even if that happens to include (possible) other dimensions, ETIs, UltraTerrestrials, UFOs, fiery chariots, etc. Rod Serling or Vallee’s handling of much of the same material (or Dan Simmons for that matter) balances enough information, theory with the real world that I remained connected and enthralled.
There is just too much background and speculation here combined with Mr. DeLonge’s attempt to connect-the-dots in Gods, Man and War. It’s a tedious and often boring exercise that would have been much more effective as a series for television or youtube seminar.
Still, DeLonge and Levenda have done their research and the book is well written. And with a cool cover reminding you of Watchmen, I can’t completely slam it.
And for the uninitiated, it may prove to be very helpful so do as I did — read and make up your own mind.
One last point in reference to the core thesis of the book — I do NOT see human civilization as a footnote or otherwise identifiable as a “Cargo Cult”. That specific idea espoused by DeLonge / Levenda is insulting, patronizing and condescending to the reader. Any reader. Any man, in fact. And it’s the same old collectivist / determinist viewpoint that permeates this field. It’s a tendency of in-the-know folks to attribute our entire range of advancements and achievements to UFO or Ancient Alien “phenomena”. It’s annoying and turns off many from the skeptical (yet active-minded) perspective. Hope that Mr. DeLonge doesn’t go down that road again. After all, it’s man’s mind — his reason — that moves our world forward (aliens or not). That same mind that Mr. DeLonge used to write up this book and develop his successful music career.
Co-Author Peter Levenda’s reply:
I appreciate your review and understand your objections. However, we do not say that “our entire range of advancements and achievements” are attributable to UFO or Ancient Alien “phenomena.” There is no need to be insulted! What we say is that a moment or moments of contact at some point in distant history have inspired the human mind to move forward in a particular direction. Why would this be insulting? Religions attribute civilization to the awareness of a God or Gods (hence the title of volume 1). Science points to the inspired work of individual geniuses who move the scientific field along. By implying that our civilization — religion and science both — represent an attempt to reach the stars we are using the Cargo Cult idea as emblematic of this endeavor.
I believe you are being too literal in judging our attempt as merely another “ancient aliens” exercise. And the occult and supernatural aspects are emphasized in Book 1 since that is the theme of the book. Books 2 and 3 will emphasize different areas of human experience. The phenomenon — we agree on this — is all about “science and the natural world, even if that includes other dimensions …” etc. What we argue for is a re-evaluation of what we mean by these categories, one that can include and incorporate this Phenomenon. It is not an easy task because we are accustomed to a certain way of thinking about the world, a way that is being challenged — by scientists –every day. For us, the Phenomenon is a touchstone for a new way of looking at the whole world and the entirety of human experience.