WITH DR.JAMES HARDER
MISHLOVE: Dr. James Harder, professor of hydraulic engineering at the University of California at Berkeley, is one of the world's foremost experts in hypnotic interviews with ostensible UFO contactees. Well over 100 cases investigated.
HARDER: There's quite a range, right at the moment, in UFO investigating circles, to investigate people who have had missing time. Bud Hopkin's book, Missing Time, started this off -- although there have been many books before that on this topic. At a conference I was at just recently, I learned to my dismay that the general picture UFO researchers are developing is that these people are mistreated. They feel that they have somehow been exploited or hurt. The captors really don't think much of them.
MISHLOVE: As if they have been used as guinea pigs for some sort of testing?
HARDER: I think that is what you would call "data bias." The people I really enjoy working with are people who do not have any missing time. They have been dealing with what you would call the real smart aliens. Not the ones who have just been here recently and are kind of bumbling, and who don't invoke a very good amnesia...
MISHLOVE: Graduate students from Alpha Centauri on their first mission or something...
HARDER: That's right, they're still doing their Ph.D. thesis on "Planet Earth." But, the really smart ones, you'll never know that you had anything to do with them. They actually are the smarter ones and they are more benevolent. You'll be glad to know that there's a correlation between being technologically advanced and having a greater benevolent attitude.
MISHLOVE: In other words, you seem to be saying that, based on the over 100 interviews that you have conducted, you have identified at least two distinct groups of aliens that have been in contact with humans.
HARDER: There are a lot more than two groups. But you could put them in two camps. Now Camp One has just recently arrived, and they are doing their investigations from square one, so to speak. Camp Two have been around a long time. They know what humans are like a lot better than we do in many ways. They certainly seem to have better ability to deal with certain kinds of illnesses, and surgical techniques than we have. They are also the ones who induce a feeling of friendliness on the part of the people they pick up. People think of themselves as being picked up by old friends. Now, of course, this may be psychological manipulation. But so what? It is nice to have them do that kind of psychological manipulation. Furthermore, the Camp Two aliens will actually provide medical help and other kinds of help on occasion.
MISHLOVE: Similar maybe to some of the movies that have come out lately with the friendly aliens?
HARDER: Not the lizard aliens. The Cocoon sort of thing. None of them are quite as good looking as that attractive lady. Whether they can take on that shape of humans is somewhat unlikely too.
MISHLOVE: Do you think that these movies are doing any justice to the real phenomena?
HARDER: Stephen Spielburg needs a little help in trying to get realism into his pictures. There's no doubt about that. But certainly the feeling that came out in E.T., I thought was fairly close to some of the feelings my people that I've interviewed at least have had that feeling. That kind of kindness. That kind of helpfulness. Although it is tinged with resignation that we are not doing that well here on earth.
MISHLOVE: Amongst the people whom you have interviewed, there have been a number who have contacted the benevolent category of alien?
HARDER: They're much more difficult to find, because they do not ususally remember anything, except very vaguely. For instance, a woman who was a UFO investigator who was very interested in UFOs, and that's part of the profile of someone who might have had an experience, she said, "You know, I was driving down through this little valley and I had a premonition that something was going to happen. When I got up out of the other side, there was nothing that happened."
So I got out my little pendulum, and had her hold it. It swings with the unconscious movement of the arm.
"Did you stop the car?"
She said, "Oh, no." But the pendulum swung, "yes."
"Did you get out of the car?"
"No." The pendulum swung, "yes."
"Did you see a UFO while you got out of the car?"
The pendulum said yes. "I don't remember anything like that."
Pretty soon it appeared, not only had she gotten out of the car, she had seen a UFO. It was parked off the road and she was walking towards it.
Well I won't go into any further details, but she had a very interesting experience that she had never remembered before.
MISHLOVE: Do you ever consider the possibility that when you are inducing a hypnotic state in a person like this that it might be an experimenter effect -- that the subconscious response is an attempt to please you in some way?
HARDER: I've understood that and there are various ways in which one tries to avoid that bias. The question about whether you are leading the witness or not...
MISHLOVE: That's right.
HARDER: One tries to be careful about that, but I've discovered that if you tell the person, given a hypnotic suggestion at least, that he is going to tell you just exactly what happened that he saw with his own eyes, that he is not going to be able to tell you anything that he has imagined. Well, it works.
Well, you suggest that maybe it happened a certain way.
"Oh no, it did not happen that way. It happened this way."
MISHLOVE: Let us assume then, for the moment, that we are being visited by these aliens, as I presume you assume...
MISHLOVE: What's in it for us? Is there any value to us in having that knowledge?
HARDER: Well, maybe there would be if we were open to it? For instance, imagine the possibility that some naive, well-meaning alien should come down and try to address a joint session of congress. Maybe the National Academy of Sciences. Well, what good would it do? It would be a sensation in all of the tabloids and newspapers for a few weeks, and then it would be back to Monday Night Football. We're not using, in our everyday life, internationally, nationally or in any personal way, the knowledge and the wisdom that is available to us right here on earth. And so, what good would additional information and inspiration be if it came from outside?
MISHLOVE: It seems to me it might depend upon the urgency of the problem, but maybe individuals could benefit -- even if governments or society as a whole could not.
HARDER: I think there are a lot of things we could learn if we were open to it. For instance, one of our chief problems here on earth is an unlimited population potential that is subsisting on a strictly limited food and fiber and firewood base. There's no way, in the long run, that this is going to fall short of some terrible conflict. We have not even thought about, we do not even want to think about population control. I don't mean birth control. I mean population control. Birth control is where the people who are smart enough to be able to count their birth control pills, and who have a motivation, they limit themselves. And the people who cannot count, do not. That...
MISHLOVE: Have your investigations suggested some potential solutions to these types of problems?
HARDER: Well, what you hear. What you can, by some indirect way, discover, is that they have all solved their population problem. That is so logical that you could make it up and it would sound reasonable.
MISHLOVE: It's a problem that would occur in any other planet where there was a biological system.
HARDER: Well, suppose that you assume that they have been around for thousands, maybe millions of years. What is a million years in the time of the history of the earth? A million years is nothing. Surely if they have sustained themselves for a million years, or even for a few tens of thousands, they have had to deal with that problem. If we could learn how they have dealt with it, in various and different ways, it might be very helpful. I doubt that we would listen. We would think it would be too tyranical?
MISHLOVE: Well, let me ask you this: Maybe there is not a lot in it for us humans to benefit or gain from this knowledge that you have obtained, or believe you have obtained, about extraterrestrial visits. What is in it for them? Why are they here? Why are they bothering with us?
HARDER: This is a very interesting planet. This particular time in its history. Maybe there is only once every five hundred million years that a particular planet goes through this phase of civilization we are going through now. They all gather around. It is happening again. Last time it happened was several million years ago.
MISHLOVE: You mean like a volcano ready to go off?
HARDER: Right. And there are a lot of groups that apparently, more than a dozen, that have been regularly visiting.
MISHLOVE: The people whom you have interviewed, the numbers who have had contact with these apparently beneficient aliens, how has it affected their lives?
HARDER: They very often have a religious kind of conversation, although not of a formal sort. They are much interested in helping their fellow man, perhaps even strongly interested in the peace movement. They are good people and they generally have been influenced in good ways. I think, at least. There are just more people of that sort around than I can get around to investigating.
MISHLOVE: Do you think that there is any sense in which we might be receiving some help in getting through the current crises that we are facing?
HARDER: Well, that is hard to say. For one thing, if the human race is going to help itself, it has got to help itself. It is not going to be helped by some externality. If it did, why, it would not really work in the long run. I think the human race probablty, and it is understood elsewhere also, has to come through and solve its own problems. Maybe we will be saved from the holocaust. That is problematical.
MISHLOVE: People sometimes point to me and think that with my own background in parapsychology and the work that I do, that is a curious path for an individual to choose in their life. One might say the same thing about you, Jim, as a person who has had these unique, intimate conversations with over a hundred people who have experienced what they believe to be direct encounters with alien intelligences. How has it affected you?
HARDER: Well, remarkably, I am not as amazed as my friends are. I don't think of myself as a blase person, particularly since, you might say if you believe it, that it is all true -- that this is the cutting edge of research of any topic on earth.
MISHLOVE: One might well argue for that point...
HARDER: If you take it seriously. The average person does not take it seriously. Even the UFO investigators don't take it seriously. They understand it on an intellectual plane. But if it really got down to their gut belief system, it would make a big difference. I just don't think most people, even those people who are intimately involved in it, may not actually give it more than just half the attention it really deserves. If I really believed in it, the way I should perhaps, I would be doing this most of the time instead of ten percent of the time.
MISHLOVE: In other words, you are saying that you have somehow shielded yourself from the full implications of the work that you are doing.
HARDER: I think that most people do. Most people who are working on various weapons systems are doing that.
MISHLOVE: Why don't you imagine with me for a moment that you were not shielding yourself. Here you are on a television program. There's a viewing audience right this very moement. If you could sort of reach very deep inside of yourself and communicate the essence, or the full implications of the message that you have encountered in your life, what would you want to communicate to people?
HARDER: Well, there's a lot of intelligence out there. It is like the Tibetan legend of that place somewhere high in the Himalayas, sometimes called Shambhala, where there are great spirits who are waiting, waiting patiently for the human race to get to the point where they are ready to understand the wisdom that is available to them. And it will be a while before they get even to the point where they are able to start to comprehend what is possible. Now that is very important.
It is there. There is fantastic technology. There is fantastic medicine. There is fantastic sociology and psychology.
How do you get along if you have got a population of 25,000? The average extraterrestrial civilization is not that big. A hundred thousand people is a lot. And yet, they get along with each other without a police system. They don't have any tyranical dictatorships. They don't have democracy either. And, they have a remarkable, many of them, not all, feeling of absolute love for each other. It is almost as if the feeling that they have for each other -- in a non-sexual way -- could only be compared with the rapture of a newly fallen in love human being. But, of course, it is not sexual. That's the kind of society that you would like to see, maybe.
And, there's some people who have got glimpses of it from here. And, they yen for something like that. They join cult groups. They're looking for the family that, maybe in some vague way, they've have known about.
MISHLOVE: You are speaking with such a sense of intimate acquaintance with this reality, it leaves me to ask you if you have had any direct encounters of your own?
HARDER: Oh, no.
MISHLOVE: This is all second hand information that has come to you? I'm struck by the parallel between the whole field of UFO investigation and the emotions that you have described, the states of consciousness that you have talked about, the phenomena that you have talked about, and things that are reported in a parallel sense in the field of psychic phenomenon, the consciousness movement, the spiritual growth field. Where is the connection there?
HARDER: I think there is a really intimate connection. I even think there is a connection with reincarnation. I don't think it is the universal thing that some of its followers think it is. You wouldn't have to have more than one person in ten thousand reporting a reincarnation experience that was real, for people to form the generality that everyone has had some kind of... I don't think that follows logically, although it is possible.
MISHLOVE: Maybe only the rare person reincarnates.
HARDER: Now so far as ideas and memories and that sort of thing, it is hard for me to believe that they could float across empty space without help. If telepathy is real, however, you have a mechanism where you can pull something out of one person's mind and put it into another person's mind. You could think of that as a prelude to The Invasion of the Body Snatchers, if you like, or you could look at it in some other way. Here is a person who has a guardian angel who gives him good advice.
MISHLOVE: The Soviets seem to be looking at this as a way to manipulate people.
HARDER: Perhaps. With hypnotism there are a lot of ways of manipulating people. We have a lot of people in our own country, in the highest office in the land, who are very good at that sort of thing. So you don't have to use extraordinary means to be a good manipulator.
Now I think mind-control has been over-emphasized as having a part in this. See, if you were a truly benevolent alien, and didn't want to invade earth and come down here and put our house in order in spite of our needing advice, you would also hold off from delving into a person and making him do things against his will. That all goes together.
MISHLOVE: Sort of like the prime directive in Star Trek?
HARDER: Yeah. The guy who
ran that Star Trek had a lot of things going for him.
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