Friday, October 14, 2011

Drops of Jupiter

And did you miss me while you were looking for yourself out there?

~ Train, Drops of Jupiter

Yes. Yes, I did. Hello, folks. I'm not proud to admit that I hadn't taken a hiatus from writing, or even from writing online; I'd merely gravitated to writing for other audiences. However, this seems more appropriate, even if my inner Diddakoi chafes at the prospect of sitting in one place and putting together a solid body of back-to-back bloggage.

I love that I remembered the word Diddakoi. It refers to a Romani of mixed blood, a gypsy even to gypsies; I encountered it, as I have so much else, through one remove - this dimly-remembered fragment of my childhood was itself a dimly-remembered fragment of my father's when he recounted it to me, himself having been friendly with a group of Diddakoi as a youth. I think my lifelong love both of words and of secrets stem from the snatches of Romany patois he bestowed upon me - Pogadi Chib, more properly, although I didn't learn about that until much later, and for example not until long after I detected the Romani influence on the Polari of Round the Horne's "Julian and Sandy" - recurring characters on a legendary and groundbreaking 1960s radio show who conversed, like the gypsies, like the medieval guilds and priests and peddlars, like the modern-day moneylenders and politicians, in a secretive language, a cant, designed to conceal as much to inform. Julian and Sandy were hilarious; but they were also important to my education.

I'm digressing. This is, of course, what happens when you set out to write with no set plan but a great many words pent-up within you; and I venture to hope that somewhere along the way I touch on something of interest to somebody (even if I don't, I invariably find things that are fascinating to me, and I have a belief that nothing is done well that is not done first and foremost for oneself). This may or may not constitute a much-belated answer to a question Heather posed a while back, one which she must by now have given up hope of ever seeing answered...

But getting back to Jupiter - it features tonight in one of those myriad coincidences that make astronomy such a rewarding pursuit, in this case a close pairing with our own moon and the distant star cluster known as the Pleiades - more poetically, the Seven Sisters; rather less so, Messier object 45 - that is both beautiful and a wonderful excuse to explore some mythological associations. The Pleiades, being a very highly visible star cluster, feature in the mythos of almost all cultures, although I will overlook almost all of these to mention briefly before closing what may be their most recent contribution to memetics.

Billy Meier - his given name is Eduard, which may allow for inferences to be drawn about his choice of nom de guerre - was a Swiss farmer whose adventures included a spell in the French foreign legion and a marriage to a Greek woman named Kalliope (named, of course, for one of the Muses, a group of nine sisters in Greek legend; the muses, as you may already know, were credited with inspiring works of art and inventive fancy). His travels took him around Europe, into Turkey - where he lost an arm - and, by his own somewhat unbelievable account, to the Pleiades.

This famous image, which adorned Spooky Mulder's wall for several seasons of The X-Files, was originally shot by Billy Meier. It is one of many that he took showing a remarkable array of spacecraft, or as he calls them "beamships," by which Nordic aliens traveled the light years between Earth and the Seven Sisters - and by which on at least one occasion he claims to have traveled with them. Among his several Pleiadean (or Plejaren) contacts was a female named Semjase, after whom Meier later named a building where his non-profit ufological organization is headquartered.

Meier is widely regarded as a fraudster. There are numerous discrepancies in his photographs, and "Semjase," like several other obliging aliens who agreed to pose for him, strongly resembles humans of his acquaintance - indeed a dancer, Michelle DellaFave, has alleged that Meier deliberately misrepresented pictures of her in support of his contactee allegations. Perhaps most damning is this image, taken from a scorched negative that Meier clearly attempted to destroy:

This seems to show a model spacecraft on a tabletop, of the sort a hoaxer would need in order to produce lo-tech fraudulent images. Meier weakly claims that he constructed the model, and others like it, having been inspired by his own repeated sightings of UFOs.

Despite the apparent shakiness of his evidence, Meier does have supporters in the ufological field, and the idea of human-like "Pleiadean" aliens is almost as canonical now as that of humanoid "Grays." This support helps him bear the considerable skepticism that greets his claims - beside travels with aliens, he also claims to have gone back in time to meet with "Jmmanuel," whom Meier asserts was the real Jesus Christ, and, most recently, to have foreknowledge of an impending Third World War. This, according to Meier, is expected to commence in November 2011. Before you start hoarding tinned goods and making peace with your God, I should point out that it was also expected to commence in November 2006, 2008, and 2010; perhaps Meier is just another voice craving an audience...

And sometimes you take a swim/Found your writing on my wall...

~ Tori Amos, Hey Jupiter

1 comment:

Anita Saxena said...

Very interesting post. Nice to meet you.