An Interview with Mario Pazzaglini. Aliens

For the most part Mario Pazzaglini walks confidently through life.

As a clinical psychologist with a private practice in Newark, Delaware for the past 22 years he is certainly on firm footing. During this time he has also been a clinical instructor at the Jefferson Medical School. And at times he has been on the adjunct faculty of the department of psychology at the University of Delaware. But sometimes, by his own admission, Pazzaglini tip-toes through territory most would consider “unacceptable.” One such area is “alien writing.”

His interest in the subject dates back more than a decade. During this time he has collected samples of writing which people claim to have obtained from alien sources by various means. In 1991 he took a first stab at organizing this often vague, very complex, and always controversial material in a book called “Symbolic Messages – An Introduction to a Study of Alien Writing.”

This privately published volume is both an introduction to the study of writing and other symbolic systems, and a look at how “alien writing” fits into the subject. He also presents these found alien symbols as a model for attempting to understand alien intelligence itself.

Pazzaglini has also treaded cautiously through the subject of street drugs.

Since about 1967 he has done ethnographic studies on neighborhoods and the kinds of drugs they use and has traveled all over the world in the process. He is now putting together a book on the subject. Its glossary contains entries for about a thousand different street drugs. His interest in the subject stems from a fascination with images – the same subject that eventually led him to study “alien writing.”

In 1969 Pazzaglini ran one of the drug clinics at Woodstock.
Patrick Huyghe

How did you come to be interested in “alien writing”?

Pazzaglini: I can trace it to my basic interest in internal representation. Out of that grew my interest in images. Out of that grew my interest in symbols. And out of that grew my interest in different forms of writing, in other words, how ideas were put down in symbols. Alien writing is a subgroup of that last interest.

I’ve been doing work on images since about 1965, but this particular collection started about 10 years ago.

The subject sort of appeared as a question in my head. I was reading some books on UFOs and wondered about the whole issue of physical traces. Work had been done on marks on the ground, UFO nests, and such. A couple of articles and books mentioned that there was writing and symbols and I was curious as to what they would look like.

So I wrote to these people and began asking them for samples and that sort of took off.

Where did most of your samples come from exactly?

Pazzaglini: There were three main sources. One source was directly from the people, the people who feel that they are contactees or those who feel that they are abductees. I’ve also gotten some from various UFO authors; Budd Hopkins looked at what I have and he agrees that some samples look similar to what he has collected.

My third source was a large stroke of luck; I got them from the estates of George Williamson and George Adamski.

These are interesting for me, because these people were part of the contactee movement in the early 50s late 40s, before the field was, in a sense, contaminated.

I also knew from my other work that there were systems in history like this, such as the one produced by Dr. John Dee, the court astrologer to Elizabeth the First, and Edward Kelley. The story goes that a spirit appeared to them, a being of light, who dictated to them an entire system. I have a copy of this manuscript.

It’s a language, an alphabet, and an entire magical system.

This system was then used at the end of the 19th century by McGregor Mathers in formulating the Golden Dawn and the other organizations that grew out of that body of knowledge. That system is known as Enochian and is still in use by various magical and ritual groups. And there are other systems like that.

The writing on the golden plates of the Mormon Church is another example.

There is a whole history of such material.

Sample from a 1987 abductee.

Too small a sample to work with, but belongs to the dot and line category of scripts.

Usually these are alphabetical scripts.

(All examples from Mario Pazzaglini’s Symbolic Messages.)
How far back does this history go?

Pazzaglini: There are traditions in Egypt concerning the god Thoth, who supposedly devised writing and gave the symbols to the people. Other examples includes Oannes, a half-man, half-fish who did the same job for Sumeria as Thoth did for Egypt.

Then there’s Dogon who did it for the Philistines and Quetzalcoatl who did it for the people of Central America. In fact, I went to Mexico because I heard rumors of a cave at Juxlahuaca in the state of Guerrero where there are frescoes dating from a thousand to five hundred BC in age. And reportedly there was a picture of a feathered serpent giving a symbol to an Indian.

So I went there, and after an incredibly hideous day, made it into this cave and there it was. I’m not making many conclusions out of this, but there is a very strong mythological structure throughout the world of people coming from someplace else and handing symbols to people.

The history is in our mythology, too, because Moses got the Ten Commandment written on tablets by the hand of God.

What was the script of the Ten Commandments?

Pazzaglini: No one knows what these symbols looked like but they were clearly thought to be extraterrestrial in origin. The earliest version we have is in ancient Hebrew, which, in historical terms, is a rather recent development.

So it certainly wasn’t in that script.
I see in your book that some samples are copies of symbols that people remembered seeing on a craft. Others came from a piece of paper or a book they were handed by the aliens.

Pazzaglini: Anything you can think of I have an example of. In other words, there are people who copied symbols directly off of objects and this is what they are giving me.

There are people who are given books, like Betty Andreasson.

They have the book for awhile, and sometimes they can copy down what they saw, or they sort of get the gift of being able to receive more script by telepathic means.


Pazzaglini: Yes, though I’ve scrupulously avoided that term all through the book at the expense of an awkwardness in language. It’s such an overused word.

But yes, at one extreme are people who just channel writing.

How many examples of alien script have you collected in the past decade?

Pazzaglini: I probably have nearly a hundred. What’s interesting is that if you talk to people about the verbal content of their channeled writing and ask them to send you a sample and use it for publishing purposes, they are usually pretty happy to go ahead and do that.

But the symbols people hold very close to themselves, for whatever reason. They seem to be more personal. So I’ve had a hard time obtaining permission to use symbols of the people who received them. Then there are the researchers who collect this kind of material but who refuse to show them to others so as not to contaminate the field.

I can understand that because the field is so incredibly confounded already.

Example of a cursive script from a 1992 Contactee.

“I received this in my mind after my first contact” (CE II ).

“It’s both technical and religious… how to manipulate minerals and light.”

Does any sample stand out as particularly bizarre?

Pazzaglini: There’s one I received recently. The writing appeared on lumber and I saw the boards.

I’d really have a hard time believing this if it hadn’t come from such a credible person, a person working at a lumber supply yard, who gets injured because these boards fall on his head. And on these boards are all sorts of symbols. Is there a wood burning set in the sky? I don’t know.

He’s baffled and scared and doesn’t want to talk about it much anymore.
And you don’t find these people psychopathological?

Pazzaglini: No. And if I can brag a little bit, I know. Because I’ve dealt with all sorts of pathology and he was dead normal. That’s one of the questions in my head all the time. It’s not that I would exclude someone who is psychotic. But I certainly want to know that

Or if they are multiple personality, which would be even more to the point, I’d want to know that. He showed no signs of psychopathology, nor did his family make any complaints that would indicate any kind of pathology. Then there’s the fact that he wants to push it away, which is fairly normal, and not talk about.

It just doesn’t fit into his life. In general almost none of the people submitting samples has any significant psychopathology.
How about hoaxing?

Pazzaglini: There is a lot of that. And it’s of two kinds.

There is unconscious hoaxing and conscious hoaxing. I have a few which I’ve been able to trace down myself because I’m lucky that my first interest is in writing itself. I have a large library on writing and symbol systems. So if I receive a sample I can go look for it, and I know the library well enough to usually find it, if the writing has been copied. In a few instances I have found exact copies of rather obscure languages.

They’re not always incredibly obscure. One turned out to be from the Book of Mormon. But few Mormons would even recognize it, as only two to five percent of them have actually seen the script. It’s like the number of people who have actually read the Bible. Another sample turned out to be from the Phaistos Disk.*

[* Found in Crete in 1908, this artifact has been dated as no later than 1700 BC. The 242 signs impressed on both sides of the disc remain undeciphered, as they bear no resemblance to the ancient pictorial script of Crete or to any other hieroglyphic form of writing.

That’s fairly obvious conscious hoaxing.

What are some of the features of genuine “alien writing”?

Pazzaglini: I started at the other end of that question and did a study to see what the features would be of blatantly made-up writing.
Yes, you ran an experiment on that. Tell us about it.

Pazzaglini: I’ve done this a few times actually. I take a group of people and give them simple instructions.

Because in my scientific framework there is one set of rules, but if I broaden it slightly I’d have to control for ESP and such, which in terms of an experimental paradigm gets fairly crazy quite soon. So I’ve kept it simple. What I’ve done in these pilot studies is take a bunch of people, put them in a relaxed state, and asked them to imagine what an alien alphabet might look like.

I ask them to get a picture of that in their heads and, when it forms, to write it down.

“Angelic-music” writing from circa 1944-45, done at that time by a child 4-5 years old.

“They gave it to me; it just came into my head.”

You asked for an alphabet rather than a script?

Pazzaglini: I said alphabet because I wanted to control for whether they produced an alphabet, or a syllabic system, or a pictographic system. But a handful of people didn’t follow the directions and produced systems that actually were not alphabets.

And believe it or not, some of them then refused to give me permission to write them down, because they said that they had actually gotten them from alien beings!

Really? How many examples like that did you get?

Pazzaglini: About 5 out of maybe 50 people, which is a pretty high percentage, however this group may not have represented the average population. And later on other people came to use the process, incorporating it into their own method of adjustment to life and coping. They would turn to whatever source that was and ask it questions; should I do this or should I do that?

A handful of these people have almost totally integrated that process into how they function. That’s pretty weird, but it’s not unknown.

So anyway, the characteristics of the blatantly made up alphabets – whatever that means now because the definition has become a little shaky here  – are that people seem to be limited in how they think about making up symbols. They tend to either regress into scribbles, or into shapes you would expect like triangles, circles, and other sort of archetypal perceptual forms.

They also tend to run out of flexibility and begin repeating basic forms. That’s clearly a characteristic of a made up alphabet.

Then, when I broadened it and told them not to make up an alphabet but to make up an alien symbol system for representing thoughts, most people produced alphabets anyway, many of which resembled the English alphabet.

So now what are the characteristics of those you consider possibly genuine?

Pazzaglini: First you need a large sample to even begin to make that kind of judgment.

One sample I have is about 500 pages and it meets the first characteristic, which is that it should have a limited number of symbols. This one has about 60 symbols, which means it’s most likely a syllabic system. The second characteristic is that the symbols must be repeated throughout the text. And in this sample things repeat in different contexts.

So this begins to look like a language with the characteristics of having a sound representational system, some sort of definition into words or thoughts, whatever they may be, and a grammar, meaning that there are repeating patterns.

Who produced these 500 pages?

Pazzaglini: It comes from a well-known abductee whose name would prefer not to mention. Her material looks very much like those from two other abductees who also have had really complex experiences. The writing looks like Greg shorthand.

But unlike shorthand its structure appears syllabic, like the structure of Sanskrit or Tibetan. In syllabic systems about 60 different symbols are involved and each one represents at least one consonant and one vowel. English, to put this in perspective, is an alphabetic system, which involves less than half as many symbols and where each one equals a single letter.

Now I have other items that look really alien, but I may only have 10 to 12 symbols so they’re hard to judge. I just got one from Poland, for instance, that’s very much like this abductee’s but you have to sharpen up all the curves, you have to sort of geometrize this abductee’s alphabet.

It’s another fairly complex system with about 68 separate symbols.

So it falls within the same framework.
How many types of alien writing have you found?

Pazzaglini: In the book I show three types, a geometric type, a dot-and-line type, and a script-like or cursive form. Now I have another one, which comes from a crashed-saucer witness, and he produced symbols for me that he remembered seeing on the pieces as a child. What’s interesting there is that what he retrieves consciously is better than what he retrieves hypnotically.

I don’t have any other samples that look like his, so in that sense, it’s truly alien. It looks like nothing else.

After eliminating the hoaxes and those without enough material, how many promising samples are you left with?

Pazzaglini: About a handful. Out of those three share some symbols, but then it’s like comparing your handwriting and my handwriting and someone’s printing.

If you were totally unfamiliar with the language and if the language was more complex than ours, it would be pretty hard to tell if its the same thing.

What are those symbols on the cover of Symbolic Messages?

Pazzaglini: Those two symbols come from a 3-to-5 year-old boy. They are his “lead symbols.” In other words, he looks at those symbols to get back into the mode of pulling more of the writing out of him.

What’s interesting is that he produced page after page of this stuff between 1943 and 1945. And luckily his parents saved some of it. Turns out it looks like a known alphabet from late Middle Ages, about 14th to 15th century. It looks exactly like what’s called the Celestial Alphabet, a ritual alphabet very similar to Enochian in function.

Whether that’s a coincidence, God only knows.

How could theories of unconscious processing explain alien writing? How could it be “psychological noise,” in other words?

Pazzaglini: I studied with Roberto Assagioli in Italy and he was a friend of Jung’s. As part of his theoretical framework, he believed that people had subpersonalities that could act fairly autonomously at times.

These personalities or complexes had access to neurological and psychological processes that we don’t have direct access to, except perhaps in some sort of creative state. So in his therapeutic process, a system called psychosynthesis, you actively invoke various pieces of a personality (subpersonalities) and reintegrate them into a person’s functioning.

It’s possible to do this. I’ve done it and I’ve taught people to do it. It’s essentially the same as teaching people to channel. First you get people into an image and you treat pieces of that image as a representation of a certain subpersonality.

Then you name it and form a relationship with it by talking to it, saying “thank you for being here” and such, and eventually you can get it to do tricks. And one of the tricks they will do is to produce alphabets. They’ll do anything that you want them to do.

Now whether those things become operational, or mean anything in the real world, is another whole story.
Did your clinical practice have any influence on your alien writing work?

Pazzaglini: Yes. One of the sources for the interest is that I’ve always worked with really ill people, with extremely psychotic patients. And in my career there have been about a handful of patients where I felt like something was going on that we just don’t understand at all.

Three quick examples.

I had a 16-year-old boy from downstate Delaware who was Amish. He came in writing in a totally alien script. This is 1968 and I didn’t even know the concept then. But because I was curious I searched and searched and finally found the script and it happened to be one of the magical medieval scripts.

Now again, how that gets explained, I have no idea; he had no previous contact with this material.

I had another kid, also 16, an LSD user, and the language in which he spoke was Old High German. Now how he figured his way to Old High German, God only knows, but he did. He didn’t speak it well, but he did give me real words. My third example came from a woman who was found on the street preaching, but no one could understand her because she was speaking a language that was really an amalgam of Latin, Greek, and, I think, Slovanic.

After I got her to write it down and looked at it, I began to make some sense out of it. Now the content of it was a bit like a science fiction blurb, but it was interesting.

She had only gone through the eight grade; she knew none of the languages she used but of course pieces of Latin and Greek are buried in our own language.

These appear to be more suggestive of reincarnation rather than alien writing.

Pazzaglini: I’ve thought about that, but if I added reincarnation to the mix also, I’d be utterly lost. So I’ve tried to keep my official thinking on the subject as simple as possible. But I should add this footnote: I studied with Tibetan lamas for about 20 years because I wanted to understand how other cultures have thought about how the human head works inside.

They have a tradition called Termas. These are what they call Found Teachings. And these can be found in people’s heads, in other words, people will have a dream and write down a teaching in maybe a foreign language, or maybe a ritual form of Tibetan, or maybe a totally alien script.

What I’m saying is that they consider the phenomenon to be separate from the issue of reincarnation, except that some of the “beings” that have gone on and who stay near the Earth as protectors will sometimes act as transmitting entities. That was interesting to me, because I wondered about that question, too.

Here was a culture that believes in reincarnation, but did not use that explanation for those kinds of teachings.
Do you know of others who have collected this kind of material?

Pazzaglini: Obviously Adamski and Williamson did. They collected these writings from all over the place. The oldest example Williamson had was from 1937, from pre-flying saucer days, in other words.

But the story involved a craft that landed in a field. When the farmer went out, they handed him a piece of paper and there were symbols on it. And I have that drawing by the original person. It’s really a nice piece. There are a couple of the older UFO organizations that have files with this kind of material. But it’s rare, actually. And for some reason people haven’t been very interested in it.

I would think it’s a nice piece of evidence and, if nothing else, a fairly startling phenomenon.

You make the argument that the study of alien symbols and scripts might be a useful way of studying alien intelligence.

Pazzaglini: Yes, because the assumptions are – and they are both staggering – either that alien intelligence grows out of similar biology or that it’s totally different and then we probably can’t even think about it because we are fairly circuit bound.

I can make up a lot of good stories about what that intelligence might be like. But there’s one type of writing that’s very interesting and there are actually systems like this on Earth. That’s where the act of writing the symbols themselves actually constellates the neurocircuitry in such a way that the brain becomes receptive to the patterns being drawn and the meanings that they contain at that particular moment.

That’s a real interesting concept and very different than the system of writing we are accustomed to seeing.

Is it like an automatic translation then?

Pazzaglini: Yes, it’s like a recording. That’s very much like a sigil. Certain sigils were meant to act that way. In other words, if you take your finger and trace over the sigil it produces a concomitant psychological and physiological change within the person.

In fact, in biology there are systems like that; they are called entrainment systems.

What’s entrainment?

When you and I stand in front of each other, before we even talk, in the first few seconds as we look at each other, we trade information; we interlock by means of our perceptual systems. It’s possible to make diagrams that do the same thing, that “arrange” us perceptually. I’ve actually played with this, I’ve made such diagrams.

Certain kinds of diagrams actually produce minute physiological and psychological changes inside of people. Sometimes these are called sigils. In Eastern iconography they are called yantras, or mandalas.

That’s what a yantra is. A yantra organizes physiology so that psychological processes of a certain nature can be evoked more easily.

The process of entrainment answers the question of why ducks don’t have sex with cows. And why ducks don’t bump into each other. There are innate wiring systems for perceptual recognition and information transfer. It seems like a fairly important question. People have dealt with the behavioral and social aspects of it, but I’m really interested in the mechanics of how it happens.

The brain spends a lot of money, so to speak, developing those systems. And so in evolution the development of these entrainment systems has been very important. For the auditory system, these were lateral line organs in fish, and those became the inner ear and the auditory canal in primates, so the lateral line-auditory-vestibular system has always been used as an orienting sense.

And of course, mantras, which are the auditory equivalent of the yantra, operate on this system. They organize physiology so certain psychological processes can take place more easily. So I’ve done a lot of thinking about that. Some of the weirder thinking I can’t even put into words yet because it’s hard to conceive of how an alien organism would occupy this kind of space and maneuver in it and not be of the same system as we.

And how would it communicate to us?

One of the things the UFO literature makes obvious is that aliens apparently can speak the language of whatever country that they appear in, English in America, Portuguese in Brazil, Spanish in Mexico. So are they multi-lingual or do we receive in our own language or is it all just in our heads – is outer space really inner space?

That’s a piece of epistemology that you could set three philosophers on for an awful long time.

How about possible translations of the alien writing?

Pazzaglini: The abductee who produced the 500 pages of material was still in contact and the aliens seemed to be of a frame of mind that they would answer questions. So I began to ask them questions about how I might go about translating it. That project is still in progress. I did one thing as an exercise.

After making certain assumptions – for instance, assuming that it’s a syllabic script, that the major symbols are consonants and the minor symbols are vowels – I came out with a tentative kind of transliterations and/or translations. But I’m so far down the assumption line that I’m probably standing on gas. But eventually I got one sentence to actually read out somewhat logically if, in fact, it is a sentence.

It said something like,

“In order to make light solid, show it to the moon.”

I arrived at that on my own.

But when I asked the abductee what this passage was about she said it was about how to make light solid.
So she has an idea what these things refer to.

Pazzaglini: Oh, yes. There is another phenomenon here and that is very often people who have this material will have a gut feeling of what it’s about although they can’t translate it word for word.

You can experience this yourself if you go into a church where people speak in tongues. After you are sitting there for awhile, although you don’t understand a word they are saying, you become sort of entrained to them and some of the meaning begins to bleed through. I’ve done this.

It’s a great experience.
Have you ever talked about your collection of “alien writing” samples to the highly controversial former Harvard University marine biologist Barry Fell who claims that Old World writing can be found throughout the Americas prior to 1492?

Pazzaglini: Yes, I did show it to one of his “followers” and he has no idea what it is. It looks like nothing he’s ever since and he’s seen a lot.

I got a few of these samples in the mid-1970s and though I hadn’t done anything with them at the time, I was every interested in what he was doing because I was interested in languages. But what happens is if you take a pencil and paper and scribble for 10,000 years you are bound to repeat a few things. So you can look at pieces of alien writing and say this looks like this and that looks like that.

He had seen one symbol before. It looks like a crescent with a line through the middle. That appears in alien script after alien script after alien script. It’s a very stable element. Its also common in the Middle Ages as a sign for different kinds of alchemical processes. It looks like a backward “e.”

But as a complete form, the alien writing did not seem familiar to him.
Any final thoughts on the subject? Any way to ever hit paydirt in this work?

Pazzaglini: I try not to keep that framework in my head.

That will spoil it I think. I don’t think I know enough to say more. I can recognize some of the patterns now. I can recognize if a script looks like another script. I can do a few simple tricks. I’m going to continue collecting and I would like to get a computer program so I can put all the symbols into a pattern recognition system.

But otherwise I try to keep away from what one person calls “the lust of results.”

For me, premature belief only destroys perception of the possible. Belief excludes and it’s too early to do this. I am not sure even if this is an entirely external or internal phenomenon – or perhaps a mix.

It could be that we humans, as a group of beings, can elicit from reality what only begins as our needs, thoughts, and wishes.

  • Could there be a psychoid element, as Jung puts it, that is able to materialize what is internal?
  • Or are we really being spoken to through the noise and chatter of this material?
  • Is this something a process, purely within ourselves, or a complex message system from the outside, from an unknown external source?

I’m not sure.


Alien Writing

from UFOMystic Website

Part 1

January 09, 2007
In 1994, in the course of publishing my old zine, “The Excluded Middle,” I read an interview in the first “Anomalist” magazine (above report) with a clinical psychologist who specialized in the study of purported “alien writing,” that is symbols that human recipients claim are products of a non-human source.

This study was carried on without the general knowledge of his colleagues, which he surmised might have affected his private practice and his work with severe psychotics and drug abuse cases.

Before I could find out how to get in touch with him, he sent me a copy of his self-published book “Symbolic Messages – An Introduction to a Study of Alien Writing” with a letter stating,

“I knew you needed to see it.”

Dr. Mario Pazzaglini was a remarkable man, as I was to find out over the next few years until his untimely death in 1999.

I only met him once, at the 1997 Roswell bash. We eschewed the parades and some of the more boring lectures one day and went thrift-store shopping. Most of our talks were over the phone, and he actually provided some much-needed free therapy when I mentioned some things that were going on in my life at the time.

In 1970, he was at the Woodstock music festival, helping to run the “bad trip” tent along with a few Tibetan Buddhist friends when the hippies couldn’t handle their acid.

He had been a regular in the Washington D.C. insider circuit for a few years in the mid-1960s, when he was still in college majoring in physics and mathematics.

“He would have made a great physicist” says his brother Peter.

In the late 1960s, he had changed his mind and entered the graduate program in psychology.

He earned his doctorate from the University of Delaware in 1969, and lived in the small town of Newark, just a couple of miles from U.D. for the rest of his life.

He later became an expert on the problems and cures of drug abuse, serving on several committees and panels for the state of Delaware, and in his psychiatric practice, specialized in treating the severest of the mentally ill.

Like everything else in the late ’60s, the field of psychology was undergoing an upheaval as newly-minted doctors began to explore anything that would make the job of healing faster and more rewarding for the patient.

“Western culture tries to keep everything fragmented and separate, and one of the things all of us were trying to do was introduce connectedness back into the process” recalled Pazzaglini’s longtime friend and psychiatric practice partner Dr. Paul Poplosky.

“I think that’s where some of his other interests came into play.”

Those “other interests” included a cornucopia of esoterra; alchemy, cabbala, tarot, and a heaping dose of numerology.

He also made enough of a splash through well-concealed back channels that our buddies in the ubiquitous black helicopters occasionally shadowed him. He compiled a magickal and symbol system of his own devising which may never be cracked. In short, he may very well have been a modern-day Magus in the guise of a mild-mannered psychologist from Delaware.

This was his perspective when examining the subject of UFOs.

Self-portrait of Pazzaglini with “friends.”

He attended a conference on UFO abduction at M.I.T. in 1992 and presented his research to the leaders in the field, but few of his friends ever knew about it. Most of the leaders in the abduction field basically ignored the subject. Almost no one knew he had notebooks filled with examples of strange symbols.

Hundreds of his paintings and drawings filled his home.

“I believe in his next life, he’ll be an artist” says his brother.

Part 2
January 26, 2007

Someone out there has been writing us letters for a long time.

Strange symbols and printed languages turn up regularly in UFO encounter experiences. Police officer Lonnie Zamora glimpsed a strange crescent-and-arrow type design on the side of an egg-shaped craft at Socorro, New Mexico in 1964.

The account of Jesse MarcelJr. includes pieces of wreckage that his father, Major Jesse Marcel, brought home to Roswell in the early morning hours of July 8, 1947 inscribed with symbolic writing that, if genuine, bears little comparison to earthly communication.

Jesse Marcel, Jr.’s drawing of Roswell wreckage symbols.

“Alien writing” can literally change history.

The Mormon faith is based on translations of strangely engraved golden plates that founder Joseph Smith claimed to have dug up after a divine visitation in 1823. As for the authenticity of “mentally received” messages, there is reason to believe that at least some of the symbols and symbol systems described do not originate from the psyche of the participants.

One of the difficulties in verifying the authenticity of an alien script is that if it resembles an earthly language or known terrestrial symbols, is it necessarily a “true” one?

Perhaps the reason for this is that all input into a human consciousness is filtered through an individual’s learning, experience, culture, and prejudice, and the messages must necessarily be rendered in a form that is understandable to the receiver as well as others. The flipside of this reasoning is the obvious possibility that the receiver might be delusional, hallucinating, or simply hoaxing the account.

While it takes little skill to devise an alphabet with a one-to-one relationship to the experiencer’s native language, a representational pictorial symbol system or one with no discernible grammar or syntax (at least one which seems to possess an internal logic) is more difficult to fake.

Humans receive alien writing in many ways.

Some say that the symbols come from “angels” or “teachers.” By far the most common method of reception is by “channeling,” but the messages can also be the result of a close encounter wherein the participant sees and remembers symbols or languages shown to him while wandering about inside (or inside what is perceived to be) an extraterrestrial craft.

An early example is the case of Herbert Schirmer, who in 1967 claimed to have been taken aboard a ship near Ashland, Nebraska. On the uniforms of the beings he encountered was a symbol that resembled a winged serpent. This theme is obviously not exclusively extraterrestrial, as it was known to the Greeks and Romans, as “dragons” in Chinese and European lore, as well as to the new world cultures of Central and South America.

There is the possibility that Schirmer may have incorporated it (consciously or not) into his account. An interesting sidelight is the fact that the Mayan culture held the belief that Quetzelcoatl, the feathered serpent, had taught and bequeathed to man a system of pictorial writing.

Dr. Mario Pazzaglini made a 16 year study of examples and possible sources of alien writing, and chronicled them in his book, Symbolic Messages.

He collected hundreds of samples and classified them into distinct categories:

  1. Alphabetic: consisting of 20-30 symbols, where each symbol is a consonant or vowel
  2. Syllabic: usually 50-60 symbols, where each symbol represents a consonant/vowel combination
  3. Ideographic: Usually 500-600 symbols, where each symbol represents an idea or word
  4. Symbols: Consisting of single and complex insignia types.

These categories must necessarily derive from a human understanding of representational visual systems, and in fact most claimed alien writing examples fall into these categories.

aUI language taught to John Weilgart (he claimed) by spacemen.

Pazzaglini conducted a limited experiment wherein participants were asked to conceive their own “alien language.”

The results without exception showed that, left to their own devices, people tend to concoct alien alphabets that bear a one-to-one relationship to their native language.

In the realm of the written word, one of the earliest concrete examples of what was purported to be an extra-human communication was channeled by medium Edward Kelley and his boss, Elizabethan Court Astrologer and all-around magician John Dee, from 1582 to 1589. Dee said that an “angel” had dictated to him (through Kelley) a system of symbols to be used in a ceremonial context, and would provide the user with a higher understanding of magical and alchemical concepts than human-based writing.

The system was called “Enochian,” and is still in use by occult practitioners today.

Enochian symbols.

It communicates concepts through the juxtaposition of symbols and their relationships to each other, and does not appear to be derived from any written language. Enochian is claimed among its adherents to affect the reader/user on important subconscious levels as well.

This aspect of alien writing has also been mentioned by UFO contactees and abductees.

Alien writing channeled by Pazzaglini.

Pazzaglini’s own alien writing doesn’t resemble anything else that UFO witnesses have reported, with one exception.

There seems to be a spiritual, if not graphic kinship with the scribblings of Betty Andreasson and her family, and this may explain the fascination he had with this case.

Andreasson, whose abduction experiences were chronicled in the Andreasson Affair books by Raymond Fowler, has produced hundreds of pages of a cursive script that almost defies analysis.

After comparing Andreasson’s drawings to various medieval alchemical symbols, Pazzaglini was able to translate one possible sentence out of hundreds.

It read:

“If you want to make light solid, show it to the moon.”

While this probably makes little practical sense, it does make for a beautiful sort of poetry.

Pazzaglini once told me that he was in contact with leading abduction researchers who promised to send him examples of alien symbols, but he never got them. Perhaps it was because they wanted to keep the symbols secret to verify the authenticity of future claims, or maybe it was simply their egos getting in the way.

Another study of alien writing has yet to be published, which is unfortunate. Pazzaglini had to self-publish his own monograph.

Admittedly, the study of alien writing would make little sense to a publisher with an eye on the bottom line, but as a contribution to an understanding of extra-human experience, it should be welcomed.
Asemic Texts = Alien Writing?
by Greg Bishop

July 21, 2009

from UFOMystic Website


My intention in this post is to examine ideas and engage in a bit of freeform speculation, while not claiming that any specific statement is “true.”
Yesterday, Mac Tonnies linked a site called The New Post Literate from his blog that showcases and examines an art style called “asemic writing.”

A Wiki entry describes the term:

Asemic writing is a wordless open semantic form of writing. The word asemic means “having no specific semantic content”.

Illegible, invented, or primal scripts (cave paintings, doodles, children’s drawings, etc.) are all influences upon asemic writing. But instead of being thought of as mimicry of preliterate expression, asemic writing can be considered as a post-literate style of writing that uses all forms of creativity for inspiration.

Some asemic writing has pictograms or ideograms, which suggest a meaning through their shape. Other forms are shapeless and exist as pure conception.

Where does this put us with regard to supposed “alien” writing, where the percipient almost always assumes that symbols witnessed do have some “specific semantic content?”

Asemic writing (at least as it is postulated by artists working in the genre and other interested parties) may have no overt meaning, but the creators are apparently trying to communicate something, even if it’s just the voice of their subconscious bubbling up though the conscious mind, through their hands, and onto the page, canvas, or computer screen. This is one of the main ideas behind modern and post-modern abstract art.

Artists use color, line, and shapes to communicate or examine how we interpret and react to basic visual inputs.

Dr. Mario Pazzaglini’s rare book “Symbolic Messages – An Introduction to a Study of Alien Writing” may be a fair commentary on both Asemics and aliens. For many years, Pazzaglini worked with people who either claimed physical or mental contact with ufonauts, or had “channneled” messages and scripts from otherwise disembodied sources.

Symbolic Messages is composed of about half commentary written by Pazzaglini and page after page of words in alien, angelic, occult, or apocryphal languages.

Pazzaglini acknowledged that humans are perfectly capable of making up their own inscrutable languages.

One of the best examples given is The Voynich Manuscript, a handwritten book from the 15th or 16th century which has so far eluded any efforts at decryption.

Detail from Voynich manuscript

Looking at the illustrations in Symbolic Messages, it is difficult to determine what is being communicated, if anything, but one example, simply titled “A Cursive Script, 1990″ was described as working on many levels other than just simple information transmission from one mind to another.

The graceful squiggles were described (by the recipient) to Pazzaglini as attempting to communicate a message on several levels.

As he explains:

[this is] an interesting script where it is conjectured that it represents a summary of:

  1. The internal state of the sender
  2. The intended internal state of the receiver
  3. The state of the relationship
  4. The message itself

Therefore, there are no, strictly speaking, repetitions of symbols but a line-symbol of interrelated states and message. This is a good example of a totally foreign (to us) kind of writing system; it would be essentially untranslatable.

He adds at the bottom of the page:

In another example of this type, a symbol was “decoded” by tracing it out and thereby “receiving” a message – ”like playing a record.”

Used in this way, written language may be much like a living (although primitive) intelligence itself, interpreting nuances of emotion and shades of meaning to communicate much more than just a mere message.

Strangely, this is also places it in the same general category as the widely denounced “Caret” (Commercial Applications Research for Extra-terrestrial Technology) symbols, touted by the anonymous source “Isaac” in 2007.

The source claimed that the symbols themselves were part of the design of an alien device, and activated the mechanism on which it was printed, which he and a team of researchers attempted to back-engineer in the 1970s.

CARET symbols

Could mere symbols be part of an interface between a machine and its creator or user?

This idea resembles (and in some ways surpasses) the philosophy behind many occult writing systems, particularly John Dee’s channeled language of “Enochian,” as well as others like magical symbols called sigils and even designs used in voodoo. The symbol itself and the act of writing it is supposed to activate forces to be used by the magician.

This magical sigil, for example was created by an occultist for a specific purpose which was described as,

…a means of exerting my will to achieve a specific end (in this case, the return of stolen property)… The idea is to turn conscious desires into unconscious events, allowing that secret daemon inside our skulls to affect reality on a subtle level and, presumably, satisfy your encoded desire.

Are disembodied “aliens” using symbols to exert their wills on unsuspecting UFO/abduction witnesses?

It is an idea that has been suggested by a few researchers. Witnesses have also claimed that “aliens” interfaced with their craft and other devices on a deep mental level.

While in a hypnogogic state, I once imagined endless columns of numbers that were somehow arranging to plot against me! Maybe one of the asemic artists will wake up some morning with a hulking “something” in their bedroom awaiting instructions!

More likely though, we are dealing with a phenomenon at the edge of our understanding which may be one more key to a better examination of supposed non-human intelligence, and one way that they may be sending us garbled messages, or perhaps the “messages” are just etheric junk to which we assign our own meanings without realizing it.


William Burroughs said that,

“We may be tuning into a universal message with faulty radios.”

At the very least, a better comprehension of this phenomenon may also bring us a step closer to an understanding of how our minds interpret symbolic input.
P.S.: I am still trying to get permission to reprint “Symbolic Messages,” as well as some of Pazzaglini’s examples of his own channeled writings as well as those of others

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