Jim Semivan

Transcript – Former CIA Spy: The Government Is Afraid Because They Don’t Know Anything

29 May , 2024  

“I was completely awake and saw what I saw. And they were really odd looking, they weren’t Grays. And they were a completely different type. When I described them to Colm Kelleher, at one point (laughs), he named them for me.” ~Jim Semivan


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Stuart Davis (SD): This is Aliens and Artists, Part One of our conversation with Jim Semivan. I’m Stuart Davis. Jim worked for 25 years at the Central Intelligence Agencies’ Directorate of Operations, both overseas and domestically. He was a member of the CIA’s Senior Intelligence Service. He also co-founded To the Stars Academy. He was a hippie, believe it or not, in his early days, and he is also an experiencer of contact with non-human entities, which we discuss at length among myriad other topics. It is a fascinating dialogue, which begins with his major contact event in the early 90s.

Jim Semivan (JS): I’m still reluctant, as I stated on Coast to Coast. I’ll give you the like, basic outline. I don’t want to get into some of the particulars just yet. I have reasons for that and they’re mostly because I’m still working on this with some people, trying to determine exactly what happened, and if there was things going on behind it that I wasn’t aware of, say, ten years ago, that I might be aware of today. But I’d be more than happy to address it. It occurred in either 1991 or 1992, I’m not 100% sure. You know, back in those days, the abduction phenomenon really started to begin, I think around the 70s. At least the modern cases. And then they probably went up until the late 90s. And they still happen today, certainly, but I think between the 70s and the 90s, most often, we see more of them happening in the late 80s to mid-90s, to late 90s. And that seemed to be like some kind of a crazy rush of these things happening.

But no, I woke up one morning and saw some entities and I’ll say that it clearly wasn’t, I wasn’t in any kind of a liminal state, I wasn’t…I mean, I know very well what lucid dreaming is and what vivid dreams are. And I know all about riding the mare and things along those lines. This was nothing like it at all. I was not in a hypnagogic state. It was…I was completely awake and saw what I saw. And they were really odd looking, they weren’t Grays. And they were a completely different type. When I described them to Colm Kelleher, at one point (laughs), he named them for me. He called them the Bibendi, which is after Bibendum, you know, the Michelin man, because they had a similar kind of look.


Various versions of Bibendum over the years


JS: They weren’t fat or anything like that, but they had a type of armor on them, black-body armor. But it left some physical marks on both me and my wife, and my wife more so than me. Although I had something significant and then, consequently, some other physical…I don’t want to say ailments, but physical residue over the years. And interestingly, you know, I wasn’t afraid, and neither was my wife. My wife doesn’t remember any of this, by the way, it was all…came to me, and there was a few distinct parts to it. There was an entity present towards the end that seemed to be with us, which was very odd. And, you know, after speaking with you at our little conference we had out West, it could very well have been a Mantid, I don’t know. Or a Tall Gray, one of the two. I could never see it, it was just behind me. I sort of got the feeling it was behind me.

But nevertheless, I’m one of those guys that kept files, medical files, and ever since I got married, I had my wife’s medical file and my medical file, and I kept them all. And after this had happened, we had what Robert Hastings of , “UFOs and Nukes” fame, liked to call the, “Meh” response. I was like, “Meh. You know, what are you gonna do with this? I don’t know what the hell to do with this.” And we just sort of let it go. And we had friends of ours come over, some in the medical field. And my wife had an implant, what looked look like an implant…it certainly came out of her face and I’ll let it go at that. And we had them look at it and he couldn’t…nobody could figure out what it was.

But it wasn’t until later on when I ran into John Alexander at a conference, an energy conference up in New York, an energy-healing conference up in New York, I recognized him and we got to chatting. And then John came down and visited us at our house and then he interviewed us and took a took a film of my wife and myself. That lead to Hal Puthoff and Jacques Vallée and then a whole host of things happening after that. People coming to our house and we became part of a program [that was] studying this [audio cut out so I’m guessing he said “along with”] other intelligence and military officials and stuff. So, it was very real.

(Maybe that was AAWSAP?)

JS: I look at it as real. I don’t call it an abduction experience, only because I don’t know exactly what happened. A classic experience? It was close to it. It had a lot of the certain themes of a classic abduction experience but it wasn’t as…I wouldn’t say frightening, as it was intimidating to a certain extent. It’s funny, you asked me a question, you sent me a question in an email and said, “Has that changed you in any way?” Initially, I would have said, “No,” but then when I thought about it, I said, “Yeah, it is.” I was very angry. Not when it first happened but when I learned about it, and what it actually could have been, then I became very angry, I looked at it as a human rights violation. And then I sort of, I don’t know, I was like, tempered, you know? It just didn’t hit me. It didn’t make any major changes in me, I mean, like most abduction experiences do. People, after a few years, change the way they view life and their outlook. I’ve always had the same outlet, always been reasonably spiritual. And so, it didn’t give me any knowledge except the knowledge of this particular incident and what it may mean. So maybe there is something, I guess, I don’t know. It certainly got me talking about it later on. Recently, actually.

SD: Yeah. Which I’m gonna ask about, but for the moment, I feel like it’s emotionally powerful, this anger piece you’ve had. When we were hanging out in California, we talked a good bit about agency, autonomy, the human being as a sovereign soul. And I’m wondering how your anger factors in your experience? How has that part of it aged for you? Decades have transpired since the event. Has that emotional element around sovereignty modulated over time?

JS: You know, it’s funny. I…that’s an excellent question, it really is. And I know a lot of people who went through an abduction experience, all of them, certainly. But a lot of them, it really has transformed their lives. My good friend, my dear friend, Chris Bledsoe, it’s made a huge, huge difference in his life. He has become this…well he always was, I think, a deeply religious man. I think now he’s a very deeply spiritual man. He has healing qualities, he…just absolutely lovely. And he credits the experience he had, which, if you ever heard it in great detail, it was harrowing, to say the least. In my particular case, I still retain, and maybe…and I’m not sure whether this is good or bad, but I still retain a degree of anger about it. Anger in the sense that I wasn’t asked, I didn’t sign up for this. Now, I know some people say, “Well, in another lifetime, you may have done that.” Well, that may be the case, I don’t know. But as far as I know, I mean, the contract has changed. I mean, I didn’t want this to happen. I certainly didn’t want it to happen to my wife. And it did take a toll on her.

And so, I sort of look at this and I quite change that. And this whole idea of sovereignty, it’s a very big issue. And it’s an issue, not only on a person-to-person, individual sense, where somebody violated what you consider to be your autonomy and your sovereignty over your body, over the way you live your life. And then if you can even move that up a little bit and talk about sovereignty in the government itself, or the world, how the world views itself, and that we’re not really in charge of our reality and who we are, and that decisions we make aren’t really made by us. They may be possibly made by somebody else, or at least guided by somebody else. That is, it’s pretty, pretty scary, when you think about it, that we’re really not in control. Now, if you can get a, you know, a Zen mind about this and say, “Well, maybe that’s our problem (laughs). We think we’re in control, we shouldn’t be, and that we should just surrender, you know, in the Eastern sense, surrender to this or surrender to whatever this is. But then we have to assume that it’s actually good. I’m not ready to make that assumption yet.


SD: It’s powerful and momentous that you’ve been able to come forward and share this, here and in the watershed moment on Coast to Coast with George Knapp. I think a lot of people are wondering some natural questions: Why did you decide to go public? What were the determining factors in you being able to do so? There’s a widespread notion, publicly, that it’s not possible for a person such as yourself to go public unless it’s sanctioned by authorities, by the agency. So how were you able to come forward and are our assumptions about the agency you worked for, even true? Is it a false narrative we’ve developed about former operatives and agents being able to speak freely? That’s a bundle of questions, I understand.

JS: Yeah, I think they’re really, really wonderful questions. First of all, I’ll begin by saying, generally, I tend to be a quiet guy. I’m a lot of fun when I’m around people but generally speaking, I’m a quiet guy. And when the story broke on UAPs, and we put that out, I mean, Chris Mellon and Lue Elizondo, they just did a fantastic job, and they’re doing even more fantastic job now, getting this out there. And Tom DeLonge was doing that, too. And I personally felt that there was no need for another voice in this. I mean, they were saying, essentially, what needed to be said, and to the right people. I did my own speaking to people in the intelligence community, at a relatively high level on this topic, letting them know what was gonna be happening and what we were gonna do and that we won’t discuss classified information. They were fine with that. They were perfectly fine with that, you know? Let us know if, you know, we can help in any way and you know, fine. Now, they can’t, to a certain extent.

But it wasn’t until our California trip, and we were there with a group of people, small group of people, fascinating people. And I include you in that. I was really sort of bowled over by the intelligence there, I mean it was just amazing. And then it was through conversations I had. actually, with [Whitley] Strieber, of all people, and I say that only because I don’t know Whitley very well. But he just made so much sense. And he was chatting about this topic (audio cuts out so I’m going to assume he said, “and encouraged me”) to discuss it and to get it out there. And something just struck a chord with me. And then there were a lot of things you said that, things that Jeff said – this was Jeff Kripal who we’re referring to – and that it really sort of hit home with me and I said, “You know, maybe I shouldn’t worry about this so much, and just get an outline out there and talk about it.” I never saw myself as being important in any way and whether this would actually make a difference one way or the other. Some people think that’s the case. But nevertheless, eventually, I will come out with this, but I can’t come out with it right now. I’m still looking into some things with some people in the government and trying to make sense of this.

But as far as the CIA goes, and other three-letter agencies in the government. they didn’t know a thing about this while I worked there. A lot of people…we had an informal group of people in CIA and in DoD that did talk about this. I would share my story with some of them. But the agency in general, you know, there was no interest in this whatsoever. I had no interest in telling anybody. I told a few senior people, and there are (audio cut out so I’m guessing that he said, “experiencers” or “open-minded people”) in the agency.  trust me. One of the people you should have on your show, if you haven’t already, I think, is John Ramirez,

SD: (laughs) I’m talking to him tomorrow.

JS: He is wonderful. You will like this man. He is one of the brightest guys I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. He introduced himself to me a few months ago and he’s got a lot to say, I think a lot more than I do about this, particularly about the abduction stuff. His experience and my experiences were different in the agency. He was an analyst, a very senior analyst, and I was just sort of  (audio cut out) operations guy and we lived in different worlds. He lived in the world where they would, you know, attend briefings and you naturally run into things. My world was basically focused on spies and tradecraft and spy craft and things along those lines, where I didn’t have that kind of an opportunity to mingle with some of the scientists and analysts that may or may not have been involved in this. And as I pointed out on Coast to Coast, I mean, there is no UFO (audio cut out – “office”? “department”?) at CIA. They’re still a weird desk, to a certain extent, but I can’t get into what they go into. All I can say is that some of the topic areas are absolutely fascinating, but they’re not necessarily involved with the phenomenon. Maybe in a peripheral way, but not really, that I know of. That doesn’t say there isn’t some place that isn’t doing it. I really don’t know. CIA operates on the need-to-know principle.

Now, as far as CIA is concerned, once you leave CIA, the only thing you have that you owe them, and rightfully so. is you sign an agreement when you join [that] you’ll never discuss classified information or share that information with the public, without their permission first. And you can’t talk to journalists and talk about CIA in any way without getting it cleared. I didn’t want to go to CIA and say, “Hey, look, I’m into UFOs and I want to talk about this, that and the other thing.” But I did go back to them, you know, numerous times and said, “Look, I’m going to be on this particular show, and I am going to talk about this.” And they would come back and say, “Fine,” and John [Ramirez] has done this himself. But the agency is fine about this and the reason why is that they don’t know where to go to ask. I mean, there isn’t any place anybody knows about. I was sufficiently high enough in the agency where I would have had a decent idea if there was a place. But again, the agency is a very closed place. So if you don’t have a need-to-know about something…if somebody wants to talk to you about Chinese underwater warfare, and you don’t have an interest or your role, or your job doesn’t have anything to do with Chinese underwater warfare, well you’re not going to know anything about Chinese underwater warfare unless what you read in the press. So that’s how that’s all set up.

But no, I mean, the agency is actually, it’s a really good place to work. It’s very open, the environment’s open, everybody’s on a first name basis, including from the director on down. It’s collegial. People know not to cross lines, so if I’m having lunch with somebody from Russia house, you know, I don’t ask them, “What’s going on in Russia house?” You just don’t do that. And they wouldn’t ask me the same thing, you know, anything that I was doing, you know, some high tech operations and stuff. They would never ask me what I was up to, operationally. And so that was sort of a given. And then the other given was you don’t discuss politics, and that was sort of a no, no. And I think in my whole career, I never heard anybody discuss politics in CIA, at any level. Now, friends having lunch might talk about politics, but generally, you stayed away from that topic. You worked for the President, the National Security Council, and that was it. Democrat, Republican didn’t make a damn bit of difference, you know, you just did your job, so.

SD: It’s a nice link to this facet in the CIA, or agencies in general, which is around what experiencers can do to seek help if they’re employed in one of these highly sensitive roles. If you happen to be a CIA operative, and you’re also an experiencer, what are the resources for people who find themselves in that unique coupling – yourself with an interesting combination of anomalous experiences, and a position of great sensitivity – what can be done for someone who finds themselves in that scenario?

JS: Well, yeah, that’s a very good question. Let me answer it this way. In CIA, before you join, you go through an incredible amount of testing, normal testing of math, science, English…standardized tests. The equivalent, like, sort of grad school kind of thing. And then you have a lot of psychological testing so they can see how you would fit. And each area in the…if you’re in the operational side like I was, you sort of have to fit a certain psychological mold in there. And that’s mainly because, if they’re going to spend a lot of money training you, they don’t want to have somebody in there, and then a year or two quit because they couldn’t keep up, either intellectually or physically with the demands of the job. So they’ve honed this pretty well.

So when you get in the CIA, you’re pretty much a solid individual, you know, reasonable, you know, you don’t have any psychopathologies or anything. I mean, you could be depressed or something like that, that’s perfectly fine. They just treat that, they’ll help you treat that. They also have a great, employee assistance program that, if you develop a drug habit or you develop an alcohol habit, there’s absolutely no fear for your career. You go in and you get it fixed, and then they will take care of it. Now, third time’s a charm, like with anything. If they give you three chances and then the third time around, if you can’t pull it together then they’ll ask you to leave. But they’ll always help you find a nice job afterwards or something going on, they don’t want you to leave unhappy. So they’re very, very open minded about all this kind of stuff.

Now, as far as if I had an abduction experience, and if it really bothered me, they wouldn’t have anything to do with that unless it affected my job. So if I came to work every day, and I was doing my job, and it was perfectly fine, they wouldn’t have a need to know. But if I felt like I had to unburden myself to them, I don’t think I’d have any problem at all going and telling them, “Look, I had this really strange thing happen to me, this is what happened.” Because they’re coming from the basis that look, “Has Jim experienced a psychotic break of any kind?” Well they could tell right away whether I have. You would go to a psychiatrist or therapist, and they would say, “Okay, nothing really happened here. He just had this very, very strange experience.”

So, I think like most psychiatrists, therapists, they would probably figure out who you should talk to about this. What they usually do is  they go find the person who specializes in this particular type of psychotherapy to see if you’re actually okay. And so, they’re pretty open about it. Now, you could ask John (Ramirez) about this, I think it would be the great question for John, too, because John is an experiencer. And I’m not sure whether he (shared his story with) the agency or not. That’d be a good question for John. He’s very open about this. But no, I wouldn’t have any any problem at all, if it had bothered me that much. I would have gone gone off to somebody on my own. But if I felt a need to unburden myself to the agency for some reason, I wouldn’t feel that would be any kind of hurt to my career. As a matter of fact, going in there doesn’t hurt your career at all. I mean, if go into a place and say, “Look, I have a psychological issue,” or, “I’ve developed neuroses and stuff,” they understand, it’s a very stressful job. It doesn’t affect your promotions. As a matter fact, it’s very confidential, no one knows about it, unless you’re a harm to somebody, so.

SD: That’s so encouraging because there’s a prevailing sense that once inside the military or an agency, that the secrecy is so rampant, there’s not a lot of latitude to seek help, if such situations arise. But what you’re describing is an open, receptive culture with viable paths for folks to seek a remedy to these experiences, even if they’re in the strange territory. Is that fair?

JS: Absolutely. It’s like any other organization. I mean, you go out of your way to treat people fairly. Turnover in CIA is very, very small. I mean, once you join, generally people generally tend to stay. It’s a very, very difficult place to work in a sense that, you know, there’s a lot of very bright people and everybody wants to get promoted, everybody wants to move up the chain. But you’re working with…everybody’s in that 94 to 95 percentile. You know what I mean? So everybody’s on that same level. And then there’s some who are just golden girls and golden boys (inaudible) pretty quickly, and those are rare, but most of the people who work there are pretty bright. And I found them to be very understanding and compassionate. I’ve had instances where people that work for me had issues, you know, mental health challenges that were brought on by all kinds of things. You know, stress, trauma…there’s a lot of trauma, you know, alcohol. And you treat it with as much compassion as you possibly can and then you go from there. And a lot of times, I think most times it works out.

SD: Another area people project a lot onto is the degree to which there is an orchestration, or lack of it, among agencies. Can you paint us a picture of what your experience was around this issue of how connectivity operates, or does not, among the various agencies?

JS: That’s another very good question. I would say, pre-911, it wasn’t very good. It could be better now, too, but it wasn’t very good. And the reason being that, for instance, you had the FBI that was started like in 1906, or something, and then all of a sudden CIA comes around in 1947. CIA has a charter to do some things in the U.S., and then the FBI doesn’t like that. And then everybody’s vying for…what they do. I mean, the FBI does criminal law enforcement, CIA doesn’t do that. We basically look at overseas. I mean, CIA does have a domestic element but it’s mostly working with the FBI. But there was, before 9/11, there was…I wouldn’t say it’s outright hostility, but it was just sort of a competitive environment (unintelligible) within the military. And I think, sometimes your missions overlap and I think there would be inner-service rivalries, just like there are inner-service rivalries within DoD.

And they still continue to this day, but they’re not…they’re detrimental to a certain extent but I don’t think they’re anywhere near as bad as it used to be back in the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s. But 9/11 taught everybody a lesson and it took a while, even after 9/11, for people to really learn how to smooth over some of the problems. And a new crop of people came in to CIA and the FBI and this helped considerably. They work together about as smoothly as I’ve ever seen. Now we have a Director of National Intelligence and they have the National Counterterrorism Center there, the National Counterintelligence Center, whatever it’s called. And then, you know, there’s counter-proliferation thing going on.

So they have these kinds of things where they bring in people from all different areas, and they all talk, and I think it’s worked out very, very well in that regard. And so, no, I think there’s a lot more camaraderie now, there’s a lot more collegiality now, That said, there are still some rivalries. I mean, when you’re dealing with information like sources and methods, you know, you have a spy, or you have a satellite or something that’s picking up information, you have to be very, very careful who you share that with. So, sometimes you only share it with certain people that have top-secret clearances as opposed to secret clearances. So sometimes there’s a little animosity there…why can’t everybody know all that? But, again, it goes back to need-to-know.

Although secrecy in general has gotten completely out of hand and I think there was an article in the Washington Post just a couple of weeks ago talking about this again. And it was brought about by the Internet. Well, you know, the idea that, when you are writing things up on your machine, you have a classified machine in front of you and most people will just hit secret and off it goes. And it could be just “Hey, you wanna meet me for lunch?” (laughs) You know what I mean? That’s not secret. And then it goes into this giant repository, and we’re just getting terabytes of information, constantly, that’s classified. A lot of it doesn’t need to be.

And the agency has done, I thought, a pretty good job, and a lot of other agencies have done a pretty good job trying to declassify this stuff, but it’s overwhelming. And that stems from not having enough money to update systems and to get it done quickly. And I don’t know if Congress is gonna allocate money to that. But I have a friend of mine who runs the program for that, oversees all classification in the government and he’s told me that story numerous times. You know, it’s just…they’re overwhelmed by the amount of classified data. And it’s not…all of it is not classified and a lot of it could be easily declassified. It’s just getting to it, and that’s hard to do because it just takes a lot of money and the software and the hardware that we currently have is woefully outdated to do that.

SD: Interesting part of the puzzle, simple pieces of infrastructure, the inertia of antiquated systems that have been in place for decades that haven’t received funding for an update. I wonder how much of what we imagined to be some conspiracy that the agencies have this enchanted chamber where all the secrets are held. I wonder if you’d contrast that with a day-to-day reality of gargantuan, outdated infrastructure, lack of resources and antiquated systems? What can be said about our confusing or conflating these things?

JS: No, but that’s…again, another wonderful point to bring up. The government is (indecipherable) …and just like our general infrastructure in the States, you know, bridges collapse and roads need to be fixed. Well, you have this infrastructure within the government, too, that constantly needs to be looked at and updated. Technology is moving so quickly that it’s overwhelming to a lot of organizations, particularly organizations that tend to be bureaucratic. And I don’t mean that in a negative way, although it does have some negative connotations to it. It’s just that you develop systems over a period of time that you know work and you do that through trial and error. And then you have the system situated. Then all of a sudden, the system’s going on for ten or fifteen years and then it looks like the system really needs to be updated, and you sort of know it needs to be updated. But then you figure, “Well, it’s gonna cost, you know, oh, gosh, you know, $30 million, or $50 million to update this system.” And then you go to the powers that be and say, “Could we ask Congress for that?” And Congress says, “No, the budget’s gonna be cut this year, so you’re not going to get that amount of money.”

So you, what they call, rack ’em and stack ’em. You look at it [and think,] what are the most important things that we need to do, and it’s always going to be mission, right? It’s always going to be protection of the United States. Infrastructure takes a back seat, administrative areas take a back seat. And that’s what happens in our current infrastructure problem with the United States and all these other things take back seats. So, what happens is, you get this build up, and you need to go in there every thirty years and clean the place up and get rid of the outdated modalities and put in something new and fresh. It’s very, very easy to say…very, very hard to do in the government. Particularly in governments that have these entrenched bureaucracies.

Yeah, I mean, I just don’t see any conspiracy at all. I have not…what I’ve seen was, you know, areas and I just, this is what, you know, causes the big problem. Back in the 1940s, when the military and CIA decided, look, we can’t have our names associated with UAP/UFO phenomenon and what have you, because it’ll panic people and they were afraid of Soviet disinformation, which the Soviets are very good at, and they still are, the Russians are very good at this. And they were also afraid of our telecommunication lines being jammed. Those were very, very real concerns. So they developed this idea of like, “Well, we’ll just basically call everybody a weirdo who basically talks about this. And we’ll ask the media and maybe Hollywood to sort of join in and sort of poo poo this kind of stuff, because this is really, maybe problematic for us. And don’t forget, we were…you’re too young for this, but I remember very, very clearly, duck and cover drills back in the 50s that went well into the 60s, and this fear of nuclear annihilation, and it was something you lived with.

JS: And so, it was very real, and, you know, communists infiltrating the government, things along those lines. Whether that was true or not, to the extent people say they were, I don’t believe it now but hindsight’s always 20/20. But when you look at that, it just became entrenched. I don’t think it was an official government policy that we downplay UFOs, but it just sort of picked up some steam of its own and it became, you know, what David Hufford, this folklorist, calls a tradition of disbelief. You just pick up these negative thoughts about something, and they may not be true, but it keeps carrying on generation after generation.

And then, up until recently, I remember when we had the videos came out, in the New York Times, and what have you, there were still people, you know, little green men, tinfoil hat kind of stuff. You don’t see very much of that anymore in the last couple of years. You just don’t. I mean, it’s accepted now. The reality is accepted by a lot of people that these things are real. These UAPs are real, and the phenomenon is real. And I think you’d really have to be something of a Luddite not to believe that, or you just don’t know the literature at all.

So, conspiracy? I don’t know. There might be an angle here, a conspiratorial angle, you know, around the military industrial complex after World War Two. We never had a military industrial complex, we didn’t need one. And it wasn’t until World War Two, we found out how far the Germans had gone ahead of us in some areas, I think that worried everybody. We knew we were then gonna be in a hot, cold war with the Soviet Union, everybody was developing jet engines. They were working on all kinds of different technologies. And the only way you can do that is these organizations like, you know, private organizations, defense contractors, basically sort of set that up. They worked, specifically, with the military and then that’s how the military industrial complex came about.

And that’s what Eisenhower warned about. He said, “Look, this is a whole new situation, this blending of the military and the private sector that we have never seen before in our country. And it’s absorbing a lot of money, alright?” Because the defense industry just started growing and growing and growing, where it never really did before. It was very small part of our GDP. Now it’s a nice chunk of our GDP. Well how do you get out of that? Well, technology is moving so quickly forward, it’s like a self-licking ice cream cone. You throw money into something, and then, you know, new stuff comes out of it, and then more money gets thrown in and then you have this thing going.

So you have the UAP issue, which nobody wanted because it was a hot potato. Nobody had any answers to it, they knew was it real. What the hell do you do with it? I mean, you can throw millions and millions of dollars at it, and still come up with nothing. But yet, you gotta answer to Congress and when they [ask] you, “What is that $20 million I gave you to look into UAPs or UFOs?” And you say, “Well, we’ve been looking for the last five years, and we sort of think it might be this, but we really don’t know.” And they’ll look at that and the next time the budget comes around, “Well, do we put more towards North Korea, or Russia, or do we put more towards China, or do we give it to UAPs, which doesn’t look like we’re gonna get any further down the road with this thing now? Because our understanding of this potential technology, whatever this technology is, if it’s even a technology, we’ll never understand it, it’s a little beyond our ken. It just gets away from you very, very quickly.

And having worked for the government for so long, this whole idea of a group, a cabal of people sitting at the top somewhere, you know, smoking cigars behind closed doors and talking about whether or not they’re meeting aliens and all this kind of stuff. That, to me, just doesn’t make any [Indecipherable. sense?] with the government that I know. And mostly because things change so fast. I mean, there are new CEOs of new corporations constantly. Their upper echelons are changing, the military’s changing, the intelligence community’s changing. You would have to brief people upon people upon people over the last 70 or 80 years, I mean, and nobody’s leaked anything? No, that doesn’t sound right to me at all (SD laughs). But…but, having said that, you know, is there a group of people that changes every so often, that are in charge sort of looking at this and trying to figure out what it is? I don’t know for sure but I will tell you that I would think that there is.

You certainly can’t have generals in the military in 1947, coming out and saying, “This is real, we don’t know what it is.” We already had a Pearl Harbor six years before, you do not want another one. So what are you gonna do? Everything in your power to figure out what this is. So you’re going to start a program, it’s not gonna be a public program and it’s not gonna be something that you can share with anybody because, you know, tell a friend, tell an enemy. So it’s gonna be classified and you’re gonna work at this until you find out what it is. And so, you know, is there some kind of super-secret government organization? I’d be shocked if there wasn’t.

SD: This brings up the black world and what you’re relating. What move do you make if you don’t have a good move to make? The perennial bind. The intergovernmental, ontological chess game in which we’ve got high strangeness, some towering enigmas, and then that’s alongside nuts and bolts stuff. What move does one make in that scenario? Richard Dolan, and others, have suspected a lot of this stuff has been moved to private corporations, etc., organizations that cannot be audited, or interrogated by the government. Do you have a sense of this purported trend over the decades? Craft, entities, tech being shifted to the un-auditable black world? And does this complicate matters for organizations like the CIA when it comes to UFOs, UAP, etc.?

JS: Yeah. It’s a complicated issue. Let’s look at it this way. I mean, try to look at it simplistically, because that’s generally how the government works. The government is gonna try the easiest and best solution to a problem. The government is proactive and reactive, but it’s mostly reactive. I’ll give you an example before I answer the question in general. We found out, for instance, that the Soviet Union was looking into psychical phenomenon, you know, things like clairvoyance, telepathy, psychokinesis, things along those lines, and had been doing that since the 20s, 30s, 40s. And when we find that out, you say to yourself, if you’re, you know, an intelligence analyst, or defense intelligence analyst, “How far have they gone and why are they doing this? Why would the Soviet military be focusing on this?” Well, you can imagine what the answers are. Well, they’re trying to create a super soldier, they’re trying to create, you know, a way to brainwash people, they’re trying to create a new technology based on these psi elements. So, you say, “Well, okay, we better figure that out, we can’t let them get an advantage over us.” Then you go ahead and you look into it, and you’re trying to basically find out what they’re up to, and they’re trying to find out what you’re up to, and everything is classified and off it rolls. I mean, the Stargate program, that Hal Puthoff started, basically began with that. Well why were the Russians using psychic phenomena, and they were going out on their silver cords and doing their version of remote viewing? But we had to do that, too. Was there an intelligence value to that? Was there any way you can militarize that or weaponize that? Because if that’s what they’re doing, you know, then gee, we have to counter that in some form or fashion. And that’s generally how the military works and how the intelligence mind works.

So you look at the idea of UFOs and UAPs and you say to yourself, “Oh, okay, here’s this phenomena that showing up. We absolutely know nothing about it. Nothing at all. And now, we also know that, well, okay, a lot of people were reporting they were contactees with aliens and different types of alien beings.” And you’re looking at and you’re going, “Okay, do we give that any credibility? Well, maybe yes, maybe no. Is that Russian, or Soviet?” At the time, China wasn’t in the picture really. So you’re looking at that and thinking, “Is that Soviet? Are they possibly landing people here or something?” So you have to look at that.

And then to the idea that, if you’re looking at UAP, and you’re a really good engineer, and you’re working for a defense contractor, one of the first things you’re gonna say to yourself is, “Can I build that? Would it be possible for me to build that?” And that’s exactly the same thing that the Russians and the Chinese and everybody else are saying. Could we actually do something with this technology? We don’t understand it at all, but can we glean enough information that we can actually do something different? We can’t make our craft invisible, but maybe we can put stealth qualities, maybe we can change the different type of fabric we use and the materials used on aircraft to make them, you know, less…the ability to absorb radar as opposed to reflect it. So, you get into this race, right? And so you have this and the Russians wanna know what you’re doing along these lines, and you wanna know what they’re doing along these lines. So you have to protect that.

And I think what happens is…the military hands that off to private contractors because it’s a long, arduous process, and they’ll say, “Make as much hay as you can out of this.” Maybe they have materials or what have you, and the defense contractors go in there. So, they really can’t come out with anything, they can’t talk about it, publicly. A lot of research is then being done, the classified research is being done on that. They may get to a point where they discovered something, but is it something you can announce? And most of the time, the answer is, “no.And I think what that does is you then get the public, who sees all this, experiences all this, on their own, nothing to do with the military. They’re actually witnessing these things and they’re having experiences, contact experiences with these things. And they’re looking at the government and they’re saying to the government, “Well, tell us, you must know something.”

I think the government is afraid because they don’t know anything. And it’s not a hit on them. I mean, how to hell, can they possibly know something that’s orders of magnitude greater than anything we have on this Earth? We can’t explain whether this phenomenon is extraterrestrial, we can’t explain whether it’s interdimensional, whether it’s ultraterrestrial, whether it’s a form of reality that we’re living in that we’re just now…our little brains, you know, are allowing some of it to filter in. Maybe for most people, this stuff wasn’t filtering it for them. There is no there there, there is no way to explain this in any way, shape, or form. It was like when the Stargate program was working, it was very successful. Not all the time, some remote viewers were excellent, you know, 70, 80% credibility. Some of them maybe 10 or 20%. But we were never, ever able to identify the science behind what that is.

And there’s the other problem. It’s these kinds of things tend to be unpredictable and they tend to be unreliable, at the same time. So those are the two basic foundations of psi. So they don’t really fit into science, right? Now they fit into quantum mechanics a little bit. But when you think about the fact that we don’t have an ontology to discuss this, we don’t have a common lexicon where we can actually engage people on this topic and discuss it. We’re discussing something so ephemeral, so nebulous, so amorphous, it just defies description.

So people say, “Well why can’t the military or why can’t the intelligence agencies come out and tell us what they have?” My personal opinion is: I think they have some things and I think they understand a little bit about some things, but for the most part, they haven’t a clue. They haven’t a clue. Now, think about that, what that means for the sovereignty issue. You now have the United States government telling you…well, they don’t tell you, actually, and I think they’re not ashamed, I think they just don’t want to say it: We can’t defend against this because we don’t understand it. And this is way beyond our ken and it may be way beyond our ken for hundreds and hundreds of years, if not another millennia or two.

That’s a lot to think about. And so, I like to give government the benefit of the doubt. I mean, they do a lot of dumb things and we can point ’em out. You know, they make stupid mistakes. But in some cases, they’re right on the money. They’ve done a great job of protecting us, protecting this country and I think, even the world…particularly the modern version in the last 70 or 80 years. So, I like to give them the benefit of the doubt. Is something going on? Possibility, but I haven’t seen any indication of that where it’s some kind of, like I said, major cabal or conspiratorial stuff going on.

And the other thing is, too, I mean, let’s just say, for the sake of argument, the government has met with alien beings. How would you announce that? I don’t, you know, I think there have been, I mean, I know for a fact that there have been groups of people who discuss this with the government, and have been for a while. What do we do? Do we announce this or not announced this? If it were true. I mean, I’m somewhat speaking hypothetically here. And the answer always comes up, “No, we can’t do that.” And part of it is because I think the psychological fabric that we live in, I mean, people like us, who have been experiencers and who know this topic, and we’ve gotten used to it, even though it might have been incredibly frightening in the beginning, but we’ve gotten used to it, you sort of live with it, and you sort of understand it a little bit more, and you’re not as jarred by it. But I think, coming out, and just laying it out for people to listen to, might be a bit much.

People always say, “Oh, we’re ready for it, we’re ready for it.” Well, maybe not. And I’m not, you know, I’m agnostic on this issue. I mean, this is something that TTSA, when we first formed, we talked about this a lot. Are we gonna open that box, that Pandora’s box? And we’ve had a couple people that we were very close to, in the government, tell us, “Do you really want to open this up? Do you really want to scare kids?” I mean, little kids. “You have this whole system set up now with, you know, with religious systems set up, a social network set up, and all of a sudden, you’re gonna throw this thing into it, which is the biggest story of the millennia, and yet you have absolutely no way to explain it, and you’re gonna dump it into everybody’s lap? And you’re gonna expect them to do what? Thank you? And say, “Thank you very much, I appreciate your honesty.” And then everybody’s (laughs) basically losing it, or they’re going to their churches or synagogues and saying, “You know, what do we do now? What do we do now?”

SD: Right? Therein lies the crux of this multi-dimensional riddle. Our timeline versus whatever timeline this non-human intelligence is on. We’ve seem, thus far, to have had the luxury of working our own timeline, but I couldn’t agree more that bureaucracy was never intended to metabolize high strangeness, for instance. And there’s just a radical disjunction that can’t be resolved between those two. But, if we could circle back to the conundrum, which is…when we don’t have a good move to make, what’s our move? Specifically, the wild card being, how and when this non-human intelligence aligns with or separates from our preferences as to how and when this stuff is disclosed or revealed. Do you have feelings on that wild card? What we’ve been talking about is mostly the stuff in our purview as human beings, and thus far, we’ve been allowed by this non-human intelligence, ostensibly, to maintain our equilibrium, collectively, socially. It hasn’t been radically disrupted. But, the non-human intelligence discloses itself when and how it sees fit, to whom it sees fit, with impunity? How do you feel about that piece? This non-human intelligence, which has the resources and wherewithal, should it choose to up end our entire consensus reality, and yet it has not done so heretofore? How do you feel about that part?

JS: Absolutely beautifully. If you took a thousand people, randomly, and asked them to write their top-twenty concerns they have in life right now, just for them, I would seriously doubt you would get more than 5% of the people putting UAPs or the phenomenon on that list. And if it was, it would be very low on that list. In other words, it wouldn’t even rank in the top 10. So, I think what’s happening is, you know, again, because we deal with this almost on a daily basis, we tend to think that this is a major issue. It is, to a certain extent, but I guarantee you, most people don’t think about this at all during their day. They get up in the morning, they have their morning evolutions, you know, they got to work, they come home, they got kids, they’re worried about paying the bank, they got all kinds of issues. This is the last thing on their plate.

Now, if you were to throw something like this out, and you know that all you’re throwing out is a big pile of nothing, it’s like, this is what we know about it and it doesn’t amount to a hill of beans. And knowing that it full well can have…99% of this you don’t know about, and you don’t know the power or the control it might have, then you got some very, very big issues. So that’s when Jacques Vallée calls it a control mechanism. It does have the ability to control how we view ourselves, how we view our our planet, our neighbors, and what have you, both culturally, politically, sociologically. It’s a huge deal in thinking about.

And I’ve made this point before with the phenomenon: It’s not helping. It seems to speak to us in symbols and it seems to be inherently complex, deliberately so. It’s absurd. [It makes?] no sense whatsoever. I mean, when I think about these (unintelligible) and I include myself. Trying to explain that to somebody, it’s extraordinarily difficult! the problem is you’re walking around and you are like a wounded warrior, right? I mean, you went through this battle, this initiation, right, which if you wanted to compare it to, you know, a Greek or Roman initiation from the old mystery schools and stuff. But it is initiation, and you’ve gone through this hell and some of them have not come out of that hell yet. And then some of them have and transformed beautifully. But nevertheless, it alters you and it’s (intelligible) the rest of your life. You can’t put it in a box someplace and walk away from it. So, you’re sort of there.

But where is the phenomenon when you need it? Why isn’t something coming down? Why isn’t something tapping us on the head and saying, “Well, this is what it’s really about?” It’s not doing that, which leads me to think that it operates on a level that we don’t, or would not recognize. There’s no morality here, there’s no ethics here, there’s nothing here. This is just something so completely alien – excuse the term – that it can’t relate to us, or it doesn’t think very much of us, among other things. Or we just don’t have the brainpower to basically understand this in any kind of way that would make us feel satiated. You know what I mean? That would make us feel good or whole, or feel like this is part of that great chain of humanity. You know, that old medieval concept where we get to (indecipherable) to God, and man’s right up there, then the angels. So where the hell does this fit in? I don’t know where this fits in. And that’s very discombobulating. And I think that’s really what the problem is.

The problem is, you start talking about this, people start paying attention to this, and they’re trying to fit it in. They’re trying to fit it in (indecipherable) and people are generally very orderly. They like an orderly universe. They like a Newtonian universe. They don’t like a quantum universe. They’re not used to that yet. You know, where reality is basically dictated by the observer. My lord, what does that mean? Is the world based on intentions? You know, that if we intend something that’s reality changing? You know, is that gonna change? I don’t know. It’s an extraordinarily difficult concept to grasp and understand. And asking us, you know, to get to that point is very hard. But yet, we’ve experienced it, right? You’ve experienced it. You have a whole group of people who’s experienced it. And they’re left with, really, little direction on where they’re supposed to go, except for their our own inner strength, or their own inner guide, that is telling them, “Okay, this is how you basically matriculate this. This is how you work through this.” That’s hard. That’s a hard, hard thing to do. And, you know, I don’t wanna sound sympathetic towards it. I guess my empathy goes up, because it’s not something that’s easy to deal with.


SD: Right in the guts of the matter here. Just purely intuitively, do you feel the trans-rational, enigmatic aspects of these phenomena may be attempting to act on humanity as a developmental driver? A teleological…there is a point to this, not one we comprehend yet. But, let’s say there would be a desired outcome in this scenario. Perhaps, unrecognizably exotic to our current developmental stations, but nonetheless, there’s an intention shaping our evolution. That’s scenario one. Or, scenario two: Is the chasm between anthropomorphic to non-anthropomorphic consciousness, sentience, too vast for us to cognize or bridge? Do those make sense as parts of a question?

JS: It certainly does. And the answer is yes to both. I mean, to both sides (laughs). I mean, you know, we always look at this phenomenon, anthropomorphically, right? We always look at it through human eyes. It’s like the astrophysicists who say, “Well, it’s impossible to traverse the Universe because you can’t go faster than the speed of light,” and all this kind of stuff. And, “aliens would have to…” You know, it’s like, if you look at 21st century physics, that’s the case, but what if this is 26th century physics we’re talking about? Yeah, they probably could do that. And so, anytime you try to do that from our point of view, from a human point of view, you’re gonna run into all kinds of problems.

And so, again, what you’re left with is a big question mark. Is this a control mechanism? Are these entities, or whatever they are – this cosmic force, or whatever you want to call it, this phenomenon – is it a form of God? I would think God in the larger context. Is it basically directing traffic for the human race, for whatever reason? Or, is it a part of consciousness because when you (indecipherable), we’re all conscious beings. We don’t know what consciousness is. I don’t believe it’s brain based, I believe that it’s sort of non-brain based. But if consciousness sort of runs the Universe here, and it’s just one big thing, we’re all sort of connected, right? We’re all these energy patterns, according to quantum mechanics. You know, this force may keep us all together, but nevertheless, we’re just energy fields. But if we’re all energy fields, the entities, or the phenomenon must be energy fields also. So, we’re part of that in some strange way. But it’s a part of that that we don’t understand yet or don’t recognize. And maybe it’s because of our brain, our filtering system is just not capable of being that aware.

I mean, when we get into a car, and we’re driving down the highway, 75 miles an hour, there are literally 1000s of things happening in our body at any given time. It’s, you know, you’re breathing, the blood’s going in and out of your arteries, nerves, or synapses are firing, neurons are firing in your brain. You’re seeing all kinds of things through your eyes, your optic nerve, picking up other cars, you know, the surroundings around you, and none of that is conscious, right? You’re not conscious of any of that, because if you were, you’d probably lose your mind. The brain basically says, “I’m only focusing in on one thing here and that’s getting down this road without killing you. Not running 3000 pounds of metal into another 3000 pounds of metal.” That’s what it’s focusing on you doing and getting to a certain place. But it won’t allow anything else in. Well maybe that’s what’s going on. That we’re not allowed, or our brain won’t allow for us to take in awareness with a capital A. Everything.

In fact, when I was growing up, in the 60s, I was a hippie, believe it or not. You know, pierced ears, tattoos, long hair and all this kind of stuff. And the whole big thing was then was becoming more aware, and becoming more aware of was just of your environment, you know? You’re sitting at a table. Well, where did the table come from? Well, it’s made out of wood, but it’s also an energy pattern. It’s just a bunch of spinning electrons and molecules that’s sitting in front of me. And even though it’s inanimate, it really isn’t inanimate. It’s movement. It’s made up of these things, and I’m touching it, and I’m interacting with it in some way.

Well, is the phenomena part of that, too? And is it trying to tell us something? Are we going through a learning experience with it? I will say, it’s not doing that great of a job, because it sort of pisses me off, (laughs) when you think about it. You give me just different (indecipherable). People have died, you know, over this, because the phenomenon isn’t necessarily all good. There are terrible things that happen to people who have these experiences. I’m talking about the hitchhiker syndrome, things along those lines. It’s not, you know, I wouldn’t say the majority, but there is a certain minority of people that have an extremely difficult time with this. We met one in our little group. And it’s constant. And so, things are going on and I can’t wrap my arms around it. I wish we had some kind of a stable understanding of it but I think we’re gonna have to be left with what John Mack basically said when he was talking about abductions. He said, “Well, the most we can do is say it’s a mystery and I think that’s as far as we ought to go with that.” Because once you start getting into interpretation, and what have you, and speculation… I mean, they’re nice stories, but they’re just stories. They’re narratives in the end.

So, I guess, individually, we’re left to deal with this ourselves. And then, which is so important with the experiencer group, you take these individual experiences, and you blend them, and you put them together with with other experiences. And you look for patterns and you also try to reinforce the person that, A, they’re not alone and B, yes indeed, this happens. I had an email from a person who was terribly distraught, he said to me, you know, he was having these experiences. And he only told his wife and his son and he just didn’t know what to make of it. And was like, “Am I crazy, am I crazy?”

Now, I didn’t know whether he was pulling my leg, I don’t think he was. I wrote back and said, “No, you’re not.” Actually, I suggested he join your group. You know, I said, because there’s safety in numbers and…(laughs). Not that I’m saying that there’s any kind of thing you have to fear. I mean, I don’t think this is existential. (Indecipherable. I’ll assume he said, “If it was,”) we would be in really bad shape. They do walk into this, sometimes, particularly at Skinwalker, you walk into this and you don’t realize what you’re walking into. And then this thing attaches itself and it might not be evil, it just might be completely agnostic or apathetic. Or even insouciant, where it actually knows what it’s doing but it doesn’t give a damn. And so, when people come up to me and they say, “Is the government hiding something?” Well, part of me would say, “Gee, I hope to hell they don’t get into this because (laughs) I don’t wanna know.” I mean, I don’t want to know that they don’t know. I don’t wanna know that my military and the my intelligence agencies can’t help me with this. Because if they can’t tell me, where the hell do I go to? My pastors, or my priests, or my rabbis, or my imams, can’t help me, either. Okay, what about my philosophers? Ehh, I doubt that, too. Well, who do you go to? Who do you go to? I’d go for you, Stu. I’d go to you, that’s the place I’d go (SD laughs).

Be sure to catch part two of our conversation with Jim Semivan. For more information on Jim, check the show notes. “Aliens and Artists” is brought to by The Liminal Muse, offering one-on-one work with me, Stuart Davis. Sessions include transpersonal hypnotherapy, contemplative practices, and creativity as a spiritual path. Click the link in the show notes to book a session. Also, The Experiencer Group, a private membership site for experiencers of anomalous phenomena, including near death, lucid dreaming, psi, mediumship, contact with non-human entities and much more. Click the link in the show notes to become a member. And, of course, above and beyond all, Patrons and Plusers. Yes, you save me. If you like to show become a Patron or Pluser by clicking the link in the show notes. You get tons of exclusive content, entire episodes just for you, years worth of TV, film, comedy and music, that’s on my Patreon. It is a mountain of material. A lot of new projects coming up this year, which will always be rolled up first for Patrons and often for them alone.


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