Alien Writing: An Interview With Dr. Mario Pazzaglini


© 1996 Greg Bishop

(An online gallery of alien writing will be coming soon to this site)

(Mario Pazzaglini died of cancer on November 24, 1998.)



A review of the first Anomalist series of fortean anthologies appeared in issue #4 of The Excluded Middle along with an illustration from a curious self-published book bearing the cryptic title: Symbolic Messages. As intriguing as this was, while we tried to get in touch with its author, clinical psychologist Dr. Mario Pazzaglini, a package arrived with a Delaware return address. Pazzaglini had seen the review and sent a copy because in his words, "I knew you needed to see it."

He was right. This singular study is one of those rare documents that defines a completely original phenomenon. Specifically, the text discusses "received scripts" &emdash;any form of written communication that the human percipient alleges to have originated with a non-human source. Methods of reception range from channeled writings, to symbols that were seen on or in extraterrestrial craft, to simple, inexplicable desires to communicate something that seem to come from outside of the receiver's frame of reference. "I just have to do it. It's not by my own choice" is a typical phrase.

Taking a cue from Galileo, Dr. Timothy Leary, and Dr. John Mack, Dr. Pazzaglini is careful to separate his professional life from his interest in alien writing. As direct witness to the persecution of Mack at the hands of the Harvard administration, there is ample reason for his trepidation. There is however, an inescapable intersection between the bipolar parts of his life, as the first few responses will reveal...

Note: When Dr. Pazzaglini refers to a "stateside" frame of mind, he's talking about how "sane" people operate for most of their waking hours.

Q: What's your professional training and background?
A: I'm a clinical psychologist, and my background is in clinical psychology and neuropsysiology, and in particular, sensory pshysiology. I treat mental patients and specialize in the severely mentally ill. I deal with people with some brain damage, and I also deal with a lot of people with severe addictions. I have done research on street drugs for about 30 years. This is ethnographic research on drug use, going out on the street interviewing people. In the late '60s, I was doing research on the visual system, and realized that people were doing experiments on themselves that I couldn't get funding for. The cheapest way to do this was to talk to people directly while they were doing it. That not only gave me the information I was looking for, but I ended up having some expertise in hallucinogens and their effects.
I got asked to go to Woodstock to run the "bad trip" tent and ended up treating 5000 people. We had two classes of assistants: one was people whom we had guided through their bad trips, and got them stabilized. They understood what we were doing and caught on. Then I brought in some Tibetan monks who were very good at this. We had sort of an "intense" tent and a "cool-down" tent. The system worked fairly well. We had a psychiatrist and a helicopter, and we had to medicate a few people, and we only flew out about five people who had gone violently crazy.
Sensory physiology is the study of neuro-sensory mechanisms. I'm mainly interested in the visual system. What we were finding was that the brain would download information. Then the question came, was it downloading stuff that was already in there, or was it reorganizing stuff and then downloading it? Then a third possibility began to appear, and that was; is it downloading stuff that wasn't in there? Perhaps acting as some sort of receiver.
If you look at the brain, it's clearly "hardware" and "software." Except it's different than a computer, because in the brain the software changes the hardware. It's constantly doing that. What that system does I think, is it either generates or connects with what's loosely called the "soul." (Pardon me if I start to sound really crackers!)
We could think of consciousness as a quasi-material that is organized by whatever this neural system is doing, and that the nervous system begins to act as both a container and a vehicle and organizer of something. And the point here is that "something" is not bound by space-time as we understand it, and it's just in contact with everything, just as your radio is in contact with "everything" but you have to have it on and tune it. Something like that is happening, and that's as simple as I can put it into words. This is not a new idea, but that's what it looks like is happening. The information exists, and I'm quite sure that the contact exists, but I'm not quite sure that the material is always or even mostly "worth" anything. I talk in the book about how things are distorted as they pass through the nervous system. I think that's a huge source of distortion as that information comes through, and it has to get wrapped around our metaphors. I've heard hundreds of people channel, and what always struck me about it is; "OK, we're sitting here listening to the center of the universe talk, and people are dozing off."
Q: What drew you to start your study of received writing?
A: The basic question that I started with in the late '50s was "What is an internal representation?" or "What is an idea or internal picture, and where does it reside and what does it do, and how does it get there?" That's the basic core interest, and it's always been my interest. How do we form pictures and metaphors for things, and what is the relationship between that, and whatever it is out there?
Q: I've noticed that the people who don't keep a scientific, skeptical edge tend to go spinning off into the irrational void. What made you choose the alien messages, in particular?
A: I've been interested in UFOs from the get-go. If I was going to do this, I figured that I should choose one small area where I could contribute something in a concrete way, and I thought that I was probably best equipped to do this particular piece.
Q: Can you categorize the different kinds of writing?
A: It comes in three forms mainly: The dot-and-line, the geometric, and the cursive. The only script that stands out as not fitting into any category is Jesse Marcel's. [Jesse Marcel M.D. is the son of Major Jesse Marcel--the first person involved with the Roswell incident to come forward to tell his story. The junior Marcel claims his father showed him parts of the wreckage that were embossed with a strange set of symbols.--GB] I just talked to him again a couple of weeks ago. Now what they're trying to tell him was that what he was handling was this Scotch tape with designs on it.
Now, I know about that tape, because I used it when I was small. It's not that. It makes me crazy when people make these stupid comparisons and then close out the whole thing because of it. I'm old enough to have handled that tape, and it didn't look like that. And it came out around Christmas, so that violet [which Marcel claims was predominant in the symbols] was not a prominent color in the scheme. It had holly, or green or red flowers and berries.
Q: It would seem something like that would be easier to remember!
A: He would recognize that. I even saw the Easter tape, which was yellow and purple, but it was Easter lilies. He's a doctor--(laughs) he would recognize that for what it was.
Q: Does he remain convinced that the symbols were not referential to anything he'd seen?
A: He just says "There were I-beams, and there were these symbols on them, and they were nothing like I've seen before or since, nor did they feel like anything else."
Q: How do you separate the "true" scripts from anything derived from human sources?
A: There's a definition problem first, but I did an experiment: I took a roomful of people, and taught them how to channel. And I asked them to tune into whatever that channel was, and produce a new alphabet. This is all in my book. What they did, because human minds are fairly rigid actually, was they tended to carry formal aspects of one symbol to the other as they do them. So you'll see a zig-zag for an "f" and then a zig-zag with a line through it for a "g." Every example made an English alphabet. No one on the crowd thought of making a syllabic alphabet, or an ideographic alphabet.
So that gave me some handle on the made-up alphabets. When I see a script where that's happening, I become suspect that it's a stateside phenomenon. There's a problem here though, because the aliens could be writing for us. Or they'd have to do that since it's the only way we could understand. So then the question becomes "Why are they sending this gibberish anyhow? Why don't they send us nice decent English?"
Q: Do you see any connection between the UFO-human interaction, your research, and occult practices (West and East)?
A: For the western, the answer is definitely yes. Elizabeth the first had a court astrologer called John Dee. He, along with Edward Kelly was in contact with some sort of spirit being--I have a copy of the manuscript, actually--and this being did a number of things: it dictated an alphabet to them...
Q: Enochian?
A: Enochian...and then it dictated some chants, and then an entire system in this language. That system flourished while Elizabeth the First was ruler, and in fact, a lot of English history was probably influenced by this since he was using this channel to not only get information, but to control events.
Q: How do you mean?
A: Well, for instance she could say "John, the Spanish Armada blah, blah, blah... and what do you think? Can you help? Can we arrange the forces in such a way that we have an advantage?" and he would do that--it was his job. So he'd tell her what days to do it, but not using only astrology, but these "tablets" as well that the "angel" dictated. So this goes into the Ashmolean museum in England and is used by a series of occult societies, until it really surfaces again in about 1870 with MacGregor Mathers and Wynn Wescott, and they develop the Golden Dawn using this system. Aleister Crowley then takes this system and uses it for a series of things he calls "workings" beginning in 1911. Along the way, he contacts Aiwass and another entity called Lam.
Q: Did you see our coverage of that in issue #2?
A: Yeah. He looks just like one of the alien "greys" with an eye disorder. Smaller eyes. Crowley continues these "workings" until the last one in 1946, which was done by Jack Parsons. [See Jack Parsons And The Fall Of Babalon for more on this] It's funny, because the OTO [Aleister Crowley's Ordo Templi Orientis organization] and other groups keep popping up all over the place. The private lives of these people would make Dynasty look like Mickey Mouse! Parsons is working at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and the government has hired an arch magician to do ultra-sensitive work.
Q: And you can be sure they checked up on his background and didn't find it objectionable enough to bother with. How is the script received or encountered for the most part?
A: There are people who get it telepathically--straight out. There are people who see a sample of alien writing. They see an alien book--like Betty Adreasson--it's left with her, and that experience enables her then to receive more of it. And then there are people who just see the stuff and copy it down from memory. Jesse Marcel is a good example of that. Those are the three categories. Actually there's one more, and that's the people who find them written on something--like the Tibetan termas--and they actually have the stuff.
Q: Is there a trend that you can see in the scripts?
A: It almost feels like it will peter out and get replaced by more direct kinds of communication.
Q: Is that an intuitive assessment?
A: Yes. There's not much more to it then that! (Laughs) I think the symbols do something that the direct channeling doesn't, and that is they seem to's the difference between linear, verbal kind of reasoning and spatial reasoning. They're so spatial that they transmit tremendous amounts of information at one blast. And you may not always be able to relay that information back as a reported word, but as an internal experience, it's pretty rich. So if the symbols continue in that vein, they'll be very valuable. We are well built for that, because biologically
we have this system called "entrainment." If you and I are talking, we just look at each other and there's tremendous amounts of information passed besides what's passed verbally. So you have some feelings about me, I may have some about you, and you may at some point visualize what you think I am, which will encode information about me (not necessarily what I look like) and all that stuff is going on. So that's what might be the value of these symbols- that they're not trying to communicate to us (if that's what they are doing) the particular thing that the symbol is supposed to be saying, but there's a whole downloading of experience and possibility that is going on that we're not even aware of yet. Certainly the culture is different for this phenomena existing.
A: In what overt ways?
Q: Probably at least two. One is more specific. That is, if you look at John Dee and that kind of stuff, is that this information, put in the right place and at the right time, has a great influence on the flow of human history. The second piece is that I think gradually everyone's waking up, and it has an effect at that level.
A: Waking up to what? Meaning there's more to life?
Q: Every day there's more space in my head. I'm aware of more, and I see more, I feel more, and I'm more connected. That goes through stages of being frightening, overwhelming, etc., but then it will be resolved into this incredible connectedness. And then that will disintegrate and go through more changes and then I'll wake up even more connected. This is happening to more and more people, and I think more and more people are going to drop out again.
Q: What keeps your interest going in studying the received scripts?
A: I sort of had a crisis a few months ago, "What am I doing?" So I decided that I'm going to continue doing the script stuff because it's a good thread, and it's sort of like some kind of umbilical cord. In other words, it's drawing me through larger and larger experiences, and I'm just going to let it do that. It's teaching me a lot of things. So, I'm going to participate in the particular, because I think it's valuable for me to do. It also does something for me personally, and that is it drags me through incredible amounts of experience.
Q: It's the same reason most people do anything they really love.
A: You could do bricklaying. These are people's vehicles, and the vehicle has to be tuned to you personally, and I'm so invested in symbols, that there is no way I could pop out of that and still keep my life.
Q: It's a spiritual quest.
A: We'll see if that turns out to be true! (Laughter) I'm betting on that.


For the full interview, order Issue #6


Back to main page