The Nightshirt Sightings, Portents, Forebodings, Suspicions

Consciousness Inside-Out: Wormhole UFOs, the Hill Abduction, and Interstellar

Jacques Vallee has been saying for years that our materialistic fetishism for the nuts-and-bolts secrets of UFO propulsion is a block on our imagination and a hindrance to scientific understanding of the phenomenon; there are countless other possibilities besides ‘alien spaceships propelled by antigravity.’ Thinking differently about how our visual system interprets anomalous phenomena can help illuminate some of these other possibilities. Special effects can be useful in this effort, producing breakthroughs in how we see the problem in our mind’s eye.

For example, the idea of portals and gateways is a popular one currently, yet writers mainly still operate on the mental model of aerial vessels or beings passing through these portals. But this could be missing the point. A portal itself, as shown by the intergalactic wormhole in Interstellar, would appear visually as a convex, three-dimensional object having volume, not as a “hole” or doorway. This raises the possibility that some UFOs could themselves be small wormholes generated by a machine in some advanced laboratory somewhere (or somewhen).

If this is the case, the visible exterior of a “flying saucer” might actually be the inner chamber of a wormhole-making machine.

Innies That Look Like Outies

Interstellar showed how a wormhole in space would look from a distance a lot like a glass Christmas tree ornament (right). The refracted light of stars seen through and beyond it would be interpreted visually as reflected light, as off a shiny object. As you approached and lost sight of the “rim” in your peripheral vision you would see that there was actually no surface and that the convex appearance had been an optical illusion.

A wormhole created in the high-tech laboratory of some future “Wormhole Inc.” would look very different. It would not show stars beyond it but simply the insides of the machine or chamber generating the wormhole. Thus, it might look metallic, perhaps something like a big vacuum chamber in a physics lab turned inside-out. Visually, from a safe distance, it would appear solid and round because we would interpret its surface as convex (pushing toward us). Only as you approached it—or as it approached you—would its perspective seem to distort and your senses might finally realize you were seeing into the insides of a machine or chamber of some sort.

More likely, of course, you would be too confused, frightened, and upset by the encounter to “realize” anything at all. You would lack any precedent in your experience for such a phenomenon—or even any sci-fi special effect to relate it to.

Consider the classic archetypal flying saucer or lozenge with windows around the rim, maybe with occupants looking out, as described by Betty and Barney Hill after their famous abduction (left). This seems like what a circular wormhole-creating chamber with observation windows looking into it might look like. The figures “watching out the windows” of the flying saucer could actually be proud technicians peering into their wormhole chamber.

Wormhole Inc.

Critical ufologists like Mac Tonnies have pointed out the absurdities and inconsistencies in the Hill case—the theatrically presented star map, the not-super-high-tech (or spaceship-like) exam room, and so on. Abductees often describe interiors that are bigger on the inside than the outside or that don’t correspond well to the tightly packed and neatly arranged environment one would expect of a spacecraft. It has often been suspected that the examinations (if real) are actually taking place at an earth-bound facility somewhere, not on the “saucer.”

A wormhole generated in, and projected from, some large, land-based facility (e.g., on earth, in the future, or on another planet) would explain a number of things. It would eliminate the problem of packing enormous amounts of energy into a moderately sized object: If what looks like a saucer is really just the Wormhole Inc. laboratory turned inside out then it need not contain anything—no people, and no power plant.

I am momentarily ignoring, of course, the vastly greater energy needed to create a wormhole, versus levitate a 30-foot metal disk. Current physics grants wormhole technology to Type-III civilizations capable of harnessing the energy of their whole galaxy—quite a big power plant—so my thought experiment is presuming some unforeseen technical leap or discovery making the process much more convenient.

If we do grant such a leap enabling lab-made wormholes, the theory could perhaps also help account for the laser-pointer-like motion of UFOs, which suggests they could be something insubstantial like an image being projected and stabilized in the air and not physical, massive objects actually flying. Whereas their frequent appearance on radar would make the volumetric hologram theory unlikely, a lab-made wormhole inserted into our airspace would indeed produce a radar return, albeit perhaps slightly distorted or displaced—the radar waves would simply bounce off the interior walls of the wormhole chamber and right back out. (In contrast, a space wormhole wouldn’t appear on radar because the radar waves would have nothing to bounce off of.) But the hole itself would have no mass, as the mass is all back at the lab.

A wormhole generator also more realistically solves the more fundamental “relativistic” problem: How to bring people (e.g., relatives) to you instead of going to them—because as grown-ups realize on occasions like Thanksgiving, it’s more fun being a host than a guest. A wormhole enables you to interact with distant objects and people from the comfort of your own laboratory, not have to pack yourself into a cramped ship and go on an annoying or dangerous journey. We should bear in mind that interacting with or manipulating unwitting guests like the Hills is probably the least of a wormhole generator’s many fabulous uses.

The World Turned Inside-Out

Beyond depicting a solution to “nuts and bolts” problems of long-distance travel, a wormhole also shows us that inside and outside are relative—one observer’s outside is another observer’s inside.

Although Interstellar was disappointing in some ways (like a clumsy script full of expository dialogue, as well as pretty lackluster spaceships), it depicted wormhole travel really well, and it also spectacularly depicted exactly the future-intervention-via-tesseract theory for paranormal phenomena that various sci-fi writers (from Madeleine L’Engle to Philip K Dick) have groped to convey in their fiction. Sometimes you need new special effects to visualize problems and produce an “aha” experience; when that happens, new solutions and new theories appear more readily.

For one thing, we are at a crux in our science and our culture when a new model is desperately needed to think about the relationship between consciousness and material reality. Much as I’m sympathetic with those who privilege consciousness against materialistic reductionism, I think a more nuanced and nonhierarchical relationship between mind and matter must be possible. A wormhole-UFO could provide such a model.

Such a beast helps us visualize, for example, how material reality is just what consciousness looks like from the outside. Matter itself isn’t the illusion, in other words—nor is consciousness. The illusion may simply be the “convex” appearance of the material world.

The word “exist” comes from the Greek eksistere, “to stand forth.” As mystics from time immemorial have insisted, the material world is a manifestation of consciousness—the self-world continuum experienced passively, as observed, rather than actively, as observing. These two aspects pass from one to the other at certain mysterious boundaries—in dreams, at death, and in paranormal phenomena (such as UFOs) that turn our outside into an inside (or vice versa) without our quite being aware how we made the passage.


I am a science writer and armchair Fortean based in Washington, DC. Write to me at eric.wargo [at]

10 Responses to “Consciousness Inside-Out: Wormhole UFOs, the Hill Abduction, and Interstellar”

  • Eric, your speculations here are bang on and echo some of my own–I have a PDF of an article around here _somewhere_ that explains a wormhole would appear lenticular, just as you propose. I hope you get the opportunity to share your thoughts in an even wider forum!

  • Academic Bryan Sentes gave us the link, via Facebook, to your Interstellar/Hill posting which I’ve linked at the blog.

    You are a brilliant guy and I’m overly happy to circle your sun.


  • Thanks, Bryan–can you send me a link to your article?

  • If and when I find it…My initial searches have proven fruitless, so for the time being your thoughts on the matter may have to the most up-to-date and definitive!

  • Thanks much, Rich. It’s great to be in such interesting company. 🙂

  • That would explain why some Ufo’s are transparent

  • Very good. You challenge us to peek outside the anthropomorphic box. I add one other consideration. Why worm holes “generated by a machine?” I suggest we must take the next step, and begin exploring Mind itself, rather than focusing upon the material products of Mind. The psyche is the creative energy. Mind manipulates the quanta into energetic/material manifestations. No, not just an individual human consciousness, but more along the lines of the trans-personal collective unconsciousness. Perhaps we are approaching recognition of the Great Collective Mind, not just that of a species, but that of this and all universes, and
    (a la Buzz Lightyear) beyond infinity. If we are to stretch our vision, let us really stretch it. Shall we agree to relinquish our ego-centric consciousness, and join the One? As is said in a book, “All things are possible for those who ‘love’ the One”. Shall we make the great leap and relinquish focus on “self”, and “surrender” to Self. I tread uneasily on the Spiritual Edge. Join me?

  • A tulpa wormhole, in other words! Yes, you’re right, that is probably where we will ultimately have to stretch our vision.

    Although … I would argue that it is precisely by thinking about (and through) the paranormal, even in a nuts-and-bolts way (baby steps), that we are already exploring Mind. That may in a sense be what these phenomena are for (or what our fascination in them is for). We can’t just leap into manipulating quanta with our minds without first being able to picture how that might occur. Do you have any hunches?

    Personally I’m somewhat suspicious of quantum vocabulary for the mind/matter problem: Quantum physics is still physics, when it comes right down to it, and thus still an attempt to fit mind into a materialist theory. I suspect we’re going to need a whole new theoretical framework (or a whole old one, maybe from the Buddhist or Theosophical discard pile…).


  • Eric,
    Great post as always, I admit that I have not seen Interstellar yet, so as I am typically late to almost all parties, I am also late in my response to this fine NS edition.

    Ultimately, in my far fetched and utterly speculative opinion, the birth of the physical mind is our experiential relevance for the baseline establishment of our temporally fixed vantage point in the environment of consciousness. The quantum mysteries are the result of this limited perspective. In short, we are bound to the illusion of time via our naturally synchronized cognition. This is why we witness/observe superposition in temporal snap shots rather than from the temporally external perspective of omniscience. In other words, particles and their behaviors don’t change with multiple observations, but rather are actually occurring within an environment of extratemporal consciousness wherein every possibility is happening simultaneously. If one takes this flight of fancy a step further, it becomes apparent that our entire experiential existence is a matter of a whimsy of volition due to the posit that we can only participate in snap shots of our own manifest omniscience across an infinite multiverse or many integrally interactivity worlds. It would seem then that a technology that would allow for an extratemporal recombining of these snapshots would literally make available to us the ability to navigate our physically generated temporal baseline signatures in the experiential time snapshot continuum across the realm of universal omniscience. We could literally access “anywhere” minus distance or speed, but arther by force of re-signified existence. In short we would navigate our own infinite number of temporal baseline signatures through selective recombining of extratemporal signature omniscience throughout the seeming infinity represented by many interactive worlds. If you follow the gist of this fun train of thought, could it be that the inside out observational “wormholes” that you refer to are in fact possibly artificial consciousness envelopes that employ a myriad of artificially tuned cognitive signatures to remotely access all worlds & their host universes? If one could replicate their own natural signature synthetically in such a setting, it might be possible to do the above explorations outside the constraints of their own temporal signature’s time based physical relevance without deviation from their own signified experiential awareness. All this being accomplished within the confines of an artificial environmental consciousness envelope (a consciousness submarine if you will) wherein time external to as much, lets say in a single day’s external relevance to the participant, could literally yield a million years of exploration across and throughout the multiverse or many interactive worlds, all without so much as moving 10 feet at a snail’s pace.

    Thanks for your continued “outside the box of nuts n bolts” inspiration and support Eric.

  • Wow, cool speculations, Jeff. I especially like your concept of “artificial consciousness envelopes.” I also 100% agree that time is somehow an effect of our cognition–I’d suggest it may even be bound specifically to semantics in language and possibly nothing more fundamental than that. I’m finishing up a post about eternalism that touches on some of these ideas, which I’ll hopefully post next week.

    My question (to which I do not pretend to have an answer) is whether the implicit view that there is a fixed eternity ‘out there’ potentially available for exploration may miss some essential, fundamental impermanence or “impossibility” built into the structure of reality–basically trying to reconcile Zen Buddhism with the perspective of a Philip K Dick or Terence McKenna.

    Thanks for posting!