Passport to Magonia: From Folklore to Flying Saucers

October 30, 2020
Passport to Magonia: From Folklore to Flying Saucers

It is readily acknowledged that our time has surpassed allepochs in history for the accumulation of technical knowledge,physical power over our environment, and economic might. It is lessoften pointed out, however, that our age has generated, andcontinues to generate, mythical material almost unparalleled inquantity and quality in the rich records of human imagination. Moreprecisely, people have very frequently reported the observation ofwonderful aerial objects, variously designated as flying saucers,unidentified flying objects (UFOs), and so on; among thesenarratives descriptions of landings made by these craft arecommonplace; and that quite a few accounts purport to inform us ofthe physical characteristics, the psychological behaviour, and themotivation of their occupants. But investigators have neglected torecognize one important perspective of the phenomenon: the factthat beliefs identical to those held today have recurred throughoutrecorded history and under forms best adapted to the believer'scountry, race, and social regime. If we take a wide sample of thishistorical material, we find that it is organized around onecentral theme: visitation by an aerial people from one or moreremote, legendary countries. The names and attributes vary, but themain idea clearly does not. Magonia, heaven, hell, Elfland - allsuch places have in common one characteristic: we are unable toreach them alive, except on very special occasions. Emissaries fromthese supernatural abodes come to earth, sometimes under human formand sometimes as monsters. They perform wonders. They serve man orfight him. They influence civilizations through mysticalrevelation. They seduce earth women, and the few heroes who dareseek their friendship find the girls from Elfland endowed withdesires that betray a carnal, rather than purely aerial, nature.These matters are the subject of Passport to Magonia, JacquesVallee's seminal master-work that changed our understanding of theUFO phenomenon. An instant classic when first published in 1969,the book remains a must-have resource for anybody interested in thetopics of UFOs and alien contact, as well as those fascinated byfairy folklore and other paranormal encounters.