INTERVIEW: D.W Pasulka brings 'American Cosmic' to the UFO forefront

Diane Walsh Pasulka may be a new name in the UFO community, but her upcoming book “American Cosmic: UFOs, Religion, Technology ” has already propelled her to one of the field’s most intriguing figures. Her pedigree is already impressive as a professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington and Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religion, and has served as a consultant on the popular “The Conjuring” film franchise. Pasulka’s focus leans on the synergy between religion and technology, and that process of belief powers “American Cosmic” by tying in her previous studies of the super natural and tech to the UFO question.


“American Cosmic” almost feels like a fiction novel at times, as her story is told in a narrative form that takes the writer all over the world with a supporting cast of real-life characters that seem straight out of a political thriller. Traditionalists may scoff at the more paranormal elements, but these viewpoints are slowly taking over the conversation in Ufology, and “American Cosmic” is well-researched, deep case study of this. The book talks a lot about consciousness, our DNA as a satellite, remote viewing and other anomalous abilities that are becoming more “mainstreamed” ideas into Ufology with all the recent studies and experiencers coming out.

“In the field of Ufology, there is a traditional split between those who want to study the phenomena from a completely non-religious, non-woo-woo, nuts and bolts, ‘scientific’ perspective, “ said Pasulka. “Then there are those who feel they are star seeds and are souls here to help humanity evolve, and this is more of a spiritual or religious-like perspective. What I found was that among the scientists who I talked with, who studied the ‘objective’ parts or artifacts, the woo-woo aspect was quite prevalent. In other words, the scientists, though they would not refer to themselves as star seeds, were interested in identifying how individuals can have information that cannot be accounted for in any traditional way.  In in the beginning of the research I looked into the Russian and American Space programs, and again, found a lot of ‘woo woo’ there, in the history of the creation of rocket technologies. Jack Parsons, with whom your readers may be familiar, is just one example of many. He is the most well known because he was so flamboyant, quite photogenic, and had a lot of infamous friends, and tragically, he died very young. “

In “American Cosmic” Pasulka meets an interesting man called “Tyler D,” who has an air of autonomy around him in the book. The author alludes to him being a well-known MMA fighter and a highly successful tech entrepreneur. “Tyler D” could be one of many others in high positions of power and wealth like him with his perceived abilities .

“It took me a while to figure out that there were a group of these super high functioning individuals who are “not known,” and I coined the term ‘the Invisibles’ to reference them, “Pasulka said . “They work under the radar, but they are highly influential. He is one example from an elite group. However, if you met him, you would not, in any way, guess that he actually does the things he does. So, yes, there are others like Tyler, and although I met a few, I don’t know how many there are. Tyler has an unusual ability to predict the future, which explains in part his improbable success. He credits his ‘protocol’ with allowing him to predict outcomes, and maybe this is true, I don’t know. His protocol involves physical and mental exercises. Before I met Tyler and people like him, I assumed that many people with his level of success could be googled, or would have a digital footprint. I found out that, indeed, there are people who are very successful, influential, and are not ‘known’ in the 21st Century way of being known—that is, by looking them up on the internet. To us, they are invisible. Thus, in effect, for us they don’t exist to our conscious minds, but we are certainly impacted by the technologies they invent and produce. “

One big revelation of the book is comparing Tyler’s experience to that of the bilocation case where oddly enough both “took them” to New Mexico.  The odd synchronicity makes it feel like the story “American Cosmic” is trying to tell really comes full circle.

“This is a good question, “Pasulka said. “Frankly, I felt that the book took on a life of its own and wrote itself. I thought I was finished with it after Rey Hernandez’s story. The book was way over its schedule (by a year), and when I thought it was finished I was on a trip to the Vatican. About half way through my trip, which included a trip to the Space Observatory in Castel Gandolfo, I realized that this was going to be my last chapter. Basically, events came together that really had nothing initially to do with each other, but somehow seemed to be connected. I was asked to go to the Vatican Archive to look through the canonization records of the seventeenth century levitating priest, St. Joseph of Cupertino. I was also going to look through the records of Sr. Maria of Agreda, a Spanish nun who, in around the same era as Joseph, was alleged to bilocate to New Mexico. And, I was with Tyler D. He is an expert on aerial phenomena. It should be noted here that in the beginning of the book I take a trip with Tyler, and James, another scientist, to New Mexico to an alleged UFO crash site. So, at the Space Observatory archive, sitting there looking through books by Johannes Kepler, I suddenly realized that Sr. Maria said she ‘astral traveled’ to the place where I may have been. That struck me as really weird and eerie, whether or not it actually ‘objectively’ happened. So I mentioned it to Tyler, and he was also shocked. At this point I had become aware of the astral travel of people who believed that they ‘remote viewed,’ and that some of them believed they saw extraterrestrials, planets, and that they traveled through space. A lot of ‘experiencers’ who I had met told me similar things. Given my work in the history of Catholicism and Christianity, I happened to know that this is, though not common, something that others have reported to have done, like Emanuel Swedenborg, a contemporary of Immanuel Kant, and also a very smart person (said to have one of the highest IQs in history).  This event helped me place Tyler within this history of exploration, and strangely, colonialism. Sr. Maria’s experience was used by the Spanish government and Church to justify further colonization of that area of the New World, during that time period. She didn’t authorize this, but that is how her narrative was used. In a sense, she was a pawn. And, in many ways, Tyler was a person whose own work was being used to further space research, and in a sense he is being used, just like Sr. Maria was used. He agrees to this, of course, so he has more agency than Maria, but it seems to take its toll on him. “

“American Cosmic” also re-introduces the idea of the “book encounter,” which we’ve seen it in cases like Whitley Strieber and others.  If the idea of the “book encounter” is truly a channeled guide, and people are being led to certain books specified for them, and for those who author the books is it possible their area of concentration and appeal is also being manipulated?

Diane Walsh Pasulka is also a history and religion consultant for film. (Handout)

Diane Walsh Pasulka is also a history and religion consultant for film. (Handout)

“The book encounter is the event in which you find that you need specific information, and then voila, a book, or movie, or song suddenly appears and provides that information, or meaning” Pasulka said. “ It is an uncanny experience that I don’t understand, but that I often have, and others do too, so much so that some scholars have theorized about the phenomenon. Arthur Koestler, who wrote about coincidences, called this event the ‘library angel.’ I noticed that all of the experiencers, and invisibles, and meta-experiencers, had copious book, movie, and song encounters, so I needed to write about it. I can’t say that I understand it other than it being a very meaningful and strangely timed coincidence, but I do offer an example of my own book encounter with ‘The Gay Science’, (which is) a wonderful book by the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. After my book was sent off to the press, I read Eric Wargo’s book called ‘Time Loops,’ which he theorizes time, coincidences, and precognition. For him, these kinds of events involve our future selves or minds, looping backward and providing us with the needed information. So, that is his provocative and interesting explanation. His book is very interesting, and he readily admits he cannot prove his theory, but he does provide a lot of fascinating examples that offer an explanatory framework for coincidences and synchronicities. Joseph McMoneagle, a person known for his remote viewing skills, mentioned something along these lines as well, in one of his online lectures. My take-away from all of this is that there is something about coincidences and synchronicities that invite us to ponder, take us aback, inspire awe. If anything, that is a good thing. If there is more, as Wargo and others surmise, than I think that they provide a language of sorts. If I do write another book about this topic, I will focus on this: the idea of synchronicities as a language. “

At the time of her journey into “American Cosmic,” Pasulka was a relatively new to the UFO game. Besides the connections she made with “Tyler D” , she was also able to secure the assistance of Jacques Vallee and other prominent names.

“I think that people like Jacques understand the religious dimensions of the phenomena, and the reason I was welcomed into the communities of researchers was because I had, like them, spent my life studying really strange aerial phenomena and people’s encounters with luminous, non-human intelligent beings. ,” said Pasulka. “That is part of what we do in the field of religious studies, so it wasn’t such a stretch. I read Jacques’s important book ‘Passport to Magonia,’ which he wrote in 1968, and was blown away by how much it reminded me of my own work. I looked up his website, found his post office address, and sent him an old fashioned letter. We began to correspond. Also, and this is something that a lot of people, including me, find strange--some of the researchers, the ‘invisibles’ actually sought me out. I didn’t seek them out at all, how could I? I didn’t even know they existed, so I was sought out and contacted by people I never would have guessed I would ever meet. I know that part of the draw of my research for them was that I was looking at the physical data associated with ‘angel’ sightings and light phenomena.”

The book is called “American Cosmic,” but it doesn’t feel America-centric, rather a more worldly and overall cross-cultural approach.

“The title ‘American Cosmic’ came to me as I gradually realized that a lot of the invisibles seemed to participate in a historical lineage going back to Jack Parsons, and the people who initially hammered out the technologies that laid the groundwork for modern space exploration<“ said Pasulka. “ My editor is a very perceptive person, and recommended a book by scholar George Young called ‘The Russian Cosmists.’ His book is about the history of ideas behind the Russian Cosmist movement, and some of the scientists who initiated their space technology. I saw a parallel tradition in the United States, so it occurred to me to call my book’ American Cosmic’ first as a way to honor Young’s research, and second as a way to identify that the traditions of the American Cosmists are still around. They haven’t been thrown into the dustbin of history, in other words. “