Back in '97, my brief from UFO Magazine in San Francisco was to examine the outer edges of the South African (UFO) experience and report back, so when I heard that Terence Mckenna, originator of Time Wave Zero (2012) theory, ethno-botanist, explorer and discoverer of machine elves was conducting a series of workshops at Rustlers Valley in South Africa I set out on a 2000 mile round trip journey from Cape Town, where I live, to get his take on UFO's, amongst other things.

During the week I spent with Terence I learned what he thought about the 'Illuminati', Global Conspiracies and UFO's. His view on Global Conspiracy was that it's all really a 'Global Comedy'. He felt that such grand dramas were best left to movie and TV. After years of reading about Bill Cooper, or insert your favourite villain/s here, I'm (almost) inclined to agree with him. When it comes to UFO's Terence felt that they were 'mostly' from within, but he didn't discount life on other planets. He was definitely not a fan of Whitley Streiber and I so I guess he wasn't holding his breath waiting for mass landings either, but he did not laugh off the physical UFO phenomena and appeared to have a balanced, if somewhat sceptical view.

Quote; "Sure, there may be a few saucer pilots flitting in and out of our atmosphere, but not like it's being sold to us".

So I guess that one thing Terence didn't expect was to witness a UFO on his visit to South Africa. He was neatly busted, along with myself and two others. Here's how it went down.

It was late one afternoon in the Maluti mountains. We were sitting on a raft floating on a mini-lake. We had pulled the raft into the middle of the lake using a system of pulleys. We were in the middle of a giant pond surrounded by willow trees. Except for animal and bird noises there was a comfortable silence amidst mountain skyline and water. I looked up and saw a red light in the sky moving slowly between two peaks. I drew everyone's attention to the phenomena. The red light was not flashing and was soundless. The object disappeared while we watched without ever getting to the mountain peak that it appeared to be headed for. Neither Terence, Frik, the late owner of Rustlers Valley or his girlfriend Jeunesse was able to explain it. The following day we saw a genuine aircraft at the same distance. We could hear it quite clearly and it's beacon flashed. BTW, the area is the same as the one in which the Lesotho Crash is supposed to have occurred in '95, but more on that from this correspondent at a later stage in the investigations.

Marshall Mcluhan, Grand-Daddy of the Internet, said that we are the genitals of our machines and that we exist solely to make next years model. Yes, there is ample scope for paranoia, so watch out because Terence Mckenna was sure that information uses smart people and that human intelligence has long been targeted by psychedelics. Our zeitgeist may thus be creative dreaming in the presence of technology, a place haunted by genies which wrap us in the blanket of their mysterium and lead us forward. The Nu_Alchemy is digital.

"Mankind represents a bizarre nexus of energy, chemistry, spirit and time which is unique in eternity", said Terence. He felt that humanity represents opportunity, and also the unfolding of the dimension of hope. His immediate answer to modern life?

"To continue linking ourselves together at higher and higher bandwidth".

He continues to be popular out there.

Schwann Cybershaman

Re-written from a published article in UFO Magazine: 30 May 2011

See Terence Mckenna in Cognition Factor, a full-length feature doccie on the evolution of consciousness, also starring brother Dennis and a host of others.

Read the full story of my travels in the Amazon eBook; Journey to Everywhere on your Kindle