An Introductory Essay Concerning
the Nature and Intent of Travellers

by John Birge
forum: An Introductory Essay Concerning the Nature and Intent of Travellers
speculative fiction for the internet generation.

......... ....... ..... ..


An Introductory Essay Concerning the Nature and Intent of Travellers


Statement: They mean no harm, nor do they seek to interfere (which is strictly forbidden) or change anything. They just want to see what it was like in our time.

You can find them in many places, scattered throughout decades of literature. You can find them in Philip K. Dick1 , in the Lovecraft2 universe and even in Shakespeare 3 . Those who descend amongst us, who occupy space which should be free… We know them as visitors (though not Q, a double entendre if nothing else). It is unfortunate that I must refer to "them" as them, but due to the despairing lack of credible eye-witnesses and accounts of visitations, as well as a general lack of their origin.

Before we press on, I would just like to preface what is to come. This is intended to be a accessible account of "visitations", for lack of a suitable lingua franca word to reach the masses, with as few academic and specific terms as possible. If you want to read more about this phenomenon, I would recommend my own forthcoming thesis, "Disjuncts throughout History: Temporal Distortions and Visitations of Supraconcious Entities", which is as far as I know the only academic study of the phenomenon. It will be available the coming spring through the recently inaugurated Studies on Abnormal Phenomenon at Sussex University Press, U.K. (see: for upcoming announcements and information). And if you are wondering why you are reading this here, in a fairly unconventional place for such an essay, there is a perfectly sound answer. This essay has been simultaneously submitted to as many publishers, magazines and publications as possible, to spread the word.

Now, let us do away with preconceptions at once. I have never met one, or ever felt the presence of one. If you have, I would very much like you to contact me with any information you may have, as I need many more accounts of visitations. It is clear that they believe empirical studies are the best way to learn. Their travelling obviously works in a completely different manner than anything we have encountered. I postulate that it is not a "device", but moving thought—thus it is not, but has the same effect, as those Neurograft devices you came across every once in a while if you read sci-fi (e.g. Sturgeon4)—they travel by means of evolved consciousness, constituted by the septdependant brain centres. Technological advance certainly is of interest, perhaps a necessity, for travelling: Good Mother Nature certainly did not grant us gifts in many other areas than the mind, and that is subject to debate, so to employ advancements of mind (culture, psychology, philosophy, etc.) to improve our somatic state seems to be the right way to advance into the era envisioned by Nietzsche, whose philosophy of Übermensch and its relation to the visitors I deal with at length in chapter 4 of the thesis.

Returning to actual travelling itself; I call it Illusory Unalloyed. This term might confuse readers, so allow me to briefly elaborate: it describes "lucid" thoughts as a crown of thorns, i.e. a sort of suppressant of thoughts not dealing with physical reality, i.e. thought-beyond-thought—I don't really know how to make it any clearer in such short space—and that is most likely how they travel. I contradict myself, I know. You must have noticed or you were not reading carefully enough. I will not elaborate; go back if you missed it. I'm not trying to be snide or anything but do not wish to be condescending and repeat myself, slowing down this piece of writing, especially since many readers might have noticed the contradiction already.

No matter, I study this phenomenon, and I freely admit that much of it is speculative, since no facts can be established an sich, to borrow a term from Kant, in which case I would receive a visit in order to set things right. I am still writing; I take it that I am not close enough to the truth. Maybe they are watching right now? I am sitting. Your position is of no consequence to me, but if you insist, tell me. Say it. Out loud. Do it. I dare you. Though we may move throughout time and space for who-knows-for-how-long, the thoughts communicated here are some indication of what we can do when we are them. For we will be them, someday. Not we personally, not you or I, but that is the closest I can think which can serve as a taste of things to come.

Do it.

Say it.

Announce it.

Don't care about who hears it.

Feel it running—Oh, you have done it already. If you have not, I will not press the matter further, but you are missing out.

That antagonistic challenge does serve a purpose, for it illustrates, in a primitive way, the ability to move thoughts through time and space even with our limited technology and neurology, something writers have discovered since writing began. This noumenal experience exists in other forms and is described from various sources, from inhibited higher brain functions as in experienced connexion with the Atma5, through various (credible) mind over matter depictions, through Western concepts commonly associated with "soft" Science Fiction as precognition, telepaths and empaths, even the occult and magic are related.

Returning from the test of reader response, I will quickly summarise the chapters of my upcoming thesis. As stated before, the ability to thrust consciousness back and forth in time is distinctly and exclusively human and whether this god-like ability has been achieved through technological or neurological advance or evolution is obviously impossible to say, and regardless which one, or a synthesis, makes this possible, the concepts are, even if possible to grasp today, not available to us and impossible to extrapolate from any data I have access to.

For those questioning if "they" are human, you can calm down knowing that I have found no indication to the contrary: It has no other origin than human, though researching Lovecraft might indicate otherwise (be it demonic or terror divine), but I believe that is mostly narrative embellishment on the part of Lovecraft6; you have to read between the lines and do away with much of the dramaturgy. However, and I know this will interest you: I will now deal with how to spot them, and how they have been visible to us throughout history.

They appear, as I said before, by accident as in a performative error, therefore there is no way to tell when you will spot them. They appear, so it seems to us, by chance in any place at any time. This is disappointing, to say the least, for those hoping for a close encounter, but it is fact. This is an essay telling you what can be extrapolated from existing facts, not an encouragement to spend your life waiting for visitors. Perhaps you have been visited and know nothing about it? So why have they appeared to various persons throughout history, and why have many of them been influential in cultural development since then? It is a good question, but let us not rule out the possibility that many have been visited without them knowing, suppressing it into the unconscious, or simply ignoring it, attributing it to declining mental health and for fear of being thrown into asylums took their secret to their graves. It would then follow that those who saw them were able to process, like one would with a trauma, in the form of art, through fine art, literature or theatre. I mentioned Shakespeare; a few others would include (a short list with footnotes, elaborated further in chapter 8 of the full work) Donne7, Poe8, Wells9 and Twain10.

Now, it does take an open mind and some good will, but since you are reading this I will assume that you do (I am appealing to you feeling a bit privileged, an old technique in narrative). I believe most people ignore any "sightings" and give them other names, lending them to mythologies and concepts with which they are familiar, be it real or imaginary. They call them ghosts, apparitions, spectres, premonitions, hauntings. It is tragic, and quite frightening, that we attribute such malicious and terrorizing aspects to a fairly simple thing: a human appears before us and vanishes. I guess it shows just how far we have come, and how far we have to go. It also tells us something about ourselves, but I will leave the deductions up to you. What is so terrifying about the unknown? Why are we equipped with such an instinct? As kings of the world, why are we so terrified of the unknown when nothing should be unknown or alien to us? Do we instinctively know there is more, inside our mind, beneath the sea, beyond the stars?

"Hold on," you say, but allow me to politely interject. Yes. I agree. How can these visitations not cause disturbances to the precious concept of timelines, etc.? I cannot answer that, because I know nothing about it. Perhaps they have, but I think not. They most likely know a staggering amount more about "timelines", and since they continue (if they do, but judging from current events they do) to visit our time and world to observe.

Thus, they have shaped history as we know it. To what extent is obviously impossible to determine, but I trust that somebody is keeping track of this, somewhere we do not know or experience.

My very first words were: they mean no harm. This is not an absolute, and I do not want you to simply accept that as fact. It is not fact; it is highly probable, the likeliest deduction from the evidence available as of now. If their purpose is not to "learn" or to observe, even if humoured by what they see—I say if!—their purpose is not to learn, but to conquer, well, then... Let me know; I shall definitely include it in my research, possibly as revision in a 2nd Edition of "Disjuncts throughout History".

In conclusion, back to you, dear reader. I want to thank you for reading this "essay" of speculative research, and I do hope that I have awakened some interest in this field of new research, which I believe to be of critical importance to our species, as well as our development.

Lastly, I want you to ask yourself a question and try to answer it honestly: Are you alone? Is somebody watching you?

Look around you.

You might be surprised. Let me know.

John Birge,
MA, Abnormal Phenomena


1) Dick, Philip K. A Handful of Darkness. 1955. Doubleday.
2) Styron, James. H.P. Lovecraft – A Dark Lore. 2000. Sydney University Press.
3) Chase, Peter E. Distorted Reality in Shakespeare. 1982, Manchester University Press.
4) Sturgeon, Theodore. Venus Plus X. 1968. Pyramid Publishers.
5) DSM-IV-TR. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association. 4th     Edition. 1994. American Psychiatric Publishing.
6) Garner, Dean. Paranormal Psychology in Lovecraft: Imagery and Projection. 2004, Berkeley Press.
7) Sugar, Kuka. Understanding Donne: Metaphysics as Anthropomorphic Symbolism. 2nd Edition. 1982.     Harvard University Press.
8) Edited by K.D. Rand. Collected Letters of. 1988. Random House.
9) Baker, Irma. Psychological Traps in 19th fin-de-siecle Narration. Chapter 9: H.G. Wells. 1999. Oxford     University Press.
10) Baker, Irma. Chapter 3: Twain: The Supernaturalist.




copyright 2007 John Birge.

John Birge:

A traveller, visitor and writer of worlds, John Birge is a young off-beat writer who wishes he was a disgruntled postman, born in the police state Union, but is currently living in Australia. Primarily interested in textual telepathy, absurdities, good old-fashioned human stupidity and alcohol, his private vendettas include emo kids and ecocide, plus this one girl at the movies who always laughed during Spiderman 3, the worst installment of the series yet. Please see for more amusement.

link to