Book Reflection: “American Cosmic” by D.W. Pasulka

When attending university, I decided to cover a local MUFON conference for a journalism class I took in 2011. MUFON is short for Mutual UFO Network. The network offers a safe space—online and off—where people can share their stories about seeing unidentified flying objects (UFO) and obscure experiences involving extraterrestrial beings. 

I interviewed some interesting people and watched some interesting video footage of UFOs. But after covering the event and writing the article in 2010 I didn’t think anything else of extraterrestrials or MUFON—until my manager at work recommended that I read American Cosmic, a book about UFOs, religion, and technology.

This recommendation was fitting. Not only do we work for a technology company, but we often share stories about our meditation practices and beliefs. And discussing a good book is a means to keeping our weekly conversations engaging. (We both work remotely and, before discussing work, we have a casual chat.)

MUFON was mentioned in the book. Not in a positive light but a mention nonetheless. Some man decided to share his extraterrestrial encounter with MUFON. He submitted a story about how he and his wife saw two “beings of light” in their living room. And after this, they started seeing UFOs.

Unfortunately, this story was twisted by the History channel. All stories submitted to MUFON become property of MUFON. And MUFON gave the History channel rights to use the story, with permissions to adapt it any way they wanted. This resulted in the story being represented as an “invasion” of evil beings rather than a blessing from beings that the man’s wife thought were of a Christian God.

What’s also interesting is that the main character, Tyler, in American Cosmic—a billionaire inventor who believes that “aliens” give him his ideas—became a Catholic after going to Rome with the book’s author to study documents held by the Vatican that contained stories of saints levitating.

This intersection between UFOs, aliens, and God is a concept throughout the book that fascinated me the most. Maybe the things we can’t understand (with our minds) are all connected.

Below are some other interesting concepts and snippets from the book.

“American Cosmic” Highlights

18th Century Psychic Cosmonauts

At the beginning of American Cosmic, the author mentions a person who lived over 250 years ago and claimed to travel to other planets and speak with non-human beings with the assistance of an angel. The book is called Life on Other Planets (1758) and I plan on reading it.

Psychic cosmonauts like the eighteenth-century philosopher/theologian Emanuel Swedenborg crop up throughout the history of religions. Swedenborg claimed that, with the assistance of an angel, he had visited Mercury, Mars, Venus, and the moon. He claimed to have spoken to beings on those planets and he published his experiences in a book, Life on Other Planets (1758).

D.W. Pasulka, American Cosmic

Tuning “The Signal”

The main character in the book, Tyler (the aforementioned billionaire inventor), described the routines he implements to receive multi-million dollar, life-changing ideas from “an unknown source.” Without his healthy routines, “the signal” that sends him the ideas is distorted.

I equate this clarity he describes to having peace of mind. When the mind is at rest and not over-stimulated with caffeine or alcohol—or under-stimulated from lack of sleep—it can be more creative. It also has the energy to manifest creative ideas. And these ideas, according to the main character, come from “a source” that is alien.

To Tyler, “alien” is synonymous with something that is subtle and good, much like how I think of God.

So, in order to receive the signals and to transmit the signals, we have to tune our physical bodies and DNA. Because of this, I make sure I sleep really well. I use the eight plus one rule. That is, I sleep for eight hours, wake up, and then make myself go back to bed for an hour. That one hour, the top-off, really makes or breaks my day. I barely drink alcohol, as it interferes with sleep, and I never drink coffee. Coffee really messes up the signal.

D.W. Pasulka, American Cosmic (Quote from Tyler in book)


Tyler’s tuning process is part a “protocol” that is required to make contact with the source of his best ideas. But not everything can be controlled in this protocol. There is an “accident aspect” that is associated with the surfacing of his best ideas.

The “accidental” aspect of Tyler’s protocol brought to my mind the biochemist Kary Mullis, who had discovered the highly influential polymerase chain reaction and won the Nobel Prize for the discovery in 1993. He also had an anomalous experience that he referred to as a UFO encounter, although he was very careful not to “conclude” that was what it was. I was struck by Mullis’s description of his own process of creativity and its similarity to what Tyler was telling us:

Creativity is when you are trying to figure something out and something else keeps intruding. You finally give in to it, and it turns out to be the answer you were looking for. Perhaps something is lost and instead of looking for it, you let your hands lead you to it with your eyes closed. You might be looking something up and find the wrong subject and it turns out not only to be related, but to be exactly what you were after. It’s not an accident. It was inevitable and it all makes perfect sense after the moment, but it’s unexpected. That’s how creativity happens. The focused beam of your consciousness is very narrow, but you have a creepy sense of what is right behind you.

D.W. Pasulka, American Cosmic

Future Selves

I love the idea mentioned in the quote below. It’s similar to the idea presented in the movie Interstellar. However, in the movie, the beings do communicate with human beings in the present, giving them access to a fifth dimension and the ability to communicate through the connection formed by love.

“Maybe they are from our future and are our future selves, and that is why they can’t communicate with us, because they would change our present and their own history if they actually did make contact. Maybe that is why they don’t communicate with us.”

D.W. Pasulka, American Cosmic

The Bible and Aliens

Some UFO sightings that people explain are strikingly similar to aerial phenomena mentioned in The Bible. Two reverends have even written books on the topic. It’s possible that the surreal experiences that prophets in the Bible talked about are connected to the UFO experiences of today.

Some theologians read the Bible in a similar manner. For them, the UFO or flying saucer is equivalent to aerial phenomena mentioned in scripture. In the late 1960s, Presbyterian minister Barry Downing advocated for this interpretation in “The Bible and Flying Saucers”. The Reverend Michael J. S. Carter, a graduate of Union Theological Seminary, offers a contemporary version of this claim in his book, “Alien Scriptures: Extraterrestrials in the Holy Bible.”

D.W. Pasulka, American Cosmic

Power of Prayer

As a believer in Christ, I love how the main character in the book, Tyler, became a believer at the end of the book. Instead of accepting that something unexplainable was at work with UFOs, he came to accept that things were explainable through the happenings of Christ. Miracles and the surreal exist. And they are good. And they can heal people and connect us across time and space. This is what we call God.

When Tyler was at the Vatican with the author of the book studying accounts of saints who had levitated, Tyler prayed for his mother. And this prayer was connected to a momentary healing.

Later Tyler learned that, while the Mass was being celebrated in the observatory chapel, his mother, who had been uncommunicative for months, roused to consciousness for several hours with perfect memory and conversed with her family. This was reported to Tyler by his sister. She did not know that Tyler, and the observatory com-munity, had been praying fervently for their mother during that time.

D.W. Pasulka, American Cosmic

If you found any of this interesting, you can pick up the book here.

Leave a Reply