Théories anciennes de l'Arc-en-Ciel

Rosenberg, Samuel, 1968

Dans The Rainbow, Carl Boyer écrit :

Anaxagoras, l'ami et tuteur de Périclès, trouva une atmosphère populaire à Athènes qui était hostile à la science naturelle ; et, lorsqu'il affirma que le Soleil, loin d'être une divinité, n'était rien d'autre qu'une énorme pierre incandescente, il fut emprisonné pour impiété. Anaxagoras remis également courageusement en question la divinité de Iris, la Déesse de l'Arc-en-ciel.

Il semble que l'Iris a été un ovni majeur durant de nombreux milliers d'années, avec une très forte charge émotionnelle sur ceux qui avait observé le phénomène. Certains comme les hébreux, étaient ravis de voir l'arc-en-ciel, parce qu'ils l'interprétaient comme un signe du pardon de Dieu aux quelques surviants de l'Arche de Noé après qu'il ait détruit toute autre vie sur terre. Mais pour les très sophistiqués grecs et romains, l'arc-en-ciel était une vision terrifiante parce que l'Iris était considéré comme le présage d'événements maléfiques. Sa mission spéciale était de descendre sur terre, après le tonnerre orageux et les rages d'éclairs de Zeus, pour informer les hommes de leurs transgressions et executer les pénalités imposées par la déité. L'Iris était ominously present after the great deluge of Deucalion, when Zeus decided that mankind was unredeemable and must be totally eliminated. Sa "solution finale" devait être une froideur extrême qui gèlerait tous les humains jusqu'à la mort. It was Iris who was sent to inform Menelaus of the elopement of his daughter, Helen of Troy, an act that started the Trojan Wars. Iris announced the tempest that shipwrecked Aeneas. She severed the last slender thread that kept Queen Dido alive; and it was Iris who thereafter carried water from the River Styx and forced condemned sinners to drink. Shakespeare, steeped in Ovidian mythology, knew Iris well. In "All's Well" he called her the distempered messenger of wet and in "Henry VI, Part II," he had the Queen threaten the exiled Duke of Suffold: For wheresoe'er thou art in this world's globe, I'll have an Iris that shall find thee out. There was no escape from the rainbow messenger and executioner.

Les trépidations des grecs, romains et des anglais Elizabethains were shared by primitive ufologists the world over. Africa tribal lore regarded the rainbow as a giant snake who, seeking a meal after the rain will devour whomever he comes upon. In the Americas, the rainbow was also a hungry god, fond of indiscriminately ingesting water, cattle, and tribesmen, especially the youngest members. The Shoshoni Indian believed that the sky was made of ice against which the serpent rainbow rubbed its back, causing snow in the winter and rain in the summer. It is not recorded whether the Shoshoni's heavenly serpent thus relieved some dorsal itch, but other primitive descriptions of the rainbow reveal a very thirsty god indeed: Plutarch describes Iris as having a head of a bull that drinks the water of rivers and streams, while Ovid also depicts her as distinctly bibulous. Other explanations of the rainbow include the hem of God's garments (Greenland); a hat (Blackfeet American Indians); a bowl for coloring birds (Germans); a camel carrying three persons, or a net (Mongol); and, in Finnish lore, a ''sickle of the Thunder-God.''

Homer may have been the champion literary projectionist of Greece. He too saw Iris either literally or figuratively as a serpent. The Great Visualizer of modern times, however, is beyond any doubt Professor Hermann Rorschach. That compulsive spiller of ink is surely the twentieth century's patron saint of visualization. The doctor of ink and blot has convinced psychologists that whenever we look at something that is disorderly, meaningless, amorphous, or vague, we immediately project upon something else. And that something else is an image withdrawn from our internal picture library and projected onto the shapeless blob placed before us. It seems that we cannot tolerate vagueness and insist on replacing it with what we wish to see or what we dread seeing.

Some experts insist, however, that we pretend to see something in order to be kind to the earnest psychologists who try to be helpful by showing inky messes to total strangers. During World War II, I was present as an observer when a brilliant young lieutenant was being tested. He did quite well until he was handed an enormous inkblot and asked to describe what he saw. He gazed at it dutifully for quite a while, then handed it back, and said : It looks like an inkblot to me sir. He was disqualified for his flagrant anti-social response, of course, and it served him right! I also looked at the configuration, and there plainly visible was a lovely picture of an old woman dressed all in black, riding her monocycle down a deserted country road.

And, speaking of tests, in 1875, after conducting a long series of experiments, the eminent physiologist Dr. Francis Galton published his discovery that a surprising number of entirely normal and reliable Englishmen he had tested habitually saw objects, colors, forms, and vivid kinaesthetic patterns involving mixed image and color not seen by others.

I offer these digressions with the suggestion that a great deal of work still remains to be done on the visualizing characteristics of the so-called normal and reliable people who have made "sightings" of all kinds. I do this not to challenge the validity of all UFO 'sightings,' but to call attention to the possibility that not very much is known about the nature of visualization. It has been generally assumed that if a man is a respected member of a respected profession (like a commercial jet-pilot) he is ipso facto free of any visualizing aberrations, and that he always sees the world and its phenomena as nakedly, as honestly as my young lieutenant saw it when he declined to play the inkblot game.

It is therefore hardly surprising that strange objects and phenomena of all kinds have been chronicled and reported for about 3,500 years, and for thousands of years previously as oral tradition in systems of religion, mythology, and folklore. The number of reports of strange phenomena have increased steadily with time, as increase caused by the great proliferation of journals and newspapers since their start in the seventeenth century. As the new media increased in number, they gathered and printed more and more reports of strange happenings that would otherwise have remained localized and been forgotten. The current great interest in UFOs has resulted in a ransacking of religious literature, mythology, as well as the old newspapers and journals for UFO-like sightings and their inclusion in the current UFO literature. With the help of another researcher, I have gone through many old sources in search of new significant "UFO" material, but have found that the ufologists have covered the ground quite thoroughly not hesitating to graft new interpretations on the old reports.