A group of Master Masons talk about topics of Masonic interest--each from their own unique perspective. You'll find a wide range of subjects including history, trivia, travel, book reviews, great quotes, and hopefully a little humor as well on topics of interest for Freemasons and those interested in the subject of Freemasonry.
The 50 Year Member - Black Friday
We’re Not “Making Masons” - We’re Creating Churn
[Note: As always, please leave the yells and screams for later, because it may not end how you think. Then - do as you will.]
Like many of you, as we enter the wonderful seasonality of the year, another “seasonality” aspect arrived: Dues payment.
What I did this year was far more different than I did last…
Now, after five years since being raised: I contemplated both solemnly and earnestly about demitting.
There, I said it.
The reaction to the above will fall into two camps, more or less.
The first will be initial recoil and condemnation for publicly stating it.
Then, the other: initial agreement. And far too many dare not contemplate just how large this cohort may be. But need to.
And yet, that’s not the real problem - that’s just a symptom.
The glaring issue with the above is that the latter far outweighs in size, scope, and dollars of the former. Or said differently…
If we are “Making Masons,” then why are so many leaving (or at the least, considering) in droves within such compacted time frames? e.g., myself ending my fifth year, most others - by their third.
I have an answer, many are not going to like it, but here it is…
We are not making Masons - we are creating churn and calling it the former.
Most readers will immediately understand the term “churn.” For those that don’t, it’s not derogatory or pejorative. It’s the term used for subscribers that come then go, needing to be replaced just as quickly, or the business dies in unison.
We’ve all been part of the “churn” in our lives in one form or another. A quick example would be any subscription you had to some service. e.g., Netflix or others. You signed up, barely used it, then canceled. Welcome to your turn - as churn.
Our current state as a fraternity is acting much like this, only calling it something different. e.g., “Making Masons.”
Sorry, but no we are not. We are creating churn.
Sticking with the Netflix example for poignancy:
What we’re now pushing is a forum (aka Lodge) for continual subscriber churn that is sold as offering something far greater than it does.
Let me explain it this way…
“Masonic values and fraternity.” Really? In most environments here’s what is prevalent:
Masonic parlance and theater signify a dues acceptance. Then - a poor excuse for a social club.
That’s about it, and I’m being kind.
Another point is, as I have interacted with differing aspects pertaining to the fraternity. I am continually and constantly
amazed at just how many complete and utter dysfunctional aspects I have been exposed to. It’s been horrifically consistent.
I have been left completely dumbstruck, far too often than not, at the complete disregard or understanding concerning professionalism and more. It’s been sheer bewildering to someone like myself that had such high regard going in.
Let me not be coy here: Far too many within the fraternity are still pointing to “the high water mark” of decades ago as a point of reference and reverence as if the seas are about to rise at any moment. All while simultaneously, incoherently unaware that the ship has run aground long ago and rusting into oblivion. i.e., water is the last thing that’s going to help for it might actually just hasten the rust.
I know of a Lodge, quite close to me, which is about to suspend over 50 members for N.P.D. I also know that this is around 20% of their current membership.
Here’s what I also know - I believe I know why. i.e., They’re not “making Masons.” They’ve been continually creating churn. I know because I’ve seen it with my own eyes. e.g., It’s a wanna-be social club parading as a masonic one. And it’s doing both horribly.
Personally, if I wanted to join a “social club,” I’ve had my pick of all of them over the years. Being fortunate to hold the positions I have, more often than not, I was sought and chased but never joined. (Some were very exclusive with very high bars just to be considered. Not bragging, it’s just what it is.)
But here? I sought, joined, and now seem to be inferring at every turn - I’m not wanted (i.e., Doesn’t care about fish frys so obviously doesn’t care about the lodge, so forget him!) because I dare want what the fraternity offered prior: True Light.
Again, said differently: Wants more than a Short Talk reading at a meeting.
“We don’t need ‘his’ kind here! We’re doing fine without that stuff, thank you very much. Oh, by the way, do we have a quorum to open? Has anyone counted? Hello? Anyone?”
So now the obvious question you’re asking is: “Then why did (or are) you staying if this is the case?”
(I would also assume many more might also be saying “Don’t let the door hit you…” And that’s fine also.)
But again, it’s a great question, and here it is…
I am a big believer in both serendipity and synchronicity. And I believe I had a moment of both precisely when I was contemplating (via contemplative masonic practices) my then predicament, recalling a line by Joe Strummer of The Clash “Should I stay or Should I go?”
The words that came to me during this process (or thought, if you will) were this: “You need to stay because you’re a keeper of the Light, which is the All, important.”
So that was my “serendipity” moment if you will and with that, I renewed.
(Believe what you wish, call it full of sh#t also, if you prefer, I don’t care either way. Now back to the story…)
However, as all well and good as that was. In a way, I was still left with a bit of “Was I really doing the right thing, or was I just acting on some internal dialogue of my own creation that was really nothing more than an echo chamber within my own mind of what I hoped rather than what I was discerning as direction?”
That’s when I had my synchronistic moment…
I received out-of-the-blue a link to a discussion held at William O. Ware Lodge of Research, now posted at the Rubicon Masonic Society’s YouTube page. It featured WB Robert G. Davis presenting a keynote at their private dinner event.
I was riveted by the content and the straight-shooting style he delivered it with. It was both precisely what I needed to hear and when. Hence, the synchronistic aspect. (There’s a link to it here on the MF’s site posted earlier in November 2022.)
Everything he pointed out and addressed I had inherently felt and been pondering. The difference for me going in was, I felt I was possibly falling more into isolation with it (i.e., this aspect of the issues) by overanalyzing and/or hoping for too much.
This talk helped clarify many of these incongruences. In other words, “It’s not you - it’s me. Well, maybe it is you.”
I am truly sick and tired of the so-called “reverence” and “importance” regarding the fraternity mouthed by members who are far more concerned about ending meetings early as to get to somewhere else (cough) bar (cough) for a few before disbanding. Or, have nothing more to offer than “Hey, let’s plan a _________ (fill in your own fish fry, pancake, golf, etc. here) to raise money for another scholarship or charity. Again, it’s all just maddeningly mundane on so many levels to anyone “who’s been around” if you will.
Recently in one jurisdiction, there’s been much fanfare about recent membership numbers and their affiliation to “One Day” classes. Personally, I can be swung to either side of the argument about why these can be either good or bad. I get it.
However, what I firmly oppose is the idea that “one day” Masons aren’t being robbed of the initial experience that true initiation practice (when done properly) provides. And the fervor to create more “Masons” via this method is doing nothing (in my estimation) more than creating churn.
Sure, some numbers may indicate things are going up. But are they really? Especially since “the backdoor” is also quite busy with N.P.D.s.
Let me use another example…
In a jurisdiction, there was an impending issue where thousands of members were about to be suspended for N.P.D. that year. However, emergency action was taken to align the dues payment requirement for the suspension to align with one of the other concordant bodies (i.e., Blue Lodge with the others).
If this had not happened - thousands (yes, not a typo) of members would have been suspended N.P.D. So, the reasoning was, this would be tragic so, if we align our rules so that the dues payments and suspension protocols align with each other - crisis solved!
I’m going to ask you as you’re sitting here reading this just one question, but before you answer, a caveat. Ready?
The jurisdiction that did this (changed, as in pushed back, the dates for suspension) was also the same one that was celebrating recent membership numbers.
Now, what do you think?
I’ll tell you what I was: You read it at the opening.
Becoming a Mason is not some right of passage that’s available to any and all “wonderful guys.” It’s an initiatory practice that enables the route for great guy’s to become meaningful men.
When I heard WB Davis discuss that very point, it was in that moment I knew precisely why I not only joined - but will now remain. i.e., I now know where I probably fit in best and needed the most: Preserving the Light that is, and what Freemasonry stands for, and will always remain.
The social club aspect and its followers of this model are destined for the dustbin regardless if they know it or not. Sure, there are positively good and great men within it. However…
Unless they are practicing Freemasonry with the reverence and dignity it requires - then they are Masons in name only. Sorry, but that’s the cold hard truth, period. And I’m unapologetic in both my saying it, as well as believing it. Again, period, full stop.
What I have now come to realize, with renewed vigor and focus, is just how important the now ever-growing assortment of research lodges, masonic societies, podcasts, blogs, cons, and more are to the stability and well-being of the Craft going forward.
They are where “The Light” is both being preserved, as well as allowed to show brightly with no apology. As a matter of fact, with a bit of a healthy attitude.
This is where I now find myself most comfortable.
I will at some time return back to a Lodge with all the zeal and fortitude that I had when I first petitioned. But only when I feel I’m entering what is considered a Masonic Temple…
Not a social club.
As WB Davis argued in his speech - I’m ready for the Rubicon.
My dues payment allows me to stay in the fight. A fight that is worthy of any and all that truly call and live their lives: as a Mason.
What say you?
From the archives: Black Friday - A Chance to Exercise the Art
Amidst the debates on whether or not stores and businesses should close for the Thanksgiving holiday, there are those underlying thoughts about the day after Thanksgiving -- Black Friday. Black Friday is a day for retailers nation wide, to throw open their doors and deliver savings so big, so amazing, so insane, that the public will be motivated to get up and go to those retailers at 12:01 am.
The days following Black Friday seemed to echo the sombre and sickening pathos normally attributed to that shroud, that color we typify with the color Black. We watch news clips on television, YouTube and cell phone videos of human beings, reverting to ferocious animal states as they battle one another over monetary savings.
Kids trampled to death, men and women alike suffocating in the thick of herds of what can now only be some distant cousin, some untamed, ungoverned, rapacious beast. But alas, it is us. It is human, although unrecognizable.
This year, stores did close and then decided to stave of some of the anarchy by opening later in the evening on Thanksgiving. I decided that for the first time since the last and only other time I had gone Black Friday Shopping, to go out to see what I could see.
What I saw did not disappoint. I don't mean that in any way to suggest I was looking for disorder, rather, I was hoping to see people being people. People caring and being courteous. Amid the sea of winter coats and red Starbucks cups, were the voices of happy people, saying "Excuse me", and complementing each other and of course, complaining about the long lines.
The moral fabric of humanity is a weave of altruistic principals, something we practice as Freemasons. It is something we are charged to do. To be courteous, kind, friendly, humble, to be the example. In the coming weeks we will be tried, Brethren. We will be taken to the edge and back again. Our patience, our affability will be put in the spot light. Use the stresses of the season to exercise our art of Friendship, Morality and Brotherly Love.
I know it can be hard, but the stakes are as high as they've ever been, and the world is watching. Be Freemasons.
Bro. Robert Johnson, PM is the Managing Editor of the Midnight Freemasons blog. He is a Freemason out of the 1st N.E. District of Illinois. He currently serves as the Secretary of Waukegan Lodge No. 78 where he is a Past Master. He also serves as the District Deputy for the 1st N.E. District of Illinois. Brother Johnson currently produces and hosts weekly Podcasts (internet radio programs) Whence Came You? & Masonic Radio Theatre which focus on topics relating to Freemasonry. He is also a co-host of The Masonic Roundtable, a Masonic talk show. He is a husband and father of four, works full time in the executive medical industry and is also an avid home brewer. He is currently working on a book of Masonic essays and one on Occult Anatomy to be released soon.
From the Archives: The 50 Year Member: Thanksgiving
WB Bill Hosler was made a Master Mason in 2002 in Three Rivers Lodge #733 in Indiana. He served as Worshipful Master in 2007 and became a member of the internet committee for Indiana's Grand Lodge. Bill is currently a member of Roff Lodge No. 169 in Roff Oklahoma and Lebanon Lodge No. 837 in Frisco,Texas. Bill is also a member of the Valley of Fort Wayne Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite in Indiana. A typical active Freemason, Bill also served as the High Priest of Fort Wayne's Chapter of the York Rite No. 19 and was commander of of the Fort Wayne Commandery No. 4 of the Knight Templar. During all this he also served as the webmaster and magazine editor for the Mizpah Shrine in Fort Wayne Indiana.
From the Archives: The Real "First Thanksgiving"
Steve Harrison, 33° KCCH, is a Past Master of Liberty Lodge #31, Liberty, Missouri. He is the editor of the Missouri Freemason magazine, author of the book Freemasonry Crosses the Mississippi, a Fellow of the Missouri Lodge of Research and also its Senior Warden. He is a dual member of Kearney Lodge #311, St. Joseph Missouri Valley of the Scottish Rite, Liberty York Rite, Moila Shrine and is a member of the DeMolay Legion of Honor.
From the archives: George Washington's 1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation
Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to “recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”
Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d day of October, A.D. 1789.
From the Archives: The 50 Year Member - Part Eight : Just and Upright
“Please pass the all-purpose flour, Amy”, Dianne said, as she started to whisk the contents of her bowl. “As soon as the flour is mixed in I'm going to add the chocolate.” It was a cold, wintery day and the ladies of the house thought it would be the perfect day for baking.
King Solomon's UFO?
One legend that both Jewish and Islamic Tradition share is the idea of the Queen of Sheba visiting Solomon. The Old Testament mentions her visit twice, in: 1 Kings 10:1-12:
1 When the queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon and his relationship to the Lord, she came to test Solomon with hard questions. 2 Arriving at Jerusalem with a very great caravan—with camels carrying spices, large quantities of gold, and precious stones—she came to Solomon and talked with him about all that she had on her mind. 3 Solomon answered all her questions; nothing was too hard for the king to explain to her. 4 When the queen of Sheba saw all the wisdom of Solomon and the palace he had built, 5 the food on his table, the seating of his officials, the attending servants in their robes, his cupbearers, and the burnt offerings he made at[a] the temple of the Lord, she was overwhelmed.
6 She said to the king, “The report I heard in my own country about your achievements and your wisdom is true. 7 But I did not believe these things until I came and saw with my own eyes. Indeed, not even half was told me; in wisdom and wealth you have far exceeded the report I heard. 8 How happy your people must be! How happy your officials, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom! 9 Praise be to the Lord your God, who has delighted in you and placed you on the throne of Israel. Because of the Lord’s eternal love for Israel, he has made you king to maintain justice and righteousness.”10 And she gave the king 120 talents[b] of gold, large quantities of spices, and precious stones. Never again were so many spices brought in as those the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.
11 (Hiram’s ships brought gold from Ophir; and from there they brought great cargoes of almugwood[c] and precious stones. 12 The king used the almugwood to make supports[d] for the temple of the Lord and for the royal palace, and to make harps and lyres for the musicians. So much almugwood has never been imported or seen since that day.)
And, in: 2 Chronicles 9:1-13:
When the queen of Sheba heard of Solomon’s fame, she came to Jerusalem to test him with hard questions. Arriving with a very great caravan—with camels carrying spices, large quantities of gold, and precious stones—she came to Solomon and talked with him about all she had on her mind. 2 Solomon answered all her questions; nothing was too hard for him to explain to her. 3 When the queen of Sheba saw the wisdom of Solomon, as well as the palace he had built, 4 the food on his table, the seating of his officials, the attending servants in their robes, the cupbearers in their robes and the burnt offerings he made at[a] the temple of the Lord, she was overwhelmed.5 She said to the king, “The report I heard in my own country about your achievements and your wisdom is true. 6 But I did not believe what they said until I came and saw with my own eyes. Indeed, not even half the greatness of your wisdom was told me; you have far exceeded the report I heard. 7 How happy your people must be! How happy your officials, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom! 8 Praise be to the Lord your God, who has delighted in you and placed you on his throne as king to rule for the Lord your God. Because of the love of your God for Israel and his desire to uphold them forever, he has made you king over them, to maintain justice and righteousness.”9 Then she gave the king 120 talents[b] of gold, large quantities of spices, and precious stones. There had never been such spices as those the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.10 (The servants of Hiram and the servants of Solomon brought gold from Ophir; they also brought algumwood and precious stones. 11 The king used the algumwood to make steps for the temple of the Lord and for the royal palace, and to make harps and lyres for the musicians. Nothing like them had ever been seen in Judah.)12 King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba all she desired and asked for; he gave her more than she had brought to him. Then she left and returned with her retinue to her own country.
She is also mentioned in the Quran in several surahs as having visited Solomon. (S27:22-44), as well as being mentioned in Charles Heckethorn's work: The Secret Societies of All Ages and Countries where he tells an alternative Hiramic legend which states that Sheba fell in love with Hiram Abiff when she visited King Solomon, and Solomon had the ruffians assassinate Hiram Abiff out of jealousy. You can read more about this here if you're interested. (http://www.midnightfreemasons.org/2018/08/the-real-legend-of-temple.html)
In any case, there are legends that speak of the Queen of Sheba being impregnated by King Solomon, and she gave birth to a son: Menelik I. The Ethiopian document, the Kebra Negast, discusses this and goes on to speak again of Solomon visiting both her and her son by flying in a "Heavenly Car", stating: "The king... and all who obeyed his word, flew on the wagon without pain and suffering, and without sweat or exhaustion, and traveled in one day a distance which took three months to traverse (on foot)."
King Solomon is attributed by both Jewish and Islamic traditions as having a flying "carpet". In his work, Legends of the Jews, Louis Ginzberg states:
"Great and powerful as Solomon was, and wise and just, still occasions were not lacking to bring home to him the truth that the wisest and mightiest of mortals may not indulge in pride and arrogance.
Solomon had a precious piece of tapestry, sixty miles square, on which he flew through the air so swiftly that he could eat breakfast in Damascus and supper in Media. To carry out his orders he had at his beck and call Asaph ben Berechiah among men, Ramirat among demons, the lion among beasts, and the eagle among birds. Once it happened that pride possessed Solomon while he was sailing through the air on his carpet, and he said: "There is none like unto me in the world, upon whom God has bestowed sagacity, wisdom, intelligence, and knowledge, besides making me the ruler of the world." The same instant the air stirred, and forty thousand men dropped from the magic carpet. The king ordered the wind to cease from blowing, with the word: "Return!" Whereupon the wind: "If thou wilt return to God, and subdue thy pride, I, too, will return." The king realized his transgression."
There are also several suras in the Quran that state that Allah gave Solomon command over the winds by which he could travel great distances in very little time.
And WE subjected to Solomon the violent wind. It blew, at his bidding, toward the land which WE had blessed. And WE have knowledge of all things.
S. 21:81 Sher Ali
S 21:81 Muhammad Asad
And to Solomon WE subjected the wind; its morning course was a month's journey and its evening course was a month's journey too. And WE caused a fount of molten copper to flow for him. And of the jinn were some who worked under him by the command of his Lord. And WE said that whoever of them turned away from Our command, WE would make him taste the punishment of the burning fire.
S. 34:12 Sher Ali
AND UNTO Solomon [We made subservient] the wind: its morning course [covered the distance of] a month’s journey, and its evening course, a month’s journey. And We caused a fountain of molten copper to flow at his behest; and [even] among the invisible beings there were some that had [been constrained] to labour for him by his Sustainer’s leave and whichever of them deviated from Our command, him would We let taste suffering through a blazing flame.
S 34:12 Muhammad Asad
He had a mat made of wood on which he would place all the equipment of his kingship; horses, camels, tents and troops, then he would command the wind to carry it, and he would go underneath it and it would carry him aloft, shading him and protecting him from the heat, until it reached wherever he wanted to go in the land. Then it would come down and deposit his equipment and entourage… (Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged) (Surat Al-Isra’, Verse 39 To the end of Surat Al-Mu’minun), by a group of scholars under the supervision of Shaykh Safiur Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri [Darussalam Publishers & Distributors, Riyadh, Houston, New York, London, Lahore; First Edition: July 2000], Volume 6, pp. 476-477)
And about Sura 34:12 he wrote:
Having mentioned the blessings with which He favored Dawud, Allah follows this by mentioning what He gave to Dawud’s son Sulayman (Solomon), may peace be upon them both. He subjugated the wind o him, so that it could carry HIS CARPET one way for a month, then back again the next month. Al-Hasan al-Basri said, "He set out from Damascus in the morning, landed in Istakhar where he ate a meal, then flew on from Istakhar and spent the night in Kabil." Between Damascus and Istakhar is an entire month’s travel for a swift rider, and between Istakhar and Kabul is an entire month’s travel for a swift rider. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged) (Surat Al-Ahzab, Verse 51 to the end of Surat Ad-Dukhan), Shaykh Safiur Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri [Darussalam Publishers & Distributors, Riyadh, Houston, New York, London, Lahore; First Edition: September 2000], Volume 8, p. 70)
Interestingly enough, there are other legends about Solomon having access to advanced technology. I previously have written about the Shamir, which could alter stone, iron and diamond by its gaze. (http://www.midnightfreemasons.org/2020/02/divested-of-all-metal.html) You also have the legends of the Seal of Solomon, which Ginzberg describes as stating that: "King Solomon ruled not only over men, but also the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, demons, spirits and the spectres of the night."
Ginzberg continues, stating:
"The demons were of greatest service to Solomon during the erection of the Temple. It came about in this wise: When Solomon began the building of the Temple, it once happened that a malicious spirit snatched away the money and the food of one of the king's favorite pages. This occurred several times, and Solomon was not able to lay hold on the malefactor. The king besought God fervently to deliver the wicked spirit into his hands. His prayer was granted. The archangel Michael appeared to him, and gave him a small ring having a seal consisting of an engraved stone, and he said to him: "Take, O Solomon, king, son of David, the gift which the Lord God, the highest Zebaot, hath sent unto thee. With it thou shalt lock up all the demons of the earth, male and female; and with their help thou shalt build up Jerusalem. But thou must wear this seal of God; and this engraving of the seal of the ring sent thee is a Pentalpha." Armed with it, Solomon called up all the demons before him, and he asked of each in turn his or her name, as well as the name of the star or constellation or zodiacal sign and of the particular angel to the influence of which each is subject. One after another the spirits were vanquished, and compelled by Solomon to aid in the construction of the Temple."
There are also passages in the Quaran that allude to Solomon having Demons working for him. S21:82 which comes directly after S21:81 that I quoted above states:
"And among the rebellious forces [which We made subservient to him] there were some that dived for him [into the sea] and performed other works, besides: but it was We who kept watch over them."
"And among the [devils] rebellious creatures, who dove into the sea for him and did other work, but it was We who kept watch over them."
S21:82 Safi Kaskas
The idea of this Seal of Solomon also is discussed in the story of "The Fisherman and the Jinn" in One Thousand and One Nights. What this tells me is that the idea of the Seal was well known and thought of as being powerful not only in the Jewish Tradition but in the Islamic as well.
Famous Science Fiction writer: Arthur C. Clarke famously wrote: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Is it possible that King Solomon's "Flying Car" or "Flying Carpet", the Seal of Solomon, the Ark of the Covenant, and the Shamir that Solomon possessed were some form of advanced technology? Absolutely. It is also just as likely that these are just legends. However, for the sake of argument, I'm going to approach the former as a possibility. One reason for this is that throughout the Middle East, into Iran, Kashmir, and the Himalayas, there are mountains that are known as the "Thrones of Solomon".
The Famous Russian artist, Nicholas Roerich's travel diary "Altai-Himalaya" mentions this regarding one of the Thrones of Solomon, suggesting it was a landing place for his Flying Craft: "No song relates why the mountain “Throne of Solomon” bears this name. This is a place of such antiquity. Janaka, son of Asoka, had already dedicated one of the first Buddhist temples here. Seven centuries later the temple was rebuilt and consecrated to Mahadeva. . . . But whence comes the name of Solomon? The mountain received the name of Solomon from a legend that Solomon, desiring a respite from the conventions of a sovereign’s life and from the burdens of his court, transported himself upon a flying carpet to this mountain with his favorite wife. Here, again, we come upon the mention of that “flying apparatus” possessed by Solomon. A similar mountain is in Turkestan and in Persia."
It also mentions that his expedition saw a silver flying disk in the Himalayas on August 5, 1927. "On August fifth—something remarkable! We were in our camp in the Kukunor district not far from the Humboldt Chain. In the morning about half-past nine some of our caravaneers noticed a remarkably big black eagle flying above us. Seven of us began to watch this unusual bird. At this same moment another of our caravaneers remarked, “There is something far above the bird.” And he shouted in his astonishment. We all saw, in a direction from north to south, something big and shiny reflecting the sun, like a huge oval moving at great speed. Crossing our camp this thing changed in its direction from south to southwest. And we saw how it disappeared in the intense blue sky. We even had time to take our field glasses and saw quite distinctly an oval form with shiny surface, one side of which was brilliant from the sun."
Given that this idea of Solomon's flying craft/carpet/apparatus is so widespread, it begs to question if King Solomon really was in possession of such a device? If it could truly carry all of his horses, camels, tents, and troops, it would have had to be a very large craft and an amazing sight to behold. Our military's largest Cargo Airplane, the C-5 Galaxy can carry:
"73 troops and 36 standard 463L pallets. The aircraft is able to carry two M1 Abrams main battle tanks, or one Abrams tank plus two M2/M3 Bradley fighting vehicles, or six AH-64 Apache/Apache Longbow attack helicopters. Also, the C-5 is able to carry as many as 15 HMMWV (humvees)." If you know how large a C-5 Galaxy is, you extrapolate how large King Solomon's craft would have been.
This being said, it's not unheard of in modern UFOology to have witnesses describe giant UFO craft. Case in point, one of the better-documented cases, known as the Phoenix lights has multiple witnesses describe a giant V-shaped UFO that flew over them. One such witness was then Governor Fife Symington III, who at the time made a mockery of the situation, dressing up one of his aids in an alien Gray costume and having him arrested at a press conference. He later confessed that he also had seen the giant craft.
This was similar to a massive V-shaped craft seen over the Hudson Valley in New York State during the mid-1980s. The book: Night Siege-The Hudson Valley UFO sightings which was written by former Project Blue Book investigator: J. Allen Hynek, along with UFO investigators Philip Imbrogno and Bob Pratt describes: "The ""Westchester Boomerang'' was a UFO reported by hundreds of people in New York State and Connecticut between 1983 and 1986 and described by most witnesses as a hovering, immense V-shaped series of flashing lights connected by a dark structure." The book is "about the ``close encounters'' of some 900 people who filled out ``witness forms.'' (Famed UFO author Hynek died in 1986, ``as the book was being written,'' but the authors maintain that he participated in the investigation and include the transcript of a Hynek interview with a witness.)"
Looking at the two illustrations above, putting myself into the perspective of someone who might have witnessed this in the distant past, could the above not be described as a flying carpet? All it would take would be the sudden surprise visit of King Solomon to the Queen of Sheba in concert with a sighting of something like the above to begin a legend. As much as I'd like to believe that Solomon had a Flying Apparatus, given that there really isn't any historical evidence for either King David or King Solomon, let alone King Solomon's temple, I believe that it is all legend. Maybe labeling them as King Solomon's flying carpet/machine/apparatus, was an attempt to describe the sightings of these UAPs or UFOs in the distant past?
What is apparent is that whatever these things are, they most likely have been visiting us for a very, very long time. Perhaps they are the Watchers who are discussed in the Book of Enoch..in which case, this opens up some dangerous possibilities...
… they became servants of Satan and led astray those who dwell upon the dry ground.
1 Enoch 54:6
… These are the Watchers (Grigori), who turned aside from the Lord, 200 myriads, together with their prince Satanail.
2 Enoch 18:3
This being said, I don't believe that they are evil, fallen angels, or any of that. I say this because if they were, given their technological advantage, we would already be extinct or at the very least their servants. I do believe that whatever they are, they look upon and treat us like we currently treat the lower species of animals on this planet if the experiences of those who claim to have been abducted by these beings are to be believed. The honest truth is that we don't know what they are, what their motivations are, or why they are interested in us. While I believe that the idea of King Solomon having a flying machine is awesome, there may be another yet similarly equally fantastic reason for the legend.
WB Darin A. Lahners is our Co-Managing Editor. He is a host and producer of the "Meet, Act and Part" podcast. He is currently serving the Grand Lodge of Illinois Ancient Free and Accepted Masons as the Area Education Officer for the Eastern Masonic Area. He is a Past Master of St. Joseph Lodge No.970 in St. Joseph. He is also a plural member of Homer Lodge No. 199 (IL), where he is also a Past Master. He’s also a member of the Scottish Rite Valley of Danville, a charter member of Illinois Royal Arch Chapter, Admiration Chapter No. 282, Salt Fork Shrine Club under the Ansar Shrine, and a grade one (Zelator) in the S.C.R.I.F. Prairieland College in Illinois. He is also a Fellow of the Illinois Lodge of Research. He was presented with the Torok Award from the Illinois Lodge of Research in 2021. You can reach him by email at email@example.com.