When I was eight years old, I was certain that space aliens had invaded my bedroom. I was trying to sleep one night, when I heard voices whispering near my bed.
I screamed for my parents. We looked everywhere but we couldn't find the source of the whispering. I tried to go back to sleep, but the whispering began again.
I don't know how many times my parents came to my bedroom that night, but we finally discovered that an old radio in my room that had always been broken had suddenly begun to work. The voices had been a radio announcer and singers -- not space aliens.
That terrifying experience left a lasting impression on me and helped create a lifelong interest in UFOs and alien life forms. I even researched and wrote a book about them: How to Catch a Flying Saucer. I interviewed UFO witnesses, visited UFO archives in both the US and UK, and drew some conclusions about UFOs.
Here are a few stories from the book.
If you happen to see a TRUFO, you'll want to be able to identify the kind of encounter you've had. The first three types are described here. Around 1980, a fourth kind of close encounter, one that is more frightening, was added by other UFOlogists.
The newest close encounter is one that involves the kidnapping of a human by a UFO. While the idea may surprise and trouble you, this is the most common type of close encounter reported in recent times. Many UFOlogists, even those who would like to prove that TRUFOs come from outer space, view CE-4 reports with a great deal of disbelief, since it is impossible to prove that these experiences ever really happened. To them, it seems more likely that the person had a dream and thought it was real.
Most CE-4 cases have many things in common. They all seem to begin with a sense of "missing time." The person who is kidnapped is aware of seeing or doing something; then, in the blink of an eye, he finds himself in another location or position and realizes that a certain amount of time (ten minutes? two hours?) is unaccounted for. Later the person may have nightmares, and his behavior or personality may change.
One of the most thoroughly researched CE-4 cases occurred at a summer camp near Burlington, Vermont. According to astronomer Walter N. Webb, Michael Paine and Janet Ashford were working at a summer camp named Buff Ledge, which is now closed and abandoned. Most of the campers and staff were away on August 7, 1968, and Michael and Janet were looking forward to spending the day relaxing. Just after sunset, when they were sitting on a dock that jutted into Lake Champlain, they noticed a brilliant light, which arced toward them. As it did, they could see that it was not a star but a cigar-shaped object. It stopped, and three small white lights emerged from one end of the cigar. The large UFO departed and the three satellite ships put on a dazzling aerial display. Janet and Michael watched in awe.
Two of the satellites zoomed away, but the third flew quickly toward the dock, stopped about sixty feet away, and hovered fifteen feet above the water. This satellite ship, as big as a house, was disc-shaped and had a transparent dome. According to Michael, two beings were visible through the dome. One of them seemed to talk to Michael, while the other was in control of Janet.
"You will not be harmed," Michael was told. "We have come from a distant planet. We have made earlier visits to Earth and returned after the first nuclear explosions." The small UFO moved to within twenty feet of the dock. Michael jumped up to try and touch it. As he leaped into the air, a white beam of light covered both him and Janet. Michael said later that he was "filled with light," and he and Janet floated up to the UFO.
In the UFO, Michael watched as the creatures carried out an examination of Janet: a small piece of skin and a blood sample were taken. Then he was led to a table next to Janet's. As he lay on the table, he could look up and see the stars and the moon through the dome of the satellite UFO.
Michael has no memory of what occurred next, but when he awoke, he found himself back on the dock with Janet. The small UFO hovered above them.
A voice in Michael's head said, "Don't worry about this experience: nothing bad happened. We are friends. We care about you. You will not understand much of this experience. Janet won't remember anything."
Another voice said, "Janet is all right. Goodbye, Michael."
Suddenly Michael heard car doors slamming as the campers returned for the evening. The UFO turned off its lights and sailed out of sight. Janet seemed dazed and incoherent, and Michael helped her to her cabin before heading for his.
Once in their cabins, both Janet and Michael fell asleep immediately. When Michael awoke about an hour later, he wanted to talk to Janet, but her cabin was off-limits to boys. Since they worked in separate areas of the camp, they did not meet the next day. Instead, Michael tried to tell some of his friends about the incident. When they wouldn't believe him, he decided against talking to Janet about the experience. She didn't seem to remember anything about it, for she did not mention the encounter when he finally saw her a few days later. After a few more weeks the camp closed for the season. Janet and Michael never met again.
Not until ten years later, when Michael felt that he had to report the incident, did anyone know about the encounter. Interviewed separately in different cities, and hypnotized, he and Janet confirmed to Walter Webb the story of their abduction by the small domed satellite of the cigar-shaped UFO.
What really happened to Michael and Janet? Did they share a dream? If you think so, when was the last time you shared exactly the same dream with someone? If you think Michael and Janet were lying, why would Michael wait ten years to talk about the UFO? And why would Janet agree with him? This is another intriguing case that raises more questions than answers.
Copyright © James M. Deem. Taken from How to Catch a Flying Saucer (Houghton Mifflin, 1991). All rights reserved.