An Interview with Brad Steiger
by: Brent Raynes
The many guises of The Other; John Keel and the MIB; Philip K. Dick and The Star People; Personal UFO and paranormal encounters in Peru; Thoughts on what it all means and where we seem to be headed.
Brad Steiger, the author and co-author of over 170 books on a variety of interesting subjects, best known for his writings on UFOs and the paranormal, has again just come out with yet another spell-binding, thought-provoking book, again co-authored with his wife Sherry (also a well-known researcher and author in her own right) entitled Real Encounters, Different Dimensions, and Otherworldly Beings. In this interview, we talk with Brad about their latest book, how John Keel confessed years ago to Brad that he had had his own MIB encounter, Brad’s contact with the well-known sci-fi author Philip K. Dick, who described his own alien encounters and memories, Brad and Sherry’s personal UFO and paranormal adventures in Peru, and much more.
Brent Raynes: In Real Encounters you two grapple with the complex and controversial realm involving a vast multitude of different guises adopted by non-human intelligences that have interacted with humankind since our dimmest past. Though we have adopted countless human frames of reference into which to perceive these entities and their manifestations, presumed intentions and their purported messages to experiencers, be they what we have called aliens, angels, spirits guides, demons, and an endless host of different non-human forms from other worlds, the truth ultimately boils down to the fact that there are just too many undeniable commonalities and parallels between these inexplicable events and manifestations. Instead of treating them as separate phenomena we obviously need to look for their similarities. There are a lot of dots to be interconnected in this area of study.
Could you list for us what you feel are some of the most obvious and noteworthy phenomena that comparatively crossover to other data and indicate to you areas wherein a lot of material that is often perceived within a specific and separate category may in fact be interconnected to other categories and which just may be but one spoke in an unrecognized universal wheel of paranormal experience?
Brad Steiger: As you know Brent, in Real Encounters, Different Dimensions, and Otherworldly Beings we offer our thesis that throughout the history of our species some external intelligence has in¬teracted with Homo sapiens in an effort to learn more about us and/or to communicate certain basic truths. Many of the aliens, angels, spirit guides, demons, and gods or goddesses encountered by unaware, yet somehow receptive, percipients may actually be the product of a multidimensional in¬telligence that masks itself in physical forms that are more accept¬able to humans than its true image--if image it has. We choose to define and to name this multidimensional intelligence and its multitude of manifestations as the Other.
The many guises of the Other exist only a frequency away in the background of the unconscious, waiting for some triggering mechanism to bring it into focus. The so-¬called “collective unconscious” of modern psychology is nothing less than a subliminal doorway to that immaterial domain which the physicists are so bus¬ily mapping on a different level. Once that “doorway” has been opened, an as yet unknown psychic mechanism ac¬tivates the unconscious mind, the “higher self,” and summons the Other. Once activated, the Other is able to absorb, reflect, and imitate human intelligence, thereby creating a host of entities that are fashioned by the dramatic by-products of our collective unconscious.
When you ask about crossovers, there are many that are quite obvious even to the casual student of the phenomenon. Space Brothers and Sisters are an obvious contemporary guise for the Angels of old, but without displacing the activity of Angelic Beings. It takes little imagination to see that the general appearance and activities of The Greys suggest the Elves and Wee People of earlier times. Both of the entities seem fascinated by human sexuality, and an essential aspect of the Greys’ mission seems to produce human/alien hybrids. The Elves have a long record of kidnapping humans and seducing them in order to produce Changelings to place in the cribs as a substitute for human babies. Bigfoot-type creatures are but contemporary replacements for various Wild Men and Monsters of woods and mountains. Whatever the image and the resultant response in human experiencers, the messages relayed are always relevant to the time context of the human observers. The symbolism employed is always timeless, archetypal, and instantly recognizable by one level of the human percipient's consciousness. Angels, ge¬nies, wee people, devils, and gods have been popular in all cultures throughout history.
Brent Raynes: Certainly one pioneer in this field, besides yourselves, who had attempted many years ago to point all of this out was the acclaimed free-thinking author, Mothman chaser, and world-adventurer John A. Keel. I have tried through the years to devour just about everything that he has written on UFOs, strange creatures and the paranormal, but then in Real Encounters I read with awe something quite new to my knowledge-base, a paragraph that explained how you had met Keel years ago in New York City and he shared with you some of the instances of "paranormal harassment" that had besieged him since he had become involved with investigating Mothman. "Most unsettling were his accounts of the infamous 'three Men in Black' who had visited him, threatened him, and given him a remarkable display of their abilities," you, Brad, had written. "Keel confided that he had observed a repertoire of preternatural talents that had profoundly demonstrated that those particular MIB were beings 'beyond the ken of mortal men.'" Though I knew of his published accounts of MIBish events like seeing two oriental looking men in a black cadillac at Long Island's haunted Mount Misery, which he followed to a deadend, where they mysteriously vanished, and of his strange phone conversations with the enigmatic Apol, your Real Encounters mention of Keel's direct confrontation with the MIB and his observing their "abilities" firsthand certainly caught me by surprise. I don't recall ever hearing or reading of such an aspect previously.
Can you share any more details? What sort of abilities did they demonstrate? Did they appear to be completely physical or did they appear to be paraphysical entities? What sort of threats did they level at him, and did he seem at all worried about any of that? Did he describe to you experiencing any "missing time" or indications that he was placed in an altered state of consciousness during any of this "harassment"?
Brad Steiger: In January of 1966, I was brought to NYC by Macfadden-Bartell publishers to complete my Valentino, the biography of the great silent film screen lover of the 1920s. I had corresponded with Ivan T. Sanderson for a few years and he had become my mentor. At the time, Ivan was an editor-at-large for a publisher, and he had me working on a book on the poltergeist phenomena. When I told him I would be in NYC for a couple of weeks, he suggested that I take time off from work on the book for Macfadden-Bartell to visit him at his farm in New Jersey and sift through whatever info on poltergeists that he might have in his files. While I was there, the Jersey Devil was sighted, and Ivan spent hours on the phone answering queries and doing radio programs. Before I returned to the City, he said that I absolutely must take some time to get together with John A. Keel. Keel and I had corresponded briefly, and I agreed to ring him up some night when I felt I could take another break from my deadline. An editor was stopping by daily to pick up the pages I had completed, so I didn’t have a lot of free time.
When I was able to call Keel, he asked if I liked Chinese food. I confessed that I had never been to a Chinese restaurant. He was pleased to introduce me to some excellent dishes from what we then called “the Orient,” and I have loved Chinese cuisine ever since.
Our dinner conversation was laced with talk of UFOs, monsters, and, of course, the nefarious Three Men in Black. The MIB were very much a part of the general paranoia of the field in the late 1960s. It seemed that everyone who considered himself or herself a “UFO researcher” claimed some personal harassment that just had to be the result of those three mysterious figures of menace. Some researchers believe that they had proof that the trio was comprised of US Air Force officers. Others were convinced that the entities were members of a sinister group of E Ts who were intent on silencing any Earthling who might have information that would expose their machinations to the portions of the government and military not already under their domination.
Keel wanted to discuss the MIB at greater length, and he suggested that we adjourn to his apartment. Once we had arrived, he got right to the point. He believed that the entities who were harassing him were more than human and that it was unlikely that they were extraterrestrials because of the peculiar abilities which they had demonstrated.
According to Keel, after he had suffered mysterious telephone calls and was made aware that a seemingly all-knowing “someone” had him always under surveillance, “they” arrived one night in his apartment. They didn’t bother with the door. Suddenly three men simply manifested before him. Keel recalled that their behavior alternated between acting buffoonish to that of assuming “tough guy” personas as they threatened him to cease all of his research into the UFO phenomena.
After around a half an hour of cacophony of threats and behavior suggestive of the Three Stooges, one of them asked Keel if he wanted a demonstration of their alien abilities. When Keel shrugged, “why not,” one of them went to his kitchen sink, pulled out a bottle of bleach from its cabinet, and took several swallows of the liquid, then handed the bottle to one of his companions, who, in turn, passed it to the third member of the strange trio.
Keel said that they took their turn with the bottle of deadly liquid until the bottle was empty. In his opinion, the beings were most likely paraphysical, for he could not imagine any physical beings who could drink bleach. Unless, of course, they were physical beings of an entirely different composition than we humans.
While I found Keel’s account difficult to comprehend, he seemed completely honest and forthright with his account of the extraordinary encounters with the strange beings. As we discussed his bizarre visitors at greater length, I could tell that Keel was beginning to lean more toward the belief that rather than extraterrestrials threatening those who chose to delve into the UFO enigma, it was humankind’s ancient supernatural enemies harassing us in more modern guises of beings from other planets. He had, it appeared to me, begun to think in terms of demonic interference for what endgame goal remained unclear.
But as I said, UFO research grew extremely bizarre in the late 1960s. Not long after I completed the book on Valentino and returned home to the Midwest, I received a letter from a prominent researcher who swore to me that Keel had been replaced by an alien look-alike. When I asked Keel the next time we spoke on the telephone if I were speaking to the real or the robotic Keel, he only laughed and knew exactly who was spreading those rumors about him.
After my visit with Keel, I began to examine my disillusionment with what we then called “flying saucer research.” The more that I got into the field, the more that I traveled across the US and Canada, the more that I interviewed contactees and abductees, the more that I began to pay attention to the nagging voice within me that kept telling me that the initial excitement that aliens, benevolent or malevolent, were visiting Earth was seeming more familiar and more like the world of psychic phenomena that I had been investigating for years. It seemed that we were now abandoning the spirit guides and mediums for the contactees with their Space Brothers and Sisters. And as I continued research for the poltergeist book (which became Strange Guests, Ace, 1966), I felt more and more that the phenomena of harassment by strange sounds and bumps in the night reported by those who had UFO encounters were seeming increasingly similar to the phenomena reported by those troubled by the bothersome rampages of the poltergeist.
Brent Raynes: Recently I did an interview with British author and researcher Anthony Peake - a gentleman you know as well and who is on the same page with us when it comes to connecting the dots with all of this mysterious stuff. He even explained how for years we've put EVPs, alien abductions, ghosts and all into separate compartments, but now more and more researchers are recognizing their links. He touched upon with me so many fascinating and thought-provoking aspects, including the alien abduction experience and how the legendary occultist Aliester Crowley, and sci fi writers Whitley Strieber and Phillip K. Dick experienced and drew similar grey-type entities. He even explained how Dick described MIB type encounters and how he felt that his pineal gland was possibly being manipulated in his experiences. Anthony talks a lot about altered states of consciousness, biophotons, quantum physics, and brain chemistry, and the pineal gland is central to a great deal of what he is studying and writing about. He has also discussed his ideas with Whitley Streiber who seemed quite interested he said in his thoughts on all of this as well.
Brad, Anthony was very interested in the fact that you had also communicated with Phillip K. Dick when he was alive and how he shared with you details of his alien memories and encounters. From what Anthony has told me, Mr. Dick seemed to also possess a lot of precognitive abilities, and he found evidence that he had even foreseen his own death.
I'd love to hear anything you, or Sherry either, might feel compelled to share on anything I've just mentioned here.
At that time, he told me, he was shown in a vision, “more properly, an inner hologram,” the cover of my book, Revelation: The Divine Fire (Prentice-Hall, 1973). A feminine voice told him that this book would help him to understand what was occurring to him. He was also told by the voice to get in touch with me.
Dick said that he was about to publish a novel (Valis, 1981) that would advance numerous similar concepts. Dick wished to hide behind the veil of fiction so he could claim that he made the whole thing up. Dick had been shown a vision of himself in a disabled spacecraft heading toward Earth in prehistoric times. He was one of the emigrants of a technologically sophisticated civilization that was undergoing vast convulsions. But the survivors of that extraterrestrial civilization feared that, once contact was lost with the home planet, they might lose continuity in terms of the handing down of their culture from generation to generation. The solution was “phylogenic memory,” which Dick explained as complex DNA information packets distributed in dormant form:
“These dominant DNA information packets would be disinhibited--induced to fire--in due time, depending on either synchronized inner biological clocks or pure chance stimuli. Or a combination of both, ideally. Thus even thousands of years later, the primordial civilization will be ’released’ in the minds of the astonished descendants who suppose themselves autochthones [aboriginal inhabitants] of the planet they now inhabit.” ‘
During the course of our correspondence over the next few years, Phil told me that he had recognized the feminine voice that told him to read Revelation: The Divine Fire as the one that had spoken to him sporadically since his high school days. Eventually, the voice had identified herself as the Ruah, the Hebrew word for Spirit of God, Holy Spirit. She was, according to Phil’s understanding, a “tutelary spirit,” possessed of a “transcendentally rational mind.” The Ruah spoke to him in terse, succinct sentences, and communicated most often when he was falling asleep or waking up. He had to be very quiet and attentive in order to hear the brief messages that she relayed.
Brent Raynes: You and Sherry both have had a life-time of your own UFO and paranormal experiences, which without doubt allows you both to empathize and better understand the feelings and experiences that others share with you of a paranormal nature. A number of these are revealed in Real Encounters. I feel sure that such experiences have given you both something of a head-start as investigators of the unknown because of your own direct experiences. From your own experiences, care to comment on the advantages (and any possible disadvantages?) of being in such a position?
Brad Steiger: One of the greatest advantages would, of course, be our empathy toward those who come to us with great concerns that their contact with the Other is the result of mental illness, demonic possession, or an enlightenment that has endowed them with wisdom and powers above all other mortals. Because of our life-long experiences and encounters, we can assure them that their encounter is likely none of the above, which is a relief to some and a disappointment to others.
Brent Raynes: One of my favorite stories, which wasn't in your latest book here (how could you possibly get them all into one book anyway), was when you both were in Peru years ago (and I see that the Peruvian Air Force is again re-opening it's UFO investigations because of a recent spat of new activity) and you folks had been led to a sacred lake by an area shaman type and where you both saw UFOs diving into the lake and coming out of it as well, and also, as I recall, Sherry also developed a psychic link with the mysterious lights during this episode. Plus, didn't you guys see odd lights elsewhere in Peru? Like at Machu Picchu?
Brad Steiger: When we were touring Peru in the early 1990s investigating many of the most important ancient ruins, a young shaman, aware of our interest in UFOs, asked if we wished to visit a place where he could guarantee the appearance of strange aerial craft, which the local people termed, angels. The conditions were that we had to go at night and observe the comings and goings of the lights in complete darkness and that we not inquire as to the location. Our group was in total agreement.
The location, somewhere in the Andes, was indeed dark. From time to time we would be aware of indigenous people walking next to us in the darkness. They seemed simply to be going about domestic chores, carrying sacks of food or firewood, basically ignoring us, apparently not even curious as to why crazy tourists would be standing there after dark.
When the first of the mysterious lights appeared, we saw that we were standing near a rather large lake (not Titicaca) and that the aerial object had emerged from the water. The first was followed by three or four more. The luminous craft darted across the surface of the lake, eventually soaring quite high, so high that they appeared like stars in the night sky. Then, strangely, as though carrying out some appointed task, some of them returned to the lake and dove beneath its surface, going so deep that their light could no longer be seen. Some of the craft--at least we assumed they were the same lights that had previously soared high in the night sky--returned to the surface and resumed aerial flight.
The whole demonstration was everything that the shaman had promised--and more. We were quite surprised when the lights appeared to respond to mental requests from certain of us who stood on the shore.
On some sudden impulse, Sherry began “asking” mentally that the objects turn to the right, turn to the left, move up, move down--and she was astonished when the objects complied with her requests. After she had conducted a number of such “experiments,” she told the group about her having established mental “contact” with the lights, and she demonstrated by giving the request out loud. There were “oohs” and “aahs” as the objects appeared to honor her “commands,” and another of our group soon achieved success in “talking with the aliens.”
But were the glowing objects soaring from the lake really visitors from the stars? Would alien life forms who had the technical mastery to travel to our planet across hundreds of light years respond to the mental requests of an earth woman--regardless how attuned she might be to the Cosmos? Or, as the native people testified, were the glowing figures truly angelic beings? Or were they yet another form that the Other may assume at will?
Several nights later, I had the second of two bad dreams. In the first, Sherry and I were being threatened by some strange entity of decidedly evil intent. We were saved by two wolves (my totem animal) that manifested to drive the malignant creature away.
On the second night, I dreamed that Sherry and I were about to be lowered into a deep pit at the command of a powerful sorceress, who stood laughing at our struggles as her followers complied with her orders.
That next day, we had the entire morning and afternoon to wander the magnificent ancient streets of Machu Picchu. After a few hours of ever-fascinating discoveries, two members of the group and we, were attracted to one particular home. We were all shocked as the walls appeared to be covered with bloody streaks and stains and matted with thick spider webs. The whole building seemed to emanate vibrations of evil. Strangely, when Sherry looked through her camera lens at the grisly tableau, she saw only the pitch black of deep darkness. Determined, she aimed the camera and snapped several “pictures” anyway. (When we had the film developed upon our return to the States, we found pictures of what appeared to be dripping blood all over the walls.)
When we were attempting to explore the interior of the home with flashlights, a shaman stopped by and warned us that we should be careful. According to him, it had been the dwelling place of a powerful and very evil witch, in fact, “the most evil witch who had ever lived in the world,” who disposed of her victims by having them thrown into a pit.
Such an announcement sent involuntary shivers up our spines, but we did not heed the implied warning and went ahead to obtain permission to return to Machu Picchu after dark with a small number of the tour group to conduct a special prayer of protection. Sherry had just completed a beautiful prayer assuring the spirits of that ancient culture that we intended no disrespect and that we wished union between the condor and the eagle, when a sudden gust of wind blew out the candles that we had arranged in the lean-to in which we had taken shelter for the ceremony. Members of the group began to perceive spirit entities moving toward us. A man who was a Los Angeles policeman back home shouted that he saw gigantic figures, seven or eight feet tall, coming menacingly toward the group.
At that time, when everyone in the group was praying for spirit protection, a pack of six dogs suddenly appeared from nowhere. With fierce growls and snarls, they drove the giants and other threatening entities back to whatever shadows from which they had manifested. The pack maintained their protective presence while we walked in darkness on the path that would lead us out of the city. Then, as we approached the gates, without another bark or whine, our guard dogs disappeared.
Brent Raynes: After all of your many, many years of very active and extensive investigative involvement in all of this, where do you think we're headed? What do you think is next? To read or listen to many experiencers, between the accounts of alleged military interference and abducting aliens, matters seem forced upon us and out of our control; yet other accounts and situations address a more cooperative and positive side to these experiences.
Do you feel that there is anything that the individual experiencer can do to wrestle this thing into a more positive and benevolent light? And, also, what should one do, do you feel, if they do find themselves experiencing the more negative and frightening elements of these occurrences?
Brad Steiger: We always stress caution and discernment to those who have encountered the Other or to those who believe that they have. It is always of vital importance to test the spirits, as the holy works of all religious traditions advise. We must always be aware of the deceivers who assume the various guises of the Other. Unless our perception of evil is due to our inability to see accurately through “a glass darkly,” it does seem to our limited understanding that evil truly exists as a negative force that leads us away from the Light. When we first came together as a couple, we conducted seminars entitled, “The Cosmic Conspiracy,” largely structured around the warning given in Ephesians 6:11-12 that we “… do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” We feel strongly that we are in an eon’s old spiritual warfare between the forces of Darkness and Light. It is disheartening to suggest, as others have, that we humans may be the pawns, the spoils, of this cosmic combat.
Many of the messages conveyed by the Other often seem to contain creative symbolic myths rather than literal truths. We maintain that in addition to mystical and spiritual insights, numerous literal truths have been prompted by the Other. We believe that, through the ages, the gods, angels, and alien messengers have been provoking humankind into ever higher spirals of intellectual and technological maturity, guiding men and women toward ever-expanding mental and spiritual awareness, pulling our species continually into the future.
Although the paraphysical, multidimensional “gods” and “messengers” have always co-existed with us, in the last forty years or so they seem to have been accelerating their interaction with us in preparation for what has been defined by many who claim spiritual insight as a fast-approaching time of transition and transforma¬tion. This period, we are told, will be a difficult one, a time that for generations many of our prophets and revelators have been referring to it as The Great Cleansing, Judgment Day, Armageddon.
Has the Other, this multidimensional intelligence that has interacted with us throughout our physical, mental, and spiritual evolution manifested to prepare us for the acceptance of the grim reality that our reign as the dominant species on the planet has come to an end? Or has it accelerated its program of real encounters to help us gain a deeper understanding of the spiritual dimensions that exist without and within us, our true role in the cosmic scheme of things, and the destiny that awaits us?