UFO Hocus Pocus
By Brent Raynes
“….you have to peel away layers and layers of nonsense to get at the ‘truth.’ And that ‘truth’ is very disappointing indeed. Rather like finding out that the magician performs a marvelous magic trick with a piece of black thread.” – Personal letter from John A. Keel, 11/23/70.
Journalist Bob Teets investigated more than 150 eyewitness accounts for his book West Virginia UFOs: Close Encounters In The Mountain State (1995). One of my favorite UFO “hocus pocus” cases was recounted to Bob in an interview with one Gregg Knight, a deputy with the Harrison County Police Department. Gregg had described an old man named Brian (pseudonym) who he stated was quite a “mentally disturbed individual” who had “quit work because of events in his life and in his daughter’s life in Louisiana because of contact with aliens.”
Gregg’s story is that one clear afternoon back in 1990, he and Brian were just standing outside at a trailer park in Belmont, West Virginia, engaged in conversation. Brian was known to be very knowledgeable about Biblical matters and, in their conversation, Gregg said words to the effect, “If I ask my Dad a question, he answers. If I ask God the Father something, he won’t answer, sometimes for years. Now why is that?”
Gregg recalled that Brian responded, “It depends on what you ask.” Gregg came back with, “Like UFOs, what could they be? I want to see an alien craft not of this world.” Brian then simply said, “Look there,” and Gregg looked to the west, and what he saw, he admits, “took my breath away.”
Bob’s account of this story continues as follows:
It was a massive craft, so huge it “blocked out the sun, and yet it didn’t cast a shadow.” Gregg estimates it was more than 2,000 feet in length, with a finish like that of “a Chrysler 426 hemi engine, that’s it exactly.” Its features resembled “a battleship turned upside down.”
“I yelled for my wife as loud as I could, or at least I thought I did,” he recalls, “but no one came out.”
After it was gone, Gregg looked at Brian. “Did you see that!” he asked, incredulously.
“Sure,” Brian answered. “That ain’t nothing, that’s just a mother ship. You ought to see a colony ship. And then wait ‘til you talk to ‘em.”
Gregg says Brian’s son, who was 20 miles away in Parkersburg, saw it too. From his perspective, it appeared to be about the size of a baseball on the horizon.”
Bob Teets adds that Gregg afterwards became an active member of the Mutual UFO Network, as a direct result of his dramatic encounter that strange afternoon in 1990.
This isn’t the only UFO case where a small group of people presumably observed something quite spectacular and massive in size that hundreds of others should have been quite startled by – something that should have resulted in a media sensation. Despite Gregg yelling to his wife at the top of his lungs, no one else ventured outside to observe the huge object with them. Indeed, often witnesses to UFO close encounters seem to become somehow isolated from others. The neighborhood, the streets, the highway suddenly became eerily quiet and devoid of normal human activity or automobile traffic. British ufologist Jenny Randles coined the term “The Oz Effect” for such situations. Have such witnesses become unknowingly and temporarily pulled into a parallel world that outwardly resembles our own on the surface? Or is this an experience similar to religious visionary phenomena, induced perhaps by an alien intelligence of some sort that floods our consciousness with powerful imagery through altered states that resemble what we call hypnosis.
“I know they use cloaking,” a man explained to me. “I’ve personally witnessed it with my Dad who was a complete non-believer at the time. We were in his boat on Lake Mead near Vegas. It was a beautiful day. Just me, my ex-wife and him. We were just floating and sitting around talking. He was standing up by the steering wheel and my ex and me were sitting on the back seat. It was a very clear blue sky with hardly any cloud cover at all. This metallic object caught my eye reflecting off the sun I guess. When I got a better look at it I could see that it was a silver disc shaped object. Your classic ‘flying saucer’ - and it was just hovering motionless with no sound. I can’t really guess how high it was but it was low enough to clearly see the shape of it. About that time my ex saw it too and said something to me about it. I then asked my Dad, ‘Do you see anything in the sky?’ and pointed in the direction of where we were seeing the craft. I didn’t tell him what it was we were looking at because he wouldn’t have believed me anyway. He was a ranking police officer at the time. He turned around because he had his back to it since he was facing us and looked up. He couldn’t deny it and gave a comment like ‘well I’ll be damned.’ I then asked him to describe what he saw and he described exactly what we were seeing too. It was then that I got to see it cloak as after about five minutes of just hovering in one spot it instantly disappeared. Not flying anywhere. It just flat out disappeared in the blink of an eye. Really freaked us out! We kept looking all over different areas of the sky and in about 3 or 4 minutes it popped back in what looked like the same spot it had been in before. It did this several times over the next 10 to 15 minutes but it did move slightly a couple of times yet still stayed in the same general area of the sky until it finally disappeared for good and never reappeared.”
Some years back, a prominent paranormal researcher on the West Coast shared with me an interesting story about Ingo Swann, the well-known psychic who was instrumental in developing the remote viewing program at the Stanford Research Institute some time ago. It seems that a researcher had hypnotized Swann and asked him to project his consciousness into the future. This informant shared, “Speaking with a mechanical voice, Ingo said the beings of the future were like machines. When (he) asked what they looked like, Ingo told him to close his eyes. (He) saw a red dot or disk that slowly turned yellow. Immediately after he saw that, Ingo said, ‘When the red light becomes yellow, you will have seen us.’ (He) was shaken by the experience.”
An abductee named Mary shared with me how she felt that at an early age alien beings had taught her how to remote view. She recalled how a bright “white orb” once came into her bedroom window one night and, as a part of her seemingly “recognized this being,” she reached out to embrace it. “As I embraced the light, I felt a strong force field emanating from it,” she noted. “I momentarily lost consciousness in my interaction with this being but regained it later when communicating with a small golden ball of light floating a few feet from my face.”
Recalling another encounter back around 1994-5, Mary added, “I ‘awoke’ very early one morning to find myself sitting on the edge of the bed, finishing a conversation with them in a strange alien tongue. The non-communicating, observing me seemed to be somewhat detached from my physical self which was speaking. I marveled at how fluently I spoke their language (far better than I speak English) and how engaged I was in my conversation with them. The beauty of the language is beyond imagination. It was fluid and flowing and gentle. The speaking part of me was confident and sure with them for I knew they were always part of me and I was part of them. The observing me comprehended none of the conversation. When the visitation was over, the speaking me receded and the observing me wept for I missed them so much. Looking back, the observing me now seems so clueless and foggy.”
“These two consciousnesses were both ‘me,’” Mary stated. “They co-existed and operated simultaneously.” She compared this to how Ingo Swann had reportedly remote viewed Jupiter in an experiment years ago with Hal Puthoff and Russell Targ at the Stanford Research Institute. Part of Swann’s consciousness seemingly projected to Jupiter while another part spoke to the scientists in real time and gave them descriptions of what he was observing. Years later, space scientists verified details of Jupiter that were not known at the time of Swann’s remote viewing.
Perhaps the gap between the paranormal and ufology is gradually narrowing and taking on meaningful directions. Our own Dr. Greg Little, the author of The Archetype Experience, People of the Web, and Grand Illusions has pointed out that UFOs often appear to be composed of plasma energies that “frequently assume an intelligent form and shape and display an interactive intelligence with their observers,” a theory that noted British author Andrew Collins seems to be likewise pursuing. On the ghost front, the concept of plasma energy is also being seriously looked at. Joshua P. Warren, in his book How To Hunt Ghosts (2003), stated that “it seems ghosts often materialize in a state of plasma.” Warren recalled how he was on a national radio show sometime back and a caller wanted to share an unusual experience. Interestingly, this caller worked at a haunted neon-light factory when, on one occasion, he claimed that a glowing woman in loose garb appeared. “As the apparition lingered, neon bulbs around her brightened,” Warren wrote. “This is what happens to a neon tube when subjected to a steam of charges. After only a few seconds, the specter disappeared. The neon bulbs blinked out…” Warren went on to speculate that a “ghost” might “use electrical charges to create a temporary physical form,” perhaps even manipulating “electrical fields and charges to gain access to our world.”
Maybe science will eventually help us remove a great deal of the abracadabra and hocus pocus from the mysterious events long reported in the fields of ufology and parapsychology both.