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Reality Checking

Mystical Experiences, Quantum Physics, and ET Channelings

By Brent Raynes

Brent Raynes

“Parapsychiatric study of the contactees and abductees—those who claim contact with the UFO entities—might be especially valuable since in great measure these persons have many similarities to gifted mediums and paragnosts. They are readily entranced, and experiments can be devised that seem to incite new UFO contacts and psychic phenomena, and, what is more important, conditions that lead to objective data—possible paranormal films of UFOs, paranormal audiotapes.” --Psychic Nexus: Psychic Phenomena in Psychiatry and Everyday Life, by Berthold Eric Schwarz, M.D. Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1980.

Can You Hear Me Now??

Dr. Schwarz was a distinguished psychiatrist who held both a deep interest in the paranormal and the UFO phenomenon. Unlike the vast majority of his profession, Dr. Schwarz didn’t take a mere armchair approach to this subject matter spinning wholly speculative psychological theories. Instead, he ventured out into the field, interviewing eyewitnesses personally—even skywatching, actively seeking a firsthand experience himself. Dr. Schwarz was in search of hard evidence to substantiate the incredible claims of UFO eyewitnesses.

One case that he looked into quite extensively for a number of years was that of Massachusetts contactee Stella Lansing. It all began at a UFO conference in Baltimore, Maryland, in January 1971, where Dr. Schwarz had given a lecture. After his talk he was planning to have dinner with noted researchers Coral Lorenzen and Dr. J. Allen Hynek, but he had gotten word that this middle-aged New England housewife named Stella Lansing wished to speak with him. He later wrote, “I spent the time in the auditorium listening to one of the most unusual accounts of alleged repeated close UFO contacts that I have ever heard. On the surface the data was extraordinary if not preposterous: Experiences involving strange little men, voices appearing out of nowhere, creatures, loss of consciousness, ‘electric shock’ from a shimmering figure, a gaping round hole in the ice, a craft possibly surfacing from under water, miniscule footprints, religious symbols, bizarre harassments, etc. Fortunately, as I later learned, Mrs. Lansing kept meticulous records of her many experiences.”

In the following weeks and months, Dr. Schwarz visited Mrs. Lansing at her home in Massachusetts, and she as well visited his office in Montclair, New Jersey. He reviewed many super 8 mm motion picture films she had made of alleged UFOs, interviewed her and other witnesses in the area, and conducted “physical, neurological, and electroencephalographic examinations” of her concluding that she was in good health and had “no impairments of vision, hearing, or intellectual functions.”

During his visits to Massachusetts, Dr. Schwarz’s went skywatching with Mrs. Lansing, an activity that paid off. “On February 12, 1971, after an evening of intensive interviewing of Mrs. Lansing and her lady and gentleman friends, I went with her, at 4:00 a.m., to one of her favorite UFO sites, overlooking a hilltop that was cleared for high-tension wires,” Dr. Schwarz wrote. “At that time the dark sky was suddenly lit up and we saw a round, pulsating, bright yellow-orange, noiselessly gliding light, which expanded and contracted, went out and relighted. Mrs. Lansing intermittently photographed this over several minutes, while I tape-recorded the event. Stars and the moon were also seen and photographed as controls.”

Dr. Schwarz was unable to identify what they had seen and photographed with anything conventional. Then he had another skywatch with Mrs. Lansing with even more surprising results. He wrote, “During my second trip to Massachusetts, on the night of April 15, 1971, Mrs. Lansing, her middle-aged lady friend, and I drove to a very isolated rural area at 10:45 p.m. The engine and lights of the car were switched off, we got out of the car, and within minutes the sky over the nearby hill across the field was illuminated by a sudden appearance of one, then two, white-yellowish-orange discs, which pulsated, changed size and color, and merged into one, and then separated into two discs; then they noiselessly glided away at varying speeds. This was simultaneously photographed by Mrs. Lansing on her battery-driven motion picture camera and by me on a spring-wound camera. Unfortunately, my Sony Cassette-Corder (TC 40) suddenly failed to operate at the time.”

“While Mrs. Lansing and I were filming these strange lights, an automobile suddenly seemed to appear out of nowhere. It stopped approximately one to two hundred feet ahead of our car. We were shocked to see its headlights illuminate our dark area and flicker alternately left and right (and vice versa) in a manner reminiscent of semaphore signals, and then dim out to a pink, and come on again. At the height of the excitement, the lady friend panicked, and screamed to us to get back in the car, which we did. Fortunately I photographed most of this bizarre incident, and for several film frames the flaming disc can be seen gliding in the background, above and then just over the glaring headlights. The latter part of the event was filmed from the interior of Mrs. Lansing’s car, and showed reflections from her windshield. The mystery car then suddenly turned up its lights, started its engine, and barreled past us at great speed. Because of the blinding headlights we could not make out the license plate, but the auto seemed to be a rather large, nondescript General Motors model of several years ago.”

The lady witnesses said that they had never had an experience like this before. The location that had been selected that night was selected in a spontaneous spur-of-the-moment manner. It was not an advanced and planned visit to this particular site, and so it seemed unlikely that anyone knowing of their activities would have been present to have staged this strange signaling car event. (To view a brief video of Stella Lansing, Dr. Schwarz, and others describing these and similar events, as filmed by a crew from the former television show Sightings, go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AayDPO1A7Dg) (1)

Besides anomalies on film, Stella Lansing also obtained a few EVP-type voice anomalies on audio, as she would often tape record while on her sky watches. This is described in Dr. Schwarz’s Book Two of UFO Dynamics (1983). He wrote: “In my office on April 15 to 19, 1975, Mrs. Lansing played some of her tapes and projected the accompanying films with UFO-like images (mostly clock-like formations and their metamorphoses). She had tapes with persistent rhythmic intermittent machinery-like noise; ‘whooshing’ followed with what sounded like a high-pitched boyish (?) rapid voice (?) saying ‘at least I’ll be left alone – (long pause) – drunk (?) last night.’ On a tape, when she was accompanied by a friend, ‘Hi!’ was interjected. On one recording ‘Hello’ was interpolated. On another occasion, while filming, Mrs. Lansing shut off the recorder to save tape, ‘and when I played it back, I heard the pause, and a voice saying, ‘What are you up to?’”

In my notes from my first visit (01/05/1974) with Stella at her home in Massachusetts, I had written: “Throughout 1966 until 1969, she had a ‘terrific’ degree of UFO-related television and radio interference. Sounds like shortwave would burst over the TV.”

Dr. Schwarz certainly felt that “paranormal photographic and audiotape techniques” could well prove highly significant to the study of UFOs. He pointed out how such things as ghostly encounters, hauntings, and poltergeist outbreaks often “seem to develop shortly after or at the time of the encounters.” In addition, he noted how “witnesses often claim psychic effects, such as supposed telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, telekinesis, teleportation, materialization, dematerialization of craft and creatures, apports, causation, relief of various illnesses, and the like.” (Psychic Nexus, 1980)

Three years ago, I met an “abductee” who was a textbook example of such situations that Dr. Schwarz referred to in the above paragraph. “I know for me that the paranormal activity did begin after my first abduction experience at age five and has continued ever since,” Bret Oldham told me. “As a child I could never understand why so many spirits came to me and I only wanted them to leave me alone but as I got older and became aware of my abductions I then began to consider the hypothesis that somehow my energy level in my body had been changed or increased by these abduction experiences and/or something in my psychic awareness had.”

I have speculated that since a large portion of these reported alien/human interactions seem to most often occur at a non-verbal/telepathic level of communication, seemingly accessing neural circuits that allow for elevated or advanced psychic functioning, then possibly the reports of expanded psychic awareness and activity after such encounters is a byproduct of what was initially intended primarily for the alien/human interactional process. It may be that once certain brain sites are activated, reprogrammed and/or modified in this way then it may no longer be something that can just be easily switched off afterwards. Dr. Schwarz also noted in his book UFO Dynamics (1983) that many UFO contactees he investigated seemed to be people with reported psychic/mediumistic abilities and that the vast majority of them also seemed to be unusually deep hypnotic trance subjects. Other researchers have also noted these patterns. “They seem to be highly susceptible to hypnotic suggestion,” psychologist Dr. R. Leo Sprinkle wrote in his book Soul Samples (1999), adding: “They seem to experience many psychic phenomena and/or possess some psychic abilities.” (We just recently discussed this and other aspects of these experiences with Dr. Sprinkle on our blogtalk radio show Alternate Perceptions [http://www.liveparanormal.com/event/show-alternate.html] on 01/28/13)

Incredibly, over the last three years, since being introduced to UFO abductee Bret Oldham and his wife Gina by Sandy Nichols, founder of the Alien Research Group (ARG) of Thompson Station, Tennessee, Sandy being himself an admitted abductee, we have together and separately conducted numerous experiments and done paranormal investigations (often at sites reportedly haunted) and we have all amassed hundreds of our own audio files wherein seemingly intelligent and interactive “electronic voices” (though in a few cases they were heard in the room with us!) came through on our digital recorders and over a “spirit box,” which is simply a digital radio whose scanner mechanism has been disabled, thus it is on continuous scan. The theory is that the “spirits” can use the white noise to manifest to us in.

Admittedly, I was initially very skeptical. In years past, I had engaged in my fair share of EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon) attempts going back to around 1976. My attempts were pretty dismal. I could engage in hours of audio evidence review after a recording and come up with absolutely nothing inexplicable. Now, however, I may conduct a session and in an hour or two of evidence review isolate up to half a dozen, or a dozen or more real good sections of anomalous audio!

What’s the difference? One theory that some in parapsychology posited early on with regard to the EVP mystery was the theory that people with strong psychic or mediumistic abilities were better at getting positive results of this nature, but yet could help to “seed” or transmit the ability to others who might be receptive. I only know that my prior track record with this sort of thing wasn’t very good at all (and that’s putting it mildly) until I came to work with Bret and Gina Oldham, a couple who, I am quite convinced, both possess strong psychic abilities.

Early on in our sessions we began communicating with a voice that identified itself as “John Keel,” a UFO researcher who had greatly influenced my involvement in this field, and a man who I had engaged in correspondence off and on with for quite a number of years. We got some incredible interactive responses. In an attempt to convince myself that these “voices” were for real and not mere fragments of conventional radio broadcasts that were being misinterpreted, I introduced a strategy that we reproduced successfully again and again. We’d write a word or words down on an index card or sheet of paper and ask the “voices” to repeat what was written down in front of us. The response could be immediate or it might take some couching and a couple or so minutes, but when it came through you knew that the odds were very unlikely to be coincidence or anything like that. For example, I asked Keel what he could tell us about Jadoo, a book he had written back in the 1950s based on his adventures in the Orient (Jadoo being a word that meant black magic) and immediately we heard a male voice come through the stereo speakers saying “Jadoo, eh?” Another time, that same evening (it was the one year anniversary of Keel’s death, July 3, 2010), Bret asked him about Bigfoot, a subject that Keel had investigated quite extensively, and a male voice said immediately “Smuck Bigfoot, see?” and then we heard like another voice say “See,” and then yet another “see.” All of this in real time using the “spirit box.”

Dr. Schwarz, whom I had met a couple of times (1976-77) and corresponded extensively with for over three decades, passed away on September 16, 2010. Soon I was getting “Doctor Schwarz” coming through the box. I tried to engage him in communication and as a control get him to say something that only he would have known, like the name of a book he had written, which I also had a chapter in, which was entitled UFO Dynamics. While I thought I might have gotten it once or twice, but it was too distorted to be certain, I instead got a clear “UFO D,” which occasionally he would abbreviate it that way in letters to me, when discussing that book!

Bret and Gina frequently get an apparent spirit guide/spirit technician named “Bishop” who it seems helps with sessions, and he pops up in virtually every “spirit box” event that I, my wife and daughter do at our home as well. We also get an apparent spirit named “Phillip,” and occasionally “Doctor Schwarz.” In a recent session (02/03/13), upon asking who was there to help us and asking for Doctor Schwarz, we got all three names within seconds, and I learned the next day that when Bret and Gina did a session that same day they also got Bishop, Phillip, and what sounded like Schwarz too. “Pretty weird that you guys were getting all the same names that we were on the same day, and especially Dr. Schwarz showing up since we haven’t heard that name in quite awhile,” Bret remarked after listening to some of my audio. At a Christmas Party at Sandy’s (12/22/12) we all did a spirit box session together, with about a dozen people present, including some interested country music celebrities like Rodney Crowell, Claudia Church, and Michael Rojas, 2010 Academy of Country Music Awards Top Piano/Keyboard Player of the Year. (2) Again we got these familiar names, as well as interactive responses. I asked for Doctor Schwarz and got “Doc-tor Schwarz” (first part was a little dragged out) immediately. Also, as often happens, we got a clear “fuck you,” which is certainly not normal AM radio language. A pretty good number of odd anomalies were recorded that night.

We also ask for and hear responses that seemingly connect with friends and loved ones who have passed on. We get names, nick names and first and last names, and even messages expressing love and of missing us. Bret and Gina and I have even done long-distance experiments with the “spirit box” wherein Bret and Gina would try and send me certain words and I would do the same. We’d select a certain date and time to do these experiments, and we had several successful noteworthy results. I even had a successful experiment doing this with a lady contactee in Australia whose specific message came through my “spirit box”!

Sometimes we just use a digital recorder and afterwards play back some pretty mind-boggling responses. However, generally the “voices” through “the box” are amplified and are easier to hear. This puts me in mind of the quantum physics theory of non-local reality. Even after death a part of us seems still connected to our loved ones, even though we and they are obviously now quite separated and “worlds apart,” so to speak.

This gives me some measure of hope. There are things that truly can’t be explained. There is more to reality than mechanistic “nuts and bolts” sterile science has allowed for.

Once again they are gone but hardly forgotten…

George Fawcett had been collecting and investigating UFO phenomena for a long, long time. In fact, his interest went all the way back to 1944, when the mysterious “foo fighters” of World War II came to his attention! He was the author of “Quarter Century of UFOs in Florida, North Carolina and Tennessee,” published in 1975. He lectured on UFOs at almost 600 different colleges, military groups, scientific organizations, and various other gatherings here and abroad. Over the years, he authored over 100 articles for FATE, Search, Saga, Argosy, True, the National Enquirer, and my personal favorite England’s Flying Saucer Review. He founded several major UFO groups, including the New England UFO Study Group back in 1957. I attended one of his talks for that group back around 1977. He sure could deliver a great UFO talk, and told me a very interesting personal MIB-type incident that had happened to him once. I’ll have to look that up sometime and post it here at this site. Sadly George passed away on Sunday, January 20, 2013. He was 83, and lived in Lincolnton, North Carolina.

Famous remote viewer Ingo Swann also departed our world around 10:30 p.m., February 1, 2013. He was 79. Though regarded by many as an incredibly gifted “psychic,” he preferred to be described as a “consciousness researcher.” He is best known for his “remote viewing” work with Russell Targ and Harold Puthoff at the Stanford Research Institute. At one point too, he also worked with New York’s American Society of Psychical Research, doing out-of-body experiments. Swann was also a believer in UFOs and ET’s, and I understand that he worked with a group trying to expose their presence.


1. Back in 1974, with Dr. Schwarz’s cooperation, I visited Stella Lansing twice myself. The first time was on Saturday, January 5th. I was accompanied by my long-time friend Jim Carey on this excursion. Jim still shares my obsession with UFOs (we did a radio show together recently). I returned home (which back then was Hallowell, Maine) around 5 a.m., Sunday morning (the 6th). Later my mom had heard from an aunt how another aunt had seen a UFO that same morning! This was certainly of interest as Stella Lansing had just described to us how the UFOs might even follow her around, and cited an instance where one had followed her all the way down to Dr. Schwarz’s home in New Jersey, and then too she saw it on the return trip home, back in 1973! By the time, I got down to my aunt’s house to question her, which is down the hill from where I was staying with my parents, she was uncertain at that time as to whether it was Saturday or Sunday morning, but she said that she had indeed seen something in the sky that she couldn’t identify. She had gotten up to go to the bathroom when she happened to glance outside and see a circle of white lights encircled by another circle of white lights moving slowly through the sky, seemingly at low altitude, going from the east towards the southwest. She heard some sort of a noise that she said was different from that of a regular plane or helicopter. She didn’t seem able to describe it other than as perhaps an engine sound of some sort.

The circle of white lights reminded me of Stella’s film images of so-called “clockwork,” images that kind of resembled the luminous points on a clock face. I decided to find out more about them. At the time, I wondered if there was a connection, and in 1976 I began getting them on my own super 8 mm film. A few others did also. Mind you, you don’t see this pattern visually at the time. It just shows up on your film later. However, when I checked with Eastman Kodak I was informed that they were caused by what they called “rivets.” Edwin Austin, Supervising Photographic Specialist out of Kodak’s office in Rochester, New York, explained in a letter: “Films are processed continuously by photofinishers. In order to process films continuously, he must attach the end of one film to the beginning of another. He does this by means of two rivets. As the films come off the end of the processing machine, the films are spooled up together so that the rivets come in contact with the next revolution of film. These two marks on your film were caused by those two rivets.”

Neither Stella nor Dr. Schwarz seemed convinced by what I had been told, but when I examined under a bright light and under magnification my own super 8 mm film the “clockwork” actually formed physical impressions into the film itself, whereas if you turned it over and examined the other side it was smooth. Thus this fact, the fact that my own “clockwork” clustered near end of the films (as I was told by Kodak that “rivets” would be attached end to end), and the “clockwork” would also overlap frames (defying normal optical science), all made it pretty clear to me that “rivets” was indeed the likely answer. Unfortunately, as I pressed further, to try and resolve this matter once and for all, I was informed that Kodak had discontinued the use of these “rivets.” Different film specialists had told Dr. Schwarz that they couldn’t explain the “clockwork” images, and though I was given an explanation from Kodak, not everyone would be convinced it seemed without an actual rivet in hand. Especially Stella Lansing. I even began to wonder if even that would resolve the matter once and for all.

At any rate, that was part of the story from my own involvement and perspective that I can share. There were many other anomalous phenomena reported and recorded that I cannot so easily offer an explanation for.

2. Michael Rojas’s wife Vallie is the founder of Earthbound Spirit Hunters, plus a professional singer since age 18, and was interviewed in this magazine’s October issue last year.


Here are some samples of audio files of apparent paranormal recordings as described in this edition's Reality Checking column. Please use headphones or ear buds to best listen to these. The small speakers of a laptop, for example, just won't give you a good listening experience.

I apologize for the bad language in a couple of these audio files. We are not the only ones to record such audio. In fact, in Susy Smith's 1977 book "Voices of the Dead? Radio Broadcasts, Psychokinetic Power-Or Messages From Beyond the Grave...?" she wrote: "While it is not advisable to attempt to know personalities of the type who would use available channels between the planes of existence to communicate four-letter words, nonetheless the profanity in itself provides a rather definite refutation to the argument that the words recorded are actually being picked up from radio broadcasts."

On several occasions, it seemed the "voices" wanted to communicate to a ufologist friend in Alabama named Rich Hoffman. We still don't know what that was all about yet, but it was definitely interactive and occurred at different locations and using three different "spirit boxes".

The Bigfoot response occurred in 2010 when Bret Oldham was trying to question the late John Keel about Bigfoot. I was present during this session as well.

Audio may take a few seconds to load

Click here to play "Bigfoot See"
Click here to play "Doc-tor Schwarz"
Click here to play "Fuck!"
Click here to play "Fuck You"
Click here to play "Rich Hoffman"

Monday, February 06, 2023