Lifetime of encounters: A recollection of anomalous events
Compiled by: Albert S. Rosales
Why have I always been curious and attracted by paranormal events and strange incidents? I wish I knew the complete answer. But I can remember growing up in Santa Clara, Las Villas (then) Cuba and as a child experiencing events which I can now only look back and realize were "not normal".
One of my earliest memories, which I have only mentioned a couple of times (along with almost everything I am mentioning in this summary), was in Santa Clara, where me and my family lived on an unpaved road called "Callejon de las Flores" (literally translated to 'Flowers alley") I must have been around 6 or 7 when I was walking back to my room from the kitchen along a corridor which ran the length of the house when I glanced at an old mirror that hung from the wall on the corridor and saw the image of a man looking down at me with a broad smile on his face. At that time and now I could only describe the "man" as looking like those Spanish soldiers or Conquistadores pictured in old history books, wearing what seemed to be metallic armor and an oval metallic helmet. Of course, he had a black beard and was grinning down at me. Startled I looked behind me. I found myself alone in the corridor and ran to the kitchen crying and told my mother; of course I was reprimanded for being "a dreamer".
Around the same time, I developed an uncanny fear of sleeping in the dark, a fear that I am somewhat ashamed to admit remains with me to this day. I would run to my parent's bedroom and beg to sleep with them, and eventually they would relent and let me, but many times I ended up sleeping alone trembling with fear. It was during that same time period (1964-1965?) that I experienced a very vivid "dream" in which I was sitting at the kitchen table along with several very tall figures or luminous men (or maybe they wore metallic luminous uniforms). They seemed friendly and spoke to me for what seemed like a long time. They told me their name and other details which to this day I do not recall. I never encountered them again in my "dreams".
One summer, in the same year, my family and I went to a beach in Las Villas Province on the north coast called 'El Salto" near the fishing town of Caibarrien. One morning I left the cabana and was "lost" until close to 1800 hours. According to my mother, I was found at the end of a disused pier which was very difficult to reach since most of the boards were missing or broken. They never understood how (a very young boy) made it safely to the end of the pier without falling in the water. Of course, all I could remember from that day was walking alone in the sand when suddenly several 'crabs' came out of nowhere and approached me. Later I found myself lying down on the floorboards at the end of the pier looking into the water.
Maybe 6 months after this "encounter" my favorite uncle, who I loved dearly, died in a horrible car accident on his way to Matanzas province in Cuba. Me, my mother (his sister) were terribly affected by this, and my mother required months of psychiatric therapy to deal with this unfortunate event. Perhaps a week after his death I experienced something that at that time I thought must have been related to uncle Toño's passing, but I remain unsure. One afternoon, as I walked to my grandmother's house along the same unpaved road, something made me glance up to the northwest sky. There among the clouds I saw what resembled a white cloaked human shaped figure which seemed to be staring down at me. I could not tell how far away it was and could not see any facial features. At this point, the figure seemed to wave at me several times, but remained still in place. I stopped and waved back several times, briefly thinking that it must have been my dead uncle's spirit. This went on for several seconds until I briefly glanced away to see if there was anyone else around and when I looked back the cloaked figure had vanished. It was around this same time during one of the numerous blackouts in the area that while several neighbor's sat outside talking and I played dominos with some of the other children, a luminous object seemed to drop out from the sky and glide above a row of houses directly across from mine. Of course, I had no idea what it was and I had never heard of UFOs or Ovnis. It seemed to be a metallic egg-shaped craft which emitted a luminous beam of white light from its bottom section. No one could hear any sound coming from it and many of the neighbors yelled out that it was "Los Americanos!" due to the post-Bay of Pigs hysteria that persisted in the region. After a few seconds the object glided over my house and over the indoor patio. I ran after the object. I looked back and realized that I was alone; everyone else seemed to have lost interest in it. The object stopped over the patio and seemed to hover there forever while I stood mesmerized under it, staring at its lights. Before I knew it the craft was gone and it was very late, I seemed to be wet and everyone had gone to bed. I have no other memories of that night. Also around the same time period, again while under another blackout, I was outside playing alone in the street when I heard a terrific sound directly above me, which today I could only compare it to an aircraft breaking the sound barrier, and that very well might have been the case. A few days after that again under blackout conditions several neighbors and me saw a huge “ball of fire" hovering close to the ground at the end of the unpaved street. We all ran into our homes. At age 9 my family finally got their visa to migrate to Spain and eventually to the USA. We live in Madrid, Spain for almost a year (in the famed Barrio Lavapies neighborhood). During my stay in Spain (1968) there was a nationwide UFO flap at the time and I remember reading about incidents in the newspaper. This was the first time that I heard of the possibility of extraterrestrial craft visiting the Earth.
Me and my family moved to Miami in late 1968 and my experiences continued. I have now become very interested (sometimes obsessed) with the UFO phenomena and other paranormal themes. I read my first UFO book which I believe was one of Frank Edward's books and have not stopped since.
During 1969, I remember writing to APRO after me and my sister saw a strange object hovering outside our apartment window one night. The object seemed metallic and had what appeared to be legs hanging down from it. I never received a reply from APRO. During the early 70's I experienced several incidents which remain unexplainable to this date. I recall during the wave of 1975, possibly during November, me and my late father were walking out of a local grocery store when we both looked up towards the north and saw what appeared to be a formation of crimson colored discs flying briskly over the city in an echelon formation. As we stood and watched an elderly gentleman seemed to come out of nowhere and came directly to us, without looking at what we were looking at, and immediately attempted to debunk the incident, explaining the event as "an air force experiment" (again he did not bother to look up) and I couldn't understand how anyone can explain something away like that. I had never seen him before and never saw him again; he looked "very normal", an elderly white gentleman with thinning hair and glasses.
In late 1975 or 1976 I was visiting the same supermarket when I noticed a strange "family" walk into the store. They definitely looked out of place but no one else seemed to pay any attention to them. I felt somewhat embarrassed as I stared at them. They looked "Scandinavian"; very tall and thin, with sparsely blondish hair covering their oversized heads, and they had large blue oval shaped eyes and wore loose-fitting clothing. I remember seeing a father, mother and two youngsters, perhaps a girl and a boy. They wandered around the store and then left in a brand new black vehicle - possibly a Mercedes. A couple of months later, as I walked to the end of my street where we lived a car pulled behind me and stopped, and when I looked I was stunned to see the same "Scandinavian" family, in a brand new black car. I remember them asking directions. I don't recall where to, by they seemed very familiar. In August I joined the US Navy and went to boot camp in Great Lakes outside of Chicago. At that time I had subscribed to the old Saga UFO Magazine, which I enjoyed immensely, and received it at the base. I still chuckle at times when I recall how one day I was called into the office of the commanding officer and was asked why I subscribed to "this rag", as he held the latest copy up to my face. However, he let me keep it.
While at book camp, I remember one paranormal event that occurred at the barracks one night while I was pulling guard duty from 0100A to 0500A (I think). One of the fellow recruits, W.H., came running over to where I was standing guard. He seemed scared and was sweating profusely, and he told me to follow him to his standup locker. I did and while I approached the locker I could hear a loud tapping sound, coming apparently from inside one of the drawers in the locker. The tapping sound got louder and by now there were several of us awake. At this point, W.H. said something that stunned all of us; he said that the tapping was "the spirit of his grandfather who had passed and was here visiting him". Obviously some of the men did not believe him and went back to sleep but some others, including me, took him seriously. One of the men took the locker apart in order to find a rational explanation but the tapping went on. W.H. decided to get some sleep and we all left him. The tapping soon stopped.
I was a radioman onboard the USS Yosemite AD-19, a destroyer tender (now decommissioned) out of Mayport, Florida and during the winter of 1977 went on my first Mediterranean cruise. It was mostly uneventful but one time while the ship was moored at the Balearic port of Palma de Mallorca I was on the top deck looking through the ship's binoculars and noticed what appeared to be a silvery disc flying over the town at a distance. It briefly stopped to hover and then shot away. I never did mention this to anybody. I received an Honorable discharge from the Navy in August of 1980 and went to work with my ailing father in Miami, Florida. We spoke at times of my interest in UFOs and other paranormal subjects. He seemed skeptical on the surface but to this day I really think he was a believer. One evening while returning from work with him a bright white light with a cross like structure in the middle flew over the car. We both saw it and heard no sound.
In August 1989 my father would have a fatal stroke in the hospital and during the funeral there was a strange visitor at the funeral parlor. It was very late, close to 0400A and only the immediate family (brothers, me, my sister, and mother) and a couple of others were left in the viewing room. I heard a sort of racket coming from the now locked front door and went to see what it was. At the front door I found a young employee of the parlor arguing with a "little man" wearing a dark brown suit and white tie who apparently insisted in being let in. The little man had a "swarthy" complexion, slanted eyes and did not seem familiar. The employee asked me if I knew the strange little man, I said no, and walked away. About 10 minutes later most of the remaining family members slept on the easy chairs and recliners. (I sat half awake on one of the recliners) I noticed the little man standing by my father's casket, apparently talking to himself with what I thought was gibberish or some kind of "chanting". I could not get up from the recliner and everyone else was sleeping or catatonic. After a few minutes the little character walked away towards the front door and disappeared. I never saw him again. Later I found out that only a couple of others had seen him that night. To this day I don't know who he was. Mysterious occurrences continue to happen in my life and sometimes these involved close family members. Around 1994 my youngest son (a skeptic now) swears he saw a disc with “windows" hovering at the end of the street where we used to live, in the Shenandoah section of Miami. He was serious about it and always insisted that he did not make the story up. I believed him. During this time and throughout my divorce I experienced an endless bout of "night terrors." I felt drained and exhausted and almost went to a psychiatrist for help.
While living with my mother in the Coral Gables section of Dade County I saw a curious entity one day as I was leaving her complex. As I pulled out of the parking lot my attention was immediately drawn to a strange "character" standing in the middle of the road and looking around as if lost. To this day, I cannot say if the person was male or female but it was striking in appearance. The figure was very tall and broad, blond haired, and seemed to have a pair of folded wings on its back (!) It wore sandals and a robe-like tunic. It seemed powerful and totally out of place. It looked around and spotted me in my car and I felt some fear and apprehension. I looked away and drove in the opposite direction and when I looked back the figure had vanished.
Later while living in what I termed "the haunted duplex" I experienced some paranormal happenings. One night I woke up and saw a dark figure, possibly of a female looming over the bed. I screamed (waking everyone up) and it vanished. Months later in the same room I saw an image in the mirror of somebody wearing brown tattered clothing, and of course there was nobody there and when I looked again it was gone. Around the same time my middle son was studying late (in the same duplex) when he felt something brush past him, and looking back he saw what he described as a bearded man wearing a brown monk's habit who disappeared. He felt no fear and thought the figure was benevolent. Again in the same duplex one afternoon as I slumbered in the sofa I saw the figure of a woman with long hair and wearing a white robe quickly scamper from my bedroom to the bathroom. I got up and of course there wasn't anybody there. One of my latest episodes involved a rather severe case of night terror in which I suddenly felt extreme terror and felt "a ball of energy" land on my chest. I tried to scream but only managed weak groans; the more I tried to move the more pain I felt as it seemed to "crush" me. I stopped struggling and it suddenly went away.
I will continue to record all other incidents and try to remember some forgotten ones.
March 6, 2007
Albert S. Rosales