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    An alternative way to explore and explain the mysteries of our world. "Published since 1985, online since 2001."

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Reality Checking


Displacement, Screen Memories, Shape-Shifters…what have you!
It all gets curiouser and curiouser!


by: Brent Raynes


Brent Raynes





Sigmund Freud came up with the term displacement. Displacement occurs when something potentially disturbing or anxiety arousing is symbolically “displaced” within an emotionally more neutral context. Investigators of “alien abductions” often stumble across reported “displacement” effects, which they have come to refer to as “screen memories.” In one case, a man undergoing hypnosis came to realize that an odd memory he had had of having a mysterious little ball removed from his ear by his doctor was actually a “displaced” memory of a UFO “abduction” incident! In another case a mother had vague memories of firing a gun at “white-faced children” whom she felt were “trying to steal” from her family. Later when one of the family members underwent hypnosis the story of an abduction by dwarfish entities emerged. In another case, a woman had a confusing and disturbing memory of laying in a field next to a car. Under hypnosis the object was found to have been three times taller and perhaps four times longer than a car, and “rounder” too. In yet another instance, a strange meeting occurred when three young “musicians” drove up to a cabin of vacationers in Kentucky, in a mysterious car that “glided along without bouncing” over a very bumpy road. The group clearly remembered the blond-haired man who did all of the talking, but no one could remember what his companions looked like. Just before the meeting one of the group, a young girl, had made contact with the blond “musician” on a CB radio. She described him as someone who could have easily been her brother, or even her masculine twin! She had an intense feeling of already knowing him. Later, under hypnosis, she recalled crouching down in the truck with the CB radio, looking fearfully at strange lights in the sky, just before the visit.



Was the pleasing personality and appearance of the blond “musician” a psychologically “displaced” memory overlaying something that would have been less acceptable? If so, was the effect a psychological self-defense mechanism which somehow came to influence the other members of the group, or did someone deliberately distort and alter their memories to perhaps protect its true purpose and identity?

This particular kind of “displacement” or “screen memory” seems to have occurred before in other instances. In another reported account, a woman described an encounter with a man who looked exactly like a former husband. “Mannerisms were identical, stature, hair, beard, (and) pipe,” she noted. Her new husband had met this stranger as well, and, she reported “…he had never met or encountered such a force as this person. …did not know whether he could, if push came to shove, ‘whomp’ this dark, dark entity expressed by this person. This really puzzled and made (him) think, for he has been very athletic and strong all of his life. To him this entity was a ‘dark power.’” Later that day, this couple had what they felt was a strange UFO/telepathic encounter!

In one of my own case studies, a woman in Florida had poltergeist problems a few days after a close encounter with a disc-shaped object. The haunting evolved to include nocturnal visitations of a frightening humanoid figure that possessed a disturbingly evil, cat-like face! At times it would appear to be a man’s face, and then blur and become the “evil” creature face. When I asked her about the more human face she stated: “…it had an appearance, somewhat, of my first husband…the kids’ father. Somewhat – not totally.”

A correspondent described a case to me of a woman in Texas who described to her a UFOnaut who “was the exact image of her brother-in-law”! During her conversation with the UFOnaut he demonstrated how he could dematerialize before her eyes, and also how he could even change his voice and appearance to appear like other people she had known!

Hmmm. Is this “displacement” or something akin to the art of so-called “shape shifting” found in ancient shamanic lore. Or, alas, is it a delusion of some kind?

Another correspondent related an intriguing contactee case from out in Arizona. He wrote: “An interesting footnote is that in the first contact everyone in the group saw the alien differently. She perceives the aliens as being the usual small, hairless, jump-suited types with large eyes.”

Many ufonauts appear to have much in common with apparitions. On July 18, 1967, in Boardman, Ohio, a minister reportedly saw one of these humanoids wearing a “luminous suit” that next changed from a well-defined human-like form into a shapeless glow that then vanished. Housewife and contactee Madeline Teagle of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, described to me her encounters with a humanoid named “Amana.” “When he appears there is generally a brilliant white tube of light first,” she explained. “Then he just seems to ‘form’ within it. When I have touched him in the process of deforming something like a sharp electrical shock runs through the area of my own body that is touching him.”

Then too there is the doppelganger phenomenon. John Keel once described these beings as “living duplicates of known persons, a classic form of psychic phenomena.” He even claimed that a “duplicate John Keel” had put in several appearances that he knew of. He pointed out that the strangest doppelganger episode that had ever come to his attention happened to a British film producer who had been traveling around the world interviewing UFO witnesses for a documentary he was trying to put together. In his book The Eighth Tower, Keel recounted: “In Brazil he and his camera team tracked down a backwoods farmer who had allegedly seen a UFO land and claimed to have talked with the pilot. The farmer welcomed them nervously and agreed to show them the site where the saucer had set down. Before leading them to the nearby field, he said goodbye to each member of his family in an elaborate and moving manner. When they finally reached the field, he looked enormously relieved to see there was no spaceship waiting there. Then he explained that the film maker’s appearance had really shaken him up, because the captain of the flying saucer had looked exactly like the Britisher right down to his neatly trimmed goatee. The farmer thought they had come to take him away in a saucer!”


Add Automatic Writing
“I believe this was on the level,” ufologist Stephen Putnam of Scituate, Massachusetts, told me. “This writing that he showed me had been done he claimed by his daughter through automatic writing, prior to the Reeves experience, in which she wrote out on a piece of paper the same symbols that John Reeves had received.”

John Reeves, a retiree living in Brooksville, Florida was a media sensation back in 1965. That year, on March 2nd, he claimed that he was outside walking when he came upon a landed UFO and it’s humanoid/robotic acting occupant. Shortly afterwards, at the site of the incident, Reeves allegedly found a sheet of paper with a strange writing on it. The Air Force came and borrowed the odd script and claimed to have translated it as: “Planet Mars. Are you coming home soon? We missing you very much. Why did you stay away too long.” Naturally, the Air Force dismissed it as a hoax while leading ufologists like Coral Lorenzen reached similar conclusions.

Meanwhile, according to Putnam, this man’s daughter who did the automatic writing allegedly came up with “the exact same symbols” as what Reeves had found at the UFO site. He told me that the daughter’s father was a well-known radio personality. This was in Miami, Florida. “I didn’t see it before the Reeve’s thing, because he wouldn’t have had any occasion of showing it to me,” Putnam explained. “But apparently his daughter had done some automatic writing and had come up with that thing exactly the same as Reeves had. He was into UFOs a lot. He was an engineer for a radio broadcasting company. …I believe he was completely on the level.”

A good number of people who had met John Reeves also felt that he was on the level as well. Or, that is to say, that he was telling what he really believed had happened to him. I met him myself in November 1973, while investigating a number of UFO, Bigfoot and poltergiest reports in the area. The region seemed to be an active “window” for assorted anomalous activity.

“I believe Mr. Reeves’ story,” Dr. Martin Griffin of the University of Tampa wrote a colleague of mine back on March 12, 1968. “Friends of his brought him to me originally to attempt to determine the validity of his experience and to determine whether or not he could have been hypnotized into believing he saw ‘little green men.’ Under hypnosis I satisfied myself that he had not had past hypnotic suggestions; that he had not been hallucinating and that the circumstantial-ity of his recall under hypnosis appeared to validate his story. At a later date, at least one year later, a colleague of mine, Dr. Marrin Webb, Chief Psychologist, Bay Pines Veterans Hospital, in complete ignorance of his visit to me, repeated the test under hypnosis, and was also convinced of the warranty of Mr. Reeves.”

I have come across a number of UFO cases that did involve automatic writing. A woman near Akron, Ohio, back in 1975, described to me how a few years earlier she had herself produced an automatic writing message in which she was told that if she were to be at a certain location near midnight, then something would happen. She and her husband, who were already familiar with UFOs and believed that a number of alien bases existed in the area, took a male friend with them and watched to see what would happen. Suddenly a mysterious bell-shaped object appeared, underneath which a truck seemingly materialized out of thin air, carrying three ordinary looking men inside of it.

There are all kinds of reported weirdness out there to look into. Some years back, I met a professional photo-journalist who was working on an assignment for the National Geographic World of little people down in the Yucatan. The little fellas were called the Alux. He even interviewed a woman who lived near a cemetery who told him that she frequently saw the little guys playing around with her TV antenna. He said that they were Bigfoot looking, except small sized.

Whether we’re talking Freud’s displacement theory, ufology’s “screen memories,” shamanic shape shifting, altered states of consciousness or parallel dimensions, thousands of case histories later, from all over the globe, we’re still in the proverbial dark as to what exactly is occurring in these perplexing situations. In the absence of hard physical evidence, we can only infer, conjecture and speculate upon the nature of these weird and crazy things that people regarded as credible and reliable do report.

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Saturday, November 27, 2021