Reality Checking—Alternate Perceptions Magazine, July 2016
Can we identify the Oz behind the Ufological curtain?
by: Brent Raynes
“Within each of us there are certainly great storehouses of abilities and capacities which we have never used. If they were manifested, we would consider ourselves in a different light.”
Edgar Cayce readings 262-5 through 262-11
In 1975, Charles and Geri Wilhelm, the founders of a newly established group called the Ohio UFO Investigators League (now defunct), graciously allowed me for that summer to use a portion of their basement as a base of operations. Being from Maine, this new vantage point gave me a convenient opportunity to more effectively strike out on field investigations in other states previously more remote, like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and even Tennessee, Alabama, and Florida.
When the UFO wave of 1973 hit, Charles and Geri were very busy. During my stay we spent many interesting hours in conversation about the incredible stories that they had investigated in and around the Cincinnati area. They kindly allowed me to follow up on some of these incidents. One, involving a Cincinnati mother and her daughter, happened on Saturday evening, December 1st, 1973. Her daughter, then 13, spotted it first. They were driving along 4-lane Route 33 between Lancaster and Columbus when the odd distant lights they had been watching came in very close. “Well Maw, here it comes,” she recalled her daughter saying. “Just like the flash of an eye it was over to the edge of the highway. It stopped in midair and it was the reason that I can kind of judge the length of it because there was a car that went right beside it [in a lane going in the opposite direction] and kept right on going. I'd say it was 50 to 60 feet long.”
“I said, 'What's the matter with you? Why don't you stop when you see that?'”, this woman recalled saying. “There is this big craft – it is metallic – it's silver – and it's a cigar type shape.” The object had a red light on one end, green on the other, and bluish white lights in the center. She continues, “Let's say that there wasn't much traffic that night because of the gasoline stations being closed that night at six [due to overseas oil embargo] but even at that not one single car passed between us. By this time I'm going 30 and I told my daughter I'm going to pull over and you know I never did get that car off the road.”
She admits that she was puzzled how “no cars passed” them. “I could feel the car lights behind me,” she said. Then suddenly there was “the brightest light I've ever seen” coming from the UFO. “It shone inside of our car,” she told me. “It was just as bright as daylight. In fact, my daughter even said, 'Mom, I could even read a book.'” The UFO followed along side the car shining this brilliant light at them. “I don't know how long an interval that that light was shining in the car but I was not watching the road and I did not go off the road one time.” She said she didn't even weave. Finally she had to look away because she said that it was hurting her eyes. Then her daughter announced something like “Mom, here it comes”, and the object flew across the highway and passed over their car. “It was as close to us as a car would have been had it passed us,” she said. “That whole interval lasted an hour.”
“There was not a single car that seemed to notice that that craft was there and yet maybe they couldn't stop any more than I could,” she marvelled. “The idea to pull over and have a better look at it was there but I never got any farther than that.” In addition, she noted how odd their behavior seemed during the sighting. “We felt kind of like we'd just had a glass of champagne,” the mother said. “She and I both felt that way. We just kind of laughed and were silly about it. I don't think that she was afraid at all and I wasn't either.”
What this Ohio woman described to me sounds rather like the “Oz Factor,” a term created by British ufologist Jenny Randles. Randles noticed it early on in her own investigations going back to the 1970s. Occasionally during reported UFO close encounters witnesses have described experiencing a strange silence, as well as a sense of timelessness, or where events seemed to move along in slow motion, in addition to feeling isolated, as in noticing an absence of other people or motorists during such experiences. They may feel as though they've been temporarily transported into another world. Randles described it as being like you suddenly found yourself in a mysterious “zone of influence,” of which anyone outside of that zone would not have shared in that same experience. In his book Lightquest (2012), British author Andrew Collins speculates that such a zone may indeed occur, and that under certain circumstances high energy plasma fields may open one up to extra dimensions, temporarily removing a person from their regular space-time continuum. Collins sites a most thought-provoking case from Kent, England, back in July 1953, where a 12-year-old boy on a field trip with the scouts slipped away from the group he was with to a nearby disused quarry site for a cigarette break. He claimed that he had just sat down under a tree and lit up a cigarette, and then the next thing he knew he was coming back to consciousness from a brief awareness of being in a state of blackness and then he hears voices yelling “over here.”
It turned out that he had been missing for seven hours! Although the area where the boy had been found had previously been thoroughly searched, what really puzzled the boy was how he found himself sitting in the very same position with the same cigarette still burning when he came back around! He still had four cigarettes in a pack, and had only five to begin with. He was certain it was the same cigarette!
An examination of the boy by a doctor found that he had dilated eyes and a soreness in his neck that was unaccountable. The doctor dismissed it as a simple sunstroke. However, sometime later the youth allegedly began to have recurring nightmares of an alien abduction, which was then explored using hypnosis.
American journalist and UFO author Tim Swartz cited some intriguing cases with these Oz elements. For example, in a case from 1981, two women in Manchester, England, were driving down a road together that normally was busy, but suddenly was empty, except for a large light in the sky that began pacing their car. The driver tried to accelerate the vehicle, but then the car began to slow down and “jerked about” as though it was in danger of perhaps stalling out. Then the women saw an “old-fashioned” automobile heading in their direction, at which time the light became a metallic disc hovering over the road. Then suddenly the UFO flew away, at which time the old car simply disappeared into thin air.
Another intriguinglty weird Oz account cited by Swartz was one involving Peter Rojcewicz back in 1980, who, before he became a noted professor of humanities and folklore at New York's Juilliard School, was in the University of Pennsylvania library minding his own business and quietly reading a UFO book recommended by a professor when he suddenly noticed a pale, very gaunt man dressed in a very loose black suit with black tie and a bright white shirt standing before him. The man plopped down in a chair across from Rojcewicz, all in one peculiar single movement, folded his hands on top of a stack of books before him, and next asked Rojcewicz what he was doing. Rojcewicz replied that he was reading about flying saucers, to which the odd stranger asked if he'd ever seen one. Rojcewicz answered that he didn't know that much about the subject and wasn't that sure he was interested. “Flying saucers are the most important fact of the century and you are not interested?” the stranger screamed. Then he stood up, again in a single odd movement, placed a hand on Rojcewicz's shoulder and stated: “Go well on your purpose.” Then he left.
“I had a sense that this man was out of the ordinary and that idea frightened me,” Rojcewicz later recalled. “I got up and walked around the stacks toward where the reference librarians usually are. The librarians weren't there. There were no guards there – there was nobody else in the library... I was utterly alone and terrified.” Rojcewicz returned to his seat to pull himself together. “It took me about an hour,” he stated. “Then I got up and everything was back to normal; the people were all there.”
On The Ball
Back in December 2009, I interviewed a Tennessee man who, along with his wife, had reported recently seeing a disc-shaped object with yellow-white lights around its rim silently and slowly flying low over their neighborhood. As I was interviewing him, he described how years earlier, while he was out hunting alone in a wooded area of Cherry Creek, New York, one December morning (possibly 1991) he had spotted a deer with antlers an estimated 50 yards distance. He remembered how oddly he had no urge to shoot it. He explained that after watching it for perhaps only 30 seconds instead of a deer he was suddenly seeing a person, someone wearing a tight fitting suit covering its body, a clothing that glistened in the sunlight with a mother of pearl quality. “It's funny though that I can remember those details but can't see the face of the person,” he added.
He remembers next how this “person” raised his left arm and there in his left hand was a shiny silver metallic ball with a chrome looking finish. “I watched this silver ball rise up out of his hand and then it was almost instantaneously in my face,” he said. He explained that it was about the size of a golf ball, was at eye level, and a mere 6-8 inches away!
“That's all I can remember,” he noted. “Then I woke up.” Another classic example of “missing time,” or of falling asleep during a high-strangeness event that, for humans (maybe not possums) seems contrary to the rules of normal behavior. Plus this wouldn't be the only time that the perception of a deer might have been a so-called “screen memory” in an alien encounter situation.
The hunter also had a twin brother who still lived in New York. Like many twins it seems, they have shared a psychic bond that goes back to childhood. They both have many strange memories both of a psychic nature and incidents with entities – some ghostly and others possibly entities related to the UFO encounter experience. His twin brother also shared with me how he used to be an avid hunter who loved bow hunting, and did so for years, but after a hunting incident wherein his deer suffered greatly in its death, it's final vocalizations “reaching into my soul” he said, and during that same hunt hearing for about 5 minutes a mysterious “low resonating hum,” that he compared to a Didgeridoo, coming at him from every direction, his desire to hunt stopped. “I sold my bow, gave my tree stands away, and asked the spirits for forgiveness,” he recalled.
The Tennessean has a psychic gift it seems. Sometimes as he's talking with someone a deceased relative will seemingly come through. He will develop a light-headedness, will see a strange haze around the person, and then clear images will come to him. “The image then begins to tell me things or show me pictures in my head,” he told me. “I then relay this information back to the person I'm talking to.” He described to me how his wife's deceased father came to him before they were married. “She was crying,” he recalled. “She wanted to know how I knew such intimate details of her life with him.”
He said that this happens to him many times but that he seldom mentions it to the person he's with. “My left hand shakes for some unknown reason when I have had those experiences,” he added. “It also gets hard to breath, like I'm trying to catch my breath.” I found out that he is right handed, while his twin in New York is left handed. Actually, I found out, that this is fairly common among twins that one of them will be left-handed.
What intrigued me about all of this is that I uncovered other oddly similar cases of left-handed aliens manipulating mysterious spherical objects! Also in 2009, I interviewed Johnny Sands in Nashville, a country singer, entertainer and stuntman who described to me how in 1976, in Nevada, he had seen a UFO and encountered up close a humanoid being that produced a grapefruit sized silver colored sphere out of his left hand, and how as he held it it grew into the size of a basketball. “Then he let go of it and it began to rotate,” he told me. “As it did that he would put his fingers over the top of it and like firecrackers would go off on top of this ball.” Next Sands claims he was given a message. “He said, 'You see, nuclear explosions are causing a problem in the solar system. These things that you're setting off on this earth are causing troubles not only for you but for us and we cannot have this kind of thing to continue because it is going to upset the balance of everything that we intend for the future.'”
Shortly after 1 a.m., on June 14, 1968, at Villa Carlos Paz near Cordola, Argentina, at the Motel La Cuesta, Maria Elodia Pretzel, age 19, had just let two guests out a side door into the parking lot and had turned off some of the lights on the ground floor. She left only three fluorescent lights on in the dining room area and had headed back towards the back door to lock it. Shortly afterwards, the young woman noticed a light blue glow emanating from the dining room or bar area. Returning to the dining room area she encountered a humanoid figure, dressed in a shiny light blue tight-fitting one-piece suit and standing slightly over two meters tall. “In his left hand he was holding a glassy-looking sphere which irradiated a coherent beam of light – light of a faintly pale blue color, almost white,” noted investigator and lawyer Dr. Oscar A. Galindez (Vol. 26, No. 5, January 1981, Flying Saucer Review, England). “The sphere was constantly moving forwards and backwards, and lighting up the whole dining room quite independently of the fluorescent tubes. The entity was smiling the whole time.”
Then in another remarkable case, also investigated by Dr. Galindez (Vol. 21, No. 5, 1975, FSR), we have yet another experiencer (Sr. Luftolde Rodriquez, age 52), this time a truck driver who described how while making a delivery to a plant in Santa Isabel, Argentina, around 3:40 a.m., on September 28, 1972, he too had a very strange humanoid encounter. Dr. Galindez wrote: “In his left hand he displayed something that looked like a billiard-ball, which was permanently emitting a very white light. The right arm was drawn back somewhat. He was wearing a wide, silvery belt, with a little box or casket of the same color on the right-hand side.”
Is it a mere coincidence that we have four different cases, from Cherry Creek, New York, all the way to Santa Isabel and Villa Carlos Paz, Argentina, involving peculiar humanoid beings manipulating mysterious spherical shaped objects in their left hands, that reportedly produced strange light displays in three instances (even a coherent light beam in one), levitated in the air in two instances, and perhaps even caused one witness to lapse into unconsciousness?
“The left-handedness seems to indicate the increased participation of the right lobe of the brain in mediumistic states,” Dr. Nandor Fodor, a New York psychoanalyst, noted in his exhaustive volume An Encyclopedia of Psychic Science (1966). In the investigations and reports of individuals with alleged mediumistic abilities it was noted in quite a number of instances that during their entrancements that they would switch from being right-handed to left-handed, with other symptoms that reflected hemispheric shifts of consciousness as well. California “contactee” Brian Scott was reportedly observed in a spontaneous trance state (4:20 PM, November 5, 1975) by a lady named Lou Savage, who noted: “He looked strange: facial features were taut, like a semi-solid rock. His eyes had a fixed stare. Not on the paper, but on the wall in front of his desk, and his facial color was a dull gray; nothing even resembling skin tone as I know it. All the while Brian’s eyes were fixed on the wall his left hand continued writing. BRIAN IS NOT LEFT HANDED…” Noted journalist and UFO researcher John Keel explained that it was downright scandalous in his view that the only full scale psychological study of a “contactee” had been conducted back in the 1890's by a Swiss psychologist Theodor Flournoy of the University of Geneva. A popular medium known as Helene Smith, who produced a complex “Martian” language, was often found by Professor Flournoy when in a trance state to look for her pocket on the left side instead of the right, and if one of her fingers was pinched or pricked from her view behind a screen, it would be the corresponding finger on the opposite hand that would be agitated.
In 1973, I met Ramona Clark, both a serious UFO researcher and an experiencer. Within only four days following a close-range encounter with a domed, disc-shaped object in Mayport, Florida, back in July 1967, her home was besieged with poltergeist activity. She described how she began hearing a loud male voice that would occasionally call out her first name. Oddly, it was always, she said, off to her left side. “Just behind the left ear,” she told me. “I'd turn around to look and there was nobody there.”
Then things got even stranger and even more frightening as she and her then teenaged son (who had also witnessed the UFO) began to have entity and light orb visitions in their bedrooms, always it seemed around 3 a.m.
British “direct voice” medium Leslie Flint described “voices” that appeared to him above his head and off to the left side. Arigo, the famed Brazilian psychic healer, was reportedly guided by a spirit “doctor” who would speak into his left ear. Fodor noted how the spirits of a well-known medium Leonore Piper always communicated with her on her left side.
British author and researcher Anthony Peake, in his book The Daemon: A Guide To Your Extraordinary Secret Self (2008), described the case of a man named Albert Tanner who for some 30 years had been hearing a voice whisper in his left ear. He had initially dismissed the voice as merely something from his own subconscious mind, until one day in April 1960, when he was about to board a plane to go on a business trip to North Africa, the voice told him not to do so. It was very insistent and so Tanner decided to cancel the trip. Soon afterwards an earthquake hit the city he was to be in and a tidal wave destroyed a good deal of what was left. He began to pay more serious attention after that to this voice, and discovered it indeed had an uncanny way of knowing things in a paranormal way.
“The simplest explanation for these is that they are hallucinations that were dominated by activity on one side of the brain or the other,” Canadian brain researcher Todd Murphy, who has worked closely with the well-known Dr. Michael Persinger, told me in a phone interview. “Most commonly, if the voice is appearing on the left side, it’s following a hallucination on the right side.”
A “hallucination” that foresees future events? A “hallucination” that can guide an entranced Brazilian man to conduct amazing medical procedures with a rusty knife? What are we dealing with here?
A few years ago, while on the phone with Anthony Peake about his exhaustive studies into human consciousness, he was explaining to me his fascinating theory of what he called the daemon (named after the ancient Gnostic concept of a higher self), which he believed was the same thing as Ernest Hilgard’s “hidden observer” and Michael Persinger’s “sensed presence.” It’s a concept wherein there is a separate awareness within all of us that remains hidden from our perceptions the vast majority of the time. In our conversation, Anthony had told me about American psychologist Charles Tart’s description of a particularly good hypnotic subject who, during one deep hypnotic session, had a sudden and unexpected “intrusion” from a presence that was amused by the attempts of Dr. Tart and his colleagues to understand the human mind. Anthony explained that such an intrusion is simply not a normal characteristic of a supposedly non-dominant brain hemisphere!
As I found this account intriguing, I told him about John Keel’s account in The Mothman Prophecies of his hypnosis session with a UFO/MIB experiencer he simply identified as someone named Jane (we now know was a Jaye Paro) on Long Island in 1967. The subject, once again, proved to be a good hypnotic subject too, but soon, after performing tests to assure himself that she was in a deep trance state, he began to question her about her experiences. Suddenly, to Keel’s amazement, he states that he no longer had control of the session. An entity named Apol (pronounced Apple) began conversing with him instead! This personality explained that Robert Kennedy was in grave danger, and made specific predictions about some plane crashes.
Keel wrote: “The predicted plane crashes occurred right on schedule. I was slowly convincing myself that the entities were somehow tuned to the future.”
“Apol, it’s the daemon,” Anthony Peake declared excitedly. “Again it’s the being inside that knows the future and he communicated directly with that higher self of Jane. The daemon is always in there and it’s deeply rooted in the non-dominant hemisphere of the brain and in deep hypnotic trance situations people can encounter that being, and that being keeps all of the memories of the past life, and the daemon knows the future. It keeps itself dormant except when it’s really needed, or when people are hypnotized.”
Back in 1967, Keel had become accustomed to accurate predictions being passed along to him by his contactees, and so when it was predicted that Pope Paul would be knifed to death at Turkey's Istanbul airport he took it quite seriously. However, that particular prediction failed to occur. Nonetheless, in a three page typewritten letter Keel wrote me November 23, 1970: “...the elementals are busy again in my area and I have again been warned about the coming assassination of the Pope (discussed in Operation Trojan Horse). The Pope is leaving shortly for a visit to the Phillippines, Indonesiua, etc. He will be visiting areas where there is considerable political unrest and he could be in serious danger...although I imagine that every security precaution is being taken.”
Four days later, on November 27, 1970, Pope Paul VI landed at Manila International Airport in the Phillippines. A man dressed in black garments yielding a long black knife emerged from the crowd and charged toward the pope. Fortunately, a security detail was able to prevent any harm to the pontiff.
Was the time line simply off three years?
Dr. Berthold Eric Schwarz, a psychiatrist who personally investigated many UFO “contactees” also noted in his two volume book, UFO Dynamics: Psychiatric & Psychic Aspects of the UFO Syndrome (1983), that in his own investigations he again and again found them to be deep-trance subjects. “It has impressed me in the study of several UFO contactees that they were all excellent hypnotic subjects,” Dr. Schwarz noted. “This is contrary to the usual clinical experience, where people do not go into deep somnambulistic trance the first time and stay there.” Other researchers had discussed and published similar observations, including Dr. J. Allen Hynek and Dr. Jacques Vallee as revealed in their book The Edge of Reality: A progress report on Unidentified Flying Objects (1975), in which they talked with Chicago hypnotist Dr. Larry Garrett on this subject. Whereas it is generally accepted by hypnotists that twenty percent of the population are deep-trance subjects, a surprizing number of UFO experiencers appear to be deep-trance susceptible.
Through Ramona Clark, mentioned a few paragraphs back, I came to know Dr. Schwarz quite well. She had been writing to him about her experiences and encouraged me to write to him myself. In fact, we corresponded quite extensively and regularly from beginning in 1974 until his passing in 2010, and on two separate occasions we met in person. Dr. Schwarz was very well-versed in the parapsychological literature as well as that of ufology, had many contacts in both fields and conducted many firsthand field investigations and interviews himself, which is something you rarely come across with psychiatrists. Although he lived in Montclair, New Jersey at the time, a short distance from New York City, I enticed him in early 1976 to come to Maine to help myself and fellow investigator Shirley Fickett to meet and interview for himself a young man who claimed a possible alien abduction. Dr. Schwarz felt that the subject had the “potential of being a powerful medium,” in view of all of the psychic elements that emerged with himself and others around him soon following the initial UFO-related incident. In addition, hypnotized by a local doctor to try and remember his UFO experience more clearly, he was found to be another “excellent hypnotic subject.” Dr. Schwarz, of course, wrote up his own thoughts on the case, encouraging Shirley Fickett and I to do the same, and we all three submitted articles on the case for publication in England's highly respected Flying Saucer Review. Later those articles were used again in UFO Dynamics.
Magnetic resonance imaging has shown that the anterior part of the corpus callosum, which connects the left and right brain hemispheres, is 32 percent larger in highly hypnotizable people. I was very interested recently to read how the legendary clairvoyant healer Edgar Cayce, who routinely underwent hypnosis induced psychic readings for his clients for years, had an unusually large corpus callosum (as did Albert Einstein, who reportedly used visualization techniques to explore his scientific theories). I suspect that MRI scans of “contactees” and “mediums” would come up with enlarged corpus callosums as well. I'd love to see such a study undertaken. In fact, for quite sometime I've wanted to see some sort of brain scan work done with “abductees”/ “contactees” as they relived their memories of alien encounters/contact under hypnotic regression. Soon after hypnotizing three women in Liberty, Kentucky, who claimed to have seen a domed disc-shaped object and had “missing time” and under hypnosis had “abduction” memories, Wyoming psychologist Dr. R. Leo Sprinkle, a UFO researcher himself, on July 30th 1976, noted in a letter to then reporter with the National Enquirer Bob Pratt: “An interesting subsequent event is the concern of the women that they were 're-experiencing' the physical symptoms which had been experienced for several days following the January 1976 sighting. As you recall, on Monday, July 26th you called and asked if I would call the ladies and discuss their concerns with them. When I called, the women said that they were re-experiencing some of the same kinds of symptoms, e.g., fatigue, listlessness, sensitivity of skin, burning feeling on the face and eyes, fluid discharge, etc. I tried to reassure the ladies that it is not an uncommon experience in hypnotic regression that persons – after 'reliving' earlier emotional experiences – may re-experience some of the symptoms which accompany those emotional reactions.”
Today (06/29) as I'm wrapping this feature up, I spoke on the phone with Dr. Sprinkle about the above. I asked him if he had knowledge of any brain scan work being down with “alien experiencers” and he replied that he did not, but agreed that it indeed would certainly be an interesting study to see undertaken.
I think it's a huge, as yet still largely unexplored territory fraught with exciting potentials and possibilities. At this point, there are multiple directions we could conceivably go off into. There is so much high-strangeness to ponder, so many dots to connect, and so ver-ry much to attempt to make sense of. There are cases where hypnotists regressed UFO “contactees,” received alien messages (the daemon, the higher self?), and in conjuction with these activities observed mysterious balls of light at close-range and the like, and other confirmations that “the game is afoot” (as Keel was often fond of saying).