Over this past weekend James and I attended a UFO skywatch hosted by the Paranormal Research Forum in Colorado’s mysterious San Luis Valley, a high strangeness hotspot I have visited several times. My interest in paranormal phenomena is very broad, and from childhood has included any number of its manifestations, from phantoms to the cryptozoological to aliens. My interest in the San Luis Valley began after reading an article in a local newspaper which featured author and investigator Christopher O’Brien ( The Mysterious Valley, Stalking The Tricksters ). This area includes any number of said manifestations, and while driving deep into the unknown from Manitou last Saturday morning, I pondered why I was being pulled back, and of the catalog of events that began my own journey into high strangeness.
The following story was originally featured in the June, 2005 issue of the Celebration Conscious Living Store newsletter, under the heading, "Contact With Off-Planet Intelligences - A Personal Memoir”. I later shared it on my former “SIGNS OF INTELLIGENT LIFE” blog from January 18th, 2008.
This week I offer more strange-but-true tales from the archives. These stories represent yet more baffling reflections from the multifacetedness of the human condition. When philosophically proposing "for what purpose was I born?" and, "what is God,” you never actually expect to get an answer, nor do you know in what form that answer might come. SIGNS OF INTELLIGENT LIFE is a showcase of my own questions, and the answers, however odd, that have come to me.
A brilliant harvest moon hung like the end of a giant orange exclamation point to the left of my father and I. What are we doing here? Night fishing? Camping? I recall only the moon in this early memory, hovering in the blackness like a massive pumpkin. This jack-o-lantern, grinning the occult back at me from dark space, was mystifying enough to have been remembered thirty years later. Back then, in my trusting childlike wonder, I had offered no resistance to mystery, I simply smiled back at the face looking down at me, wanting to play.
"Daddy, it's smiling at us!" I exclaimed, pointing it out with a short finger. It was huge, and was either growing in size or moving closer. The memory terminates there.
My father was hosting a barbeque. Our small apartment is full of family and family friends. Amid the commotion, a single shriek from a cousin snaps me to attention. I race down the hallway toward the porch where I find her looking up at the sky. There is that light again, that same deep orange that stirs within my soul every Halloween. This time it has structure. It has solidified into a luminous spherical object which is silently rotating far above the courtyard. Neighbors are stepping from their balconies and front doors as if moving from the darkness of ignorance into a light of full awareness. My father appears at my side, tall and warm, approaching a confounding situation as he always does, with humor.
"Hey, Chris, doesn't that look like R2-D2 and C-3PO?"
He is referring to the humanoid figures we can clearly distinguish from the windows of the craft. At seven years old, this is quite an exciting proposition to hear, though I know these figures are not them. And I know that they're watching me, too. The memory terminates there.
For two nights in a row, the pair from the craft windows appeared to me again, shortly after the mass sighting. In a hypnogogic state I would hear voices, electronic in nature, instructing me to meet them at a particular location close by. This place was known to us children as the "Big Park", which was a wooden playground and basketball court, nestled up against a grassy hill at the end of a wide field.
The Big Park became the setting for further unusual encounters that continued to defy the logic of my young mind. It was the large mound of earth I remember most, similar to those which lie along the English landscape - not quite as large as Salisbury, but seeming to possess a similar mystical energy vortex. I could feel the two trying to communicate with me, parked within the mound, repairing their vehicle. They will be here for a short time only. I am needed. What would such an advanced intelligence need from a kid? I have to decide. My mother is very strict. I am more fearful of her discipline than being swallowed up by the unknown. Apologetically, I lied my head back down upon my pillow, deciding instead to go in the daylight hours, anxious to see what was there.
I studied the grounds on my way to school the following day, finding nothing and feeling that I had nothing but a very vivid dream. That line of reasoning was easier to contend with, and even though I felt a tremendous guilt in giving up, it felt better to put it out of my mind.
But that evening, a familiar hum roused me back into wakefulness. They were still there. They were almost done with what they had come to do and their invitation was still open.
"Are you coming?"
I still regret that point in my life, when fear began to dictate the course of it. What would have happened, I will always wonder, if I had gone? If I had managed to abandon my bed, creep silently down the hallway and step into a night dark with ignorance into a light of full awareness? I have heard the strange electronics from time to time but never again that pair of voices asking to meet with me. I had stayed still under the heavy hand of fear and I was left behind.
I spent a lot of time in the Big Park, lying against that earthen mound. My father bought me a model of a U.F.O. which most closely resembled the one from the barbeque incident. The top popped off and you could play with the little humanoid figures inside. I was just beginning to cope with the feeling of abandonment. It was in this field that I believed I had discovered a remnant from the landing. The day after that last static transmission, I had raced there before school and found, lying on the ground not far from the luminous mound doorway I had dreamed of, an unidentifiable insect. It appeared to be dead or stunned, as it did not move, but I was too afraid to touch it. It was longer, and larger, than one of my small forearms. It most closely resembled a dragonfly. It was not plastic. It was not a toy. I remember most vividly its eyes, large and round and open. I've never seen anything like that since, but do recall one occasion when a giant moth appeared at the screen door of the home of one of my cousins. They thought it was a bird, flapping around the porch light, until it clung to the screen, staring through the mesh. My uncle ran outside and tried to catch it, a wing in each hand, attempting to pull it off the screen…
…which would later lead me to ponder "screen memory", a psychology term referring to a traumatic event distorted in memory into something more acceptable to the conscious mind. What do we really see, without the distortion of fear, without the mind's slight of hand? I remember being in the rotating ship, all copper inside, smelling an unpleasant odor, surprised to find my cousin there, too. And yet I think I would have remembered something as significant as an alien abduction. I really think I would.
"So, Christopher,”, the teacher had asked, "how was your summer?" I allowed the slightest hint of a smile to escape from the corner of my mouth. I knew I couldn't share word of my adventures with anyone, and only had with Pooh, my companion of the stuffed, furry variety. I'd lost him over the course of my summer vacation but my father had found him sitting on a bench next to the mound. I was still very young, having to process information that didn't make sense, and having to deal with keeping some things a secret.
Another recollection from this mystifying period involves going to some sort of school with my little sister. I would actually accompany her to pre-school classes in the event I was out of school, so that my mother needn't worry about a babysitter had she afternoon errands. I remember the toys we played with there, the soup kitchen in the basement, the finger paint on the walls. I also recall a room which supposedly never existed, one with what looked like stained glass on both sides. We would be instructed to walk down this hallway and stop at each set of transparent panels, each set having its own color scheme. Sunlight would be shining through the glass as we stood there, doing something to our bodies on a cellular level. I remember dragonflies on the walls.
My sister recalls more, such as bright white lights shining down on me through the windows of the bedroom we shared together, or those that appeared when we were outside playing together at night. I clearly remember the friendly police helicopters which used to circle above, how we used to wave them over, then run from their spotlights, making an exciting game of hide and seek. Were these also screen memories, were we really playing with helicopters? On one occasion, an uncle was babysitting for us when one of the great beams of light came through our window, lighting up our living room. He never sat for us again after such an experience, and was later plagued by strange poltergeist phenomena in his new home.
My sister also remembers the barbeque, the preschool and the Big Park. As an adult, I've done my own investigation of my old neighborhood. The preschool didn't appear to contain the multi-colored inner temple of mystery room I remembered. It had been converted into a church. Looking through the microfilm of the period at a local library, I did find reference to U.F.O. sightings in our area the year the barbeque would have occurred. And the Big Park, well, it didn't seem so little anymore. The wood had been replaced with more kid-friendly materials, but the mound remains. I long to ask other children if they have shared the same adventures and invitations I did in the wee hours of night, but looking at the area now, in our modern age, I feel the energy has left. I feel that a window, a portal, was open for a brief period of time only. When we moved from that apartment complex into another home, however, the electronic sounds and the bizarre dreams continued. My mother and father still live there, and it was there I found evidence of contact with the twilight sources which continue to keep tabs on me through dreamtime and synchronicity.
Like finding the key to a secret garden, I found proof of my encounters in a childhood relic. I was commenting on my mother's rare blood type, informing her that, according to a book I was reading, she may have actually descended from an off-planet source.
"Cool", she replied. She knew I had visited the preschool and our old apartment complex, and, perhaps seeing my eyes glazed over with nostalgia, brought out an old album which was full of my childhood drawings, photos, old report cards, macaroni craft and the like. I didn't know she had this, and when turning over one page in particular, my heart stopped. I remembered these, where they came from, the faded craft lying at the heart of the great book. I remembered the teacher responsible for their creation, the one who gave me the assignment, and who coincidentally moved in next door to us when we left the apartment.
"I'd like to know how you spent your summers", she addressed our class, winking back at me like starlight from the depths of consciousness, "but let's have fun with it. Who likes stained glass?" I raised my hand, remembering how it felt to stand in their light with my sister. She showed us how, by cutting shapes out of black construction paper and gluing colored tissue paper to the back, we could make our very own "stained glass". The shapes would match our summer activities, and so there were diamond kites, pointed oval footballs, colorful beach balls…and my own, which contained some unknown constellation made up of stars and other odd shapes meticulously cut out of the paper. Among my strange Indian summer scene were other celestial bodies, some type of flying craft, which were orange, solid, unknown, alien. I remember the furrowed eyebrows of other children as they searched their database of symbols for these and came up at a loss. I remember the disappointment I felt in the understanding that no other classmates had similar experiences, then something else which stirred in my soul when I realized I had been shown something they could not be.
I Pulled the two paper stained glass crafts from my mother's book, my vision blurred, watery prisms in the afternoon sun. I still have them, their playful shapes dancing about the rooms in which they are framed before the window, the little shafts of colored light wide on wooden floors, climbing up my arm in the late afternoon sun where I work at my computer, absorbed into my pupils at sunset.
When our family moved into our new home, the orange vehicles began to invade my dreams, almost as if they were trying to locate me. I was afraid of them by then, suspicious of their motives. During the recurring dreams, I'd see them coming in the late evening from the backyard. They'd always spot me, and from then on it was a slow-motion chase, and I would find myself trying to outrun them, attempting to get inside the house and into the basement before they arrived. Sometimes they wouldn't notice me, creating geometric points of light in the night sky, forming perfect mathematical shapes I couldn't identify. They would always appear, but they could never catch me, and in my adult years they began to appear synchronistically, programs about them popping onto the television sets of friends I was visiting. I might walk into a hotel restaurant and find they were hosting a U.F.O. convention. Or, even more brazenly, a stranger would simply approach me out of nowhere, stating that I was a starchild, or Pleiadian. And how does one respond to such statements? “Oh, yeah? Wow.”
By 2003, I was comfortable enough to give a lecture about them, per invitation by the owner of a metaphysical complex. My presentation concerned the influence of extraterrestrial visitations in ancient cultures and their representation in art through the centuries. I was both surprised and elated to find a close-knit circle of supportive abductees in attendance, fascinated by the pictorial evidence I had compiled. In both of my lectures, I had incorporated a slideshow and video compilation of ancient and modern day alien craft and their occupants. The slideshow was a photographic collection of renaissance paintings, cave paintings, ancient sculpture, steles, woodcuts, and scenes painted onto animal skins. All showed the same odd, spherical craft, unknown figures wearing what resembled modern day space suits, and unknown figures which looked entirely off-planet. Some of the craft, whether carved or painted, were detailed enough that cockpits, weapons, instrument panels, alien insignia and mysterious propellants could be distinguished. I found the stories of the abductees interesting. They had, like me, seen a lot of strange things in the skies, and we traded the locations of hotspots one could still visit to view them.
One of them asked me a question I did not have an answer for, and a proposal I had never considered. She wanted to know, in my recurring U.F.O. dreams, why I had always ran away in fear, when I had apparently never been harmed, and what did I think would happen if I simply stood still and let them meet me. A week after this question was presented to me, I dreamed of again standing in my old backyard at night, watching the orange disks beginning to move through the sky toward me. For some time, I thought they were simply a symbolic interpretation of God, but I was never afraid of God, and had always embraced various forms of spirituality and religion. Perhaps they simply stood for all of the unknown in my life, and that night, I would finally find out.
It was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do in my life, albeit my dreaming one, standing as still as possible, fighting a very visceral fear, as the craft lowered and came to a gentle landing before me. Its windows were tinted pitch black, and I intuitively felt that I was expected to approach it. I slowly, carefully, walked around to its right side, fully expecting some grotesque creature to be there waiting for me. Instead, there was only a small doorway, almost a hatch, that opened softly as I neared it.
I fearfully craned my neck to see what was inside, and saw what looked like an old fashioned radio, full of dials and glowing meters. There was a metal armrest attached to the front, which I understood was molded specifically for me. I put my left arm into it, causing the dials on the panel to glow brightly. Clear, soft plastic tubes gently snaked from the back of the console and painlessly inserted themselves into my forearm. One the face of the unit, a word appeared, which said, "COMPASSION". The tubes warmed up where they met my flesh, for every word that appeared on the small screen. I understood this was a gauge, a probe of some sort, as several other words glowed above the dials: HONESTY, TRUST, FAITH, SELF ESTEEM, IMAGINATION.
Judging by the position on the dials, I was scoring either higher or lower depending on how I had applied each to my life. In this way, I remember fully realizing that I needed to love myself more, as well as to let my own intuition, not fear, motivate me. After the test, the tubes retracted and I stepped away from the vehicle. It closed its door and began to rise, eventually joining the other Herkimer points of light in the night sky. The following evening, I became one of those lights, giving a glorious lightshow for a crowd of amazed campers around a bonfire. Eventually, instead of one of the craft, an alien appeared to me, showing me how it could camouflage its skin, climbing trees with its long fingers, mischievously pointing at the headlight in my car I had replaced twice in the same week.
I think of the people I have known and still know, who coincidentally have family members involved in classified military projects involving air and space craft, those who bear unknown scars, those whose fathers and uncles have lost their livestock to strange mutilations. I look over the N.O.R.A.D. military installation on Cheyenne Mountain, clearly visible from my current backyard. How have I come to know these particular people and why was it that I would come to live in such a location? When I first moved here, from the little mountain town of Manitou Springs, it didn't take long for the dreams to return. Not three blocks from my house, I found the sparkling amber lights forming new shapes above my neighborhood, majestic and perfect, spelling out another chapter of communication and higher consciousness.
From time to time, I still bump into the occasional witness of some inexplicable celestial phenomena. I love sharing stories with them, I love hearing theirs, I love laughing with them at the continual insistence by others that what we have seen was nothing more than the planet Venus, the reflection of light on flocks of birds or those from automobiles, projected onto the clouds under just the right circumstances. We laugh when their explanations include the Aurora Borealis, shooting stars, satellites, space junk, the light emitted from the compression of underground crystals, or generic bizarre weather patterns. And we nearly pee our pants when hearing the term "swamp gas".
I think of that glowing dial, its needle straining to the right as the word BRAVERY shone next to it, already calling upon the architects of my next dream, hoping to stand under their Herkimer prisms again...
In our next blog, we head into the mysterious San Luis Valley, to finally catch up with author Chris O’Brien and high strangeness itself.
Keep looking up.
- Christopher Allen Brewer, August, 2013