Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Path of a Knower

The following article was originally published by UFO Digest in 2009.

Every person travels his or her own individual path through life that helps to establish his or her identity, and that identity in turn is expressed to the world through that person’s career, family, lifestyle, ideas and beliefs.
Life is not easy for anybody. Every person – regardless if they’re rich or poor, married or single, healthy or sick – faces personal issues on a regular basis that spark emotions ranging from pain and suffering to pleasure and happiness. Everybody is different yet they are all the same.

The beliefs that are formed in the mind of an individual can occur in a variety of ways. A person, for instance, could be conditioned as a child to harbor certain religious beliefs that are maintained by that person for the rest of his or her life.

Sometimes, however, a person develops a strong belief in something through experiences without the aid of conditioning. That is what happened to me with my belief in the extraterrestrial reality. Things happened at different points of my life that eventually established in my mind the knowledge that highly intelligent extraterrestrial beings are among us. If it were not for certain life events, I could have easily turned out to be a skeptic of the UFO/extraterrestrial phenomenon.

Regarding UFO/extraterrestrial belief patterns, a person can fall in to one of several categories:

Skeptic. This is a person who simply cannot accept the notion that extraterrestrial beings are coming to Earth. This belief is usually attained through conditioning.
False skeptic. This is a person who may or may not believe extraterrestrials are among us, but is being paid to advance propaganda that attempts to debunk the extraterrestrial reality.
Believer. This person is very open-minded to the "possibility" extraterrestrials are here, but still requires "official" word that extraterrestrials are among us before he or she can believe in the reality 100 percent.
Knower. This is a person who is 100 percent certain that Earth is being visited by extraterrestrials. Some alien abductees, some people who have seen extraterrestrial spacecraft and/or extraterrestrial creatures up close and personal, some UFO investigators and some federal government officials fall into this category.

I am a knower. I know extraterrestrial beings are here.

I was raised a Catholic in a small former coal mining village called Mahanoy Plane in northeastern Pennsylvania. The population of this small spot in the world in the 1970s when I was growing up was the same then as it is now, only a few hundred people. In 1976 I became an alter boy shortly after receiving my first communion, and I remained an alter boy for the next 10 years until I graduated from high school in 1986.

As a Catholic, I was taught as a child that bad people when they die go to Hell, the domain of the Devil. Although the notion of Hell and the Devil frightened me greatly as a child, I never feared ending up in Hell because I led a good life. I strived to be good.

Every young boy has nightmares sometimes, and I was no different. All sorts of monsters would visit my dreams during my childhood and cause me to wake up in terror. I was perplexed on occasion when I would wake up in the middle of the night and discover that I was unable to move. It would take a few minutes to snap out of this strange spell that caused my body to feel paralyzed but my brain to be wide awake – and in utter terror of my dilemma. Years later, I found out that what I was enduring during those horrifying moments was a phenomena called sleep paralysis. The mind has a built-in mechanism that paralyzes the body so a person doesn’t act out his or her dreams. Sometimes those mental wires don’t work properly and can cause a person to either sleep walk or put them in the state of sleep paralysis. I suffered from the latter malady several times.

I apparently suffered from sleep walking on occasion during the same time period in the mid- to late 1970s when I was seven-, eight-, and nine-years-old, only on those occasions I have no recollection of the incidents. My mother reported several times during my childhood that I had traipsed downstairs at nighttime to the living room where she and my father were watching television and scream-cried in terror of "monsters" in my bedroom. On these occasions, she said I would rush downstairs in hysterics, cry in terror about monsters and then return to my bedroom as if nothing had happened. Even as a child I had a fascination with these reports from mom because I never had any recollection whatsoever of the possible nightmares that caused me to make such a spectacle of myself in the middle of the night. Today I wonder whether these events were the result of simple nightmares or something even more terrifying and more real, but I will not venture to speculate further on that.

However, there is one strange thing that happened during my childhood that I know was not a dream, nightmare or a sleep paralysis episode. We lived in a tiny row home, and I shared the attic with my brother Dave, who is a year younger than me. The room was split with an open staircase, and Dave slept on one side of the room and I the other. There was a wall light at the top of the stairs that we usually kept on at night, and it happened to be turned on the night when something unearthly dropped in for a visit.

I was about eight or nine at the time when I woke up in the middle of the night to a loud, almost deafening electronic humming sound. Not unusual was that my thin blue blanket was covering my head, which is something I regularly did when I went to bed. Highly unusual – in addition to the humming sound – was that I could clearly see the shadow of a three-fingered claw-like hand moving up and down above my head. I was terrified. To my young mind, it was the Devil. I could conjure up no other explanation. "Who’s there?" I managed a couple of times, but the non-human hand just continued to get closer to my head and then farther away. It was like it was performing some odd religious rite. I could not gather up the courage to remove the blanket that was over my head to face whatever was attached to that claw, but I did peak out of it slightly in my brother’s direction. Dave appeared sound asleep. I started to yell his name. Dave did not budge, but that could have been due to the electronic humming sound, which I immediately realized was muffling my voice. My terror grew greater and I started to scream for my parents. Nobody came. I turned my focus back to the claw-like hand and tried to communicate with it again, but it just continued to move up and down, with thick outstretched fingers that came to points at the tips, above my head. I closed my eyes and started to pray. Every now and then I would open my eyes to see whether the hand was still there.

It was still there and I should have known it was still there because the humming sound was constant. I prayed and prayed and prayed.

The next thing I knew, it was bright outside and morning. But it wasn’t like I had a nightmare and woke up. It was like time had passed between the moment I was praying and the time I woke up. It wasn’t like waking from a nightmare at the breaking day. Something had happened late the night before, I passed out somehow, hours went by and then I awoke. The entire event lasted about 20 minutes and I was wide-awake the whole time. There was no doubt. It was not a dream.

Of course, when I told my mother about it in the morning, she did not believe it was real. I argued with her for about 30 minutes but she insisted that I only had a dream. It crossed my mind at the time that, "I’m only a kid and nobody is going to believe me." As the years went by, I sometimes told the story to friends and family members and many times the response was the same as my mother’s: "It must have been a dream."

For well over 10 years after the event, the only explanation I could muster was that the thing in my room was something satanic. I’ve always known that something was in my room that night and that it could not have been a dream. It was not until the late 1980s or early 1990s that my opinion about the event started to change.
The first time I had any knowledge that some people believed extraterrestrial beings were coming to Earth was in the late 1970s or early 1980s. I had watched science fiction films growing up such as "Earth vs. the Flying Saucers" and "War of the Worlds," and I even went to see "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" in a movie theater sometime in 1978. But I never seriously entertained the possibility that beings from other worlds were actually coming here during the first 10 or 11 years of my life. In either 1979 or 1980, my father was watching an episode of the TV series, "In Search Of …," a documentary that was hosted by Leonard Nimoy. The episode speculated on the possibility that beings from other worlds were coming to Earth in flying saucers. It was the first time I had ever been presented with information that extraterrestrials could actually be real. I was fascinated, but I didn’t really know what I thought about it until years later.

After watching shows on television in the late 1980s or early 1990s about people who claimed to be abducted by aliens, a bell started to sound off in my head. The night of the claw finally started to make sense, right down to the electronic humming sound. It wasn’t Lucifer who appeared in my bedroom that night, it was an alien!
Even though I embraced this new concept, I still had some doubt about an extraterrestrial reality. It was simply too fantastic. Besides, I would never be able to prove conclusively to anybody that an alien had indeed infiltrated my childhood sleeping quarters back in the 1970s to lull me into some weird shock because I was the only one awake to experience the event. I knew something very odd had happened, I knew for a fact there was something in my room that night no matter what anybody else said, and I knew that there was no way, no how that the event was a dream. I still know it and I’ll always know it. I also believe there’s a strong possibility that something more happened that night but that I have no conscious memory of it. I know for sure that when I was praying to God to save me that night, I was far from sleepy. I was frightened beyond belief and not at all feeling like a little shuteye.
The event that pushed me into the full "knower" category, however, did not occur until August 1994. This time I would walk away from a particular experience "knowing" with an absolute certainty that extraterrestrials are here. Ladies and gentlemen, when you see a huge flying machine that makes no sound whatsoever approach you in the black of night and hover a mere two or three stories above your head, you suddenly "know" the truth.

It’s funny how when a major event occurs in one’s life, that person can remember other details that surround the incident which otherwise would have been forgotten.

It was a warm August day in 1994 when a long-time friend, "Nigel," called me up and asked if I’d be interested in going fishing. I feel somewhat compelled to use an alias for my friend because he’s a college professor and it is unclear what the reaction would be of his peers if it was discovered that he at one time saw an Unidentified Flying Object that he believes may have had an extraterrestrial origin. I talked to Nigel recently about our sighting, but I didn’t bother asking him if he’d mind whether his real name appeared in this article. I would not want to jeopardize his credibility in any way. When it comes to the UFO/extraterrestrial problem, however, the simple fact is there are many out there who still view those who had a direct experience with otherworldly visitors and/or their craft as "nuts."

When Nigel called me in 1994, he told me that, through a family member, he obtained permission to fish at Beech Mountain Lakes, a private community near Hazleton, Pennsylvania, which is about 30 minutes away from my home in Mahanoy Plane, PA. Beech Mountain Lakes is in Drums, just outside of Hazleton, and to enter the community one must pass a guarded security gate. I agreed to go fishing, and Nigel later picked me up in his pick-up truck.

When we got to Hazleton, we stopped at a Wal-Mart Supercenter for some bait and other fishing necessities. It was the first time I ever went in a Wal-Mart store. From there, we headed to Beech Mountain Lakes. When we arrived – it was dusk, after 6 p.m. – Nigel spoke to the security guard, who then waved us in. We did not head to the community’s main lake. Instead, we traveled in Nigel’s truck down a winding dirt road through woods to a smaller, pond-like water body. Nigel wanted to fish the pond because he had a hunch it was black with fish ripe for the plucking. It was an out-of-the-way place. The pond rested quietly in front of us, and to our backs there was a wide field with tall grass. On the perimeter of the field were woods.

Nigel’s hunch about the pond being loaded with fish turned out to be wrong. We fished for hours and neither of us had a bite. During the course of our many discussions that evening, we witnessed the day transform into night, but we continued fishing, determined to make the excursion a success. Our sighting was unexpected. It came out of nowhere and effectively ended our fishing trip.

It was sometime after 10 p.m. when I turned around to get a cigarette from my tackle box and I saw three large bright lights shining through some trees at the perimeter of the grassy field. I said, "Nigel, what the hell is that?" Nigel turned around and looked in the direction of the lights, which were hovering very low to the ground, facing in our direction and slowly moving from behind the trees and heading toward us.

"I don’t know," Nigel said, astonishment in his voice. I felt a cold fear rush through my body as the lights continued to move toward us. The lights were huge, like car headlights in high-beam mode except these were much, much larger. The lights were affixed to a singular object and spaced out in a horizontal row. The scariest aspect of the object is that it made no sound whatsoever. The object continued to move toward us and stopped when it was almost directly above our heads. It was only two or three stories off the ground.

I was extremely frightened by this point and thought the thing was about to land in the field with high grass. "Let’s go, Nigel, let’s go now," I said with a trembling voice. Nigel shined his flashlight at the object in an apparent attempt to make out its shape; because it was dark and the three lights were facing in our direction, it was difficult ascertain the object’s shape. "What is it?" Nigel said as he continued shining the flashlight. The object then began moving away from us toward the woods, but in a different direction than from where it came. Nigel and I hurriedly began throwing our fishing equipment in the back of his truck as the object continued moving away from us but hovering what seemed dangerously close to the treetops. Nigel started the truck and speedily drove along the winding dirt road that we came in on, but then had to slam on the brakes to allow about 20 deer – running away from the direction of where the object had flown – to cross our path.

We didn’t talk as we drove. Nigel stopped at a donut shop, and we both exited his truck and entered the shop still not speaking. We were in shock. After we each ordered coffees, we sat at a table. After a few minutes, I broke the silence. "That was a UFO, Nigel," I said.

"I’m not saying anything about it," Nigel said, his immediate reaction being the ridicule we could both endure if we made our sighting public.

"But did you see that thing? It had to be a UFO. There was no sound! Did you see the way it moved?" I said.
"I know, I know," Nigel said. "I can’t believe it!"

For years after the sighting, I related the story to some family members and friends, and as Nigel feared, they had trouble believing it was something otherworldly. I didn’t make the sighting public until 2002 when I wrote a commentary about the extraterrestrial reality for The Hawk Eye, a newspaper in Burlington, Iowa, that I was employed at as a reporter. I moved to Iowa in 2001 and worked there until 2007. After that, I took a job in Hawaii and stayed there until April 2009, and then returned to Pennsylvania. Soon after my return, I showed Nigel a copy of the 2002 commentary and after he finished reading it, he said, "That’s exactly how it happened."

I reached the conclusion that the object was extraterrestrial because it simply could not have been something manufactured by mankind. The object was as wide as a tractortrailer is long. It sported three gigantic lights and moved through the sky without making a peep of a sound. It moved in a fashion unlike any manmade flying craft I’m aware of and was seemingly capable of changing direction at will and with no problem. If it were a manmade flying machine, why in the world would it be floating around a forest surrounding a private community near Hazleton? The year of the sighting was 1994 and over 15 years later I still have never seen a flying machine made by man capable of the types of maneuvers that this thing was capable of making. I’ve also never seen or heard of a manmade flying machine that could move about the sky without making a sound.

It had to be something made by an intelligence that is greater than man’s intelligence. Man is not yet capable of manufacturing the sort of machine I saw hovering over my head in 1994. People who have doubts about an extraterrestrial reality would have no doubts if they saw what I saw. It was real and I saw it and my friend saw it. The sighting nudged me into knower status. I know there are extraterrestrials visiting this planet because I saw one of their flying machines in action. The government can continue to pretend that there is nothing to the extraterrestrial reality, but there are some people out there who know unequivocally the government is lying about what it knows on this subject.

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