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Classic Mysteries—Alternate Perceptions Magazine, May 2023

Missouri family reports wide range of UFO and paranormal experiences

by: Brent Raynes

[Special thanks to Sandy Nichols of Tennessee’s Alien Research Group (ARG) for introducing me to this family.]

“My earliest experiences occurred in our hometown of Salem, Missouri, when I was about 4 years old,” Scott, a family man in his mid-40s shared with me. “I was awoken in the middle of the night by a ghost, which looked like an old man with a fedora hat on his head. The entity slapped me on the chest, waking me up, and began laughing and talking to me, although I could not hear him at all. I could clearly see his face, whiskers, and teeth (and could smell him), and his continence appeared so frightening to me that I launched from the bed screaming and alerting my mother. I could still see him standing at the foot of my bed. When my mother finally arrived he vanished.”

Scott, like many others I’ve come to know through the years, seemed prone to anomalous experiences. So did family members around him. Thus far we can only speculate as to what unique circumstances, or psychodynamics if you will, that may apply to these kinds of unique situations. “My second experience was when several neighbors, my mother, and myself watched one night while we were camping in the summer of 1981 and an orange fireball lifted up out of the nearby forest and hovered at tree top level in a large circle around our camping spot until it left entirely out of our view,” Scott continued. “It was also during this period of time that my mother experienced an out-of-body experience during the day while I was at school and our landlord (who lived directly across from us) came over on another day and informed my mother that she had witnessed a ‘UFO just a hundred feet from the back of the house at about 2 o’clock in the morning.’ While living out at the house, I and my German shepherd dog had a white deer and its fawn approach us while playing in the forest one day after school. I felt as though a conversation was being held at that moment between the deer and I, and my dog acted strangely docile when this incident occurred. My mother encountered an ostrich walking right up next to her, while hunting in those same woods. We eventually moved from that house in 1983 and continued to experience sounds in our kitchen from dishes and cabinet doors rattling and opening and shutting. “In November 1991, my cousin and I were stopped on hwy H, just four or five miles west of Salem, Missouri, by three large lights in a triangular pattern. The lights were a soft-white color and roughly 3 to 4 feet in diameter, resting silently and motionlessly about 30 feet above the hood of my car for what seemed like 3 to 4 minutes. My car’s engine stalled, and the object(s) then moved over into an adjacent field and lowered to the ground for about a half a minute before taking off away from our position. My cousin’s story differs from mine, and he suggests that the object(s) rose back up into the sky from the adjacent field as quickly as lightning and continued to follow us back into town. I continue to have flashes of memories that suggest that we pulled into a nearby gravel driveway for a small length of time and my cousin began to panic at this time. I still feel like the lights got extremely close to me, but my skeptic attitude still is unsure of anything.”

“My wife and I married in 1994, and experienced several ghost-like situations for the next few years afterwards, from televisions turning on by themselves to seeing small children and adults in the various houses that we moved in. In 1996, three friends and myself watched a reddish-orange fireball zigzagging across our path at tree top level one evening while we were driving down hwy 32 on the way to Licking, Missouri. The event lasted about 30 seconds. We moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma from 1997 to 2002, where we experienced my oldest son (age 1 at the time) continue to stare at things in the corners of the house that we could not see, and his toys with batteries kept turning on in the middle of the night by themselves. We moved back to Salem in 2002, and in 2004 we moved ourselves and our two young boys (ages 3 and 2) to an apartment complex in Salem. We began to experience strange things, like our washing machine being shut off and its lid opened and visually seeing entities of little children moving from room to room. We purchased a home in 2007 just a mile from my triangle experience, and my boys claimed to see things like ‘shadow men with red eyes’ moving down the hallway at odd hours of the night. We sold our home in 2012 and moved to Rolla, Missouri, where our boys continued to see softball-sized balls of light in the house and small shadow children moving in the halls near our bedrooms at odd hours of the night.”

“We eventually moved to Jefferson City in 2014, and immediately began experiencing strange sounds, smells, and objects at all hours of the day and night. For the first time since 1996, I (and my family) began witnessing lights in the sky moving erratically and at times hovering. Just prior to experiencing a drastic increase in experiences of all sorts, I had made a comment out loud to myself at 2 o’clock one morning while skywatching that ‘I never see these things (UFOs), unless it is on their time and their schedule.’ And then as sudden as that, our smoke alarms turned on and shut off on their own only three hours after that comment by me. We began in 2015 and 2016 to see lights moving very close to the house (from a hundred yards to about a hundred feet) and recorded some on our Arlo home security cameras. They each appeared in size from that of a softball to a basketball. One ‘rainbow-colored fireball’ in early 2016 was approximately five feet in diameter and seemed to ‘communicate’ with me through blinking its lights to the same sequence that I had blinked at it with my tiny LED flashlight while on our back deck. (Both my triangle experience in Salem and this particular account in Jefferson City were reported to MUFON – where they only took the second sighting seriously for some odd reason.) We purchased a small dog, hoping she would alert us to anything in the house which did not belong. Two years in a row, we had a single bat find its way into the house at night – which seems virtually impossible since the house is brand new and well-built. We began hearing bones crunching and growling at the foot of our beds, and I began to see red and green lights in the bedroom and bathroom in the hour’s past midnight.”

“In June and July 2017 respectively, both my wife and I witnessed a bright green light and something which appeared to be a black floating blob in our bathroom. Our dog witnessed this black ball and began growling at it, until it quickly flew from the bathroom. Later on, the same evening of July my wife described what she called a man in a black cloak and hat standing in the shower when she entered the bathroom.”

“Most recently, our dog alerted my wife and I to a six-foot shadow man standing at our bedroom door at 4 o’clock in the morning on September 12, 2017. It appeared to be three dimensional and seemed to react to both of us being awake. Our dog’s barking activated the Arlo camera in the kitchen, and my wife began yelling for our Alexa unit to turn the living room lights on – to no avail. As the entity moved out in full view of us, it began to grow to an estimated 9-foot-tall and glided into our bedroom. It began to send me some kind of message into my head and I could hear it plainly speaking although I failed to understand it. At the moment the entity began to grow in size, our Arlo camera was shut off prematurely (it was scheduled for 2-minute recordings and had not failed to provide this before the incident) and has not worked properly since. Once my wife appeared to be getting to her feet, the entity left out of the room and quickly escaped into the kitchen where the light that illuminated its silhouette in the hallway suddenly exploded with bluish-white light – and the entity was gone. We have continued to experience sounds and seeing wisps moving around the house, but nothing as profound as the night of September 12. My wife purchased three salt lamps to calm my nerves, and the dog and I seem to feel better about going to sleep at night since. Sometime between the evening of April 26 and the morning of the 27th 2018 ‘something’ shut off the salt lamp on my side of the bed (my wife keeps one on her side, too). Whoever shut it off (my wife knew better than to do this) had to turn the on/off dial quite a distance to shut the light completely off. The dial had actually been shut completely off to the point that the dial moved past the ‘clicking’ mechanism on its switch housing.”

In another more extensive conversation about the September 12th incident, Scott shared this very noteworthy aspect: “The entity floated toward the foot of our bed and suddenly became a fully-colored figure resembling a man that my wife and I both knew very well. He had passed away nearly ten years prior. The entity, now, appeared to have a red-checkered flannel shirt on and blue jeans. It looked as though it was wearing a very noticeable rubber Halloween mask of the individual that we once knew (it even appeared to have eyeglasses on), which I could see but my wife could not. The entity, then, began to speak to me; and while my head heard nothing, I could distinctly hear what appeared to be a deep, dark voice which muttered something to me undiscernible.”

“Then, just as suddenly as it had begun, the entity floated back to the doorway and out it went. It shrunk back down to a size which appeared to both of us to be a small four-foot child. Then it increased back to its original six-foot size almost instantly.”

I’ve come upon a number of cases of experiencers seeing beings with faces of people familiar to them. Sometimes perhaps to reassure them it’s a normal experience with someone they know, or have known in the past, but then sometimes, as in this instance, it’s pretty spooky and unsettling, and I’ve come across a number of those too. Also, the size change aspect crops up in other cases also, as well as the feeling of being in a bubble-like environment, somewhat separated from normal reality (as in the Oz Effect for example).

A psychologist friend who lives in Missouri who has been studying such cases remarked how one “aspect of this story is the all-too-typical finding that people who have one type of paranormal experience are likely to encounter many different kinds. It seems like certain people serve as ‘human portals’ for a wide range of multidimensional phenomena, and that these phenomena manifest around them in spacetime, not just in their own consciousness.”

“I see things floating around the house, sometimes while I am looking directly at it,” Scott added. “One day I could plainly see the figure of a man stand up from a seated position on the couch to my right. Our dog is continuously seeing things in the house that we cannot, and usually begins barking, snarling, and growling (and a few times giving chase) to something in our bedroom at night and during the day.”

“I have on multiple occasions over the last few years sent my thoughts into the minds of my wife and two boys. I can think of a word or song or question, and my wife and youngest son ‘hear’ my thoughts. I do not normally support such ideas, but this has gone way past the level of experiences to call it coincidence. I just do not understand how it all works.”

When I questioned Scott about how these experiences may have impacted his life, he replied:

“I had always held a strong belief in ghosts (obviously), but up to the age of 19 I held a very acidic viewpoint of UFOs and other associated phenomena. I once believed that people who made these types of reports were simply looking for their ‘fifteen seconds of fame,’ but my opinion drastically changed the night of my triangle encounter. I slowly began to study various accounts (still critically), but with more interest. After having my 1991 and 1996 encounters, I began to believe that something very strange was happening but held the idea that the lights were probably U.S. government inventions. I generally kept a pretty critical mentality toward sightings, until we moved to Rolla and my sons began to share with me some of their experiences. I was finally convinced that something of an extreme nature was occurring at our many houses, when this last few years here in Jefferson City began to unfold. Seeing how our dog witnessed the shadow entity before my wife and I did and how our camera was affected by its actions, I became convinced that something profound was occurring not only to me but to everyone in our family. These events have not been negative, and the subsequent events have given a new meaning to our lives that we did not feel prior. We are still nervous about the potential of having more experiences, but it has not been too overwhelming.”

“Scott” was wishing to remain anonymous about his and his family’s unusual experiences. When we first began communicating in 2018, he was working on a graduate degree in American history and his wife held a master’s in computer science management and worked for the state and a local university. They seemed stable and well educated, and not seeking publicity. Sadly, Scott passed away on September 13, 2021 of Covid, exactly three years and one day after his and his wife’s frightful “shadow person” encounter.

Sunday, June 16, 2024