Classic Mysteries—Alternate Perceptions Magazine, September 2023
The Remarkable Story of Michael Talbot
by: Brent Raynes
"There is no strict division between subjective and objective reality; consciousness and the physical universe are connected." - Michael Talbot
Who was this Michael Talbot character? The paperback edition of his Mysticism and the New Physics (1981) has long sat on one of my bookshelves. As often happens with many of my books, the blank pages in the very back become my personal index where I make note of pages that contain subjects of particular interest to me. As I return now to that index noting things that I scribbled down some years ago I note references to pages about Carl Jung, interacting energy fields, chakras, the pineal gland, dream training, hyperspace, metaprogramming, wormholes, prophecies, and other offbeat odds and ends that have long captured my fascination.
What I didn't know at the time I was initially thumbing through Talbot's book, those many years ago when I purchased it at a nearby bookstore, was the story behind this author's interesting life. Over the years that I've been meeting with and, in one form or another, interacting with researchers and authors of anomalous phenomena, is that the reason for their curious sense of curiosity was, I would be told again and again, initiated as a result of their own personal experience(s), whether it was a UFO encounter, a Bigfoot sighting, a near-death experience, a haunting. Something that didn't fit into the norms of conventional societal and academic wisdoms and acceptances.
Years later, lo and behold, in the extensive volume A Greater Reality: The New Paradigm of Nonlocal Consciousness, the Paranormal & the Contact Modalities, Volume One (2022), Dr. Joe Lewels, Ph.D., who served as an associate professor with tenure and chairman of the departments of journalism and mass communication at the University of Texas at El Paso from 1972 to 1982, I discovered how he wrote an extensive chapter about Michael Talbot.
"By the age of three, Michael had vivid memories of past lives, refusing to call his parents 'mother' and 'father,' since he remembered other parents in a former existence," Dr. Lewels wrote. "His family was amazed and amused at his habit of asking for strong, black tea and then sitting on the floor in a lotus position, sipping it like a wise, old man. Mysterious entities visited him in his room at night, and he encountered glowing balls of light hovering in his room. At age five, his father and a friend saw a UFO come down in the woods near his house in East Lansing, Michigan. Soon, a woman with long white hair and a long white gown came out of the woods and stood motionless in a nearby cornfield. Talbot described what happened next during an interview in 1992 on the Public Television program, Thinking Allowed. (Talbot died an untimely death at age 39 of leukemia, six months after the interview was aired.)
"The whole family got in the car and went to look. My father and his friend became very frightened..[but] when I looked at this being, I thought, 'Oh, it's her, it's the woman in white.' 'I had always called her the woman in white.' It was the same being that had come to his room at the age of three. 'My father wanted to get out of the car and go and talk to this being, but my mother said, 'No no no!' And finally, we watched her for about 10 minutes and then drove off."
Afterwards their family home erupted with poltergeist activity. Objects would materialize out of thin air, things would be flying across the room, and there were thumping noises that seemed to go up and down the stairs. "So common were these experiences that often his family would simply ignore the mysterious events and continue with what they were doing at the time," Lewels added. "In addition, Michael experienced psychic phenomena which included precognitive visions and out-of-body experiences (OBE)."
As an adult, Michael Talbot's experiences continued. When he was in college, he and a friend were driving from East Lansing to Sawgatuk, which is about a two-hour drive. They observed a UFO and got out to watch. They felt that they had watched it for only about five minutes, but when they reached their destination, they were hours later than they should have been, and they had made no other stops. In ufology this inexplicable anomaly is fairly common and called "missing time," often associated with memories of so-called "alien abductions."
"But I believe that I had an encounter with non-ordinary reality that, in this instance, we are labeling 'UFO,'" he stated. "But which I think is just the tip of the iceberg of something vaster."
Eventually he contacted acclaimed novelist and alien abductee Whitley Streiber, author of Communion and Transformation, seeking his help in coming to some sort of terms and understanding about such anomalous experiences. They became good friends. Streiber found him to have a very sharp, intellectual and encyclopedic mind, as certainly so many others had, and he shared details of their meetings and friendship in his book Breakthrough: The Next Step (1995). Also, he described some unusual experiences he had with Talbot, including what he felt was a visitation from Talbot's spirit the day of his death.