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    An alternative way to explore and explain the mysteries of our world. "Published since 1985, online since 2001."

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Encounters with the Unknown—Alternate Perceptions Magazine, March 2021


Aliens confused over Time and Mystery Men trying to drink Jell-O?

by: Brent Raynes




In John Keel’s UFOs: Operation Trojan Horse (1970), he recounted the story of a Mrs. Ralph Butler, who described to him how she along with another woman, were standing in a field outside of Owatonna, Minnesota, back in November 1966, watching, once again, more strange lights in the local skies above. This had, at the time, become something of a nightly ritual. However, on this particular night one of these strange lights dropped out of the sky and at the far end of their field, just a few feet over the ground, with a swinging back and forth motion, it took up position in that one place. They could discern that it was an object that consisted of colored flickering lights.

The next thing that happened, Mrs. Butler’s friend let out a slight gasp and dropped to her knees, and then in a trancelike daze produced an unusual stilted and metallic sounding voice that spoke spasmodically.

“What…is…your…time…cycle?” the voice requested. A startled Mrs. Butler tried to collect her thoughts and explain as best she could how we calculated time in minutes, hours, and days. After talking that over briefly Keel wrote how she was asked “a few more innocuous questions” and then her friend came out of the trance, at which point the UFO launched skyward once again. In Keel's 1975 classic The Mothman Prophecies, he returns to this story describing how Mrs. Butler had also reported that following a wave of UFO sightings in that area, she was visited by a mysterious Major Richard French in May 1967 who claimed to be with the U.S. Air Force. He was interested in UFOs and CB [she claimed she had been hearing strange voices over her CB radio]. He wore civilian clothes and had long black hair, which seemed inappropriate for an Air Force officer. She estimated he stood about 5 foot 9 inches tall, had a kind of olive complexion and a pointed face. He drove a white Mustang.

Major French engaged Butler in a normal, fluent conversation – that is, until he complained of stomach trouble. She offered him some Jell-O, thinking that might help. “Did you ever hear of anyone – especially an air force officer – trying to drink Jell-O?” Mrs. Butler declared. “Well, that's what he did. He acted like he had never seen any before. He picked up the bowl and tried to drink it. I had to show him how to eat it with a spoon.”

The case has become a MIB classic. The man wore a gray suit and shoes that looked brand new. He a pointed chin and olive complexion. “Richard French was an imposter,” Keel wrote. “One of the many wandering around the United States in 1967.” However, there really was a Richard French, who said he worked with Project Blue Book as a UFO debunker in the 1950s. In 2013, he testified at the Citizen's Hearing on Disclosure in Washington, D.C., that in one case off the coast of Saint Johns, Newfoundland around 1952, he observed two submerged UFOs and small alien beings who appeared to be doing repair work. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmK_MNXIowQ

Noted UFO researcher and author Micah Hanks sees this revelation as significant because it shows that in 1967 a Richard French was doing “precisely” what French claimed in 2013 that he had been doing for the Air Force, engaging in disinformation and skeptical downplaying of the UFO phenomenon. Is he still following through with that earlier assignment? Some ufologists have wondered if he may have used details from the similar Shag Harbor case of Nova Scotia, from back in 1967, to spin this other story. “All things considered, I, too, find this to be a compelling theory,” Hanks said.

However, we really don’t know for certain whether or not the real Richard French had visited Mrs. Butler up there in Minnesota or not.

Who was the other Jell-O-drinking mystery man?

Dr. Jacques Vallee describes in his book Confrontations: A Scientist's Search for Alien Contact (1990), his investigation in northern California of a small lumber town known as Happy Camp, which had only one bar and one cafe. From 1975 to 1977, the town's people seemingly experienced a bizarre series of UFO-related events that included humanoid being encounters, poltergeist activity, a “huge bird,” and more. One day early in 1976, a peculiar stranger showed up at the cafe. Though it was the middle of winter, he wore no coat, only a strange-looking shirt. He was pale-skinned with Oriental eyes, and his face bore a constant odd, grimacing smile. He ordered a steak dinner but didn't know how to use a fork and knife. He also left without paying. To top it off, Vallee added this: “Among the peculiar things he did during his extraordinary dinner was a brave attempt to drink Jell-O out of his glass.”

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