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Classic Mysteries—Alternate Perceptions Magazine, March 2024

Subjective UFO Encounters

by: Brent Raynes

A woman up near Chicago named Mary Kerfoot once shared a very high strange experience (one among many in her life I should add). She has a professional background with an M.S. in experimental psychology. She's also what is known in UFO circles as an "alien abductee." She held support group meetings in her home for fellow experiencers to attend and to be able to meet with others and share their experiences and not face ridicule.

Here's what happened she said at one of those meetings:

"That afternoon there were four of us left after the meeting broke up," she recalled. One was an aerospace engineer and instructor of physics and advanced math named Bob Laurence, along with two ladies named Nancy and Debby (pseudonyms), plus herself. Mary continued: "The meeting was held at my house in the living room which is four feet above the level of the foyer. Debby was seated on the sofa against the wall opposite the foyer. Bob and Nancy were standing at the top of the foyer stairs, looking towards Debby. I was standing between Debby, who was behind me, and Bob and Nancy who were standing next to each other facing me. Nancy talked for a while about the work she was doing then I said a few words. As I spoke, I noticed Nancy was staring up at the ceiling and her jaw had dropped. I was about to ask her what she was looking at when Bob yelled out did you see that, did you guys see that? Nancy immediately yelled yes, yes! Bob and Nancy then began comparing notes on what they had just seen. They both saw brownish smoke along the ceiling mixed with tiny, sparkly lights. Then they saw an opening appear in the living room under the smoke and next to my right side. Standing in the opening was a tall being dressed in a brown robe and hood. The opening seamlessly disappeared after two or three seconds. I did not see the opening, nor did Debby. I had first assumed I didn’t see it because it was on my blind side. Then I remembered Michio Kaku’s description in his book Hyperspace of what a wormhole would look like to outside observers. Viewed from the edge on, the wormhole would be invisible which might explain why I was unaware that it had opened beside me. Bob and Nancy both said they experienced a strong telepathic exchange with each other when the opening first appeared. I was the independent witness in this case because I was not directly involved in the main event (seeing the opening) but, rather, witnessed the reaction on Nancy’s face as she observed the main event."

I later questioned the aerospace engineer, Bob Laurence, about what he had seen. He confirmed the temporary "telepathic communication" between himself and Nancy, and the presence of a hooded looking being observed in a kind of mysterious opening that appeared for approximately 10-13 seconds. He also described seeing small balls of red, yellow, green, and orange lights on the ceiling above for no more than 20 seconds.

Was Mary correct that her and Debby didn't see the mysterious opening and being due to some unusual causal factor? Was it a wormhole invisible due to her indirect line of sight? Or, was there another explanation?

Similar experiences have a long history. For example, an intense religious revival broke out in Wales back during the winter of 1904-05 where many observed mysterious lights in the sky. A 38-year-old Welsh woman named Mary Jones, described as an ordinary, happily married peasant woman who was deeply religious, became a central figure in this revival. Reporters from the Liverpool Echo, Daily Mail, Daily Mirror, and London Daily News travelled to these gathering, that were garnering a great deal of attention, to see what was going on. These reporters even wrote about seeing unexplained light phenomena that they couldn't explain. Beriah G. Evans, who was writing for the London Daily News (February 9, 1905) described how while being in the company of Mrs. Jones, he observed pretty phenomenal things. He wrote: “'We cannot start yet,' she told me on the occasion of my visit, 'the lights have not yet come. I never go without them.' A few minutes later, on going out to see, she returned saying: 'Come. It is time to go. The lights have come!'”

It was about 6:15 p.m., Tuesday, January 31, 1905. There was Evans, Mrs. Jones, and three others. All of them witnessed a brilliant star-like object to the south emitting “diamond-like sparklets.” “It took a sudden leap of considerable distance towards the mountains, then back again to its first position, and again rushing towards us,” Evans reported. Next it disappeared from sight and then reappeared much closer to their position, and then it went out. “Following the disappearance of the star came immediately two brilliant and distinct flash-lights, illuminating the stone dykes and heather on the mountain side, the first flash two miles away, the second immediately following a mile higher up the valley, and in the direction we should have to travel. 'Come,' said Mrs. Jones, recognizing the omens, 'We shall have a glorious meeting!' And we did.”

Though up to that point, all five had seen the same things, the next two anomalous displays were only witnessed by Mrs. Jones and Mr. Evans, even though all five of them were still walking in the road together and all five should have seen what followed next. Evans wrote: “Three bars of clear white light crossing the road in front from right to left, climbing up the stone wall to the left, showing every interstice and bit of moss as clearly as though a searchlight had been turned upon it. There was no house, or human being other than our party, near, and no conceivable human agency could have produced this effect.'”

Next a “blood-red light” appeared about a foot off the ground, in the middle of the roadway. Interestingly, Evans noted that it “did not illumine surrounding objects.” Evans was surprised when he later learned that the others had not seen what he and Mrs. Jones had seen, and wrote that those others were equally astounded. “Mrs. Jones, without any suggestion from me, described there and then the appearances precisely as they had presented themselves to me.”

Evans came to learn of another similar instance involving a London journalist who witnessed, along with a woman standing near him, a white light that swept along the ground, near a chapel, stopping on a wall. Half a dozen other witnesses present said they didn't see it.

The late Swiss psychologist Dr. Carl G. Jung struggled to understand such anomalies. He wrote: “...I was once at a spiritualistic séance where four of the five people present saw an object like a moon floating above the abdomen of the medium. They showed me, the fifth person present, exactly where it was, and it was absolutely incomprehensible to them that I could see nothing of the sort.”

Jung knew of a few other cases like this and could not determine for certain what the explanation for such occurrences was. Jung proposed that UFO/UAP, psychic, and religious apparitional and visionary phenomena might be something he called “psychoid.” Psychoid represented something that existed on the borders of what we perceive as mental and physical; a third order of reality with overlapping characteristics, something that's rather hard to define and wrap our minds around. On this point, quantum physicists and parapsychologists should find themselves treading upon fairly common ground. Jung's concept of synchronicity (meaningful coincidence) operated on the premise that ideas (mental) and events (physical), though demonstrating no obvious causal connection as perceived in terms of standard classic physics, could no doubt be linked as psychoid-related phenomena. Obviously, Jung perceived the UFO/UAP phenomenon as something of deep potential importance, having devoted the last years of his life to writing a book exploring this very complex and controversial subject, including parapsychology in on the conversation, intimately entangled with his pioneering theories of archetypes and a collective unconscious, and engaging in extensive dialogue over these issues with one of the early pioneers and founders of quantum physics, Wolfgang Pauli.

Many in ufology aren't aware of these psychoid anomalies, but when they do happen to stumble upon them they can certainly change a researcher's formerly fixed, overly simplified perception of such incidents. One such researcher, Angelia Sheer, the former state director for MUFON (Mutual UFO Network) here in Tennesse, experienced such a paradigm shift. It came up several times in our personal conversations and she mentioned it in the introduction to her book UFO Encounters: How High Strange Events Transform Human Perception (2019): "A single case changed the way I viewed and then investigated the UFO mystery forever. The case involved a group of people star watching on a beach. There were about 14 individuals within about 25 feet of each other. At some point, about 4 of those people witnessed a pretty amazing UFO sighting. When questioned alone, they all described the same thing. They were articulate and in agreement about the shape, lights, and sound. What was extraordinary was the fact that the other 10 witnesses saw and heard nothing. No matter how hard the small group tried to point out the object, the others just could not see it."

In 1992, UFO author John Keel described in a Fortean lecture a UFO case back in the 1960s, where he and zoologist and author Ivan Sanderson had investigated a family in New Jersey who had reported seeing a huge “flying saucer” with windows, judged to have been a mile across in size, located between two mountains at perhaps 2,000 feet. The husband had been a really reliable witness, the president of a fairly large company. “They were not about to make up flying saucer stories to entertain Ivan Sanderson and John Keel,” he said. “Ivan put articles in the newspapers there in New Jersey asking if anybody else had seen anything unusual on that day.” But no one else reported it. “Why didn't 3,000 other people see the same thing?” Keel asked.

Increasingly, ufologists seem to be noticing more and more reports of miniature-type UAP, or small orbs, objects some have speculated might be like our drones. However, some reports even described tiny occupants just inches tall, and even stranger, if that's possible, some describe how they can change size, becoming human sized, and how humans can be shrunk down to fit into tiny saucers. Back in the late 1960s, I talked with a man and his elderly mother in Maine about strange pulsating balls of light, generally about the size of a “ten quart water pail” I was told, and how they had observed them on several occasions back in the 1930s. On one occasion, they observed from a distance one of these balls of light near the ground where a farmer was working crops with two horses and a two row cultivator. “He worked down from above it on the hillside two rows at a time until he entered the row where it was,” the man told me. “He nor the team, showing no signs of anything abnormal, ran over it. As the horses walked over it, it grew small until about the size of a baseball. When the cultivator teeth went over it it rolled with the dirt and regained its former size behind the machine.”

There's a lot of high strangeness in ufology that gets ignored. Perhaps John Keel was correct when he noted there wasn't any real difference between the nature of ghosts and aliens, outside of their frame of reference, and that ufology should be a branch of parapsychology.

Wednesday, May 29, 2024