A serious student of the UFO phenomenon faces some risk at times. Twice within thirty minutes one spring night I was captured by aliens, but managed to escape both times unharmed and with only a temporary loss of sanity.
These weren't your typical small gray aliens with big bald heads and no mouths and clothed in space suits. These guys looked very human: Two arms, two legs, a mouth, nose, eyes and everything else earthlings have, and they were wearing ordinary garments.
Both spoke English but I couldn't comprehend what either was saying. I recognized the words but the messages were totally alien to anything I know.
One claimed he was a South American visiting the United States. Id been to his country and thought maybe I had found a new contact there.
He was a big, soft-looking young man who appeared to be in his twenties. He led me to a row of chairs on one side of the conference room and we sat down.
Picking up a thick hardcover notebook, he began showing me page after page of handwritten details about the various UFO entities that he assured me were visiting Earth, what they eat, what they did, where they came from, what they're doing here, and many other details
He spoke authoritatively about Extraterrestrials, Para-terrestrials, Ultra-terrestrials, Meta-terrestrials, Nano-terrestrials, Something-or-other-terrestrials, Ad infinitum-terrestrials I lost track.
He had drawn a map showing the location of all the major caves in the United States. These, he explained patiently, were in reality entrances to underground UFO bases that everyone knows exist. Everyone, he emphasized. Everyone except me apparently.
There were pages explaining cattle mutilations and their link to UFOs, and abductions of countless humans by space beings were explained in minute detail. His English was impeccable.
Page after page was filled with technical information about the great variety of UFOs that are visiting Earth, their sizes, shapes, construction, their propulsion systems, the numbers of their crews.
There were dozens of other subjects, many with excellent sketches of alien beings and highly detailed UFOs. Astounding details. All you ever wanted to know about UFOs and more was right there in neat blue ink without a single correction or smudge.
He was sort of hypnotic. My eyes began to glaze over and my brain started to pound. I was on the verge of intellectually hyperventilating. Not wanting to offend him, I could only nod my head and grunt "Unh-huh" from time to time.
He stopped only when he neared the end of the notebook. Then, as if all that had simply been setting the stage for what he really had in mind, he asked: "So, what do you think of Bob Lazarro?"
It was like a bolt out of the blue. The sudden shift in topics triggered warning signals in my brain, but I blew it. "Bob who?" I replied, puzzled.
To jog my memory, he explained that Lazarro was a government scientist who had some profound connection with much of what was in the notebook. The name still meant nothing to me and I said so.
The young man reacted with visible shock. "You've NEVER heard of Bob Lazarro?"
"No." I almost apologized.
He was stunned. The look on his face said I was beyond help. He couldn't believe it. I was fascinated that he was stunned. My reputation as a UFO researcher lay shattered on the floor. A small price to pay.
A moment later I mumbled goodbye and walked off right into the arms of another alien just fifteen feet away.
As with the first one, I didn't recognize him as such. I knew him only as a retired military officer. What happened is that a friend brought him over and said: "You know Joe don't you?"
We shook hands. I'd never met him before but I had heard of him. Almost immediately, Joe asked me what, after years of research, my conclusions were about the UFO phenomenon.
"In a nutshell?" I asked.
Both nodded and I said: "We don't know anything about the phenomenon."
This obviously ridiculous statement was met by stunned silence, so I tried to explain: "In spite of all the mountains of data we've collected over the years, I don't think we know anything about UFOs yet."
That didn't go over either, but Joe recovered quickly and said what he really wanted to say when he first asked the question.
"Let me tell you the evolution of my thinking," he said.
It started with his sighting a UFO when he was a boy. This led to his reading everything he could get his hands on about UFOs, then religion, then related subjects and eventually, a great many years later, to channeling. Channeling.
He was by now deeply into channeling and communicating with spirits from other worlds and earlier times. It was clear he had seen the light.
My eyes lost their focus again and my brain throbbed anew. Neither my friend nor I knew what to say to this and the conversation lapsed into one of those awkward silences that trigger an urgent need to make a quick visit to the cash bar.
These back-to-back conversations took place at a national UFO conference. We were at a get-acquainted cocktail party the night before the opening session. Dozens of people milled around and I could hear nearly all of them chatting about our space brothers.
Deciding I was in the wrong place, I checked out of the hotel at dawn the next day and returned to my home universe.
It wasn't the first time I'd been captured by "true believers." These are people whose views of the UFO phenomenon are so alien to mine that we might as well be living in separate worlds. I do not comprehend what they say and they simply reject what I say.
There are only a few hundred serious UFO researchers in the United States, and most cannot afford to attend the half dozen or so major UFO conferences held each year. Most conferences lose money and must attract the general public to pay expenses.
Too often, many of those people are "contactees" who believe they are in constant communication with space beings or have come to believe in all sorts of things faith healing, astrology, channeling and so on that, in my opinion, have nothing to do with UFOs. They, of course, would vehemently disagree with me.
Both the South American lad and the retired officer probably thought I was an alien. Over the past fifty to sixty years researchers around the world have collected data on hundreds of thousands of UFO sightings and encounters. File cabinets and computers the world over are crammed with what many investigators consider significant information about UFOs.
Over the years I myself filled two four-drawer file cabinets and a dozen boxes with some highly interesting data. Yet, I'd never heard of Bob Lazarro and I think it's very possible that we do not know anything about UFOs, and that the phenomenon is far more mysterious than we can imagine.
It's very possible I'm completely wrong, but this is such a masterfully deceptive phenomenon that all the data other researchers and I have accumulated may be totally misleading.
Since 1975 I have investigated hundreds of cases in twelve countries and interviewed about two thousand UFO witnesses far more than most other researchers in the world and it's possible that all the testimony and evidence I've gathered is of little importance in our efforts to solve the UFO mystery.
As a journalist, now retired after a forty-eight-year career, Ive long had a deep and lasting interest in local, national and world affairs. But this phenomenon is by far the most fascinating thing Ive ever come across.
Whatever it is, it is very real and has been with us for at least fifty years and probably far longer. It shows no sign of going away.