Aliens with “mushroom-shaped” heads abducted a young man but he knew nothing about it until months later. All he remembered was that he and a friend had seen a huge UFO rise up out of a field late one night and shoot a ray of light at them.
A series of hypnosis sessions conducted by a medical doctor some weeks later disclosed an incredible story about five strange creatures that examined the man aboard the UFO.
"The creatures told me not to be afraid, that they weren't going to hurt me," David Stephens said in an interview three months after the encounter. He said all five creatures had enlarged heads and looked alike.
The doctor who hypnotized Stephens was convinced he was telling the truth, as was a psychiatrist who questioned Stephens and eight members of his family for eight and a half hours.
The incident occurred in the early hours of October 27, 1975, as Stephens and a friend, Glen Gray, saw the UFO as they drove along a deserted country road near Oxford, Maine.
Stephens said the craft was "as big as a football field." It rose up and flew just above their car for half a mile or so and then suddenly shot a blinding beam of light at them.
As the light hit them, the car skidded sideways fifteen feet and the two men blacked out. After they came to and returned home, they discovered it was several hours later than they thought it was, and they didn’t know why.
CREATURE ENTERS ROOM
There were no witnesses to the incident, although a policeman did report he had seen a UFO earlier in the night in that area. Authorities and UFO investigators said the two men were still very excited, agitated and frightened for several days after.
It was only after tape recordings of the hypnosis sessions were played for Stephens that he understood what happened that night. His last conscious memory of the incident was of the car skidding sideways. In the next instant, under hypnosis, he found himself aboard the craft looking out a window.
"I was standing there looking down at the car I had been riding in
when this creature came into the room," Stephens, then twenty-two, said
at the home of his parents
in Oxford. (At right, copy of a sketch he drew.)
(At right, copy of a sketch he drew.)
"He was about four and a half feet tall and his head was shaped almost like a mushroom. His skin was very pale and white like he hadn't been in the sun for years. He didn't have any hair or eyebrows. His eyes were large and slanted and his nose was just like two dots in the face. He was wearing sort of a sheet or robe that was black and reached the floor. He had three fingers and a thumb on each hand. They were webbed.
"I don't remember seeing any ears or mouth but he talked to me somehow. It was as if I heard a voice in my brain telling me not to be afraid.”
Stephens was a high school graduate and had served in the Navy for four years as a machinist's mate aboard an aircraft carrier. At the time of the encounter he stood five feet seven inches tall and weighed a hundred and fifty-four pounds.
For several days after the incident, Stephens and Gray were convinced that UFOs were following them. Both thought of running away to another state to get away from the UFOs, but Stephens decided to stay and try to find out what had happened. Gray did leave the state some weeks later, and efforts to get him to talk about the incident were not successful.
CAR FEELS ELEVATED ABOVE ROAD
This is what happened as Stephens tells it:
At the time this occurred, he and Gray were sharing a trailer home in Norway, a town seven miles northwest at Oxford, and were working nights. On the night of October 26, a Sunday, they did not work but stayed up so they could sleep the next day to go to work the following night.
"About two-thirty in the morning (October 27), we decided to go for a ride," Stephens said. They intended to go south on Route 26 past the home of Stephens' parents and then over to Lake Thompson just south of the village of Oxford. Instead, shortly after starting out, they found they had no control over the car and it turned down a back road to Oxford.
The road was bumpy and twisting but Stephens said they felt no bumps and the car seemed to be elevated somewhat off the road. After what seemed to be only two or three minutes, they found themselves passing through Oxford and onto the West Poland Road some eight miles from Norway.
"This sounds weird, but it's true,” said Stephens. "A couple miles out of Oxford we went around a curve and suddenly saw these colored lights in a field to our left. They were on only a couple of seconds and when they went out two big bright lights hit us in the eyes.
"At first we thought it was a truck or something, like some kids were goofing off in the field. Then the thing raised up above the trees and we thought it was a helicopter. We rolled our windows down but we couldn't hear anything.
“The thing was almost as big as the field and I said, ‘Let’s get out of here.' We rolled up the windows and locked the doors and drove on toward the village of Poland. This was one of only two or three times in the whole trip that we had control of the car.
"This thing started following us, only it was just in front of us and up above us a little. We went half a mile to a mile and suddenly those two lights went out. At the same time, this really big bright light hits us in the eyes. That's when we blacked out."
HITS ONE OF THE CREATURES
It was at this spot that the car skidded sideways. It was also here, Stephens revealed under hypnosis, that he was somehow taken aboard the craft.
“I learned that when that bright light came on, I wasn’t in the car. I was standing in a room, a metal room, and I was looking out a window at the car. It was still skidding sideways and Glen was in the car, still sitting in the driver's seat."
A moment or so later one of the creatures came into the room.
"He told me not to be afraid, that he wasn't going to hurt me," Stephens said. "He took me into another room. It looked like an operating room and there were four other creatures in there.
“He told me to get up on the table and they took two needles of blood out of me. Then they wanted me to take off my clothes and lie down on the table. I didn't want to and I got up and hit one of them.
"They didn't do anything. He just backed away from me and told me again they weren't going to hurt me.
"I don't think I was frightened but when I was listening to the hypnosis tapes I could hear myself breathing real heavy. I finally did get on the table and let them undress me.
"They brought some kind of machine over. It had an arm part that moved and had something on the end of the arm like an X-ray machine or something. They moved this over every inch of my body and I could hear clicking or something as the machine went all over my body.
"They also took clippings of my fingernails and pieces of hair and put these into jars or tubes. Then they let me put my clothes back on and I was taken back to the room where I had been looking out the window. The next thing I knew I was waking up in the car."
TWO SMALL UFOS RISE UP FROM LAKE
Both men woke up at the same time and found the craft still hovering above the car, Stephens said. They got the car going and continued driving to Poland, where they lost sight of the UFO.
At Poland they turned around and headed back toward Oxford, but once again they lost control of the car and it turned into a lane overlooking a lake called Tripp Pond. The engine died and wouldn't start.
The UFO appeared again, this time three to four hundred feet above the car, Stephens said. Then they saw two small UFOs rise up off the lake about a quarter of a mile down the hill from them.
The two small craft rose up into the sky and then gently flip-flopped back down toward the lake like falling leaves. Then they rose again as if they were climbing stair steps, he said.
After fifteen or twenty minutes, all three craft went straight up into the sky and vanished, Stephens said. At this time the sky was getting light and when they drove to the home of Stephens' parents several miles away, they found it was nearly seven in the morning.
"We weren't going to tell anybody about this because we thought everybody'd think we were nuts,” Stephens said. “But about half an hour after we got home we both started getting sick and I felt like I’d lost a hundred pounds.
"I felt like I couldn't walk, see straight or could hardly talk. It felt like we were in a daze."
His mother, Beatrice, said: "Their palms were sweaty, their hands and feet were swollen and they were just clammy. I couldn’t keep them warm enough. They had double socks on, double pants on, double shirts. They were cold. They were freezing."
Much of the feeling passed later in the day but neither felt very well for about three days, Stephens said.
STILL SCARED HOURS LATER
About five o'clock that afternoon, Oxford County Sheriff's Deputy Eldon Bartlett, then twenty-eight, went to the Stephens home.
“I talked to the boys and they explained to me that they saw these three objects in the sky and said one of them nearly forced them off the road, forced their car sideways," Bartlett said.
"They were still very excited, apparently very scared. At this time there were these three lights in the sky that they thought were UFOs but I couldn't see them moving myself. They seemed to think they were the same ones they'd seen earlier.
"This was some eight or nine hours after whatever happened to them happened. They both seemed very scared. They were very, very excited and very nervous.”
The following night, October 28, Brent Raynes of Hallowell, Maine, went to Oxford to investigate the incident at the request of the Center for UFO studies in Chicago. The Center had been notified of the UFO sighting by the sheriff's office in neighboring Androscoggin County, where the village of Poland is located.
"I interviewed these young men on October 28 and again on November 1 and November 11," Raynes said.
"On the night of October 28, they were rather upset and excited. From what they told me – the various unusual factors, the disorientation in time and place, and judging from their upset nature – I was quite sure something did happen that was unusual.
"They told me they didn't know if they could take it. They were very excited and upset and were having chills. They thought they might go crazy.
"They weren't sure what the outcome would be. They wanted to know what these space beings or whatever wanted with them. I tried to calm them down and assure them that everything was all right.
WANTED TO RUN AWAY
"I drove with them that night to the sites where these things happened. At the first place, the cornfield, they went out into the field, but when we drove up to Tripp Pond, where they said they saw the mother ship and the two smaller ones, they refused to get out of the car. They had chills and creepy feelings.
"The thing I suspected was that there might have been something they could not remember. I felt that hypnosis would be good because there was a certain absence of memory.
"They didn't know what happened between the point where they started driving up the road until they found themselves in the car stopped at the aide of the road.
"The next day they were having what I call flashbacks. They were seeing things – like cubes and balls moving in the air – that really weren't there and they knew they weren’t there.
"They asked me that if they went away, they themselves ran off, if the UFOs would follow them. I found out the second time I was there that they had been thinking of running off to Oklahoma, which Glen finally did, to get away from the UFOs. I told them I didn't think it would do any good.'
Raynes said both young men told essentially the same stories. “The first night I pulled David to the side and talked with him and about an hour later I drew Glen off into a conversation. I watched both of them, their expressions and so forth, and there wasn't really any conflict in what they told me."
Ronald Kugell, assistant principal of Oxford Hills High School and chief of police for the town of Oxford, also visited the Stephens home that evening.
“I went down there because they thought that three stars in the sky were UFOs and were following them," Kugell said.
“They thought they ought to go to the hospital to get checked for radiation exposure and they wanted me to escort them there because they were being followed by flying saucers.
TESTED FOR RADIATION
“They seemed to be genuinely concerned," Kugell said, adding that he did not escort them to the hospital.
Stephens said he did go to the hospital but was not examined. “l went up to the hospital to see if I could get a blood test for radiation but they told me I was crazy," he said. He got disgusted and walked out.
However, later in the evening of October 28, Benjamin Twitchell, a retired military officer who was Civil Defense Director for Oxford County, did go to the Stephens home to check the young men out.
“They didn’t ask me to go down there but the hospital called me about it and I thought it would be the proper thing to do to go down there and ease their minds and their parents," Twitchell said.
"I checked their clothes, their shoes, their car, everything and found no evidence whatsoever of any unusual radiation. To alleviate the young men’s anxiety, I had them put the instrument on themselves.
"They seemed to calm down a bit after this. In fact, I asked them if they wanted radiation meters to wear in their trouser pockets and they said, No, they were satisfied with the results.”
The case was also investigated thoroughly by Mrs. Shirley Fickett of Portland, Maine, who was a UFO investigator associated with the International UFO Bureau.
The stories the two young men told her agreed in virtually every detail with what they told Raynes. The story Stephens told me also appeared to be identical with what he told them.
It was through Mrs. Fickett that hypnosis sessions were arranged with Dr. Herbert Hopkins of Old Orchard Beach, Maine. She and Dr. Hopkins met through mutual friends and when she learned that he used hypnotism in his medical practice, she told him about the case.
WITNESS TRUTHFUL, SAYS DOCTOR
Because Stephens was the older of the two and was more willing, he was chosen to undergo hypnosis, said Mrs. Fickett. The sessions began December 2 and continued through January with a three-week break over the holidays. They were conducted in Dr. Hopkins’ office in his home in old Orchard Beach.
At least three witnesses were present at all sessions – Stephens' parents, Gene and Beatrice, and Mrs. Fickett. Glen Gray sat in on the first session – which was more or less a test session to determine if Stephens could be hypnotized – but didn't attend any more, Mrs. Fickett said.
"There is absolutely no question in my mind that young Stephens is telling the truth,” Dr. Hopkins said when I interviewed him.
Dr. Hopkins, then fifty-six, was a 1952 graduate of the University of Illinois Medical School in Chicago. He was a general practitioner and allergist and said he has been using hypnotism in his practice for fifteen years.
"I studied hypnotism in Medical School because I was interested in
the writings of Carl Jung (famous Swiss psychologist)," Dr. Hopkins said.
"Actually, when I studied it I didn't plan to use it. I was just interested .
“I started using hypnotism as an aid to painless childbirth. Now I also use it for habit control, control of neurosis, nervous disorders, building confidence, things like that. I use it several times a week in my practice."
Regarding young Stephens, Dr. Hopkins said: "David is frank, straightforward and, I believe, honest. He is in no manner evasive. He is shy but not evasive.
"He was a good subject for hypnosis. It did not take long to get him into a hypnotic state and he remained in the trance state even though he became agitated.”
Stephens became agitated a number of times during the sessions, usually when trying to describe the creatures or what they were doing to him, Dr. Hopkins said.
NO EVIDENCE OF DRUG USE
"When he got agitated, he had tremors, his arms would shake, his head would shake and he'd shift his position in the chair as though he were very uncomfortable."
At times Stephens's answers were barely audible. At other times, he failed to answer a question even though Dr. Hopkins would repeat it several times.
In an early session Dr. Hopkins asked if the creatures wore shoes and Stephens said they did. But in subsequent sessions when Dr. Hopkins asked the same a question, Stephens never answered.
Nor did he answer questions as to whether the creatures had ears. "I think that is because he was inhibited by some means by these creatures so he wouldn't reveal everything that went on," Dr. Hopkins said. "It took a deep level of hypnosis to get anything out of him.
"He did describe the shoes once but then he didn't after that. As far as the ears are concerned, he drew a picture that didn't have any ears, so apparently they didn't. But I don't know why David balked about that question."
Apparently Stephens never asked the creatures any questions himself.
Asked if he found any indication of drug use by Stephens, Dr. Hopkins said: "No, none whatsoever. I'd say he is a good, clean-living boy."
Dr. Hopkins said he himself never believed in UFOs until the sessions with Stephens changed his mind.
"I just simply was not interested in UFOs before but now I’m convinced that they exist,” he said. "This was a unique experience for me. I was intrigued. I believe the UFOs must be of extraterrestrial origin because of the nature of the creatures he described."
‘WEIRD STORY HANGS TOGETHER’
In January, Dr. Berthold Schwarz questioned Stephens and his family at length. Dr. Schwarz at the time was a psychiatrist in Montclair, New Jersey. He was interested in psychic phenomena and the psychological aspects of UFO experiences. (He later retired and moved to Vero Beach, Florida.)
"David is telling the truth," Dr. Schwarz said in an interview. "It is a weird story and it hangs together.
"Some features of it are completely arresting and would have interest to the medical profession, psychiatry in particular, for which I have no explanation other than to say there are solid reports like this that are documented and written up in good scientific journals.
“David wanted to talk about his experience and get it out of his system, so to speak, whereas the other fellow – we all react differently in this world – shut the thing away and didn’t want anything to do with it as such.
“The experience hurt both boys. They both lost their jobs because word got around the factory where they were working. They got the horselaugh and all of that hit them rather hard.
"Too often what happens is that word of an experience like this gets out and people say you're baloney or on drugs – and incidentally, there's none of that here, no drugs, no alcohol, nothing like that – or they say you're crazy.”
There were nine people living together in the Stephens household at the time – David and his parents plus brothers and sisters, a brother-in-law and a baby nephew. Dr. Schwarz spent eight and a half hours questioning them, together and individually, about the UFO incident.
"These things involve families, too, in more ways than meets the eye.” Dr. Schwarz said. "It seemed to be a very open family, and well motivated to get help for the young man.
“I heard tapes of Dr. Hopkins' sessions with him. I can't salute the doctor enough for going slowly, cautiously, conservatively and not planting ideas. He's a physician who's been in practice a long time with the experience not to blow the kid sky high, which is easy enough. David was terrified by what happened."
In addition to the haunting fear that UFOs were watching him, Stephens suffered other effects of the incident.
“My eyes have been a little bloodshot ever since then, I'm always tired now and just recently I've got a tremendous appetite," said Stephens, who later found a job working in the shipping department of a shoe factory.
"Yesterday, for instance, when I went in to work at seven o'clock I had four doughnuts and two things of milk. At the nine o'clock break I had four more doughnuts and two apple pies. At noon I had two sandwiches my mother made for me and cookies, and then I ate two Italian sandwiches, three things of milk and another apple pie. I'm always hungry. I don't know why and I'm not gaining any weight.
"I get tired easily, too. Before this happened, I never used to get tired. I had all kinds of energy. But if I don't get to bed by eight thirty or nine o'clock now, I get so tired at work."
POLICEMAN SEES UFO SAME NIGHT
Earlier in the evening of October 27, a policeman saw a UFO less than a dozen miles from where Stephens and Gray had their encounter.
"I was patrolling about one o'clock in the morning and drove out to Norway Lake west of town when I looked up and just saw this thing coming over the pines," said Norway City Patrolman Lloyd Herrick, then twenty-three.
"I’ve never seen anything like it before. I stopped and got out of my cruiser and watched it. It was shaped like a short cigar and had two red lights on it, one in front and one in back. The middle part was black."
Herrick, a big, easygoing man who’d been an officer for two and a half years, continued: “It couldn't have been more than eight hundred feet above me. It wasn't going very fast. In fact, pretty slow. I must have watched it for at least a minute as it passed over Norway Lake and headed right in the direction of Norway. It must have passed right over the town.
"I called the Sheriff’s Office on my radio and said, ‘I don’t want to sound corny but have you had any reports of UFOs?' The dispatcher said something about what had I been drinking.
'I was so amazed by this thing! It made no sound. It wasn't a plane. I said to myself, ‘Well, son of a gun! I've seen something I've never seen before!’"