With the sad passing last Sunday of Brad Steiger, I thought today I would share with you one of the many and varied accounts that Brad generously shared with me. It's an odd tale filled with Trickster-like phenomena, UFO encounters, a possible doppelganger, automatic-writing, and the Men in Black. And here's how it begins, in Brad's very own words: "In a most bizarre twist, dozens of men and women have approached me at various lectures and seminars, congratulating me about the manner in which I bested Dr. Carl Sagan in debate. The event allegedly occurred after a lecture when I happened to bump into the great scientist in a restaurant. The eatery, according to the witnesses, was crowded with those who had attended the seminar, and they egged on a debate between myself and Dr. Sagan. I mopped up the floor with him, countering his every argument against the reality of UFOs. The truth is that I never met Dr. Sagan, therefore, neither had I ever debated him. But from coast to coast, there are those who claim to have witnessed my triumphal bout."
And here's the rest of the story, uninterrupted, from Brad: "Even more individuals claim to have been in the audience when I delivered a rousing message from the Space Brothers in Seattle. Regardless of how often I deny that I was not in Seattle at that time and have never channeled the Space Brothers, those who were at that event are puzzled why I would deny my eloquence. It is true, that I have met and interviewed men and women who do claim to speak on behalf of Extraterrestrial Intelligences, but in retrospect, I found such a privilege to carry with it many possible negative experiences. I think of the reminiscences that I have shared with an Iowa farm family about those weird and wild MIB days.
"UFOs had become a part of this family’s life several years before one of its male members became a 'channel' for an entity who claimed to be from another world. The invisible telepathic being began communicating with the family because they had been 'selected before they had been born' to assist him in doing 'His' work and in protecting Earth from another group of intelligences who sought to enslave mankind.
"The communicating entity led the various members of the family circle on a number of 'assignments' designed to save the Earth and to serve the benign entity and his kind. But always, the entity warned them, there was the enemy group with its men in black, seeking whom they might devour. The family, who became 'flying saucer missionaries,' saw mysterious fellow passengers board airplanes with them - then disappear somewhere in mid flight. Automobiles appeared out of nowhere to follow and harass them.
"A man claiming to be from a state educational division called at the high school and talked for over an hour with one of the teenaged girl members of the family. The only questions he asked had to do with whether or not she would be able to recognize a spy. When suspicious adult members of the beleaguered family checked with school administrators, they were informed that they had no knowledge of such a man nor of such a division within the state educational system. Interestingly, I have now met with a number of adults who claimed such an experience with an MIB who claimed to be a representative from the state educational division who took them out of class for a 'test.'
"The girl who had been interrogated by the unidentified man also developed into a 'channel' for the communicating entity, and soon several members of the family were practicing automatic writing. UFOs swooped low overhead at night. Eerie lights were seen to dance about in the fields. Invisible entities snatched keys from their resting places and jangled them about the room, terrifying the children. Unseen hands lifted a mattress on which one couple lay sleeping, under which were some “secret” papers that the principal communicating entity had dictated.
"Their farm work was being ignored. Their lives had become a living nightmare in which every stranger was suspect, every sound in the night that of an invader, every strange coincidence imbued with desperate and weighty significance. At last the full realization that they had been deceived - that they had been led into a silly game - jolted them into determined action, and they resumed meaningful living, becoming a quite prosperous farm family. Although some of their past experiences seemed foolish in retrospect, they had to agree that they had learned valuable lessons from their strange companions.
"Now days whenever I review those days of encounters with the men in black, I am led to think of the mythological figure common to all cultures and known generically to ethnologists as the Trickster. The Trickster plays pranks upon mankind, but often at the same time he is instructing them or transforming aspects of the world for the benefit of his human charges. Most cultures view the Trickster as a primordial being who came into existence soon after the creation of the world. A number of Amerindian tribes referred to their Trickster figure as 'Old Man,' because they saw him as someone who was ageless, as old as time. The Trickster is usually viewed as a supernatural being with the ability to change his shape at will. Although basically wily, he may behave in a very stupid, childish manner at times, and may often end up as the one who is tricked. The Trickster lies, cheats, and steals without compunction. He seems often to be the very essence of amoral animalism.
"The Trickster figure is often credited with bringing death and pain into the world; yet, in some recitations, his own son was the first to die as a result. Perhaps one day we will learn the positive aspect of the MIB, the Trickster, the UFOnaut. As strange as it may seem, the MIB may merely be attempting to teach in their own strange ways the knowledge, or awareness, of powers that today exist only in our dreams of the future."