Back in the early summer of 1967 – thanks to an introduction made by a woman named Jaye P. Paro, a host on Babylon, New York’s WBAB station – John Keel met with a girl who had a fascinating story to tell. It was a disturbing story too. Given the controversial nature of the affair, Keel agreed to always, and only, refer to her as Jane. As Keel noted: “She was a very sensitive woman, more ethereal than sensual. There was almost something mystical about her appearance and grace.” At the time in question, there was a wealth of very unsettling activity going on in the Mount Misery area of Huntington, New York, a place about which researcher Arthur Criscione says: “Locals have called the area Mount Misery for centuries but you will never find it written that way on any map. It got its name because of its unfarmable land and the steep hills. Since the area was not conducive to farming it became a crossroads between farming communities and the difficult trek caused many a wagon wheel to snap.”
The foreboding area was, and still is, a veritable magnet for paranormal activity: ghostly, glowing-eyed, and black-haired hounds prowl around the landscape; mysterious, black cars cruise the roads; and spectral children and adults – some of a classic “phantom hitchhiker” variety – wander along the old pathways, always by night. And then there are Mount Misery’s UFOs, sightings of which reached their peak in the early months of 1967. Not surprisingly, the local kids immediately caught wind of the reports. And, as a result, on dark, weekend nights, girl- and boy-friends would drive around the area, looking for flying saucers, and, under canopies of trees and darkness, doing what young lovers do on Saturday nights all around the world. This included Jane and her boyfriend, Richard.
It was one particularly chilly and dark Saturday evening in mid-May 1967 when Jane and Richard were driving around the roads of Mount Misery and when Richard, quite out of the blue, fell ill. He managed to pull the car to the side of the road, immediately after which he fainted at the wheel. Panic-stricken Jane didn’t know what to do. As it transpired, the decision of what to do next was suddenly, and violently, taken out of her by-now-clammy hands. A near-blinding white light flooded the vehicle, having originated somewhere in the deep, almost impenetrable, woods that surrounded the car. Jane found herself completely immobilized in her seat by some unseen, paranormal force. It’s clear there was a degree of missing time involved, since the next thing the couple remembered was driving along Mount Misery’s Old County Road, some distance from where all of the terror exploded. That was barely the start of the high-strangeness, however.
A couple of days later Jane experienced something that is a common factor in UFO encounters: an odd and somewhat disturbing telephone call. The mysterious woman at the other end of the line did not identify herself to Jane, but – in a weird, “metallic”-sounding style – instructed Jane to go to her local library, to ask the staff for a specific book on Native American history, and to then turn to page forty-two and read it. Very carefully. It was an extremely curious request (one which bordered upon an order), but Jane felt oddly drawn to follow the instructions of her anonymous Woman in Black. Jane reached the library around mid-morning. Even her arrival was dominated by profound oddities: aside from the librarian and Jane herself, the building was completely empty of people and was vacuum-like in its silence and stillness. As for that same librarian, well…
Her hair was black, her eyes were “very black,” her skin was olive, and her black-colored outfit was curiously out of time. In Jane’s words, the Woman in Black was dressed in “an old-fashioned suit like something out of the 1940s, with a long skirt, broad shoulders, and flat old-looking shoes.” Most astonishing of all, before Jane could say anything, the woman handed her – from under a desk – a copy of the very book Jane had been instructed to seek out by her mysterious caller. Jane, unsettled, but determined to find out what was going on, took a seat, opened the book and turned to page forty-two. As she did so, the writing on the page changed from large to small, and back again, several times. Rather amazingly, the writing then did something else: it magically morphed into a message. Jane was able to remember the entire, length message – word for word – something which suggested it had been subliminally implanted in her mind. She carefully wrote it down:
“Good morning, friend. You have been selected for many reasons. One is that you are advanced in auto-suggestion. Through this science we will make contact. I have messages concerning Earth and its people. The time is set. Fear not. I am a friend. For reasons best known to ourselves you must make your contacts known to one reliable person. To break this code is to break contact. Proof shall be given. Notes must be kept of the suggestion state. Be in peace.”
With that, Jane stood up from the chair and closed the book. The mysterious woman was nowhere to be seen. Jane was all alone in a deserted, silent library. To say she fled the place in terror would be an understatement.