The UFO phenomenon is one that goes deep, and extends past what many might at first think. Many cultures around the world have their own legends and tales that feature something that could be seen as UFOs today, no matter whether the original people who told these stories knew what to call them or not. They have variously been attributed to gods, spirits, and other assorted entities, and the main takeaway is that this is a phenomenon that has been taking place in one form or other across cultures and geographical boundaries for a very long time. Native Americans also have their own stories of what in modern lingo would be aliens and UFOs, and even their own story of a crashed alien spacecraft.
One very interesting voice in the UFO field is the author, researcher, and Professor Emeritus at Montana State University, Dr. Ardy Sixkiller Clarke. Coming from Cherokee and Chocktaw heritage, she has been very active in working with the Native American community, raising awareness of their plight, and also writing on their experiences with the UFO and alien phenomena, a point of view that is rarely covered in the field. She has made much mention of the spiritual connection these people give to the phenomena, that UFOs and aliens are just as much a part of the spiritual realm as anything physical, and with some tribes even believing that their souls came from out in space. In an interview with the Skeptiko podcast she mentions of this connection:
It depends on the tribal group, and it’s difficult for me to say, as a general rule, there is this spiritual connection. But there definitely is with some of the tribes. There’s no question about it. Some of the tribes actually talk about the trip across the Milky Way. That when you die you cross the path of the Milky Way. You’ve got a common theme there that the cosmos plays so much a part in afterlife and death and the ability of the deceased that they never really die. They just move on into another dimension and that they can come back and communicate with the living.
She also writes much of what she calls the “Star People,” or ancient entities that came from the skies in their vessels to teach the Native people, and which are present in the lore and legends of many tribes, with some old tales even claiming that they interbred with them. These are not necessarily described as aliens from another world, exactly, but rather as spirits or gods descending from another spiritual realm. She has covered this theory in her book Encounters With Star People: Untold Stories of American Indians, and in some cases it seems that these are far from myth, as there have been tales of meeting these Star People right up to the present. One such tale covered in her book is that of a tribal elder known only as Harrison, a member of one of the Northern Plains tribes and who has quite the bizarre story to tell.
This apparently happened back in 1945, well before the UFO craze took over in the mainstream and indeed even before the infamous Roswell incident. At the time Harrison was just 12 years old, and one evening he was at home with his grandfather when they heard a rumbling as the whole house shook like there was an earthquake happening. The grandfather then ran outside to see that all of his horses had run off in a panic, so he tried to gather as many as possible and decided to search for the rest the following day. That morning, the grandfather went out to look for his remaining horses and came back obviously distressed and afraid of something. Harrison asked him what had happened and the grandfather merely told the boy to follow him. There is no way to know what Harrison expected to see at this point, but there is a good chance he couldn’t have imagined what was in store for him.
His grandfather took him some distance away, where there was a large gouge or crater in the earth, as if something very big had come to smash into the field. At the bottom of this crater was a metallic craft of some kind, with what appeared to be a doorway hanging open and damaged on the side. The two of them stood there staring for some time before the grandfather decided to go look inside, where he apparently found several entities that were described as being 8 feet tall and wearing green suits, with translucent skin and eyes that changed colors. The strangers seemed to be just as surprised to see him as he was to see them, even appearing to be slightly afraid of him and trying to distance themselves. The creatures seemed to shy away from him, and when he tried to speak with them they apparently vanished into thin air. Since the grandfather and Harrison had no notion of aliens from outer space, they thought of them in terms they could understand, that these were the “Star People” that their ancestors had so often spoken of.
Over the next several weeks these mysterious Star People appeared around the property, always keeping their distance and with the ability to appear and disappear at will. It seemed as if they were curious about Harrison and his grandfather, that they were studying them, but they were obviously very wary at first, never coming too close and vanishing whenever they were startled or scared. They were also seen to sometimes gather rocks, plants, and other things, as if taking samples for study. Through all of this, the grandfather always heartily greeted his enigmatic visitors and even offered them food on some occasions, and as the days went by they would approach closer and closer until one day they invited the grandfather onto their ship, which was still lodged into the earth at the bottom of that crater.
On the ship, the entities then communicated with him telepathically, telling them about their realm, which was described as dry and arid like the South Dakota badlands, the terrain so harsh they were forced to live underground in domed cities. They also told him about their history, and their way of life, and explained that they had been visiting Earth for thousands of years but had rarely ever actually interacted with humans as they were doing now, rather merely observing and studying. According to them there were two other ships they had been with at the time of their unfortunate crash, and that they had been sent by a larger mothership, which they were making attempts to contact with their damaged communications equipment. The grandfather would later tell Harrison that he had seen much wondrous technology aboard the ship while he was there, such as screens that could show all manner of images and a special seat that covered whoever sat in it “like an envelope.”
According to Harrison, one night the mothership finally came, a massive cylindrical object that hovered for some time before shooting off into the night. The next morning when they went to see the crater, the ship was gone, along with its strange occupants. Shortly after this Harrison claimed that U.S. military men had arrived and cordoned off the area. They would allegedly confiscate the grandfather’s entire ranch and create a lake at the site where the ship had come down. The grandfather apparently never equated these creatures or their ship with aliens as we know them, as in being from another planet, but he was very sure they were not from around here nevertheless. There is no way to know if any of this really happened or not, but it is certainly a curious UFO case and an account of possibly crashed aliens from another culture and mindset that we rarely get to see. Real or not, it is truly fascinating all the same.