Just like a lot of people who get into the UFO subject as a kid, I too thought that the whole thing was extraterrestrial in origin and nature. And that was it. As time went by, though, and as I got into my twenties, I came to suspect that much of the phenomenon was paranormal. Even occult-driven, perhaps. So, with that said, let's look at some examples of why I think the real mystery is likely not to be extraterrestrial. But, something even much stranger. Let's begin with the UFO Contactee/Space Brother issue that began in the early 1950s. Also known as Michael d’Obrenovic and Brother Philip, George Hunt Williamson was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1926, became entranced by the occult in his teens, and evolved into a significant player on the Flying Saucer scene of the early to mid 1950s. In 1954, Williamson and UFO researcher Al Bailey published their own saucer-dominated volume: The Saucers Speak, that focused upon Williamson’s attempts to contact extraterrestrials via the alternative mediums of short-wave radio and Ouija-boards [italics mine]. Actar of Mercury; Adu of Hatonn in Andromeda; Agfa Affa from the dark depths of Uranus; Ankar-22 of Jupiter; Artok of Pluto; and numerous others were among the motley alien crew with whom Williamson claimed to have communicated. In the late 1950s, Williamson changed his name, created a new fictitious academic and family background to accompany his latest moniker, and – as far as the Contactee issue was concerned – largely vanished. Williamson died in 1986, a figure by then largely forgotten, or completely unknown to, the UFO research community of the day.
Further along the UFO line, there’s the matter of the Men in Black and their connection to Ouija Boards. I’m not talking about the M.I.B. of the Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith type. Rather, I’m talking about the creepy, pale, weird-looking Men in Black who descended on poor Flying Saucer enthusiast Albert Bender, whose life was quickly turned upside down in the early 1950s. Bender was a user of the Board, and had taken part in séances for a long time. Interestingly, Brad Steiger suspected that it was Bender’s use of Ouija Boards that directly allowed the M.I.B. to enter Bender’s environment. You may want to keep that in mind. You know: just in case, one day, you decide to get involved. Certainly, be careful: Bender's 1962 book, Flying Saucer and the Three Men, reads far more like a story of the occult, black magic and demonology, rather than a typical UFO book. It's still highly readable, though.
Now, there's the issue of sleep paralysis: take a look at the average alien abduction case and then compare it to the paranormal side of sleep paralysis: they are just about identical. There are sexual components in both. The encounters occur - on many occasions - in bedrooms. The creatures can walk through walls (that's exactly what Albert Bender's MIB could do, too). The prevailing, skeptical view on encounters with an Incubus or a Succubus is that they are provoked by something called Hypnagogia, better known as “Sleep Paralysis.” It is an age-old phenomenon that was finally given a name in the 19th century, by a French physician, Louis Ferdinand Alfred Maury. Essentially, sleep paralysis is a physical state that is somewhere between being awake and being asleep. At that hazy moment, when transition from one distinct state to another is occurring – and, more importantly, if and when that transition is violently interrupted – both body and mind act in decidedly strange fashion.
Sleep Paralysis plunges a person into a dream-like condition in which they, literally, cannot move. For all intents and purposes they are physically paralyzed, and that includes their vocal chords, too: the person is unable to shout, or scream, for help. They also, typically, detect a deeply malevolent presence in the room in which they are sleeping – or, on other occasions, experiencers will describe predatory forms slowly, and in creeping fashion, approaching the room. It’s an experience that can be accompanied by strange and menacing voices, incomprehensible words screamed or whispered at the terrified soul in rapid-fire time, and the sense of something dangerous looming over the affected person, as they struggle to both wake up and move. When they finally manage to do so, the dark atmosphere and attendant malevolent entity are gone, as in practically immediately.
Those skeptical of the idea that Sleep Paralysis has external origins would likely say that the large number of Old Hag encounters that originate in Newfoundland are caused by cultural conditioning, and subconscious knowledge of how the experience should play out. Of only one thing can we be certain: when Hypnagogia occurs, an absolute multitude of supernatural forms appear out of the ether and subject us to violent, sexual encounters. It’s easy to understand why Hypnagogia is perceived as being the cause of attacks of the Incubus and Succubus variety. But, there are important questions that needs answering. Sleep Paralysis is an undeniable, real phenomenon; there is no doubt about that. But, is it a product of the internal intricacies of the mind, the dream state, and the subconscious? Maybe not. It might actually be provoked by an external, supernatural source; one that can invade our dream states and manipulate them accordingly. What has, for so long, been perceived as a demon, might actually be something more akin to an ancient breed of extraterrestrial; one that has ingeniously camouflaged itself, throughout history, and in various guises, including Lilith, the Old Hag, the Incubus, and the Succubus. And, we only have to take a look at the recently published book, Skinwalkers at the Pentagon written by James T. Lacatski, Colm A. Kelleher, Ph.,D., and George JNapp: the book is as much about the supernatural as it extraterrestrials.
Pauline W., who I interviewed in 2013, had a very strange experience back in October 1973, when she was living in Pasadena, California. It’s notable, and probably relevant, that a major UFO wave was going on at that time, and across not just the United States, but other parts of the planet too. While hiking in the California hills one Sunday morning, Pauline encountered a classic, silver-colored flying saucer-style UFO which, at first, at least, was high in the sky. Suddenly, it dropped to around fifty or sixty above her, hanging there in an odd, wobbling fashion. Amazed, Pauline could only stare as the silent craft bobbed around and then shot away at high speed. Pauline raced home and excitedly told her family of what had just taken place. They, apparently, weren’t the only ones who knew what had occurred on the fateful morning in 1973. Three days later, and after sunset, Pauline had a visitor. Not a welcome one, I should stress. It was a Man in Black, a skinny – almost emaciated – old man, dressed in a shabby black suit, looking pale and ill, and wearing an old, 1950s-style fedora hat.
Pauline said that she felt her mind was briefly enslaved, as the MIB near-hypnotically asked her to invite him into her home. In a slight daze, and to her eternal cost, she did exactly that. She retreated to the couch, stumbling slightly and feeling ice-cold. The old man followed her, and stood in the living-room, looming over her, as he warned her – in no uncertain terms – never to discuss her close encounter again. Ever. The MIB then turned around and headed to the door. At that exact same moment, Pauline felt her mental faculties return to normal and she raced after him, just as he exited the door and closed it behind him. Pauline threw the door open wide, only to find the old Man in Black gone. In his place, however, was something else: it was a large, black dog with bright red eyes. It snapped and snarled in Pauline’s direction and in what was clearly a deeply malevolent, dangerous fashion.
She stared in horror as the glowing-eyed monster prowled around the front yard, clearly intent on adding to the malevolent atmosphere that was already firmly in place. Suddenly, and as if out of nowhere, a large, black Cadillac – that looked decades-old in design – appeared and screeched to a halt outside of Pauline’s home. It should be noted, here, that the MIB almost always drive such cars of that particular type, age and color. Pauline watched, shocked and scared, as the back door on the driver’s-side opened and the fiendish black hound bounded across the front yard and leapt into the back of the Cadillac, which shot away at high speed.
And, finally, we have this: Bob Lazar claimed to have read various papers out at Area 51's S-4 facility told how we, the human race, are the product of ancient extraterrestrials who had performed various "corrections" to early humans. On top of that, there were the papers that Lazar read at S-4 which said the aliens refer to us as what we would call “Containers.” But, containers of what? Well, that’s where things get really controversial: Lazar suggested it might have been the human soul that was of interest to the aliens [italics mine]. Lazar told KLAS-TV’s George Knapp that “religion was created so we have some rules and regulations for the sole purpose of not damaging the containers.” George Knapp was not the only person who Bob Lazar spoke to on this issue of aliens, containers and souls. Michael Lindemann is the author of a 1995 book, UFOs and the Alien Presence. He also questioned Lazar on this controversy-dominated aspect of the story of Lazar and those papers he read at Area 51's S-4. Lazar added a bit more to the story, when speaking with Lindemann. Lazar said the containers were “extremely, extremely unique” and that they were “very difficult to find.”
As all of the above-material demonstrates, there are just as many significant connections to the paranormal and the occult as there are to the UFO mystery.