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The Stranger Within
Foreshadowing, unexplainable pregnancies, hybrid children and the creative process
by Mike Clelland __________________________________________________________________________ Something extremely strange is interwoven into the UFO phenomenon. There are weird coincidences and synchronicities that seem to tie in to the overall topic in ways that defy any easy explanation. This includes a kind of predictive manifestation in our pop culture. If you dig just a little bit you’ll find that movies, radio drama, literature and (especially) comic books all have a way of anticipating the plot points of the unfolding UFO drama. Anyone of a certain generation will remember the ABC Movie of the Week. It featured hour and a half long made for TV movies each Tuesday night. I clearly remember sitting on the floor in front of the family television set and watching one of these movies. It was about a women who is mysteriously pregnant with an alien child. I am 50 years old as I write this and I would have been 12 years old on that long ago Tuesday night in 1974. For reasons I don’t quite understand, bits of that movie have been stuck in my head for the last 38 years.
I’ve been actively studying the UFO abduction phenomenon and I recently reviewed a series of questionnaires that abduction researchers will use with their clients. One of the consistent questions is: “Do you crave salt?” When I read that I immediately went back to that TV movie, and I clearly remembered a scene where a pregnant woman would compulsively put salt on her salad at an outdoor restaurant. This inspired me to search for more info on-line. It didn’t take but a few mouse clicks to get me to Youtube, and I watched that very scene.
Surprisingly, the scene played out exactly as I remembered it. The fact that my memory was so eerily precise after all those years piqued my interest, so I ordered a used DVD copy of the movie, and in less than a week I was watching it again. The movie is titled The Stranger Within, and watching it opened up a a deep dark hole of synchro-weirdness. Before we examine the movie, it’s important to explain what has emerged in recent years concerning the strange experiences of women abductees.
Women, pregnancy and UFOs
I have read a lot of books on UFO abduction and spoken with a lot of women who have shared their own experiences, and there is a repeating story that emerges. What is being told stretches my fragile mind, but the reports are frighteningly similar.
Women are telling stories of being abducted by what would appear to be aliens from some other realm, most commonly described are the short spindly gray skinned entities with the big bald heads and huge penetrating black eyes. These are now commonly known as The Grays. These abductions will start in their youth, and upon puberty a nightmare set of procedures begin to unfold. These young women are somehow impregnated during an abduction event, it might be done by mechanical means with some sort of technology or it might be done with someone (or something) onboard the craft. Like almost all abduction events, they are subjected to some form of mind control that makes them follow commands and erases their memories. These women will tell of having the all symptoms of pregnancy, but often it will happen without them being sexually active. Later, usually within the first trimester, the women will awake one morning with the very real knowing that they are no longer pregnant. They might have memories of an abduction during the night where the fetus is removed.
Sketch of incubation chambers drawn by an abductee from memory Both men and women abductees tell of rooms onboard ships that are lined with some sort of liquid filled glass aquariums, each with a fetus floating inside. Or, they’ll see a room full of glass tubes, again with a fetus floating inside. These incubation chambers are reported with consistency. Sometime later these woman will be abducted again, and presented with a tiny baby, and they’ll be told that they are the mother. The infant isn’t normal, it appears sickly and thin, it seems to be a hybrid of us and them. I.
There is a wide range of emotions that get reported, from revulsion to a profound maternal love. The women are encouraged to embrace the baby, of even breast feed them. Women will tell of being able to lactate even though this should be impossible in their waking life. These women will experience ongoing abduction events where, over the years, they will see their children growing up. They will appear in nurseries and classrooms and they will be growing up at an accelerated rate that wouldn’t match their life on earth. Eventually, these woman may meet their children as young adults, sometimes this happens here on earth while they are awake and fully consciousness. This summary of experiences doesn’t emerge in any kind of linear construct, it is usually a mess of fears, impressions, dreams and mixed-up snippets of memory. There are plenty of variations in this narrative. The mind control and the erasing of memories makes it extremely difficult to truly grasp the entirety of what might be happening. There are plenty of reports in the literature of children born to abductee mothers with curious traits and abilities, often the mother will remember being taken during the child’s pregnancy. Indigo children, Star Seeds, Light Workers and Crystal Children are all terms used to describe these kids. I am cautious to give a percentage, but anecdotally it is nearly consistent that pretty much ALL women who claim the abduction phenomenon will have experiences that involve cryptic pregnancies. I need to emphasize that these experiences are happening to real women, and they are profoundly challenging and emotional. When someone shares their life events with me, and when they tell about their unaccountable pregnancies, they will almost always end up sobbing. There are reoccurring accounts of women who will be told by their gynecologist that they are pregnant, and during a follow up examination the fetus will be gone. I was told one deeply distressing account where the doctor got openly angry and accused the woman of getting an abortion. I spoke with another woman with a long history of UFO abduction experiences. She told me that she was in a severe car accident and her injuries required the doctors to give her a hysterectomy. Afterwords, while still in the hospital, several gray aliens entered her room and told her that she was no longer any use to them and there would be no further contact. I have to say, this woman acted extremely sad when she told me this story. One woman told me a horrifying experience when she was 16 years old and still a virgin. She woke up because she was bleeding heavily, she went to the bathroom, but couldn’t
understand what was happening. She sat on the toilet and aborted a tiny fetus. She spoke in an emotional panic when she described flushing the gruesome evidence away. There is probably nothing more devastating in the human experience than a mother who loses a child. Compounding the bizarre context of alien abduction and hybridization must make the events all the more shattering.
Reported experiences by abductees
There is a long list of odd coincidences that show up in this story that seem to predict what is now recognized in the UFO abduction lore. These are listed as in bulleted points below:
• Amnesia of the abduction experience, later retrieved thru hypnosis. • Driving to a secluded spot for unknown reasons. • Wounds healing rapidly. • Marks on the body that can’t be explained, only to heal rapidly without scaring. • Rh negative blood type. • Being mysteriously cured of an unknown ailment. • Lower than normal body temperature. • The urge to research and study scientiﬁc topics. • Sensitivity to sound. • Excessive craving for salt
In addition, some researchers have noted that an overwhelming percentage of abductees are creative types. In the movie Ann is a painter. In the movie, the fetus was growing much faster than a normal child, the gestation was accelerated, and the birth was due months early. These same points about the pregnancy occasionally show up in the abduction literature. In the reports from women who see their hybrid children onboard ships, it is often noted that they are growing up much faster than a normal child on earth would.
UFO abduction researchers will have a set of questions they’ll ask their clients. You can infer a lot from these questions. A lot of these questionnaires are posted on-line, and I’ve collected some relevant questions from a series of questionnaires with a connection to the movie, these are listed below:
• Do you have an unusual fear of doctors or medical treatment.
• Have you ever experienced a dramatic healing • Do you feel that aliens have come to create mutants through a process of interbreeding accomplished by their superior science • Do you have an obsessive memory that will not go away, such as seeing an alien face or a strange baby, or an examination table or needles, etc.? • For women only: Have you had frequent female problems and reproductive difﬁculties? • If you are a female, have you experienced a gynecological problem that you suspect is related to an abduction experience? • Men and Women: Have you had frequent urinary tract infections? • Have you had any disturbing or realistic dreams about babies or small children? • If you are a woman, have you ever felt certain that you were pregnant, but the pregnancy suddenly disappeared? • Have you ever had a false pregnancy or missing fetus? • Have awakened with soreness in your genitals which could not be explained? • Do you crave salt?
Plot summery for The Stranger Within (mucho spoilers)
Barbra Eden, the curvy starlet from I Dream of Jeanne, plays the dramatic role of Ann Collins, the wife of a college professor who is mysteriously pregnant. Her husband has had a vasectomy in response to Ann’s life threatening experience with a pregnancy three years earlier. The details of that event are only hinted at in the script. The husband’s vasectomy is pretty bold stuff for a made for TV script from the early 70’s, and it allows for a lot of marital tension and open dialog about infidelity and abortions. As the movie progresses Ann’s behavior becomes increasingly strange. The husband, together with Ann’s doctor and a close friend, eventually come to the conclusion that she was impregnated by space aliens during an abduction event where her memory was erased. The narrative unfolds with absolute seriousness, this in an era where anything involving UFOs was played for giggles. Please don’t think this movie is some lost masterpiece of the cinema, it certainly isn’t. It’s a modest little movie made with a sparse little cast on a low budget. The early 70’s is an easily dismissed chapter of television film making, there are a lot of elements that seem tacky and laughable by todays excessively slick standards. But for me, there is something truly haunting in this movie. There are a lot of stories where suburban bliss is disrupted, but this movie is particularly unsettling.
The director of The Stranger Within was Lee Philips (1927–1999). He was a busy guy during his years as a director for TV. His credits include an episode of Kung Fu and several of the ABC Movie of the Week productions, including Sweet Hostage with Martin Sheen and Linda Blair! Philips was also an actor and he played the role of radio DJ Gene 'Buddy' Maxwell in the very first Outer Limits episode, Galaxy Being.
Eden and the first mother
Barbara Eden will forever be remembered as the girl in the bottle from I Dream of Jeanne, a lighthearted depiction of The Djinn (the source of the term Genie). Rosemary Ellen Guiley is a paranormal researcher and in her 2011 book The Vengeful Djinn (written with Phil Imbrogno) she explores how the Djinn mythology closely parallels the modern UFO abduction phenomenon. Seems the Djinn show a keen interest in pregnant women and are known to abduct babies. I Dream of Jeanne also featured one of the key ingredients to any good UFO conspiracy, astronauts keeping esoteric secrets! I’ll add that in this sit-com Barbara Eden was the source of some seriously weird sexual tension, much like her role in The Stranger Within.
Ms. Eden has always had a rather strange halting voice, and this serves her well in this eerie movie as well as in her role as Jeanne. Curiously, the name Eden seems appropriate for a woman who is bringing the first alien hybrid child into our world. Barbara Eden has recently penned a 288 page autobiography where she writes exactly two sentences on this film: In 1974 I appeared in a real howler of a TV movie of the week, The Stranger Within, in which I gave birth to an alien baby, ate raw meat, and drank a lot of coffee. Sigmond Freud probably would have had a field day analyzing that script! Alas, I’m no Freud, but I am having a field day. There is a long list of plot points within this made for TV drama that are extremely predictive in a way that stretches my mind. Present day UFO lore is flooded with stories from women who tell of UFO abduction experiences and weird issues surrounding mysterious pregnancies. All too often, there isn’t any consciously remembered sexual event that would account for the conception. There are endless reports of hybrid offspring and these enigmatic children seem to have miraculous abilities. These issues are at the core of this fictional narrative. That said, there doesn’t seem to be any logical inspiration for the original story. The movie was aired on October 1st 1974, but it was based on a short story from 1953. This story was written over 30 years before any of these bizarre claims from abductee women and hybrid offspring had entered the collective consciousness. I believe that it was Budd Hopkins 1987 book Intruders where the initial reports of strange pregnancies first appeared in print. Initially, it was called: “the tiny baby syndrome.” Raymond Fowler’s 1991 book The Watchers, the third in the Betty Andreasson Luca series, has further reporting of odd pregnancies and hybrid fetuses. This was followed by Abducted! (1994) written by Debbie Jordan and her sister Kathy Mitchell. This is a first-person account from the two main characters from Hopkins book. In 1995 Kim Carlsberg published her firstperson account of the now prototypical experiences with missing pregnancies and children onboard UFOs in her book Beyond My Wildest Dreams.
Pregnancy and UFO abduction are part of the 1957 Antonio Vilas-Boas case in Brazil. The 23 year Boas was taken onto a craft, and after a series of examinations he was left alone in a room with a humanoid woman. He said he was strongly attracted to the woman, and the two had sex. When it was over the female smiled, rubbed her belly and pointed at the sky. Boas took this to mean she was now pregnant and was going to raise their hybrid child in space. When the Boas story was initially published the sex and pregnancy stuff wasn’t included in any of the public reports, it was deemed to bizarre to be taken seriously. I should add that I worked with Budd Hopkins starting in 2007, and he seemed very interested in my experiences. He was a deeply caring man, and I feel honored to say I knew him. During my one and only hypnosis session with Budd the issue of sex and pregnancy came up when we examined a strange event from 2001. I’ve tried to examine these confusing issues in a blog posting, HERE.
The original short story
The 1974 movie The Stranger Within was based on a 1953 short story by Richard Matheson (at left) titled Mother by Protest. This was later republished as Trespass. Matheson himself adapted it for the small screen. Matheson was born in 1926 (the same year as my father, something that makes me pay closer attention) and his output has been impressive. He has penned a massive amount of fantasy, horror, and science fiction. It would be easy to conclude that Matheson was somehow inspired by details from UFO reports and he simply wrote his short story as a response to their appearance in pop-culture at the time. But that just doesn’t fit, 1953 was a long time before any of this information emerged. I read this short story and I was impressed at the sparse text in the tightly knit little drama. The short story is essentially the same as the movie, including some word-for-word dialog. There are a few differences; for instance, in the short story the husband comes home to find his wife pregnant after six months of being away on a geology expedition in South America. In the movie the husband has had a vasectomy. Both plot points essentially create the tension of infidelity.
In both versions the wife begs for the husband to believe her, and she says she wants to be hypnotized as a way to prove her honesty. In the short story the husband’s closest friend states: “...do what she suggests and try hypnosis, truth serum, anything.” They follow up by using a “truth” serum and the results read like a hypnosis transcript. Near the end of the short story, as the wife is going into labor, she slips in and out of consciousness and she tells the husband her memories of the event while he was away. “In the yard, David,” she muttered, still unconscious... “I heard a sound and I went out. The stars were bright and there was a crescent moon. While I stood there I saw a white light come over the yard. I started to run back to the house but something hit me but then it was black and I couldn’t remember. Anything. I tried to tell you but I couldn’t remember, I couldn’t remember, I couldn’t...” The use of the term crescent in her description made me take notice. David Huggins is a UFO abductee and artist. His experiences involve a lot of weird sex and hybrid children. He tells of having a life-long loving relationship with a chalky white alien named Crescent, in reference to the crescent moon. His story is chronicled in words and pictures in the 2009 book Love in an Alien Purgatory.
A painting by David Huggins, one of hundreds that depict his relationship with an alien named Crescent, seen holding the hybrid baby.
In the movie there is a slightly different account of Ann’s abduction. It happens during a hypnosis session performed by her husband’s friend. She tells of being hit with a ray while she was painting in the hills. She says it came from a space ship above her. Both versions of Ann’s contact experience describe the now prototypical UFO abduction event, complete with the mind-controlled amnesia and some sort of beam of light. In the book, as in the movie, it’s the husband’s friend who solves the mystery by piecing together the clues. In the 1953 book the conclusion was that the baby is a Martian. That quaint presumption certainly matches the mindset of the era, where Mars seemed like the only logical source for UFOs. Also in the book, the friend concludes that the Martian hybrid fetus is telepathic. This really surprised me because telepathy is a nearly universal component to all UFO abduction narratives, and I feel strongly that this would have been entirely unknown in that time. In the 1974 movie the source of the pregnancy reflects a more sophisticated view. The term Martian isn’t used, it’s replaced by extraterrestrial. I read a handful of on-line reviews of the 1974 movie and several noted that it was merely a knock-off of Rosemary’s Baby with an alien twist. That doesn’t fit when you realize that the original short story was first published in 1953, pre-dating Ira Levin’s 1967 book by 14 years. The more logical conclusion would be that Levin was inspired by Matheson. Again, 1953 was a long time before any UFO abduction reports were known publicly, let alone the bizarre pregnancy aspects.
Rh negative blood
The issue surrounding Rh negative blood type is something that has only recently emerged within the community of UFO abduction researchers. Blood types are either negative or positive, this is noted in the suffix after the letter or letters. It is estimated that only 15% of the entire world's population are known to have the RH negative blood factor, and some estimates are as low as 5%. But research (albeit limited) shows that well over 50% of the people that claim the UFO abduction experience have RH negative blood. This is a weird statistic, and it implies that the abductors have very specific interests in the people they abduct. Also, Rh negative blood is often associated with clairvoyance and psychic skills. In the movie, the doctor is perplexed and says that Ann’s blood was changing to Rh Positive. This means that her blood was RH negative at the time of her abduction. This is a curious issue to show up in a script from over 38 years ago, especially given it’s relevance to present day UFO abduction research.
Raspy voiced David Doyle
Hypnosis and UFO abduction
Ann goes through two hypnotic regressions during the movie. The best friend to the husband is a hypnotist, he is portrayed by none other than Bosley from Charlie's Angels, that right, David Doyle! Each of the sessions are dark and moody, played for maximum drama. Hypnosis as a tool in UFO abduction research made it’s debut in the public consciousness in 1966 with John G. Fuller’s seminal book The Interrupted Journey. This is the story of the Betty and Barney Hill UFO abduction event, and it’s considered to be the first published account of the phenomena. In the book, Betty tells of having a long needle inserted into her navel and she is told that it’s a pregnancy test. So, even in the very first report of alien abduction, pregnancy is part of the meme. So, the use of hypnosis had been established eight years before the creation of this movie. That said, the movie shows a somewhat simplistic view of the process complete with a swinging watch on a chain. The two main male character debate the outcome of the hypnosis session, and Ann’s husband accuses his friend of “leading” his wife while she was under his spell. Here, in 1974 in a brief bit of dialog, we get a tidy summarization of the heated controversy over the use of hypnosis in abduction research. In the short story a serum is used to induce the hypnotic effect. Though never stated in the text, this was probably Sodium Pentothal, also known as The Truth Serum. Sodium Pentothal also shows up in the modern abduction lore, in a book titled Pozan (2003) by John Clark. This is a first-person non-fiction narrative about UFO abductions and profound synchronicities. In this book the author tells of receiving Sodium Pentothal during a minor
surgery, and while under he said some things that terrified the Doctor. He was never able to get the Doctor to tell him what he said, but the implications are creepy indeed.
Channeling and longing
One of the hot-button subjects among abduction researchers is channeling. I am consistently shocked at how many abductees will say that since having their contact experiences they have begun to channel information from their alien abductors. These claims gets dismissed with venomous contempt by a lot of researchers, but it is an unmistakable pattern among the experiencers. In both the short story and the movie, Ann channels a strange alien language, and the hypnotist commands her to speak English. Ann speaks in the first-person as if she is an alien, she describes a deep longing for their home planet and it’s orange oceans and cool gray winds. This happens during a hypnosis session in both the movie and the short story, it happens after she receives an injection of some sort of serum. Both these investigative tools are performed by the husband’s friend. In the short story Ann says: “Now am I alien and forgotten, O lost of traveled night.” This happened while she was sleeping, and the terrified husband heard it. The text reads: “All spoken in a sing-song rhythm, in a voice that was Ann’s and not Ann’s,” a pretty accurate description of someone channeling. Abduction researcher and therapist Delores Cannon uses hypnosis as a form of past life regression. She has been able to bring forth alien personas while her patients are in a deep state of relaxation. What emerges is a back and forth alien dialog and it’s the basis for a long list of her books. What we see in the movie closely parallels her research techniques. While in a trance, Ann repeats: “Take me back, take me back!” This feeling of longing to go home is commonly reported by UFO abductees. They will sometimes state that that their soul is not of this earth but actually from some far off planet. In both the short story and the movie, while speaking in the halting alien voice, Ann says she feels heavy. Some abductees will say that life on this earth has an oppressive heaviness, the implication being that they are remembering a past life lived not as a material being but as some sort of etherial spirit, or in some other realm with different gravity.
Isis and her infant son Horus, God of the Sun
The Sun Goddess
There is never any UFO shown during the movie, but there is reoccurring imagery of the sun, and it is constantly shown in the context of a deep longing. Ann will be lost in haunted contemplation and the camera will pan up to the sun and the image will linger there awash in lens flare (this is a staple of 1970’s movie making). The sun is a stand in for the UFO, and there is an overt sense of yearning each time it fills the screen. Our pregnant mother resonates a Sun Goddess. The earliest deities associated with the sun are all goddesses, much like our abductee Ann. In ancient egyptian imagery the Goddess Isis is portrayed with a cow horn headdress cradling a solar disk. Some esoteric interpretations of that solar disk cast it as a flying saucer, implying that ancient aliens were the actual Egyptian Gods. Isis was
worshipped as the ideal mother. Isis is often portrayed nursing her infant son, Horus God of the Sun. Some scholars point out that the mythology of Horus has compelling parallels to the story of Jesus. This would put Ann in the role of Mary (more on that later). There was a live action saturday morning series called The Secrets of Isis where a mild mannered woman would change into the Goddess Isis, given the absurdly low budget of the show the transformation would be implied buy using a close up of the sun complete with shimmering lens flare. Isis had super hero powers to fight crimes and right wrongs. This rather terrible show ran for two seasons, 1975 and ’76.
1974: lame TV / Boss cars In the movie, Ann drives a bright yellow Chevy Nova, as did my mother around that same time period. The Latin translation of Novais “new” or “strange” and it’s a feminine word. The Latin word for star is Stella, also feminine; and some translations for nova say it is a shortening of nova stella (new star). In astronomy, Nova is a star that suddenly increases its brightness, and then fades away. This certainly matches Ann’s behavior in the movie, during her pregnancy she becomes tremendously bright by obsessively reading textbooks. After the child's birth she simply fades away, this happens in a lap-dissolve where she quite literally fades away to nothingness. The color Yellow, the color of her NOVA, represents the third Chakra, the Solar Plexus. In it’s Hebrew origin, the name Ann means "He has favored me" and “He” implies God himself. In the story, Ann has certainly been favored by the mysterious alien Gods.
Windows as portals
This is a UFO movie without any UFOs, instead we see mystical imagery of the sun, and often it’s seen through windows. Throughout the film, both the Ann and her husband are seen repeatedly standing near windows and sometimes they even. Ann is always opening the windows and the husband is always closing them. This plays out because she is desperate to be in a cold environment and he is worried she’ll get sick. The thin gossamer curtain is an annoyance to the husband, where he repeatedly get tangled in the long flowing fabric as he forcefully closes the windows. The curtains, the veil, look extremely thin. The husband is challenged by these windows and their veiled guardian, but the wife seems to embrace it. Near the end of his life, when J. Allen Hynek was asked about the cause of the Hudson Valley UFO flap of the 1980’s, he would calmly puffed on his pipe and reply, “Windows.”
Barbara Eden as Goddess with divine child
Rituals, mythology and religion
In the movie Ann and her husband live in a gaudy house with a strange square fireplace, it sits in the center of the living room under a large vent. It must have been quite hip in it’s day. This fireplace has the weird feeling of being a sacrificial alter, adding to the overall strangeness of the story. Also, when Ann undergoes her first hypnotic regression the room is filled with candles creating an oppressive occult mood. The act of hypnosis is played out as some sort of eerie ritual. After the hypnosis session where Ann channels the alien voice, the witnesses try to come to terms with what they’ve seen, and the camera is positioned behind the open fireplace, with flames rising up in the foreground.
The movie reaches it’s climax as Ann walks in a trance with her newborn child along a path through a forest, she is obviously mind controlled by her alien abductors. She is soon joined by other women carrying babies. These women are all wearing robes or flowing garments and their hair has been done up to mimic Greek Goddesses. The overall effect is of some sort of ancient ritual or occult offering. They all march willingly into the sun. Our collective society is overtly influenced by organized Christianity, so much so that the starting point of our calendar is synchronized to the birth of Christ. Within this framework nothing is more revered that The Blessed Virgin.
alien visitation? In The Book of Luke, Archangel Gabriel visits Mary and tells her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son...” and she is told that the child is destined for greatness. “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” A mysterious visitor from the heavens and the impregnation a young virgin? That story is commonplace in the reports of women abductees. And the phrase “Do not be afraid,” is probably the single most repeated quote that gets attributed to the aliens in all of abduction literature.
In the story, Ann obviously isn’t a virgin, but the implication that she is pregnant by unknown means is central to the plot. And like Mary, her child (a son) is somehow profoundly different. Few things in the western world are more fraught with uneasy drama than a miraculous pregnancy. In the nutty community of UFO researchers and experiencers, the question of whether Jesus was a product of direct tampering by aliens is the stuff of endless conjecture. Was the Star of Bethlehem a flying craft checking in on their hybridization program? And in the end, Jesus was “...carried up into heaven.” (Luke 24:50-52) and his apostles were witnesses to his ascension, “as they were looking, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight." (Acts 1:9) This very much matches the conclusion of the made for TV movie, where the parade of goddesses and their divine newborns are whisked away into the sun with a lapdissolve and a cloud.
1974 was a year with another odd predictive show involving UFOs. During my youth I was absolutely fascinated with the nightly show, The CBS Radio Mystery Theater. It was on a local AM radio station each weeknight at 11:07, and I would lie in bed and listen to the drama on my clock radio. There were stories of the paranormal, ghosts and monsters. There was a strangely predictive episode titled: The Sighting. It’s a fictional re-telling of a series of UFO abductions. The original air-date was November 25, 1974, less than two months after The Stranger Within aired on TV. In this radio drama, the set of plot points closely matches a lot of elements within a typical UFO abduction account; including mind control, multiple abductions, telepathy and implants. Again, this was long before the proliferation in the media of abduction accounts.
The power of creativity
Richard Matheson’s output over the decades has been astounding. The consistency and breadth leaves me dumbfounded. His first short story was published in 1950 and for the next decade he really cranked ‘em out. The short story Trespass (the basis for the movie) emerged during that creative frenzy. Like his other early stories, it was printed in a pulp scifi magazine. I am convinced that there is a very real power in the creative process, and when abandoning (or disciplining) oneself to this kind of artistic inspiration, something mysterious can unfold. The artist can somehow tap into deeper truths. The work-a-day routine of sitting in front of a typewriter (or canvas, or 2-ply bristol) can be seen as a ritual act, very much like the forgotten alchemist who sits before his candle. Matheson must have been on fire during
those early years, and something weirdly predictive seems to have been manifested in this tight little story. These ideas have been explored magnificently by Jeffery Kripal in his book Mutants and Monsters and by Christopher Knowles on his blog The Secret Sun. Both these authors have examined the strange emergence of mythology in the tawdry pages of super hero comics and low-brow magazines.
A short list of Matheson’s credits and interconnections
The short story Duel (1971) was adapted into the TV movie with the same name in the same year. This movie launched the career of young director Steven Spielberg (no stranger to UFOs). Matheson says that Duel was inspired from a real-life incident where he and his friend, Jerry Sohl, were dangerously tailgated by a large truck on the very same day as the Kennedy assassination. Sohl was another stalwart writer for television, his sci-fi credits include The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, The Invaders, Star Trek and The Man From Atlantis. Matheson scripted The Devil Rides Out (1968) for Hammer Film Studios. Christopher Lee has stated that this is his personal favorite of all the Hammer films. Matheson wrote the screenplay for the ultra-creepy adaption Edgar Allan Poe’s The Pit and the Pendulum (1961) directed by Roger Corman, who, like Matheson and my father, was born in 1926. Both The Night Stalker (1972), and The Night Strangler (1973) were scripted by Matheson. These two television movies were the genesis of the series Kolchak: The Night Stalker (1974).
Matheson's science fiction vampire novel, I Am Legend, has had three different film adaptations. The Last Man on Earth (1964 with Vincent Price), The Omega Man (1971 with Charlton Heston), and Am Legend (2007 with Will Smith). None of these movies followed Matheson’s book very closely, and he says that George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead (1968) comes closest. So, our present zombie-craze traces back directly to Matheson. Matheson's short story Button, Button was filmed as The Box in 2009, a film much heralded by Christopher Knowles at The Secret Sun. Matheson’s 1978 novel What Dreams May Come was later filmed in 1998. This movie was referenced in the trilogy of channeled books Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch (at left). During the back and forth dialog with God (yes, him), Walsch is given information about the afterlife and how heaven and hell actually manifest for the recently departed. Walsch excitedly references the movie What Dreams May Come (staring Robin “Nanu Nanu” Williams), he is shocked at how the movie’s plot perfectly matches the description of the afterlife given by God. So, it seems Matheson’s metaphysical ideas are confirmed by none other God himself! More about Walsch, he was the lead actor in the 2003 movie Indigo. He plays the grandfather of a psychic 10-year old girl. The implication is that the girl might be a hybrid alien. A hardcover collection He Is Legend: An Anthology Celebrating Richard Matheson was released in February 2009. This book is an anthology of 16 original stories inspired by Matheson's works. Contributors include none other than alien abductee Whitley Strieber. A character named Senator Richard Matheson appeared in several episodes of The X-Files. The series' creator, Chris Carter, was a huge fan of Matheson's work including his scripts for The Twilight Zone and The Night Stalker. As noted above, Matheson wrote the original screenplay for The Night Stalker where the character of Karl Kolchak was introduced. This 1972 movie was the genesis for the 1974 TV series Kolchak: The Night Stalker. The show premiered on September 13th.
Darren McGavin in the role he was born to play This series was only around for one season and it plays an important role in my life. It is directly connected to the very reason I am so obsessive about the UFO topic. I was a super nerdy little kid and O how I loved that show. On a Friday night in 1974 (that year again) I was walking home from a high school football game, I left early to make sure to be home in time to see this very show. During the short walk, I saw a jarring orange flash in the sky, and when I got home my parents were angry with me. It’s hard to know exactly, but I can’t account for close to two-hours of time. I remember that I was really upset because I had missed The Night Stalker, if this story of missing time didn’t include my favorite TV show as a kind of anchor, I am quite certain I would have forgotten the whole thing. I knew the show was on for one-hour starting at 10 o’clock, so I was very aware of where I was and what I was doing leading up to the missing time.
Here’s another personal UFO experience from 1974, unfortunately I can’t remember the exact date. While looking out a window at night, I saw a metallic looking coffee can shaped craft moving slowly above the neighborhood. No way to know it’s size, but my guess is bigger than a van, smaller than a box car. I was it with my boyhood friend Kenny.
There is a cluster of resonant events in the year 1974. Along with witnessing the coffee-can shaped craft, there was the premier of Kolchak: The Night Stalker (Sept. 13), The airing of The Stranger Within (Oct. 1), the radio drama The Sighting (Nov. 25th), my own missing time experience (sometime in Autumn). Four weird events, all within 54 days of each other. There was a profound flap of UFO sightings from 1973 to 1975, this basically frames ’74. John Keel referenced this worldwide peak in witness reports. I have spoken or corresponded with 4 other people who born in 1962 and had a UFO sighting in 1974. I need to add that I met each of these people under odd synchronistic circumstances. And, the movie The Stranger Within is 74 minutes long, whatever that means.
Our Sun Goddess heroine in a moment of existential contemplation
What does it mean?
I dug into The Stranger Within for emotional and personal reasons, there was nothing at all logical in my investigation. Peering into this made-for-TV movie unleashed a flood of synchronistic weirdness. Something palpable emerged and parts of it are aligned with my direct experience. I started this exhaustive essay by saying, bits of that movie have been stuck in my head for the last 38 years. I was describing a very real itch, and when I started scratching, something elusive showed itself. __________________________________________________________________________ Final note: This movie ain’t easy to find. All I can do is suggest you search on-line for a DVD. I got mine used for $11.
I’ve included some extra stuff that wasn’t included (or was severely edited) with the initial posting of the meat of this essay (above) on Robbie Graham’s Sliver Screen Saucers on 10/11/12. Also included (below) is a lot of relevant information dealing with the challenging issues that surround the UFO abduction lore. Alas, the text below isn’t organized in a tidy linear progression.
The word abduction is loaded with baggage. There are other words such as experiencer and contactee that could be interchanged, but these are fraught with a separate meanings too. The term abduction implies that these aliens are forcibly taking someone else away against their will. The person involved is a victim and—sadly—they are labeled as an abductee. Experiencer implies that the person is dealing with more of a spiritual component to the overall set of events. Contactee implies a willing dialog these unknown entities, and there is no sense of anyone being victimized. Unfortunately, none of these terms can fully express the subtleties and complexities of the overall phenomenon. Throughout this essay I have grudgingly used the biased terms abduction and abductee. I feel strongly that there needs to be a new word that more accurately defines what people are experiencing, something that can transcend the limiting framework of the old words. I’ve spoken with people who tell of benevolent angelic experiences awash in profound love, and I’ve heard some some of the scariest shit imaginable, things that can only be called demonic. Both these opposing testimonies seem real, but I honestly have no idea what is truly at the source of these experiences.
If what the women abductees are saying is actually happening it implies something staggering. This means that there are literally alien hybrids of all ages out there somewhere. Are they on spaceships, on other planets or in other dimensions? The big question is, are they coming back? What would this even mean? By all accounts, these beings are telepathic and psychic. Would these hybrids walk among us emanating love
and goodness, heralding a new age of Christ Consciousness? Or, would their presence here shatter our fragile psyches in a way that would leave us enslaved. Would they live here on earth playing a covert role, somehow staying hidden and all the while advancing some agenda that we might not be able to understand? Are they doing that now?
Metaphors and warnings
If you look at the narrative that arrises from the contact reports it might be logical to conclude that what is happening is exactly what is being reported. Aliens from some other place are coming here to earth to preform a very defined program. These aliens are at an evolutionary dead end and they are actively trying to preempt their own extinction. They are harvesting our DNA using advanced technology to create a hybrid race of beings. They have been tinkering with their own genetics for millennia, and it’s been their undoing, they can no longer feel emotions or reproduce. They want our vitality and our passions. This story has been repeated so many times within the UFO community that it is now simply assumed to be the truth. Now, this might actually be exactly what’s happening, but I am very cautious to accept this conclusion as reality. On one level, the spindly gray aliens are us. They are a representation of what we might become in the distant future if we follow the track we are on; they are emotionless, uncaring, sexless and they appear to be utterly enmeshed with their technology. The can no longer reproduce of love, and it has become a crisis to their very existence. I can’t help seeing this as blatant warning to all of humanity. As a technological society, we are rushing into our own frightening future. We are genetically modifying our food, and very soon, ourselves. We are anticipating a world where we are directly hooked into a digital cloud intelligence with nanotechnology implanted directly into our brains. Are we being presented with a blatant metaphor? Are they using some grand theater to warn us of our own recklessness? Are alien hybrid children that don’t understand being hugged by their mothers a hyper-vivid analogy for our rapidly approaching future? But what people are reporting is perceived to be so very real; the scars, the memories, the sightings, the emotions. These entities have the power of mind control and deception that is beyond our comprehension, their abilities could even be called magic. Could they simply be warning us in ways so fantastic that we can’t unravel the message? Now, all that said, I am not sure I believe (or understand) what I just wrote. But I simply can’t proceed forward without truly wrestling with the complexity and the strangeness of what is being presented.
Early reporting of pregnancies
Perhaps the first modern abduction case where pregnancy comes into play involved a 23year-old Brazilian farmer named Antônio Vilas-Boas. The event took place at night in 1957, four years after Matheson wrote his short story. Vilas-Boas was on a tractor working the fields at night to avoid the heat of the day. He reported seeing a circular or egg-shaped aerial craft land near him in the field. He was seized by four beings, all were humanoid wearing grey coveralls and helmets, and they dragged him inside their craft. He was subjected to a series of examinations and then he was left alone in a room. Boas then stated that he was joined in the room by another humanoid. This one, however, was female, very attractive, and naked. She was the same height as the other beings he had encountered, with a small, pointed chin and large, blue catlike eyes. The hair on her head was long and white but her underarm and pubic hair were bright red. Boas said he was strongly attracted to the woman, and the two had sex. When it was all over, the female smiled at Boas, rubbing her belly and gestured upwards. Boas took this to mean that she was now pregnant and was going to raise their child in space. When this story was initially publicized, the sex stuff wasn’t included in any of the public reports, it was deemed way too bizarre to be taken seriously. It wouldn’t be until almost 30 years later, with the publication of Budd Hopkins’ Intruders, that sex and pregnancy became a staple of the abduction phenomenon.
A series of images drawn by an abductee woman. (from upper left) 1. A procedure on a table, after it was done, the entities said, “Now you are pregnant.” 2. A room full of incubation chambers seen onboard a craft. 3. A hybrid child is presented to the mother.
The influence of pop culture
I don't see pop culture influencing the UFO abduction reports, at least in any meaningful way. Instead, I see it the other way around, UFO abduction reports are influencing popular culture. There is a lot of testimony that the writers for television and movies have dug into the wealth of UFO books for inspiration. They have mined these reports as way to create a creepy and interesting storyline. I have heard that the writers for the X-Files had a room full of UFO books, and the writers used them for ideas. Below are two comments from below the original posting of the shorter version on the Silver Screen Saucer site. These comments are in response to the idea that pop-culture plays a role in shaping the UFO abduction accounts. Robbie Graham wrote: I believe Mike is suggesting that objectively real UFO and abduction phenomena do exist and that these phenomena pre-date the birth of the modern media. Mike's essay argues that on occasion, some people can tap into this reality - channel it - through the creative process, feeding it into pop-culture. It's an interesting idea, and actually very Jungian. There is, however, an alternative - perhaps simpler - explanation for The Stranger Within's eerily accurate prediction of hybridization accounts: The writer, Richard Matheson, or someone very close to him, was/is an abductee and the story was based on lived events and written as catharsis. Of course, this theory assumes the existence of a real phenomenon predating its own media representations. Red Pill Junkie wrote: Believers and Debunkers like to engage in these petty "chicken-and-theegg" quarrels, trying to prove (or disprove) that before a famous abduction case, there was already an obscure TV program containing pretty much all the elements of the real-life-case. What believers and debunkers fail to realize is the never-ending crosspollinating process between culture and the Fortean mysteries. They inform and mold one another in such a complex tapestry that trying to find which comes first is a futile exercise.
Both parties also like to diminish the tremendous potential of the human mind to assess information via unconventional processes. There are plenty of examples where fictional novels predicted future events with uncanny precision. An example would be the novel in which the cruise ship 'Titan' sinks after crashing with an iceberg, before the tragedy of the Titanic.
Jake Kotze (left) is an insightful young guy who makes funny little videos about the quirky coincidences in our modern society. He coined the term synchromystical and it follow up, synchromysticism. I really like these words, for me, they describe a kind of cryptic playfulness within the overall phenomenon. This long-winded essay about The Stranger Within might be a tidy example of synchromystical forces at work. I’ve been attempting to examine the echo chamber of popculture and esoteric coincidence. Presently here are a lot of on-line 20-something hipsters with blogs that have followed Jake’s lead, and what has emerged is a kind of game of cleverness. One could make the argument that the frenzy of pop-cult associations is degrading the phenomenon. Is the whole "synchromystic" thing dragging a profound phenomenon into the gutter? Maybe, but we no longer live in the forest where we are surrounded by totem animals, lilypads and butterflies, where an innate organic mythology would be ever-present. Instead, were are swallowed up into a materialistic domain of crass TV shows and ham-fisted advertising. I still see a mythology struggling to emerge, even within the the confines of our modern world. I think this long-winded essay about The Stranger Within could be dismissed as just a tawdry synchromystical thrill ride. But I wrote it because it had meaning to me. I sense that there are things that emerge from our popular culture that are genuinely mysterious. I wanted to explore one example. In doing so, I was amazed all the interlocking details, and how some of it tied right back into some of my personal experiences. I realize that these connections might seem ego-based and delusional, but I am trying to following my gut on this stuff, not my intellect. As corny as it sounds, this essay is part of a spiritual journey.
Blogger Dan Mitchell writes about the enigmatic forces that are at play in our world. He wrote an relevant essay titled Synchronicity and The Loss Of Meaning in his blog Transmissions from the Imaginal. I am quoting it below (italics is my own): I have to be honest here...all of this [synchromystical] talk leads to a gradual denouement of the phenomenon in general. Synchronicity is not about the connections between science fiction movies and emerging mythos, it is the language that a higher order of life uses to connect with a lower. This truth is being squandered by neo-gnostic and neooccultist wannabes that couldn't fight their way out of a wet paper bag intellectually speaking. This is exactly what happened in the realm of the UFO. It became so ingratiated into the science fiction culture from the late 1940s to the late 1990s that it became meaningless. So much so that most people won't bat an eye if they hear about a UFO sighting that goes mainstream. That's what the mainstream consciousness does to the strange and the sacred, it suppresses it by merely making it common. Mythology, no matter if it is ancient or modern, is a disguise laid over the sacred, a kind of protection from profane minds. But the disguise must never be mistaken for the real thing or a very serious problem will emerge. The people behind this suppression and mistaken perception don't even realize what they have done until it is already too late. What they do, whether they realize or not, is sap the meaning out of the phenomenon itself. When I read those words I felt that they were directed at me and my essay about The Stranger Within (they weren’t). None the less, I took it as a kind of cautious feedback, it forced me examine the seductive urge to connect everything to everything, no matter how willy-nilly. There is a real phenomenon at play, and I work hard not to trivialize it’s mystery. Curiously, Dan’s quote (above) was posted on the very same day that my essay appeared on Silver Screen Saucers. That day on the calendar reads as 10/11/12, it’s own playful microsync. There, I did it again, twice. I'm including an on-line comment (edited slightly) posted by a young woman below Dan Mitchell's essay: When I was consumed in alien/UFO/abduction research, I really felt like I was traveling at light speed towards some ultimate answer that would provide an explanation for why I felt the way I did and this sense of utter alienation from the world at large. It would only make sense that 'abductees' would feel a sense of belonging to another home off planet. Or, as in the hybrid baby mythos, is it any wonder that women are experiencing dream-like states in which there is a baby inside of them that is of an alien nature?
Perhaps this is a reflection of the universal feeling of alienation that modern women feel, from the Earth and from her own 'inner-child.' A result of the modern culture we live in. The deep recesses of the mind speak a powerful, wordless language. I think it speaks to us through powerful symbols, archetypes, metaphors. I see the alien abduction stuff as a mythology... an explanation for something going on within the human psyche. It doesn't mean there are LITERALLY aliens impregnating women with alien fetuses, I think this is dangerous thinking. In my experience, UFO lore has majorly impeded any real spiritual development. As far as synchronicity goes, I really don’t think it is all that strange that patterns show up in culture and in the world around us. Coincidences, syncs, trends, it seems more bizarre that patterns WOULDN’T emerge in our lives. I used to get very wrapped up in the syncs that occurred in my own life, which really proved sort of meaningless. She beautifully articulates something that many within the UFO abduction community dare not whisper. Could we be dealing with an entirely different phenomena? Is it something etherial that somehow masquerades as aliens and at the same time, manifests very real psychological and physical effects? I am fascinated by this avenue of thinking. Would it be a welling up of some unconscious shadow, or is it something from another intelligence completely outside our domain? Could it be a complex cosmic process that expresses itself differently in different people? Some are moved by UFOs and some by religion. I think of Catholics in a deep stare of religious contemplation and how they can actually experience stigmata. This is confirmed bleeding in their palms and on their feet and sometimes on the side of their torso where the Roman centurion cut Jesus with his spear. This is a rare malady, but it has been studied by the church. The blood and open wounds are entirely real, but there isn't any logical explanation of their source. Could the UFO phenomenon be manifesting itself with similar, and very real displays? NOTE: For this sub-chapter I’ve made heavy use of a post and the follow-up comments on Dan Mitchell’s site (linked HERE).
Important stuff, at least to me
Throughout this essay I’ve made a bunch of personal references to my own fan-boy tendencies. As a 12 year old boy, I dearly loved both Kolchak: The Night Stalker and The CBS Radio Mystery Theater. As an adult, I found great solace in the three volumes of Conversations with God. These were each acutely important to me, compulsively so. I also make note of 1926, the year my father was born. This is something I see when I dig into these esoteric issues. I’ll add that while watching the movie, it felt strange to watch a suburban housewife get into a bright yellow Chevy Nova and pull out of a driveway, I have defined memories of my mother doing exactly the same thing. These points might seem insignificant to you, but not to me. Each of these things are full of emotions. It’s hard to explain, but this is deeply personal stuff and it tugs on me. It might mean nothing at all, but I am forced to pay attention.
Budd Hopkins June 15, 1931 - August 21, 2011
The outlying threads
I had a conversation with Budd Hopkins in 2007, it was focused on his work in abduction research. I asked him about synchronicities and how they play a role within the overall phenomenon. He sort of rolled his eyes and spoke about how there are threads that seemingly go everywhere. He gestured with his hands, as if to show he was dropping an egg onto a table and then he wiggled his fingertips to show how the mess was splattering outward. He said it was his role as a researcher to try and contain these things into something manageable. Then he gestures again, bringing his hands back together, as if he was consolidating that mess into a tidy shape again.
There is a central phenominon and then there is an outlying phenomena. It seems that Budd was trying to document and educate on the core mystery within his research, something he did beautifully. I guess I've been trying to make sense of the mess that splatters off from that core. This essay is an example, there are threads that seemingly go everywhere. I am not trying to contain any of this into something manageable like my intellect tells me to do. I am ignoring that side of my brain, and wallowing in the messiness of my intuition. The problem is that you, the reader, might feel lost in the maze of chaos. If so, you and I share the same response.
Huge thanks to Erika Earles who played editor. And more thanks to Robbie Graham, Dan Mitchell, Meghan and Red Pill Junkie.
Still from The Stranger Within. Joyce Van Patten (the friend), George Grizzard (the husband), David Doyle (the hypnotist) and Barbara Eden (Ann, the abductee)
Note to the reader: This essay was originally published in a shorter format on Oct. 11th 2012 on Robbie Graham’s Silver Screen Saucer site. As I was writing, the threads and connections were getting to be a bit much, and it grew into something unnecessarily massive. I felt the need to pare down the manuscript I sent to him. What you have before you is that longer version. The first half roughly matches the shorter piece, with some extra details added in as away to round out some ideas. Midway down you’ll find an addendum where I share more thoughts about the phenomena in question. This latter information was a place to try and articulate some of the complexities and subtitles of alien abduction and it’s implications. Mike C
________________________________________________________________________________ this long winded essay was created in October of 2012
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