Date: Tue Feb 01 1994 12:42:36 To: All Subj: Okie Abductions 1/2 UFO - Abducted By UFOs! S

---
Master Index Current Directory Index Go to SkepticTank Go to Human Rights activist Keith Henson Go to Scientology cult

Skeptic Tank!

Date: Tue Feb 01 1994 12:42:36 From: Sheppard Gordon To: All Subj: Okie Abductions 1/2 UFO ------------------------------- Abducted By UFOs! Sooners Report Close Encounters 01/23/94 THE SUNDAY OKLAHOMAN Richard Seifried was sound asleep on the lonely Black Mesa in the Panhandle. Suddenly he awoke to find himself floating out the end of his tent and up into a spaceship, where he was given a physical exam by short, hairless, gray-colored beings with fragile necks, long arms and black eyes the size of grapefruit. "I went right through the mosquito netting" without tearing it, he said. Now for the strange part. Seifried's been snatched like this at least five other times. Sometimes the beings beamed him off a mountain while he worked for the Forest Service. Sometimes they grabbed him from home. Sometimes they scooped skin samples or poked him with tiny needles in a pattern. Seifried's not alone. As director of investigations for the Oklahoma chapter of the Mutual UFO Network, Seifried has come across many Oklahomans who've had uncomfortably close encounters with strange entities from who knows where. Well, that's what they say. Some who believe in UFOs - in the sense that unidentified flying objects are advanced aliens from some unknown part of the cosmos - estimate up to millions of people have been so "abducted." In Oklahoma, Seifried and his wife, Jean Waller, longtime state director of the network, know of at least 30 or 40 such people who believe they're victims. UFOs - in the sense of things in the sky that did not make sense to the observer - have been around forever, or at least as long as people have had eyes and a brain big enough to wonder, "What the ...?" Seifried has written a book, "Native Encounters," about the history of UFO things in Oklahoma, one of several unpublished manuscripts by the retired school teacher. Interest in UFOs seems to run in cycles, but it's been pretty hot since the early 1950s, when humanoids began building rockets in earnest. Recently, a congressman succeeded in launching a government investigation into what believers say was the crash of a flying saucer in New Mexico in 1947 that was covered up by the same government. UFO conventions and meetings have boomed in the past decade. "I'm interested in anything that's unexplained," James Rea, 18, of El Reno said, explaining why he showed up at a recent network meeting in Norman. "I don't really know if I believe them (UFOs) or not. I believe anything's possible." Oklahoma has its share of UFO stuff, network people say. Like animal carcasses with eyes or sexual organs removed or like circles on rural land that cows mysteriously avoid, all of which some people attribute to celestial interlopers for lack of other explanations. Philip Klass blames it on a kind of extra-terrestrial baloney sandwich beamed directly into people's brains by tabloids, talk shows, books and movies. Despite the huge numbers of people who have seen UFOs or their creators, not one lug nut from an interplanetary craft has been recovered. Klass, publisher of the Skeptics UFO Newsletter, said the National Enquirer offered $1 million and a British liquor magnate offered about $2.8 million for any hard evidence. Zilch. Klass is a former senior avionics editor for Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine and still writes for the magazine. If one alien visit to Earth could be proven, "It would have been the biggest story I had ever written. In 28 years I have yet to find that story." Aside from the elderly woman who died from exposure while waiting for a spaceship, belief in UFOs had been relatively harmless, he said. He said most UFO investigators are well-intentioned people, albeit many with a tendency to avoid obvious, earthbound explanations. But this abduction thing, which popped up about 1987, leaves mild curiosity in the dust. "It's a UFO abduction cult," says Klass. "This is New Age witchcraft." "Pretty Crazy" Images Whatever it is, belief in UFO abduction is seriously disturbing or moving to those who think they have been chosen or picked on by aliens. Like Joel and Carilee Delano. For the Choctaw couple and their two young daughters, it all began on a clear fall night on a South Dakota highway in 1992 on a trip to Montana. That's where, the parents say, a mysterious craft that had followed them for miles made its close encounter and "interacted" with the family. On their living room wall, framed in oak, hang a half dozen enlarged glossy photos of what they say is the craft, or at least light from it. What's obvious is only a chunk of roadway, with three dots or squiggles of light in the darkness. Joel's brother called MUFON about it. MUFON suggested hypnosis. And, like many others, the Delanos discovered under this altered state that they too had been abducted. Those abducted often have difficulties with their marriages, as spouses assume they're Lost in Space without a shuttle. It helped lead to Seifried's divorce from a former wife. "I thought this is how you felt before you went into the nut house," Carilee Delano recalls of her first reaction to her husband's abduction "memory." After accepting it, the Mary Kay cosmetics representative began viewing the incident "like it was a rape." "This is getting into the Looney Toons area," Joel said, worrying about what all this sounds like. During four sessions of hypnosis, at $35 apiece, Joel recalled: "I felt a levitation up. I felt I was in a room, foggy, my legs paralyzed." The construction worker saw beings with large heads, thin necks and "large black eyes staring at me. Images, images, images," he says, gazing at the wall as he searches for words. "In my mind it really happened," he said. Now the Delanos feel the beings were "obviously corresponding with us." Although they had no specific message, Joel says since then he's had a lot of thoughts about evolution and creation. The Delanos are convinced the aliens have been back. Several times. "I feel we've had visitations here at the house," Joel said. Strange things like nightmares and flashes in the sky around their rural acreage provide clues, they say. That plus hypnosis that revealed "a being sitting beside my bed," Joel said. Joel, 43, also figures "I was medically altered" because dizzy spells and a nagging cough he used to have disappeared. They fear their daughters are involved in this pattern of experiments and visits, since they have bad dreams too. "You're helpless," Carilee, 33, said."Our children probably are genetically altered." Chana Sue, 9, lacing up sneakers for a basketball game, said she didn't know what the family saw that night in South Dakota. Her mother shows a crude drawing Chana Sue did of a pear-shaped craft with a row of windows on it. Carilee said that's the craft she saw in a dream. Joel said he saw that shape while under hypnosis. Asked how the figure came to her, Chana Sue explained, "That's always been what I thought they (UFOs) looked like." Joel's sister once saw an alien in her room in Tulsa and his mother in Arkansas saw a UFO too. Emily (not her real name) is another Oklahoman abducted by aliens. Or who believes she was. Married with two kids, the 36-year-old maternity nurse recalled being awakened by a strange red light and noises when she was 7. She was living in New Hampshire. Under hypnosis, she further remembered "floating up in a light with my cousin beside me." She was paralyzed, as beings in the fuzzy memory "apply pressure to the back of my head" and work with a long instrument with a ball on the end of it. During another hypnosis session, she remembered at age 11 waking to "a dark hand over my face in the middle of the night." She closed her eyes and prayed, shaking until it was gone. She counts a total of four alien abductions. "It's pretty crazy," she says. Memories or Metaphors Many have stirred these images with the help of Jean E. Byrne, a Norman nurse who works in home health care most of the time. Byrne also is trained in massage and hypnotherapy, studying at the American Institute of Hypnotherapy and at the Association of Research and Enlightenment. She said the "scariest part" of hypnotherapy on UFO cases is "when we work with children. They're just terrified." Kids who apparently have been abducted by aliens have been known to refer to them as "Big Boy" or "the one who comes ... at night and takes her to the ball in the sky." Dr. Vernon Enlow, Oklahoma City psychologist who uses hynposis, said there is a raging controversy over "created memories," ideas subtly planted in subjects' minds by hypnotists. Byrne said she is aware subjects are very receptive to suggestion. And these days, "there's so much of what we call contamination," that is reading, hearing or seeing films about aliens then thinking it happened to them. "You don't know how much of that is real memory," she said. Enlow said stories elicited under hypnosis aren't necessarily true, even though subjects believe them and the therapist doesn't suggest them. They can be "a metaphor" for something else. "Hypnosis is not a truth serum," he said. "Hypnotism can sometimes release a lot of creativity." Any therapist who encounters numerous people believing UFO abductions would cause him to wonder. Wonder is about all most people do with UFOs. Tom Renbarger, 42, graphic artist for the state Department of Transportation, said his interest in UFO stuff is more "a social phenomenon." "I think it sort of fills a need for some people to have something supernatural or something to believe in," he said.

---

E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank