|By: Paul S. Cilwa
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|All about my close encounter of the FIFTH kind: A conversation with an actual alien.
Everyone reading this knows the difference between waking awareness and dream awareness. Each has a reality of its own; but each also has a "feel" of its own, as distinct as the feel of leather versus silk. In a dream, the dreamer generally cannot question his reality ("Wait—school buses can't dance!") and does not challenge his own actions. Consequently, in dreams we might kill a child, eat a live pig or have sex with Barbara Bush, without ever considering that these might not be good ideas or that we might choose not to.
There is an experience called lucid dreaming, in which a person suddenly switches to waking awareness while in a dream. They are still in the dream; but now have the usual waking ability to question their environment—something conventional dreamers are denied. And the ability to question then leads to the ability to change one's actions. Thus, a lucid dreamer might say to the dream pig, "Let's have some ice cream." And then, manifest it, and enjoy it.
Abductees know a third state. During an abduction, the abductee has the ability to question the environment, but not to control his actions. As with the "feel" of reality and dreams, the "feel" of consciousness during an abduction is also distinct—perhaps that of corduroy as opposed to leather or silk. Consequently, the desire I heard most expressed by other abductees was an echo of my own: Why can't I have a conscious contact?
We understood that aliens can't be expected to know that walking through a wall instead of knocking on a door betrays a lack of etiquette. We realized that we might be perceived by them as animals or unintelligent beings, even objects that they had the right to do with as they would, just as some human researchers feel about the rabbits into whose eyes they pour perfumes and shampoos for testing purposes. But the fact that their presence seemed to remove our free will, was the single most frustrating aspect of the whole thing.
"I'm not saying I would beat them up," my friend Aitan typed one night while we were chatting. "I'm just saying, it would be nice to choose not to."
"I just wish we could have a conversation," Holly agreed. "The way it is, is so one-sided. They come, they take, they leave. What am I getting out of this?"
A good question, that.
By now it was January of 1994 and I had discovered Key West. Having lived most of my life in a straight marriage, I had been unfamiliar with gay culture, magazines, clubs or hot spots. I had finally stumbled on an issue of The Advocate, a gay news magazine; and in the back was an advertisement for Lighthouse Court, a small resort for gay men located in Key West. (Sadly, their web site indicates they no longer have that specialization.) I immediately made reservations for a few days' vacation there.
I arrived on Tuesday, which was the night we had our weekly Abduction Support Group meeting. I would still be able to attend, because I arrived in early afternoon and I had brought my laptop. A pink taxi drove me to the resort; I moved my baggage into my room and set out in search of an early dinner.
It was as if I had landed on another planet where equality was more than a dream. All along the crowded street, same-sex couples strolled, holding hands, pointed excitedly into windows of arts and crafts shops, shared a straw as they drank milkshakes in open-air restaurants, put hats on each other and held T-shirts up to each other while laughing and enjoying themselves exactly as people do when on vacation—but as I had never seen gay people do.
Soon I found myself in a "gay gift shop." This was a place that sold greeting cards ("From Your Husband To My Husband"), T-shirts ("I'm Not Gay But My Boyfriend Is"), and rainbow key fobs, stickers and flags. I bought my first rainbow flag bumper sticker there and got to talking to the owner, Jeff, who was extremely cute as well as intelligent. He asked me to have dinner with him after he closed, which meant I would miss the Support Group meeting—but he was extremely cute and intelligent so I blew off the meeting without a moment's hesitation.
Jeff and I never became more than friends, but our dinner of pizza under the stars in the warm evening air was thoroughly enjoyable, the first time I'd felt really normal in many years. However, I was starting to feel pangs of guilt as I returned to Lighthouse Court afterwards. It wasn't like I had the keys to the virtual meeting room and no one else would be able to get in; but I did facilitate and I wasn't certain who would take over in my absence. Plus, I had promised I'd be there. So I hurried through the humid evening, running beneath a pink sky littered with a just few dozen stars.
Lighthouse Court is arranged so that a number of guest houses, each with several rooms, open onto a central court with a pool, Jacuzzi, café, bar, TV lounge and even a weight room. I had to pass through the courtyard to get to my room, where I quickly plugged my laptop into the phone line and dialed up CompuServe. The moment I had entered the Encounters forum, Holly was waiting for me.
"WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN??!" she screamed in capital letters.
"I had dinner with a cute guy," I replied sheepishly. "Did I miss anything?"
"The meeting went well," Holly assured me. "But Grandmother has a message for you."
"Well, what is it?"
"You are going to have a CONSCIOUS CONTACT tonight!"
I stared at the words on the screen. "Tonight?" I finally responded. "Where? When?" and added, "How??!"
"That's the whole message. It's coming. Tell me tomorrow how it goes!" And then she was gone.
Reluctantly I logged off and shut down my laptop. It was like winning the lottery and then wondering how you'll get your money. I'd wanted for this for so long, and now that it was here—or, almost here—I wasn't sure how to react.
I was in a small room that shared a bathroom with the other rooms in the guest house. I brushed my teeth, and returned to my bedroom where I undressed and lay upon my bed. It wasn't very dark, as Key West's humid night sky is lit by uncounted sodium street lamps and the lights from the courtyard beamed through my window, anyway. I normally sleep nude; but now that I expected visitors I had second thoughts and slipped on a bathing suit.
It was a very small room, and the wall came up almost to the bed. If the visitors passed through it, they would just about fall on top of me. This was going to be scary enough as it was. I was still not used to their appearance or the awkward, jerky way they moved. It would be like trying to shake hands with a cockroach. The more I thought about it, the more I realized I just couldn't remain in my bed waiting for them.
I've mentioned that abductees are psychic. In me, one of the ways that manifests is I can see around corners. That is, I can mentally "feel" a place out, if I'm familiar with it. In this case, when I "felt" the courtyard, it seemed deserted. By now it was one in the morning, so that seemed reasonable. I saw myself soaking in the large Jacuzzi. If I was sitting in the Jacuzzi, I thought, there would be no walls to walk through! The visitors would have to come up to me like normal people, from across the courtyard. I would be able to control myself that way. I didn't really expect them to join me in the Jacuzzi; but that was fine. When I saw them coming, I could emerge to greet them.
The urge to go to the Jacuzzi grew so strong that I literally jumped out of bed and ran into the courtyard. So I was startled to see the Jacuzzi was not deserted—in fact, it was full of naked men.
This being my first visit, I had no idea that after the bars close at one, the guys staying at Lighthouse Court would, to use the modern phrase, "hook up" in the courtyard, especially in the Jacuzzi. I had noticed couples on the street, but plenty of single gay men also came to Key West and they hadn't come to sleep alone.
I hesitated, looking at the men in the water. There were probably twenty of them there, ranging from young twinks to grizzled bears (though I didn't know the meaning of those terms at the time). There was one man, however, who sat exactly opposite where I was standing, who clearly was not human.
I am not kidding. He was humanoid, but the details were not right. For one thing, his eyes were clearly too far apart—he would not have been able to use a View-Master. For another, his skin was green. I don't mean swarthy, I mean, the color of green olives that you buy at the supermarket. His musculature was fairly normal, if exaggerated—he looked like a bodybuilder—and he was covered with unusual tattoos, most notably a square one on his chest that looked like some sort of super-hero emblem.
And yet, none of the guys seemed aware of his unusual appearance. As I arrived, he was speaking on spiritual subjects to the other men in the Jacuzzi (I found out later that there is normally no discussion in the Jacuzzi). One interrupted to ask where he was from.
"I was born in a country most Americans have never heard of," he said, in a voice devoid of any regional accent. "In South America…"
"Suriname," I supplied, the word having slipped from my mouth without my having thought about it.
"That's right, Paul," he smiled at me, and rose to his feet. "And I've been waiting for you." With no further ado he left the Jacuzzi, the men he left behind glaring at me with unbridled envy. "Let's sit over here," he suggested, leading me to an umbrella-shaded table and chairs out of earshot from the Jacuzzi.
"How do you know my name?" I asked, my voice ragged.
"We probably have more important things to discuss, don't you think?" he suggested. I nodded in agreement.
Now, the subsequent conversation was not held in a normal way. Neither of us spoke complete sentences. He would utter two or three words, and I would just know what he was going to say, and would immediately respond with two or three words of my own. I found this half-telepathic communication to be incredibly efficient and exciting. But no one listening would ever have been able to follow what we were saying. Since an exact transcription of our words wouldn't be useful to you, either, I am going to expand. So these aren't the words we spoke, but the gist is correct.
"You've been wondering who we are," he said.
"I'm wondering who you are," I corrected. "What should I call you?"
"Call me Vincent," he replied.
"That's a pretty regular name," I suggested.
"Everyone thinks I'm a pretty regular guy," he agreed.
"You don't look regular."
"Earth humans see what they expect to see. When they look at my skin, they see 'swarthy'. You expected an alien so you see 'green'."
"And your eyes?"
"No one mentions them. It would be rude, you see."
"You referred to 'Earth humans.' Are you implying there are other kinds?"
"Of course. I am Pleiadian human. 'Human' isn't a species; it's a configuration. I look enough like you to pass—barely—in a Jacuzzi, naked. Inside, I am somewhat different. But Earth doctors see a number of innocuous exceptions. They don't put it together and realize I am fundamentally different from them."
"When have you seen a doctor?" (Funny how, in a conversation, I get tangled in the specifics and lose sight of the bigger picture!)
"I am in the United States Navy," Vincent said. "I had to undergo a physical to join."
"I was in the Navy," I said. "Don't you have to be a US citizen?"
"They make exceptions," Vincent explained, "when an inner voice assures them it is appropriate."
"But why join the Navy?" I asked.
"It was supportive of my mission."
"And what is that?"
Vincent smiled. "For one thing, to meet you and others like you, who are visiting Pleiadians who haven't yet been awakened."
Vincent sighed good-naturedly, as if used to my response. "Do you know the difference between a tourist and a traveler?"
I hesitated. "Not really," I replied.
"A tourists visits, takes photos, and leaves. He isn't really changed by the places or people he meets; nor are they changed by him. A traveler, on the other hand, moves into a place for a time. He befriends the natives. He learns from them, and impacts their lives, and they, his. Eventually he moves on, but both he and the people and places he visited are made richer for his time with them."
"Okay." I was still trying to make the connection. "So people dropping by in UFOs are tourists?"
"Essentially, yes. There are some thirteen different species visiting your world these days. Most of them come and go, leaving perhaps a blurry photo or a few scorch marks on the ground. How can an ammonia-breather or a silicone-based lifeform that requires temperatures higher than that of boiling water ever interact meaningfully with someone of your race?"
"I guess they can't," I replied.
"They can…if they incarnate as Earth humans."
That threw me. After a beat, I ventured, "You mean…some regular people are really aliens? In some way?"
"In a way that isn't physical," Vincent agreed. "They were born to human parents, but spent their entire lives, from babyhood on, knowing they don't really belong here, struggling to fit in."
"And you're one of these?" I asked.
"I am an extreme case. I share identity with a Earth human who is only partially aware of my existence. But my point is, you are one. Yours is the spirit of a Pleiadian occupying the body of an Earth human. It isn't your usual form, but you are a true traveler and make yourself at home anywhere."
I tried to ignore the fact that his words felt true to me. I certainly enjoy travel. I am frequently mistaken for a local wherever I go. And I have felt misplaced as long as I can remember. But still… "What's the point?" I asked. "Why would I do this?"
"Why does any traveler travel? For the love of traveling, of course. However, there is a special purpose to this life, as you suspect. Earth is on the verge of a major climatic upheaval. A large percentage of her population will discorporate within the next twenty-five years. Among your talents is a knack for survival. You are also learning certain spiritual techniques that are important to pass on. You, and thousands of others like you, have taken the assignment of incarnating here, now, to assist the survivors to not only survive, but to flourish in the new world that emerges from the earth changes."
"Earth changes. You mean, like Edgar Cayce's predictions?"
"Something like that. This solar system is passing through a magnetic torus that circles the galaxy, one of twelve. It happens every 250,000 years or so. The lines of force travel opposite to what's normally the case, so several things happen. One is the Earth's magnetic poles reverse polarity. As that happens, the temperature of Earth's core warms slightly."
"Wait a minute," I interrupted, eager to pounce on anything that would prove Vincent wrong. "It takes 220 million years for our solar system to orbit the galaxy. So we should hit one of these toruses every nine million years."
Vincent was kind enough to ignore my mis-pluralizing of "torus". "The tori themselves are rotating around the galaxy in a direction counter to the galaxy's rotation, so it happens every quarter million years instead."
"Oh. Well, so the Earth's core warms a degree or so. So what?" Remember, this was 1994, long before the phrase "global warming" had made the news.
"Imagine a waterbed with twenty-four dinner plates resting on it, each plate touching the others."
"Okay," I blinked, not having any idea where he was going with this. (Actually, he just projected the image into my mind.)
"Now, pile ice cubes on five of the plates and wait until the bed stops moving."
"Now turn up the waterbed heater so the water beneath the plates warms up. What happens?"
"Well, the ice cubes will melt."
"And when they do?"
Watching the image he was projecting, I saw that as the weight of the ice was released from the plates, they all shifted slightly relative one to the other. Then the waterbed changed into the Earth's mantle, and the dinner plates became tectonic plates. The shifting caused great earthquakes, and portions of the plates were now underwater, lying in a pool of ice melt.
"You're sure?" I asked.
"It's happened before."
"I mean, about this magnetic torus thing causing it."
"Yes. Now that you know what to look for, you'll be able to find other evidence in your solar system that shows you have already entered the torus."
"I know that past reversals of the magnetic poles are not associated with extinction level events," I challenged.
"They aren't all," Vincent agreed, "because this planet isn't always glaciated. In an interglacial period, the increase in temperature only slightly modifies the climate. This time, however," he continued, "the effect is made more intense by the activities of Earth humans that warm the atmosphere, especially pumping into it gases that hold in the heat, such as carbon dioxide, and others that weaken the protective ozone layer, such as chlorofluorocarbons."
"When will this start?" I asked.
"The percentage of severe earthquakes has already risen," Vincent replied. "That's in comparison to small quakes that occur constantly. Within ten years, the melting of polar ice will reach the point that no one can deny something is happening. In twenty years or so, the addition of so much fresh water to the oceans will trigger a breakdown of the mechanism that transfers heat from the equator to the poles, and in a sudden reversal a new ice age will grip the planet."
"I'm not very fond of cold weather," I said plaintively.
"But in the meantime, there is the possibility of nuclear war or other breakdown of your society that will exacerbate the problem."
"We've managed to avoid war so far," I pointed out.
"There is a crisis point at the end of this century," Vincent explained. "There's a good possibility that a world-wide computer malfunction will so confound shipping that food won't reach the citizens and all governments will collapse. If that happens, local dictators will arise; and some will arise in locations, like the American Midwest and the former Soviet Union, where there happen to be nuclear weapons. If they can be made to operate, there is almost a certainty that at least one of them will be fired, which will detonate many of the others in retaliation. That will almost certainly cause the extinction of Homo sapiens."
"Are you an alien or a prophet?" I asked, testily.
"My people are in a position to see the signs," Vincent said. "You don't need to be a prophet to guess that heavy clouds mean imminent rain."
"Is there anything your people can do to help?"
"You can help. That's why you are here. You teach computer programming, don't you? Do what you can to identify and prevent this malfunction from ever occurring. That might alter the chain of events so that the change in weather is all you will have to deal with."
That was more responsibility than I wanted, and I said so. Vincent laughed. "You aren't the only contactee who is a computer professional. Many others are doing the same. Get over yourself!"
I blushed but refused to be distracted. "You mean, all the computer people who are abductees are Pleiadians?"
"Most of what you call abductees, regardless of specialty, are either Pleiadian or fellow travelers. You see, this climate change is not a bad thing. Earth humans have been enslaved since the origin of that species. The dissolution of present-day structures will give them their first chance of achieving freedom; and our job is to make sure they succeed."
"You mean, like people in the former Soviet Union?"
"I mean, all of you."
"But Americans are free. If you're in the Navy, you must know that."
"There are levels of slavery that run so deep they go unrecognized by the slave. And what man is more enslaved than the one who thinks he is free?"
"If we are slaves, who are our masters?" I asked.
"The masters are hidden," Vincent said. "They hold you with the chains of organized religions, governments, restrictive societies and the media. You will come to understand this in the next few years." Vincent stood. "And now," he added, "I must avoid suspicion by using the gym."
"What?" I laughed. The shift in topic seemed ludicrous.
"The owner of this place has given me permission to work out in his gym," Vincent explained, walking to the weight room as I followed, puppy-like, in his footsteps. "So I will do it, since he lives on the premises."
"They don't have a gym at the Navy base?"
Vincent smirked. "The Navy has assigned me to come here to locate and identify gay Navy men."
I was shocked. "You're kidding! What about 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'?"
"That's a ruse," Vincent said. "Last year the Navy threw out more sailors for homosexuality than ever before. But don't worry." He winked. "I never find any."
"Are you gay?" I had to ask; he was unbelievably attractive and I would have taken him on the spot.
"No," he said. "I'm neither 'gay' nor 'straight'. My species doesn't reproduce as yours does. However, your attraction is normal; we release pheromones that arouse Earth humans in the vicinity. I apologize for that but there's nothing I can do about it."
We reached the weight room and Vincent familiarly sat at a lat machine, setting the weights and pulling down on the bar. As he did so, he rose into the air—he was actually pulling his own weight.
"How much are you pulling?" I asked in a butch sort of way.
"120 pounds," he replied.
After a set of twelve reps, he moved to another machine and I was overcome by testosterone. 120 pounds? I thought. I can lift that! So I sat in his place, and did twelve reps of my own. Of course, I didn't rise into the air, weighing twice as much as I was lifting.
When he finished his brief visit to the weight room, Vincent announced he was leaving and I followed him to the compound gate. "And no one here knows you aren't gay?"
"They assume I am," Vincent said. "Just like they assume I must have usual-colored skin. It takes a lot of training to teach an Earth human to look for differences instead of commonalities." Just then, the gate opened and a couple came in from the street, holding hands. In a sudden impulse to protect Vincent's "secret identity," I reached up and embraced him. He was some six inches taller than I, his chest and shoulders so massive that I could barely get my arms around him.
When the couple had gone, I released Vincent. "Sorry," I began, but he interrupted.
"It's okay," he said, opening the gate. "I understand." And then he was gone.
By now it was almost three in the morning and the compound, even the Jacuzzi, was deserted; the sky a little darker, the stars a little brighter and more numerous. I returned to my room and got into bed, expecting to be too excited to sleep. Already I was finding alternate explanations for Vincent's existence and his story. Maybe he was just swarthy; the lights might have made him look greener than he was. Since he knew the owner, maybe he'd found my name in the guest list, though I couldn't imagine why he'd single me out. Some kind of conspiracy between Lighthouse Court and the Abduction Support Group? That didn't seem very likely, either. But I couldn't have just spent two hours with an alien in the courtyard of a gay resort on Key West. If I tried to tell anyone, they'd laugh themselves silly.
And then I realized: That was exactly why Vincent had met me there. I was intended to be convinced, not anyone else. Oh, others who had similar contacts would understand; but the information I'd been given—which might, indeed, cause riots and panic if somehow it was presented in such a compelling fashion that everyone would have no choice but to accept it as true—was instead given in such a way that the vast majority of people would shrug it off, if indeed they heard it at all.
And weren't Grey abductions done similarly? I remembered the abductee on the talk show where the audience laughed because he'd been taken from a Howard Johnson's motel. I also recalled Betty and Barney Hill, the first public abductees. As it happened, Betty Hill was white; Barney Hill was black. Whenever they appeared on talk shows in the mid '60s, more time was spent examining their "interracial marriage" than their abduction. It was as if they'd been chosen specifically to be disregarded by the general public.
But if my experiences would be unbelievable to others, they were nearly as unbelievable to me. How could I convince anyone else of their reality if I wasn't convinced?
And then I remembered pulling the 120 pounds of weights on the lat machine. I remembered watching Vincent pull the same weights, and lifting himself into the air with them. That proved he weighed 120 pounds or slightly less.
But I had hugged him, and he was at least 6 foot 4, maybe 6 foot 5, with huge biceps and pecs and lats and every other muscle that defines a bodybuilder. There was no way such a man could only weigh 120 pounds. Either he was hollow, or could levitate—and either explanation was evidence he was not human.
Or, at least, not an "Earth human."
In the weeks that followed, I investigated and found that the Sun, which was supposed to be in a "sunspot minimum" year, in fact displayed more sunspots than ever before since counts had been kept. The Red Spot on Jupiter, a great storm first identified by Galileo, was changing size for the first time in centuries. Both these facts were evidence of a system-wide alteration in the galactic magnetic field.
When questioned, an Alaska-based abductee in the Support Group told me a glacier on her property had begun retreating, as opposed to the advance it had made since her great-grandfather homesteaded there. A post marked "1826" had recently been exposed by the melting ice.
And I, myself, was already in position to help avoid the supposed coming nuclear war by virtue of the fact I was an instructor of modern computer languages. For the first time, in 1994, I heard of what was later to be known as the "Y2K bug." This bug came about because, in hundreds of thousands of computer systems in the world, the year was stored in just 2 digits. When the year 2001 came along, if people—or computers—referred to "the year 1", would they mean 1901 or 2001? To fix the bug, the Year fields would need to expanded to 4 digits; and the additional digits would have to be filled in. The traditional mainframe languages such as COBOL were so very clunky that a simple change such as that would require, literally, years of expensive reprogramming and testing.
I taught mainframe COBOL programmers how to rewrite their programs in Visual Basic or Visual C++, which would actually take far less time; these rewrites would avoid the representation of the year as only two digits, and thus allow graceful transition into the 21st century.
There were thousands of us around the world, of course, teaching the same skills. But I did find satisfaction and a sense of purpose in knowing that I was doing a "good thing."
And then I met a representative of the "secret government" to which Vincent had alluded.