Insight

Review of Lorie Barnes' Things Seen and Unseen



"Things Seen And Unseen: My Visible And Invisible Life Story"
by Lorie Barnes. Introduction by Whitley Strieber

Editor's Note: Things Seen and Unseen is listed by Smashwords as containing 'adult content' because some of the autobiographical material in it is frank. It is not pornographic and should never have been given such a listing.

Review by Harold Egeln

The dance of UFOs in the skies, the uncertain song of UFO contact and the mysterious theater of their performances prancing upon the human stage still puzzles the preplexed inhabitants of this world, Spaceship Earth. The close encounter experience is an incredibly diverse, challenging and enigmatic drama, both upfront and deeply subtle, without any definite answers. Many of its experiencers, straddling hidden whispery realms that shake them up, are exposed, unwilling or not, to an amazing wide variety of encounters.

Among those who have contact with those realms and its visitors here is Lorie Barnes, author of "Things Seen And Unseen: My Visible And Invisible Life Story," a Smashwords ebook, published in September 2012. Barnes is a well-known cabaret, Broadway and stage performer, whose parents took great care of her in the 1930's and 1940's by training her in dance, voice and acting, leading her into a successful career as an actress, singer and dancer that included stock and children's theater.

For those who have read author Whitley Strieber's accounts in his writings of a standout extraordinary encounter involving a group of invited people at his cabin in upstate New York in 1989, they are familiar with the event at which Barnes was a witness. Her experience there also included a walk through the woods where she met a departed brother. Barnes was portrayed by an actoress in the 1989 movie "Communion" in a support group scene.

She learned of Strieber's 1987 worldwide best seller "Communion: A True Story" book and her brother Buddy Barnes, a famed cabaret pianist and singer who passed away in 1992, bought the book at a Dalton's bookstore in Manhattan. "It's like the story of your life, I mean your haunted life," he told her.

Soon after she met the author and his wife Anne, who lived a block away from her in Greenwich Village, Barnes became Streiber's secretary months after his controversial book alerted the public with his undefinable "visitor" experience accounts. She and his wife Anne Strieber sorted through the overwhelming bags of mail in the aftermath of the book's appearance, and Barnes sorted the letters about other people's encounters into categories.

"It as if the beings, whatever or whoever they were, had been waiting in the wings for me to enter to act out the role written for me in a cosmic script," writes Barnes, as they began the longtime family-like friendship she enjoys with the Striebers to this day.

This writer, then a staff reporter for a Brooklyn weekly newspaper soon after directing a city-wide nonprofit peace advocacy organization, first met Barnes in October 1989 over dinner before she spoke at a local civic affairs discussion group in my neighborhood, a meeting that I wrote an article about. I found Barnes thoroughly engaging, charming and very intelligent with an amazing sense of humor, showing her joy of life.

Those characteristics flavor her "haunted life" and also, at times, a tormented personal life that includes her career as a featured cabaret singer, starting at age 15, and Broadway and stage dancer, singer and actor. As a girl, she rode an elephant with Jimmy Durante in the musical "Jumbo," performed with Milton Berle in the musical "The Spring in Brazil" and with famed fan dancer Sally Rand. Barnes once celebrated a shared birthdate, June 10, with Judy Garland, six years older than Barnes, born in 1930.

Her accounts, in two parts with 24 chapters, vividly tell the riveting stories of her "visible and invisible life" in a stellar articulated manner, from her first encounters with enigmatic beings from her babyhood when "little friends" visited her and her near-death experience at six. They progress to lifelong UFO sightings and, out-of-the body experiences in which she traveled to places around the globe (and was witnessed by friends a few times) , cosmic visitors, leprechauns, ghosts, reincarnation memories, angelic beings, short squat beings in blue overalls, and vivid dream visions.
Born to theatrical parents, Barnes tells of her fascinating life as a performer, a very interesting narrative in itself, her love life dogged by happy and harsh times, wretching disappointments and delights, marriages and divorces, and about her parents and children.

In telling that visible life story, intersecting throughout Barnes relates the intervention of an invisible hidden reality inhabited by enigmatic visitors who are at times messengers and predictors. In the mix, she met extraordinary human beings, such as Andrey (Andre) Avinoff, a famous entomoligist and painter during the first half of the 20th century.

Well-known as a flora and fauna artist, he was particularly focused on his abiding interest in butterflies. After his passing in 1949, a startling butterfly incident delivered a powerful message to Barnes. And in her early ghostly encounters, she was introduced to famous parapsychologist Hans Holzer and got to know him.

In his preface to Barnes' book, Strieber noted that several people report the visitors appearing with the dead, as if they dwell in the unknown reaity. Likewise, Barnes writes that "the post-death dimension is in some way aligned with the visitors, because I have observed the visitors and our dead in each other's company, during my contacts."

In the 1990's it was Kenneth Ring, then a psychology professor at the University of Connecticut, who first made the connection of the similarities of the UFO close encounter and near-death experiences in his 1993 groundbreaking book, "The Omega Project -- Near-Death Experiences, UFO Encounters, and Mind At Large" (William Morrow and Company) with an introduction by Whitley Strieber.

In noting the many places she has lived and traveled, Barnes, a New York City resident for many years, writes, "It seems that all beings, from any time frame, dimension or universe, know exactly where to find me at any given moment." They appeared in the various places she lived and visited, such as Scotland and Italy. In such places, she witnessed UFOs and had visitations from cosmic and ghostly beings.

She mentions a trip to Ireland in the 1990's to meet the organizers of the Irish UFO and Paranormal Research Association, prompted, she writes, by its contact with S.P.A.C.E., the Search Project for Aspects of Close Encounters, an experiencer run support and study group that has involved hundreds of experiencers and supporters founded in New York City in 1992 and ongoing now.

As the founder of S.P.A.C.E., through our many meetings and outside one-on-one imterviews, I have met, listened to and talked with hundreds of experiencers who have a wide range of all kinds of encounters. These include all types of beings, all mentioned by Barnes. While most described non-human UFO occupants typically reported, a good number of others also mentioned gnomes, fairies, angelic beings, apparitions, along with beings resembling humans, reptiles, insects, cats and rabbits.

The commonalities of nonhuman UFO occupants and their behavior were first compared to fairyland inhabitant reports by UFO investigator Jacques Valle in his 1969 book "Passport to Magonia: From Folklore To Flying Saucers." Also, in his 1970 book "Invisible Residents" zoologist and UFO researcher Ivan T. Sanderson discussed UFO occupants who hide under water.

What I find most fascinating about Barnes' experiences, is that all these kinds of enigmatic beings she has encountered interact with her makes her one of the most experienced of all these otherworldy contactees rolled into one. In her marvelously written book, she becomes a sharp-eyed tour guide into shy and sly realms that may represent a vastly greater hidden reality from which our known world may actually emerge.
That hidden reality's cast of visitors, Barnes reports abouy her experiences, include Bambi-like creatures, a dead aunt, a ghostly gambler, a beautiful blue lady, Hudson Valley and English castle ghosts, and oracles, all part of her paranormal and psychic life.

Her book, with its diversity of extraordinary experiences, reminded me of Whitley and Anne Strieber's wonderfully essential "The Communion Letters" 1997 book, one of my favorites, which is chockful of the incredible variety of close encounter narratives culled from the countless letters in response to "Communion" and subsequent books.

Several contact experiencers at times have felt that the visitors awaken them to the importance of the soul and the deep sources of life within consciousness. The subject of the soul, a territory largely confined to theology and religious faith, is vastly ignored and neglected by modern science with its solid pre-judgemental wall blocking its research. At least, noetics, the study of consciousness, a mysterious mind riddle still unexplained, took a giant leap forward when Apollo 14 lunar astronaut Dr. Edgar Mitchell founded his noetics institute.

If a science of the soul and consciousness is to grow and progress, Barnes' book would be one of the required textbooks in that scientific reseach. For in the soul's realm is a seemingly vast cosmic ecology filled with life, discovery and knowledge that has built-in wisdom. Many reported non-human UFO occupant contacts suggest that.

Barnes, telling of her "life full of synchronicites and serendipities," has made her autobiography into one of the most elegant and fascinating among all such books in ufology. In her accomplishment, this sparkling and talented lady does not define her visitors' precise origins (although speculating), a secret to humanity perhaps that may spur Earth's groping inhabitants into astonishing future possiblities from its planetary island in space and time.

Barnes has gained valuable, essential and spiritual knowledge of the breadth and depth of this experience that defies and challenges excepted notions of reality, and she shares that with the public in her book. Readers will be absorded into her unique "visible and invisible life story" that sheds a spotlight on the whole contact enigma. Whitley Strieber called her book "unique" and "quite a treasure." I whole-heartedly agree and I think readers will be, too.

Lorie Barnes, like a modern day Alice in Wonderland relating her cosmic travels, has written one of the most essential books for ufology. Her life's journey through seen and unseen realms told in her illuminating autobiography, like a warmly welcomed lighthouse beacon twirling through the hidden dark matter that ufology plods to understand, should be read widely for the benefit of other contact experiencers and the advancement of ufology and humankind.
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"Things Seen and Unseen: My Visible and Invisible Life Story" by Lories Barnes is available from Smashwords ebook publishers for $2.99, and is accessible on all ebook platforms.

{review copyright.2014-harold.egeln, with all rights reserved}

Reviewer Harold Egeln is currently a free lance writer in Brooklyn, N.Y., who has written, as a longtime professional journalist, thousands of articles, including columns, over the past 30 years. He has been a full-time staff general assignment newspaper reporter for the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, the Home Reporter, Brooklyn Spectator and Brooklyn Courier-News weeklies, the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce's newspaper, and executive director for the nonprofit NYC Peace Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy (now NY Peace Action) in the 1980s, as well as a media aide and speechwriter for a NYC City Council member. He was an environmental columnlst for the "Downtown Counterculture for 1990's" alternative newspaper. As a young activist, he participated and was a leader in the peace and counterculture movements of the 1960's, and as a pro-space travel and exploration advocate, he was president and vice president, and presently coordinator, of the NYC chapter of the National Space Society.

Since 1992, he has facilitated S.P.A.C.E., the Search Project for Aspects of Close Encounters, a large witness-run support and proactive research group in the service of hundreds of close encounter experiencers. Egeln is author of "The Project Wonderland Chronicles: The WOW! Contact" free five part ebook published by S.P.A.C.E. about the subtle, synchronistic and serendipity aspects of close encounters, with contributions from many experiencers including Lorie Barnes and premier ufologist Raymond Fowler. Egeln is currently working on a book project about a 40-acre endangered old-growth forest in New Jersey on which grounds he lived in a house in the 1970's, a place where he and others had mysterious experiences. He can be reached at harold.egeln@verizon.net.



I'm about halfway into this book and absolutely loving it. Anyone interested in Whitley's visitor experiences would be riveted by this. And, Lorie's multi-talented self, along with her topsy-turvy glamorous(yet unglamorous) multi-celebrity, multi-child, multi-romance life would be fascinating to anyone.

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