Twenty years ago tonight, at approximately three thirty in the morning on December 26, 1985, I heard odd noises and felt as if I had fallen out of bed. I opened my eyes to a scene of such extraordinary horror that I am still suffering from the effects of that moment, two decades later.

What I saw before me was a small room like the interior of a tent, populated by enormous insects. These insects were at once strange, distant-seeming creatures, totally unlike me and not communicating any sense of the human at all, and yet at the same time aware of me in a way that eloquently and terrifyingly signaled intelligence.

Immediately, I was seized from behind and there was a swooping rush around me. An odd, machine-like voice commenced repeating again and again the phrase ‘what can we do to help you stop screaming?’

The terror was beyond words, beyond imagining. They were rough with me, pressing a needle into my head and raping me with a device that I now know is called an electrostimulator. In those days, such devices were used to induce erections in sex clinics, and they are still used to gather semen in animal husbandry.

I am not a prude, but I am a modest man and quite shy physically. I was appalled at finding myself naked with these creatures. I can remember trying and trying to wake up, to somehow find my bed around me again, to embrace my wife.

But my wife was not there. I was alone in the night with these things and I had no idea what might happen to me next.

This experience has left me with a disease called post-traumatic stress disorder. The last time I awakened with my heart practically slamming out of my chest, my breath coming short and so frightened that I literally dared not move a muscle was last night.

In fact, for at least five out of seven nights since the event happened, I have been waking up in terror between three and four in the morning. I have tried many treatments for this, ranging from conventional psychiatry and psychotherapy to every sort of esoteric treatment you can imagine, to no avail.

The disorder that began on that night will, I believe, remain with me until the day I die. And I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. Because, on that night, the woman whose portrait is on the cover of the book Communion said to me, ‘you’re the luckiest of the lucky.’

She was precisely correct. Yes, it has been hard and it has shattered me on the deepest possible levels. The public reaction has pained me as much as it has inspired me. But I have had a truly remarkable opportunity offered to me, and I have taken as full advantage of it as has been in my ability.

The morning after the experience, I asked my wife if she remembered anything unusual that night. She said no. My son, also, seemed entirely untroubled. So I decided that the riotous memories that were troubling me must have been some sort of a nightmare.

The memories were quite clear. I remembered being carried. I remembered being roughed up. I remembered being raped. Also, though, meeting somebody I felt that I had known for quite some time, somebody, even, who had in some way trained or prepared me.

During the next few days, I wrote a story called “Pain,” about an angelic being who administers pain in order to free people from themselves, to use pain, in effect, as a means of transcending the ego.

I remember how I felt as I wrote that story, the curious sense of surrender that it brought me, as if I was reliving a very, very powerful experience with someone who had loved me so hard that it had broken me heart and soul.

The weekend came, and by the time Monday rolled around I was in pain. My rectum hurt. The side of my head hurt. And I could not sleep at all. I was living in a state of terror. By then I was pretty sure I had been abused in some way. What I could not figure out was how or by who. I could remember these big, black eyes staring at me, but could not figure out where they had come from.

I did not yet know that a friend of mine had also had a very disturbing experience that night. He was a retired state policeman and he had been coming home in the wee hours with his wife from a Christmas party. We lived in a pretty lonely corner of the world–not entirely isolated, but quite dark and quiet at night, with lots of woods around, stretching for miles.

He’d been about two miles from our houses traveling along a lonely stretch of road when he’d observed what looked like a large gray object in a field. It was a dark night and the object wasn’t very distinct, but it was big enough to make him think that it was a crashed blimp. He stopped his car and got out, whereupon he heard somebody screaming. As he walked toward the thing, lights came on all over it and it began moving toward him. As it was obviously under power and not in need of help, he got back in his car and drove home.

I did not know about this for over a year, unfortunately, after I had written the book Communion and was well into its sequel, Transformation. It took him that long to tell me, and when he did tell me we were both just sort of silenced. What were we to think?

By that time, though, I was already well along what has become the road of my life.

A few days after the event, I believe, on the Wednesday, I drove into New York City to see my doctor. He listened to my story and examined me. There occured during that examination one of the most agonizing experiences I have ever known. He took one glance at the condition of my rectum and blurted out, “you’ve been raped.” I was so terribly, terribly humiliated by this that it has taken me these twenty long years even to put those words down on paper. Only last June did I utter them to another person, when I told Anne what he had said, and told a psychologist I am thinking of working with this spring. And now I have said it.

I have been the victim of endless jokes for having been raped. If you are a woman reading this, think of how you would feel if you had been raped and had been made a laughingstock for it. Your very soul would be eaten by the acid of that. It has made me despise our society to the very depths of my being. I loathe the world I live in, because I was raped and everybody laughed.

But I do not loathe you, because I know that reading this are many people who have been down this same hard road.

So, why in the world are we lucky? What’s lucky about getting raped and being scorned and rejected after having a devastating, soul shattering experience that most people think is a lot of hooey and a big fat joke?

Well, in, I think, early February of 1986, I completed a series of mental and physical tests that convinced me that I was not suffering from any known disease. I had an MRI scan, a battery of psychological tests, a test for temporal lobe epilepsy and a thorough neurological workup.

The results of these tests were three: one, I was suffering from severe stress; two, I had some unknown bright objects in my brain which occur in about 2% of people tested with MRI scans and are benign; three, my brain was not only not seizure prone, it was unusually stable.

I then decided that these remarkable beings I had seen must therefore have been real. I very well remember the moment this thought first crossed my mind. I had just left the psychologist’s office after getting her evaluation. So all the pieces were in place. I wasn’t psychotic and I had no organic brain disease that would explain what I remembered happening to me.

I therefore began to attempt to solve the mystery. But where to turn? I really had no idea. I went out in the woods, revisiting the place I had been carried. A very odd part of the memory was that I had seen somebody familiar in the woods just before I ended up in the little chamber with the insects. This was an old school friend who had joined the CIA. He had told me about a design flaw in the containment of some sort of engine that was being tested on a high performance aircraft.

I have written little about this part of the experience and mentioned it only a few times in interviews because it has always disturbed me deeply, but not for the reason that you might think. I tried to look him up that February, only to discover that he was dead, and had been dead for more than a year when I saw him in my woods in the company of what I then regarded as aliens.

I didn’t know what in hell to make of this. Only after I published Communion and began to get hundreds of thousands of letters from other close encounter witnesses did I realize that it’s routine for the dead to appear with the visitors. The two things go together–not in every encounter, by any means, but in enough of them to make it more or less part of the routine.

By that time March had come along, I had read Jenny Randles’ book about UFOs that had a description in it that made me think I might have encountered aliens. The book led me to Budd Hopkins, who wanted to hypnotize me. I found Budd to be a very nice fellow and also quite brilliant, but I declined to be hypnotized by him because he was not appropriately credentialed. So he introduced me to Dr. Donald Klein, who was an eminent psychiatrist and one of the world?s leading forensic hypnotists.

When Dr. Klein first hypnotized me, there was an explosive reaction. I did not go back to the indicent in December, but rather to the previous October. I still remember that session vividly: the absolute terror that I felt when I had awakened one night in our little country cabin and seen a small hooded figure standing near the bed?a figure that had proceeded to rush at me and strike my forehead with a stick that shot out electric sparks.

In the second hypnosis session, I did address the December 26 experience. It became somewhat more vivid in my mind, but nothing new was added to my memories. However, during the session, I spontaneously reverted to the age of twelve, and recalled another incident of meeting this extraordinary woman who is the real subject of this essay and is, in fact, a great light in my life. She lives and functions across the divide of what we call life and death, and beyond the confines of time.

This recollection seemed to the doctor to be similar to the sort of memories that emerge in people who have experienced repeated abuse that they have been unwilling or unable to articulate to themselves. The mechanism by which difficult memories may be repressed is well explained by Dr. Jennifer Freyd in her book Betrayal Trauma. Dr. Freyd is the daughter of two of the founders of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation, and has accused them of abusing her.

This memory led me to return to my home town of San Antonio, Texas, where I explored my own childhood, which I recounted in my book the Secret School.

Before that, I wrote two additional books about my close encounter experiences, which continued and expanded after I began walking in the woods at night in an effort to re-engage with what it had become obvious to me were some very remarkable beings who had been with me, in a hidden way, throughout my life.

I remained engaged with them for eleven years after the initial encounter. It only ended in October of 1997, when I moved out of the upstate New York cabin and returned to Texas. I did this both because I wanted to explore my past, and because we no longer could afford to live in New York. Our son?s education was demanding of our resources, and the long and terrible depression that had followed the rejection of my claims of encounter had taken their toll. I had become unable to write more about my encounters after the book Breakthrough. I saw that acknowledgement of the existence of the visitors would bring enormous rewards to our society, and also the venial reasons for the secrecy. I saw how eagerly the egocentric media and scientific institutions supported the government in keeping the secret of their presence. And I watched as the visitors patiently waited, knowing, as they do, that our species is in the process of making a deeply spiritual decision about whether to enter the cosmos or go extinct.

I was having too many thoughts of suicide to stay at the cabin any longer. I felt that I had failed in one of the most important missions ever entrusted to a human being, to open the mind of man to the existence of another intelligent species. In so failing, I had seen that humanity would most likely give up on the greatness that is mankind, and choose to turn its back on five billion years of earthly struggle and the patient, hopeful waiting of those who long for us to join the stars.

It was a truly fearsome failure. I also had been given, in the eleven years I had with the visitors, the opportunity to see the fate of souls, and I suffered the most terrific sorrow over what was happening to the people who were getting drawn into the trap of lying about the existence of the visitors in order to support government policy. I began to see government as a machine for the killing of souls. The terror of the situation was simply overwhelming. I will tell you this about the way a soul dies: for the universe, it winks out of existence the instant the supporting body?s electrical system fails. But for that soul, the moment of death remains forever.

What kills souls is quite simple: choice. They choose to die because they despair of themselves. They die of lack of love. Our lives must be rich with compassion both for ourselves and others. This is what enables us to thrive and live in the body of consciousness that is this universe. The body is a brief passage, a place of decision. It is here, in this engine of forgetting, that we can only decide from our essential truth whether we are going to go on or not.

This is as true for the species as it is for each one of us. I have chosen life. I believe that this species is worth saving, that we can ascend into a great journey if we so choose. So when I see us being captured by the people of the death wish?those who concentrate on material wealth, who ignore suffering, who fight, who lie, who ignore the needs of the planet?I feel the touch of despair.

By 1997, I was in utter despair. I felt that I needed the support of old friends and family, so, on a night in October of that year, I sat down for what I knew would be my last meditation with the visitors. I will not get into why they couldn?t follow me to Texas. It?s too complex and too far from the subject of this essay. Suffice to say that the could only come there in a much more limited way than was possible at the cabin. In part, the reason is that they are physically much more vulnerable than you might think, and keep themselves concealed not only through the use of technology, but primarily by stealth. When you strip away their ability to affect the mind, their quickness and a couple of other things, what you will find is a small, delicate person whom a child could crush between his fists. But also in that vulnerable, wobbling head a world that reaches across space and time, that penetrates not only this universe and its secrets, but many others as well, that is ancient beyond belief and, in a way that I can hardly even begin to explain, impeccable.

I?m not saying that they?re pleasant. They?re as tough as nails, as mean as snakes and as dangerous as plutonium.

Now I’m going to return to my life with that woman. Firstly, she has been with me for longer than life itself. I am one of her many projects. In the world of the soul, she’s rich, on a big journey in the direction of ecstasy, and seeking to travel there the only way you can, in a great chorus of free souls. This is what it’s about, it’s why we’re here. It is the core urgency of life, what you feel at the moment of birth, of sexual union, and of death.

On that first night, she took semen from me to try to make a baby out of the two of us. This did not work. She came again to me many times, and gradually we became gentle enough with each other so that it did work. I learned a very secret art, which is the art of touching people who are in a state of higher energy without trapping them in our level. If you can imagine what it might be like to embrace a cloud without destroying its form, that’s what it’s like to engage with the visitors without turning their communication into a version of one’s own thoughts.

I wonder if that makes any sense to somebody who hasn’t done it? I hope so, because anybody can. The difficulty is, how do you explain how it feels to ride a bicycle before anybody has ever ridden one?

Let me tell you about her. She lived both in the country and in the city, just like I did. Yes, she walked the streets. An editor from William Morrow & Co., Bruce Lee, saw her and her husband in a bookstore in Manhattan, a story which I recounted in Transformation. Another friend of mine saw her on 14th Street on the day I drove off westward forever. She asked him, ‘are you going west’? He replied, as he was stuck in traffic and trying to go east, ‘no, I’m going east!’ She said, ‘that’s good,; and stepped off into the crowd. It was her way of expressing her regret at my departure.

What we did together, in trying to create that living bridge, was not a disloyalty to her husband or my wife. Think of it as a scientific experiment in the power of love to transcend. But it could not transcend the limits of the physical, and there is no magical child here now to show us the way–at least, not that I have ever met. Instead, we have the people of the death wish leading mankind down the road to extinction.

So what happens, then, to the souls that do not enter memory? In fact, to most of you reading this. You would not be on this website, or this deep in this message, if you had not made the opposite choice from the rulers of our world. So what happens to you when mankind is no more? You will find a sort of magnetic appeal that will draw you into new companionship. The utterly unique ecstasy that would accompany mankind’s ascension will never be tasted, but its loss will be part of your beauty. I can’t explain farther than that because of the limitations of language, but you will certainly find your way, of that be assured.

Where are we now, twenty years after an effort was begun to bring mankind into real contact with another intelligent species? A vast number of people have been awakened to the reality of the visitors. Millions, I believe. Even more, of course, remain as they always have been, a great, formless ocean of unrealized potential. At the same time, the general culture has totally failed to address the reality of the visitors. To an extent, they have pulled up stakes. They left upstate New York in 1999, two years after I did. They still come around in various places, but it’s only to monitor those who might be of some interest or other. The fifty years between 1947 and 1997 were, as far as they were concerned, the time of decision. And we decided, thanks to those who so effectively kept their reality secret, to continue as we have been in history, and to do so despite the risk that will will not be able to manage the coming failure of the planetary environment properly without their support, and therefore that it might kill us.

As far as the close encounter experience is concerned, science is absolutely nowhere. Fantastically, the intellectuals, who so distrust the government in every other regard, swallow its lies about this without the least complaint. Perhaps it’s because the visitors completely shatter the secular view of the world. Or maybe they threaten the fragile ego of the educated human being, whose soul knows that all his fine knowledge is but an engine of forgetting. You cannot be with them without also being with your own truth. Then you see what you really are, a little fragment in a vastness so great, so various and so shockingly, unimaginably conscious that it completely swallows you. To enter the universe as it really is, you’ve got to leave your self-pride far behind, and that is a hard, hard thing to do.

Other worlds have faced these same problems. Understand, there are not all that many worlds with intelligent species on them that have survived very long. Often, they come to tragic ends, undone by chance or, more often, by aggression even more excessive than our own. In some places, though, there have been very remarkable solutions to the survival problem.

Some intelligent species have been able to see that their intelligence was a precious asset that could actually intensify itself. They have learned to increase the quantity of this valuable commodity by altering themselves, by creating machine intelligence, and by conferring it on other species on their planets. As if we’d hit upon the idea of genetically engineering brains to greater intelligence, and included not only ourselves but the animal world as well. In such places, life becomes very, very rich.

But mostly it doesn’t happen that way. There are people who worry about the fate of consciousness across the universes. (And there is more than one, as we will soon discover.) They worry because so often intelligence–which is the single most important way station on the road to consciousness–fails. It’s incredibly rare, and it fails. Thus the journey toward ecstasy is compromised.

The more consciousness, the more ecstasy, and consciousness cannot come about without intelligence. What is worse, until a species is conscious, intervention is very, very difficult. That’s the problem that the visitors are having here. If they intervene openly, our culture totally refocuses itself toward them and all human innovation stops. We end up locked in a state of profound disempowerment that will take many generations to recover, and that will leave a permanent scar.

The visitors cannot reveal themselves to us. We must reveal ourselves to them.

So, where are we? Certainly, we are avoiding facing the reality of their presence here. Where we are is on the edge of a new world, and it’s not the best of all possible new worlds, believe me. The environment has already begun collapsing in irrevocable ways, and over the next half century many, many lives will be lost. Personally, I do not think that we will go completely extinct, not unless we?re helped along in some way. I think that we are going to defy the odds and live and thrive anyway, no matter that we’re led by people of the death wish, no matter that the visitors have turned their backs on us. I have this faith in mankind precisely because I am among the very rarest of human creatures: I have really and truly been outside of mankind, insofar as I have treated with nonhuman intelligent beings. I have seen what they are, and therefore now see my own kind to a degree as an outsider. And what I see compels me to wonder. You really have no way to know how marvelous you are. Mankind is like a scattering of jewels in the blue of the world. You can’t even see the dead and dying souls. They don?t matter and they are surprisingly few. They just make a lot more noise than the great, sacred majority.

No, I have failed to link us to the visitors. I have failed to break the bondage of official secrecy, or to save the souls of the keepers of the secrets. I have failed to raise the eyes of the average man.

But I have not failed entirely, because I did not fail in my contacts, and I have not failed with you. In time–and time is what this is, in the end, all about–my small successes will emerge as being far more important than my great failures.

I miss my dear and dangerous friends. I miss those days of the very highest adventure, the sheer thrill that would come over me when, a mile or so back in the woods in the dead of night, I would see the quick, darting movement and then the terrible eyes. Then I would sit down on the ground, and open my swooning, terrified mind as best I could, and there would be wonder.

I miss my life with her. The various things we tried, in our effort to tame each to the other. We could not be face to face for more than a few seconds, so she took to riding on my back. It was the only way we could embrace without me getting scared and her suffering grave anguish because of my fear. So we would stay like that, with her little soft body clasped around me from behind–soft, but with bones like iron and a grip of steel. We were sensually repellent to each other, but we made romance in our hearts, anyway, and if in time they do emerge more into the life of man, this is how it will be.

It will be so hard. They’re bad, never doubt it. They sin and fail and are weak and venial. They can be murderously indifferent when they?re concentrating on an important objective. They do not find us nearly as important as we find ourselves, and they can therefore be cruel in the pursuit of their goals. But when you connect with them, the rewards are very, very great. Stupendous, actually. Beyond measure.

One fifteen. It’s quiet here. December 26. A Monday, this year. I am not so far from death, the unknown country. But I’ve traveled it a good deal, actually, so it’s not so strange to me now. I understand how the mystery of the soul works. They showed me by example; the Master of the Key explained it intellectually. Not the slightest breeze flows, not a night bird cries. The kitchen clock hums, my eyes grow heavy, another day comes rolling on. Very faintly, from where I sit in this moment, I can hear the sea’s sighing night voice. The most ancient sound of the world, the ocean.

Now I will lie myself down. In a few hours, my heart will start pounding, my flesh again recoiling from the touch of the unknown. But not in this moment. In this moment, peace abides. I see rising as if in the soul’s hidden earth, a new sun. This is us, this sun, mankind rising from our broken world, on the strong two wings of the good human heart and the good human mind.

NOTE: This Journal entry, previously published on our old site, will have any links removed.

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