Chapter 5: The Christian Assessment of UFOs Part Two – the Positive Take






A slim minority of Christians view the UFO phenomenon as both real and positive without ruling out the possibility that some UFO experiences might fall into the negative category.   We – and I include myself among them, having had my own UFO experience with very positive long-range consequences – perceive UFO contacts in terms of angelic visitations.  We acknowledge the existence of both obedient and fallen angels, which accounts for the variety of contact experiences, particularly the extremes of good and bad.


The reality of my personal UFO experience was verified more by the aftermath of the experience than the actual event itself.  That’s not unusual, as many accounts of interactions with UFOs describe persistent effects of one-time encounters.  Most of these effects involve fear of some sort, even terror, and that’s what makes my encounter different – a complete absence of fear.  If anything, I felt more of a kinship with whoever occupied the craft that I saw.  That positivity places me in a rare category of contemporary individuals, but I’m not completely alone.  I recall reading of another person’s positive experience, the account of which is given in Report #6 in Chapter 8 below.


I qualify the rarity of my category with the word “contemporary”, because there is one source of past experiences on the positive side of the ledger which has a rather large constituency.  That source is the Bible.  I will discuss more of that topic later.  Interestingly, the other person of whom I am aware who had a positive experience, also reported Christian implications.  My own UFO experience was intensely Christian as well, and it was a deep one which imparted knowledge that, as far as I know, was unique to me.  It also changed my life.


Regarding the actual event, I was uncertain for many years as to whether I was merely a witness to a sighting event, or if my involvement was deeper than that.  I’ll describe it to the best of my knowledge and memory, and let the reader decide what to make of it.  The event occurred forty two years ago at the time I’m writing this, at ten p.m. on a night in the fall of 1973 on Interstate 5 southbound near Wilsonville, Oregon, about ten miles south of Portland.  I had not experienced such an event before, nor afterward.  The trip was for business purposes, and I had a companion with me, a draftsman who was serving as an electrical technician who I had taken along to help with a problem we were experiencing with an installation in Eugene, Oregon.  Having set out after the working day, we had stopped off for dinner at a restaurant next to the freeway, after which we were returning to I-5 southbound via an overpass.  We had just entered the overpass when my passenger thrust his arm across my face, pointing to the south.  “Look!” the shouted in a rare display of emotion.  “A UFO!”  At the same time I caught a glimpse of a semi in front, the truck skewed across the roadway ahead.  The driver obviously was staring at the same sight.  Turning my head southward, I saw what seemed to me to be an enormous disc-shaped object hovering near the next overpass about a mile south of ours.  Being a certified flight instructor with enough hours of night flying to know what airplanes look like at night, both on the ground and in the air, I was startled at the size of this object.  The appearance of this craft was very much larger than a Boeing 747.  Returning my attention back to the roadway ahead, I threaded my car around the semi and hit the on-ramp with the gas pedal to the floor.  That didn’t amount to a very great burst of speed, as the car was an old Volkswagen bug.  I had timed its acceleration once – the 0-60 time neared 30 seconds.  I imagine the occupants of the craft got a good laugh out of that    Nevertheless, the craft stayed motionless as we headed toward it, and I had another impression, one of three rectangular windows, the long sides vertical, and of being watched – intensely observed.


About halfway to the other overpass, the craft lifted, wobbled, and crossed over I-5 heading east very slowly, seeming to descend among the tall evergreen trees in the area.  We exited the highway and headed eastward after it, but by that time the craft was gone from our vision.  We eventually gave up the chase and returned to the freeway toward our destination of Eugene, somewhat relieved to be getting back on track.  We had been tired and looking forward to checking into a motel in Eugene and getting some sleep.  Yet I remember having felt a sharp sense of loss as well, of something that I had and was giving up.


Over time a vague uncertainty crept in as to whether that was the extent of the incident.  We had checked the time when we broke off the chase.  We apparently had been looking for the craft for about 45 minutes.  At the time I thought nothing of it, but since then I’ve had a recurring thought that three quarters of an hour is a really long time to be looking for something, particularly when we were so close to our starting point near the freeway when we ended the chase.  Nevertheless, I shoved that thought aside too, having more important things to think about.


We spent the weekend in Eugene on the job, and, returning Sunday, flipped a coin, the loser having to report the incident to the highway patrol.  Having lost the toss, I made the call and was treated to the rudest response I have ever experienced this side of boot camp.  I shrugged my shoulders and headed back northward, determined that if that kind of experience came my way again, I’d keep it to myself.


I certainly made no connection whatsoever between this sighting event and God. I was brought up to consider Christians to be naïve persons who needed God for a crutch.  My family was intellectually-oriented and had no need for myths.  With all the scoffing and snide remarks our parents had made over the years regarding the personal weakness of Christians and the irrelevance of Christianity to normal life we got the message loud and clear: well-adjusted people don’t indulge in religious nonsense. Once, several years ago on a business trip, I found myself in a motel room with nothing to read.  I love to read.  The only thing available was a Gideon Bible in the drawer.  I opened it to Matthew 25 and read maybe a verse or two.  I couldn’t make heads or tails of it, so I shoved it back in the drawer and turned on the TV, convinced in my mind that the Bible indeed represented nonsense. The rest of my family still believes that way except for my wife, who is on the same page as me with respect to our beliefs, and probably my brother.  But at the time I knew nothing about God, nor did I want to.  I was perfectly content to leave God entirely out of my life.


The UFO experience didn’t open anything up to me – not then. In fact, I forgot about it shortly afterwards.  When something very strange like that happens, one tends to wonder whether it was real or a hallucination, and shove it into the back of his mind.  At least that’s what I did.  At the time I was having a lot on my plate, too.  I didn’t think again about the UFO until maybe five years later.  By that time, I’d changed jobs and even forgot the name of my traveling companion.  I still can’t remember his name, and it frustrates me, because I’d really like to compare notes with him.


But maybe six months after the UFO sighting and with no external stimulus whatsoever, I suddenly acquired a yearning to read the Bible. The next day I bought one.  That night I began to read, and was astonished with how much I was able to understand.  I even wept upon encountering certain passages.  Within a year I had read the Bible cover-to-cover, and had understood and retained much of what I had read.  As time passed I became more eager to associate with Christians and to learn more about our Lord.


During that time, I made no connection between that experience and the UFO. It was only several years later when talking to another person about how I became a Christian that I made the connection – and it hit me like a collapsing building.  After that I began to revisit and explore the notion that my experience embraced more than just a sighting.


I continue to experience vague memories of a conversation, during which highlights of my future were given in a compassionate, even loving, framework.  The things that would happen would enable me to grow into a person who would be attractive to God.  These foretold significant times included a very dark period during which I would experience a profound grief, but my life was to end well – in fact, very well.  I seem to remember that at that time I was wishing that the grief period would be over and I’d be experiencing a much more benign aftermath.


The period of grief did indeed occur, and now I’ve passed beyond that stage into a much happier time, for which I’m very grateful.  But other things have also happened that reinforce the possibility that I actually had contact with the occupants of the craft.  The most important of these is the informational aspect.  I possessed information of which I had no previous interest or understanding; moreover this information appears to be unique to me.  A portion of this information required little effort on my part, other than to read Scripture.  Upon the reading, I seem to have been given the ability to read passages and quickly integrate them into related passages and to the general body of Scripture.  For other information I was given a strong desire to receive it, but the acquisition itself required much work and persistence on my part.


The most important information of this kind involved a desire to work out the arithmetic details of Jesus’ feeding of the multitudes. The answer was a long time in coming, about ten years, but resulted in a precise knowledge of the numbers associated with the feedings, such as the number of fragments per basket of leftovers, and the exact patterns by which the multitudes were fed.  The final result was an enormous surprise – the patterns of the feedings combined to form a cross, as I describe in Part 5 of my book Family of God, Appendix 2 of my book Marching to a Worthy Drummer, and in my novel Cathy.  As far as I know, this information is unique.  Other information was given to me that, although not unique, is quite rare.  I share that information in the books noted above, as well as in my other novels Buddy, Jacob and Home, Sweet Heaven.


The knowledge that I was given wasn’t limited to the head. It also involved the heart, and more than a little humor.  A compassion for the handicapped was instilled in me, leading me to volunteer at a local nursing home.  The activity began as a Bible study, which, in turn, led to a companionship with a young man who was severely afflicted with cerebral palsy.  That, in turn, led to adventures that I wouldn’t have dreamed of in my pre-Christian life.  I recall those adventures, both scary and humorous, in my novel Buddy, and in my nonfiction work Marching to a Worthy Drummer as well.  My life after the grief period has been rich and joyful indeed and I wouldn’t change it for the world, which makes the precursor UFO event, on balance, a very positive experience.  Not only that, but the knowledge and adventures that my Christianity has endowed me with gives me a firm faith, which translates into a positive outlook on my ultimate future despite my forced participation in an ever more darkening and chaotic world.


Given the nature of the experience that I had and its correlation with Bible accounts as reviewed in Chapter 7 below, I lean heavily toward an explanation of the beings associated with UFOs as angelic, both obedient and fallen. I happen to be one of the fortunate ones who encountered a good angelic presence.  I appreciate that this attribution doesn’t square with the physicality of the Roswell incident, with its remains of both craft and occupants.  I don’t have an answer for that, except to acknowledge that perhaps our physical universe is large enough to accommodate more than one sentient species, and that the spiritual domain inhabited by God and His angels presides over all such species, human and other-worldly.  I see nothing in the Bible that would preclude such an arrangement.


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