"There's different flavours of these guys," private investigator Derrel Sims began, offering a brief taxonomy of alien species. "There's the little guy. There's a bigger guy, looks just like him, called 'The Doctor' sometimes. There's a Nordic guy, a reptile guy, a praying mantis guy, and a Bigfoot."
The woman beside me grew agitated at Sims's exclusion of orbs from the list. Everybody at this year's UFO Congress, in McDowell, Arizona, had their own ideas about who our cosmic neighbours are and what they want. For several days in February, I wandered around the convention talking with self-proclaimed UFO eyewitnesses and abductees for my World Dream Atlas project. I wanted to learn more about our celestial brethren from those who were (allegedly) the most intimately acquainted with them.
Derrel Sims: My first experience was in 1952 when I was four years old. I sensed something was in my room. I sat up in my bed. There was this skinny creature with this bizarre bulbous head. He was pure white. Big black eyes. He didn't shapeshift; instead, he tried to change the image in my head of what he looked like into a clown.
That's why many abductees have clown phobias, and they don't know why. I had fear like I never had before in my life. They like to extract the emotions and passions of people. It's the reason they sexually assault women, for example, and torture animals. Our emotions are like a drug to them.
Connie Gehl: I don't call them aliens. I call them light beings. My mom thought they were from the Devil. I said, "Oh no! These beings are pure and good, and they have wings." They came and sat on my bed when I was a kid. They were my guides—my angels and protectors. Even though I had a very difficult life with a lot of abuse, it didn't affect me. They taught me how to fly in dreams, and they took me out into the galaxy. They taught me about kindness and how to look into someone's heart. And they taught me how to smile.
Mike Knox: The things I saw in the Air Force were absolutely real. I worked on the radar, and I used to talk to airplanes sometimes when they chased UFOs. I was involved in situations where we had civilian airlines flying over Lake Superior and UFOs were circling them. I was working one time when we were chasing a UFO that was over one of our sites. They busted off two F-106s that do Mach 2. As the planes approached the UFO, that sucker started climbing. The pilot kicked in their afterburners, but it was gone. I wrote up about 30 sightings for intel over a two-year period.
Bridgette Marten: I was ten years old, in the mountains with my dad, my sister, and my little dog. We saw a UFO come over the top of a mountain and just hover there for 15 minutes. It was a rotating sphere with blue lights at the bottom. It was really, really big. No noise. I don't know who was driving it. I'm OK with the Greys, but I'm not OK with the Reptilians. Have you heard about them? The Reptilians are not nice. They have these massive underground cities from California to New York. They're the ones that are doing all these experiments on people, and yet our government is working with them. I still can't understand why our government would let them do that to us.
Paul Cook: I don't remember being abducted, but I've got all kinds of indications. One time an implant fell out of my nose at work. I held it up and thought, What's a little BB doing in my nose? I had this compulsion—I went straight to the bathroom and flushed it down the toilet.
James Gilliland: I just remember being taken on the ships and having conversations and medical work. I remember coming back and my body just vibrating. I wasn't quite in my body yet... One of the initiations I went through with an Orion Council of Light being was the return of my memories to me. So I have most of my memories of my past lives. In one of my Pleiadian lifetimes, I was a warrior. I had a ship and would go and liberate planets from the Greys and Reptilians. Some of the past lives on Earth were funny. In one, I was a Mexican road bandit and I had a woman in every cantina. I got hanged at 24, though, so even now I can't wear ties. It freaks me out.
Grandmother Wisdom: The creature that I'm working with now came to me first in a lucid dream. He looked like a lion with big ringlets instead of regular fur. The face was kind of a black, shiny leather, like a gorilla but more human. This creature came into my cat when it was being neutered and it was unconscious. There was a soul exchange. The personality of my mild little cat was totally different afterwards. It was more like a lion. The creature is here to help me with creating awareness—letting people know that there is so much more than what our senses are picking up. We are not alone and we are absolutely interconnected with everything including the creator. We need to be more loving and kind.
Susan Stockton: My abduction was in 1989, in Miami. I lived on the 24th floor of a high-rise. I remember being in a wind tunnel or funnel, and I just swirled straight up. I went through this opening, and all of a sudden I was in this room. I was medically probed by two beings. Do you know Gumby? They were that color green. They had no hair, or genitalia, but I knew immediately that one was a woman and one was a man. The woman communicated with me telepathically the whole time.
She said, "Don't worry."
The next day, I felt like a Mack truck had hit me, but the woman was all around me telepathically, healing me, I think. She communicated with me the rest of the time I was in Miami. It was very interesting at first, because I would ask philosophical questions, but she didn't really want to talk about that. Mostly, she was trying to direct everything I ate. I would go to the store and she would tell me to buy things. She told me to eat chicken livers.
Charlie Foltz: I found myself lying flat on my back, struggling to lift my head up. I noticed my toes, and I thought, Where are my socks? Where are my shoes? Where are my clothes? Where the hell am I? Everything was incredibly bright, fuzzy-edged, and I couldn't see far. But I could see my three friends, nude, side-by-side looking straight out like they were waiting for a bus or something. And I'm screaming, screaming, screaming, but I can't make a sound. At that moment, this head leans down. The face was what many people refer to as a Grey. Large eyes. No facial features. In my mind, I was told to cooperate.
"Comply and no harm will come to you."
And I accepted that, just as if I had been told that by my best friend in the world.
Jo Ann Richards: Even though my husband has been formerly stripped of his rank, I still consider myself an officer's wife. He was falsely charged with masterminding a murder in 1982, so he's been in prison for over 30 years. We know that the shadow government just wants him out of their hair. My husband grew up knowing pretty much everything, lots of big secrets. He used to play with the Kennedys' children and he's been around aliens ever since he was a kid. He was trained in the US military and the Raptor military.
Jan Harzan: It was 1965. My brother and I actually saw a craft 30 feet from us hovering in our backyard. It was bright orange and like a tank. The landing gear were like corrugated dryer hose—cobalt blue with black suction cups on the bottom. As I looked closer I could see that there were no rivets on it. It was perfectly smooth, with no windows and no doors. I thought, How do they get in and out of this thing? I ran into my house to get a camera, but by the time I came back it was gone.
Celeste Korsholm : Ashtar is a Galactic peacekeeper. He runs the Ashtar Command. His job for our sector of the galaxy is to try and keep peace and order. The command is not going to land on earth and save us, but they want us to know that we're not alone. Up in the higher dimensions, they're not really male or female, but it helps us relate to them when they have bodies, so that's how they look when they communicate with me. I just love him so much! Him, and St. Germaine, and Lady Master Portia—I'm in love with all of them. They teach that if you go high enough, ultimately we're all one. What you do to somebody else, you do to yourself. We all feel so separate down here, and they're always telling me, "Lift your focus." I was looking for love my whole life and I never found it until I met them."
Follow Roc's project collecting dreams from around the globe at World Dream Atlas.