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Separate Voices, Separate Lives: The Alien Abduction Chronicles


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About 10-12 years ago an Omaha World-Herald newspaper column mentioned that a certain physics professor at my alama mater, the University of Nebraska at Omaha, was actively involved in a community of individuals who believe that extraterrestrial contact is a reality. Dr. Jack Kasher led me to a family living not far from me who believe they have been the victims of repeated alien abductions. The family in turn led me to a group of fellow believers.

The subject matter fascinated me and I began to read up on this alleged phenomenon. As I met the people and heard their stories and read a couple books, including Whitley Strieber‘s Communion, my curiosity was peaked and my skepticism was challenged.  I was also seriously freaked out by it all.

I ended up writing the following story, which appeared in The Reader (www.thereader.com), and much to my amazement it didn’t seem to make much a of splash. Perhaps the alien abduction theme was already played out by then. I’m interested to see if the story generates any buzz this time around.

Separate Voices, Separate Lives: The Alien Abduction Chronicles

©by Leo Adam Biga

Originally appeared in The Reader (www.thereader.com)

Late on a Tuesday night in September I find myself being taken for a ride by a married, middle-age couple who are among a group of Omahans and Lincolnites purporting to be alien abductees. Jim drives, I sit beside him and the chain-smoking Sue crouches on the floor in back. Having left the couple’s north Omaha home, we head south on Highway 75 – bound for Bellevue and the site of a certain incident. I try remaining dispassionate, but my professional veneer is cracking under the strain of their weird tales.

Swirling in my head is Jim’s cautionary note about poking into things others want concealed: The Men in Black factor. “What you will find, whether you want to or not, is that when you start looking into this stuff, things start happening,” he says. “You start talking to people and asking questions and the next thing you know you start getting strange phone calls in the middle of the night and somebody saying, ‘You don’t want to know about this.’ This is not something to be treated lightly.” Sensing my apprehension, he asks, “What are you prepared to hear?” I answer truthfully, “I’m not sure.” He proceeds to test me.





“The fact is, as far back as I can remember I’ve always known things I had no basis for knowing,” says Jim, a former Air Force intelligence staff sergeant, who worked until recently for a high-tech Bellevue firm that is a major U.S. defense contractor. Today, he’s an independent computer consultant. “My work is a case in point. It has always been with advanced, leading-edge technology, yet my degree is in history,” he says. Referring to his peculiar gifts, he continues: “I developed a conceptual model of this advanced computer intelligence system, and I don’t have a f_ _ _ ing clue how. I just knew what it was supposed to be like. I’ve had the distinct feeling all my life that someone is plotting out what I’m going to do next and that somehow knowledge is communicated. That information is just there and it becomes like second nature. Not that I don’t read a lot or don’t immerse myself in a lot of things. Some of it’s inspiration, but I’ve always known inside that some of it’s not. I’ve always felt fiddled with.”

Sue has too. Despite no formal training, she claims an unusually deep grasp of all things medical. Further, the couple say their three children unaccountably display detailed knowledge of historical periods and recall living past lives. “I have this haunting sensation that what we’re doing and contributing is part of some other purpose,” Jim says. “You can easily dismiss it as creativity, but when you’re in the middle of it, there are pieces of it that don’t add up that way. It scares us.”

And alone with them in the van, their tales of alien intervention weighing on my mind, the clear cool night turns ominous. I dread what the horizon obscures. I scan the sky for strange lights. I sense danger in shadows. Claustrophobia and paranoia grip me. I feel utterly trapped and vulnerable.

Then I make the mistake of asking if there are tell-tale signs of an impending abduction. “Oh, yeah,” Jim says. “It’s a restlessness, a feeling of foreboding, of uneasiness. A real funny kind of agitation. It’s equivalent to that state animals go into before an earthquake. There must be some low level rumble going on. We don’t know if we pick it up psychically or at some low communication level.” Noting I have all the symptoms, I cringe to see my companions looking tense too.

Jim continues, “Sometimes, if there’s going to be a visitation, you will get absolutely, uncontrollably knockout-tired – totally inappropriately.” Then I remember Sue telling me Jim suffers from sleep apnea. I glance to see if he’s still alert. He is, thank God. Indeed, he and Sue are hyper-alert, having become night owls as a way of warding off sleep and the phantoms it brings.

“Now sometimes there’s no warning at all,” he adds. “Like with missing time, you only know afterwards that something doesn’t feel right.  Other times, things go quiet or don’t look right.”  Then, as if on cue, having earlier turned onto a Bellevue side street, we reach a dark, isolated dead-end and Jim says cryptically, “That’s weird…Where’s the road?” I wonder, ‘Does he mean run-of-the-mill weird, or alien weird?’ Conditions are ripe for  an “X-Files” case. As if we’ve been drawn to this spot. To my relief though, we right ourselves and uneventfully retrace the route of what the couple calls “the swimming pool incident.”

It was a February night in 1989. The entire family was already  besieged by paranormal phenomena at their former home in Bellevue’s Leawood Oaks. There were disturbing dreams: The youngest child, Dan, complained of “starlights“ and “robot doctors” coming for him at night. Eerie presences: Sue’s dead father is said to have appeared in the front room. It all hearkened back to weird occurrences in Jim’s and Sue’s own childhood, but no firm connection was made with that. Certainly not with aliens.

One night the couple drove to the nearby South Cinema 7 to catch the late show. He insisted on taking a “short-cut” home even though the route led in the wrong direction. “I knew I had to go this way – like a person possessed. In our delusion, or whatever you want to call it, we pulled into this parking lot,” Jim says, parking just as they did that earlier night. It’s a nondescript lot bordered by a chain-link fence and trees. “We found ourselves stopped at a swimming pool at midnight. We sat there a long while looking at it, with snow falling outside. What we didn’t find out until months later was that not only wasn’t there any pool there, there never had been or anything resembling one. It was a craft.”

Even years later, the site upsets them. “I’m still saying, Where’s the pool? How did someone create a pool there?’ I don’t like to be in that lot,” Jim confides. “I was going to have you turn the van back around, Jim – I really was,” says Sue. To everyone’s relief, we start home. With the long unnerving night nearly over, I’m just calming down when Jim sends the panic edging back up my throat, asking, “How scared do you really want to be?” I think:  ‘Oh no, here we go again. How’d I ever get in this mess?’”

It began last spring when I read about a local physics professor,  John “Jack” Kasher, who investigates UFO sightings and alien abduction reports. He put me in touch with Doreen, a member of an Omaha abductee support group. She arranged an interview with several group members, including Jim and Sue. My first meeting with THEM took place on a mild July night at the couple’s plain north Omaha home.


Jack Kasher



The home’s been the site of many unsettling events. Perhaps the most compelling occurred one night in 1992. First, the family’s dogs reacted to an unseen presence in a closet. Later, the whole family was disrupted by bizarre, vivid “dreams.” In the morning Sue said she recalled her and Dan having been aboard an alien craft, where she was examined. Dan said he recalled aliens grabbing him in the night. Bruises were found on his shoulder. Odd circular marks were detected in the front yard. Some nights later, Jim said, a stealth-like helicopter hovered over the house, training a searchlight on the property – as if someone knew where to look.

Despite the home’s reputation, I found nothing unusual there on that July visit or later visits. No bad vibes. No spectral auras. No bumps-in-the- night. What I did find that first meeting was eight adults and two children who’ve been traumatized and transformed by their mysterious encounters and who speak about them the way charismatics speak about their revelations. Most insisted on anonymity. An exception was John Foster, 60, a retired engineer living in Lincoln who claims his alien encounters span nearly half-a-century.

The group filling the living room variously sat on chairs, a sofa and the carpeted floor. Lit candles lined the front window sills. A light breeze (or a blithe spirit?) puffed the drapes. They were a huddled few gathered for one reason: To testify. And, like true believers at a revival meeting, each testified to their extraordinary experiences. Experiences unique to each, yet shared by all. That are part ephinany, part nightmare. Part inspiration, part trial.

A cottage industry has sprung up around alien abduction phenomena and as research I read books by two of its gurus – Budd Hopkins and John Mack. Although troubling stuff, it’s easy to distance oneself from written/filmed accounts and to dismiss them as fabrication, hysteria, psychosis. However, it’s quite different when people tell you their accounts first-hand. Then – peering into their sad, plaintive eyes, hearing their anxious, stricken voices and feeling their sincere, sober emotions – you cannot patently reject the tales as hokum or hallucination.

Yes, the experiencers described inexplicable things, but these people struck me as intelligent, rational, earnest and completely genuine. They told, without dramatics, of traversing a shadowland whose boundaries stretch beyond our known universe. A shadowland of this Earth and not. An ethereal realm intersecting both hard visible reality and soft invisible dimensions where metaphysical wonders occur and supernatural entities roam. They told of their communion with the Other Side. Of being plugged into a mysterious life force known by mystics, shamans, psychics and prophets. Of relating their encounters to revelations recorded throughout history.  Of participating in an ancient ongoing experience with profound implications for the planet. Of feeling their role is preordained.

“Whether it’s alien or angelic, I think in the end they’re all different faces of the same kind of phenomena,” Jim said. “We’ve called it by lots of different names and I think it comes in a lot of different forms. Mankind has always recognized there is something beyond us that interacts with us, and it may be interacting with us in whatever form we’re comfortable with. Or maybe it plays to our own innate psychic abilities or sensitivities. For whatever reason, some people are more attuned to it than others. Another strong aspect of the experience is that it seems to be very personalized, tailored and aimed at you, where you’re at and where you come from.”

They believe they share a group consciousness. “When one of us has experiences, we all seem to have experiences,” said Alan, a Bellevue avionics systems expert. “There is a synchronism. It’s like a mass mind through the group.” On one occasion Jim said he rudely awoke to find himself slamming onto the bedroom floor of his Omaha home, only to find an experiencer named Julie, a Lincoln housewife and mother, had the same thing occur that very morning. Other times, experiencers have recounted identical dreams. Jim speculates “something is stimulating that area of the brain responsible for psychic sensitivity, which may explain “how experiences often happen at the same time.” And then, as if to illustrate the subject’s tenuous nature, he said, “But if that’s true, you get back to: Who’s doing that? Why are they doing that? And is it targeted or random?”


© Copyright Peter Crawford 2012



Like the other contactees that night, John Foster said he had had UFO sightings for some time, but never suspected an alien connection. He was troubled, however, by the unaccountable anger he felt in the early 1980s. Then, suddenly, came “a flood of recollections” in 1986 and 1987 that, he believes, revealed a lifetime of alien encounters extending back to early childhood. “I began to get angry at home and at work for no apparent reason,” Foster said. “It was all that unknown information I had in my subconscious that wasn’t able to come out.”

The recollections came to him in his waking and sleeping hours and what they revealed “completely devastated” him. He adds: “There’s an anxiety that just completely consumes you sometimes. Once I did accept that I did have encounters with beings…it was a real turning point for me. I realized the dreams and experiences I had been having, which were increasing in number, were not necessarily dreams – but memories. It was like a whole other part of my life had been kept from me.”

There is great similarity in contactees’ descriptions of how  abductions unfold. It often starts with a disturbance in the air, as if the surrounding energy field becomes charged. The contactees enter a  hypnotic-like state, while non-contactees present are paralyzed. Then, a brilliant light appears, followed by the beings and their craft. The beings – most often the frail-bodied, bid-headed, bug-eyed Little Grays – communicate telepathically. They escort the contactee to the light and  levitate together to the craft above, where medical-like procedures are performed on the subject and prophetic-like information shared. Then the contactee is returned to the abduction site.

A disjointed feeling follows and there’s no accounting for lost time. Immediate memories of an event are rare. Afterwards, contactees may find strange marks on their bodies. For example, Julie said after some experiences she found “burn or brand marks” on her left forearm that she later interpreted as historical and alchemic symbols.

According to Foster, his first remembered abduction occurred at age 13 amid dozens of people on the playground of Lincoln’s now defunct Bethany Grade School. He said a craft landed nearby and “a voice” from within addressed the crowd. He recalls being levitated aboard with others and undergoing “excruciating conditioning” sessions that exerted “strong forces on our bodies and minds.” He views this as his “initiation experience.”

There are as many variations to the classic pattern as there are contactees. Foster said the majority of his experiences have been more on the order of sightings rather than abductions, including one vision or visitation during a University of Nebraska football game in Memorial Stadium. On that occasion, like others, he said, “The craft manifests out of a distorted atmosphere – a blue haze or a dense gray fog  – and into our visual spectrum, and it controls the minds of the individuals involved.” He and other contactees discount any suggestion such sightings are figments of the imagination. “It’s not in any way a mental or psychological condition. I know that this is an external intelligence that is other dimensional and usually not seen and that is communicating with me. It’s what you might call a holographic image, rather than a physical object.”

Foster said he’s never encountered the Grays, but instead a variety of “lizard-like beings” and “humanoid” figures. He said he’s experienced time travel episodes in which he and fellow experiencers glimpsed the future and were told of their role in an ongoing alien project impacting the Earth. “I believe it was planned for me to be involved. They said they were here to change humankind, and the way they did it was to enlist people like myself.”

Many experiencers feel they are harbingers of a dawning new age and pioneers in a cosmic mission having to do with preparing for a new world order. Foster said, “I believe that we’re all brought together for the purpose of this project, so it’s real meaningful that we do interact with each other in order to carry out certain plans set out by the so-called E.T.’s, which I believe are the ancient gods that have been with us since pre-history.”

Jim feels contactees are used as vessels to “convey a message about ourselves – that something transcendental is upon us.” Sue sees a clear generational thread, adding: “I know it has something to do with what our children are going to do with their lives. That sense has been given to me.”

“We’re kind of a chosen few,” said Alan. “We’re kind of the precursors to what all of mankind is going to be walking into in our evolutionary development, when we’ll be able to interface with other dimensions at will.”

Despite the elaborate framework contactees apply to their experiences, most have more questions than answers. Julie said, “I think at the very least, having these experiences is kind of an awakening. And I think everyone would agree that one positive aspect…is the fact that it’s caused us all to look at ourselves and to know ourselves. Even if the experiences are of a horrifying nature to some people, it still causes them to take a closer look at themselves in their search to find out, ‘Why me?’ I think the truth is different for all of us. It’s a matter of our interpretation and our personal belief systems.” And Jim said, “I don’t really pretend to know what the interaction is about, other than that it seems to be directed, targeted and long-term. It’s not something haphazard.”

While most experiencers keep a low profile for fear of ridicule, they exhibit a certain zeal for telling their stories and reaching out to others like them. As Jim explains, “In a way it’s like early Christianity. You’re afraid of the lions, but you feel this compulsion to bear witness, because you know there are people out there (like us) who are afraid and alone, walking around with this terrifying secret.”

It was months before Jim and Sue could tell others about the pool that wasn’t. The first oddity they noticed that night eight years ago, she said, is the fact they “got home much later ” than they “should have.” Missing time.

“It gnawed at us so deeply. I’d check the time when I left home and check the time when I got back. I still do that too, because once you’ve had missing time, and we’ve had several episodes, you begin to be a clock watcher. Then we went to where we thought the pool was, but there was no pool there. We kept searching and searching because we thought, ‘Well, maybe we were somehow disoriented.’ It became such an obsession.”




As anomalous events mounted, the incident proved the catalyst that sent them in search for answers. Said Jim, “It was so disturbing an event in a whole series of disturbing events – encounters, sightings, all sorts of things – that we finally tried to figure out what was going on. We were in a place where life didn’t make sense at all. It was totally intruding on our lives. People were even getting afraid to be around us. We’d be in the car with a friend and here’d be strange lights dancing around in the sky. Or someone would be staying over the house and pots and pans would clatter across the room. One bizarre event after another.”

Sue, whose family is Catholic, called their parish priest for counsel. “I talked to him about the very bizarre things that were happening and he said, ‘You’re not praying enough.’ Well, that really wasn’t an answer for me,” she said. “I do pray. I do believe in God. But this is something beyond that. Still, I believe whoever visits our skies is also part of God’s plan.” They say they did consult mental health professionals, but took little solace in being told they were of sound mind – as they were left to sort out their experiences for themselves. Their frustration with the mental health community’s resistant attitudes echoes that of other experiencers.

Jim and Sue also wondered if some strange childhood visions might be related. Sue recalled a “dream” she had at age 8 while living in Thornton, Colo. In it, she was enveloped by a blue light while walking to school.  “People” appeared who whisked her away to a “vehicle” that brought her to a magical “playground.” She recalled a conscious episode at age 14, while living near Yutan, Neb., in which an “egg-shaped” silver craft appeared to her and her younger brother outside their house. She felt she and the craft’s occupants read each other’s minds. Her parents dismissed it as a dream.

Jim recalled a dream at age 12 in which “skeleton” creatures took him from a schoolyard adjacent to his Napa Valley, Calif. home and flew him high overhead, from where he viewed his house below.

Did these memories fit in with all the rest? “We didn’t have any way to tie all that together,” he said. “All we thought was, ‘We’re in this spot from hell.’  “It had progressed to the point where I would have been more than happy to be told, literally, ‘You’re crazy.’ At least it was an answer. We didn’t know anybody in Omaha who was tracking any of this. It was like, ‘We can’t be the only ones having weird things happening,’ so we found ourselves following reports of strange things.” Eventually, they contacted Scott Colborn, a Lincoln abductee support group leader and paranormal investigator. “He basically reassured us that we were not alone in experiencing strange events,” Jim said, “and that there were possible explanations for these and that there are people we could talk to about this.”

Colborn referred them to Fowler Jones, a clinically-trained Kansas City, Kansas psychologist. In separate 1993 hypnosis sessions with Dr. Jones, the couple relived memories of alien abductions. Sue said she accessed repressed memories extending back to infancy, including repeated contact with an alien “doctor” figure present during apparent medical procedures.

She feels one of these procedures may have caused a rare blood disorder she suffered from – Factor VIII Clotting Deficiency – to miraculously vanish. She also suspects an alien cure factored in the unexplained disappearance of an ovarian cyst: On the eve of surgery, she recalls a female doctor, whom she never saw before or after, examining her in her room at Bellevue’s Ehrling Bergquist Hospital. The next morning, she said, her regular physician informed her the cyst was gone.

Many female experiencers recall abductions involving medical procedures, particularly those dealing with childbirth. Such women, including Sue, report “missing pregnancies” and believe they’re used as part of an alien cross-breeding program. Sue’s youngest daughter, Ellen, has had dreams of being escorted to places filled with part-human, part- alien infants, whom she was encouraged to hold and fondle.

Jim said under hypnosis the skeleton creatures of his boyhood dream turned out to be the Grays, who floated him away, performed an exam and inserted an implant up his nose. “It was a terrifying experience to relive.

In the end I was left with this notion that they take you when you’re young because you’re more receptive then. They do something to your brain so that they can better communicate with you…telepathically and symbolically.”

The regression offered more clarification than relief. He said, “I’d known since I was very, very young that I was carrying a terrifying secret.  Like I was living a separate existence. The hypnosis didn’t so much relieve that feeling as it did justify it by adding missing pieces.” Armed with this startling new information and still bothered by what might lie behind the pool incident, the couple was next regressed in Lincoln by Richard Boylan, a visiting California psychologist. Under hypnosis the incident took on the features of an alien abduction. Sue said she recalled entering an altered state, then spinning wildly in the car and next finding herself lying unclothed on a table inside an alien craft, surrounded by Grays. Then the “doctor” appeared and a procedure caused tingling in her legs and sharp pain in her hip. The next thing she knew, she was back in the car  – Jim restrained by the aliens. He recalled being “switched off” or immobilized, helplessly watching the aliens take Sue into a light and later return her to the car. Driving home, they remembered only the pool.

As a pattern of alien abduction emerged, the couple began coming to terms with the Pandora’s Box they’d opened and the expanded reality it suggested. “I was desperate for any answer,” Jim said, “and after time, as the stuff started coming out, it was rational that alien beings were doing something to us. As we became more comfortable with that, we started talking to other people who were dealing with the same discontinuities.”

The support group has helped them cope. “It has been like an absolute God-send for us,” said Sue. “We’ve all had our own experiences, and some might sound a little weirder than others, but we accept them because each of us is getting the information in the way that we can best assimilate it and understand it. I feel like we all have pieces of the puzzle. If we could just get the puzzle together…” That puzzle has at times strained Jim and Sue’s marriage. Amazingly, their kids seem well-adjusted and do well in school.

Even as they teeter on the edge of infinity, the family feels safe in their home. Helping ease their minds is their belief that the alien interaction is benign. They don’t feel they’ve ever been harmed. Still, they’re wary enough to stay up late – trying to hold off the night and its intruders.

“I don’t think there’s one comfort zone people find,“ said Jim. “Given the nature of the incidents my family has had and the way we’ve been able to integrate them and go on, I feel comfortable. We don’t sit around quaking in fear. But at the same time we’ve had enough disturbing things go on that we don’t know what’s going to be thrown at us next.”

“We have gone through hard times. We don’t really know where this will all end,” said Sue. “We may never know what it all means.”

  1. October 29, 2010 at 2:27 am

    My dad, CDB Bryan the author of Friendly Fire, found this subject so intriguing he wrote Close Encounter of a Fourth Kind. It was the first time a mainstream journalist did a straightforward book on the subject of alien abduction.
    You can read more about his book and see aterrific interview with Tom Snyder on my blog


  2. Duarte
    July 21, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    Great article! Very well written and it accurately covers all the aspects of this real but frustratingly (in my view) overlooked phenomenon. I believe I’m just one of many people who have recently become interested and fascinated by this subject and for a reason (I hope): we are reaching critical mass in waking up to this new reality. A reality that challenges our limited view of this physical 3 dimensional world we live in. I believe it’s the intention of these entities, to gradually make us, by whatever means, rise to a higher consciousness. If we don’t do that we may well be doomed.


  1. September 28, 2018 at 8:53 pm

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