Written Confession: Shadow People, Missing Time, UFOs - Recalling a Lifetime of Unexplained Experiences

The following written confession was submitted via email:

“I have had several abnormal experiences in the course of my life which at the persistence of my son have decided to share with you. I have kept these quiet until a couple of years ago, mostly because some happened pre-1970 when the paranormal was for the most part unheard of and things of that nature were thought to be some brain lapse or some sort of deja vu . The Betty and Barney Hill incident never came to MY attention until later in life and flying saucers were either in movies, imagined or deemed to be a hoax. Bigfoot was at best an object of Indian lore and future believers were/are to be ridiculed. Maybe it was because of growing up in a small Western Pennsylvania coal mining town (Export) where everybody outside of the municipality existed with outhouses and at that time, no phone service and little knowledge of the larger world. As children we built tree houses, dug caves, played in the abandoned mines, hunted on local on farms and slept in the woods when the temperature permitted without fear of our parents finding us camping out having stolen their canned soup, beer or cigarettes, much less fear a Bigfoot kidnapping. It was a redneck utopia by my standards and a life my children would never get to enjoy.

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With that in perspective, you can imagine my fear at about age eleven or twelve when I awoke to what I thought was the presence of several shadow-type people in my room well into the post-midnight hours. I remember being approached, something being removed (?) from my right ear, fading back to sleep and awakening with a blood-stained pillow the next morning. Getting my mother (whom I confess never again discussed it with since it was “just a bad dream”, I showed her the 6” diameter pillow stain and the partially dried blood on the side of my head. I distinctly remember her cleaning my ear with Peroxide and telling me that if it persisted to ask the school nurse to take a look. One must remember that back then a doctor's visit was $7 (or literally a chicken or some beef) ! and with five kids…….., plus, the bleeding had stopped right? I never again had a problem with it. I did however later in my life write to Budd Hopkins just prior to his death questioning the procedure, cost and validity of regressive hypnosis later in life to see if their was some relic of a memory of the episode. Budd passed without a reply but a paranormal investigator that I came to know later stated that the cost was seldom worth the outcome and that there were a number of local counterfeit “Svengali's” that preyed on people like me so I abandoned the thought of the hypnosis.

Later in life after age sixteen I had a couple of weird auto trips when by myself I had gone as much as twelve miles without recollecting the trip due to (missing time?) and ending up each time approaching our driveway as if awakening from a nap. I never put a lot of stock in this (missing time) since many people have talked about the same thing happening to them. Truckers, as you know have had similar happenings calling it “white line hypnosis”. I still believe that is all it was but waking up in the same place two or three times makes me wonder a little now. 

That being said, it brings me to the primary incident that I am reporting to you. Having been discharged from the Army eight years prior, my wife, first child and I were building our first home pay-to-pay in the woods near a local reservoir in about 1977 or '78. My job in the Army was that of an Army forward Air Traffic Controller which meant that I was to set up forward landing zones using discarded Navy TPN-8 radar. Having been drafted out of school I attained that position due to cognitive testing as well as my excellent and rare eyesight. Twelve of us out of about three thousand trainees were picked and removed from helicopter crew chief school at Fort Rucker to give you an idea of the tremendous eyesight we had. To be considered we had to have what we were told was a flight- plus physical. This and the fact that I never make an impulsive guess at what I see and what I will tell you as far as size and distance is credible by virtue of this God-given attribute. I worked in a control zone where we saw everything from drone missiles to SR 71 spy planes and never did I see a UFO when I worked in a control tower. EVERYTHING unusual that I saw a lot could be explained away. 

1977-78 there were a number of plausible Bigfoot sightings and reported cave entrance prints in the area near me, one of which yielded footprints which were cast by, I believe, the University of Pittsburgh. There wasn't an “investigator” on every corner like today and purported sightings never went far. This one however piqued my interest when I visited the one sighting as it was reported supposedly by two State Troopers. I had also talked to one elderly lady at a paranormal symposium at a local mall that had a sighting late at night of a Bigfoot at her farm and from less than fifteen feet away from her home though not noting any smell nor aggression from the tall startled creature. I DID find her believable at age 83. She was just curious and had been questioning the investigator as to her sanity and perceived fear.

One Friday evening my father in law in law asked me to go fishing with him at a reservoir which was a fifteen to twenty minute walk through heavy brush and woods from where I was building my home while living in the foundation. I jumped at the chance to once again out-fish the self proclaimed “fish whisperer” who my father in law thought himself to be. Starting out just before eleven PM we made our way to the closest cove not using any lights to alert anybody of our presence expecting to spend the night as this area is patrolled by the authorities for criminals like us. While standing in my waders in knee deep water and rigging my line I immediately caught a 22” bass which gets larger every time I relate this. My father in law (the fishing legend) having to verify my catch came over from about fifty feet away in his waders to belittle the catch in comparison to one he caught probably some fifty years before.

While standing in our waders, we (he) noticed a light above us about 1200 feet away and about 40' over the highway. Asking me what it was I told him that it was probably a dusk-to-dawn light although it appeared bigger. As we looked down at my bass in the bright moonlight I noticed the light move clockwise behind us about ten to twenty degrees to the south of us. I looked down at the fish again and my father in law said “Hey! It's moving again”. It stopped over the tree tops completing a full quadrant of movement as was directly behind us having never elevated nor dipping into the woods canopy. It was now 70-80 feet behind us and its' light went out. My father in law looked at me and said “what the hell was that?” to which I replied that I didn't know. Shortly, guessing a minute or two, the light came back on and appeared to be about 25% larger than a basketball with a translucent bluish-white glow it the climbed upward in opposing left-right 20 foot long, 45 degree steps about seven or eight times. At the top of its ascent the light extinguished. Still gawking and mesmerized we saw this orb come back on, retrace it's path back to origin and emit a dull, very dull, beam (haze?) across the water. There was also during or near a full moon since that is when the “Fish Whisperer” dictated the best time to fish. He again questioned what was going on and we heard splashing in the water near the shore but saw nothing. I said that it might be deer coming to drink and looked back at the sphere which was still lit and prominent behind us and that was it, show over!! We awakened three to three and a half hours later still standing in our waders without a fish in hand ,

Daylight was approaching when we realized something was wrong with the time. All was very quiet and still. He asked me if we had fallen asleep while in our waders. I told him “maybe, but not for hours”. He asked where my puny fish was as if to forget what we'd seen and experienced and I thought that I had dropped it. We were not mentioning that each of us was dealing with mental torment as to the episode. He did once mention while trekking back home about the “time flying”. I didn't reply as he was not a man that you could discuss this with and would argue with a rock. He would not have made mention of it for fear of being harassed. Most of our “discussions” ended with mutual disrespect though I miss that man until this day. Thinking back later, I had previously seen a light do that same ting late one evening while sitting on my porch late one night when I couldn't sleep. It appear to be further away maybe towards the end of the 6-7 mile lake. It seemed to me that somebody was turning out the lights on an electric tower in sequence from the top down. At least that was my take on it then. Like I said, I try to debunk or explain away everything I see that confuses me. The odd part of this is that when we left the lake we never again spoke of it and to be honest I seldom gave thought to it until many years later thinking it was just one of those “brain lapses”. You know I always asked myself why nobody would report a sighting of any nature but I did keep this to myself for decades so I'm no better.

Later in life I had befriended a fellow employee who I later found to have been on tv as a witness to “The Kecksburg Incident” on Unsolved Mysteries and other shows even to this day though he had never mentioned it in the years that I had known him. Through him I had met a Kecksburg investigator who stated that there were myriads of sightings in the area where I lived and near the reservoir where we lost time that evening. We are near some of Bigfoot, orbs and aerial phenomena and not far from the popular Chestnut ridge area that has been noted on some tv shows lately. I however no longer fish and have no desire to walk those woods especially at night.

Lastly, two summers ago, our old minister was staying with us with her husband and we were cooking out with our children and grand children when I looked to the sky which was very bright with a few cumulus clouds and spotted the final phenomenon so far in my 72 years on this earth. I guess having grown up in the times of Echo and Sputnik satellites, scanning the skies had become second nature during my youth and I still spend many warm evenings alone watching from my porch rocker while petting my dog and enjoying a glass of wine, One of life's little pleasures and time of reflection. What I saw were a pod (maybe 15 or so) of tailless swallow wing-shaped highly reflective UFO's (?) writhing and intertwining at about 1500 feet. Each had its' own random sized circle , each maintained the same speed I noted to my youngest son that each went in right hand rotation. At that height they appeared to be about 30' across and disappeared into cloud cover after about 7-10 minutes and witnessed by all who were there. There was no mention of these in any of the local periodicals that week. They circled like kites but they were uniform in size and held the same right hand pattern the whole time. I'd bet my life they were not birds nor kites but possibly drones but that many?,at that altitude?, disappearing into a cloud simultaneously? Possible but not likely.

My son flies drones and even he was in awe. There were no stops nor hovering only constant motion.

Any ideas, I am at a loss?

I offer you these events for future comparison to anything reported in Westmoreland County since the phenomena of glowing orbs is gaining prominence in the UFO/Cryptid community. What happened at that reservoir was in at least my opinion as real as anything I have ever seen and defied any thing I have ever witnessed from my short time in military aviation. It was guided by defined geometry, appeared intelligent and left my soul questioning my existence, faith and purpose which I believe to be a good thing and was shown to us maybe by design. Good luck and I hope this to be of benefit to anybody having a similar experience and are maybe afraid to come forth. People my age had no reason to retain memory of these purely mental aberrations so exact timing  may be a little off. "