After the recent revelation that the Pentagon had funneled some $22 million dollars into investigating UFO reports made by military personnel since 2007, I decided to revisit some of my old work. See, despite regularly writing articles aimed at debunking conspiracy theories and reports of flying saucers, I don’t take such an aggressive approach to these investigations because I don’t want to believe them. In fact, I’m so eager to find an explanation because I’m hoping I won’t. One of these days, something incredible may come across my desk, and I’ll be left with no choice but to acknowledge a new and exciting truth about the nature of our existence. What could be better than that?

Unbeknownst to many, I’ve actually cultivated a pretty decent “paranormal investigator” resume over the years for just that reason. I’ve spent a lot of time traveling, and when you find yourself in a new region or country on a regular basis, you start to get tired of visiting the same old tourist traps. So, more than a decade ago, my wife and I began looking for more unusual sights to see… haunted castles, areas Bigfoot has been sighted, and of course, places I hoped to spot a UFO hovering overhead.

My wife is a believer. I’m… skeptical, but I’m willing to be convinced. Over the years, we’ve accumulated a fair amount of what she calls proof, and what I call, “huh, that is sorta weird…” but I’ve yet to be genuinely sold on much. Sometimes we had to go looking for things, sometimes the opportunities presented themselves.

Somewhere in the middle of the slew of surgeries I underwent before being retired from the Marine Corps, my wife and I decided to take a vacation I might be able to enjoy despite having fresh screws inserted into three of the four joints below my waist, so we bought tickets for a cruise to the Caribbean that left out of New York City.

During days “at sea” on a cruise ship, the crew offers all sorts of entertainment to keep you occupied in what is effectively a floating mall you’re not able to leave. Amidst the barrage of trivia contests, art galleries, and of course, evening entertainment, one of those entertainers was a hypnotist.

That’s when the bells in my head began to ring. Over years of reading about UFO sightings, alien abductions, and the like, hypnotism was a recurring and consistent theme. Often, the details of an alleged abduction are “revealed” through hypnosis, which I’d always attributed to either a) being led by the hypnotist while in a trance-like state, or b) being nothing more than good old-fashioned bullshit. I had, however, never seen it done in person.

Betty and Barney Hill are perhaps the most notable “abductees” to reveal their stories through the hypnosis method. As an inter-racial couple in 1961, the Hills had little reason to try to draw attention to themselves, but their account of a supposed encounter with extra-terrestrials is actually one of the first times anyone ever described aliens in the fashion we’re so familiar with today: small, grey figures with large, cat-like eyes. You can hear their accounts of the event here.


Keen to see what an entertainer-hypnotist was capable of, my wife and I arrived to the show early to make sure we had good seats, which worked in my favor when the hypnotist asked for volunteers. Just a few minutes into the show, 10 of us raised our hands and we were welcomed onto the stage, where we were asked to sit in chairs, close our eyes, and focus on what the hypnotist was saying.