In 1971, when I was 4 years old, my mother and step father had my oldest little brother and we moved from my grandmother’s house into our own place on the outskirts of my tiny hometown, Wray, Colorado. When we first moved in I slept in a small nursery adjacent to my parents’ bedroom, eventually moving to my own room as my little brother outgrew his bassinet.
I have vivid memories starting as early as 2 years of age. I do not recall having nightmares or difficulty sleeping until I was moved into that room. Suddenly I began having a recurrent experience every night as I dozed off to sleep. As my mother would read or talk me to sleep I would have a vision of descending upon a huge mound of swarming bees. My ears would be filled with a loud buzzing sound and I would jerk awake, screaming right before being immersed in the bees.
These nightmares escalated and I awoke (almost nightly) paralyzed, terrified and unable to speak. (Classic night terrors). The moments before I could move or scream seemed like hours; and I was certain that I would die time and again. I also began talking about the “monsters” in my room. They were small creatures that would lift my bed up through the air. My poor mother dutifully responded to endless demands to turn on the lights and search my room for the “thing” that I could see lurking in the shadows.
The house was near railroad tracks and we all grew accustomed to sleeping through the racket of trains passing by. I can still feel the lumbering “kachunk, kachunk, kachunk” of the freight cars rolling along the tracks. On rare occasions, the AMTRAK would go by at a frantic pace. Because of their speed and horn blowing, I always looked forward to them. In the daytime, I would run outside to watch them go by. They went too fast for the conductor to wave (like the on the freight trains), and it was always exciting.
On two distinct occasions I was awakened by what I described to my mother as “The AMTRAK coming through my window. I know it was the train, because the light was so bright it looked like daytime.” It made a loud roar and lit my entire room through the roll-up blind. I can still remember my mother trying to help me make sense of this, as she explained that the trains ran parallel to the house and it was impossible for the lights to shine through my window. She repeated the mantra “It was just a nightmare.” I had gotten used to terrifying nights, and had even tricked my mind into making a game of being “floated out of my bed”. I would pretend that the little monsters were my friends and came to take me on a fun ride. I knew I could not stop them from taking me, so I tried to make a game of it. I still went to sleep each night buried in my covers with my special pillow over my head.
Then, the real nightmares began. After the AMTRAK episode I started having a recurring dream that followed the exact same plot.
The dream went like this:
After saying my prayers, crying and begging my mother not to leave me I would eventually succumb to sleep. It seemed that, as soon as I lost consciousness, “The Bug Monsters” would come. They would paralyze me and take me from my bed. I was cold, but unable to move. Next, they would take me to a place that looked like a giant cave, complete with uneven stone corridors and rounded walls. Although I could not move I would begin to scream and plead with them in my mind. They seemed to understand me, even though I was unable to make a sound. I was so terrified because I knew something horrible was about to happen; and it was the same, every time. They would bring me into a room where everything was Pepto-Bismol pink. The air was thick and pink, the light was pink and they were pink in the light. They would lay me on a table, where I would shiver and continue to beg “No, please! Please don’t do it!” My pleas were useless and the inevitable would happen.
The Bug Monsters would surround me. I call them “Bug Monsters” because they did not look like people and they had huge, round, black eyes like a fly or dragonfly. These monsters were extremely tall. They seemed much taller than my stepfather (who is 6’+). In looking back, I would guess that they may have been 7’ tall. After they had all gathered round and were staring down at me with their horrifying eyes, one would reach up and pull a rope that hung from the ceiling. Instantly I would be flooded with what I can only describe as an “electrocution of the senses”. My body would be wracked with a non-stop jolt, my eyes would be blinded with the pinkness, my mouth filled with a gritty, ozone-like taste and a deafening roaring buzz sound would fill my ears. Afterward everything would go black and I would wake up in my bed feeling as though I had been to Hell and back.
This is what they looked like.
This was the beginning of many years of being haunted by the same nightmare, which never varied until I was eight or nine.
Now I lay me, down to sleep.
I pray the lord, my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake.
I pray the lord, my soul to take.
My mother recited this prayer with me every night, but the god we prayed to seemed powerless to protect me from the Bug Monsters. This was my own private torment, which I learned to endure. But then, things got very strange.
I would say it was somewhere in 1973 or 1974 that people started talking about what was happening to the cattle. Ranchers were finding their livestock dead and cut up. The high plains people are a stoic lot and take everything in stride; yet this was more than even they could handle. Their expensive animals were being found dead and they were helpless to stop it. Speculation ran rampant as everyone searched for a logical answer to what was happening. Old ranchers, who had seen every manner of death and decomposition, were stumped by the way their cattle were being found.
It appeared as though some sick people were cutting off certain parts and dropping the animals from the sky. No tracks were found (even in the fresh snow), and coyotes would not touch these corpses. Black helicopters and bright lights were often seen around the time of the event, and the speculation was that “Devil worshipers” had gotten hold of helicopters and were performing these acts as some sort of gruesome ritual. The cattlemen began holding all night vigils with shotguns and floodlights intending to kill or capture the perpetrators.
This is when I got my mom to explain who the Devil was and describe where he lived and what he looked like. I added him to my list of monsters, although he was completely different that those who had been haunting me, thus far. The pink Bug Monster nightmares continued, but (strangely) I never had dreams about the Devil. The only similarity, in my childish mind, was that they all lived under the ground.
The townspeople lost faith in the government when the incidents were explained away as things these multi-generational animal husbandry experts knew to be untrue. Even the trusted veterinarian (who was our next door neighbor) was confounded by the mutilations. No one had seen anything like the surgical precision of the cuts. There was talk that the helicopter riding Satanists must have gotten a hold of laser scalpels.
I was a very bright child and soaked all of this in. It still surprises me that my mother allowed me to hear this information; but she has never been known for her discretion. As if things weren’t strange enough, the talk changed to something even more bizarre. As the animals continued to turn up dead, people began to speak of UFOs. This was more than I could fathom at that time, other than UFOs were some sort of aircraft that flew around like the helicopters. When I think about the stoic nature of these people this whole era just seems that more surreal.
The nightmares continued as we moved to a different house. One evening my mother, brothers and I were visiting my grandmother. I was eight. I remember my age distinctly because it was the arguing point for letting me go with my stepfather when he came rushing home for the binoculars. My mom was too afraid to go and my brothers were too small; but I was allowed to ride down to the bank parking lot with my step dad to have a look at the UFO. Finally, I was going to discover what all this talk was about. My step dad is about as blasé as a man can be. Nothing seems to shake him. But on the ride to the bank he was agitated and excited. We arrived to find the large parking lot full of people wandering about and staring up at the sky.
There was a light hovering there that they first thought was one of the black helicopters. However, someone had pointed out that it had no navigational lights. Even stranger, it zipped around the sky in frantic gyrations, only to stop in its tracks and hover again. I finally got to look at it through the binoculars. The most notable part was how it seemed to flash from one color to the next. This lasted for what seemed like a very long time. Finally, I was taken home for another sleepless night. At that age I didn’t really understand the significance of the event. What struck me was the way it affected the people who witnessed it. There were endless conversations about what it was and how it could fly like that. They were clearly upended; and it frightened me to realize that there was something else grownups couldn’t control. My mom couldn’t protect me from the Bug Monsters and no one was able to stop these flying craft from taking their livestock.
At this point, I must have begun to connect the dots, because I began to link the monsters from my dreams with the creatures that flew the UFOs. At the age of nine I was still waking my mother, in the dead of night, with my screams. I started insisting that the “Aliens” lived in our attic or that they came through the walls. I even drew her detailed pictures of what they looked like and how they lived inside our house. Wish I had those drawings now.
Along with the dreams I had the recurrent sensation of either feeling so heavy that I would sink through my mattress and hit the floor, or so light that I could float around at the ceiling. I visited my father and stepmother in Florida each summer; and one year I insisted that I could fly. I was absolutely convinced of this and would climb up the doorjambs to jump off, expecting to become airborne. I also built wings of cardboard and parachutes of garbage bags and spent my days leaping from the rabbit hutch in the back yard.
This is when the dreams got more intense. I say they were dreams, but they were more realistic than any I’ve had since. I’ve also never had any other recurring nightmare. When they came I would close my eyes and ears to block out the sensations. One time I got brave and kept my eyes open. The ones who took me seemed to be slightly smaller. Three or four would gather around me. It seems as though they used their mind to paralyze me until the “leader” came in and pulled the rope. The leader was larger than the others. As I was being restrained I worked up the courage to look into the black eyes. The sensation was so terrifying and overwhelming that I felt as though I was being sucked through endless space until I blacked out. That is the only time I recall looking at them in that manner. When I was nine I had the last of these dreams for a while. When they came to get me I found myself in a perfect blue room with dollhouse furnishings and everything perfectly in its place. In the window a white ghost hovered. I think I had been reading Casper the Friendly Ghost comics, and this being resembled the classic “sheet with eyeholes” ghost. It was there to protect me, and scared the monsters away. I slept peacefully for quite a while after that.
There were a lot of bluffs and natural areas around our home, and as I got to be ten I was allowed to roam miles from my home. One day as I was wandering and exploring nature, I felt as though I were being watched. I looked up the hill and saw a short, hairless, bipedal creature staring down at me. When I saw it the thing ducked behind a rock. Rattled, I went home and told my mom. She mentioned that people in town had been talking about “cavemen” who had been spotted up in the bluffs. She then seemed to think better of this and tried to convince me that it must have been a deer. Part of my daily exploration was to search out the herd of deer that allowed me to get very close. I was certain that this was no deer.
Around this same time the television show “Land of the Lost” came out. My brothers and I watched this show with great enthusiasm, but I always turned off the TV or ran from the room when the “Sleestacks” came into the scene. These were the creatures of my nightmares with their big, black eyes, underground world and penchant for abducting people. I could never understand why my brothers weren’t terrified of them as I was.
The television, itself, was another point of turmoil for me. I could always hear a high-pitched buzz coming from it, even if the sound was turned off. I could tell if the TV had been left on, from the other end of the house. Buzzing was a steady issue. Countless times I would hear a high-pitched sound from above and get a horrible, sick feeling in my gut. While it was happening my heart would race and I would be afraid to go near the window. No one else could hear it. I though I might be going crazy until I had my hearing tested at school. The testers were dumbfounded at how I was able to pick up frequencies so far beyond the normal range. They told me no one they had tested before could hear those pitches. This was the same sound that caused me so much anxiety.
At some point the pink dreams picked up again and stayed with me into my teen years, occasionally popping up in adulthood. At fifteen I moved to Florida to stay with my father and stepmother. One day I went to the grocery store with my father. Standing in line I looked at the tabloids on the magazine rack and had a panic attack. Staring out at me from the cover of “The National Enquirer” was a Bug Monster. This was the time when “Alien” memorabilia became popular. Inexplicably, I was very disturbed by the likenesses of aliens. Still, I hadn’t heard of the alien abduction phenomenon, and didn’t fully understand why my reaction was so strong.
One night, as my parents slept, I awoke to a loud roar that sounded like it was above my room. It was so loud that I waited for everyone to wake up and come rushing to find out what it was. I crept to the window and looked out, only to see the dark neighborhood. I grew more and more terrified as the sound continued. I turned on my lights and sat frozen for a very long time.
I told my aunt about this. We discussed how it sounded like the burner of a hot air balloon (only many times louder). Neither of us could figure out how or why such a vehicle would be so close to my house in the middle of the night. Surely, the trees and telephone wires would be a hazard. Then, she mentioned something that connected the dots for me. She told me of her grandmother who lived way out in the sticks, next to the swamp. Her grandmother had spoken of a “flying saucer” that habitually rose from the swamp. She had watched as creatures came and went around the craft, and how it would lift straight up and then shoot away at lightening speed. She didn’t talk about it to anyone but close family, for fear of being labeled as a nut.
All of this came as a huge relief to me. I had been dreaming of flying discs and felt as though I “knew” how they operated. Science fiction movies seemed silly to me, because they were never realistic enough. I did have a panic attack in a movie about a helicopter. The thundering sound of the rotors brought on a flood of emotions that I could not place with conscious memories.
In the mid 1990s I went back to Colorado for Christmas. The weird events had all but gone away, and were far from my mind. I visited a friend, and while I was there a heavy, wet snow covered everything. It was very late when I walked, alone, to my car. Everything was black, except that which the porch light illuminated. I was looking down to avoid slipping, and when I looked up towards my car I froze in my tracks. There were three beings standing around it that I can only describe as “grays”. They looked as though they had been looking at, or doing something to my car and had been caught off guard. I blinked my eyes in disbelief, and on the third or fourth blink they faded away. Mind you, I don’t do drugs, and hadn’t been drinking; nor have I ever experienced such a hallucination. I was so shaken that I stood there a long time before gaining the courage to get into the car. Afterward, I realized that they seemed familiar because they looked like the thing that had been watching me on the bluff when I was a child.
During the same time period (although in the fall) I took a boyfriend out to Wray. We were really keen on taking silly photographs, and had driven out in the country to play on some giant bales of hay. We used up all the film jumping from the bales and being ridiculous, in general. As we were going to the car we noticed a cavern between two bales. These bales were as large as a building. Protruding from the opening was the rear end of a cow that was wedged in the cavern. It was standing upright, as though it had walked in and gotten stuck. This alone, struck me as very strange; because cattle are very skittish and don’t like to go into tight, dark spaces. But what was even stranger was the huge, circular opening where its rectum would have been. I don’t recall if the tail was gone, but I will never forget the perfectly cut hole. There was no odor, no flies, and no blood on the ground. I wanted to take a picture but remembered that the film was used up. Suspecting that this was a mutilation, I decided to find someone to look at it. My boyfriend freaked out and insisted that we leave. Strange, that we both suddenly felt compelled to get out of there. We never discussed it again. I kick myself for not following up, and wonder why there seems to be no more talk of this amongst the townspeople.
Over time I read a few books on the abduction phenomenon. It was a great comfort to know that I am not alone in whatever this experience is. The nightmares gradually subsided and were replaced by occasional bouts of extreme fear. I would inexplicably become afraid of going outside at night and couldn’t stand to have any windows unshaded after dark. I kept feeling as though I would look out and see a creature staring in at me. I would also have dreams of being whisked up out of my bed. When sleeping with another person I would have the distinct reaction of demanding that they leave him alone. This happened right up until I met my current husband in 2001. They came in the middle of the night. I bartered with them to leave him alone, as I was their intended victim. Upon subsequent discussion with him, I now realize that they may have really been there for him. Regardless, I recall seeing him rise up in a beam of blue light.
My husband was an aircraft mechanic for ten years, and is very familiar with the various military aircraft. He also had secret clearance; and although he will not discuss it, I suspect he has seen things most Crew Chiefs haven’t. He has flown hundreds of missions and participated in many conflicts and wars. He tells of a time that he witnessed a UFO while driving home from work one night. It exhibited flight behavior unlike anything he’d ever seen. He was so frightened that he drove his new Corvette 150mph to get away. Incidentally, this new car turned out to be a complete lemon and had to be sent back to the factory for a complete overhaul. The electrical system was shot out. I have to wonder if it happened that night he saw the UFO?