As I stood at the kitchen sink and looked aimlessly out the window, I noticed an odd light coming out of the swimming pool pump house. First of all, I knew the door SHOULD be closed because I remembered wrestling with the rusty slide lock. I had been out there just a few hours earlier, putting some more chlorine tabs in the pool floater. It was getting dark out so the strange light really caught my eye. It was not like the incandescent bulb that was in there. It looked more like florescent, white light. And it was very bright. I pointed this out to my mother and asked her if she wanted me to stay home. She thought it was odd but told me not to worry about it. She would lock the doors and if she needed me she would call me. In the five minutes it took me to get in my car and make a quick detour to the turnabout in back of the house, to check on the light before I left, the light was gone. And the door to the pump house was closed. But the pedestrian door to the side garage attached to the house was now open. I do not know why I didn't stop then and go back inside. I should have but I didn't. I headed on to our neighbors' house.
As soon as I got there, I called my mom. I told her what I had seen and asked her if she wanted me to come home. She said, once again, no, she'd be okay. I hung up the phone. Just as soon as I did, it rang. I instinctively picked it up again and somehow was not surprised to hear it was my mom. She sounded strange, frightened, and she told me to come home. She said, "I want you home now." My neighbor and her husband were listening to the conversation and at one point, her husband, hearing the panic rise in my voice, yelled into the phone, "Tell her to call the police, that's what they get paid for." Mom heard him and she responded with. "I don't want anyone here but you." I left immediately with a promise to my neighbors to call when I found out what was going on. It took me all of 3 minutes to get home.
Once I arrived, I pulled around to the back of the house again. This time I stopped at the sun room outside access door and found Mom standing there waiting for me. As I walked in, I went for the shotgun Daddy had behind the trash compactor. Mom made a comment about the gun not being loaded and I said to her that whoever was out there didn't know that and I could always beat the crap out of them with it. I have to say, at this point, that I do not know what came over me. I am no fool and at that time in my life, I was the biggest chicken in the world. If I had know why mom called me back that night, I would have never gone out back. I would have gone in the front door, grabbed my mom and kids and high-tailed it out of there so fast it would make your head spin. She couldn't remember why she even called me back until a week later. (About a week later, while she was doing the dishes or something like that in the kitchen, she suddenly popped out with, "Oh, I just remembered why I called you back home last weekend! I had seen a basketball size ball of light around the bird feeder. It was very soft and I looked around trying to see if someone had a flashlight or something shining on it but I could see nothing. The light got smaller and smaller and as soon as it disappeared, I got the thought in my head to call you home.) See what I mean?
I took the gun and walked out into the dark back yard. I went to the pump house and looking inside. Nothing. I decided to walk out near the big garage out back to see if I could find my dog. (She had been in the garage attached to the house because she was in heat at the time.) I found her. She was firmly lodged under my dad's old ladder truck. I grabbed at her and tried to get her to come out. Normally, she would be all over me like a cheap suit. She was MY dog. But something had scared the hell out of her. She was yelping and whining and tearing at my hands to let go of her. So I did. Then I decided I'd better check out the garage. Something had obviously freaked her out and whatever it was, it had been in the garage at one time. I went in there, gun first, cussing and yelling at the top of my lungs. The place was empty. I looked behind old mattresses and everything else in there and didn't find a thing. As soon as I had decided that I wasn't gonna find anyone in here, I suddenly felt as if I was on fire. All the skin on my body started burning. It felt like I was covered with acid. And I thought, "I've gotta get out of here RIGHT NOW!" I turned to run out the pedestrian door and that is when I was hit in the chest by something VERY bright and electrifying.
I have never been hit by lightening. But if I could imagine what it would feel like, I would say it was like this. It felt as if I had first been punched by a huge, electric fist, right in the gut. The burning, electrical feeling slowly moved down my legs to my feet, out my arms to my fingertips and around my head. Then, I could feel every molecule of my body vibrating. I couldn't move. And I couldn't see because the flash was so bright. I know I could not have tolerated more than a few seconds of this but I swear it felt as if this lasted for several minutes. I assume it couldn't have lasted more than a few seconds. I remember thinking, "I'm DEAD! This is what it feels like to die." I was shaking and burning and I felt like I was vibrating to my very core. The brightness wore off fast. Then, the vibrating and shaking subsided. But I still couldn't move. I was able to see bits and pieces. VERY much like having been 'flashed' in the eye by a camera flash. I had big blind spots in my vision but I could see some shadow and some movement in the yard in front of my. I can now feel someone pulling on my right shoulder, as if to pull me down a bit. Then, I felt a stabbing, burning sensation in my right ear. And I could hear someone telling me it was unfortunate that I had to feel pain. Then, I was OUTSIDE the pedestrian doorway but I didn't know how I got there. I could see a soft, white ball of light directly in front of me. It was about the size of a basketball and is hovering about as high as I am tall. (5' 3 1/2 ") The light slowly moved up and down, as if it were looking at me from head to foot. Then, it moved into the egg shaped thing and disappeared. Just to the left of the light, I could see something about the size of the pool pump house. Maybe 8 to 10 feet tall and shaped like an egg. (Not very big as far as UFOs go.) And I could see 6 people in the yard in front of me. They are at various spots in the yard. At the same time, they all seemed to line up and slide to the left, back to this egg shaped thing in front of me. They were smaller than me. Shorter. I thought they looked like children. Bullet shaped children. Bigger in the head and getting narrow at the feet. I couldn't see much detail, mostly just silhouettes.
The rest of this event is still a blur after 20 years. The next thing I remember is hearing someone say. "It's over." I suddenly remembered my kids. I thought, "MY KIDS! Oh my God!" And immediately I heard the voice say that my kids were okay. I heard my name being called and I was able to move and I turned and began to walk up the lower porch steps, toward the back kitchen door. With each step I took, the memory of what had just transpired, faded until by the time I reached my mom at the back door, I did not remember anything after I entered the garage. I said to my mom, "Everything's cool." And with that, she became animated again. It was as if she was standing there, in a daze, until she heard my voice.
I left mom and went back to the neighbors' house. When I got there, she was upset with me. She said they were about ready to call the police because I didn't call them like I said I would and they were worried that I was taking so long. It seems I was gone about 2 hours but I only remembered about 15 minutes worth of experience. I had no explanation for that and her inquiry just left me even foggier than I was already feeling. I didn't feel good and told her that I would rather swim than sew. (After the experience, I felt 'icky' and like I had to 'get wet'.) I invited her to come swim with me and she agreed. She gathered up her 14 year old daughter and the three of us went back to mom and dad's. As we were walking out the pool, my dad pulled up in the drive. He always came home at about 11:10 PM. I left to go to the neighbors' just before 8:00 P.M. Three hours had passed and I couldn't account for most of it.
As we walked though the back yard to the swimming pool, my neighbors' daughter suddenly jumped and yelled, "OUCH." She said she had stepped on something that made her foot burn, and now her foot was getting numb. By the time we reached the pool, she said her foot felt numb all the way to the knee, but yet she could walk on it. We weren't in the pool more than 10 or 15 minutes when we all started feeling nauseated, and my eyesight started getting real fuzzy, even though I had not had my head under water. I could see halos around all the outside lights and it was making me dizzy. The girls left and I went to bed.
When I woke up the next morning, I could not open my eyes. They were swollen completely shut. My mother took me to the emergency room. They, in turn, sent me directly to an eye specialist across the street from the ER because they didn't have anyone on call in ER who was able to treat something like this. This doctor was just across the street and agreed to work me in and see me that morning. He was stunned at the extent of my injury. He kept asking me if I had looked into the arc of a welder's torch or the sun. I had not. I was given several tubes of cream and some drops to try to heal my eyes. It took SEVERAL weeks for them to fully recover and to this day, my eyes are VERY sensitive to light. And my vision is very far-sighted. Sometimes my eyes will still suddenly burn and turn red, for no apparent reason. Fortunately, this only lasts for a few minutes.
For whatever unknown reasons, no one in the house even looked out back for the rest of the week. Come the weekend, 4th of July weekend, the rest of my family was all over to swim and have a cookout. My nephew was the first one to notice the mark in the yard. It was an 8 foot circle with a 20 foot swath coming off it. The swath ended in a perfect arch and was exactly 2 feet wide. All the grass in this mark was brownish gray and wilted. The dirt was gray and hard. There were a could have deep cracks around the edge of the circle. I dropped a 12 inch ruler down one crack and we never did find it.
The first thing my mother said when she saw that mark was, "Oh, that's where our UFO landed." I just looked at her like she was nuts and I thought to myself, "What is wrong with her?' Suddenly, as I looked at this mark, I began to panic. I could feel my pulse race, the sweat beading on my brow. I started feeling faint. And I started remembering. (WITHOUT hypnosis.)
The aftermath of this day was a nightmare for several years. I was 'shell shocked'. I sat up at night, watching over my children and waiting. Waiting for something. But I didn't remember what it was I was waiting for. I got sick and stayed sick for over a year. I developed life-threatening allergies, rashes, fevers, swollen glands, diarrhea, bleeding gums and my hair started falling out. My fingernails started growing thin, peeled and had horizontal ridges in them. I developed irregular heartbeats (PAC's) I started having panic attacks. Almost daily for a long time. And the dog that was out there with me that night? She had to be put to sleep about 2 and a half months later. All her hair fell out from the head down. She developed black, oozing sores all over her back, her eyes got milky white and she was obviously going deaf. Her teeth all fell out and her gums bled, as well. When we took her to the vet, he was shocked to see how quickly she had deteriorated. She was not that old (about 6 or 7 years) and the way she looked you would have thought she was 20 years old. He advised us to put her down because he felt she was suffering and he could not help her. He figured she was 'eaten up' with cancer of some kind.
The mark in the yard remained there for nearly five years. Every year snow melted off of it. Animals would not walk on it. There were no bugs in the soil. Even when the grass finally did begin to grow back, the grass in that place was thick, rubbery and kind of a bluish green color. The dandelions that grew around the mark were three times the size of normal ones. The tomato plants my mom had out by the pool, were the size of grapefruits but when you tried to eat them, they were so acidic the skin on your lips would peel off. And the vines were as big around as my forearm. The leaves on a patch of trees behind the mark withered, turned brown and fell off. The power line above the mark shorted out and blew a transformer, melted the wiring and blew out the tubes on the Heathkit HAM radios in the basement of the house, which was right next to the place in the yard.
Eventually, there were a couple of neighbors who came forward to say they had experienced strange things in their home the very night I had the experience, and one neighbor behind us who witness 'hundreds' of basketball size balls of white light, floating through the woods around the night I had my experience.
Budd Hopkins spent a ton of his own money doing a very thorough investigation of that night. I sold my washer and dryer to get a ticket to New York. I was subjected to an array of medical and psychological tests and even passed a voice stress (lie detector) test. Budd eventually wrote a book about my experiences and my family, titled: "Intruders, The Incredible Visitations at Copely Woods". In 1992, CBS did a mini series of the same name, with some excerpts from the book as scenes, starring Mare Winningham as me. And later still, in 1993, my sister Kathy Mitchell, and I wrote a follow up book titled, "Abducted! The Story of the Intruders Continues."
I think of my dog, and the fate she met. In my heart, I believe whatever she encountered that night was directly related to her untimely death. And there is a part of me that STILL worries I will eventually have some kind of cancer related to my experience of that night. There is nothing I can do about it right now, except take good care of myself and hope for the best. I often wonder what my life would have been like had I not had the experience. I can't imagine. Truthfully, despite the obvious trauma, I don't think I would change a thing. I have become a much stronger person. I don't give credit to the experience or the 'Intruders', other than it FORCED ME to be strong, to survive and grow. And I kinda like that about me.
That is the story of this day. You know when you can name the date and time of an event, it MUST have made quite an impression on you. June 30th, 1983 made such an impression on me that it actually crushed the old me while molding the new one. Now THAT'S a defining moment.
You’ve been quoted many times as saying that one of the biggest effects of the encounters on you has been profound spiritual change. How have these encounters changed your spirituality?
I am able to see the bigger picture. I can see and feel outside of myself. Somehow, these encounters have flipped the "on" switch to my consciousness. I see clearly. I have a keenly developed sense of empathy for ALL life. I "feel" the connection that we all have. I wish I could get into other people's heads and help them "see" what I "see". But I can't.. And I know they have to find their own way here or it won't mean anything, anyway. The experiences have given me an extra shove in the right direction. And has guided me to a deeper meaning for my life.
Do you believe that there is a connection between a God or gods and alien life? If so, what is it?
I believe that God is life. And while the life form may be alien to us, it is still life, therefore, I believe, is as much a part of the God that I believe in, as I am. That is the connection for me.
Do you know why the aliens chose you specifically for abduction?
I have no idea why I was "chosen" to experience these things. Having these experiences all my life, I assumed everyone did. As a child, I assumed everyone had these kinds of things happen to them. I didn't know any different. It would appear that there is some kind of generational thing going on with my family. My mother had strange experiences. so did my dad and my older sister. One of my cousins and an aunt, as well. Maybe there is something about my family that predisposes us to the phenomena. I don't know for sure and I don't think anyone else does. either.
In your interview on the radio broadcast of UFOs A-Z, you talk about how you feel that the purpose of these encounters is a “drawing-together of life”? Do you still agree with this statement? What, in your opinion, is their purpose with Earth?
Well, I think there are a lot of different things going on at the same time. I think there could be as many different life forms with different agendas as there are races of people on Earth, and maybe even more.. I also believe that some experiences might not be extraterrestrial in origin. I think there are some extra-dimensional things going on. Maybe even some time traveling. No one knows for sure, of course, but that is my gut feeling. I think all intelligent life is naturally curious and drawn to other life. I also thing that we are all connected to a great consciousness and have wondered if some of these contacts aren't meant to stimulate something within us that would raise our level of awareness. I believe that when we raise one we have raised all. Including ourselves. Like some sort of a trigger to help us evolve into higher beings.
Do you think there is a mixture of benevolent and malevolent alien beings? Are their purposes universally connected or does each alien race have its own goals?
Yes, I do. Like I said, I think there are lots of different species doing different things for different reasons, some of which we couldn't even fathom as to what or why.
You’ve also described your “fear of the unknown” when it came to alien abductions as a child. How does fear factor into the alien abduction experience? Do you still ever encounter a “fear of the unknown” with the aliens, or is there more of a level of comfort established now? In other words—how would you describe your relationship with the aliens and your feelings towards them?
There is still the "shock" factor. I mean, it's just simply shocking to have something like this pop out of no where when you least expect it. You would be shocked if your best friend snuck up behind you and yelled, "BOO!" And whenever I see something strange, I get a little creeped out. But I shake it quickly. First thing I do it try to figure it out, find the prosaic explanation for whatever I have witnessed. I have learned the best way for me to deal with things that scare me, is to face my fears head on. Knowledge is power. The more I learn about something, the less I fear it. I have learned that whatever it is that I have experienced, I have survived it quite nicely. I haven't become someone's Thanksgiving dinner, or slave. I have been returned to my family in relatively good condition. Whatever ill effects I have suffered were inadvertent. I do not believe anything was done to me with the intention of harming me. Frankly that is more than I can say for some HUMANS who roam this earth. I think we would do well to be more afraid of what we do to each other than of what some other life form out there would do.
Do you or have you ever experienced a sense of awe towards the aliens? If so, what is it about the aliens that inspire this overwhelming feeling?
How could you not be in awe of something so different from anything you have ever seen or experienced in your life? The fact that they are real and they are here, possibly all around us, is awesome. Even in fear, there is awe.
How might you compare your abductions to a religious experience? What spiritual significance do they hold for you?
I don't attach any religious significance to my experiences. To me they are two different things. The experiences might help open my mind to other possibilities and enlighten me BUT I do not find the experiences themselves to be religious in nature. As a matter of fact, MOST of them were rather scientific and had a medical feel to them. The spiritual growth came afterwards. Personally, I do not hold much stock in formal religion. I think the original message has been distorted and twisted by humans over the years, to use as a tool for domination and control of other humans.
How has the abduction experience changed how you think about yourself?
Well, like I said, I was born into this. I have been experiencing strange stuff all my life. I can't say that anything changed me. I am what I am. I have grown as a person, matured and become closer to God, but I have not changed.
Are their any ritualistic qualities to these abductions? Do you have a “typical” abduction in your own experience, or is each one unique?
I don't think there have really been any kind of ritualist aspects to my experiences. They just happened. Random times, random events.
If there is a “typical” abduction, could you describe it? (A brief synopsis would suffice. If you’d rather not, I can take it from your websites/books).
The only thing I can think of that would be typical for most of my experiences is that I remember the start of them pretty well. They usually start with me either hearing my name being called or seeing large black eyes in front of me or feeling an overwhelming desire to go somewhere. As in get in my car and drive. I usually remember the contact, but I don't seem to remember the endings as well. I usually just seem to pass out and then "wake" up. Whether it be in bed, or at the wheel of my car.. Alarming, but like I said previously, I was never harmed.
Do you feel a sense of community amongst other abductees, or is it more of an individual experience?
I do feel a kinship with other people who have had these strange experiences. NOT unlike the bond people develop when serving together in the military or sharing a dorm room in college. I noticed I felt the same connection and bonded with the people I served with when I volunteered for the Red Cross and spent 5 weeks in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina. We became fast friends and quickly grew to love each other like brothers and sisters on a mission. I will always have that special bond with them. Just as I do with people who share the paranormal experiences. And the more alike our experiences are, the closer we seem to get. I think this is something that is common among people who share traumatic experiences of all kinds. NOT just paranormal things. It's a human thing.
Is there any part of the abduction experience that you would describe as sacred?
Religions often bring comfort to their believers, providing them with a way to cope with the difficulties of life. Does belief in aliens bring you a similar sort of comfort from some sort of belief in something “greater”? Or, does it, in a way, make it more difficult to cope with life?
I get comfort from my own inner strength and from the people that I surround myself with. I know I am strong and capable and I surround myself with people who love me and care about my well-being. I get comfort from my own spiritual feelings of connectedness with all life and with God. I feel as if I am a part of the bigger picture and I feel an excitement and respect for life. I never feel as if I am alone in the world. I KNOW I am always connected. When I need help coping with something, (such as when my parents died) I ask for help. I reach out to others and express myself. I reach out to the collective and pull strength from it. I don't rely on man made religions. I draw strength straight from the source. God. As far as my belief in alien life giving me comfort goes, I guess my experiences have opened my mind and broaden my ability to think outside the paradigm. That opened mind is more capable of bringing me closer to my spiritual self, so I guess maybe in that way, it has made it easier to deal with the ups and downs of this journey. I have learned to view every experience I have ever had in this life, paranormal and mundane, as something new to bring to the collective. As I grow from each experience, so does the collective. I cherish my life and everything I have every experienced while living it. It has molded me into what I am and I am happy with who that is.