JOURNAL OF POSSIBLE PARADIGMS Issue 5, Spring '98
- SOCIETY OF THE SPHERE -

Project Contactee Chronicles:

Preserving Details About Your Contactee Experience

Harv Howard

Perhaps many persons over the course of history have been contacted one way or another by superior beings. Ezekiel in the Bible is probably the oldest and best known example of an individual account. In more modern times under the guise of UFO encounters, there have been thousands of accounts preserved and reported in books, articles and on television. Since the UFO phenomena remain largely a mystery to us, each of these accounts regardless of content is important to our developing an understanding of the UFO puzzle.

Most of the reports captured in words and tape come from second, third, or further removed sources from the actual witness. Few of the accounts are the exact word-for-word records of the people directly involved. Inherent in the telling and retelling of the stories some aspects get lost and some get enhanced. Probably one of the most common occurrences is that the accounts get rounded up or down to fit the current norms for such experiences.

Most definitely, most of the stories never advance at all into the public media because such stories are relatively bland and devoid of the sensational aspects almost everyone expects from such accounts. And shamefully, some prominent writers in the UFO field have admitted to altering or withholding vital information because of self-serving reasons of their own.

Like Ezekiel, any person having an unusual experience should put that experience in material form. Simply telling the tale to another or a few other persons is not sufficient exposure. It must be permanently recorded so many others may have access to it. A modern-day encounter with an unusual intelligence must be seen as important, perhaps pivotal, history-in-the-making for both the individual witness and the human culture in general. Preserving a record of some past experience--rather than leaving it solely to the inequities of an individual's memory--guarantees that the information will endure with some degree of permanence and accuracy.

But mere data acquisition is only part of the rewards of recording an experience. There are important personal advantages also. Removing a collection of mental images from within the head and putting them in physical form outside of the body is a way to separate the person from the experience, to see it more objectively, and to examine it from other less-painful angles. Hopefully, the final importance of this record-keeping will be to enable the witness/reporter/anaIyst to understand how the experience--regardless of how brief--has been injected into his or her life.

If you have had any sort of UFO or contactee experience, put it down on paper. Don't simply tell your story verbally a few times and then file it away in a corner of your mind. In time you may forget some of the details and unconsciously enlarge upon others. Recording the experience on an audio or video recorder can be wonderful ways to capture your sense of being there. Especially with an audio tape recorder, you can manage the recording alone, completely in private. Yet neither of those methods are sufficient either. Making either type of tape is better than nothing, but the best way is to put your experiences down in writing with simple pencil and paper.

Writing gives you time to think about what you want to say and how to best say it. Filling out a UFO sighting report questionnaire from one of the organizations may satisfy the requirements of that organization, but such an abbreviated version may not be sufficient for your needs or those of others. It is vitally important that you put the details down on paper in your own, exact words using as many words as you require.

Writing of your experience may seem a simple enough task, but often it is not. It may be a difficult, emotional, and anxiety-provoking process. It may make you physically ill. It can be almost guaranteed that you will have an extremely difficult time bringing yourself to actually put pen to paper and get the job done. Grit your teeth and bear it.

The anxiety may emit from a clash of two opposing desires within you. One is the commitment you have made to yourself to put the experience on record so that you can objectively and physically look at it. The other aspect has been commonly noted about many contactees. Indications are that some experiencers have been induced to resist clearly and completely remembering the train of events surround the happening. When these factors unite with the natural disinclination many people have against writing anything, problems may emerge to prevent the process from ever achieving completion.

If your discomfort becomes unbearable for any reason, at any stage, then cancel or postpone your efforts. But try to tough it through even if it means only writing a few lines at a time spread over a period of months. Make a determination to get the job done no matter how long it takes. When it is finally completed, you can be proud of yourself for having some measure of control over the situation.

To report your story properly requires some preparation and forethought which are also preliminary steps toward bringing the process to completion. --So don't assume that the actual writing is the whole or hardest part.

Make writing the account a personal goal. Have an absolute and clear-cut goal in mind, such as: To get it done and to help yourself come to terms with the experience in the process. Remind yourself that it is a matter of importance to yourself and others and well worth the inconvenience of making yourself do it. Below are some general guidelines to aid in reaching your goal.

Don't write your account on the spur of the moment. Plan ahead. However, if a detail comes to mind during your usual activities of the day, take time to jot it don. Keep a note pad and pen by your bed for hazy memories that come to mind in the near-sleep state but may not last until later in the day. Don't trust your memory to retain details that suddenly spring forward. They often disappear as quickly.

Target a day several days in advance for writing the complete account of your experience. Pick a time period when you can be assured of freedom to work uninterrupted for at least an hour, better two. You may have difficulty arranging such a block of time, but have that goal in mind even if the exact circumstances will not allow it. Change your routine if necessary. Get up early to gain that necessary freedom or stay up late. If reliving the experience is going to bring back strong feelings of fear and terror, plan to do your writing in a safe, comfortable place near people who will not interfere with your work but unknowingly will provide support by their presence, perhaps in a library or park.

Picking the time several days in advance puts your mind on notice that it is going to be expected to produce some tangible results shortly. However, don't spend a lot of time planning what you are going to actually write word for word. Just tell yourself that you are going to do it and the task is simmering in the back of your mind... and make short notes if you feel the need.

Be ready when the allotted time comes. If you made notes of things remembered, get them together with your writing materials before time.

The best and easiest form in which to write your story is in the first person, the "I" form. If you feel more comfortable writing from another viewpoint, by all means do so. Make the actual telling as easy on yourself as possible.

Rarely is an experienced writer satisfied with the first draft of any work. A basic key to a finished and polished story is to get a first version done--in any form. Then use it as a springboard toward the final version (which may yet be several versions away).

Be totally honest in recreating the events. Your story will be wild enough to many people without undue elaboration. On the other hand, do not understate your experiences because they seem too weird. Simply state to the best of your abilities and memory what happened.

Examine your experience closely for subtle clues about the passage of time, changes of location, and other indicative factors. Many "sighting" cases have shown themselves to be contactee cases when fully investigated. Look for inconsistencies in what you remember. You may be surprised to learn that you have made vast assumptions about aspects of your experience which do not accurately jibe together very well when subjected to close scrutiny in a chronological order. Inconsistencies may point more toward what actually happened than toward the possibility of a faulty memory on your part. Don't be afraid of them or change the story around to work with or around them. Point them out, they are important too.

Begin by giving general information about yourself in an introductory paragraph: name, address, date of birth, sex, education, and occupation.

In the second paragraph give the location of the experience, date, time, weather, your state of mind and any pertinent information you remember. Follow with a sentence or two about the basic details of the experience in chronological order. In following paragraphs elaborate on the experience as much as necessary.

Write on one side of the paper. If you remember other details after you've covered a point, put a number or letter at that place in the material. Put the additional material on the back of the page with a number or letter key beside it which matches that same key on the front. (An "A" in the margin on the front side with an arrow pointing to the end of a sentence means that the material labeled "A" on the reverse side is to be included at that point in a subsequent rewrite.)

Tell the story straight. Don't keep apologizing to the reader for what you've experienced. For example, don't say: "It sounds crazy, but...." Or "You won't believe this, but...." Merely give in your own words what you think you've experienced. On the other hand, the statement, "I was scared to death," may not be correct or good literary form, but it easily conveys a most intense and genuine feeling. If you cannot find the words to describe a thing, experience, or situation, try equating it in terms you and others can identify with: "The lighting inside was similar to fluorescent lighting, only different." This example is rather open-ended for interpretation purposes, but nevertheless, it does convey a description of the indescribable in round-about terms.

Include time references to the best of your ability. Also include any apparent misconceptions you picked up about the passage of time: "It seemed like two hours, but the clock indicted that only 15 minutes had passed."

Mention, if in reviewing your activities, you found yourself behaving or thinking differently than normal at any point. For example: "I new the light still hung there in the sky as I drove the winding road toward home, but for some reason I could not allow myself to look at it. And I knew it was a UFO! It was years later before it dawned on me that such behavior wasn't what I would have chosen for myself. I suspect that I was directed not to look at the UFO once I left it."

In short, put down every detail that comes to mind. In addition to that, put down anything which seems relevant to the experience whether you can make a direct connection with it or not, whether it occurred at the time, a short time later, or years later. Focus on puzzling changes of mind which may have seemed to suddenly drop out of nowhere into your consciousness and belief system shortly after the experience. These dramatic changes may have effected your personal beliefs of love, life, death, and other areas seemingly far removed from a mere UFO sighting.

As you reflect back, what changes happened in your life after your unique experience, even years later? Traumatic as the experience itself may have been, positive overall changes seem to be the rule, perhaps immediate changes and perhaps some occurring after a long period of time. These in themselves can cause trauma as our personalities and philosophies are pulled in several different directions as these changes start to emerge in our lives. Did you give up hunting or smoking, dream up a wild invention, become psychic, quickly want/have children, get a divorce, or channel your energies into more humanistic and spiritual endeavors than before? Did you find yourself driven and consumed by obsessive behaviors and compulsions? Did your views of the universe undergo drastic revisions? Were you/are you plagued by non-specific feelings of urgency, anxiety, or longings? Give the matter some thought and put down anything which fits into the criterion of "change." Items pertaining to this general area should be put at the end of your report and labeled "Aftermath" to set them apart from the core specific and physical data of the actual experience.

Writing the aftermath is not the end of your story. Research seems to indicate that many contactees have had prior contactee, psychic, or unusual experiences and dreams as children. Did you? Fragile as such memories may be, write them down. You may find that they lock together into a composite which starts to have meaning and direction where none existed before.

When you are finished with the report--and you have noticed by now that it is much more than that--put it away for a week at least before attempting to read and redo it. Being away from it for awhile will allow you to later judge it with more of a critical eye because it will not be so familiar. When the original version is corrected and changed until it is the best effort you want to make, redo it. Preferably type it, double spaced on one side of regular typing paper. If you lack that skill or a typewriter, write it as legibly as possible on one side of lined notebook paper.

Whether you want to share your story with anyone else is entirely up to you. You know best. Maybe you will want to hide your story away until someone finds it long after you are gone. To offer your story for others to see and use is not an easy decision to make. We suggest that you share the story, anonymously if you wish, to anyone professing a genuine interest.

We of the Society of the Sphere hold the position that all of our stories are important to a grand undertaking (of some sort!) which is taking place on Earth at this very instant. You--we--are not just along for the ride, nor are we merely riding the forefront of the change. We are the changers!

We feel that it is important that an effort be made to collect and maintain as many contactee accounts as possible. In addition, we believe these accounts should be first-person written accounts rather than stripped and summarized versions which fit neatly on a UFO report form and/or in a book.

This particular endeavor of the Society of the Sphere shall be called the Contactee Chronicles Project. It shall be a database consisting of three basic parts:

To get involved, send a copy of your experience following the general format above to the address given below. All requests for names (and other data) to be withheld will be honored.

If you have any questions about UFOs, your experiences, or the Society of the Sphere, please feel free to write:

SOCIETY OF THE SPHERE
PO Box 904

Manchaca, TX 78652