11 October 2012

Alien-human hybridization was predicted by Hollywood

Silver Screen Saucers

GUEST BLOGGER EXCLUSIVE

The Stranger Within
Foreshadowing, Unexplainable Pregnancies, Hybrid Children and the Creative Process

By Mike Clelland

Hand-lettered TIMELINE of critical events within the essay.

Something extremely strange is interwoven into the UFO phenomenon. There are weird coincidences and synchronicities that seem to merge with the overall topic in ways that defy any easy explanation. This includes a kind of predictive manifestation in our pop culture. If you dig just a little bit you’ll find that movies, radio drama, literature and (especially) comic books all have a way of anticipating the plot points of the unfolding UFO drama.

Anyone of a certain generation will remember the ABC Movie of the Week. It featured hour-and-a-half-long made for TV movies each Tuesday night. I clearly remember one of these movies. It was about a women who is mysteriously pregnant with an alien child. I am 50 years old as I write this and I would have been 12 years old on that long ago Tuesday night in 1974. For reasons I don’t quite understand, bits of that movie have been stuck in my head for the last 38 years.

I’ve been actively studying the UFO abduction phenomenon and I recently reviewed a series of questionnaires that abduction researchers will use with their clients. One of the consistent questions is: “Do you crave salt?” 

When I read that I immediately went back to that TV movie, and I clearly remembered a scene where a pregnant woman would compulsively put salt on her salad at an outdoor restaurant. It didn’t take but a few mouse clicks to get me to YouTube where I watched that very scene. Surprisingly, the scene played out exactly as I remembered it. This clip is embedded below...
 

 

The fact that my memory was so eerily precise after all those years piqued my interest, so I ordered a used DVD copy of the movie, and in less than a week I was watching it again. 

The movie is titled The Stranger Within, and watching it opened up a deep dark hole of synchro-weirdness.

Before we examine the movie, it’s important to explain what has emerged in recent years concerning the strange experiences of women abductees.

Women, pregnancy and UFOs

Women claiming the UFO abduction experience are telling stories that are frighteningly similar. What is being told stretches my fragile mind.

These abductions appear to be ongoing starting when they are very young. Upon puberty a nightmare set of procedures begin to unfold. These young women are somehow impregnated during their abduction events, it might be done by technological means or it might be done with someone (or something) onboard a craft. Like almost all abduction events, they are subjected to some form of mind control that makes them follow commands and erases their memories.

These women will tell of having the all symptoms of pregnancy, often it will happen without any history of being sexually active. Later, usually within the first trimester, the women will awake one morning with the very real knowing that they are no longer pregnant. They might have memories of an abduction during the night where the fetus is removed.

Both men and women abductees tell of rooms onboard ships that are lined with some sort of liquid filled glass aquariums, each with a fetus floating inside. These incubation chambers are reported with consistency. Sometime later these women will be abducted again, and presented with a tiny baby, and they’ll be told that they are the mother. The infant isn’t normal, it appears sickly and thin, it seems to be a hybrid of us and them.

These women will experience ongoing abduction events where, over the years, they will see their children growing up. They will appear in nurseries and classrooms and they will be growing up at an accelerated rate that wouldn’t match their life on earth. Eventually, these women may meet their children as young adults, sometimes this happens here on earth while they are awake and fully consciousness.

There are plenty of reports in the literature of children born to abductee mothers with curious traits and abilities, including psychic skills, profound empathy or a very high IQ. Often the mother will remember being abducted during the child’s pregnancy. Indigo children, Star Seeds, Light Workers and Crystal Children are all terms used to describe these kids.

This short summary of experiences doesn’t emerge in any kind of linear construct, it is usually a mess of fears, impressions, dreams and mixed-up snippets of memory.

I am cautious to give a percentage, but anecdotally it is nearly consistent that pretty much ALL women who claim the abduction phenomenon will have experiences that involve cryptic pregnancies.

I need to emphasize that these experiences are happening to real women, and they are profoundly challenging and emotional. When someone shares their life events with me, and when they tell about their unaccountable pregnancies, they will almost always end up sobbing.

Reported experiences by abductees

There is a long list of odd coincidences that show up in The Stranger Within that seem to have accurately predicted what is now common in the UFO abduction lore. These are listed as in bulleted points below:

~ Amnesia of the abduction experience, later retrieved through hypnosis.

~ Driving to a secluded spot for unknown reasons.

~ Wounds healing rapidly.

~ Marks on the body that can’t be explained, only to heal rapidly without scaring.

~ Rh negative blood type. 

~ Being mysteriously cured of an unknown ailment.

~ Lower than normal body temperature.

~ The urge to research and study scientific topics.

~ Sensitivity to sound.

~ Excessive craving for salt.

In addition, some researchers have noted that an overwhelming percentage of abductees are creative types. In the movie Ann is a painter.

In the movie, the fetus was growing much faster than a normal child, the gestation was accelerated, and the birth was due months early. This also shows up in the abduction literature.

Abduction questionnaires

UFO abduction researchers will have a set of questions they’ll ask their clients. You can infer a lot from these questions. Many of these questionnaires are posted on-line, and I’ve collected some relevant questions that play out in the movie, these are listed below:

~ Do you have an unusual fear of doctors or medical treatment?

~ Have you ever experienced a dramatic healing?

~ Do you feel that aliens have come to create mutants through a process of interbreeding accomplished by their superior science?

~ Do you have an obsessive memory that will not go away, such as seeing an alien face or a strange baby, or an examination table or needles, etc.?

~ For women only:  Have you had frequent female problems and reproductive difficulties?

~ If you are a female, have you experienced a gynaecological problem that you suspect is related to an abduction experience? 

~ Men and Women:  Have you had frequent urinary tract infections?

~ Have you had any disturbing or realistic dreams about babies or small children?

~ If you are a woman, have you ever felt certain that you were pregnant, but the pregnancy suddenly disappeared?

~ Have you ever had a false pregnancy or missing fetus?

~ Have awakened with soreness in your genitals which could not be explained?

~ Do you crave salt?

Plot summery for The Stranger Within (mucho spoilers)

Barbra Eden, the curvy starlet from I Dream of Jeanne, plays the dramatic role of Ann Collins, the wife of a college professor who is mysteriously pregnant. Her husband has had a vasectomy in response to Ann’s life threatening experience with a pregnancy three years earlier. The details of that event are only hinted at in the script. The husband’s vasectomy is pretty bold stuff for a made for TV script from the early 70’s, and it allows for a lot of marital tension and open dialog about infidelity and abortions.

As the movie progresses Ann’s behavior becomes increasingly strange. The husband, together with Ann’s doctor and a close friend, eventually come to the conclusion that she was impregnated by space aliens during an abduction event where her memory was erased. The narrative unfolds with absolute seriousness, this in an era where anything involving UFOs was played for giggles.

Please don’t think this movie is some lost masterpiece of the cinema, it certainly isn’t. It’s a modest little movie made with a sparse little cast on a low budget. The early 70’s is an easily dismissed chapter of television filmmaking, there are a lot of elements that seem tacky and laughable by today’s excessively slick standards. But for me, there is something truly haunting about this movie.

The director of The Stranger Within was Lee Philips (1927–1999). He was a busy guy during his years as a director for TV. Philips was also an actor and he played the role of radio DJ Gene 'Buddy' Maxwell in the very first Outer Limits episode, Galaxy Being.

"Yes Master!"
Barbara Eden will forever be remembered as the girl in the bottle from I Dream of Jeanne, a lighthearted depiction of The Djinn (the source of the term Genie). Rosemary Ellen Guiley is a paranormal researcher and in her 2011 book The Vengeful Djinn (written with Phil Imbrogno) she explores how the Djinn mythology closely parallels the modern UFO abduction phenomenon. Seems the Djinn show a keen interest in pregnant women and are known to abduct babies.  

I Dream of Jeanne also featured one of the key ingredients to any good UFO conspiracy, astronauts keeping esoteric secrets! I’ll add that in this sit-com Barbara Eden was the source of some seriously weird sexual tension, much like her role in The Stranger Within.

Ms. Eden has always had a rather strange halting voice, and this serves her well in this eerie movie as well as in her role as Jeanne. Curiously, the name Eden seems appropriate for a woman who is bringing the first alien hybrid child into our world.

Barbara Eden has recently penned a 288 page autobiography where she writes exactly two sentences on this film:

In 1974 I appeared in a real howler of a TV movie of the week, The Stranger Within, in which I gave birth to an alien baby, ate raw meat, and drank a lot of coffee. Sigmond Freud probably would have had a field day analyzing that script!

Alas, I’m no Freud, but I am having a field day.

There is a long list of plot points within this made for TV drama that are extremely predictive in a way that stretches my mind.

As noted above, present day UFO lore is flooded with stories from women abductees who tell of mysterious pregnancies, erased memories and hybrid children with miraculous abilities. These issues are at the core of this fictional narrative. That said, there doesn’t seem to be any logical inspiration for the original story.

The movie was aired on October 1st 1974, but it was based on a short story from 1953. This story was written over 30 years before any of these bizarre claims about hybrid offspring had entered the collective consciousness.

I believe it was Budd Hopkins’ 1987 book Intruders where the initial accounts of strange pregnancies and hybrid fetuses first appeared in print. Initially, this pattern was called: “the tiny baby syndrome.”

This was followed by Raymond Fowler’s 1991 book The Watchers. Next was Abducted! (1994) written by Debbie Jordan and her sister Kathy Mitchell. This is a first-person account from the two main characters from Hopkins book. In 1995 Kim Carlsberg published her first-person account of the same phenomenon in her book Beyond My Wildest Dreams.

Pregnancy and UFO abduction are part of the 1957 Antonio Villas-Boas case in Brazil. The 23 year Boas was taken onto a craft, and after a series of examinations he was left alone in a room with a humanoid woman. He said he was strongly attracted to the woman, and the two had sex. When it was over the female smiled, rubbed her belly and pointed at the sky. Boas took this to mean she was now pregnant and was going to raise their hybrid child in space.

When the Boas story was initially published the sex and pregnancy stuff wasn’t included in any of the public reports, it was deemed to bizarre to be taken seriously.

The original short story

The 1974 movie The Stranger Within was based on a 1953 short story by Richard Matheson (left) titled Mother by Protest (later re-published as Trespass). Matheson himself adapted it for the small screen.

Matheson was born in 1926 (the same year as my father, something that makes me pay closer attention) and his creative output has been impressive. He has penned a massive amount of fantasy, horror, and science fiction. 

It would be easy to conclude that Matheson was somehow inspired by details from UFO reports and he simply wrote his short story as a response to their appearance in pop-culture at the time. But that just doesn’t fit, 1953 was a long time before any of this information emerged.

Reading this tightly knit little drama left me impressed. The short story is essentially the same as the movie, including some word-for-word dialog.

In both versions the wife begs for the husband to believe her, and she says she wants to be hypnotized as a way to prove her honesty. In the short story the husband’s closest friend states: “...do what she suggests and try hypnosis, truth serum, anything.” They follow up by injecting a “truth” serum on the wife and the results read like a hypnosis transcript. 

Near the end of the short story, as the wife is going into labor, she slips in and out of consciousness and she tells the husband her memories of the event while he was away.

“In the yard, David,” she muttered, still unconscious... “I heard a sound and I went out. The stars were bright and there was a crescent moon. While I stood there I saw a white light come over the yard. I started to run back to the house but something hit me but then it was black and I couldn’t remember. Anything. I tried to tell you but I couldn’t remember, I couldn’t remember, I couldn’t...”

The use of the term crescent in her description made me take notice. David Huggins is a UFO abductee and artist. His experiences involve a lot of weird sex and hybrid children. He tells of having a life-long loving relationship with a chalky white alien named Crescent, in reference to the crescent moon. His story is chronicled in words and pictures in the 2009 book Love in an Alien Purgatory.
 
A painting by David Huggins, one of hundreds that depict his relationship
with an alien named Crescent, seen holding the hybrid baby.
 
In the movie there is a slightly different account of Ann’s abduction. It happens during a hypnosis session performed by her husband’s friend. She tells of being hit with a ray while she was painting in the hills. She says it came from a space ship above her.

Both versions of Ann’s contact experience describe the now prototypical UFO abduction event, complete with the mind-controlled amnesia and some sort of beam of light. 

In both the book and movie, it’s the husband’s friend who solves the mystery by piecing together the clues. In the 1953 book the conclusion was that the baby is a Martian. That quaint presumption certainly matches the mindset of the era. Also in the book, the friend concludes that the Martian hybrid fetus is telepathic. Now this really surprised me because telepathy is a nearly universal component to all UFO abduction narratives, and I feel strongly that this would have been entirely unknown at the time. In the 1974 movie the term Martian isn’t used, it’s replaced by extraterrestrial. 

I read a handful of on-line reviews of the 1974 movie and several noted that it was merely a knock-off of Rosemary’s Baby with an alien twist. That doesn’t fit when you realize that the original short story was first published in 1953, pre-dating Ira Levin’s 1967 book by 14 years. The more logical conclusion would be that Levin was inspired by Matheson.  

Rh negative blood 

The issue surrounding Rh negative blood type is something that has only recently emerged within the community of UFO abduction researchers. Blood types are either negative or positive, and it’s estimated that only 15% of the entire world's population are known to have the Rh negative blood factor, with some estimates are as low as 5%. But research (albeit limited) shows that well over 50% of the people that claim the UFO abduction experience have Rh negative blood. This is a weird statistic, and it implies that the abductors have very specific interests in the people they abduct. Also, Rh negative blood is often associated with clairvoyance and psychic skills

In the movie, the doctor is perplexed and says that Ann’s blood was changing to Rh Positive. This means that her blood was Rh negative at the time of her abduction. This is a curious issue to show up in a script from over 38 years ago, especially given its relevance to present day UFO abduction research.

Hypnosis and UFO abduction

Raspy voiced David Doyle.
The best friend to the husband is a hypnotist, he is portrayed by none other than Bosley from Charlie's Angels, that right, David Doyle! Each of the sessions are dark and moody, played for maximum drama. 

Hypnosis as a tool in UFO abduction research made its debut in the public consciousness in 1966 with John G. Fuller’s seminal book The Interrupted Journey. This is the story of the Betty and Barney Hill UFO abduction event, and it’s considered to be the first published account of the phenomena. In the book, Betty tells of having a long needle inserted into her navel and she is told that it’s a pregnancy test. So, even in the very first report of alien abduction, pregnancy is part of the meme.

So, the use of hypnosis had been established eight years before the creation of this movie. The two main male characters debate the outcome of the hypnosis session, and Ann’s husband accuses his friend of “leading” his wife while she was under his spell. Here, in 1974 in a brief bit of dialog, we get a tidy summarization of the heated controversy over the use of hypnosis in abduction research.

In the short story a serum is used to induce the hypnotic effect. Though never stated in the text, this was probably Sodium Pentothal, also known as The Truth Serum. Sodium Pentothal also shows up in the modern abduction lore in a book titled Pozan (2003) by John Clark. This is a first-person non-fiction narrative about UFO abductions and profound synchronicities. In this book the author tells of receiving Sodium Pentothal during a minor surgery, and while under he said some things that terrified the Doctor. He was never able to get the Doctor to tell him what he said, but the implications are creepy indeed.




Channeling and longing

One of the hot-button subjects among abduction researchers is channeling. I am consistently shocked at how many abductees will say that since having their contact experiences they have begun to channel information from their alien abductors. These claims get dismissed with venomous contempt by a lot of researchers, but it is an unmistakable pattern among the experiencers.

In both the short story and the movie, Ann channels a strange alien language. She also speaks (in English) in the first-person as if she is an alien, she describes a deep longing for their home planet and its orange oceans and cool gray winds.

In the short story Ann says: “Now am I alien and forgotten, O lost of travelled night.” This happened while she was sleeping, and the terrified husband heard it. The text reads: “All spoken in a sing-song rhythm, in a voice that was Ann’s and not Ann’s,” a pretty accurate description of someone channeling.

Abduction researcher and therapist Delores Cannon uses hypnosis in her past life regression therapy. She has been able to bring forth alien personas while her patients are in a deep state of relaxation. What emerges is a back and forth alien dialog and it’s the basis for a long list of her books. What we see in the movie closely parallels her research techniques.

While in a trance, Ann repeats: “Take me back, take me back!”

This feeling of longing to go home is commonly reported by UFO abductees. They will sometimes state that that their soul is not of this earth but from some far off planet.

In both the short story and the movie, while speaking in the halting alien voice, Ann says she feels heavy. Some abductees will say that life on this earth has an oppressive heaviness, the implication being that they are remembering a past life lived not as a material being but as some sort of ethereal spirit, or in some other realm with different gravity.

The Sun Goddess

There is never any UFO shown during the movie, but there is reoccurring imagery of the sun, and it is constantly shown in the context of a deep longing. Ann will be lost in haunted contemplation and the camera will pan up to the sun and the image will linger there awash in lens flare (this is a staple of 1970’s movie making). The sun is a stand in for the UFO, and there is an overt sense of yearning each time it fills the screen. 

Our pregnant mother resonates a Sun Goddess. The earliest deities associated with the sun are all goddesses, much like our abductee Ann. In ancient Egyptian imagery the Goddess Isis is portrayed with a cow horn headdress cradling a solar disk. Some esoteric interpretations of that solar disk cast it as a flying saucer, implying that ancient aliens were the actual Egyptian Gods. Isis was worshipped as the ideal mother and she is often portrayed nursing her infant son, Horus God of the Sun (as pictured left). Some scholars point out that the mythology of Horus has compelling parallels to the story of Jesus. This would put Ann in the role of Mary (more on that later) 

There was a live-action Saturday morning series called The Secrets of Isis where a mild mannered woman would change into the Goddess Isis, given the absurdly low budget of the show the transformation was implied by using a close up of the sun complete with shimmering lens flare. Isis had super hero powers to fight crimes and right wrongs. This rather terrible show ran for two seasons, 1975 and ’76. 

In the movie, Ann drives a bright yellow Chevy Nova, as did my mother around that same time period. The Latin translation of Nova is “new” or “strange” and it’s a feminine word. The Latin word for star is Stella, also feminine; and some translations for nova say it is a shortening of nova stella (new star).
 
1974: lame TV / Boss cars.
 
In astronomy, Nova is a star that suddenly increases its brightness, and then fades away. This certainly matches Ann’s behavior in the movie, during her pregnancy she becomes tremendously bright by obsessively reading textbooks. After the child's birth she simply fades away, this happens in a lap-dissolve where she quite literally fades away to nothingness.

The color Yellow, the color of her NOVA, represents the third Chakra, the Solar Plexus. 

In its Hebrew origin, the name Ann means "He has favored me" and “He” implies God himself. In the story, Ann has certainly been favored by the mysterious alien Gods.

Rituals, mythology and religion  

In the movie Ann and her husband live in a gaudy house with a strange square fireplace, it sits in the center of the living room under a large vent. It must have been quite hip in its day. This fireplace has the weird feeling of being a sacrificial alter, adding to the overall strangeness of the story. Also, when Ann undergoes her first hypnotic regression the room is filled with candles creating an oppressive occult mood. The act of hypnosis is played out as some sort of eerie ritual. After the hypnosis session when Ann channels the alien voice, the witnesses try to come to terms with what they’ve seen, and the camera is positioned behind the open fireplace, with flames rising up in the foreground.
 
Barbara Eden as Goddess with divine child.
 
The movie reaches its climax as Ann walks in a trance with her newborn child along a path through a forest, she is obviously mind controlled by her alien abductors. She is soon joined by other women carrying babies. These women are all wearing robes or flowing garments and their hair has been done up to mimic Greek Goddesses. The overall effect is of some sort of ancient ritual or occult offering. They all march willingly into the sun.

Our collective society is overtly influenced by organized Christianity, so much so that the starting point of our calendar is synchronized to the birth of Christ. Within this framework nothing is more revered that The Blessed Virgin.


Alien visitation?
In The Book of Luke, Archangel Gabriel visits Mary and tells her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son...” and she is told that the child is destined for greatness. “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” A mysterious visitor from the heavens and the impregnation a young virgin? That story is commonplace in the reports of women abductees. The phrase “Do not be afraid,” is probably the single most repeated quote that gets attributed to the aliens in all of abduction literature.

In the story, Ann obviously isn’t a virgin, but the implication that she is pregnant by unknown means is central to the plot. Like Mary, her child (also a son) is somehow profoundly different. Few things in the western world are more fraught with uneasy drama than a miraculous pregnancy.

In the nutty community of UFO researchers and experiencers, the question of whether Jesus was a product of direct tampering by aliens is the stuff of endless conjecture. Was the Star of Bethlehem a flying craft checking in on their hybridization program? And in the end, Jesus was “...carried up into heaven.” (Luke 24:50-52) and his apostles were witnesses to his ascension, “as they were looking, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight." (Acts 1:9) This very much matches the conclusion of the made for TV movie, where the parade of goddesses and their divine newborns are whisked away into the sun with a lap-dissolve and a cloud. 

Pop-culture foreshadowing

1974 was a year with another odd predictive show involving UFOs. During my youth I was absolutely fascinated with the nightly show, The CBS Radio Mystery Theater. It was on a local AM radio station each weeknight at 11:07, and I would lie in bed and listen to the drama on my clock radio. There were stories of the paranormal, ghosts and monsters.

There was one strangely predictive episode titled: The Sighting. It’s a fictional re-telling of a series of UFO abductions. The original air-date was November 25, 1974, less than two months after The Stranger Within aired on TV. In this radio drama, there is set of plot points that closely match elements within a typical UFO abduction account; including mind control, repeated abductions, telepathy and implants. Again, this was long before the proliferation in the media of abduction accounts.

The power of creativity

Richard Matheson’s output over the last 62 years has been astounding. The consistency and breadth leaves me dumbfounded. His first short story was published in 1950 and for the next decade he really cranked ‘em out. The short story Trespass (the basis for the movie) emerged during that creative frenzy. Like his other early stories, it was printed in a pulp sci-fi magazine.

I am convinced that there is a very real power in the creative process, and when abandoning (or disciplining) oneself to this kind of artistic inspiration, something mysterious can unfold. The artist can somehow tap into deeper truths. The work-a-day routine of sitting in front of a typewriter (or canvas, or 2-ply Bristol) can be seen as a ritual act, very much like the forgotten alchemist who sits before his candle. Matheson must have been on fire during those early years, and something weirdly predictive seems to have been manifested in this tight little story.

These ideas have been explored magnificently by Jeffery Kripal in his book Mutants and Monsters and by Christopher Knowles on his blog The Secret Sun. Both these authors have examined the strange emergence of mythology in the tawdry pages of super hero comics and low-brow magazines. 

A short list of Matheson’s credits and interconnections

The short story Duel (1971) was adapted into the TV movie with the same name in the same year. This movie launched the career of young director Steven Spielberg (no stranger to UFOs). Matheson says that Duel was inspired from a real-life incident where he and his friend, Jerry Sohl, were dangerously tailgated by a large truck on the very same day as the Kennedy assassination. Sohl was another stalwart writer for television, his sci-fi credits include The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, The Invaders, Star Trek and The Man From Atlantis.

Both The Night Stalker (1972), and The Night Strangler (1973) were scripted by Matheson. These two television movies were the genesis of the series Kolchak: The Night Stalker (1974). More on this later.

Matheson's science fiction vampire novel, I Am Legend (1954), has had three different film adaptations. The Last Man on Earth (1964 with Vincent Price), The Omega Man (1971 with Charlton Heston), and Am Legend (2007 with Will Smith). None of these movies followed Matheson’s book very closely, and he says that George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead (1968) comes closest. So, our present zombie-craze traces back directly to Matheson.

Matheson's short story Button was filmed as The Box in 2009, a film much heralded by Christopher Knowles at The Secret Sun.

Matheson’s 1978 novel What Dreams May Come was later filmed in 1998. This movie was referenced in the trilogy of channeled books Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch. During the back and forth dialog with God (yes, him), Walsch is given information about the afterlife and how heaven and hell actually manifest for the recently departed. Walsch excitedly references the movie What Dreams May Come (staring Robin “Nanu Nanu” Williams), he is shocked at how the movie’s plot perfectly matches the description of the afterlife given by God. So, it seems Matheson’s metaphysical ideas are confirmed by none other than God himself! 

More about Walsch. He was the lead actor in the 2003 movie Indigo. He plays the grandfather of a psychic 10-year old girl. The implication is that the girl might be a hybrid alien.

A hardcover collection He Is Legend: An Anthology Celebrating Richard Matheson was released in February 2009. This book is an anthology of 16 original stories inspired by Matheson's works. Contributors include none other than alien abductee Whitley Strieber. 

A character named Senator Richard Matheson appeared in several episodes of The X-Files. The series' creator, Chris Carter, was a huge fan of Matheson's work including his scripts for The Twilight Zone and The Night Stalker.

As noted above, Matheson wrote the original screenplay for The Night Stalker where the character of Karl Kolchak was introduced. This 1972 movie was the genesis for the TV series Kolchak: The Night Stalker. The show premiered September 13th 1974.

The Night Stalker and missing time

This series was only around for one season and it plays an important role in my life. It is directly connected to the very reason I am so obsessive about the UFO topic. I was a super nerdy little kid and O how I loved that show. On a Friday night in 1974 (that year again) I was walking home from a high school football game, I left early to make sure to be home in time to see this very show. During the short walk, I saw a jarring orange flash in the sky, and when I got home my parents were angry with me.
 
Darren McGavin in the role he was born to play.
 
It’s hard to know exactly, but I can’t account for close to two-hours of time. I remember that I was really upset because I had missed The Night Stalker, if this story of missing time didn’t include my favorite TV show as a kind of anchor, I am quite certain I would have forgotten the whole thing. I knew the show was on for one-hour starting at 10 o’clock, so I was very aware of where I was and what I was doing leading up to the missing time.
 
Caption below image: Our Sun Goddess heroine in a moment of existential contemplation.
 
What does it mean?

I dug into The Stranger Within for emotional and personal reasons, there was nothing at all logical in my investigation. Peering into this made-for-TV movie unleashed a flood of synchronistic weirdness. Something palpable emerged and parts of it are aligned with my direct experience. I started this exhaustive essay by saying “bits of that movie have been stuck in my head for the last 38 years.” I was describing a very real itch, and when I started scratching, something elusive showed itself.

Final note: This movie ain’t easy to find. All I can do is suggest you search on-line for a DVD. I got mine used for $11.

An extended version of this article is accessible on Mike Clelland's blog, here.
 
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Mike Clelland never went to art school, instead he spent his youth reading MAD magazine. He was born in Detroit in 1962, and has spent his life working (mostly) as an illustrator doing (mostly) cartoons.
He spent the ‘80s (as a Yuppie) as a free-lance illustrator in New York City. He eventually settled in rural Idaho to pursue the role of ski bum. He has worked as an outdoor educator and guide, in both summer and winter, in Alaska, Canada, The North Cascades and throughout the Rockies. 
His recent research into UFO abduction and synchronicity was literally forced upon him as he tries to make sense of a series of profound coincidences. He runs a blog titled Hidden Experience, where he posts essays, personal experiences and audio interviews.
He has published a handful of books, including Ultralight Backpackin' Tips, a cartoon instructional about camping with a ridiculously light pack.


21 comments:

  1. Heads up to anyone who found this essay interesting.

    I have an even longer version (if you can imagine that) of this essay on my desktop. At some point soon I'll offer it at my blog as a down-loadable PDF.

    peace from Idaho,
    Mike C!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Okay. I just gotta raise my hand and make an objection. The Rh negative blood type exists in over a third of the world's population. That's a much greater frequency than, say, celiac disease (gluten intolerance), which occurs in only about 3% of the population.

    However, I'll wager by now gluten intolerance is claimed by, I would guess, as high as 30% of the US population because it's currently very fashionable to be gluten intolerant (it's a way to go on a low-carb weight loss diet without ever having to admit to being overweight in the first place -- we are a truly dysfunctional culture). Sorry, for that digression.

    But, what I'm getting at is that the Rh negative blood type occurs in too high a percentage of the population for it not to result from purely terrestrial factors. Hell, anthropological DNA testing is already identifying individuals who are carrying remnant Neanderthal DNA. This might well end up being identified as a source for the Rh negative blood type (and please let's not go into any of that ancient aliens engineering humans folklore here).

    Alien abduction advocates (of which I'm obviously not one) have begun claiming that the Rh negative blood type is an indication of alien-human hybridization. Given its actual rarity among the human population, gluten intolerance could better be claimed as a marker for selective alien-human interbreeding.

    The Rh negative blood type is common among my maternal family, and we've had several scary pregnancies that turned out just fine and resulted in normal, healthy babies. We've not had any of these women believe or suspect she was impregnated by an alien. My sister and I carry the Rh negative blood type and, believe me, we've never been abducted nor impregnated by aliens and neither was our mother nor grandmothers.

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    1. I don't think Mike ever made the direct implication that "Rh negative equals Alien hybrid." What he's reporting is merely tidbits of the abduction mythos as they are expressed in the subculture that he's been able to study, by way of personal interviews and conversations of people who claim the abduction experience.

      In that respect, the fact that Rh negative is mentioned in an obscure TV film before it became a relevant subject in the Abduction discussion is worth pointing out.

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  3. Wow!

    I mean, really —WOW!

    Mike, once again you haven't failed to impress me. This article is fantastic.

    Your line "The overall effect is of some sort of ancient ritual or occult offering" reminded me of the Biblical story of Abraham, and how Yahweh comes to him because he wants Abraham's son Isaac offered in sacrifice.

    So Abraham being a God-fearing man —how I HATE that effing term!— travels alone with Isaac to the land of Moriah —a mountain, according to the texts— and although the classical iconography shows Abraham preparing the offering of his son by putting him on a stone table —the Neolithic version of an operating slab?— your text has made me realize one can interpret this biblical passage using modern UFOlogical motifs...

    The color orange also seems to appear both in the TV movie —orange oceans— and your own personal experience —orange skies. In the Bible the orange is linked to "Praise; Spiritual Warfare/Intercession; Courage; Boldness; Intimacy; Companionship with God." [emphasis mine].

    2 quick questions: You say that in the movie the husband was a college professor. Is it ever revealed what he taught, and in which university?

    One again, kudos to you amigo :)

    Miguel

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  4. Reply to RPJ:

    The husband taught a college class where he an his students compare and contrast the political happening in Charles Dickens' books and their time. So, I guess it would be some sort of literature studies. No mention of the school, but it would have to be in southern California.

    Orange oceans / orange flash

    Mike C!

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    1. I'm ashamed to admit that I'm not too knowledgeable in Dickens literature —other than Chirstmas Carol, which in itself is pretty remarkable as it involves other-worldly visitation and visions of different time-lines, even what one might call apocalyptic warnings (although from a very personal standpoint)— but what I do recall right now is that in Clint Eastwood's movie Hereafter, Matt Damon's character, who regards his ability to contact the spirit world as a 'curse' brought up by childhood trauma, was shown as a huge fan of Charles Dickens.

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  5. @RPJ
    “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness,it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity,it was the season of light,it was the season of darkness,it was the spring of hope,it was the winter of despair.”
    ― Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

    “Not knowing how he lost himself, or how he recovered himself, he may never feel certain of not losing himself again.”
    ― Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

    “Other sound than the owl's voice there was none, save the falling of a fountain into its stone basin; for, it was one of those dark nights that hold their breath by the hour together, and then heave a long low sigh, and hold their breath again.”
    ― Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

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  6. And of course, visitors to Silver Screen Saucers can find a wonderful essay by Jack Witek, in which he explores the many connections between the last part of Batman's trilogy and Tale of Two Cities.

    And I'm not just saying that because he happens to be the James Bond of UFOlogy, and hence with a license to kill :P

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  7. @Mike
    RE:
    "This feeling of longing to go home is commonly reported by UFO abductees. They will sometimes state that that their soul is not of this earth but from some far off planet."

    and

    "Excessive craving for salt."

    You might want to watch this -

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMNv99gyCtI&feature=player_embedded

    Richard Martini (assistant to director of the movie "Salt" -Phillip Noyce)

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  8. Reminds me of the good ol' synchromystic stuff, with a better narrative thread.

    It seems that you inadvertently argued in favor for pop-culture informed experience- Though I give you all the credit in the world for being honest.

    Currently I find my own views challenged. I believe that experiencers, do witness something profound, but the amount of possible, pop-culture, "artifacts", seeded within the accounts are making me question whether or not testimony is compromised. The notion of triangle shaped craft, popularly conflated on the x-files, as extraterrestrial craft (-though we know now sightings coincide with the manufacture of the stealth fighter/bomber), are still proliferated as ufos. I'm beginning to seriously wonder, when faced with these experiences, are they so other, that our psyches draw on our modern myths to best attempt reconciliation?

    You & your contemporary's of late, have been throwing around the idea that the desperate paranormal areas (: cryptids, aliens/ufos, spirits, and all that is fortean), may be describing the same/related phenomenon. Too simplistic though it may be, is it too far a stretch assuming, it's related by our inability to adequately interpret these experiences and, instead substitute and, conflate what our unconscious holds to be a similarly, profound, representation, to best reconcile this "other" with reality- rather than jeopardizing the self via faulted worldview- thus a fractured mind. I'd assume it'd be easier for the mind to handle falling into a known myth/movie/etc. than it would be to accept a reality of something entirely alien.

    You're work is always well laid-out, thoughtful, and always worth my time.

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    1. "It seems that you inadvertently argued in favor for pop-culture informed experience."

      I see it differently. I believe Mike is suggesting that objectively real UFO and abduction phenomena do exist and that these phenomena pre-date the birth of the modern media. Mike's essay argues that on occasion, some people can tap into this reality -- channel it -- through the creative process, feeding it into pop-culture. It's an interesting idea, and actually very Jungian.

      There is, however, an alternative - perhaps simpler - explanation for The Stranger Within's eerily accurate prediction of hybridization accounts: The writer, Richard Matheson, or someone very close to him, was/is an abductee and the story was based on lived events and written as catharsis. Of course, this theory assumes the existence of a real phenomenon pre-dating its own media representations.

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    2. "There is, however, an alternative - perhaps simpler - explanation for The Stranger Within's eerily accurate prediction of hybridization accounts: The writer, Richard Matheson, or someone very close to him, was/is an abductee and the story was based on lived events and written as catharsis. Of course, this theory assumes the existence of a real phenomenon pre-dating its own media representations."

      Believers and Debunkers like to engage in these petty "chicken-and-the-egg" quarrels, trying to prove (or disprove) that before a famous abduction case, there was already an obscure TV program containing pretty much all the elements of the real-life-case.

      What believers and debunkers fail to realize is the never-ending cross-pollinating process between culture and the Fortean mysteries. They inform and mold one another in such a complex tapestry that trying to find which comes first is a futile exercise.

      Both parties also like to diminish the tremendous potential of the human mind to assess information via unconventional processes. There are plenty of examples where fictional novels predicted future events with uncanny precision --e.g. The novel in which the cruise ship 'Titan' sinks after crashing with an iceberg, before the tragedy of the Titanic.

      I like that theory that Matheson might have known someone who had an abductee experience, though. I really think someone should try and contact him, and learn more about the creative process involved in the writing of both the short story and the TV movie adaptation

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    3. I agree that the chicken and egg argument is futile. I will try to contact Matheson.

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  9. *PLEASE NOTE*

    Linked below is a much longer and more complete version that what is posted by Robbie up above these comments. I ended up adding a LOT of new info. This was bottomless pit of synchro-weirdness!

    Link to the LONGER essay:
    http://hiddenexperience.blogspot.com/2012/10/the-stranger-within.html
    ___________________________________________________________

    Peace,
    Mike C!

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  10. This is a great piece. I remember this film from my childhood. The 1970s saw many great made for television horror films that still hold up, and which I've been able to track down and explore. See my past interview with Michael Karol on this subject through his book exploring the ABC Movie of the Week that featured many of these: http://www.theofantastique.com/2010/02/03/michael-karol-the-abc-movie-of-the-week/. The combination of ideas from Ufology, alien abduction, sleep paralysis, and mystical pregnancy trope (http://www.theofantastique.com/2011/07/30/alien-impregnation-in-science-fiction-the-mystical-pregnancy-trope/) are fascinating. I include these links not by way of shameless self-promotion, but to note our common research interests, and to connect further dots for readers. I'm pleased to have discovered Silver Screen Saucers.

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    1. Reply to John Morehead:
      --------------------
      Thanks for the kind words. I just linked a video to my site from the links you provided. Fascinating, but I did notice that all the weird pregnancies in movies were from the 90's forward. (mostly)

      I went to your site < http://www.theofantastique.com > and I'm glad I found it. Feel free to link my long winded essay in your site.

      Mike C!

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  11. I haven't had time to go over the article in depth, but my book Saucer Movies, published in 1998, talks about what I call the "prescience hypothesis" evident in UFO films, wherin film seems to anticipate thematic elements that later appeared in the UFO literature. In particular, I mentioned Rosemary's Baby as a precursor to abduction narratives about hybrids, as well as the "wise baby" imagery from the ending of 2001. The Manchurian Candidate also contains imagery and plot elements that anticipate abduction material.

    Thanks to John Morehead for providing this link, I'll have more to say on the matter when I've reviewed the entire article. Some of my abduction musings are archived on the theofantistique.com website.

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  12. Nice to see this now-obscure '70s TV-movie (one of many written by Matheson) receive so much serious attention, and to see John Morehead--whom I know to be a big Matheson fan--weigh in on the subject. THE STRANGER WITHIN is now available as an on-demand DVD from the Warner Archive.

    There is, of course, another famous page-to-screen alien-impregnation story that also predated many of the nonfiction accounts you mentioned. John Wydham's 1957 novel THE MIDWICH CUCKOOS was filmed as VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED (with George Sanders and Barbara Shelley) in 1960, and remade by John Carpenter in 1995. To connect one more pair of dots, the latter featured Christopher Reeve, the star of Matheson's classic SOMEWHERE IN TIME, not long before the riding accident that paralyzed him.

    An interesting trivia tidbit regarding the college where David taught: in the story, it was Indiana's fictional Fort College, which Matheson modeled after his alma mater, the University of Missouri. Several of his early SF stories, which share little more than the physical location, are set there. The film, as you noted, does not identify the university.

    You didn't mention (at least in this version of your article) the differences between the endings. The story ends with the child stillborn and David wondering if the Martians will try again in a less accessible area, perhaps Africa or Asia. In the film, after delivering the interplanetary baby by herself, Ann joins a contingent of other “mothers by protest” and is spirited away, while her painting of the Earth as seen from another world, presumably the father’s, inexplicably catches fire.

    “Frankly,” Matheson replied when I asked him about its significance, “I don’t know what that painting running and smoldering meant either; I never wrote it in my script. The director’s fancy--as were the interminable clock shots.” He never mentioned anything to me about having known any abductees, but did express surprise, in retrospect, that such a now-common theme did not seem to have been used before his story. For further information, see my book RICHARD MATHESON ON SCREEN (http://www.mcfarlandpub.com/book-2.php?id=978-0-7864-4216-4).

    Addendum: When I approached Barbara Eden through her website a few years ago to ask if she would be willing to share any anecdotes regarding the film, I was disappointed to receive no reply. I guess now I know why! :-)

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    1. Thanks so much for your comment, Matthew! Very useful info :-)

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  13. Reply to Mathew,

    Thank you for the serious response. I wrote that essay in a sort of compulsive flurry, and I wish I had know of your book while I was writing. My main focus of my research is the UFO phenomenon, specifically the abduction reports. That said, I can hold my own on film history too. I tired to explore the issues of a creative emergence from a deeper consciousness as the source for the original short story. Was is ESP? Tapping into future events? Or merely coincidence? One thing I did NOT explore was if Matheson himself (or someone who confided in him) was a UFO abductee.

    Looking at the breadth of his work, I don't see any "pattern" relating to the UFO meme. What I do see is a powerhouse of imagination and I feel strongly that there is a kind of magic in thatgleaned output of creativity. Perhaps it was that magic that gleaned those predictive plot points from the noosphere.

    It is my understanding that at the time, in 1953, the concept of the alien abductee was absolutely invisible. Anyone that might have had an inkling of their own involvement would have been 'closeted' and questioning their sanity. I don't know for sure, but I don't know of any reports by people who look back on their own experiences from the early 1950's that involve the hybrid children aspect.

    My assumption is that if Matheson or anyone he knew was an abductee, and their experiences was the genesis of the story, it would have played out differently. Looking at Whitley Strieber's work before COMMUNION (1987) you can see an unmistakable pattern of repressed abduction weirdness welling up as horror fiction.

    There is a long interview (on youtube) with Matheson where he mentions the movie THE STRANGER WITHIN. He states that he thought Barbara Eden was very good (she was) and that he was disappointed in the movie. He stated: "I didn't care for the pace of it."

    << http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGWm1WxrYt8&feature=relmfu - at the 25:16 time count >>

    Also - Thank you for the VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED reference, that one slipped my mind. That one has hybrid children with psychic powers, penatrating eyes, a hive mind and an agenda. Plus, they cast blond kids with large foreheads!

    Mike C

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  14. Ooops. Multiple typos above (sorry)...

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