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My Introduction to
of Extraterrestrial Life, UFOs,
and New Age Beliefs
excerpts on this page and subsequent
section of LCM were taken from my book;
®All Rights Reserved
An Exciting Job Leads to 'Enlightenment'
While scientists and
other people of learning were searching the heavens for extraterrestrials, I was
busy growing up like many children in a nice safe place named Beckley, West
Virginia. Many people had party telephone lines where children (and sometimes
naughty adults) could sneak and listen in on the conversations of their
neighbors. I believed in God, Santa Klaus, and the Tooth Fairy. There were no
gangs, drugs was mostly unheard of, and most families had a dad, mom, and
children that found mom at home when they came home from school. "What is
divorce?," most children would ask if they every heard the word used by others.
At the beginning of each day, children would be led in saying the Pledge of
Allegiance by their teacher, they would pray over each bag lunch, and hug their
teacher goodbye at the end of the day. Most would either ride bicycles or sleds
for most outdoor entertainment, depending upon the season and weather. Inside
they would play checkers, monopoly, or some type of friendly card came.
Television was interesting, clean, and more funny than sad or frightening. Life
was simple and good. But this changed when I entered my teen years.
teenager I was religious and attended church, but I did not really know Jesus Christ
personally, nor had I been born again. Nevertheless, I was no worse than some,
and got along well with most.
While completing my last two years of high school (Woodrow
Wilson High School) and technical school (Raleigh County
Vocation Technical Center), I had the wonderful opportunity to work as a production assistant at
WSWP-TV, a public television station that served the southern
portion of West Virginia. I was given a fancy title, 'production assistant,' for a position that was really
simple office help and acting as a gopher most of the time.
much of my time logging in and mailing out large heavy reels of two inch
video tape. Once in a while I directed to jump into the state vehicle and
drive a specially need tape or electronic part to the transmitter site that
was located at Layland, West Virginia. I really enjoyed the job, especially when I got to
work as a photographer or a camera-man on production out in the field.
I still remember the
thrill of using a genuine Nikon 35mm SLR for the first time. I was given a state car and
given the assignment to travel and photograph all the state parks and points of
interest I could find. The station needed the slides that would be used on the air as
station promos. I hate to admit it, but the crash course my manager gave me on using the
expensive unit resulted mostly in several rolls of underexposed or overexposed film, and
few that were properly exposed.
Other times I had a
few occasions to man one of the large RCA TK-44 video cameras when our station covered the
high school playoffs in Charleston, West Virginia. I really got into it, and I think I
became quite proficient at it. But what I enjoyed most was an opportunity that arose after
I graduated from high school.
After graduation from
Woodrow Wilson High School in the summer of 1972, I got to go on location for a whole week
to serve as a camera-man at an exciting government facility, the
National Radio Astronomy Observatory
located in Green Bank, West Virginia. I worked with the station's crew for a week to help
produce a video documentary entitled, A Voice From Olympus. To say I enjoyed
the experience is a gross understatement.
While at the Green
Bank facility I got to go into every restricted area of most of the electronic telescopes.
Soon after I arrived I learned that many distinguished scientists from all over the world
would come to this facility to listen to the heavens. From my high school science classes
I had studied a little about radio telescopes searching for different types of cosmic
radiation. Thus, the work at Green Bank intrigued me. But I was astonished when I was
told that many scientists had used the facilities in the past and even then to listen for
signals from intelligent civilizations someplace in outer space!
I was even more stunned when I learn that the production we were making,
A Voice From Olympus, dealt with the history of past searches for
As I vaguely remember
it, I initially suspected that those who had told me this were trying to play a gag on me.
But, their demeanor and lack of laughter soon convinced me that they were dead serious. It
also soon became evident that those working at Green Bank were very serious about the idea
because the US government was funding some very expensive facilities and equipment that
was being used by highly trained and reputable scientists from all over the world.
Over the next few
days I was further amazed and awed as I watched and listened to the narrator read his
lines from the teleprompter in front of the camera. He presented many of the reasons as to
why some scientists believed in the possible existence of natural extraterrestrial life.
The things he said, the people I met at Green Bank, and the things I witnessed while there
impressed me greatly. One event readily comes to mind.
One day, while our
crew was working at Green Bank, something humorous happened. I our production crew was in
the control room for the old 300 foot radio telescope -- which I believe was the largest
in the world at the time. Either a scientist or technician was showing us a graphic print
out of what the dish was picking up.
When we first began
looking at printout the technician explained how we were seeing random
background noise. But the printout's pattern suddenly changed to indicate that a strong
narrow band signal had just broke through the steady hash! The tech muttered something to
himself -- howbeit out loud -- something like, "... Thats strange ..."
Then -- while we were all still watching -- it happened again! Then once more! The
technician obviously tried to contain his excitement, but he hastily called another person
over to look at the printout. By this time our crew had also begun to watch the print out.
And for a moment -- we hoped that perhaps we were watching history in the making.
photographer, who had been taking pictures (with the same Nikon I had tried to use before)
around the control room, was now bug-eyed like the rest of us and clicking away. Then
suddenly -- we noticed how the printout registered the strange signal every time our
photographer snapped a picture and the electronic flash began to sing as it recharged its
high voltage flash potential. Sure enough, the sensitive electronic radio
frequency detection equipment
had been picking up the strobes regeneration circuitry in the flash unit!
We all were
disappointed and chagrined at the same time. The world would have to wait -- we would
have to wait -- for contact with extraterrestrials to occur at some later date in
history. Nearly three decades later, mankind is still looking for signals that would
indicate that other intelligent beings elsewhere in the universe are trying to reach out
and touch somebody.
I never forgot about my enlightening
trip to Green Bank, nor the fact that government big bucks were being spent to look for
extraterrestrial life. From that time on I would often find myself looking up at the black
velvet canvas of heaven that was sprinkled with the most dazzling celestial jewels
observable by to man. But I was not looking up for the one called God. Instead I
was wondering, "Could it really be? What if it was true? What would they be
like? What would their world be like, and what would their lives be
like? Would they die like us, or would they live for ever?" I also wondered if we
would ever learn for sure if human kind had intelligent counterparts "out there"
somewhere instead of being alone in the cosmos. More importantly, I wondered if we would
ever meet them -- and perhaps even longed to meet them.
As I have also mentioned on the
page that provides more
information about me elsewhere on this
web site, I worked for the 3M Company. I was a customer service representative, which was a
fancy title for an electronic technician. I first worked for them for about five weeks
during the middle of 1973 one year after I completed high school and attended
college for two semesters. (I learned much about playing pool, but did apply
myself to anything else.) After I got married the middle of 1973, I left 3M and
worked for Montgomery Wards in Parkersburg, West Virginia for a couple of years.
We lived in Belpre, Ohio while I worked at 'Monkey Wards' as we affectionately
called it. While there my interest in UFOs and supposed aliens continued to grow
and I purchased a lot of literature to learn as much as I could. I eventually
returned to the 3M Company and worked for them on a steady basis from 1975 on to around 1982.
In any case, my experience at Green Bank provoked a curiosity within that soon led me to embrace
beliefs and practices that were not then defined by a label or religion.
However, today it is known as the New Age Movement.
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January 08, 2008.