Thursday, July 5, 2012

A UFO EXPERIENCE..June 16, 2012.. Riverton, IL

I never thought I would be reporting this kind of experience. And part of me wishes I did not have to. I recall a cartoon in a magazine when I was a teen. It showed a man alone wagging his finger at a flying saucer in the sky and saying, ' Darn you UFO, now everyone will think I'm crazy.' Well, that has now happened to me; only , thank God, it is me and my adult son Brent who 'saw' these nighttime numinous objects in the sky. We continue to be somewhat reeling from the experience. It gives us much to talk about.

Very Similar to what we saw June 16, 2012,
Below is a letter, somewhat edited, that I wrote the morning after  to several friends. This kind of experience is unique in that no matter where you go in your mind trying to rationalize and explain, whether physically or psychologically, you always wind up knowing you simply 'do not know' what this mesmerizing experience is; what caused it, what is its physical and psychological nature, what meaning should be learned from it. You know you are stuck with a mystery but one that has a strong  but unexplainable effect on your mind and heart.

I had thought I've had enough of direct 'numinous' experience in my life. But now my oldest son Brent, we live together, and I have somewhat of a secret that we do not know what to do with. Saturday night, June 16, 2012  just at the ending  of dusk Brent came running to my room calling me to, “go look out front." I was expecting to see some animal, a possum or owl etc, but he pointed up. We starred amazed at beautiful round orange lights that were passing right over us. They seemed to be perfect circles of amber light and not as high as most small airplanes that pass over. They had a somewhat grainy texture but fully symmetrical. Maybe a slightly darker center, like a nucleus. I also noticed a faint dotted line circle around each one like a halo effect. They certainly would fit the Jungian description of mandalas, a symbol he found across all time and cultures depicting wholeness, completion, even a symbol representing the inexhaustible meaning of God. They were moving at a steady even speed from the SW to NE and tended to come in two's. Brent was more focused on the end of their path where they started to look clumped up and either disappearing or their lights going out. I think the former. I kept looking at the new arrivals. I would see new ones, they would first appear and then would pass out of view behind a high tree and then come back into view as they paraded right in front of us. There was total silence. It was experienced as a Holy moment.  We estimate there were more than twenty of them and we viewed them for more than five minutes before it ended. 
Taken By Brent June 16, 2012. Why Different Shape Than We Saw?

 Though quite mesmerized I was not alarmed for I was thinking , 'This will be on TV tonight and be the talk of the area." But after it ended I turned the radio on. We have a station  in this town, and there was nothing. We began to realize that we likely had no one to confirm our story. Thank God we have each other's verification. Brent said that was the reason he took his gaze off them long enough to come in to tell me. So this is initially  Brent's experience, not mine. I have mentioned it to a few: my pastor, chaplain colleagues , some old friends and my children. I can say that such a thing never quite leaves the mind. It has an unexplainable effect that I would assume is some kind of elevation of consciousness but there are no words to explain it. It leaves me with a conviction, which I had already carried for decades, there are vastly higher levels of consciousness and kinds of  intelligence that we humans have yet to experience. It makes even the most valued religious beliefs suspect of being only part or the beginning of a much larger story. 

Pic By Others Which Look Similar To Brent's Above
 This 'seeing' was different than my 'visions' of 1985 for there I would have guessed that no one else would see what I was seeing. I think those were more on the pattern of how Saul's visions are reported in Acts where none of his companions saw the vision or heard the voice that Saul experienced. But I felt sure that anyone who would have been present with us  would have seen what we saw. And Brent and I report seeing the same thing. From a psychological point I can't rule out that it was our mutual projection, not a tangible or physical object. We've looked at explanations for similar things via the internet that have been seen by many and photographed. Some attribute it to 'Chinese Lamps', lighted paper balloons that some send up at weddings etc. Others to some kind of secret government defense experiments. These do not at all strike home as reasonable explanations to Brent or me.But we have no way of knowing if our government is involved. I'm not drawn to conspiracy  theories regarding these incidents  for they are usually ways trying to know more than can be known.

I can't deny the strong impact, that is not explainable in words, this has on me but it is not comparable to the disorientation and emotional effect I experienced from the visions I had beginning in August  '85. I guess because those visions were much more personal, though predominantly archetypal, than these objects which seemed impersonal and totally collective. Also I was in a desperate situation physically and psychologically when the visions of '85 came. And the visions lasted for many months and only gradually ceased. I was quite completely and continuously absorbed in them and always expecting another moment by moment. Ordinary life was very difficult , if not impossible, to maintain. 

There was something soft, gentle and friendly about these lights in the sky  and they did not generate fear, just wonder and amazement. I can see how such an experience would cause one without previous 'visions' etc to question every orthodox meaning of life and God that they ever had. Simply because the 'quality' of this kind of experience is so much more effective at convincing one that 'there is truly something far more to reality than we are ordinarily aware of.' This captures the experiential  meaning of the theological and psychological description of 'the numinous.' It creates a general sense of 'belief' by direct experience that seeks or needs no other 'proof.' Since my previous experience had already led me to such questionings of  orthodox belief , which I have wrestled with for decades, this sight did not have that troubling effect on me. But to experience something 'other' that few people report having any direct experience of has a strong unexplainable, not always comfortable,  effect on a person. And it adds to the personal problem that likely some  such stories of UFO's are fabricated or have been reported by people who are not in other things reliable or of a healthy and 'sound' of mind. 

I am aware that Brent has questioned orthodox and standard explanations of the 'other' since he was very young. I have heard him say, “I'm open to any sign of there being 'something more', but that is what it would take for me to be seriously convinced there is something more than the  mystery of  the wonders we already observe.' I asked him the next day if this was troubling him and he said, " Not really. I had always welcomed  some kind of evidence there is something other beyond and now I am confronted that there is. I can't deny this." To him, and I think to me also, they were definitely  at some level real physical objects. His only question is are they explainable by standard categories or not? So we both seem to be OK but I know it stays quite central in my thinking and likely in his. In the past I've read Jung's paper on the psychological meaning of UFO phenomena. I did not get the idea he had had such an experience but he took them very seriously, especially the  psychological meaning as living symbol, but also as likely somewhat physical realities. I have now read again his booklet Flying Saucers, The Psychological Meaning Of Objects In The Sky. 1957. We may know little more now than when he wrote this though I think the number and frequency of reported sightings has continually  increased. All of this book is not easy reading. I would in fact suggest a person read the final few headings first for there he speaks in terms that most of us would more easily follow and  identify with.

I gave a spiritual talk entitled 'Recalling Our Transformations' to a Senior Day church group, three days after this 'sighting',  in the town I first preached and taught school 45 years ago. It was quite emotional for me. As I stood there giving them my prepared talk I wondered, 'What would they think of my 'visions'  of 1985 and even of the orange sky lights of three days ago?' I did share the lights experience with one very old friend there. He received it graciously and did not seem to want a full description etc. Brent did take one  picture  that evening which is in this post. The picture, which we do not think is a movement blur for the stars are crisp in the background, does not show it as a circle but more a crooked worm like shape? Also in this post is included a photograph that others submitted that look similar to the over all view we saw. I'm aware that having such an experience easily makes one 'not want' it to have a standard explanation. But I am also aware that our reasoned  explanations can just as easily rationalize it as something totally explainable when it isn't. So one is caught in a bind of what they even 'want' to be the truth about it. I can only say I have a hard time presently believing it is something explainable by 'normal' standards. It left us both feeling we had been 'visited' 

Should any of you have had such experience or know of someone you think it might be good for me to contact with this kind of information I would appreciate it. I am not looking for anyone  who is just 'interested' or who 'has a UFO hobby' but someone who is more credentialed and with some real experience in the area. Such a person with some Jungian awareness would be welcome also. Meanwhile  I will just live with this  and keep tabs with my son. Best Wishes, Jim Hibbett


Barbara Beam said...

Jim, did you know the Chinese Lantern Festival has been taking place at the Missouri Botanical Garden in StL? I believe it started in early June and will close in August. The theme this year is "Art by Day, Magic by Night". I have no idea if they planned to send up the kind of lantern you referred to, but it's something you may want to explore.

Did you ever see the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind? The lights you saw seem similar to some of the spaceships in that movie. I love that film, not just for the physical encounter, but for the positive feeling and the pull the humans felt for the aliens.

Alberto 514 said...

Seen the same orange lights in the sky over Montreal Canada last night around 10:45 pm EST.  First three in a triangular shape and four fallowing. freaked me out.

Anonymous said...

I saw them too, exactly how you described it. It was around 10-10:15 pm, Saturday. My husband saw them and called me. They were coming in groups or one after another from horizon from NW going toward SE (I live in northern NJ). They were definetely not chinese lanterns - after they dissapeared there was a barely seen track left, something similar that can be seen after supersonic jets but less visible, one wide track for all of them. It was obvious their fly is controlled with steady speed and direction. I looked all over the interner and found that people in different places and even countries have seen very similar events so it cannot be some kind of military objects relocation either. And you described the feeling they gave exactly - you just feel it's something from out there although you're trying to find a "human origin" explanation to that. Now I look at night sky almost every day - that strange feeling just don't leave you. I don't try to talk to other people about this, I know you have to see it yourself to beleive it. I never could beleive it before ...

Anonymous said...

On August 24,2012 , our family of 9 people witnessed 7 orange lights following each other, comng from the direction of the ocean and veering off to the north(over Hampton, NH). They were not orbs, but more of a chevron shape with a red light as well. My first thought upon seeing the first one was thta it was a plane on fire, but it wasn't falling. There was no noise from these objects. My daughter called Pease Airforce base to see if they had anything scheduled but they didn't. She reported what we were all watching. We could not find anything in the local news, but googling it we found all the other sightings listed by people that had seen the same thing for months now, not only locally but around the world.

The Shiverdecker's Blog said...

My wife, son and myself saw these same orange orbs come across the night time sky around 9pm on October 12, 2012. My wife was covering some flowers with blankets from the cold and came into the house calling us to look up into the sky. They looked very similar to the first picture you posted on your site. They came out of the eastern sky and sailed silently right above our heads when they all of a sudden flickered out. I have never seen anything like it before. Probably some kind of explanation, but I haven't figured it out yet.