Editor's Note: Malcolm J. Brenner is the author of the novel, "Mel-khyor. An Interstellar Affair", which is a work of fiction. It is allegedly based on a true series of events that happened in 1978. We asked Malcolm to give us the story of the actual events.
A Unique, Long-duration CE3K Event in 1978
By Malcolm J. Brenner
© 2018 Malcolm J. Brenner/Eyes Open Media
If there was such a thing as a “typical” UFO sighting, it would be a brief event. Sightings of less than a minute are common, and a duration of several minutes would be considered extraordinary, even by the standards of the field.
For this reason, I was astounded to learn, in 1994, of a UFO event that lasted several days – perhaps as many as five! This particular event, which became the focus of my first major UFO investigation, started in the La Plata mountains of Colorado on Aug. 2, 1978 and may have lasted until Aug.7. While the exact duration is in question – the witness reports the typical uncertainty about time regarding the event – the origin of this report is not.
An Associated Press wire story released shortly after that date (and copied here from the Durango Herald of Aug.3, 1978) documents a widely-reported astronomical event, the entry of an unusually large object, at least 2-3 meters in diameter, into the Earth’s atmosphere around 3:15 p.m. local time. The object traveled from north to south, crossing the Arctic and Canada before entering into U.S. air space, where it apparently exploded with the force of a small nuclear weapon about 15 miles above Cheyenne, Wyoming, according to a U.S.A.F. spokesperson with the North American Air Defense Command in Colorado Springs, Colorado. No fragments of the bolide, as an exploding meteor is called, were ever recovered, although one university professor searched an area of 26,000 hectares (100 square miles) by helicopter.
But that’s just the beginning of a very tangled, twisted story involving a woman who claimed to have had sexual relations with a humanoid alien, and her husband, a reporter who found himself irresistibly drawn to investigating her story, regardless of its effects on their relationship. At their request, all names and many locations in this story have been changed or generalized to protect their identities. Both are college-educated and middle-class. The wife, “Jane,” was a native of the San Juan Valley in New Mexico; she worked in education. The husband, “Dick,” had moved from the suburban northeast, where he grew up, to follow a romantic relationship that failed, and subsequently found work reporting for local Four Corners-area newspapers.
Regarding UFOs, Jane had no interest in them, whereas Dick had been fascinated since childhood. In the 1950s his father, a radar engineer, kept several books by then-popular authors such as Project Blue Book director Maj. Edward Ruppelt, and contactee George Adamski, on his bookshelf. Dick’s interest in aliens was also stimulated by Robert A. Heinlein’s science-fiction novels, which vividly depicted humans interacting with a variety of aliens. But Dick had never seen a UFO he couldn’t explain.
The couple were acquainted with the author, and voluntarily provided information to him about Jane’s extended close encounter and Dick’s attempts to prove or disprove it. They were interviewed at irregular interviews over a period of several years in the mid-to-late 1990s as their relationship changed, and new elements of Jane’s experience were spontaneously recovered from her deep memory, where they had laid dormant for 16-plus years.
Jane and Dick’s relationship began in late 1993, when they met through a local liberal congregation. They were immediately attracted, and soon made plans to marry. However, about two weeks before the wedding, an incident occurred which cast their relationship into doubt.
They were watching TV one evening, a popular 1990s science-fiction show about two devoted civil servants who investigate paranormal events for a three-letter government agency. This particular episode involved an attempt in infiltrate a restricted U.S. airbase where alien spacecraft were being reverse-engineered.
Because of his history, Dick found the show riveting, but Jane fell asleep. Afterward, the couple retired to bed, where Dick wanted to talk, but Jane didn’t. Dick was musing aloud about the reportedly weird phenomenon of “alien abduction,” specifically waking up to find oneself surrounded by small, loathsome figures, the “Grays.”
Jane, half-asleep, responded by comparing it to waking up in the night to find a man in a shiny metallic suit standing at the foot of her bed.
Given Jane’s prior lack of interest in aliens, those words caused a profound reaction in Dick. At first, he couldn’t believe what he’d heard. Then, assuming his wife-to-be was a typical abductee, he pitied her.
Suddenly, in the dark bedroom, Jane sat up, fully awake and acting terrified. She begged Dick to forget what she’d just said, but he told her he couldn’t. He now wondered what actual experience would have made her abruptly make such a disturbing report. When he called her an abductee, however, Jane rallied.
“I wasn’t abducted,” she retorted, “I went willingly!” And over the next hour, she outlined her experience to her astonished fiancée.
Its long duration is only one of several extraordinary features of Jane’s CE3K event. Others include:
- A crashed alien vehicle, with only one survivor of a three-member crew, on a wooded hillside near Jane’s family’s vacation cabin. The alien, as Jane described him, was tall and thin, but otherwise humanoid except for one eerie detail: his eyes were black-on-black.
- The use of an artificial, helmet-like device to establish two-way communication between the alien and Jane, a device which also, at the same time, enabled her to interface with the spaceship’s self-aware computer. This was done without her foreknowledge or consent, but the alien explained he had to, to determine her intentions.
- Once they were able to communicate, the alien solicited Jane’s help to repair the damaged spacecraft! He explained that it had encountered a catastrophe in near-Earth orbit and plunged to Earth in a barely-controlled crash. He never revealed what force or agency caused the damage; however, given what Jane learned during her work on the ship, the alien’s boast that Earth’s best weapons couldn’t harm it seemed correct. It was at least hundreds of years in advance of any terrestrial technology.
- The alien also revealed that Jane’s government had tracked him on entry, and would be searching for him and his ship. If he was in danger of being captured, his standing orders were to disable the ship so no one could operate it, and then to kill himself to prevent the secrets of its operation from falling into the hands of terrestrial governments who were currently unfit to wield so much power. Given her options, Jane threw her lot in with the alien and agreed to help him repair the spacecraft under the computer’s guidance.
- Working in close quarters beside the alien, Jane, then unattached, reported being suddenly overwhelmed with lust. He proved to be mostly human with regard to his male anatomy, which Jane said was proportional to his height. Afterward, the alien seemed to regret his wayward impulse, saying he had broken all regulations. It was a theme she was to hear from him regularly during their encounter. He served in a large interplanetary organization composed of multiple alien species with the common experience of being individualistic, rather than a competing civilization of hive-minded entities.
However, all of this information didn’t come out of Jane at once. The UFO-themed TV show had somehow breached buried or repressed memories. Further details of Jane’s experiences, and Dick’s reactions to them, followed slowly over the years, and establishing a cohesive timeline and narrative was at times like assembling a jigsaw puzzle where all the pieces are the same color.
From this investigator’s point of view, it might be said that Jane’s story remained fundamentally unchanged during the years we were acquainted, never varying much in the telling but acquiring more detail, context and richness as time went on. In this respect, it is typical of the recovered memories of post-traumatic stress disorder victims.
What caused Jane’s initial fear and discomfort was the crumbling of mental memory blocks the alien implanted in her mind, using the same device he used originally to communicate. His rationale for this involuntary operation was that if Jane remembered her experience repairing the ship, she would be in danger of capture and interrogation by U.S. or foreign intelligence agencies in possession of the alien’s type of vessel, a 10-meter-tall egg-shaped craft, but without an operator.
Throughout our acquaintanceship, the emergence of these memories was never without deep emotional trauma, even fear, in Jane, according to her and Dick. It was her husband’s stated opinion that if Jane was acting when she recovered the memories, she ought to get an Oscar for her utterly convincing performances!
These disturbing memory fragments could emerge under varying circumstances. One time the couple were watching the Tom Hanks film Apollo 13 in a theater. During the launch sequence, where the three astronauts rocket into space, Dick glanced at Jane and was startled to see tears running down her cheeks. She later disclosed that, although the Saturn 5 moon rocket wasn’t like the alien’s swift, silent spacecraft, she felt the same rush of emotion she had when he took her for a “shakedown cruise” after repairs were successfully completed.
This was the author’s first inkling that Jane’s trip had taken her farther than he imagined. She reported having sex with the alien in zero-g, falling asleep afterward and awakening to find the planet Saturn on the spacecraft’s viewscreen. Their transit time, the alien told her, had been a couple of terrestrial hours, indicating enormous, nearly superluminal, speed.
Their destination was a huge alien “mothership” orbiting Saturn in the Cassini Division, the clear zone between the two major rings. Jane estimated the mothership’s size to be at least a couple of kilometers long and its shape, triangular. Their spacecraft swept into a hangar, parked and discharged them. They were greeted on arrival only by another alien of a completely unique description heretofore unknown in UFO literature. In order to avoid future possible witness contamination, I will only say about this creature was that it was colorful, sapient, highly intelligent, and, according to Jane, extremely lewd and sarcastic! While it in some ways resembled a crustacean, it had a carapace and mode of locomotion unlike any terrestrial organism.
Jane and her alien lover shortly appeared before a gathering of similar humanoid aliens which she felt was some kind of council or panel. The spokesperson expressed their thankfulness for her having helped the alien in his hour of need; however, he added, her presence there presented them with an ethical difficulty, and they could not in good conscience return her to Earth knowing what she knew.
At that, Jane reported a surge of fear, which was reinforced when her alien lover wouldn’t meet her gaze. There was nowhere to run when a couple of large, powerful aliens, apparently security guards, swept her out of the meeting, plunked her down in a chair and put the helmet on her head. She described a burst of intense light, and lost consciousness.
Jane woke up in bed in her family’s vacation cabin in Colorado the next morning, utterly unable to remember how she’d gotten there. The previous five days were a blur, and her memories of these experiences didn’t resurface for 16 years.
That concludes most of Jane’s narrative of her CE3K encounter. There were many other haunting details, but space doesn’t permit their inclusion here.
Given this bizarre tale, it seemed only natural that Dick would feel compelled to investigate it, both professionally as a reporter pursuing a cosmic Pulitzer, and as a husband obsessed with knowing if his wife had really slept with an extraterrestrial alien before she met him. He took a number of steps to do so:
- The first involved locating the newspaper clipping reproduced at the end of this article. Describing the event in a dusty Colorado small-town library, he said he felt a sense of disbelief upon first seeing it, then a rush of confirmation. Jane, in contrast, was completely nonplussed. “I know what happened to me,” was her response. Dick also read a follow-up story involving the unsuccessful search for pieces of the bolide, but wasn’t able to copy it.
- Dick had been interested in spaceflight since the early 1960’s and was an avid reader of science magazines. The entry trajectory of the reported bolide, from north to south, put it in a polar orbit. Most man-made satellites follow roughly equatorial orbits, where their launch vehicles pick up additional speed from the Earth’s rapid rotation close to the equator. A polar orbit requires substantially more fuel to achieve. Its significant advantage is that a satellite in this orbit can scan the entire surface of the Earth as it rotates below. The most frequent use for such an orbit is military and civilian reconnaissance and surveillance – spy satellites. It would also be the perfect orbit for an alien vehicle conducting survey work, or wanting to establish communications with many points on Earth.
- The fact that no pieces of the bolide, or impact craters, were found in the search suggested three possibilities to Dick: 1) the searchers searched the wrong location; 2) the bolide was a small comet composed primarily of dirty ice, that had melted in the August heat before it could be found; or 3) the apparent detonation was a ruse intended to deceive the terrestrial systems tracking the spacecraft. Dick had seen similar tricks used in old WWII submarine movies. If you convince the enemy that you’re dead, they’ll stop trying to kill you.
- Dick’s next logical step was to contact the Air Force’s U.S. Space Command Headquarters at Peterson AFB near Colorado Springs. A query letter with a copy of the AP story enclosed got him a call from a public affairs officer, who confirmed the bolide story.
- The object had been tracked both by ground-based radars and by orbiting surveillance satellites equipped with look-down infrared sensors. The object wasn’t in the AF catalogue of orbiting space debris and obsolete satellites, which must be tracked so other things can keep out of their way. The PA officer also confirmed details about the size of the object, based on radar returns, and the detonation. Afterward, a debris cloud had been tracked floating away.
- When Dick told the PA officer that he thought the object could be extraterrestrial, the officer remained polite and said that was an interesting idea. He had nothing more to add, however, and although Dick taped the call, and took notes, he lost both over the intervening years.
- One incident in Jane’s narrative had her knocking over a table of damaged parts that the alien was repairing outside the ship. Dick conceived the idea of searching for them, even though Jane said it would be futile. Dick borrowed a metal detector and drove to the remote cabin, only to find, upon entering the woods and locating the spot where Jane said the ship had been parked, that the underbrush was so thick he couldn’t get the metal detector’s probe anywhere near the ground. Jane was right.
- Emotionally, Dick’s investigation caused Jane a lot of stress, probably more than he was aware of, or she would admit to, at the time. While she seemed glad to be recovering the memories of a lost and remarkable (if true) experience, Dick found himself alternating between skepticism and belief. At the same time, he was wary of believing Jane’s story just because she was dear to him.
This interpersonal stress was exacerbated by problems with Jane’s parents, and the interaction between their three children, one of whom was Dick’s daughter. Another factor was the reappearance of Jane’s previous husband, a worthless scoundrel and petty crook who had abandoned her and the children several years before.
Dick feels the ex’s reappearance marked the beginning of the end of his and Jane’s marriage, which couldn’t withstand the multiple stresses. After six years, the couple divorced in 2000. It was, unfortunately, acrimonious, and in addition to losing his beloved wife and two stepchildren, Dick was never able to conclude his investigation. It remains tantalizing to this day, much to his dissatisfaction, and his efforts to interest other UFO researchers with more resources to interview Jane independently and investigate further haven’t been heeded. Dick has had no contact with Jane for over a decade.
As most readers of this JAR site probably know, there are two major, competing theories as to the origins of the UFO phenomenon. The traditional view, espoused since the late 1940’s, is that UFO’s are advanced technological spacecraft being used on and around the Earth by alien races from other planets in outer space. The other, competing, and by far weirder hypothesis, advocated by researchers such as the late John Keel, Whitley Strieber and Jacques Vallee, is that UFOs represent the physical manifestations of a control system for human beliefs, being run by unknown entities for unknown ends. These entities appear to manipulate our perceptions of time and space in ways we don’t understand. There seems to be no significant difference between a UFO event and a state of altered consciousness, a religious vision or a drug trip. We might refer to this theory as ultra-terrestrial, trans-dimensional or demonic, if we want to invoke religious analogies.
At first glance, the main points of Jane’s experience would seem to support the first theory. We have, after all, a real reported event of a large object entering the Earth’s atmosphere but leaving no trace, outside of radar and infra-red tracks. The alien appears to be a thoroughly flesh-and-blood entity, to the extent of being able to experience arousal and have sex with Jane multiple times during their brief encounter.
The spaceship itself, while advanced, is not impossible theoretically. Jane repeated several times that the alien told her human physicists were very close to understanding the energy that powered his craft, but he confined her to working on what he described as “essential but non-critical systems,” which didn’t include propulsion, navigation, flight logs or weapons, if, indeed, his ship had any. Of course, Jane was never able to specify what little changes need to be made to our physics theories to put them to work for us!
However, in other aspects, the story carries more of a mythic-poetic context, suggesting an extended visit in Fairyland or Magonia. For instance, positioned on the side of a hill, the spacecraft should have been visible up and down the valley, but no one spotted it save Jane. She would work her day job as a housekeeper at a local lodge, return home and spend the nights helping her alien lover repair her damaged ship. At night, she said, the woods around the ship seemed filled with light that nobody else could see.
Jane never recalled seeing anything like a bathroom, kitchen or sleeping quarters on the alien’s ship. The voyage to the mothership and her subsequent appearance before a council of aliens seem reminiscent of a dream or hallucination, and her memory recoveries were not without such. Some were so intense or frightening, Dick said, that Jane couldn’t speak for minutes after awakening.
What differentiates Jane’s CE3K encounter from most such events is its prolonged duration. During that time, she recalled the daytime presence of military trucks carrying uniformed soldiers, probably the Colorado National Guard, on maneuvers; but my request for a list of deployments in the years 1977, 1978 and 1979 went unanswered by the Guard, as did many Dick’s questions about his wife’s incredible experience.
In conclusion, I wish I could present a more coherent picture of this strange series of events, tying up loose ends and connecting important points together. While I no longer have access to Jane, I did obtain permission from her to write up this experience, provided I concealed her identity and published it as a work of fiction. This is what I’ve attempted to do in my 2016 novel Mel-Khyor: An Interstellar Affair, in which I used Jane and Dick’s experiences as a springboard into a work of science-fiction involving the ever-interesting Men (and a woman) In Black, the clash of alien races and a plan to save Earth’s whales from extinction. Some of the book is based on Jane’s account, some on Dick’s extrapolations of her events, and some on my own imagination.
Malcolm J. Brenner is a freelance writer and photographer living in Punta Gorda, Fla. In addition to “Mel-Khyor,” his published books include the memoir “Growing Up in the Orgone Box: Secrets of a Reichian Childhood” and his most notorious work, the novel “Wet Goddess: Recollections of a Dolphin Lover.” His books are available through Amazon, Smashwords and Audible.
Malcolm J. Brenner
5895 Swaying Palm Dr.
Punta Gorda, FL 33982