ALIENS: “BELIEVE IN US, BUT NOT TOO MUCH.”
If the September 1961 alien abduction incident reported by Barney and Betty Hill had been a one-off, singular event, then there might be at least some justification in suggesting that the whole event was born out of some strange, shared psychological event. The important thing to note, though, was that it was not a singular event. Quite the contrary, in fact. It was just the start of what eventually became a veritable deluge of reports that continues to this very day. Take, for example, the strange and thought-provoking case of a man named Herbert Schirmer. It was in the early hours of December 3, 1967, when Schirmer – who was, at the time, a policeman in Ashland, Nebraska – was driving around town, checking that all was normal. It turns out, however, that things were not normal; they were far from being normal. As he scoured the deserted, quiet streets, Schirmer was suddenly confronted by what, at first glance, he thought was a broken-down truck at the edge of one particular road. When his headlights hit the object with full force, however, it became instantly clear to Schirmer that this was no truck. It was much stranger, maybe even a vehicle from another world.
What Schirmer was confronted by was a fairly compact, egg-shaped craft, floating around eight to ten feet above the surface of the road. An amazed Schirmer could only stare as the UFO – there really was no other way for Schirmer to describe it – rose further into the sky. Flashing, red lights could be seen and a wailing, banshee-like sound filled Schirmer’s ears. The UFO then exited the area by taking a course directly above Schirmer’s vehicle. He sat there, astounded, for a few moments and then quickly headed back to the police station. He even recorded the details of the affair in the logbook: “Saw a flying saucer at the junction of highways 6 and 63. Believe it or not!”
Just like Betty and Barney Hill back in 1961, Schirmer – six years later – very soon came to realize that certain portions of that extremely weird night were gone from his mind and his memory – specifically, an hour or so of time. Also paralleling the experience of the Hills, Schirmer elected to undergo hypnosis to try and figure out what on earth (or off of it) had happened to him on that dark night. The hypnotic sessions were carried out by a Boulder, Colorado-based Dr. Leo Sprinkle. While under hypnosis, Schirmer provided an incredible account of what happened during that absent period of time.
Hypnosis revealed that as he sat in his police car, and as he stared in awe at the hovering craft directly before him, Schirmer was confronted by three humanoid beings. All of them were wearing tight-fitting, one-piece outfits. They exited the craft and walked towards Schirmer. All were around four-and-a-half to five-feet in height. Approaching the driver’s side window, one – that Schirmer perceived to be the “leader” of the alien pack – leaned in, in a slightly menacing fashion, and asked: “Are you the watchman of this place?” Schirmer replied that, yes, he was. As the aliens stood around his squad-car, Schirmer couldn’t fail to notice that their uniforms displayed the image of a winged serpent. Schirmer was reportedly then taken aboard the craft, and given what we would call “a tour.”
In somewhat puzzling and enigmatic words, the alien who seemed to be in charge said to Schirmer: “We want you to believe in us, but not too much.” After which, Schirmer was returned to his vehicle, with his mind wiped clean of the events – until, that is, definitively bad dreams finally forced him to undergo hypnosis, and the startling saga came tumbling out in spectacular fashion. It should be stressed that the Schirmer incident seemed to straddle two camps: that of the abductee and that of the contactee. For example, there was the issue of missing time, which certainly is a staple part of just about all alien abduction incidents on record. But, the entities that Schirmer saw were most definitely not the Greys of abduction lore. Their short statures aside, they were not too dissimilar to us. And, we can hardly say that Schirmer was kidnapped. He was, after all, invited on-board the UFO for that fairly quick tour. While the Schirmer case was not unique, it certainly remains a definitive part of alien abduction/alien contact lore.