by Graham Conway - 8-Aug-97

The bane of any researcher in the field of Ufology is securing evidence that will be accepted for closer examination by the critics. This is no more apparent than when unfortunate close encounter witnesses come forward with injuries allegedly resulting from meetings with a craft and/or its occupants. Though I hasten to add, this is not true in all such reported cases.

Probably the case that received the most public attention was the Betty Cash incident that took place on the 29th of December, 1980, at Piney Woods, east Texas. In company with her son Colby and Vickie Landrum, they were witnesses to an aerial craft that was stationary in the night sky. This vehicle was emitting flames from its rear whilst being accompanied by twenty three helicopters.

Within hours of this incident the three people became seriously ill with a variety of reactions that were described as, and thought to be, the result of exposure to radiation. Lengthy and expensive hospital treatment was required. A considerable period of time elapsed before some semblance of recovery was achieved.

Despite a very lengthy investigation into this case by various people1 and an ensuing court battle where the injured trio tried to sue the government. The end result was total denial that this was a government experimental craft that had gone awry..."not ours" was the cry.

So was it truly a UFO? Should we just ignore the "chopper" escort?

Heading north to the 49th parallel we recall Canada’s equally outstanding case involving Steven Michalak, who on May 20th, 1967, had his own distressing meeting with a landed UFO. This took place near Falcon Lake, eighty miles east of Winnipeg, whilst he was prospecting for minerals .

Approaching the object and calling out in a number of the languages he spoke, he was caught off guard when the vehicle suddenly departed to join a companion hovering in the sky above. Prior to the craft’s departure he touched its surface, resulting in his rubber glove melting. A blast of heat set his shirt on fire.

In the weeks and months to follow he suffered from weight loss, nausea, diarrhea plus a decrease in his white blood cell count. Accompanying all this was swelling in his hands and chest area, plus dizziness. Half a year later he again complained of reoccurring burning sensations and red burn marks which formed a pattern on his chest2

Much closer to home is the lady who twenty five years ago lived in Port Alice on Vancouver Island. A late night encounter with two hovering craft resulted in eye damage. The optometrist asked her if she had been in close proximity to a welding torch, she replied in the negative. More to the point, the lady did not reveal what actually had taken place. She feared disbelief and ridicule.

In March of this year (1997), a lady who resides in Langley, British Columbia awoke one morning to discover her eyes were nearly closed shut, her face extremely puffy, and her upper chest, shoulders and back displayed what appeared to be a bad case of sunburn. She had no immediate recall as to how all this occurred .

Suffering acutely from this unpleasant condition, a friend drove her to the local hospital emergency room. The questions they asked were "have you been exposed to microwaves or radiation?" plus, "How did this happen?". She could truthfully reply "no" in the first instance and "I don’t know in the second". What she omitted to tell them was that she has a lengthy history of UFO experiences, much of it best described as "dreams".

Another lady, also a resident of Vancouver, British Columbia, has a history of UFO involvement that encompasses a good twenty five years. Almost since the very first event took place she has been plagued with one ailment after another. At this point she is pretty well on first name terms with all the major specialists and doctors in the city. Her medical file must be a foot thick. Some years ago a panel of six doctors told her that despite all the tests she had undergone they had no idea what was wrong with her. Quite often the painful afflictions disappear as rapidly as they arrive. Even so, numerous operations have taken place.

Quite recently a psychologist said to her, "never in my life have I ever met a person who has suffered so much bad luck as you have", .."tell me, what is your deep dark secret?" She didn’t tell him and emphatically denied having one! What an opportunity lost for his educational advancement.

Incidentally, we never cease to be amazed as to the number of people who recount abduction/intrusion experiences, later revealing that they suffer from fybromyalgia, also often referred to as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Does a connection indeed exist? The very profusion of cases would seem to rule out coincidence, therefore suggesting such a link.

If we move off this continent and over to England we find that in 1991 a Mr. Bill Eatock of Wigan claimed to have had an abduction experience. Consequently his life has never been the same since and his health has deteriorated.3.

In 1993, a family of four in West Yorkshire, England, were enjoying a home barbecue when they had a close encounter experience. Only fragmentary memories remain of what took place, but they too have all suffered ill health since that time4.

Moving again overseas to South Africa, this time July 31st 1975, at a place called Loxton, a gentleman called Danie Van Graan saw a "trailer" in his sheep enclosure. Thinking he could share a beverage with the four small occupants (thirty nine inches tall), he advanced on the strange vehicle. When only ten feet away he was hit by a light beam. Immobilized, he saw the craft depart. A short time later he died, riddled with cancer. When investigator Cynthia Hind spoke to the doctor and suggested the UFO’s beam was the cause of his death, he replied that unless she could produce a document that stated he was free of cancer prior to this event , then he (the doctor) was not prepared to believe that was the cause.5 Fair enough.

In 1987, a mother of two sons 10 and 11, living in the Johannesberg area, began to experience a series of unwelcome and unpleasant bedroom intrusions. She claimed to have been frequently raped, although unable to see her assailant. Also, a state of paralysis existed during these assaults. Later on, after a clicking sound, there was a monk-like figure beside her bed. He blew into her ear and her whole body trembled inside. "On one occasion they examined my face. They opened my jaw so wide it affected my jaw bone near to my ear. I now have a click in my jaw and have had medical attention for this, although I did not tell the doctor how it occurred. One morning, as I came out of the shower, I stood naked in front of the mirror and felt something like a bird fluttering in my breast. I could visibly see the fluttering in the mirror. Shortly after that, I had a lumpectomy. After the operation I was told it was neither benign nor malignant, and it puzzled my surgeon as he had never seen anything like that before."6

Half the world away in Australia a lady called Kelly Cahill, from Gippsland, Victoria had an equally traumatic experience one night in 1993. This close encounter involved her husband and an unrelated couple. Afterwards she bled for three and a half weeks and was diagnosed as having an infected womb. Ms Cahill apparently offered no explanations to the hospital authorities.7 More’s the pity.

Turning to Brazil. In 1946, Joao Prestes Hilho and his friend Salvador dos Santos were coming home from a fishing trip near the village of Aracriguama. As he reached his door a beam of light hit him, he fell but succeeded in reaching his sister’s home. Later that evening, after relating his story, Prestes’s health took a rapid turn for the worst. His flesh began to fall away from his bones as if boiled for a long time in hot water. Although, surprisingly not in any pain, he was terror stricken. Six hours later en route to the hospital, he died, remaining conscious to the very end.8

Although the preceding list of injures, due possibly to a close encounters, is not proof of an aggressive act, it does push the limits of coincidence. Even so, this represents only a small fraction of such cases.

An echo of concern can be found in Karla Turner’s statement to the effect that,... "a surprising number of abductees suffer from serious illnesses they didn’t have before their encounters. These have led to surgery, debilitation, and even death from causes the doctors can’t identify.9

In some of these cases the hospital authorities were aware of the circumstances. To what degree they believed the account is another matter.

What is far more important, is recognition and acceptance amongst the medical profession as a whole, that such cases can be found occurring on a continuing basis. Unfortunately this does not seem to be open to general discussion. Not being a member of the medical "club", I don’t enjoy the privilege of "inside track" feedback on this topic. Assuming of course that hospitals and support staff are yet aware such "visitor" interaction is taking place.

I’m happy to say small signs exist that clearly show not everyone has their head buried in the proverbial sand. With people like Dr. Leo Sprinkle, Dr. Richard Boylan, Dr. David M. Jacobs, Dr. Roger K. Leir, Edith Fiore, John Carpenter, James A. Harder, F. Haines, Rima E. LaiBow and Dr. John Miller. Also physicists Stanton Friedman and David E. Pritchard, spearheading investigations into this maturing enigma, it is inevitable that they will eventually catch the public’s attention with their scientific approach. After all, the late Dr. J. Allen Hynek is remembered for using that very same technique.

In 1976, Jacques Vallee published a book entitled, "The Invisible College". In it he proposed that members of the scientific community were aware of, and taking note, that strange and very unusual events were being reported by credible witnesses.

On a less positive note is the regrettable license suspension of Dr. Scott Corder from Ottawa, Kansas. The state authorities took this step in March, 1989, after publication of the forty one year old doctor’s religious beliefs, that also encompassed the topic of UFOs and extraterrestrials. Two years later he still had not been reinstated and was suffering economic hardship as a consequence.

More recently, accompanied by wider publicity was the private and public hounding of Dr. John Mack, 1977 Pulitzer Prize Winner and tenured staff member of the Harvard Medical School. His departmental colleagues really gave him an academic bashing, until a prominent figure moved in with political muscle and money to offer support. Apologies all round, case closed! Dr. Mack’s "crime" it would seem, was to scientifically investigate by hypnotic regression, cases of victims who claimed to have been possibly abducted by those ever elusive aliens. The trauma they suffered as an after effect was all too real. Researching, documenting and publishing his findings, according to the prescribed scientific methodologies, was clearly an irritant to many fellow members of academia.

Dr. Steven Greer, a Missouri, trauma physician, has founded a cutting edge organization called C.S.E.T.I. with the publicly announced intention of making contact with these visitors from who knows where. This brave man has put his name and career on the line in the pursuit of what he and others discern as very real happenings.

Back here in the Canadian northlands we seem to have too few representatives of the medical profession prepared to stand and be counted. At least when it comes to "visitor" interaction and the consequences thereof.

Dr. David Gotlib from Toronto and a physician from Saskatoon that I know attended a "closed door" Abduction Study Conference at M.I.T. in 1992. My friend told me he had, like everyone else, to sign a non disclosure document. Consequently I had to read about it all much later on.10 The important thing here of course is the acceptance and recognition within the medical community that SOMETHING is taking place on a grand scale. Exchange of anecdotal data and what to do seems to have been the principal order of the day.

I would like to think (and hope) that Canada’s representation extended beyond the two doctors mentioned above. Locally I know of a doctor who taught at a Vancouver city university, plus a number of clinical hypnotherapists who are ready to assist when called upon. Hardly an impressive showing at a national level, but 10% of something is better than 50% of nothing.

My own doctor, of Chinese origin, is aware of my interest in the field of Ufology and when time permits asks questions related to the phenomena. He has also perused publications that I have provided, published by our organization, describing current events.

Another doctor I am told of, also a Vancouver resident, is sympathetic to and believing of his female patient. This lady, a minister within her church, has a detailed history of "visitor" involvement. Her story which she courageously told on TV resulted in her losing her job with a major national banking firm.

Paradoxically, this same lady went to see a psychologist on referral, which ultimately ended in a shouting match and a file footnoted, "DELUSIONAL" Clearly we still have a long way to go.

On a more optimistic note I see that MUFON11 lists their Advisory Board of Consultants, 39 in the field of Medicine, 23 in Psychology, 1 in Psychotherapy, and 6 in Psychiatry. Granted a very small beginning, few in number, but of those listed in this account, I salute them, they deserve it, they’ve earned it and more power to them.

Surely after half a century of confusion, terror, and trying to sort out this mess, isn’t it about time that we rallied around all these victims? Isn’t it about time the "helping" professions stopped pretending all these events are a figment of patient imagination and instead reached out and really helped?

Isn’t it about time we just closed the gap? How about it EVERYONE?


  1. "UFO Related Human Psychological Effects" John Scheussler
  2. "The Encyclopedia of UFO’s" Ronald D. Story 1980 Doubleday Dolphin.
  3. Evening Post, Wigan England 10th January 1997
  4. Mail, Hartlepool England 19th February 1997
  5. Mufon Proceedings July 1997
  6. "UFOs Over Africa" Cynthia Hind 1996 Horus House Press
  7. "Encounters in Australia" Dr. John Carpenter, Video, 1997
  8. "Confrontations" Jacques Vallee 1990 Ballantine Books
  9. "Alien Abductions in the Gingerbread House" Dr. Karla Turner, UFO Sightings fall 1997.
  10. "Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind" C.D.B. Bryan 1995, Alfred A. Knopf.
  11. Mufon Proceedings July 1997.