The Plan

By Graham Conway

(Editor's note: Anticipating questions about the first part of this article, we must underscore the author's point that David Hamel's entrance into a spaceship was evidently an out-of-body experience. This would explain why his absence was not noted by the other two present and perhaps why communication was so quickly effected. Also, it is obvious we are not to suppose that the visitors physically materialized from a TV set. Instead their appearance in front of the screen, which presumably looked "snowy" to help re-focus Hamel's attention, must likewise have been on a level of perception not shared by the others.)

For most people who decide to spend their time watching the Waltons, the result would be television entertainment.  But for David Hamel, carpenter and millwright, the viewing experience became a door that opened up a whole new world.

On the evening of October 12,1975 Mr. and Mrs. Hamel and a friend sat back and relaxed.  The modest home situated in a thinly forested area known as Maple Ridge, has few neighbors and therefore offers seclusion and the privacy that goes with it.  This region, in the Lower Fraser Valley of British Columbia, is within a figurative stone's throw of Vancouver and possesses the distinction of having previously recorded a number of UFO sightings.  However, this particular night was to produce what may be this community's most notable incident, at least as far as we are aware up to the time of writing.

David states that as they watched the screen he saw it go "snowy".  Then to his amazement, he saw two people emerge in what he describes as "silver dust." The beings, one male and one female, resembled humans wearing one-piece suits. Coming over to where David sat, they touched him on the arm.  Then communicating via telepathy, they explained that they intended to elevate him to a space ship located above his home, and then proceeded to do so.

The craft that the astonished witness found himself in was, he estimates, 18 feet high and 30 feet in diameter. With windows all around the outer edge, the machine contained a number of small rooms, four feet by six. Each room, he noted, had sets of drawers that closed with a snap.  During a tour that was provided, his hosts introduced him to a third being on board, a bearded male.  The visitors informed him that they were from a planet located three billion miles from our earth. All his questions were answered freely and much information was provided of a highly technical and philosophical nature.

David admits that a great deal of what he saw, and was told in detail, was beyond his comprehension.  Even when he was able to grasp the newly acquired concept, he was further frustrated by his lack of ability to describe the ideas that were implanted.

His tour also included a medical check, an instrument being used to provide a reading of what was wrong and how to cure it. He added that even his bad back showed up on their screen.

David was shown a laboratory that held a device that purified water from the craft.  When he asked the occupants where they slept, they explained that magnets around the ship were activated enabling them to float and thereby eliminating the need for soft beds.  They also explained that the machine in which he found himself was powered by perpetual motion, and that they intended to teach him to build his own craft.

David estimates that this conversation took 15 minutes, before he was returned to his bodily shell in the living room of his home.  In view of what he relates it must be concluded that either some sort of time dilation took place, or thought transference was unusually rapid, as it would appear impossible to achieve all that he told us in that period of time.

But the adventure was by no means over. In fact, it had just begun.

The visitors were obviously aware that their protégé possessed a minimal education and would encounter many problems during the construction of the proposed craft.  So they simply moved into the house for an extended period of time.  Although David could see them, his wife could not.  But she could hear footsteps, see doors open and blankets lift off beds. The visitors informed him that on a certain day in the future they would appear in a solid form to his wife, Nora.

Lack of funds, space to work and technical know-how were ever present problems, although these were overcome as each one arose. The working plans might be best described as an artist's conception of the finalized machine. A construction engineer or draughtsman would, I think, throw up his hands in despair. Having met, in the past, craftsmen who seldom if ever put pen to paper, but knowingly tap their forehead when asked how they know what to do next, then I must admit that an unseen (to me) guiding force might well be evident in this case too.

As time progressed the Maple Ridge man sought assistance from many directions.  The result was an impressive accumulation of correspondence from prestigious institutions.  Most replies tended to be skeptical of his proposals, but did not discourage him from further effort.  Many asked him to contact them again when he had acquired a working model. In desperation, the aircraft builder sought a government grant through the auspices of his local MP [Member of Parliament]. But the federal government declined participation.

Realizing that his government disability pension would be nowhere near enough for the estimated construction costs, David secured a bank loan for $2500.  With this he was able to make a beginning, gradually adding more equipment as he could afford it.  To date his investment stands at $6000 of his own money, with a further $900 required to complete what he feels will be a full scale working model.

Listening to David describe his experiences and construction plans, hearing the scorn ringing as he describes the disbelievers who come to look but don't see, I can't help wondering if I would have had the same feelings, and heard the same driving voice in the Wright brothers, had I been present when they assembled that pile of string and canvas-wrapped air frame that they called an aircraft. And that heap of junk flew!

Not all of this is hot air, by any manner of means. Initially David built a small model, employing the present propulsion system, and placed it casually in an oil drum in his workshop prior to retiring one night.  Next thing he noticed was a red glow that lit up the living room.  Thinking the building was on fire, he climbed out of bed only to discover that the rotation of the magnets had activated to such a point that the oil drum was red hot.  In a matter of minutes the machine exploded, sending parts and magnets through the roof of the workshop.

This dramatic demonstration of success was the flame that sent him back to the drawing board, with a loud persistent voice telling him of bigger and better things to come.  To paraphrase a famous line from the movie "Field of Dreams": Build it, ensure it works, then the government might wake up and take note of his revolutionary machine!

As work slowly progressed, David found himself compelled to seek materials and information not available locally.  His travels even took him to California in search of suitable magnets with which to ring his craft. In book stores he felt compelled to buy certain books.  His library is now considerable, not only in size but also in variety. Many of the books are of the layman's introductory type and might be regarded by professional people in the field as simplistic in their approach.

The machine that David has built is in an advanced stage of construction, although the 54-year old designer points out that if the machine performs as it should, then the materials he has used will not stand up for long to the stress placed upon them. In this respect, however, he has no choice.  His very limited funds will not allow him any alternative.

Observers can be found who will state flatly that not only will the machine not get off the ground, but it won't even work at all.  It is interesting to note, however, that the concept David describes with such enthusiasm has been described previously in many publications from around the world.  The most recent example was in Flying Saucer Review, vol. 24, No. 1, pp. 13-14. A lengthy article by Andrew Collins, titled the "Aveley Abduction," contains references to a propulsion system with many similarities to those David Hamel is so valiantly trying to integrate.

To varying degrees these similarities are apparent with disturbing frequency.  Partly because of this and other factors, I tend to think that the whole story, improbable as it sounds, does have substance.

Something took place that might be safely described as a psychic experience.  Although David does not consider himself psychic, under the normal acceptable definition of that term, he will relate recent occurrences involving himself which display all the typical characteristics of this phenomenon.  Automatic writing, failing to appear on a photograph, astral travel, all have occurred, he claims, since the visitation.

When eventually the space visitors decided they had achieved their objective and that things were nicely underway, they announced that they were leaving, but would return as originally promised.  In due course the specified time passed after their departure, and one day and orange car appeared.  From it three persons emerged, who were oriental in appearance, with a reddish skin. David can only recall that the license plate was orange.  From then on for the next three hours he was a silent observer of what to him was a miracle.

His wife suffers from cerebral palsy, and for her, communication of any kind is difficult.  But when these visitors held her hand she was able to converse with them easily and did so, asking questions and having them answered.  The two men and one woman were easily recognizable as the original crew members he had met several months before, only this time they were dressed in an acceptably conventional manner.  When they finally left it was with the familiar announcement that they would be back again.

I had been introduced to this self-taught, retired machinist by a roundabout route, which finally led me to meet Mr. and Mrs. George S. Merchant who were good enough to arrange an opportunity for me to interview this contactee. During these preliminaries it was suggested that any contact case, no matter how bizarre, dies a natural death in the course of time (with a few notable exceptions). If a man could be found who could follow a plan that would attract attention to a new concept, with a host of accompanying startling ideas about mankind's future, then it wouldn't matter if the machine didn't work at all, ever.  It would have served its purpose: to focus continuing attention on one man and his voice, echoing ideas from another star.

Maybe that is "The Plan".


As a routine part of the investigation I was very much on the alert for the usually ever-present, and glaringly obvious, cross-country network of high tension towers.  Although they were present on a mountain side about five miles north of the contactee's home, I completely overlooked what was staring me in the face.

An associate drew my attention to a steep hill that rises directly behind Mr. Hamel's home to an altitude of possibly a thousand feet. Erected on its summit is a microwave relay tower!

This fact becomes even more significant when we consider that a previous and more recent incident, published in CUFOR vol. 4, no. 5 and titled "The Maple Ridge Diamonds" took place less than one air mile south from where David Hamel lives.  Quite literally on the other side of the hill!

ADDENDUM - Part 2, May 1996.

In the early eighties David and his wife decided to relocate, and in doing so settled in Gilmore, Ontario.

This spot was a site seen many years previously when David was privileged to observe it from the air, whilst on board a saucer.  But that's another story altogether.

Once established in his new home, Mr. Hamel constructed a Quonset hut, so that he could continue to work once again on his craft right through the long cold winters to come.

When I visited him in July, 1986 he had the building completed and was in the early stages of pouring the concrete for the floor.  From numerous telephone calls I have had since that time I know he has again built a larger and therefore more expensive version of the Maple Ridge model. Energy and enthusiasm still abound, but shortage of money is forever a major stumbling block.

In 1985, with the help of well-meaning friends, he wrote and sent a large number of letters to political figures and major industries.  Most chose to ignore him, a few replied politely, the remaining handful said "Thank you, we don't have any money to spare, but should you be successful in your endeavors, please don't hesitate to contact us, because we are interested!"

To name some of these far-sighted leaders of our nation, the list would include:

Brian Mulroney.............Prime Minister

George Hees................Veteran Affairs

Donald Cox..................National Research Council

F. V. Nyberg................Science Council of Canada

In addition, letters were sent to John Turner and Ed Broadbent, also ministers of government at that time.  Of the few replies, it would be fair to choose as an example, the letter from the National Research Council, dated 17 March 1986; it was six lines long and signed by Mr. W. F. Davidson. Its most telling line was, "we doubt that the material will be of benefit to our operations........".

Rather than serve as an anticipated damper, it merely had the effect of stimulating a March 21st, five page reply, to which their was no further response. Clearly the Executive Assistant to the President knew when he wasn't on a winning streak!

About 1990, I met a French Canadian named Pierre Sinclair, a gentleman with an electronics background. In the course of a number of conversations that revolved around our mutual interest in UFOs, David Hamel naturally entered the picture. Having explained how difficult I found his explanation of (to me) mind-boggling concepts, offered in less than perfect English, I suggested that Pierre try his luck. Contact was made, and from then on things really began to move forward.  Visits were made back and forth across the country as the various stages of development took place. The day finally arrived when a degree of success was achieved and out-of-town observers were displaying a keen interest in the unfolding events.

As many people were asking all the same basic questions it was felt that a book describing all related events would be a worthwhile venture. A journalist called Jeanne Manning, who had studied free energy devices for fifteen years, agreed to assist in writing the book. The title of which, "The Granite Man and the Butterfly", had nothing to do with either marathons or entomology, but rather two of the "keys" to David Hamel's earlier models.  The book makes fascinating reading insofar that it provides an insight into a more than puzzling past of the inventor. Indeed, at times one may be convinced that it is a piece of history that combines the horrors of war, prison camp, escape, "blanket" bombing and rescue; and let us not forget "lady luck", love and the paranormal.  And all this BEFORE the strange events of October 1975 in Maple Ridge, that took David Hamel down a path that changed his life forever.

ADDENDUM - Part 3, May 2005.

So thirty years have passed since this story emerged. Today, David Hamel is now 81 years old, just as “fired up” as he ever was. He tells me that he has some equally interested and involved assistants and that THE MACHINE will be ready to be tested .… again …. This summer. In the interim a new book has just been published about him and his endeavours. It is entitled “The Word Made Manifest Through Sacred Geometry”. Written by Bob Thomas a resident of Washington State. Some years ago a book was written by Jeanne Manning, entitled “Granite Man and The Butterfly”. The future alone will reveal if this time success will be the pay off for all of his years of dedication and belief in the outcome of one strange event many years ago.