New York Skies (Cheryl Costa)

The Experiencers: Not Your Dad’s Alien Abductees

Columnist Cheryl Costa explores the world of alien abductees.

They used to be called alien abductees; these days they have rebranded and call themselves experiencers.

The earliest-known alien abduction that was extensively reported was the Betty and Barney Hill case in the 1960s. The New England couple’s experiences were widely reported, published in a book, and a movie was even made about them starring James Earl Jones.

In the ’60s and through the ’70s, the topic was relatively obscure and it was folks like Dr. John Mack who did the early research on the topic, publishing several books of his own.

In the mid 1970’s, some loggers in Snowflake, Arizona had one of their members abducted while they were returning from some logging work in an isolated wooded area. For five days, the whereabouts of Travis Walton was the subject of television coverage and nationwide news stories. When Walton was finally found, he and his team were subjected to integration and lie detector tests, all if which they passed. In 1993, a major film titled Fire In The Sky was released about the abduction events.

In 1987, author Whitley Strieber published his book Communion about his personal experience of being abducted and studied by aliens. The book shined a light on the topic of alien abduction in a big way.

In the late 1990s, I was hosting an alternative talk radio program anchored in Washington, D.C., I had the opportunity to interview a Texas Psychotherapist named Constance Clear. At the time, Connie was promoting her book Reaching for Reality. In her book she described in great detail her therapy efforts to help seven fellow Texans come to grips and make a degree of peace with the reality that they had been abducted.

Since 1999, I have only had a passing interest in the topic of alien abductions because access to people who had been involved with it was very extraordinary. In addition, getting these exceptional individuals to talk to a member of the media was even rarer.

In the winter of 2015, I was speaking at the International UFO Congress near Phoenix, Arizona. While there I had the opportunity to interview Mr. Walton about the events related to his abduction in the mid 1970’s.
During our talk he told me the abductees prefer to be called “experiencers.” He also pointed me toward a daily meeting of experiencers at the conference. Of course, being a member of the media, I was not permitted to attend the experiencer meetings without special permission from the hosting psychotherapist, and even then only with certain assurances that I wouldn’t reveal anyone’s identity.

When I attended the first meeting I expected to meet perhaps a couple of dozen people sharing the deep dark aspects of their particular event. This wasn’t the case, as the meetings I went to were attended by over 100 people. They were all cheerful people celebrating the happiness of being out of the closet about their alien experience and open to others like themselves.

I listened to some frank, heart felt and at times tearful accounts. None of which, unfortunately, I can speak on. But I must point out that many documentaries on television paint these experiences as dark and sinister. What I listened to was certainly much more positive and was not unlike the experiences that Whitley Strieber talked about in his later books on the topic of associations and regular contact with off Worlders.

Since that time, the experiencers who chose to keep in touch with me have told me that there are online support groups on various online services. I even hear that there are plans for a big experiencer Coming Out Day here in North America sometime during 2016.

So if you think this may have happened to you, there is ample reading and support out there if you are careful and look for it.

Let’s take a look at the recent UFO sightings in New York Skies:

Feb. 5, 2016: At 9:30 p.m., a family in Selkirk observed a hovering craft near the New York State Thruway.

Feb. 10, 2016: At 10 p.m., a resident of Batavia witnessed an upside-down pyramid with four rows of lights hovering in the sky.

Feb. 13, 2016: At 6:30 p.m., a resident of Farmingdale saw an unexplained bright light in the sky near his home.

Feb. 14, 2016: At 4:30 a.m., a resident of East Hampton saw a bright orange fireball object hovering over his house.

Feb. 15, 2016: At 3 a.m., a motorist in East Aurora saw a bright orange, glowing object flying above local trees.

If you are interested in joining a monthly UFO discussion group in the Onondaga County area, drop Cheryl an email [email protected]. If you have a UFO sighting to report, you can use either one of the two national database services: or Both services respect confidentiality.

Cheryl Costa would love to hear the when, where and what of your New York sighting. Email it to [email protected]. The names of witnesses will be omitted to protect their privacy.

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