Elbert County (Colorado), 1975-1979 Version française
Translation by George Hoskins
Although some of our readers will be very familiar with the UFO phenomenon, others may be discovering it here for the first time. We have therefore chosen to introduce this work by way of presenting an exceptional case which includes almost all the aspects of the phenomenon and which may act as a textbook case. This case is reported by Jean Sider in his work "Unearthly Contacts, Decoys and Manipulations", Volume 1 [JS94 p. 139-177], and it will be of interest to neophytes as much as to experts, since we will attempt to present it from a new angle.
Usually this kind of case, with its "fantastic" features, immediately scares off any scientists, who quickly convince themselves of the mythomania of the witnesses, while less critical minds can only conclude that extraterrestrials do exist because the reported phenomena seem unexplainable otherwise.
However, we intend to suggest an alternative interpretation of the facts: one which points to psychological manipulation of witnesses by a covert military agency. At first glance this interpretation may seem equally improbable to the reader, but the contents of this work will ultimately support, point by point, each of the aspects of the manipulation outlined below. We are concerned here with introducing the UFO phenomenon with an example containing a variety of aspects so as to make the succeeding detailed analysis less abstract for the reader.
We shall use the following symbols within the text of the account to represent the kind of manipulation being discussed:
The investigators in this particular case are Dr John Deer, Ph.D., who at the time was a seismologist at the US Geological Survey of Denver (Colorado) and Dr Leo Sprinkle, Ph.D., a sociologist who was working at the university of Laramie (Wyoming). As to the witnesses, they will be referred to by the use of pseudonyms. The two main ones are Barbara, the wife of John (the night-time director of an important business in Colorado), and Jim, one of John’s colleagues and a former security officer with the US Air Force. The investigators are confident that all the witnesses concerned were acting in good faith and were not psychologically disturbed.
The story begins in 1975 on a ranch situated in Elbert County in Colorado, in an area forming part of the Rocky Mountains. Jim, John and Barbara had together bought a dilapidated farm, abandoned for several years, in a pretty setting of prairies and forests and they had restored it in the space of three months. When strange phenomena began to occur they first thought it must be the work of jokers, but then their suspicions moved towards the military, rightly so, as we shall see throughout this work. However, perhaps we should say as usual, they finally settled on the extraterrestrial hypothesis, since the phenomena they had observed went far beyond the framework of their rational understanding and quite naturally pushed them in this direction. Increasingly traumatised, they eventually left their property, which no doubt was the goal pursued by the manipulators. We should immediately make clear at this point that their ranch overlooked a strategic zone of the US Air Force, an area perfectly visible from this height.
Here, then, is the description of the strange phenomena:
The witnesses regularly hear strange hummings (), the more intense whenever the wind is blowing strongly, and they have themselves observed on several occasions UFOs which were emitting similar sounds (). It even happened sometimes that the noise was such that the witnesses could no longer hear themselves talking. The humming did not stop even after the electricity supply on the whole property had been cut.
One evening, when they were watching television, Jim suddenly felt
paralysed and Barbara experienced a run of tachycardia – abnormally fast heartbeat –
while Steve became panicky. Shortly afterwards Barbara tried to relate
this incident to John but each time she attempted it she began to stammer
and stutter, before her speech became normal again
The police officer who agreed to meet him pointed out that he only ever investigates one case in four because cattle mutilations in the region are so common. We will see later that this phenomenon has actually been affecting the whole of the United States since the end of the 60s and that it has been attributed either to the American military or to extraterrestrials, farmers in general being more inclined to believe that the military are responsible. This explains why, when the officer suggested an extraterrestrial cause for these mutilations, that Jim retorted it would be better for the officer to say nothing if he had no better explanation than that. All in all, the ranch was to lose six head of cattle over two years, all of them mutilated. At this period the reward offered by farmers for the capture of those responsible had already reached 500,000 dollars.
Jim telephoned to the neighbouring military base to ask why helicopters sometimes landed in the meadows belonging to his ranch. The officer in charge of radar surveillance responded by saying that he had seen nothing unusual on his screens (!) and then the colonel advised him to forget the matter. On another occasion, Jim telephoned to complain that several military aircraft had just overflown his property at very low altitude. The officer then asked him what he thought of the cattle mutilations, as if to indicate that the two were connected. Jim replied that they were probably due to UFOs, rather than to the government or to satanic sects. Apparently satisfied by this reply, the officer, in trusting mood, forgot about defence secrecy and confided to him that the base itself had had numerous problems with UFOs and that military personnel had received strict security instructions about the matter. Continuing this surrealistic conversation the officer then asked: "Did you happen to make complaints about the bigfoot?". Jim replied that he had seen some and the officer, as if to outdo him, added that the personnel had received orders concerning the bigfoot as well! One of two possibilities must be true: either the base really had had problems with extraterrestrials and it is unimaginable that an officer would speak about it to a civilian on the telephone, or, and it is very likely, the officer in question was simply playing his part in a brainwashing strategy ().
One evening when three ranch employees were outside they were attracted by a noise and found themselves being pursued by a bigfoot which crossed a barbed-wire fence on which Jim later found a tuft of animal hairs (). This rather unimaginative scenario has been repeated several times in the United States without the origin of the hairs, even though put through a laboratory examination, ever having been determined. That evening the bigfoot left tracks going right up to the ranch which Jim was able to photograph.
Witnesses feel a sense of harassment as well as feelings of depression and anxiety () and clashes between them become common. Jim suspected that an estate agent wishing to repurchase the ranch at a low price was trying to frighten them. But one evening when the humming was heard (), he noticed a luminous disc crossing the property at a slow speed (). Two friends then told him that two of their relatives, while driving along in a car, had been pursued by a UFO on the road behind the property belonging to the ranch. When they reached home they hid there while all the other people living there saw the disc hovering above their car for nearly three-quarters of an hour. Jim now began to entertain the possibility of the extraterrestrial explanation more seriously and decided to apologise to the police officer he had rebuffed previously, with the result that the two soon became good friends. On another occasion Barbara and two passengers in her car saw, early in the morning, an enormous UFO in the shape of a cone ().
The inhabitants of the ranch also hear a dry banging or shutting sound, like a car door being slammed forcefully, or blows struck against the walls of the house (). One evening Jim rushed out and glimpsed a bigfoot fleeing. On another evening, very annoyed at the repeated blows, Jim hurried outside with his rifle and fired at the fleeing bigfoot. Jim is a good shot and the creature was hit although without seeming to be too inconvenienced by the fact. It must have been wearing a bulletproof vest! Subsequently the people at the ranch heard a hoarse crying sound mixed with a kind of beep-beep: naturally it’s the sound of the wounded bigfoot. We can see that the theatrical production continues in its simplistic way.
One evening when he was coming back from town, Jim discovered the three children crouching in one of the bedrooms and terrified as a result of the renewed intensity of the bangings during the day. Angrily he went out to confront the intruders with violence and shouted that he would never give in to their threats. When he had calmed down he left the house again to go and work and heard a "stereophonic" voice telling him "Dr Jim, we accept!" (). This left Jim deeply moved, calling to mind the Stockholm syndrome, whereby a victim ends up loving his torturers because they are the only ones capable of lessening his suffering and who for that reason are able to receive his gratitude.
On another evening, Barbara and Jim discovered that the transmission systems on both their vehicles were no longer working, although both cars were always scrupulously maintained. Again Jim suspected an estate agent trying to frighten them away. The transmission systems and the gear systems both had to be changed completely.
Jim had agreed to lend one of his fields to two aircraft pilots so that they could use it as a landing area. Three weeks later, events took a more dramatic turn: in spite of the beautiful weather, the aircraft of one of the pilots crashed near the ranch with two passengers on board (). There is no doubt that the military base down below did not like the idea of their territory being overflown. But in order to even things out and show that the military is innocent of this particular crime, it is reported that two aircraft of the National Air Guard had also crashed in this area while in pursuit of a UFO (), which immediately leads one to think that these same military are themselves the victims of these phenomena and not their instigators. The only problem being that in the case of these two military aircraft all we have to go on is a very conveniently timed rumour. On the morning following the day of this supposed double crash two squadrons of hunter-interceptor planes, namely 26 aircraft, flew back and forth over the ranch and that region for quite some time as if they were looking for something (). It is also reported that some of the people who were making detailed inquiries about the cattle mutilations had disappeared: another rumour intended to dissuade the curious or the physical elimination of troublemakers? The investigation does not say.
One night, when several friends had stayed over to sleep there, nine discs landed conspicuously in front of the house (). Barbara watched from her window while Jim advanced towards the craft when suddenly something burned her forehead () and made her fall over backwards onto the sofa. Harry, who was beside her, immediately called out and Jim came running back while the discs disappeared. During this incident David found himself temporarily paralysed (). Once recovered he went outside with Jim and they heard a high-pitched sound that lasted the whole night (). David was subsequently ill for three days ().
At the top of a hill the inhabitants of the ranch found a patch of land which had been burned to a diameter of over 10 meters () where nothing would grow for a year. Jim, together with John’s eldest son, went up to the spot one evening in their car and their vehicle seemed to be lit up on arrival by a spotlight situated in a wood. They walked on foot towards this light source and found on the way a kind of box illuminated from within () which was emitting a humming sound (). Jim went forward alone and when about 1 meter from the box he turned round briefly to speak to John’s son, and the "object" took advantage of this to make its disappearance. Jim then told the teenager to go back to the house while he himself continued to move towards the trees. His progress became more and more difficult as paralysis overtook him () and he stopped close to the light which was in among the foliage. He then noticed about 15 meters below a faintly illumined disc () with two humanoids standing nearby (). The latter were dressed in tight-fitting suits and resembled made-up humans with eyes larger than life. They were talking in faultless English with the expressions and accent of that region. They ask Jim not to approach the "black boxes" which can be very dangerous and they immediately show proof of this: one bigfoot who was hiding in the shadows ( or ) went forward at their command towards one of these boxes ( or ), collapsing as soon as he got close to it. "As you can see for yourself, this box can be very dangerous" said one of the "extraterrestrials" just in case Jim had not properly understood. As we see it, this scenario too is of rather mediocre quality. Jim then returned to the ranch asserting that: "frankly, they didn’t make such a big impression on me". Nevertheless, he is now convinced that the bigfoot are really under the control of the extraterrestrials. All together some twenty people were said to have seen a bigfoot near the ranch, one of them having imitated Barbara squatting down and shielding her eyes with her hand so as to observe him better.
Another strange happening occurred when one afternoon Jim was met by his dog running towards him and then suddenly barking furiously at him as if it had picked up some unusual smell ( aimed at the dog). On another occasion, a military friend finishing his morning jogging felt himself forced to retrace his steps several times while trying to return to the ranch. He explained to Jim, who had observed his strange meandering, that each time he came close to the house something took hold of him and forced him to go back the way he had come ().
One night Jim woke up suddenly () and saw through the window a creature clothed in a tight-fitting suit (). He went to find Barbara in her bedroom and found her in a sort of trance and very agitated (). The entrance door then opened suddenly () and when Jim went to close it again, an internal voice said to him "We don’t need to open your door in order to enter your house!" (). When he told Barbara what he had just heard she looked at him as if he had gone crazy!
One weekend when several friends had been invited over, the electric current short-circuited at about 2 in the morning () just when the household was playing a board game. Everybody then heard a voice which seemed to come from the loudspeakers of the hi-fi, saying to them something along the lines of "Listen, we permit you to stay here. We have not really caused you much unpleasantness (sic). Don’t force us to take steps which you would regret…" ( and ). Daniel, one of the guests who was an electronics expert, was convinced that a sophisticated hoax had taken place and took it upon himself to take the whole hi-fi apart looking for a receiver, but he found nothing. On the other hand, he discovered to his surprise that the turntable worked even when the apparatus was not plugged in ().
Another night, also around 2 in the morning, Jim woke up suddenly and realised he was paralysed ( or ). In his room he saw a strange-looking creature about 2.1 meters (6.9 feet) tall whose head was covered by a cosmonaut’s helmet. This being seemed perfectly real and Jim did not have the feeling that he was hallucinating. Nonetheless the humanoid vanished suddenly, "a bit like the way one switches off a light", which suggests a hallucination of some kind ( or ). All together Jim was paralysed seven times during this whole business.
A short time afterwards the harassment intensified and the inhabitants of the ranch began seriously to consider going to live elsewhere. This is what they resolved to do in 1979 after having sold their property to some people who thereafter did not mention any unusual happenings, perhaps because the US Air Force had at last acquired the ranch through an intermediary. And so it is at this point that this story comes to a close.
The reader might object that all the phenomena with some electromagnetic origin () which were experienced during this whole affair could have been caused accidentally by the powerful radar of the nearby military base which actively monitors the airspace there. But a detailed examination of the facts shows that certain electromagnetic influences are not accidental but rather opportune, and that some very real phenomena, not hallucinatory, were seen simultaneously by several witnesses, in some cases leaving physical traces on the ground.
The psychological consequences of these events
were such that Barbara eventually had to consult regularly with a psychiatrist,
although conscious of the fact that the latter did not believe a word of these
accounts. In four years she lost fifteen kilos and began smoking up to three
packets of cigarettes a day, despite the fact that she had never previously
smoked. As for the two founders of APRO (the Aerial Phenomena Research
Organization), which had first published the matter, they died a few years later,
which put an end to the investigation they had promised to extend.