These Utahns say they benefited from encounters with extraterrestrial life | Cover Story | Salt Lake City Weekly

October 04, 2023 News » Cover Story

These Utahns say they benefited from encounters with extraterrestrial life 

Touched by an Alien

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  • Cover illustrated by Derek Carlisle

Ron Johnson faced the alien head-on. "Our noses almost touched," he recalled. "It looked like he was about to download something into my brain."

Three crown ridges topped the bald non-human's head, Johnson said. The being's bony arms led to three long fingers ending in small appendages. Speaking telepathically, the alien told Johnson: "I'm not here to hurt you. I am here to help you."

A heavy equipment mechanic, Johnson had earlier suffered a severe industrial accident. "I broke my back and smashed my spinal cord," Johnson said. "I lost the use of my left leg."

He underwent back surgery in a local hospital and recovered at his mom's house. He said he could hardly walk and struggled to bend over far enough to put on his own shoes, sleeping on a sofa because it was lower to the ground than his bed.

Growing tired of his physical limitations, he consulted a hypnotherapist who encouraged him to practice meditation. Johnson also prayed to God for help. Then one evening while he was lying down, a beam of vertical light moved slowly across his darkened living room.

"I thought it was a car driving down the road," Johnson said, "but no vehicles were out there."

Soon, the vertical beam began to appear multiple times per month. In time, what Johnson calls "a shadow person" followed the light.

"[It was] like a shadow on the wall," he said, "only out in the middle of the room."

On its second appearance, the shadow person appeared to stare at Johnson. The next time he saw it, the formless shadow had changed into a tangible, crown-headed entity, the form it took during subsequent visits.

There were two encounters when the alien took Johnson to a room and instructed him to memorize figures on a wall. On a third meeting, the alien said he planned to take Johnson on a journey. Johnson went to bed on his mother's couch but woke up lying on a stainless steel table.

Paralyzed, he could only move his eyes. He saw that the alien now wore a gown and a hat that reached where his chest would be. There were also humans in white lab coats.

The Mutual UFO Network investigates unidentified aerial phenemena, like this object seen hovering over Kolob Canyon. - COURTESY OF BRIAN LINDLEY
  • Courtesy of Brian Lindley
  • The Mutual UFO Network investigates unidentified aerial phenemena, like this object seen hovering over Kolob Canyon.

The alien climbed on Johnson's back near his surgery scar. He attached a large, metal, spider-like apparatus to Johnson's waist with tentacles to his arms and legs.

"I felt like he was inside my spine," Johnson recalled of the experience. "Whatever he was doing hurt so bad it was almost beyond comprehension."

Johnson kept trying to scream. He was terrified. Then the alien climbed onto Johnson's back again, grabbed his head, and pulled it back as far as possible.

"He puts three fingers on the roof of my mouth, then brings them out over my face and across the top of my head," said Johnson.

Afterward, a lab-coated human disconnected Johnson from the machines, telling him the aliens would return shortly. The pain in his back, with him since his accident, was now alleviated.

"It wasn't 100% different," he said, "But 95% and all for the good."

After the experience, Johnson said he had no problems getting out of bed. He could move, bend and touch the ground. Two round blood spots were on his back when he took off his nightshirt the following day.

"I've never had anything hurt like that in my entire life," he said. "But it cured my back."

Unexplained Encounters
It wasn't the first time Johnson believes he encountered alien life. At age 14, he helped his aunt and uncle on their California horse ranch. One night, he woke around midnight to find his blankets tossed at the foot of his bed.

"There was a terrifying feeling," he said. "I knew someone was there."

Leaning his head back, Johnson caught sight of a tall, thin alien bathed in a greenish glow. The alien remained silent as he stared at Johnson, who closed his eyes and wished the entity away.

Though it was gone 10 minutes later, Johnson lay awake until morning. After that, Johnson slept in the car whenever he stayed at his relative's house.

A pilot flying over Zion Canyon took this photograph of an object beneath his path. - COURTESY OF BRIAN LINDLEY
  • Courtesy of Brian Lindley
  • A pilot flying over Zion Canyon took this photograph of an object beneath his path.
An adjusted version of the above photo highights a bizarre cylindrical shape. - COURTESY OF BRIAN LINDLEY
  • Courtesy of Brian Lindley
  • An adjusted version of the above photo highights a bizarre cylindrical shape.

That childhood encounter was only the beginning of Johnson's continuing alien interactions. And more than a decade ago, he participated in a very active chapter of the Mutual Utah UFO Network (MUUFON) in West Valley.

"It was common to have 15 to 20 people," Johnson said of the group's meetings. "There were always more people than could sit around a table."

MUUFON's discussions went beyond flying saucers and little green men. Johnson and a friend, Darrell Smith, partnered up on research into Bigfoot. Lavon Seely took an interest in Chaco Canyon, home to ancient Indian myths. One young man claimed he knew of people inhabiting the Earth's center and a woman believed that a mysterious portal was located in her home.

"Noises came out of the portal," Johnson recalled. "Her dog barked whenever it got near it."

But despite its earlier vitality, MUUFON slowly died out. And even Erika Lukes, a UFO historian and former MUUFON director, concedes that no hard proof exists of extraterrestrial life visiting our planet.

"I've spent years researching this topic," she said.

Still, strong interest continues in the possibility. According to a 2021 Pew Research Center survey, about two-thirds of Americans (65%) say their best guess is that intelligent life exists on other planets. A July 2021 Gallup poll states that 4 in 10 Americans now think some unidentified aerial phenomena (the government's preferred term for UFOs) have been alien spacecraft visiting Earth from other planets or galaxies.

The Pew survey also showed that men are more likely than women (70% versus 60%) to believe in the existence of extraterrestrial life. And Americans under age 30 (76%) are more likely to believe in life on other planets than those age 50 and older (57%).

Brian Lindley was loading a trailer three years ago in preparation for a camping trip when he says a large, white orb appeared to hover over his home. At first, he returned inside, thinking it was just a weather balloon. But an hour later, the glowing orb hadn't budged an inch despite the windy day.

Lindley's Syracuse home is in Hill Air Force Base's flight path and before long, he said, the orb appeared to draw the attention of others. "I'm filming this object, and F-35 pilots took notice," he said. "They took two or three passes by it."

Lindley said the orb stayed for several hours after the jets had left. When the time arrived to leave for his trip, he felt torn—he wanted to see the orb either move or leave. While traveling, thoughts of the orb stuck in Lindley's brain, and he soon started researching area UFOs.

"It turned out that within months of my sighting, these things were all over Davis County—some stationary and some moving fast," he said.

Lindley felt compelled to report his own experience. When he contacted the Mutual UFO Network, he reached a director who operated Utah's chapter from another state, only to learn the local group had fizzled out years earlier.

"I thought that was such a shame when Utah is such a hot spot with the Uinta Basin, Dugway and military reports," he said. "I couldn't believe nobody was signing up to become an investigator."

He went on to do MUFON casework for a couple of years, working his way up the organization. A year ago, MUFON asked Lindley if he would like to be the Utah state director and rebuild the chapter. He accepted the challenge and will hold the first meeting of the new chapter at 6 p.m. on Dec. 7 at the downtown Salt Lake City Public Library. Dave Rosenfeld, with Utah UFO Hunters, will be the featured speaker.

"I have new leadership helping me out," Lindley said of rebuilding the chapter. "A handful of investigators, and more people signed up to become a member or an investigator. I'm going full steam ahead."

An object is photographed in the sunset skies above the  Utah State Capitol. - COURTESY OF BRIAN LINDLEY
  • Courtesy of Brian Lindley
  • An object is photographed in the sunset skies above the Utah State Capitol.

"We Are Not Alone"
Earl Grey Anderson, MUFON's Southern California director, is also an executive member of the organization's Experiencer Resource Team (ERT). He has personally investigated over 900 UFO reports and specializes in what are called "Experiencer" or "High Strangeness" cases.

Anderson says he was born with an interest in outer space, which was enhanced by his mother, who worked for aviator and industrialist Howard Hughes.

Anderson remembers his mother telling him about a Hughes security detail taking her into a concrete elevator that descended a mile beneath the Earth's surface to an underground city. Along with scientific laboratories relating to UFOs, Anderson's mother said the subterranean city possessed a movie theater, a hairdresser and golf carts for getting around.

Later, after watching Star Wars, Anderson said his mother confided in him again. "You have no idea how close to the truth that movie is," he recalled her saying. "The different spaceships and different species of aliens—it's real."

When he started working as a MUFON field investigator, Anderson had an experience with elements similar to Johnson's. Anderson had heard about a meditation method called CE5, where people attempted to communicate with extraterrestrials psychically, and he said he tried for days to "demand" contact.

Staring at a corner of his bedroom one night, Anderson noticed a corner brightening with a calming blue light. Like Johnson, he was paralyzed and could only move his eyes. Soon, his bedroom wall held a 7-foot circular hole in the corner.

"It was beaming with bright light and seemed distant within," he recalled.

Anderson glimpsed a tall entity on the right side of the swirling opening, who slid out followed by four tiny figures with gray skin and large black eyes.

They attached long, curling tubes to Anderson's extremities.

"They didn't walk toward me, but appeared to float a millimeter above the floor," Anderson said. "I couldn't move, scream or whisper. I was under their control, at their mercy. I felt like I was about to pass out—maybe I did."

Without warning, the tubes detached from his arms and legs, the beings slid back through and the portal began to close.

Afterward, Anderson said he could hear the crickets outside and in was able to move his fingers and arms again.

Anderson theorizes that his experience happened so that he would have empathy for others who have gone through similar abductions or visitations.

Since that encounter, Anderson says he has experienced what he called "synchronicities" in his life, or "meaningful coincidences that seem like magic." He attributes the moments to being the side-effect of a face-to-face with extraterrestrial life, making it well worth the initial fear and shock he experienced.

"For whatever reason, it happened," he said. "We are not alone."

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About The Author

Carolyn Campbell

Carolyn Campbell

Campbell has been writing for City Weekly since the 1980s. Her insightful pieces have won awards from the Society of Professional Journalists chapters in Utah and Colorado.

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