UFOs & Ghostly Phenomena
The subject of UFOs is often lumped together with other paranormal phenomena without much thought. “Heck, it’s unknown, therefore it must be paranormal…” But there are aspects to ufology that are not solely concerned with ‘nuts & bolts’ flying saucers and the physical entities that pilot them. There are numerous cases in which UFOs and ghosts have crossed paths, blurring even more the distinctions between perception and reality in this most fascinating field of study.
Throughout history, unsuspecting victims have yielded to the midnight advances of supernatural creatures such as succubi. These demonic entities appear to their prey often in the form of hideous dwarfs or wizened crones, crouching on their chests in the dead of night. Many researchers have suggested that such stories correlate with today’s reports of alien abduction. Sceptics have argued that the similarities prove that the phenomenon is nothing more than psychological in nature.
What I shall cover here, though, are one or two ghostly apparitions associated with the UFO phenomenon. It is surprising how common such reports there are and how the worlds of spirits and extraterrestrials seem to converge regularly.
A famous, and highly entertaining, example of how these subjects intermingle was demonstrated on Halloween in 2004. The popular LivingTV (a UK cable and satellite channel) programme, Most Haunted Live, was beginning a three-night investigation in the Lancashire town of Pendle. On the first night, the show’s resident psychic and medium, the flamboyant Derek Acorah, picked up on what he said were the spirits of alien beings. He declared that several extraterrestrials had died on the spot where the building they were in now stood. It was a bizarre statement during a show that usually confines itself to seeking out ‘regular’ spirits from an earthly origin and whether or not you believe in Acorah’s abilities, it adds to the subject nevertheless.
Another ghostly experience was recounted by Scottish researcher, Malcolm Robinson. In July, 1998, Malcolm travelled to Devon with BUFORA colleague, Judith Jaafar. They arrived at the family home of the witness that Malcolm referred to as B.P. and he told his family’s story.
Beginning in November of 1991, the entire family had experiences that eventually led them to calling in a spiritualist to perform a ‘cleansing’. Initially, it seemed that what was being dealt with was not connected with UFOs and that they were living in a haunted house. Footsteps were heard in the dead of night; B.P. awoke with pressure on his chest, as though something were sitting on him; figures in old-fashioned clothes were seen; the odd aroma of tobacco could often be smelled, even though nobody in the house smoked.
Then strange creatures began to be seen in the house, ranging from a typical Grey alien, to a hairy beast described by B.P.’s son as resembling Captain Caveman. After several weeks of these kinds of encounters, the spiritualist was called in and his work appeared to do the trick and all became quiet again.
Then, a few days later, when their 26-year old son was away, B.P. and his wife heard strange moaning noises coming from his bedroom. Then obscenity-filled screaming began, terrifying the pair. They entered the room and found it empty.
Things got so bad in the house that the family began sleeping in the same bedroom. One night, B.P. woke up to see a strange glow in the room. He roused his son, who was sleeping on a mattress on the floor, who said he could see what looked like a Grey alien. B.P. could not see this. His wife was apparently still asleep and mumbling something incoherently. After a few seconds, the glow coalesced into a ball and vanished with a ‘pop’ into a funnel of light. Later, B.P.’s wife told them that she had had a dream about aliens in the room and that she had tried to wake them both up.
After the son saw what he described as a ‘laser-light show’ in the house, the spiritualist was called in again and this time his cleansing was successful. The family have seen nothing since, although they say that they can still ‘feel’ the entities around them.
B.P. underwent hypnosis and recalled seeing alien beings with cat-like eyes taking him into a saucer-shaped craft. He had the sensation of travelling in the ship. Prior to this, the family had no interest in UFOs and took their experiences to be a haunting event. 1
Another incident that connects UFO lore with ghosts happened to a friend of mine. He experienced over three hours of missing time one evening in 1992. When he regained consciousness, his clothes were torn and he was covered with scratches. He recalled seeing a strange, green mist, something often reported by abductees. Immediately prior to him losing those three hours, though, he saw the ghost of his grandfather in his house. He has no explanation for what happened to him and a hypnosis session could shed no further light on the matter unfortunately.
In 1977, a case became so famous that it has had several books written about it and ancillary events were reported in the mainstream news media. In that year, south-west Wales, and in particular the Pembrokeshire coastline had a major UFO flap with many witnesses reporting strange craft flying around the skies and even landing. The most notorious of these recorded incidents took place at Ripperston Farm on St Bride’s Bay.
The details of what happened to the Coombs family can be found in such books as The Uninvited by Clive Harold, but the story is a strange one. What began with a light in the sky chasing the family car escalated into electrical interference and drainage, silver craft seen landing and taking off from the fields and even up-close sightings of silver-clad figures of up to seven feet in height.
What we are interested in this instance, though, are the more supernatural aspects to the case (if that is possible!). As well as these visual sightings and physical effects that plagued the Coombs, there were other incidents that bear more similarities with ghost or poltergeist lore. Items would move about the house by themselves, figures were seen passing through solid objects and even a whole herd of cattle was transported from one location to another in a matter of seconds.
The events surrounding the Coombs family may not seem overly surprising, given the fact that Pauline Coombs, the farmer’s wife at the centre of the ‘disturbances’, appears to have a history of supernatural interactions. Before moving to Ripperston Farm, the family lived in a caravan at Pembroke Dock. While here, Pauline, a devout Catholic, claimed to have witnessed not only the Virgin Mary, but Jesus himself, leading to such a stream of visitors that the owners of the caravan ended up destroying it!
So are ghosts and UFOs linked or do the occupants of extraterrestrial craft use ghosts as some kind of cloaking device? Do they, through some form of advanced technique, use recognisable images, such as deceased family members or cartoon characters, to make their targets more relaxed? If so, it doesn’t seem to work very well, as the poor victims are often petrified beyond belief, but it could be argued that the ETs know very little about our psychology and view us in their terms, much as we humans tend to anthropomorphise our view of the universe.
Whatever the truth behind these incidents, it seems that the barriers between the so-called physical world of UFOs and the spiritual world of ghosts and apparitions are not quite as water-tight as many would believe.
© Steve Johnson – 2006
1 - Devon Family: UFOs & Ghosts! (11/07/98) - Joint Investigation with BUFORA. - http://www.spiuk.net/casebook/ufos_aliens/casebook_ufos_aliens.htm
(Originally published in Issue 3 of UFOData Report)
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Updated 16th August, 2012