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Not Always So


Anya is a Channel

Anya Briggs doesn't care whether anyone believes her.

Before she became a channel herself, "I didn't believe any of it," she says. "Most of it seems so fake. I don't blame anyone for not believing me or thinking I am insane." She giggles, thinking of one high-profile channeler's corny English accent. Anya used to laugh at her once. Admittedly, it's still funny.

For Anya, being open about her psychic abilities is a great risk, but she's ready for the flak. Even the name of her website -- Anya Is A Channel -- is defiant.

The flak doesn't seem to have come yet. But, in a field where it is possible for male experiencers to have superstar status, Anya can't find a UFO researcher who will openly investigate her case. Privately, several have told her they are amazed. They think she is the real thing. But they won't come near her publicly.

One morning in 2007, Anya awoke with her clothes on inside-out. Though she could remember almost nothing of the night before, she was fairly sure that she'd had an abduction experience. Beginning in her late teens, Anya had had a long history of multiple-witness psychic experiences, struggling with depression while she kept silent, fearing that coming out to her psychotherapist mother and atheist stepfather would mean being labeled delusional, or worse. But there had never been anything with aliens.

The winter solstice of that year brought what Anya believes is her first conscious contact. Standing at a crosswalk waiting for a light to change, Anya found herself face to face with (as she later wrote), "the strangest looking man sitting in the window of a Starbucks. He wasn't abnormal, for all intents and purposes he had a perfect body, like a professional swimmer's, but way bigger. I don't know how to describe his physique. But he also happened to have the longest arms and fingers on a person I've ever seen, and additionally, he was about 6'8 or 6'9 and had the most perfect posture I've ever seen. He was sitting in the window and was also wearing -- head to toe -- cream-colored clothing. I mean it -- his shoes, shirt, pants, sweater -- all cream-colored. Additionally he was bald and was holding his mug of tea very awkwardly- his elbows were sticking straight out, exactly parallel to the floor." As she watched this bizarre figure, she became certain he was "not of this earth." There was a moment of apparent mutual recognition. Then he seemed to inundate her with a new and blissful feeling that Anya describes as "universal love."

Anya gets this same feeling, a sort of transcendent universal love, from many of her off-world contacts. In the months to come, she would fill over 600 longhand pages with automatic writing.

College was maybe not what it was supposed to be. Anya attended a big midwestern state university in an apparently peaceful small town. Only later did she hear that it was one of the most haunted towns in the country.

During a series of encounters with a violent poltergeist while living in off-campus housing, Anya experienced what she calls "the awakening of her third eye." The ghost tormented her roommates and threw canned goods at Anya. The group of women solicited someone to smudge the building with sage, but "that did jack squat!" Anya laughs. The harassment escalated. Broken tombstones turned up in the driveway. A roommate's cat suffered a mysterious and violent death. Finally, the entity turned on Anya herself, trying to suffocate her in her bed. "I thought I was gonna die of fear!" she says. But when she invoked a divine presence, Anya felt suddenly calm. Cursing colorfully, she chased the ghost out the window, and that was the last she and her roommates heard from it.

In the retelling, the ordeal sounds like a power struggle between two potent psychic presences, like two big dudes fighting over an armrest at a movie theater.

Still spooked to the bone, the roommates vowed never to talk about what they had experienced. They guessed that keeping silent might protect them.

In 2001, Anya's office was directly across from the World Trade Center. Laughing, she remembers mugging at the Trade Center employees across the way, doing the trick where you pretend to be on an staircase going down. It was just something people did on the 28th floor.

Had Anya been at work on September 11, 2001, she could have been killed by the blast. "You could smell the burning dead bodies for a week. It was like a charnel house. Make no mistake -- it was hell on earth." Anya remembers crying for what felt like weeks straight. Everywhere she turned, there were more reminders of the attack, from people wearing buttons of the dead, to purple-and-black bunting memorializing fallen firefighters. "There was no psychological help at all." The city was subsumed in grief. "It was life-altering," says Anya. "I would see tanks going down my street on a regular basis. It was like a martial law war zone." At the same time, Anya felt her mediumship abilities begin to intensify. "I was seeing ghosts out the wazoo." In fact, they were appearing in her apartment, one after the other. Working instinctively, she was able to help guide some of them "into the light." She says that others still remain behind, uncomfortable with the transition.

The off-world contacts are not happening only to Anya. Others around the globe are seeing strange lights in the sky, communing with entities that seem to be from another world. Some of them, like Anya, identify as starseeds. It is a deeply personal identification, a powerful feeling that one's soul is not from this earth.

"This is the starseed revolution that's happening right now," says Anya excitedly. At last, she is not alone. And the universal love keeps churning.

In Anya's Youtube videos, her dark hair is pulled modestly back from her forehead. She seems to glow from within. Her eyes skate sideways as she tunes in, and then she breaks into a broad smile, and begins to speak.

(Part One of several future interviews with Anya.)