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Precursors to Contact: Early Sightings of Contactees

The 1950s and into the 1960s is considered the era of the Contactees; men and women who had encounters with usually fine looking human looking aliens. These visitors from other worlds most often said they were from Venus, but Mars and planets outside our solar system were also other Space Brother origins. Typically, the aliens spoke perfect English (or whatever the native language was in the place they alighted), often communicated telepathically, and extended invitations to the human to come aboard their flying saucers. Wisdom was passed from alien to human freely; and eager discussions took place, where questions were answered.

Then things shifted around the 1960s. Barney and Betty Hill's encounter, considered the first alien abduction in UFO lore, was very different from the benign meetings with Venusians. These new entities were content to stay hidden. They did not extend invitations to the Hills but abducted -- kidnapped -- instead, and repressed their memories of the event. Questions were not answered, discussions did not take place. In fact, instead of the pleasant sexual acts between Space Brothers and Sisters and human, terrifying and painful medical examinations, including of the reproductive parts of the body, took place.

UFO researchers consider the Contactee era to be pretty much of the 1950s. But some Contactees have had earlier encounters that, while not always directly concerning an alien entity, seem to be precursors to the UFO and ET events later in their lives.

Dana Howard had an experience involving an entity and a spaceship in 1939. The following is from her book Diane, She Came From Venus:

1939: The First Encounter

"Still wrapped in the warm intoxication of the spirit, my vision was directed to a gnarled old tree overlooking the antediluvian hills. Leaning casually against the grotesque trunk was a woman being of unsurpassed loveliness. Her head was radiant with a crown of fire, strands of golden hair cascading gently over her beautiful, slightly olive-tinted shoulders. The strange mystic light flooding her dark, prophetic eyes, added a wistful something to all her other charms.

... a beautiful rocket-shaped ship suspended in midair about three hundred feet from the earth. . . In the main it seemed to be constructed of some sort of translucent materials, but trimmed in gold, and gem-studded. An almost invisible "ladder" extended from the ship to the earth, and I obediently followed the radiant being up the filmy stairs without questioning. Once aboard, my sacrosanct companion vanished, and I never saw her again."

South African Contactee Elizabeth Klarer saw a UFO in 1917; years later, she had meetings with the alien Akon in his spaceship, traveled to other planets, and had his child. Contactee Ida Kanneberg was not only abducted in 1940 in the California desert (a common motif in the Contactee landscape) but the aliens implanted some kind of device in her body at the time. She continues to have telepathic communications with entities to the present day.

Someone not known to UFO research is Diana Pizzuti, an artist living in Ventura, California who paints images of her family's encounters with UFOs. Her family's experiences with UFOs includes sightings, shared dreams and missing time. The painting shown above was inspired by her mother's account of her abduction in 1948. Contactee Howard Menger wrote that when he was ten years old, he had contact with a beautiful blond woman who told him he was chosen for great things in the future.

These accounts show that encounters with aliens and/or flying saucers occurred years before, sometimes decades before, what we consider "the Contactee Era" for some Contactees. Some of the Contactees here were told, or shown, of their future contacts long before their Contactee experiences took place. Why did this precursor occur, and why did things change from the pleasant, peaceful Space Brother motif to the covert and unpleasant grays of current abduction stories?

Researchers Nick Redfern and Ed Komarek make the point that the Contactee experience is still going on. (In fact, alien abductions are a contact; and can be considered a Contactee experience; and some of the elements of the classic contactee stories occur in abduction reports; telepathic communications, an urge to go outside and look at the sky, etc.)

Whether these experiences are of the same source, the same type of entity in another guise, mind control, MILABS, something altogether different -- who knows of course. (Well, no doubt a very few may know.) But one point keeps coming out of all these varied Contactee experiences; as wacky as they sound, there are, like the alien abduction encounters afterward (though, the two seem to be occurring concurrently as I previously noted) too many specific details shared in these accounts that defy a simplistic "feh!" response. Something definitely "other" was going on, and it clearly is still going on.


Dana Howard: Diane, She Came From Venus

Ida Kannenberg: Time Travelers From Atlantis: The Collected Essays Of Ida M Kannenberg

Ed Komarek: Howard Menger Revisited

Howard Menger: From Outer Space to You

Painting by Diana Pizzuti

Nick Redfern: Contactees: A History of Alien-Human Interaction