A Strange Encounter
With 'Non-Terrans'

By Brad Steiger

Around 1967, I began to receive strange telephone calls from individuals who termed themselves 'non-Terrans,' a basically benevolent group of extraterrestrials, who had been living among us for about 8,000 years. When, around 5,000 years ago, they realized that we, their Terran cousins, were at that time simply too barbaric and primitive to receive any kind of meaningful instruction, they retreated to bases underground or at the bottoms of the oceans. Since then, they emerge from time to time to chart our basic progress, and they asked me to consider all the many legends that tell of gods and enchanted creatures rising up out of the sea to communicate moral lessons, religious principles, economic truths, or technological insights to astonished human beings.

On occasion, one of these alleged non-Terrans would introduce himself or herself to me after one of my lectures or seminars. The only physically distinguishing characteristics that I noted among these individuals were peculiarly large and slightly almond-shaped eyes, most frequently blue-green in color; a very thin body build; mostly reddish or blondish hair; and while the males were around medium height, the females appeared generally taller and somewhat masculine in appearance.

In 1969, when I was living in Chicago, I received a telephone call from an executive in a large advertising agency who asked me to be a consultant at a meeting of an executive from a major airline, some investment counselors, a psychologist, some pilots, and a group of people who claimed to be extraterrestrials or non-Terrans. The non-Terrans claimed that they were now willing to share a number of things that we Terrans could use: A powder that transformed common tap water into smokeless, nonpollutant, no-knock fuel, and a liquid that would totally fireproof any surface upon which it had been sprayed. The advertising executive wanted me to advise him and his friends just who the hell these "people" were.

For the first meeting I asked my friend Glenn, a former private detective, to accompany me--along with a hidden tape recorder. We met in a private home not far from O'Hare Airfield. There were three principals: Ray, the advertising executive whom I had met before, was a former jet pilot who had chased UFOs in Korea and had been on their trail ever since. Bill, an executive with a major airline, who was dedicated to solving the UFO enigma and able to travel anywhere at a moment's notice to investigate any UFO report firsthand. And there was 'Salvatore' --a non-Terran, a UFO navigator who appeared to be in his late 50s in terms of Earth-years, who had been chosen to negotiate with us Terrans for the fuel base and the fireproofing solution.

The evening went fast and was extremely confusing. From the outset, one of the non-Terrans, a tall redheaded woman with very strange, staring eyes, was hostile to me, complaining that in one of my books I had said that some UFO's may not have the most friendly of intentions. And I was never really introduced to a number of other individuals who, apparently, were the investment counselors, the psychologist, the pilots, and other assorted non-Terrans. To make matters more confusing, in spite of his practiced efforts to get crucial information on tape, Glenn's hidden recorder later reproduced only some unintelligible voices that sounded like Donald Duck singing in the shower.

In subsequent meetings with Salvatore, however, we soon determined that he was not really a non-Terran, but a good old Terran just like us. However, he had been trained by a German scientist who had worked closely with the non-Terrans. And this was the best part of the story: Toward the end of World War I, Dr. Rhinelander (as we shall call him) was contacted by a group of non-Terrans and told that he would be given the plans and assistance to build marvelous aerial craft that would run on a propulsion system totally unknown to the earth science of the day. If he wished to receive this information, he must form a group of scientific disciples and immigrate to a certain coal-mining community in the Midwest, U.S.A. Dr. Rhinelander agreed, and as soon as possible after the signing of the Armistice, the Germans immigrated to the designated area. It was important to be near these nearly played-out mines, Dr. Rhinelander was told, because the fuel he would need for the crafts would be made from a by-product of coal.

Dr. Rhinelander and his fellow scientists established themselves in the community, beginning their day when the last whistle sounded in the mines. While the other miners trudged for the bars, home, supper, and bed, the scientists entered their laboratories and set about to fulfill the time schedule that had been set for them by their mysterious benefactors. Eventually, through the apparently unlimited funds provided by the non-Terrans, Dr. Rhinelander was able to buy up old mines to convert into spacious laboratories and to employ large numbers of the indigenous community.

Salvatore told us that those who wished to work for Dr. Rhinelander had first to pass a rigorous physical examination and a tortuous, maddening psychological examination. If one were accepted, he was given a special diet and was required to submit to a regular testing of his blood, "to see if it stayed right."

Salvatore served his apprenticeship as a "checker"--a very simple job. One had only to receive a name and an address and go to that place and "check" to see if that person was doing what he was supposed to be doing. For example, the computer might say that a certain man was supposed to be living in Orlando, Florida, and was supposed to be a research chemist. A checker would then be dispatched to Orlando to see if that fellow was employed as a research chemist or if he had "erred" and pursued another walk of life. Salvatore admitted that I was on the checkers' lists and that they had been checking on me since I was a child to see if I were following the program that had been established for me. Naturally, as one who believes in free will, I did not receive such an allegation with enthusiasm.

After a few years as a "checker," Salvatore was allowed to enter the laboratories where Dr. Rhinelander and his crew were assembling the first aerial craft, which to Salvatore's unsophisticated eye appeared as impractically shaped as upside-down saucers. But soon the diligent Salvatore was working closely with Dr. Rhinelander and falling in love with the scientist's lovely and brilliant daughter. Dr. Rhinelander had such confidence in his daughter's ability that he permitted her to captain the maiden flight of the aerial craft that had been designed according to their tutors' specifications. That was when tragedy first struck.

Although the takeoff was accomplished without incident, the craft was no sooner free of the Earth's atmosphere when a similar but larger vehicle appeared and literally "caught" the ship piloted by Ms. Rhinelander within its metallic structure.

The alarmed and confused German scientists were then informed that another group of non-Terrans had objected to the intervention of Dr. Rhinelander's benefactors. They were not eager for Homo sapiens to have the secrets of interstellar travel. In fact, they would seek to delay humankind's leap to other worlds as long as possible.

In spite of this interference by a hostile extraterrestrial group, Dr. Rhinelander became determined to master space travel and to negotiate for the return of his daughter. According to Salvatore, two more vehicles were lost to the opposing factor of non-Terrans before the Germans perfected a means of avoiding capture. Dr. Rhinelander's daughter and the other crew members were never returned, although the Terrans were assured that these people were being well cared for on another world.

Dr. Rhinelander finally accomplished space travel in the 1930's, but it seemed to matter little. He grieved over the loss of his daughter and became diverted from his work. Concurrently, the unlimited financial funding that they had enjoyed seemed to be curtailed. Chaos began to permeate their once splendid structure of efficient order. At the time of Dr. Rhinelander's death, the group was approaching poverty, and even though they were still in close contact with the non-Terrans in their underwater bases, the scientists had little inclination to attempt more than an occasional foray into the night skies with their two surviving craft.

And now the nervous Salvatore, a small, plump, perpetually talking man, wished to sell the formulas to the nonpollutant fuel--which, he pointed out, Earth certainly needed now--and the fireproofer, which humankind always needed in their combustionable society.

But was he authorized to sell these formulas? Salvatore always answered yes, but in each of our various meetings he had the disconcerting habit of always looking over his shoulder--or ours--as if someone lurked unseen in the shadows. He explained that the group was now poor, and the few survivors had authorized him to seek a high bidder for their scientific breakthroughs.

Did the fuel work? Yes, Ray said. He had used it in his lawnmower all summer with good results. An attorney used it in his Lincoln Continental for several months, and he had been told by mechanics that the motor was in excellent condition.

A jarful was mixed and handed around the room. There seemed to be little odor. Glenn dipped in a finger and touched it to his tongue. Little taste--maybe a bit like kerosene. We poured a bit out and touched a match to it. Instantly it poofed into smokeless flame.

Did the fireproofer work? We were informed that a demonstration had been arranged at a nearby airfield. A mixture of oil and gasoline consuming an old fuselage had been extinguished within seconds with but one squirt from a fire extinguisher filled with the substance.

Ray felt he could get backers to raise the money the group was asking for the formulas. But in my opinion, he was about to enter some of the most maddening squares on the Reality Game. "I doubt if it will ever happen," I warned him. "Should you get the backers, I doubt you'll ever get together with Salvatore. And I hope you're secure in your job. In the past people who have tried to join forces with these characters have often ended up discredited. Scientists have been promised the Nobel prize and have been awarded nothing but the humiliation of being bounced out of the university with their tenure torn to shreds."

I went along on a midnight meeting in some seedy bar where we were to rendezvous with Salvatore. It rained so hard that night that it must have kept even UFO's out of the sky, because Salvatore did not show to deliver the formulas. I turned down the opportunity to come along for the next "for sure" transfer, and I was hardly surprised when Ray told me that Salvatore had not shown on that occasion, either.

In my opinion, a mischievous "whoever" was playing the old keepaway game. It became increasingly obvious to me that even though Salvatore may have been present at some decidedly remarkable happenings, he was no more authorized to sell those ostensibly fabulous formulas than he was to sell a piece of the moon. Salvatore was, in my opinion, a nervous little automaton, a puppet that jumped when an undisclosed someone pulled the strings.

Speaking of the moon, it was not long before Ray found himself confronted by attractive young women who claimed they were non-Terrans who had gone to school on Earth s satellite. Ray telephoned me and appealed for help. He said that the women could answer any technological question that he, a former Air Force jet pilot, could throw at them without hesitation. I reminded him that I had already announced my decision to "pass" this aspect of the Reality Game, but since Ray was a good friend, it was difficult to deny his pleas. I met him for lunch in a downtown restaurant when I was doing a guest shot on local ABC television's Chicago Show. An excited Ray told me that he had taken one of the Moon Maids for dinner a couple of nights before in an attempt to ply her with enough alcoholic beverages to loosen her tongue. She had put away a dozen double martinis without slurring a syllable, without contradicting any previously disclosed aspect of her story, and without once excusing herself to go to the ladies' room.

The Moon Maid's invulnerability to the effects of strong alcoholic drink reminded me of a confidential disclosure made to me by another UFO researcher who said that a non-Terran had entered his apartment one night and drank a bottle of bleach kept under the sink as proof that such chemicals did not affect their internal systems. Ray kept in touch for quite some time, and he proved to possess a rare degree of determination. He told me of a number of midnight meetings, which the other parties never kept. On occasion, he was "tailed" by three dark men in dark automobiles, who proved to be unshakable. But he never managed to track down those magical formulas.

I remained on the non-Terrans alleged "check list." I do not really know if these non-Terrans who have contacted me from time to time are precisely who they claim to be or whether they are some very real Terran jokesters. Some of them, like Salvatore, seem to be the manipulated subjects of some invisible puppeteer. I suspect that our opponents in the Reality Game occasionally employ conditioned members of our own species to pull off their distracting pranks, and then, later, some normal Homo sapiens imitate these Trickster devices through hoaxes--thereby royally confusing the whole issue. This is one of the real paradoxes of the whole UFO mystery. The attitude of the UFOnauts, the Visitors, the Other, toward us seems ambivalent at best. I have learned that it is best to play their game with extreme caution and to attempt to remain as centered, focused, and balanced as possible. To enter their dimension, is to enter a version of our world where nothing is as it seems.

The above account has been adapted from my Mysteries of Time and Space in which I describe many more encounters with the Tricksters, the Men in Black, and other assorted cosmic opponents who challenge us to play what I have come to call, The Reality Game. If we can once apprehend the true significance of the preposterous clues, if we can but master the proper moves, we may obtain a clearer picture of our true role in the cosmic scheme of things. The rules of the Reality Game are confusing, extremely flexible, and difficult to define, but play we must--for it is the only game in the Universe.

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