CARL HIGDON - 2
"Having lived with my husband all these years, I'd know right away if he were lying. Never before have I seen him so shaken by anything. I'll never forget the expression on his face the night we found him way back in the Medicine Bow National Forest. He was trembling from head to toe and babbling to himself. Nothing he said made any sense to me -- now, of course, it does!"
Margery Higdon says she realized something was wrong when Carl's boss, Buddy Rosaker, telephoned to find out where her husband had gone off to. "He was upset because Carl had promised to return a borrowed company truck by late afternoon, and it was now seven p.m. I told Buddy that I hadn't seen Carl since I'd left for work that morning. I remember he told me he planned to go hunting, and the last time I saw him he was putting his gear together and cleaning his gun. I told Buddy I'd let him know the minute Carl stepped through the front door."
Fidgety and anxious to hear from her husband, Margery Higdon waited impatiently for any word of her missing spouse. When minutes later Buddy Rosaker telephoned again, telling her that Carl had radioed in from his truck. "Buddy told me not to worry, but in the next instant said I should get ready to go out, since Carl sounded delirious and that he didn't seem to know who he was or where the truck was parked. I felt that I couldn't handle the pressure alone, so I called on my friends Marilyn and Don James to come along with me. Finally, when we met the search team, we were told not to venture into the woods, but rather to wait on the outskirts, since most of the roads were unsuitable for travel.
As they sat shivering in the damp night air, all three saw the forest suddenly come alive with an eerie phosphorescence. "The trees appeared to be ablaze. All around us the area was lit brightly as if the full moon had settled down somewhere amongst the trees. If was so light. I believe you could have spotted a dime on the road!"
Several minutes later, a strange aerial display erupted. "A light bobbed above a nearby grove of trees. At first we thought it might be an airplane circling overhead, but it was much too low and traveling much too slowly. We didn't hear a sound coming from it. We also ruled out it being a helicopter, since we had asked for an aerial search and were told that none could be arranged before morning."
Minutes passed, and then a brilliant flash was seen coming from the forest. "I jumped for joy, figuring they had found my husband and were bringing him out. However, this wasn't the case, since the short-wave in our vehicle, tuned to the police broadcast band, advised us that they were still searching for Carl."
Around midnight, Marilyn James, who had been staring out the window, let out a soft cry and pointed to the sky in the direction of a hovering light. It moved! Wearily, her husband Don, mumbled that we should try to get some sleep -- that it was going to be a long vigil, and besides, the object was probably just a star. To this his wife answered, "Well, if it's only a star, why is it moving and making loops?" We watched dumbfounded as it blinked alternately red, white and green. Their sighting took place long before they learned of Carl's bizarre ordeal.
Reviewing the details of that terrible night in order to sort them out in her own mind, Margery Higdon went on to give a dramatic account of what happened.
"Checking my watch, I saw that it was just after 12 o'clock when they finally reached Carl. The rescue party consisted of Sheriff Ogburn, Deputy sheriff Ed Tierney, Roy Flemming, Dave Martin, and Harold Shurtz. They radioed for us to wait for them at the boundary of the forest. While waiting, I kept remarking as to how light it was over the next hill, as if the sun were coming up long before dawn."
As soon as Carl was brought out Mrs. Higdon ran over to the truck he was sitting in and began to ask him what happened, how he had gotten lost. "When I first got to him," she later told an investigator, "he just looked at me like -- well, like he was peering straight through me. The first thing I could think of to say to him that would help him get back to normal was, "Oh honey, did you get any elk?" And the minute I said "elk", he turned around and looked out the windshield with a horrified expression on his face. What really frightened me was when I tried to put a coat around his shoulders, he began to scream, "Don't touch me!.... Don't touch me!" It was like he didn't recognize me -- or any of us, for that matter! I whispered to Don to take Carl's gun out of the truck. I truly didn't know what was wrong with him.
According to Margery Higdon, her husband sat in the truck with his head on his lap. During a brief stop to gas up on the way to town, Carl jumped out of the van and ran over to the side of the road, "He was crying and holding out his hands over his eyes. The only thing he said was, 'Those lights, those lights, put those lights out. Help me, God, help me! Get those lights out!' We thought he was referring to the lights that had come on in the truck when the doors opened."
When they arrived at the Carbon County Memorial Hospital at two a.m., Carl was rushed into the emergency room for examination. Immediately he was subjected to an extensive series of tests, including X-rays, blood samples and an electrocardiogram.
"Pacing up and down the corridors of the hospital, unable to relax," Mrs. Higdon recalled, "I couldn't help but wonder what had happened out there while Carl was hunting. At one point, the chief intern on duty came out of the emergency room, mumbling something to the effect that it was totally crazy. I believe his exact words were, 'This is just like a science fiction movie.' I didn't know what to think."
Mrs. Higdon breathed a sigh of relief when she was told all the tests had proved negative.
Taken to Carl's bedside, Margery was surprised to see a nurse administering wet compresses to his forehead and to his yes. "All he kept doing was yelling about his 'pills,' his 'pills'. When we asked him 'What pills?' he would just reply, 'The four-day pills.' Then he would shout something about the 'the men in the black suits,' and the 'pick-up is -- how did it get there?' The nurse asked,'What do you mean?' and Carl asnwered, 'Those men had a gun... They just pointed and it disappeared.'"
After a particularly violent outburst, the doctor came into the room and shut off the overhead lights. "Getting closer to his bed, I saw that my husband's eyes were filled with tears. Besides his watering eyes the only other complaint he appeared to have was that his head hurt him badly. The nurse would try to stroke his forehead and he would cry, 'Oh! Oh, oh'"
It was not until the following day, around five pm., that Carl began to regain his senses. "Everything was a blur," he recalled. "My head felt like a balloon, and the room was swirling around me. The only things I can recall are the overhead lights and being pushed from one place to another. The best way I can describe what I felt is to say it seemed as if someone had hit me over the head with a baseball bat."
As more time passed, however, Carl was able to recall other bits of information. "I couldn't believe what my mind told me. Sure, I'd read about flying saucers -- even seen a few high up, but never took the subject too seriously. Now, I don't know what to say. All I know is that I met a couple of really 'funny looking' fellows out there, and my life hasn't been the same since. I'd like someone to tell me what's going on!"
Before being sent home from the hospital on Monday, October 26, the doctors instructed Carl to take it easy and not exert himself. He stayed home for three weeks, leaving his house only for a stroll around the backyard. "He was even afraid to drive the family car," Margery remembered. "It was as if my husband wasn't certain he could do anything."
Luckily for Higdon, his story did not initially receive the wide attention it deserved. A brief account containing only the barest of details, appeared in the Rawlins Daily Times on October 29. A staff reporter, Sue Taylor, interviewed Higdon and came away sounding as if she were convinced something unexplained had occurred. Despite the lack of widespread publicity in the Higdon case, the story did attract the attention of a leading psychologist.
Dr. R. Leo Sprinkle is a veteran in the UFO field. His meticulous work in the UFO field has convinced him that the flying saucer enigma should be seriously studied by his scientific colleagues.
An Associate Professor (Ret.) at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, he is not eager to seek publicity. Yet, regardless of the almost "supernatural" complexity of this incredible case, he has gone on record as being "intrigued" by the unusually high quality of available evidence.
Using hypnotic regression over a period of four grueling hours on November 2 and 15, Dr. Sprinkle was able to extract additional facts from Carl Higdon's subconscious memory.
In the presence of Mrs. Higdon, her four childrenn, several relatives, and two associates, he filled in the periods in which Carl had "blacked out." With him during these sessions was Rick Kenyon, a public school art teacher in Rawlins, and Robert Nantkes, a vocational rehabilitation counselor from Riverton, Wyoming. Both men had alerted Dr. Sprinkle to the case, after it had been reported in the Daily Times.
Seated in a comfortable chair in the calm seclusion of his living room, Carl Higdon revealed many additional details which he had not been able to recall prior to the hypnotic sessions. The UFO contactee divulged the total scope of his strange meeting with the aliens and his subsequent "voyage" to another realm.
Drinking a cup of strong hot coffee to help calm his nerves, Higdon was told to take off his shoes and to make himself comfortable. Feet planted firmly on the floor, hands on his lap, he was instructed to concentrate his gaze on a swinging pendulum.
"Relax deeper! Relax deeper!" came the soothing voice of Dr. Sprinkle as he began inducing the hypnotic state.
"You will be able to go back to the time and get more information about this experience," the psychologist said softly. "You'll be able to understand and evaluate it, so that even if the feelings are bothersome to you, you'll be able to tolerate them... In your mind's eye, just see yourself going back... to the time you were driving the pick-up -- going into that area. See yourself getting out of the truck with the rifle ... going down the crest, looking at the elk."
Once hypnotized, Carl Higdon, began to relive his bizarre hunting experience. Comments made during the hypnotic session indicate that his experience included the following astounding events, none of which Carl could consciously remember.