A Plague of Imposters.

It was August 4th, 2011. They were stoned upon arrival and then proceeded to drink and smoke some more. Though I feel certain this did a lot to facilitate the threesome that then took place in my bedroom, we all enjoyed the experience enough that we proceeded to do it on another two occasions at the very least. It was this first occasion, the death of my threesome virginity, that had the most impact and tends to stick out in my memory, however.

At some point after we had all fooled around for a bit Jen, who was by that time truly stoned out of her gourd, left to go to the restroom. A short time later she came bursting back into the dark, smokey bedroom, face in her hands, and sat on my bed beside Sadie. Crying, speaking unintelligibly, she was evidently rather freaked out, which in turn got both Sadie and I rather freaked out. Though I couldn’t make it out what she was saying exactly, I thought she had said that she had seen something. We both urged her to elaborate, and she finally said that she needed a moment to figure out how to explain this.

A few moments later, in between deeply drawing off a cigarette, she explained that she’d had this recurring dream since childhood, and she had just had it again while she was on the bathroom. Though perhaps the case is different when you’re considerably stoned, people don’t often have dreams while they’re still awake, and so immediately this sounded more to me like a flashback.

Regardless, in what she calls her dream she was really young, perhaps two or three years old. She was on a trampoline with her brother in the yard of someone’s house. This was a house that was familiar to her in real life, from her childhood. Suddenly a man approaches them. He has a pale, expressionless face, dark hair and dark cloths, and the whole time he is just staring at them.

After that, she said, she remembers nothing. She wonders out loud if perhaps she was molested as a child.

Evidently Jen knew nothing about the Imposters, as I have since come to call the bulk of them. Others have called them, or certain groups of them, by various names. They are all joined by their generally peculiar behavior and, to varying degrees, their “passable” human appearance.

It is no news to me, working in the town I currently do, that some people are, relative to the average, simply strange in both appearance and behavior. One who knew me might argue I may even qualify. What interests me are the patterns that run through many of the reports, differing in ways that justify the independent titles attributed to them and yet similar enough in ways that suggest they are ultimately connected.

The Impostors preceded and seem to have provided inspiration for many characters we are now quite familiar with in popular culture. There are the Men in Black comics and movies, of course, and that one X-Files episode “Jose Chung’s From Outer Space” featuring two MIBs played by Jessie Ventura and Alex Trebek. Less obvious, perhaps, are the Agents of The Matrix trilogy, the Observers from the television show Fringe as well as the Strangers from the movie Dark City.

In real life these Impostors engage in the same scenarios with their subjects over and over. There are cases of plumbers entering the basement of numerous houses only to vanish, the supposed government agents (“the silencers” or MIBs) that arrive at your doorstep after a UFO encounter, the phantom photographers, strange job interviewers or the children with black eyes that want inside your house or car for some reason. Sometimes their script is event-specific, however, and at what turn out to be moments of cultural significance, such as during the JFK Assassination or during the plague.

The Impostors often have strange eyes and peculiar voices. With respect to the eyes, this is typically in terms of shape, and for both the effects are often described as hypnotic. They often wear inappropriate attire, either long out of fashion or absurdly out of season, but have also been reported in more conventional and modern attire, such as khakis and jeans.

Regardless of their type they all play the same roles, ask the same questions. The specific roles they play and scripts they adhere to seem to fall into one of several kind of scenes and they all typically exhibit the same strange, seemingly scripted behavior, though the talent or capacity of the individual actors vary. Some are almost robotic in their behavior or tone of voice, others seem a bit more capable but seem to have poorly rehearsed, and still others behave in an over-the-top, dramatic and deliberately archetypal manner. They often express knowledge about the contacted subject that they should not and one would think could not know. Even so, they seem ignorant of the most conventional things in human society. Regardless of their type, individual talent and dress, however, if you force them to go too far off script, they panic. If they offer their names or occupations they are invariably false ones, and while the references they provide are on occasion real people upon contacting them those real people claim to have never heard of them.

Immediately Jen’s story made me think of two events in my own life. One I do not recall, though it was relayed to me by my parents; the other occurred when I was in my twenties.

My parent’s story involved picking my sister and I up from the two-week Bible camp the summer of 1986. My childhood friend, Jimmy, had gotten my sister and I to go with him and his brother. Though I have committed what I recall of my experience there to writing elsewhere, relevant here are the men my parents remember seeing in the chapel, men who unnerved them both. They wore black suits and were standing at every wall, faces pale and expressionless. They had explained those men just as Jen had explained that ominous stranger.

The other event took place on the anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, in November of 1998. Sandra had brought me to the JFK Lecture at Kent State, where a writer from the Free Times, who had for years studied the assassination, was prepared to speak. As we walked in, an oriental-looking fellow with a scowl about his face walked passed everyone quite angrily, holding his hands up to the cameras to block them as he went passed. His eyes seemed fixated on something ahead of him, or perhaps something in his mind. Strangely, I didn’t think too much of it. Sandra and I took our seats, got out some paper to take some notes during the lecture. There was an empty seat, Sandra, and then me. The creepy, scowl-faced oriental fellow sat in the empty seat beside Sandra. It was then that I started feeling a bit weird about the guy. Sandra scooted toward me, tugging at my shirt. What she was trying to tell me then came to my attention — because I realized it, too.

This scowling fellow, in a suit and a big, dark-purple, almost black trench coat, was mumbling into his coat pocket, or into his sleeve, his eyes never leaving the stage. He mumbled into it as if it were completely natural, as if no one should think twice about it, as if none of us even existed or it was a perfectly natural thing to mumble into your coat. The lecture started, and he continued doing it. He then got up in a fuss and left as bitterly as he had arrived.

It struck me as odd that I hadn’t realized just what he was — not that, until that point, I had believed in Men in Black or even knew all that much about them, but I should’ve made the connection. Only later, at home, did it suddenly hit me.

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Stealing Babies.

“I’m teething on the answers you’re saving.
How are you going to make me understand?
I’m dreaming while you’re stealing babies.
How are you going to help me sleep again?”
— Stealing Babies, Our Lady Peace.

Cynthia follows me outside for my last smoke of the evening. As we both stand there, keeping in constant motion in the attempt to keep warm, she asks me whether a fellow employee of ours has crossed eyes. I confessed that I had not noticed, that I never looked at him for too long because his teeth kind of bother me. She asked if her teeth bothered me, and I tell her no, her teeth are all there.

Anyway, I tell her, aside from his teeth the guy just had this annoying aura about him. This guy was one of those people that felt to me like some sort of psychic parasite. I always feel uncomfortable and drained around these people and often it as if I can feel their energy siphoning my own. They always seem to have a very fake personality, too, as if they were really bad actors just not pulling off the role they are trying to play.

When she asks if she has an annoying aura, I assure her that she does not. Then she begins to tell me how her aunt has a homeopathic shop nearby where I live and cleans auras on the side. She wanted to teach Cynthia how to read and clean auras as well.

I found all of this very interesting, to say the least. To begin with, typically when I reference the aura people fail to take me literally. While I have never witnessed a shimmering halo around people, I always sensed what seemed like vibrating energy around their bodies. The vibe is most intense during eye contact, when you can sometimes feel as if you’re feeling other people’s emotions.

She asks me if I’m at all interested in that kind of stuff, what she calls the supernatural. I confess that though I see no evidence for and much against the notion of a god and that I regard at least most religion as at best silly, at worst harmful, I do find evidence of what she’s calling the supernatural. I prefer to call it paranormal. There seems to be sufficient evidence for reincarnation, disembodied spirits through death or even during life, and worlds or dimensions other than our own, I say to her. I wrap it up by saying that I certainly see a spiritual dimension to our existence, but I’m cautious about coming to specific conclusions.

What I fail to confess to her is that my life is a cyclone of the weird, that my life is riddled with these strange sorts of experiences. I fail to bring up what seems to be the central weird aspect of my life, too. This is to say that I feel reasonably comfortable and secure in this conversation.

Then she says it. She brings them up all in her own.

She tells me how I’ll probably think she’s crazy, but she knows this lady, say its a friend of hers. And this lady, she’s seen them. She swears she got abducted by aliens and that they put a baby inside her. Her family kind of scoffed at her because her family’s very religious, and so a lid was kind of kept on it, but Cynthia believes her.

Suddenly I’m out of breath. My soul itches. Any sense of comfort and security I had in this conversation has been fed into a tree shredder.

It’s a myth, a hallucination, an archetype, most say. Many claim that these reports were never made until Budd Hopkins book, Intruders came out, where he claimed female abductees were being implanted with genetically-modified fetuses. Prior to that, though, John Keel makes references to it in his novel, The Mothman Prophecies, suggesting it stretched back to the 60s and 70s. And as Jaques Vallee notes in many of his works, this entire experience — UFOs, alien abductions, stolen babies, peices of family left behind by strange creatures — it’s found all across human history in various manifestations. It’s found in Chinese, Celtic, and even North American legend, and in modern times it has manifested in a whole new way. A way that is more attune with our concepts of higher intelligence.

In the past, they were known as Changelings — fairy children that were left in the place of the human children stolen by the fairies. It was believed back then that the fairy children were left with the human parents so that they might preserve as well as improve upon their own race. While the Changelings were provided with the nurture of human mothers, the stolen human babies would be brought up among the fairies and bond with them.

Sometimes it was physical abnormalities that indicated to the human parents that a child was a changeling; other times it was merely a psychological abnormality. Sometimes, of course, it was both.
People believed this so strongly and feared the faeries so much that if they suspected their children to be these replacements, they’d often take extreme action. Sometimes they’d run these children through harmless tests, just to be sure.

Other tests? Well, they weren’t so harmless. These tests carried the same horrifying illogic of the tests conducted on women who were believed to be witches — tests where proof of one’s humanity was nessesarily death. On other occasions, in fear their children were really changelings, they would merely abdanon their children in the forest, Hansen and Grettle style. Martin Luther would later re-define the changeling idea in Christian terms, and it was then believed that it was Satan, and not the faeries, who were involved. The devil had either stolen human children and replaced them with his own, or these devil children had come as a natural product of human women doing the verticle hokey-pokey with Satan himself. Either way, he believed such children should be killed.

Some attest these acts of abdanon, and even murder, and the apparent myths that inspired them served the purpose of justifying the elimination of children that parents could not afford to support. This allegation doesn’t make total sense, however, as often suspecting that a child is a changeling inspires the parents to go the opposite road: to care for the child even more carefully than one would a normal, human child. These people believed that the faeries were still watching over their changeling, and if the child was mistreated the human parents would be up shit’s creek. If the child was well cared for, alternatively, the human parents would be rewarded.

Perhaps this was why abductees saw the babies who appeared far too strange to pass as normal humans on board the craft. History, perhaps, had revealed that humans had the tendency to equate difference with distinction or dysfunction, to embrace xenophilia or xenophobia.

Cynthia finds the story a strange one, and indeed it is, but it’s a story that anyone who’s taken enough time to look into the unspeakably bizarre subject has heard time and time again. There’s never been any evidence for it, but both men and women who claim to be taken by Them say that they’ve taken their eggs and sperm, blood and skin samples, and then subject them to what appear to be routine physical checkups and then a telepathic psychological exam. That sometimes they show abductees these rooms filled with jars or aquariums lining the walls, and inside are fetuses of varying stages, all of which seem to me a mix between Them and Us. Sometimes they’re shown these babies when they’re older, in nurseries. Or even older, in climate-controlled rooms.

I have memories of such encounters, too, so I cannot so easily dismiss it all.

Sometimes the woman claims she’s been implanted with an embryo during once abduction, and then a few months later it’s taken out, which many claim makes no sense whatsoever. And sometimes when a woman is already pregnant by natural means they’ll take the baby out just to put it back inside her, or stick a needle in her or something of the like, and afterwards they’ll tell her that her baby will be different.

Sometimes the baby is miscarried. Sometimes she goes for an abortion after finding out she’s really pregnant, only to find it already gone. Sometimes she’s had the child and, as predicted, the child seems very different.

“Did she have it?” I ask, and she tells me no. No, she was fairly certain it was a miscarriage.

A few days go by. I’m going up the stairs from the basement at work, Cynthia’s going down. As she moves to the side to let me pass, I move to the side she’s moved to — intentionally, playfully. She looks tired, a little depressed, and she hasn’t said anything to me since I clocked in, so I hoped this might make her laugh. She smiles, and I say hi and move back to the other side. I’m about to go up the stairs when she meets my eyes and tells me, “I found out more about that baby.”

I’m confused for a second, and apparently my look reveals this. She begins to explain, but my brain suddenly shifts into gear. Then she says, “She had it at five months. And the government took it.”

Later, she elaborates. Her mother, it seems, knew this woman who’s identity Cynthia seems so intent on keeping from me, however much she’s willing to dispell to me every other aspect of the story. Cynthia’s mother was the one who had rushed her to the hospital sometime around the five month mark, where the woman confessed that the baby was not her boyfriend’s. That she had been taken by the aliens and they had put this baby in her.

When they got to the hospital and she was delivering the baby, Cynthia told me, the first thing they saw was its eyes. “You know those big, black, sunken eyes?” I shook my head in the affirmative: I was all too familiar with them. The baby did not look human, she told me, it looked like one of them, though evidently it had “all the right organs.” It had lungs and everything, she said, and for being five months, it apparently looked really developed. Before I even asked the question, Cynthia shrugged, speculating out loud that maybe they develop more quickly, maybe it was put in the woman at a late stage.

She says that these men claiming they were from the government — “men in black, I guess,” she says — came and told her they needed to take the child. They even offered her money. The woman said she could care for the child, but the men said that this would be impossible, as the child was an extraterrestrial life form.

In later conversations she told me the woman was her aunt, her mother’s sister, and presumably the same lady who wanted to teach her how to perceive and clean auras. Allegedly there was even a photograph of the child, and though Cynthia claimed she would see if she could find it and let me see it, that never came to be. She left the job some time later and I haven’t seen her in years.

I tried researching the hospital she thought her aunt had been brought to, but heard no stories, no tales about the military or a cover-up. Sometimes I think that perhaps I should visit that shop in town. Even if I did, how do you ask such a thing?

Maybe the story was bullshit after all, but I have heard and seen things just as strange in my life. It seems to resonate, but who knows what that really means?