Living in an Age of Technological Wonders
by Michael J. Hallowell

It’s been a busy time at Casa Hallowell since I penned my last column. Jackie and I now have our first two grandsons, born within three weeks of each other. All contributions of booties and diapers (we call them “nappies” in the UK) will be gratefully accepted, and if any IRAAP devotees know of a remote control which can “pause” or “mute” babies, I’d love to hear about it. I’m only joking, of course, but I do wonder what sort of world the new additions to our family are going to grow up in.

When I was a teenager, life was simple. You left school on Friday and started work on Monday. All you had to do was work hard, pay your taxes and feed the cat. It’s different now. A multitude of “providers” now fight with each other to get your custom for broadband Internet connection, TV, phone and power supply. When I was young we had two TV channels. Now I can access over a thousand at the touch of a button. It’s all about communication, and the world is full of it. Great, huh?

Well, not really. Oh, it’s good in some respects. When I want to source information for an article or column I simply move my mouse and its there on the screen. But in other respects it makes me feel uncomfortable. If it’s easy for me to find out stuff, how hard can it be for others to find out stuff about me?

Technology is a powerful tool. It enables those who control it to spy on others without their knowledge or consent. The bottom line is that this technological advantage is not just open to abuse by humans, but also by those who may hail from more distant parts, such as another solar system. This might sound wacky to some, but I have reason for mentioning it.

When I was sixteen years old, I was really fascinated by the UFO phenomenon. I signed up to a couple of newsletters (delivered by post – no Internet back in the early ‘70s) and went to a local meeting organised by a few guys who were as passionate about the subject as I was.

One Saturday afternoon the phone rang at home. I was in the house alone, and I answered it. A male voice asked if he was speaking to Mike Hallowell. I answered in the affirmative. The caller then described in perfect detail the décor in the room I was standing in, and even mentioned that there was an empty coffee mug on the coffee table.

Nowadays I’d be concerned, but it was a different world back then. There weren’t as many nuts around, and I was more curious than intimidated. The guy started to ask me about UFOs. How long had I been interested in the subject? What did I think about the Antonio Villas Boas affair? Had I ever seen a UFO? He wasn’t overtly friendly, but neither was he unfriendly. He just seemed curious. Eventually the conversation drew to a close, and that was that. I never heard from him again.

In retrospect, the incident was strange. How did he get my home phone number? Well, it was in the public directory, so no mystery there. But how did he know about the interior of our lounge? To this day I can’t answer that. Nor do I know why he chose to ring me or what the point of the call was. Our house had a sizeable garden in the front and a larger one in the back. The only way anyone could have spied upon me was to look through one of the two large windows at either end of the room, and I would have to say that the chances of that happening without me noticing would have been very slim indeed. And yet…and yet the caller knew things that he shouldn’t have been able to know.

I can’t help but think that there was some connection between his knowledge of our lounge and the UFO subject. Both were mentioned during the conversation, and it might just be that he was trying to let me know that my life wasn’t as private as I thought it was. If he was trying to warn me off studying the subject then I didn’t get the message. Even today, I don’t know why he’d have wanted to. It wasn’t as if I had stumbled across some secret government files or had experienced a really Close Encounter of whatever kind. I was just a snotty-nosed teenager who’d read a couple of books and attended a couple of meetings. The whole thing is still a mystery.

It’s only a hunch, but if I was being watched then I don’t think that it was anyone from terra firma who was doing it. Maybe it was someone from “out there”. This doesn’t bother me from a personal perspective, but it does from a global one. If extraterrestrials are watching us, then their advanced technology probably allows them to do so with consummate ease. More, there’s probably little we can do about it.

The UFO enigma is still as great today as it was in 1947 when Roswell occurred. Will we ever find out the truth? We probably will, one day. I’m in no great hurry to find out, but if the answers came in my lifetime I suppose it would be nice. I’m not a great believer in the more outlandish theories, such as the idea that aliens are thought-forms produced by our minds or that they hail from another dimension. These are popular ideas in the UK, but I still believe that they likely hail from another planet in our galaxy and that UFOs are pretty much “nuts and bolts” craft technologically superior to anything we’ve ever dreamed of.

Still, I learned a long time ago “never to say never”. We live in a weird universe, and nothing is impossible. A few weeks ago I attended a convention in Devon. Larry Warren and Peter Robbins of Left at East Gate fame were there. They are two of the nicest people I know, and I believe their testimonies with all my heart. Meeting them is always a privilege. They don’t claim to have all the answers, either, but, like me, they seem to enjoy the thrill of the chase. We all have a defining moment in our lives, one which irrevocably changes our future destiny. Theirs was the appearance of a UFO at Rendlesham Forest. Mine was a bizarre telephone conversation with a guy who knew that there was an empty mug on my coffee table.

Would my interest in UFOs have continued if that guy hadn’t called? I don’t know, but the subsequent forty-five years have been one helluva ride, and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

© Mike Hallowell, 2007

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