Journal: Before we get into the serious part of the interview, I’d like to discuss an experiment you did as a kid. On the phone, you mentioned that growing up in Madison, Wisconsin, you were a self-professed “science geek” with heroes like Jacques Cousteau, J. Allen Hynek and Wernher Von Braun. Your hobbies included building rockets and studying space exploration. In fact, at age 11, you tried to build a UFO detector from a magazine article written by Jacques Vallee…how did that turn out?
Lang: Actually, it turned out to be hilarious (looking back on it now). It detected my cat wonderfully. As a kid in 5th grade, I saw the design in an article by Jacques Vallee in the magazine Flying Saucers and UFO Reports. This would have been in 1966 or 1967. The detector was actually a magnet suspended on a thin length of bare wire, with a loop of wire surrounding it, so that if something attracted the magnet, the wires would touch. This would complete a circuit and ring a buzzer. I built it and placed it under my bed. At about 3 a.m., I discovered that kittens love to play with pendulums, and the magnet hanging on a thin wire would fit the bill very nicely. So at 3 a.m. the buzzer rang, sending both my kitten and myself into a very sudden and very rude awakening.
Lang: Well, I got interested in it when I was a field investigator. I investigated several abduction cases where the witness/experiencer was very traumatized. She was afraid to be alone in her home at night, and frightened of many aspects of the sky, the subject of space, science, etc. When I interviewed her, I could see the fear in her face. This was one of my early motivations for studying hypnosis, so I could both help her (and others in similar situations), and learn more about the missing time. Bottom line is that I’ve always been a healer at heart, as well as an explorer, and always found that I loved working with doctors, nurses and patients. I love the healing environment.
Journal: Can you talk about some of the cases you worked on with the ART team?
Lang: I’ve worked on a number of cases where the experiencer was very traumatized by their encounters. I find most rewarding the healing work that goes along with the research. My first hypnotherapy instructor impressed on me how good research and good therapy occur at the same time, and he is absolutely correct. I have found that the best hypnotherapy work is non-leading, healing and enlightening at the same time. I have worked on many cases now where the client has been given apocalyptic visions, and somehow convinced that the world is going to end, etc. In the words of one experiencer, “Were screwed….” He was crying out loud desperately when he said this. Yet if these predictions were true, we would already have been destroyed. So I asked him if he believed what “They” said. He looked at them, while in trance and said, “No, they’re lying.” From that point on, he was able to explore his experiences and to live a normal life without the continual sense of doom he has previously felt. In another case, the woman I describe in my book, The Cosmic Bridge, was afraid to be alone in her house at night. It turned out that while in trance, we were able to identify the source of the fear. It had nothing to do with her UFO experiences, but was from something she had been taught as a child. Once we found this, and she realized she no longer had to be afraid of it, her fear was greatly reduced.
Journal: Abduction victim or Experiencer – which do you prefer and do they mean the same thing?
Lang: I like the term “Experiencer” much better. I believe it is far less prejudicial than words like “Abductee” or “Contactee.” There are many kinds of experiences, and many of them fit into the realm of UFO encounters.
Journal: You work with Kathleen Marden on the ART Team, what is that like?
Lang: I was approached by Les Velez about five years ago, with the idea. Les, Kathleen and I started to put the group together at that point. Later, Les left and Robert Upton took his place. Kathleen has been one of the biggest heroes in this whole endeavor. In my eyes she is a great asset to the UFO and abduction community.
Journal: I’m sure many abduction experiencers don’t come forward because they fear not being believed. Is public perception starting to change, making it easier for experiencers to come forward?
Lang: Many experiencers call me (and presumably other close encounter researchers as well), and when they do, I often hear the words, “Thank God somebody finally will listen to me…” Being an experiencer has to be one of the loneliest experiences I can imagine. Many describe it as the feeling of carrying a burden of knowledge they can’t share with anyone in their normal peer group. I think in many areas, society has become more open to the reality of the phenomenon – whatever it is. The idea that someone is there really experiencing this is still very foreign to just about everyone. It is all very well to think about something happening “out there” and not affecting you. But when it happens to you, or to someone close to you, it becomes real. Then it’s much harder to accept. Also, many cultural factors such as economic status, religion and politics still reduce the openness of many areas of society to the phenomenon. So we have a long way to go.
Journal: What is the best way for an Experiencer to reach out and get help?
Lang: One way is to contact MUFON, either through the website, or by looking up the state director and/or local MUFON chapter. Get involved first, get comfortable with the people around you, and tell people your story as much as you feel comfortable doing. Also, fill out the questionnaire on the MUFON website, on UFO abduction. This brings you to the attention of the ART (Kathleen, Robert, Denise, myself, etc…) and if you want, we will contact you. The third thing an experiencer can do is let someone close to them know – but maybe just a little bit of the story at first. Figure out who you can trust, and who is open to hearing about your experiences. The more you can include people in your “adventures” the less alone you will feel. But at the same time, it is important not to do a “data dump” on people who are not open to the reality shattering nature of the phenomenon.
Journal: You wrote a book that is available on Amazon, The Cosmic Bridge – Close Encounters and Human Destiny. What is that about?
Lang: The Cosmic Bridge is about the human/visitor relationship. It is about UFO abduction in general, but more from the point of view of that relationship. It looks at the abduction experience, how people can come to terms with it, and how it changes over time. Then it looks more at the societal picture, what seems to be happening, and where it is going. I offer a hypothesis as to what might be going on, which I call the Indigo Hypothesis. I wrote an article on this in the MUFON UFO Journal many years ago. The idea is that “human improvement” (from the point of view of “Them”) may be the ultimate goal of the abduction phenomenon. Consider what humanity must look like from the point of view of a cosmic civilization. We are very good at waging war, and are probably only a few hundred years away from the capability of star travel. If I were the neighbors, I would be a little nervous about this. So I suggest that “They” are trying to somehow “civilize” us to the point that when we do venture to the stars, we won’t be carrying our nukes, phasers and photon torpedoes with us. In the family lines of many experiencers, I notice that the children in this generation (now reaching adulthood) are classic Indigo children – smart, empathic, psychic and extremely advanced. Many have alien contact of their own and it has deeply affected their outlook. So I suggest that maybe this is one of the intents of the phenomenon, to foster a generation of advanced children that will be less a threat to “Them.” Whether this is good or evil is a matter of opinion and perspective.