UNIDENTIFIED FLYING OBJECT
By James Spears
The Province - Saturday, March 20, 1976
Most scientists believe that it is inconceivable that homo sapiens is alone in the universe ... the lord of creation. Attempts are now being made with space probes displaying clever universal symbols, to contact intelligent life in the light-year immensity of our galaxy. But what if our infantile hands, groping into the vastness of space, have already been superceded by visitors from space-time itself; by observers who reach us through the 'wormholes' that scientists believe, may provide corridors through space and time. Periodically we hear of people who claim contact with the crew of a UFO and the great global controversy of truth or fiction intensifies. Such a claim is made by former police chief Herb Schirmer, formerly of Nebraska, whose story was uncovered in a deep-trance hypnotic state by UCLA scientists. While in this state of altered consciousness, Schirmer made several drawings of the vehicle into which he was taken.
Whether you believe or not, his story is a fascinating one. Perhaps one day the governments of the world will tell us what they know... if they know.
"On the left side of his head was a small antenna. The skin on his face was of a grey color. His nose was long and flat and his mouth was narrow and slit like. His eyes looked like cat's eyes...
"Then he spoke, saying: Are you the watchman of this town? I said: Yes sir, I am. He spoke again, saying: Watchman, come with me."
So began the UFO experience of Herb Schirmer, now 30, who was a policeman, and later police chief, at the town of Ashland, Nebraska. The date: Dec. 2, 1967.
It was not a pleasant experience, especially after he wrote on his police log. "Saw a flying saucer at State Junction 6 and 63. Believe it or not."
Some townspeople hanged Schirmer in effigy as an expression that they didn't believe him. Tires were slashed and a windshield broken on his car.
"I would give somebody a traffic ticket and they would look at me and laugh, and tear up the ticket. What could I do?, said Schirmer in an interview at his home in Point Roberts.
He didn't last long as police chief, and quit. He has held other law enforcement jobs, including a job in a private security force in Oregon. When word reached his employers of his UFO experience, he was told to move on.
Despite ridicule, Schirmer has stuck with his story since 1967, and feels he is ready to begin telling it to the public.
"There might be a lot of people who have similar experiences who are afraid to admit it," he said.
The UFO encounter was brief in Schirmer's memory, but it was later found there was a 25-minute gap in his radio log. U.S. Air Force investigators in Boulder, Colorado, interviewed Schirmer and discovered he had no memory of events between the takeoff and landing of the UFO. He was later hypnotized, and the memory of the 25 minutes returned. He has since been hypnotized a number of times, mostly by a group of UFO scientists at the University of California at Los Angeles. It was under hypnosis that Schirmer drew scale diagrams of the interior of the space ship he saw, and the grey-skinned being who spoke with him.
With friends, he has attempted to duplicate the sounds the spacecraft made through the use of a sound synthesizer. And he is putting his memories on tape at an inexpensive homebuilt sound studio in Point Roberts.
In 1967 he was working the midnight shift in the small town and a little after midnight noticed a bull had broken loose from an auction barn. The patrolman got the bull back in the pen, and then checked on two gas stations nearby.
"I made a radio check with Wahoo Sheriff's office and informed them that all was secure," said Schirmer in a report he wrote after the hypnotic sessions. "The time was 2:20 a.m. I pulled on to State Highway 6 going west."
Then he saw the UFO, first as flashing red lights, then as a football-shaped object.
He tried to call the sheriff's office but his radio was dead. "The craft was moving over the highway north about 40 feet in the air. It seemed that some great force was pulling the patrol car up the embankment towards where the craft was beginning to land."
Schirmer saw a red-orange glow on the bottom of the craft, and saw a hatch open. "It was then that a shape of a man came out and walked over to the front of the patrol car. Then a second man came out of the craft and walked over to the car. The first man stood in front of the patrol car and, holding a small box-like object, pressed something. A green mist came out, spraying all over the patrol car. "The other man walked over to the driver's side of the patrol car and reaching inside, pressed a silver object against my neck, directly under my left ear. I felt a tingling sensation go through my whole body."
It was then that the grey-skinned man addressed Schirmer as "watchman of the town."
The grey-skinned man told Schirmer how the craft operated, showed him the power source and computers, and answered questions on the purpose of the craft's visit.
Among the answers: The craft landed to extract power from a nearby hydro transmission line. 'He said: Look watchman. And I saw a blue bolt of light. through a port hole. It was like a beam and it hit the transformer on a power pole approximately 200 feet from the craft. There was a bright flash of fire and the blue bolt came back to the craft.
"Then the man said that one of the reasons they landed was to extract electricity from power stations. He also said that they have been observing us for a long time."
One of the men also told the patrolman that spacecraft would visit him again twice in his lifetime. "If I were some kind of kook I would be saying that I had a visit last week, but it isn't true. I never saw anything again."
Under hypnosis, Schirmer has drawn detailed sketches of the power plant of the craft, which the spaceman said was based on "reversible electromagnetism."
He saw a room circled with cannister-shaped objects, with wires connecting them. In the middle of the room was an object, glowing red, like a spinning football.
Schirmer said he was conveyed, by a glass elevator, to another level of the craft and saw a TV-like screen which the spaceman manipulated. He showed Schirmer what his own solar system "in a galaxy next to yours," looked like, and saw pictures of the craft's mother ship on the screen.
By the screen, he said, was a map of a sun with six planets "with writing beside each planet. The language was one that I could not read."
Schirmer says he is not a church-goer, but looks to a Bible quote as a source of comfort that he is not going crazy. It's from Ezekiel, Chap. 1.
"And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire enfolding itself, and a brightness was about it ... out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man."
Schirmer saw four men and talked to two of them, and hopes that others who have seen similar creatures will not be afraid to talk about them.
In early 1968, shortly after his UFO experience, Herb Schirmer was interviewed by members of the Condon Committee, a research project at the University of Colorado funded by the U.S. Air Force.
Among those who spoke with Schirmer was Dr. R. Leo Sprinkle, currently director of counselling and testing at the University of Wyoming.
Dr. Sprinkle told The Province that during the interviews Schirmer appeared "sincere and telling the truth as he saw it."
"He was aware of a loss-of-time experience (the missing 25 minutes in his radio log) and said he sensed someone coming toward him. At that time he didn't have any memory of being taken aboard."
Later, Schirmer was put under hypnosis to delve into the missing 25 minutes. Dr. Ron Katz, of the University of California (Los Angeles) department of anesthesiology, told The Province that Schirmer had submitted to a number of hypnotic trances and drew sketches of what he saw while in a trance. The drawings were made in 1974.
Dr. Katz said that although he could confirm the trance sessions took place he could not speak about them because it was a doctor-patient relationship.
Generally, he said, subjects under hypnosis do not attempt to fabricate stories. The one exception, said Dr. Katz, might occur if a subject had been previously hypnotized to "remember" a series of events under subsequent trances.
Schirmer said that he believes he was put in some sort of trance, perhaps with the aid of the silver object placed beside his neck.