Summary: If things go according to plan, Earth could be gearing up for rudimentary interstellar space travel in the early 21st century through a sharing of technology with the Verdants. In any prior decade, Phillip Krapf's story would have been branded science fiction. However, today his matter-of-fact reporting of his abduction and experience aboard an extraterrestrial craft is viewed with more credibility.
If things go according to plan, Earth could be gearing up for rudimentary interstellar space travel in the early 21st century through a sharing of technology with the Verdants. In any prior decade, Phillip Krapf's story would have been branded science fiction. However, today his matter-of-fact reporting of his abduction and experience aboard an extraterrestrial craft is viewed with more credibility. It's the '90s and more people believe in the possibility of extraterrestrial life than ever before. There are those who cannot be sold on the idea. Ironically, Mr. Krapf was one of them. He was a newspaper man, a longtime copy editor with the Los Angeles Times. Now retired, he lives an idyllic life in Southern California. The only thing that really complicates his life is the memory of three days spent with beings known as Verdants.
His book on the experience, The Contact Has Begun (1998, HayHouse), is just over 100 pages, but the soft cover's thinness belies its in-depth information about an incredibly advanced civilization that comes from a planet about two and a half times the size of Earth, located 14 million light-years away. The maximum life span of a Verdant, thanks to technology, is 20,000 Earth years. They've been studying Earth, to access its preparedness in entering the Intergalactic Federation of Sovereign Planets, for 1,000 years. Other data Mr. Krapf relates is just as startling, including the number of unidentified humans who have been in contact with the Verdants and have been granted ambassador status to prepare our civilization for formal entrance into the galactic family. If things go according to plan, Earth could be gearing up for rudimentary interstellar space travel in the early 21st century through a sharing of technology with the Verdants.
What was most mind-blowing to Mr. Krapf during his stay aboard the space craft was the Verdant understanding of God:
"You believe in God?" I stammered. "In an immortal soul?"
[Gina's] face became a canvas of expression. I had broken through. It took a practiced eye, and I would not have seen it only hours before, but I could now read the very, very subtle musculature changes that revealed her emotions. "Believe?" she asked in wonder. "We don't just believe. We know. Our scientists proved the existence of the soul millennia ago. Our ships have discovered the precise location of Heaven in the universe. We have been there." In an interview with The EDGE, Mr. Krapf begins by relating an encounter he had with a former colleague at the Los Angeles Times, a person who is believed to be one of the ambassadors with whom greater information about the Human-Verdant relationship has been shared.
Phillip Krapf: I was home one night and the phone rang. It was a person at the Los Angeles Times who I thought also had been a contact. It was late at night and this person, and I can't say if it was a man or woman, but I shall call it a him, wanted to talk with me, but wanted to meet somewhere. I wondered if his cover was blown or if he had to get a message to me. So I met with him.
Tim: Was he aware you had written the book?
Krapf: Yes. He asked me, "So you've recently met some new friends?" And I knew what he was talking about. I thought he wanted to deliver an important message, but what it amounted to is that he wanted to talk to someone whom he could confide in. He could confide in me because we basically had the same experience. So we met for lunch, but he had nothing pressing to mention. He just brought me up to speed on what was going on in his life and asked about me. He wanted to unload a little bit, because he couldn't talk with anyone else about this.
Tim: Outside of writing your book, do you have the need to talk with other people about your experience?
Krapf: I have basically talked about it by going public. I'm the only one who has gone public so far. The others have not gone public and won't for some time. My assignment was to go public. I've said basically what I have to say in the book. I don't have any real need to unload on anybody. Newspaper men, by nature, are skeptics. I find that my newspaper friends are not too interested in hearing about this. I don't blame them, because I was a skeptic also. I would have done the same thing. The local newspaper here did a little story about my book signing and they had a little fun with me in an editorial. At first I was a little bit chagrined, but I realized I would've done the same thing if I were in their place. I don't have a real need to bare my soul because everything that happened to me was put down in the book. I should have actually been shocked beyond imagination, or as I put in the book, pushed towards the brink of insanity by such an experience.
Tim: So you are more open to the idea of extraterrestrials than you were?
Krapf: Yes, I am. I was a skeptic and didn't believe. Quite frankly, I had never given it much thought. I have never been interested in the new age genre. So after the incident, I thought I should go out and do my homework. I went to new age sections in bookstores and wasn't aware of the movement and how much has been written about it. When I saw all the material that was available, I knew it would take years and years to read it all. And I didn't have any way of knowing what material was of value and what was irrelevant. I didn't want to waste a lot of time reading someone's conjecture and speculation. People I talk to who are in the new age genre have been in it for years and years, and quite frankly, they lose me on some of it. I just can't follow them. I think it's too late to get an education on it. There's not enough time.
Tim: Do you have a sense of why you were selected?
Krapf: I asked them that question. In fact, I have a chapter called "Why Pick on Me?" It came down to the need for someone to write a "white paper," as they called it. And the person from the Los Angeles Times had already been recruited and my name came up along with many others. They were looking for a person who could write a decent sentence, not someone who was the best writer in the world but someone who could compile a journal. I also am retired and I had the time to put in on it. It might have just been the luck of the draw. There were many qualified candidates. It just came down to a selection process, and with the personal referral from the person at the Times, they just picked someone they felt could do the job.
Tim: Are there any experiences you had while you were aboard that you keep thinking about? Wasn't it about a year ago that it happened?
Krapf: It'll be a year in June, June 11 to 13. I was very impressed in the observation dome of the wonder of it all. I think about all the people, or beings, and civilizations out there where life is going on. It's just fascinating to think about. We're not alone. There are other beings going on with their everyday lives. How fascinating it would be to go among them and see what their lives are like. I think about that. It's probably unimaginable to really get a good handle on the reality of it. You just have to be there. Of course, the fact that they have a spiritual base really did surprise me. I was an agnostic before the experience. I haven't had any spiritual revelations or born again experiences, but I accept their scientific data in the area of religion, whereas most people I am aware of believe on the basis of faith rather than solid evidence. It's not a matter of faith for me, it's a matter of being informed and knowledgeable about what they have discovered. All those involved are drawing up projected plans of how they are going to carry out their assignments.
Tim: Would you say that you now believe in the immortality of the soul?
Krapf: I believe them. They said they have proven it.
Tim: A long time ago.
Krapf: Yes. It would be presumptuous of me to doubt them or to scoff at that, because they are so advanced. I'm more open to the idea based on what they have discovered than on what some proselytizer who comes to the door tells me. When he tells me the world is 5,000 years old, there is evidence out there, just by looking at the Grand Canyon, that the world is certainly more than 5,000 years old. So people who come to my door are sincere, but they are simply abiding by some religious training and don't have any evidence. I'm more impressed by evidence. I don't have evidence either, but I take the Verdants' word that they have the evidence. I think about those things. I haven't become a religious zealot or anything. I don't try to spread the message. It's just something that has given me some comfort. That surprised me, quite frankly.
Tim: The experience must have shaken you in terms of upsetting your belief system about how the universe works?
Krapf: I don't know if the word "shaken" is the right word. I should have actually been shocked beyond imagination, or as I put in the book, pushed towards the brink of insanity by such an experience. But there's something else going on that neutralizes those natural reactions that you would expect. I was surprised by my own equanimity. Why am I not reacting hysterically? I've accepted it much more readily than you would think is normal. But I think they have some control over that. It's like when I went in for minor surgery, for kidney stones or something. I don't like hospitals and I was really nervous and anxious, and my stomach was upset before I went to the hospital. I got there and they started leading me into the operating room, and I thought, "You know, this is just minor surgery. It's not going to bother me. This is just routine stuff." I was completely at ease. And then I realized they had me on an I.V. of valium. I was in a natural state of calm in a situation in which you shouldn't be calm. So it was that sort of thing with the Verdants.
Tim: When and how did you tell your wife about your experience?
Krapf: I kind of worked into it over a couple of days rather than blurting it out. We're very close and she's very trusting of me and I'm trusting of her. When I finally explained what happened, it still came as a surprise. But it was not a sudden one, like getting a phone call telling you that your best friend is dead. So I told her what had happened and she just sort of accepted it and said, "Well, OK." She doesn't talk about it much. I think it's because she lives in a comfortable world and doesn't see any place in that for space alien contact. I think that if she had her preference, she'd have life go on as it is, without having to deal with the subject.
Tim: Do you have a sense of the time frame when we will actually have a meeting with the Verdants?
Krapf: I was unsure of that. I came away with a very vague idea, but I do cover that in the addendum. I talked to the person from The Times about that, and he had an idea of a very definite time frame.
Tim: And his status in contact with the Verdants was ambassador?
Tim: So he was given more information related to our eventual contact than you were.
Krapf: Absolutely. He has a much greater role to play in the news coverage of the event. He indicated that around 2002 things would begin happening. In the meantime, all those involved are drawing up projected plans of how they are going to carry out their assignments. Those plans have to be reviewed and the groundwork firmly laid before anything really starts happening. Then around 2002 and for the rest of the decade things will begin, and then around the end of that decade, presumably if everything goes according to plan, we will join the Intergalactic Federation of Sovereign Planets. So it's still a few years, but things are humming, from what I understand. He said also that the Verdants are in contact with the various ambassadors. He asked me if I had been in contact with them, and I have not. I suppose that's because my job is done. Their job is still ongoing.
Tim: Do you have a prevailing message that you want to tell people?
Krapf: Keep the faith. In this age of people going onto school grounds and shooting up kids with assault rifles, the news is filled with things that get you down after a while. I guess my message is not to let things get you down. There is hope.
Tim: If events occur as the Verdants suggest, it would be one of the most transforming events in the history of the Earth.
Krapf: I don't think anything would ever compare with it, quite frankly. It's going to change the destiny of mankind.
Tim: Do you have a sense of anticipation about this?
Krapf: I do, but I'm not sitting here chewing my nails every day. I'm just laid back and take the attitude of what will be, will be. When it comes, it comes. I'm not in a lather or dither or anything. I had the impression that things were going to start happening right away, but the person with The Times put me straight about that: No, not yet. It'll be a while.
Copyright © 1998, Tim Miejan