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Aliens! Where did they come from and, more importantly, what did they want?
We spoke with Steve and Dawn Hess about their abduction experience as depicted in "The Mojave Encounter."
Before this all happened, had you ever had a supernatural or paranormal experience?
Steve: I had a star-like UFO experience in my youth at Lake Mojave; it made a strong impression on me growing up.
Dawn: Nothing UFO related, though growing up I had what I perceived to be 'spirit' encounters.
When the event was happening with the lights and mist, can you describe what was going through your minds?
We were feeling fear mixed with curiosity. Trying to make a rational connection with anything possible in our normal existence. It was so bizarre that it made it hard to process what was happening. The fear and dread of what was going to happen next was overwhelming.
When you woke up and found time had passed, can you recall the conversation you had?
We looked at each other and slowly asked if that really happened or were we dreaming. Then it suddenly dawned on us that 'they' could possibly still be around. So we slowly started to look for them while still looking out of the back of the camper. We finally felt like we could step outside. Our speech and movements were slow, surely due to shock.
When you went under hypnosis, can you describe some of that memory of what you saw?
Steve: The most vivid and real memory (which happened to be the same for both of us) was going down a glass-like tiled hallway. It was dimly lit by bluish light. We were not together, but we both recall moving forward as if we were hovering above the ground, not walking on a solid surface. We both could sense we were not alone.
Dawn: To this day I’m too afraid to turn my head and 'see' who was beside me as I think about that hallway.
How long did you keep the secret that you were pregnant?
We didn't keep the pregnancy a secret for long. However, the details surrounding the night we conceived we only shared with a very small and select group of people.
What do you think these beings wanted?
We wish we had the answer to that question more than any other. After years of considering this, we feel their mission was one of science and study. Though at the time it was a frightening and traumatic experience, we now believe that harm was never an intention. We feel the psychological challenges we were put through were for scientific measurement purposes.
What’s been the most lasting effect?
The most lasting effect has been the years of stress from fear of ridicule, and stress triggered by fear of another experience where we have no control over our mind and bodies.
Did you ever search for non-paranormal explanations to what happened?
We have many times tried to explain away the paranormal aspect to this experience … that's never really been possible. The UFO aspect we have tried to relate to government experimental craft; however, the alien entity experiences have no basis in our normal reality.
Has anyone ever expressed skepticism in the story?
Early on, some of our own family members tried to explain away our experience. Interestingly, the response we get today, 25 years later, tends to be more open-minded and supportive. It has always been our attitude that we would share or story with truth and as much clarity as we can. We have also felt it important to allow others their opinion without taking offense should it differ from ours.
Did you ever experience any kind of paranormal activity after all of this happened?
Yes, we continued to have paranormal activity in our home after this experience. Over the years, the frequency of activity has declined significantly.
What kind of advice would you give someone in a similar situation?
We live in a world today that is gratefully more accepting and open to the idea of paranormal encounters. We would encourage anyone who has an experience that they can't explain to report it or reach out to others who have shared an experience. Only then will a true conversation among us all take place.
How is everything now?
Most days go smoothly without any consequence or much thought of our experience. We were both diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder resulting from our experience. There are times when something triggers an emotional reaction that causes flashbacks, frightening thoughts and sleep problems. But we are fortunate to have a wonderful support system in our family and friends that encourages us and strengthens us. We are leading productive, joyful lives.