; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Carl Higdon - Alien Encounter / Abduction

I consider the Carl Higdon case one of the most intriguing encounters in ufology. The incident was documented on the popular 'In Search Of' television series and originally aired on September 14, 1978 - 1st episode of season two.

On October 25, 1974 in Medicine Bow National Forest, Wyoming. At the time of the encounter, Carl Higdon had raised his rifle in order to shoot an elk. He fired but the bullet only went about 50 feet and dropped. He heard a noise and looked over to see a "sort of man" standing there. The man called himself "Ausso" and asked Mr. Higdon if he'd like to go with him and Higdon replied that he would. The man pointed an appendage and at this juncture Mr. Higdon said he found himself in a transparent cubicle along with Ausso:

Incident: The Tuesday, October 29, 1974 issue of the Rawlins (Wyoming) Daily Times carried Mr. Carl Higdon's account of his strange experience while elk-hunting on the north boundary of the Medicine Bow National Forest on the 25th of Ocotober.

On Saturday, November 2, Dr. R. Leo Sprinkle, APRO's Consultant in Psychology, Mr. Rick Kenyon, art teacher in the Public Schools of Rawlins and Mr. Robert Nantkes, Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor at Riverton, Wyoming, spent four hours with Mr. and Mrs. Higdon, their children and several relatives, talking about Higdon's experience and their reactions to it. The pendulum technique and other hypnotic procedures were utilized to obtain more information from Mr. Higdon about his experience. Dr. Sprinkle was not satisfied with the results and decided to pursue the matter further at a future date. On November 17 another session was held and more information was obtained.

Mr. Hidgon's experience is certainly strange, and might even be described as bizarre. At about 4 p.m. Higdon was hunting south of Rawlins when his "experience" began to unfold. "I walked over this hill and saw 5 elk," Higdon said. "I raised my rifle and fired, but the bullet only went about 50 feet and dropped." He went over, got the bullet and tucked it into a fold in his canteen pouch. 'I heard a noise like a twig snapping, and looked over to my right and there in the shadow of the trees was this sort of man standing there."

The "man" was 6'2" tall, and approximately 180 pounds. He was dressed in a black suit and black shoes and wore a belt with a star in the middle and a yellow emblem below it. Higdon also said he was quite bow-legged, had a slanted head and no chin. His hair was thin and stood straight up on his head (see accompanying drawing).

The "man", Higdon said, asked if he was hungry, he replied that he was and the man tossed him some (4) pills and he took one. The pills were in a container much like a "Dristan" package (apparently the cellophane type as he said it was transparent). He put the container in his pocket. Higdon also commented that he didn't understand why he took them because ordinarily he doesn't even like to take an aspirin. The "man" had told him that the pills were "four day" pills, apparently to slake his hunger. Higdon said the man called himself "Ausso" and asked Mr. Higdon if he'd like to go with him and Higdon replied that he guessed so. The man pointed an appendage which came out of his sleeve and at this juncture. Mr. Higdon said he found himself in a transparent cubicle along with Ausso. He was sitting in a chair with "bands" around his arms (apparently holding him in the chair which resembled a high-backed "bucket seat") and a helmet-like apparatus on his head — somewhat like a football helmet except that it had two wires on top and two on the sides leading to the back. On a sort of console opposite his chair Higdon said he saw three levers of different sizes which had letters on them and which "Ausso" manipulated.

Mr. Higdon was very unclear on the size of the cubicle. He said there was a mirror on the upper right in which he could see the reflection of the five elk which seemed to be behind him in a "cage" or corral. They were still, not moving, just as they had been when he first spotted them before he encountered "Ausso". He thought the cubicle was about 7x7 and couldn't account for the elk being there also.

When Ausso pointed his appendage at the largest lever it moved down and the cubicle felt like it was moving. After they took off, Higdon said he saw a basketball-shaped object under the cubicle which he took to be the earth. There was another being in the cubicle who left, "just disappeared" when they landed. Ausso said that they had traveled 163,000 light miles.

Outside the cubicle, Higdon said, was a huge tower, perhaps 90 feet high with a brilliant, rotating light and he heard a sound like that made by an electric razor. The light bothered his eyes considerably and he put his hands over them.

Standing outside the tower were five human-appearing people — a gray-haired man of 40 or 50 years old, a brown-haired girl about 10 or 11, a blonde girl of 13 or 14 and a young man of 17 or 18 with brown hair and a blonde 17 or 18 year-old girl. They were dressed in ordinary clothing and appeared to be talking among themselves.

Ausso pointed his "hand" and they (Ausso and Higdon) moved into the tower and up an elevator to a room where he stood on a small platform and a "shield" moved out from the wall. Ausso was on the other side of it. The "shield" was "glassy" appearing, stayed in front of Higdon for what he estimated to be 3 or 4 minutes, then moved back in the wall.

Ausso then told Higdon he was not what they needed and they would take him back. The two moved out of the room to the elevator and then down to the main door. It seemed that all Ausso needed to do was to point his "hand" and they moved effortlessly.

Next, Higdon found himself back in the cubicle with Ausso, who was holding his gun. He said the gun was primitive and wanted to keep it but wasn't allowed to and he gave it back to Higdon. Then he pointed at the longest lever and Higdon found himself standing on a slope. His foot struck a loose rock and he fell, hurting his neck and head and shoulder.

At this point Higdon didn't know who or where he was and got up and walked past his pick-up truck which was sitting in a wooded area on a road with deep ruts. He walked along the track about a mile past the truck, then came back to the truck and heard a woman's voice. As he regained a little of his senses, he used the citizen's band radio to call for help. He told the woman he didn't know who he was or where. Authorities were notified and Higdon was eventually found about 11:30 that night. He was dazed and confused and had difficulty recognizing his wife. The search party had a considerable problem getting Higdon's 2-wheel drive vehicle out (it had to be towed as it could not navigate the rough road).

Higdon was brought to the Carbon County Memorial Hospital in Rawlins at 2:30 a.m. on the 26th. Besides the sore head, neck and shoulder, his eyes were extremely bloodshot and teared constantly. He had no appetite on Saturday and his wife Margery had to force him to eat. On Sunday morning, however, he was ravenous and complained about the meager size of the hospital breakfast.

This, essentially, is Carl Higdon's account of his time from 4:15 p.m. on October 25th 1974 when he first spotted the five elk until he called in on the CB radio.

Some foundation for his story is found in the testimony of the search party who said Higdon's pickup truck could not have driven into or out of the area where it was found. Also, unidentified lights were seen near the area where Higdon was found before the searchers started driving out of the area so the lights of the vehicles could not have accounted for the unidentified lights.

The bullet which was greatly mangled (photo above) was only the copper jacket, the lead slug was missing. This jacket was examined by Dr. Walter Walker, APRO's Consultant in Metallurgy who could only say that it had struck something extremely hard with great force. Higdon points out that the 7 mm bullet is so powerful it can completely transit a standard telephone pole.

Other interesting details which Higdon recalled during hypnotic sessions: Before Higdon was returned to the ground, Ausso pointed at the pocket where Higdon had put the pills and they floated out and up and remained suspended in the air. Ausso had only 6 teeth — three above and three below. He said that on his planet there were no fish, that he could not tolerate the sun's rays as they burned him and that he was exploring and searching for food. He said they took animals back with them for breeding purposes. Last but not least, when the cubicle first took off, Ausso pointed at Higdon's truck and it "just disappeared."

In conclusion we quote Dr. Sprinkle from his first (and preliminary) report: "Although the sighting of a single UFO witness often is difficult to evaluate, the indirect evidence supports the tentative conclusion that Carl Higdon is reporting sincerely the events which he experienced. Hopefully further statements from other persons can be obtained to support the basic statement."

After the snow melts, an attempt will be made to locate the lead slug from the bullet and hopefully it will be able to add something to a very puzzling story. - APRO Bulletin, Vol. 23 No. 5 (Mar 1975)


The Report: On October 25, 1974, oil worker Carl Higdon, 41, took a day off from work and went hunting elk in the northern area of the Medicine Bow National Park, near Rawlings, Wyoming. He parked his truck in a clearing, and soon spotted a group of five elks, so he raised his rifle, took careful aim and fired at the biggest one, a beautiful male.

At this moment, the abnormal starts.

As the bullet left the barrel of the gun, he could hear no detonation. All sounds vanish, no cracks, no birds, no insect sounds could be heard anymore. Higdon sees the bullet slowly go out of the rifle, it seemed to be moving very slowly. It floated slowly out and fell to the ground at about fifty feet away.

Higdon picked up the bullet and looking at it closely, he noticed that the lead part has disappeared, only the cooper envelope remains, deformed or melted. He put it in his pocket and walks a few steps, while the area is still completely silent.

He felt a tingling sensation all over his body. From his left, he heard someone approaching who he thought might be another hunter. He turned and saw a humanoid entity over six feet tall standing nearby. The entity wore a black jumpsuit with a wide belt, upon which was a six-pointed star and a yellow emblem. The entity had bristle-like, straight hair standing straight out from his yellowish head, which was topped by two 20 centimeters horns - or antennas - at the forehead, small eyes, no eyebrows or chin, no neck, bow-legged, long-armed, and with a rod-like manipulator instead of one hand, and no hand at all at the end of the other arms who stopped at the wrist.

The alien being was looking at him.

It then approached Higdon and asked in English:

"How are you?"

"I'm fine," answered Higdon.

"Are you hungry?" said the being who then somehow makes a small box appear and floats through the air towards Higdon, who opens it, discovers round pills in it, swallows one and puts the box in his pocket.

Researchers have wondered if perhaps the entity felt that Higdon would not be hunting unless he needed food.

The being then asked: "Do you want to come with us?" He points at a cubic object a few meters away, who height is about two meters.

Higdon has no opportunity to answer, The entity pointed at Higdon, who felt paralyzed and found himself aboard some room, much larger than what could have been expected by looking at the cubic object. Inside, he saw five elk which were frozen in a compartment beside him. Another humanoid puts some sort of helmet equipped with wires on Higdon's head, and "the cube takes off."

He was learned that "our planet is located at 163.000 light-miles from the Earth." Higdon immediately understood that there was something obviously odd with the "light-miles" measurement, and told about this oddity to the police later. He was sure that he remembered correctly that the beings said "light-miles."

He was then shown the planet that the aliens come from, probably from some imaging capacity of the helmet the beings put on his head. He saw a tall, Seattle space-needle-type building and a type of sunlight which was very intense and made his eyes water. The entities told him that our sun does the same thing to their eyes.

The next thing Higdon remembers is being back in the park, about 21/2hours having elapsed since the first sight of the entity. He was cold, disoriented, and nearly hysterical. His truck was not where he had left it; he found it about three miles away, stuck in a mud hole. He was actually so shocked that he entered the truck without even realizing that it was his own. How could he? The truck was not at where he left it. There are voices in the truck coming out from the CB radio. So he sent out a distress call over the CB radio, and the Sheriff picked him up at midnight. A search party of policemen found Higdon in hid truck in the middle of a deep ravine. The place is so muddy that the police has the biggest difficulties to reach the truck by foot. Later they needed to use wooden logs to get the truck out of this place. They were all totally stunned as they could not understand how the truck have been put there, un the middle of a real lake of mud. It was those policemen reports that alerted the local press and then the ufologists about the case,

By now, Higdon was in a state of panic and near nervous exhaustion, shouting, "They took my elk!" They took him to the hospital and checked him over; oddly, his blood tests showed a very rich supply of vitamins - those food pellets must have been nutritive.

Later investigation found that Higdon’s wife and two others had seen a red-green-white flashing light moving back and forth across this area.

The case was very thoroughly investigated. A lot of the first investigation was done by Dr. Leo Sprinkle, Professor of Psychology at the University of Wyoming, who investigated for APRO and MUFON. Also Rick Kenyon and Robert Nantkes, MUFON field investigators, and Frank Bourke, National Star, participated in the interviews and researches. And the policemen were also involved.

A police expert took a close look at the bullet that Higdon had picked up and still had in his pocket. He wrote: "it looks as if it has been turned inside out by a superhuman being!" The bullet was also examined by an APRO consultant specialized in metals, who was just as puzzled. He could not find an explanation for the changes in the bullet's shape.

Previously he suffered from a persistent and painful case of kidney stones and a lung problem which was a sequel of a tuberculosis he had years ago. Both of these were healed after his encounter. This is certainly the sort of evidence that cannot be hoaxed.

The position of the car in the middle of a muddy sector not reachable by a car is of course a third convincing evidence that the case is not a hoax and may have objectively happen as Higdon said.
Hypnotic regression

I probably need to specify that I have more than vague doubts about the validity of what surfaces under hypnotic regression. I feel that there is no certainty that the witness recalls real events or totally imaginative events or terribly distorted events when submitted to this technique. Many researchers, particularly those who support the "psychosocial hypothesis" (whatever this may really mean) have sometimes ignored the border between conscious memories and memories that surfaced after hypnotic regression sessions when they speculate their interpretations on such cases.

In Higdon's case, it must be remembered that he did remember all of the above events without any hypnotic regression. By all means, what follows is what surfaced when he underwent this technique.

When Dr. Leo Sprinkle used time-regression hypnosis on Higdon, he found out more about his experience. Higdon was able to recall that other human beings were present on the alien's home planet and they were acting as though they belonged there. He said that the aliens had come to Earth to hunt and fish for food.

Higdon believes that he would have been used for some type of medical experiment involving human reproduction but the alien told him that he does not meet certain conditions for that. Oddly and coincidentally, Higdon had had a vasectomy performed a few years before the abduction and was therefore useless for any "breeding program" that his captors appeared to be pursuing.

Hypnotic regression and psychological tests were conducted again a few years later, in September 1978, by two specialists: Dr. Greenberg, scientific consultant for LAPD, and Dr. Sidney Walter, which, among other functions, was a consultant at the FDA and expert at the federal Social Affairs Department. Both of them have found him sincere. His reaction during hypnosis when he remembers having been exposed to a very bright light was dubbed as indicating that "he has really been exposed to this harsh light."

Tests were also done using a PSE (Psychological Stress Evaluator) device, which is a more sophisticated lie detector device, after which the expert concluded "I am forced to admit that something utterly fantastic did happen in this man's life: the test proves it beyond doubt."

Notes by Jerome Clark regarding several early abductions accounts:

Higdon Case

Tall humanoid, in black suit & black shoes; bow-legged; 'slanted head and no chin', thin hair 'stood straight up on his head'

At that time there were precious few alleged abductions generally known among ufologists: Antonio Villas Boas (1957), the Hills (*1961), Herb Schirmer (*1967 - more an invitation than an abduction, and with strong contactee overtones), Jose Antonio da Silva (1969), Hodges & Rodriguez (1971, another case with shades of contacteeism), Hickson & Parker (*1973; later claims by Hickson put him in the contactee bracket), Pat Roach ("Patty Price") (1973), Carl Higdon (1974), the "Avis" family (1974), Charles Moody (1975 - which was breaking almost simultaneously with the Larson case), David Stephens (1975; not investigated until December that year) and Travis Walton (*1975 - which made international news a few weeks before Larson was investigated in person) constitute a fairly complete list, and I am not sure that news of the Avis case had reached the USA by autumn 1975. Most featured missing time, all began with a UFO sighting, and seven of these 12 are multiple-witness events. At least four (starred) were widely publicized outside the UFO literature. Leaving aside other divergences, the disparity between the entities reported is extraordinary.

Notes in the Journal of Scientific Exploration, a peer reviewed scientific publication specialized in scientific research on anomalous topics such as UFOs:


0130 Source:
Close Encounters, April 1978
National Enquirer, Oct. 24, 1978

Carl Higdon was hunting in the Medicine Bow National Forest when he was abducted by small beings. He was taken on board and given a medical exam. When he was taken back, he saw five other humans on the return trip. His truck was found in an inaccessible area. Afterwards he was dazed, ill, and confused. He was hospitalized for three days.

EFFECTS: Abduction
Time loss
Skin burned - reddened
Muscle and back aches
Eyes irritated
Eyes light sensitive
Cold feeling

Tim Beckley, renowned ufologist:

Back some 15 or more years ago I did a lengthy investigation of a case involving the hunter Carl Higdon of Wyoming. He was out hunting one afternoon when he saw a group of elk; shot at the animal and the bullet came out in slow motion; the bullet hit some sort of invisible force field and was found later twisted and bent out of shape. Carl went onboard the craft and the elk were inside a separate compartment. Funny thing was that the craft looked much smaller from the outside than when he was in it. It went to their base or planet was examined and returned. His truck had been moved to a different spot by the ETs and the sheriff had to come and get it towed out by building a series of logs since it was in such a marshy area. Higdon was blinded, was wandering around in a daze. He was taken to the hospital and it was found that scar tissue was removed from his lung.

My 20,000 word report was printed in UFO REPORT and made the front cover of the STAR. Higdon's story was also investigated by Dr. Sprinkle. It is probably the best in my years of investigation.

Video: Leonard Nimoy - In Search Of UFO Captives or cut/paste http://youtu.be/NVxLmnFQ0Lw

Sprinkle, R. Leo. 1979. 'Investigation of the Alleged UFO Experience of Carl Higdon' - UFO Phenomena and the Behavioral Scientist
Abducted: Confrontations with Beings from Outer Space
Real Aliens, Space Beings, and Creatures from Other Worlds
UFO REPORT - Fall 1975 - Vol. 2 No. 5
Unearthly Disclosure
In Search Of: Season 2
Ufos & Alien Contact: Two Centuries of Mystery