About ten years ago, I lived in a brownstone in a major East Coast city (it was “brown-stone style,” but the actual material was a grey-coloured stone). To help understand my story, let me take a moment to explain the front of the building and its relation to my apartment: when facing the front of the building, there was a “stoop” of maybe 5 or so thick steps up to the building’s front door (which, when facing the building, was on the right). To the left of that, behind iron fencing, were maybe 15 steps leading to the basement (this set of stairs ran parallel to the front of the building). Over this set of stairs was the building’s huge main front window (which was in my apartment). Next to the building on the right was a row of maybe 7 similar row homes, while, to the left, there was a small alley (but on the other side of the alley were maybe 9 similar row homes). Across the street was an unbroken full block of row homes (no alley).
My apartment was in the front of the first floor and basement. When I entered the building into my apartment, I would walk up the 5 steps, enter through the front door, walk down a hall, (which was the wall of the first floor part of my apartment) and then make a left into my apartment. As soon as I walked into my apartment, I was looking straight out the huge front window to the street (and the staircase to the basement with the iron fence was directly under it). As I walked towards the window, there was a staircase inside my apartment (that ran parallel to the front of the building and the staircase on the outside) with which I could go downstairs to the basement part of my apartment. Also important to note is that the outside stairs led to a door in the basement part of my apartment.
One evening (not sure of the season, although it might have been in the mid- to late- autumn or early, early spring), I walked home and entered my apartment as usual. However, as soon as I did, I noticed (through the large window) a man, solid in appearance (just like a regular guy), in a modern North Face (or whatever) style anorak with the hood up and his face down, clinging to the iron fence in front of the basement staircase. There are several important things to mention here: (1) he wasn’t there when I walked past the fence and entered my building (which was probably only, at a maximum, 30 seconds earlier), (2) he was clinging onto the fence and trying, unsuccessfully to steady himself. Even with holding onto the fence, he was swaying uncontrollably all over the place – he could barely stand, and (3) because his hood was up and his face was always down, I never saw his face.
Despite (1), my first thought was that he was really drunk or sick or something, and I wasn’t quite sure what to do. I watched him flail for several more moments, and then, worried that he was shot or stabbed or something (he was swaying THAT badly), I resolved to call 911. I walked to my chair (about a foot or two away) to get my phone. Although this took a maximum of maybe 10 seconds, when I looked back, he was gone.
My immediate thought was, “He fell down the basement stairs.” (Which would mean he was in the stairwell outside the basement part of my apartment and/or by the basement door to my apartment… in any case, where I didn’t want him to be).
I ran outside (again, in a matter of seconds) and looked down the outside basement stairs.
Confused, I looked up and down the street.
Then, I ran to look up the alley next to my building.
The guy was just GONE.
I stood, confused, in the street for several minutes, and I double- and triple- checked each of the places I previously looked. It just made no sense. There was nowhere else he could have gone, and there was just no way in the world he could have done a legger out of view in the space of time that I wasn’t looking… especially given his almost complete inability to stand while holding onto a fence. To this day, I don't know what to make of what I saw.
In retrospect, there were a few other weird things about this apartment/building:
Once, early in my tenancy, I came home and my tea kettle was moved. I called the management company to ask why they hadn’t informed me that they were going to be in the apartment, and they insisted that no one had been in it. I chalked this up to me absent-mindedly moving it… even though I never really used it or touched it.
When I was in the basement part of the apartment, I would frequently see shadows out of the corner of my eye. I chalked this up to the lighting in the room, but I never really experienced anything similar with such frequency before or after that apartment.
I'm not really sure why I felt compelled to post this -- I know that no one else is going to be able to confirm or explain what I saw -- I guess I'm just interested in others' thoughts. Does it sound paranormal? I've always been open to the paranormal, but, apart from this and maybe one or two other questionable experiences, I've never really experienced anything. This is partially disappointing to me... I read all these stories about family members coming to visit, and I wonder why my family members never visit me. Also, I've always thought that "ghosts" were transparent, but this individual was solid and wearing modern clothes, just like anyone you would see on the street. - Reddit.com
Hunting For Aliens
A Houston, Texas resident is on a mission to capture an extraterrestrial.
Derrel Sims, dubbed the Alien Hunter, claims to be the world’s leading expert on alien abduction. He has investigated alleged extraterrestrial events for nearly four decades. And, according to his website, in that time, his research “has focused on physical evidence, and led to his groundbreaking discoveries of alien implants and alien fluorescence.”
As he recently explained to Houston’s NBC affiliate, KPRC Local 2, his personal experiences with extraterrestrials are what have made alien hunting his life’s mission. Sims claims to have had multiple encounters with extraterrestrials, with the first being at the young age of four. He cites his background as “an investigator, a former cop, a combat cop in the military and a private investigator” to highlight his investigative skills.
Some of Sims’ alien hunting was recently seen on Uncovering Aliens, a show that has aired on Animal Planet, Science Channel, Destination America, and American Heroes Channel. He appears as part of an investigative team that includes Mike Bara, Steven Jones, and Open Minds’ Maureen Elsberry.
In addition to his skills as an investigator, Sims is also a therapist and a Certified Master Hypnotherapist who has reportedly helped hundreds of people who claim they have encountered extraterrestrials. He asserts that alien abductions are quite common, claiming “one in every four people is abducted by aliens and the victims come from all walks of life.” He is also a proponent of the belief that alien abductions run in the family.
If you believe you’ve had contact with extraterrestrials, Sims has an alien abduction questionnaire on his website.
But Sims isn’t out to force his beliefs on anyone. He is focused on his mission. As he tells KPRC Local 2, “I still have a lot of work to do. I’m an investigator, finding the evidence and doing something with it is my business.” - Open Minds
The Ringer: An Extraterrestrial Proving Ground
They Know Us Better Than We Know Ourselves: The History and Politics of Alien Abduction
Masters' Guide to Extraterrestrials
Seeing things that aren't there
Pareidolia is a phenomenon that can make us see faces and other meaningful shapes in abstract patterns.
The human brain possesses a remarkable ability, one that we might not be consciously aware of but that can nonetheless shape our perceptions on a daily basis. The capacity to see faces and other forms in random patterns may seem to be an unlikely affliction, yet a tendency to see meaningful shapes where none exist is a feature of the brain that affects us all.
The infamous 'Face on Mars' is a popular example, a rock formation photographed over the planet's Cydonia region that was long thought by some to be the carefully constructed visage of a human-like face. Incidents in which religious figures such as Jesus or the Virgin Mary are seen in the dirt of a window, the stains on the walls of an underpass or even the burn marks on a piece of toast are also common examples of this phenomenon.
In a recent study, researchers conducted an experiment in which a number of participants were shown a series of images, some containing obvious faces and other containing random static. The results indicated that people are more likely to see faces where none exist if they are expecting to see something - such as if they are told by someone else that there is a face there.
The researchers also discovered that the same region of the brain responsible for face recognition is activated when someone believes they have seen a face in an abstract pattern, whether or not a face actually exists there. Read more at Live Science
Give Mom a good fright for Mother's Day...
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