This Article has been rendered to PUFOI with permission by "Mary Rodwell", Director of ACERN (Australian Close Encounter Resource Network).

Awakening to Contact

By Mary Rodwell


Since 1997 the Australian Close Encounter Resource Network (ACERN) has offered its resources to over five hundred individuals and their families. The resource honours all realities, but specialises in 'contact' experiences, by which I mean experiences that involve contact with non-human beings.

Some individuals are consciously aware they have contact experiences, but some discover it through a personal crisis or unusual event. The event acts as a trigger or catalyst, which catapults them into an awareness of this phenomena. The process generally opens up what could be called their psychic intuitive centers, and they may become conscious of not only the non-physical realm, but also their interaction within it.

I know many people, even those with professional training in the psychological field, who sincerely believe that the reason individuals contact ACERN is because they are avid believers in UFOs and indulge in ET-related fantasies until they convince themselves that they have had contact. However, my research suggests something quite different. In fact the majority of people who resource ACERN would definitely prefer to believe that their memories were all fantasies. Some sincerely hope that I will tell them that their experience is a psychological aberration and that there exists a magic pill that will cure it.

But, of those who try medication, many find that it dulls their senses but does not stop their experiences. The fact is that a majority of abductees did not originally have an active belief in UFOs or ET contact, although they may have been more open-minded about the subject than most people. Nevertheless, even for them, the prospect of believing that they personally have had some form of contact is just too bizarre. For most of them coming to terms with such a paradigm shift can take months or years and can be a time of great confusion and fear. Imagine the shock to the psyche when, while exploring another issue, some unsolicited material emerges that suggests that they have had some form of contact experience and that, furthermore, it was directly related to another traumatic experience.

This was exactly what happened to a young man who came to see me a couple of years ago. It is no exaggeration to say that on that day his reality - his personal paradigm - was changed forever. That case, which is documented here, also illustrates some of the complexity of this work; how the therapist needs to be well informed, because of the unique idiosyncrasies of contact/abduction experiences. This case also illustrates graphically to those who are sceptical or uninformed, that such experiences are not created by psychotic, deluded, or fantasy-prone individuals looking for a more interesting life. Although there will always be such cases, most are normal individuals who are faced with paranormal experiences.

I found it particularly interesting working as a therapist in this case as I had no inkling at the time what was going to be revealed. I felt like a cosmic Agatha Christie desperately searching for clues in an extraordinary whodunit. David, who is now in his early twenties, came to see me to get some answers. He had had a bad accident falling off his motorbike in his early teens and had suffered a severe head injury and concussion. Some aspects of the accident puzzled him. He had little memory of events preceding the accident, as well as those immediately afterwards. He was curious about what had really happened. All he could remember was that he had arrived home, after being missing for five hours, with a battered motorbike that had a smashed carburettor, feeling very dazed and unwell. He remembered that, after he got home, he had a headache and was very sleepy. His parents took him to hospital immediately, where he was assessed and packed in ice. He had a high temperature, enlarged spleen and concussion.

The mystery was not only his lack of memory of the incident, but a scar which had appeared on his abdomen after the accident, although he had not had any surgery. He had never understood this. I was honest and said that I did know how successful I would be in recouping his memories after a head injury. For ease of reading, I have only included the highlights of this long session which took over three hours.

The regression begins. I first relax David using some visual imagery, and a process called focused relaxation:

Mary What day is it? [referring to the day of the accident]

David Sunday.

Mary What time did you wake up?

David Nine am.

Mary What was the first thing that happened?

David Breakfast; bacon and eggs.

Mary What happened next?

David Dad mowed the lawn.

Mary What did you do?

David Played tennis.

Mary What happened next?

David I ate a hamburger, played pool, then worked on my motor bike (which he said that he did for a couple of hours, then he decided to take it for a ride).

Comment: At this point I was very surprised and pleased that already we had specific details about the time before the accident, that David had not previously remembered consciously. This was a promising start.


We continued. Carefully, I took David slowly through his next movements to see how detailed his memory could be.

David I said to mum I was going for a ride and would be back in five minutes.

Mary What direction did you go?

David Out the back gate, to the left, walking to the reserve, to take the bike there and back.

Mary Walk me through what you are seeing as you go along?

David The house next door, as I walk through the lane. It is getting renovated. Mr X is on the veranda.

Mary What's the weather like?

David Sunny (David continues to give a quite detailed account of pushing the motorbike across the road, over pipes, the old rail track, a sheep paddock, the school etc).

Mary Where do you go after that?

David I go home.

Mary You go home?

David (silence)

Comment: This was a crucial time. Was this all I was going to uncover of his memory prior to the accident, or could I get more information? There was no way of telling, so I decided to try again from the beginning. I slowly walk David through the same scene, with the hope of getting even more detail.

Mary What's the first image you see as you leave the house?

David A pot plant, plants and the pool table.

Mary Next?

David Renovations.

Comment: I get more details this time as I slowly walk David along the road to the reserve he was heading for. He comments on the bits of pipeline on the road, the store yard, gravel road etc. We keep going with more minor details.

Mary What do you see next?

David A yellow jeep!

Mary Good, then what?

David Ugh! A knife, a knife!

Mary What you are seeing is a knife?

David Nothing around it, just a knife.

Mary What is the knife like?

David Wooden handle, a big steak knife.

Mary Is it being held by anyone?

David No, just floating.

Mary What are the surroundings like?

David Just black.

Mary Just black. What's the surroundings, like if you turn on a light? (This technique can work if for some reason the client is fearful and does not want to see something)

David Ahhhhhhhhhhhh!

Mary Did you turn up the light? Can you see anything?

David Just eyes to the top left.

Mary What do they look like?

David Can't tell, just outline. Still black.

Mary Are they big or small eyes?

David All black, innocent.

Mary What's the face like?

David It's side on.

Mary Turn it around. What's the face like?

David White, no mouth, pointy chin.

Mary What's the hair like?

David No hair.

Mary What's the shape of the head like?

David Round, pointy chin, black eyes.

Mary Is the face close to the knife or separate?

David Separate.

Comment: I continue to ask David for more details. He struggles, except to say most of the surroundings are black. Then I ask if he can see himself and if he is part of this? He says yes.

Mary Where do you think you are?

David Lying down.

Mary Does it feel hard or soft?

David I don't know. Comfortable.

Mary How do you feel?


Comment: As this material was not what I was expecting, I tried to determine if David had moved forward to the time to when he was in hospital. I asked if he was indoors or outside? He confirmed he was indoors. I asked if he could see a window? He said it was all black. Then he said he saw two figures and a pair of eyes. I asked what he was wearing? He said his motorbike overalls. As I asked what happened next, he said his eyes were being examined. Then he saw a bright light and was aware that "they" were taking his clothing off. They drew a line, marking him, from his nose, lips and middle stomach, with the "knife" still floating. He saw an arm and the knife coming down, then he felt he was being watched. Later they seem to be pricking his feet. He feels a sensation as if his toenails are being cut. David then says he starts to feel drained of energy and very drowsy. He feels his hair being stroked. He continues by saying they brush his body, lifting his knees. He has a paralysed feeling. He feels hands on his neck; he thinks they are feeling his pulse. He feels hands over his face, huge hands, as big as his head. I ask what he sees next and he says its like they are "taking his face off" and putting it on the wall. A long tube is put into his stomach. It comes from the ceiling all the way into his stomach. Something goes through the tube and it hurts. This scenario continues with David being moved towards a white coloured door. He says he cannot move as he is strapped to the chair, and as he looks, he sees "joker's shoes and hat".

Comment: The oddity of seeing an unusual figure in this scenario often points to a screen memory. Experiencers who have contact often see clowns which, when probed further, turn out to be an ET being, so I ask what he means by his comment about the "joker's hat"?

David Like the three-way hat that jokers wear. It goes three ways on their head with balls on each end.

Mary Are you seeing that on your own head?

David No, someone else's, in the white light, near the door. Now it looks like what I saw the first time.

Mary Can you describe it again?

David Round head, pointy chin, black eyes.

Mary Where are you?

David Still in the chair, white light all around, there are three in the room where I am.

Comment: I move David to the next significant event. He says that the light shines in his face, coming closer. Something mechanical goes over his face, clamps his jaw and holds his eyes open. It feels like it's scanning him, he says. "I can't close my eyes, it hurts." The machine goes back into the wall, the chair moves into another room, and he starts to feel scared.

Mary What are you scared of?

David The blackness, the darkness.

Mary What happens next?

David A tree, earth, my left arm is above my head, right one by my side. My legs are all twisted. The bike is two metres to my right. It's really wrecked, the handlebars are bent and smashed. My helmet's still on, visors smashed. I wake up, take my helmet off, see the bike, pull it up, start pushing. Bit of a creek, across the road, open the gate. Mum is standing at the pot-plant watering. She drops the hose and screams, "He's fallen off!"

Mary So that's when your mum takes you to hospital?

David She's nagging, shocked. I go into the lounge room, lie down and fall asleep. Then I'm walking to the hospital, ugg [sheep-skin] boots. I am lying on a white bench, there are nurses. The nurse is stroking my hair. It feels like it's repeating. I move to another room. My temperature's high, my head's sore, the nurse is arguing with the doctor.

Mary Do you know what it is about?

David It's about me. The nurse is saying I should be flown to [another] Hospital, but the doctor wants to keep me there. They have put ice round my head, taken my clothes off. I've got a drip in. I feel better. Time has passed.

Comment: Initially I felt that much of what I had heard could have been David mixing aspects of his hospital experience, although it sounded as if he had had two hospital experiences. But some of the details were puzzling; the joker's shoes, for example. I was still trying to ascertain how the accident happened, because that was what we had originally wanted to investigate. I had been given an account of a strange medical-like experience with unusual beings, and what seemed to be the recovery from unconsciousness after the accident and a graphic and detailed account of David going home after the accident and then being taken to hospital, with a clear details of his medical treatment, even to conflict between the medical staff about his treatment. But the question remained, how did the accident happen in the first place?

I began from the beginning, and asked David to tell me once again what happened from the time of leaving home. Extra details emerge. A car nearly hits David as he crosses the road. He now vividly recalls not only the model of car, but also the colour. "I wasn't really looking as I crossed the road," he says. He describes how he climbed on his motorbike and rode it past familiar landmarks, including seeing the yellow Suzuki again, and how he stops the bike at a place he does not normally stop at.

David Something stops me. I don't usually stop here.

Mary So what's stopping you?

David I'm looking at the scenery. I see the school.

Mary Anything else?

David I see a sphere above the trees, to my right above the school. It's got this glass bottom, round silver bit that runs around it, and on top it looks the colour of the sky.

Mary What happens next?

David It starts to move as if it sees me. It stops, I see the jeep, no-one around, nothing, no wind, no smell. I just see those eyes.

Comment: I now had an indication that something very unusual had occurred; the sphere that David saw and also the quietness. The strange, eerie lack of noise, known as the Oz factor, is a phenomenon that occurs with some sightings and contact experiences.

Mary Where is the sphere?

David Forward, right at two o'clock.

Mary How big is it?

David Seems big, real close.

Mary Can you see it clearly?

David Just see the glass bottom, colour glass, clear glass colour.

Mary Are you looking at it, does it come closer?

David Everything's still.

Mary Are you stopped now?

David Yeah!

Mary Do you remember stopping the bike?

David Yeah, I had my finger on the kill switch.

Mary What's the sphere doing?

David Hovering.

Mary How close is it to you?

David Above the gravel road.

Mary So you are sitting on the bike. What happens next?

David I get lifted.

Mary How does this happen?

David Dunno, floating.

Mary So is the bike smashed as you get lifted? (I am still trying to find out how the bike accident happened).

David No . I just move off my bike. The bike falls over. I am off my bike somehow.

Mary Go back to your bike. How do you get off your bike?

David I lift my left leg first. I am standing at the right of my bike, my right hand is still on my handlebar. I let it drop. I let it go.

Mary So you drop your bike?

David Just dropped. I'm a few metres away from the middle of the road (heavy breathing). I'm looking around me, it's as if what is above me is not really there, as if I don't see it. Then I am drawn to something on the road. A little black box, a mini-remote or something. I push it, something above me opens up. I feel lifted, I look up and I look at glass. It's the space. I go inside, the remote disappears. It's huge, like there are no walls, like I'm just sitting in the sky.

Mary Look what you are standing on?

David Just like glass, but springy. I lay down.

Mary Can you see the corners of the room?

David It's round. I go into blackness again. I see that funny face again.

Mary Did you have the accident before you went into the sphere?

David No, I dropped the bike. I walked into the middle .

Mary What is happening in the sphere?

David Lining me up. Fit the clamp, taking something from my stomach, a hard ball, like a stone or something.

Mary Why is it there, what does it do?

David Dunno, they were getting something from me.

Comment: Again I am trying to ascertain whether the accident happened before or after the incident with the UFO.

Mary Did this accident happen before or after you were in the sphere?

David Don't know.

Mary Ask the part of you that knows.

David Yes.

Mary Go to the time after the sphere. Where is the bike?

David Just behind me.

Mary Is it damaged?

David The handle-bars and the grip [are].

Mary How did they get damaged?

David When I dropped the bike.

Mary Why did you drop the bike?

David I just forgot I had the bike. I got drawn to something and got off. I step off the bike, hold the right handle bar, let it drop to the left, while I am walking away.

Mary The bike gets damaged as you drop it?

David I leave the [handle-bar] grip on clutch. The grip gets torn like, knocked. The handle-bars aren't bent, only a little, and I have stopped the bike. It gets more damaged when I have fallen off it.

Comment: So at last I have the information we want. The bike was only minimally damaged through the UFO encounter, the major accident happened later.

Mary Can you see how it gets damaged?

David Coming back home, I hit the pipe, the bike hits the ground hard. I fly a couple of metres forward, and I am lying in the dirt and my left hand

above me, my right by my side, and the bike's behind me. And the petrol's leaking.

Mary Is this after you have been in the sphere? ( I am checking this information).

David Yes.

Mary Ask the part of you that knows if there is anything else you need to know?

David I was taken, tested, then I had the accident. Someone put some big metal thing on the pipe. I hit the metal, then hit the ground head first.

Mary Anything else?

David Why do I see the knife when I stop the motor bike?

Mary Ask why?

David Cutting through something, not physical. Cutting time.

Mary Can you explain?

David Something got cut and stopped everything.

Mary Do you understand?

David Yes.

Comment: By the end of this session both David and I were tired. David was understandably shocked by what he had remembered during the session, and did not know what to think. I knew he needed time to assimilate what had transpired and so, after debriefing, I suggested he contact me in a few days when he felt he needed to.

David, amazingly, soon came to terms with the fact that he had had an extraordinary experience on board a UFO, which may or may not have been partly to blame for his motorbike accident. He may have still been a bit dazed after the UFO/contact encounter, so when he was riding his bike did not see the obstacle that caused his accident. Or it may have happened anyway. We will never know.

Questioning David a few weeks later, I discovered some interesting facts from him. He had unusual dreams at times, smelt strange odours, and often felt "watched and observed." He felt "different" and had also felt unseen presences. He had seen black helicopters and had regular nose bleeds. He was unusually psychic and telepathic. This strongly suggests that David has been interacting with ET beings for some time. David regularly has contact experiences and is often consciously aware of them, and now accepts that as part of his life.


Some of my clients are unaware of ACERN and my specialist work with alien abductees, and have only come to see me because I also work as a professional counsellor, healer and metaphysician. Nevertheless, during their therapy, occasionally some of them spontaneously recall a contact experience. For example, they may be catapulted into an ET/space craft scenario which shocks them as well as me. This has happened on more than one occasion, and leads me to believe that many more people are being contacted than most abduction research suggests. ET contact is not always the classic bright lights, fear of the dark, bodily marks and paralysis scenario. Contact seems to occur in a variety of ways and perhaps experiences such as David's are far more common than was previously believed. It is also important to note that such experiences are not just occurring to science fiction fanatics, but appear to happen regardless of the individual's previous personal beliefs.


Recommended reading

Mack, John E. (1994) Abduction: Human Encounters With Aliens. London:   Simon & Schuster.

Mack, J.E. (2000) Passport to the Cosmos: Human Transformation & Alien Encounters. London: Thorsons.

Randles, Jenny. (1988) Abducted: Over 200 Documented UFO Kidnappings Investigated. London: Robert Hale Limited.

Hynek, Allen. (1972) The UFO Experience: A Scientific Inquiry. London:  Corgi Books.


Mary Rodwell RN Author of AWAKENING.. principal of the 'Australian Close Encounter Resource Network' (ACERN) and can be contacted on: phone/fax (08) 9454 3702,

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