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Chapter 1

Introduction

Most of us lead our lives as if we were running a race, in breathless pursuit of livelihood, leisure and entertainment, emotional fulfillment, realizing our dreams. We're swimmers caught up in a tidal wave of events, circumstances and possibilities. My particular tidal wave included my family, my studies and my attempts to keep up with the constant flow of new technologies in the computer sciences. I swam like the rest of us, until I began to be aware that something strange was happening to me.

I can trace it back to a particular day, not so many years ago. My first reactions were hesitance, confusion, disbelief and a bit of fear mixed in. But I also felt an overwhelming curiosity, which only got stronger with time. I related to the ensuing strange events as though I were conducting my own private scientific study and I kept detailed records. It was my way of coping, of coming to grips with what was happening. I was trying - and I am still trying - just to understand. Some things are beyond our ability to understand, and yet they happen nevertheless. My view of the world, the universe, existence, has changed beyond recognition. The physical world as we know it, the sum total of life and civilization existent on the planet earth, is a tiny tip of the entirety of the universe whose beginning and end are unfathomable. But let me not get ahead of myself. Read what happened to me, what things I've been experiencing, and perhaps you'll be bold enough to believe...

I started out, not with the intention of writing a book, but just to keep a personal diary of events. My experiences were so extraordinary, so far from mundane reality, that I felt I couldn't talk about them with my friends for fear they would laugh at me. Instead, I documented in writing everything that happened to me that seemed important. It is this documentation that I now share with my readers.

Most people have at one time or another in their lives, experienced something strange and inexplicable - something so far from normal reality, so frightening, that it is preferable to pretend it never happened, ignore it, or find soothing explanations in random coincidence and forget about it. I certainly understand the desire to keep firm ground under one's feet. Coping with the realities of everyday life must take first priority, and entering the "gray areas" requires a great deal of inner strength. But I have encountered many people who dismiss as a matter of course any para-normal phenomenon with the attitude that if it doesn't have a scientific explanation, it doesn't exist. Such people tend to believe that there is no chance of us ever finding life out there in the universe. They back up their belief with "scientific" statistics and the distance barriers (speed of light being the limit) and are reassured.

The decision to write this book was not an easy one to make. I had to take into account the reactions of my friends, my family, my work colleagues. In the end, I concluded that whatever harm is done to my personal relationships is negligent compared to the good that can come from the information I impart. My friends, the aliens, who as a rule ask for nothing, gently suggested that the publication of my book is an important step.