Close encounters
Four Corners residents share extraterrestrial tales

SideStory: They're back

Stars leave trails of light above a far-off thunderstorm in this time-lapse photo taken in the Northern San Juan Mountains./Photo by Stephen Eginoire

by Malia Durbano

Durango’s Niara Terela Isley is convinced that she has had direct communication with extraterrestrials. She’s not asking you to believe her – just do some research and come to your own conclusions.

“If it were only my experience, I might doubt it,” she says. “But thousands of other people are having similar experiences, people with credibility – like our own U.S. astronauts and other scientists.”

While enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and stationed at the Tonopah Electronic Warfare Range in Northern Nevada, Isley worked in radar detection. She trained pilots in using electronic counter measures to avoid being tracked by radar. Late one night, she and a few colleagues were taken out to the radar site and asked to track the UFOs flying overhead.

They all saw ships that night and wondered why her superiors sent them on the training mission if they had not also seen them.

Others in the Durango area have had similar experiences. Friends Rikki Mulleneaux and Danny Yeager saw strange lights in the sky last Labor Day weekend at Navajo Reservoir. Mulleneaux woke up early one morning before sunrise and went out to sit by the fire. With her back to the lake, she looked out over some low shrubs. Just above the shrubs she saw a light going back and forth, like somebody was playing with a flashlight. Initially the bright light stood off in the distance. “In the blink of an eye,” she says. “It was right in front of my face. It was like a tiny little ball. I was terrified, I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t move, I couldn’t yell.”

Mulleneaux finally yelled to Yeager, who was lying by the fire. As she woke him up to look at it, it receded, turned sideways and disappeared. As he went back to sleep, the light re-appeared. Mulleneaux sat and watched it for at least an hour. “What was really weird was that there was no sound,” she says.

About 10 days later, Yeager was near Aztec and driving down a wash late at night with the lights off. Suddenly, he saw an orange light off to his left. “As I turned the corner, it was right there in front of me,” he says. “I took a picture of it with my phone and sat and watched it for about 20 minutes. I don’t think it knew I was there. When I turned my truck lights on to leave, it took off really fast at a right angle. I know it wasn’t a star or a plane.”

And the stories continue. Local sculptor Dave Clausen “doesn’t go looking for this stuff, it just happens.” His first sighting was back in 1974, when he was with his father on Imogene Pass near Ouray.

More recently, Clausen has had sightings in broad daylight near Dalla Mountain Park, at Junction Creek and last fall near Lightner Creek. In each of the cases, he has seen really bright lights approach and there is no sound.

If notoriety bestows credibility, then Victoria Liljenquist, of Pagosa Springs, may be as credible as they get. In 2005, Liljenquist produced a documentary about her personal encounters with other dimensions. The film, “Encounters with Angels, UFOs and Divine Messages,” won an award at the New York International Independent Film Festival and honorable mention at the Los Angeles Film Festival.

By using the night vision setting on her camera she has captured the visiting ships on film. “The colored lights from the ships are reflected in the water as they hover very low above the lake outside my home,” she explains.

Liljenquist’s documentary includes press coverage of her prediction that a cigar shaped craft would appear at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City. The UFO sighting was captured on film on the very day and the time originally predicted.

She has been interviewed on the Coast to Coast radio show with a worldwide listening audience of 18 million people. Having lectured all over the United States at colleges and conferences, she has amassed a worldwide following of believers.

Liljenquist also assembles groups and takes them out for Star Ship Watches. They appear right on schedule and everyone is able to see the ships spinning at low altitude, as she films them. “They are benevolent, intelligent beings that are here to help us,” she says. “We are not alone. As we gain understanding, we let go of fear of the unknown.”

Since 1994, she has had contact from numerous kinds of ships. “Some are cigar shaped, some holographic, cellular light ships and Merkabahs,” she explains.

Liljenquist will not be speaking at the Aztec Conference this year (see sidebar), but was a presenter at the 2009 conference. Katee McClure, producer of the Aztec Conference, says, “We have a great line-up of speakers and more than 300 expected attendees”

The conference was started in 1998 by a librarian at the Aztec library. She found a book about the 50th anniversary of the Roswell, N.M., crash and decided to do a symposium on the anniversary of the Aztec Crash. The event has been a fund-raiser for the library ever since.

McClure invites the public to attend the conference. “People can make up their own minds about whether they believe or not,” she says. “We have serious researchers presenting who have cold, hard evidence. It is compelling and cannot be discounted.”

Not everyone is convinced. Bob Danielson, a Durango resident, comments. “These people don’t have convincing arguments. People want to believe so badly, that they will grasp at any sign, even unscientific ones.”

For his part, Danielson finds tales of abductions hard to believe. “If they really are aliens and they spend all this time traveling to get here, wouldn’t they stay longer and make an effort to make better contact?” he asks.

The Aztec UFO conference hopes to answer such questions. Astronaut Edgar Mitchell presented at the Symposium in 1999, and the lineup has included physicists, military personnel, researchers and authors. McClure encourages people on both sides of the argument to attend.

“These are not UFO worshipping freaks,” she says. •



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