A positive encounter with UFOs resulted in remarkable physical changes and wellness for John Salter and his son

12-minute reading time

John R. Salter.  (1989). Friends in Vast Creation: An Account of the Salter UFO Encounters of March, 1988: Their Background, Development, and Ramifications. Hunterbear.com.

[This article has been edited for brevity.]

I have only positive feelings about the not-so-different from us people from afar whom we met and with whom we spent well over an hour.

When I think, as I so frequently do, of that night of March 20, 1988 —the strange night of the UFO encounter and interception of my then almost 23 year old graduate student son, John III, and myself —I have only positive feelings (as does he) about the not-so-different from us people from afar whom we met and with whom we spent well over an hour. Still continuing recall images and sequences which have come to both of us, slowly and persistently through the fabric of induced (but obviously only intentionally temporary) amnesia, consistently point to good motives and beneficial actions. The physiological changes, more than a dozen, which have occurred in me —beginning since the encounter and still continuing —are witness to this.

We realized it was an incredibly bright object, glowing with an extraordinary shimmering silveriness. The closest analogy I can make is the glowing coals of an oak fire, moving back and forth.

We left Madison shortly after 10 a.m., March 21st, on a double highway going east. I was driving. The day was clear and there was no wind. At 10:14 a.m., there was no traffic right around or ahead of us in either direction. And it was then that we both saw a bright, expanding light coming directly toward and above us; immediately we realized it was an incredibly bright object, glowing with an extraordinary shimmering silveriness. (The closest analogy I can make is the glowing coals of an oak fire, moving back and forth.) It was about two-thirds the size of the full double highway and, when about 200 yards from us, swerved slightly and rose over the pickup at an angle. We could now make out its saucer-like form and, I think, a slight dome. Then, with incredible speed, it was gone.

Here, with recall arranged, is the basic linear progress of our March 20th encounter:

We parked the pickup near the “upper,” far end of [this] winding, timbered road. Then we are standing, John III and I, not far from the passenger side of the pickup which is parked on the level stretch of the Pier Spring Road, under some trees. It is almost dark.

Completely at ease, I can see two or three small humanoid figures climbing up on the back bumper, looking at our gear in the back of the truck. Up closer, they are four to four and one-half feet tall, thin bodies and thin limbs–but comparatively large heads and conspicuously large, quasi-slanted eyes. There are several of these small people–perhaps six or seven—and a taller humanoid figure, almost as tall as I (six feet) and not as proportionately thin as the others. His features are more, as we would use the term, “human”–and he may well be a mixed-blood.

Whatever clothing type they’re wearing, it’s tightly fitting and, to us at this point in recall, non-descript. Our communication with them is more than thought-impressionistic; it’s telepathically specific. John III sits down. Three of the small humanoids gather around, viewing him with as much fascination as he does them. Everyone is very pleasant. The tall humanoid is attached to us in a special fashion and is obviously our key liaison. Now we are walking through the darkening woods, up a ravine and over a small ridge, to the UFO, which is in a rather secluded clearing, some distance from the pickup. I stumble and fall backward but am immediately cushioned by a (telekinetic?) force. Very, very gently, several of the humanoids reach for me and pull me to my feet.

Throughout this entire, still continuing recall process of mine is the clear, persistent definite sense of a brightly lighted room–a kind of white light–and a deep-blue glowing panel. An implant is placed very carefully up into my right nostril and well beyond. There is a strong sense that the last time this happened to me was a long time ago, when I was John III’s age, in 1957. There is now an injection into my neck, at the thyroid area; and then an injection into my upper, central chest (thymus gland). John III’s face is scanned very thoroughly with a “flash-light” type instrument whose head is so soft that it melds into the contours of his face; special attention is given to his chin and jaw area.

A clear, persistent definite sense of a brightly lighted room–a kind of white light–and a deep-blue glowing panel. An implant is placed very carefully up into my right nostril and well beyond.

Then we are out in the open again. The feeling is downright powerful that the meeting has gone very well indeed from everyone’s standpoint. Our tall humanoid friend walks with me back through the woods to the pickup. He is carrying some sort of light, obviously for our benefit. John III is slightly ahead of us. I believe the smaller humanoids have remained with the UFO. John III goes into the passenger side of the pickup, closing the door. I feel an extremely strong, poignant sense of farewell toward the tall figure, sensing equally strong reciprocity. (His emotional and intellectual reactions are like ours: sharp intelligence, good-natured, smiled a great deal, eager, very interested in things and sad–very sad–at parting. Basically, I think all of this holds true for the smaller people.) The tall figure and I tell each other (and John III is included) that we will see one another again in another place, in another time. Now, John III and I are by ourselves in the pickup. We wait. Very shortly from his window, John III watches the UFO rise and, brightly lighted, move diagonally up into the dark clouds and beyond. We drive a short distance to the end of the Pier Spring Road and take Country Road ZZ, well paved and very steep, back to highway 14 and on to Richland Center.

The still continuing results of my implant and injections (although initially their presence was not known to me in the fully conscious sense) began to emerge in some cases as early as May 1988. (John III has had none of these.)

By June and July, other manifestations were present.

By June and July, other manifestations were present

  • My head hair, fingernails, and toenails are growing two to three times their normal rate; eyebrows have become very thick; and fine body hair has developed all over my previously almost hairless arms, legs, stomach and chest.
  • Cuts and scratches clot immediately and heal very, very rapidly. (A denture placed in 1984 resulted in almost daily blood until shortly after the encounter–four years later!–when the situation healed and remained so.)
  • Some little age spots have shrunk or disappeared and the few wrinkles in my face have faded away for the most part. My skin tone is generally much clearer.
  • Blood is much closer to the surface all over my body–indicating even better circulation than formerly.
  • For the first time in my life, my beard is very heavy, very thick, and quite dark.
  • My immunity is heightened; flu bugs may touch me but don’t dig deeply in and the few colds I may now get are very insignificant and short-lived.
  • My energy level is up and my sleep needs, never really substantial, are down.
  • Although not in any sense a “craving,” my protein needs are very heavy and, in May, 1989, I began taking eight amino acid supplements per day–which has returned to normal my burgeoning meat consumption!
  • An auto wreck in Mississippi in 1963 left some residual disfigurement on the right side of my face, but by spring, 1989, this had faded completely into normalcy.
  • I smoked for 40 years and very heavily for the last 35, four packs of cigarettes a day (often unfiltered) and then, for the last 21 years, a pound of pipe tobacco a week. In the spring of 1989, my pipe smoking slacked off to some extent; in mid-May, I realized I had gone almost 24 hours without smoking–and I then stopped completely and permanently, doing so without one single physical or psychological twinge!
  • My psychic sensitivities are sharpened and there are increased telekinetic episodes, especially around electrical equipment.
  • I have a mild aversion to sunlight and increased sensitivity to lights in general, now preferring cloudy weather and darkish offices.
  • My left foot and leg coordinate and walk a little differently, initially running down my left boot heels; there are no walking problems now since I’ve learned to let it happen smoothly and naturally.

Occasionally, a red welt appears on the lower right side of my neck, in the thyroid area; and a brown, circular spot about a half inch in diameter and with a round point-mark in its precise center surfaces on my upper chest over my thymus gland region.

In the earlier part of 1957, although deeply involved in good causes, I was having some difficulty in determining just what I wanted primarily to do with my life (portions of which had already been quite interesting). Then, at some point in the summer, my focus sharpened into its permanently fixed commitment to social justice pursuits. My health became notably great. (For example, an effort to kill me via a rigged auto wreck in Jackson, Mississippi on June 18, 1963, left me seriously injured with many broken bones in my face and some elsewhere. I was operated on extensively that night and faced a substantial stay in the hospital. Three days later, so much of me had healed so quickly that I was out of the hospital and back in the arena–to the great surprise of my physicians and the great displeasure of the white Citizens Council and the Jackson police.) In the wake of the March, 1988 encounter, my normally good health has been boosted very significantly and I feel strong creative urges, constructive restlessness, and a major recharging of my social justice commitment. John III is doing many positive things in his California Indian educational work and is also writing genuinely excellent fiction.

Two other interesting physical things have taken place:

  • A watch, purchased by me in 1984, has been quite satisfactory but lacked any luminosity. I often expressed disappointment that this was so but, soon after the March 1988 events, noticed the hands glowing. Although this lasts only a few hours at most before requiring new exposure to light, it has persisted dependably enough.
  • In another situation, John III’s sunglasses, lost as nearly as we can tell at the time of the evening encounter, surfaced in mid-December 1988, behind the pickup seat. We had been behind that seat for one reason or another at least 100 times since spring, 1988–including every morning since well before Thanksgiving, since that’s where we keep the windshield frost scraper/snow brush. In fact, the glasses were sitting casually on top of the much-used frost-scraper brush! The lenses were not at all dusty. During a subsequent (February 1989) visit to Grand Forks, John III positively identified the glasses as his. The pickup, incidentally, is kept locked at all times when not in use

Haunted by feelings of great “strangeness” (unusual for an 18 year old), I noticed a rock, two feet or so in diameter, which appeared to have moved 15 feet up the slope of the mountain.

And a few suggestive but speculative things: In the summer of 1941, we were living temporarily on a Kansas farm–where I saw something big and strange over the nearby Smoky Hill River woods. It disappeared almost as soon as I saw it but, for long afterward, even after we had moved to a nearby small town, I viewed that stretch of river woods with considerable apprehension. At some point around then, I developed an odd scar above my kneecap, an unlikely place for an injury (there have been reports of small flesh samples taken by UFO visitors from small children at about that age). In that general time period, I drew a picture (which I still have) of an “alien looking” person (large head, slanted eyes, no ears or hair) holding a human being. Only a few years after that, I developed a really very sophisticated interest in astronomy and chemistry. Strange things, difficult to delineate with precision, took place near Flagstaff, Arizona on Woody Mountain, one night in August 1952, where I was a U.S. Forest Service fire lookout and asleep in my cabin at the base of the fire tower. Early the next morning, haunted by feelings of great “strangeness” (unusual for an 18 year old), I noticed a rock, two feet or so in diameter, which appeared to have moved 15 feet up the slope of the mountain, quite close to the base of the tower. It had rained briefly though heavily at some point that night and there was no particular “sign” on the ground. Unlike my encounter of 1957 and the events of March, 1988, all of which are very definite and tangible indeed,  these earlier situations are, as I’ve said, speculative.

In the last several years, a number of people who have had UFO encounter experiences, and some UFO researchers, have painted a bleak and oft-frightening picture of “alien motivations”— raising the possibility of genetic experiments and the like. Other people who have had this experience, such as me and John III and Betty Hill, and a number of other researchers, take a friendly and positive view of all of this.

I think, among other things, that we need to look at the socio-cultural backgrounds of the people involved in the encounters. Urban people– especially urban women —who live, understandably, in perennial fear of theft, rape, or other attack, are much more likely, I should think, to view a close encounter with UFO people as frightening and negative than are, say, rural people or part-Indian travelers on many frontiers like John III and myself and Betty Hill (or racially and culturally open minded people generally) who welcome new, unusual experiences, new friends, new challenges.

With no false modesty, I certainly view my life, especially from 1957 onward, as having been a quite positive one to date: effective social justice organizing in many hard-core settings and much productive teaching and writing. I was pleasantly surprised in mid-January 1989, to receive three awards for my social justice work (both contemporary and historic): one, presented by the general commanding Grand Forks Air Force Base; another from the State Superintendent of Public Instruction. The “big” one was given by the North Dakota Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission–its 1989 award–and was presented to me by Governor George Sinner. In late spring, 1989, I was elected president of the UND chapter of the North Dakota Higher Education Association (NEA) and, in the fall of 1989, I was voted chair of the UND Honors Program Committee.

As I’ve said, almost to the point of redundancy, we see all of this as being very friendly. I do have several basic, concluding thoughts: I believe the number of direct physical encounters with the “alien” humanoids is not nearly as great as some people are presently saying. I see these as rare but not super-rare. I believe these encounters are specifically selective (anything except random) and, as such, necessitate among other things a good deal of careful planning and maneuvering by the humanoids. I do believe that, across the Creation, there are certain universals: e.g., principles of logic, scientific methodology, and the concerns of bureaucrats about cost and time factors. It probably took several days and a good many humanoid-hours to set up and implement the 1 1/2-hour meeting with John III and myself on March 20, 1988. I believe these are extra-terrestrial persons similar to ourselves and perhaps even related in some intriguing fashion or at least the results of a parallel evolutionary course. They are solid and physical and “all-around” tangible entities, sharply intelligent (as one would assume trained astronauts and scientists and perhaps even professors to be), and their range of emotions is comparable to ours. I categorically do not see them as angels/devils/psychic manifestations.

Their actions (motivations and effects and related factors) are quite positive. While I think it’s possible that there may be some “experimentation” involved, I think this is ethically and honorably done–and to good ends. However, I believe the basic thrusts focus on helping some of us (directly) “keep on keeping on” in the business of edging humanity closer and closer to the Sun–figuratively speaking and sensitizing humanity with respect to the relatively nearby presence of other forms of intelligent life.

New as I consciously am to the UFO situation, it may seem more than a little presumptuous for me to, (paraphrasing, I believe, Koestler’s Ivanov in Darkness at Noon), point out that there are some strange terrestrial birds in the trees of “ufology.” Without getting shrill about it and recognizing that there can be “reasonable differences of opinion between reasonable people” (as I was reminded occasionally a long time ago and still am from time to time), I do believe that the “gloom and doom” people in UFO research are often either downright paranoid, motivated by commercial considerations, or ideologically endeavoring to resurrect a new version of the Red Scare (but I don’t think they’ll be able to do that).

I do very strongly believe, and now I’m drawing on cogent impressions existing above and below the water levels of my mind, that the people from afar that John III and I met (and the many other humanoids who look in on our struggling and so very often courageously valiant Earthly turf and drama), have good motives, very good ones, and the unfolding results of all of this–individually if our people can keep an open mind, and certainly with respect to the long-term perspective and future of human society–are and will be deeply beneficial through the many, many ages to come.

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