A very few people claim not only to have encountered the occupants of UFOs but to have spoken with them. Sometimes the conversation seems to take place in the language of the human who encounters the beings, at other times it takes place telepathically or by some other unknown means.
One of the earliest such encounters, though it was not recognised as such at the time, took place outside Homan, Arkansas, in 1896. This encounter took place during the rash of sightings of mysterious airships over the USA that year and in following months. James Hooten, a railroad engineer, was out hunting in the woods near Homan when he heard a loud whooshing noise that reminded him of an air brake on a steam locomotive.
Pushing through the undergrowth, Hooten emerged into a clearing. Resting in a clearing was a large cigar-shaped object with four paddle-like objects projecting out the back and three large wheels along the side. A cabin hung down from underneath to touch the ground and at the back of this stood a short man wearing a face mask. Hooten strolled up to the man and asked “Is this the airship?” The man seemed surprised to see Hooten, but replied “Yes, sir. Good day, sir.” There then followed a brief conversation in which the strange man told Hooten that the airship was powered by compressed air. Four other men then appeared and one said “All ready, sir.”
The strange men quickly ran inside the cabin. The wheels began to turn and the object emitted a whooshing or hissing sound. The object rose into the air, accelerated to high speed and shot out of sight.
A few months later, in April 1897, J. Lignon and his son were walking home across farmland one evening when they saw a light in a field. Going to investigate they found a large, dark object with four men standing beside it. One of the men asked Lignon for water and Lignon pointed out a nearby stream. The men said that they were flying their airship from the Gulf of Mexico to Iowa and that the craft was powered by condensed electrictiy. Once the water was acquired, the men entered the craft by a door and then took off.
Although Hooten and the Ligons interpreted their sightings to be of the mysterious airship seen over other parts of the USA their reports included features that would later appear regularly in accounts of alien contacts. The vague and ultimately meaningless descriptions of motive force would prove to be particularly recurrent features.
Alien Encounters by Rupert Matthews