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Chapter Thirty-seven: Missing Child, Missing Time

As our experiment in channeling proceeded, we discussed the many possible ways that a “true higher source” might be identified.  We both thought that a higher source, by virtue of greater and more inclusive Cosmic Perspective, would be able to make absolutely stunning “predictions” that would “hit the mark” every time.  But, in a short term feedback loop of testing, how to validate such a hypothesis?

Frank came up with a solution: Lottery.  Well, that seemed reasonable enough .  We could ask for a lotto prediction from every entity, then “grade” them based on their ability to predict.  Since there were daily games, we concentrated on these.

Now, while I have been known to buy an occasional lotto ticket or two based on a dream or just an impulse, and to win when I do, I have never been a real gambler.  If I had the money to buy a soft drink and, instead, decided to give up the drink in favor of a lottery ticket, I felt that this was no more than I would spend on the minimal amount of junk food I ordinarily consumed; a few soft-drinks denied, and there was a movie ticket; and for me that was all it was: entertainment.  If I won, it was fun.  If I didn’t, I hadn’t lost any more than I would have wasted otherwise.  I never considered buying a lottery ticket as a way of getting out of any financial difficulty.  If I was in a situation where I could not justify buying even a candy bar because money was that tight, I didn’t buy a lottery ticket either.

For me, the “lotto test” was theoretical.  I wasn’t going out and buying tickets, I was just noting the numbers down and checking them with the posted results.  It was only later that I discovered that Frank was.  Not only that, he seemed particularly devoted to this aspect of the experiment.  Doing it as a test was one thing, but doing it with intent to profit was somewhat disturbing to me.

In actual fact, we did have a few hits in that regard.  They usually came up on a different day than predicted, sometimes even as long as several weeks after they were given.  Frank claimed to have made money this way, but I reminded him that his overall expenditure on tickets ought to be deducted from his winnings to get a real picture.

***

In January of 1993, my old friend Keith Laumer died.  I had driven up to see him some months earlier and he looked terrible.  It had been 20 years – almost to the day – since I had sat in his house and watched him brandish a gun with the ostensible purpose of putting a period to his existence.  During my last visit with him, Keith seemed tired and broken.  He told me that if he had a switch on the wall to turn out the lights of his life the same way he could bring darkness to his room before sleeping, though he desperately wanted to, he wasn’t sure he’d have the courage to do it.  “I realize at long last what a coward I have always been,” he said.  The bitterness in his voice nearly undid me.  Whether it was a new manipulation or just a sad statement of fact, borne of great struggle in his life, I will never know.

When his secretary called to tell me he had passed away during the night of the 23rd, I felt as though a door had closed on an entire thread of my life.  In his honor, I put on a tape of Puccini.  It actually wasn’t too bad.

A few weeks later, a local 12 year old girl was reported missing.  I was very shaken by it because, when her photo was displayed on the television, she looked so much like my number two daughter that I almost began to cry!  I was surprised by my emotional reaction!  And, even more surprised when, watching the news report,  I “saw” in my mind’s eye that the girl was dead, naked, wrapped in what looked like saran wrap, lying in a stand of pine trees.  I even had a “sensation” of the general location.

The vision came to me as if remembering an intense experience from my own past.  In my mind the heat shimmered at the edges of the shade in a pine woods.  Mottled shadows moved slightly as the rising air softly rushed between the pine needles.  I could actually smell the pine sap.  The body lay nearly face down with an arm tucked under the side.  Flies droned sickeningly as they reconnoitered the rapidly putrefying flesh.  I didn’t know exactly where this place was, but I knew I was seeing the missing girl.

I forced my normal awareness back into place, much like pulling a shade down over a window, and continued to listen to the details about the child.  She had only been missing since the day before, and, under normal circumstances, no investigation of any kind would be launched for at least twenty-four hours.  But, in this case, the family was close to a high ranking member of the sheriff’s department.  From his personal knowledge of the situation and the persons involved, he determined that foul play must be strongly suspected.  A full scale investigation had been launched within just a couple of hours after she was due home.

The name of the sheriff’s department official was given in the report as “Henry Smith” (a pseudonym).  Good old Henry.  Son of a friend and former employer of my mother; two years ahead of me in high school.  As I watched the newscast, I wanted to tell them there was no point in looking for a living child.  The child was already dead.

There had been a number of occasions in my life when I just “knew” things about crimes I would read or hear about.  It’s always an initial flash of insight which, if I try to push it further, sort of disappears.  It actually became a sort of side hobby to make predictions about who may have done a crime just to test myself.  On the occasions when I did get an initial impression, I was always right.  But I never had an opportunity to provide the information to anyone who could do anything about it.  In fact, I probably would not have told anyone if I had the chance, because I had no taste for being labeled a psychic.

The point is, I keep score with myself.  It’s a game I play and I win only if I am right on every point and it is certain that I could have no way of knowing what I know by normal means.  When I get the information, it is good, but there are times when I get nothing at all.  It is as though some people and some situations are simply on another channel.

But this case was one I could tune in to more clearly than others.  I had a twelve-year-old daughter of my own who was so similar in appearance.  The newscaster described a child very much like my own.  It seems that the missing girl, the perfect child, had gotten off the school bus and disappeared.  No physical evidence of any kind was found.  She disappeared with books, purse and clarinet.  No one saw anything at all unusual, except that the other kids on the school bus seemed to remember a blue truck in the vicinity.  The details on the blue truck were vague and there seemed to be nothing else to go on.  So, I watched the case with interest.

On the following day Marcia Matthews called.  (This is not her real name.) Marcia is a local self-proclaimed psychic, hypnotherapist, western dancer and general wise woman.  She didn’t waste any time getting to the point.

“Have you heard anything about the little girl that’s missing?”

I acknowledged that I had.

“Well, I just came from over there and I just want to run some things by you to get your reaction.”

“What do you mean you just came from over there?” I asked.

“Well, not exactly there.  We were at the county fair, you know, and it seems the girl’s parents have been working with some group over there.  The cops were all over the place.  So I decided to see if I could get some feelings…  there’s a van they were checking out…  and I tell you, when I got near that van, my flesh just crawled!  I mean, there is some nasty stuff there!  And I just know she’s alive but she doesn’t have much time.  I HAVE to find her!    She’s cold and in a dark place and she’s hanging on for dear life…  and I’ll tell you, if some of these bastards don’t listen to me they’re going to have that girl’s death on their hands!”

“Slow down, Marcia!”  I was used to Marcia getting all wound up.  I knew if I was going to make any sense of the conversation I was going to have to make her stop and start at the beginning.

“You and Bennie went to the fair, right?  How did you get involved with the cops?  Did they just come up to you and ask you if you knew anything?”

“Well, not exactly.  We saw the posters they were putting up all over, you know, the pictures of the little girl, and I went up and introduced myself and offered to help.  I told them I’m a psychic and, I was surprised, they didn’t seem turned off at all!    In fact, they invited me over to see if I could pick up anything from a van parked behind the fair.  They think that maybe one of the fair people had something to do with it.”

“Why do they think that?” I asked patiently.

“Because the girl’s parents belong to some organization doing something here at the fair and the kid has spent a lot of time in the past few days hanging out here.  The cops think that maybe one of the carnies found out where she lived and abducted her.”

“So tell me about this van,” I prompted.

“Well, I wanted you to tell me what you get.”

“It’s white, full of junk, and has something blue on the engine cover,”  I  replied promptly.  I have no idea where it came from, but then, I never do.

“Yes,” she urged, “but what is the blue thing.”

“I have no idea.” I was getting impatient.  I knew the van had nothing to do with the missing girl and I could feel another one of Marcia’s wild goose chases coming on.

“It’s a Bible,” she announced breathlessly.  “A Bible!  Can you figure that!  And I can just see the girl on the floor in the front curled into a ball with rags thrown over her and this son of a bitch driving her down the road.  He raped her, man, he tortured her…  she’s a mess and I’ve got to find her before its too late!” Marcia was starting to wind up again, so I stopped her with a question.

“Where do you think she is?  ”

“I’m not sure, but I know it is near her house.  I get a well house – a shed, something to do with water.  Oh man, she’s in pain!” I could see the conversation was going nowhere so I decided to tell her the truth.

“She’s dead, Marcia.  She’s been dead since yesterday.”

“No, I don’t agree.  She’s out there calling to me.  I’m going to look.  This cop named J.D.  gave me her card and I am going to go and look.  There’s a road I noticed on our way in here.  I had a funny feeling about that road and I just know she’s down there.  If I can’t get them to look, I’ll do it myself.  I have to find her!  When I find the spot, I’ll call this J.D.  and get her to get some men out there.  I gotta go, I’ll talk to you later.”

“Sure, keep me posted.” I hung up the phone wondering just what kind of cosmic drama was being played out with this event.  Marcia had probably called every psychic person she knew, gotten their impressions and was now unable to distinguish between true intuition and all the interference she was picking up.  The only problem was that most of the so-called psychics around town were shrewd “cold-readers” with very little true ability.  Oh, they had an occasional flash now and then, but generally they failed miserably.  Because of  “psychics” like that, I didn’t want to be numbered as part of their group.

Over the next few days I kept my own counsel.  Marcia called with frequent updates of her wild goose chase.  She told me another friend of ours, Danielle, worked with the missing girl’s stepfather at the local resource recovery plant.  I called Danielle to pick up any information I could.  All she could tell me was a reprise of Marcia’s insistence that the girl was alive and that, as far as she could see, the family was a normal happy one.

I told Danielle I was sure that the child was dead.  She totally rejected the idea.  But she did say that the child’s stepfather was at the plant at the time of the girl’s disappearance.

The media appealed for information on the missing child, keeping up an onslaught of endless stories about the family and how “normal” and upstanding they were.  For some reason, I had no further insights.  On the night the family appeared before the TV cameras to beg for the return of their daughter, I watched in horrified fascination.  I couldn’t help but put myself in their shoes.  They asked for every resident of the county to search every building they owned, every shed, every pump house – I could see Marcia’s hand at work – to leave no trail un-walked and no stone unturned.  There was something odd about the interview, though.  I just couldn’t put my finger on it.  The stepfather did all the talking while the mother sat stony faced and silent.  It made me wonder.  But it’s easy to criticize.  What I would be doing myself, I couldn’t know.  I couldn’t go that far in my imagination.  It was too terrible.

I called Sandra, who was by now a bigwig at the state social services agency.  Sandra was also extremely intuitive.  As I expected, she had already done a little poking around through the family services files.  The scuttlebutt within the agency was that the family had some problems with the girl.  There were signs of rivalry between the new stepfather and the girl’s natural father.  There were whispers that the child had tried to run away before to go to her father.  Sandra was putting her money on the stepfather.  She was convinced that sexual abuse was rampant in that house and that a confrontation on the subject had led to the child’s death.  Like me, Sandra also knew the girl was dead.  I shared with Sandra the information I had gotten from Danielle, that the stepfather could not have been a party to the fact the child was missing because he was at work with a lot of witnesses at the time.  We both pondered the matter, but nothing else came up.  It was most definitely a curious case.

I wondered about what Sandra had discovered.  It was likely that the sheriff’s department was already privy to the information there had been problems in the home.  So why had they launched a full scale crime investigation into what must have looked, at first glance, like a simple runaway?

Something wasn’t adding up.

That night, I tried to meditate and clear my mind of all conflicting ideas and information.  I knew the torture I would feel not knowing where my child was or if she was dead or alive, certain that every moment I would be thinking the worst and that the burden of those thoughts would drive me mad.  Just thinking about it was more than I could bear.  I began to cry.  I silently sent a summons to the universe to “bring that little girl home!”  Over and over I repeated it: “Just bring her home”.  Suddenly, I felt a flood of peace wash through me and knew that events would soon begin to move.

The following day I was as tense as if my own daughter was missing.  It seemed as if the whole county, all of nature, was holding its breath.  The missing girl had become everyone’s child.  I was still frustrated because I had no further impressions.  But I continually “asked the question”.  The only thing I could see was an old road I used to drive as a teen-ager – a road with hills and curves and fields of hay and cattle.  I knew she was there, somewhere in the vicinity of that road.

I picked up the children from school.  They were excited with news that the missing girl had been found.  Their source seemed to be a school teacher whose daughter worked for the newspaper.  The kids’ story was confirmed by a bulletin on television almost as soon as we arrived home.  A body had been found off P___ Road, the very road I had been seeing in my mind.  No positive identification had been made.

But everyone knew who it was.

The evening news put a period to the speculation.  The missing child had been positively identified but no further details would be forthcoming until an autopsy was performed.  We could all breathe again but we did so with tears and trepidation.  There was obviously a killer on the loose.

The appeals to apprehend the killer intensified.  Everyone was now looking for a blue truck that some of the children on the school bus thought they remembered seeing.  I paced the floor in anguish, realizing that the only way I would be able to get the answer would be if someone connected to the case “asked me the question”.

This was another thing I had noticed about my “abilities”.  Just as the process of channeling the inspiration for Noah had occurred only in response to mental questions, very often I have no insight into what is not my business until someone whose business it is asks me about it.  When they do, the answer simply comes to me.

Finally, unable to just close my mind to the affair, I sat down to write a letter.  I addressed the letter to the Sheriff’s department official close to the family: Henry Smith.  I asked him to please not share with anyone what I was going to say.  You just never know who else might work down at the sheriff’s office and, of all things, I didn’t want to get a reputation as a weirdo.

I told Henry what I had seen so far, which had been accurate, and I felt I might be able to see more if only I were asked.  I intended to use astrological charts on the subject as the method of focusing.  I had the idea that it was possible, in this way, to identify the killer, or at least some things about him to produce a rather specific profile.  What I was offering, however, might not be any better than nothing and I said so.  But, I was willing to have a go at it.

I really did not expect a response except a polite “thank you, but we have all the leads we can handle”.  I certainly did not expect Henry himself to call me the very next day after I mailed the letter!    But he did.  He told me that he had consulted the family and, on their behalf, and as a friend of the family and not as a public official, he was asking me to look into the matter.

The type of chart I was going to do is called horary astrology.  Horary means “of the hour”.  The idea is that when a question is asked in seriousness and sincerity, the answer is inherent in the moment of asking.  I recorded the time of the question as well as the birth data he gave me for the astrological charts.

During the course of the conversation, he confirmed my vision: the body had been stripped, had been hosed to remove all traces of evidence, and was wrapped in plastic sheeting.  I pointed out that this indicated someone who was familiar with forensic procedures and who intended, most definitely, to remove all traces of fibers or other microscopic elements that might have served to at least identify where the murder occurred.  Not only had all evidence been thoroughly removed, the body was left just over the line in the adjacent county which most definitely confused investigative issues.  Henry agreed with this assessment.

“Would you go out to the site with me and see if you could sense anything else?” he asked me.

“Henry, this really is not my forte!”

“We need your help, Laura.  Isn’t that standard psychic procedure to go to the scene and…”

“But I probably only had the original insight because of my emotional reaction to seeing her face,” I told him.  “It was just so similar to my own daughter’s.  I’m sure I would get better results by working on the astrological charts.”

“I understand.  But for the family’s sake, could you just give it a try?”

It was about 20 miles to the location where the body was found.  That’s not a great distance, but it included a lot of driving around the area where the girl lived and frankly, my health was in such a bad state that I budgeted my time very carefully.  Any driving other than just around town to run a few errands left me totally exhausted, not to mention the swelling of my legs. But still, under the circumstances I couldn’t refuse.

I don’t know what made me think of doing it the way I did, but that’s what I did.  My objective was to see everything through the mind of the killer and get “into” his thought processes.

Well, that was a big mistake.  Yes, I got impressions.  Yes, I later did all the charts.  Yes, I believe I solved the crime, and “insiders” on the subject are also convinced that my solution is the correct one.  But there is not one single, solitary shred of real evidence on which to justify an accusation, much less an arrest.  It is also very unlikely that the individual will ever kill again. But if he does, someone is watching.  I also cannot give those details due to issues of possible defamation.  But that’s not what is important here.

As a result of all this traipsing around and putting on that “mind of the killer,” the stress nearly killed me.  My  body swelled with what the doctor called ascites, speculating that I had damaged my liver by taking nine Tylenol a day for the past seven years or so.  My heart was backflushing constantly, my kidneys had shut down, and I was as close to death as I have ever been.

The doctor wanted to admit me to the hospital, but I refused.  I remembered the horror of my grandmother’s death, which could have been peaceful with me at her side.  I remembered how the hospital personnel deprived me of those last few moments with their absurd resuscitation efforts.  If I was going to die, I wanted to do it at home.

My doctor shook his head in near despair at my stubbornness, ordered me to bed for complete rest for two weeks or longer, and prescribed medication.  He was sure I would give in and he would see me at the hospital by the next day at the latest.  I was just as sure he wouldn’t.  I had Larry get me home to bed.  I almost couldn’t walk.

After a few days of feeling on the verge of death, declining all medicine, eating nothing, drinking only distilled water, I began to feel just a tiny bit better.  My thought processes had almost completely stopped working from the build-up of toxins in my body.  But as I began to recover,  I soon began to feel the need for new activity.  Obviously I couldn’t move from the bed, so I called Frank and asked him to bring me something good to read.

Frank arrived with a big grocery sack full of UFO and Alien Abduction books!

I was furious!

“Frank, I am NOT going to read them so you just take them back!”

He set the bag down.  “In case you change your mind, I’ll just leave them anyway.”  He grinned with sadistic satisfaction.

“I assure you that I am not that desperate!”

“Suit yourself,” said Frank, and left me with the bag of lurid paperbacks.

After awhile, the boredom became pretty severe.

I reached into the bag and pulled out a book.

Hmm.  “Missing Time”, by Budd Hopkins.  I was pretty amazed as I read.  This was not the flaky flim-flam of Ruth Montgomery or the “Gothic Existential Angst” of Whitley Strieber.  It was actually an attempt at serious research! I was surprised.

More disturbing, I recognized many events that I’d shoved under the rug in my own life, clearly evident in the lives of the people interviewed for this book.  They had reached a point of exploring these anomalies and talking about them and retrieving memories under hypnosis.

But, after some consideration, I brushed their “alien abduction” explanations away.  I could think of a dozen other solutions.  Besides, it was too soon to draw conclusions: I needed more data.

I read on.  Book after book.

“The Interrupted Journey.”  “The Andreasson Affair.”  “The Alien Agenda.”

There were people claiming we had been being visited by aliens since archaic times.  There were others who claimed we had been visited a few times, but they were gone now, nothing to worry about!    Another group claimed that we had “let them in” by setting off the atomic bomb; they were here to make sure we didn’t blow ourselves up along with the rest of the universe.  Some claimed they were good guys who were just a little weird because they had followed a different path of evolution, or were further along than we were.  Others claimed they were demons from Hell and we had better get ourselves back to church if we expected to survive the invasion.

Sheesh!    The only thing certain was that people were seeing and experiencing something singularly strange.  Secret government projects?  Secret aliens-in-cahoots-with-the-government?  By the time I finished I was sure of one thing and one thing only: there was a LOT of smoke!

But smoke obscures the source of the fire even if, underneath, there might only be a smoldering mess.  I wasn’t sure if this was a “manipulation” by the government to make people think aliens existed, or if aliens did exist and were trying to make the government look guilty.

What a morass of confusion!

Not to be intimidated by unexplained phenomena of any sort, I started working on a new theory to explain the UFO/Alien abduction phenomenon.  There was little in these stories that could not be explained by mass hallucination and hysteria, psychokinesis, stigmata, repressed memories of physical or sexual abuse, psychosis, schizophrenia – heck, just a whole cornucopia of tricks of the mind to choose from!

I worked on the problem, discussed it with Frank, and demonstrated how every event in every case he cited could be explained by some aspect of my new Rationalist Theory of UFOs.  He was practically foaming at the mouth in frustration with my stubborn refusal to see anything other than what could be classified, categorized, and explained by any number of currently established scientific perspectives, even if some of them were a little far to the left of “normal”.  I was actually pretty proud of my fiendishly clever solution!

This was in March of 1993.

Pride goes before a fall, you know.  The Universe, it seems, had a big hole just waiting for me to fall into.  Things were just getting warmed up!

Continue to Chapter 38: Flying Black Boomerangs

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