Classic Mysteries

Retired College Teacher Recalls UFO Alien Contacts & Little Man Encounter

By Brent Raynes

Dr. Edward Carlos has retired now from his many years as a teacher at Tennessee’s University of the South in Sewanee. For 34 years he taught there, while also directing the University gallery and chairing the Fine Arts Department. When I wrote some about his experiences years ago, we had to be careful because of his professional career and reputation. “Now that I’ve retired and cannot be fired for speaking about those mystical and/or visionary experiences/encounters that befall me, I no longer hide myself from anyone,” he recently wrote.

In fact, Dr. Carlos would like me to let you know about his art center called IONA: Art Sanctuary, located in Sewanee, Tennessee. Check out his website: He explains that his artworks “actually stem from thoughts/expressions/insights concerning the encounter-oriented messages, teachings, and visions thereby related to an altered state/perspective. I don’t mind that being known as I lecture/talk about the experiences stemming from these encounters to all visitors now.”

Dr. Carlos even met and worked some with the noted abduction researcher Dr. John Mack, spoke on UFOs at Harvard, and was included in a chapter on his experiences in Dr. Mack’s book, Abduction: Human Encounters With Aliens (1994), though he never felt that Dr. Mack had a real clear understanding of the so-called “abduction” phenomenon and the complex elements that composed it. Earlier I had written about the influence on Dr. Carlos’s artwork connected with experiences he had on the island of Iona, off the coast of Scotland, with strange illuminations in the sky and on the landscape, psychological disorientation, and inexplicable lapses in time.

Recently Dr. Carlos shared with me this personal experience that also happened to him and a “priest-friend” on that Scottish island. It is truly a classic episode in terms of the mythic landscape on which this incident is said to have transpired, a land steeped in the traditions and legends of those famous beings of classic British Isle mythology: elves, fairies, and leprechauns.

Dr. Carlos wrote:

“On Iona island in the Inner Hebrides many years back, a priest and I

became lost and disoriented a bit on the high mountain summit area of

the island; as evening commenced we realized we would have to locate

and follow the coastline of cliffs and crags until we reached an area

we might know in order to make our way back to the little town of

Iona. The hikers' path would disappear in the darkness, and with

night at that time of the year (autumn) temperature fall drastically.

Climbing with great struggle over some coastline ridges we pulled

ourselves up to the height of a small flat ledge (maybe 30 x 30 ft.

in area-size jutting out from the higher cliff) to find a stone house

with maybe 8 ft. high walls topped by a moss-covered roof, no doors

and no windows). Surprising a wee being (maybe a foot and a half-two

feet high) (dressed in knickers et al and who looked like the

traditional leprechaun image), this small guy leapt off the ledge

near where he was standing in the opposite direction from us into

what looked (later when on the ledge) to us like a large rough

mass-jumble of boulders. We could not find him, once on the ledge,

but we walked all around the house, touching the sides, but as night

was ensuing, we had to continue and move on. When my St. Michael's

Triumph altar artwork was dedicated at a subsequent Sunday morning

mass, the sermon given by the priest-friend was on belief in angels,

spirits, and fairies. On another (trip) to Iona maybe 18 and/or 20 years

later, I searched but could not find any area resembling our earlier

climb, and, thus, no ledge and no windowless-doorless house and no

little guy.”

As Jacques Vallee pointed out nearly four decades ago in his thought-provoking book, Passport To Magonia, perhaps there is a deep and profound fabric of significance to the centuries old “little people” lore of the British Isles (and numerous other parts of the world) and the “little men” associated with our modern UFO encounter accounts.

I had shared Dr. Carlos’s story with Priscilla Wolf (read Reality Checking), and she in turn shared this interesting story:

“My cousin, who goes elk hunting in the Colorado mountains, along with his brother, went to an area they never been before. He said by a big ponderosa tree there was an untouched cabin home not lived in but beautiful, and they check it out and marked the big tree to come back later and find the owner and try to buy it. Oh well, later he said they went back and they found the tree marked but no cabin. Only the forest full of trees.”

Getting back to Dr. Carlos’s UFO encounters, he described his beings in those instances as consisting of those who are about five feet tall, seemingly “telepathic,” and the “little ones” who are about three feet tall and from whom “no communication ever has occurred.” He has seemingly had some pretty amazing “alien” encounters and discourses. He recalled another encounter in Kentucky as he wrote: “…returning from my daughter’s graduation from college. We stopped at a motel, and while I was getting our suitcases from the trunk of the car (my daughter was already in the motel room), a somewhat large (wider than the motel, circular in form) craft came down almost immediately above the motel and parking lot. As it went overhead … the stars were blocked from sight. I screamed for my daughter to come out on the balcony, but she missed it. The craft flew over the highway and on into/over a large open field (not landing, I thought) across the road.”

“That craft wasn’t so huge actually, but it was wider than the motel unit but not as long, and circular which is almost always the case for me. Actually pretty much ‘standard’ size (I know; what is standard size?) I would estimate the craft to be about the size of six-eight cars parked close together or perhaps just wider than two motel rooms side by side unless that would be less in width than the motel unit.”