Reality Checking with Brent Raynes


Discover the connection between UFO visitors and shamanic lore! Brent Raynes' stunning book—intro. by Brad Steiger.

Visitors from Hidden Realms: The Origin and Destiny of Humanity As Told by Star Elders, Shamen, and UFO Visitors

John Keel: If you think it, he will come! (But he may ask for a pizza.)

I made a rather startling and certainly for me a very meaningful discovery recently when I was sitting at my desk checking out a stack of cassette tapes. One of them had absolutely no labeling on it, so my only recourse was to insert it into the tape recorder that sat nearby and listen to what was on it. I immediately realized that it was a spirit box session, as I was hearing the now familiar sounds of that instrument noisily sweeping through the AM radio frequencies.

I was curious as to which one this was as early on I had abandoned use of the cassette recording of these sessions in favor of the clarity and convenience of the compact digital recorders. Soon I heard Bret Oldham and my wife Joan trying to encourage Joan’s brother Jessie (who had passed on several years earlier) to communicate with us. Right when Bret said, “Bishop, can you find Joan’s brother Jessie before we leave? Try to say his name.” Right here there was a name, as if right on cue. But instead of Jessie it was “Keel”!

As it turned out, this recording was of my very first spirit box session, which had been in the basement of a century old stone building, formerly a church, now the Arts Center of Fayetteville, Tennessee, just off from the town’s square. The date was Saturday, March 27, 2010. After it was over, Bret and his wife Gina complained about the heavy amount of static. It was not, they felt, one of their better sessions, and frankly I wasn’t too impressed, although I still tried to keep an open mind.

At any rate, first impressions certainly can be deceptive. Six months later here I was re-evaluating that initial appraisal quite dramatically and coming to the conclusion that this session had instead been one of the most amazing ones that I had, to date, participated in. As readers know from reading my earlier September, August and July Reality Checking columns, I had become pretty impressed with the spirit box and with interactive “voices” that we had seemingly communicated with going back to May, when, while on a ghost hunt in Clifton, Tennessee, an interactive “John Keel” came through.

Now I had thought that that had been the first time “John Keel” had come through, but as I recently discovered I was wrong. What makes that first session in March so significant is that I had told no one that I wished to communicate with John Keel. My wife and others were wanting to contact loved ones who had passed on, and so quite frankly I felt it best not to vocalize my desire to communicate with this well-known and controversial UFO figure, who I had corresponded with going all the way back to 1969 and who had been somewhat of a hero figure in my mind. I didn’t want anyone to be upset with me at the time for saying anything about it as I knew they desired to connect with departed relatives and they might not perceive my desire to communicate with a non-relative as being nearly as important as their requests. I didn’t want to be seen as trying to monopolize the limited time available to the other members of the group who wished to use the spirit box by attempting to converse with John Keel of Mothman legend, so I silently meditated on it instead.

Nonetheless, I’m inclined to conclude that someone somehow read my silent thoughts (as insane as that may sound) and a very meaningful first contact was mysteriously established. John Keel, or someone assuming his identity, must have, on the other hand, wanted to communicate with me and jumped in and identified himself right where he expected that I would be listening for a name.

“Talk with Brent,” a voice states. Just a moment before this Bret had told Joan’s deceased brother Jessie that if he was there he was going to have to hurry up and say his name, explaining that they would be closing the session soon. “John Keel” is spoken. I couldn’t believe my ears! “Bishop, can you find Joan’s brother Jessie before we leave? Try to say his name?” That’s when you clearly hear “Keel”! (All of these sound like adult male voices) Then someone says what sounds like “F—k them,” and then another “F--k” somebody, a voice saying what sounds like a sarcastic “try it again,” followed by a loud “f—k you”! (This last voice sounds to both Joan and I like her brother’s voice, though we don’t recall ever hearing him say those words) A few seconds later “Brent” again. Then a voice clearly says “Right…here” and you hear Bret exclaim “K2 just went off.” Gina remarks on hearing the words “right here”. Bret asks “Who is with us right now?” A male voice says, “Rick Patrick.” The Patrick is really clear. A short time later a male voice says “Moth” and then a moment or two later adds “Man”.

Shortly afterwards you hear Bret communicate to his technician (spirit guide), “Bishop, can you tell us when it is clear?” Bret has since explained to us that in this process a kind of portal is created between our world and the spirit world and that it is important to shut off the spirit box when his guide tells him to do so and in that way no spirit presence accidentally gets misplaced in our realm. “Clear” a male voice says, at which time Bret switches the box off. We’ve now observed this process several times.

As soon as the session is over, I ask Gina about the K2 meter and how many lights (normally only one is on) were showing. “I think I got at least 3 if not 4 at one time,” she said. “That was weird,” Bret added. “There was nothing that would have triggered that.” The K2 meter is a common piece of equipment used by many ghost hunters. It’s a gaussmeter essentially, using five lights to indicate magnetic intensity levels instead of a meter with a needle. The lights are handy since most ghost hunters conduct their investigations in the dark, or at least in darkened environments.

The bad language aspect has appeared more than once in our sessions. It appeared on August 7th, during a spirit box session at the home of Sandy Nichols in Thompson Station, Tennessee. During this session, I said, “John, I’m going to mention some names of people you knew in this life.” In the background you immediately hear a male voice saying “F—k Keel”! I then continue “I want to know what you’d like to say to them if you had the chance.” Then somebody came through the radio immediately saying something like “Me say to you too.” One of those I named was Jerome Clark, and impressively the “voice” actually repeats his first and last name and then says “crazy.” Then I mention Brad Steiger and the “voice” says “crazy too”, which Bret cleaned this up for me, and it seemed to be followed by “sweatheart.” The grand kicker was when Bret asked what John Keel thought about Brent Raynes. A voice says my first and last name too, and “f—k him”!

Boy, was John Keel really getting into my questions or what?! Honestly, I knew full well that the John Keel we had known on this side of the veil had disagreed with a lot of people and was sometimes not considered the easiest person to get along with, but our correspondence and occasional phone chats had always been friendly and cordial. If it was Keel, maybe he felt that we were wasting his time with my line of questioning or something. Of course, what I was attempting to do was to get a clearer perception of who exactly this personality who continued to identify himself as “John Keel” was. That night, as we tried to get him to say his first and last name he seemed to resist this, but rather as the real Keel would conceivably have done, he interjected some humor at this point. As I stated in my last column, as we tried to get him earlier in the session to say his first and last name a voice said “For a pizza.” As we continued to ask him to say his name we continued to pick up comments about pizza as a reply. One time the voice did say “Keel! Spirit Box.” Perhaps later repeating mine and Jerome Clark’s first and last name was again his or someone’s way of getting back at us. And yes, in this same home, earlier that same evening, we had been eating pizzas!

Another interesting “coincidence”?

Later into the session things got more constructive. Before the session, Bret had handed me a black marker and several sheets of letter sized white blank paper to write or draw whatever I wanted to on so that we could perform another experiment as we had done back on July 3rd using index cards, where I had written names and numbers on them, then held them out for everyone to see (for the first time) and we actually got successful and correct responses!

This time went even better. The first target was Yeti. Within only about 10 seconds of asking them for the word you not only hear “Yeti” but also “Bigfoot,” proving somebody knows that Yeti and Bigfoot are essentially the same thing. Within only four seconds of Bret asking what was on the paper you hear an audible and correct “Brad Steiger.” Within less than half a minute of that question and response, Bret says, “Here’s another man’s name. What is this man’s name?” Within about 9 seconds comes the correct “Ray Palmer”! (This all was videotaped, by the way) We even did “MIB” again as we did on July 3rd, and scored another successful response. On the recording you can hear Bret’s wife Gina gasp in surprise and say “Oh my” while Sandy explains that it sounded like a younger voice this time around.

When we were asking for what was on the paper with Brad Steiger’s name, we also got a clear monotone “John Keel.” Perhaps this was John’s way of showing he supported this experiment and would cooperate. (Or maybe not. I’m just offering some speculation in view of what was happening)

Interestingly, when I prepared the words on these sheets of paper I guess I was thinking that I’d be a little productive and save on the paper and so wrote something at the top and at the bottom of each sheet, folding it in the middle and holding it up and asking the spirits to read what was written on the side that we were looking at. However, one time we were holding up “The Illuminati” and we thought that we had heard them trying to say the first part of the word, so I asked them to say what came after M. Then Sandy heard “Jessup,” which from his vantage point he could see was on the other side of the paper. It was “M.K. Jessup.” Thus he concluded (and the rest of us agreed) that the “spirit” in this instance was mistakenly reading from the wrong side of the folded paper, and from it’s perspective accurately identified what came after M! (From now on I only write one thing on each sheet or piece of paper!)

Again on Saturday evening, September 18th, we met at the home of Sandy Nichols in Thompson Station, and again we listened to and interacted with the enigmatic voices on the spirit box. My wife Joan wanted to continue to try and get a message or something from her deceased mom, brother and sister. Unexpectedly we heard “birthday”, and naturally we asked whose birthday. More than once we heard “Connor,” who happens to be our delightful little grandson who turned three recently on August 30th. Joan asked if they knew what he had done on his birthday and although it was very faint I heard (and the tape recorders verified it) “riding horses,” which was exactly right as we had celebrated his birthday with him at a small horse ranch outside Waynesboro and he got to experience the rare treat indeed of “riding horses”! Joan spoke to her mom, saying that she hoped that her mom forgave her for having not been able to do more for her before she had passed on unexpectedly (a voice replied “Do”) and that she loved her (and a voice said “I love you”). Though faint, we both agreed that it sounded very much like her mother’s voice! At the conclusion of this incredible discourse, Joan thanked her family on the other side, at which point we distinctly heard “Jessie,” which was her brother’s first name.

Earlier that same evening, as soon as I tried to engage “John Keel” in conversation, a male voice yelled out another disparaging comment similar to the previous ones. Reflecting on this matter, I have naturally wondered what was happening here. I thought about how during Keel’s life he described many instances of a mysterious presence that would imitate him and others and sabotage his efforts to communicate with other researchers and witnesses about these phenomena. He wrote me back in 1971: “Even more mysterious, I often receive letters from readers of my books and articles who claim they have important info for me. I reply with gentle, encouraging notes. Some, I have learned much later, received my envelope containing, not my letter, but a scribbled note saying such things as, ‘You’re full of shit. (signed) John A. Keel.’”

Maybe someone is still trying to keep Keel from communicating with others? Meanwhile, to my mind, somebody went to a lot of effort to reach me through the spirit box back in March, and my colleagues and I have been hearing “John Keel” come through the box ever since. For what purpose I wonder? To periodically cuss and swear at me or bad mouth fellow researchers? Is someone still running interference? Is identity theft a problem on the other side too?

I remember, many years ago, John Keel appeared on TV’s To Tell The Truth with two other people who were pretending to be him. If only it was that easy now to say, “Will the real John Keel please stand up?”


Dr. Berthold Eric Schwarz:

The passing of a true Giant in the Paranormal Field

It is with genuine and deep regret and sadness that I must report the passing of a long time and dear friend and colleague, Dr. Berthold Eric Schwarz, 85, of Vero Beach, Florida. Dr. Schwarz, a true giant in the field of ufology and parapsychology, passed away on Thursday, September 16. Born on October 20, 1924, in Jersey City, New Jersey, he engaged in private practice as a psychiatrist for nearly 25 years in Montclair, New Jersey, and then after moving to Vero Beach in 1982 continued for slightly over 20 more years. He leaves behind a grieving and loving wife of 55 years named Ardis, and a son and daughter, Eric Schwarz and Lisa Ericson, as well as one granddaughter named Kristi.

In the fields of ufology and parapsychology, Dr. Schwarz had many friends. For this magazine he wrote many articles and put us in touch with many intriguing personalities, many of whom we interviewed for this publication. John Keel had written in FATE magazine that Bert’s two volume book UFO Dynamics was one of the very best UFO books ever written. Few psychiatrists have dared to put their hard-earned reputations on the line as he did and conduct on-site interviews and investigations of these perplexing phenomena. Admittedly, I have always felt especially honored that he used an article of mine in that book that had originally appeared in England’s distinguished Flying Saucer Review. The article concerned a UFO “abduction” case up in Oxford, Maine that I and fellow researcher Shirley Fickett had been looking into. Dr. Schwarz traveled all the way up from Montclair, New Jersey (where he had been living at the time) to conduct his own investigation into this case. In fact, he came up at least twice.

The good doctor will most certainly be missed terribly by many, many people throughout the world. Uri Geller has expressed condolences to the family and The Amazing Kreskin posted on his website, “He was a remarkable researcher in the area of parapsychology and was knowledgeable about the research and practitioners all over the world. Just to talk to him on the phone was a therapeutic boost, as he had as positive a zest and joy for life as anyone I’ve ever known.”

I want to add a very special note of thanks and appreciation to researcher Lindy Tucker who has been a very long time friend of Dr. Schwarz as well and who had notified me of his passing.


UFOs, Crop Circles, Orbs, and Extraterrestrial Encounters

November 12-14, 2010

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Edgar Cayce’s A.R.E. (Association for Research and Enlightenment) is sponsoring a powerful UFO conference that will cover a full-spectrum of UFO-related aspects. This editor and columnist, Brent Raynes, is especially honored as the conference is named after his first book, Visitors From Hidden Realms, and my presentation on November 13th will be from 9:15 a.m. till 12:30 p.m., and will be entitled “The Paranormal and Spiritual Dimensions of the UFO Encounter Experience.” Other speakers scheduled to appear here will be Nancy Talbott, Stanton Friedman, Freddy Silva, William Birnes, and last but certainly not least the ARE’s very own John Van Auken. For more information, go to: