Thursday, August 20, 2015

A True Chilling Alien Abduction Story - The Mojave Incident

Author Ron Felber

MENDHAM TWP. – Author Ron Felber of Mendham Township, whose work already has inspired one TV drama series, re-emerges on Labor Day with his latest book, “The Mojave Incident,” billed as an incredible yet true story of alien abduction.

“I tell the story,” Felber said, “as if I were at a bar and the guy next to me says, ‘What’s up?’ ”

In October 1989, Tom and Elise Gifford (not their real names), a 30-something couple, drove their camper into the New York Mountains in the northeast corner of the 1.6 million-acre Mojave National Preserve in California.

After parking for the night in the desert, near Tabletop Mountain, and enjoying steaks around a campfire, things get weird fast. The sounds of all wildlife ceases. Even the kangaroo rats stop eating the remnants of French bread and marshmallows around their campfire.

“Hundreds of glowing, white objects traveled like falling stars down and across the black, onyx sky,” Felber writes. “Subtle, graceful, beautiful in their way, the round and shining orbs were descending upon them. The valley was, in fact, being invaded!”




"The Mojave Incident," by Ron Felber (Photo: Courtesy of Ron Felber)

“The Mojave Incident” hits the market as Felber, a 12-time author of nonfiction and fiction books, kicks his writing career into a new gear. In June, the 60-year-old executive retired as president of Chemetall North America. In January, he starts teaching writing on Thursday nights at Drew University’s Caspersen School of Graduate Studies.

In March, “Dark Angel,” the third book in his Detective Jack Madson series, will be released. According to Felber’s agent, Doug Corcoran of Corcoran and Power Literary Management, several parties have strong interest in adapting the trilogy for television.

Felber’s true crime book, “Il Dottore: The Double Life of a Mafia Doctor,” inspired the Fox TV series “The Mob Doctor” in the 2012-2013 season.

“Ron has a track record,” Corcoran said, “and there’s something very cinematic about the books he writes.”

‘Most frightening’

Felber, who gravitates to unconventional subjects and mysteries, travels the globe to research his books. He doesn’t scare easily, either.

As a young man recently graduated from Georgetown University, he worked as a deputy sheriff, transporting federal criminals, including hit men, terrorists and con men.

The books he has penned required him to explore South Africa, Angola, Israel, Western Europe, Haiti and Mexico, all for the kind of research that makes stories resonate with authenticity. Five years ago, for instance, Felber spent time in Burma tracking the drug route of Khun Sa, the Burmese warlord who controlled 70 percent of the world’s heroin supply from the 1970s to the 1990s.

In the case of “The Mojave Incident,” Felber has researched like a journalist and used the narrative techniques of a novelist. Indeed, he has won the United Press International prize for fiction.

There are almost 18,000 UFO books on Amazon, but Felber says his straightforward writing in “The Mojave Incident” is what prompted “Unexplained Mysteries” blogger Ken Korczak to call it “one of the most frightening UFO books ever written.”

“I tell the story without a lot of sensationalism,” Felber said. “The language and descriptions are such that you know you’re reading something that seems unbelievable and yet it is believable. So maybe the next time you’re driving on a deserted road late at night, and you look up, you wonder if something in the sky isn’t following you.”

Felber, who was introduced to the Giffords by a mutual friend, visited the site of their ordeal to see and feel it for himself.

“It’s an eerie area,” he said. “It seems so active, with mountains that stab into the sky. The landscape is like a moonscape — desolate and forbidding. There are a lot of mountain ranges and many rocks that jut up, all volcanic. Cima Dome, one of the largest spheres, looks like a huge UFO. It looks like one-half of a giant Frisbee.”

Surrounded by that backdrop, the Giffords are hurt — sometimes physically, mostly telepathically — when blue-gray beings that appear to be holographic trap them in their camper. Tom Gifford goes to touch one, Felber writes, but recoils as an electrical shock runs through his fingertips and through his arms.

Other three-foot creatures “with heads the size of a cat’s, translucent torsos and thin diaphanous limbs” surround the camper and, for eight hours, put the couple through hell. When it ends, another four-hour saga begins.

What really happened?

Felber’s intention in presenting the story of the Giffords is not to convince people UFOs actually landed that night.

“The Giffords have ideas about what happened,” Felber said, “but I think readers will have their own ideas. Certainly, the first cut at it would be UFO abduction, but there are other possibilities.”

Sleep paralysis? Optical illusions? Heavenly bodies? A mental event prompted by exhaustion and psychological distress?

Certainly, he added, the story also has religious overtones. Elise Gifford, who has a strong Mormon background, instantly interprets what happens, as it is happening, in a religious way.

“Everybody puts it in the context of their experience,” Felber said. “But it’s unmistakable that the story contains evil and good, and there are monsters and, at the end, a sudden angelic presence — The Comforter, as they call it, which is feminine, and a lot like a Marian visitation.”

Another intriguing element was a mist that fills the camper from time to time, sedating the Giffords at the very point their terror reaches the greatest heights.

Most people don’t know much about UFOs or aliens, Felber said, and before he wrote this book, he was one of them. Indeed the longest official inquiry into UFOs, Project Blue Book, stationed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, began in 1952 and was shut down in 1969. Six percent of the almost 13,000 UFO sightings or events it examined were found to be unexplainable.

Today, UFOs remain, for most people, a matter of speculative belief.

A total of 14 percent of people who participated in a 2007 Associated Press-Ipsos poll said they have seen a UFO, while a 2012 survey commissioned by the National Geographic Channel revealed one-third of the U.S. population believe UFOs are real.

“The Mojave Incident,” Felber said, invites people to think deeper about what’s possible.

“There is a line between reality and a different reality and, clearly, there’s a line beyond that and a line beyond that and a line beyond that,” Felber explained. “You talk Marian visitations at Fatima, at Lourdes. Clearly, that’s another line.

“The Giffords, I think, had an experience totally unique to them, even beyond a normal alien abduction, even beyond a UFO experience,” he added. “The book pulls the average person over all those lines into this experience.”

Following through

The story of the Giffords doesn’t end in the Mojave Desert. Felber’s research included bringing the couple for a complete psychological evaluation at a trauma center in Washington, D.C.

“There was no psychosis,” Felber said, “though the doctor said they had all the earmarks of POWs.” That analysis helped Felber understand what happened to the Giffords in the months after their experience. The doctor also helped rule out the possibility that the couple had ingested a hallucinogen, unwittingly or otherwise.

Next, Felber had the couple hypnotized to shed light on what happened to them during their ordeal.

He explored the terrain as well, finding in the mountains Mojave petroglyphs — ancient rock paintings depicting stories — that shed light on the couple’s story.

This writing process and intellectual rigor are what excited Drew, where Felber earned his doctorate in 2008, to invite him to join its faculty.

“An accomplished author of both fiction and nonfiction, we are exceptionally pleased Ron will be teaching for the Caspersen School,” said Bill Rogers, associate dean of the Caspersen School of Graduate Studies. “He will be teaching a class on how to take a basic concept for a fiction or nonfiction work and develop it right through to the publishing process.”

The course will include a strong reading list, Rogers said, and significant work on each student’s writing project.

“We are confident,” he added, “that this will prove to be a successful new phase in Ron's relationship with Drew.”

While Felber has planned his life around the opportunity to teach at this phase of his career, his intention also is to keep writing. A lot.

Soon he and his wife, Lorraine, will travel to Machu Picchu, the ruins of an Incan city, high in the Andes mountains of Peru, that is one of the world’s great engineering feats. Built in the 15th century, it was at some point abandoned. No one knows why.

Will the place spark an idea for a new book? Felber can’t say, but he and his wife are looking forward to climbing mountains.

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