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In Conversation with Barry M. Koplen
p. 3 of 3

          MS: What do you remember about the aftermath of your sighting?

          BMK: I told my brother, who I knew I could tell anything to, because I knew that he was really one person who wouldn’t doubt my integrity. And when I told him, I was shocked when he said, “Well, I know that you saw something, but you didn’t see a UFO - you didn’t see a flying saucer.”

          And I looked at him and I said, “Why would I lie to you?”

          And it was so disturbing that my brother, someone who I trusted with everything that I’d ever believed in, would say I wasn’t telling the truth. 

          So before I wrote the book [Close Encounter at Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia], I took a lie-detector test. I’ve never done a lie-detector test before. I don’t recommend it, I really don’t. It was so unpleasant that I just never wanted to do it again. But I also knew I had to go through it, in order to put the results in my book – the result that I knew, that I was telling the truth. And I did it because my brother had doubted me

          MS: Why do you think that disbelief is so strong?

          BMK: You know, that’s a good question. When I was teaching Humanities at the community college, the one thing I wanted to do was to teach students who generally were not the type to question anything that they’d been taught to believe. So I would arrange to have debates every class, and the debate that we started each semester with was a debate about whether UFOs were real.

          And what I tried to do was put the students who thought that they weren’t on the “pro” team, to make them argue that they were real. That way, I figured, they would see that there definitely was a reason to listen to the people who were in opposition to you, because, believe it or not, they might have something to say.

          MS: Did having a UFO encounter change how you see the world?

          BMK: Yeah. Yeah, it did. 

          When I saw the flying saucer, I really began to think the spiritual activity that most of us on earth had was kind of a cozy, neighborhood-type thing. That we were adapting our spiritual aspects to what we knew – I mean, how can we go beyond that? We created a god, or a spirit, or a deity, or whatever it was, based on – well, what was familiar to us. The parameters were whatever they were. When we seek some sort of atonement, or when we seek to communicate or to have some sort of a sacred intercourse with a spiritual being, somehow we’ve got to connect with something that we believe in and that we receive knowledge of, from who knows where? 

          When you ask me the question, how did it affect me – all of a sudden I started asking whether the God I’d been taught about knew anything about flying saucers.

nineteenth moon
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Interview IV:  The Experiencer

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