My Unlikely Initiation into the Paranormal
I am sitting in the bleachers at Candlestick Park, watching the San Francisco Giants play baseball. It's 1971, I'm 7 years old, and my brother Larry is 10, he's sitting to my right, and Dad is on my left. We're sitting above third base so we have a pretty good view of San Francisco Bay. The Giants have a winning team including Willie Mays and Willie McCovey. I am not really interested in baseball, and don't know the players names, except McCovey, I only know him because my Uncle Hal is McCovey's attorney, and that's how we got the tickets to the game. At first, I find the baseball game pretty boring. For the moment, everything seems normal to me. The thought occurs to me, “I wonder what would happen if the catcher missed a pitch?” Juan Marichal throws that pitch and sure enough the catcher misses it. That was the last time things seemed normal to me. I had more questions. Why did I have that thought just then? Is it possible to know events before they happen? Would it happen to me again? At that time, I became alert to the possibility that everything might not be exactly as it appears. It did happen again. A couple years later I had another very similar experience at a rollerskating rink during a cakewalk, I knew the number 19 before they called it.
I think that part of the reason that I started having these paranormal experiences is that Dad was successful enough as an Assistant District Attorney that when my little sister Sue was born, he had a three-bedroom, two-story home custom built at the end of Fairway Drive in Novato, and Mom gave me and Larry the chance to choose our own light fixtures for the new house. Mom is the artsy type and fancies herself an interior designer so she took us to a store displaying more than a thousand light fixtures. I chose a plain, round fixture that hung from a cord. Larry chose the same one. Our bedrooms were upstairs, and the master bedroom and baby sister's room were downstairs. Our light switches had dimmers, and I discovered that I could turn down the light almost completely, until the globe was barely visible. When I lay in my bed and gazed up at the barely visible sphere of light, it would seem to fade away. I enjoyed this night after night. At the time I didn't realize that I had stumbled onto a meditation technique.
Many years later, I worked for a company called Tools for Exploration that was the leading seller of “brain machines” including bio-feedback devices, selling “Ganzfeld Goggles,” goggles that present your eyes with a uniform, featureless field of light. This induces a meditative state, or you could say an altered or expanded state of consciousness. At 6 years old, by gazing at my dim round light fixture, I was going into meditation. My gazing meditations must have prepared me for the paranormal experiences to come. And those paranormal experiences prepared me somewhat for the night when a UFO contacted me.