"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious" ~ Albert Einstein

Monday, July 29, 2013


UFOs. Alien Abduction. Yep, I did just go there. Since I own all 9 seasons of the X-files, I figured I have no choice really! Seriously though, I never really looked much into the subject of Alien Abduction before, other than as a source of entertainment due to one of my favorite TV shows. Despite researching some other topics like ESP, NDEs, etc., which our Western culture may consider off-the-wall, I never bothered looking into Alien Abduction in any depth, because I didn’t really think there was anything substantial to it, unlike the formerly mentioned topics. This was until only recently, when I learned of John Mack on an Internet forum for the Skeptiko podcast and learned there is more to the Alien Abduction phenomenon than I originally knew. This post summarizes his best selling book, Abduction, which I recently enjoyed reading.  I have to admit that I have a hard time swallowing some of this material, but dismissing it outright doesn’t feel right now, either.

We do all seem to have socially pre-programmed knee-jerk reactions to certain "taboo" topics that make us wince and immediately dismiss them as preposterous, the second we hear them mentioned.  Alien Abduction certainly qualifies as one of those topics.  Ironically, in today's society, we are increasingly open to the idea that there is a high probability of intelligent life elsewhere in the Universe. Given that we now know there are billions of stars in our galaxy and billions of galaxies in the Universe, odds are pretty good one of those stars has a habitable planet with intelligent life on it.  There is also the infamous saying that alien life may not only be stranger than we imagined, but even stranger than we can imagine.  In light of that, who are we to say in what form, or in what way, another intelligence may choose to first interact with humanity?  So, while reading this blog post, I encourage you to try to set aside biases or predispositions toward the subject for now and just take the material on face value with an open mind.  I'm going to try and do the same while I write this post!  ;-)

Something I found especially interesting is that the Alien Abduction phenomenon is not quite what the popular media (including the X-files) portrays it to be. The abduction phenomenon has a strong relationship with human consciousness and spirituality, which I think is why Alex Tsakiris (of Skeptiko) has implied "following the evidence" led him to this topic. Further study also confirmed some (not very well formulated) ideas I already had on alien intelligence potentially existing in the Universe. Basically, if consciousness evolves, as is evident from a study of comparative mythology, and alien beings exist that are more advanced than we are, they should also be further along on the evolutionary scale. The most advanced notions from our spiritual traditions across the globe should at least hint, in a consistent fashion, at what this alien intelligence, or alien consciousness, might be like. Indeed, a very consistent theme across all abduction stories is a “shift in consciousness”, or a consciousness expanding experience, that resembles very much the consistent experiences reported by mystics and gurus throughout the ages as they explored higher states of awareness. I discussed some aspects of these experiences (like unity consciousness) to some extent in my Middle Way posts, Part I and Part II

John Mack and the Abduction Phenomenon

Getting back to John Mack, he was a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and founder of the Department of Psychiatry at the Cambridge Hospital. He is also a Pulitzer Prize winning author for his biography of T.E. Lawrence (the character also portrayed in the classic movie Lawrence of Arabia).  Dr. Mack has devoted his career to exploring the question of how our perceptions shape our relationship with each other and with the world, which perhaps made him an excellent fit for eventually exploring Alien Abduction, because this phenomenon may challenge our notions of perception and reality more than any other.  He was just shy of 40 years of experience in the psychiatry field before coming across the alien abduction phenomenon.

Originally skeptical, Mack grew interested when he was introduced to four experiencers (the more politically correct term for an abductee) by Budd Hopkins, who had already studied over 200 cases himself. The sincerity of these four individuals and seeming authenticity of their cases got Mack interested to start pursuing the field on his own.  After counseling over 100 individual cases, Mack has 76 which fit his criteria for alien abduction, without containing any other mental condition that could account for the story.  Mack points out the many ways the alien abduction phenomenon is still a mystery. However, one conclusion that he and others who have been involved in the sessions agree upon, is that something definitely happened to these folks that defies any conventional explanation.  It is not an “act”, or fraud, or the result of any psychopathology, or conventional physical/emotional trauma from something like sexual abuse, or rape.  Although some cases can (and have been) explained away in these terms, there is currently no explanation that can fully account for all the cases, many of which appear to be genuine.

Here is Mack, in his own words, describing the impression abductees give.

"For me and others who have attended the sessions, as well as for abductees themselves, it is this intensity of this recovered emotion that lends inescapable authenticity to the phenomenon.  Something, everyone who goes through these sessions agrees, has happened to these people, whether of not it is possible to identify the source of what has occurred." (1)

"The intensity of the energies and emotions involved, as abductees relive their experiences, is unlike anything I have encountered in other clinical work."   (1)

Before we go further, I would also like to clear up one misconception about aliens:  if they exist, they must be evil.  After watching popular movies like Fire in the Sky (which did not reflect the Travis Walton case very accurately at all) or Independence Day, it's not hard to get this impression.  However, this is not what the actual abduction phenomenon tells us at all.  Even though most abductees go through various levels of physical/emotional stress and trauma, the consistent theme that comes in after working through the experience is a recognition of being part of a process that is important for both species.  In fact, feelings of mutual love/concern and "brotherhood" is often reported.

Scope of the Abduction Phenomenon

The abduction phenomenon may be more widespread than realized. Over the past 25 years, thousands of individuals have reported abduction experiences to UFO investigators and mental-health professionals. However, a Roper poll of “unusual events", suggests that as many as hundreds of thousands of individuals in the US alone may have had an abduction-like experience.  It is a global phenomenon that is very consistent across cultures and age groups.

As part of his research into the Alien Abduction phenomenon, John Mack visited various cultures to obtain there view on the matter.  One person he spoke with was the Dalai Lama.  In Tibet, since they believe the Universe is full of intelligences other then ourselves, some of which interact with humanity, they showed little surprise over "alien abduction".  Mack also found that Native Americans were already familiar with the alien abductions and already called these other beings Star People.

I'm not trying to say let's all start watching the Ancient Alien TV Series on the (pseudo-)History Channel. which from the one, or two, episodes I have seen, was kind of "out there".  However, it is interesting to note that some cultures do report experiences going pretty far back that very closely resemble the modern-day research on Alien Abduction that has been done by guys like Mack.

It may be that alien intelligence has been interacting with humanity in some fashion for a long time.  This seems to be the message coming from abductees, anyhow.  I'm reminded of the conversation between Deepthroat and Fox Mulder from the X-files TV show.  "They're here, aren't they?", asks Mulder.  "Mr. Mulder, they have always been here", replies Deepthroat.  Hehehe!

Common Themes and Aspects of the Abduction Phenomenon

To fully account for the nature of the abduction experience, John Mack gives the following five salient points that would need to be addressed by any theory purporting to explain the phenomenon. (Please see footnotes for source)
  1. The high degree of consistency of detailed abduction accounts, reported with emotion appropriate to the actual experiences reported by apparently reliable observers. (1)
  2. The absence of psychiatric illness or other apparent psychological or emotional factors that could account for what is being reported. (1)
  3. The physical changes and lesions effecting the bodies of the experiencers, which follow no evident psychodynamic pattern. (1)
  4. The association of UFOs witnessed independently by others while abductions are taking place (which the abductee may not see) [I would also add accounting for the fact that abductees are reported physically missing during time of said abduction] (1)
  5. The reports of abductions by children as young as two or three yeas of age .(1)
I would like to go over some of the common themes that span these five points, but I am going to group them under the three classes of information, which were formulated by Mack, that seem to make up the abduction experience.  We'll see that the full range of the abduction phenomenon challenges our everyday notions of reality, or perhaps points out the limited nature of what humanity thinks they objectively perceive and agree upon as our consensus reality.

Category I - This is called the nuts-and-bolts level, or the physical side of things.  It is here that the phenomenon is the most (but not perfectly) capable of corresponding to our consensus reality, or what we currently understand of physical reality.  This covers things like a visual sighting or radar spotting of a UFO;  burned patches of Earth on the ground where a UFO is purported to land; lesions and scars found on the body; and, similar kinds of things - the kinds of things we can measure, detect and observe and attempt to make some sort of sense out of, utilizing our existing scientific knowledge.

Category II - Here the phenomenon looks like it could be understood within our space/time universe if we had the necessary scientific knowledge to do so, perhaps in thousands of years even.  The alien technology required to span interstellar, if not intergalactic space, to arrive at Earth would be an example.  There are highly theoretical ideas out there like the Alcubierre drive (essentially, a warp drive) and wormholes that prominent physicists like Michio Kaku and Kip Thorne (amongst others) think we may be able to harness within a million years!  Other examples of phenomenon reported that fit under this category is switching off the consciousness of folks in the vicinity, suppressing the memory of abductees and some type of mind control, as well as the creation of alien/human hybrid fetuses.

Category III - Lastly is the range of the phenomenon that doesn't seem to fit within our consensus reality, or spacetime.  It is this area of the experience that most resembles spiritual/mystical experiences reported throughout the ages, as well as the more modern Near Death Experiences (NDE) and Psi experiences.  Some of these include: reports of a sense that part of the experience is happening outside space/time; reports of an altered consciousness of vast other layers of reality hidden behind the 'veil'; reports of opening up to, or becoming aware of, the source of Being, or the Divine ground; reports of an identification with the alien intelligence, which seems to create a dual human/alien identity within the abductee; and even reports of a powerful reliving of past life memories.

There are a few aspects of the phenomenon that Mack groups under Category II, but I think can also go under Category III.  These are the creation and staging of physical landscapes that seem to be only partially real and the fact that the aliens are seen to "shape-shift" in an almost shamanistic fashion.  For example, one abductee reported an experience where all she could remember was an almost surreal and vicious dog barking outside her window.  Later under hypnosis, the dog morphs into an alien upon recall and then she is able to recount the rest of the abduction experience.  For this woman, her experience was mostly a traumatic one that was still highly suppressed at the time.  Another man who could remember some adult experiences via conscious recall had a childhood experience that he couldn't completely remember, but felt may have been an abduction experience.  He was near a road when three black motorcycle riders approached him, as he felt himself enter an altered, dream-like state of consciousness.  When the riders reached him he blacked out and came to what seemed like a few moments later, at which point he saw the riders race away at an incredible speed up another road.  Visiting the actual site later, he confirmed that the road they raced away on did not exist in reality.  Through regression analysis the man was later able to recall memories that confirmed there was indeed an abduction experience during the lost time when he "blacked out" and the black riders were actually alien beings.  Another experience that Mack puts under Category II, but I think could also go under Category III, is that many abductees are "floated" (the most common descriptive used) right through walls when they are taken.  Likewise, the aliens are some times seen coming and going right through walls.

Are these shape-shifting experiences real?  How much is dream?  How much is real?  What about these landscapes that are partially real, and partially unreal?  Is our objective reality as solid as we think it is? Or, are we in for an ontological shock from a potential future discovery that advanced species can bend reality at their will?

There is a philosophy out there called Idealism, which purports that physical reality exists in mind, as opposed to our common sense notions that mind exists in physical reality.  Under Idealism, physical reality is sourced by the mind.  Under Materialism, mind is sourced by the physical brain.  Our consensus reality (i.e. the Universe), under Idealism, is a "storyline" in some greater mind and is constantly shaped by that mind, bringing about the time-evolution of the "story".  A theory for UFOs and alien intelligences under the guise of Idealism says these intelligences are so advanced (in technology and mind!) that they are able to alter the storyline of our consensus reality, or even visit alternate storylines (i.e. parallel Universes) via travel, not through spacetime, but through mind!  Pretty crazy, huh?  Here is a video by Bernardo Kastrup that explains this idea more.  As wild and speculative as it may be, it does seem to fit some of the observations gathered from the reports of experiences from abductees.  It also illustrates the old adage that alien intelligence may be even stranger than we can imagine!

Here are some more common themes that jumped out at me, while reading Mack's book.
  • Abductions typically start occurring in early childhood and continue to recur throughout the abductees life. The experience often “runs in the family”
  • Most abduction experiences start with a “shift in consciousness” and end up resulting in a gap of “missing time”
  • A whitish/blueish light appears upon start of abduction, with the abductee ultimately being “floated”  right through walls as they’re being taken, sometimes accompanied by alien beings that also enter/exit through walls.
  • Physical marks are reported, such as nosebleeds, lesions, scars, scoops, etc., which often heal very rapidly
  • Independent UFO sightings have occurred at the time of abduction and external observers have reported abductees missing during the time abduction was reported to have happened
  • A complete and total lack of control, physically and mentally, is expressed by almost all abductees
  • Physical descriptions of the aliens are fairly consistent, especially reports of the eyes and the effects of looking into the eye
  • Intrusive medical procedures are reported that appear to support some type of human/alien hybridization program (yes, this is hard to swallow, and a rather perplexing aspect of the abduction experience).
  • Telepathic contact and information transfer
  • A growing awareness of ecological concerns for the Earth and a strong desire, or new calling, to help do something about it.
  • An expansion, or growth, in consciousness, which ultimately raises an awareness of the interconnected nature of all life and an experience of unity consciousness
  • An awareness of being a willing, or even voluntary, part of something important for both species
  • A human/alien dual identity (another hard one to swallow, but I have a theory on this I will describe below)
  • Personal growth and transformation as a result of the overall set of experiences
  • A recognition that the aliens are closer to the primal source of consciousness, or God.
  • An awareness that our activities on Earth effect the entire Universe

Let’s go into a few of these themes in a bit more detail.

It seems most abductees start having the experience early in childhood and have recurring abductions throughout their lives.  The nature of the experience changes with time.  In childhood the abduction experiences often have a playful feel to them and the aliens are sometimes even viewed as “play friends”. However, the abductions start to take a more serious nature, once late adolescence, or early adulthood is reached.  This is where intrusive medical procedures may start to happen.  Information transfers of a serious nature on the state of the Earth and human consciousness may also occur.  A paradoxical relationship often also begins at this stage.  At the beginning of the transition the abductee could feel betrayed by the alien figures they were fond of in their childhood, with them now appearing cold, serious and more business-like.  The experience usually becomes more traumatic but, upon working through the fear and trauma, a greater awareness is obtained where they feel enraged by the helplessness, lack of control, and humiliation, while at the same time a mutual love and concern is developed and a sense that one is a willing partner in something greater.

The initiation of abduction is often accompanied by a feeling, tingling, or vibrations within the body, which is then followed by a “shift in consciousness”, or an alteration of consciousness. A spouse in bed next to the abductee, or other nearby individuals, may appear to be “shut off”, much to the dismay of the abductee who may be calling out for help. A whitish/bluish light will typically fill the area, usually without creating any shadows. The abductee will then be “floated” out of his/her room and usually right through the wall. Sometimes the aliens will have appeared on scene by this point, also coming right through the walls and exiting in the same fashion with the abductee. Some will remember being taken to a room, or rooms, in a ship, or UFO, but sometimes all that is recalled is a room, or enclosure. A period of missing time is reported when the abductee is finally returned, whether they consciously remember the experience, or not. Usually, the entire experience is not remembered at the time and only recalled through regression hypnosis later. Other times, none of the actual abduction is remembered, and the abductee will only recall an overall feeling accompanied by a “shift in consciousness”, or a spacing-out and then “waking back up” in the same location facing the wrong direction, or in a different physical location altogether, with a gap of missing time that can be anywhere from minutes to hours.

Perhaps one of the most consistent themes is related to the eyes of the aliens and the effects of looking into them. The overall physical descriptions are fairly consistent too, with a few different “species” of aliens being consistently reported. The eyes, however, are almost always reported as large, uniformly deep black and almond shaped. The reported effects of looking into the eyes are fascinating. At first, most abductees are afraid to look into them, because they fear a "loss of  will", or a "loss of their sense of self".  The abductees may even want to be enraged at the aliens by being subjected to the abduction, but looking into the eyes calms them, as if the alien has complete mental control over them, as well as physical control.  This adds to the powerlessness of the experience, where the abductees not only have zero physical control, but even zero control of their own will and feelings.  When the trauma of the experience is worked through, the fear is let go and the loss of control accepted, information transfer of a more positive and informative nature may come, along with a recognition of an interconnected nature and a feeling of profound love coming from the alien being. There is often a flooding of information and visual images, which is very similar to what we would call telepathic contact. I discussed psi in earlier posts and how it has been experimentally verified to be a real effect at the normal levels of expected scientific rigor and beyond.  If aliens are further along on the evolutionary scale, one might suspect they would have very advanced telepathic abilities.  Furthermore, some psi studies have shown that humans may be able to induce a type of mind-to-mind influence over one another.  Once again, in a much more advanced intelligence, perhaps the alien intelligence can do this to an extent reported in the abduction phenomenon.  If one takes the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali seriously, on rare occasions, yogis with remarkable talents have been able to do similar things.

As far as personal growth is concerned, the following gives a summary of John Mack's outline of the process the abductee goes through while working through his/her experience.  (Please see footnotes for source)
  1. "Pushing through" occurs, i.e., fully experiencing the terror and rage associated with the helplessness and intrusiveness of instrumentation on the ships. When this takes place, acknowledgement and acceptance of the reality of the beings becomes possible.  A more reciprocal relationship follows in which personal growth and learning can take place.  From the "ego death" follow other levels of transformation: (1)
  2. The aliens are recognized as intermediaries, or intermediate entities, between the fully embodied state of human beings and the primal source of creation or God.  (in the sense of a cosmic consciousness rather than a personified being.) (1)
  3. The abductees may actually experience themselves as returning to their cosmic source, or Home, an inexpressibly beautiful realm beyond, or not in, spacetime, as we know it. (1)
  4. Past lives are experienced during sessions with strong emotion appropriate to what is being remembered.  (1)
  5. A distinct but important aspect of this kind of transpersonal experience is an abductees sense of possessing a double human-alien identity. (1)
  6. The reliving of abduction experiences leads abductees to open to other realities beyond spacetime.  Realms that are variously described as beyond the "veil:, or some other barrier that has kept them in a "box", or in a consciousness limited to the physical world.  (1)
Upon reading this list, the spiritual, or consciousness expanding aspect, of the abduction phenomenon becomes obvious.  In regards to the double human/alien identity, which is a difficult one to swallow (as if the rest isn't!), I think there is a reasonable explanation.  In yogic lore and other traditions, unity consciousness is mentioned, where subject and object merge and a state of Oneness is experienced.  I think an encounter with an advanced consciousness, such as with these alien beings, could potentially force this experience upon a person, before they are ready to fully interpret, or understand, the experience, thereby creating a mistaken dual human/alien identity.  As I mentioned above, abductees are often afraid to look into the eyes for fear of "a loss of self". Or, imagine suddenly becoming fully psychic and hearing others thoughts and experiencing others emotions, as clearly and distinctly as your own.  Could this become disorienting, causing one to lose track of who is originating which thoughts and feelings?  Could it serve to bring about an identity crisis of sorts?  Thinking along these lines could perhaps explain why aliens "haven't landed on the White House lawn", as it is popularly phrased.  It could very well be dangerous for humanity as a whole to interact with such an advanced consciousness at this point in time.  It could be they currently prefer this lower level of interaction, which sends a message (through the mouths of abductees) and encourages a development of consciousness (which is already underway!) within humanity, helping to lead us down a path to where we will be ready to meet them "face to face".  All speculation, of course!

Also, I would just like to emphasize again how familiar all this sounds when one considers the mystical and spiritual traditions across the globe, which recount experiences of higher states of awareness, as I partially summarize in Middle Way Part I and Part II.  Also, bullets 3, 4 and 6 are very familiar to the experiences recounted by folks who have had an NDE.  I talk more about those here and here.

Ramifications of the Abduction Phenomenon

The abduction phenomenon is a clear challenge to the dualistic thinking in Western Cultures.  Over the course of the past centuries we have segregated reality into two opposite, or dual, realms, between what we consider to be real and what we consider to be unreal.  In general, the physical is regarded as real, while the spiritual is regarded as unreal.  Many folks are religious/spiritual in our society, but we don't dare talk about "taboo" topics like this in public.  Science dictates what is real by what can be measured.  The nonphysical cannot be defined, let alone measured in an experimental setup.  However, the alien abduction phenomenon consists of many subtleties, which cannot be fully resolved into these two different camps - real/unreal, physical/nonphysical, etc.  It fully encompasses and transcends these dualistic notions and it challenges our perceptions of consensus reality.  The full spectrum of the experience spans the subjective-objective gap, where the lines between real and unreal, between physical experience and psychological experience, become blurred.  Indeed, I think it makes it obvious that the bipolar views of physical vs nonphysical is an inherently limited concept that reality is probably not limited to.  The abduction phenomenon challenges us to gain a deeper, more profound view of reality - a view that seems to be very much in accord with the age-old wisdom traditions contained within all cultures.

Of course, there are cultural biases due to our dualistic thinking here in the West.  If something does not fit within our current worldview, or cannot be explained by our materialist sciences, then it must not be real and is unworthy of consideration.  Or, we try to frame the phenomenon within our existing set of limited notions.  SETI may be perhaps the best example.  The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) assumes that an advanced intelligence may try to communicate with us via the same modes of communication currently used amongst us - electromagnetic signals, such as radio waves.  Given that psi (which includes telepathic communication) does not seem to be limited by distance, or time, and considering the idea that an advanced consciousness may have mastered these skills to levels we can barely imagine, makes contact via electromagnetic signals seem primitive in comparison.  At the very least, it gives these beings more than one option for methods of contact, but we are ignoring all of them except the one that is most obvious to us.

Common (and Unsatisfactory) Conventional Explanations

There are some common conventional explanations for the abduction phenomenon, such as sleep paralysis, masochism, fantasy prone personalities, mass psychosis, hysteria, or just plain hallucination. I'll quote directly from a John Mack article, where he discusses why these explanations don't fit.  (Please see footnotes for source)

"Abduction experiences can be differentiated from traumatic reactions to simple sleep paralysis for several reasons. First, a portion of abduction experiences occur in the waking state, during the day, and these daytime reports show clear similarities to reports that occur at night. Second, experiencers report similar details and similar procedures that go unreported in the media, and these details are present in the reports of individuals across cultures and among many young children. Sleep paralysis cannot account for these common details. Third, experiencers show similar phobic reactions to events and material symbolically linked to abduction material that are not linked to sleep alone. Fourth, in experiencers, insomnia, anxiety symptoms, and nightmares tend to resolve with the conscious processing of abduction material, which would seem unlikely if the traumatic experience were not directly linked to the material. Although it is possible that abduction reports are the result of some altered-state experience, the common symbolic structure of the reports and their links to symptoms of anxiety require an explanation other than sleep paralysis" (2)

"Abduction experiences do not fit masochistic fantasy for several reasons. First, abduction experiencers do not find the experience pleasurable and do not typically seek to repeat the experience. Second, unlike the controlled exposure of a masochistic fantasy, the abduction experience involves an extreme exposure to helplessness and lack of control. Third, contrary to masochism, sexual arousal is hindered, not enhanced, by an abduction experience. The feelings of humiliation and helplessness found in abduction experiences do not serve the psychological needs of our interviewees in ways that would be expected of a masochistic personality or of a masochist" (2)

Similar problems are encountered with the other conventional explanations in ways you can probably already start to have a feel for.

Final Thoughts

Well, that wraps up this blog post.  I still don't know what to think of the whole alien abduction phenomenon, but it is interesting how it ties back to other experiences, such as NDEs and psi, as well as experiences reported out of spiritual traditions across the globe.  It's also fun to explore, at the very least.

Our age-old traditions across the globe tell us that all life is interconnected, So, I think the most telling message from the alien intelligence is that we need to be better stewards to the Earth (and to each other!), because what we do here effects not only the Earth, but perhaps all life in the Universe.  Is it any coincidence that in this age when we are treating the planet harsher than in any other, the phenomenon of UFOs and abductions are happening to such a degree as they are?

I don't know. But, thinking of all that while looking at this latest picture of Earth from Saturn (taken by the Cassini spacecraft) boggles the mind.  It's an amazing thought that what happens on what looks like a piece of dust floating in space, is intimately tied to and can effect all other life anywhere within that infinite sea of blackness and stars.


As the footnotes indicated, I heavily used the following book in writing this blog post.

(1) Mack, John, M.D., Abduction, Macmillan Publishing, 1994.

Also, for the section discussing the common conventional explanations of the abduction experience, I used:

(2) http://www.ufoevidence.org/documents/doc15.htm

Here are some other great John Mack references.


Also, here is an interesting video that covers some of the more famous and intriguing UFO sightings, for your enjoyment!  :)

I recently received Mack's other book called Passport to the Cosmos, so stay tuned for another post covering that one!

1 comment:

  1. This was a well thought out post. I enjoyed reading it since I have experienced alien abduction via reptiles. You really hit some majors points on duality. I can communicate mind to mind and telekinesis. The marks on my hand are real. I know what it's is like to travel through walls and out of windows. I don't know where all of this is leading me but... All I can say is it is real. Say hello to the forum members!