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Hi, I’m Jaime and welcome to “The Sky is Crawling” podcast, a series exploring the strange and unknown. I’ll be sharing with you my personal encounters with UFOs, mysticism and supernatural events that have followed me throughout the course of my existence. These encounters have fundamentally altered my perception, begging me to question the reality I once chose to accept, and often my sanity. My fear of ridicule for potentially writing a manifesto of madness kept this book closed for many years. I’ve kept these events hidden from all but myself and the few who’ve experienced them with me, but it’s time I choose to be the hero of my story and not the victim of someone else’s. This is my turbulent journey into the awakening of self that led fear and pain to love and bliss. I hope you enjoy taking part in it as much as I enjoy sharing it.

Episode 1: The Shadow People

The first encounter that started a chain reaction of events I could no longer ignore, happened in 2001 near the New Jersey/Pennsylvania border. I was about 25 years old and my parents and I were tired of the constant hustle of New York City. To escape, I helped move them to a big town near a secluded farmland area. I moved in with my parents for a few months to help them get settled. We lived in a quiet neighborhood and nothing seemed out of the ordinary. I was relieved to find tranquility, even if it was at the expense of moving to the other side of New Jersey, but my newly found peace and quiet didn’t last very long.

In the middle of a late summer night, I was startled awake by a very loud sound coming from the right side of my bed. My first thought was my alarm had gone off, but the strange sound reminded me of a mechanical shrill, a skill saw or a power tool, and definitely not a buzzer. I needed to turn it off before it woke up the entire house. I was still groggy, but I managed to reach over the night table and frantically mash the large snooze button. It was clear, my alarm had never gone off. As the sound grew louder and stronger, I became more upset.

I put my hands over my ears to try and drown out the sound, but quickly became increasingly agitated and confused when the sound became louder. It felt as though the sound was injected directly into my head and I couldn’t find a frame a reference that could help me explain what I was hearing and the sensations I was experiencing. I sat up in bed to orient myself and make sense of what was happening.

That’s when I noticed three black figures standing at the foot of my bed.

These black, elongated shadows were darker than their surroundings. The edges of their silhouettes vibrated. They were alive and knowing this caused a wave of fear that penetrated my bones. I was trying to make out their faces and limbs, but I could only see three 7-foot tall amorphous shadows just standing there, observing me. I needed them to be human, but I already knew the things in the room with me weren’t people. I had the feeling this wasn’t the first time this happened. They’ve shown up like this before, and knowing this sent me into a state of panic.

I was frantic. I felt my flight response kick in; my palpitating heart desperately urging me to run, hide and scream at the top of my lungs, but fear gripped every atom of my being instead. I wanted to know what they were going to do with me and why. I considered they might go away if I pretended they weren’t there. Although I was able to move, keeping still seemed like a better idea, as though they had somehow compelled me to keep quiet and not move. Something horrific was about to happen to me in and I thought I was going to be eaten alive.

I retreated into my bed in fear, pulled the covers up to my face and began to pray as hard as I could. I tried calling out for my mother but was mortified to find my mouth moving with no sound coming out of it. The mechanical sound had taken over my head and was now pulsing through my body with an electrical hum. I shut my eyes, begging and making deals with God that when I’d open them again, the shadows would be gone and this was all just my mind playing tricks on me, but when I opened my eyes, the figures had moved closer. They moved slowly in single formation and approached my side of the bed. For a moment, my fear dissipated into anger. God had abandoned me and I felt I had no choice but to give in to what was about to happen. These things weren’t human and I feared knowing that more than death. I accepted my fate, and the last thing I remember thinking was, “well, I guess this is happening”. I closed my eyes and tears rolled down my cheeks as I gave up praying and gave into the night and the shadows that loomed over my body. Everything suddenly went blank.

I awoke the next morning feeling rested and with full memory of what I’d experienced, and the visceral fear that overcame me. I was still trying to make sense of it all as I went downstairs to join my mother for breakfast. Between sips of coffee, I calmly told her about the strange nightmare I had in the middle of the night. By the time I heard myself recount the experience, I had already dismissed the encounter as an elaborate product of my wild imagination, but my mother looked up at me with a serious expression on her face and said, “I didn’t want to scare you, but I saw three dark ghosts by your bedroom door last night. They’ve been around here for a while now and your father’s seen them, too.”

A shiver shot up my spine and the hair on my arms and neck stood on end. Until that very moment, I was happy concluding I’d just experienced sleep paralysis, a lucid dream or perhaps a hypnagogic hallucination. I’d almost convinced myself that any of these were completely reasonable, if not perfect explanations for my encounter, but my mother confirming what she and my father had also witnessed washed over me with cold terror. Of course I knew the difference between a lucid dream and waking reality, and I’d never experienced sleep paralysis. I rarely experienced hypnagogic hallucinations while trying to stay awake for extended periods of time from overworking or cramming for exams. I would quickly become aware of the absurdity of my reality, and immediately snap out of it, but what I encountered that night shattered my safe little world into a million lies. I didn’t know what to believe was real anymore.

My parents had decided not to worry me with ghost stories. We had just bought the house and the last thing we needed to discuss was an exorcism. They hadn’t mentioned the three shadow figures until I had brought it up that morning. We barely spoke of it and accepted the encounter as a simple ghost haunting that would go away with diligent prayer. Looking back at the barrage of odd events throughout my life, ghosts hauntings were the go-to explanation in my family for all strange encounters. They were rarely discussed after they’d occur, and chalking these encounters up as a haunting was an easy pill to swallow for us Roman Catholics. We’ve never had much interest in aliens and UFOs, and Hollywood was rife with movies about Satan, demonic possession and poltergeists. What little I knew about aliens was from E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. He was a kind, loving and gentle creature, but what appeared in my room that night looked more like they had stepped out of a horror film.

In the years that followed my encounter with the shadow people, strange books started falling on my lap that piqued my interest in the extraordinary. I found multiple sources describing alien abductions and the beings encountered, some through hypnotic regressions, others from UFO investigators. They often start the same way. Telltale signs of startling mechanical sounds, tall shadow people and powerful telepathic suggestions to stay still and quiet are found to be commonplace. If my memory of this encounter with the shadow people wasn’t first time “they’ve” visited, I have reason to believe it was the first time I was allowed to remember, and what I later found more surprising is that I had agreed to remembering it long before they arrived that night. It was eventually revealed to me that it had been part of an ancient plan we had all devised and agreed to.

This was to be the crack that broke the dam, drowning me in memories of strange encounters that followed me throughout my entire life. I’ve looked for ways to debunk and find logical explanations for these encounters. By corroborating my many personal accounts and those reported by average citizens or UFO investigators, I’ve only found validation. Aliens, angels and demons were all completely different things to me, but I eventually discovered what these shadow people are, and what they want shook my rigid belief system to its core.

I’ve discovered a correlation between the shadow people, the startling mechanical sound and the beings people have described as giant praying mantids. These mantids are described as being insectoid and although there is a slight resemblance to a praying mantis insect, it’s the most common way people all over the world have found to describe them. They are multidimensional in their physical form with long limbs and sharply angled joints. They have thin torsos and a triangular or kite-shaped head with large almond-shaped eyes that seem to wrap around their temples. They range in color from black, golden, green to opalescent. They’ve also been described as wearing purple cloaks and usually stand back and observe during visitations but will take lead in procedures when needed. Encounters have been described as both frightening and full of immense care and love. Those who’ve lunged past the fear and shock of their encounter with a giant praying mantis of unimaginable intelligence, describe telepathic communications with a feminine and mother-like being.

I’d like to believe when I was ready to remember meeting these mantids, they chose a form that would least disturb me. I can only imagine the shock of being awoken in the middle of the night by three giant praying mantids, but I consider remembering akin to an initiation that provides the key that unlocks the door to awakening. You can choose to open it or leave it closed. I chose to kick it down, and there’s no way to put it back on its hinges even if I wanted to. What was to come after this encounter and the memories that came flooding in, has taken me on a whirlwind of a ride.

“Am I going crazy? Am I losing my mind? This can’t be real! I need more proof! What? No, I don’t! It’s just my mind playing tricks on me and everyone’s in on the biggest practical joke ever played.”

Questioning my sanity often played itself out my mind. Now I question my sanity some of the time. Not knowing if you’re mad can be quite maddening but seeking help led me to validation, of which I found plenty. I’d often considered if I was just forcing square pegs into round holes, but I had witnesses experience supernatural and UFO phenomena right there with me. Many were left in shock and disbelief. Some coped by never speaking of it again. Others allowed these encounters to enrich their understanding of existence just as I eventually did, but even though I’d been blessed with so many wonderful gifts and insights into the very meaning of existence, I still struggle to find meaning with the encounters that have followed me throughout my entire life. Are they real, or am I ill?

The mantids became a familiar occurrence in my life after the encounter that night. It seems they’ve been here with me all along and perhaps my relationship with them has spanned many lifetimes; theirs and mine. There are many other intelligences inhabiting physical forms the mantids consort with, and sometimes I’m allowed to remember meeting them, too. When I was given the truth of who the mantids are and why they chose to visit me, it rattled my reality so violently, that everything I clung to in life slipped through my fingers like fine sand. It was an Empire Strikes Back moment for better or worse.

Everything I had ever been taught to believe about God by searching for meaning through organized religion was shockingly false. Or was it? I didn’t know what to think after I lost my grip on world I once saw as my absolute reality. In one fell swoop I found myself in a darkness that I’d never expected I’d allow myself to be overcome by. I stayed there for years and rejected all forms of religion. I envied those who still blissfully and ignorantly followed blindly. In retaliation, I dove head first into an existential crisis. I became more materialistic and demanding of the social dogmas. They were easy to satiate in city that never sleeps. I didn’t want to sleep and I couldn’t be satiated.

I shut down the encounters and continued a decade-long descent into self-destruction. I found myself in many precarious situations, half hoping “they” would show up in their spaceship, have pity on me and take me home. After all, it was them who took away my God. They showed me I was His puppet and He didn’t care what happened to me. I felt these beings were taunting my humanity but as it turned out, they were taunting humanity’s anthropomorphism of nature as a bearded man dressed in white robes sitting on a cloud, committing mass genocide whenever someone forgot to sacrifice a goat or their first-born. They wanted me to stop feeding into this mass madness, so they ripped it from me and left me with no world to stand upon.

They were right. In the end, there really was no He. There was no more meaning for me to find in that old world, only tales to astonish to keep children from mischievousness. It became too obvious when truth was obfuscated by misinterpretation, manipulation and corruption. I was a victim and I lived a lie, and for almost a decade, I put on mask after mask in futile attempts to hide the darkness I harbored deep within myself. During the day I went to the office and at night I socialized with friends. Rinse and repeat. When I stopped listening to my inner voice, I found myself devolving quickly in my existence, but I somehow managed to get through it all mostly unscathed.

The mantids didn’t relent. They kept showing me little pieces of a puzzle the size of the universe. The more pieces they revealed, the more open I became. The more open I became, the more knowledge I gained. Real miracles began to occur in my life. I experienced the spontaneous healing of serious injuries. I began meeting new people who lit up my life. I experienced emotions I’d never experienced before. I was awakening into the light and began to create a new world of truth that had always existed within me. The old world I inherited at birth through circumstance was replaced by the new world from which a God emerged who is kind and loving. This God made itself known in the miracles occurring in every aspect of my being and it took something that I can’t identify as human, who appeared in the darkness to guide me into the light.

With my old belief systems shattered and my head broken open, I was finally ready to learn and grow within a malleable system of understanding. What we might believe as truth today may only be a small part of a larger truth tomorrow; just a small piece of that puzzle. When you get to see more of the puzzle, you inevitably adjust the meaning you once derived from it to get a better understanding of the ever-evolving whole.

I made a choice to produce “The Sky is Crawling” podcast to share and explore my and other people’s views, encounters and their experiences. I’m still trying to make sense of it all and there are times when I’ll slam a book shut and not believe any of it. Whenever I struggle with whether all of this was just all in my mind, a mass hallucination or the power of suggestion, whatever happened was real to me and I was fundamentally changed in how I see my relationship with all things in the universe.

Even though I still stumble, I do my best to always live my life through love, kindness and understanding. I may have lost my religion, but I found understanding and respect in the faith of others. We’re each on our own individual journeys through life, but I believe we’ll all eventually find ourselves at the same destination. I remind myself of this truth whenever I find myself in judgement of others. Who am I to criticize the life you’ve chosen for yourself? Each of us have infinite choices to make in a finite opportunity. We have every reason to live meaningful and loving lives and with this podcast, I’ll be sharing with you the reasons I’ve discovered for myself in the hope that it may inspire you to find yours.

This concludes Episode 1 of the Sky is Crawling, titled: “The Shadow People”

I’m your host Jaime and I thank you for listening. If you’ve enjoyed this episode of The Sky is Crawling, please visit www.theskyiscrawling.com to subscribe and share. I’d love to hear your feedback and if you have any questions, I’ll do my best to answer them in following episodes.

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