By Sean Casteel

One of the most fascinating – and difficult to analyze – aspects of the UFO phenomenon is the apparent non-randomness of ufo repeaters coversightings and the effects those sightings have on those who witness them. Often a long chain of events begins for the witness after a sighting, events fraught with various synchronicities, time distortions and lingering, newly discovered PSI abilities like telepathy and psychokinesis.

Beginning with Kenneth Arnold’s 1947 sighting, a UFO encounter was considered to be something akin to being struck by lightning: it was completely involuntary and extremely unlikely to happen to someone a second time. But as the contactee movement of the 1950s began to gather strength, a different understanding began to emerge. Some people claimed to have ongoing relationships with the flying saucer occupants, and the otherworldly interlopers were even willing to pose for a few photos as well.

It is precisely that group within the UFO community that the new release from Timothy Green Beckley’s Global Communications publishing house is concerned with. The book is called “UFO Repeaters: Seeing Is Believing! The Camera Doesn’t Lie!” As the title implies, it is chock full of photos by people who were repeatedly given the opportunity to take aim and shoot UFOs with both still and motion picture cameras.

Many of the photos in “UFO Repeaters” are quite dramatic and will elicit gasps of wonderment even from people already jaded by years of studying the subject. No real attempt is made in the book to debate whether the photos are authentic. The late alien abduction research pioneer, Budd Hopkins, once said that we will always have difficulty in assessing the “truth” of a UFO photo because even one that photo analysis experts could not completely debunk would still look like something conjured by Hollywood through the special effects department. Hopkins also said that all we can really be sure of is ourselves, meaning that we should study the UFO phenomenon by picking it up from the human end of the stick.

Which “UFO Repeaters” also manages to accomplish when it tells the personal stories of several of the contactees themselves who became shutterbugs for the flying saucers. How and why these contactees were “chosen” for their mission of revealing the alien presence through the lens of the camera remains unknown, but some elusive factor unites them all.

In his introduction, publisher and author Beckley grapples with that and similar issues. For example, he writes, “Is it the individual – the UFO Repeater – who is solely responsible for the images on the film or video? Do they possess some sort of tracking device – an implant – that the aliens use as a homing apparatus to keep in touch with their representatives? Are some of the images ‘psychic’ in nature? Are they manifested by the Repeaters themselves? Sort of like a poltergeist event? Or perhaps it’s that the locale is a ‘hotspot’ that draws the UFOs in, and anyone could be standing in this location and capture weird images which are indisputably NOT anything within the realm of the ‘normal.’ Perhaps it is a combination of all of the above.”


Stella LansingThe veteran paranormal journalist Tim R. Swartz begins the book by getting down to cases. For example, Stella Lansing of Palmer, Massachusetts, who had the strange ability to “call down” UFOs and photograph them using both still and film cameras. Many of the images were not apparent when Stella took the pictures but instead seemed to spontaneously appear on film. She claimed to have experienced seeing strange little men and creatures, hearing voices speaking out of nowhere, suffering an electric shock administered by a “shimmering figure,” and a craft surfacing from underwater.

It was Beckley himself who gave Stella her first brush with fame when she came to a UFO convention Beckley helped to organize in 1967. She showed Beckley a series of home movies that had captured what he called “eerie, phantom-like phenomena.” One of Stella’s films seemed to show four occupants visible through a window on the spacecraft. Other 8mm films contained clock-like patterns of light that would overlap the frames, something considered to be optically impossible.

Stella talked about her experiences with author Brad Steiger for his book “Gods of Aquarius.”

“I don’t know if they came from another planet,” Stella said, “or if they live right within our dimension, or if they’re interdimensional – or maybe they’re living somewhere on Earth that we haven’t discovered yet. But whatever it is I do, it’s as if I’m programmed in some way to sense the need to take pictures of UFOs. I feel a sudden compulsion to pick up my camera, a sudden urgency to really grab that camera. I sense that maybe I am being ‘told,’ but I don’t even know – I’m not consciously aware. When I snap the shutter, that’s when I get my pictures of UFOs or entities. Something is making me do it without my being aware of it. I’m only aware of it after it’s happened.”

Stella continued to see and photograph UFOs as well as to keep detailed notes even after interest in her work had long since faded. She was always willing to talk about her experiences, but, right up to her death in 2012, she remained mystified by her own strange abilities. Nevertheless, the media always enjoyed telling her story, such as the ever popular TV series “Unsolved Mysteries.” She lives on in this clip available on YouTube by following this link:


Four different UFOs filmed by Dorothy Izatt.Swartz also writes about a Canadian woman named Dorthy Izatt who photographed an amazing array of UFOs. What is so incredible about Dorothy’s films are the “one-frame” images that pop up unexpectedly, showing streaks of light and other luminous objects.

“It all started when she saw a bright object hovering in the sky above her house,” Swartz writes. “Dorothy went out onto her balcony with a flashlight and tried signaling the UFO, which, to her amazement, signaled back. When she told her friends about her experience, no one believed her. So she went out and bought a Keystone XL 200 Super-8 movie camera and started filming. The results were more than 600 reels of film that skeptics, right from the very beginning, have said were faked. But, if she is faking them, photo experts have yet to figure out how.”

Dorothy’s films have been seen widely on television shows like “Unsolved Mysteries” and “Sightings.” She calls the UFO occupants “light beings,” not aliens, because “we are aliens, too.”

Dorothy said that, from the very beginning, she could tell when a UFO was near and that she would be compelled to get her camera and film them. She later learned that she was being directed by telepathic communications from the extraterrestrials.

“You talk mind-to-mind,” she explained. “They can pick up your thoughts, and I have the ability to pick up theirs, too. There are all different types of beings. Some are like us. You wouldn’t be able to tell the difference if they walked among us. Some are different, but down here on this Earth we are all different, too.”

Oddly, some people can see the aliens when she points them out, but others can’t. She feels her own ability to see them is the result of a special sense she possesses. When she wants to make contact, all she has to do is concentrate and they appear. Dorothy says she was born with this “sense” and that she shares it with other members of her family.

“Even though many UFO researchers try to ignore the psychic component of UFOs,” Swartz writes, “the rejection of this key element will only contribute to the continuing confusion that surrounds the phenomenon. Since the 1940s, UFOs have become synonymous with spaceships and extraterrestrials. However, this interpretation is far too simplistic and probably reflects modern social belief structures more than science fact.”


The UFO abduction of Betty and Barney Hill has been well-documented in books such as the “Interrupted Journey,” by journalist John Fuller, and “Captured! The Betty and Barney Hill UFO Experience,” coauthored by Kathleen Marden (Betty’s niece) and longtime UFO researcher Stanton Friedman.

In 1961, the Hills underwent what would become a template for alien abduction that has been repeated for other people countless times in the years since. The couple was taken from their car as they drove from Canada to their home in New Hampshire, brought onboard a landed UFO, medically examined, and then returned to their car with no conscious memory of the strange events that had just taken place. The Hills would not recover their memories until a few years later when a Boston psychiatrist led them through the process of regressive hypnosis. The use of hypnosis to unearth the buried memories of an encounter would become another commonplace aspect of the aftermath of the alien abduction experience.

Although the Hill case is a familiar one to most in the UFO community, what is not so widely-known is that, after the 1961 encounter, Betty and her side of the family experienced not only additional UFO sightings but also unusual harassments in the form of house break-ins, weird telephone calls and paranormal activity. A scientific research team convinced Betty to take part in an experiment to see whether she could reestablish contact with her captors. The goal was to vector in a craft to land in the vicinity of Betty’s home. Betty attempted to reach out to the UFO occupants via verbal and telepathic messages. The UFOs did indeed begin to appear shortly thereafter, followed by a spate of paranormal activity that included household items flying off of shelves, doors opening and closing on their own, and light orbs darting through the air.

Betty wrote that, “These things are happening to Barney and me as well as to most of my relatives, but they have also been witnessed by other people who were present. We do not believe in ghosts but we do believe in space travel and life on other planets. So we wonder if these space travelers might have the ability to be ‘unseen’ to us.”

Many of her admirers do not realize that Betty had a “favorite spot” that she visited frequently in order to try and communicate with and “bring down” those beings that had taken her and Barney away so many years previously. Her efforts resulted in a number of odd photographs that she added to her personal collection of memorabilia but which had skeptics wagging their tongues in annoyed disbelief.


Menger claimed that this photograph showed an extraterrestrial who came to visit him in New Jersey. Howard Menger’s story is the kind you hope is true simply for the reassurance it offers about the nature of the UFO occupants. Howard encountered the kind of beautiful, loving creatures that seem to come right out of a children’s storybook about good spirits taking a young boy on a fantastic adventure in a kind of colorful “wonderland.”

Howard was born in 1922 in Brooklyn, New York. When Howard was ten, his parents moved the family to a spacious, rustic homestead in rural New Jersey. Howard and his brother would explore the nearby pastures and hills, where the paranormal activity soon commenced. On several occasions, the youths maintained, they were cornered by weird objects resembling Buck Rogers-like spacecraft that appeared over the tree line and sent the boys scampering away in fear. At one point, a ten-foot diameter disc landed close to Howard and his brother while another larger object hovered overhead, as if to gauge the boys’ reaction to the landed craft.

Little by little, Howard, being more “sensitive” than his brother, started to venture out into the pastures and meadowlands on his own. He easily made friends with the fauna there, like squirrels and rabbits, and was particularly attracted to specific spot near a slow-running stream that ran in the back of the family home. On a bright, sunny day in 1932, he saw something there that would change his life forever.

“There, sitting on a rock by the brook,” Howard said, “was the most exquisite woman my young eyes had ever beheld! The warm sunlight caught the highlights of her long, golden hair as it cascaded around her face and shoulders. The curves of her lovely body were delicately contoured, revealed through the translucent material of her clothing, which reminded me of the habit that skiers wear.”

In spite of the woman’s sudden and strange appearance out of nowhere, Howard was not frightened. He was instead “overcome by an overwhelming sense of wonderment” that made him freeze in his tracks. He felt a tremendous surge of warmth and love emanating from the woman and he approached her as one would an old friend or loved one.

The woman called him by name and said she had come a long way to see him and speak to him.

“She said she knew where I had come from,” Howard recalled, “and what my purpose would be here on Earth. She and her people had observed me for a long time and in ways I would not quickly understand. When she spoke of her ‘people,’ I still could not understand they were from another planet. I seemed to be encompassed by the very glow, almost visible, that emanated from her presence. I have often tried to describe it as like seeing a Technicolor movie in three dimensions and being a part of the action in the film.”

Again, the mysterious woman called Howard by name and said, “We are contacting our own,” words that Howard said would bring more joy and take on more meaning as he grew older. “It is no fault of yours, Howard, that you cannot understand everything. Do not worry,” she comforted him. Then her face took on an air of sadness, and she spoke of grave changes, destruction and torment that would move as a dark cloud over the country and the world. Before departing, the woman said he would see her again but it might not be for a long time. Howard returned to the same spot again often but the lady never reappeared.

Later, while an adult serving in the army, Howard was on vacation in Mexico when he encountered a man with shoulder-length blond hair sitting in a cab that Howard had just hailed. The blond man spoke to him without moving his lips, telepathically, and told Howard that he had been selected for a series of contacts with the aliens.

The alien warned Howard that his life might be in danger during his military service but it would never be necessary for him to kill anyone. This prophecy later came true when Howard was attacked by a Japanese soldier who came at him with a razor-sharp bayonet, cutting a hole in Howard’s tent in the middle of the night. Howard began firing at the enemy soldier, wounding him, but not mortally.

Howard would bump into his space friends nearly everywhere he went. They looked human enough, but there was just something odd about their appearance – something a bit “off” perhaps – that convinced him these visitors meant what they said when they claimed to be from other planets. They intimated to Howard that he had been selected to become a contactee because he had some of the same benevolent qualities about him that they had.

After the war, Howard returned to New Jersey and his contacts increased. He met them in his home as well as outdoors in several remote rendezvous spots where he had been told to go. On a number of occasions, he carried a camera with him to record some of their aerial activities. He even managed to get some still photos of the beings approaching him, backlit by the brightly illuminated exterior of their ship and creating eerie shadows.

As the years went on, Howard would gain fame as a contactee, perhaps second only to George Adamski, and would write a book called “From Outer Space To You” that remains a classic in its genre. Though controversy continues about whether Howard was part of a government “silence” group intent on muddying the waters regarding the truth about the flying saucer phenomenon, his many photos are still with us, and a goodly selection of those are featured in “UFO Repeaters.”

Coauthor Tim Beckley admits that he is predisposed to believing in Howard’s fanciful stories because “he was such a charming individual . . . the type of guy who doesn’t seem capable of lying to you.” Beckley says he lived down the road from Howard and often heard chatter from others who had “seen and heard things” on and around Howard’s property, despite the fact that they didn’t really hook up with Howard himself. His rural neighbors pretty much kept to themselves but had witnessed enough to be capable of verifying some of the strange happenings said to have transpired in the apple orchard out back of Howard’s Highbridge, New Jersey, home.


Paul VillaLike the legendary Swiss contactee, Billy Meier, Paul Villa was an unassuming gentleman of modest means who happened to capture some striking UFO photos. Paul had no axe to grind and no desire for publicity or fame. As so often happens in the world of UFO encounters, Paul did not find the flying saucer phenomenon; it found him.

Paul told UFO investigators that he would receive a telepathic message telling him to be at a certain location, usually somewhere near his home in Albuquerque, New Mexico. When he arrived at the designated place, the aliens would essentially “pose” for him while he took photos with a Japanese-made camera and standard Kodak film.

The result of those efforts is a beautiful series of full color photos depicting the flying saucers in all their glory. According to UFO researcher Wendelle Stevens, Paul’s photos are quite sharp compared to most photos of that era, which was the 1960s through the 1970s. The image size of the saucers is large enough to show good detail and the fact that Paul’s truck is in the foreground of some of the photos provides a known object with which to compare the size of the saucer and to judge its distance away from the camera.

Paul was born in 1916 of Native American/Spanish descent. He did not complete the tenth grade but had a good working knowledge of mathematics, physics, electricity and mechanics and was particularly gifted at detecting defects in engines and generators.

In 1953, while he was employed by the Department of Water and Power in Los Angeles, Paul encountered a man about seven feet tall who called him by name and could read his mind as well as knowing a great many facts about Paul’s past. The spaceman invited Paul to come aboard a metallic-looking, disc-shaped object floating on the water nearby and Paul agreed to go.

One of the small "scout craft" that Villa photographed preparing to land.For Paul, the aliens were entirely human-looking, though more uniformly attractive than Earth people and definitely more refined in face and form. They took Paul on a tour of the saucer and said they are here on a friendly mission to help Earth people. As his contact experiences continued through the years, Paul was eventually invited to photograph the ships. The aliens flew their craft slowly and hovered as Paul snapped away. In the mid-1960s, the photos began to draw the interest of flying saucer organizations, who debated the pictures’ authenticity and even at times tried to prove Paul to be a fraud.

The photos Paul took are breathtaking to look at and do appear to show genuine flying saucers set against lovely desert scenery. There are varying types of ships from photo to photo, which is consistent with UFO witness accounts since the 1940s and has led some analysts to think we are being visited by several different alien races and civilizations.

The notoriety that came with being chosen to take the photos did not make life easy for Paul, however. When he stopped at a local tavern one evening on his way home from work and sat sipping a beer, a stranger walked up and drew Paul’s blood with a punch in nose. His assailant called Paul crazy for “talking to spacemen.” On top of that, unwelcome curiosity seekers would descend on his family home and take “souvenirs” with them when they left. All the various forms of harassment necessitated relocating his family on several occasions.

Paul died in 1980 at age 64. Some of his photos were never made public, including a series that was reportedly taken on another planet. We may never know everything the UFO occupants revealed to Paul, but the idea that there is further photographic evidence of his to be seen is certainly a tantalizing one.


The mysterious face that appeared spontaneously on one of Stella Lansing's photographs. “UFO Repeaters” also includes photos by and the personal histories of other people who were selected to photograph flying saucers and, on occasion, their occupants. Ellen Crystall, Ed Walters, Joe Ferriere, Marc Brinkerhoff – the list goes on – were all at one time “brought into the fold,” so to speak, and produced a continual stream of photos that implies that there is some kind of mutual trust and, in some cases, an apparently loving relationship with the beings flying the ships at work here.

Why are these Repeaters granted this kind of privileged status with the UFO occupants? Why do the aliens seem to cancel the “terror factor” in certain cases and instead establish a caring, compassionate bond with some experiencers that continues throughout the mortal’s entire life? The vagaries of how these alien choices are made continue to elude us.

But, in the meantime, Global Communications can offer you this: a book that takes the stories behind these photographs and the people that took them basically at face value. There is no reason to doubt the photos’ authenticity, and many have long ago passed muster with photo analysis experts who were forced to concede that – whether or not there really IS an alien presence – the photos themselves were not the result of tampering or tricks.

The aliens have chosen to reveal their existence in many ways since Kenneth Arnold’s 1947 sighting started the ball rolling in the modern era. If this is so, why would occasional genuine photos not be part of that overall mix? Why would the UFO occupants withhold that kind of verification if they were willing to provide so many other forms of proof and confirmation?

But we are just beginning our tale of cosmic wonderment and will commence forthwith in our next installment to continue revealing the truth about the UFO Repeaters and their sincere efforts to document the reality of the unknown through the eye of the camera.

As the book’s title enthuses: Seeing is believing!




The Authentic Book Of Ultra-Terrestrial Contacts: From The Secret Alien Files of UFO Researcher Timothy Green Beckley


A mysterious Brooklyn woman known as “Mad” Mollie Fancher may  provide some controversial clues.
By Sean Casteel

mad mollie front cover jpg For those in the UFO community who have made the leaps of faith that started with Erich von Daniken and Zechariah Sitchin, namely that the gods of our religions were in fact aliens who led mankind to varying degrees of civilization and technological development, it logically follows that some forms of religious fanaticism would  spring from that same alien source. There has always been a thin line between religious experience and simple madness, and there is likely also a thin line between alien-inspired fanaticism and mere human-generated religious delusion.

This is all said by way of introduction to a new book from Timothy Green Beckley’s Global Communications publishing house. The book is called “‘Mad’ Mollie: Brooklyn’s Supernatural ‘Saint,'” and, for the sake of complete disclosure, I wrote some of  its chapters. The new release includes the complete text of a rare and hard-to-find book about Mollie Fancher from the early 20th century, as well as new material that helps set the stage for one of the strangest stories in the history of the paranormal. It is also the first in a new series from Global Communications devoted to “Very Strange People.” A second book in the series, “The Bell Witch Project,” is already available for purchase as well.

                                                                     WHO WAS “MAD” MOLLIE?
Mollie Fancher was born in Massachusetts in 1848. Her parents moved the family to Brooklyn, New York, in 1850, and Mollie began her education in a private school there a few years later. Mollie’s mother died in 1855, and her father mollie@16remarried and abandoned Mollie and her siblings to be raised by their aunt, Susan Crosby.

Mollie did well in school and was considered very attractive by the standards of her day. Two months prior to her graduation, she fell ill, suffering from nervous indigestion, generalized weakness and fainting spells. Her doctor prescribed horseback riding to cure her, which was for centuries thought to be a solution for “hysteria” in women. While riding, Mollie was thrown from her horse, hit her head on a curbstone, knocking her unconscious, and broke several ribs.

She might have recovered from the horse accident and led a normal life, but a little over a year later, in 1865, she suffered another traumatic accident. Mollie was engaged to be married and was out shopping for wedding-related items. When she stepped off a streetcar near her home, her dress got caught on the rear of the car and she was dragged a city block before anyone noticed her.

Her suitor broke off their marriage plans, and she was put to bed to heal. She never left her bed, spending the remaining 51 years of her life there as she suffered varied and strange ailments that baffled observers and physicians alike.

                                                               THE SUPERNATURAL TAKING HOLD?Mollie Fancher 1887
As she lay in her bed of trauma and misery, Mollie began to experience trances and spells and violent spasms. She also, quite famously, began to refuse food, claiming to go months, even years, without swallowing a single morsel of anything. In Victorian times, this was a commonly claimed miracle, and many “fasting girls” were celebrated in the news media for their fanatic devotion to Christ as expressed through self-starvation.

The doctors of Mollie’s time again called her condition “hysteria,” which was a catch-all term for women whose behavior was deemed inappropriate or “unladylike.” Some of the strangest stories about Mollie occurred in the nine years from 1866 to 1875. It is claimed that she lay with her arm drawn up over her head, her legs twisted and her eyes closed, yet still managed to write 6,500 letters, sew fine embroidery, keep a diary and make wax flowers – quite an achievement for a bedridden woman with one functioning hand.

Mollie was also said to read writing from great distances, read minds and have the gift of prophecy. In a country obsessed with spirit communication, ghosts and the supernatural, Mollie became something of a celebrity.

But which Mollie would that be? Along with all her other mysterious maladies, Mollie is thought to have been a bona fide case of Multiple Personality Disorder. In 1875, she fell into unconsciousness for a month and then awakened with no memory of the last nine years. None of the works of art she had done looked familiar to her, and she resumed conversations where they had left off nine years before. She began to splinter into several “selves,” some cheery and bright, while others were jealous and vindictive. The personalities would write letters to each other – in different handwriting.

Mollie died on February 15, 1916, at age 67, taking her selves and her secrets with her.

                                       A FEMINIST STATEMENT IN MALE-DOMINATED TIMES

During a period of nine years the amount of food Mollie ate was so little that doctors were astonishment how life could be sustained.

During a period of nine years the amount of food Mollie ate was so little that doctors were astonishment how life could be sustained.

Most people are familiar with the term “anorexia nervosa,” an eating disorder in which a person is usually struggling with body image conflicts and/or uses self-starvation as a means of gaining control over their lives. But one may be surprised to learn that there exists a term for what was claimed about Mollie Fancher – “anorexia mirabilis,” or “miraculous loss of appetite.”

The term comes from the Middle Ages, when women and girls would starve themselves, sometimes to the point of death, in the name of God. Anorexia mirabilis was often combined with other ascetic forms of self-denial, like lifelong virginity, self-flagellation, wearing hair shirts, sleeping on beds of thorns and other assorted penitential practices.

Caroline Walker Bynum, the author of “Holy Feast, Holy Fast,” believes that anorexia mirabilis was not simply misdiagnosed anorexia nervosa but was instead a legitimate form of self-expression that existed outside the modern disease paradigm. Anorexia mirabilis should be understood as a distinct medieval form of female religious piety and placed within its proper historical context.

Many women of medieval times refused to ingest anything but the Communion host, which was intended to signify not only their devotion to God and Jesus but also to make a point about the separation of body and spirit. The idea that the body could endure for long periods of time without nourishment demonstrated how much stronger and important the spirit was. Popular opinion was unconcerned that the women claimed to go without food for months or even years; the “impossible” length of their fasting only added to the allure of this specifically female achievement.

Saint Catherine (1347-1380), of Siena, Italy, rose to become a rare female player in 14th century papal politics. She was also a determined “fasting girl” and would forcibly self-regurgitate when compelled to eat food at all. Her local priest suspected she might have been secretly fed by demons when he observed how bright, energetic and strong she remained even after fasting for unnaturally long periods of time.

“Mad” Mollie’s similar claim to defying nature by living without sustenance of any kind can thus be seen as part of a long tradition dating back several centuries. Demonic possession was sometimes suspected in Mollie’s case as well, especially because of her multiple personalities and the strange trances that sometimes overcame her.

                                                     STIGMATA AND AN ALIEN CONNECTION
Another phenomenon claimed by both Mollie and Saint Catherine was stigmata, or mysteriously appearing wounds that replicate the physical injuries Jesus Christ endured on the cross. The stigmata wounds occur spontaneously in some unknown way and are not self-inflicted. The stigmata phenomenon was first reported by Saint Francis of Assisi in the 13th century and is seen most commonly among priests and nuns. The strange signs on the flesh are said to be confirmation of the sufferer’s saintly devotion to Christ.

Giorgio Bongiovanni

               Giorgio Bongiovanni

An Italian named Giorgio Bongiovanni’s first experience as a stigmatic happened in 1989 in Portugal when he was given a message for humanity and received the first stigmatic piercings in his hands. During this encounter, a luminous being explained to Giorgio that the universe is abundant with intelligent life and that beings are visiting the Earth with highly advanced disc-shaped craft. Since that time, Giorgio has had frequent recurrences of stigmata, sometimes on his left side, where Christ was said to have been pierced by a Roman sword, and on his forehead, in reference to Christ’s crown of thorns.

The purpose of his stigmata, Giorgio says, is so the faithful can have a sign to believe in during the traumatic Earth changes to come. The sacred, interdimensional flying saucer entities have told him that mankind will face a period of darkness but those who have obeyed Christ’s teachings will be saved.

Which begs the question that began this article: Are certain forms of religious fanaticism divinely inspired by the UFO occupants? Do the aliens send us religious messages by way of miracles like Mollie Fancher’s prodigious fasting or Giorgio Bongiovanni’s stigmata?


In his introduction to “‘Mad’ Mollie: Brooklyn’s Supernatural ‘Saint,'” Tim Beckley writes about the Spiritualist Movement that

The Fox Sisters

The Fox Sisters

is said to begin with the Fox sisters in 1848, the year Mollie was born.

The two young girls, fifteen-year-old Maggie and eleven-year-old Katy, huddled under their blankets in raw fear as they

were encircled by hellish sounds coming from the darkness of their small rural home in Rochester, New York. They felt the sounds were coming from an intelligent source, so the sisters played a kind of game in an attempt to communicate with whomever or whatever was creating the noises. Snapping their fingers and clapping their hands loudly, they asked the entity to respond accordingly. It replied with a series of knocking sounds that came from the wall just above their beds.

Mrs. Fox, their mother, believed the entity to be a ghost and she decided to test it herself by asking questions. The spirit responded accurately, again by making knocking sounds. After the neighbors were able to confirm that the knocking sounds were indeed intelligent, word soon spread that the Fox sisters could converse with the dead, drawing enormous crowds from all over the country. Soon the Spiritualist Movement was in full swing and mediums in a deep trance were levitating tables and issuing ectoplasm from their bodily orifices. Supernatural manifestations became “as American as apple pie,” Beckley writes.

The Fox sisters soon took a backseat to the Bangs sisters, Lizzie and May, who could produce a spirit painting on canvas

The Bang Sisters

                  The Bang Sisters

without touching it. A bucket of paint would rest on the floor near the sisters, and, over the next hour, an image would start to appear on the canvas. They each gripped the canvas in both their hands, making it impossible for them to use any sort of brush or hidden device. In spiritualist jargon, these are called “Precipitated Spirit Paintings.”

Spiritualism is its own kind of religious fanaticism, and it is possible to link it to the alien abduction phenomenon. Abductees sometimes report seeing a deceased relative during an alien encounter, such as seeing the face of one’s late grandmother at the foot of one’s bed as the standard gray aliens go about their work. “Communion” author Whitley Strieber feels that the alien Visitors walk between the worlds of the living and the dead as easily as we mortals cross a street and that someday all mankind may progress to the point where they have that same privilege. (Some believe the Visitors may reside in what has been referred to as a “Goblin Universe,” according to Beckley.) Whatever the afterlife is, it is something the aliens are familiar with, and it would follow that leading certain souls to perform and “speak” at a séance would be within their abilities.

Beckley also writes about a “goblin” stove said to have begun speaking to residents of a home in Zaragoza, Spain, in 1934. The Palazon family at one time blamed their housemaid for the voice, thinking she had some sort of talent for ventriloquism, in spite of the maid’s protests of innocence. The stove began to draw curious crowds, and some felt the devil himself had found a home in the Palazons’ kitchen. The voice spoke in “demonic curses” and was able to see and hear what was going on around it.

When the police were called in, the voice spoke to them directly. The voice became angry when it realized the block had been evacuated in response to its presence. The army was called in and a team of architects examined the building from top to bottom, but no explanation was ever found. In a final attempt to eradicate the voice, the building was demolished and a new building now stands on the plot.


Nearly a hundred years after her death, Mollie Fancher remains a mystery sleeping covered in a patchwork quilt of unknowns. Did she live for 51 years without eating? Did she possess clairvoyance and other paranormal gifts? Was she possessed by demons whose evil personalities warred against her own with fierce determination? Was she making a feminist statement in the repressed Victorian era by stubbornly – and miraculously – refusing sustenance of any kind?

And, if there were genuine supernatural events taking place, were the UFO occupants somehow behind them? Is the strangeness surrounding Mollie Fancher so hard to comprehend because it involves so many elements that are simply “not of this world”?

UFOlogy is a field where it is best that no stone be left unturned, and the study of “Mad”  Mollie is a good case in point.