Contactees who once gathered at Giant Rock, California (above), now meet in Laramie, Wyoming.

Fortean Picture Library

Every summer Contactees -- people who believe they have communicated with god-like space people -- flock to the Rocky Mountain Conference on UFO Investigation, held on the University of Wyoming campus in Laramie. All these people have remarkable stories to tell: stories of personal transformation that sound like classic religious experiences in Space Age guise.

One of the stories is told by Merry Lynn Noble, by her own admission once "one of the leading call girls in the western United States." She was also an alcohol and drug addict seeking to change her life through spiritual studies. In February 1982, exhausted and depressed, she visited her parents in Montana. One evening, as they were driving in the country, a flying saucer appeared, bathing the car in light.

Noble's parents, who "were just frozen there," seemed unaware of the UFO's presence. Meanwhile, Merry Lynn in her astral body was being drawn into the craft, where she felt "absolute ecstasy, total peace, womblike warmth. . . . 'I'm so glad to leave that body,' I thought." She communicated telepathically with a "presence" who gave her a "new soul, with new energy, new humility." The next thing she knew, she was jolted back into her physical body.

From that moment her life began to change for the better. She found a good job and joined Alcoholics Anonymous, where she met the man whom she would marry. Her psychic contact with the extraterrestrial she met aboard the saucer continues, and she has written an unpublished autobiography, Sex, God and UFOs.

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