Cindy Proulx hedges a little. She might have seen a UFO, once. She is sure, though, that they’re up there.
Proulx says she grew up in a haunted house. She’s open to about anything.
“I just know there’s something else out there besides the tangible," she said. "I’ve seen it."
Chris Gardner has, too. The friends will present UFO talks at the annual Psychic/Paranormal Faire in Fort Knox on July 23 and 24.
“The EBEs have been here for a very long time,” said Proulx, of Brewer.
“Extraterrestrial biological entities,” she said. “I also prefer ETs to aliens — aliens makes them sound like they’re undocumented workers.”
The amateur ufologists are used to two questions from their audience. The first is always, “Have you ever seen one?”
She’s a maybe; he’s a yes.
And, “Will you think I’m crazy if I tell you I have?”
Definitely not, Proulx says.
Gardner, of Bangor, has kept about 30 years' worth of sighting files. He’s at work on a book.
“There’s quite a big history of UFO sightings and activity in Maine,” Gardner said. He points to unexplained Maine cases in the U.S. Air Force’s old Project Blue Book files, which explored alleged activity.
“One was up at Loring Air Force Base back in the ’70s when lights were seen around the nuclear storage facility," he said. "They scrambled planes and helicopters and chased the thing off up into Canada and it would come back. It happened two nights in a row.”
His sighting happened when he was a kid, during an end-of-season Little League camping trip at Pushaw Pond in Old Town in the 1970s.
“We were out on the beach after dark with a campfire,” Gardner said. “All of a sudden someone noticed a light cross Pushaw Pond over the trees ... moving around slowly like it was looking for something.
“We watched it for quite a while, then the thing disappeared out of sight,” he said. The next day, “it came on the radio, reports of people seeing a UFO.”
Proulx’s interest began in the library when the alien staring off the cover of Whitley Stieber’s “Communion” caught her eye. She has traveled to Nevada's Area 51 twice and has a friend who gave up his urchin-diving career after a run-in in Penobscot Bay with an unidentified submerged object. Every year, Proulx asks him to join the gathering at Fort Knox.
“He’s very, very shy and he’s afraid of what people are going to think of him,” she said. “This guy has seen more than you could possibly imagine.”
On a dive one day, he claims a large craft emitting a strange, low noise passed next to him.
“He has never dived since then, because that scared him so much,” she said. “It was huge; it just darkened the whole water he was in.”
Proulx and Gardner lead a paranormal interest group at Fire Sign, a metaphysical shop in Orono, from 4 to 6 p.m. on the third Sunday of every month. It’s free, open to the public, and open to whatever people want to talk about and whatever experiences they want to share, Gardner said.
“There’s no doubt there’s life on other planets, and it may even be coming here, but I think these craft things are more interdimensional,” he said. “I look at it as these worlds right alongside our own, just on another wavelength.”
Gardner likens it to a very tall building with an elevator. Earth is on one floor. Someone else — something else — is on the others.
Weird, Wicked Weird is a monthly feature on the strange, unexplained and intriguing in Maine. Send photos, ideas and campfire tales to email@example.com.