From Childhood to Woodlands to Contact to S.P.A.C.E.

Part I

By Harold Egeln

Three key events molded my lifetime involvement with the UFO experience: My suspension from school as an eighth grader who reported two UFO sightings to my schoolmates interested in my amateur home astronomy activities. This was followed by ridicule, bullying and lack of friends; then my strange paranormal-like experiences while living in a rented house with others on 40-acres of woodland in West Orange, NJ from June 1972 to May 1973. This was woodland discovered later to be an unprotected and undeclared old-growth forest following a Sierra Club survey in 2003. The third event was a prearranged overt sighting of “non-human entities” with a witness at a Hudson Valley UFO hot-spot in Brewster, NY on August 14, 1988. This confirmed their reality to me, but not their “outer space” origin.

The Irvington, New Jersey Years

When I was around six years old I, as a shy and homely boy, experienced events that I would later understand to be possibly close encounter related, and at a time when the TV news and newspaper media publicized many UFO reports, including the huge 1952 UFO flap over Washington, D.C. I remember watching the TV network news shows showing the large press conference at the Pentagon. It was around the time I saw Saturday children matinee movies in the local Castle and Sanford theaters such as “The Day the Earth Stood Still,” “Destination Moon,” “War of the Worlds,” “Red Planet Mars,” “Invaders From Mars,’“ “It Came From Outer Space” in 3-D, “Forbidden Planet,” “The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects” and “Earth Vs. the Flying Saucers.”

Here I will cite some examples of my experiences, the weight of which led to my creating S.P.A.C.E. with other close encounter witnesses, variously called abductees, contactees and experiencers, or simply witnesses, in March 1992.

“You are not my father…”

I was born in Irvington General Hospital in the New Jersey Township of Irvington, (next to Newark and named after Washington Irving and originally called Camptown) to an Irish-American mother who lost her first child, a girl who was still-born, in her first marriage. When I was born, my father was away in the U.S. Army overseas, and I would not see him for over two years. When he finally came home I told him firmly, at age two, “You are not my father.” The doctor who delivered me disappeared right after my birth, never to be heard from by anybody ever again, a mystery my mother told me and my two younger brothers later as we were growing up. The mystery question is: Where did he vanish and why, right after my birth?

Leprechauns, Morphing and Bi-Location

My younger brothers remember when we were children, a parade of “leprechauns” walked upstairs in a single file and into my bedroom.

During a kindergarten class, I went by myself to the school playground and was engulfed in the thought “I am not from this world, but a visitor,” and felt myself morph into a teen, and through the ages of a lifetime, experiencing a rapidly growing sense of maturity to match those age levels.

When I was around seven, living in “the barracks,” a housing development of former Army wood barracks for returning war veterans, I once was riding my tricycle, when I suddenly realized I was floating a few stories above where I was riding. Suspended in the air, I looked down on myself sitting on my tricycle, looking back up at myself up in the air. I was in two places at once; on the ground and in the air, consciously experiencing this from both perspectives. I do not know what happened after that, except that I was definitely rising up in the air. Much later I learned that I had a bi-location episode.

Paralysis and Missing Time

Around the time when I was in second grade, the school dismissal bell rang and the students and teacher left the classroom. I remained in my seat, unable to move, suddenly paralyzed except for my eyes, noting it was exactly 3 p.m. The teacher returned, saw me sitting there and unable to move or talk. She contacted my parents, who brought me home, and they called the family doctor, who came right over. My father’s father was there as well. The doctor found nothing physically wrong with me, and my grandfather, who I was closer to than my father, talked with me saying my paralysis was all in my mind. Soon after he said that, I was able to move and talk again.

Another time as a child, I played “spaceship” with other boys and girls as the ship’s pilot, moving towards the grassy area above Camptown Creek that flowed through Irvington where I lived behind the public housing project for low-income families. I do not remember what happened next. Being a shy, withdrawn, insecure and homely child, this was an unusual action for me, playing with other children like this. Another time at a Halloween Party for children, I was beckoned down into the basement and experienced a “missing time” episode, after which I ran upstairs and outside in a high-pitched frenzy.

Growing up I watched a lot of children’s TV shows, and appeared with my brothers in the “Howdy Doody Show,” the “Peanut Gallery,” and on Uncle Fred Sayles “Junior Frolics” where I introduced my brothers and myself. I also appeared on Sonny Fox’s “Wonderama,” and was in the studio audience with my family at the filming of an episode of “The Honeymooners.”

Among other favorite TV puppet shows was “Johnny Jupiter,” a program about a friendly alien from Jupiter and his robot, who befriends an earthling. They would appear on a TV screen rigged by the earthling called Mr. Duckworth. One night I had a lucid dream around that time of Johnny Jupiter appearing not on a TV screen, but at my bedroom window, coming into my room through the window to take me into space.

Childhood Astral Projections and Craft with Beings

At age 10, I had an odd vivid, lucid dream or out-of-the-body experience, finding myself floating away from Earth, rapidly flying through space with stars all around me. It was so beautiful! I thought, “I must be going ‘home’ out there somewhere in the cosmos.” At that very thought, I rushed right back to Earth and awoke in my sleeping body, which jumped up and down in bed when I “returned.” I truly felt this was a real experience, not just a dream. In those boyhood years I had vivid “dreams” of me being in bed, with three walls around my bedroom with large open windows. In those windows were large faces staring in, looking at me from the darkness outside. There was also the incident of the airship that flew within a couple of stories high near my home over the school playground, which was next to “the barracks,” and people in its gondola looked out its window and waved to me.

Continue Reading: UFOs over Washington D.C. and Occupants in France; Astronomy Interests and Two Sightings; Punishment for UFO-Astronomy Interests; Knowledge Beyond the “Appropriate” Age; “Ghost” Sighting; Mysterious Retrograde Satellite; and Mantid Beings

This article is published with the expressed written permission of Harold Egeln for publication on

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Harold Egeln



Egeln founded the S.P.A.C.E. Group and its newsletter in March 1992. In November 1999 he launched the original S.P.A.C.E. website on the world-wide-web, branching out into 20 extensive websites, including four NYC environmental and space exploration science sites, through his Cosmic Ecology Media free public service, until the sites’ host, MSN Web-TV ceased its service to all its customers on Oct. 1, 2013. The new S.P.A.C.E. website, via the Yola-Site service, was launched on July 1, 2014.



Harold Egeln was born and raised in Irvington, New Jersey, and resided and worked in New Jersey until 1982 when he moved to Brooklyn in New York City. He is currently a free-lance journalist and president of the National Space Society’s NYC chapter, the NSS-NYC Space Society, a space exploration advocacy membership nonprofit organization. From 1989 to 2011, Egeln was a full-time staff reporter at various newspapers, including the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, the Home Reporter and Brooklyn Spectator Weekly, the Courier-Life Brooklyn Weekly, and the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce’s newspaper, as well as an environmental topic columnist for “Downtown: Counter-Culture for the 1990’s” alternative biweekly newspaper (1992-95), and “Peace Talk” columnist (1984-89) for the Home Reporter. He has written an estimated 10,000 articles.


Egeln was the executive director, from 1984 to 1989, of NYC office of the National Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy, a large nonprofit peace organization founded in 1957 and now called Peace Action; NYC-SANE had 12 chapters and affiliates in NYC and thousands of members in the city. At that time in the mid and late 1980’s, he was also a board member of The Center for Psycho-social Issues in the Nuclear Age, a NYC-based group of mental health professionals with Egeln being one of only two not in that field. The group’s director was Dr. Harris Peck, professor emeritus of psychology at the Albert Einstein School of Medicine and editor of the “International Journal of Group Psychotherapy.”


The group was in touch with its counterpart in Boston led by Dr. John Mack, prior to his UFO abduction work. Since coming out against the Vietnam War and refusing to take part in all wars and supporting nonviolence while Egeln was a U.S. Army soldier (having been drafted into the service); he have been a peace activist since. He is also a leader in several grassroots volunteer groups, two for which he served as their newsletters’ editor. He was at the Woodstock Festival in 1969, and participated in many national marches against the Vietnam War as a counterculture activist.


In 2005, he worked for the NYC government as a part-time media aide, speech writer and website manager for a City Council member, and in 1993 he was a full-time seminar and workshop planner for the Learning Alliance (not to be confused with the Learning Annex), arranging for presenters to hold classes on social justice issues, various activist causes and new age-type concepts and practices. 

Egeln has appeared on dozens of local and national TV and radio programs, at many conferences, and was a host of “Jobs TV” on Brooklyn community access television in 2006. He has awards from the Bay Ridge Community Council, Fort Hamilton U.S. Army Base and 68th Police Precinct Community Council. He is a member of the National Space Society, The Planetary Society, Peace Action, the Lewis Carroll Society of North America, WQXR-The Classical Music Station, the Smithsonian Institution, and a lifetime member of the Sierra Club.      


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