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Friday, December 29, 2023

Decemystery (2023) 29: The Light with a Thousand Voices


I’d like to take this moment to say that the header image for this write-up has absolutely nothing to do with the story itself. I had it picked out months upon months ago when this was going to be about a much different case but ultimately decided to hold off on covering it until a future date. However, I loved the close-up image of the owl from the film “The Fourth Kind” so much that I opted to keep it. It’s one of the very few things about that movie I actually like.


Now, why did I go on a paragraph-long tangent about that movie? Well, you see, I have absolutely no conceivable way to introduce this story. With this story, I could not—in any natural way—begin it without forcing the writing process to begin. The only way I could get everything in motion was a tangent; that’s the only way, in my eyes, this write-up could begin naturally.


When I plan out Decemysterys, I like to save the weirdest for last, specifically the final week, since I like to round out the year with a week of extraordinary strangeness. The thing is that this month has had a lot—and I mean a whole dang lot—of weird stories. To try and say that the last week of this month was any stranger than the previous weeks of this month would be ridiculously hard to sell.


I think the perfect example would be one of the first stories we covered this month, that of The Bagodemon. That monstrosity, whether you agreed with my assessment of it being a hoax or not, was said to move around by launching its arm at trees and sticking to them like it was made of gum. To call that “strange” would be like saying the Tsar Bomba was a firecracker.


However, today’s story is one that I cannot begin to introduce to you. It’s not a story that can be “described” or be eased into. It’s something that you just need to experience; you need to read it for yourself in order to bask in the incomprehensible madness that it offers. It sounds like something out of an H.P. Lovecraft story; someone awakes to see a radiant light, and within it, he hears a thousand voices in it.


It was a story I randomly found while combing through NUFORC’s archives. My hope was to find an easy UFO sighting to write about so I could finish this month’s write-ups quickly. Instead, I found… whatever the heck this story was. So come along, dear reader, as we explore the story of The Light with a Thousand Voices!

Blinded by the Light


As stated in the intro, I found this story on NUFORC (National UFO Reporting Center). For the uninitiated, they investigate UFO and extraterrestrial reports; they’re unaffiliated with the United States government. I’ve refrained from explaining what NUFORC is most of the times that I’ve mentioned them this month because their name is self-explanatory. They research UFOs; that’s really all you need to know.


The thing is, this case has absolutely nothing to do with UFOs. At least not directly. As you’ll see later, the eyewitness—whom I will refer to as Marcus for this write-up—might have seen an alien in his room. For now, though, let’s start at the beginning.


Our story took place in Cochabamba, Bolivia, on June 1, 1997, but was submitted on April 17, 2007. Remember this for later, as it’s extremely important. Anyway, Marcus’ tale began at around 1:00 a.m. (hey, I don’t need to tell my 24-hour time-readers what time it was!) when he found himself suddenly awoken. He bolted upright in his bed, which was adjacent to his grandfather’s room.


Why Marcus had awoken, he didn’t know, but he was “sweating and breathing hard.” So, evidently, something scared him awake. Yet, as far as he could see, there was no reason for such an unwanted intrusion on his beauty sleep. Still, he speculated that he “may have been afraid” or sensed imminent danger.


It wouldn’t take long for Marcus’ belief to be confirmed. Shortly after he awoke, his room was suddenly filled with a brilliant light, which poured in from his room’s windows, one of which was directly in front of his bed. Interestingly, this light did not quickly illuminate the room. Rather, it was “much slower” than “conventional light.”


Now, I want to hit the brakes for a moment here because this desperately needs to be addressed. Given that this story is from Bolivia, I’m willing to bet that Marcus’ native language isn’t English. As a result, I’m almost certain that what I’m about to say is a byproduct of that. Nevertheless, I must ask what, exactly, he meant by the light filling his room at a slower speed than “conventional light.”


As most, if not all, of you are aware, light is the fastest thing in the universe. It travels at a speed of 671 million miles per hour (a little over 1 billion kilometers per hour). By all accounts, the light should have filled Marcus’ room instantly. Otherwise, filling it “much slower” is a broad statement since everything is slower than light.


Now, I want to say that what Marcus meant was that the light slowly seeped in, kind of like when you slowly open the door to a dark room. Normally, light would fill a room instantly; you would never notice it filling. It’s just there; you cannot observe it the way you could observe water fill a room.


Should my assumption about the light-into-a-dark-room analogy be correct, this raises an important question: was the light passing through any curtains? Or was the source of said light descending or ascending, since we don’t know where it first appeared?


The only reason I harped on this aspect is my obsession with astronomy; I once wanted to be an astronomer, and there are some details that stick out to me. Light is one of them. While I’m not a scientist, saying that something is slower than light sticks out to me since, as I said before, everything is slower than light.


Anyway, let’s move on from that tangent since I don’t desire to begin repeating myself. Aside from how the light was slower than normal in filling his room, Marcus also noted that it wasn’t blinding. This is arguably the most vital detail when it comes to tying this case to extraterrestrials, as some abductees have mentioned a bright light that doesn’t blind them.


Unlike those abductees, Marcus didn’t find himself lifted out of his bed or transported into a medical room with crazy machinery. Instead, he remained in his bedroom, gripped with terror and finding it increasingly difficult to breathe. He also found that he wasn’t able to call for his grandfather; he attempted to yell, but no sound came out. Keep this in mind for later because it’s extremely important.


Unable to call for help, Marcus looked around his bedroom. He noticed that “the light seemed to suck all the color out of everything,” which left “only a black outline and white where color should be.” I have to admit that I don’t really understand what he meant here, but I want to say that the various objects in his bedroom were represented by black outlines, while everything else was white, like they’d been outlined with a sharpie. If I’m wrong, feel free to let me know, but I think this is what he meant.


After a bit, Marcus was filled with a “terrifying sense” that he was the only one in his home who was awake—and that he wasn’t supposed to be awake. It was at this point that the aliens realized they forgot to fill the anesthesia machine with an anesthetic, and they’d actually filled it with smoke for a fog machine. Silly aliens, you’re gonna make them feel like they’re in the film The Mist!


Joking about criminally underrated horror films aside, Marcus soon heard “what sounded like a thousand people whispering.” Indeed, the title of this write-up wasn’t hyperbole or clickbait. In Marcus’ own words, he could hear the whisper of a thousand people. However, he also likened it to what he imagined “inhumanly large power lines buzzing with electricity” may sound like. I actually looked this up and found a video on YouTube of power lines buzzing (see below), and I can’t imagine that a thousand people whispering sounds anything like it.



After “what seemed like an eternity,” Marcus saw the “shadow of a figure” creep across his window, the “impression” of its body passing by. It was at this moment that Marcus realized that he wasn’t dreaming; he was awake, and this was really happening.


Then, as suddenly as it began, the light receded, plunging his room back into darkness. Once it was gone, Marcus found himself “sweating profusely and cringing.” Being a sensible man, he did the natural thing and wrapped himself in his blankets. At some point, Marcus finally got back to sleep—he estimated it took him “hours” to do so.


All told, this event lasted four minutes. Given the circumstances surrounding this case, that’s quite a while, and I have to wonder how he remembered the amount of time it lasted a decade after it occurred. Unless he was guessing, it’s not stated in the report.


As unfortunate as it is, that’s where the case ends. We’re not told if Marcus ever told any of his friends or family about the surreal experience. That genuinely frustrates me because I have to wonder if maybe someone else in the house awoke at the same time and experienced this but opted not to discuss it. That’s not unheard of—I mean, this case is proof of that—and I wish Marcus told us.


Alas, without anything else to go on, that brings us to the end of this case and the gateway to the theories. Given the vague nature of this mystery, there are a considerable number of theories for us to go over. In fact, I could likely dig through my treasure trove of wild possibilities and have somewhere around 15 if I tried hard enough. However, since I’m writing this the night before this goes up (thanks, procrastination), I’ll refrain from going overboard.


Anyway, without further ado, let’s dive bomb into the theories and have ourselves a grand time!


Theories


1. Aliens


Our inaugural theory is the one that I expected to subscribe to when I first came across this case. After all, I found it on NUFORC, so it would stand to reason that this had to do with aliens, right? Well, let’s take a quick gander at this because I think it warrants a bit of scrutiny.


First of all, the shadow that Marcus saw wasn’t given a clear description. Granted, the way he described it made it sound like he couldn’t discern its appearance. But aliens—especially the classic Greys—have a very iconic appearance. Their heads have to have about 85% of their body mass, and their eyes are large enough that you could mistake them for dartboards if you put little numbers on them. It’d be impossible to mistake them for anything!


Next, I’ve never heard of an alien encounter or alien abduction that involved hearing “a thousand voices.” I’ve heard of telepathically communicating with aliens, but never “I decided to open 1,000 tabs on my computer and listen to 1,000 different songs.” That sounds like an interesting experiment, though, and I have to imagine it would hurt my ears.


Despite those two issues, there is one thing going for this theory—and it’s a major point in its favor. A lot of alien abduction cases involve the abductee seeing a white light—one that’s described as not hurting their eyes. Is it a universal thing? No, but it is a thing that’s been reported.


It’s possible that maybe, just maybe, someone else in Marcus’ house was abducted, and he somehow awoke when he wasn’t meant to. How likely is that? Well, despite my ardent belief in extraterrestrial life, I’ve never been a big believer in alien abduction. I’ve often wondered why aliens would bother abducting random people. However, we do dissect frogs, and I’m sure frogs wonder why we dissect them.


Overall, though, that’s the only way I can see this working. However, I wouldn’t put a whole lot of stock in it—at least, I personally wouldn’t. I’ve never heard of an alien abduction case where someone else awoke in another room and experienced the bright light phenomenon but nothing else. If someone can point me in the direction of a similar case, though, I would be ecstatic to read up on it!


2. A night terror


When I dream, I prefer happy dreams. Take a guess how often that happens. If your answer was “not often,” you would be correct! Have a make-believe bottle of water from yours truly.


Night terrors are those things you get that make the day suck because you slept terribly. They’re intense, scary, and are all around unpleasant. They can be caused by stress and other outside effects. I actually looked up the reasons for them, and there are a lot of causes. No wonder I’m prone to them.


This is easily the most likely theory for a multitude of reasons. The first and foremost reason, in my eyes, is that when Marcus tried to call out for his grandfather, nothing came out. This is a textbook case of “dream logic” and something I’ve experienced more times than I care to count. I either try to say something, yell, or produce any sort of sound, yet nothing comes out. Or, if something does, it’s this weirdly muted noise that reminds me of trying to talk underwater.


There’s also the matter of him regaining control of his body when the light receded. You can argue that the light was some kind of nerve agent employed by aliens, but I’ve woken up when night terrors hit a weird climax. Given Marcus said he saw a weird shadow figure before waking up, and I’ve had similar night terrors that involve scary beings, I’d say that’s a point in the theory’s favor. Though, hey, I freely admit that that’s very biased.


The main flaw with the theory is that you’d think Marcus would know if he was dreaming; he would have likely woken up in a different position, not sitting upright like when he “woke up” the first time. I actually agree, but I believe there’s an explanation for that.


As I said at the start, Marcus submitted his account in 2007. This incident happened in 1997, a decade earlier. That’s far more than enough time to have forgotten a critical detail like waking up from the night terror. If something triggered the memory, it’s possible that he completely forgot it was a dream. Especially if, at the time, he was very young. Marcus never gave his age in the report, so I have no idea how old he was.


Overall, I’d say this theory is extremely likely, but it isn’t the final one. So, rather than prolong this, let’s continue onward.


3. Sleep paralysis


Oh, look, it’s my favorite experience known to mankind. I sure do love to have this. It in no way, shape, or form makes me want to scream until my lungs implode like dying stars.


For those of you who don’t know, I have a very unpleasant history of sleep paralysis. I’ve had it numerous times, and every single time, it makes me miserable the following day. That may explain why I’m such a miserable human being. That, or it comes with having been born and raised in New York. You decide, dear reader!


Because of my history of sleep paralysis, I would consider myself an unlicensed professional in what may or may not be sleep paralysis. The keyword there is “unlicensed,” so don’t take anything I say with any level of doctoral authority—seriously. Even though I’m not actually going to provide medical suggestions or diagnoses, I still don’t want anyone to think I’m an actual doctor.


Sleep paralysis occurs when a part of your brain wakes up, making you aware, but another part is still asleep. So, you’re paralyzed, but not in the sense your spine decided to suck at breakdancing without your permission.


Given the whole “paralysis” thing, it’s unlikely that Marcus jolted awake and then had sleep paralysis. In fact, I don’t even know if you can have sleep paralysis while sitting upright. If you can, the detail Marcus gave about having difficulty breathing is in line with sleep paralysis. That’s a very common symptom of it.


However, I have no idea if it’s common for people to see bright light while experiencing it. I’ve never once had that happen; I’ve seen “sleep paralysis demons” several times, but never anything like this. I don’t want to immediately dismiss everything because I’ve never experienced it, though, so I’d say that there could maybe be a really odd set of circumstances that happened to lead to this happening. But it feels a tad unlikely.


4. A hoax


I’ll keep this theory brief on account of it being extremely self-explanatory. If you don’t already know, I tend to hesitate when labeling something as a hoax if there’s no apparent gain to be had from perpetrating said hoax.


In this case, I cannot think of anything that was gained from it. Of course, it’s always possible it was made up as a joke. Someone may have wanted to see if they could get their story onto a UFO website. Perhaps they wanted to prove to a friend or family member that UFO sites will publish anything.


Of course, there’s no way to prove that. So, like many instances of this theory, it’ll really boil down to whether or not you believe Marcus’ claim. Given the nature of this story, that should be just as easily done as it is said. After all, this story is nothing if not outlandishly fantastical.


5. An angel


This was a theory that I considered nixing, but a friend of mine brought it up, and as a result, I felt more inclined to keep it. I’ve heard of many cases where people say they’ve received messages from deceased loved ones, angels, or even Jesus. Heck, a few claim that God Himself has spoken to them.


These “messages” have numerous explanations. Of course, some believe them to be genuine. I’m a religious man, and I certainly am not opposed to the idea of receiving a message from a deceased loved one. Though I do often wonder why an angel or Jesus would come to a random person to deliver a message, that’s not relevant here.


Another explanation is that these are merely dreams. A lot of these “messages” are received while someone is sleeping. This is sometimes actually presented as proof that the messages are real and that when we dream, we can communicate with higher beings and whatnot. This idea is one that I would love to do a full-blown write-up on in the future, so for now, just understand that you can use it to either disprove these messages or prove them.


The third explanation that I’ll mention, and the final one, is mental illness. In some cases, illnesses such as schizophrenia can result in a person claiming they’ve spoken to God or they can hear God talk to them. It’s, unfortunately, something that’s been known to happen, and it can drive people to do terrible things.


The reason I went over these possibilities is that this theory definitely has some root merit at first glance. Should you believe in this concept, it fits the bill of the first theory. However, there’s one very glaring flaw and one that goes against what people typically claim when they speak with an angel. Namely, they don’t experience an overwhelming fear.


While memes about “Biblically accurate angels” tend to lean into the line “be not afraid,” we can safely say that this wasn’t one of them. If anything, it sounds closer to a demon or shadow person—or sleep paralysis demon that, somehow, got a hold of a search helicopter’s light.


Unfortunately, I know of no story involving someone seeing a demon that not only lasted one night but was anything like this. So, if this was a demonic encounter, it’s truly one-of-a-kind. If it was an angel, then it’s the only time I can think of someone being scared out of their mind after seeing it.


I also have no idea why they heard all of those voices—or the sounds of electricity. The only explanation I can think of is that the angel wished to drive Marcus insane by giving him a thousand messages to deliver to various people. Personally, I think that would be quite a cruel thing to do to someone.


6. An interdimensional being of light


This theory was one I figured I would add primarily for entertainment value; I doubt it holds any water, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t include another “interdimensional being” theory this month. Go ahead, hate me if you will, but I want this year to end on a high note.


As we’ve discussed numerous times this month, the concept of interdimensional beings is one that I certainly view as possible but am usually quite hesitant to subscribe to. With this case, I doubt it’s the answer. I’ve never heard of a case where an interdimensional entity brought a light show with them. Nor am I familiar with any that were this dreamlike.


Of course, it’s possible that this was a one-of-a-kind encounter with a truly wondrous (not to mention terrifying) interdimensional being. However, if you asked me to put money on it, I’d pass. It doesn’t align with what I personally have read and heard in my time researching these types of cases.


7. Light when you’re half-asleep


That’s it; that’s the meme theory. Don’t deny it; you’ve woken up in the middle of the night, and everything feels like it’s a thousand times brighter than normal. Don’t even get me started on noise!


My Take


If you ask me, I think Marcus had an extremely vivid night terror. Speaking from experience, night terrors have a tendency to just begin. I’ve had dreams that have turned into them out of nowhere; shortly before I wake up, something unbelievably horrifying and vivid happens, and I find myself jolting awake. There’s no rhyme or reason; it just happens.


If I had to guess how this all went down, I’d say that Marcus was asleep until the “light” vanished. After that, he awoke. Odds are, he didn’t fully realize it because of his panic. Again, to speak from personal experience, I’ve had night terrors that I’ve woken up from and felt were real. It wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if Marcus felt the same way and still did a decade after the fact when reminiscing on it.


Now, assuming that this wasn’t the case, I really don’t know where I’d fall on this matter. The story strikes me as too bizarre to be a hoax, and it doesn’t align with alien encounters. Unless someone else in the house was abducted, and this was the first case of someone else being woken up by a nearby alien abduction, it doesn’t fit the bill in my eyes.


It doesn’t feel like an angelic encounter on account of the terror Marcus felt. I feel that, if this were an angel, he would have felt at peace and ease. I doubt he would have wanted to scream and run away in a frenzied panic. Unless this was a fallen angel, but I digress. That’s a story for another time.


The sleep paralysis theory, meanwhile, is arguably the most plausible, but I’ve never heard of an episode of it like this. I’ve also had it countless times in my life, and I’ve never had anything like this. Though I’m not the only person on Earth to have had it, so I wouldn’t be shocked to learn if this was something that could happen.


As a result, if I had to have a secondary take, I would settle on sleep paralysis. Maybe some really weird circumstances happened where it produced this odd photo-negative effect, and Marcus ended up seeing Mister Negative. There’s a comic book reference for all you comic fans out there. Take it to the bank and relish in it.


Conclusion


And so, with that, another Decemystery comes to a close; this one was truly one of the most dumbfounding cases I’ve ever come across. To call it wild would be an understatement. But I’ve already spoken enough about what I think and how I feel about it—far more than enough. Yet, in spite of that, I have to admit that I loved writing about it every step of the way.


There are few cases that manage to make me feel as alive and happy as this one did. There was never a moment where I felt bored, frustrated, or eager to just finish it—well, barring how this is being written the day before it goes up. Aside from that, though, this is a case I would love to revisit for the sole purpose of reliving the sheer fun I had with it.


Now, I wish to know what you believe happened to Marcus. Was this a night terror? Sleep paralysis? Aliens? Leave a comment and all that fun stuff. Until next time, stay happy, stay healthy, and thank you for reading!

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