Phil Krapf’s story contains elements of both the standard contactee and abductee scenarios that have been widely reported for more than 50 years, and is a good example of how, as abduction researcher Budd Hopkins once said, “You do not find the UFO phenomenon, the UFO phenomenon finds you.”
“I come from a fairly straightforward, mainstream background,” Krapf said. “I was in the army, went to college and got a job on a small newspaper in 1963. I worked there until 1968, and was managing editor by that time. This was in San Fernando , California . Then I joined the Metro copy desk at the Los Angeles Times in the downtown newsroom and stayed there for 25 years, until 1993.”
Krapf shared in a group Pulitzer Prize awarded to him and his co-workers for their coverage of the 1992 Los Angeles riots. He then took early retirement and is now 74-years-old. His interest in UFOs did not begin until he’d been away from the paper for a few years.
“I never was interested that much in UFOs or UFO stories,” he said. “I’d seen them occasionally and didn’t think much of them. I didn’t really believe in them. I’m not a spiritual person or a superstitious person.”
But the reality of UFOs made itself apparent for Krapf in 1997.
“It was June 10,” he said. “I went to bed and awoke on June 11, early in the morning. I found the room bathed in an eerie kind of light, an iridescent kind of light. I thought that was strange. I looked at my window, because there’s a streetlight out front, but the drapes were drawn, so it wasn’t coming in from there. I got up to go over to the wall switch to turn on the bedroom light, and as I made my first couple of steps, at that point this beam of light focused upon me.
“Again, this is very strange,” Krapf continued. “And the next thing I know—it was just a matter of split seconds, no more than a second or two—suddenly I’m standing in front of this group of very strange creatures. I knew at the time that my mind was working quite logically. As a matter of fact, it surprised me. I was wondering why I was not screaming out in hysteria, which I think would be the normal human reaction. But it was explained to me later that the beam of light had a calming effect on me.”
The strange creatures, whom Krapf came to call the Verdants, were similar in many ways to the standard gray aliens, with some interesting differences.
“They’re certainly bipedal,” he said. “But if you saw one walking down the street you would know that it was not human. I didn’t know anything about the grays when I had my experience. But they do resemble the grays to a certain degree, or the caricatures you see of the grays on novelty items or in magazines, based on the descriptions of other people. The grays apparently have these big bug-like eyes, whereas the Verdants, their eyes are proportional to their face, the same as human eyes are proportional to their face. They are slightly almond-shaped; there is kind of an Asian cast to them.
“They’re quite short,” Krapf continued, “small, five-two to five-four I believe. Thinly built. They’re on the very slender side. They have no visible protrusion of the nose. There are what look like a couple of nostrils there, so I guess the sinuses and workings are inside. The lips are very thin, and I saw no teeth. When they talk, I saw no lip movements and no tongue movements. People ask me, were they speaking to you telepathically? I said I don’t know. I presumed that they were speaking to me orally.”
In any case, Krapf found himself removed from the comforts of his bedroom.
“So I was still rational,” he said, “and it just dawned on me very quickly, almost like an epiphany, that I had been taken from my bed and these were aliens and I certainly was on a ship somewhere. I accepted that intellectually. I had to grapple with it emotionally later, but again I was operating pretty well emotionally also. The stories that I’d read about these abductions, the few that I’d seen, usually seemed to involve medical procedures of some sort. I was so intellectually stimulated that I was quite willing to submit to an examination in exchange for a tour of the ship. I’d like to take a look out of one of the portholes—and there were portholes.”
Krapf looked around and saw he was in a very large room with hundreds of people laid out on examination tables. But the Verdants Krapf had encountered had brought him there for another reason.
“They took me to another part of the ship,” he said, “and they explained to me that they were on the verge of trying to establish diplomatic relations with the governments of the Earth. They were recruiting I guess various people, leaders in all kinds of human endeavors, almost anything you can think of—from the military, medicine, law, engineering. They said they had something like 800 of what they called ‘ambassadors.’ When the contact was made, these ambassadors were supposed to use their prestige and influence to prepare, to serve as liaisons for the Verdants. They were recruiting these high-level people.”
As often happens, when an abductee feels he has been charged with a mission of some kind, Krapf immediately pointed out his unworthiness, protesting that he was just a retired ex-newspaperman. The Verdants informed him that they also required the services of what they called “deputy envoys” to play supporting roles in the establishment of contact and that Krapf’s particular duty would be to write a white paper outlining in general terms how the contact would proceed.
“They wanted to have some kind of reference guide,” he explained, “when the contact did begin because all kinds of information would be coming out fast and furious and it could be very, very complicated. People probably could not keep up with everything that was happening. So the white paper was supposed to be an explanation of the general plan that people could go to to interpret what they saw going on around them.”
Krapf was given the choice of accepting or rejecting the position as deputy envoy, and ultimately decided to accept. He spent the next 72 hours in conference with his recruiters (a term he prefers to abductors) with about a dozen Verdants present. At one point, Krapf asked the inevitable question, why now?
“They said they do this with other civilizations that they contact,” he said. “Once a civilization has reached a point where it’s on the verge of going into deep space, they like to make contact at that point because they do not allow any savage or warrior-type races, species, to go into space. And they have the means to prevent that. Now, people say that we’ve already been in space, but actually we haven’t. I mean, we’ve gone to the moon, we’ve sent a probe to Mars, but we’re still stepping out of the house. We’re still on the doorstep. We haven’t even gotten to the garden gate yet. They’re talking about deep space, where we or any warlike, hostile species could pose a threat to its planetary neighbors.”
Krapf eventually wrote the white paper the Verdants had requested and added information on some of his personal experiences that had happened when he was on board their ship. The material was later published as his first book, “The Contact Has Begun,” in 1998.
A second journey to the Verdants’ ship led to meeting some of the human ambassadors Krapf had been told about earlier. He recognized one high-level human, but declines to say who he was.
“I met him coming down one of the corridors,” he said. “He was taking a tour and I recognized him right away. It wasn’t like he was the president or anything like that. I’m not sure most people would have recognized him, but I did because I read the newspapers. We chatted for a few minutes and he said it was a wonderful experience and that he was on his way back. He asked me how long I’d been there and I said I’d just gotten there. He said, ‘Well, you’ll enjoy it.’ So he was one of the ambassadors and he was being briefed as well.”
Some of the human ambassadors Krapf spoke to on that second trip were mildly critical of Krapf’s work up to that point, saying he didn’t take his assignment seriously enough and made too many flippant remarks in interviews about his book and the coming Verdant contact. In spite of Krapf being a bit miffed about the criticism in return, the issue was resolved to everyone’s satisfaction. The second trip resulted in Krapf’s next book, “The Challenge of Contact,” published in 2001.
In March of that year, Krapf was in Laughlin , Nevada , where he met an ambassador he felt he could trust.
“Of course, when I first told my story,” he said, “a lot of people contacted me and claimed that they were ambassadors, too. I don’t want to be harsh about it, but some of them were obviously fooling themselves. They might have been delusional or something. Others might have had some scam in mind. But none of them could pass muster with me, because I asked them questions that they would know if they were on the ship and they couldn’t answer me. There were a number of those.
“But this one woman in Laughlin , Nevada ,” he continued, “she passed muster right away. There was no doubt in my mind that she’d been on the ship, she was an ambassador. She told me at that time that a date for the contact had been set and it was to occur at the beginning of the following year, 2002. But she said I couldn’t release the information yet.”
In August, Krapf got the go-ahead from the ambassador he had met in Laughlin to go public with the story of imminent contact and began to craft a press release to announce it to the world. Then the terrorist attacks of 9/11 happened, and Krapf was immediately brought back to the Verdants’ ship.
“I stayed for about half an hour,” he said, “and I was told that the contact had been put on hiatus because of these attacks. I pointed out to them as they had pointed out to me that we had a history of hostility and violence and there were terrorist things going on all the time. Why this particular incident should trigger such a response was curious to me. I didn’t quite understand it. But then they explained that if such an attack had happened in almost any other country in the world, it wouldn’t have the same repercussions that it would have in the United States . But because of the United States being the most powerful nation, with all its weapons stockpiles, this was really, really lighting the fuse. With us, there was the threat that the world could blow up because we had the capability of doing it. So I was told that that’s why it was canceled at that point.”
Meanwhile, a second kind of contact had been taking place in Krapf’s life. The ex-newspaper man began to realize he had a guardian angel named simply Paul who had been observing him throughout his life. Krapf said he had first met Paul, a very human-looking presence who seemed to be in his 30s, while on board the Verdants’ ship. Paul is a peripheral character in “The Challenge of Contact,” while Krapf’s most recent book, “Meetings with Paul,” is devoted almost exclusively to their relationship.
In 2001, Paul, who has the ability to be physically incarnate as well as to appear only as an apparition, manifested himself to Krapf and said that he needed some counseling.
“He was worried about my health,” Krapf said. “I think that he quite frankly thought that I was suicidal. I assured him that I was fine. I was depressed because of 9/11 as all Americans were. Sleeping pills and alcohol and tranquilizers and the sale of everything else like that went up. Americans were traumatized and I was traumatized too.”
But Krapf said there was a second level of depression that was felt by thousands like him who were disappointed that the longed for contact had been postponed because of the terrorist attacks.
“That was an additional burden we had to bear,” he said. “So Paul and I talked. Our meetings went on for about 18 months, and the book basically covers my personal dealings with him. Not so much his wisdom and scholarship that he passed on to me, or tried to pass on to me, more just a series of adventures. I got out of my funk pretty soon.”
Krapf kept a diary of his meetings with the angel and it was published as the aforementioned “Meetings with Paul.”
On one occasion, Paul took Krapf on an astral journey to a kind of alien cocktail party.
“I’d never heard of astral travel before,” he said, “but that’s actually what it was. We were talking in the backyard one night, just lounging around, looking at the stars. I’ve always believed there’s life out there. Although I never really embraced the concept of UFOs and aliens being here. But the cosmos is simply too large. It boggles the mind to think there isn’t life out there. So I was talking about the civilizations out there with the billions of people, billions of creatures, going about their regular routines. I was wondering what their houses were like, if they have houses, and their civilizations, what they’re like. So Paul invited me to go for a trip.
“And I thought he was just kidding. I said, ‘Okay, you bring the spaceship around and I’ll go tell my wife we’re going to be off for a while.’ He said, ‘I’m serious.’ He had me lie back and I don’t think he hypnotized me because I don’t think I can be hypnotized. I’m not much of a believer in hypnotism. I’m not sure it’s something that can be scientifically done.
“But the next thing I know,” he went on, “we’re aboard a spaceship and we’re with these strange creatures and it’s a social setting, a social situation. I was going back and forth between whether or not I was really there or whether my body was still back on the patio but I was there. You know what I mean by I? My consciousness was there. I couldn’t quite make up my mind. But that was one of the adventures we had.”
While Krapf continues steadfastly to be an atheist, he does have a possible explanation for Paul’s spiritual benevolence.
“I wanted to know,” Krapf said, “whether everybody has a guardian angel and Paul said yes they do. It is easy to imagine that of all the billions of galaxies out there, some of them may contain star systems with planets like ours. And of those maybe a thousand might have civilizations on them. And of those civilizations, there might be one in which the inhabitants have a full, long, rich life. But perhaps there is something missing. Perhaps they’re unfulfilled.
“There are missionaries on Earth,” he continued, “who go out to less fortunate people and minister to them. I was thinking that they wouldn’t necessarily minister to us, but let’s say they are these very altruistic people who take it upon themselves to guide other creatures through their lives, to look after them, to guard them in some way. To me, that’s not beyond the realm of possibility.”
Krapf posed still another question to Paul and got an interesting answer. How much influence does a guardian angel really have on people’s everyday lives?
“And he said, ‘It’s hard to quantify, but we’re there. Sometimes we’re there in periods of crisis and other times we can not be available for months on end.’”
Paul suggested a method for demonstrating how necessary his help was: He would stay out of Krapf’s life for a little while. The two agreed on a three month testing period. Krapf was immediately burdened nearly to distraction by a series of obstacles that happened quickly and with no easy solutions. For example, he was harassed by an officer of the law and falsely accused in a hit and run driving accident. (He was eventually cleared of any wrongdoing by the alleged victim’s insurance company.) Also, his bank somehow lost track of many thousands of dollars from an account Krapf maintained. Instead of dealing with these problems in a clearheaded manner, Krapf discovered that the stress from these and other similar frustrating incidents was quite debilitating.
“I realized that it might be possible,” he said, “that it was just a coincidental cluster or that I was subconsciously doing it to myself. Or it could be that, yes, maybe it was the lack of Paul’s influence on my life. I just had had enough. So I said, ‘Paul, if you’re around, come back. I can’t take this.’”
Along with demonstrating how necessary a guardian angel can be to one’s sense of well-being, Paul also pressed Krapf to try to develop his skills with telepathy.
“Supposedly I have some telepathic powers,” Krapf said. “Supposedly all people have telepathic powers, but they are undeveloped. Paul told me to practice my telepathy and I practiced and practiced. I really quite frankly didn’t think I got anywhere with it. Although I supposedly made contact with one particular person. He was a kid named Marco.”
Krapf first met Marco on a train ride to Los Angeles accompanied by Paul. At the trains tation Krapf met a man who he had been in contact with periodically after they met at a UFO conference where Krapf had been speaking.
“We weren’t great friends or anything,” Krapf said. “All he wanted to do was talk about UFOs. He was obsessed with that. It got quite tiresome, frankly. But we got to talking about star children that are supposedly hybrids between humans and some extraterrestrials. I didn’t know anything about it. I thought it was a little farfetched, but then again, what do I know?”
Krapf and his acquaintance spent several hours that day conversing and Krapf was introduced to the man’s son, who he claimed was a star child.
“He was an extraordinary boy,” Krapf said. “There’s no doubt about that. Quite handsome, well-educated and very articulate.”
It was explained to Krapf that the man and his wife had been unable to conceive a child of their own. During one of the wife’s contact experiences, she was offered to conceive and bear a child with DNA from an extraterrestrial. They were told the child would look human and would be quite normal. After the couple talked it over, they decided to take the aliens up on their offer and Marco was born as a result.
The story goes on from there. Having met Marco and being thoroughly impressed with his intelligence, Krapf continued to practice his telepathy with no measurable result until an incident took place in Colorado sometime later. A middle-aged woman who had heard Krapf lecture at a conference there approached him and convinced him to have a drink with her.
“She was kind of a fan, I guess,” Krapf said. “I’m not much of a drinker, but she was putting it away pretty good. I got a little tipsy and kind of lost my judgment a little bit. Things were heading toward some inappropriate behavior. At that point, this message came into my head loud and clear for me to get out of there. I thought that was pretty good advice, so I got the heck out.”
To this day, Krapf does not have a ready explanation for what happened.
“I really don’t know how telepathic messages are received,” he said. “Are they received through your auditory system in a way that only you can hear? Or does the signal come as thoughts to your head, as clear as if you were reading something from a page?”
In any case, Krapf said he does not doubt that he heard the voice of Marco urging him to leave the situation with the woman in the bar.
“In fact, I jumped,” he recalled. “I thought someone behind me had spoken to me but I was the only one who heard it. Whether it came through my auditory system, just for my benefit alone, or whether it was just in my head—I don’t know. I can’t answer how telepathic messages are sent and received. I know that I practiced for quite a while and I was told that I would become fairly proficient at it, but [except for the experience with Marco] I don’t think I ever did.”
And where is all this headed? What do the Verdants and Paul have in store for Krapf?
“They kept telling me, ‘There’s important work ahead of you,’” Krapf said. “I don’t know what that means. I’ve asked, but have never gotten a clear answer. I think it most likely has to do with the contact, but at this point I’ve been so out of touch with the Verdants. It’s been years now since the hiatus, since the postponement. I hope it’s just a postponement and not a cancellation.
“I have to assume that after all these years, some of these people have retired and are no longer capable of carrying out what they volunteered to do. Some of them obviously have died; they weren’t all young. Are they recruiting new ambassadors to replace the old ones? Have they abandoned all the ambassadors and decided to start from scratch again? I don’t know. I haven’t been kept informed but I hope I’m still in the loop. From what I know of these people, and I can call them people, I found them trustworthy and honest and moral. I just don’t think they would walk away unless I’ve been really fooled or they’ve got some nefarious schemes that I don’t know about.
“But I don’t think they would just walk away without telling me,” Krapf went on. “Their lifespan is about 20,000 years in Earth years, six or seven thousand of their years, so a few years of our time is not very long. It’s just not a significant portion of there lives. Whereas for us, a ten year wait is a significant portion our lifetime. I’m still waiting. I’m still biding my time, hoping something will happen.”
So the Verdants have apparently absented themselves for the time being. Meanwhile, Paul has not appeared in a visible form since Krapf first submitted his diary of their meetings, which became the manuscript for “Meetings with Paul,” to his publisher at Origin Press, Byron Belitsos. Krapf has declined to accept any royalties from Belitsos for his books, saying he prefers to see the money funneled back into the company. As Krapf rightly declared, no one can say he’s in it for the money.
Will the world ever satisfy the Verdants that we are ready to leave our planet and join them in peacefully traveling in deep space?
“I was hoping,” Krapf said, “that after this warmongering administration got out of office that things might change. We’ll see what the new administration brings and what the world looks like as time goes by. So in the meantime, I wait.”
By Sean Casteel, this article was first published in “UFO Magazine,” Issue #150, in 2009