Janet Russell has lived many lives.
The former mail carrier is a mom, a psychic and knows a thing or two about alien encounters. Her expertise is strengthened by personal experience — she says she’s had an encounter of her own.
“My UFO experience started March 27, 1962,” Russell said. “I was 22, very shy, so different than I am now. I was on my way to my doctor. I was 4 and a half months pregnant with my youngest daughter. I was on Route 112 here in Medford.”
Russell said around 6 p.m., an hour before the spring sunset, she looked up and saw a moon that was spinning and changing colors. This happened “right across the street from that diner — the Metropolis diner.”
Curious, Russell said she pulled over and stepped out of the car. The last thing she remembers is looking up. An hour later, she found herself at the doctor’s office, an hour past her appointment. He asked her why her face was sunburned, a question Russell did not know the answer to.
“I lost an hour of time,” she said. “Apparently, when you go through these experiences, our brain is like a computer. It will hold onto everything, but we may not remember it until being regressed.”
The term “regressed,” in this context, refers to retaining the memory of what happened during that time lost.
Russell said she did not “regress” until she was 55. Until then, Russell became increasingly interested in the paranormal, taking classes on the subject. At 55, she saw a flyer in the library about a UFO class.
“I happened to see a group called ‘Star People,’” Russell said. The group is no longer around. “I had no idea what it was about. I saw the flyer in the library about a UFO and since I had this experience, I was like ‘wow.’ I didn’t even know what happened to me. I wasn’t even aware of my experience.”
So Russell went to the class. Group leader Brian Levins, who is now deceased, was discussing “scoop marks,” on the body that some believe to be proof of contact with aliens. When Russell showed Levins a mark she noticed on her arm after her experience, he began to ask her questions about that day. Russell was told to go to Dr. Jean Mundy, a New York psychotherapist whose interests included identifying UFOs. Russell said she only met Mundy once in person, but after Mundy’s death, Russell said she received boxes from her. The boxes were full of letters from around the world about experiences just like hers.
She brought some of those letters to the Vintage Beano and Wine Lounge in Medford to show The Stony Brook Press. The letters, according to Russell, were written around the country and the world, dating all the way back to the 1970s.
One letter, she read to The Press, was from a man who had been living with his parents in Illinois after being separated from his first wife. The man, who worked for the U.S. Postal Service, sent a letter to Mundy in 1988, though the experience he recounted took place in the mid-1960s. Russell requested his name be kept private.
“I believe it was a Monday evening,” the man wrote. “I felt restless to go out. I took a tranquilizer at about 7:30 p.m., when being really shy and an intense introvert. I found that they greatly facilitated my interacting with the ladies. I drove to Danville, Illinois, about six miles away from my parent’s rural home, probably had a hamburger somewhere. Not seeing anyone in town, I drove down Illinois Route 1 seven miles to a Wide Spot in the Road, known for its closing hours.”
After drinking half a Budweiser, the man said he left the bar at 9:15 p.m. He had fun speeding on the winding, gravel road as he headed home. Then, he noticed lights.
“Damn!” he wrote. “The light came from a very earth-bound source: The law.”
After heading to the county precinct for an intoxication test with the police and being released, the man started driving towards his house again. That’s when he wrote he saw a light source in the sky.
“I have been truly afraid only a few times,” the man wrote. “But I’ve never known before or since the instant terror which swept over me as I fixed my eyes on the light. The wave of emotion came immediately with the recognition that the light was not a star or planet.”
He wrote that he stopped and stared at it to make a judgement as to whether it was an aircraft or something else entirely. “I instantly knew what it was, and I was petrified with absolute, almost-pants-wetting-fear.”
“I had often spoken and dreamed about having an encounter with aliens, but falling into a fit of sheer terror that paralyzed my mind had not been on my mental agenda,” he wrote. “My evening had been filled already. It was a terror which shut down all my rational brain. By accepted convention, I was due to pick one: flight or fight. I did neither.”
His body continued to carry on its duty of driving the car as he gripped the knob of the window crank very tightly.
“I just drove on towards the light with the single-minded idea locked into my mind that once past it I would be okay.”
And at first, as the man walked into his home, he thought this to be true. But when he got inside and looked at the clock, he noticed the time was 1:20 a.m.
This was strange to the man because he believed by the time he got back to his car, after his intervention with the police, that he would have been heading home by 10:45. He thinks he lost two hours and 35 minutes of time.
He noted in the letter his experience was similar to other cases he had read about. Russell said she had a very similar experience of blacking out.
“Through the regression I saw, actually saw, myself being taken up into the ship,” Russel said. “I remember that through the regression my mind was as clear as it is now. The first thing I saw was what looked like a reptilian. Now, I’m only 4’ll”, this thing was huge.”
“It’s funny,” she added. “Every time I tell this story it brings it right back to reality.”
She said the reptilian had a pointer, something a teacher would have. Then he poked her in the arm, the same place where she has the “scoop mark.”
“From there, all of a sudden these two grays showed up,” she said. “I call them snowmen because they were white and had big eyes. I didn’t know, you know? They talked to me, but they didn’t talk to me verbally, they talked to me more intuitively. They kept saying to me, ‘We’re not going to hurt you, don’t worry, don’t worry, don’t worry.’”
She said another being showed up, which looked like another reptilian. The being reminded her of a movie usher. As she was led through the ship, she saw a pink room filled with 20 incubators, “10 on the top, 10 on the bottom.”
In each incubator, she said, there was an embryo. As she walked, she noticed that they became more and more human-like in each incubator, until she saw that the twentieth one had a baby girl.
“In my regression, I was sobbing,” she said. “She was white-looking because, you know, she had no exposure to the air. She had beautiful eyes, but they were shaped like an alien. I remember crying, ‘She belonged to me, she belonged to me.’ Now when I was pregnant with my daughter, they thought I was pregnant with twins. I don’t know.”
The last room she recalled going into was a “long room, it reminded me of a courthouse. Three beams on one side, three beams on the other side. In the center, if I ever knew what God looked like, the most handsome man.”
But as she got closer, she saw he was a hologram. Russell said they then put a wire in her arm and told her in their language she would receive information that would be retrieved when she was ready.
“I find people that have had experiences are more open and aware,” Russell said. “I find most of the people are very big into healing and helping others, not into me me me me.”
Today, Russell can be found sitting in coffee shops, like The Bean in Patchogue, guiding people through her psychic readings. She believes this calling may be a gift from God.
“In 1993 I suffered congestive heart failure, I had two heart attacks,” Russell said. “I actually had my last rights, I was at Foxwoods playing bingo, thought I was having a stomach virus, but I always believed in God and there was a picture of Jesus in the ICU with his hands stretched out and I looked and said, ‘Well I guess you have my attention now.’ And I actually saw myself in the palms of Jesus’ hands. And the next day the doctors were like, ‘We don’t know why you are alive’ and I was like, ‘Well I guess I have a path and whatever it is it’s not up to me, it’s whatever the universe and God wants.”
Years later, in 2008, she flatlined for 14 seconds because 98% of her heart was blocked.
“That hasn’t stopped me,” Russell said. “I’m 79 and I’m still going, you know?”
As she packed up her boxes at the Vintage Beano Lounge, she said goodbye to the owner, who she knows quite well because of the events she attends there. At 79, her circle of friends continues to grow, along with the knowledge she continues to obtain. An interesting and unique life, much of which she credits to her alien encounter at age 22.