It appears to be an average Sunday at the San Francisco Public Library. But looks can be deceiving. A homeless man in a black beanie and flannel (nice disguise!) approaches the library security guard. "Sir, is there a pay phone downstairs?" the man asks.
"No, there's one right there, though," the guard says, pointing to a phone on the library's ground level.
"That's a hazard!" the man says, annoyed. "The UFO conference is downstairs. What am I supposed to do if I have to contact the CIA right in the middle?"
The man stamps off in a fluster.
I should've known. This place is probably crawling with undercover agents and hidden cameras. It is, after all, the day of gathering, the day when the spiritual mission of UFOs will be revealed to San Franciscans in their very own library, free of charge. I've been seeing it on posters all over town. Share International, a group founded by British esotericist and author Benjamin Creme – a man with the incredible knack for communicating telepathically with the messiah of the new age, as well as the aliens who are key players in this new era – is about to reveal the secret today.
I've come as medium, a vehicle to report the message to the masses.
Oh, you don't believe in UFOs? That's unfortunate. A group of scientists gathering at the Royal Society recently acknowledged that the probability of extraterrestrials is highly likely. "My clear prediction is that living generations have an excellent chance of seeing extraterrestrial life being detected," said Martin Dominik, an astronomer at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, at the conference.
And his opinion is echoed in many hallowed halls of science. It's just good math. Astronomers estimate that there are somewhere between 100 and 400 billion stars in the Milky Way alone and 70 sextillion (70,000 million million million) in the visible universe. I mean, dude, we've gotta have some partners in crime in one of those solar systems. Oh, so you want evidence? Seems a little like overkill when you've got an esoteric British author who can communicate directly with aliens via the new messiah. But, hey, ignorance is bliss.
Unfortunately, it won't be Creme himself delivering the "UFOs and Their Spiritual Mission" talk today. But it will be Michiko Ishikawa, Creme's co-worker who has lectured all over Japan and the U.S. on the topic, making her a leading expert. The library theater is packed with well over a hundred curious citizens. I'm waiting in the front row. On my left, there are two teenage boys texting frenetically ("actually @ UFO conference – 4reals.") To my right, there's a woman meditating (connecting with the mother ship, no doubt) and a man wearing a red sheet – presumably a nod to Tibetan monastic fashion sense.
Ishikawa takes the podium in a flowing purple shirt. She is calm and collected and doesn't waste any time giving us what we've come for: answers.
Would that I could transcribe her every word, but time is running out to deliver the news. The basic gist is this: The age of Pisces, defined by individualism, is ending, and the new age of Aquarius, defined by sharing (yes, as in Share International), is upon us. This means that the messiah, the one that every religion has been waiting for by different names, has finally returned to earth to bring world peace. Any day now, he is about to reveal himself as simply "Teacher." Soon after, all pollution, poverty, and war will end.
The aliens, who Share likes to call "space brothers" (aliens, I suppose, is a bit derogatory) will also reveal themselves in full form – rather than just those cryptic crop circle and light flicker communications – and they will help with the much-needed restoration of the earth. The space brothers are primarily from Venus and Mars and they are made of light, which is why they're undetectable to most humans. It's also how they can travel between planets in minutes, and how they will save the earth. Since it’s limitless, light energy will solve all of our climate and pollution problems, once the brothers teach us how to harness it.
Unfortunately, the space brothers have been suffering from a coordinated smear campaign by the world governments. Of course. In the limitless light energy paradigm, the old economy will collapse and fear-mongering corporate-controlled governments will lose all power. Afraid of the long fall, the governments have been either denying the existence of aliens or planting stories in the media about green men abducting humans and dissecting them. (Man, I had that suspicion when I saw a special on abductees on Ricki Lake a few years ago, but I was too embarrassed to bring it up. Sweet vindication!)
All lies. The brothers don't need to dissect you. They need to help you. The balance of our solar system requires the health of every planet, and earth is dragging the rest of this interplanetary party down fast. The space brothers have been trying to get us on track. According to Creme, they helped broker the Cuban missile crisis, prevented World War III, and – here's the clincher – made Chernobyl less toxic than it would've been. They've been doing all this behind the scenes, but the time for them to reveal themselves in their true form is nigh. And don't try to stop them. They'll zap your petty human weapon with a bolt of light!
Well, I for one feel a lot more relaxed about the future. I know which side I'm on. But, you know, even though I'm the messenger of this message, being a just-the-facts-ma'am reporter, I have to admit I was hoping for just one credible source besides Creme. Not because I don't believe him, but just, you know, for the skeptics out there, people like my neighbor in the red sheet. He, by the way, upon hearing Ishikawa declare that the messiah had already made television appearances, lost it. "That's not true," he shouted, "that's a lie!" Ishikawa went on to say that "some people will try to impersonate the new world teacher, claiming to be him."
"Why you gotta bring me into this?" the sheet man stammered before fleeing the room.
For hard-liners like him, it would be helpful to, I don't know, have a New York Times article about the space brothers and their teacher. At least a Huffpo blog.
At intermission, there are a lot of emotions in the room. I strike up a conversation, trying to deflect some of the intensity. The first woman I meet has been following Share International for 20 years. "I'm a full believer," she says.
"Why?" I ask.
"Well, I've had some experiences."
"They're a little personal, but you know, the space brothers can take human form. And I've met, say, homeless people who had really personal information about me. I knew it was a message."
"You're Jaimal, right?"
(Wait, how does she know my name? Is she a brother?)
"Yeah, how'd you know...?"
"Oh, I've read your book and some of your articles."
"Oh? Wow." Well this is awkward. I decide not to mention that I'm writing about the UFO conference, but she goes into the subject of media coverage of UFOs anyway!
"The British government just released all these files on UFOs and the BBC covered it in such a snarky way. You know, like the media always does."
"Yeah," I nod with my best poker face. I'm actually in a mild panic. The space brothers are obviously using this woman to tell me that I shouldn't write a snarky piece. (This isn't snarky, is it?)
I excuse myself and walk around. The room seems to be spinning. What if they're all space brothers here? What if I've already been abducted and San Francisco Public Library is the spaceship? I overhear a conversation in which another person is complaining about media coverage. "The articles are all so tongue in cheek," he says.
Ohmygodooooohmygod! They. Are. Heeeeere!
Three days later I get the email with the UFO files attached. It's even more serious than I thought. The documents are spreadsheets of citizen UFO reports from all over the UK. The reports document thousands of sightings. On April 11, 2003, an aircraft captain reported "a ball of fire, very bright, with no color." On July 8, 2003, a policeman reported a "stationary triangular object" hovering for "quite some time." There they are, sighting after sighting, all reporting strange lights in the sky with no explanation. With this and Creme combined, I think we all know what we need to do. We need to divide up the channels among us and all watch TV constantly until one of us recognizes the messiah. (I call dibs on HBO!) Once we know him, things will get much, much easier.
If you're still not convinced, spend some time on Share International's website. There you can find everything from a photo of a hand print of the coming messiah as well as YouTube videos of the space brothers' heavenly appearances all over the world. Creme himself will be speaking in London and Japan, but if you want to view the messiah himself, just turn on the boob tube. (I recommend SNL.) You could be the lucky one to see him first.