By Steve Hammons
Leading-edge research into human consciousness and other forward-leaning topics continues to produce interesting results.
Sometimes these efforts are conducted by university researchers, sometimes by secret government groups, sometimes by some combination of both.
The U.S. Government's Project STAR GATE verified and utilized expanded perception that they fine-tuned into specific techniques they called "remote viewing."
There are other sensitive and sometimes unconventional topics that are reportedly the focus of scientific, defense and intelligence community interest. Many of these subjects are also naturally of interest to the general public, journalists and the media as a whole.
And, there has been speculation that some people feel that the appropriate amount and type of disclosure and education are important, while others believe certain information should remain secret.
We can learn about many of these subjects in open-source platforms such as the Web, books, TV and movies.
As we know, many kinds of useful information can be conveyed through fiction in movies, TV, novels and other media platforms. NBC's new TV show "The Event" seems to be one of these platforms. Other TV programs and movies over the years are also good examples.
Below is an excerpt from my novel "Mission Into Light," first published in January 2001. This excerpt is the climax of the story about a ten-person secret joint-service U.S. team called the Joint Reconnaissance Study Group (JRSG).
In the excerpt, JRSG members and their associates travel to northeastern Arizona from their home base in San Diego for a discreet and unconventional educational meeting.
Book cover of "Mission Into Light"
JOE BEAR'S SEMINAR
Army Special Forces Colonel Jack Allen, anthropology professor Brenda Carruthers, PhD, and World War II Marine Corps Navajo Code Talker veteran Joe Bear sat around a table in a small restaurant and bar near Northern Arizona University in downtown Flagstaff. Jack and Brenda sipped on beers and Joe on an iced tea.
Before sitting down to lunch, they had walked around the area near NAU and downtown. The City of Flagstaff had recently refurbished the area with brick sidewalks and old-fashioned lamp posts. It looked like the Western mountain town it was. The frontier era railroad station nearby had been remodeled into a visitors center.
After they ordered lunch from a young waitress, the three discussed the Joint Reconnaissance Study Group.
Jack had talked with the JRSG commanding officer, Air Force Col. Tom O'Brien that morning.
"The group from San Diego is due here soon," Jack told them. "Mike and Amy are coming in from Hawaii the same day and hooking up with Thompson and MacNeil in Phoenix. I guess they're driving up I-17. They've got rooms reserved at the inn we're staying at."
Joe had driven to Flagstaff the day before from his home on the Navajo Nation. He was looking forward to the upcoming deployment of the JRSG people to northern Arizona. The forests in the mountains around Flagstaff were beautiful and Joe knew that trees and forests set a good environment for spiritual events.
Flagstaff was a jumping off point for visitors and travelers who were headed for the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Meteor Crater, Canyon de Chelly, and many other such sights. At over six thousand feet, Flagstaff was home to Lowell Observatory.
The San Francisco Peaks formed a jagged circle of rock and alpine forest. The peaks were reportedly the remnants of a blown-out volcano of ancient times. Joe would make sure the group had a thorough tour of the whole area. It was good land. Spiritual land.
Brenda and Jack had been in Flagstaff for two weeks, taking a traveling vacation, hiking, and seeing sights. Brenda had a female friend who was an associate professor of anthropology at Northern Arizona University. She and Jack had spent some time with her since arriving in Flagstaff.
They had gone to the Grand Canyon already, and had also seen Meteor Crater to the east. The two had spent a lot of time together since the Sedona incident. Jack was working out of Fort Huachuca and could drive over to Las Cruces often, where Brenda was an anthropology professor at New Mexico State University. Brenda also drove to the Army post more than once to see Jack.
She liked Flagstaff and this Northern Arizona country. Much of the land around Flagstaff was part of the Prescott, Coconino, or Kaibab National Forests. The town was growing, like Prescott to the southwest. She wanted to get a good recon of the whole area.
"Joe, what else should we see while we're up here? When are we going to your country?" she asked.
Joe wanted to show them some of Navajo land himself. Jeep guides could be hired on the reservation for some of the good tours of isolated canyons and beautiful rock formations.
"I'll point you toward Navajo National Monument and Canyon de Chelly National Monument to start out," Joe answered. "Then you can get oriented and go on some jeep tours if you want. You two can be the point scouts for the rest of the group."
Jack was thinking about a lot of things as he watched Brenda and old Joe chatting. The JRSG folks were coming up into the Arizona mountains again. Like the day his nephew Mike, a Joint Recon Study Group member, was almost killed.
Through his connections in the Special Forces intelligence community, he had identified the shooters and the shadowy off-the-books national security group they represented. That group had been scared by Tom O'Brien's team's orders to investigate areas that were very sensitive and complicated.
Jack wondered what measures that black ops group had taken over the years to keep secrets and silence witnesses. Because of his background and duties, he´d had been able to establish indirect communication with them. He had handled it all very carefully. Snipers' bullets or other threats shouldn't be a problem, he hoped.
Just in case though, he took precautions.
The waitress brought their sandwiches and the three kept chatting between mouthfuls.
Jack had an idea what Joe's council was about. In Special Forces and certain psychological operations (PSYOP) research, Jack had seen the power of group thinking. Just getting certain people together in the right circumstances can set the stage for interesting phenomena, Jack knew. And old Joe seemed to have a keen interest in the JRSG and its potential.
In fact, Brenda did too. The JRSG reminded her of the work she had done for Jack and Tom O'Brien years ago as a newly-minted anthropology PhD. She had been full of optimism about what these kinds of research could uncover. The years had made her more patient about what the future held.
Jack knew more than either one of them about the path O'Brien's group was on. He, too, was a patient man.
His nephew Mike, and all the others, might just be the combination to unlock a new secret. From briefings and trainings on unconventional phenomena, Jack's mind had been opened years ago about what humans could accomplish in the area of metaphysics.
If your heart was on the right path, certain knowledge and perceptions sometimes became apparent, Jack had found.
"So, Joe, you're bringing some VIP guests in for this council of yours?" Jack asked as he munched his French fries.
"Yes. Code Talker friends, some Indian folks, and some others. Some former government officials, and some special intel types too. I want it to be a retreat and seminar to see what we can find out. See what happens." Joe smiled and his old eyes lit up with delight. "The Lord moves in mysterious ways, you know."
Joe, Brenda, and Jack finished their lunches and took a stroll through downtown Flagstaff. The sky was a deep and cloudless blue, the air cool and dry. They were warmed by the bright mountain sunshine as they walked.
As the three walked around town and the NAU campus, other visitors were arriving in town, here for Joe's council. Two separate teams of U.S. Secret Service agents were setting up operations on two sites. One group had rented the third floor of a local inn. The other team was setting up security in several luxury cabins just outside of town.
A physics professor at NAU was welcoming two colleagues from other universities who were staying with his family during Joe's council. Two former NASA scientists were registering at another Flagstaff inn. More than thirty other visitors for Joe's meeting were arriving or due to arrive within the next forty-eight hours.
Joe was happy that these folks were coming to Navajo land. The Great Spirit was moving this thing, he felt. He hadn't come up with the idea himself. Friends and associates, and their connections and colleagues, had watched the idea of this get-together gather momentum.
Some had called it a "council." Some preferred "rendezvous," like the epic annual meetings in the Rocky Mountains of trappers, traders, mountain men, and Indians from different tribes back in the old days. It was really more of an educational seminar, in Joe's opinion.
They had picked a beautiful spot for the meeting: An isolated, small canyon area where sheep sometimes grazed.
As Joe walked around NAU with Jack and Brenda, he felt a sense of peace and contentment. He was happy to have his health, and his wife and family and friends. At an advanced age, he was still active and was involved in matters close to his heart.
More than sixty-five years after he joined the Marines and went to the Pacific as a Code Talker, Joe was feeling a sense of excitement that reminded him of his youth in World War Two. The feeling of an important mission and a hoped-for victory.
And something else. Jack Allen felt it too. Danger.
Over the next couple of days, quite a few more people came to Flagstaff. Some were there for the meeting. Others were just visiting to get out of the desert heat or for hiking in the pine forests. Maybe take the ski lift up the mountain at Snow Bowl ski area.
The week had wound down and it was Friday, so out-of-towners from Phoenix and elsewhere were starting their weekend getaways. Tourists to the Grand Canyon and Sedona passed through. Parents and friends of NAU students filtered into town.
Tomorrow afternoon and evening the meeting was to take place. Some of the participants and benefactors had contributed money for a large lunch at a motel conference room in Kayenta, a small village on U.S. 160 in the north-central part of the reservation. It was also just north of Hopi land. That would be the jumping-off point for the drive to the hidden canyon.
The planners had reasoned that people coming from Flagstaff could leave early Saturday morning and start driving up U.S. 89 and over U.S. 160 east to Kayenta. From that point, the location of the canyon was a closely held secret. People would be guided and receive instructions at the brunch.
A few more visitors had yet to arrive.
When the big day arrived, a Saturday, lunch was served in the small banquet room of a Kayenta motel. Many of the meeting participants had left Flagstaff early in the morning. Some had stayed in Kayenta the night before.
The agenda for the day listed a schedule of lunch from eleven to one. That would give everybody a chance to make the drive from Flagstaff and enjoy the scenery. At noon, people were still arriving.
Mike, Air Force Captain Amy Mella and the rest of the JRSG and friends had arrived at eleven. O'Brien and Teams One and Three had flown in to the small Flagstaff airport by Navy chopper the evening before.
Over forty-five guests to the meeting arrived, ate, rested, socialized, and discussed the quakes and other issues. By twelve thirty all of the visitors had showed up.
The drive from Kayenta to the meeting site was going to take about forty-five minutes, Joe told them. Maps were given out to drivers. The site of the meeting was to be in a small, little-known canyon. It was in the general direction of Monument Valley to the north.
Mike and Amy were introduced to several of the guests. One man was an engineer at NASA. Another gentleman was a highly-respected physicist. Uncle Jack introduced them to a guy from FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Jack also pointed out two men who were retired Army generals.
Some of the guests had brought their spouses and children. For them, this council was part educational seminar and part family vacation in Arizona.
Joe and Maggie Bear's two grown sons also mingled with the guests. They were there to help their father, the master of ceremonies for this meeting.
A few of the visitors were coming in by helicopter directly from Flagstaff to the canyon meeting place. They'd miss the Kayenta lunch. Two choppers with those guests were heading toward the hidden canyon while other participants were on the ground in Kayenta. Secret Service agents were on board both choppers and had checked out the canyon ahead of time.
At one o'clock, Joe made the announcement that it was time to saddle up and head north on U.S. 163 into Monument Valley country. Soon, the road was lined with a caravan of over thirty vehicles slowly driving north toward the Utah border.
After twenty minutes or so, the lead car pulled off the highway onto a gravel road and those behind slowed and followed. Then, off the gravel and onto a jeep trail that was no more than two faint tire lines in the ground. Luckily, it was flat or some cars would have had trouble off-road.
Another twenty-five minutes after leaving the gravel road, the lead car stopped. Joe and his sons got out and waved to those following to spread out and park.
They were at the mouth of a descending slope that seemed to cut into the surface of the Earth. On either side the ledges and walls grew on the sides of the decline. Rock and desert vegetation on the top. But down in the canyon that lay in front of them, there were trees and green grass.
Mike and Amy stayed with the JRSG people as they got out of their rented cars and joined the others forming at the top of this descending doorway into the small canyon.
With Joe and his sons leading, the group started their hike down the slope. As they went lower, shade from the shadows of the rocky surface above cooled them. They passed through what seemed like a giant doorway of rock shooting up vertically.
Within fifteen minutes, the group neared the bottom. Then, they saw the small canyon floor, with the green grass and trees they had gotten glimpses of from their entrance point above. An underground spring fed the brook that ran through the middle of this tiny oasis. The canyon floor was no bigger than three football fields and the rock walls were steep, sheer cliffs in some places.
Trees provided shade and wild grasses grew to three feet tall. A riparian habitat existed around this small stream in the tiny canyon. Wild animals and birds came from great distances to drink the sweet water coming from the spring.
Once on the canyon floor, Joe and his sons led the group to a large, circular, stone-lined hole in the ground. An ancient kiva had been dug into the Earth. Three concentric rings, also lined with stone, formed ever-widening circles around the round depression in the middle.
It looked like a small outdoor amphitheater with a sunken stage. As the group of fifty or so men, women, teens, and children came up upon this sight, Joe and his sons gestured to them.
"Be seated folks," Joe announced. "This is the place."
There were already some people there – nearly a dozen people. As the group from Kayenta approached more closely, they recognized three of the men immediately.
Two of them were former presidents of the United States. The third man who stood with them was the former vice president of the United States. The other men around them were obviously security. The former vice president had brought his wife and two daughters. The two former presidents were also accompanied by their wives, and some daughters and sons.
Everyone took seats. The JRSG teams sat together. Amy and Mike sat next to Jack and Brenda. Joe made his way to the bottom of the kiva and stood there watching the guests find a seat and get settled. Some of the smaller children, with their little legs, had trouble negotiating the large stone steps.
"Everyone made it in one piece?" Joe asked. "I want to welcome all of you to our meeting. Our agenda is scheduled to last til about seven o'clock tonight. We´ll have several speakers and later on we'll build a campfire here in the kiva."
"My sons are passing out the agenda for this evening. We have several speakers who will enlighten and inspire us and we hope to have a good time. This kiva that we're sitting in is from the ancient times of the Anasazi. They and others lived here long ago and built great towns and cities in the southwest. Specifically, the general area of what's now called the Four Corners. Now, I'd like to start out with a prayer."
"Great Spirit, we gather here today to understand You and to find ways to understand Your Plan. Help us see Your Path and help our fellow human beings and the creatures of our beautiful Earth."
Many in the group murmured softly, "amen."
Mike looked at the sheet of paper in Amy's hand with the agenda printed on it. The first speaker of the afternoon was a retired Army general who had supervised unconventional research projects.
An hour later, after a question and answer period, a NASA scientist was up. His topic was the current state of NASA knowledge that the general public was not yet ready to hear, according to the agenda hand-out.
After a break, a medical researcher would talk about the biological evolution of the human species.
The JRSG's own Tom O'Brien was the last speaker of the evening part of the program. He had kept it from the folks on his team as a surprise. A playful test of security and need-to-know.
Joe introduced the retired general who began his talk by pulling out a common spoon, and holding it gently with both hands. He turned around three hundred and sixty degrees to show his audience. Then he rubbed it gently with his fingers, and slowly, sure enough, the handle of the spoon suddenly started bending until it was at a ninety-degree angle.
The children on the steps clapped and squealed at the magic trick. "We have learned that the human mind has power," the general said. "In fact, the human mind and the human being is developing and evolving all the time. Hopefully, for the better."
The third speaker was an eminent medical doctor and scientist who researched patterns of human development and evolution. "There is a human phenomenon called the 'kundalini' in Yoga that is a biological and neurological event," he said. "The pineal gland, located in the middle of the brain, may be the so-called 'Third Eye' referred to in some ancient literature. We suspect that the kundalini is a real neurological phenomenon affecting the central nervous system, the brain and the spinal cord."
He spoke about a connection between these phenomena and the physics and human potential fields that the NASA scientist and the Army general had explained.
Then something very unusual happened to the people sitting in that kiva, watching the doctor and the campfire.
Each and every one of them, including the children lying with heads in their mothers' laps, lifted slowly and gently approximately two inches from the stone benches of the ancient kiva. Some of them barely noticed it. But soon, they were looking around at each other with eyes open wide.
It was now almost dark and the sun had set. At the same time, a faint light filled the kiva. Everything seemed to have a brighter glow and it seemed warmer.
The speakers, Joe, O'Brien and the rest of them were looking at fifty people hovering. Clearly, they were being levitated by some force. Or maybe gravity was just changing.
People were laughing and talking about it. They put their hands under their behinds to measure the space they were floating above. Some who became anxious touched the rock seat and pulled themselves easily back to Earth.
Some of the JRSG folks were floating on their butts with the rest of the group. Several people were taking pictures to document this thing. The VIPs were floating too. One former president couldn't seem to stop laughing.
When all the fuss settled down, people noticed they were slowly drifting back down to the stones of the kiva. The strange effect, whatever it was, seemed to be going away.
Joe walked out to the center of the kiva and joined the doctor. "Well, that was really something. Everybody okay?"
Joe smiled and shook his head in disbelief. "We have one final speaker tonight and then we'll all hit the road for Kayenta and back to Flagstaff for most of you," Joe said. "Colonel Tom O'Brien is the son of a good friend of mine from my days as a Marine in World War Two. Tom is heading a group of researchers over in San Diego called the Joint Reconnaissance Study Group."
Tom O'Brien walked out into the center of the kiva. "Thank you, Joe. And thanks for having us all here today. This Navajo land is beautiful. We seem to be learning some interesting things here tonight."
"My group of military officers and researchers has been looking to find connections between some of the things we've talked about here."
Uncle Jack touched Mike's shoulder. "We're going to have to miss this part, Mike. I want you to come with me."
With that, Mike got up and followed Jack away from the kiva and the presentation. Amy and Brenda looked at them, then at each other.
Jack was all business. "Mike, I wanted some company while I check on our security. Thompson and MacNeil arranged for some SF reserves to join us. They're on the perimeter for security."
As they walked back toward the slope that led in to the hidden canyon, Jack pointed to three spots along the top cliffs where the reserves were positioned in three groups of two. They could see all areas of the canyon and the surrounding hills and mountainous rock outcroppings.
All were equipped with weapons, night vision goggles and sophisticated radio gear that had secure, scrambled frequencies.
Jack pulled out an earpiece attached to a small microphone from a small knapsack he carried and put them on. He and Mike stopped halfway up the sloped canyon entrance. From their vantage point, the two men at the "Alpha" post were at nine o'clock position. "Bravo" team was at twelve o'clock. And "Charlie" was at the three o'clock spot.
Up on the ridge, as the sky was growing darker, a Green Beret reserve sergeant at the three o'clock Charlie position saw something behind one of the rock formations several miles away across a wide valley.
It looked like a black chopper flying low to the deck. He nudged his buddy. Both pulled out binoculars and searched the rocky cliffs. "Mama Bear, this is Charlie, come in," the sergeant said into his mike.
Down in the kiva, Jack Allen turned up the volume on his earpiece and cupped his hand over his mouth. "This is Mama Bear, go ahead Charlie."
"I think I spotted a bogie, sir. A black chopper north-northeast from this position, low to the deck. I've advised Alpha and Bravo, sir."
"Maintain surveillance, Charlie. Look around for probable infiltration routes to our position. Alpha and Bravo, you do the same. I'll be right back with you. Mama Bear out."
"Roger, Mama Bear. Charlie out."
"Roger that. Bravo out."
As a break in the program came, everyone got up, walked around and chatted. For those who wanted to go to the bathroom, there were trees and bushes. There were still sandwiches and soft drinks left. Many people stretched their legs and walked around the canyon.
Several of the visitors walked over to the two former presidents and the vice-president to shake their hands. Some people asked for autographs, which all three gave with a smile. One former president used his ballpoint pen to autograph a ten-year-old boy's belly.
Jack rounded up the JRSG team members and told them about the scouts' report. Jack and O'Brien were going to advise the Secret Service and Joe.
"Let's just stand by right now," O'Brien told them as they stood in a circle near the stream. "Are any of you armed?"
Hands subtly went up. Jack, Army Special Forces Colonel Ed Thompson, Special Forces captain Bill MacNeil, Navy Commander Dan Wells, Navy Lieutenant Commander Jim Etienne, Marine Colonel Gene Voss, and CIA analyst Jennifer Thorsen all carried side arms under their shirts or in fanny packs. "Well, keep your eyes open," O'Brien told them. "Jack, let's go see the Secret Service."
Night was settling over the Monument Valley area. Wood was added to the campfire and it blazed and lit up the stones of the kiva. Many of the young ones were lying down and drifting asleep.
Up on the ridge at three o'clock, Charlie team was getting tense. Their night vision goggles penetrated the night. "Mama Bear, Mama Bear, this is Charlie. Two intruders on foot heading for your position. Look to be carrying weapons. Repeat, intruders appear to be armed. Over."
JRSG men and women had spread out around the crowd in the kiva. Some had backed into the shadows away from the light of the campfire. Better to see in the dark. They could hear O'Brien's wise words to the guests. Some of the JRSG team nervously fingered their side arms.
Secret Service men had switched the frequency of their communication gear to monitor the Special Forces scouts and Jack Allen.
Jack and several others were now on the ridge above the canyon heading for Charlie team's position. Mike, Ed Thompson, Gene Voss, MacNeil, Jennifer Thorsen, and two Secret Service agents followed in single file along the canyon cliff. They could see the campfire and the kiva down below.
Jack whispered into his radio. "Charlie, this is Mama Bear. We're approaching you from your six o'clock."
The response was barely audible. "Roger, Mama. We have visitors here now. Repeat. Our intruders are inside the perimeter, Mama Bear."
Jack could hear tension in the young sergeant's voice. He whispered again into the radio has he gestured to the others to move faster.
"Bravo, move toward Charlie. Alpha, proceed to the kiva area and assist the Secret Service but keep an eye on your side of the perimeter. We're going to arrest the intruders."
Jack directed Thompson and Voss, the two with the most combat experience, forward with him toward a rock outcropping on the cliff, Charlie team's position.
The three of them came up behind the two young reserves and told them to stay put. The reserves handed over their night vision goggles and pointed to an area maybe fifty yards in front of them. Two dark figures were making their way up the hill straight for them.
The intruders were in a position to see light from the kiva campfire and hear voices from the canyon. It was almost possible for them to see the fifty or so people gathered there.
Jack, Ed, and Gene traded their side arms for the loaded assault weapons from the reserves and set up an ambush. Through the night vision goggles, the two intruders looked like they were heading for the canyon edge in a straight line.
Jack, Thompson, and Voss watched the two men get closer. Were those rifles slung over their shoulders? Looked like it. They were too far away to tell for sure.
Mike and the others waited about twenty yards back. The Secret Service men were listening to their ear pieces intently.
Below, in the kiva, O'Brien was wrapping up his talk with a joke and a prayer. He talked about all the family and friends who had passed on. Hopefully, to a better place. Looking down on them all tonight.
Just then, the ten-year-old boy who had been autographed by the former president yelled "Look!" as he pointed skyward.
Floating silently over the opening in the top of the canyon walls was a large black object that blotted out the stars.
All eyes in the kiva were on it. It didn't seem to make a sound. After their eyes adjusted, all could see that it was either triangle or boomerang-shaped. It just drifted slowly and silently.
The people on the ridge above saw it. A Secret Service man crouching next to Mike whispered excitedly into his radio. "Big, dang UFO coming your way, Colonel Allen. Look to your left."
In fact, the thing seemed to be gliding slowly toward the ambush zone that the JRSG men had set up.
With this huge thing above them, and two unknown men about to reach their trap, Jack and the others were getting ready for anything, looking from the UFO to the two intruders approaching them.
Suddenly a blinding beam of white light shot out of the bottom of the craft and illuminated the two intruders.
Jack and the others had already been aiming their assault weapons at the two men, who were obviously stunned by the blinding bright beam of light surrounding them. So was everybody else on the ridge of the hidden canyon's high walls.
Jack shouted commands to the men. "Don't move! Get your hands up or you're dead! Do it now!" Jack yelled.
He, Thompson, and Voss showed themselves just enough to reveal their assault weapons and the direction in which they which they were pointed: Straight at the two strangers.
The large craft was still hovering silently from a height of about fifty feet, witnesses guessed.
With his finger on the trigger, Jack saw that the men were dressed in black fatigues, and did have rifles slung over their shoulders. Jack saw a handgun strapped to the thigh of one of them.
Mike, MacNeil, Jennifer Thorsen, and the two Secret Service men, twenty yards back, saw the light and heard Jack´s shouts to the two men.
By now, the people down in the kiva were watching the cliffs and the light from the UFO's underside. From their vantage point they couldn't see the top of the canyon, the two men, or the JRSG and Secret Service people above. "Put your hands on your head and get on your knees! Do it now!" Jack yelled.
The intruders looked at each other for a second, then at the strange craft and light above them. They fell to their knees as Jack had directed them.
Carefully, weapons ready, Jack, Thompson, and Voss emerged from the rocks and walked carefully toward the two kneeling in the dust. Standing over the two, Gene and Ed patted them down and removed two side arms and two high-powered sniper rifles with telescopic sights that were slung over their shoulders.
As they disarmed the two men, Jack radioed for the Secret Service, Mike, MacNeil, and Thorsen to come up and assist.
As Mike and the rest sprinted toward the light, the strange aircraft above them started to gently rise and then the beam of white light abruptly went out.
The Secret Service men produced handcuffs and put them on the two suspects. As the two were cuffed, Jack, Mike and the others were watching the object. It was still ascending slowly, straight up.
The people down in the canyon kiva also watched the craft slowly ascend in the dark. No landing lights or other aircraft lights could be seen.
Standing on a stone ledge of the kiva, Amy said to herself, if this was a new stealth aircraft, it was a high-tech one. She thought she was familiar with Air Force ideas for advanced stealth aircraft. But she'd never seen anything like this.
Then, the craft gave off a slight hum that could be heard on the cliff but not in the kiva. And three seconds after the hum started, rows of lights on the underside of the craft started glowing.
If the watchers blinked, they missed the craft's split-second departure, accelerating with tremendous speed up into the night sky.
It had taken off from a hover to an extreme speed. So fast that it almost seemed to disappear in a northeast direction and at an angle of increasing altitudes.
The two prisoners were marched down to a Secret Service car parked out with the rest of the vehicles. No need to alarm the people at the kiva. They were already excited enough. The Secret Service men with the vice president and ex-presidents were informed of the situation.
The meeting was ending. People in the kiva were stunned from the sight of the V-shaped craft. Jack and the others from the ridge were noticing their adrenalin subsiding and a fatigue setting in.
Amy was over her fear now too. She and Brenda had been following the events on the ridge by standing next to a Secret Service agent and getting reports over his communication gear. They didn't want any of their friends shot again. A few minutes later Mike and Jack, along with some of the others filtered in to the light of the kiva campfire.
It was almost seven o'clock and the organizers figured it was time to wrap up the meeting and get the guests headed back to Kayenta and Flagstaff. Joe stood in the middle of the kiva and tried to get their attention. Many of them were still looking at the sky and talking among themselves.
"Folks, can I have your attention? I know we all are a little excited about that unusual aircraft we just saw and our anti-gravity experience. But it's getting late and we really must end the council fire and start our drive back to Kayenta and Flagstaff."
"I want to thank all our speakers, and all of you for your questions. Tomorrow afternoon we have a conference room reserved at the hotel in Flagstaff. The location and times are listed on your handout. It will give us time for a discussion about the topics we've talked about here this afternoon and evening."
"Those of you with flashlights, go ahead and turn them on. It'll be dark walking back to the parking area after we leave the light of the campfire here."
Organizers had brought plenty of bright flashlights and the group had no problem hiking up the slope to the parking area where they had entered the canyon several hours before. The small children who were asleep were carried.
The campfire in the kiva had been thoroughly doused with water and was soon just warm coals and ash. It was darker in the shadows of the canyon's cliffs than in the moonlight at the top.
Water from the spring trickled through the canyon. Crickets chirped and animals and birds of the night looked for food and drink, now that the commotion from all the humans had subsided.
A long line of vehicles snaked through the night toward the highway. The vice president and the former presidents each left in a Secret Service Chevy Suburban with their families, followed by the other agents and the two prisoners.
Mike drove a rental car, Amy next to him, and Jack and Brenda in the back seat.
The line of vehicles stopped in Kayenta for gas and restrooms. Some of the weary participants were now feeling post-adrenalin fatigue and chose to get a room for the night at a motel there in Kayenta.
Some had planned it. They could stay in the Navajo Nation for the night, closer to their adventure of this evening. Many wanted to do some more sightseeing in the morning here anyway.
The rest of them, in a smaller caravan now, drove southwest toward Flagstaff and a good night's sleep. The Secret Service had to get their VIPs back to Flagstaff and get the prisoners more fully interrogated and in a jail for the night.
Mike sipped on a paper cup of coffee as he drove. Amy nodded off to sleep next to him. He looked in the rear view mirror and saw Brenda leaning against Jack, both asleep.
The cars of the Secret Service and the other people from the meeting were stretched out in front and behind him as they made their way safely through the Arizona night.
Mike pulled the car into the parking lot of the inn where they were staying.
"Wake up, you guys. We're back in Flagstaff."
Jack and Brenda were groggy, but made it out of the car. Jack clasped Mike's shoulder and shook it.
"Good night, nephew. See you tomorrow."
Brenda put her arms around Mike's neck and gave him a kiss. She also hugged Amy and kissed her cheek. Jack and Brenda then headed through the lobby entrance toward their room.
Amy was locking up the car, half asleep.
"Let's get up to the room, honey," she whispered to Mike. "It's been a long day."
Amy suddenly felt like the night she first crawled into Mike's sleeping bag, before Hawaii, before Sedona, in the back yard of the safehouse in Phoenix. It was a pull. Like gravity, she thought.
Mike felt it too.
Like gravity. Like being pulled to Nature and Earth.
After Amy and Mike had gone to bed, they slept a deep, sound sleep. And they dreamed.
They both dreamed of a farm. Crops growing. Blue, sunny skies. And children. Dogs, goats, and chickens. Bison, too. And great happiness in the United States and the world. Troubles past. Beautiful futures ahead.
Every tear washed away by the hand of the Great Spirit.