What is a Close Encounter?
For edification, here are the categories of close encounters, as presented, with some humor, at the 19th Rocky Mountain UFO Conference:
When you see a flying saucer (disc, cigar, spheroid, what have you), that’s an encounter of the first kind.
When you encounter any type of 3-D physical tracings, or remnants, of something apparently not of this world, or this dimension – such as when someone has etched a sketch in your crops or when your cow is mutilated or when you find a piece of chrome off a flying saucer – that’s an encounter of the second kind.
And then when you encounter not only a saucer, or a ship, but you also see the entities who are driving said ship, and they maybe wave at you, and you wave back, that’s an encounter of the third kind.
And if you get invited aboard, or taken aboard, and have experiences therein, that’s an encounter of the fourth kind.
And finally, let’s say you haven’t seen a space craft, or its tracings, nor have you seen the occupants of such a craft, nor have you been aboard, but you would like to, and you’re not afraid, and you have learned something about what it takes to initiate contact, so you try it – try to initiate contact – and out of the blue, so to speak, contact does indeed happen, (of any of the previously mentioned first to fourth kinds) this is an encounter of the fifth kind.
What is a Biblical Close Encounter?
The exact number of close encounters in the Bible is not easy to calculate. By the standard definitions of close encounters, the Bible records hundreds of contacts with strange flying vehicles, beings, and advanced technology that mirror those described in historical and modern close encounters. Every time God appears in, or uses a cloud, pillar, throne, chariot, or otherwise described device, angels appear to men, God speaks from the sky, or anomalous action from these vehicles is described; it is an encounter.
The Bible contains 1,189 chapters, but before we can get through the first 5 of those chapters, we find what can only be described as an encounter resulting in a “divine” abduction.
“And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” (Genesis 5:24).
Although, in the 4th Century AD, Eusebius arbitrarily determined that the writings of Enoch would not be included in the first “Bible”, this book did survive. A reading of Enoch’s writings is an amazingly detailed recounting of his experiences after “God took him”; complete with strange vessels, beings, places, and an incredible account of Enoch’s transmutation into another type of being.
Close Encounters of the 4th Kind
On at least a dozen different occasions in scripture, an individual, or a group of people, are described as having “Close Encounters of the 4th Kind”, which means being invited aboard, or taken aboard a vehicle, and/or having experiences therein. Here are several of those encounters from both the Old and the New Testaments; many that have never been considered as being such an event:
♦ Moses, the Leader
“And Moses went into the midst of the cloud, and gat him up into the mount: and Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights.” (Exodus 24:18)
♦ Samuel, the Prophet
“He sent from above, he took me; he drew me out of many waters; He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them that hated me: for they were too strong for me. They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the Lord was my stay. He brought me forth also into a large place:, because he delighted in me.” (2 Samuel 22:17-20)
♦ Elijah, the Prophet
“And it came to pass, when the Lord would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal.” (2 Kings 2:1)
♦ David, the King
“He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me. They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the Lord was my stay. He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me.” (Psalms 18:16-19)
♦ Ezekiel, the Prophet
“Moreover the spirit lifted me up, and brought me unto the east gate of the Lord’s house, which looketh eastward: and behold at the door of the gate five and twenty men; among whom I saw Jaazaniah the son of Azur, and Pelatiah the son of Benaiah, princes of the people.” (Ezekiel 11:1)
“The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones,” (Ezekiel 37:1)
♦ Jesus and the Apostles, the “Transfiguration”
“While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them:” (Matthew 17:5)
“While he thus spake, there came a cloud, and overshadowed them: and they feared as they entered into the cloud.” (Luke 9:34)
♦ Jesus, the Christ
“And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.” (Acts 1:9)
♦ Phillip, the Disciple
“And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing. But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea.” (Acts 8:39-40)
♦ The Two Witnesses of the Revelation
“And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.” (Revelation 11:11-12)
♦ An Uncountable Number
“Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 4:17)
“And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” (Matthew 24:30-31)
“And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.” (Mark 13:26-27)
If any of these encounters were to be put into modern language and reported in this modern age, they would be classified as “Close Encounters”, and all involved would be thought of as “contactees”. The concept of great numbers of people being taken up into the sky, as described in the New Testament, does, no doubt, qualify as a mass abduction, but this is described as a future event. However, in the Bible there is a close encounter that involves over a million people having an encounter that lasted, not just minutes or days; it lasted for decades.
The Greatest Close Encounter in History
This encounter starts with a conversation from a glowing vehicle on the ground, follows the high-tech harassment of the reluctant Pharaoh and the Hebrew’s flight from Egypt, Moses’ entry into the vehicle, and records the forty-year wanderings of the nation of Israel as it is directly led by aerial guidance. Scores of descriptions and encounters with flying vehicles, advanced technology, and space age weaponry are recorded during this journey. This writing covers specific instances of this encounter, but a complete read of the book is worthwhile. Almost the entire Book of the Exodus is a description of the world’s largest and longest close encounter event.
An Incredible Number
The world record for number of witnesses and length of encounter must certainly be held by the “Exodus” event. While most people do know about Ezekiel’s “wheels” and Elijah’s “whirlwind”; few consider the incredible experiences of those who participated in the Exodus from Egypt as a major close encounter. Biblical historians accept estimates of the number of Hebrews that left Egypt with Moses as from about 700,000 to 1 million. Added to that number are the Egyptian refugees from the disaster that had just occurred and others following this huge entourage out of a devastated Egypt. That could swell the number of travelers on the Exodus to between 1.5 and 2 million, being constantly overshadowed, sustained, and led by a huge flying object.
At the beginning of the journey, this massive group of people was saved from the pursuing Egyptian army by this vehicle, and fed daily and provided water for 40 years. At times this vehicle would halt and hover over this group for months, providing shade during the day and light at night. The group would not travel if the vehicle was not moving forward.
Two million people walking 10 abreast, with 6 feet between rows, would extend for about 250 miles. An interesting estimate of just the basic survival needs of such a large group of people, gives a perspective on how massive an operation this must have been. It would require 1000 tons, 2 million pounds of food every day just to ward off starvation, and we know from scripture that there was plenty to eat. To do this would require the equivalent of a freight train, a mile long, to deliver the food every day. Add to that a bare minimum of 5 million gallons of water per day, and that train would stretch beyond the horizon. And, this went on, every day, for forty years.
Physical Laws Altered
Another little known and astonishing aspect of the “Exodus Event” is found, not in the book of the Exodus, but in Deuteronomy:
♦ “Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these forty years.” (Deuteronomy 8:4)
This astounding paradigm is repeated here:
♦ “And I have led you forty years in the wilderness: your clothes are not waxen old upon you, and thy shoe is not waxen old upon thy foot.” (Deuteronomy 29:5).
Amazingly, these verses are saying that the clothes and shoes of those in the Exodus traveling group never wore out in 40 years of constant use. And, the phrase, “neither did thy foot swell” certainly seems to indicate that the health of this great number of travelers was also being maintained in extraordinary ways during that 4 decade period. There are some amazing phenomena described in relationship to UFOs, and this anomaly could very well be associated with the constant presence of the guiding and protecting vehicle hovering over them. Healing of wounds, relief from chronic ailments, and other physical alterations are often reported by contactees.
The Beginning of the 40-Year Exodus Encounter
The first encounter that Moses has with God appearing directly to him, is from the famous account of the strange “burning bush”. He was amazed because what he was observing seemed to be a bramble on fire, but the bramble was not being consumed:
♦ “….behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed… I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt….” (Exodus 3:2-3)
God then begins to speak from inside this glowing bramble-like object.
♦ “And when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush…..” (Exodus 3:4).
This is similar to the description of another stationary, glowing object, encountered on Mount Sinai during the Exodus:
♦ “And the sight of the glory of the Lord was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel.” (Exodus 24:17)
It is during this encounter with the “burning bush” that Moses is given the commission to lead the Hebrews out of Egypt.
In the 16th Chapter of the Exodus, the close encounter begins in the wilderness of Sin. The people were beginning to question whether they were just on a wild goose chase and would die of hunger, in the middle of nowhere. Yhovah reveals to Moses that he will now begin to feed the people in two ways; by driving wild game into the encampment in the evening, and providing bread, manna, in the morning. As Aaron was telling this to the people, a vehicle appeared and that very evening, flocks of quail covered the camp. The next morning, manna appeared on the ground in quantities more than enough to satisfy everybody’s hunger. This had to happen every day, as the manna had to be eaten before the next morning, or it would rot, with the specific exception of a double quantity they were required to gather on the day before the Sabbath; the only day the manna would not appear. This is a description of the food called “manna”:
♦ “And it came to pass, that at even the quails came up, and covered the camp: and in the morning the dew lay round about the host. And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the wilderness there lay a small round thing, as small as the hoar frost on the ground.” (Exodus 16:13-14)
Manna is not a noun, as most might assume, but actually comes from the Hebrew word man, pronounced mawn; meaning literally, a whatness (so to speak), i.e. manna (so called from the question about it): Psalms describes “manna” thusly:
♦ “And had rained down manna upon them to eat, and had given them of the corn of heaven. Man did eat angels’ food: he sent them meat to the full.” (Psalms 78:24-25) The word “angels” is the Hebrew word abbiyr, pronounced ab-beer’ and is directly related to the word abiyr, pronounced aw-beer’ meaning; mighty. It is logical; therefore, that Psalms is describing very nutritious food. While camped at Rephidim. Moses was also given the power to bring water from rocks.
A Direct Encounter with Yhovah
In the 19th Chapter of the Exodus, the people experience a prolonged encounter with a great craft about two weeks after the food miracle and the warding off an unsuccessful attack by Amalek, the chief of an Idumean tribe. at Rephidim. (The defeat of Amalek is a miracle in itself, and involves what seems to be Moses using some form of psychokenesis. Exodus 17:10-12) Yhovah demands that a strict perimeter be established around mount Sinai, where the vehicle is about to land, and the people are warned that breaching that perimeter could cause death to humans and animals. The craft is so huge, it causes the million-plus people witnessing it to tremble at the bright lights and terrible sounds coming from it. Moses goes up the mountain and into the vehicle, and Yhovah reinforces his warning about the deadly perimeter. Moses goes back down the mountain, warns the people, and Yhovah begins to speak directly to them, giving his commandments from the vehicle.
These commandments continue from the 20th through the 23rd chapters of Exodus. In the 24th chapter, after the vehicle has been on the mountain for 6 days, Yhovah calls Moses back up into the vehicle, where he remains for 40 days, receiving instructions for a mobile tabernacle, the Ark of the Covenant, and other items from models Moses sees in the vehicle (verse 40). Yhovah gives minute details of everything in the tabernacle, and the rituals and restrictions to be performed in it, and personally writes it all down on stone tablets with his own hand.
Moses is Transformed and the Long Journey Begins
While Moses is gone, the attention span of the people proves to be very short, and they build a pagan altar, which Moses breaks in anger. After this discretion is dealt with, Moses returns to the vehicle and Yhovah makes him rewrite the edicts and he brings these new tablets to the people. Moses’ face is glowing so intensely after the prolonged meeting with Yhovah that the people are afraid to come near him, and he is forced to cover his face with a veil. Moses oversees the building of the tabernacle and the ark and the vehicle leads the Hebrew nation through the wilderness for the next 40 years.
Descriptions Verify a Flying Vehicle was Guiding the Exodus
The escort that accompanies the travelers is called a “pillar of a cloud” by day and a “a pillar of fire” by night. The word pillar is translated from `ammuwd, pronounced, am-mood; a column as standing; also a stand, i.e. platform. This means that this could either be a column or a platform that had the appearance of a cloud in the daylight and, when the sun went down, it was illuminated. And, it was staying close to the people, in other words, hovering. When considered, in light of the many other descriptions, replacing the word platform where pillar appears seems a more logical choice.
♦ The platform comes directly between the Hebrews and the pursuing Egyptian army. (Exodus 14:19)
♦ The platform harassed the Egyptian army. (Exodus 14:24)
♦ The “glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud” that leads the Hebrews. (Exodus 16:10)
♦ The Lord ascended on Mount Sinai, with great lights beaming into the night sky, shaking the mountain greatly, and broadcasting very loud sounds, with increasing volume. (Exodus 19:18 -20, 20:18)
♦ People were fearful of the vehicle. (Exodus 20:18)
♦ The platform/cloud descended and hovered. (Exodus 33:9, 34:5, Numbers 12:5)
♦ The platform/cloud ascended. (Exodus 40:36)
♦ God broadcasts his voice from the platform/cloud. (Exodus 33:9, 34:5, Psalms 99:7)
♦ The people follow the platform wherever it led them, and it was always with them. (Exodus 40:36-38, Numbers 9:17-18, 10:34, Nehemiah 9:19)
♦ The cloud provided shade and light. (Numbers 9:16)
♦ The platform/cloud hovered above the group for days, months and even up to a year. (Numbers 9: 22)
♦ The cloud took off from the ground and landed on the ground. (Numbers 10:11-12)
♦ The vehicle protected the people. (Numbers 14:14)
♦ The platform/cloud scouts ahead for places, where the Hebrews could rest. (Deuteronomy 1:33)
A reading of the Exodus Encounter will give a more complete view of this 40-year close encounter. In the next installment of Close Encounters of the Biblical Kind we will cover the other famous contacts experienced by Elijah and Ezekiel, and more testimonies from biblical contactees.