PSICAN - Paranormal Studies and Inquiry Canada

UFO Sightings, Visitations, and Related Experiences

Written by Susan Demeter-St.Clair

Garden gnomes


In early July 2016 I created a personal blog post entitled Fairies: A Canadian Research Project and I asked my readers to share or submit personal encounters with me. The post was shared numerous time and I received a good number of responses including ones from outside Canada. The following report in the witness' own words is one of those, and despite being outside of Canada and having occurred approximately 20 years ago I thought it definitely worthy of sharing with the PSICAN readership.


The experient writes: 


 "Hello--though I am American and this did not happen in Canada, it happened close to the New York State-Canadian border. I'll be happy to answer any questions you may have about my experience, which changed my life considerably. I still think of it all the time, almost daily. 


I live in New York City, but in October of 1996 was visiting my mother and extended family, who then lived in Williamsville, which is outside of Buffalo, New York. It was the middle of October and my mother, my aunt and I had taken a drive out into the country to see the foliage. It was a very beautiful, cool, clear autumn day. 


Towards late afternoon, we stopped in the small town of Great Valley to have dinner. My mother and aunt wanted to shop afterwards, and I wanted to take a walk in the countryside which surrounds the town. I walked to the edge of the town and then out into the rolling land around it--open fields in the center with woods on either side. I was in a relaxed, happy and contemplative mood.  


I had been walking about ten minutes when, suddenly, I "heard" a kind of sing-song "chanting" in my mind, which "sounded" like a multitude of very sweet, pleasing voices that were all speaking the same words almost simultaneously, in a kind of cascading aural waterfall effect. I had never experienced anything like this before at any time, and the words were, "Don't you see us? We're all around you. We're all around you, don't you see us? Look—don't you see us?" Stunned, I stopped walking and took the experience in. There was a smallish tree near me, but otherwise I saw only the open fields, woods at a distance to my right, and a two-lane road beyond on either side. I did look around me, certainly not expecting to see anything unusual, and saw nothing except the autumnal landscape I had come to see. I "heard" the voices for about 90 seconds, and then the voices abruptly stopped. 


I walked on for another 20 minutes, and then returned to the town, where I met my family. I said nothing to them about my experience, and reflected upon it on the long drive back to Williamsville.


The next morning I was preparing to take the afternoon train back to New York City, and, having packed, went for a walk on a familiar wooded path behind my mother's housing development, a path which ran adjacent to Ayer Road, a residential street of traditional old American homes. I had been walking for about 10 minutes when, suddenly, I "heard" the voices again in exactly the same manner I had "heard" them the day before. 


The voices said, "We're here---come this way, walk this way. We're here," and I looked to my left and saw another path through the woods that led to Ayer Road, which I could plainly see at the end of it. I turned left and walked down the path, still "hearing" the voices, which, as I approached Ayer Road, came to a stop. Ayer is a fairly quiet street but does get some car traffic, and, somewhat stunned and dazed by this new experience, which seemed to validate my experience of the day before, I walked north past the homes using the lip of the road, as there were no sidewalks.  Ayer Road curves slightly at various points, and rounding one of these curves, my eyes fell upon a grouping of four garden gnome statues on the front lawn of one of the homes. The statues were traditionally sculpted and done in what I would call a tasteful and "realistic" manner; they weren't the kind of mass-produced cartoonish garden gnomes so prevalent today.


The four gnomes were in sitting positions and arranged so that they were facing one another. When I saw them, it was like receiving a blow to the chest, though I realized instantaneously that they were statues. But seeing them at that moment seemed to "identify" the source of the voices to me in a manner which I can only call profound, as if the statues were what I was meant to see when I turned off the initial path and walked down the other towards Ayer. 


Several hours later, on the Amtrak train, just as dusk was falling and the last of the day's light was disappearing from the surrounding farmland, I turned to look behind me at the setting sun, and just as I did so, I heard the voices again in the same manner I had before, and again, the voices were "sing-songy," but less so than on the previous two occasions. The voices, which I have to paraphrase in this case, said, "You're leaving us now, and the autumn door is closing. You will forget about us for a long, long while, but we have a date with you in the distant future. "You will meet us again, " then and at that moment, the sun disappeared behind the horizon. I found this third experience exhilarating and emotionally powerful.


So I never "saw" anything visually (other than the garden gnome statues), but I have, for some years now, come to the tentative conclusion that the "voices" were "fairy" voices. What struck me most, and still strikes me now, is that "they" thought I would "forget" them and the experience, which I certainly never have, nor have I ever come to think of it as unimportant. 


I also want to state that, before the three experiences, which all took place within just over a 24 hour period, I did not believe in fairies or elves by any means. I had never had an experience of "hearing" voices mentally, nor have I since. The experience did profoundly change the way I think about reality and my own life. Due to the nature of these experiences, they're very difficult to put accurately into words as I experienced them. "


Researcher notes: 

The photo at the top of this page was sent along with a couple of other examples of garden gnomes that the experient felt gave a good example of what they looked like. In our correspondence he indicated he was very confident they were actual statues nothing more, but was perhaps guided towards seeing them. Again I will share in the witness' own words: 

"I am absolutely sure the gnome figures I saw were stone statues. I was very close to them when I walked down the wooded path--they had been placed so that they were facing one another in a loose circular formation and there was a large red mushroom, also stone or cement, in the middle of their 'circle.' The gnomes were similar to those in the attached photos (though they were all in the same sitting position), which I would consider 'realistic' looking. These kind are rarely seen any more. 

But I was walking down the path out of the woods towards Ayer Road, having just heard the 'voices' again, saying, "Come this way.....we're here!" very enthusiastically, in the same sing-songy voice, and as I approached Ayer Road, certainly not expecting to see anything, I was astounded, stunned, to see the gnome statues grouped there--it took my breath away for a moment. For a moment, it was frightening, and I am not easily frightened. 

They were large for garden gnome statues--about 2 feet or more--and beautiful constructed and painted. It was as if the statues were what I was meant to see to identify the 'voices.' But I'm sure they were statues. 

T.S. Eliot talks about the 'objective correlative'--"the artistic and literary technique of representing or evoking a particular emotion by means of symbols that objectify that emotion and are associated with it," and that's what I think the statues were and were intended to be or represent. That they were only stone statues took nothing away from the experience for me, ultimately, because I was led out of the woods and down that particular path by the 'voices'--and right to where those statues were. Today, of course, I would have taken out my iPhone and taken a photo of them, to retain a record. "


I have had several strange encounters of my own since I was a child, and I have been researching primarily UFOs since 1997. One of the reasons I had decided to take on this fairy project is that I am very much in agreement with Dr Jacques Vallee's ideas that were expressed in Passport To Magonia and within his later works. There is an undeniable connection or parallel between modern UFO lore and experience and faery encounters spanning centuries if not farther.  In my queries of the witness I asked if he had any prior encounters or events with what he believed may be paranormal and he shared with me the following UFO encounter with me:


I did have one other 'paranormal' experience, which was, in its own way, almost equally profound. It took place on the early morning of June 23rd, 1994, just after 1:00 a.m. 

I had been sitting up watching the NBA finals with my roommate (John*), in which the New York Knicks were playing the Houston Rockets. I was very excited about the game, and very disappointed when the Knicks lost. John had gone to bed, and I was reading in my room. At the time, I has lost my job and often stayed up late reading, but at no point had I been asleep. 

Our apartment was a 'penthouse' apartment (7th floor) in an old brownstone in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, quite close to the East River, so that we had a spectacular view of the then-World Trade Center buildings in Manhattan. 

I got out of bed to get a drink from the refrigerator, and as I was standing in the kitchen in the dark, I remembered there was supposed to be a moon that night, and looked out the large, tall kitchen window, which faced west, to see if I could see it. 

Just as I did, a huge, bright greenish figure, shaped like a 'minnow' or an elongated teardrop turned side-wise with the larger end forward, 'flew' into view in the open air and space over Williamsburg. 

I was not a believer in 'unidentified flying objects' of any kind; my initial reaction was, "The nerve of that thing, to be flying right over the rooftops of houses and buildings!" Below on the corner there was an Orthodox Jewish School, and I could see two school buses parked outside, so it gave me a good comparison of its size--it was about the size of the two standard school buses placed back to back. 

It flew with what I call a 'trundling' motion--it flew forward, hovering at some points, but moved slightly up and down as it did so, as if shaking. It flew into my rage of vision, but at an upward angle, then 'flew' sideways and backwards so that moved between two very tall housing projects, still 'trundling,' and then, in an incredible burst of speed, zoomed straight out of sight into the clouds over the World Trade Center, where, as the entered the cloud bank, the clouds briefly trend green with its light. And then it was gone. 

I woke up John, I called the police to report it and ask if anyone else had, and the next night, walked down to the waterfront bars along the East River on the Williamsburg side to see if any of the 'hipsters' who drank there had seen or reported it. No one else had reported it, and though the police were polite, they really didn't have much of a response. Afterward, I told my friends, my family, everyone. 

It did not look like 'a craft from another planet' or any kind of craft at all. It looked like clear blown-glass teardrop, as I said, with bright green smoke or liquid swirling inside it, almost the color of antifreeze. There were no other lights on it, no 'doors' or panels or windows. Nothing at all to make it look like a 'craft.' I know this sounds eccentric, but it almost looked like a bright green 'cartoon,' or 'animated,' image, superimposed over 'reality,' like the cartoon characters in 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit?' 

Nothing about it physically suggested it was 'manned' or created by man--though it certainly behaved like it was or was guided by intelligence. I grew up along a canal system in North Miami Beach, Florida, and it reminded me of a scene I had witnessed hundreds of times as a teenager--a little fish swimming briefly into view along the shallow waters of the shore and then quickly darting out of sight again. 

The thing that struck me, and strikes me still, is how low over the city it was flying--I was on the 7th floor, so it was flying at, I would say, about a 9th or 10th floor level. When it moved backward and sideways between the two housing projects, there were many floors of those buildings above it. So if someone living in one had been awake I was, they would have seen it at eye-level. 

Subsequently, I have read a lot about 'green fireballs' seen throughout the 20th and 21st centuries in America and elsewhere, and wonder if what I was what those people also reported, though what I experienced looked nothing like a meteor, a rocket, or anything else. It moved carefully and decisively, as if alive or intelligently guided. But I do not believe it was an 'alien craft,' and today do not believe in the 'alien spacecraft' explanation for unidentified flying objects."

* The name has been changed to John in order to protect privacy




More notes: It is interesting to note that the auditory fairy experience followed after a seemingly unrelated visual UFO event. In further correspondence he has told me that while profound, even life altering these experiences were in no way perceived as negative. He also shares the following: 

"I want to share with you that, prior to the experience with the 'unidentified flying object,' I had no belief in UFOs as such or almost any other kind of paranormal subject. I was very much an 'earthy realist' and lover of hard science. At most, I enjoyed reading about various forms of American and World folklore, but the folklore I had read had never touched on UFOs. 

As a boy, I did love monster and science fiction films, and faithfully read 'Famous Monsters of Filmland' magazine every month, as well as Ray Bradbury, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Ian Fleming and H.P. Lovecraft, but never confused those forms of entertainment with reality, and gave all of that up in my late teens regardless."


My personal thanks goes out to the witness for sharing these extraordinary experiences and other information with me. I greatly appreciate and value the courage and trust it takes to do so. If you have had a similar encounter in Canada please email me at Your privacy will be protected.