After my lunch with Josey, I returned home and switched out of my business suit into bicycling clothes. There was a shaded path along the nearby Highline Canal, a couple of blocks from my house. It wound its way for several miles through south Denver. A quiet place to ride, I had enjoyed it many times. I pulled my road bike from the garage, fastened my helmet, and started out.
Tall trees, probably dating from the early days of the canal, a hundred years ago, shaded most of the bicycle and walking path. Bright yellow flowers on low bushes clung to both sides of its bank. There was a wonderful smell this time of year, fresh leaves on the trees and perfume from the flowers. The back yards of south Denver homes were fenced off from the path, but open to view as I rode past. There were few streets to cross or oncoming bicycles or hikers, so the ride this day was quite leisurely.
What a great time to think about everything. I suspected that something strange had happened to me when I had slept for thirty-six hours, but I did not feel any different. Looking at my body it was the same as a week ago. Looking back at how I had acted at the office, I did not see much of anything different. My experiences at the grocery store and the shopping centers were a little different, but then I had rarely spent much time in either place. I wasn’t a guy that shopped. I knew what I was after and went in to buy it.
The stuff on the TV bothered me. For most of my business career, I had always been involved in innovation, in new products and services, in things that went against traditional way of doing things, against much larger, better financed competitors. I had learned that what the majority of people believed to be true was almost always suspect, always at odds with new ways of thinking outside the box. That had been my secret to success and I was pretty good at it.
On Thursday evening I went to a meeting with fifteen other people who belonged to Creative Consciousness, an organization dedicated to improving everyone’s lives. We met at Jim Oakley and his wife Alice’s home, about a mile from my house. There were doctors, business owners, women professionals, and retired folks, all smart and motivated. I liked these people because they truly thought beyond the conventional, discussed things beyond what we read about in newspapers or saw on television. I sat next to my friend Peter Lockwood, who had introduced me to the group. He was a tall thin man with black curly hair, heavy black eyebrows, and a face that showed extensive exposure to the sun.
The conversation that evening was mostly about something called the Disclosure Project. It was all about UFOs and aliens, an event that had taken place on May 9, 2001.
Peter said that he knew of Dr. Steven Greer who was in charge of the Disclosure Project, and thought highly of him. He recommended that we all watch the video.
I had no prior experience with such things, beyond Star Trek or science fiction movies and books. But I thought, “What the hell, I’ll give it a try.”
After the meeting, Peter and I went for his coffee and my chai.
“I had a most unusual experience a few days ago,” I said. “Slept for thirty-six hours, didn’t move until I woke up on the second day.”
“Wow, what did that feel like?” Peter asked.
“Didn’t feel anything much different. Got up, went pee, had breakfast, and lounged around all day. Did not go to work until the next day.”
“I don’t see much difference, maybe a bit more relaxed is all.”
The conversation continued as we sipped. We talked about our planned fishing trip to Southwest Colorado in a couple of weeks.
We wound it up with Peter saying, “Let me know if you feel strange, or if something happens.” He spoke like I was a patient of his clinic.
We gave each other a man hug as we headed for our vehicles.
On Saturday I sat with Peter, his girlfriend Lois, and others from Creative Consciousness and watched a video of the Disclosure Project on a big screen. Twenty-two witnesses at a long table in the front of the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. presented their experiences with UFOs and extraterrestrials. The event had been organized by Dr. Greer, who presided over it. Cameras panned the audience showing every news source and national television network present for the event. The intent had been to present something so undeniable that Congress and the government would own up to what they knew about extraterrestrials and how it was affecting the government, military, and everything else. I had never seen anything like this before.
I watched as Dr. Greer gave a preliminary introduction about what he was trying to achieve with this group. He talked about the stature of the people and how their testimony made the case that we are being visited by beings from other planets. He made the case that it no longer made sense to keep this information secret out of fear of exciting the population, that we were aware enough that we could handle this startling disclosure. He said that special interests are intent on keeping this information secret to preserve their status.
I watched as USAF and Navy men testified about the various sightings they recalled and the radar images that accompanied these. They all relayed how they had been told not to talk about these.
I was very impressed by Captain Robert Salas who talked about a “a glowing red object” hovering around missile silos at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana. Ten missiles were rendered non-operational by its presence.
Donna Hare, a NASA employee, talked about pictures that NASA had of UFOs, but that they would not talk about. She described how NASA airbrushed them out of photos released to the public.
Karl Wolf, USAF, talked about pictures he had seen of objects on the back side of the moon. There were huge structures like towers, spherical buildings, and cooling towers. He relayed that he was very afraid at the time because he knew he was seeing something that he should not.
Mark McCandlish talked about three flying saucers he had seen in a hangar at Area 51. They were floating off the floor. The largest was about 120 feet in diameter. He showed a cutaway of a so called “alien reproduction vehicle” with seating for four occupants. It was a project from a private company. He talked about the propulsion systems and said the vehicles were capable of doing light speed or better.
My favorite witness was Sergeant Clifford Stone who was a member of the US Army Extraterrestrial Retrieval Team. He insisted that this effort, called Project Moon Dust, is ongoing. Its goal is to recover objects of non-earth origin for analysis by scientists to discover new technologies. He described the precautions taken while doing a recovery.
Stone talked about crashes of craft in the forties and fifties brought on by our radar interfering with their guidance systems. We had retrieved the debris from many crashes. The aliens had also recovered some of their own debris. He insisted that the aliens were living, breathing creatures, as mortal as are we. He stated that he had seen living and dead bodies of ETs.
Daniel Salter, USAF, discussed a UFO that was targeted and hit by US military in the late sixties. He stated that the National Reconnaissance Organization had been created by President Eisenhower to collect and oversee information about alien visitors. It was still operational under new names. Other governments were allowed to participate in our information if they agreed to certain conditions. He pointed out that our orbiting satellites were focused outward, not towards earth.
Dr. Carol Rosin, assistant to Doctor Werner Von Braun, talked about how it was imperative to keep weapons out of space. Van Braun was adamant that space-based weapons were dangerous. She also talked about a false flag alien attack as the final rationale to get space-based weapons.
John Maynard, USAF, and Daniel Sheehan, constitutional lawyer, both talked about the highly secret information about UFOs and how it was tightly controlled. Sheehan spoke about how information on ETs and UFOs had been denied to President Carter.
Dr. Greer talked about compartmented unacknowledged special access projects – no one outside these projects is told about them, no one. He talked about his briefing of highly placed government officials who knew nothing about what the witnesses were testifying to. There are many such projects where those who were involved would not admit to them. He said that less than one hundred people within the intelligence community control access to all UFO and ET information.
By the end of the video I was thoroughly stunned. Never before had I realized anything like this existed. The group sat for an hour discussing what they had seen. I learned from one of them that the networks had told Greer that he had done a great job, but that they would not be reporting any of it to the public.
During the following days, I became less and less enthused about my work at Alliance. I saw my relations with Jack and Fred deteriorate because I would not move off my position relative to the potential investor, and how we should be conducting ourselves as a company. In the face of this, I began to think about what might come next.
Finally, a week after I had returned to work, my two business partners asked for a meeting.
We sat at the conference table. I on one side, the other two opposite. As was normal, we each had our laptop computers before us along with piles of papers representing various projects.
Jack spoke first, “Michael, we don’t know what’s happened, but you’re no longer the eagle with the blood on its beak. You’ve lost your drive. You don’t seem to want to compete, or support the programs of the company. You’re, you’re a different person.”
“And what about your signature on the bank loan?” Fred asked, “We still haven’t got that squared away.”
“I like who I am,” I responded. “I don’t see any issues that can’t be resolved.”
Fred followed up with, “Michael, we respect you, know this company was your idea. We’ve all done well together. But you have slacked off, particularly since the death of your wife. Recently, something has taken your mind completely off the company. Also, you have been taking a lot of time away from the office to pursue god knows what. We’re getting cut out of deals because you are not available. We’re losing the respect of others because you just are not with it.”
Damn it, I thought. I didn’t see this coming. I looked at the two men with whom I had enjoyed such success for the last seven years. This is not what I wanted right now. I was not ready to launch out on my own. Granted, I had been distracted recently, but it was only temporary.
Then I thought back to recent events, my 36-hour sleep-in and the Disclosure Project video. I simply did not have the same passion for the business that I had when we started the company. The money was great, the best I had ever earned, but the business just doesn’t interest me the way it used to.
Fred spoke up, “Jack and I would like to buy out your interest in the company, so you can go on your own, pursue what you’re really interested in. Here’s our proposal.”
He laid out the terms of a buyout: A large cash payment now, continuance of my salary for one year, and medical expense coverage. A carried interest in twenty percent of the profits over the next five years.
It was logical that Fred would present the deal, he had been the most recent to join the company, had the least history with me. He was also the most rigid in insisting that we follow our traditional ways of doing business.
Their offer was nowhere what I expected to receive if all the company’s deals came to positive fruition. At the same time, it was unlikely that they would all pan out as planned.
I looked at the two men with whom I had been in business for some time. We had experienced a very good history as a team, made good money individually, and had made our investors happy. What were the company’s future prospects with these two running things? I resisted the temptation to make a remark about what I thought the company’s future prospects would be without me.
I said, “I’ve been managing partner, running this company for seven years. And I’ve done a very good job of it. Now this. You surprise me. Think you can do better? I’ll think about it.”
“We believe this needs to be settled right now,” Fred said.
“We can’t let this go on,” Jack added.
Without waiting for their reactions, I got up and walked to my office.
Standing before the windows, I saw snow on Mount Evans and thought what it would be like to take advantage of some late season skiing, while I decided what to do with the rest of my life. My knee said no way.
I had not seen my partners discomfort with my recent behavior, didn’t believe they had the balls to do something like this. I was torn between what I had been learning about the unconventional bigger picture and the business world I had known for most of my adult life.
I returned to the conference room and said, “I’d like a cash settlement of one million dollars, paid immediately. Salary and medical for two years. Seventeen percent of profits, paid annually, for five years. And, the company assumes the lease on my Jeep Wrangler.”
Fred and Jack looked at each other. “Now, we’d like a short break,” Fred said.
“Come get me in my office,” I responded.
Fifteen minutes later Jack knocked on my door. “Let’s get back to it.”
Ten minutes later, after tossing things back and forth, we concluded the deal: what I had asked for, including my office furniture and my computer, but no car.
They presented me with a document with the numbers filled in, plus a non-compete agreement.
After glancing at the pages, I said, “I’ll get my attorney to review it.”
Three days later, I arrived at the office in jeans and a sweater. I watched as the movers packed up all my office furniture, including my computer printer, personal files, plants, and pictures. I had assumed the lease on my Jeep, not wanting to relinquish a vehicle that I used frequently.
I said good bye to Jeff Wilson, the man in charge of our computer system, to our advertising public relations woman, our research analyst, and our company’s new accountant. My final good bye to June was emotional for both of us. We had become good friends and promised to stay in touch.