Soon after I had appeared as an electronics expert in a TV Discovery Channel feature called Area 51: Fact or Fiction?” my telephone began ringing with calls like this one.
“I’m Jim Taylor. I live in Arkansas and I need some advice.”
“What seems to be the problem, Jim?”
“Well, a few years ago, an electronic device was implanted in my ear canal.”
“Oh, really? Why?”
“I don’t know.”
“Well, why were you in surgery?”
“I can’t remember.”
“What makes you so sure there is such a device in your head?”
“I hear the voices talking to me.”
“What are they saying?”
“They tell me to do things I don’t want to do. Terrible things. Everywhere I go the voices taunt me. Do you suppose you could take it out?”
“Have you seen a doctor about this?” I inquired.
“Yes, they say there’s nothing really there and that I’m just imagining the voices.”
“Have you had an X-ray?’
“I’ve asked for one, but none of the doctors will arrange it.”
At this point I was ready to side with the doctors, but I was willing to make a suggestion or two. “You could try a veterinarian.”
“I hadn’t thought of that.”
“Did anyone suggest wrapping aluminum foil around your head?” I asked. I couldn’t help myself.
“Yes, but that didn’t work. Can you take it out?”
By now I was convinced that an entirely different professional should be talking to Jim, but my ironic sense of humor espoused this suggestion: “I suppose I could whittle the device out with a pocket knife.” I was sure that would cut this conversation short.
“Hey, that’s an idea,” he responded without hesitation and then hung up. Fortunately, I haven’t heard from him again. But that call didn’t even prepare me for the next one from Dan Johnson, a truck driver from St. Louis.
“Bob, I saw all that sophisticated radio monitoring equipment you were using at Area 51 and wonder if you could do a body scan on me.”
“What would I be looking for?” I asked back.
“There’s a radio bug embedded somewhere in my body. After my wife left me, voices have been trying to control me. They know personal things like my daughter’s nervous breakdown after being taunted by Jehovah’s Witnesses and Latter-Day Saints. I was also in jail for a while, but now I’m a born-again Christian.”
Now that I had far more information than I wanted to know, I asked the obvious question: “Have you tried getting counseling?”
“Yes, briefly, but that didn’t get anywhere. I’ve been to VA hospitals, had MRIs, catscans, and X-rays. Nothing was found. I’m sure that the FBI, DEA, NIMH or the Geospatial Intelligence Agency has implanted a device in my body that enables them to hear everything I say.”
I had to meet this guy, so I agreed to do the electronic screening for an implant. It was a quiet Sunday morning when my caller showed up. He was pleasant and respectful, and we began the electronic sweep of his body. Predictably, I could find nothing other than a plate in his head. I decided not to ask about that.
“How often do you hear these voices? I queried.
“All the time.”
“Are you hearing them now?”
“What are they saying?”
“That you seem to be a nice enough fellow, but that you will never find the device because it’s too small.”
I requested Dan to forward some questions to his controllers, to which he replied, “Just ask them yourself; they can hear everything you say.”
“Do you speak other languages besides English?” I inquired of the group. The answer through Dan was yes, so I posed several questions in German which they answered in English. He then admitted he had lived in Germany and knew conversational German. I decided to pursue another avenue of questioning.
“Are you familiar with classical music?” They informed me through my visitor that they were. “How many symphonies did Brahms and Mendelssohn write?” I queried. They didn’t know and stated that they preferred country and rock.
When Dan left I had the unsettling feeling that things weren’t going to get any better for him. I’ll probably never know. Attempts to contact him have gone unanswered.