“I was abducted by an alien. THERE, I SAID IT! Are you happy?” Jocelyn Bushell says with a shy smile. “Trust me, I know how whacked-out that sounds. I always thought those people who talked about UFO’s and aliens were out of their cotton-pickin’ minds too.”
Jocelyn, or “Jocie” as she is called by her friends, claimed it happened many years ago when she was a teenager. Her family had decided to take their tiny camper and spend a week in the campgrounds in the Arizona desert.
Growing up in Arizona lent itself to many strange and wonderful encounters for Jocelyn. There was the time she was bitten by a rattlesnake and had to get a venom antidote; another time she fell half-asleep driving the long freeway in the lonely desert road with nary a soul around, drove straight off the road for a few miles before realizing she wasn’t on the road any longer and took four hours trying to find the road again because she had no recollection of the direction from which she’d come.
Her father claimed he was part Indian, tracing ancestors back to what he believed were either Walapai or Mohave tribes. Regardless of the generations that had lost or smothered all knowledge of their native American background, he felt a deep kinship with the earth and universe that he passed on to his oldest daughter.
“My father loved being in the desert. He’d say that he’d get these callings, and every other summer or so we’d take the trailer parked out back, give it a good cleaning, and point it towards the horizon and drive until it felt right. Then we’d camp out for a few days. When I was little, it was exciting, but when I became a teenager I thought it was really boring and didn’t want to go any more. I’d rather go to the rec center or hang out at the mall.”
But her father always insisted that she come along, and her mother would pack magazines and books to keep her occupied.
Usually when they camped, they were alone because that was how her father liked it. But that summer of her fifteenth year, they did the usual – pointed the truck towards the horizon and drove for hours. The sun was starting to sink melt into the blushing colors of the desert when they came upon a caravan that had pulled to the side of the road. One of the men they were passing stood and waved his hands for them to pull over. He was chewing on a piece of grass and leaned in on her father’s driver’s side, looking inside.
“Big flash flood ahead. Road’s closed.” Jocelyn watched in fascination as he gnawed on his grass.
Her father shrugged and looked the kids in the back seat. “What do you think, kids? Stop here for the night?”
The three in the backseat looked out curiously at the rag-tag convoy that was busy unpacking their gear. “Sure, Dad, whatever.”
“They invited her to sit and she offered up her bag of marshmallows. They all stuck them on the ends of sticks and let the fires char them. Still no one spoke. She offered the bag to the old man, but he seemed in a trance, the smoke gently curling around his deeply tanned face.”
Jocelyn perked up. This ought to be interesting – at least they weren’t stopping in the middle of nowhere, all alone this time. There ought to be some action going on here! She had noticed a few teenaged boys helping unpack a pick-up truck.
The man motioned for them to pull over to an empty spot and several people came over to help them unload and set up their camper and baby tent the small boys would sleep in. The family was then invited to sit around a campfire and roast marshmallows. The young boys found other kids their own age and went off whooping and hollering playing cowboys and “Injuns”. Their small bodies disappeared into the inky black night of the desert, their hollering heard as they chased each other around.
Jocelyn wrapped herself in a blanket and wandered around the various camps, saying hi to people, trying to surreptiously seek out the teenage boys. Talking with a few people she learned that they were indeed part of an Indian heritage tribe, and every summer they would get together for a big outing in the desert to catch up with scattered relatives. They were on their way to meet many other families when the flash flood wiped out the road and had delayed them. Jocelyn was feeling really welcome by all these traveling people and felt a kinship with them.
Continuing on her wanderings, introducing herself to the rest of the people, she found the three boys, tanned and lithe, hanging out by a fire on the outskirts of the group. They were accompanied by an elderly man with thick braids. He was smoking and the boys weren’t talking.
They invited her to sit and she offered up her bag of marshmallows. They all stuck them on the ends of sticks and let the fires char them. Still no one spoke. She offered the bag to the old man, but he seemed in a trance, the smoke gently curling around his deeply tanned face.
He passed the pipe to one of the boys, who took a long hit, and then he passed it to Jocelyn. She looked at it curiously and helplessly - what was it? The boy who had just inhaled the smoke said “Peyote. Try it.”
The teen boy on her opposite side showed her how. She took a long drag and held it, like they showed her. Slowly exhaling, she didn’t feel anything and wondered what the big deal was. She passed the pipe to the boy next to her. Around and around it went, each time Jocelyn taking a bigger puff and holding it longer.
The night wore on. Jocelyn was feeling a peace she had never before experienced, especially in the past few years of her angst ridden teen years. The world made sense. Everything just seemed so right somehow, so just and true. She pulled the comforter around herself and leaning back, she stared up into the night sky. Full of twinkling stars, she traced them as they seemed to move with ease through the darkness. She doesn’t recall how long she was there, or what time it was, for all time seemed to stand still, but she remembers that all of a sudden waking up on a cold metal table, naked and alone. Panicking, she tried to struggle, but found she couldn’t move. She opened her mouth to scream, but no sound came out. The air was so loud, like she was standing in a vacuum. Suddenly these blobs of light with eerie glowing eyes seemed to move towards her and look down on her. They seemed alive and curious!
Jocelyn screamed and passed out. When she awoke, cold from where the blanket had slipped away from her and the fire low, she found she was alone with the old man, who still appeared to be sleeping across from her, although this time his eyes were only half shut.
Tiptoeing back to her family, she quietly let herself into the trailer. Her father’s concerned voice rang out from the other side, “You have fun, Jocie?”
She mumbled, “Yes, until I was abducted by aliens.”
Her father chuckled and she heard him roll over. “Yup. Those darned aliens’ll get ya every time.”
Jocelyn smiles the entire time she tells the story.
“I don’t go onto those ‘I’ve Been Abducted’ sites and I don’t think there is any big conspiracy by the government or Area 51 or anything like this. I do, most earnestly, however, believe that we are not alone in this universe, and who knows. Maybe I really was abducted and am one of the lucky few…” Or maybe it was just the peyote talking. Regardless, she’s never been abducted again, and she’s never smoked peyote again. Coincidence?
Thank you Jocelyn, for sharing your Story with us.
Our Stories and pictures are the sole copyright of their Authors and may not be reprinted or used without their permission.
© 2009 by Adara Bernstein and Story of My Life ®