UFO Abductions in Gulf Breeze by Ed Walters & Frances Walters (1994)
Gulf Breeze, Florida, is located on the western end of a long, narrow pennisula which runs parallel to the city of Pensacola and is located three miles south of Pensacola across the Pensacola Bay. We moved here a little over six months ago. The people are friendly, the weather is warm, and I haven't seen a single UFO since I moved here. So I was a little surprised when I came across this book. Nonetheless, I felt obligated to read it and now feel obligated to foist this review on you as my Forgotten Book this week.
Gulf Breeze is (or was) an epicenter of UFO activity in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Hundreds of people reported sightings during that time. The floodgates of reports began with a respected local building contractor named Ed Walters. Walters claimed he saw and photographed a UFO over his suburban neighborhood on November 11, 1987. This was the first of many sightings he, and then his wife Frances, saw over Gulf Breeze during the next few years. Walters reported the incident anonymously to the local newspaper and soon others in Gulf Breeze were claiming they had seen UFOs -- some dating as far back as the 1940s. Many of these incidences were recorded in Ed and Frances Walters first book The Gulf Breeze Sightings (1990).
One thing that bothered Ed Walters was a period of "missing time" he had experienced during one of his encounters with a UFO. Believing that hypnosis might provide more information on his experiences, he contacted Dan Overlade, a psychologist in Pensacola who specialized in clinical hypnosis. The results of Walters sessions with Overlade form the bulk of this book. Briefly, it turns out that, from the age of eleven, Walters had been abducted by aliens every eight years. (Walters grew up in Jacksonville, so not all the abductions took place in Gulf Breeze.)
That's Walters' story and he's sticking to it.
The hypnosis brought back a lot of memories, some of which (Walters says) may be real and some of which may be false. Being followed home by a menacing giant black dog. Experiences as a black man, a half-breed Indian, and as a young boy in Nicaragua whose family was being slaughtered by Sandanistas. Rescuing two children and being chased down a giant corridor by large lizards (which were frozen by a blue light seconds before they would have torn him to shreds. Naked, hairless, sexless aliens -- one of whom Walters sensed was female because it had very small breasts maybe. Another older alien, sick and perhaps dying, with white hair. Small (young?) aliens sucking memories from him by way of tubes attached to his head. (One memory of he and his wife making love after skinny dipping in a Costa Rican stream. TMI! TMI!) Strange disjointed conversations with aliens. A repeated momory of the word "tamacuari" and the number "7670," only later to find out that Tamacuari is a 7670-foot tall mountain in a remote area of Venezuala.
Frances Walters and their two children had seen (separately and on different occasions) four large gry fingers through the top of their window, evidently hanging down from the eave of their home.
A fifteen-year-old girlfriend of their daughter was in hysterics after the FBI stormed into her house one night and arrested and handcuffed her mother and herself. Evidently six servicemen had deserted their overseas posts unpon finding out some disturbing news about UFOs and some of the six had stayed with the girl's mother.
For a while in the early Nineties, dozens of UFO researchers and enthusiasts would camp out near the end of the Bay Bridge or at the shore of the Naval Live Oaks Park two miles away to watch and photograph the almost nightly appearance of UFOs. By June of one year, sixty-five sightings had been reported. A crew from ABC television caught the UFOs on film (as did a crew from Japanese television). Why this never made it on ABC as an actual news story is not explained.
Yeah, after a while some of the things related in the book got to be a bit too much.
At the time Gulf Breeze was a small community of about 6000 people. Ed and Frances were respected members of the community. Ed had a reputable business, headed several committees for the Chamber of Commerce, and was a member of the town's planning Commission. Frances was active in the PTA (as president, I believe). Both were active in local activities, much of which was focused on youth. They tried not to drawn attention to themselves and had presented much of their findings anonymously until their names were released. They moved down the street to a new house and began to have unlisted phone numbers.
They blame a lot of their troubles on "debunkers" -- people who for unknown reasons do everything they can to cast doubt and ridicule on those who report UFOs. In the case of the Walters, these debunkers supposedly used fraud, robbery, and libel in an effort to discredit Ed and Frances. For Ed, this seemed to spring from a vast cover-up, perhaps instituted by the government. He uses part of the book to explain away some of the allegations, including the discovery of a model of the UFO found in the attic of his former home. Frances uses her part of the book to explain that she and her husband are good, honest people, well-respected with no reason to institute a fraud.
The Gulf Breeze UFOs have sharply divided people between those who insist it was a real phenomenon and thos who claim it was a hoax. Ed Walters went on to write a third book, coauthored by a UFO supporter. I have no idea what happened to the Walters family; they appear to have disappeared with out a trace. MUFON (the Mutual Unidentied Flying Objects Network) strongly supported the Walters for a number of years with claims of scientific authenticity of their photographs later backed away from that claim declaring that at least some of the photographs were hoaxes. I don't know when the UFO sightings stopped, but the interest in the Gulf Breeze sighting faded. Not only have I not seen a UFO here (or anywhere), but I have never heard anyone locally talk about them.
The area, by the way, is the home of the Pensacola Naval Air Station (home of the Blue Angels) and Elgin Air Force Base. Little is made of that in the book.
One estimate is that Walters made upwards of $400,000 from the incidents.