Review by: KEN KORCZAK
Dave Shoup, Ph.D., enjoyed a long career as a successful academic and research scientist. He earned his doctorate degree in agricultural engineering from Purdue University in 1980. By that time, he already built a considerable résumé working for top-flight companies in the ag sector, including writing computer simulation code for International Harvester where he also worked as a sales engineer.
After he nailed down his Ph.D., he accepted a job as professor of agricultural and biological engineering at Florida States University. Many other plumb positions would follow with A-List institutions. He finished out his career as dean of the college of agricultural sciences at Southern Illinois University.
Shoup was also much in demand as a consultant and scientist-for-hire during his stellar career.
But all along, Dave Shoup was keeping a remarkable secret. Since the time he a was a little boy growing up poor on a hard-scrabble farm in Indiana, he was experiencing close encounters with UFOs. That, of course, is unforgivable heresy to mainstream science. As deeply institutionalized member-in-good standing of the Materialist Scientific Priesthood, Shoup had little choice but to keep his high strangeness experiences private and undisclosed.
Doing so has exacted a heavy psychological toll. At times, Shoup said his silence came at the price of “destroying the daily joy of living.” He said eroded his ability to make and keep friends. It put tremendous strain on his personal life and family. He often wondered if he would lose his job, his friends and even his family. At certain times, he felt he would lose his sanity.
Despite all, this book does not come off as a pity party.
The tone is that of a searching, intelligent, inquisitive man pushing on through life, bravely endeavoring to be a normal professional, good father and husband. That while grappling to come to grips with something that simply isn’t supposed to exist – yet it does exist. Despite the enormity of what he is up against, Shoup conveys a certain can-do positivity in these pages, although his sense of deep frustration – and often confusion and fear — is sharply evident.
Shoup encountered his first UFO when he was a boy in 1956. His father shared the amazing sighting. It happened on the share-cropping farm on which his hard-working family eked out a living near the tiny town of Ash Grove, Indiana. Shoup was just a tender five-year-old. He was bringing lunch out into a field where is father was harvesting with a combine. Suddenly, two classic flying saucer disks emerged out of the serve Indian sky to hover near where Shoup and his father stood out in the farm field.
A herd of nearby cattle became nervous and retreated to hide by a tree. Shoup and his father did the same. The disks made no noise. They merely came, hovered for a few moments and went on their way. Young Dave was still too little understand he should have been more frightened. His father was deeply rattled, however, as were the cows. The herd avoided the area thereafter.
Shoup’s father’s subsequent response to the paradigm shattering incident was a common one: He told his son to “never tell anyone and never speak of the incident again.”
And so began a lifetime of encounters and secrecy for Dave Shoup. His experiences soon evolved beyond sightings of UFOs to include paranormal incidents of high strangeness. This includes many other widely reported ancillary phenomenon associated with UFO activity, such as encounters with Men In Black, harassment by what seems to be secretive government agents, bizarre dreams and numerous uncanny incidents too weird to describe.
What’s fascinating to me is that books like this one are becoming more common. By that I mean books by ordinary men and women and who have led otherwise normal lives, held down solid professional jobs, married, raised families, owned a house in the suburb – but who have grappled incessantly their entire lives with … with … what shall we call it? UFO harassment? An unwanted affiliation with UFO-themed paranormal activity? — or is it a kind of natural affinity to perceive what has always been there for all of us to see, but for some reason, most of us just automatically block it out?
Other people like Dave Shoup have come forward with similar experiences recently. Just a few examples which I have reviewed on this site include:
Terry Lovelace – Like Prof. Shoup, Terry Lovelace enjoyed a successful professional career. He was an attorney, all the while struggling to deal with persistent encounters with UFOs and related phenomenon all his life. Like Shoup, he “came clean” only after retirement to protect his career. SEE MY REVIEW
Leo Dworshak – A man who grew up on a farm in North Dakota and began encountering a UFO and its occupants in 1932. He led a normal life working in various professions, married, raised a family and maintained contact with highly humanlike alien beings throughout his adult life. Wrote book about it only when he reached his 80s. SEE MY REVIEW
Nancy Tremaine – A woman from a small town in Michigan who encountered a UFO at age 12 and spent her life dealing with encounters involving reptilian-type beings. Did not reveal her story until 50 years after original event. SEE MY REVIEW
Roger Kvande – Brilliant computer electronics developer whose extreme high strangeness encounters began in childhood and persisted throughout his life. Wrote a book about it after he solidified a successful career. SEE MY REVIEW
There’s hundreds of others who have come out with books or opted to talk about their stories in public and online forums. Some of them are famous or became famous because of their encounters, such as Travis Walton, Whitley Strieber, Barney and Betty Hill, Calvin Parker and more.
But it’s folks like Dave Shoup, Terry Lovelace and Nancy Tremaine that intrigue me most because they may indicate a trend. They are coming forth, one by one, exposing what is almost certainly a significant portion of our general society who have remained hidden because they felt they had to – but now maybe the veil is being lifted one “normal, ordinary” person at a time.
It may be safe to conclude that for every Dave Shoup that loosens the lid on a lifetime of UFO contact experience, perhaps hundreds or thousands more are still lurking in the UFO closet. That’s why Shoup’s bravery and this book represents such a valuable contribution to society. It’s one more “guy not so different than me” who has decided he’s no longer content to take his remarkable experiences with him to his grave. The more people like him who come forward, the sooner the world can step out of denial en masse and come to grips with the reality that a transhuman intelligence is among us and interacting with millions of people every day.
Perhaps it’s time for the human race to wake up, graduate and join the Galactic Neighborhood.
Ken Korczak is a former newspaper reporter, government information officer, served as an advocate for homeless people as a VISTA Volunteer, and taught journalism at the University of North Dakota for five years. He is the author of: BIRD BRAIN GENIUS
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