Our Story
Previous to 1970 I was aware that ghosts existed even if our church fathers told us they didn't, I was raised in a haunted house.  In 1970 after a very close encounter with a UFO I knew that UFO's existed and they were real even if my own dad and others told me otherwise.  It seems that aliens and ghosts believe in us even if some don't believe in them.

What we choose to believe in only affects us, it doesn't change reality or the truth only our perception of the truth.

At the foot of my bed in the house where I grew up was an attic door that would open at night.  It had a latch on it and would not open without releasing the latch.  My younger sister Gina was aware of the door opening at night as I was and her bedroom was in the next room over in our upstairs.  It was creepy to close that door so frequently only to find it open again when I knew no one else had been up there.  One night I pushed a big box of books against the door to hold it shut.  The next morning I found the door closed but the box was pushed out into the floor.  I opened the door and it meshed up flush against the side of the box.  It was clear the door had opened with enough force to push the box away.

Anytime day or night you could hear the sounds of someone walking up and down the stairs.  Many times I would hear it thinking someone was coming up and when no one appeared I became curious.  Then I would hear the sounds and move to stand at the top of the stairs looking down to hear foot steps walk up and past me but there was no one there.

I was told it was a wood frame house and they make creaking sounds like that frequently.  Yes, I am very familiar with the normal sounds of a wood frame house,  and these were the sounds of footsteps, not the creaking of a wooden house.  They would begin at one end and move to the other the exact same sounds that anyone would make while using the stairs.

In 1970 a friend, Leslie "Butch" Allen and I were on the way home from Ralph's Roller Rink in Pittsfield, IL in his mom's car.  We rounded the corner near the old Wheeler place and could see the brilliant glow of a UFO hovering over the old mine hill power lines.  We pulled inside the Pearl city limits and pulled over.  We got out and stood in front of the car near the old brick jail house.  The next house over to the east was the Baldwin home.  Past this was an open field.  Beyond that was the restaurant and Shell station.

As we watched it appeared the UFO was growing larger but in fact it was moving directly toward us.  Butch and I remember the UFO encounter clearly but we didn't recall the exact details quite the same.  It was a "deep dish" craft.  It was brilliant white to look at it but only a soft glow from it was visible on the tree in the Baldwin yard.  I notice a shimmering blue energy moving over the white glow of the craft.  The thing looked huge to me but Butch said it couldn't have been more than about 30 feet across.  As I reviewed my recollections of the event I realized he was correct.  The craft itself was about the same size as the foliage on the tree it was hovering beside.  I would guess we were standing within 25-30 yards from the craft at this point.  To be sure I would need to go measure off the distance.

A vehicle came up behind us, we saw the lights.  Butch and I jumped into the car and he drove forward then slammed on his breaks.  At this point I looked up to see the UFO was now moving over the car toward the south.  The other vehicle was my dad and sister Gina who also saw the UFO as it went up toward Old Pearl.

We went directly to my house via town while dad and Gina went via the short-cut beating us by about a min.  We entered to hear them telling mom the story of  the light they saw.  We then told them we had been within yards of the UFO.  Gina believed us and dad said it couldn't have been a UFO cause there is no such thing.  Years later however he changed his mind realizing that many of his friends had seen UFOs at close range in and around Pearl.

I saw the UFO many times back then and occasional would chase after it in my 1970 Charger R/T.  I usually had some friends with me who included Danny Baldwin, Michael "Bim" Shanks, David Shanks and a few others.  We saw the UFO blink out, vanish then reappear in a new location as it seemed to be toying with us.  The Shanks family were the first people in the area to have seen the UFO.  They lived right beside the river and the RR tracks where the UFO would enter our area.  Since then we have had some amazing experiences and have seen things we are not always so willing to share with people we do not know.  Ask the right questions and don't ridicule and you might learn some interesting things.  Otherwise I write some fiction based on truth in my science fiction novels.  I've had people Email and some who even came to the house asking me if certain things in my books were real.

I will tell you, humanity has never been alone.  I've never seen a "little green alien" but I have interviewed people who have seen humanoid aliens in green flying suits.  Some are little gray beings 3'-4' tall with big black eyes.  Some of them look like grays but are 5'-6' tall.  Some are little people with ash colored skin 4'-5' tall.  Some look human enough but have bright blue eyes and either blond or white hair.  Some of the aliens look just like we do and you wouldn't know them if you met one on the street.  According to a boy who flew with the aliens in the UFO / spaceship Butch and I saw they looked as human as we do.

Little Shadow Things
When we moved into the house we now live in it was so haunted by something no one could live here.  We were looking for a house and a day or so before we had been invited to look at another house but when the time came we found out the man had sold it to someone else.  A friend told us about this house.  We came to see and arrived as dusk just as the owner was showing two others out.  He looked at us on the way out the kitchen door, looked at the ceiling and said "Thank God he said he would send someone who could live in this house."  He looked at us and said "I'll be right back."

We looked at each other wondering what the man meant by that.  He returned and told us the place was haunted but some how he knew we were the right people for this house.  He was so certain that he even loaned us some of the money for the closing cost.  He told us all the modifications he had made to the place.  He also mentioned others who had tried to live here would sometimes leave in the middle of the night.  He said one family must have let a big dog into the house because all the doors were scratched up as if an animal had been in here.  He said he didn't  allow people to come here with pets and could not explain how the scratches came to be on the doors.  He came to live here himself and soon learned why people leave without notice.  That's when he decided he had to sell the house.

Not long after moving in we got our own dose of what was wrong with the place.  Saying it was haunted was to put it mildly.  You've seen  movies about haunted locations where stuff goes wild and things move, stuff flies around the room and crashes to the floor.  Things turn off and on including the water and the toilet flushing.  You think that's exaggerated for the movie's sake and it probably is.  Well this house needed no special effects, it was fully equipped.

We were ready to move out to but had no money left and no where we could go.  We went to bed each night praying ourselves to sleep in our locked bedroom listening to all kinds of sounds outside the room.  The doors, music, footsteps, occasional voices and even the doors opening and closing.  The knobs would turn on our bedroom doors.  Sometimes we would hear loud banging sounds on the doors and swear someone was in the house.  Upon checking there was no one there.

We would pray until we passed out from exhaustion then have nightmares until something woke us.  We didn't sleep well at all.  Finally my fear turned to anger and I decided to claim the house and tell these things they had to go.  I asked God for  the ability to do so and the next thing I knew I lay down passed out and woke again only to get out of my body and see me and  my wife asleep in bed.  This not being the first time I had gone OBE though years previous I was not as concerned upon seeing my body without me in it.  Upon hearing voices and sounds I went to the living room to find little dark gray and black shadow things 2-3' long/high.  Some were dwarf like, shaped like a person and stood upright.  Some were like lizards and some seemed to be variations of these things.  I began throwing them out of the house.  Outside I saw 3 ghosts, two boys and a girl dressed in 1800-early 1900 cloths.  They were all shades of gray.   They saw me and I tried to speak to them.  I saw them try to answer but could not hear their voices.

 This went on for 3 months and as the days went by more ghosts gathered in the street to watch me throwing these things out of the house.  I became so accustom to being OBE back then that I couldn't wait to kick their little asses out.  I would get out of my body and say "time to go to work."  Finally one night I went OBE got out of my body and saw a shadow man standing in the hallway.  I went to him thinking someone must be in the house.  I said "can I help you?"  And he told me to leave his little friends alone or else.  Then he said if I didn't he would kill me and my wife.  I jumped on him and the fight was on.  He was the one who left, but he left laughing.  A few nights later I was literally jerked out of my body slammed against the corner of the East ceiling, spun around until I was dizzy and when I stopped spinning saw a thing standing  at the foot of my bed that was neither human or animal.  It had a head similar to that of a big goat.  It had horns.  It had the upper body like a man and the hind legs of a bull.  It was dark red in color.  This thing made the same threats as the first demon and I told him he had no authority over me or my family or my house.

I bound him in the name of Jesus and  told him to go back where he came from and never return here again.  He vanished.  A few days later people showed up at our door who I had never met and they began moving in with us.  I said "can I help you" and they said "we are here to help clean your house."  Exactly what they did.  I began asking God to show me what to do and that's what He did usually in night visions.  He gave me the pieces I needed to put together to close a portal to another dimension, the underworld.  Once this was done the "things" could no longer enter the house.  It's as normal as any house on the block now.

The events I described brought me into the awareness of the little shadow things.
I felt compelled to investigate such things and present my findings to the public.  I felt there was no one else in these fields of research who could come at it from my perspective.  I had to tell my story and show others things I had seen and experienced while in the spirit O.B.E. as well as to present events I had tracked after having viewpoint dreams, what some will call "remote viewing" dreams.

I had been involved in television work for years and owned a 3/4" Umatic system like those used by TV stations to gather the news.  I had shot and edited TV shows for other producers.  I thought I had what it took to do what I wanted to do.  The first thing I didn't have was a good crew and then I discovered that I couldn't do what I wanted to do with my old 3/4" Umatic equipment.  I needed a new camera and a crew and then I needed some money to get things rolling.

I bought a new GL-1 Canon camera, some DV tapes and began practicing with it.  In order to pay the camera payments I went to work shooting for the local Young Actor's Guild.  After shooting and editing several plays I realized that our prices for selling the tapes and DVD's we made was way to low.  I was spending a week or more editing each of their plays and then charging around $10 per VHS tape.  We might sell 20 tapes per show.  $200 a week just won't get it so we raised our price to $15 per tape.  You should have heard the complaints from the parents who wanted videos of their children in the plays.  That was bad enough but we knew that $15 was still cheap for shooting, editing and creating the videos for this group.  Not to mention I build them a website and didn't charge them anything for it.  It's still out here on the web but is no longer being updated.

Our daughters Laura and Kristy said they would be glad to host the show and they were both attractive teenagers who could entertain an audience without effort.  We saved up some money and went to shoot our first show segments at the beautiful and historic Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, AR.  The girls took some of their friends with them and the manger there allowed us full run of the building until midnight.  We captured some orbs but other than the girls entertaining us we didn't have much to build a show upon.  We came home, went through the video and realized we needed more so we called Jack Moyer the manager of the Crescent Hotel to see if it was all right for us to return and shoot a few more segments.  He refused our request leaving us with our last option.  We had to find somewhere else to build a show.  I wasn't that impressed with the events at the Crescent anyway, we needed something much better than that if we were going to achieve our objectives.

We kept working and saving our money then one day we scheduled a trip to Virginia City, NV.  I wanted to stay in Virginia city in a haunted building but my wife decided the best place for us to stay was a swap of our condo for a room on beautiful lake Tahoe.  That meant we had to drive our rented car back and forth to Virginia City each day.

We were greeted by most of the people in Virginia City, NV with open arms, all but one person treated us well and we found out the reason he didn't like us was because he thought we were rich, shooting a TV show and he was going to make some money being interviewed and showing us around.  When he found out he wasn't being paid a great deal of money he gave us the cold shoulder very quickly.

We were given access to some very impressive historical places which included the old whore house the "Washoe Club."  The area above the bar was the whore house and it was closed and locked to the public but the owner allowed us into the building after we signed a paper that says if we get hurt up there we won't sew them.

We spent hours shooting video and walking through the old buildings.  We had a wonderful time.  I checked each tape as it was full to be sure it was all right.  When we got home and I started to transfer the video to our computer hard drive to be edited I discovered that less than 10% of the video could be viewed.  SOMETHING WAS WRONG!

I learned the GL-1 had literally trashed our video tapes!  Was I angry!  You better believe I was.  We had spent all the money on that trip and had nothing we could use!  We were not just out of funds we were seriously in the hole!  You can call it a run of bad luck if you want to but after several attempts to create a show I came to the realization there were forces in the universe that didn't want our show to see the light of day.  In the mean time other producers were doing the same thing only they were succeeding where we had failed.  The only thing they didn't have was me and my experience in dealing with the paranormal.

What do I have they don't have?  I've walked among the spirits in the spirit on many occasions.  I've seen them, I know there are earth bound ghosts, evil spirits, demons and their underlings, and angels.  All I needed to do was capture the evidence so I could show everyone what I had seen in the spirit world.

I paid $500 to have the camera fixed by Canon and then low and behold I got a call from Victoria Monroe in Reno who wanted me to come join her at Piper's Opera House in Virginia City, NV to help her shoot Ghosts of Piper's.  It seemed my luck was about to change.

I couldn't afford a crew and low and behold I got an Email from Sonya Lee who offered to drive out to Reno and pick me up at the airport and drive me around.  Not only that she was willing to bring a friend with her who would help running a camera!  I just knew God was moving things around in my favor for a change so despite the fact I couldn't afford it I knew I had to go.  Money was a problem, we have expenses on jobs like this, but I wasn't doing it for the money.

You might ask "why in the world is Bryon so driven like this?"  It's a worthy question and I'll tell you this.  Sometimes I sidestep this question because my answer sounds like the words of a crazy man.  The truth is I died twice thanks to the shadow of death and saw Jesus wearing the Crown with twelve points and the Ancient of Days (really old man) at the Great City of Light in Heaven on the first trip and on the second trip I was with the great host of angels and one of the angels, the first female angel I had seen told me that I could stay with them on this trip or I could return.  I told her I had to return to tell others what I had been allowed to see.  The angel sent me back.  So the reason I'm here now is to tell my story!  So either I'm crazy and need help or I'm telling the truth.  One thing you must know is that I believe I was sent back to share what God has shown me.  Therefore making people aware that spirits exist is my primary mission.  In my mind God was clearing the way and making it possible for me to do just that.  I had to go back to Reno and hopefully I would get the chance to shoot the video that would make our Spooky Places show possible.

I arrived in Reno at the airport and Sonya Lee was there to get me.  We went the "small" mall in Reno and met with Amy (Victoria Monroe).  We went to Virginia City and low and behold we were invited to stay in the very haunted but famous Mackay Mansion and it didn't cost us anything.  That's saying something since they don't allow people to stay there without paying an enormous fee.  The last person who stayed there was Johnny Depp and he saw the ghost of the little girl in white.

None of our team saw the little girl in white but we were shown a good time and saw the sights of Virginia City.

We met with Amy and the other teams at Piper's Opera house and began our adventure.  I found it odd that Amy had brought everything except lights and yet intended to shoot during the night.  I was the only one who had thought to bring camera lights.  When we split up I gave my digital 8 camera with light to Sonya's friend and he did a good job following their professional videographer and his team around.  I worked exclusively with Vickie Gay during our investigative part of the show.

With the exception of some strange sounds in some of my GL-1 video my video was good.  It wasn't long however until Amy contacted me telling me that her videographer had made off with all her Ghosts of Piper's videos and she wanted to know if I had enough video to complete the show.  I told her I had some good video and certainly she was welcome to all of it.  Then she asked me if I would finish the show for her.  I admit I have enough of the actual video from the event to do the show but what I don't have is the in-between segments that can be shot at any time to finish the show.  Once again it seems something didn't want me to finish her show or mine.

Now I will admit that while I was in the spirit I ran into some unsavory characters, one was a demon named Nata who without question does not want us to make anyone else aware that such spirits do exist and they have a great deal of influence over the living.  Their greatest power is in the fact that people are not aware of them.  Can you imagine what might happen if people discovered that God and the devil actually do exist?  I'm sure this would come as no surprise to most of the religious world especially the Christians.  What they don't want to hear is the fact there are ghosts who are disembodied spirits of the dead who still roam the earth.

Strange as it might seem I've learned the reason why the ghosts of the dead still roam the earth.  In my experience It is true that when a person is saved they are taken into the light to the great city of light by two angels.  At one time in the past there was a place where all the spirits of the dead were kept and that place is a place I refer to as the underworld.  It is a dimension of spirits that resides within the earth.  It is the place where the spirit of our Creator went to set his friends free.  To do this he broke the veil between this world and that and when He took his friends on into the light he left that veil broken allowing many of the spirits of the dead to roam the earth at will.  I am also inclined to believe that now and then a glorified spirit (one existing in the light) will return to the earth plane and act as a guardian angel or escort into the light.

Since all we had at this point were segments of videos I edited the usable ones that connected together.  We quit working for the Young Actors Guild and went to work for Southside High Drama in order to keep paying the bills.  During the year we do other jobs now and then to help pay the bills.  We bought a new Sony FX-1 because the Canon GL-1 VCR failed again just as it had before and the only way we can use it is if we connect it directly to a computer via firewire.  As long as we are stationary and have power it works well enough.  The Canon has the best optics but the Sony has the best picture and dependability.

When we began all this we were among the very few who were even attempting to do a show dealing with the paranormal.  Because of all the complications and set-backs we still don't have a completed show and now everyone and their brother are making shows about the paranormal.  Some of those shows are quite good I must admit and all I really wanted to do was help make people aware that we are not alone.  Ghosts and UFO's do exist and does it really mater if it's our show or someone else's that make people aware of the truth?

Ghost Hunters, Dead Famous and Most Haunted are three of our favorite shows dealing with the paranormal.  I admit Ghost Hunters and Most Haunted have things I don't care for but all of them have certain things I like.  Derek needs to leave the channeling out of his work.  He's insightful and gifted as a psychic medium and channeling isn't a wise thing to do and can leave a person with psychic scars and traumatic stress problems from a ghost.  The other thing that channeling does with some is to discredit the show.  Not everyone believes in channeling and think it looks fake.  If you do it enough sooner or later it will backfire on you, which is exactly what I think has happened to Derek Acora.

I get sick and tired of the Ghost Hunters frequent bickering.  I could care less about their "day job" as plumbers.  They are using these things as fillers and they distract from the show.  I don't watch Orange Country Choppers show because they are constantly yelling and this is done by the same producer.  Sometimes they just don't have time to do a proper investigation and write it off as a "ghost no-show" when the place might very well be haunted, but now they'll never know.  Now and then though the Ghost Hunters do capture evidence of the paranormal on video and the light house shadow entity was amazing.

Years ago not all that long after we moved into this house I had a very close encounter with a shadow entity just like the one they caught on video at the light house.  I came into the house thinking that Matthew was behind me and I was talking and not getting an answer.  When I got to my office door I turned around and there standing within arm's reach from me was a shadow entity.  I stood there looking at the thing astounded at what I was seeing.  Then the entity went down the hall and vanished into our bedroom.  I ran after it but didn't see that one again but me as well as  the girls have seen the smaller shadow entities since then.  Like the larger one the smaller ones suck up the light as well as the heat in the air.

I was having a chat with some people in a ghost forum and was somewhat set back by the fact these people mentioned the shadow figure in the light house Ghost Hunter show and said they thought it was faked.  In this line of work a person needs to take everything with a grain of salt and keep an open mind at the same time.  I can assure you from my own experiences the shadow beings do exist.

I believe things around me that guide my path have a purpose even though I may not always understand the methods by which things come about.  I believe the people I meet in life may also have a purpose in my quest to help others understand the paranormal exists.  I worked with Vickie Gay during Ghosts of Piper's and now she's the director of the Universal Passing Over event.  She ask me to speak at the Universal Passing Over event in Las Vegas, NV this year.  She also asked me to be the official videographer to document the event.  So once again it appears that our adventure has taken a turn toward what we hope will be a positive future.

The Universal Passing Over event took place in Las Vegas, NV.  I had more people attend my segment than anyone else.  I'm not sure why it worked out like that but on the events schedule I had a larger listing than anyone else.  There's more information on the Events page.

In 2008 Laura and I were called in to replace two EVP experts, working with Bill Brown and Kathy Berry.  We investigated and captured EVPs during this event which was done with station KTVN ch 2 in Reno.  You can read more about this event and watch videos taken from that event on our Virginia City pages.

For now that's our story.

...Bryon Smith
There's a fun ghost story in the Ember Reign novel series.