It's hard to dismiss Terry Lovelace as a crazy man. He was an EMT and medic in the Air Force, earned a law degree from the University of Michigan, worked as both a defense attorney and in the offices of the attorney general -- oh, and he's been married to the same woman for 46 years and raised a reportedly happy and functional family.
Lovelace says he never intended to tell the rest of his story -- or to write a book about it -- until he took up jogging in 2012. Although he'd always suffered from nightmares and hated being in wide-open, exposed places, it was then he noticed something about his body he couldn't explain. Every time he'd hit the 2-mile mark, a place just above his knee would go numb. Finally, medical tests revealed an unexplained piece of metal the size of a fingernail implanted in his leg.
“Incident at Devil’s Den” by Terry Lovelace is available at amazon.com.
More information on the Ozark Mountain UFO Conference is available at www.ozarkufoconference.com.
It wasn't shrapnel; he'd never been in active combat. He'd never been through surgery. There was no entrance scar. And he had no memory of ever being injured -- or did he?
Lovelace is the author of "Incident at Devil's Den: A True Story" and one of the speakers on the roster at the 33rd annual Ozark Mountain UFO Conference in Eureka Springs, which has been rescheduled for July 24-26. What happened at Devil's Den in 1977 was the worst event in a lifetime of interactions with what he believes are entities not from Earth.
"I want to be clear from the start," he says in the introduction to his book, published in 2018. "I'm not on a mission to change your mind about the topic of UFOs or the existence of alien life. ... I planned to take my story to my grave." But having started to tell it two years ago this month, when his book came out, Lovelace says the experience of speaking at UFO conferences has largely been positive.
"After 40 years of speaking to juries, I have zero anxiety speaking in front of people," he says. "I just tell my story as honestly as I can without embellishment. People appreciate it, and something about the story seems to resonate with them."
He has also received some 1,300 emails from people who claim they too have had experiences with ETs.
"There's a core group of about 700 that really ring true," he says by phone from his home in Dallas. "There's a certain commonality that runs through them. They start by saying, 'You're not going to believe this' -- and then they tell me unbelievable stories that I absolutely believe."
Lovelace's own story starts when he was a child about 8 years old and started seeing little monkey-like people in his bedroom at night. It continues with sightings of UFOs, sometimes when he was alone, sometimes with his Air Force buddy, Toby, and sometimes with his wife. But it was the Devil's Den incident that haunts him most to this day. Stationed at an Air Force in Missouri, Lovelace and his EMT colleague Toby decided -- a decision that was very random and out of character, he says -- to take a camping trip into Arkansas. Toby chose Devil's Den, but they didn't want to stay in the campgrounds at the state park. Instead they found a summit outside the park where they intended to pitch a tent, watch the night sky and take photos of majestic overlooks and animals.
Twenty-four hours later, their lives were changed forever. Lovelace believes that over that time period, they both were taken aboard a spacecraft and "whatever they did to me, Toby got a double-dose of it." They never spoke about what happened, not on the drive back to Missouri and not later, except during one brief encounter when Lovelace assured Toby that he wasn't crazy and it really did happen as he remembered it.
Diagnosed with PTSD twice in recent years, Lovelace says "writing the book was very therapeutic for me, and I'm glad that I did it. Speaking in public was really very helpful to me, too." And to those who say he's simply seeking attention, Lovelace has this response: "To be honest, I don't need to sell books. That's not the object of the exercise. If you think I'm a liar, there's nothing I can do to change that. Have a nice day."
NAN What's Up on 04/05/2020