- A Rishon Lezion engineer, who claims
he is in contact with extraterrestrials, is drawing the attention of believers
and skeptics alike.
- Adrian Dvir is a huge man, burly and
bearded, but at this moment he must feel something like a teenage girl.
- It is already 9:20 on the evening of
Remembrance Day for the Fallen of Israel's Wars and, while most of the
nation has settled down in front of the TV, Dvir is waiting by the phone
for a call that was supposed to come on the hour.
- He is growing somewhat anxious. Every
few minutes he checks his cellular phone and random attachments to make
sure they are properly connected. They are, but still there is no sign
of Fenix. It could be that Fenix is standing Dvir up.
- "I can't promise that he'll call,"
Dvir says. "I told him that a journalist was coming, and he's also
interested in public relations. But I'm not his top priority. Sometimes
they have crises or other things come up."
- As the minutes tick by one wonders how
much grace to give Fenix before thanking Dvir politely and mentioning the
long ride back from his Rishon Lezion home to Jerusalem. Eyes wander the
walls, taking in the artwork and noticing how curiously appropriate it
is to the environment: ghoulish faces appearing out of tree trunks; a bald,
hydrocephalic woman with a passing resemblance to Sinead O'Connor; designs
of refracted light and interlocking geometric shapes; distorted faces with
several levels of eyes. Seventies basement playroom art, in other words.
- Finally, at 9:30, Dvir's cell phone rings.
The screen registers "private call" but the slow, metallic croak
of a voice is unmistakable: he says he is Fenix. The voice is audible over
a speaker Dvir has attached to the phone.
- He does not apologize for the delay,
but his manners can be excused. He is, after all, hurtling in his spacecraft
at 18 times the speed of light from Uranus back to his home solar system
of Arcturus, and it's reasonable to assume that Cellcom's reception is
spotty that far out in the galaxy.
- Dvir, who has developed a friendship
with Fenix after three months of frequent phone calls - he has recorded
some 40 hours of the calls on video - begins the conversation by announcing
that a journalist is present and wishes to ask Fenix some questions. That
deviance from the normal rules will not be allowed, however.
- "It is incumbent on me to bring
my regrets," Fenix says, his speech slow and halting, his guttural
native language translated awkwardly into Hebrew through some kind of synthesizer
on the mother ship. "Permission for direct contact, in real time,
outside the contact person, does not exist. Please bring questions through
you if his desire is in receiving answers."
- So begins The Jerusalem Post's first
known contact with extraterrestrials. For Dvir, however, such close encounters
are the stuff of everyday life. An engineer who develops hand-held military
computers for Tadiran Com., Dvir says he has spent the last five years
in close contact with aliens.
- First they opened a medical clinic in
the workroom of his Rishon Lezion home, one of several such supposed alien-run
health clinics operating in the city. Those aliens, Dvir says, were of
a particularly developed and, apparently, benevolent race.
- Fenix's species, the Kliendcontlar, are
less advanced but also well-intentioned. Their purpose is to warn us earthlings
of the mortal danger we may face in another 50 years from the fearsome
Morgolius, a race of cosmic bullies who even now are trying to exterminate
the Kliendcontlar and have their sights set next on Earth.
- True, the Kliendcontlar do appear to
have ulterior motives: they believe Earth's atmosphere is favorable and
would like to transfer to Dvir their genetic code for a possible future
migration to our planet. Dvir warned them off, Earth being already too
crowded. But it would seem the Kliendcontlar wouldn't pose such terrible
competitors for the planet's scarce resources - they appear to exist, after
all, only in a parallel dimension, imperceptible to most of us humans sadly
limited to just five senses.
- Dvir's training as an engineer and his
methodical work habits may make him an ideal conduit to publicize the exploits
of Fenix and his race, but he certainly is not alone in his belief in extraterrestrial
- A 1996 Gallup poll purported to show
that 40 percent of Israelis believe in the existence of aliens, according
to Avi Greif, chairman of the Israeli Center for the Study of UFOs. That
still makes us much more skeptical than, say, Americans, some 70 percent
of whom believe in extraterrestrials, Greif says.
- Surely, contact with aliens has figured
prominently in many of the movies that have most profoundly influenced
our generation, from Close Encounters of the Third Kind to Star Wars, Star
Trek to ET.
- Grief, who is not in contact with aliens
himself but gathers information on the phenomenon, says nearly 70,000 sightings
of aliens and unidentified flying objects are reported around the world
- Many of these are recorded in various
ways, though their authenticity obviously is disputed. It's anyone's guess
what role pop culture images of aliens play in the alleged sightings.
- "I'm 100 percent sure that aliens
exist," Greif says. "In the end I believe it will be accepted
by everyone. There is a lot of proof, but the problem is that this proof
isn't known to a lot of people."
- The reason for that, Greif and other
believers insist, is a conspiracy of silence on the part of governments,
militaries and scientists. Greif alleges a history of contact between aliens
and representatives of the US government, a collaboration that may even
include the transfer of other-worldly technology.
- The US, however, keeps such information
under tight wraps, Greif says - "and if the American government denies
it, of course the Israeli government will deny it too."
- Israel, for its size, appears to have
quite frequent contact with aliens. In Rishon Lezion alone, for example,
aliens allegedly run at least three medical clinics, treating an assortment
of ailments from disc problems to toothaches to anorexia to lupus. Much
of the actual work is done by humans who channel the aliens' energy, laying
on hands or projecting force with their hands held three to four centimeters
above the patient's body.
- Sometimes the aliens supposedly do the
work all by themselves, while the "healer" sits on the side.
That can anger patients, who feel they are being ripped off when the healer
then pockets NIS 150. But in fact the aliens work up to 10 times faster
than their human conduits, Dvir says, and such hands-off treatment thus
is more efficient.
- When Dvir became aware of his abilities
several years ago, he attended an institute for spiritual healing in Holon,
and in 1995 received diplomas in energetic healing and advanced spiritual
healing. His first book, Healing, Yeshuyot Vehutzanim (healing, beings
and aliens) has just been published by Gal and is available at Steimatzky's.
His clinic is mostly closed now while he concentrates on writing a book
on his experiences with the Kliendcontlars.
- For demonstration purposes, however,
Dvir does a bit of work on his wife, Adriana, who often feels that her
left arm is falling asleep. Dvir maneuvers his hands above her body, guided,
he says, by the aliens, who intuitively find the trouble spot. After a
few minutes of energy transference, Adriana says she feels pins and needles
in her arm, a sign that circulation is returning.
- Greif says he is not sure of the veracity
of Dvir's alien contacts, though they seem credible. What inclines him
to believe is the fact that four other people have reported contact with
the same race and back up Dvir's account of their appearance, location
and social structure.
- In any case, the UFO group will meet
at the Netanya library on May 18 to discuss Dvir's claims.
- "It's hard to prove whether it's
true," Greif says. "I want it to be true, but I need proof. The
question is what would be [Dvir's] motivation, what does he get out of
it. He's a serious person, he's not trying to make a living off this. But
it could be that tomorrow we'll find out that someone is just playing around
with him. Even today I'm not 100 percent sure about it."
- Dvir was born in Bucharest and moved
here in 1965, at the age of eight. As a child he was a science fiction
fan, but his psychic abilities did not manifest themselves until he was
an adult. Dvir's first experience with the paranormal was a dozen or so
years ago, when he was lying on a bed at his parents' house and felt something
cold on his leg.
- It was a dead aunt, asking Dvir to look
after her children.
- Dvir says he didn't think about the experience
much. "I figured I had a fertile imagination," he says.
- But the encounters with dead relatives
continued. Several years later, shortly after his grandfather died, Dvir
encountered the old man shuffling around his apartment, looking for a newspaper.
After his father died of cancer, Dvir came out of work to find his spirit
sitting in Dvir's car. Lucky thing, too, because his father warned him
to be careful, and Dvir says he then escaped a collision with a truck that
seemed to materialize out of nowhere.
- Dvir's psychic connection was not just
with his loved ones. Working on his computer one Shabbat, Dvir began to
feel that he was a medium for messages from other-worldly beings, asking
them questions and then typing out their answers, a sort of human Ouija
- Dvir needed someone to talk to and turned
to his mother, who believed in these sort of things. Rather than dismissing
him as crazy, she urged him to visit a professional medium in Rishon Lezion,
- Burgosh also saw the spirit of Dvir's
father, conversed with him and told Dvir personal facts that he could not
otherwise have known.
- "It was very difficult for me to
accept this, but [Burgosh] helped me," Dvir says. He began reading
and taking courses to develop his psychic abilities.
- At one such course, in 1993, Dvir says
his encounters with aliens began in earnest. Looking up, he saw all manner
of strange beings walking around him, imperceptible to most people but
visible to Dvir with a sort of extrasensory perception.
- "I think they tagged me as a sort
of contact person," impressed by his charisma and perceptivity, Dvir
- Since then, it seems, the aliens have
never left Dvir alone. Day and night he is accompanied by a shifting cast
of at least two aliens, even while talking in a seemingly normal and solitary
manner with a reporter.
- Around 1992, Dvir went to visit Haya
Levy, a healer who had opened an alien-run clinic in her Rishon Lezion
home. Indeed, upon entering her house Dvir saw a gallery of aliens. He
found her treatment effective and her support important. The aliens began
negotiating with Dvir to open another clinic in his apartment.
- Levy's contact with aliens began some
15 years ago on the Negev moshav, Sadot, where she lived at the time. Sitting
with her children in the garden of her home, Levy received a telepathic
SOS from a spaceship that needed a spot for an emergency landing. She invited
them to land at Sadot.
- A little while later, Levy was in her
kitchen when she felt a strong impulse to go outside. There she found a
small, petrified man with a strange accent. She invited him in for a cup
- After the tea, the man disappeared without
a trace or even so much as a thank you, but Levy's contact with aliens
had begun. Most of the aliens with whom Levy has contact look like human
beings, she says, but not all. Prof. Bach, for instance, has skin like
a lizard and is completely bald. Maya has silver skin and blue eyes like
those of a fish.
- About eight years ago, when Levy was
suffering from disc problems that had confined her to bed, the aliens offered
to treat her, she says. She was skeptical, but after just an hour of treatment
she was able to walk again. After five days of treatment she was fully
mobile and able to carry things.
- When the aliens proposed the joint-venture
clinic, Levy accepted. Alien treatment has an 87 percent success rate,
- "My ex-husband is my No. 1 client.
He's the biggest believer," Levy says. "The results speak for
- Levy's importance for Dvir goes beyond
her status as a role model. When the Kliendcontlars began calling, Dvir
was skeptical. He asked his cast of resident aliens, who said Fenix and
crew were legitimate, but Dvir wanted more corroborating evidence.
- He spoke to Levy, who did not know of
the Kliendcontlars but ran a background check with her aliens. They supposedly
vouched for Fenix and his race, confirming certain crucial details such
as Arcturus' red sun and the planet's ecological problems.
- On January 22, Dvir and Adriana were
on their way to a restaurant when his cellphone rang. It was Dvir's 41st
birthday and it might have been a wellwisher, but the caller kept hanging
- During dinner the phone rang again, and
this time the caller stayed on the line. He identified himself as Forth,
a 358-year-old Kliendcontlar whose job it was to make contact with other
civilizations, according to Dvir.
- Dvir spent most of the dinner talking
not to his wife but to the alien.
- Dvir asked Cellcom to check the origin
of the calls, but the company said the number was blocked. In any case,
as the telephone connection continued and the aliens offered consistent
answers to Dvir's questions, he began to believe.
- "At first I thought someone was
making fun of me, but when he kept calling I realized it was serious,"
he says. "You know it's not someone from here doing it, because they
would do it for one day, two days, and then get tired of it."
- Forth initiated the first few conversations
and then, being near retirement age - the race's life expectancy is some
400 years - he handed the Dvir file to his deputy Fenix, who at 200 is
just entering the prime of Kliendcontlar life. (Forth died this week, alien
sources informed Dvir.)
- Certain details about the race and Kliendcontlar
society emerged from Dvir's inquiries, he says. The Kliendcontlars stand
about one meter tall - "above ground level, of course," in Fenix's
words - have gray skin, two arms and two legs, three fingers on each hand,
green blood and DNA composed of four basic building blocks.
- Their society is rather totalitarian:
religion is outlawed on pain of death and the government determines each
newborn Kliendcontlar's spouse and profession, performing genetic improvement
surgery shortly after birth to prepare him for his career.
- Our conversation with Fenix proceeds
on two tracks. Dvir asks more sophisticated questions fit for an anthropologist:
what is the Kliendcontlar's justice system like, do they have the death
penalty (yes), does the Whole Universe Organization's charter require member
states to help a starship in distress (yes), can workers in different tasks
be identified by uniform (yes).
- My questions are more prosaic: does Fenix
have a family (wife and children, all of whom work in communications),
does he laugh (yes, although he hasn't told a joke in 100 years), does
he speak English (no), does he know anything about Israeli politics (no),
what does he eat (the microwave story), what proof can he offer that he
really is an alien (it's not his concern, "facts will come about,"
whether humans believe him or not).
- Fenix appears baffled when I ask if he
will have to pay for the 85-minute phone call from the environs of Uranus.
Dvir has to explain to him that on our planet one pays the makers of telecommunications
equipment for their service, a concept foreign to Arcturus, where there
is no money.
- Fenix appears delighted to hear of The
Jerusalem Post's international circulation - "this is excellent,"
he says - but declines the invitation to deliver a message to the human
race on its pages.
- At one point Fenix grows tired of my
questions, many of which he has answered in previous conversations with
- He lights into Dvir in his slow, tortured,
alien way. "At this moment it is my wish to give you a sort of friendly
advice," he tells him. "If additional contact will be made with
you, with extraterrestrial contact people, my advice is, it is upon you
to prevent rhetorical questions. This thing does not add anything.
- Information that you ask a question on,
and you know the answer to it, this thing bears witness, thus the extraterrestrial
contact man thinks about you as a character lacking understanding, lacking
culture, lacking principles. Because this thing is very important, it is
upon you to prevent rhetorical questions."
- Dvir accepts the reprimand with grace.
At the end of the conversation, they make a date for another conversation
the following morning.
- "This is real," Dvir says to
me at the end of the conversation. "This is a real alien."
- His colleagues at Tadiran have mixed
feelings about his alien contacts, Dvir admits. Some come to him for treatments.
Others grow visibly uncomfortable when he begins to discuss his experiences
and ask him to stop talking about it. A company spokesman declined to be
- Dvir's wife Adriana is a little skeptical
too. She does not see the aliens who traipse around her apartment day and
- "I'm more rational. I want to see
proof," she says. "But who knows, maybe it's true? Maybe I'm
the limited one and I'm missing out. He's always been more sensitive."
- Dvir's 9-year-old son, Effi, appears
a little confused by it all. Asked if he believes in the aliens, at first
he says no. Asked to elaborate, he doesn't answer.
- Asked again if he believes, he is noncommittal.
Adriana asks Effi whether or not he believes, and this time he says yes.
- "Of course he believes," she
says, then turns back to Effi. "What, do you think your father is
- Effi shakes his head no.
- Considering how unusual his ideas sound,
Dvir has gotten a surprising amount of attention from the media, appearing
in television, radio and print interviews. The publicity has apparently
reached across the heavens; shortly after the first news article appeared,
Dvir says he got an introductory e-mail from an alien named Ayami from
the solar system Sirius. Ayami bore greetings from his King Agnemnon, and
said he would contact Dvir again in five years.
- Perhaps the media attention can be explained
because of the seriousness of Dvir's day job and his obvious intelligence;
he does not come across as a flake. This week Dvir appeared on Judy Shalom
Nir Mozes' television program on Channel 2, Jude Morning, but Shalom Nir
Mozes came away unconvinced.
- "I made fun of him with all my strength,
but very gently," she says. "It's nonsense. I don't believe in
any of these things. But I'm in favor of freedom of expression and letting
- It is tempting to see Dvir as a lonely
man of faith. It is not considered outlandish in this day and age to believe
in God, who doesn't even bother to telephone. But mention aliens - even
those considerate enough to call on your birthday - and you're immediately
dismissed as a little wacky.
- "People have quirks," Shalom
Nir Mozes says simply when asked how she thinks Dvir himself can believe
- Tel Aviv University psychiatrist Ilan
Kutz says the phenomenon of alien contact is the same experience that in
former times might have been called prophecy.
- "If you look at what these people
are really saying and you take the aliens out of it, the message is that
I've been chosen by a special power and endowed with a special force,"
Kutz says. "It's very reminiscent of stories we hear throughout ancient
times. This experience requires an external entity to make the experience
whole. In former times this used to be the experience of revelation or
the religious experience. It has to be somebody not only far away but far
- Part of the move from religious terminology
to the realm of science fiction stems from shifting cultural references
over time, Kutz says.
- "These claims are not new, it's
the language that is new," Kutz says.
- "The language today has changed
from religious language to scientific language. In former times paranoids
used to say that they are Napoleon or that somebody speaks to them in a
holy voice; now they say the TV speaks to them. Napoleon is out of fashion."
- This is not to say, Kutz stresses, that
aliens do not exist; he believes the chances are as good as not that they
do. Yet without firm proof of their existence, the choice to believe in
them is essentially a highly religious one.
- "We all need to believe in a higher
being in one form or another," Kutz says. "From an evolutionary
point of view it gives us a big advantage.
- It allows us to withstand difficulties,
even at times against all odds, because there is all the time the promise
that there is somebody out there looking out for us and safeguarding the
world order. I think it's built in in humans to turn to a mightier power
because it really maximizes survival."
- Kutz dismisses the physical descriptions
Dvir and others offer of the aliens they see.
- "It's always the same story, always
the same lack of evidence," Kutz says. "People are feeding off
each other. When I was a child, aliens were green and had big antennae.
Once the pictures of aliens with big eyes were shown, then everyone started
- Dvir and Levy say their belief in aliens
is not a matter of faith, but of proof - proof that the rest of us can
not see because of our limitations.
- "It's all a question of openness,"
Levy says. "If you're open, you can believe in things you can't see
physically. If you're not open, you trust only your five senses. Those
people are limited, in my opinion."
- Dvir believes the day will come when
interaction with aliens will be considered normal.
- "People who had contact in previous
incarnations, they know it's possible. Others are scared and they don't
want to know about it," he says. "But there are aliens out there.
One day we'll have to meet. We'll have no choice but to get to know one
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