Guillermo Del Toro's close encounter

"In the interview del Toro briefly explains to Cameron how he was 15 or 16 years old when he was in the company of a friend all alone on a deserted highway, carrying a six-pack of beers –“which we didn’t consume!” he quickly points out– and looking at the stars. Then the two teens noticed a small, bright light moving across the night sky in a non-linear fashion, zipping away from one spot to the other very rapidly.

(Mind you, this probably happened around 1980 or ’81, waaaay before the Mexican UFO flap that started in 1991, when Jaime Maussan was making regular appearances on national television showing the latest grainy video recorded by an amateur UFO hunter)

Guillermo and his friend decided to honk the car horn to see if the zig-zagging object would react. And react it did! The faraway UFO breached the distance between its location and theirs in a matter of seconds, and that’s when they observed it looked like a structured craft witht he stereotypical shape of a flying saucer.

That an incredibly talented artist like Guillermo has had paranormal experiences doesn’t surprise me in the slightest. In my personal essay for UFOs: Reframing the Debate I tried to make the argument that artists and creative individuals seem to be more open to the kind of things most of society tend to frown upon –much more with del Toro, whose life-long love for monsters marked him as an outcast from the beginning– and also perhaps better equipped to engage with these mysteries than if you try to understand them from a strictly ‘left-brain’ approach.

But what fascinates me the most about this is the way del Toro interprets the experience, after so many years: he was disappointed at how ‘badly designed’ and clichéd the saucer looked like –complete with blinking lights that went all around its rim!– His aesthetic criticism didn’t prevent him from experiencing the ‘artificial fear’ often reported by close encounter witnesses though, and in a state of utter panic he and his companion decided the time wasn’t right to play “Human Eye for the Alien Guy” and fled the scene at full speed. The kitschy Disco-like disk kept pace of their vehicle, until eventually they lost sight of it..."----

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