LYNNWOOD — It’s like Flying Saucers Anonymous.
They meet weekly at Denny’s, as hungry for paranormal conversation as pancakes.
What’s up with that?
Members of UFOiTeam tell of personal encounters of the nonhuman entity kind. In UFO-speak, they are “abductees,” “experiencers” and “contactees.”
“They have amazing stories,” said group founder Michael W. Hall, an Edmonds attorney who is also an advocate of little green men and the people who’ve seen them.
A plastic toy alien, Area 51 tag, telescope and compass adorn his field vest, emblazoned on the back with “UFOiTeam” in red letters.
Hall, 65, claims weird stuff has happened to him. He said he got scoop marks, small roundish “punch biopsy” scars, from aliens on his legs in 1991 and an inflamed bump on his shoulder after he sighted a UFO over his house in 2012.
He is not alone.
Ten people showed up at last week’s UFOiTeam meeting, live streamed on Facebook so non-present beings could watch.
On the table was a silver egg-timer in the shape of a classic UFO, a flying saucer made from a 3D printer, and a scanner wand that Hall said detects alien implants. A Bigfoot statue stood next to a ketchup bottle.
Even so, it appeared to be a normal gathering of Earthlings enjoying drinks and a meal. Other diners didn’t look twice. The waitress hustled to fill orders and refill glasses.
Hall started UFOiTeam a year ago. “Since my semi-retirement and divorce I’ve been able to concentrate on whatever I wanted to do,” he said. “I’m kind of the crazier one in the family.”
He chose Denny’s because it’s his terrestrial haunt and it’s where America eats.
“We have fun doing this,” Hall said. “We show people what we know. We ask them to tell us their story.”
If aliens have interstellar travel, why do they pluck only a tiny portion of the population to study?
“That’s the $64,000 question,” Hall said. “Many theories, but one is ‘they’ — whoever ‘they’ are — are interested in a genetic trait or line of people.”
More people with tales of being abducted are coming forward, he said. “People are not poo-pooing this anymore. Most people are saying, ‘You know what, I told you so.’ ”
Stephen Hawking, for one, believed they were out there but thought it would be a disastrous first contact. In December, the Defense Department declassified two videos documenting encounters between U.S. Navy F-18 fighters and unidentified aircraft.
Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson says the universe brims with mysteries but just because an object is unidentified doesn’t mean it’s aliens.
“Call me when you have a dinner invite from an alien,” he said in a CNN interview.
Instead, maybe deGrasse Tyson should go to Denny’s with this group.
Barney Alexander, 47, a West Seattle longshoreman, said he was abducted by “something not human.”
“It took me and made experiments on me in someplace strange,” Alexander said.
His sister, Betty Alexander, 50, a Seattle executive assistant, is also a UFOiTeam member.
“I’ve had paranormal experiences since I was a little girl,” she said. “I saw a large flying disc outside my childhood bedroom window, literally hovering over the alley.”
The grassroots aspect of the UFOiTeam appeals to Mary Kennedy, 58, an Arlington graphic designer.
“This is not some fringe thing, this is something that is going on. It comes from us, the average citizens,” Kennedy said.
“I saw a UFO when I was in Idaho. And I have a memory of being taken from my room by small beings. The whole time I was protesting.”
She insists it wasn’t a dream. “I was fully awake the whole time.”
Reaction outside the group varies when she shares her cosmic encounters. “They politely listen. They don’t necessarily engage,” she said. “Some joke with you about being in the tin-foil-hat crew.”
Lee Strauss, 43, of Normandy Park, said the UFOiTeam gives him validity.
“I can bounce stuff off them and they understand it … the feelings, the stress, the anguish and everything that goes along with it. In a lot of cases our stories have similar pieces,” said Strauss, who works in the construction industry.
His story: “I was lying in bed and then I woke up and I was staring at my body that was on a table. I wasn’t in my body. There was this contraption that was coming down from the ceiling with a bunch of different sections. And a needle came down out of that. And then I had the most excruciating pain I’ve ever had as the needle went into my spine in the back of my neck. It was horrifying. The next day, my neck hurt. I had dried blood and clear mucus stuff on the back of my neck.”
Terry Burris, 75, of Seattle said his abduction happened 40 years ago.
“I and another person were camping when we were abducted and were gone for 5½ hours,” he said.
Burris wouldn’t say what happened during his capture. “It’s kind of personal.”
But he wants to spread the gospel. “It is happening, but people who are not interested don’t know that it’s happening to humanity.”
He has no choice but to pursue the truth.
“You cannot be an experiencer and not end up searching for what the hell everything is about.”
Join the UFOiTeam 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays at the Lynnwood Denny’s, 4109 196th St. SW, or call 425-245-4671.