Nomar Slevik is a Mainer known for his skills as a musician and a producer, but also for his interest in the paranormal.
An encounter with a UFO when he was a young boy sparked in Slevik a life-long fascination with the subject. His new book, UFOs Over Maine: Close Encounters from the Pine Tree State, takes a look at our state’s history of sightings and encounters.
I talked with Slevik about UFOs, skeptics, and the sighting that first sparked his fascination with all things paranormal.
From where does your interest in the topic of UFOs stem?
I have been interested in all things paranormal since childhood. I had some strange things happen when I was young, including what I think was a UFO sighting.
I grew up with a fascination with stories about paranormal activities and I continued to experience odd things, which mostly included encounters with ghosts. As I got older, I stopped being scared of what was happening and I wanted to truly understand it. I figured if I had been scared, there were probably other people who were scared too. As I got older, I thought it would be cool to help people who had been having similar experiences by hearing them without passing judgement or subjecting them to scrutiny.
With regard to UFOs, that is something I have been very much interested in. To me, it is one of the last great frontiers of the paranormal. Everything else has been dissected, especially with some of the paranormal shows, some of which I truly love. But with UFOs, nobody knows what they are. Are they time travelers? Are they actual extra terrestrials? Are they military aircraft? Is there some sort of mass hallucination going on? So for me, it is extremely fascinating.
And you found yourself fascinated to the point where you ended up writing a book.
Yes. There hadn’t been a book written about UFO sightings and experiences in the state of Maine. There are books about paranormal activity in Maine that had UFOs in them, but nothing specific to the subject. One of those books that is really good, by the way, is Supernatural Side of Maine by C.J. Stevens. So my focus began to shift toward making that book, one about UFOs and the state of Maine, a reality.
What does Maine’s history with UFO encounters look like?
It is vast and much more than anyone might imagine. Growing up, you rarely heard UFO stories or saw anything in the paper. The stories were mostly passed around locally and so there hasn’t been a lot written about it. Once in a while you would see something like a fireball over Southwest Harbor, but the history is actually really vast. In the 70s in particular a lot of things were occurring, especially at Loring Air Force Base. There was a whole encounter with the state police and military that spanned over 3 days and ended with some sort of Men in Black style military personnel going to the base and taking some of the paperwork that described what happened and replacing it with different paperwork that described a quiet encounter. There is a lot of stuff and it was pretty crazy to uncover it.
Communities of people focused on UFO sightings tend to receive a good deal of scrutiny. Why do you think that is?
I can only speak for my experience. Either you’re into the paranormal, or you think it is silly. If you are into it—and that could mean as little as you are really into Ghost Hunters—you tend to be accepting of a lot of these ideas. Paranormal pop culture has really helped set these fields forward when it comes to scrutiny. At the same time, you hear more scrutiny because the subjects are more out there than they have been before. The naysayers and skeptics are more vocal because of the popularization of the paranormal subculture. In the past, people who had an interest in the paranormal would typically keep to their selves or to their own communities while the skeptics were more vocal, but there wasn’t this huge discussion in the mainstream. These days, where the culture is so big, scrutiny still happens but not in the same way it used to be where it would drown out the believers.
When I was younger, I felt I was positive about absolutely everything. I knew all of the answers. But as I get older and have a family, I find that I know less and less than I was once sure that I knew. The Internet is at once an accommodating place where you can find communities going through similar things, but it is also a place where people revert to being 18 years old and absolutely positive that their version of reality is exactly how everyone’s reality is.
Yes, absolutely. It is extremely frustrating.
Can you talk a bit about your specific experience with UFOs?
I was probably 5 or 6 and living in Fort Kent at the time. My windows over my bedroom faced the St. John River. You could throw a rock from my house and hit it. I am sleeping one evening and hear something that sounds like thunder. It is a loud bang. I think, “What the heck is going on?” I can hear rain on my windows and so I think it must be a thunderstorm. It was April, though, and in Fort Kent you’re either getting snow or rain, but not really thunderstorms. Then I start to see flashes of light and so I kneel on my bed and watch the light out the window. I remember seeing this really thick… almost how if you were drawing a lightning bolt, you would draw two jagged edges… I saw something that looked like that stuck in a cloud. It was very yellow and there was a lot of glow around it. I was young and I didn’t know what I was seeing, so I am thinking, “Wow, it is really crazy that a lightning bolt got stuck in the cloud.”
From what I remember, I watched this a little bit more and fell back to sleep. I woke up in the morning, went to the bathroom, and coming back I looked outside and I could still see that bolt in the clouds. I am thinking, “Man, it’s still stuck there.” I went to go get my dad and brought him to my room to show him but by the time we got there it was gone. That was really my first experience. I told him that I had seen a thunderstorm that night and he told me that there hadn’t been.
What have you learned from talking with other people who have had similar experiences?
People that are not really into the paranormal, but then have an experience with it, are very concerned about scrutiny and don’t like to share their experiences. Once you get into something and that subject becomes the norm for you, you have to step back and realize that not everybody wants to share their stories. I had a lot of people tell me their experiences and they appreciated being able to get it off their chests and appreciated talking with me, an open-minded skeptic. Even though I love the paranormal, I don’t believe in everything.