Encounters with Angels

From miraculous gifts to life-changing help from mysterious strangers

Man with Wings
Jonathan Love/Getty Images

Whether you believe in angels or not, the many reports of sightings and encounters with mysterious beings that seem to appear abruptly, often perform some good deed, then vanish without a trace are among the most curious in the annals of the paranormal. In many ways, they are like reports of the UFO-alien phenomenon, in that there are degrees of encounters:

  • Encounter of the first kind: Receiving of some information, object or gift that is attributed to angelic intervention.
  • Encounter of the second kind: The sighting of what appears to be an angelic being, without interaction.
  • Encounter of the third kind: Interaction with what is assumed by the experiencer to be an angelic being.

These are highly subjective experiences, of course, and are strongly influenced by people's belief systems. So what are we to make of the stories that follow, which we're told by the experiencers are true? I'll leave that for you to decide.

WINGED ANGEL IN SPUN GOLD

In June 1997, 12-year-old Laura L. was attending a Catholic school in Merrill, Wisconsin. Like every good Catholic, she went to church every Sunday with her family to celebrate the mass, and in school, she and her classmates attended mass on Wednesday mornings as well.

During one particular Sunday mass, Laura was feeling somewhat bored and distracted. Her eyes wandered around the church as she wished the ceremony was over with.

Then something astonishing caught her attention. "I looked up and saw by the stained glass window a beautiful angel!" Laura says. "It had wings that were about three feet wide and maybe six feet tall with white feathers. It wore what looked like a gold-spun robe material of a kind we've never seen in this world, flowing down.

It had golden blond hair, was barefoot and was playing a baby harp in its hands. It looked to be about eight feet tall. It looked at me so lovingly with its head tilted to the side, and its face was perfectly proportioned. It looked as if it could have been male or female."

Note that Laura says that the angel was not part of the stained glass artwork, but was standing by it. "I was in awe," she continues. "I gasped and nudged my mom and dad, trying to see if they saw it, too, but everyone was singing praise and they shushed me. I looked around and no one was looking in that direction. I looked back and it was still there, but soon disappeared.

"I was very close to my dad's mom - my grandma - and she always taught me to be good and pray, and about angels. She had a stroke and was put in a hospital."

When Laura's family visited her grandmother in the hospital, her mom told her that her grandmother had a small gift to give her, a little statue. After her grandmother died, Laura received the statue, and its likeness startled the young girl. "It was the same angel I saw at church," she says, "-barefoot, baby harp, huge white feather wings, and a flowing gown. It played Hark the Herald Angels Sing.

I remember a beautiful glow around the angel. I have kept it ever since. I often think of my grandma when I look at it."

LIFE INFORMATION FROM AN ANGEL

Some people believe that before we are born when our consciousness or spirit resides in that unknown place, we are given information about the life we are about to be born into; some say we even choose our life. Not many people can claim that they remember this pre-birth existence, but Gary says he does. In fact, Gary, now 49, says he can recall some details of a conversation he had with an angel before he was born.

"I was bodiless, but aware that I was in an area that was darkened, and I was alone except for the entity that was speaking to me," he says. "I was at the bottom of a stairway-type structure and was looking up the stairs, but not seeing the one speaking to me.

I was very warm and comfortable, but aware and feeling trepidation of what I was about to embark on. This entity was speaking to me and giving me a brief description of how my life would be. I asked for more information, but it was refused. I was basically told that my life would not be a hard life, but would lack any luxuries and that I would experience great difficulties at a relatively early age. It seems there were a few other small details, but I no longer can remember it quite as clearly as I once did when I was younger.

"It appears the information was correct as I'm now disabled and in poor health."

THE ANGEL NURSE

In 1998, Luke was diagnosed with bone cancer at the tender age of eight years old. As sometimes happens, he came down with an infection, which meant he had to go to the hospital. He was there for about two weeks, and that's when something remarkable happened.

One evening, Luke's mother was sitting at his bedside quietly praying as he slept. A nurse came into the room to check Luke's temperature, but his mother noted something rather peculiar about her. The nurse was wearing a quite old-fashioned uniform of the type that would have been common 30 years previous, in the 1960s. The nurse noticed that Luke's mother had a Bible by the side of his bed. She said that she was a Christian, too, and said she would pray for Luke's healing. Luke's family had never seen this odd nurse before nor again in Luke's remaining time in the hospital.

"I came out of the hospital fully healed of my infection," says Luke, who is now 19. More remarkable, he is completely free of cancer. "My mom believes this nurse could have been a guardian angel coming down to give my mom some hope," Luke says. "If she wasn't an angel, why would she be wearing 1960s old-fashioned nurse clothing?"

BEAUTIFUL, STRANGE UFO... OR ANGEL

Some researchers think there might be a connection between UFOs and angel sightings. They say the angels and heavenly figures encountered in the Bible might actually have been extraterrestrials.

After his experience in the 1980s with "the most beautiful thing" he ever saw, Lewis L. might agree with that assessment.

It was a Saturday morning in Mariposa, California, and Lewis had to work that day. The air was freshly washed from a cool rain the night before, and the morning sky was bright with a deep blue sky and a few scattered cumulus clouds. "I was heading out to my car in the back parking lot of the apartment complex where I lived when I noticed someone kneeling next to my car," Lewis says. "This person saw me and quickly stood up holding a crowbar."

The young man was quite obviously startled by Lewis's interruption, and although Lewis sensed the boy was up to no good, it hadn't yet hit him what he was doing. Then Lewis looked through the passenger window of his car and saw that the steering wheel column had been stripped of its cover and he realized that the young man was trying to steal his car!

"I asked him what the hell he was doing," Lewis recalls. "He gave me a lame story about his friend's car being stolen last night and that my car looked like his friend's and so on. I didn't want to hear it. I told him I was going to call the police, which I did on my cell phone."

Lewis dialed 911 and gave the dispatcher the address. He told the would-be thief that the police were on their way and warned him not to leave. The boy said he would wait for the police, but Lewis could tell he was just waiting for the right moment to make a run for it. "If he did, I wasn't going to try to stop him because his adrenaline was pumping and he had that crowbar," Lewis says.

As Lewis was grilling the young man, trying to detain him, he began to notice three rather large clouds in a single-file formation that were almost overhead. Then he caught a flash of something out of the corner of his eye. "Then I saw it," he says. "A shiny object exiting from the first cloud and entering the next and then coming out of that one. It was shiny, like brightly polished chrome, and moving at a good speed. I couldn't make out the shape."

By this time, Lewis was so distracted by the UFO that the punk saw his chance and took off. That's when the object entered the last cloud. From there it was nothing but open sky. "When it emerged, my life changed," Lewis says.

"There against the richness of the blue sky was a silvery shape that seemed to have arms and legs! It was so beautiful to look at. At the same time, it had the appearance of metal. It looked like some kind of ship with a strange design. The best way I can describe it is it looked like silverware in the design of the stick man children draw. It was huge, moving fast and made no noise. As it sailed overhead, some of the limbs would move up and down, giving the impression of being alive - a living entity! It made a couple of rolls, reflecting the sun in every direction - just beautiful... oh my god, beautiful!

"As it started to fade away from my view, I found myself short of breath and with tears running down my cheeks. It had that much of an effect on me. I began thinking maybe that's what an angel looks like. Maybe not!"

ANGEL MONEY

There are many stories of people receiving much-needed money from mysterious, unknown sources. Ellie has such a story that she recalls from the summer of January 1994 in the suburb of Thornbury, Melbourne, Australia.

It was late afternoon and Ellie was outside on this warm day gathering the family laundry from the clothesline. There was a sudden, small willy-willy - an Australian term for a swirling wind funnel of dust and leaves. "As it raced past me, I saw something blue whirling in the middle of the dust and leaves and managed to grab hold of it," she says. "I was surprised and very pleased to see it was a $10 note!"

A few days later, Ellie was at the back of the yard checking on her garden tomatoes when she spotted something laying on the grass. She was astonished to find it was a $20 note. Not long afterward, in another part of the garden, she found a $5 note and yet another $20 note nestled among the leaves of the day lilies.

"By this time I'd told my family of the 'angel money'," she tells us. "None of them had put money there, not with the possibility of it blowing away in the often high winds of summer. All was quiet for a few days, then one of my sons came in with an ear-to-ear grin and a $20 note that he had just found on top of the compost heap!"

Now most of us would rationalize that this was not "angel money" at all, but that it had simply blown into Ellie's yard from some poor soul who lost it. But Ellie's not quite convinced of that explanation because of one more interesting find - this time in her house. "A week or so later," she remembers well, "I was cleaning out under the bed and pulled out a pair of slippers, and there nestling in the toe of one, like a little grace note, was a 50-cent coin!"

PUSHED TO SAFETY BY AN ANGEL

Back in 1980, Deb was a single mother with two infants in San Bernardino County, California, and occasionally she needed reliable babysitters. Fortunately, her parents lived only about 30 miles away in Alta Loma. Deb would usually drop off the children at her parents' house, go do what she needed to do, then pick them up in the evening.

On this night, Deb had retrieved her babies from her parents' place and was heading home. It was relatively late, about 11:30 p.m. and Deb was driving her "old clunker". Among the car's many deficiencies, the gas gauge was broken, requiring her to guess when the old thing needed fuel. Occasionally, her guessing was off.

"Halfway home, the car started to putter," Deb remembers, "and I realized I was on empty. I pulled off the first offramp I could, and it just happened to be one that was slightly uphill. Almost at the top of the exit, my car died and there was absolutely nothing around except empty fields and distant lights at a truck stop about a quarter of a mile down the road. There were no other cars around me. It was pitch dark, other than my headlights. I remember I could hear crickets, and the babies were sound asleep in their car seats. I panicked because I couldn't think of what to do. Walking in the middle of nowhere with a kid on each hip after midnight was not going to work, and I couldn't - and wouldn't! - leave them in the car."

Remember that this was some time before cell phones became commonplace. So with no means of communication, stuck in the dark with a dead car and two helpless, sleeping infants, Deb was feeling desperate. "I put my head on the steering wheel while saying a short and panicky prayer," she says. "I hadn't even finished when I heard a few taps on my window."

When she looked up, there stood a clean-cut looking young man, who Deb estimated to be about 21 years old. He motioned for her to roll down her window. "I remember I was surprised," Deb says, "but I wasn't even the slightest bit afraid, even though I normally would have been terrified. He had on clean pants, a dressy shirt and had neatly trimmed hair. He smelled slightly of soap. He didn't even ask me if I needed help. He just told me to put my car in neutral and he would push me over the slight hill down the road to the rest stop where I could get a couple dollars worth of gas - back then when it was a couple of dollars.

"I thanked him and followed his instructions. The car started moving. I steered it toward the lights of the truck stop and turned around to yell 'thank you' again to him. He was so nice! My car kept moving, but the young man was nowhere in sight. I mean, this area was completely remote. There was absolutely nowhere he could have gone that quickly, even if there was somewhere to go. I don't even know where he came from to begin with.

"My car continued to roll down the road to the truck stop, and I was so grateful to be in a lit area with people around. The kids didn't even wake up. I've always trusted in God to take care of us, but in relating that story many times to my children, who are now 30 and 32, they know for a fact that angels do exist and are sent to us if we just believe. I always thought it was so amazing that we were sent someone who I would trust instinctively without question. Since that incident, I've come to believe that we probably encounter angels all the time, and take for granted who they really are. I think they come in all shapes and sizes, young and old... and sometimes when we least expect them."