Northwest Michigan is loveliest in the Autumn. Fiery orange, red, and yellow leafed trees ring the Torch Lake area like a blazing halo. Voted by National Geographic as one of the world’s most beautiful lakes, Torch Lake is truly gorgeous and there’s a notably awesome 4th of July boat party here every year.

John Shepherd and his husband John Litrenta live here along with their dog, Charlie the Yorkie.

Like millions of people worldwide, we watched the fascinating Netflix documentary ‘John Was Trying to Contact Aliens’ (released August 2020) which stars John Shepherd and details his life and decades of efforts in trying to use the medium of music to communicate with extra-terrestrials from his grandparents living room.

John Was Trying to Contact Aliens

In 1972, when he was 21, inspired by his love for sci-fi and a past UFO sighting, John began designing and building large-scale electronic equipment so that he could conduct his own search for aliens.

He called it Project S.T.R.A.T. Earth Station One (Special Telemetry Research and Tracking) and he even erected a two-story 150,000-volt output tower as a giant deep space transmitter.

Perhaps the most touching thing about this story is that his grandparents, Albert & Irene Lamb, fully supported and funded John’s work.

John Shepherd, UFO researcher (Torch Lake, Michigan)

Right now, I’m sitting with John & John at their dining room table. It’s a crisp and sunny Fall day outside. Sunlight is streaming in through the large skylight. The table itself is held up from underneath by a large 18-inch subwoofer and atop the table is a Korg Minilogue synth, which John composes electronic music on.

John and his husband show us exceptional hospitality. Exuding kindness and warmth, they are very friendly and eager to discuss John’s UFO research.

Buy the new John Shepherd t-shirt https://www.smugglermusic.com/shop/p/john-scott-shepherd-t-shirt

Bestrewn about the house are thousands of pieces of John’s homemade electronic UFO research setup.

There’s also an entire room devoted solely to music, containing 1,500 LP’s, 3,000 CD’s and tons of cassettes and reel-to-reels.

Elsewhere are whirring gizmos and things like his Marconi dual-channel sine wave signal generator, 20 channel production mixing board, and various digital recording and read out equipment, most of which John soldered himself.

Biography of John Shepherd

John Shepherd, UFO researcher (Torch Lake, Michigan)

“I was born in the Grand Rapids area on September 8th, 1951 but grew up on the Lower Eastside of Detroit with my grandparents. We lived at 2565 Coplin Street, Detroit, basically near the intersection of Vernor & Charlevoix. It was across from Carstens Elementary School.”

“In 1972, we moved up north to a city called Central Lake, Michigan, which was on Intermediate Lake Road near Torch Lake. There’s a lot of ‘lake’ names up this way, it can get confusing sometimes.”

“I did home schooling. It was called Leland House Teaching. Mrs. Donahue came to the house and taught me.”

John Shepherd, UFO researcher (Torch Lake, Michigan)

As far as the UFO stuff goes, I’m completely self-taught. Didn’t have any real official or formal schooling beyond taking Electronics 101 in high school.”

“The hardest part was trying to find the time as I got older. And finding books at the time was tough. Books about electronics were harder to find than UFO books! The best source was ARRL Publications. They provided the best information on shortwave and ham radio operations.”

“Everything I do is geared towards the hope of finally getting some answers. I’m a UFO researcher, instruments builder, designer, electronics enthusiast and it all revolves around studying the phenomena of aliens and UFO’s.”

John’s first UFO sighting

John Shepherd, UFO researcher (Torch Lake, Michigan)

“My first UFO sighting was in the Fall 1964 when I was in the backyard of our house in Detroit.”

“I had a 10x power Japanese spotting scope with great optics and was messing around with it when I suddenly saw something unexplainable in the sky.”

“The sun had just set and the stars had just started popping out. I was looking up and saw a small glowing light at a point of 45 degrees. It dropped a small orb of light from it, looked almost like a star. It released, descended slowly, a whitish-bluish light. Didn’t seem like a plane or satellite or anything.”

John Shepherd, UFO researcher (Torch Lake, Michigan)

“The next morning, I went to the corner diner and was talking with people and lo and behold, a girl up there saw the exact same thing! She saw a baseball-sized ball of light descend slowly toward the ground and dissipate. Having that second witness corroborate it made me feel I wasn’t crazy and made me feel inspired since it validated my claim.”

“Another early inspiration, not involving me, were the Swamp Gas incidents in March 1966 in Dexter and Ann Arbor, Michigan. Several police and citizens in different areas reported strange aerial lights. Eyewitness reports said they saw a spacecraft with a waffled surface hovering over a swamp. The authorities dismissed the incidents as ‘swamp gas’ and quickly swept it under the rug.”

Project S.T.R.A.T.: Earth Station One

John Shepherd, UFO researcher (Torch Lake, Michigan)

John’s grandparents house and the location of Project STRAT was at 580 South Intermediate Lake road, Central Lake, MI. His grandfather passed away January 1980 and his grandmother passed away April 1988. John’s operation was located at this address until running out of funding in Fall 1998.

At one point, around 1976, John expressed interest in wanting to build a tri-level underground complex in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to track UFO’s. That vision, unfortunately, did not come to fruition.

My grandparents helped fund it. I worked day jobs at a local camera shop. My grandpa was very supportive. He was a machinist and tool and die maker. Over time, he helped me build equipment. My grandma was always there for me. My grandpa was a nut and bolts kind of guy. He bought me a train set, I started modifying it, loved the electricity part of it. Then I got a military surplus hand-crank generator.”

“My interest had initially started with electronics, electricity, then the Outer Limits tv show in the early 60’s, then I saw that object fall from the sky, it all sort of happened at once, a great intersection of all these things.”

“My first system at the house was involved with ionospheric propagation. If the atmospheric conditions were favorable at night, I was sending music over 500,000 miles out into space.”

“Project S.T.R.A.T. started in the Summer 1972 when our first ULF (ultra-low frequency) radio transmitter went on the air. It was a 40 hertz to 15 kilohertz radio marker beacon transmitting an 150-watt ULF sequence of electronic tone pulses towards the stars.”

“Project S.T.R.A.T. grew to encompass over 1,200 square feet of our home. We even constructed a 16 foot x 38 foot two-story addition to the house. Here we installed a two-story high 1,000-watt, 60,000-volt deep space radio transmitter comprised of four large poly-phase, semi-tuned voltage multipliers. These combined with our other high-power, low-frequency liner amplifiers enabled the broadcast signal to travel far into deep space with the hope of attracting the attention of any extraterrestrial intelligences that may be passing through space.”

John Shepherd, UFO researcher (Torch Lake, Michigan)

“We used to do tours. All sorts of people visited: physicists, Air Force people, fellow UFO researchers, etc, they would come out and check out the setup.”

“Then in the Fall 1973, something incredible happened. My equipment picked up some electromagnetic disturbances in the ionosphere via the Vertical Marker Beacon (VMB), which was the 150-watt transmitter we used to transmit tone patterns into the ionosphere.”

“These disturbances were mostly in the form of harmonic interference (400 to 1,000 hertz), intermingled with the 60-hertz powerline frequency.”

John Shepherd, UFO researcher (Torch Lake, Michigan)

The goal was to physically attract ET’s with pleasing tones in order to capture the EM spectrum radiation given off by their craft, a sort of interstellar fingerprint.”

“We had two 35mm cameras, electrostatic and EM measuring equipment recording 24 hours a day and in the Fall ‘73, we picked up some disturbances in Antrim County. We suddenly found out there were multiple reports going to the Sheriff’s department.”

“One guy was driving a pickup truck with a plow attached to the front and his headlights blew out over near Shanty Creek while he was driving on Schuss Mountain Road in Bellaire.”

He said he saw a craft, 50-60 feet diameter, metallic with rings, the light from inside was glowing. His truck stopped and the power shut off involuntarily, he couldn’t get it back on. The craft was there 1-2 minutes, then floated off. Then suddenly, his car started again and the power came back on.

John Shepherd, UFO researcher (Torch Lake, Michigan)

“One night during these occurrences, my instruments pick up strange irregularities. There was a strong overriding interference pattern fading in and out that we captured on our EM detectors and 23’ oscilloscope. I got the impression that there were unidentified objects flying over the power lines and emitting some sort of super strong EM energy.”

The Sheriff’s department even sent out a deputy because they were experiencing similar phenomena and wanted to see if my equipment was causing it. A guy from the FAA came to the house because there was a bright blue flash over the Antrim County Airport and they were investigating.”

“Over the years, some of our more in-depth results came from how the equipment was built, the detection methods, the approaches and techniques I learned and how to use them.”

“Eventually though, operations ceased in 1998. Lack of proper funding is always the biggest hindrance. Sourcing the equipment, running it, the electricity, etc, it all costs money. Plus, we had the transmitter running 8-10 hours per day at a cost of $400/month.”

The Importance of Music

John Shepherd, UFO researcher (Torch Lake, Michigan)

“Most of what I broadcast is instrumental or pieces with soul, something that goes deep into the mind, esoteric, evoking greater intuition.”

Jazz, electronica, German prog, experimental, world music, etc. We have literally thousands of CD’s, vinyl records, cassettes, reel to reel tapes, etc.”

“In 1993, my husband John Litrenta became the Assistant Program Director here. We even met over music, actually. A mutual interest in freer forms of jazz.”

“Again, in the 64-65 era, heard a lot of soul and jazz on the AM radio, it had a powerful influence on me. Over time, my grandpa bought me a little Victrola and plenty of 45’s. Then I linked up with like-minded friends in Detroit and we shared all sorts of different tastes in music.”

John’s Top 10 Tracks

“Later, when I moved up north, I met a guy named Mike Johnston in Traverse City. Mike is a DJ and now lives in Mount Pleasant. For the past 30 years, he’s done the WCMU radio show Destination Out on Sunday’s 11pm-2am. He has a personal record collection of over 4,000 records. Musically, he’s done all sorts of stuff, very prolific. He was the bassist in Faruq Z. Bey’s group Northwoods Improvisers. When Mike and I met it was instantaneous music-sharing. Tangerine Dream, Kraftwerk, Can, King Crimson, all sorts of great stuff. Plus, he would help me order the records from all over the globe through the local record store.”

“My UFO program started on cassette tape, then reel-to-reel, then digital. I actually used VHS to record the audio tracks. Could get 6 hours on tape in the FM high-frequency recording format, because we had a special machine to do so.”

“Our Project S.T.R.A.T. music broadcast schedule operated on a 6-8 hour daily basis from about 1980 to 1998.”

Litrenta comments: “It’s an Earth-concept to think music is a universal language. There’s so many different earth languages and ideologies, which music transcends. Math is too symbolic. Music can be heard with eyes closed.”

https://soundcloud.com/john-shepherd-265829097

Books, Movies and Favorite Things

The Galaxy Being

“We’re big into movies, especially sci-fi. We even have a 72” pull-down screen.”

“We love The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951). We also love both versions of The Thing (From Another World) (1951) and the remake (John Carpenter’s) The Thing (1982).”

“I love The Outer Limits tv show. My favorite episodes are: The Galaxy Being, Moonstone, It Crawled out of the Woodwork, Production and Decay of Strange Particles.”

“Also love The Twilight Zone, especially the episodes Elegy, 100 Yards over the Rim, and The Invaders.”

John Shepherd UFO books

“We read heavily. All sorts of stuff, mostly pertaining to Ufology. Authors like Carl Sagan (Contact), Arthur C. Clarke (Childhood’s End), Von Daniken, J. Allen Hynek, Donald Keyhoe, Linda Moulton Howe, etc. I’ve even considered writing an autobiography myself.”

“In terms of favorite places to go, we both love Maplehurst Natural Area (Kewadin, MI) which is the old RJ Reynolds tobacco company estate and it encompasses an entire lake. I also like Legs Inn at the entrance of the magical Tunnel of Trees area. And love Michigan’s U.P. (Upper Peninsula) especially Gran Marais and the copper mining area of Keweenaw Peninsula. Copper creates distortions in Earth’s magnetic fields.”

Shooting the Netflix Documentary

John Was Trying to Contact Aliens

“Wow, so much has changed since the documentary was released on Netflix.”

“It’s generated a ton of public interest globally, especially USA, Germany, France, UK, Japan, etc. I’m even thinking about hiring a secretary to handle fan mail and interview requests because they’re so voluminous now.”

“It has reinvigorated my aspirations to research and produce. I’m composing my own electronic music and space sound efx. My dream is to do film scores one day.”

“The Netflix documentary was done by Matthew Killip. And it was Matt’s decision to make the documentary a short, it’s only 16 minutes long. He initially geared it towards indie film festivals. Then it won 1st prize short documentary at Sundance. Immediately afterwards, Netflix approached Matt and said they wanted to do something with it.”

John Was Trying to Contact Aliens

“Matt has a great eye for filming people in-depth and making it compelling. Plus, I was thankful for the total lack of crackpot, homophobic, exploitation slants.”

“Matt is British and now lives in Brooklyn, New York. His dad was a black and white photographer. His mom is also a talented photographer.”

“Helping to bring forth that vision is demanding but inspiring. Working with someone you’re compatible with is important for overall coordination and flow.”

“The shooting took two trips. It initially took 4-5 days (at 4-6 hours per day) the first trip. Then he came back about a year later for 3-5 days to fill in some gaps.”

UFO-related Thoughts

Q4-86 drone device (leaked document about reverse engineering; these have never been publicly shown before! Thank you John) see more photos below

I got ahold of some leaked documents (don’t ask how) about reverse engineering, algorithmically-programmed drones, the stuff in these documents is so far ahead of where we are right now, it’s mind-blowing. They talk about something called the Q4-86 device.”

“One of the wildest things they say is that the symbols themselves on the device are the power source. They’re the activation codes for this thing to hover, fly, or disappear.”

John Shepherd on Art Bell (John’s segment starts at the 8:22 mark)

“Back in 1997, I was lucky enough to be featured on Art Bell. Art had a radio talk show called Coast to Coast AM where he talked about paranormal and UFO type stuff. I still have the 2 cassette tapes. That was such a fun experience.”

John Shepherd on Art Bell (UFO researcher)

“In general, I try to always keep an open mind and not dismiss any possibilities. Sometimes thought can change things in the future. Science fiction can become science fact. As humans, we’re creators and as such, we should be very careful what we create or wish for. Thought can effect matter. Thinking produces energy.”

“Back in the late 70’s-early 80’s, I was experimenting with telekinesis. After a while, I was able to do it on a very small scale. Telekinesis is notoriously difficult to control accurately. But, I was indeed able to balance something on the point of a pin inside a glass container where there’s no air movement.”

John Shepherd, UFO researcher (Torch Lake, Michigan)

“Check out military remote viewer Maj. Ed Dames (Dr. Doom). A lot of his predictions were about massive earth changes. He’s a retired U.S. Army military intelligence officer who ran their top secret psychic espionage unit. In 1982, he was trained in ‘remote viewing’ at Stanford Research Institute. It was classified Project Stargate. Some fascinating stuff.”

There’s so much out there we still don’t know. Maybe things like advanced quantum mechanics and nano-technology will eventually help us translate and properly interpret things. Reality isn’t always what it seems to be.”

John’s Final Thoughts

John Litrenta and John Shepherd, UFO researcher (Torch Lake, Michigan)

“If I can offer any advice to aspiring UFO researchers, it’s to follow closely the release of new information.”

To the Stars Academy is a great resource. I think the government is gradually issuing information to the public, drip, drip, drip, this is a carefully coordinated attempt to get people comfortable with the reality of UFO’s and Aliens.”

Don’t give up the dream. Keep exploring and searching the unknown for answers. It’s gonna rain, I’m a duck, just gonna let it roll right off my back.”

“Odds are we’re not alone. There’s gotta be more out there. 100 billion galaxies in the known universe? Yeah, there’s gotta be something.”

John Shepherd, UFO researcher (Torch Lake, Michigan)

 

Contact John

DeltaPhase268@gmail.com

 

Sunday, November 15th, 2020
7:00 p.m. EST
John will be participating in a Virtual MUFON on zoom

http://mimufon.org/mimufon/

John Shepherd MUFON

 

Project S.T.R.A.T. (John’s website)

https://www.projectstrat.com/index.html

 

MUFON (Michigan UFO Network)

If you see a UFO in Michigan, report it here

http://mimufon.org/mimufon/contact-us/

 

MUFON Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/mutualufonetwork/

 

Netflix documentary

https://www.netflix.com/title/81252991

 

Hertzberg Letters (Edward Hertzberg worked in the Research Laboratory @ Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio)

http://www.projectstrat.com/hertzberg-file/

 

WCMU radio show Destination Out (Sunday’s 11pm-2am)

https://radio.wcmu.org/programs/destination-out#stream/0

 

John profiled by BBC News (October 2020)

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w3cszds7

 

John’s interview with German magazine Ooom

https://www.ooom.com/digital/john-shepherd-ist-da-jemand/

 

John Shepherd Bandcamp

https://johnscottshepherd.bandcamp.com/

 

Q4-86 drone device (leaked document about reverse engineering; these have never been publicly shown before! Thank you John Shepherd)

I got ahold of some leaked documents (don’t ask how) about reverse engineering, algorithmically-programmed drones, the stuff in these documents is so far ahead of where we are right now, it’s mind-blowing. They talk about something called the Q4-86 device.”

“One of the wildest things is that they say is that the symbols themselves on the device are the power source. They’re the activation codes for this thing to hover, fly, or disappear.”

Q4-86 drone device (leaked document about reverse engineering; these have never been publicly shown before! Thank you John Shepherd)
Q4-86 drone device (leaked document about reverse engineering; these have never been publicly shown before! Thank you John Shepherd)
Q4-86 drone device (leaked document about reverse engineering; these have never been publicly shown before! Thank you John Shepherd)
Q4-86 drone device (leaked document about reverse engineering; these have never been publicly shown before! Thank you John Shepherd)
Q4-86 drone device (leaked document about reverse engineering; these have never been publicly shown before! Thank you John Shepherd)
Q4-86 drone device (leaked document about reverse engineering; these have never been publicly shown before! Thank you John Shepherd)

 

 

Jobbie Crew’s Photos of John Shepherd

John Shepherd, UFO researcher (Torch Lake, Michigan)
John Shepherd, UFO researcher (Torch Lake, Michigan)
John Shepherd, UFO researcher (Torch Lake, Michigan)
John Shepherd, UFO researcher (Torch Lake, Michigan)
John Shepherd, UFO researcher (Torch Lake, Michigan)
John Shepherd, UFO researcher (Torch Lake, Michigan)
John Shepherd, UFO researcher (Torch Lake, Michigan)
John Shepherd, UFO researcher (Torch Lake, Michigan)
John Shepherd, UFO researcher (Torch Lake, Michigan)
John Litrenta and John Shepherd, UFO researcher (Torch Lake, Michigan)
John Shepherd, UFO researcher (Torch Lake, Michigan)
John Shepherd, UFO researcher (Torch Lake, Michigan)
John Shepherd, UFO researcher (Torch Lake, Michigan)
John Shepherd, UFO researcher (Torch Lake, Michigan)
John Shepherd, UFO researcher (Torch Lake, Michigan)
John Shepherd, UFO researcher (Torch Lake, Michigan)
John Shepherd, UFO researcher (Torch Lake, Michigan)
John Shepherd, UFO researcher (Torch Lake, Michigan)
John Shepherd, UFO researcher (Torch Lake, Michigan)
John Shepherd, UFO researcher (Torch Lake, Michigan)
John Shepherd, UFO researcher (Torch Lake, Michigan)
John Shepherd, UFO researcher (Torch Lake, Michigan)
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