Messages from Distant Places

The following story is an excerpt from a book by well-known Canadian author, editor and commentator, John Robert Colombo. His books deal with various interesting subjects, including the exploration of the supernatural and the paranormal. I always respected him and thought that it was pretty cool that we had the same family name, even though we're not related.

I wrote to him one day and invited him to visit WOW Zone, and he answered almost immediately.

I was hesitant about including this story here, because it IS strange. But I believe that it would be even stranger if this story was read in a book, but never mentioned here, on wowzone.

I invite you to keep an open mind. Nobody is making any claims. We're just saying it as it is...

From the book by John Robert Colombo:


In March 1997 I received an email out of the blue--literally--from Carmen Colombo. What immediately caught my attention was not the email's message (which has to do with the initial letters WOW) as much as the sender's name: Colombo. The message asked me to check the Net site

Now Colombo is a fairly unusual name, at least in North America. In Italy, it is fairly common. On this continent there are a lot of Columbuses, of course, and not a few Columbos, including one television character whose first name seems to be Lieutenant. But Carmen Colombo sounded to me like the name of that famous Canadian-born bandleader...Carmen Lombardo, perhaps.

I immediately wrote back. "There aren't all that many of us Colombos in the world, so we should respect and cherish one another. I will check the next time I am on the Net and report back." What all this means is that an interesting woman named Carmen Colombo wrote to me, presumably because we bear the same surnames.

She was born in Italy thirty-odd years ago, raised in Montreal, where she now lives, and she is a student of the human sciences. She suggested that I check her homepage. I did, and I found it worth checking. The reader of this account who checks it, it will find that the homepage presents a idea that will, when implemented, civilize social relations and initiate an era of world peace and happiness. "WOW invites you to look at life with the wonder of a child, and see all the different reasons to say WOW!" Those three letters do not constitute a mantra, but they are an acronym. They stand for "Wish Only Well." It's another version of the Golden Rule. Anyway, Carmen Colombo and I continued to communicate, and here is what emerged of our email communications.

Dear J.R.: Yes indeed, we have a great name, and we should respect and cherish one another...I certainly do! It always makes me happy to see one of us I said in my previous message, we are the "peaceful doves" of the world.

Dear C.C.: Tangentially interesting is the fact that some years ago WOW was the word that an excited computer scientist and exobiologist scribbled on a printout from the computer attached to a radar telescope where it recorded anomalous blips that could possibly have indicated communication from extraterrestrial intelligences.

Dear J.R.: Interesting that you should mention that because fourteen years ago this month, when I was 23 years of age and living in Montreal, a large cyst started growing at an incredible rate in my neck. It was so bizarre that doctors from all over North America came to the Montreal Jewish General Hospital to see it, and they said they never saw anything like it before. They tested and probed and everything else for about a week. Then, when I was in the operating room to have it removed, it was like a freak show. As I was about to go under, there were so many of them and I asked what was going on. They said they wanted to take pictures and said that this was certainly one for the medical books!

Over the next year I had to go for follow-up check-ups monthly. Every time that I asked about it, the doctor said said that they still didn't know what it was. The last time I asked, he told me not to ask him about it anymore. I know this sounds weird, but they made such a big deal out of it and they never wanted me to know if it was an alien or something. It is a running joke in my family that I delivered alien twins, but they were taken away from me. I finally got them to send me my medical files in case I ever needed them, and the following is what is written in the pathology report:

Macroscopic Description: "Specimen is received in formalin and consists of two pieces of tissue, the largest measures 4.2 cms x 2.2 cms x 1 cm. The tissue is composed of a hard, fibrous covering of cyst with soft, necrotic material inside the cyst. Rep. sections submitted in one cassette."--Dr. Aziz"

I would be very curious to know what is in the cassette, and why they never wanted me to know about this "thing" that intrigued so many doctors, that they flew in from all over the place to see. While I was at the hospital, I was known as the "girl with the neck." I was a freak.... Yet, after it was all done, I could never find anything out. Every time that I asked, I was told that it is none of my concern...or that it was just routine. Strange, don't you think? Maybe it was the same alien that send the WOW message that you referred to....

I hope you don't think that I am making this up just to get your attention. It really did happen, I assure you, and the files do exist, somewhere. 

Carmen Colombo

WOW Zone 

So, that's the story. Does it sound as bizarre to you as it does to us? Maybe, there are many other stories like it out there. I've never heard one similar to this, but if you know one, please write to me.

What I forgot to mention is that the growth started about a month after my return from a two month stay in Brazil, from December 1982 to February 1983. At that time, we had to take quinine pills for 2 weeks before going, to prevent contracting malaria and other tropical diseases. However, while there, I got the whooping cough, which later turned into pleurisy and finally...the alien twins, delivered on April 8, 1983 in Montreal!

Why do I laugh about it? Because it happened a long time ago, and I'm still here to write about it. Maybe, one day, I'll know what it was all about, and it may turn out to be quite ordinary indeed. Or maybe, somewhere out there, someone knows all about it and is keeping it hushed. Why? Who knows? Whatever - it was quite an experience, and the metal plate and two inch scar on my right neck are still here to remind me. Just looking at the scar used to horrify me, but now it makes me laugh -  because it reminds me of my "alien twins". 

And you know what they say about laughter - it's the BEST medicine.

Wishing only well,



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