It’s not every day that the emissary of an extraterrestrial race invites you to her home to discuss government torture, the innate sensuality of the Octopus Man, and the desirability of Pittsburgh as a place to rebuild society after the Planet X cataclysm kills ninety percent of the people on the planet.

One of the first things people notice about this particular contactee is that she seems to have a particularly cavalier attitude towards death, especially for someone who’s almost supernaturally upbeat.

“Drowning, I can tell you, is not painful,” she explains. “By the way, starvation isn’t painful either.”

Nancy Lieder claims that she is the sole human conduit of extraterrestrial travelers from Zeta Reticuli, a binary star system roughly 30 light years from here. And if this is true, they’ve obviously put a lot of time and effort into the relationship. She told me that she’d been groomed for this position since childhood, while in her teenage years she participated in the development of Zeta / Human hybrids. She is still in contact with her half-Zeta son, a friend of Al Gore (who has his own hybrid stepfamily). Lieder has written extensively about this, pointing out that custody battles between parents of human-alien hybrids are quite rare.

It was in 1993 that she became aware of her alien contactee status, a fact that would permanently alter the course of her existence.