“The doorbell would ring at 1 AM, and I would look out to see a group of people outside with cloaks and staffs.” —2005
This story is 100% true, but I expect few to believe it because it’s so ridiculous.
Guy Lancaster is editor of the Encyclopedia of Arkansas and now lives in Little Rock. (Above)
Back in 2004, Guy arrived at his home, which was then in Jonesboro, Arkansas, to discover thirty or so ecstatic voice messages on his answering machine. They were the voices of many people; men, women and children and each was speaking Italian, except for one English voice, a nun from Holy Angels Convent in Jonesboro who called to say that she had given Guy’s phone number (and address) to a woman in Italy who was desperately trying to contact him.
Guy found someone to translate the Italian messages and gleaned from them that there was some kind of Italian UFO-cult suddenly stalking him from across the Atlantic. Soon packages started arriving with: Italian newspaper clippings with Guy’s picture, books with Guy’s likeness on the cover, a strange “twig of Command” with a written incantation offering to unleash its magical powers and Calligraphed parchments declaring Guy Lancaster to be none other than the Archangel Michael, made flesh.
There was even a book which claimed that Guy had arrived on Earth in 1993 in a UFO called “Speedy”.
ABOVE: Depiction of Guy Lancaster as the Archangel Michael, (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)
BELOW: Famous old depiction of Archangel Michael defeating Lucifer.
BELOW: The “Twig of Command” with written incantation to activate its power. (must say it 3 times)
Eventually Guy decided that this was not an elaborate practical joke (as he initially suspected) and that these people were serious.
The UFO cult was headed by a woman called Alba Giordana, who began calling herself Alba Giodana-Lancaster, as she was now claiming to be Guy Lancaster’s wife (and his mother too, incidentally). The group’s name was Il Ritorno degli Antichi Celesti, Centro Ufologico Ligure, (The Return of the Ancient Celestial – UFO Center of Liguria.) Alba’s cult apparently had access to some money and means. She and her minions appeared on Italian talk shows, mingled with civic leaders and even sponsored a formula race car.
ABOVE: Cult leader, Alba Giordana
BELOW: Glossy magazine ad that Alba ran, showing her with the Kiwanis Club and her race car.
For months, the calls and packages continued.
Some of the stuff the cult sent.
Notice the Italian newspaper with Guy’s picture declaring him to be an Archangel, this was an advertisement the cult ran.
Why would somebody single out Guy to be anointed Archangel? His best guess was that Alba had done an Internet search for “holy angels” and found Guy at the end of that search. Guy’s picture and bio were featured on the website of the Holy Angels Convent in Jonesboro (he wrote for Arkansas Catholic). The website also mentioned that he was author of a book called “Queen of Purgatory”.
Eventually Guy and his wife (his real wife) developed a plan to get rid of the unwanted attention. His wife answered the phone one day when the cultists were calling and spoke to them in French, which they understood. She managed to convince them that Guy had moved away and could no longer be reached at that phone number or address.
In the confused mind of Alba-the-cult-leader, this meant only one thing, that Guy Lancaster had moved to Italy to be closer to her.
It was soon after this when a German man living in Italy, named Hans T., tracked down Guy and explained to him that some UFO cultists were showing up at his house and calling him Guy Lancaster. It was out of fear and desperation that Hans sought out the real Guy Lancaster to get some understanding of what was going on. The two men exchanged information and commiseration. Both had similar blond Nordic features, the same as artistic depictions of Archangel Michael. In the strange mind of Alba, Hans and Guy were the same person.
Hans wrote to Guy explaining his experience with them from the beginning.
[The following several paragraphs are a quote from Han’s email:]
“In April I moved to Bordighera, a nice Italian village on the Mediterranean. Shortly after, I was walking home from the grocery store when these two women standing at the bus stop called to me. One of the women spoke English and the other woman as it turned out is Alba Giordana. I am very blond and look nothing like an Italian, so I did not find it unusual that they asked me where I was from, what I was doing in Bordighera, etc. Then, they told me that I looked very, very similar to an American friend that they had. I continued home and didn’t think anything of the encounter.
A week later, the same two women showed up at my door, but I didn’t remember them from the bus stop. They were trying to offer me Italian lessons in exchange for English lessons. I took them up on the Italian lessons and went to Alba’s home. She has your picture framed throughout her home, though in the picture you are wearing a red cloak, and there are hearts drawn around your image.
Then it started.
Alba Giordana started coming to my place with champagne and lunch for two and was always trying to kiss me and hug me. The doorbell would ring at 1 AM, and I would look out to see a group of people outside with cloaks and staffs. A continuous flow of love letters and packages flood my mailbox, including a sword and the house key to Alba‘s place. Many of the letters are signed as Alba Giordana Lancaster and are addressed to King Hans-Guy. They recently had a large symposium and put up posters all over town declaring that I was to be the guest of honor. Anyway, the list of absurdities goes on and on and on.
I requested a restraining order, but that did nothing to hold them back. My Italian is limited, but I have come to understand that I have full control over them; as if they believe me to be the Creator. One man came to my door shaking and with tears in his eyes because he was so happy to finally meet me, and he then proceeded to call me master and king.
Too make a long story short, they are currently building a new Jerusalem and are rebuilding the Temple and the Ark.”
ABOVE: Their planned cult compound.
A few years have passed now since this all happened. Guy and his wife have hidden successfully from Alba and the UFO cult without being bothered by them. Hans’s fate is unknown.
When not working at the Encyclopedia of Arkansas, Guy writes fiction, makes homebrewed mead and beer and he has frequently played along with Forbidden Hillcrest’s projects. He looks different now with his beard, but you can find him in: The Food Criminals, Head for the Hills!, Ozark Point Water Works, and he was the secret author of Mounting Saint Mary.
I supposed that Guy could go to Italy anytime he wanted and claim his title as UFO cult leader and Archangel, but Guy and his wife continue to live in a house in Little Rock, the true location of which…will remain a mystery.