Suspected Idaho gunman Kyle Andrew Odom can pinpoint his first extraterrestrial encounter: a night in February 2014 while he was meditating in bed. In the midst of an out-of-body experience, he says, he realized that a blue light floating toward him was an alien female being. Their minds connected and he was overcome.
"I then began to feel the most euphoric, comforting and blissful feelings I have ever felt," Odom wrote. But it appears to have been all downhill since for the former Marine.
The encounter is part of a 21-page personal manifesto sent to two Spokane, Wash., television stations and Odom's parents last weekend by Odom, who at the time was being sought on suspicion of attempting to kill a Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, pastor.
Tim Remington, 55, who was shot soon after delivering his Sunday sermon, survived six bullet wounds, including one shot to the head. Odom, 30, was arrested Tuesday after flying from Boise to Washington, D.C., where he was reportedly spotted tossing documents and computer flash drives over the security fence surrounding the White House. He is being held without bail.
In his rambling manifesto, Odom writes that to draw attention to alien invaders he believes are among us, he had to start killing some of them.
Remington was supposed to be the first. An associate pastor, John Padula, might have been the second. And others could have followed. The manifesto included the names of 50 congressional members who Odom apparently thought were alien beings.
A security video shows a man, allegedly Odom, walking up behind Remington in a parking lot and opening fire. There seemed to be no direct connection between the shooting and Remington's appearance a day earlier at a political rally where he gave the invocation for Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz.
Officials at Remington's Altar Church indicated that Remington and Padula had earlier contacts with Odom, described as a former methamphetamine addict. Padula, himself a former addict, had known Odom for years. "When I was struggling," the associate pastor told KHQ-TV of Spokane, "when I was using drugs still, he just loved the daylights out of me."
The manifesto, apparently written before the shooting, asks, "Who is Kyle Odom?" and then answers itself:
"Born and raised in North Idaho. Grew up in a loving family. Joined the Marine Corps after high school. Developed an interest in science. Went to school for a degree in Biochemistry. Won numerous scholarships and awards. Graduated Magna Cum Laude [from the University of Idaho] then got invited to prestigious university [Baylor College of Medicine, Houston] to work on genetics."
Odom, in the manifesto, reveals a plan to gun down the well-liked Remington for being one of "an intelligent species of amphibian humanoids from Mars" who had ruined his life. "I wish I was joking," Odom wrote, adding he considered himself "100% sane, 0% crazy."
The manifesto calmly relates a growing paranoia over aliens — an irrational pattern of concern seen in other notable shootings involving mental issues and conspiracy theories.
Jared Lee Loughner, who pleaded guilty to 19 counts of murder and attempted murder — including wounding U.S. Rep.
In his manifesto, Odom seemed worried that he was being driven to a similar edge.
After leaving a job at Baylor College in late 2014, he says he "was told" that two of his co-workers were not human. "They were tasked into making me the 'next school shooter' as they called it. I imagine this is why many of our school shootings take place."
He recounts months of agony, mental trips and seeing helicopters flying over his house. He heard songs in his head and had unusual sexual feelings. Aliens eventually gained control over him by threatening to kill his parents, he wrote.
"I told them I would do whatever they want if they left my family alone. They responded by saying 'Go to church.' I knew they meant The Altar," he wrote. Odom had earlier been invited by Padula to visit the church.
Odom wrote that he once tried to commit suicide by enclosing himself in his car with a lit charcoal grill. He said he finally sought help at a Veterans Affairs hospital but the medication he received provided no relief.
In desperation, he said, he returned to Remington's church. His manifesto includes a sketch of Remington — looking like a pop-culture space alien — along with a list of "Noteworthy Martians" including U.S. senators and representatives and Israeli officials.
Anderson is a special correspondent based in Seattle.