In the beginning weeks of 1976 my friend Joe and I decided to take an extended vacation to Colombia. A few days before we left New Jersey, another friend had given me a copy of Seth Speaks, by Jane Roberts. This book claimed to be the true story of Jane Roberts's contact with a spirit being named Seth, who was revealing information about the spirit world through her. Although I was skeptical, I skimmed a few pages. I liked how quickly the dialogue moved along and decided to take the book with me to South America.
We arrived in Colombia on February 4, 1976. Ten days later, while visiting a beautiful town named Silvia some 8,000 feet up in the Andes Mountains, I happened to meet a guy named Fred from Connecticut. When Fred noticed the Seth Speaks book hanging out of my knapsack, he commented that he'd heard it was a pretty good book, and added, "It looks like you believe in spirits."
"Well," I told him, "I don't believe in spirits like Seth, but I do believe in God and angels."
At that moment Fred reached into his knapsack and showed me The Urantia Book, which he'd covered in brown paper the way we used to cover our schoolbooks. He said his grandmother had given it to him. As head librarian in Hartford, Connecticut, and extremely interested in learning about God, she had found plenty of time and opportunity to read many religious books. But once she'd found The Urantia Book, she told Fred, her search was over; this was now the only book she needed to read. Fred also informed me that the book was very deep - too deep, in fact, for him; he suggested that we swap books for a while, and I agreed.
The cities in Colombia were pretty wild at that time. Every day and night there were riots, gun shots and killings; the military was everywhere. By contrast, the Colombian countryside was lovely and peaceful, a foretaste of what heaven must be like. Joe and I had rented a beautiful inn outside the city of Popayan, about an hour from Silvia. Each time we'd meet other tourists in town, we'd invite them back to stay with us at our farm. I extended this same offer to Fred, and he readily accepted.
A few days passed and I still hadn't had a chance to check out The Urantia Book. One day when Fred and I were in Popayan he met a beautiful Colombian girl. I considered myself a good judge of people and could tell right away that this girl was a street hustler. I tried to alert Fred but he ignored me, blinded by her beauty. Despite my warnings, Fred decided to stay in town with her that night rather than go back with me.
When I returned to the farm I told Joe about Fred. "Fred is gonna get ripped off by that girl," I said.
Joe said, "Well, I'm going into town tomorrow, so I'll make sure he's all right."
The next day, alone on the farm, I had the perfect opportunity to check out this Urantia Book and see what it was all about. I recalled what one of my English teachers had told me: If you think a book might be too complicated for you, just open it up randomly and start reading; if you can grasp what the book is saying, then you should have no trouble with it. So that is what I did. I opened The Urantia Book and in bold letters I saw the words: "Time-Space Relationships." This topic had always fascinated me, so I proceeded to read. The book explained these concepts to me better than I have ever heard them explained before or since. I actually grasped the concept, and at that moment I felt I was in possession of great knowledge.
As soon as I finished this section, I leaned back to contemplate what I had learned, and in my reflective moment I had a vision in which Fred had had everything stolen, including my Seth Speaks book. In this same vision I heard Fred say to me, "Listen, Charlie, I need $9 for an exit visa to get out of the country, and since I lost your Seth Speaks book I'll sell you The Urantia Book, which costs $20, for only $9."
A few hours later when Joe returned to the farm together with Fred, my vision was right on the money. The girl had slipped something into Fred's drink, then lured him into an alley. There he passed out and she quickly took everything he had. Fred lost his wallet with all his money, his knapsack containing my Seth Speaks book, his wristwatch, an emerald ring, a necklace, and even his sneakers. The only thing she didn't get was his passport and his plane ticket home, both of which he had left back at the farm.
Fred then looked at me and said the exact words I had heard him say in my vision. I couldn't believe my ears. It seemed as though I was meant to have this book. I immediately gave Fred the $9.
The next day Fred was on a plane back to Connecticut and I had The Urantia Book. I have been reading it and learning from it ever since. No book has changed my life and enlightened me as much as the Urantia Book has. And ever since that fateful day back in February of 1976 I have been thanking God, his angels, and my Thought Adjuster for leading me to it.