The last couple of days have been very busy.
We’re now in Chicago, after a solid 10hrs drive from Toronto, split up by an overnight stop at the Holiday Inn Express in a small Michigan town called Charlotte.
The Holiday Inn Express Charlotte MI was notable for the fact that it had dial-up speed internet, just when I needed to send some large files to Dubai for an investor to sight.
The trip into the US was also notable because we got stopped at the Canadian / USA border.
My own stupid fault.
There was a huge line of cars at the border crossing, waiting to get processed by immigration. I noticed one line was moving much faster than all the others, and so I deftly manoeuvred the car into that line.
And yes, the line was moving much more swiftly than all the others.
Whoopee, I thought. We’ll be through in no time.
And then Pieter said: What’s NEXUS mean Bill?
Over our lane was a big neon sign saying NEXUS ONLY. I thought that meant a type of vehicle, you know, like a LEXUS, but spelt wrong. It IS America after all and they’re not that good with spelling. I figured I could talk my way around that one with the Immigration Officials if it came to that. Something along the lines of: Oh, I’m driving a Toyota. That’s made by the same company that makes Lexus. Am I right to go?
Well, then I realised that the car in front had stopped at some kind of camera, and the driver had shown a card to a camera, and then had been waved through.
This was why the line was moving so fast.
It came my turn to stop at the camera. I read a sign that said: PLEASE SHOW YOUR NEXUS CARD.
I showed my credit card.
And then I had to stop at a window where a very strict Immigration Official asked me some questions. It went like this:
US Immigration: And what are you doing in the United States?
Me: I’m making a film on intuition.
US Immigration: Really? And how’s that going?
Me: I have a good feeling about it.
He didn’t get the joke. Or maybe he did, and didn’t find it funny, because we then had to drive to a Guantanamo like compound and then go through half an hour of rigorous questioning. While that was happening, they searched the car. They even searched the suitcases, and found in Jennifer’s suitcase Pieter’s heavy tripod head and baseplate.
(Pieter had asked her to carry them on a flight to balance out the weights.)
We finally got released, with a very severe warning not to try and jump the line ever again by going in the NEXUS lane. We walked out to find another official holding up the tripod head and baseplate. From a distance it looked like the parts of an Improvised Explosive Device – that is, a bomb.
We explained what it was – the official looked at us skeptically, but then allowed us to go.
The reason we’d gone to Toronto (we got in at 11pm, and left at 1pm the next day) was to do an interview with John Geiger, Senior Fellow at Massey College, Toronto University, and CEO (formerly Governor) of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society.
He’s also author of THE THIRD MAN FACTOR and THE ANGEL EFFECT – both books examining what scientists refer to as “sensed presences.” A lot of those who have sensed these presences prefer to call them Angels.
In both books John has meticulously detailed first hand accounts of people who have reported “divine intervention” with a sensed presence.
John took a secular approach in the interview, which for my film was great because I have enough people referring to angels and taking a spiritual or religious approach.
John cited scientific research which gave plausible explanations for these phenomena, however he conceded in the interview that science really can’t explain everything.
For instance, he said that most of these so-called angelic encounters are accompanied with an overpowering empathy or feeling of what’s been described as love.
Science has no explanation for that.
It was an important interview, and will balance the ledger a little in my film – which is much needed for those who will watch the film and hanker for an empirical answer to these spiritual questions.