one knows how often UFOs have been spotted by people in cars, but many
people have this experience while driving or riding. Mark Rodeghier of
the Center for UFO Studies in Chicago
reviewed reports of vehicles that encountered UFOs and uncovered
a number of facts: First, most
vehicular encounters occurred on rural roads in clear weather. Second,
most lasted for less than ten minutes. Third, most did not
involve any UFOccupants. Finally, most of the UFObservers had trouble with
their vehicle's engine, headlights, and/or electrical equipment
before and during the encounter.
example occurred in Marshall County, Minnesota, on August 27, 1979. On
this clear night, Deputy Val Johnson was patrolling County Road 5 in his
Ford LTD when he noticed a white light above the tree line perhaps two
miles to the south. The light seemed too bright
to belong to another car or a truck, so he decided to investigate. He
wondered if it might belong to a light aircraft involved in a
drug-smuggling operation across the
turned onto Highway 220 and accelerated to 65 mph, keeping his eyes on
the light. Suddenly it swept toward
his windshield, blinding him. At that moment he passed out.
he came to, he realized that his car had skidded across the highway into
the oncoming lane. Fortunately, no
other cars were traveling that night or he surely would have
been involved in an accident. Still, Johnson was not in good shape. His
head had hit the steering wheel, and
his eyes felt raw and sore. He radioed for assistance.
hit my car," he reported.
"I don't know how to explain it. Something attacked my car. I heard
glass breaking, and my brakes locked up, and I don't know what the hell
Greg Winskowski arrived quickly, along with an
ambulance, and Johnson was taken to a nearby hospital.
He was treated for eye irritation, which the doctor said
was similar to what might happen to a welder who wasn't wearing a mask,
and released a few hours later.
wasn't the end of the case, though. Sheriff Dennis Brekke inspected the
site of the accident carefully. He discovered that the damage done to
the patrol car (a smashed headlight, a cracked windshield, an almost
broken radio antenna) could not have been caused by anything then
at the scene.
Sheriff Brekke found most interesting, though, was
that the clock in the patrol car and Johnson's own wristwatch
were both exactly fourteen minutes slow. By looking at the deputy's
earlier radio messages that night, Brekke was able to confirm
that Johnson's watch had been correct prior to the accident. What could
have caused both timepieces to lose fourteen minutes?
called a nearby UFO center, but an extensive
investigation proved nothing conclusive. However, some people
believe that Johnson did encounter a TRUFO
and somehow collided with it or with the electrical
field that surrounded it. As to where those fourteen minutes
went, no one knows.
Deputy Johnson's experience is thought-provoking,
it is even more amazing to compare it with an
encounter that Russ Johnson (no relation to Val Johnson) had
two days later, at almost exactly the same time —
only four hundred miles away in Vermillion, South
Johnson saw a light ahead of him on the highway. It rushed toward him
and covered his car with bright light. Blinded, he slammed on the brakes
and skidded sideways to a stop. He opened his eyes and watched an object
zoom into the sky behind his car.
newspaper had yet carried word of Val Johnson's encounter,
so if Russ Johnson was making up a story, he
did so without reading anything about Val Johnson's experience.
He did not claim to be injured and his watch did not stop.
strange similarity? Two encounters with the same TRUFO? This is the kind
of case you may be asked to handle
as a UFOlogist.
©James M. Deem.
Originally published in How to Catch a Flying Saucer
(Houghton Mifflin, 1990). All rights reserved.