By Tim Swartz
For most people, spotting a UFO would be considered extremely unusual, but for two Ohio women, seeing a UFO was the least surprising part of their experience.
In June 2001, two sisters, Angie Whitmeyer and Deborah Simmons, were returning from a day of shopping in Dayton, Ohio, when a strange light in the sky caught their attention.
“We were heading home to Kingman, Ohio, on State Road 73,” Deborah recalled. “It was a beautiful evening around 8:30 p.m., the air was warm and the sky crystal clear. Angie was driving and I was watching the scenery go by when I noticed a bright light in the western sky.”
Deborah watched in amazement as the light grew in intensity and flew towards the car at an incredible speed.
“Deborah asked me what that weird light was,” said Angie. “But we were close to Caesar Creek Lake and the road was pretty dark so I wasn’t paying a lot of attention to it. But then it flew right in front of us so I couldn’t miss it.”
The bright light soared past the car and hovered over the nearby treetops, casting an eerie glow over the entire area. Whitmeyer pulled the car over onto the side of the road so they could get a better look at the unusual object.
Deborah was shocked by how large and close the UFO was to them: “The light was so bright and white that you couldn’t see any shape behind it. But we could tell it was pretty big, at least as big as a house. The funny thing was that I couldn’t hear any sort of engine like you would normally hear with an airplane or helicopter. It was completely silent.”
Suddenly, another, identical bright light swooped down from the sky and hovered a short distance away. The two sisters decided the situation was becoming too strange and tried to drive away.
“That’s when I discovered that the car had stopped and I couldn’t restart it,” Angie said. “Nothing worked, the lights, the radio, it was completely dead.”
The two women also noticed an odd silence had descended over the area, accompanied by a strange feeling of isolation. Angie remembered that it seemed as if they were the only people in the world.
“I don’t remember seeing another car come by during the entire time we were there, which is really weird because at that time of an evening there’s always traffic on that road. And it was just dead silent outside, no birds, nothing. It was as if we were in another world.”
Uncertain what to do next, Angie and her sister continued to watch the strange pair of lights, when, unexpectedly, both objects shot straight up and disappeared into the night sky. The area was plunged into darkness, and oddly enough, the normal sounds of the night came back almost as if switched on.
“As soon as the lights flew away,” Deborah said, “the car started running again all by itself. The lights and radio were on just as they were before everything happened.”
According to their watches, the strange encounter had lasted more than 20 minutes. However, when they arrived home, Deborah’s husband seemed unconcerned about what they thought was a late arrival. That’s when they discovered that instead of being after 9:00 p.m., as their wristwatches indicated, it was only 8:35 p.m.
“It was as if the entire time we spent looking at those lights had never happened,” Angie said. “But it did happen, our watches both showed we had been stuck out there for over 20 minutes, but somehow we gained that time back with a few minutes to spare. Normally we should have been home at around ten to nine, but somehow, despite what had happened, we got there early.”
Distortions in Time and Space
One of the strangest aspects of some UFO encounters is the apparent distortion of time when a UFO is nearby. Researchers and writers have tried for years to understand and to interpret what happens before, during, and after a close contact with a UFO. But, many reports of time anomalies have been kept off some UFO databases because such events fall outside of the preconceived notions of what a UFO sighting should entail.
Like the two Ohio sisters, others who have experienced a close contact with a UFO have reported apparent time distortions like the failure of car engines, a strange feeling of isolation (to the point where it is observed that no other vehicles or people are seen during the sighting), unusual silence, spatial changes, altered states of consciousness, and distortions in the flow of time.
Generally, these anomalies disappear along with the UFO. Occasionally, however, the witnesses will suffer from unexpected relapses weeks, even years, after the initial experience.
These anomalous events have created more headaches than answers for researchers who have attempted to find scientific validation for unusual UFO encounters. On the surface, some of the reported anomalies seem to be explainable using modern science. However, upon closer analysis, strange things tend to become even stranger.
Failure of Car Engines
The disruption of car motors, machinery, and electronic devices during a UFO event has been commonly reported. Thousands of these inexplicable stories have been duly recorded over the years and many volumes have been written in an attempt to understand the underlying principles involved.
Mark Rodeghier of the Center for UFO Studies analyzed 441 cases in which “the car, truck, or other motor vehicle in which a witness was either riding or in near proximity to, was seemingly affected by the presence of a UFO. Headlights, radios and even flashlights were also affected.”
Of the vehicle failure cases summarized by Rodeghier, ten percent noted an unusual phenomenon called “spontaneous engine restarts” at the end of a sighting. In reality, this figure is probably much higher considering the amount of underreported and underdocumented cases worldwide.
In these cases the car’s engine would mysteriously restart without the driver turning the key. One witness said: “As soon as the UFO flew away, the car, radio, headlights, switched back on by themselves. One second everything was completely dead, and the next, everything was running smoothly as if nothing had ever happened.”
The witness said he was left with the feeling that his car had been stopped between the ticks of a clock: “Like time had completely vanished.”
The Oz Effect
Another notable feature of many cases is the sudden unusual silence and an overwhelming feeling of isolation in the proximity of a UFO. Many people have noted that normal sounds—birds, insects, traffic—suddenly stop just before and during a close UFO sighting.
A man from Wisconsin reported that he had observed a UFO hovering over the treetops directly over his head once while deer hunting. He stated that the day had been windy and the trees were swaying and creaking pretty loudly in the breeze. What made him look up was the fact that all of a sudden the forest went “completely dead.”
He noted that the trees had stopped moving as if “frozen in place.” That is when he noticed a strange, dark, triangle-shaped object floating over the trees.
“It was a little bigger than a pickup truck and was solid black. I didn’t see any lights or hear any kind of sound from it.”
The hunter reported feeling like he was “looking up through a tunnel with me at the bottom and the UFO at the top. I knew that I was completely alone and that no one could help me.”
As soon as the UFO passed overhead the forest returned to normal.
The experience of such unusual sensations around a UFO has been dubbed “the Oz Effect” by UFO researcher and author Jenny Randles, and may indicate that there could be a field of influence that is being emitted around a UFO. Anyone close enough to a UFO would find himself completely contained within this field. The odd effects noticed by eyewitnesses could give us some kind of indication of the true nature of these energy fields. Unfortunately, anecdotal accounts of UFO experiences have rarely been followed up with rigorous studies of their content.
UFOs and Time
Scientists brave (or foolhardy) enough to try and conduct proper research on the nature of UFOs have been unable to find satisfactory answers as to why UFOs seem to cause time distortions. Past interpretations of Einstein’s physics leave little room for localized time anomalies, unless influenced by a gravitationally massive object such as a black hole.
However, the new kids on the physics block, quantum and string theories, may show that time and space are easier to influence than was previously thought. Some physicists believe that it is possible to engineer space-time itself and to surround a spaceship with a local space-time in such a way that locally, the light barrier remains intact, while from the outside the ship is moving at faster-than-light velocity. UFOs that seem to rapidly accelerate, change direction, or even disappear are actually operating conservatively from the viewpoint of their own internal time rates.
If someone or something came close enough to a ship that was creating its own space-time, normal time and space, as they know it, would cease to exist for them, and they would come under the influence of the artificial space-time.
This could explain some of the stranger aspects of UFO encounters, such as environmental sounds disappearing, isolation, the freezing of motors and electronic devices, and the feeling of time slowing down, stretching out, and losing all meaning. The UFO is literally creating an alteration in the local state of space-time, thus generating a major distortion effect that is experienced by the witness. Within this time anomaly the perceived forward motion of time could even disappear, allowing for the past, present, and future to intrude upon one another.
A Glimpse of the Past
In 1981, Linda Taylor and her mother were traveling by car to Chorlton, a district of Manchester, England. The normally busy road became strangely empty and the two women noticed a huge light in the sky that seemed to pace their car.
Linda told investigators that her car “jerked about” and slowed down despite her attempts to accelerate. Suddenly, an “old-fashioned” car appeared in the road ahead and drove straight towards the two women. At the same time the light in the sky turned into a metal disc that hovered over the main road.
As the UFO moved away from Taylor and her mother, the old car vanished instantly. When the women returned home they found that two hours were missing from their trip. As with some others who have had close UFO encounters, Linda later had several odd psychic experiences and further time lapses.
Time distortions may not always occur with a visible UFO nearby. In 1980, Peter Rojcewicz, now a professor of humanities and folklore at New York’s Juilliard School, was in the University of Pennsylvania library reading a UFO book suggested by another professor.
As he read, Rojcewicz noticed that someone was standing in front of him. Looking up, Rojcewicz saw a very gaunt, pale man, about six feet tall and weighing around 140 pounds. The strange man wore a black suit, black shoes, a black string tie, and a bright white shirt. His suit was loose and it looked as though he had slept in it for days.
“He sat down like he had dropped from the ceiling—all in one movement—and folded his hands on top of a stack of books in front of him,” Rojcewicz said. The man asked Rojcewicz what he was doing. Rojcewicz said he was reading about flying saucers.
“Have you seen a flying saucer?” the man asked. Rojcewicz said he hadn’t.
“Do you believe in the reality of flying saucers?” Rojcewicz said he didn’t know much about them and wasn’t sure he was very interested in the phenomena.
The man screamed: “Flying saucers are the most important fact of the century and you are not interested?”
The man then stood up, again, all in a single awkward movement, put his hand on Rojcewicz’s shoulder, and said: “Go well on your purpose.” With that, he left.
Rojcewicz was suddenly overwhelmed by fear: “I had a sense that this man was out of the ordinary and that idea frightened me. I got up and walked around the stacks toward where the reference librarians usually are. The librarians weren’t there. There were no guards there—there was nobody else in the library…I was utterly alone and terrified.”
The professor went back to the table where he had been reading “to get myself together. It took me about an hour. Then I got up and everything was back to normal; the people were all there.”
It would seem that Rojcewicz could have been placed into a separate time-space field in order for his contact to occur. The entire episode may have occurred in the blink of an eye in normal time-space. But for Rojcewicz, an entire hour passed.
One gentleman, who reported his alleged UFO abduction on an Internet forum, said that when he was being returned from an abduction to the motel room where he was staying, he “noticed that there was a person in the parking lot below us (myself and several ‘Grays,’ were ‘floating’ in mid-air so I had a bird’s eye view of the surroundings,) [who] seemed to be frozen in mid-step. Everything was dead quiet and nothing was moving. It was as if time had stopped or frozen for the few moments it took for them to transport me from a UFO back to my room that was located on the second floor of the motel.”
These interesting cases show that there is still a lot we have to learn from UFO reports. Investigators need to be willing to look beyond the traditional “by-the-book” questions and allow the witnesses to relate their entire experience—no matter how unusual it may be. Many researchers and databases fail to mention some of the stranger aspects of UFO encounters because they don’t fit a particular belief system or bias. We can learn much more if researchers put aside their own personal feelings and allow the full information to come forward.
Currently, any theories and conclusions are really little more than speculation. Nevertheless, scientists who are not afraid to look beyond the norm are every day developing new concepts in physics and the true nature of reality.
Tim Swartz is an Emmy-Award winning television producer
and videographer. As a photojournalist, Swartz has traveled
the world investigating paranormal phenomena and other
mysteries. Swartz is also the author of a number of popular
books including The Lost Journals of Nikola Tesla, and is
the writer and editor of the popular Internet newsletter