UFO Story 5

Four Tips for

Having a Close


Although there are no magic ways of making sure that you see a UFO, there are things you can do to improve your chances. Here are four tips for finding one.



This may not be an idea that your parents will like, but it's a good way to have a UFO experience. According to UFOlogist Jacques Vallee, almost all UFO landings take place after 6:00 p.m. Sightings rise in number until about 10:30 p.m. and then begin to decline. Very few sightings of TRUFOs take place between 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. The number of sightings decreases after 10:30 because most people go to bed around that time. The more peo­ple there are in bed, the fewer there are to spot a UFO. Of course, some people see strange lights outside their bedroom windows, so being in bed doesn't rule out the possibility of seeing a UFO.


Most UFOs are observed by witnesses who are outside at the time. But it's not just a matter of being outdoors. Where you are may make a difference. Here's a list of the top thirteen states for UFO sightings, based on recent studies:


New Mexico
New York 


This doesn't mean that you won't see a UFO if you live somewhere else. Your chances may be a little better in these states, that's all. What's more, a rural area in any state is better for UFO spotting than a heavily populated area. However, while it's true that you'll be less likely to see a UFO in New York City or Los Angeles or Denver or Chicago, it's also true that UFOs have been sighted just a few miles from almost every large urban area in the country.



Many UFOlogists distrust stories told by children, but collectively, more children see UFOs than any age group of adults. Do children see more UFOs, or are they more likely to report what they see? In general, children have fewer preconceptions about things and report just what they've seen — no matter how odd it is.

Being young, however, is not the only factor in UFObserving. Other studies have suggested that people with red or blond hair are more likely to see a UFO and that left-handed individuals may also have more close encounters. But seeing a UFO is probably a matter of luck for many people.



No 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.

One 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 lightaircraft involved in a drug-smuggling operation across the Canadian border.

He 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.

When 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.

"Something 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 happened."

Officer 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.

That 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.

What 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?

Brekke 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.

While 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 Dakota.

Russ 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.

No 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.

A strange similarity? Two encounters with the same TRUFO? This is the kind of case you may be asked to handle as a UFOlogist.



Copyright © James M. Deem. Originally published in How to Catch a Flying Saucer (Houghton Mifflin, 1990). All rights reserved. 



Copyright © 1988-2019 James M Deem. All Rights Reserved.