But first: my defense
I already feel the need to start defending myself. The story that I am about to tell will strike a lot of people as fairly crazy – I know that. All I can say is this: I’m a reasonably ordinary individual, and, prior to 1994 I didn’t have any inordinate interest in the subject of UFOs. From childhood I’ve been a voracious reader, but, I’ve never liked science fiction. I always loved non-fiction – autobiograhical and historical sorts of things. There was one exception. When I was young I read a lot of books by Kurt Vonnegut. Vonnegut, though sometimes mistakenly referred to as a science fiction writer, was an existentialist. His books were fun, keenly intelligent, and a bit weird (existentialism philosophy is strange) but they were nothing on the order of science fiction. In fact, I’m one of the rare people on the planet earth who has never watched one, single episode of “Star Trek” nor “The X Files” (honest – I hate that stuff!). I’ve always been a news and current events junkie and, when I do watch television (which is rare), it’s usually the news, The History Channel or some sort of true crime story.
I was a musician most of my life and had a fairly successful career, working in Las Vegas and all over the United States and Canada. So I’ve had plenty of attention in my life and I certainly could do without the attention that this sort of thing brings. I’ve seen an incredible daylight meteor (in Texas, in 1980) and a weather balloon mistaken for a UFO, by thousands of Michigan residents, in 1972 (I watched it as it hit the upper atmosphere and began breaking apart – I’m sure it was a weather balloon). So I’m not one to leap to far-out conclusions regarding just any celestial sighting.
In short, while The Warren Commission Report on the Assassination of JFK never passed the ‘ol sniff test (for me, at least) I’ve never been very interested in conpiracy theories, The Bermuda Triangle, Bigfoot, The Loch Ness Monster, psychic phenomenon – nor UFOs. Like anyone raised in the 50’s and 60’s I’d seen reports about UFOs and just thought, “Well – who knows….?”. I had no predisposition to, one day, be able to tell a great UFO story. And you either believe what I’ve just said, or, you don’t. That’s the best I’ve got.
UFOs over Michigan
In 1994 there was a huge UFO “flap” in the Michigan area. There were sightings of strange objects near Holland, Michigan – over Lake Michigan, mostly – and they were tracked by National Weather Service Radar; they were also seen by numerous, reliable eyewitnesses (police officers, pilots, respected citizens, etc.). The combination of quality eyewitness reports and the radar tracking actually caused mainstream media to give the story some coverage. Anyone familiar with UFO sightings knows that, to a large extent, they are generally ignored by “legitimate” journalists. In this case the data was sufficiently compelling that even the major TV networks couldn’t avoid the story, completely.
I’ve always been a current events/news junkie so I was familiar with the reports. I recall Peter Jennings reporting the story on ABC and there were some articles in the local newspaper, The Flint Journal, as well. On Thursday, March 17th the entire bottom quarter of the front page of The Flint Journal was devoted to a 911 transcript of a woman who had reached the emergency center, the night before, screaming that there was some sort of odd object hovering above the house across the street; this was in a densely populated, residential area in the city’s northwest quadrant (as I recall). I read the article and my reaction was fairly normal, I suppose. Basically, I just thought, “well, that’s pretty weird”. Like most people who might have read that story I just didn’t know what to think.
Guy meets….well, something
At the time I was working as a temporary employee in a small factory about 50 miles south of my home in Flint, Michigan. My shift started at 6:00 A.M. and the next day I awoke and jumped in my car around 4:45 – just like any other day – to hit the freeway and drive to work. Early in my drive, as my vehicle elevated to cross an overpass on I-75 South at Bristol Road (right next to the local airport), I saw aerial headlights. They appeared to be south of the airport, a few miles, and low to the ground. The lights were large and bright and I actually think I spoke, aloud, saying something like, “Wow – that’s a big plane at this time of the morning…”. Flint, and it’s airport, isn’t some huge communications hub and I recall thinking – as I’ve said – that it was unusual that a big plane would be landing that early. That was my only thought, at that point – I didn’t suspect anything “odd”, at all.
As I descended from the overpass the lights were obscured by trees and structures – because they were so low on the horizon. For the next mile or so I caught a glimpse of them, now and then, but I still didn’t think it was anything really out of the ordinary.
Then, as I reached a point where the freeway veers to the west a bit and their is an unobstructed view of the countryside (for about a mile to the southwest – in the direction I’d be headed as I drove along the freeway) I really saw the lights clearly. I was immediately struck by a number of things: the lights were extremely large and a kind of phosphorous white, they were very close to the ground, and whatever they were attached to did not appear to be moving. Certainly, it was not an airplane. The lights, pointing northward (which I’ve already described as “headlights’, pointing northward and parallel to the ground) weren’t configured like the lights of a helicopter. Clearly it was something very strange and, at that point, I began to become very unnerved. I had an odd sense about the whole thing and a knot growing in the pit of my stomach. I really wanted to get off the freeway – but I’d just passed the last exit which separated myself from the object. I was headed south, and on a course which would take me very close to this thing, with no real alternative but to continue driving.
As I’ve said, even from a distance of about a mile I knew that this was something really strange – and already frightening – but I had no real alternative other than to keep driving. I’d driven about another half-mile from when the freeway curved to the south and I could really sense the size of the object and more accurately gauge it’s proximity to the ground. I could see that it was just barely off the ground – just above a stand of full grown trees. It was just to the right, or west, of the southbound lanes of the freeway. It’s two, white headlights were extremely large and did not resemble a fluorescent nor incandescent light – I always recall that their glow reminded of the white light from a welder’s torch…or something. They were just “different”. And whatever the lights were attached to was not small; the light appeared to be about 150 to 200 feet apart. Even from that distance, the whole thing had an unearthly sort of feel….and I was truly becoming utterly terrified.
My mind raced and heart was pounding. I recall that I had the strong feeling, or thought, that I was not supposed to be there. I actually recall having that thought, over and over, as I drove nearer to this thing. I’ve always been reluctant to say it (and only added this observation, recently), but this “thought'” was much more on the order of a voice in my head – literally. I’ve never “heard voices”, so that was compounding my fear. When I was finally damned near underneath the object I slowed my car and looked up. I had to lean forward and crane my neck to get a good look, because the object was basically on top of me. The white lights, which I’ve called headlights, seemed to be vibrating at a rate almost faster than the eye could perceive; they were “in motion” in a way that is difficult to describe. Recently, it occurred to me that they appeared as large “balls of current”, or seemed to have current in them that gave them both light and motion. And while they were exceptionally bright, you could look directly into them without them hurting your eyes. Another odd quality of the lights was the fact that they didn’t see to be throwing out a beam of light, or illuminating the area in front of the craft. Plain and simple, they were really strange looking and totally unearthly. And once I was, basically, underneath the thing I could look up and see an amber light which pulsated, eerily, illuminating the underside of the odd craft. It was an enormous, equilateral triangle with striations, or ribs, which suggested a metallic construction. There was no sound, whatsoever. And, I would estimate that this huge, flying object was one hundred feet in the air – had it been an a horizontal plane I could have it with a rock. As I’ve said, too, it was mammoth – perhaps 200 feet on each side. This was not one of those “I saw a weird light in the sky” sort of encounters – this was more like the final scene of the movie “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”… At the ripe old age of 57, now, I really don’t give a damn what anyone thinks; it looked like something from another world or planet. I was completely horrified and hyperventilating. I kept thinking, “Why is this thing letting me look at it……why am I seeing this…?” It was like a childhood nightmare, it was surreal – but it was real.
I thought it was the end of the world, or, that we were being invaded. It was absolutely mind numbing and terrifying. And there was that “thought” in my head – almost like a voice – telling me, “You’re not supposed to be here….”. My reaction to that thought (or voice) – to put it mildly – was, “No problem – I’m outta here…….”.
At that point I just slammed the gas pedal to the floor – I wanted to distance myself from the thing as quickly as possible. Then, with the object about 500 yards behind me I braked a bit and looked back. No longer blinded by the headlights of the object I could see the amber light on the bottom of the craft illuminating the tops of a grove of trees as it pulsated. From that vantage point I could faintly make out the craft itself and I’ve described it, to friends, as “painted to the sky” – this enormous “thing” was simply hanging there with virtually no sound, nor, the slightest bit of motion. It was as motionless and silent as a cinder block sitting on an oak desk. Once again, I slammed my foot to the gas pedal and drove – going about 85 miles per hour – to a freeway exit about 5 miles south of where I’d seen this thing. For anyone familiar with the area, I exited at the Owen Road exit on U.S. 23 in Fenton, Michigan. I raced into a gas station and found a pay phone. I attempted to call my wife (now an ex-wife) but the phone was out of order. I needed to talk to anyone, at that point. I needed to calm down and make some sense out of something which, simply did not make any sense. I recall babbling, probably a bit incoherently, to the clerk and a patron that there was this “object hovering above the freeway”, etc…. They, of course, looked at me as if I was crazy.
UFO sightings: lessons learned, quickly
So, I just climbed back into my car and continued driving to work…..all the while, watching the sky and hoping that I didn’t see anything else of the kind. When I got to work and took my place on the line I couldn’t stop talking about what I’d seen nor concentrate, much, on making Ford Aerostar door handles.
At one point a young, black co-worker wheeled around angrily and told me that I’d “better start talking about God and shut up about UFOs”. I’d learned my first lesson in how discussing this sort of thing can be highly objectionable depending upon the worldview of your audience.
One my first break, however, I was approached by a young kid who worked at the shop with his girlfriend. He was a big, blonde, nordic looking fella who – in his bib overhauls – looked like the sorta character who spent his off-time at a gym and who ate nails for breakfast. He and his girlfriend and driven to work, like me, from Flint and he’d overheard me talking about this thing. They’d seen it, too. The two of them approached me and he said something like, “Dude – what the hell was that thing?” Both he and his girlfriend were wide-eyed and obviously, like myself, frightened and confused. Another lady who had driven from Flint and who had worked at the factory for a long time overheard the conversation and chimed in. “Oh, I saw that – I’ve seen it before. It’s the State Police helicopter.” Myself and my young friends just looked at each other in bewilderment. I don’t recall if any of us spoke a word. We didn’t need to; the idea that what we’d just seen had been a helicopter was virtually crazy. I’d learned lesson number two concerning these sorts of experiences. There are individuals who will see something like this and, somehow, distort that facts wildly so as to conform the experience to fit their worldview. The truth, for some people, is not nearly as important as remaining steadfast in long-held beliefs about the nature of this world. The truth – to quote a popular phrase – may “be out there” but for some people the truth really isn’t the point. If something which is clearly true makes an individual uncomfortable, or, throws certain beliefs into question some people will opt to simply lie to themselves. I’ve never been good at that sort of thing. I’ve described the object. It looked virtually nothing like a helicopter nor could anyone in their right mind, being honest, have seen this thing and made that analysis. It was simply ridiculous.
I spent the rest of that day trying to make sense of the morning’s events and found myself unable to concentrate on anything else. I was certain of one thing: The Flint Journal, certainly, would be full of the story the following day. I was anxious to get home and talk to my wife about the whole experience and grab Saturday morning’s newspaper, the moment it hit the stands.
Once I got home I shared the story with my wife. I suppose that all I can say about that was that she appeared to believe me and, certainly, she knew that I was not prone to telling stories of any kind. Certainly, I wasn’t the sort of individual who would fabricate something like a UFO story.
No News Is Strange News
At about 11 o’clock Saturday morning I raced up to a nearby gas station to grab a copy of the newspaper. Strangely, to me, there was virtually no mention of this thing in the newspaper. Since I’d seen it hovering next to a heavily traveled freeway, only a few miles south of a Flint (a fairly large city) it seemed as though there would have been many witnesses. And, as I’ve mentioned earlier, the paper had devoted about a quarter of the front page, on Thursday, to a 911 transcript detailing a similar sighting. But there was no mention of this event, at all. I was actually angry, for some reason. I suppose that I was looking for some tangible confirmation that I was not alone, not losing my mind, etc. I wanted to show my wife, my mother, etc. the story so that they could absolutely know I had not suddenly developed some sort of brain disorder. I wanted to know what others had thought when they’d looked at the thing……but there was nothing. And I was baffled.
“Loose Lips Sink Ships” – Uncle Sam
Frustrated and bewildered, I felt I had to talk someone – anyone – who could help me sort out the events of the previous morning. At some point I struck upon the idea of calling the airport. Though very close to the ground, this object had been hovering not more than two miles from the south end of Bishop Airport. And the newly remodeled airport featured a 5 or 6 story control tower that sat at the southern end of the complex. Anyone in that tower – especially trained observers, like air traffic controllers – would have absolutely seen this object. Eureka! I could get some independent and professional confirmation. Someone in a position of authority and respect would certainly confirm to myself, and to my loved ones, that I had not suddenly gone off the deep end….
So, not knowing what sort of response I might receive, I dialed the airport and simply asked to speak to the control tower. I do not recall whether or not I was asked what my call regarded. My memory of that portion of the call is not on the order of a transcript. At any rate, without any significant ado that I can recall the voice on the other end of the line said something like, “One moment, please”, and – after only a brief pause – I was connected with someone who I assumed was in the airport control tower. And, I assumed that the person with whom I was speaking was an air traffic controller. Now, years later, I strongly suspect that whoever I talked to worked for the government but, most likely, not as an air traffic controller.
Now – without jumping way ahead of the story – let me just say that this is where the story, for myself, begins to get a bit strange. On subsequent calls to the airport (and I tried numerous times) I was told flatly that “no one is ever connected to the control tower” via the telephone. Okay. Well, suffice it to say, on this first attempt I was immediately connected and, as I’ve described, with virtually no fanfare nor objection.
I found myself speaking with a very cordial gentleman who may, or who may not have, identified himself by name – I can’t recall. In short, I told him what I’d seen and offered that anyone from the vantage point of the control tower must have certainly seen the same thing. Given the height of the control tower and the object’s proximity to the airport, it would have been impossible for anyone in the tower to have missed this thing. I asked him, of course, if he could possibly tell me what they believed they’d seen. I also asked him if they’d seen it on radar.
As I’ve said, I told the man what I’d seen and described the object in detail (an apparently metallic, equilateral triangle, about 200 feet wide, which hovered motionlessly and in complete silence about 100 feet off the ground). My presumption, as I’ve stated, was that the man was an air traffic controller. After listening, politely, he told me that the tower had neither seen anything odd visually, nor, painted any unknown object on radar on the previous evening. He was soft-spoken and, at some level, seemed genuinely interested in my story. On the other hand, the geography of the situation was such that I new that anyone manning the control tower had certainly seen this darned thing. I was absolutely certain that, for one reason or another, he was not telling me the truth. Visually, from the vantage point of the tower, only a blind person would not have seen this thing. And I knew that for a fact. For whatever reason, this kindly old gentleman was yanking my chain.
In a quiet, paternalistic tone he began asking questions in which he endeavoured to lead me (I feel) to adopt some sort of prosaic resolution to the mystery at hand. “Do you think it might have been a blimp…?”, he asked. No way. I’ve seen the Goodyear blimp flying over Flint for the last 25 years (during the Buick Open Golf Tournament). Guess what – blimps are actually awfully noisy. And what I’d seen bore no resemblance, at all, to a blimp. “Do you think it might have been a very bright star…?”. Was he even listening to me? I could have hit this thing with a rock, damned near. It was an enormous triangular craft with crazy navigational lights and a metallic superstructure (apparently). It was hovering, silently, 100 feet above the ground! I’d described it to him in detail. What in the world was this guy talking about? Again, I felt like I was simply talking to a wall – his suggestions made virtually no sense relative to what I’d described. I soon grew completely exasperated with his questioning, and, stopped him. I said, “Can I ask you a question….?”. He answered, “Yes”. I said, “Look – you’re an air traffic controller, right? In your experience have you ever seen anything weird – like this – that you couldn’t explain…?”. I will never forget his answer. He paused, kind of chuckled, and said this: “Well, let’s put it this way. Uncle Sam signs my pay check so, if I did, I couldn’t tell you.” And without missing a beat he added, “But here’s a phone number for you to call.”
What he gave me – what he had at his very fingertips – was the phone number of an outfit call MUFON – an acronym for the “Mutual UFO Network”. Up to that point in my life I neither cared about the subject of UFOs, nor, had I ever heard of MUFON.
Reflecting on the above conversation, now, my telephone exchange with the gentleman at the airport had been an exercise in futility. By his own admission, if he’d seen something weird he was prevented from speaking about it by his position within the government. To his credit, that was something which he admitted. And, he did give the phone number for this MUFON organization – whatever the heck that was. I didn’t know where that would lead, but I decided to give them a call. What ensued was, in fact, both life-altering and confusing. It would call into question most of my long-held beliefs about the nature of mankind’s existence on this planet.
The phone number for MUFON had an 800 prefix and I had no idea where it was located, nor, what to expect when I called. I understand, now, that MUFON – an acronym for Mutual UFO Network – is an organization of volunteers who collect UFO reports, do investigations, and make their findings available to the public. But in 1994, I didn’t know who the heck they were, nor, what they did. I simply wanted answers, and, the fellow at the airport had indicated that a call to MUFON might be a good place to start.
So, immediately afer talking to the gentleman at the airport I dialed the number for MUFON. In contrast to my agitation the man who answered the phone was soft-spoken and for him it was all, obviously, just another day at the office. I believe he told me was located in Washington State. After I described what I’d seen he replied, calmly, “It’s no big deal – people see these things all the time.” His spoke in kind of a flat tone and the entire thing seemed so completely mundane, to him, that I was almost irritated. It’s “no big deal”, I thought? Well, I almost had a coronary and it was certainly a big deal to me! I asked if he’d taken any calls from the area of Flint, Michigan over the last few days and he said, “No”. But he had a suggestion. He asked me if Flint was close to Flushing, Michigan. I told him that Flushing was, essentially, a suburb of Flint – an affluent community just about 6 miles west of the city limits. He said, “Well, the state director of MUFON lives right there in Flushing – maybe you could give her a call. Her name is Shirley Coyne.” And with that he gave me her phone number.
Shirley Coyne: the weird becomes substantially weirder
Needless to say, I didn’t know what to expect from Shirley Coyne but I kind of suspected she’d tell me the same thing I’d just heard – that no one else had reported anything of the kind. My amateur investigation, thus far, had only hit brick walls. I dialed her number and introduced myself, then, I described what myself and my co-workers had seen. I mentioned that I’d been surprised that there had been nothing in the newspaper and, further, joked that I was afraid my family and friends might be thinking I’d lost my mind. To my great relief – and enormous surprise – she quickly said, “Don’t worry, honey, you’re not losing your mind. Two women car-pooling to Lucas-Certak in Fenton, at 10 o’clock the night before, saw exactly the same thing. Except it was hovering above the middle of the freeway, straddling the freeway completely. And it was right where you saw it – between the Baldwin and Thompson Road exits.”
I was greatly relieved to have Shirley Coyne be able to corroborate my story with the testimony of two other witnesses. This was something so beyond the pale, in terms of any rational explanation, that I was fairly desperate to have anyone else – even one of those “UFO nuts” – validate the whole thing. For whatever reason, Shirley Coyne appeared to know that I was absolutely telling the truth, describing a real experience. I was grateful and, as I’ve said, quite relieved. Then she went on to describe the purported experience of the two women from whom she had taken the report. While what I’d seen had been weird enough, Shirly Coyne was about to tell me something which would take this odd encounter to a new level.
Actually, according to Shirley, the two women driving to Fenton had seen nothing the first time they’d traveled south on that stretch of freeway. Bizarrely – again, according to Shirley – at some point as they where blithely motoring their way to work the women became aware of the fact that they were inexplicably traveling north on US23, not south. They had been headed south, from Flint to Fenton, and had no idea how it had come to pass that they were suddenly going the wrong direction. For anyone familiar with the area they exited at Miller Road and – giving it all another try – headed south, once more, to Fenton. This time however, at precisely the same spot where I’d seen the triangular craft hovering just to the right of the southbound lanes, the two women saw the same sort of craft but it was straddling the northbound and southbound lanes – dead center, above the freeway. Finally, while the women felt as though they’d lost about ten minutes of time due to their detour they arrived at work almost one hour late.
After hearing the details I didn’t know what to think. Was Shirly Coyne crazy? Were we all crazy? Could what she was telling me possibly be the truth? It all sounded like some rubbish from the front page of one of those tabloids I’d always see at the grocery store checkout – you know, the one’s where George Bush is pictured shaking an alien’s hand, or, something equally silly. Spaceships, missing time, aliens – I almost wished I wouldn’t have called anyone. But the fact of the matter was that I’d seen something that was extraordinarily weird. And Shirley – God bless her – had been good enough to listen to me. She believed me, it seemed. On the other hand, she also believed some very, very crazy stuff! The best I can say is this: I didn’t know where to put any of this stuff, intellectually nor emotionally. It was all quite unsettling, and, just terribly weird.
Shirley asked me if she could come to my home and take a report, and I said that would be fine. She arrived, later that day, with another female UFO investigator. While filling out forms they had me describe the craft, and, draw a picture of it to the best of my ability. Apart from her fascination with space ships Shirley looked, and acted, like any other middle-aged lady from the suburbs – just utterly normal. A slight women, with blonde hair, she kind of reminded me of my Mother. I recall that she wore both a crucifix and an energy crystal on chains around her neck. And I recall that she told me, “Don’t let this interfere with your belief in God.” She suggested that the existence of alien life forms and the existence of God were not, in her opinion, mutually exclusive circumstances. I got the impression that she was a spiritual – possibly even religious – person.
So they took my official report, and, I was left with quite a mystery. What had I actually seen? Clearly, the MUFON ladies thought it was a craft from another world. I wasn’t convinced. And what about the two women car pooling who supposedly had their vehicle turned around on the freeway that morning? I had a lot to think about but by talking with the MUFON folks, at least, I felt like I’d put some bookends on the experience; I would have to ruminate on the whole affair, but, I had something of an opening and a closing to this bizarre little episode. I’d talked it out, made my report, and now I would have to sit back and analyze a very odd chain of events – but, at least, the strange stuff was over. Little did I know, nor suspect, the strange stuff was really just beginning….
What does “Iron Tomb” mean? Guy has no idea….
As I’ve said, when I got to work on the morning of March 18th I couldn’t stop talking about my strange sighting – witnessed, also, by at least four other co-workers. So a lot of people knew that myself, and others, had seen this thing. On Monday, by the way, I didn’t share the story related to me by Shirley Coyne (of the car pooling women) with anyone. In fact, I didn’t bother to tell anyone that I’d made a formal UFO report.
It was a small factory and a fairly crappy job. Most of us were temporary employees, just killing some time until we found better jobs. And for the most part, there weren’t many people where I worked with whom I felt I had much in common. The gene pool at ‘ol Deco Manufacturing in New Hudson, Michigan, in my opinion, was not particularly impressive. One of the few friends I’d made was a black woman by the name of Carolyn. Whereas I’d played the piano for a living for much of my life, she’d been a professional singer. For various reasons, we’d both quit working in nightclubs and casinos. We had some things in common. Now, Carolyn was giving her vocal talents to God, heavily involved in the choir at a large Baptist Church in Flint. Carolyn was married, had three children, and her husband worked at AC Spark Plug in Flint. She was witty and intelligent and we’d often talk at lunch, or, during breaks. We didn’t socialize outside of work, but we’d become good “work buddies”. She was always funny and upbeat. The fact that she was really my only friend at work proved to be something of a remarkable coincidence. Then again – looking back it all, now – maybe there’s no such thing as a coincidence….
When I got work on Monday, March 21st, I noticed that Carolyn looked distressed. We actually ended up working in different departments that day so I really only caught a glimpse of her, now and then – we couldn’t share a chat at lunch, or, at break time. When the whistle blew to go home Carolyn came running up to me, and looked frightful. She almost looked physically ill. It was clear that she was very upset about something. She said, “Guy – here’s my phone number – you have to call me after work. Please – call me! I need to talk to you….”. I had no idea what she might want – but she appeared desperately upset.
So, I made the 45-minute drive home and called Carolyn fairly straight away. I was puzzled by what she might want. I called and simply said something like, “Hey Carolyn, it’s Guy – what’s going on…?” In a distressed tone, mantra-like tone she responded with a question – which she repeated several times. “Guy…what does ‘iron tomb’ mean….what does ‘iron tomb’ mean…?”
“Iron tomb….”? I was completely baffled. What, on earth, was this woman talking about? I responded I did not know what “iron tomb” meant and, furthermore, I asked her what in the heck she was talking about – what in the world was going on?
After a moment she collected herself and told me the following, very bizarre story: she said that on Friday, March 18th she and a friend, Felicia (who I’d seen at work but didn’t really know) had been car pooling to work. “Something” happened. She’d heard some of us talking about seeing a strange craft, that morning, but she said they didn’t see anything. But, she said, as they were driving her conversion van suddenly started spinning. As she put it, she thought she’d hit “black ice” (a Midwest term for ice that forms on roads and is difficult to see). Felicia, who was asleep in the passenger seat, woke and began screaming, “Don’t hit the brake, don’t hit the brake.” I was sitting in a small office, in my home, as we spoke. I grabbed a pencil and actually made notes as we talked. She said that the most frightening thing was that the van wasn’t simply spinning, but, spinning at an ever-increasing and remarkable rate – not typical for losing control on ice. And she said, “Guy – I get sick on carnival rides…..but I didn’t get sick – we were spinning so fast!”. She mentioned, a number of times, that she kept seeing the lights of other cars and that she feared they would be struck by another vehicle as they spun, and, spun. She was almost in tears as she spoke. And, finally, she said that she realized that the oncoming vehicles couldn’t hit them. Almost in a whisper, almost afraid to be heard, she said, “Guy…..we were going up! The cars were us below us!“.
And then she said she was in a room – or something – and everything was grey and dark. She said she felt as though she was in an iron tomb. But, in our first conversation, her memory – and explanation of this portion – was somewhat vague. There were no details – just this fairly amorphous reference to finding herself in some spooky, dark atmosphere/place.
She said the entire episode culminated in her van being “pulled backwards across the freeway” – to the shoulder of the road. I remember that she said it felt like the van was being moved by a giant magnet. She mentioned that she found it odd that, although her van – more on the order of a camping vehicle – came to a violent stop, things perched on shelves didn’t fall. And, referring to my notes, she said that when the van stopped Felicia was the first to speak, saying, “Isn’t God wonderful..?”. Carolyn said, “Yes, he is….”. It was if they’d had some sort of religious experience. And, then Carolyn said, “At least we’ll be to work on time…”. Their impression was that the spin-out – or whatever it was – had been momentary.
So, she said, they pulled back on the freeway. I couldn’t help myself. I asked her which way they were going. She said, “That’s the weird part, too – we thought we were going the right way…but we were going north, towards Flint. We had to turn around at Grand Blanc Road to go south again.”
And there was, of course, one more odd dimension. Even though they’d left early for work, Carolyn said, “Guy, it was so strange. When we got to the shop everyone was on the line. We were 45-minutes late..and we don’t know why.”
At some point I told Carolyn about my UFO report and told her I’d heard an almost identical story, from a UFO investigator, involving two other women.
And, suddenly, the world was different….
That was in 1994. It’s almost 2012. I only talked to Carolyn on the phone, a few more times, that week. I quit the factory, after finding a better job, about 5 weeks later. But to this day, I know Carolyn’s phone number. Some days your life really, really changes and you know that things will never be quite the same. Carolyn was a bright, intelligent, sophisticated individual. She was my friend, and, she’d been badly traumatized. I’d seen this damned thing, myself…and she was telling the truth. I could hear it in voice. When she related what she’d experienced her fear was palpable – it was very obviously genuine. While I might be able dismiss a second-hand anecdote from some UFO person, Carolyn was a friend. If this thing had ever seemed even the slightest but silly, it certainly wasn’t silly anymore. And in fact, it was much bigger than I’d ever dreamed. The world, for Guy Merritt, had changed in an incredibly significant, and permanent, way. Physicists and astronomers and mathematicians and theologians might debate such things….but I’ve been there and, as the saying goes, “got the T-shirt”. It was made clear to me, in the experiential, that we generally underestimate the limitless possibilities of our universe. There’s a lot we don’t know, kids. And the folks on this planet in positions of power, quite clearly, routinely lie to us with no compunction.
Follow-up with Carolyn and Felicia
I talked to Carolyn on the phone a few more times, that week. She was quite a mess, emotionally. And the whole episode seemed to be coming back to her, in pieces. It was like she’d been given an amnesic drug, the effects of which were temporal. Over time she recalled more and more. She eventually told me that she remembered some sort of physical examination, done in dark room by a being with huge eyes; she said she saw her own reflection in the eyes of a very strange looking creature. She was crying, when she described this, and terribly upset. Listening, and believing, was all I could offer – and it felt inadequate. I’m sure that different people who have such experiences react, and deal with them, differently. In Carolyn’s case it seemed to have really rocked her emotional stability to such an extent that I had concerns for her physical well-being.
Again, by sheer coincidence, my wife began working in the same factory on Monday, March 21st, 1994. Since I didn’t really know Felicia, and the entire thing was so terribly odd, I never approached her regarding any of this. My wife, however, happened to be assigned to the same assembly line as Felicia and they discussed the experience. Felicia seemed to be coping with everything much better than Carolyn. And for Felicia, there was a benefit; she told my wife that while she’d had been trying to become pregnant with her husband, for years, she hadn’t been able to conceive. She told my wife that she didn’t know why but that, after this experience (and somehow related to it), she was absolutely positive that she was pregnant. Why did she feel there that there was some connection between her perceived pregnancy and this experience? I don’t have a clue. According to my wife Felicia appeared, as I’ve said, comparatively unruffled by her encounter and spoke about it in a direct, matter-of-fact manner; she simply told my wife that she and Carolyn had been abducted by aliens. And, yes, I know how completely insane all of this sounds……
In about 1997, with a bit of liquid courage (three or four beers), I dialed Carolyn’s phone number a final time. I wanted to know how she was doing and, frankly, if she had ever recalled anything else. Her husband answered the phone and I introduced myself. I explained to him that I had been Carolyn’s sounding board, a few years earlier, when something “odd” had happened on the way to work. It was an awkward moment. He was very pleasant and knew exactly what I was talking about. He kind of laughed and said, “Well, we know that something happened out there, but we don’t know what. And, Guy, Carolyn just can’t talk about it. Really, she just gets too upset when the subject comes up.” I quickly told him that I understood, completely. We said goodbye, and, I never have spoken to Carolyn again. God bless her – I know that she had a very difficult time with all of this.
So, what do I know for sure?
So what can I say with certainty? Do I know, positively, that we’re being visited by aliens from another world? No. On the other hand, in view of the experience I’ve just described, it certainly seems like a reasonable possibility. I just don’t have many other answers for what I saw, and, the events of that week back in 1994. If you accept the accounting of myself and others (as I’ve detailed here) as honest and accurate the whole episode is difficult to explain in everyday, earthly terms. I know that what I saw looked like something from another world. And I saw it from a distance of only about one hundred feet. I didn’t see some light, moving erratically, off in the distance. This was close up and personal. Then there’s the confluence of events that followed. What were the chances that two sets of women, completely independent of each other, would report similar stories of missing time and, possibly, an alien abduction? For folks reading this it’s all just one more anecdote – for me, it’s a genuine part of my life. I don’t have the luxury of dismissing this stuff, anymore. Some days, I wish that I could.
Cynicism versus Skepticism
After all of this happened I watched and read almost anything I could find on the subject of UFOs. I’ve watched roundtable discussions on Larry King, and elsewhere, where UFO skeptics (or “debunkers”, as they’re called) and UFO believers would argue back and forth. And I’ve often had this thought: it’s good to be skeptical but what often passes for skepticism is actually cynicism, or outright people hating. Do some people enjoy and engage in lying as some form of twisted entertainment? Unfortunately, yes. But do most people – or many people – invent wild stories about UFOs to deceive and confuse others? I don’t think so. I don’t think mankind is really all that crazy and rotten. There certainly isn’t any benefit in telling this kind of story – not that I’ve ever found, anyway.
The Real Deal
My name is Guy Merritt. I live in Flint, Michigan in a real house, with a real wife, and three real dogs. I also have two real cats. I have a real job. And I would swear before God, or anyone, that the details of this story – which I’ve related as accurately as possible – are as real as anything else in my life. I’m stuck with this and, well, you’re not. Some days it feels like a blessing, some days it feels like curse. Take from all of this what you will – again, that’s really the best I’ve got…..
Footnote Number 1
After almost forty-years of never attending a single class reunion in 2010 I went to an unofficial summer bash held annually by one of my female, high-school classmates. It’s something of an unofficial reunion and quite a party. Anyway, I was really pleased to run into a lifelong friend with whom I’d gone to school, and, played in my first “bar band”. His name is Jack Bowers. Jack’s a great guy and I’d searched for him a few times on the internet, but to no avail. As it turned out he was living in Fenton (only fifteen miles south of Flint) but he simply wasn’t much of an internet guy – he didn’t do Facebook or anything of that kind, so he’d been impossible for me to locate. We hadn’t seen each other in at least twenty-five years and it was great fun to finally catch up with him.
I don’t recall how it came up but as we stood on the lawn – he with a beer, and me sipping a Coca-Cola – I told him about seeing this crazy craft out in the direction of Fenton. Jack, always kind of a reserved fellow, responded quite simply with, “I saw that thing, too.” To say that I was surprised by his response would be an understatement. According to Jack he’d seen a craft identical to the one I’d described and at virtually the same spot! Doing some quick math, Jack was almost certain that it had been 1995 (not 1994, as in my case) when this had happened. I found that kind of odd but, heck, there was nothing about any of this that wasn’t odd.
Unlike myself, Jack had the courage to take an exit about five-hundred yards beyond the object in an effort to turn around and get a better look. According to Jack, he did so, but by the time he’d arrived at the top of the exit ramp and turned to look the mammoth object had disappeared!
Footnote Number 2
Years after seeing this object I was going though a nasty divorce, having to sell a huge house which I owned outright, and I’d started drinking heavily to alleviate the “pain”. I decided to do something I’d never done before: talk to a counselor. Somewhat oddly, given the circumstances, I found myself often talking with my female social worker about my UFO sighting. It had been a burden, for years – the sort of thing that you rarely share with anyone. And I felt incredibly comfortable talking to her about the whole thing; for whatever reason, I strongly sensed that she believed me completely. One day I actually asked her, “Why do I get the impression that you really believe what I’m telling you – this story is so weird?”. Her answer surprised me, to say the least. She told me that she and her husband lived only a couple of miles from where this had happened. And, she said, they had a nine-year-old neighbor – a little girl – who had come over one day and told her and her husband that she and her grandmother had pulled off the freeway one evening to look at a “big, flying triangle” hovering above US23. I often wonder what happened to that little girl and her grandmother when they pulled to the side of the freeway.
And I no longer believe, at all, in coincidence…
God bless you, Shirly Coyne