On a warm fall night in 1974, a young man and his mother observed a gigantic, mystifying object hovering over a farmer’s field in rural Rhode Island. But what happened to this man in the years that followed may yet be even stranger.
Gary remembers it as an unusually warm night for how late in the fall it was. He admits that the passage of time makes it hard for him to remember exactly when it happened—the weather seemed like a wonderful fall night in late September but the fact that it was dark by 8 0’clock makes him think it could have been November. He was 15 and his mother was driving him home from guitar lessons. Gary and his mother made their way down a series of winding roads in Johnston, an area that is now built up with shopping plazas and housing developments, but in 1974 was much more sparsely populated.
As they passed a farm near their home something in the neighboring field caught Gary’s eye and he told his mother to stop the car. A thick fog had covered everything in the field from the side of the road to the tree line a few hundred yards away. The strange fog seemed illuminated from within and Gary thought that a helicopter must have landed although he immediately noticed that there was no sound, no wind or the blowing around of debris which you would expect a helicopter to kick up. Everything was deadly still and time seemed to stop. To his shock, high above the illuminated field, Gary saw a huge cigar-shaped object nearly 300 feet above the ground. It was black metallic, motionless in the air but spinning rapidly, it reminded Gary of a fat vinyl record. It hung silently in the air at a 45-degree angle to the ground and he described it as being 2 to 3 city busses long. It had what we would describe now as digital lights around its edge, but at the time he had no words for them. He walked over a berm, stepped through an opening in the short stone wall into the field and now there was electricity in the air.
By this time 4 or 5 more cars had stopped and a few people were gathering by the roadside, headlights illuminating their silhouettes. Gary’s mother was scared and she begged him to get back to the car. He pressed on into the field and felt a wave of warm light and air seemingly coming from the gigantic object, and that was when he first saw her.
The young woman was standing in the center of the field, alone and oddly not looking at the terrifyingly large object presently defying gravity above their heads but instead looking directly at Gary. She was young—15 years old seemingly, and beautiful. She had an odd, short “Dutch boy” haircut, impossibly out of place in early 1970’s Rhode Island, and it seemed wrong to Gary somehow, like a wig. Her skin was perfectly smooth and she was wearing a horizontally striped multicolored shirt and tight, black short pants.
Gary was deeply entranced by this extremely out-of-place girl and she continued to look at him with a peaceful, placid expression seemingly oblivious to the events around them. Her eyes were almost gently pleading as if she seemed to want to tell him something. He heard in his head in a young woman’s voice, “Everything is ok.” The words blocked out everything else in his mind and then he heard in the same voice, “Is it ok if I touch you?”
Gary was snapped out of his reverie by his panicked mother’s voice yelling at him from across the field demanding that he get back to the car. He turned and looked to the road and the other cars and their passengers had left—or had they even been there at all? The next thing he remembers is being back in the car with his mother frantically driving them home. She had seen the strange fog and the object, but not the girl. She was frightened. “Don’t tell Uncle Dave!” she insisted as they made their way home. This remark has always stood out as being very strange to Gary, but he and his mother have never spoken of the incident since.
By the early 1980’s Gary was out of college and back home in Johnston. He had all but forgotten about the mysterious illuminated fog, the UFO and the strange, out-of-place girl. He had just bought a used motorcycle from a man in a nearby town and was riding it home when on a lonely intersection near the site of the forgotten encounter, there she was—standing alone, already looking at Gary as he met her gaze. She was wearing the same clothing, she looked exactly the same. He passed her and was a few hundred yards up the road before he processed what he had seen. He circled back but she was gone, and his mind reeled. The next day as he was standing in a terminally unmoving line at the DMV to register his new bike, ahead in the line he saw the back of a familiar woman’s head. The woman turned around and looked at him, it was her. He immediately felt as if she knew that he was going to be there. She had the same gently pleading look in her eyes. He heard again; “Everything is going to be OK.” He stepped out of line and maneuvered his way through the crowd of people but she had disappeared. She did not appear to have aged.
Gary did not forget about this encounter, and approximately ten years later when he walked into a nearby CVS it took him a moment to realize that he had just seen the girl again, sitting in a black sedan on the street outside the store. Before he could dash outside to confirm what he had seen she was there, at the end of an aisle, in long black clothing with now white hair in that same “dutch boy” cut. Although she looked less out-of-place in these more modern times, he immediately felt that she didn’t belong there, in that place or time. She stepped behind a row of displays and she was gone. He could find her nowhere in the store, so he went outside and wrote the license plate number of the sedan down on a stack of Post-it notes he had in his jacket. When he got home there was nothing written on the pad, there was no indentation on the paper as if the note had become separated and lost. Had he written it down? Was any of this actually happening to him?
In the intervening years, Gary has thought about these encounters a lot. He feels as if he “shares something” with this strange girl. Although these happenings have alarmed him at the time, her appearance is ultimately comforting to him, and he feels strongly that she wants to tell him something, that they share a relationship of some sort. And although it has been a couple of decades of missed appointments he feels sure that they will meet again, possibly on some lonely Rhode Island road, maybe even under the whirling vortex of a gigantic, otherworldly object.
Maybe their ride home?
This story draws on material including witness interviews from MUFON case number 104642 in the winter of 2019.