Feb 09, 2019 I Paul Seaburn

California Man Claims Van was Flipped Over by Extraterrestrials

In the paranormal reporting business, there are occasionally stories that make you want to pass because there’s no way they can be true. And yet, with many of them, it’s not the first time an incident like it has happened and there could be more to it. Such is the case of a small report in the Mountain Reporter about an accident on a California highway that the driver insists was caused by extraterrestrials. Does this sound familiar to you?

“The man was not transported for his injuries and his claims of “alien intervention” during the traffic accident are under investigation by the California Highway Patrol.”

That’s the most interesting line of the brief account in the Mountain Reporter of a traffic accident on State Route 18, the main highway into the rugged San Bernardino mountains in Southern California. Three California Highway Patrol units arrived at the scene around 1:30 pm to find a white Ford E350 van overturned. (Photo of the van here.) Why were three CHP cars in such a remote area near Rimforest?

“According to CHP transcripts of the original 911 call, the driver adamantly stated that his van was flipped over by aliens.”

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A similar white Ford van

No incident report was available and the Mountain Reporter didn’t say if the driver – never named -- was tested for impairment … the logical first thought in these types of incidents. However, those who follow UFO reports will know that unidentified flying objects have sometimes been said to stop cars and cause accidents. A series of such incidents occurred in 1965 in England and became known as the ‘Warminster Thing’. Many people reported hearing mysterious booms and seeing an orange flame in the sky emitting hisses and crackles. Among the reports were incidents of moving cars stopping after either the boom was heard or the flash was seen. While investigated for over 50 years, the mystery of the Warminster Thing and its effect on cars has never been solved.

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No question what caused this accident ... or is there?

Then there’s the “Val Johnson incident.”

This year (2019) marks the 40th anniversary of a police car accident in Marshall County, Minnesota, which the driver, Deputy Sheriff Val Johnson, blamed on a UFO. Johnson never changed his story from his original report of a bright beam of light heading towards his car, then surrounding it and rendering him unconscious. He claimed to be out for 39 minutes, during which time his watch stopped for 14 minutes, his windshield was shattered, lights were damaged and an antenna bent. Johnson had bruises and eye damage which a doctor compared to welder’s burn – a severe irritation caused by staring at a welder’s flame. Johnson refused to take a lie detector test but his testimony was accepted because of his clean record as a sheriff and because examinations of the accident scene and the car (which is on display at the Settler's Square Historical Museum in Warren, MN) by professionals and UFO investigators could not definitively identify the cause of the accident and damages. Non-believers say either Johnson concocted the story to hide an accident or he was a victim of a prank gone bad.

Will more information come out about the “alien intervention” accident in California? We’ll keep watching. Was it a DUI? Let's hope not. Will it become a San Bernardino Thing or a Rimforest incident? Let’s hope so … we need some good new UFO stories.

Paul Seaburn

Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.

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