Feb 13, 2019 I Brent Swancer

Ghost Cars, Alien Cars, and Other Vehicular High Strangeness

The road can be a strange place for sure, and there is no end to the accounts of weird happenings along the more remote roadways of the world. Among these are the numerous accounts of vehicles that seem to be beyond the normal, often with occupants every bit as bizarre and which defy all conventional attempts to explain. From ghost cars, flying cars, wheeled alien craft, and everything in between, here is a journey down a road towards a horizon of high strangeness.

There are all sorts of very bizarre accounts of phantom vehicles that seem to range widely from ghostly apparitions to something that toes the line between the supernatural and UFOs. In the 1920s we have tales of an enigmatic phantom car from the villages of Athleague and Mount Talbot, in Ireland. In the 1920s there was frequently reported a spectral “motor-car” that went far faster than anything available at the time and which could phase through whatever got in its way. One article from Jan 22, 1927 edition of WMN said of this mysterious vehicle:

Witnesses in the locality state that on many occasions about midnight a mysterious vehicle somewhat like a high-powered motor-car ablaze with light dashes noiselessly through the roads. There is apparently no driver, but seated in the car are a number of white-robed figures. Walls, ditches, fields, and plantations present no obstacle to the car. The superstitiously inclined connect the visitation with a tragic occurrence in a neighbouring estate when, during the recent troubles, a landlord and his wife were driving from their homes and died of fright. Local inhabitants are afraid to leave their homes after nightfall.

In later years we have reports from the 1950s of a ghostly car said to terrorize a stretch of desolate road in Kent County, in South East England. The car was usually described as black and of a very old fashioned make and model, but was said to have the speed, handling, and capabilities of something far more advanced. While a driver was usually not seen to be present in the vehicle, which seemed to be driving itself, there are other reports that speak of a fog-like wraith said to be its driver. One report from October of 1950 said of such an account:

Driving through Hildenborough at 7 a.m. on Sunday, a motorist observed another car parked by the roadside in a deserted spot. He saw the shadow of man outlined against the mist, in the driving seat. He got out of his own car and shook the other car violently but the huddled figure did not move. Tonbridge police were told but on investigation they could not find a car on that particular stretch of road, and now take the very material view that the silent driver was waiting for the mist to rise before proceeding.

Some such phantom cars seem to be more along the lines of something to do with UFOs or even inter-dimensional travelers. Take some very curious accounts related by the eminent researcher Albert S. Rosales in his series of books Humanoid Encounters: The Others Amongst Us, the first of which allegedly occurred back in 1954, when witnesses Gayle and Dave Rayburn were driving along a remote swath of road called the Alcan highway, in the Northern Yukon, Canada. The rugged road was very isolated and little travelled, surrounded by a vast sea of darkened trees, and they had been completely alone on this deserted stretch of bleak highway. They would report that suddenly they had been overtaken by two absurdly fast silvery vehicles, each perched atop just one wheel and with bright single headlights. As the two bizarre contraptions rapidly passed the Rayburns, they could see that each of the weird vehicles had sitting within it a humanoid figure decked out in some sort of tight fitting sliver suit. They would whiz past the car and go flying off down the highway at incredible speeds, leaving the Rayburns alone on that dark wilderness road in a state of shock.

The 50s had a few very bizarre reports similar to this, many of which are also compiled by Rosales. In August of 1956, a witness known only as Ms. Porta was driving along on a moped between Le Boulu and Ceret, in France, when she too was passed by two utterly unearthly vehicles, which appeared to be like motorcycles in appearance, but with a decidedly alien look to them. The two “motorcycles” were completely silent but very fast, zipping right by her without a sound, and when she looked to see who they were the frightened witness saw that each carried two passengers dressed in otherworldly satin outfits and strange helmets. At one point they let her pass them, but when when she looked back they were gone, despite there being no turnoff and nowhere they could have possibly gone.

In 1959 we have some cases originally published in a magazine called Exploring the Unknown, which allegedly occurred along the Pennsylvania Turnpike, in the United States. Two separate witnesses, a housewife and an unrelated business man in another car, claimed that they had been behind what appeared to be two vintage cars that were mostly normal except for how old they looked. They would soon prove to have a bit of something under the hood, though, when the two mystery vehicles suddenly lifted off the ground and began to hover, before shooting away out of sight. UFOs or something else?

One report from the 1950s that is also hard to classify was written of by the esteemed paranormal researcher John Keel, in his opus Our Haunted Planet. In June of 1955, the witness, a famous actor at the time named Telly Savalas, claimed that he had been driving along a roadway in Long Island, New York, when he suddenly ran out of gas. Marooned out there on the lonely highway, he had then gotten out to start walking, and that was when things would take a turn into the territory of the bizarre. Savalas claimed that as he walked, a ridiculously large and shiny black Cadillac had pulled up next to him, and a driver clad all in white had then asked him if he needed a ride. Savalas accepted, and during their drive the mysterious driver remained utterly silent, except to offer Savalas some money to help pay for gas. They stopped to get the gas and drove back towards the witness’ vehicle, the only conversation being when the driver suddenly mentioned out of nowhere to a perplexed Savalas that a man named Harry Agannis was a utility infielder for the Boston Red Sox. This meant nothing to Savalas, who didn’t even know who Agannis was, and it just lent to the overall creepy and surreal feeling that was beginning to unsettle him.

When they reached the car, Savalas was more than happy and eager to get out of that Cadillac, and he filled his car with gas as the stranger watched from within his silent black car. Savalas then insisted that the man write his phone number down so that he could be repaid, which the driver did, signing it “Bill,” before driving off into the night to from whence he had come. Savalas would later by chance see on TV that the man the driver had mentioned, Harry Agannis, had died that very night, and when he tried to call the phone number on the paper he soon learned from a woman on the other end that her husband Bill had died 3 years previously. Unbelievably, he would learn that the man had been dressed in a pristine white suit when he was buried. Was the man in that Cadillac the ghost of this dead husband, one of the insidious Men in Black, or what? Who knows?

Moving into the 1960s we have a report from 1965 at a place called Cotswold Hills, in south central England. In this case a driver claims that he was suddenly passed by a vehicle that came speeding out of nowhere and which resembled a Land Rover, only far faster and more maneuverable than any such car had any right to be. This “Land Rover” also had no headlights, but rather a ring of glimmering lights on its roof. It veered in front of the startled witness and purportedly just vanished in a literal puff of smoke.

In the 1970s there is a bizarre account from St. Petersburg, Russia. In 1971, witness Tatiana Syrchenko was on foot when she saw a very strange car that was bright red in color and with rose tinted windows approaching her. It pulled up alongside her and a man wearing black coveralls then opened the door to greet her and to offer a ride, informing her that she was in no danger. Those must have just been different times or the stranger was controlling her thoughts, because without further question she hopped into the strange vehicle with its spooky black-clad occupant. Inside it was no longer a car, but a wide, brightly lit room with two humanoid figures wearing silver coveralls. She was told to put on a set of coveralls herself, after which she was introduced to a strange elderly bearded man they called “The Cardinal,” who merely greeted her before she blacked out. When she awoke she was back at where she had started, with no sign of the vehicle she had entered and with the clock at precisely the time she had left. Just what in the world was going on here?

In 1973 we have an account from Milroy, Indiana, where a preacher named Conner Corey was on his way home one night along a lonely road called State Road 3 when a large, dark green van swelled up out of the darkness behind him to begin to follow him very closely. Accompanying the vehicle was a droning buzz that pervaded the air all around him, and when he took a peek through the windshield he could see two passengers in the van with long hair. There was then a bright flash and Corey found himself flying through the air to be dumped in a brightly lit room with three very human-looking men who appeared to be wearing surgical clothes. The rest of the bizarre tale is explained on Phantoms and Monsters thus:

This scene faded and was replaced by a distant aerial view of an earth-like surface. A planet or moon came up between two mountains in the distance. Following this he viewed a water covered surface from a lower altitude. Situated in the middle of this surface was a huge dark cross-like area. Two man-like figures emerged from the center of this area and became luminous. They moved toward him as if they were on a conveyor belt, and steadily increased in size. The dark eyed figures were dressed in tight-fitting suits that had a cloak and sash tied in front. The on-coming figures seemed about to burst right out of his rear view mirror, and for the first time his intense desire to watch gave way to fear. At this moment he was released as his eyes dropped from the mirror and he found himself looking at a slow moving Amish buggy as he sped down the highway. The preacher’s radio and watch malfunctioned after this event. He does not know with certainty how much time he could have lost on his journey home. He thought he was driving about 50 mph, and he was sure he traveled ¾ of a mile during the contact.

Whatever is going on here is just about as trippy as it gets, and it is hard to even know where to begin with it. Also in the 1970s is a report from the town of Shabani, in Zimbabwe, Africa, and was first written of by UFO researcher Cynthia Hind. In August of 1975 two men driving along a remote road near the Ngesi River saw a large vehicle they at first took to be a bus, but which on closer inspection seemed to be no normal bus, with large domed windows and pillars within it. Inside the vehicle were two humanoid figures lounging about, their features indistinct due to a radiant white light that was nearly blinding in its intensity emanating from within. The two witnesses say the “bus” turned a corner and then just vanished into thin air.

Also in 1975 is an account from the U.S. state of Minnesota, where an unidentified couple were driving one evening and stopped at a pay phone when a large black Cadillac drove up out of nowhere to completely block their path. A man dressed all in black then silently ran up to the witness with the phone and rudely tore the receiver away. The frightened couple drove off away from this obviously potentially dangerous individual, but the Cadillac followed them to yet another phone booth, where the same scene would play out again, and then a third time. Whoever this guy was, he did not want them to use a phone. Then, almost as if he had gotten bored, the mysterious man in black tore off in his Cadillac, which oddly rose up off the ground and shot off into the sky and out of sight at great speed.

In more recent years there are some curious accounts from the 1990s, such as in December of 1993, when a witness in Vihtilajarvi, Kankanpaa, Finland was driving at night and suddenly became aware that the landscape was steadily brightening as if the sun were coming up, even though it was the middle of the night. A look up into the sky showed nothing out of the ordinary, and that was when he noticed that there were two very bright lights in his rear view mirror. These lights were blindingly bright as they came up fast behind the witness, and he could faintly make out what looked to be a red car behind them, which then went to pass him.

As the mysterious car passed, the witness looked into the vehicle to see three beautiful women, who were a pale white and even had pure white hair. They smiled at him as they passed, and then the car sped off into the night. However, this wasn’t the end of the surreal encounter, as the witness would run into the phantom car once again a bit down the road, this time roaring at him from the opposite direction on an apparent collision course. The terrified witness braced for impact, but it never came, with the vehicle suddenly blinking right out of existence just before it hit, a mere meter away from his car. He would then get out and investigate the area, but there was no sign of the car at all, as if it had never been there.

The following year, in September of 1994, a Radu N. Achim and his wife were driving along in Sibiu, Romania, on a perfectly clear day when they were passed by a black vehicle within which sat a pale humanoid figure wearing what appeared to be a parka that was made of some translucent material. The large car did not end up passing them at all, but rather paced them for some time. At one point Radu looked away from the strange car for a split second, and when he looked back it was just gone. There were no exits, nowhere it could have possibly gone in such a blink of an eye, but there was no sign of it anywhere. Both the witness and the wife have never been able to explain what they saw.

One very recent incident from 2012 allegedly happened to three MotoGP race car drivers heading from an event at Phillip Island, Victoria back to their home town in Adelaide, South Australia, a journey of about 560 miles, meaning they would drive all night in shifts. At the time of their incident, one of the drivers was asleep in the back while the other two were awake in the front. It was about 4:30 AM, and they were between the towns of Nhill and Kaniva, and the witness would explain:

I’d only seen a handful of cars between Horsham and Nhill, So I was surprised when I saw a car way off in the distance behind us, It was catching us up too. I was surprised at the speed this car was catching up, I was already going over the speed limit by 30 Km/h, I estimated it going probably 160 Km/h. Nathan suggested it might be the Police, So I dropped back to 100 Km/h, Kinda futile I know but at least we’d know if it was a copper.   Eventually the car caught us up, But just sat behind us. There was no streetlights being country Australia so neither Me nor Nathan couldn’t accurately identify the car, But I did notice the headlights on the car were very old, Like what you’d find on a Model T Ford or Brum, If you’ve ever watched that TV show. They were round and fairly dim. By this stage, We’d worked out it wasn’t a Cop. But why wasn’t it trying to overtake us? It was a single lane each side, two-way road. So there was plenty of room to pass. And I hadn’t seen a car going the other way in about half an hour. An overtaking lane approached us, So Nathan suggested I move into that lane so the car behind us can overtake. I move into the lane and guess what? The car followed. I then slow down to 80 Km/h to try and convince him to overtake, But he doesn’t, he just stays behind, Although now I can’t see his headlights at all. The car is that close to ours.

The two increasingly worried men decided to open their windows to see if they could discern anything from the vehicle’s engine noise, but were surprised to hear that, although they were tearing along at 80 mph and the car was a mere inches from their bumper, they could hear no noise at all emanating from it, as if it were completely silent. The witness would go on to explain:

Back at 130 km/h and the car is still behind us, Matching our speed. Still inches away from our back bumper. Both Me and Nathan were freaking out a bit now. Why wouldn’t the car pass us? Why was he driving SO close? We were approaching Kaniva by this stage, There’s a big streetlight right on the edge of the Town and then streetlights all through the main street. Finally we’d be able to identify the car! We pass through the streetlights and look behind us, The car had stopped following. Right before the streetlight. It had simply stopped in the middle of the road. We still couldn’t work out what kind of car it was, But we didn’t want to turn around and find out!

These accounts run the gamut from the merely weird to the completely absurd, and there seems to be no easy answer for any of them, and such cases are obccured by such strange details and clues that it is hard to even know where to begin sometimes. Are they ghosts, aliens, or what? One possible explanation could be that some of these are glimpses of inter-dimensional beings, somehow pushing over into our reality for a brief time only to vanish again back to theirs, our two worlds existing as one for that few seconds or minutes. It is quite possible that they are even as surprised to be here as we are, or maybe they are not the ones crossing over, but us? Other accounts could be ghosts or aliens, or of course even tall tales or hallucinations caused by tiredness, but whatever the case may be, these are some very bizarre accounts that just go to show that the road is definitely a place for weird encounters and experiences, and you never know just what you are bound to come across as you drive off down that horizon into the unknown.

Brent Swancer

Brent Swancer is an author and crypto expert living in Japan. Biology, nature, and cryptozoology still remain Brent Swancer’s first intellectual loves. He's written articles for MU and Daily Grail and has been a guest on Coast to Coast AM and Binnal of America.

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