The night of October 4, 2001 started as a relaxing and peaceful one for 22-year-old Amy Rylance and her husband Keith, and their friend Petra. On this evening, they had been having a quiet get-together at Rylance’s home in the small town of Gundiah, near Tiaro, in Queensland, Australia, and Amy ended up falling asleep on the sofa in the living room while her husband slept in the main bedroom and Petra went off to sleep in a guest annex. The previously quiet evening had been intruded upon by a rather fierce storm, and at around 11:30 PM, Petra came into the living room to check up on her friend. What she saw there would mark the beginning of a strange sequence of bizarre events that would lead to one of the stranger alien abduction accounts there is.
Petra would claim that upon entering the room, she saw Amy being lifted into the air by a “rectangular beam of light” and carried through the window outside, where there hovered some sort of enormous disc-shaped craft. The panicked woman fainted momentarily, after which she ran off to tell Keith about what was happening, but when they went back to the living room Amy was apparently gone along with the mysterious object, leaving behind a damaged window. Keith ran outside to frantically search for his wife, but she was nowhere to be seen. He then called the police to report Amy missing, still not sure of what to make of Petra’s hysterical ranting about beams of light and UFOs. The police arrived and conducted their own search of the property, finding no sign of Amy, but turning up some strange clues, such as a flowering bush outside the window she had allegedly gone out of that seemed to have been warped by apparent high heat on one side. That was when a phone call would come that would further propel the case into the realms of the bizarre.
When Keith picked up the phone, he was astonished to hear the voice of a woman who claimed to have found Amy at a gas station. According to this woman, Amy had been found wandering around in a daze, and was extremely dehydrated and had been babbling nonsensically, after which she had been taken to a hospital for treatment. Keith asked where she was, and was shocked to hear that the woman was calling from the town of Mackay, about 500 miles away, which was impossible because only around an hour and a half had passed, yet Mackay was around an 8-hour drive away. How could this be? The Mackay police were notified, after which they tracked down Amy at the hospital there and things would get even stranger still.
Amy would claim that she remembered lying on the sofa in the room, after which her memory jumped ahead to her sitting on a bench of some sort in a large and rectangular brightly lit room. At this time there had been a calm male voice that kept her from flying into a panic, and then an opening in the wall appeared and into the room stepped a tall, slender figure dressed in a full body suit of some kind and with a black mask over his face. After this, the figure told her that they were bringing her back from their journey, and then her memory jumped again to waking in a forest and finding her way to that gas station. Besides this bizarre tale she was spinning, there were also some unusual physical clues on Amy. For instance, she had some sort of anomalous red marks all over her body and triangular marks on her thighs and heels, and her body hair had grown considerably, as if she had been gone weeks. A blood test showed that Amy had not drunk alcohol or taken any drugs, so it was a bit hard to know what to make of this outlandish story. Not knowing who else to turn to, Keith would contact Diane Harrison at the Australian UFO Research Network, as well as ufologist Bill Chalker, who arranged to investigate, meeting with Keith, Petra, and Amy and examining the property on which the alleged incident had taken place. Harrison found the witnesses to be sincere, but still had some doubts, and she would say of their examination of the property:
Some of the damage on closer inspection seemed suggestive of possible dog damage. Our inspection of the plant damage also suggested possible prosaic causes, such as heat stress. A plant at the front of the house had similar damage and a healthy flowering bush of the same species that was at the window, was examined by us at Mount Basset lawn cemetery has similar damaged. A gardener there we spoke to indicated that the species often had random or more extensive damage of a heat stress nature from hot sunlight. The prosaic possibilities for both the screen and the plant damage are only suggestive at this point and further investigation is required. We undertook extensive investigations at the property and the area. Police were very helpful. Our investigation generated many issues and questions, which we feel need resolution, in order to assist interpretations of these events. Further extensive investigations were undertaken in Mackay, focusing in particular at the area where Amy Rylance returned. These included attempts to reconstruct the circumstances of Amy’s return, through onsite research. The BP petrol service station staff were spoken with and a surveillance video tape that may contain Amy’s visit there was provided to us by the station owner. This part of our investigation also generated many issues and questions that need resolution if we are to approach any measure of certainty about the real nature of the events alleged.
At this point, Keith, Amy, And Petra all vanished, having already checked out of a hotel where Harrison and Chalker had arranged to meet them. A call on Keith’s mobile phone made it apparent that the trio had fled some sort of mysterious strangers who had been harassing them. Harrison would say of this strange call:
In his mobile call, Keith apologized for not being available, but was indicating they had relocated to an unspecified location after having fled the area. The primary reason for this Keith indicated was that they claimed they had a kind of “men-in-black” experience. In this case Keith was reporting a pursuit of their vehicle by a high powered dark brown 4-wheel truck. The nature of this event apparently frightened Keith, Amy and Petra, prompting Keith to attempt to lose the vehicle and eventually leave the area. Before the completion of this preliminary report, we have heard from Keith again. We remain hopeful that they will get into more direct contact with us.
After this, it seems that the case sort of peters out, the researchers were never able to meet with the witnesses, no new information has come out, and the case has sort of faded into obscurity. What are we dealing with here? Why did the witnesses just suddenly disappear to leave more questions and where did they go? Was this a real event or an elaborate hoax? It seems that only Amy Rylance and her husband and friend know for sure.