Tim Anderson is a freelance writer/researcher with articles published in The Saturday Evening Post, Playboy magazine, TV Guide, and others.
Police Officers Convinced Me UFOs Were Real
In the late 1970s I was told an incredible story about a UFO and alien encounter in Nevada that ended with one man's death, and the other man's confirmation that there is life after death. Utah had recently been in the news after Utah State University professor Frank B. Salisbury published his thought-provoking book, The Utah UFO Display.
But first, let me share some details to allow you to better understand the story I'm about to share. Other than with a few close family members and friends, I've never told this story in a public forum.
In 1980 I was a graduate student at a large university in Utah and a member of a folk dancing group that did occasional weekend performances around the state. On the side I had been doing some freelance writing for magazines on various subjects, and two of my articles, "Smokey and the UFO," and "UFOs Over Idaho," had recently been published in a UFO magazine.
Before writing the stories, my girlfriend and I had traveled to Idaho to interview a dozen southeastern Idaho law enforcement officials, including deputy sheriffs, highway patrolmen, police officers and even a police chief who'd all had UFO sightings or witnessed UFO activity in the area.
After hearing their stories, my girlfriend and I were both convinced the encounters and sightings the men shared with us were true. As we watched each officer relate his own particular UFO encounter, we became convinced they were being truthful. Several of the UFOs were eerily similar to the description of the so-called "Tic Tac" UFO the Pentagon recently admitted had harassed a U.S. aircraft carrier group in November 2004.
Prior to our interviews with the officers, both my girlfriend and I had been skeptics, but after the several hours we spent with these men, we both changed our minds.
After the articles were published, some of the kids in our dance group starting teasing me, and sometimes asked if I'd seen any UFOs or flying saucers recently. Stuff like that. I took the joking in good spirits, but it did get a bit annoying after awhile. After all, I truly believed those cops weren't making up stories.
Anyway, one particular weekend my group of 24 dancers traveled about four hours on a chartered bus to a small city in northern Utah where we put on a two-hour performance. Afterward each of us was paired with another dancer and we went home with local residents who were putting us up for the night.
I was paired with a student named Brian. He was one of the more regular teasers in the group, often greeting me with, "Hey Tim! Seen any aliens lately?"
So the disbelieving Brian and I rode home with a bachelor who appeared to be in his early 30s and was letting us stay the night in his spare bedroom.
And this was the beginning of a night I will never forget.
Another UFO Believer With a Story To Tell
When we got to his two-bedroom condo, our host showed us his guest room with two simple single beds.
He asked us about our schooling and career pursuits and generally made some small talk. When he asked me what I did outside of school, I told him I occasionally did freelance writing for various magazines. When Stan asked what subjects I wrote about, Brian broke in with a chuckle and said, "He writes about UFOs."
I shot Brian an annoyed look, but before I could respond, Stan suddenly had a very serious look on his face. He stared at me for a few seconds.
"Is that true?" he asked. A few more seconds passed as I weighed my response.
"Yes, but I write about a lot of different things, not just UFOs," I carefully offered.
I told Stan about my interviews with all of the Idaho police officers I'd done, and I told him I came away convinced they were telling me the truth.
"So you do believe in UFOs," Stan asked as he stared at me.
I looked him in the eye and nodded my head somewhat reluctantly. Stan let out a big sigh of relief and said, "Good for you! I do too!"
And then, quite calmly, he continued "I've been inside a UFO--a real UFO."
The silly smirk Brian had had on on his face during the conversation, disappeared in an instant.
Slightly stunned, now I was the one wondering if I was sitting across from a crazy person. After a few seconds of uncomfortable silence, I asked Stan if he was willing to tell us about it.
He almost seemed relieved and nodded his head.
This is the story he had to tell...
A Close Encounter of the Mormon Kind
Our host began his story by telling us he was a Mormon and had grown up in the Moapa Valley area in Nevada. It is the area to the east of Interstate 15, in the northeastern section of Clark County and about 75 miles northeast of Las Vegas. The U.S. Government's secret research facility Area 51, still largely unknown to the American public, was about 100 miles to the west.
There was a single road running north and south through the valley, and like many of Nevada's two-lane highways in the late 1960s, it was usually deserted late at night. The old road started out in the north as Highway 169 before turning into Highway 167 once it passed The Valley of Fire turnoff. The more heavily traveled interstate was about 25 to 30 miles west, with The Valley of Fire mountains in-between.
The entire area was sparsely populated, dotted with occasional ranches and farms, and for thousands of years Indians had made the valley their home. The road the boys were traveling on was indeed, one of Nevada's loneliest highways.
Stan told us that he and his best friend Eric, also a Mormon, had both returned from serving Mormon missions a few months before their flying saucer encounter. Neither one drank alcohol, did drugs, or smoked. But they did enjoy cruising through the little towns in the northern area of the valley, always hoping to find a little excitement.
He said one weeknight during the summer, he and Eric were hanging around Overton, one of the small towns in the area, and got bored. They decided to drive down to the Vegas Strip just for the heck of it, something he said they occasionally to relieve their boredom of living in such an isolated area.
So shortly after midnight, they turned south on the old highway and tuned the AM radio to a Las Vegas radio station. Las Vegas was about a 90-minute drive and they were in no hurry to get there. Stan recalled it being a warm, clear night and with the car's windows down, it made for a pleasant evening to drive through the desert and watch for an occasional meteorite flash.
After about 30 minutes of driving down the deserted dark road with the Valley of Fire mountains to their right, Stan said the car's radio began to cackle. At the same time, something that was glowing appeared in the distance off to their right side. Stan said it wasn't bright like a spotlight, but more subtle like a pale green glow-in-the-dark key chain attachment. It was moving parallel between his car and the southern end of the Valley of Fire mountains which were a few miles distant to the west.
Stan said Eric had noticed it too, and both were bending their heads forward trying to watch it out of the car's windows when they heard a voice that seemed to come from inside their own heads: "Don't be afraid, we're not going to hurt you."
He said it sounded like stereo and literally seemed to originate from deep inside his brain. He could tell by the look on his face, Eric had heard it too. Then it repeated itself: "Don't be afraid, we're not going to hurt you."
In the next few moments, several things happened at once. The object picked up speed and began to move toward them, and its shape was now visible. It was flat on the bottom and rounded on top.
The car started to lose power, the headlights began to dim, and the AM radio was sputtering and fading out.
The car slowly rolled to a stop and the object slowly stopped in midair, about 100 feet ahead of the car, and about 50 feet off to the side of the road. Three legs extended from underneath, each one ending with a small rounded pod. Stan said it appeared to be about the size of a two-car garage and that it slowly lowered down to the sandy desert floor, never making a sound.
Transfixed, partly through fear and partly through shock, he realized he was staring at a real UFO.
The Portal To Knowledge
Stan said he and Eric got out of the car and walked up to the craft, now firmly settled on the ground. A portal on the west side opened and now, for some strange reason, devoid of fear or anxiety, they both entered the craft. He said time and space seemed to stop and before they knew it, they were back standing in front of his car, oblivious to the time that had passed, which he later estimated to be two hours.
They watched as the craft again became illuminated in the pale green light that had emanated from it previously, and then slowly rise upward, the legs retracting back into the body. As they did, the craft quickly picked up speed and zoomed back in the direction from where it had come. As it distanced itself from them, his car lights and radio suddenly came back on, causing the pair to jump. He hadn't realized he'd left his keys in the car's ignition switch.
Brian and I hadn't spoken a word during Eric's story up to this point, but I couldn't hold back any longer.
"What was it like inside?" I asked. "What did the aliens tell you? What did they look like?" When I'd interviewed the police officers the previous year, none had actually had an alien encounter.
Stan grimaced slightly, looked down and then softly said, "I can't tell you."
I asked him what he meant. Why couldn't he tell us? To me, this was the most important part of the story, and I had to know! I asked him if he couldn't remember.
"No," he responded. "I remember everything in very clear detail. You don't forget something like this. Ever. I remember that night as clearly as I am sitting here with you now."
"Then why can't you tell us more?" I continued.
Stan took a deep breath and then carefully chose his words. "Tim, what happened inside that craft was so surreal, Eric and I knew nobody would ever believe us, so before we got back into the car to turn around and go home, we made a promise to never share what happened inside with anyone. Not even our parents. Nobody. And I've kept that promise for over 10 years now."
Stan could see the disappointment on my face. I was trying to imagine in my mind what the aliens looked like. Brian had been unusually quiet during the entire conversation, trying to make sense of what he'd just heard. The two of us just sat there, somewhat dumbfounded.
My mind was racing. I just had to know what had happened inside that spacecraft! So I asked Stan where Eric was now, and would he consider letting me contact him and perhaps get permission to hear the entire story.
"That's just it," he said. "Eric can't give you permission. He died last year... just like they said he would..."
A "Patriarchal Blessing" In The Nevada Desert
"I'm going to tell you one more thing," Stan continued, "and this is more than I've told anybody."
"Do you guys know what a patriarchal blessing is?" he asked. Brian and I nodded our heads. Little known outside the Mormon faith, a patriarchal blessing is given to active and faithful Mormons, men and women, usually in their early teens. A Mormon patriarch is high-ranking priesthood holder, and a special position in the church. A patriarch is considered a holy man who will lay his hands on the member's head and then give a special blessing. Typically, spiritual advice is given and often predictions about events to come. For some it borders on the mystical or supernatural, and a church member can only have one of these patriarchal blessings in their lifetime.
Brian and I, living in Utah, were aware of the practice.
Stan continued. "One of the things we experienced was something similar to a patriarchal blessing. We were told things about our lives. We saw our lives forward and backward, and it was an amazing experience. We were told we all have reasons to be here. We all have 'missions' you could say that we are here to accomplish, and once our reasons -- or missions -- for this earth life have been completed, we move on to a new existence."
Brian and I sat there, soaking in the enormity of what he'd just told us.
"One of the things Eric was told," Stan continued, "was that his particular mission here would be completed before he reached middle age, and that he wouldn't live to see his 30th birthday."
Stan told us that he no longer feared death, nor did Eric, now realizing that we all have specific reasons for our existence on earth, and that death was merely a doorway to a happier and higher realm.
Stan ended his story with one final comment. "Eric died last year in an automobile accident. He was 29. Just as we'd been told, he didn't live to see his 30th birthday. I accepted his death as the termination of his earthly mission and his entrance into a wonderful world that awaits all of us. And now that he's gone, more than ever I wish to honor him by keeping the promise I made not to discuss what happened inside that spacecraft, and I've already told both of you more than I have anyone since this all happened."
It was nearing midnight and although I still had a lot of questions I wanted to ask, I respected his desire not to discuss the encounter further.
I believed he was telling the truth.
Epilogue -- Another Believer
Brian and I bid Stan goodbye the next morning after he drove us to where our bus was waiting.
The other two dozen dancers were arriving and after we were all accounted for, the bus began the four-hour drive back to our campus. The kids were sharing stories about the families they'd stayed with the night before, and eventually Brian and I were asked about our stay,
I recounted Stan's story and soon had a small crowd around us in the back of the bus listening to the account of our host's UFO encounter.
While I was recounting the episode, from start-to-finish, everyone was quiet, mesmerized by my story. Brian too was unusually quiet, merely nodding his head occasionally at certain points during my narrative.
When I was finished, Lori, one of the girls who had listened very intently, turned to Brian and said, "Well Brian--you were there. What do you think? Do you think that guy was telling the truth, or is this another one of Tim's flying saucer stories?"
Brian looked over at me for a moment, then back at Lori. "Yes, I do believe it happened. I believe every word he said."
Lori half-giggled and said, "So now you believe in UFOs Brian?"
He nodded his head. "Yep! I do now. I really do."
For some reason, for the rest of the trip home I had a smug little smile on my face.
Brian was now a believer too.
The Author's Final Thoughts
In fairness and in order to avoid potential embarrassment to those involved, I've changed the names of those named in the article.
However the chronology and incidents are how I recall them after nearly 40 years, and I have done my best to share the story we were told.
While the Idaho police officers convinced me something is out there that we don't understand (and I still have the taped interviews after all these years), Stan's story is by far the most thought-provoking account of a UFO encounter ever told to me.
I Want To Believe!
Questions & Answers
Question: Do you know of other Mormons who have had a similar experience with UFOs? I ask because I am a Mormon with my own experience.
Answer: I have heard of somewhat similar encounters, but none quite as detailed as this. Some from Mormons, some from people belonging to different religions. But this was the only encounter where the person actually compared the encounter to a Mormon patriarchal blessing.
Question: What is the 'Tic-Tac' UFO which harassed the US Air Force fleet?
Answer: On November 14, 2004, two F/A-18F Super Hornets assigned to the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Nimitz were on a training flight over the Pacific Ocean about 100 miles from San Diego. They encountered a UFO about 50 feet above the water and described the object as having the shape of a "Tic-Tac" candy, and estimated it was about 50 feet long. The object left at an incredibly high speed, but not before being captured on one of the jet's infrared cameras. Do a simple Google search to learn more.
© 2018 Tim Anderson
theomajor from New Zealand on June 05, 2019:
I could tell you there are other examples and this type of phenomenon is not unique to LDSs, although I am one myself, and so were other independent witnesses whose stories I have heard over the years.
Marsha on April 18, 2018:
I know 2 women who had a similar experience in the mid 1950s. They have no memory of what actually happened...just an orb like object stopping their car, 2 hours of missing time and their car sitting in the opposite direction of where they were headed---also in a dark remote area near Gorman, CA
Tim Anderson (author) from Utah on April 15, 2018:
Thank you Patty! This was a story that had to be told. For those readers who've lost loved ones, I hope the comments about why we're here and where we're going will bring some peace and comfort.
Patty Russell on April 15, 2018:
WOW.....another home run Tim Anderson~ More than just exciting for sure. Keep them coming.
Tim Anderson (author) from Utah on April 13, 2018:
Thank you Lana Adler. I tried everything I could to get Stan to at least describe the occupants and the craft's interior. But once he explained about Eric's death, I respected his wishes not to share more. I've talked with many people over the years who shared UFO sightings with me, but this is the only encounter I was told about where someone actually went inside, and yes, I'm still wondering what it was like.
Lana Adler from California on April 13, 2018:
Incredible story! Thanks for sharing. I do wish though that Stan had told you more...