Not in the Manual

‘My mom says she saw it … I don’t know. Whatever.’ – Not in the Manual

Not in the Manual: Where Humor and High Strangeness Meet

The work of a UFO investigator can be interesting and exciting, but the antics and shenanigans are literally out of this world. Join me as I delve deep into my ridiculous personal experiences and case files dealing with ufologists, paranormal investigators, and witnesses; this is the stuff that’s not in the manual.

The witness interview. This is probably the best part of investigating UFO sightings. Man, the stuff some people say- half of it is bat-crap crazy. The training manual prepares you with strategies on how to interview witnesses, but it in no way gets you ready to deal with the clinically insane.

Sometimes, a sighting report comes in that states there were multiple witnesses to an event. This is usually a great sign. It lends a lot of credibility to the potential of an unknown; unless those other “witnesses” are your kids and they think you are nuts.

When meeting with witnesses, I always use a public place for the interviews. In this situation, it was a local coffee shop that is pretty quiet in the afternoon. I walk into the place looking for three witnesses: a mother, her 19-year-old son, and 16-year-old daughter.

I approach the particular table and do a quick “first impression” check. Both the son and the daughter seem normal, checking their Instagram, embarrassed to be there, and wanting nothing more than to leave. Mom looks like she came out of a New Age manual on Reiki, a flowing wispy scarf draped over her, and in possession of more turquoise jewelry than a Navajo gravesite.

I introduce myself, sit down and begin the interview. As this was an initial meeting, I decided to do this all together to see if there was any validity before I began meeting with individual witnesses. Mom gets right into it. She tells me about seeing lights in the sky that flickered on and off; they changed colors and exhibited erratic movement. She felt as if the lights were communicating with her and trying to tell her something. I smile, nod and take notes. If the kids saw this too, we may have a decent case here.

After I get all the details, I turn to the daughter, “Is there anything you’d like to add?”


The son shifts in his seat. I look to him, “How about you? This is some intense stuff. Did you see this too?”

He looks up at me. He shrugs, “My mom says she saw it. I don’t know. Whatever. I mean, I think she saw it you know …”

“We were in the car together. We all saw it,” chimes in mom.

Her daughter rolls her eyes and mutters while looking at her phone, “I didn’t …”

I love being involved in familial disputes as much as the next guy. However, this whole situation started to get awkward pretty quickly. Mom was mortified, and her kids were fed up. Whatever that New Age mom saw that night in the car, it wasn’t the embarrassment she was feeling as a stranger quietly judged her and her two bratty kids. As for her sighting, I blame it on ayahuasca and a consistent need to go on vision quests.

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