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.


Most sightings generally occur in the evening or at night. Well over 95% of all reported sightings are misidentified stars, planets, airplanes, helicopters, drones, the Moon (I’m being serious, the flipping Moon. Crack a textbook), etc.

It makes sense. When do the pretty lights come out? At night, so the vast majority of reports usually occur when it’s dark outside. However, there is one time that I dread seeing on a report- “approximately 12:00 AM.”

I know only intelligent people read “Not in the Manual,” but this can get pretty confusing, so try and keep up. If you woke up on Wednesday, March 3rd at 8:00 AM, went to work, ate your lunch, worked some more, got home, ate dinner, watched Hangar 1 (it’s my favorite comedy in syndication right now), went to bed at 10:00 PM, and then you were abducted by the Zetans at exactly 12:00 AM- IT’S NO LONGER MARCH 3rd!

I don’t mean to get upset, however, grade 2 students are aware that 12:00 AM indicates the beginning of a new day. You lived your perfectly normal life on Thursday, March 3rd; your life changed drastically when you were abducted…on what day, boys and girls? Friday, March 4th! Good job!

I have investigated a dozen or so cases where the time of the event is 24 hours off because the witness did not account for the fact that at midnight, it’s a different day.

So when you “saw” the black triangle descend over your condo at 12:20 AM on January 7th- was it actually the early morning of January 7th or are you getting mixed up, thinking that it is the night of January 7th?

Why does this matter you ask? When a report comes in, I assume the witness is able to tell time. I’ll break this down so it’s clear.

If you report an anomalous event that occurred at midnight on January 7th, I am going to assume you mean 12:00 AM on January 7th. That means, at 11:59 PM, one minute prior to your sighting, it was January 6th. I will check star charts, weather information, local air traffic and even with the newspapers in my investigation for that day and time.

Now, if the witness actually saw this event on the night of January 7th, which means that the upcoming midnight actually makes it January 8th- my entire investigation is basically useless. The data I collected is 24 hours behind the actual time of the sighting.

If I see the dreaded 12:00 AM, I stop. I don’t go any farther until I get confirmation that the witness knows what day it was. Some investigations can take hours upon hours of an investigator’s time, and some can even be days, if not months. All that work hinges upon a skill learned in grade 2- my advice is to assume everyone is an idiot.