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Billy Booth

UFO Damages Police Car

By July 10, 2006

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UFO Many of us who are interested in the UFO mystery are always asked by those who are skeptical, "If UFOs exist, where is the proof?" Well...that depends, on what you are looking for. No, there has not been a public landing yet, at least not one that can be confirmed with more than just personal reports, but there have been a number of incidents where a low flying UFO left trace evidence. Does any of this evidence still exist today? The answer is Yes. If you believe the eyewitness testimony of Sheriff Deputy Val Johnson. Johnson had an extremely close encounter with something very unusual in August, 1979 in Marshall County, Minnesota. He was patrolling on Highway 220, when a flash of light, seemingly out of nowhere, came down on him and his car. After a few minutes, he lost consciousness. Johnson was aware of nothing for about 30-40 minutes. When he came to, the damage had been done, to his eyes, and his patrol car. This car, damage and all, is now housed in the Marshall County Historical Museum.

UFO Car Beams into Spotlight gives you the whole story. The damages to the car include a broken headlight, a dent in the hood, a hole in the windshield, and even the antenna is bent at a 45 degree angle. The director of the Museum, Ethel Thorlacius, states that, "It's become the county "UFO car," and "I believe that there was something outside that car that was responsible for the damage." She also tells us that the car's damage is very unique, and looks as if it was rolled over by something. The "UFO Car" brings in more than its share of visitors, and is a great conversation piece. Even the History Channel has seen the one of a kind vehicle, and it may get its 15 minutes of fame in a future special. There are many explanations given for what really happened that night so long ago. One of the most acceptable ones is a UFO.

(Image © B J Booth )


July 17, 2006 at 4:56 pm
(1) Dale Ulmer says:

I’m curious to know if any tests were done on his patrol car to detect for radiation or abraisions from the craft which may have adhered to the patrol car.

These tests could have given some form of clue as to what substance came into contact with him during this strange incident.

January 23, 2007 at 12:38 pm
(2) Sue says:

Great question! A friend of mine know’s him personally. Not a nut. This really happened. He was basically shuned for reporting what happened to him. This was a gross miscarriage of justice. Everyone, including a fellow officer didn’t believe him. However, other people in law enforcement to this day DO believe him.

January 26, 2007 at 3:19 pm
(3) Steve says:

UFOs are common, alien crafts aren’t. There’s no reason to believe that someone didn’t have an encounter with an “Unidentified Flying Object”. By definition, declaring a UFO as alien craft removes its status as a UFO. Stories of alien craft deserve to be ridiculed, since it is more a phenomenon of human psychology than it is a phenomenon of any other kind.

May 8, 2007 at 5:24 pm
(4) Kristoffer says:

Is there any pictures of the police car?

was there a light beem on the car when it happend?

January 13, 2008 at 10:57 pm
(5) Phantom Reporter says:

I was a freelance newspaper reporter at the time, and for a lot of personal reasons never disclosed a set of pictures I took of the squad car within 24 hours of the incident.
For almost 30 years they have never been published, although I did submit them once to a major photo agency in New York.
Sometime this winter I hope to release an ebook that will contain all the images of the squad car that came out of my trip to Marshall county. I have a collection of newspaper articles published at that time, and several interesting observations that have never been discussed.
But I can tell you that the vehicle was subjected to some scientific laboratory investigations and I believe they ruled out any radiation effects etc.
In the course of my life there have been a number of experiences that I draw upon to make my own ideas about the incident. One thing is quite likely – it was a UFO, however it probably was not alien.
That said, I will also state that in my mind there is no doubt that officer Val Johnson experienced what he has claimed to be true.
I should have come forward a long time ago, but as I said there were personal things going on in my life.

March 8, 2008 at 8:48 pm
(6) PhantomReporter says:

I noticed recently that my above comments were briefly posted in the Wikipedia account of this incident, then removed. None of that was of my doing, but is OK one way or the other.
Just as an Update, progress is still being made on the coverage intended to be released this winter, but Spring is fast coming on!
Some of the History Channel video was posted on YouTube, not sure if that was done with permission, but anyone can search there for a Ted Phillips Tribute. And find some comments I posted to that for now.
Sorry for the delays, but I want to be complete and broadly creative while inclusive of research that has already been posted about this subject. Not much longer then.

January 30, 2011 at 8:18 pm
(7) Bob says:

I was a young reporter at the time for the Crookston Daily Times, down the road from the town of Marshall, where the incident happened. My editor said one morning, “A cop up in Marshall had some sort of weird close encounter, why don’t you go up and poke around.” I drove up there and poked around. I met Val Johnson at his home. He and his family struck me as completely, utterly normal – northern Minnesota normal, which is as normal as you can get. He seemed to me to be totally believable. We drove out to the site. He showed me the whole scene. I spent a couple of hours with him and was absolutely stunned, and thrilled, at the mystery of it all. It was one of the most intensely moving experiences of my life as a writer. Made a great story for the next day’s edition of the paper.

January 3, 2013 at 11:52 pm
(8) Shelby says:

The bend in the antenna was 90 and the other 180 not 45 and he also saw the light for a minute it did not land on his car he saw the light drove toward it slowly and it rushed at him.knocking him out for 45 mins and damaging the car

March 21, 2013 at 12:51 pm
(9) Romanes says:

Seriously! ??? Obviously the police officer hit somebody on a small motorcycle, scooter or bicycle who (much like a small deer when a motorist hits it) was flipped over the car, leaving minor damage.

Police Officer may have been drinking, afraid to admit fault, and used the “so-called” 30 to 40 minutes to get rid of the evidence, and claim “mystery.”

Somebody ought to look into missing persons who disappeared that night…..Yeah…..I watch of lot of the ID channel. But THAT stuff, at least is REAL!

October 6, 2013 at 9:03 pm
(10) Domanes says:

I think Romanes says it right.

April 8, 2014 at 10:59 pm
(11) George says:

This incident is similar to what happended to me in the 80s in Sanford, Florida.

I was driving at night about 1 am. I was going about 50 miles an hour on 415 just north of 25th street. I was the only car on the road. At that time, there was no lights anywhere there. It was a very dark road.

All of a sudden, an intense bright light came out of the woods right at my car at the same height as my car. There was no sound at all. It was a ball about the size of a basketball. I thought It was a vehicle, but then it shot up over my car. I stopped and watched it. It went up at an angle that put it about 100 feet up and leveled off. Then at an enormous speed, it headed southwest. It then went straight up and disappeared just like the space shuttle did except in a split second.

It was a clear night and I saw it very clearly. I considered driving to the airport that was close and ask them if they saw it and got it on radar. I was going to school at the time though and did not want to cause trouble and be subject to ridicule.

I have only told a few people about this.

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