A frightening UFO case which involved physical trace elements occurred in Minnesota on August 27, 1979. This baffling account centers around Deputy Sheriff Val Johnson of Marshall County. Johnson was patrolling near the North Dakota border about 1:40 AM, when he noticed a bright light coming through his side window. Johnson knew it was not typical vehicle lights. He thought it might be a small plane in trouble and about to crash.
Unconsciousness for 39 Minutes:
He made a left turn to get a better view of the unknown light, and make a report if needed. All at once, the strange light moved directly toward his squad car, a 1977 Ford LTD. In a second, it was upon his vehicle. He estimated that the light had traveled 1 1/2 miles in an instant. He was blinded by its brilliance, heard the sound of breaking glass, and then lost consciousness. Johnson would later relate that "I was rendered either unconscious, neutralized or unknowing for a period of approximately 39 minutes."
Sent to Hospital:
When he came to, his vehicle was sitting off the road, and he could see where he had braked and skidded across the highway. He felt drugged, weak. At 2:19 AM, he radioed police headquarters, and asked for back-up. Another Deputy would soon arrive at the scene, and seeing Johnson's condition, radioed for an ambulance. Soon, he was under a physicians care at Warren Hospital. The doctor found that Johnson was in a state of shock, and his eyes had suffered "mild welders burns."
Baffled by Incident:
As the Sheriff's office began to investigate what had happened to Johnson and his vehicle, they were baffled by the unusual damage done. The inside headlight on the driver's side was destroyed but the one to its immediate left was untouched. On the left side of the front hood, there was a circular dent about 1/2 inch in diameter. It was close to the windshield, which was also cracked. The crack was from the top of the shield to the bottom, with four distinctive impact spots.
Clocks 14 Minutes Slow:
Another unexplainable fact was that Johnson's wristwatch was, although still running properly, 14 minutes slow. Also, the clock in his vehicle was also 14 minutes behind. The car's radio and Johnson's wristwatch were always synchronized with the official police station time. No explanation could be found for the missing time. Also, beginning at about 6 inches above the base, his car's police antenna was bent at a 60-degree angle. Also there was unexplainable damage to the trunk antenna.
Investigation Finds No Cause:
All of the damage to Johnson's 1977 Ford LTD was to the driver's side. The investigation determined that the police cruiser had traveled 950 feet from the initial impact. The Sheriff's Department could not determine what happened to the vehicle, and theories like being hit by a low-flying plane, or another vehicle, or even a hoax were quickly ruled out. The Center for UFO Studies also made an on-site investigation, along with officials from the Ford Motor Company.
Mechanical Forces of Unknown Origin:
No one could offer a tenable explanation for the damage, and the damage to the windshield was the most bizarre. Meridan French, from Ford, noted after examining the windshield fractures that "Even after several days of reflection on the crack patterns and apparent sequence of fractures, I still have no explanation for what seem to be inward and outward forces acting almost simultaneously. I can only [conclude]... that all cracks were from mechanical forces of unknown origin."
The incredible sequence of events on August 27, 1979 in Marshall County, Minnesota mark one of the best documented cases of physical trace evidence left by an encounter with an unknown flying object. The incident was investigated by three separate organizations and no hint of a hoax, or an explanation of natural means was forthcoming.