Monday, September 1, 2014
One has to get to the monthly Sacramento Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) meeting at least a half hour early to find a good seat, so it’s an opportunity to get to know those who are seated close by. That’s where I heard the time-slip tale of Carol Chase McElheney. When I asked her about it at break time, she referred me to Jason Offutt’s rendition of the event at mysteriousuniverse.org, which was the result of a Skype interview. His account read very much like what she described to her seatmates today, so I have referred to his version for facts that I could not recall from having heard the story firsthand.
In March, 2006, Carol, along with her dog, was driving from her home in San Bernardino to the sheep dog trials in Perris, California. Topping a hill, she saw an exit sign to nearby Riverside. Her family had a long history there, going back into the 1800’s. Her grandparents were buried in the local cemetery. Her grandmother and aunt had homes there, and Carol herself lived there for a while after college. It occurred to her that it would be fun to visit the old familiar places there on the way home and wander through the cemetery where her family members were buried. As soon as she thought that, she smelled a whiff of cigar smoke in the car. That was all she remembered of her grandfather, who died when she was a young child.
She drove on to Perris and checked into a motel. After the first sheep dog trials, the pull to visit her old home was strong, so she and her dog got into her car and headed for Riverside. She stopped first at the cemetery, but something was terribly wrong. There were no graves there, and no gate, no driveway, just weeds. She checked the street names. She assures her listeners that she was very familiar with the town. She had been visiting family there since her childhood. It was the correct location.
Next she drove to the street where her grandmother and aunt used to live side by side. The neighborhood had many bungalows that were built in the 1920’s. Her grandmother had lived in a large tudor home with a tall eucalyptus in the front, but it wasn’t there, nor was her aunt’s house. The neighboring homes in her 2006 visit were newer ranch style with bushes. I asked her if things looked consistently older or consistently newer. She said ‘newer.’ Even the house that she lived in for a while after college wasn’t there.
Totally baffled, she continued driving. Riverside City College and Central Middle School looked the same, but University Avenue looked very different. It appeared run down, with scary people and lots of graffiti. The banks, insurance companies, and restaurants were gone. It made her sufficiently uncomfortable that she was afraid to stop and ask for directions. Beyond that, she feared that if she stopped her car and got out, she would be captured by whatever unpleasant thing was going on there and just go missing. After a couple of hours of this bizarre adventure, it was a relief to get out of there and get back to Perris. Her hotel was still there and her key still fit the lock. Things were totally normal in Perris.
Her father died a few years later and wanted to be buried in the cemetery where his parents were. Of course, all was normal at his funeral. The streets looked much like when she lived there in the 70’s. A cousin confirmed that her grandmother’s home and her aunt’s home were just as they were. Her father was buried next to her grandparents. The family had lunch at the Mission Inn, which had been missing during Carol’s ’06 visit.
At break time today, I asked Carol if she was a person that had a tendency to be psychic. She said that she and her husband occasionally have a twinge of psychic insight. She had a hypnotic regression that convinced her that she drowned in WW II. She feels certain that her husband also died then, fueling his obsession with lore about that war. We chatted a bit about abductions and missing people. She mentioned a case where a group of tourists went on a rental horseback ride to Tuolumne Meadows. They took a break near a stream, so one young woman decided to go soak her feet in the cool water. She went behind a boulder and that was the last anyone saw of her. Her body was found high up on a ridge as if she had been dropped there.
So it was quite a day at that meeting. The speaker was a long time Field Investigator with MUFON named Michael Mace. He shared UFO sightings in Citrus Heights and Roseville and a paranormal event in Rocklin (all in the region where I live). The first event began at the Roseville Galleria in September, 2008. It was dark, but the witness could see a large, silent, triangular UFO moving slowly over the city. He made a U-turn to follow it. He pursued it in his car until it moved away too far, but during a walk later on, he saw it again. He saw no indication that anyone else saw it, and he is sure he experienced no missing time. He claims that he and his mother saw something similar over Loomis in 1998.
The second event described occurred in my town, Citrus Heights, at night in 2009. The witness was in his back yard and actually got some photos of the UFO, which comprised mainly of the pattern of lights on the craft. What was interesting about this event is that the light pattern in the photos was exactly the same as an earlier daylight photo of a UFO in Illinois. Both crafts were large triangles with red, green, and white lights. The only noise was a slight, mechanical hum.
Who says the suburbs are boring, declares Mace. Paranormally speaking, my life is boring. I hope it stays that way.