During the more than four decades that have passed since the Betty and Barney Hill case drew international attention to episodes of ‘missing time’ as an element of some UFO sightings, it has been reported on countless occasions. I have investigated several of them personally right here in the Ozarks, but have never received one quite like the experience a Springfield woman related to me during the past week. She was very willing to discuss the incident in detail, but was adamant concerning her anonymity in any publicized accounts. For our purposes here she will be referred to as Jane.

Jane is in her mid-forties, held the same job for more than a dozen years, and the happily married mother of two teenagers. At about two o’clock on a Saturday afternoon last September she was parked along the curb in front of a friend’s house in south Springfield Missouri, facing south, waiting for her friend to join her so they could go shopping.

"I glanced down to put my cell phone in my purse after calling my friend to tell her I was outside and when I looked back up I saw two different things at about the same time. There was a boy about fourteen or fifteen years old riding his bicycle up along the curb on the opposite side of the street, coming toward me from about a block away. Above him and farther away was this thing that looked like a gray medicine capsule flying slowly across the sky from my right to left, just as clear as could be against the blue sky. It was definitely not an airplane; even if the wing on my side was pointing straight toward me, I still would have seen the tail sticking up in back. This was just like a toilet paper tube with rounded caps on both ends.’

As strange as the object appeared, what she saw next was more than she could accept or explain. "It was exactly like I blinked," she continued, "and that was exactly what I thought at first had happened. There was a distinct blank spot in the scene I was looking at, but it seemed like it only lasted a split-second. Then all of a sudden everything was just like it had been, but the thing in the sky and the boy on the bike were both gone. When I looked around I saw the boy just a little ways behind me, not acting like anything out of the ordinary had happened, and my friend was walking across the yard toward my car, but the ‘medicine capsule in the sky’ was nowhere to be seen. I guess you could call it missing time, but it couldn’t have been more than a minute considering how far the boy had gone on his bike, and it may have been even less. It was definitely longer than just a blink, though."

Jane was asked all of the ‘traditional’ questions concerning the aftermath of her encounter, and all of her responses were negative; no unexplained marks on her body, no unusual tiredness after the sighting, and no disturbing dreams. "I know why you’re asking me all that," she said. "I read a little about the abduction cases a few years ago. The problem is that I couldn’t have been gone long enough for them to do anything. The only thing I can think of is that they got me ready for an abduction and then changed their minds. Maybe they realized my friend was coming out of the house and would notice me gone, or maybe they just got a closer look and decided I didn’t suit them. It sure was weird, though."

As far-fetched as her explanation may seem, it makes as much sense as any scenario that I was able to come up with as a potential explanation. There are those who are convinced that our highly advanced visitors have the ability to ‘warp’ time, so that in our perception she was gone only momentarily but for their purposes they ‘had’ her for a much longer period. That may very well prove to be the case, but until there is more evidence to support the theory or someone comes up with at least a tentative concept as to how such a feat could be accomplished, I look upon it as simply replacing one mystery with another.

(If you have had an encounter with any type of paranormal or unexplained phenomena, I would like to add it to my ever-growing files. Send me a complete account, with as many details as you can. Include your name and a telephone number or email address I can reach you at if I need more information. Complete anonymity, if requested, will be observed if your experience is used for publication. Send accounts and comments to samuptegrove@gmail.com.)

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