October 15, 1966
Location: Split Rock Pond, New Jersey, United States
object was directly in back and above me and followed
my car along the road." He estimated the object to
be approximately 25 to 30 feet wide and five or six feet
high. His diagram shows a typically flat-bottomed and
somewhat domed object. Simons then noticed that his car
began to act abnormally.
NICAP (National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomenon)
dramatic car-buzzing case that occurred during a minor
wave of sightings in North Jersey in October 1966 was
reported to and investigated by Dr. Berthold Eric Schwarz,
Assisting Attending Psychiatrist, Montclair (N.J.) Community
Hospital. Dr. Schwarz, a NICAP member, included a detailed
account of this sighting with its unusual physical and
physiological after-effects in an article published in
Medical Times, October 1968, entitled "UFOs: Delusion
witness, Jerry H. Simons, a 22-year-old forester of Newfoundland,
New Jersey, had been camping out at Split Rock Pond, a
few miles south of Newfoundland. On October 15, between
4:30 and 5:00 a.m., "I was traveling north on
the road and noticed a very outstanding glow in the rear-view
mirror. I thought at first that my brake light was stuck
because it was a very dull glow at the time I first noticed
it," he reported to Dr. Schwarz. Simons then
noticed the glow, which was orange-red, become brighter.
"I stopped my car and lowered my window. I stuck
my head out to get a clear view of the rear of my car.
What I saw took me completely unawares and scared the
living hell out of me. I've never been so startled in
my life. It was something I could not understand. At first
glance, it seemed to be nothing but a huge glowing light,
but then I noticed a very distinct outline of what appeared
to be some sort of a solid body."
briefly did not believe what he was seeing, and when it
was apparent that the object was indeed "very
real, it was then that I decided to get out on the main
road as fast as I could get my car over the cow path.
The object was directly in back and above me and followed
my car along the road." He estimated the object
to be approximately 25 to 30 feet wide and five or six
feet high. His diagram shows a typically flat-bottomed
and somewhat domed object.
then noticed that his car began to act abnormally. "The
worst thing that could have happened in my frame of mind
happened. Without any warning, all of the electrical equipment
quit working. My headlights, dash lights and engine quit.
I don't believe I have ever been so frustrated in my life.
I noticed that this object was directly over my car. Then
it fell back and I could go on. Three times this happened,
and three times my car refused to give any electrical
response until this object either moved to the rear or
to one side of the car." He said all he could
do was "lock my doors and hope." He estimated
the car motor was unresponsive for less than a minute,
and then when the lights came back on he was able to restart
the engine. The glow from the object lit up the ground
to the right and to the left of the car. "The
only time the glow was very distinctive in front of the
car was when it (the car) went dead and then it was all
Simons turned onto Charlottesburg Road, he could see by
the glow around the car that the object was still with
him. "The last good look I got of it was just
before reaching the dam, when it was so bright in my mirror."
The car-buzzing had lasted at least ten minutes.
drove straight to the home of Thomas P. Byrnes, Superintendent
of the Newark Water Shed in Newfoundland, to report the
incident. It was Mr. Byrnes who later told Dr. Schwarz
about the sighting. Simons and Byrnes immediately contacted
the West Milford police and together, they drove back
to the scene of the sighting. Nothing out of the ordinary
subsequent developments make this case especially interesting.
While reporting the incident at the Reservoir Office,
Simons had parked his car and turned the motor off. When
he came out again, the car motor had apparently started
spontaneously. Later examination of the electrical system
offered no explanation, but several weeks later, as he
was driving the car, the motor inexplicably exploded.
second peculiar development was a recurring illness that
came upon Simons a short time after the sighting, characterized
by fatigue, anorexia, generalized soreness, weakness of
muscles, chills, and a loss of 35 pounds. This illness
extended over a three-month period and in its acute phases,
which occurred on a monthly basis, lasted three or four
days. Because of its severity, Simons was finally hospitalized.
The exact cause of the illness could not be determined
- Simon's illness "did not conform to any readily
identifiable pattern, including various psychosomatic
reactions," according to Dr. Schwarz. "Although
there is not sufficient supporting data, it is conceivable
that Simons' overwhelming fear, associated with the strangeness
of his UFO experience, could have precipitated a response
similar to what is seen in animal hypnosis" (inhibitory
reflexes evoked by a strong stimulus or even weak stimuli
if unusual enough). Six months after his sighting, Jerry
Simons had fully recovered and showed no further signs
of the strange malady.