1967 November 3, Nebraska, CE4 444

    “On December 3, 1967, Sgt. Herbert Schirmer was on patrol near Ashland, Nebraska, at 2:30 am - a clear, moonless night - when he saw some red lights that he thought were on a truck. When he checked the location, however, he noticed that the lights came from the windows of a saucer-shaped object hovering above the highway. His next conscious recall is of the craft glowing brilliantly and rising with a sirenlike sound while emitting a flame-colored material from its underside. He had a feeling of paralysis at the time and was nervous, weak, and sick when he returned to his office.

    Dr. Leo Sprinkle of the University of Wyoming was one of the first professional psychologists to take an interest in UFO abductions and to use hypnosis as an investigative tool. When he met with members of the Condon committee, who had been funded by the U.S. Air Force at the University of Colorado in 1968, he reviewed with them a number of cases that could be used for demonstration. The committee selected the Schirmer case because of the loss of time experienced by the witness.

    When Sergeant Schirmer arrived in Boulder for a series of psychological tests, he asked to see Professor Condon; he had been induced to make a trip because of its potential scientific significance. He had been assured that serious interest existed in his sighting and that Professer Edward Condon, the well-known physicist, would attend the session in person.

    Unfortunately, Dr. Condon was not on campus at teh time, and the scientific committee realized that the trick they had used to get the officer to come and to be tested threatened to be exposed. So, Seargeant Schirmer told me, they introduced someone else to him as Professor Condon.

    Schirmer was no fool. During the ensuing conversation somebody came into the room and addressed “Professor Condon” by a first name which had no resemblance to Ed or Edward. Schirmer confronted the scientist. “You’re not Condon!” he cried, and a very embarrassing scene followed.

    From that point on, the credulity of the University of Colorado project was very close to nil in the eyes of the witness. When he was shown inkblots and was asked to say what he saw there, he stated the obvious: he saw inkblots.

    “”Well, can’t you imagine that they are something else?” asked one of the psychologists.“

    “Doctor, I’m a law enforcement officer,” Shirmer replied. “I’m not supposed to imagine things. I am trained to report on things that are real.”

    Schirmer told me he was afraid that if he started seeing butterflies or copulating elephants in inkblots, the scientists would quickly conclude that here was a nut case who could just as easily see flying saucers where there was only a cluster of clouds. 

    During our meeting I asked Sergeant Schirmer directly about any health issues he might have suffered as a result of the UFO encounter. 

    At the time of the experience the witness felt a “tingling” in his body for a few seconds and local pain behind the base of the ear (he showed me the precise location), as if a needle has been inserted there. A red welt with tiny holes developed at the spot. For three years after the sighting he experienced throbbing headaches that lasted two hours and were not alleviated by aspirin. For the first three weeks following the sighting these headaches would actually wake him up. 

    I also inquired about his dreams, and I learned that they included a vision of a landscape with three mountain ranges, strange domes, and UFOs. 
    Dr. Sprinkle noted that after the sighting the witness drank two cups of hot, steaming coffee “like it was water”; he often experienced a “ringing, numbness and buzzing in his ears before going to sleep, and other violent disturbances during his sleep.”

- The Mothman Prophecies, p. 32-33.