It began on a cold and rainy evening at approximately 7:25 p.m. I was driving my Ford Econovan down Route 1–77 from Marietta, Ohio to my home in Mineral Wells, West Virginia and was nearing the intersection of Route 47. My truck was loaded with stereos and sewing machines. I started up a long hill going approximately 50 MPH, when suddenly, one of the sewing machines slipped off the top of a stereo. Hearing the crash, I turned on my dome lights to see what had fallen.
Suddenly I noticed a car coming up the highway behind me, and he blinked his lights to pass. I continued at the same rate of speed, and the car passed me. Just then, I saw it. About 50' directly behind this car, was this ship as I have come to call it, and it quickly came up beside my truck. I thought at first it was another car. It was only then I noticed that it did not have any lights, turning my head and glancing at the object I saw that it was some kind of strange looking machine, which I had never seen before.
At this time, I was not frightened. This strange object pulled slightly ahead of me, turned sideways on the highway and began slowing down. To keep from hitting this object, I slowed my truck and pulled off the highway to the right onto the shoulder so that I could go around it, but it completely blocked the road. It kept slowing down until it came to a complete stop just as I did, stopping not more than 8' to 10' from it. As soon as it stopped, a door opened and a man emerged from within the vessel. After the man stepped from the object, I noticed it rose off the ground and hovered a distance from 50' to 100' above my truck. Both of my trucks headlights remained on, as did the dome lights inside the cab.
With the strange man walking in front of my truck, I could see him very plainly in the headlights. He had a very pleasant appearance, and was about 5' 11" tall and weighed approximately 185#. His hair was very dark and thick, and it was combed straight back over his head. He seemed to have a very good tan and looked normal in every way.
At first the man stood there, out in the pouring rain, looking at me, I seemed to receive a message of sorts to roll my window down on the opposite side of my truck. I heard no audible voice, but I somehow knew what this man had asked of me. I leaned across the truck and rolled down the window. The man then walked up to my side of the truck and stood very close to the door, and said that he would like to speak to me. He told me not to be frightened, and then asked my name.
I was so frightened by this time that I could not answer him. He then told me that I could either think my answer or speak verbally, whichever was easier for me. While I did not seem to utter a sound, he quickly replied: Nice to meet you Mr. Derenberger.
He said that his name was Cold. He then asked me if I worked for a living and if I had to, I told him yes, and that I was a salesman. He then said that he was a searcher.
He again told me that I should not be frightened, and that he wished me no harm, only happiness. He had a very pleasant smile on his face and his arms were folded, with his hands tucked under his armpits.
He then asked me what the lights in the distance were, and although he did not point, he did give me the mental impression that he was. I knew the direction about which he was inquiring. I told him that it was Parkersburg, a city.
He asked me if all the people lived there, and I told him that it was a place of business and of trade, and that most of the people lived in outlying areas, or the suburbs.
He told me that where he was from, such a place was called a gathering. He then said: Mr. Derenberger, look at me. I am the same as you are, I sleep and breathe and bleed, even as you do.
Although he was not speaking verbally to me, I could well understand every word that he was saying. He was very friendly, the expression on his face changed at times, and despite the unreal, almost dream like quality of our conversation, I felt no pain of any kind. He tried to reassure me by saying: Have no fear we mean you no harm.
He asked me why I was so frightened, and said that his country was not nearly as powerful as ours was. He also told me to report this incident to the local officials, and that at a later date, he would confirm my story. He then said that he would meet with me again.
I talked with him for about 10 minutes. While I did not see him give any kind of sign, the ship descended and settled directly beside my truck. Mr. Cold then walked in front of my vehicle to the ship, and as the door on the craft opened, I could see another form reaching out to close the door, or possibly to help Mr. Cold into the ship. The unearthly machine then rose straight up, making a soft, fluttering sound, when it was above the top of my truck, I very hurriedly left for home.
I do not exactly remember driving home. I think by this time, I was in a complete state of shock. When I got home, I immediately asked my wife, Catherine, to come into the kitchen, and we sat down at the table. She could see the state I was in, and the first question she asked was: Did you have an accident that has killed someone?
I assured her that nothing of that sort had happened, and then told her of my experience. It startled her very much at first, and then she suggested that we phone the police. I thought I had settled down by then, but after I got the police on the telephone, I began shaking uncontrollably, and my voice quivered so much so that she took the phone from me, and related my story to them. When she had done this, the police asked her to hang up the telephone, and that they would call her back shortly.