Israel's wave of UFO sightings during September has been followed by an equally baffling series of "alien" sightings. But the reports sound more like classic cases of the "phantom hitchhiker" phenomenon.
On Monday night, October 14, 1996, Abdul Alhazrad, an Arab living in Jenin on the West Bank, was driving toward the Jewish settlement of Dotan when he spied a hitchhiker standing on the side of the road. The man asked for a lift, and Abdul invited him to ride in the front passenger seat. As he drove away, Abdul glanced at the hitchhiker and "in seconds, to my amazement, his appearance changed." Instead of a normal human, Abdul found himself seated next to a tall humanoid in dark clothing with a head like a dog. The entity had floppy, dangling ears and a single cyclopean eye at the top of its long canine snout.
Panicking, Abdul stepped hard on the brake pedal. His car fishtailed off the road. Fleeing the vehicle, he watched as "Pooch" emerged from the passenger side. Pooch took several steps in Abdul's direction and then vanished.
That same night, Dr. Bashad, a Bedouin Arab educated in Europe, and his friend, Massoud, left the Arab town of Tel Sheva in the Negev Desert. The two were on their way to Beersheba for a night out. As they drove down the darkened desert highway, Dr. Bashad saw a man standing beside the asphalt roadway. Surprised to see someone in that remote area, they figured his car had broken down. Slowing to a stop, Dr. Bashad rolled down his window and asked, "Are you in any trouble?"
Instead of answering, the entity slapped his palm against the car door. The hand, Dr. Bashad reported, "seemed to adhere itself to it." Then Massoud got a good look at the stranger's face and let out a yell. He described the entity's features as "a horribly mutated face." Dr. Bashad saw it, too, and stepped down hard on the gas pedal.
As the car zoomed away, the entity leaped at it, covering an incredible distance--better than 20 feet (7 meters). Massoud said it was "crouched on the side door, clinging to the metal like Spider-Man," even as the doctor's car went speeding down the highway at 75 miles per hour. They went two kilometers (1.2 miles) down the road, and then the entity "dissolved into thin air." (See the newspaper Maariv for October 15, 1996.)
Early Wednesday morning, October 23, 1996, Rachel and Leah Gorovitz were driving their jeep on a side street near Montefiore Street in the Ahuzat Bayit section of Tel Aviv. It was 2 a.m. and the neighborhood was deserted. Then Leah noticed something unusual--a man 1.5 meters (5 feet) tall dressed in a bright red jumpsuit. There appeared to be a bag on his back that looked part of the clothing.
"He had a non-human mechanical way of moving," Leah said, "and a waxy face with a blunt expression on it."
"The Android" took awkward steps in the girls' direction. Rachel put the jeep into reverse and backed up the street at high speed, nosed the vehicle around and drove away.
A short while later, the girls took that street again in order to get home. The Android moved out of a building's shadow, stepping into the street. Rachel hit the brakes and backed away. The entity "came towards us again and then disappeared." (See the newspaper Maariv's weekend section for November 1, 1996.)
Although Pooch, Spidey and the Android sound like creatures out of the Arabian Nights, Dr. Leon Liebknecht's Israeli UFO group did some investigating. They interviewed the witnesses and tested Dr. Bashad's car for its sensitivity to electromagnetic radiation. Interestingly, the car tested at several hundred milligauss higher than a random sample of other cars in Tel Sheva. (Email Interview)
Original file name: .CNI - Israel Phantom Entities
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