LAST week, I detailed one of the most baffling and controversial “paranormal” stories to do the rounds in recent times. The case is normally referred to as that of the Garden City Ghost Car.
Briefly, what happened was this: a police officer was on patrol in Garden City, Georgia, when he spotted a motorist driving erratically.
After a nerve-wracking chase the man swung onto a dirt track and then – seemingly – drove right through a chain-link fence as if it wasn’t there.
The entire incident was captured on the patrol car’s dash-cam.
The case has caused huge controversy. Opinions are polarised, some investigators saying that the vehicle was of paranormal provenance, while others are sure that there is a perfectly rational explanation.
You can watch the fascinating footage yourself HERE.
To get to the truth I contacted the Garden City Police Department, who kindly put me in touch with Lieutenant Wayne Daniels – the very officer behind the wheel of the patrol car that night.
Lieutenant Daniels is now a Watch Commander at the Bloomingdale Police Department.
The first thing I wanted to know was what had sparked off the chase in the first place.
That was easy. The man’s dangerous driving had led the officer to believe he was drunk.
Was the speed of the car really “almost supernatural” as one TV presenter had asserted?
“No”, said Lieutenant Daniels, “it wasn’t that bad”.
So, what had happened when the car appeared to go through the fence?
Lieutenant Daniels told me that when the car hit the fence it had dislodged most of the aluminium clips holding the chain-link to the frame apart from the ones on the upper horizontal pole.
This meant that the chain-link was left hanging – like a blanket from a washing line.
Some investigators had been right, then, when they’d hypothesised that as the car passed under the fence, the mesh had merely draped itself over the vehicle until it passed to the other side.
The mesh had then fallen back into place, hanging from the horizontal upper pole, and once again taking on the appearance of a solid fence.
And what about the car and the driver?
They weren’t ghostly at all. The vehicle had been stolen and the driver was wanted in three other States.
So, much as I like a good mystery, readers know that I won’t hype up a story just to create one.
And in this case there was no mystery; just a very strange piece of footage that created an illusion of a car passing through a solid fence like a vehicular phantom.
Just to be clear, I asked Lieutenant Daniels if there was anything at all about the incident that could possibly be construed as supernatural. He was certain there wasn’t.
Me? I’m convinced the Lieutenant’s explanation is correct. After all, he was there at the time.
There is only one thing about the footage that still mystifies me.
The police car pulls up next to the fence just seconds after the stolen vehicle passed through it, and yet the chain-link is perfectly still, as if it had never been touched.
I asked the officer about this, but he said he’d been too concerned with preventing his car going into a nearby ditch to notice.
It’s a mystery, but as every other piece of the puzzle has a perfectly rational explanation, I’m sure there’d be one for this, too, if I was to dig deep enough.
I must offer sincere thanks to the Garden City PD, the Bloomingdale PD, Captain Don Chapman, Lieutenant Wayne Daniels and the sundry office managers and call-takers who went above and beyond the call of duty in helping me solve the enigma of the Garden City ghost car.
* Seen something weird? Tell Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org