“My life has never been the same,” Elmwood schoolteacher Carole Forster told New York Times investigative reporter Howard Blum. “At first we thought the fear would go away. The kids slept that night all together in the living room with the lights on. They kept that up for three years. Sleeping all together. The lights always on. They were always afraid. They still have nightmares.”
This weekend, the last weekend in July, is UFO Days in Elmwood, WI—or it would be if not for the Covid-19 cancellations. Carole Forster’s story, which was featured both in Blum’s 1990 book and on a national television show, is one of the stories that makes Elmwood the UFO capital of the world.
Blum interviewed Carole Forster of Elmwood, WI in preparation for his book Out There: The Government’s Secret Quest for Extraterrestrials. A truncated version of her close encounter story appeared in the book with only slight embellishments. (To compare the Blum version with Forster’s telling read “UFO Follows Schoolteacher’s Car.”) The Forster encounter is one in a series of 1975 UFO incidents in Minnesota, Western Wisconsin, and Iowa.
According to Blum’s narrative, eight-year-old Mary was the first to see the light. The eldest of the three siblings, she had the privilege of sitting up front with her mother. Her two younger siblings sat in back. The family was on their way back from Carole’s parents’ home in Arkansaw, WI. Carole’s husband Bill wanted to go snowmobiling, but Carole, who was pregnant at the time, needed to get home to prepare Monday’s lesson to prepare for her first-grade class at Elmwood Area School. She loaded the kids into their blue ’68 Chevy and headed for home.
It had orange glowing lights, and it headed straight for the car. Carole could see landing gear extended.
They had gone only about ten miles across the flat snow-covered Missouri Valley when Mary saw the object and asked, “Mommy, what is that?”
“It was ten, twenty times the size of the car. It had a dome top. Like an overturned coffee cup.” It had orange glowing lights, and it headed straight for the car. Carole could see landing gear extended.
With the children screaming, Carole stepped on the accelerator, racing at sixty or seventy miles per hour, but she could not outrun the orange light. “Mary was all orange; the harsh light from above was reflected on her little girl’s face.”
“I’m still afraid, I still don’t feel safe. I still know its out there, over Elmwood, waiting to come back. And I don’t trust it. It’s evil. It scares me.”
Mary screamed in terror, “It’s going to hit us.” The eight-year old tried to open the door to jump out. Carole grabbed her daughter, pulling her back. The car went into a sharp skid. The kids were hysterical. Carole pushed the accelerator down again and continued her race down the highway. She tried to calm the children, repeating over and over through her own tears, “Stop crying.”
Three miles after the turnoff for County Road P she pulled into Jack Baier’s driveway, grabbed the kids, and ran to the front door. Teenage Roger Baier opened the door. “Mrs. Forster, what’s wrong?” he asked. She pulled him to her car and pointed to the object as it retreated into the distance at fantastic speed.
Forster told Blum, “I’m still afraid, I still don’t feel safe. I still know its out there, over Elmwood, waiting to come back. And I don’t trust it. It’s evil. It scares me.”
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