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Dan D. Farcas

 During the night of July 8 to 9, 1996, in the center of a village, in Eastern Romania, a police sergeant and a guardian had a close encounter of the III-rd kind. They saw a UFO hovering above the road and three humanoids around it. Some other events seem to be connected with. The case was widely exposed in the Romanian media but it was not thoroughly investigated by UFO specialists being almost unknown abroad.

 The case was observed in the village Certesti (pronounced Tchertzeshty), district Galati, in South of the Moldavian Region of Romania. Only newspaper and tabloid reporters investigated the CE III in the next days and not UFO "professionals", because of the lack of funds and of appropriate UFO research structures in Romania. The TV producer Mihai Badescu, with a small team, was gone to Certesti, on August 12, 1996, to make a short film about this event, for TVR1, the main Romanian Public TV channel. He invited Calin Turcu and me (both of us having books published in Romanian about the UFO phenomenon) for comments. During that day, we had detailed discussions with the witnesses of this encounter and with other people, including skeptics. The main findings are mentioned bellow.

The police sergeant Marian Mancu and Marcel Rusu, voluntary guardian, were patrolling on the main road passing the village Certesti, on July 8 to 9, 1996, at night, in front of the police office. In this place, on both sides, between the road and the sidewalks, there are deep ditches, with small bridges across them. The houses are behind the fences, in the middle of orchards and gardens, except a two-storied apartment house, opposite the police station. The police sergeant lived in one apartment of this building. Around 0.30 AM, Mancu told Rusu that he would go home for ten minutes, to eat something. The entrance is behind the building. The moment the sergeant passed the corner, he heard a whistling sound from the street and sensed a current of air. He turned immediately back, seeing on the road something which "splashed blue and red lights, making a sound like voom-voom".

At the first moment the sergeant had the impression that a police car from the district capital Galati arrived in a routine control. Getting closer he realized that the object was hovering half meter above the paving and a small and very strange person is moving around it. He cried "Guard"! As an answer, he observed the horrified guardian, coming half out from the ditch were he was hiding himself, below a bridge. He whispered - "Mister Marian - the Satan!"

Rusu declared later that, immediately after the sergeant disappeared behind the apartment house, "a fluttering from the above appeared..." The neon lighting of the street seemed to change in intensity. The object descended smoothly, without noise, behind him. For a short instant he was convinced too that it was the police car, for a routine control, but, turning, he became frightened when realized that the object had no contact with the ground and that three small human like creatures are moving around it. As he declared "when I saw how they are, their ugliness, I told myself they are not our own folk. I became afraid and I was hiding myself in the ditch… if something happened… because I have never seen such things in my life…"

As both witnesses agreed, the object had the form of a flat hut, 5-6 meters across and 2-2.5 meters high, and was hovering and balancing 0.5 meters above the ground. Around the edge it had a continuous girdle of light "as a rainbow". The colors: red and blue (or green in other declarations) changed from each other and flared. At the bottom of the object was a bright white light. None of the witnesses saw doors, portholes or other details.

After about two minutes, as they estimated, the UFO rose vertically. At that moment its lights became much brighter, but the neon streetlights went off. When the object reached around 30 meters, it changed direction and turned toward East, with a tremendous speed. The neon light went on after not more than thirty seconds.

The guardian Rusu saw better the humanoid creatures. Sergeant Mancu noticed only one and only from behind. Their height was estimated to be around one meter, maybe less ("as a child of six years"). Rusu said he heard some noises made by them, "as the rain in the drain pipe". Both agreed the creatures gave the impression of "abortion" (in the sense of "unfulfilled" as they mentioned later). The visitors had a big head, very elongated behind, covered with bumps, with no hair, big ears ("as a palm of a man"). Their face was white and they had big eyes. Gray scales with a metallic shining, as the fish scales, covered their body. The belly was relatively big and limp. The arms were "not thicker than two fingers". None of the witnesses remembered the nose, the mouth or shoes. The witnesses could not tell for sure if the creatures were walking or flying above the ground, but accepted as more likely the second possibility. Rusu said they moved, "as they were drunk".

The physical traces were weak. A huge sweet cherry tree nearby had around 15% of its leaves affected, as by an extreme heat, on the side where the object was seen. The damage was visible even after one month, when we were on the place. Some people from the village told us that next morning, after the encounter, many leaves and broken limbs were spread on the road on that place. Some others were convinced that was a result of human activity. No other signs were recorded. Nobody measured the radioactivity or took samples.

Sergeant Mancu declared that, after the object disappeared he had to help Rusu to come out of the ditch. The guardian told him that he was sick and he had to sit on the grass for a while before becoming capable of walking. He remained convinced he was seeing Satan. After about a quarter of an hour a tractor was coming on the street, driven by Nicu Chicos. The two asked him if he had seen something. The tractor driver finally admitted that he and another countryman Emil Bugeac, of the nearby village Carlomanesti, had seen a bright light, with some colored blinking, in the evening before at 10.30 or 11 P.M., three kilometers away from Certesti. But it could be a plane too.

More interesting should be the testimony of the countryman Gheorghe Ghenghea from Certesti. He was watching that night, with his daughter, a song contest on TV. In a certain moment, the image deteriorated, extinguished, restored for a moment, extinguished once again, and after a short while came back without other problems. No other lights were on in the house; so, it could be a short blackout. The witness went out, to ask a neighbor about, but apparently, everybody was sleeping. The color TV appliance was new and he had no problem with it until that moment, or after. The inhabitants told us that some other electrical appliances in the village were disturbed too. We had not the time to verify these allegations.

Another interesting witness was Stefan Dumitru Carje, from the village Cotoroaia, 4 km Northeast from Certesti. He woke up, the same night, because of the barking of dogs, at 1.12 AM (he remembered seeing the watch). The backyard was lighted by "very powerful and extended yellow through red light" coming from the high. Going outside, he was not capable to identify any source. "The sky was red and the ground red… it was so bright you could read a newspaper". He told he was 62, he had three years of army with the air force but it was a light he had never seen. The witness controlled the dependencies. "All the animals were up, but not scared. The birds were not croaking or cackling… Only the dogs were barking". After a while he re‑entered the house. When he was thinking to wake up his wife and two grandsons, to see the phenomenon, "the light became thinner and thinner… easy, easy… maybe it lasted three minutes until that powerful light disappeared and remained the light of the night". He added later: "I saw something as a haze raising up to a certain height and afterwards disappearing slowly in the air".

The witnesses are credible. The police sergeant Marian Mancu (30 years) was, for a while, veterinary technician, before graduating a police school. He is married, with two children and he is healthy and sane. The majority of the village population, including the village mayor Gheorghe Nechifor, considers him a serious person, not capable of lies or hoaxes. Mancu was interested in the historical events of the region. He led an initiative to build a monument for the heroes of the village, from the two world wars. He had a personal library of several hundreds of books, but nothing about UFOs, paranormal or connected issues. The sergeant told me that even he heard about UFOs, he did not believe in them and was not concerned about.

The guardian Maricel Rusu (41 years) graduated six classes, but his education seems lower. He reads little, with difficulty, and only "about some crimes in newspapers". He has never heard almost anything before about the UFO phenomenon. Maricel Rusu is Orthodox Christian but not bigot or even practicing. This explains his first hypothesis, that he met Satan and the fright after this finding. He has no recorded psychic disorders, and he served in the army as sapper. The villagers did not remember he was lying in the past. Even if he drinks sometimes, he has never been seen drunk. Before the close encounter he had his arm badly injured by a horse and he was following a treatment with antibiotics, so he was restrained to drink alcohol.

It is unlikely the witnesses could invent all the very peculiar details and to expose them in such a highly natural and convincing manner. It is also unlikely that it could be a delusion staged by someone else. Unfortunately we had not other means to certify this impression, e.g. psychological tests, or lie detector, but we did not discover anybody with any motivation to invent such a story.

Not all the villagers gave credit to the witnesses. A mathematics teacher contests the story telling she was awake in this period of time, living in the same apartment house as the sergeant, but she heard and saw nothing. A person said that his "Mercedes" was on the street, and it was confused with a UFO. Another person objected that the place was too narrow for landing, because of the telephone or electrical wires on both sides of the road. This objection was rejected, the distance between the wires being comfortably wider than the dimensions estimated for this UFO. More interesting, the "debunkers" were mainly people that had legal problems with the local police, or people related to them.

On the above premises, we consider that the Certesti case could be qualified as a CE III. But was it more than that? Maybe it was a CE IV; in other terms, was it an abduction? A first argument is that, in the following days, sergeant Mancu felt sick and powerless; he supposed he was irradiated. The guardian Rusu had repeated nightmares. As he declares: " I was dreaming on the following days… about how I was hiding myself in the ditch… then I woke up frightened… because they were so ugly".

I questioned both of them about a possible "missing time" period. None of them had such an impression. But when I tried to establish more precisely the time marks, I found that none of them had a watch. The sergeant said "I had not my watch with me… because the bracelet was torn". Rusu had no watch at all.

Trying to establish the succession of the events, we found strange discontinuities. No one of the witnesses remembered to see the humanoids descending from the UFO or reentering. More than that, the witnesses could not explain how the visitors did that, because no doors or entrances were visible. Maricel Rusu declared "I did not see which way they descended... They were already turning around". The situation was the same when the UFO was flying up - the creatures simply were no more there, and nobody saw them going up in the object. The same witness declared: "they disappeared, but I didn’t take notice what way they disappeared... I don't know where they entered and I did not see them entering... maybe behind…" Sergeant Mancu recognized also that he could not explain how the little men disappeared. His impression was that he observed the small creature only for four-five seconds…

In the literature there are many cases when the witnesses considered they had a CE III only for several seconds or minutes, but after some complementary procedures, for example hypnotic regression, they discover that it was a much longer story and a CE IV. Therefore, we agreed, it would be interesting to use this technique, or something similar, in this case too. Unfortunately, in Romania we face a lack of professionals practicing hypnotic regression or willing to apply it in such situations. Even the travelling expenses to arrange sessions constitute a problem.

Another curiosity discovered in our visit was that the villagers of Certesti told us about several other very interesting and quite typical UFO observations, even close encounters, in the last years. They have never been reported. They would have remained completely unknown if the main event had not happened. I wonder about how many similar situations are in the villages of Romania and of many other countries too.

As a peculiar but not unique sequel, we can mention that, after two years, sergeant Mancu was fired from the police, most probable because he tried to be "hypercorrect" in several cases, even against his chiefs. One argument used was that Mancu is "that guy who sees UFOs"…

 (Previously published in EJUFOAS, The European Journal of UFO and Abduction Studies, September 2001)

Copyright (c) Asociatia pentru Studiul Fenomenelor Aerospatiale Neidentificate - 2002
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Ultima modificare : 29-12-2007