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Mysterious Cases of Gadianton Canyon Time Space Warp
Source : UFO Roundup
Four girls, returning from a Utah rodeo in May of 1972, were plucked from this universe and thrust into a world of bizarre terror.
Highway 56 and Modena. To the west is Nevada, south is Arizona. Their misadventure began as the foursome motored down Utah Highway 56 on a dark, moonless night and they approached the Modena railroad crossing landmark.
The girls' names, according to the editor of UFO Roundup, have been changed to protect their identity. A bit more investigation, however, uncovered the fact that two of the girls were sisters and a third girl a first cousin. The fourth girl was a friend of one of the sisters.
Since their real names were not used, no names will be used in this description of the high strangeness that follows.
Their auto, described as a 1971 Chevrolet Nova, was owned by the father of the two sisters. They were given permission to use the car to attend a popular rodeo held annually near Pioche, Nevada about 180 miles northeast of Las Vegas.
At approximately 10 p.m. as the four-all students at Southern Utah University–drove back to their dorm, they approached the foreboding region where Gadianton Canyon waited. Legends claimed that beyond the canyon was a doorway to another world: an evil dimension of horror and madness that the early Utah settlers avoided at all cost.
Through the years, it was said, many wagon trains carrying passengers and cargo became lost in the twisting labrynth of that horrible place and anything-or anyone-that entered its hellish portal was lost forever, never to be seen again.
Some claimed robbers waylaid unwary travelers, others swore the spirits of the damned roamed the Nevada Line during the darkness of night. The Book of Mormon taught the faithful that the area was haunted by the Nephites and Lamanites, terrorist criminals whose legions grew from before the days that Christ walked upon Earth.
Or so the legends and Book of Mormon claimed.
The girls opted to take a shortcut through the canyon
As the girls approached the Union Pacific rail line, the headlights of their car lit up a sharp fork ahead. The road leading off Highway 56 looked inviting. It seemed to be a more direct route back to their dorm. Their landlady, a stickler on curfews, always locked the doors by midnight and it was already half past ten. None of the girls relished the thought of arriving late and being forced to sleep in the car. The opportunity to take what seemed a short-cut strongly appealed to them.
The mysterious road curved sharply away from the main road towards the direction of the ominous Gadianton Canyon in the distance.
Despite the stories of the canyon, the girls decided to take the road. They chatted happily about the day's events as the car wound its way deeper into the foreboding canyon. As they drove, the dark rock walls inched ever closer to the crumbling edge of the thin ribbon of asphalt.
Somewhere along the way the road changed from an asphalt pavement to cracked concrete.
Abruptly, one of the girls shrieked, "Look out!" The road suddenly ended at a towering rock wall. They were boxed in by the canyon and had no choice but to turn around and go back the way they'd come.
The three girls moaned and complained to the driver. Now they'd all have to sleep in the car. They'd never make it back to the dorm in time because the "short-cut" cost them at least a wasted half hour of driving.
Impossibly, the landscape had completely changed
As they wound their way back towards Highway 56 they left the walls of the oppressive canyon behind them and emerged into the countryside again. Several minutes passed before they noticed the landscape had dramatically changed.
What was desolate, wind-swept desert sand, dotted with dry sagebrush, stubby ocotillo and gnarled Spanish bayonet, was now lush fields of ripening wheat under a clear, moonlit sky. In the distance, the water of a large lake shimmered, silvery under a bright moon.
Yet the moon should not have been visible that night.
Later, they recalled at that moment they felt they'd driven into a different world. The events that followed proved them right.
The roadhouse at the edge of the world
As they continued onwards, they marveled at tall stands of Ponderosa pine where no such trees should have existed in the desert.
Suddenly, a bright light off the roadway ahead captured their attention.
Now the girls were on edge. They had no idea where they were and wherever it was it didn't look like either Utah or Nevada. Maybe someone could help point them in the right direction so they could get back onto Highway 56 and finally reach their dorm.
Approaching the light ahead of them, they discovered it came from a large building-some kind of roadhouse or restaurant. The place sat in the middle of a large parking lot and a blazing neon sign on the roof spelled out a message-at least that's what the girls assumed the sign was for because they couldn't read it. The sign's brilliantly glowing symbols were composed of strangely twisted lines creating of a mosaic of weird curves…a written language unknown to any of them.
She screamed when she saw they weren't human
Without warning, very tall people burst from the roadhouse. Quite a number poured through the front door spilling into the parking lot.
Some of the roadhouse people seemed upset by the girls' arrival. They waved their arms at the girls. Others shouted and pointed at the girls and the Nova.
Later, the girls recalled the people from the roadhouse seemed shocked and frightened at the appearance of the Chevrolet driving into the parking lot.
As the girls pulled into the lot, one of them in the back seat got a good look at the throng of people milling outside the building.
The girl who got the first good look at the growing crowd let out a bloodcurdling scream.
According to a transcript [edited for clarity] appearing on Sightings.com, the girls' conversation at that point became panic-stricken and choked with rising horror:
"Get out of here!" the girl screamed. "Punch it!"
And then the other girl in the back seat caught a chilling glimpse of the people moving towards them and she got a good look at their faces.
"Step on it!" she yelled too, her voice shaking with fear.
Burning rubber, the Nova fishtailed away from the strange roadhouse.
Now the girls in the rear seat sobbed in terror. Haltingly, they explained to the girls in the front seat why they'd screamed.
The things they saw back at the roadhouse had at first looked like people. But when they got a better look at what was approaching them, it was clear the things weren't human.
Wherever the four girls were, they were no where near Modena-no where near any place they'd ever heard of on Earth.
Then their horror intensified.
The people at the roadhouse were not quite human
A nightmarish chase through the desert
As they raced through the forbidding night on a strange road passing the strange lake, intense lights lit up their car from behind. The girls in the back saw the lights at the same time the driver saw them in her rear-view mirror.
"Oh, my God! They're coming after us!"
"Go faster. Faster!"
A 2011 concept electric car strikingly similar to what girls saw in 1972
Four freakish, egg-shaped vehicles, humming and whining loudly, closed in on the speeding Nova. Each small vehicle had one large headlight and two front wheels. From what the girls could see, the vehicles had only one rear wheel.
"Go faster! They're gaining on us!" one of the girls in the rear shrieked.
The Nova's engine roared as its speed crept towards 80 miles per hour. Still the crazy egg-shaped cars pursued them.
Then the girls were back into the canyon. The Nova's roaring engine reverberated off the sheer rock walls. A rooster tail of dust rose up behind them and soon none of the girls could spot the whirring egg-shaped things anymore.
As they flew out of the canyon and into the desert, the road before them all but disappeared. The car bucked crazily over sagebrush and sand. Although it quickly slowed, the Nova skidded out of control sliding into an arroyo and crashing into the bottom.
The engine died.
Although badly shaken, none of the girls were seriously hurt. The car, however was undriveable; three of the tires were flat.
After sleeping in the car until sunrise, they walked towards Highway 56 several miles away. Finally, tired, hungry and still terribly frightened by their unworldly experience, they spotted a Utah Highway Patrol car and waved it over.
The trooper listened to their story.
The official report to the Utah Highway Patrol
The details of the report to the Utah Highway Patrol have been muddied over the years. Most versions of the incident list the trooper at the scene as a "Vic Lundquist." But the officer was not a man, as many assumed, nor was the trooper's name "Lundquist."
As best as can be determined, Trooper Victoria "Vic" Lindquist took the report, and the details of the accident investigation make fascinating reading. They tend to support the girls' testimony of what transpired that strange night off Highway 56 in the barren desert near Modena.
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Three amazing details jump from the pages of the official report:
1. No tire tracks were found where the Nova left Highway 56 in Modena as it headed for the canyon area.
2. Of the tire tracks that were found, pointing in the direction of Highway 56, they extended only about 200 yards back into the desert and then abruptly disappeared.
3. Left unexplained: how did the automobile travel almost two miles off of Highway 56 without leaving any physical trace upon the surrounding desert?