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The White-out

 

A good few years ago, maybe twenty or more, my husband and I experienced something which has us baffled to this day. We have no idea if it was paranormal or not - only that it was extremely weird, and so far, nobody can give us a reasonable explanation for. Therefore, I am throwing it out there, in the hopes that someone wise on the YGS forum can help us out.

It was a cold winter's night on the Highveld here in South Africa. The stars shone brightly in the crisp indigo sky. We were on our way to visit my brother Rob in Norkempark. For some forgotten reason, we didn't have any of the girls with us, which in itself strikes me as strange now.

We had already crossed into Kempton Park territory and were nearing our destination, traveling down a suburban road with houses to our right and a wide expanse of veldt to our left. We were chatting sporadically and listening to the radio. Suddenly, we noticed a large cloud of smoke, looming ahead of us. I remember us commenting that there must be a huge veldt fire in the vicinity - nothing uncommon in winter here. As we drove into the smoke, which hung over the entire road, an eerie silence engulfed us. Instantly, our vision was cut off. Ray, my husband, braked the car so unexpectedly that I was jolted forward against the safety belt. We had encountered a "white-out"!

We sat in the absolute silence for a couple of seconds, looking askance at one another. We waited a few minutes for a break in the smoke, but none appeared. Ray eventually climbed out of the car, exclaiming in surprise as he did so. Outside the car was clear - no trace of smoke, nor smell of a veldt fire. All the car windows were completely white on the outside, those in front more densely than the rear windows. Ray tried rubbing the windscreen with his jacket sleeve (isn't that just like a man?), but the white stuff was stuck.

Ray swore as he climbed back into the car, rummaging in the cubby-hole for something to clean the windscreen with. Our old stand-by, a roll of toilet paper, was still in its place. After furious scrubbing for what seemed ages, Ray finally cleared enough of the somewhat oily, gooey white mess, to see sufficiently to complete our journey to Rob's house. As soon as we pulled away from that spot on the road, sounds and lights returned to normal - it was as if we had been cut off from the rest of the world as we sat there in that white cocoon.

When we arrived at Rob's house, the men had to wash the car windows with hot water and dish-washing liquid to remove whatever it was. Rob was extremely intrigued by our tale, saying that he had never heard anything like it before, nor had he any suggestions as to what the substance could be.

If anybody out there has had a similar experience or any suggestions as to what happened, please let me know. I once heard the word "ectoplasm" creep into the conversation, when I recounted my tale, but I discounted this explanation as a bit too "far out".

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The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by yourghoststories.com. Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, Fergie, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

Fergie (37 stories) (1116 posts)
 
2 years ago (2016-01-26)
Lol Miracles, strange things can happen, not only on this site. About two months ago I emailed a friend, intending to add an attachment, I forgot. About twenty seconds after I pressed send, a message popped up on my screen to say I had forgotten my attachment. 😕I didn't know my PC was That intelligent. 😉

Yeah, after all these years, I am suddenly finding others who have had somewhat similar experiences - but still unexplained.

I feel a song coming on - "It's a strange, strange world we live in Master Jack."

Thanks for your comment Miracles. ❤
Miracles51031 (36 stories) (4802 posts) mod
+1
2 years ago (2016-01-26)
Fergie - I don't know what happened to my comment but poof it's gone. I honestly cannot even try and recreate what I originally said, but am glad you came across that story. Even though it isn't identical to what you experienced, it's close enough to make you feel as if you really weren't imagining it 😆
Fergie (37 stories) (1116 posts)
 
2 years ago (2016-01-26)
Otteer, thanks for reading. You have brought up an interesting theory. Fortunately, or unfortunately, both my and the Australian's experiences occurred prior to 2005.

Personally, I was thinking more along the lines of a 'time-slip', although there was no real evidence, like a difference in our surroundings. In other respects, my experience seemed to match up to a couple of other incidents which I have read recently - like the driving into smoke/mist/fog of some kind. 😕
otteer (8 stories) (398 posts)
+1
2 years ago (2016-01-24)
Fascinating! I had not yet read this story so your addition flagged it for me,... Holy cow!
Almost seems like it was some kind of extra terrestrial exhaust of some sort, its chemical make up obviously attracted to window glass (headlight glass is denser and made with different compounds maybe this is why it did not stick). It seems to have an insulating effect, like being in a car covered with snow... (that is a trip in itself lol) and it at the same time disabled the car, causing it to stop.

So, here is something weird. I googled "electronic field that shuts down cars" and found a link to an experimental "gun" being conceptualized by scientists to help disable cars in high speed chases safely... And the technology used to do this is described as a "burst of microwave energy" that disables microprocessor chips and or "vulnerable frequencies." As of the 2005 writing it was still in the "what if phase" as the "gun" was a 200 lb machine and they still had not figured out how to get through the metal and plastic safely (windshields?). Just wondering if this is a way to safely disable vehicles by our other worldly neighbors, for what ever reason? Could the goo be an insulator for the delivery system need to disable the vehicle? Hmmm the wheels are working to hard lol...

Here is a link if interested in that article
Http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/FutureTech/story?id=538452&page=1

and thanks for posting this update! Soooooo Weird!
Fergie (37 stories) (1116 posts)
 
2 years ago (2016-01-24)
To all who are interested: I have been browsing through an Australian sit and came across this tale. It is similar in some respects to my own, but not quite... LOL.

In her book, Randles includes the following account of a car being engulfed in a strange mist early one morning at Nemingha in northern NSW.

"At 5.45am on 22 March 1976, a couple driving home to Murrurundi in New South Wales had a bizarre experience according to a letter they sent to the Northern Daily Leader newspaper a few days later. They had stopped just outside Tamworth at the settlement of Nemingha - a small crossroads consisting of little more than a hotel, a petrol station and a railway halt. They had parked and were consulting a road map, trying to decide the best route to take.

"On the otherwise deserted early morning highway a white car now appeared, coming from the road that led to Tamworth. The couple got out, hoping to flag it down and ask the driver's advice. However, at that moment, something weird happened. A hazy yellow-green light seemed to fall from nowhere and in moments it engulfed the white car. As if the driver had lost control, the vehicle crossed to the wrong side of the road where it was surrounded by a very localised small patch of white haze or mist. The car coasted to a stop in the middle of the road. It had seemingly lost all power and its lights were off.

"According to the stunned onlookers, after about a minute or two 'the white haze disappeared. A lady dressed in blue stepped from the car and with a yellow cloth proceeded to wipe the windscreen, which seemed to be covered in a white substance'. After she did so, the car's lights suddenly returned - apparently without anybody inside to switch them on. The woman looked shocked, threw away the duster, jumped in the car and drove off. Simultaneously, the discarded cloth burst into flames.

"The startled couple had now been joined by a pick-up truck that had stopped beside them. Its driver was staring at the events in amazement, and all three witnesses watched as the white car drove slowly away towards Nundle. Its windscreen wipers were clearing the forward view, whilst the rest of the vehicle was covered by a white layer that had not been there before the strange haze appeared. Unsurprisingly, the couple were concerned and eventually returned home by a round-about route they felt was 'safer' than the one from which the mist had arrived."

Crazy,eh? 😕
Fergie (37 stories) (1116 posts)
 
3 years ago (2014-08-12)
Elnora, thank you for reading and your comment. This is still in my (?) files. I see-sawed between various explanations, but decided that none of them really fit. We didn't have a heater in that car, so I know that the interior couldn't have been that warm. I always took a small rug with to cover my lap and legs.

Veldt fires are common in winter, but the smoke is usually grey and gives off a rather acrid smell strong enough to be smelled inside the car. We don't have "pea-soup" smog here.

Good luck with your google search. Please let me know if you come up with a feasible explanation to my mystery. 😐
elnoraemily (11 stories) (1051 posts)
+1
3 years ago (2014-08-11)
I also first thought ectoplasm, but it just sounds silly to me as an explanation.

A very large propellant source would do that- not sure what kind really, but that is all I can think of.

I liked the silly string theory, but I can think of no reason that it would not stick to the rest of the car.
I don't think car wax would deter things like that from sticking- from my experience, silly string sticks to everything.
My windows used to develop a slight film from smoking when I was younger, but never on the outside and definitely not that thick.

Well, you have me stumped. If the car was super, super waxy I can see why something would only stick to the glass, but it would have also probably stuck to the wheels and such in that case as well.

Gah.

I also can't currently think of a propellant that would be leaking that badly to form a cloud that did not settle (since it would still be more dense than the air, it would most likely fall quickly and this did not seem to).

My only real theory would be a humid, dense pollution fog (which is super gross) but I'm still not clear on how that would turn into a syrup like quality (or so it seems) on the window. Or that quickly. Instant solidification seems to be a bit shaky of a theory, unless the temperature difference between and air and windows was fairly dramatic.

I'm going to obsess over this for a bit. To google I go!
KRYSTALLIA (64 posts)
+1
4 years ago (2013-11-11)
Fergie what the?!? Very very weird and unfortunately still in the? File as you said! I don't have anything to add to all the comments I read. All the ideas that came to mind were already mentioned! Head scratcher ha?
valkricry (39 stories) (2771 posts) mod
+3
4 years ago (2013-10-20)
Triskaideka,
That's one of the things I really like about this forum. I've been to others where it's very 'I'm right you're wrong' and do not dare colour outside the lines. You can't call them discussions or even debates really, as you need to self-censer, and agree or suffer their wrath.
But here... As long as you're respectful almost anything goes. I really enjoy getting all the different views on a matter. Sometimes we have a bit of silly fun, and if we feel someone is trying to troll us we can get a bit, well, let's say unfriendly. But in general, our discussions are just that - discussions! 😁
Fergie (37 stories) (1116 posts)
+1
4 years ago (2013-10-20)
Triskaideka - 😆 My conclusion to this was: Old ladies in their shawls and walkers race to beat the ghosts, to scientifically clean pots...

Thanks for reading. 😊
Triskaideka (2 stories) (369 posts)
+1
4 years ago (2013-10-20)
I just have to say I love this whole thread. We went from scientific and paranormal theories to old ladies racing in shawls to find ghosts to how to scrub out burned pots and pans. Love it.
Fergie (37 stories) (1116 posts)
+1
4 years ago (2013-10-14)
Val, I love the scenario! I have a grin like the Cheshire cat plastered all over my face. 😆My, what a formidable team we would make! 😉

Thanks for the cool advice on the burned pots. I hope I don't have to use it too often.

Yeah, I know, my mystery will never be solved... But it was one heck of a ride trying; thanks to all you guys!
valkricry (39 stories) (2771 posts) mod
+2
4 years ago (2013-10-14)
Hmmm...mental image of 4 shawl wearing, old ladies using walkers chasing down ghosties - Ghostbusters, move over! Lol
Since burnt pots got into the conversation, I've a tidbit to share on that. Most burned on/stuck messes can be effectively tackled with good old table salt. Wet the surface, sprinkle salt generously in the pan, and rub away. If it's really bad and you want to avoid scrubbing altogether, you can then add ice (cubed is best) a bit more water, and swish it about. It will remove most if not all the baked/burnt on stuff. In extreme cases, place water in the pan and boil it on stove. The boiling will loosen the burnt on mess for easier removal. The salt method is also good for removing goo left by labels, and cleaning coffee pots.
Fergie, I doubt we will ever solve this mystery, but it is weird and fascinating.
Fergie (37 stories) (1116 posts)
 
4 years ago (2013-10-14)
RedWolf,

I am sorry - I was being facetious. UB40 is a British reggae band. LOL. Thank you for putting me in the picture as to what WD40 is. I think it is marketed here as "Tool in a Can"?

Do you have a shawl to lend me? Mine are all in the wash. A race sounds like fun, though you would probably beat me hollow today. 😆

RedWolf, I am actually on a see-saw about this occurrence. Both sides of this debate have got merit!
I am truly confused!

Best wishes,
Fergie
RedWolf (28 stories) (1257 posts)
+1
4 years ago (2013-10-13)
Fergie
If UB40 is a lubricant spray then it it is the same/similar as WD40.

I too have a walker in storage and plenty of shawls so we can have a race. 😆

I guess we'll all have to agree to disagree in a friendly manner on your story Fergie. I think it was a paparanormal experience and fascinating read.

Regaards
RedWolf
Fergie (37 stories) (1116 posts)
 
4 years ago (2013-10-13)
Elfstone, LMAO, Ray did scrub the pan for me - after all, he was the one that burned it! Not too sure if that improved his mood, but I am happier now. LOL.

Val what is WD40? Obviously not in the same league as UB40? LOL. Never mind, the most worrisome bits are in the past now. We have reached a new bright tomorrow! 😁
elfstone810 (227 posts)
+1
4 years ago (2013-10-12)
Hey, Val! Sounds like fun! We can watch Married With Children, listen to U-2 and Pearl Jam, maybe play Sonic the Hedgehog on PlayStation.

Fergie, I know how you can get your pan clean! Convince Ray that scrubbing pans is a mood enhancer. 😆
valkricry (39 stories) (2771 posts) mod
+1
4 years ago (2013-10-12)
Fergie, I recommend WD40 to unstick things. Not sure it'll work on Ray though. Lol
Fergie (37 stories) (1116 posts)
 
4 years ago (2013-10-12)
Val I have enough things stuck in my life at the moment, without the silly string LOL. I have a pot with cabbage burned to the bottom - it is stuck! I have a hubby whose mind is stuck in a grumpy rut... Just to name a couple. No more sticking or stuck for me at the moment thanks.

Luckily I have my own walker in storage, for when I Really need it - good luck to you two. LOL!
valkricry (39 stories) (2771 posts) mod
+2
4 years ago (2013-10-12)
Fergie, I wouldn't try to use silly string as an adhesive. That stuff has a mind of its own. It'll stick where IT wants to, but if you want it to stick it says, "ummm no" lol.
[at] elf; interesting thoughts. As for "it was twenty years ago and things were a lot more primitive then" are making you feel really old, I'll crochet us twin shawls, and we can get matching walkers...lol
Fergie (37 stories) (1116 posts)
 
4 years ago (2013-10-12)
Elfstone, let's put it this way; never in all my long life, have I seen filler foam used here in SA. Please don't think I am discounting it's use completely, as I have not been everywhere and seen everything. I am not trying to be a 'know it all'. I can only speak from personal experience.

The 'silly string' I saw was used for 'special effects' in a locally made film. I didn't know it could be used as an adhesive.

I truly appreciate you efforts in trying to help me solve this crazy experience. ❤
Fergie (37 stories) (1116 posts)
 
4 years ago (2013-10-12)
kunwarkh, I am happy to hear that someone has experienced something similar. If your experience was paranormal or not, it is nice to not feel alone.

Thank you for recounting your experience. I am glad to hear that you got out of it safely, although slowly.

Thank you for taking the time to read, and your reply. 😊
elfstone810 (227 posts)
 
4 years ago (2013-10-12)
Fergie, are you sure about the filler foam? There's no reason it couldn't be used with brick and cement homes. Although, if you have silly string or something like it there, that would be my first guess. It would fit the sticky, stringy consistency you've described best and it's well known for sticking to some things like glue and others not at all.
Fergie (37 stories) (1116 posts)
 
4 years ago (2013-10-12)
Hello sds, thank you for your take on my experience.

I had already given up thinking it was something supernatural, but your positive reply to the contrary, has me back to wondering... 'what if'?

My mind is in a turmoil now!

Thank you sds for your firm reply. I guess gut feelings go a long way when it comes to the paranormal.
elfstone810 (227 posts)
 
4 years ago (2013-10-12)
Val, I'm thinking, because they saw a white cloud ahead of them and then drove into it, that the can was already burst before they got there. If so, the height the gas cloud was floating at would have been determined by temperature and air pressure. That may explain why it was on the windows only. If they were in a pocket of low pressure, maybe that could have muted sound? Or, maybe the stuff on the windows acted as sound proofing?

Fergie, thanks so much for sharing this story! I really don't think it was anything paranormal, but it's been a lot of fun trying to figure it out!

Although, the people saying, "it was twenty years ago and things were a lot more primitive then" are making me feel really old! 😆
Fergie (37 stories) (1116 posts)
+1
4 years ago (2013-10-12)
RedWolf, nothing was on ANY part of the car, except the windows! Not even the headlights, and that is glass too. Not so?

Yes this is still in the? File!

Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. 😊
Fergie (37 stories) (1116 posts)
 
4 years ago (2013-10-12)
Granny & elfstone, I was about to rudely pop your bubble about the 'filler foam' when I hit the backspace bar, and my whole long piece vanished before my eyes. 😕 I don't think that would be used much here. 90% of our homes are built with bricks and cement.

In theory, that was a great explanation for white goo.
valkricry (39 stories) (2771 posts) mod
+1
4 years ago (2013-10-12)
elf - 1790!?!? Ye gods and lil fishies! I knew aerosols had been around for some time but had no idea it was clear back then. I knew that the first one was patented in 1926, so I thought you had typed 1890. But a quick research proved you right! Gold star for you!
I quite like the aerosol mist theory, I can even see how a lost can lying in the road could go unseen and be run over causing the burst and release of the stuff. How ever it doesn't quite cover the full experience, does it? Why didn't they hear the can burst? Why did it not also cover the headlights, if it was the wax that kept it from sticking to the body of the car? And the one element we all seem to keep skipping around: why did it also muffle all sound?
I'm assuming the coating on the windows is what filtered/muted the street lights, but how would that effect sound? The 'gas' cloud wouldn't be dense enough from one can to act like fog and do that, would it? Hmmmm...
Fergie (37 stories) (1116 posts)
+1
4 years ago (2013-10-12)
Granny, thank you for the links. And...oops, I have seen this stuff before, but never knew the name, or it may be marketed by another name here. 😕

Thanks for chipping in with you knowledge/expertise. 😊
kunwarkh (2 stories) (55 posts)
+1
4 years ago (2013-10-12)
This is interesting,
Something of this sort has happened to me too, I was just driving back home from work in dense fog in January 2012. It was early morning like 4-5 am (I am an auditor, I don't have a life:P).

I remember it because I have never experienced such dense fog in Delhi before or after that ever. Couldnt see anything beyond 2 meters from the car and drove at 20 kms/hour all the way. I remember when I came home I had to wipe a very thin substance white subtance from the windshield. It appeared as if I was removing a white beauty mask from someones face. But it formed only on the windshield and the other windows were fine.

I don't think there was anything paranormal about it, atleast in my case, maybe some kind of reaction like the others are suggesting.

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