Police officer Herbert Schirmer was on routine late-night patrol in the town of Ashland, Nebraska, on December 3, 1967. At about 2:30 a.m., he noticed a group of lights near the ground and thought he could make out a semi-trailer off the road. He approached to investigate, only to see the thing - whatever it was - take off and disappear in the night sky. When he returned to the police station at 3:00 a.m., he wrote in the station log, "Saw a flying saucer at the junction of highways 6 and 63. Believe it or not!" He went home that morning with a splitting headache and an inexplicable red welt on the side of his neck. Apart from this, however, Schirmer had no immediate sense that anything else had happened.
Though only 22 at the time, Schirmer was so respected in Ashland that he was named Chief of Police a short time later. He had previously served in the Navy and was the son of a career Air Force officer -- not the sort of man to become obsessed about UFOs. But only two months after becoming police chief, he resigned from the force. He said he couldn't get the UFO encounter out of his mind. He was experiencing terrible headaches and found it difficult to concentrate on his work.
The Condon Committee was in the midst of its UFO study at that time and heard about Schirmer. A preliminary investigation turned up the fact that 20 minutes seemed to be unaccounted for in his log of December 3. It was suggested that Schirmer undergo hypnotic regression to see if he could remember more details of the incident. Under hypnosis, a startling story emerged.
What really happened, he said, was that the lighted object came toward him and landed near his car. Several humanoid beings got out and approached him. One of them shined a light in his eyes through the windshield; then something like green gas flowed all around the car. Schirmer found he couldn't draw his revolver. Without knowing why, he rolled down his window. One of the beings reached in and grabbed his neck. Seconds later, he found himself standing outside his car. The being asked, "Are you the watchman over this place?" Schirmer couldn't answer. The being asked, "Would you shoot at a space ship?" "No, sir," Schirmer said. The being motioned for him to come aboard the craft.
Schirmer described the beings as four and a half to five feet tall, with heads somewhat narrower and longer than an average human. Their skin looked grayish white; their noses were fairly flat and their mouths looked like slits that didn't move. Their eyes were slightly slanted, though not overly large; the eyelids did not blink. They wore silvery-gray jump suits that included a tight-fitting headpiece with a small antenna on the left side. On the left breast they wore an emblem of a winged serpent.
A drawing made by Schirmer indicates the beings look similar to humans, and not like the "Gray" type often linked with more recent abduction accounts.
During the next fifteen minutes of earth time, the beings communicated both audibly and telepathically as they showed Schirmer around their craft. He recalled being shown a smaller craft that was parked on board. He was told it was used for surveillance. He was told that these beings had been watching the human race for a very long time and were engaged in what he called a "breeding analysis program." They explained that they purposely contacted people at random so as not to reveal too much of a pattern. They want to keep us confused, Schirmer said, so we won't get too upset as we gradually get used to their presence. He felt sure they weren't hostile. They told him that he wouldn't remember most of what happened during the encounter, and that they would visit him again. "Someday, Watchman, you will see the universe," one being said to him.
Herbert Schirmer was returned to his car, then watched as the craft flew away. The welt on his neck remained as a hint that an alien being had touched him. After recalling these events under hypnosis, he did not return to the police force. Without doubt, his encounter on December 3, 1967 changed his life forever.