Eerie Illuminations


Welcome to Mysteries over Martinis! This blog is a mix of unexplained phenomena and personal encounters served up with a mystery-themed cocktail. It’s a recipe for intrigue!

Rum & Hide


  • 1.5 oz. White Rum
  • 6 oz. club soda
  • 1 wedge lime


Add White Rum and club soda in ice-filled glass and stir. Probe the lime wedge gently, place in receptacle and drive it home.

Eerie Illuminations

Over the course of the last 8 years, I’ve started to feel as if I’m a “paranormal therapist.” People confide in me with their stories and I offer possible explanations and/or theories. Taking on this roll has opened my eyes to an array of phenomena. Three of the following UFO accounts were relayed to me in confidence. However, the individuals have kindly given me permission to share these on the website.

UFO lights above treeline

Janice in Georgia: The day of graduation from Chiropractic College! Years of hard work behind me and looking forward to the celebration. Davenport, Iowa September 25, 1989. Two of my best friends and I had decided to combine our party into one big party since Frank and I had the largest venue. All friends, family, and several of our professors gathered at our house afterwards to enjoy some food and libations. It was getting late for those who had to travel some distance to get back to their homes so a handful of us were left to enjoy the last bits of food and enjoy a few more beers. As the celebration was drawing to a close around 11:00 PM, I was star gazing and really could not believe I had graduated. When I looked to the northern sky, I saw 6 to 8 whitish blue lights hovering in the distance. They didn’t make a sound. I said to one of my professors, “Look at those lights! That is kind of strange.” We watched for about a minute while others gathered to see what we were looking at. Suddenly the lights “scrambled” and it appeared as if lightning bugs were fighting for position to signal to the lady lightning bug. This lasted for mere seconds before ‘they’ or ‘it’ shot up into the night sky and disappeared instantly! We all knew it wasn’t something from this earth. To this day, I am reminded of my encounter through various others who have witnessed the very same thing we ALL did that night. I still look to the night skies hoping to see….something.

The following stories have eerie similarities. The first two were told to me directly while the last one was recounted indirectly. These all occurred in my hometown of Iowa City, IA. The first two happened within a mile of each other and at roughly the same time. The third describes the location which seems to correspond with the area of town in which the first two took place but I cannot confirm it. I’m left wondering if these are 3 different perspectives of the same event.

UFO over field

Jessi in Iowa: The experience that I had occurred a few years ago. I had put our daughter to sleep in her own room which was something that did not happen that often, normally she would just sleep in our room. I should have been excited that I would have more room on my bed that night but I often missed having her so close. After tossing and turning for a few hours I decided to go to her room and sleep on her floor next to her toddler bed. Just like a little kid myself, I climbed out of bed with my pillow started walking down the hall past the bathroom and laundry area to our daughter’s bedroom. My daughter was sound asleep on her bed, all curled up with her stuffed animals. I moved the Dr. Seuss books that I had read to her that night from the floor and placed them on her bookshelf. I grabbed the extra blanket that was on her bed and laid down.

As I made myself comfortable (well as comfortable as I could on a floor) a light began to shine into her window. Her window faces the neighbors’. The lights from the cars would shine into her window as they passed by the house so I thought it was perhaps a car. Although, the light was not moving like it would if it was a car. The light continued to shine into the window so I figured I would look out the window to see if I could pinpoint the light source. What I saw was definitely not a car, the light was coming from what I would describe as a UFO. It was disk shaped and had multiple lights on the sides and the bottom. It was hovering over our street about 60 feet above the ground and about 2 or 3 houses down from ours.

The next part I find a bit confusing but I found myself outside standing about 100 feet from the UFO with no memory of walking out the front door and I was not the only one out there. I saw a few of my neighbors outside standing next to it as well. Although I really don’t know or talk to the neighbors, I recognized them and knew where each of them lived. I remember the neighbor from across the street saying “Can you believe this?” I am unsure if I ever responded because the next thing I know the UFO shined a light on us and I woke in my bed. I hopped out of bed and stumbled down the hall to make sure our daughter was OK. Of course, she was fine. She was sleeping with her stuffed animals. I looked towards the floor where I had made my little bed and the books were still there.

Was this just a dream? If so, then it was the most intense dream I had ever had. The amount of detail that I remember makes me question it. Could I have been abducted? If so, why was everything back to the way it had been before I went to her room? I have often thought about asking the neighbors to see if they had the same experience as me, but I have not had the guts to approach them about it.

Rose in Iowa: This was about 2 years ago in the spring or fall. I remember it was cool outside. It was a beautiful, clear night. I was coming home from work late in the evening. The road runs next to an open field on the outskirts of town. I noticed bright lights in the sky and I thought it must be from the airport or something. (There is a small general aviation airport located in the southeast part of town about 1 mile away). It was a saucer shaped thing moving slowly in a circular motion.

I slowed the car down and I just sat there for a while thinking, “Am I really seeing this?” I didn’t get out of the car because it kinda creeped me out a little bit. I rolled my window down and there was no sound. There were panels of lights that went all the way around it. They were extremely bright white, like the flood lights you see on cars. There were also bluish white lights around the bottom and they were blinking. It was huge. I continued to watch it. It didn’t spin but it hovered, moving slowly in a circular motion. All I remember is it just took off. I didn’t see the object leave but it left a very faint trail behind. I looked for it but it was gone.

Unknown in Iowa: I was listening to the radio show “Coast to Coast” last year when I heard a woman call in during the open lines segment. She introduced herself but I cannot recall her name. She said she was calling from Iowa City, IA. She said that late one night she noticed a UFO hovering overhead. She described her location as a trailer park on the outskirts of town. She mentioned that there was a large pond nearby. It’s hard to say for sure but her description certainly corresponds to the same area of town in which the other sightings happened. I have tried to locate this phone call to get better details but I did not have any luck. I remember the caller’s story having similarities to the reports of Jessi and Rose. Perhaps it’s unrelated but I thought it was at least worth mentioning.

These are just a few examples of the type of UFO encounters people have reported. There have been thousands of reports officially filed dating back to World War II. Many people are quick to jump to extraterrestrials, but UFO stands for unidentified flying object. Natural explanations range from astronomical phenomena such as meteors, comets and even Venus. There is a rise in UFO reports whenever Venus is illuminating brightly in the night sky. When it’s seen low on the horizon in a moving vehicle, it can appear to be in motion.

Of course, there’s mistaken identity. Several reports of bright orange orbs moving in unusual pattern have been found to be Chinese lanterns being carried in the wind. Drones have also been confused for alien activity. It’s less common but experimental military aircraft are often misidentified as extraterrestrial spaceships. The unconventional craft are typically flown in restricted areas away from public view but are witnessed on occasion. During the early years of ufology, it was believed (even by our own government) that the mysterious UFOs seen overhead were either test-flights of captured Nazi aircraft or Soviet vehicles capable of penetrating our airspace undetected.

I believe a majority of UFO sightings are either hoaxes, undisclosed craft or mistaken identity. However, there are many reports of unusual encounters that are difficult to explain away. These include radioactive landing sites, interaction with aliens and even abductions. Many reports come from reputable people with nothing to gain and everything to lose. Yet, they insist their stories are true. Occasionally, these are validated by other witnesses which makes it even harder to disregard. I don’t know what is going on but it seems something strange is happening. It is mysteries such as these that prompt me to keep probing… no pun intended.

If you’ve had a mysterious encounter you’d like to share, please e-mail me at Please pass it along to your friends and family too. I’d love to hear from them. Remember, weirdness is always welcome here at Mysteries over Martinis. Cheers!

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