Fortean Times - - UFO/Flying Sorcery - Sum­marised be­low are 17 phan­tom hitch­hiker/road ghost sto­ries and ur­ban leg­ends in­volv­ing mo­tor­cy­cles col­lected from var­i­ous sources. Spe­cial thanks to Alan Murdie, David Clarke and to Jan Harold Brun­vand for shar­ing cases from his own files.

BLACKWALL HOR­ROR ( FT75:57, June-July 1994) Early in 1960, Roy Dent and his new wife were stay­ing at his fa­ther-in-law’s house in Blackwall Lane, south of the Blackwall Tun­nel, which runs un­der the River Thames. One dark, wet evening the three of them were sit­ting to­gether when they were star­tled by screech­ing tyres and brakes, and then a loud bang. Out­side, Roy’s fa­ther-in-law found the af­ter­math of a road ac­ci­dent: a mo­tor­cy­clist had struck the curb on the bend and been thrown against a road sign, killing him in­stantly. A week later, Roy and his wife were awo­ken at around 2am by an iden­ti­cal se­quence

of sounds, but on in­ves­ti­gat­ing there was no sign of an ac­ci­dent or any ve­hi­cle to ac­count for it. BLACKWALL TUN­NEL (Steve Jones, Lon­don... The Sin­is­ter Side, 1986, p63) Ap­par­ently, in 1972 a mo­tor­cy­clist dressed in leathers and crash hel­met died in a Blackwall Tun­nel ac­ci­dent; it is said he is un­able to leave. Also in 1972, a mo­tor­cy­clist picked up a young man thumb­ing a lift on the south side of the tun­nel. De­spite the traf­fic noise the mo­tor­cy­clist caught the ad­dress of his pas­sen­ger. Emerg­ing on the north side, he looked over his shoul­der and found the pil­lion empty. He turned round and drove back through the tun­nel, fear­ing his pas­sen­ger had fallen off. How­ever, he found no trace and so the fol­low­ing day went to the given ad­dress. On de­scrib­ing the young man he was told he had died some years be­fore. BRAKE FAIL­URE (John Har­ries, The Ghost

Hunter’s Road Book, 1974, p46) Twelve miles from the Can­ter­bury end of the Pil­grim’s Way is the cross­roads of the A253 (Rams­gate to Can­ter­bury) and the A266 (go­ing south from Mar­gate). In leg­end there used to be a burial ground and gib­bet nearby. Sin­is­ter in­flu­ences can af­fect traf­fic, with driv­ers un­able to steer or brake, some­times with fa­tal con­se­quences. One ac­ci­dent was wit­nessed by a po­lice­man on point duty and an as­sist­ing AA pa­trol­man. Both sig­nalled a mo­tor­cy­clist to stop, who yelled out that he was un­able to pull up. He knocked the po­lice­man down, skid­ded and se­ri­ously in­jured him­self. Noth­ing was wrong with the mo­tor­cy­cle and his speed had not been ex­ces­sive. FORNHAM PARK (Alan Murdie, Haunted Bury St Ed­munds, 2006, pp72-73) In 1979, Mr Boast re­called that in 1946 he had walked one evening with a friend to­wards a cross­roads near Fornham Park, Bury St Ed­munds. Both men heard the sound of a mo­tor­cy­cle fast ap­proach­ing from the di­rec­tion of Ing­ham, but could see no lights, ma­chine or rider. The sound ceased sud­denly and they had the im­pres­sion there had been a crash. On reach­ing the spot they found noth­ing. Both then re­called that about a year pre­vi­ously a young man rid­ing a mo­tor­cy­cle had been in­volved in a fa­tal crash, dy­ing at the spot. De­spite be­ing mocked, Mr Boast re­mained con­vinced they had heard a re-en­act­ment of the fa­tal crash, and the sound of a phan­tom mo­tor­cy­cle. FOX HOUSE SIDECAR (http://dr­david­clarke.co.uk/ur­ban­le­gendary/road-ghosts/) A young court­ing couple were rid­ing in a mo­tor­cy­cle and sidecar one win­ter’s evening by Fox House Inn, near Hather­sage. They pulled over to of­fer a lift to a girl dressed in mo­tor­cy­cling leathers and crash hel­met who ap­peared by the road­side thumb­ing a lift. She said noth­ing, other than to give an ad­dress in Sh­effield. Reach­ing the city boundary, with the girl rid­ing pil­lion, the driver glanced back to find she had van­ished. The couple re­traced their steps to Fox House but found no trace of the hitch­hiker. Con­cerned, they re­ported the in­ci­dent to the po­lice. Re­sum­ing their jour­ney, they de­cided to call at the ad­dress the girl had given. The woman who an­swered the door burst into tears when asked if she knew any­one an­swer­ing the de­scrip­tion. Re­cov­er­ing her com­po­sure, she said her daugh­ter had been killed in a mo­tor­cy­cling ac­ci­dent on that very stretch of road. The fam­ily had at­tended her funeral just days be­fore. The de­scrip­tion of the daugh­ter ex­actly matched the girl hitch­hiker. GHOST ROAD, SCUGOG IS­LAND, ON­TARIO (www.thep­ara­nor­malseek­ers.ca/ghostroad---port-perry.html) There is a leg­end that, around 1957, a young man was see­ing how fast his mo­tor­cy­cle could go on a straight stretch of an old concession road. But the road was short, and he re­alised he was run­ning out of space ap­proach­ing the in­ter­sec­tion with the 9th Concession. About 100m (328ft) from the south end he lost con­trol and ploughed into a field, caught him­self on a barbed-wire fence, and was de­cap­i­tated. (Some say he died hav­ing banged his head on a rock). This story is sup­posed to ac­count for re­ports of a large round white light head­ing down

The Ken­tucky mo­tor­cy­clist had crashed and passed away in hospi­tal

the road that, when it passes, turns into a small red light. Oc­ca­sion­ally sounds of a mo­tor­cy­cle ac­com­pany the light.


(Let­ter of 14 Mar 1990 to Jan Harold Brun­vand from DH, Aus­tralia) An In­done­sian friend-of-a-friend story has been heard from two sep­a­rate sources, one on Madura and one from Solo, Java. Late at night, a man rode his mo­tor­cy­cle through the coun­try­side to­wards his par­ents’ home, when he saw a beau­ti­ful woman by the road. He stopped and of­fered her a ride. She got onto the pil­lion and gave him di­rec­tions lead­ing off the main road into some rice fields, near a small bam­boo house. She then in­vited him to come with her into the fields where they made love. The man was over­come by sleep and did not wake un­til the morn­ing, alone. He ap­proached the house to speak with the girl, only to be told that she had died sev­eral years be­fore. DH adds per­ti­nent cul­tural com­ments: young men in In­done­sia nearly al­ways ride mo­tor­cy­cles; In­done­sians to a man are afraid of the dark; young In­done­sian women would never go out at night alone be­cause of the strict re­li­gious na­ture of the so­ci­ety; and she has never heard of or met a pro­mis­cu­ous In­done­sian woman (ex­clud­ing govern­ment sanc­tioned pros­ti­tutes).


( Daily Mail, 14 July 2016) A photo sup­pos­edly show­ing the soul of a mo­tor­cy­clist leav­ing his body (re­pro­duced on the op­po­site page) went vi­ral on the In­ter­net. It was taken by a truck driver. The lone mo­tor­cy­clist had crashed and passed away later in hospi­tal (see FT347:8).


(Email of 3 Feb 1995 to Jan Harold Brun­vand from DW) A Malaysian man was rid­ing his scooter home when a woman flagged him down and asked for a ride. He of­fered her his jacket be­cause it was cold. On ar­riv­ing at her home they went in and he was in­tro­duced to mem­bers of the fam­ily. When he ar­rived home he re­alised he had for­got­ten his jacket, and so went to col­lect it next day. The door was opened by an old lady, but when he asked for the woman by name the old woman raised her voice, say­ing that the woman died five years pre­vi­ously, and told him where she was buried. He later went to the ceme­tery where he found the woman’s head­stone, with his jacket hang­ing on it. A week later he was killed in an ac­ci­dent.


(www.para­normal­database.com/re­ports/ road­data.php) In Oc­to­ber 1947, near the A272/A24 junc­tion (Buck Barn cross­roads) in Sus­sex, a man sit­ting on a stone stood up and walked into the path of an on­com­ing mo­tor­cy­cle. The mo­tor­cy­clist felt the im­pact, but re­tained his bal­ance and took sev­eral sec­onds to stop and turn back to the scene of the ac­ci­dent. How­ever, the old man had van­ished.


(Michael Goss, The Ev­i­dence for Phan­tom

Hitch-hik­ers, 1984 p12) Po­lice mo­tor­cy­clist Mah­mood Ali gave a lift to a pretty girl in white who dis­ap­peared be­fore reach­ing her stated des­ti­na­tion. A pho­to­graph of a 20-year-old vic­tim of a fa­tal road ac­ci­dent matched the hitch­hiker “eye­lash by eye­lash”. Po­lice files were said to hold ad­di­tional re­ports of this girl thumb­ing lifts, but three pre­vi­ous wit­nesses were said to have been killed look­ing for the van­ished girl, all in col­li­sions with trucks. Ali es­tab­lished that the girl in ques­tion had also been killed by a truck when walk­ing along that road in search of her lover. It was sup­posed that she was con­tin­u­ing to do so, lur­ing un­for­tu­nate men to their deaths as a sort of re­venge.


(Let­ter of 24 July 1988 to Jan Harold Brun­vand from AH, Keigh­ley, York­shire) The fol­low­ing tale was heard in the late 1960s. A young man was re­turn­ing home by mo­tor­cy­cle to Brad­ford, York­shire, from the Lake Dis­trict. Around 2am he was about four miles from home, ap­proach­ing the Saltaire round­about. He was waved down by a young woman in some dis­tress. She asked him to take her to Brad­ford. He felt her mount the pil­lion and rode through the al­most de­serted streets be­fore stop­ping to ask her pre­cise des­ti­na­tion. Of course, she had dis­ap­peared. Fear­ing she had fallen off, the man rushed to the near­est po­lice sta­tion to re­port what had hap­pened. The desk sergeant calmed him down and said he was just the lat­est in a long series of mo­tor­cy­clists who had picked up this phan­tom at Saltaire Round­about.


(Michael Goss, The Ev­i­dence for Phan­tom

Hitch-hik­ers, 1984, p12) Notic­ing the strange cold­ness of a girl who hitched a ride on his mo­tor­cy­cle, fac­tory worker Luigi Tor­res lent her his over­coat. On reach­ing her house he said he would col­lect it next day. When he called to do so he was shocked to learn she had been dead for three years. On the girl’s grave Luigi found both a photo of the hitch­hiker he had en­coun­tered the night be­fore and his over­coat.


(www.para­normal­database.com/re­ports/ road­data.php) On 14 Novem­ber 2013, on the north­bound A15 near the Rusk­ing­ton turn­ing in Lin­colnshire, a driver spot­ted a tall, black-haired, male fig­ure wear­ing a leather jacket stand­ing at the road­side. He said the fig­ure ap­peared out of nowhere and van­ished soon af­ter be­ing seen.


(Michael Goss, The Ev­i­dence for Phan­tom

Hitch-hik­ers, 1984, pp121-125) Around 9.35pm on 31 March 1978 Cor­po­ral Dawie van Jaarsveld of the South African Army was rid­ing his mo­tor­cy­cle on the last leg of a 115-mile (185km) jour­ney, ap­proach­ing the Baran­das turn-off out­side Uniondale, South Africa. It was rain­ing, so he stopped to give an at­trac­tive brunette a lift, though keep­ing his wits about him in case she was a de­coy for a crim­i­nal gang. He handed her his spare crash hel­met. Fur­ther down the road he felt a bump­ing sen­sa­tion and thought he had a flat tyre. When he looked round, his pas­sen­ger had dis­ap­peared. He re­traced his jour­ney, slew­ing the bike from side to side so his head­light scanned the dark­ness. Af­ter a couple of kilo­me­tres, the bump­ing re­turned; he found it was the spare hel­met strapped to the rear seat. Van Jaarsveld went di­rectly to the Pet­ros cafe in Uniondale, where he walked in like the prover­bial man who had just seen a ghost.


(Cut­ting from Albuquerque Jour­nal, 11 Apr 1980 sent to Jan Harold Brun­vand) In early 1980, 20-year old An­dre Coet­zee was rid­ing his mo­tor­cy­cle near the Baran­das turn-off when he felt his hair stand on end in­side his crash hel­met and some­one, or some­thing, put its arms around his waist from be­hind. Con­vinced some­thing was on his bike, he ac­cel­er­ated to 80mph (130km/h) to get away, but the ghost “vi­ciously” hit him three times on the hel­met, ap­par­ently to make him slow down. When he reached 100mph (160km/h), “the ap­pari­tion dis­ap­peared”. Like van Jaarsveld, Coet­zee drove to a lo­cal cafe for help. The cafe owner said that Coet­zee could hardly speak when asked what had hap­pened, and “grad­u­ally it dawned on us that the woman ghost had ap­peared once more.


(Kath­leen Wilt­shire, More Ghosts &

Leg­ends of Wilt­shire, 1985, p42) The road be­tween Calne and Ave­bury is ap­par­ently haunted af­ter dark by a phan­tom mo­tor­cy­cle. If a car driver sees the mo­tor­cy­cle in his mir­ror, it is said to warn of an ac­ci­dent to come. This has hap­pened more than once, around 2am. It is not known if a mo­tor­cy­cle was ever in­volved in an ac­ci­dent there, but sev­eral fa­tal­i­ties have oc­curred along this very stretch of road.

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