In 1975, a Swiss Caretaker named Eduard "Billy" Meier disappeared on his motorbike into a forest near his village. He returned with several clear photographs of a large, silvery disk hovering in the sky. Over the next five years, Meier produced hundreds of bright, detailed photographs. He also recorded the sounds of "beamships," collected several metal samples, and made films of the ship in flight.
在 1975 年間，瑞士有一位名叫愛德華．比利．邁爾（Eduard "Billy" Meier）的工廠看守人員，他單獨騎著摩托車，由所居住的農莊裡，沿著鄉間小徑逐漸消失在附近的茂密森林中。不久之後，他帶回許多拍到的清晰照片；都是些銀色大大的幽浮照片。接下來的五年多，邁爾又陸續拍了好幾百張類似的幽浮清晰照片；並且錄到了幽浮的聲音；還拍攝到幽浮盤旋空中的影片；甚至蒐集到了一些有關幽浮的金屬樣本。
Dozens of witnesses have seen the beamships and corroborated Meier's fantastic story. His evidence, investigated by a professional security team headed by a retired U.S. Air Force colonel, has been examined by scientists at IBM, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Arizona State University, and the Mc Donnell Douglas aeronautics company.
有好幾十位一起參與邁爾神奇經歷的人，他們也曾目睹過那些被他稱之為「光船」（beamships）的幽浮。他的事蹟與證物，曾經歷過以美國退休空軍上校所帶領的專業保全團隊的調查；也曾被任職於 IBM、NASA 噴射推進實驗室、亞利桑那大學與麥道（Mc Donnell Douglas）航空公司等許許多多的科學專業人員們檢驗過。
For the past three years, Gary Kinder, author of the highly acclaimed Victim: The Other Side of Murder, has investigated the Meier story. Here, in a thoroughly compelling narrative, Kinder presents all sides of this controversial case - the most remarkable, well-documented UFO story in history.過去三年來，
蓋里．金德（Gary Kinder）（備受好評的書籍《Victim: The Other Side of Murder》之作者）對邁爾現象進行了深入的調查。在這完全可信賴的紀錄資料裡，作者呈現了此一飽受爭議事件的全貌 —— 有史以來最不可思議、資料最詳實的幽浮故事。
PART 1 - EDUARD MEIER
Late on a cold and rainy November night in 1976, a Volkswagen and a small German-built Ford wound through the islands of darkened forest in the hills southeast of Zurich. The rain fell so hard for so long that the back roads had turned to mud and the rain dripped from the needles of tall evergreens soaking the forest floor until it was spongy. Then, the temperature cooled and large wet flakes of snow now mixed with the rain as the Volkswagen, followed by the Ford, slithered through the mud past the shadowy presence of an old farmhouse and headed further into the darkness. Wearing a gray leather jacket, a man with his left arm severed just above the elbow rode in the passenger seat of the lead car; though the driver could see nothing save the wet path before him pelted by silver rain, the man with one arm seemed able to see past the veil of darkness, to know where he was and where he was going. Above the muffled beating of the rain, he directed the driver through the darkness across a swampy meadow, down a prominent rise, to the edge of another forest, where he told the driver to stop.
1976 年 11 月一個陰冷多雨的晚上，蘇黎世（Zurich）南方山區，一部福斯汽車及一部福特小轎車，正穿過一座座星羅棋佈的陰暗森林。因為雨下得又大又久，使得道路變得泥濘不堪。雨滴從常青樹上滴落，逐漸把整個森林地表浸透。天寒地凍，雪雨紛飛，朦朧的老農莊漸行漸遠，福斯和福特兩部汽車一前一後緩緩地滑行，駛向黑暗的前方。前一部車上，坐著一位穿著灰色皮夾克，左手肘以下被截肢的乘客。由於雨下得很大，造成道路濕滑，使得司機無法看清前方，但是這位獨臂人似乎能看穿黑暗的面紗，並且很明白他當時身在何處，及將往何處去。汽車低沉的聲音蓋過了雨聲，獨臂人要求司機穿過沼澤般的草地，到達森林旁突起的一塊山坡地，並且指揮司機停下來。
The car engine died quickly, and only the rain splashing on the metal roof now broke the silence. Then the headlights of both cars dimmed and went out, and the driver could see nothing in the blackness. Neither he nor a passenger in the backseat had seen anything since the headlights swept past the ghostly farmhouse a few miles back. The man with one arm instructed the driver that they were to wait for him there, that he would return in perhaps an hour, perhaps longer, he could never be sure. Then with no further word he opened the door and they watched his silhouette disappear quickly through the rain into the dark of the forest.
For over a year the driver had accompanied the one-armed man to such sites, a half hour, sometimes an hour, from the village. As months passed the journeys had taken place later at night and the sites had become increasingly remote. For someone alone, waiting in the darkness, they could be frightening. This night the presence of the other people, the man in the backseat, the man and woman in the Ford, eased the fear as he waited.
Outside, the rain and wet snow continued to fall, and the driver realized they would have to mount chains on the rear tires or they would never be able to drive through the deepening mud up the rise and back several miles to the main road. If they bogged down in the mud, they would have to spend the night in the two cars.
The men got out of the cars, and illuminated by the headlights, they stood in the rain and mud jacking up first the Volkswagen then the Ford. The rear tires of each car had to be raised, one at a time, then lowered, and the jack stand repositioned again in the mud and pumped again until the next tire rose inches from the ground. The chains were heavy and difficult to manipulate, especially with fingers wet and numb from the cold. The woman sat in one car then the other, dozing as the men worked.
Before each chain was in place, nearly an hour had passed, and the three men were now soaked to their skins and chilled by the icy rain running in rivulets down their faces. Finally they were satisfied with the tautness of the chains, and as they began stamping about, trying to get warm, they suddenly heard a strange sound above the trees.
"A singing noise," recalled one of the men.
They peered upward into the rain. Except for the constant flow of water dripping from the pine needles, the trees stood motionless, but still the noise was that of strong wind.
The eerie sound, a high-pitched warble that pierced the falling rain, moved slowly over their heads. They followed its course with their eyes, straining to see; then suddenly the noise began to subside, and the one-armed man stood with them in the light not two feet away.
"We didn't see him or hear him walk," remembered another. "Just all of a sudden he was there."
The noise in the trees had awakened the woman, who got out of the car to see the three men in their darkened and soggy clothes huddled together in the beam of the headlights and looking up into the trees. She closed the door and took one step into the mud, glancing down for only a moment. When she raised her eyes again quickly, what she saw startled her: the man with one arm was suddenly standing in the headlight beam only a few feet away, with his back to her.
"In the time I looked down and up again, a split second," she remembered, "he practically grew out of the ground in front of me."
The man with one arm appeared almost like an apparition in their midst. They stared at him through the rain and saw that his hair was dry; they reached for his hand, and his skin was warm to their touch. As he stood in the bright light saying nothing, they could see the rain and wet flakes of snow just beginning to form dark speckles on the bone-dry leather of his coat.
History first mentions the village of Hinwil, Switzerland in a document dated 745. Thirty miles southeast of Zurich, it nestles in a landscape of rolling green hills pocketed by large islands of forest a hundred feet tall, with the Alps rising in the distance. Hinwil itself, perhaps, would disappoint the tourist looking for the charm of alpine architecture: though chalk-white chalets shuttered in green rise from the village core and scatter among the hills, many stark buildings constructed of concrete have risen in their midst. They resemble not so much the quaint cottages in travel brochures as they do utilitarian apartment buildings erected in the 1950s and '60s in the United States.
在一份陳舊的 745 號文件中，第一次談到瑞士欣維爾（Hinwil）鎮這個村莊。它位於蘇黎世（Zurich）東南方三十英里處，依偎在風景如畫、四季如春的小山丘旁，周邊環繞著非常大的島狀森林，林中長滿了一百英尺高的樹木，阿爾卑斯山脈在遠處聳立著。比起高大迷人的阿爾卑斯山，欣維爾鎮的觀光資源是不會引起遊客興趣的，雖然美麗的農舍小屋圍繞在村落四周，並散佈在小山丘上，但仍然有些僵硬的混凝土建築夾雜其中，類似美國建於 1950 至 1960 年以出租為目的的公寓建築，它們完全沒有農舍小屋那份恬靜的感覺。
But a short distance from the village center, along the street Wihaldenstrasse, stands a three-story farmhouse built a hundred years ago. During the mid-1970s, summer grape vines climbed the sunny south wall of the old house. Flowers filled a stone water trough to the north near the entrance, and small birds fluttered in an aviary built of wood and wire. To the south and east of the house lay a small green field, and to the north and west stood more of the cold, institutional apartment buildings.
The community of Hinwil had acquired the old farm years before and built the surrounding apartments to house senior citizens. Though the farmhouse someday soon would be torn down to make room for more apartments, the community now rented the house for a nominal sum to an unemployed night watchman, Eduard Meier. Meier lived in the house with his Greek wife, Kaliope, nicknamed Popi, and three small children-a girl, Nina, a boy, Atlantis, and the baby, Bashenko. They had been living in the house since December 1973 though they had lived elsewhere in Hinwil for two years.
很早以前欣維爾鎮公所就擁有老農舍的所有權，並且在它周圍建了公寓來收容年長的鎮民。雖然農舍不久也要拆除改建公寓，鎮公所當時仍以很低的價錢將農舍租給了一個失業的巡夜人，他的名字叫愛德華．邁爾（Eduard Meier）。邁爾一家人都住在裡面，他希臘籍的太太凱莉普（Kaliope），小名波比（Popi），他的三個小孩，女兒莉娜（Nina），兒子亞特藍提斯（Atlantis）和襁褓中的二兒子巴遜科（Bashenko）。他們一家在欣維爾鎮某個地方住了兩年後，於 1973 年 12 月才住進這個房子。
Meier, a man of thirty-seven, had a sixth-grade education. He was not a very big man, maybe five feet, seven inches tall, but he was thick-chested and strong. His face was handsome, set off by unusual greenish-hazel eyes. According to village records, Meier's professions were "bird breeder, iron layer, night watchman." He held a permit to carry a gun because he had once worked as night security in a factory.
邁爾是個 37 歲的男子，受過六年的基礎教育。他並不是一個非常高大的人，大約只有 5 英尺 7 英寸（約 170 公分）高，胸寬體壯，英俊的臉龐由一雙淺綠褐色的眼眸襯托著。根據戶籍記載，邁爾的職業曾經是“養鳥人、打鐵匠、夜間巡夜人”，因為必須維護受雇工廠夜間的安全，所以允許他佩帶手槍。
In a former house, a tiny three-room row house contiguous to the Hinwil village museum, Meier had kept a cage out back filled with nearly two hundred birds. He had been employed then as a night guard and, consequently, was often at home during the day. But many people in the neighborhood avoided talking to Meier because he was "different." He spoke a great deal about Moses and said things other people did not understand. Julios and Erika Kagi knew the Meiers better than other neighbors did because they had a daughter the same age as Nina and the two girls often played together. "He had a terrific fantasy," remembered Erika Kagi, "and I could not agree with his philosophy. But he was not a bad person. He was not even odd; he just had his own ideas and believed whatever he said." Said another neighbor, "Meier lives the way he wants to and does not adapt to anyone else's way of living."
Meier had only one arm. His left arm had been severed just above the elbow in a bus accident in 1965, as he traveled from India, through Turkey, and back to Switzerland. Still, when part of the barn adjacent to the small house collapsed, Julios Kagi saw Meier rebuild the wall alone by holding the boards in place with his shoulder stump while he positioned and pounded nails with his one hand. "He was faster with one hand than other people are with two," recalled Kagi.
邁爾只有一隻手臂，因為他在 1965 年由印度經土耳其回瑞士時，不幸遇上車禍，左肘以下就被截肢了。農舍旁穀倉小屋的屋角經常有崩塌的現象，朱利奧看過邁爾獨自用一隻手加以修復。“他一隻手工作的速度比正常人用兩隻手還快。”朱利奧回憶說。
Again out of a job, Meier now supported his family on the 700 francs provided him every month by the government for the loss of his arm. To supplement their income, the Meiers kept chickens in the attic of the old farmhouse, and Popi sold eggs to the neighbors.
To neighbors living in the apartment buildings overlooking the front door of the farmhouse, Meier seemed to be always home. In a culture that values hard work and conformity, the neighbors saw him as a singular and idle man, often lost in thought, as though the weight of the world rested upon his shoulders, and they began to talk.
Then, on the afternoon of January 28, 1975, a cold day but warmer than most at that time of the year, Eduard Meier left the farmhouse on his moped, towing a tiny wagon behind him. He wound through the streets of Hinwil, steering with one hand, the empty left sleeve of his leather jacket jerking in the wind. Working his way out of town, he eventually came to a country road, which he followed for a time, then disappeared into the forest of a nature conservancy. A few hours later, he returned to the farmhouse without telling anyone where he had been.
1975 年 1 月 28 日下午，天氣雖然寒冷，但仍比往年此時溫暖些。邁爾騎著摩托車離開了農莊，車後還拖著一輛小拖車，他單手駕駛著摩托車，皮衣的左袖空蕩蕩地隨風飄動。車子經過了欣維爾鎮的街道，離開了村莊，駛上產業道路，又開了一陣子，便消失在自然保護區的森林裡。幾個小時後，他重回農莊，但是沒有告訴任何人他去了哪裡。
Several days passed, during which the neighbors saw Meier dawdling around the house, seemingly as always without purpose. Then, one afternoon, he again pulled his moped from a storage room, pedaled it down the driveway until the tiny motor kicked over, and rode through the village out into the country. Soon, he was lost from view in another of the islands of forest surrounding Hinwil. When he returned, as before, he told no one where he had been or why he had been there. But the Swiss are observant and curious people, and the neighbors noted his peculiar comings and goings.
Within weeks, Meier was traveling regularly into the forest, guiding his moped with one hand, the tiny wagon behind. Each trip seemed to take him along a new path in a new direction through town and out into the country highways, often for as long as an hour. Later, many of his trips took him into the hills. Sometimes, he would disappear in the early afternoon and not be seen again before supper; other times, he would sneak from the house at one or two in the morning and not return till dawn.
"He had to go away again and again," Popi remembered. "He would come home for five minutes, fix himself a cup of coffee, and hop, he was gone again. It was bad at night. You'd be sleeping peacefully and the kids were quiet in bed. All of a sudden, he would get up, get dressed, and be gone. You know? You think your husband is lying in bed next to you, but he is gone. I did not know anything. All he said was that he was going to work."
“他一再地回來又出去，”波比回憶著說，“他經常利用回家 5 分鐘的時間給自己沖杯咖啡，高興時還會跳舞，然後又出去了。在晚上那就更嚴重，大家都安穩地睡著，孩子們也都安靜地上了床。突然間，他起床穿好衣服就出去了。你能想像這種感覺嗎？躺在身旁的先生會莫名其妙地出去，他總是說要去工作，除此之外，我完全不知道他在做什麼。”
As the weeks passed, Meier's journeys through town and into the forests began to occur three, four, even five times a week. And his frequent departures rubbed against the grain of order and routine so conscientiously observed by his neighbors. The more he disappeared, the more they talked.
"The people in the neighborhood didn't know any thing about what was going on," said Popi, "but they were very curious. They could tell me, to the minute, when he left on his moped and when he came back. It was always the same questions. 'Why did he come home so late?' Sometimes he got up in the middle of the night and left, so they would hear the moped. And when he did this, it was even worse with the people the next day. 'Why did he leave last night?' 'Where did he go?' I would say nothing. I wasn't interested. They are just Schnuriwiiber [gossips]."
On clear nights, neighbors living in the apartment building just above the farmhouse saw Meier standing in the alleyway to the west and watching the sky through binoculars for hours. On nights when he did not leave the house, neighbors to the east saw a light burning on the second floor late into the night.
A week, a month, maybe two months passed, Popi could not remember. Then, one afternoon, as the two of them stood in the small living room on the second floor of the house, her husband handed her photographs.
"What do you think of this?" he asked. But Popi only stared at the pictures.
"I was shocked," she recalled, "because I saw something completely new, and I did not want to believe that this existed. He said nothing at all. Didn't explain. Not one word." Her husband merely picked up the pictures and left the room, as Popi yelled at him for wasting his time taking pictures when money for the family was so scarce.
Meier next took the photographs to his friend Jakobus Bertschinger, whom he had met while working at the Piatti gravel pit years earlier. Though Jakobus was twelve years younger than Meier, the two men had struck up a lasting friendship. They spent much time together, talking about Meier's experiences during the twelve years he had traveled back and forth through India and the Middle East. But Jakobus, too, seemed confused by the photographs Meier showed to him. He even laughed, but he promised to help his friend in any way he could.
邁爾接著將這些照片拿給他的朋友傑卡布．伯辛格（Jakobus Bertschinger）看，這位老兄是幾年前和他一起在比堤（Piatti）採石場工作的夥伴。雖然傑卡布比邁爾小 12 歲，但是他們倆卻是忘年之交，他們常在一起聊邁爾在印度及中東旅行的各種經驗。傑卡布看了邁爾拿出來的照片後非常困惑不解，但他笑了一下，他仍然願意盡其所能地幫助他的朋友。
With a loan from Jakobus, Meier placed a small classified ad in the German publication Esotera. The ad solicited people interested in forming a group to discuss natural life, logic, and truth-things "metaphysical."
Several more months passed. Through the summer and fall of 1975, the neighbors along Wihaldenstrasse watched Meier continue his frequent trips into the foothills and forests at all times of the day and night. On his little green moped, he often was seen at the edge of the open road, putt-putting along, twenty, maybe twenty-five miles an hour, passed constantly by the much larger and faster automobiles. But then, something new entered Meier's routine: one Saturday afternoon, a half-dozen cars appeared at the farmhouse and remained till late at night.
幾個月過去了，1975 年夏秋期間，鄰居沿著維哈爾登大街經常看見邁爾不分晝夜地到山上丘陵地及樹林中。他騎著綠色的小摩托車，經常被發現在產業道路旁行進，時速只有 20 至 25 英里，汽車常從他身旁呼嘯而過。然而邁爾例行性的生活中終於有新的事情發生了。一個星期六的下午，有六部汽車出現在農莊，而且一直停留到晚上。
The neighbors did not understand why people came to see this man. He was poor and handicapped, with an unkempt wife who spoke little of their language. He did not work, and his habits seemed strange. But over the weeks and months, not only did the visitors continue to come, but their numbers increased. In the tiny parlor on the second story, the man with the single arm and unusual hazel eyes spoke to these people for hours. When they left, the neighbors heard Popi screaming at him.
For many months, the neighbors watched Meier disappear frequently at odd hours and saw the cars on Saturday afternoons filling the narrow alleyway, running alongside No. 10 Wihaldenstrasse, and spilling onto the streets of Hinwil.
幾個月以來，鄰居注意到邁爾經常在奇怪的時間消失，週六的下午卻常常看見一些來拜訪他的車子沿著維哈爾登大街 10 號的窄巷停靠著，並且一直排到了大街上。