My own experience actually occurred in broad daylight on a country lane not too far from where I live.
I was with a colleague sat at a `T` junction waiting to turn right onto another road when a `cyclist` approached from the left and rode on past along the road in front of me, and then turned a bend as the cyclist disappeared from view.
We noticed that the rider, a lady in her mid thirties didn`t seem quite right for the modern world. She was wearing a blue boiler suit with a head scarf fashioned as they were by factory worker girls from the WW2 period. I could see she had ginger hair and her face was freckled and very red from the effort pumping the pedals on an old fashioned ladies bicycle.
As it happened, she was heading towards a nearby village which had a factory used for the production of armaments during WW2. I decided to follow this strange lady and turned right from the junction I was sat at, and followed the same route as the cyclist.
As I turned the same bend onto a straight section of road ahead, there was no trace of the cyclist. I knew the road well, and there were no breaches in the tight hedgerows that she could have disappeared into.
If it were not for the presence of a colleague - we were both police officers driving a marked police car, I would have probably thought I had imagined this. But no, he too experienced the same manifestation as me.
Anyway, here is the news item from `The Shields Gazette`
SOME time ago I was told an interesting story by a reader.
In a nutshell, it concerned an experience he’d had many years ago while driving along the Coast Road between Whitburn and South Shields.
The reader had seen a cyclist in front of him, and slowed down accordingly as he attempted to overtake.
Just as he passed the chap on the bicycle, he was flabbergasted to see him suddenly disappear.
Now although this tale intrigued me, I had to be cautious.
Was it possible that the cyclist had suddenly pulled over to the side of the road and been temporarily hidden from view?
No, said, my correspondent; he had disappeared right in front of his eyes. I mentally filed the story away and pretty much forgot about it.
And that was that, as they say, until a few weeks ago, when fellow researcher John Triplow and I were carrying out an investigation near Sunderland.
There we met a couple who related their own paranormal experiences, and the husband mentioned a specific incident that had truly baffled him.
One day, he said, he’d been driving in his car along a stretch of road when he happened to notice a cyclist in front of him.
The bicycle had its lights switched on and the rider sported a safety helmet and jacket with horizontal fluorescent stripes. He decided to overtake.
The witness recounted to John and I what happened next.
As he was just about to draw parallel with the rider, something terrible happened.
Without warning, and for no apparent reason, the cyclist suddenly veered to the right and placed himself directly in front of the vehicle.
The driver had no time to brake, and the front of his car inevitably collided with the cyclist with a sickening thud.
Dreading what he would find, the witness got out of his car and walked to the front where he was sure he’d see the mangled wreckage of a bike and its dead or dying rider.
But there was nothing; no bicycle, nor rider – and not a scratch on the front of his vehicle. The mystery was never solved.
Of course, my first question concerned the location of the incident; where had this meeting with the spectral cyclist occurred?
On the Coast Road between Whitburn and South Shields, I was told – almost exactly where the previous incident had taken place years earlier.
Now, phantom cyclists are not unknown in the world of paranormal phenomena, and I’ve written up several such tales myself.
What intrigued me about both of these stories, however, was that they were broadly similar and had both occurred on the same stretch of road.
Too close to be coincidental, surely?
Of course, the sceptics will immediately switch to auto-pilot and trot out a number of well-worn rational explanations.
Who knows, maybe there is a rational explanation for both encounters?
The problem is that with every passing incident of this nature that’s drawn to my attention, it becomes evermore difficult to dismiss the “paranormal option”, so to speak.
I’d be interested to hear from other readers who may have experienced similar encounters, particularly if they occurred on that same stretch of road.
Was a cyclist killed there at some point in the past? And why does he – or something that looks like him – seemingly appear to motorists in this way?
I’m not at all convinced that the witnesses saw a “ghost” or “spirit” of a dead bicycle rider – but they certainly seem to have interacted with something beyond our normal experience.