The Copley Woods Incident – Abduction? Or Supernatural Events?

Marcus Lowth
Published Date
August 17, 2018
Last Updated
September 5, 2020
Estimated Reading Time
7 min read
Posted in
Aliens, Encounters

The events of June 1983 are largely regarded to be a case of alien abduction but is one of those encounters that strays slightly into the supernatural field. And until an explanation is reached, it is likely to be of interest to both groups.

A superimposed orb over a picture of the woods at night

Are the Copley Woods a hot spot of paranormal activity

The incident was investigated by several researchers. Perhaps most notably, Budd Hopkins, whose research would result in the book ‘Intruders – The Incredible Visitation at Copley Woods”. As his investigation continued, long after the book was available, more and more information became available. It would seem whatever was behind the events in the summer of 1983 in Indiana, they were likely just one in a timeline of strange incidents over several years.

Before we look at this case in a little more detail, check out the video below. It features Hopkins speaking about the alien abduction phenomenon. As well as featuring “Debbie”, the main witness in the Copley Woods Incident, it also features commentary from Linda Cortile, whose UFO encounter was also investigated by Hopkins and is one of the most well-known in recent history.

A Bizarre, Bright Light Outside

At the time of the incident on 30th June 1983, Debbie Jordan-Kauble was living with her two small sons at her parent’s home. On this particular evening at around 6 pm, after eating what was left from a bucket of take-out chicken, Debbie stood at the kitchen sink washing her hands free from the grease of the food. She was due at a neighbor’s home, so she could cut patterns out for a costume, a service which was her source of income.

It was as she moved her hands under the running water from the kitchen tap that she first noticed the bizarre, bright light. It was coming from the pump house of the swimming pool in the back yard. Of even more concern to Debbie, the pump house was locked. She had locked it herself only hours earlier after replacing the chlorine tablets for the pool water.

She would ask her mother to look at the light, which she said was strange, but nothing of concern. Besides, she assured her daughter, she would lock the doors after she set off to the neighbors. Not entirely convinced, Debbie set off anyway. By the time she approached her car, a quick look towards the back of the house revealed the light was no longer there. She quickly ran to the door to check it. It was, as she had thought, locked. She ran back to her vehicle and set off the short distance to the neighbors.

Upon arriving, she kindly asked if she could use the phone to check on her mother. Once again, she assured Debbie she was fine. However, almost immediately after hanging up, the neighbors’ phone rang. It was her mother. This time, fright gripped her voice. She wanted Debbie to come home. Now.

The Return Home

Shortly after Debbie had left, her mother had gone about tidying the kitchen of that evening’s supper. As she was doing so, she noticed a “basketball-sized ball of light” in the back yard. It seemed to hover near the bird feeder. She at first thought someone was playing with a flashlight. However, as she watched the “soft light” it began to decrease in size. So much so that it soon disappeared completely. Then, for reasons she couldn’t explain, she had an uncontrollable urge to contact her daughter to come home.

Given the amount of time between Debbie calling her mother and then receiving the panicked phone call only moments later, the events witnessed at the family home must have been only seconds in length.

Debbie apologized to the neighbors and promised to contact them when she knew what the problem was. When she arrived back at her parent’s home, she entered the property and went straight to where her father kept his gun. Although there was no ammunition for it, she reasoned with her mother, whoever is “out there doesn’t know that”.

Perhaps of even more concern, her mother not only couldn’t remember why she wanted her daughter to return home, she couldn’t even remember calling her. Incidentally, her memory of the call returned several weeks later.

A depiction of an orb

A depiction of an orb

Like Being “Punched By A Huge, Electric Fist!”

Debbie cautiously walked outside and approached the pump house. Opening the door, she looked inside, pointing the gun in front of her so anyone inside could see it clearly. There was nobody there. She then went over to the side garage. On her way to the outbuilding, she could see the family dog who was wedged under her father’s truck. It was extremely agitated and making it obvious it didn’t wish to be approached.

She stood, leaving the dog alone, and headed towards the garage. She pushed open the door and looked around quickly. It was completely empty and lifeless. However, she began to feel a burning sensation all over her body. She would write two decades later, “it was like I was covered in acid”.

A sudden urge rushed through her telling to leave the building right then. She turned to leave. Before she could do so, however, “something very bright and electrifying” hit her squarely in the chest. She would describe it as if she were “punched by a huge, electric fist” which soon forced the burning sensation all over her body.

She believed she could feel “every molecule of my body vibrating” and was paralyzed. In those moments, she believed she was dead. Although it felt like minutes, Debbie believed the incident lasted only seconds. Slowly the vibrating and burning sensation subsided and movement returned to her limbs. She didn’t have full use of her eyes, though, experiencing huge blind spots due to the brightness of the light.

It was then an intense stabbing, burning pain filled her ear. And with it came the words, as if an invisible entity was talking directly into her mind, that it was “unfortunate” that she had to feel pain.

Humanoid Silhouettes

The next thing she knew she lay on the ground near the outbuilding doorway. She had no idea how much time had passed or how she had arrived here. In front and above her, about five feet in the air hovered a ball of light. It was basketball-shaped but then morphed into an egg-shape. After several moments it vanished from sight.

It was then that another shimmering egg-shaped light came into focus, around ten feet in diameter near the pump house of the pool. Even more bizarre, she could see humanoid silhouettes in front of her. She tried to count them – six in total. They appeared to line up and slide into the oval-shaped light, vanishing into it. She wasn’t sure if it was perspective or not, but the figures appeared to have larger heads than their bodies dictated they should.

The next thing she knew she could hear someone say, “It’s over”. There was nobody there, but her memories of the events came flooding back. She suddenly thought about her children. Strangely, a voice spoke inside her head assuring her that they were okay. When she arrived back at the main house, she ran inside to find her mother stood there, looking outward in a daze. Only when Debbie called out to her, did she seem to instantly snap out of the bizarre trance-like state.

She decided to return to the neighbors’ home, thinking as bizarre as the incident had been, there would be an explanation for it. When she arrived, thinking she was missing for around fifteen minutes, her worried neighbor informed her she had left their home over two hours ago. It wouldn’t be the only incident of “missing time” that evening.

A portal with three people stood in front of it

A portal with three people stood in front of it

Sudden Nausea And Fuzzy Vision

Being of similar age, Debbie, exhausted and confused, asked if her neighbor wished to go for a swim in her parent’s pool. It was just after 8 pm and still warm. Debbie would sew the patterns in the morning. She, her neighbor and her teenage daughter made their way to Debbie’s parent’s home. As they were making their way to the pool, however, the flashlights of Debbie’s father’s truck shined in the driveway announcing his arrival home from work. Debbie checked her watch and realized the time was suddenly ten minutes after 11 pm. Somehow, they had lost three hours of time.

Deciding not to say anything, Debbie led her neighbors to the pool. As they stepped towards the water, though, the young girl let out a gasp of pain. She claimed that she had stood on something hot which had burned her foot. By the time all three of them were in the water, the teenager claimed her entire leg was numb. Shortly after, all three began to feel an intense and sudden nausea, as well as sore eyes and fuzzy vision. They decided to call it a night, and each went to their own beds.

The following day, though, upon waking Debbie couldn’t open her eyes they were so swollen. Upon seeing a doctor, he would liken “the injury” to someone who had been welding without a mask. Specialist creams and liquid drops would eventually decrease the swelling, but it would take several weeks for them to return to normal. However, Debbie would continue to be extra-sensitive to bright light for the rest of her life. She would also experience sudden flare-ups of burning sensations in her eyes on occasion.

The Scorched Circle

Lost in the initial incidents was the eventual discovery, around a week later, of an eight-foot circle in the grass of the yard. There was also a twenty-foot swath which ended in a “perfect arch” next to it. The grass was brown and dead inside the circle, as well as the ground itself being gray and cracked. As she stared at it and heard her mother state “that is where the UFO landed”, all her memories of that evening would flood back with even more clarity.

Incidentally, the circular mark would remain there for several years. No grass would grow over this mysterious area, and when it snowed, the snow would quickly melt away from this part of the yard. One thing that did grow there, though, was dandelions, which Debbie would state were “three times the size of normal ones”. Furthermore, no animals, be them pets, wandering cats, or even birds would step on this now ominous patch of land.

Debbie herself would suffer from a wide range of health problems in the years following the incident. These ranged from rashes, headaches, and problems with her teeth, to life-threatening allergies she previously hadn’t had. As would the family’s dog, who would, unfortunately, pass away only months afterward. A vet who examined the animal would state it appeared as though it was twenty years old instead of six.

An example of scorched ruined land

Did the incident leave behind evidence of its visit?

Extraterrestrial? Or Interdimensional?

As word spread about Debbie’s experience, and when more and more paranormal and UFO investigators arrived at the family home, several corroborating witnesses would come forward. Several of the neighbors, for example, would state to having seen strange balls of light on the night in question, some of them inside of their homes. One neighbor would even state they had witnessed hundreds of strange “balls of white light” dancing and floating around the Copley Woods on the night of the incident.

Just what happened that summer’s evening in 1983 in Indiana will likely remain a mystery. Was it a case of alien abduction? And if so, was Debbie the only abductee, or might it have been some kind of mass-event? Remember, several neighbors would eventually report activity in their homes that evening. Perhaps they had forgotten of such incidents until Debbie’s account released the previously suppressed memories. And what of the “hundreds” of balls in the woods? Is this another sign of a mass-abduction?

Or, might that the incident have been some kind of supernatural, interdimensional encounter? One which perhaps distorted time instead of wiping memories of it? Were the strange humanoid shadows entities from another dimension? Might the scorch mark on the ground not have been from a “nuts-and-bolts” UFO, but from some strange interdimensional portal? Or might “aliens” and “interdimensional entities” be one and the same?

Check out the short video below. It looks at Debbie’s case in a little more detail and features commentary from UFO investigator, Linda Moulton Howe. In it, it reveals that Debbie speaks of a “medically-confirmed pregnancy” which simply disappeared when she was seventeen-years-old, several years before the 1983 incident in 1976. Given the bizarre Copley Woods encounter, there is likely a connection between the two.

Marcus Lowth

Marcus Lowth is a writer with a love for UFOs, aliens, and the Ancient Astronaut Theory, to the paranormal, general conspiracies, and unsolved mysteries. He has been writing and researching with over 20 years of experience.

Marcus has been Editor-in-Chief for several years due to his excellent knowledge in these fields. Marcus also regularly appears as an expert on radio talk shows including Troubled Minds and Unexplained Radio discussing these topics.

Read Marcus' full bio.

You can contact Marcus via email.

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  • DC says:

    From what I’ve been told, supposedly from this girls either brother or cousin, that this was on the near east side of Indpls. Kitley woods. Near SR 52 and Kitley ave..

  • Wm J Granger says:

    I would like to know exactly where Copley Woods is. Is it really in Indiana? Is it a pseudonym to hide the real location?

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