The Zdany UFO Photograph Encounter

Marcus Lowth
Published Date
October 17, 2023
Estimated Reading Time
6 min read
Posted in
UFOs, Sightings

In early 2006, a chance encounter not only resulted in a UFO sighting but several photographs of the otherworldly object in question. Furthermore, the incident resulted in the stalling of two separate vehicle’s engines, a sure sign that something out of the ordinary was taking place.

A picture of a UFO

(c) The Nautilus Foundation

The encounter and subsequent photographs were investigated by UFO organizations in the immediate aftermath, and were viewed by some to be one of the most credible UFO encounters of recent times. What’s more, even the location came under scrutiny as possibly playing a part in not only the encounter they were investigating, but of others they learned of during their investigations. In fact, the more the case was examined, the more investigators suspected the potential for this sighting to be a case of alien abduction.

Whatever was seen that day and whatever scenarios played out, the case remains of interest to UFO researchers almost two decades later.

Something “Metallic And Shiny” Overhead!

At around 30 minutes after noon on January 8th, 2006, 65-year-old “Matthew” and 60-year-old Zbyszek, were returning home from a wedding party the previous evening, with Matthew driving the car near the town of Zdany. [1] Although neither man was aware of it, their day, and indeed their lives, was about to take a drastic turn.

At this point in their journey, they were at a point on the highway known as a “black spot” due to the sheer number of traffic accidents to have unfolded there. Because of this, Matthew began to slow the car somewhat. As he did so, however, he caught sight of something strange ahead. There, right in front of them flying across the road, was an object that Matthew could only describe, at the time, as being “metallic and shiny”.

A picture of a UFO

(c) The Nautilus Foundation

To begin with, Matthew believed the object must be the result of someone playing a trick on passing motorists. Then, the car’s engine cut out and the vehicle came to a stop. He glanced in the rear mirror and noticed that a minibus (with Russian plates) had also come to a stop at the exact same time, leading Matthew to believe its engine had suddenly cut out also.

Matthew and Zbyszek both got out of the car and went to inspect the engine, noting that the driver of the bus behind was doing the same with his vehicle. With him, Zbyszek had the camera he had used the previous evening to take pictures of the wedding guests. As he looked around his surroundings, he noticed the contrail of a passenger plane overhead and quickly raised the camera in order to take a picture. As he did so, his attention was captured by something strange moving slowly nearby.

A Bizarre Slow-Moving Object Over The Fields

Over the nearby fields, a strange, metallic, spherical-shaped object was moving at a slow pace overhead. Zbyszek would later describe the object as looking like someone had “welded two bowls together at the edges”.

As he continued to take photographs, he realized that whatever the object was, it was seemingly completely silent. Furthermore, as well as the lack of sound, there were no other signs of an engine or means of propulsion. He could feel, though, short, sudden gusts of wind that he believed was connected to the unusual object (incidentally, there was no wind in weather reports for the date in question).

The pair continued to watch the object for just short of 10 minutes. At one point during this time, the curious craft swooped downward before quickly ascending once more. Then, without warning, the strange aerial vehicle suddenly shot away into the distance. Around 15 minutes after it had disappeared, the engines on Matthew’s car, and the Russian minibus started up immediately.

The photographs and the two men’s accounts quickly drew the attention of UFO organizations in the country, one of which was the Nautilus Foundation, which sent one of their investigators, Wojciech Bobilewicz to investigate.

Tentative Signs Of An Alien Abduction?

Bobilewicz spoke with Matthew around six weeks after the encounter, on February 19th, 2006 (Zbyszek refused to speak about the encounter personally). Although he realized he and his friend had seen something truly out of the ordinary, he wasn’t at all sure what it was. And throughout much of the sighting, despite the surreal nature of the events, he was preoccupied with attempting to discover what the problem was with the car’s engine.

He did, though, have a feeling of dread running through him throughout the encounter. In part because of the bizarre object, but also because of the location on the road they were. We return to this point later as we might find the location itself to be of importance.

A picture of a UFO

(c) The Nautilus Foundation

Just an example, though, less than a year before the encounter of January 2006, a local woman was driving along that very same stretch of road. Suddenly, almost in the exact same spot on the road where the two men witnessed the strange object following the car engine dying, the woman reported that she suddenly “lost her field of vision” and that all of the “road signs all became blurred”. Even stranger, she claimed she suddenly found herself on a different part of the road, with no memory of how she had gotten there and with a number of minutes that she simply could not account for.

Returning to the events of January 2006, it was suggested by some that whatever happened that afternoon near Zdany, there was a distinct possibility that following the engine failure of the two vehicles, something happened that the witnesses simply couldn’t remember. Ultimately, the sighting could have been much more than just a sighting, and possibly, an abduction.

Of course, as well as the witnesses themselves, perhaps of more interest to investigators were the photographs captured that afternoon. And it is to the examination of those where we will turn our attention next.

“If They Are Real, The World Has Not Yet Seen Anything Like That!”

Robert Bernatowicz would examine the pictures and would assert his belief that they were “100 percent” authentic and genuine.

Furthermore, as well as the pictures themselves, when Bernatowicz spoke with Matthew regarding the encounter, he came away from the conversation feeling that he was “not capable of lying” and that the acting required from him would be “out of the question”. He would further offer that when he was first sent the pictures he was informed that “if they are real, the world has not yet seen anything like” them – and that he felt this statement was likely very accurate.

A picture of a UFO

(c) The Nautilus Foundation

He would continue that the pictures themselves were remarkably detailed, with one of them “showing how the whole horizon is reflected from the object’s surface”. Even small details such as the hood of the car being open lend credibility to the witnesses’ accounts (they were inspecting engine trouble at the time of the sighting, we might recall).

Bernatowicz also pointed to the fact that Zbyszek was unwilling to speak with investigators, and, essentially, “disinterested” in the whole affair (although he was happy for the pictures to be circulated and published). This in itself lent another level of credence to the sighting. After all, we might imagine that should the pictures have been faked then the person who faked them would have wanted to speak to as many people as possible as opposed to hiding away.

Indeed, still today almost 20 years later, the pictures taken in Zdany that afternoon continue to fascinate UFO researchers and enthusiasts alike.

An Intriguing Case That Divides Opinion

As we might imagine, the Zdany UFO photographs divide opinion among people in the UFO community. To some, they are clear evidence of strange, otherworldly vehicles traversing the skies, while others are not so sure. Was this strange object a vehicle to another world? Or could it have been some kind of top-secret military vehicle? Both possibilities are equally credible.

And what should we make of the location? Might the reason it be a site of so many horrific traffic accidents because of sightings of strange objects overhead? Could there be something about this location that is attracting these otherworldly vehicles?

Ultimately, the previously mentioned Robert Bernatowicz stated that the location could indeed be of importance, offering that “some very mysterious things” happen there. He would continue that perhaps some kind of energy existed there that “makes people lose their consciousness” resulting in tragic accidents. Or that this loss of consciousness was due to the presence of these strange objects. On the other hand, he put forward, it could be this “something” that causes motorists to suffer these mental blackouts that has caught the attention of the occupants of these objects.

Staying with the thoughts of Robert Bernatowicz, this UFO encounter is “really a unique” account, featuring an “object flying over a road, then engines stop in two cars, and then an unidentified object is doing a show in the sky”. It is certainly an intriguing and thought-provoking event.

The short video below looks at some of the best UFO photographs on record.


1 January 8, 2006, Zdany, Poland, UFO Evidence

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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