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by Thomas M. Sipos, L.A. bureau chief.  [February 24, 2003]




[]  Two seasoned sailors, alone on the vast Pacific, were terrified they'd never see their loved ones again when their tiny boat was followed by UFOs -- and likely abducted!

That's the startling confession of Neb Borkovich, author of Followed, as revealed to the Weekly Universe in an astonishing and exclusive interview.

According to Neb Borkovich, he and Donald Begay set sail from Baja California, Mexico, on April 8, 2000, anticipating a serenely uneventful 35-day voyage to Hilo, Hawaii, then on to San Francisco.  It was not to be.

A series of UFOs, of various shapes and colors, repeatedly appeared overhead, following the two sailors to Hawaii, where they reported the sightings to local police and Coast Guard.  Then on their return trip to San Francisco -- more UFOs appeared!

Even more amazingly, during the return trip, Begay, a Navajo Indian, had a precognitive dream of a future UFO sighting in Lukachukai, Arizona -- his home town -- which came to pass months later, on September 20, 2000.

But perhaps most frighteningly of all, subsequent hypnosis sessions indicated that the two men were likely abducted -- then conditioned to forget!


*  What They Saw


"We witnessed multiple sightings over several months going to, and returning from, Hawaii," said Borkovich to the Weekly Universe. Most of them occurred at night, aside from two daytime sightings off the coast of Baja, on April 10, 2000. Borkovich videotaped many of the UFOs with an RCA camcorder, and jotted notes and sketches, usually within minute to hours of the sightings. He and Begay also tried to communicate with the hovering objects via flashlights and safety strobes.

"The objects were of three basic shapes: spheres, saucers, and weird horseshoe- shaped crafts that left muted 'droning' sounds, had rows of red lights underside, and looked 'boxy' in their rear sections," says Borkovich. "The enhancement of one of my videos shows such an object. It matches my drawings of it, done at sea and months before I had the chance to enlarge, enhance, and analyze the video images."


The RCA camcorder was the only photographic equipment aboard the boat.  "My boat is an aging, 1963, 29 foot Columbia sloop," says Borkovich.  "Old, but strong and capable of trans-Pacific crossings.  In fall of 1999, Don and I sailed it from San Diego along the coast of Baja California, all the way to the port of La Paz.

"It is from this area that our first sightings commenced [in spring 2000] while on a 35- day journey to Hilo, Hawaii."



*  Donald Begay's Dream


During their return trip from Hilo, on July 27, Begay had a precognitive dream of a UFO over his home town of Lukachukai, Arizona -- which came to pass on September 20, when a strange 'cylindrical probe' hovered over that town -- and was witnessed by Begay's family and friends.

Says Borkovich: "Don had the dream on the morning after his sighting the previous night. I was down below and asleep when he saw the object [on July 26] and later dreamt about it [on July 27]."




Begay photographed the Lukachukai UFO with "a cheap throwaway Kodak camera." It appears in Borkovich's book, and to the right. It appears as little more than a white dot.

However, Borkovich says that Begay's photo, and his video images, were analyzed by Tom King, who said that the images matched similar objects shot over central Florida, Las Vegas, and Kobe, Japan in the early 1980s.

King is a videographer and UFO researcher who videotaped the Phoenix Lights in 1997. Jose Escamilla and MUFON's Jeff Sainio also analyzed Borkovich's video images.

Says Borkovich: "Don's dream came true, and is proof of a bona fide paranormal event. He is a full-blooded Navajo Indian, a good friend, a fine sailor, and a very shy individual who is reluctant to talk to the media. Yet his testimony was collected by MUFON investigators upon our return from the voyage.

"If Don says he saw something, you can 'take that to the bank.' "


*  Abducted at Sea?


Even as Borkovich and Begay tried communicating with the UFOs, they felt terror, but "also a great deal of wonder and curiosity!" adds Borkovich.  "Surprised, awed, afraid, angry, and all the other kinds of feelings you can think of.

"I believe it was some type of adaptation experiment, to see how we would react to contact.  Something that any animal behavior student would undertake when studying a group of gorillas, for an example.  Keep your distance and see what they do."

Still, the men realized the UFOs might be hostile and kill them.  They feared disappearing at sea, friends and family forever ignorant of their fate.  And they feared the even more unearthly prospect of being abducted by aliens!

"There is a strong possibility that either one of us was 'picked up,' but we have no conscious memory of it.  But our subsequent hypnosis sessions with Dr. Ruth McKinley-Hover of PEER point strongly in this direction."

According to Borkovich, Prof. John Mack founded PEER to investigate the psychological aspects of close encounters with ETs, and Dr. McKinley-Hover researched alien abductions for over 20 years, visited the White House, and was listed in 'Who's Who of American Women in Psychology.'"

Dr. McKinley-Hover's hypnosis sessions traumatized Borkovich.  "The sessions almost gave me a heart attack," he says, "because in my 'mind's eye' I saw a saucer parked in a cloud, and I was flying over the ocean with my boat nowhere in sight.  All of a sudden, I saw some kind of a black ceiling surrounded by neon green light, and I felt some kind of malevolent presence or commotion around me, which caused me to freak out and feel tightness and pain in my chest.

"It was really a far out scene.  Really scary stuff.  Dr. Ruth thinks that my mind doesn't 'want to go there', therefore a fight or flight reaction was to be expected.

"However, the session took place one month before my video of the suddenly vanishing UFO was analyzed and enhanced, showing a saucer shaped vehicle.  This is mind- blowing stuff that even I can only partially understand so far.  Something really odd took place out there, and only by reading my book can someone understand what we went through.

"I can assure you these were not 'ordinary' sightings!"


*  Ignored by Authorities


In Hilo, Borkovich reported the UFOs to the local police department.  "I was ignored," he says.  "They didn't even write it down.  Next, I approached the Coast Guard.  They listened carefully, and faxed pages from my notes to Coast Guard headquarters in Honolulu.  They also referred me to the FAA, but took no further action."

Borkovich gave the Weekly Universe a copy of a memo from K.J. Lopes, Commanding Officer, U.S.C.G.C. KISKA (WPB-1336)), to the Commander, Coast Guard Group Honolulu.  In it, Lopes informs the Commander that Borkovich filed a report on May 22, 2000, saying he sighted UFOs "on 13 occasions during his sailing voyage" and describing his boat as a 28.5 foot, 1963 Columbia S/V MIRA (HIN CFZ6783C0063C / CF 6783 CC.).]

The memo lists the Hilo Coast Guard's contact info as: P.O. Box 4819, Hilo, HI 96720-0819.  Phone: 808-933-6943.  Fax: 808-933-6946.

After leaving Hawaii, Borkovich and Begay were surprised to be plagued by further UFO sightings.  "I didn't expect to see anything," says Borkovich.  "The things just showed up and kept following us.

"Upon reaching San Francisco, I contacted the media, but was given the runaround by most TV news station and papers.  Only one paper, the Marin Independent Journal, carried our story [on October 12, 2000].  Good article, but the City editors decided to paste a 'hallucinations' headline as the only viable option."

Borkovich and Begay received another shock when they reported their sightings to the Arizona MUFON.  "When the MUFON investigators contacted the Coast Guard, they denied any knowledge of my report.  But I have a signed copy of it.  And I videotaped the C.G. cutter on which Captain Lopes, who signed the report, and I spoke for almost an hour.



"Is this only a case of negligence, ridicule, or does it point to a routine treatment of such reports?"


*  The MUFON Report


Two MUFON investigators, Jason Ingraham and Judy Varns, concluded in their report: "Neb Borkovich and Don Begay each witnessed these sightings, sometimes together, sometimes alone, but each one truly believes that they have seen something so extraordinary, to which they can find no reasonable explanation for the actions of these strange lights.... Both men seem sincere in the truthfulness of their stories, wanting only some sort of explanation for what they have seen."

With Borkovich's permission, MUFON's report is reprinted below:




By Jason Ingraham and Judy Varns.


"What were the strange light's that followed us?", a question asked by Nebojsa Borkovich and Donald Begay, about the strange and recurring lights that accompanied the two men on a sailing journey from Baja, California to Hawaii, and back to San Francisco, California.

On April 7th, 2000 the two men set sail from La Paz, Baja California, on a 29 ft. sail boat named "Mira", on their way to Hawaii.  After being at sea for a couple of days the two men began seeing strange lights that would catch their attention.

These mysterious lights sightings continued until their arrival in Hawaii in mid May.  After several weeks on the island's the men started back to the U.S. Mainland on June 28th. That night the lights began to appear again and continued until their arrival in San Francisco bay on August 4th.

The overall sightings of the lights and their strange maneuverability occurred some 40+ times throughout the entire journey, most appearing at night, some in the early evening, others in the early morning.

Some of the sightings were of strange colored lights that would suddenly appear, fly around in the sky for a while, then disappear.  Other sightings included lights doing incredible maneuvers at seemingly impossible speeds.

The lights varied in color: red, green, yellow, white or blue, some changing colors during the sighting, while others displayed solid areas of color.  Some of the lights would blink periodically, getting more intense in brightness and then fading out.

Of these many sightings there were several that stood out from the rest.  On April 13th, at approximately 2 a.m., Neb was steering the boat westward when a green light suddenly appeared in the distant sky in front of him.

As he observed, the light began to swoop down, then leveled out, suddenly performed an incredible "hopping" maneuver 3 times, then swooped down again before it finally began climbing back into the night sky, finally disappearing behind some distant clouds.

Don, who had come up from below deck on Neb's request, only caught the last few seconds of this sighting.  The hopping maneuver was described as "a rock skipping across the water".

The duration of the sighting was only 5-7 seconds.


The Sightings

On April 14th, at approximately 11:45 pm, both men were on deck when another green light appeared in the west.  As they watched, the light began to swoop and climb as it traveled towards them.

When the light was almost overhead of them it climbed high into the sky and stopped. The light blinked once, did an incredible 360 degree loop, and shot straight up, changing to a yellow color as it disappeared. The duration of this sighting was about 15 seconds.

On July 12th, at 2 am, the sea was calm but massive. The two men were 800 miles away from Hawaii on their return voyage. That morning Don was in his cabin resting. Upon awakening he went up on deck to check things out.

Just when he stepped onto the deck he heard something like a gunshot way far off to the northwest. About 5 minutes later there it was, a flickering light in the dark sky, coming towards them from the northwest.  The two headlights were flickering. The very bright white lights were flashing back and forth like disco lights.

The lights came closer, and flew directly overhead, they could see that the object was horseshoe shaped, with 6 red lights in the front, below the flashing headlights. There was a green light on its starboard (right) side and a red light on its port (left) side. In the rear was a rectangular light that seemed to make the whole craft glow with a bright, soft, white light. 

Then another craft flew by. The second object was similar to the first, but with a variation in the red lights. Both craft disappeared in the southeast, but soon reappeared in the northwest. These fly-by's were repeated 6 more times.

On the last fly-by the objects appeared in the west and disappeared in the east.  Don had a feeling come over him after the closest fly-by, he felt extremely happy, the likeness of an "energy". 

He did not want to go back to sleep after that.  This feeling lasted about 24 hours.

When Don finally went to sleep he had a dream about his house on the Navajo reservation, and strange lights flying overhead.  This dream seemed so real to him that he jotted it down in the logbook, along with a picture of the lights flying over his house.

After the trip Don returned to the reservation and took a photo of strange lights flying over his house.  His dream had come true.  The picture is almost identical to the picture he drew in the logbook.On July 30th a daylight sighting occurred.

The men were about 5 days away from the States, heading east toward the mainland, when they spotted a large, luminescent glow in the distance. Neb grabbed the video camera and zoomed in on it.

The object was very large, and was either reflecting sunlight or letting off an incredible glow.  The object was filmed for approximately 3 minutes before it began disappearing behind distant thunder clouds, then reappeared for a couple seconds before finally staying behind the clouds.

The distance of this sighting and the thunder clouds was hard for the men to judge due to the factors at sea.  A guess placed the object at possibly 5 - 10 miles from the boat.  The duration of this sighting was about 4 minutes.


The Follow-Up

Of the many sightings, noise was heard only once, and this occurred when the object made its closest pass of the boat.  It was described as a "droning" sound.

The two men also tried using a flashlight to communicate with the objects, receiving the same amount of flashes back as they sent.  No anomalous effects were reported with the ship or the equipment on board.

Gps was used on the entire journey, and a log of the sightings was kept, along with the gps coordinates for most of the sightings.

Video tape was shot of several of these strange lights, but no conclusive results of the video analysis has been made as of yet.


The Surrounding Area & Conditions

Through their journey the men faced weather that was "calm and clear" to "stormy rains with 40+ mph winds".  They fought the trade winds as they attempted to stay on their coarse for Hawaii, and traveled up past the 140th parallel to ensure a safe trip back. 

On their journey they would occasionally see a distant freighter or military ship, which would give them sea conditions and weather reports for the coming days, along with other valuable information. On more than one occasion the men asked the passing ships if they had seen anything unusual in the night skies, but were frequently ignored or told "no".

Aircraft were seen many times, but usually only on certain days when they would be passing a flight route to the islands or other continents. They would go for days without seeing any sign of life on the ocean except themselves.

Effects of the journey on the two men had its moments.  More than once one of the men would see a light moving in the sky, only to have the other point out that it was only a star or passing plane, yet both men still saw many of these anomalous lights in the night sky together.


The Conclusion

Neb Borkovich and Don Begay each witnessed these sightings, sometimes together, sometimes alone, but each one truly believes that they have seen something so extraordinary, to which they can find no reasonable explanation for the actions of these strange lights.

The two men also wonder how these lights could cg journey, which took them far beyond regular flight paths of normal aircraft, and many, many miles from the nearest land mass.  Both men seem sincere in the truthfulness of their stories, wanting only some sort of explanation for what they have seen.

Upon arrival in Hawaii, a report was made with the coast guard on May 22, 2000.  Upon arrival in SanFrancisco, Mr. Borkovich called the Marin Independent Journal and gave a full report of this journey and the sightings.

The story was run in the October 12th edition of that paper.  A local television station in Phoenix, Arizona also ran a story of the two men and their journey.  On May 4th, 2001, Neb appeared on the cable paranormal show "off the record" along with Jason Ingraham, one of the case investigators.



* What Does It All Mean?


His astounding UFO encounters spurred Borkovich to research what might have happened to him and Begay at sea.  "I learned of several sightings by eyewitnesses in [the same] three geographic locations.  Sightings occurred before, during, and after our visits.  Descriptions of some of those events completely correspond to our own observations.

"Some of my videos 'jibe' with the technological aspects of UFO craft as described by the late Paul R. Hill in Unconventional Flying Objects.  Some video segments, such as the sudden vanishing of the craft, indicate that the craft can accelerate to thousands of MPH in 1/30th of a second, and become invisible to the eye.

"I am increasingly convinced that our encounters were some form of a 'cultural exchange.'  We were given a chance to film them, and learn and understand as much as we could.  In exchange, they could have used us as guinea pigs, as well as deliverers of this sublime 'message.'

"My book could easily be construed as a 'message' in itself.  I am aware that I only have part of the larger 'picture'.  There's more work to be done.  It is almost criminal that qualified 'scientists' still refuse to look at this, and offer a helping hand to witnesses of such an extraordinary, historic events.  Unbelievable!"

To skeptics who may question their reliability, Borkovich says that he and Begay are as reliable as former President Jimmy Carter, astronaut Edgar Mitchell, and astronomer Clyde Tombough, all of whom reported seeing UFOs.

"Not a single UFO event in history has been validated by the skeptics," says Borkovich.  "So here we go again!  It doesn't matter one iota what anyone thinks.  We know what we saw, and are among millions of others who did."

Borkovich concludes, "We are 'cosmic pigmies' still in infancy.  We have co-existed with our visitors since the beginning of our self-awareness.  Religion, philosophy, even science are still almost completely inadequate to fully understand what we may be dealing with here.

"If you are dealing with a far superior intellect, how could you begin to understand what it is thinking, wants, or plans to do?  What do the rhesus monkeys know about calculus, fine art, poetry, or nuclear physics?  I am afraid that there will never be an end to this mystery, simply because we couldn't even grasp it when it does come.

"I am convinced that this little blue planet doesn't really belong to us."


*  Nebojsa Borkovich


Nebojsa Borkovich says he was born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, immigrated to the U.S. in 1973, completed his education in Buffalo, NY, and moved to Phoenix, AZ in 1981.

He says: "I always had a love for the sea, ever since my childhood, and dreamt of owning a sailing vessel. In 1989, I bought my first sailboat. In 1991, I sailed it to the Hawaiian Islands alone, and after a 52-day long crossing, I wrecked it on the leeward side of the Big Island. But not even this kind of mishap was enough to make me quit sailing, or abandon my desires for future adventures, although it would take me another decade before I was able to return to sea."

His email is

Copyright 2003 by


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