Alternate Perceptions Magazine, April 2022
Appearances of the Phantom Hitchhiker of Cape Province, South Africa
by: Brent Raynes
One evening in April 1978, Army Corporal Dawie van Jaarsveld was driving his motorcycle near De Rust, in Cape Province, South Africa, when he noticed a young woman standing on the side of the road. Pulling over he asked her if she’d care for a lift to the nearby community of Uniondale, which is where he was headed to visit with his girlfriend. He stated that she had said something, which he was unable to make out through his helmet, but then she climbed on behind him and he simply handed her a spare helmet and a spare radio earpiece so that she could listen to the music on his radio, as he was doing.
About ten miles down the road, Corporal Dawie was startled when his back wheel skidded. Pulling over to see if he had a puncture, Dawie was described as amazed to find that his rider had vanished! However, she had not simply fallen off, as the helmet was strapped down to the passenger seat and furthermore, when he took his helmet off, he found that the spare earpiece had been fitted to his other ear!
Understandably quite shaken from such an encounter, Dawie stopped at a nearby café and phoned his girlfriend about what had transpired. This case was investigated by noted researcher Cynthia Hind, who also talked with everyone at the café who verified his presence and how he had seemed very frightened.
In addition, a couple of years later, on April 4, 1980, another motorcyclist named Andre Coetzee claimed that just as he had passed by the very spot where Dawie had picked up his lady rider, that he felt someone put their arms around his waist from behind! Scared he gave it the gas and accelerated up to over 100 miles per hour. Three times he felt something strike his helmet. Then the mysterious unseen presence was no longer felt.
In time, other cases were uncovered of several different automobile motorists who described picking up a young woman in the same area and around the same time of the year. Always the girl vanished mysteriously, and also resembled the description of Dawie’s passenger.
Then a break in the case came when a man came forward and reported that his fiancée, Maria Roux, had been killed in a car accident at that very location on April 12, 1968. Her physical description and the clothing she was wearing at the time of her death matched what Dawie and the other motorists had reported!
Source: The Unexplained: An Illustrated Guide to the World’s Natural and Paranormal Mysteries, by Dr. Karl P.N. Shuker (Carlton Books Limited, 1996). ISBN: 1-85868-186-3