In Ohio, on February 2001, young Zach Evert got his driver’s license. Diane Evert, his mother, was eager to document his first day of being a licensed driver and she had him pull their truck out of the back of the garage so she could get some pictures and share them with family members. Zach got in and backed up his pick-up truck as Diane snapped images with her 35 millimetre camera. She waved to him as he drove off to the gas station to get his first oil change. She never though anything of it. About a week later, she had the roll of film developed and was putting them in order for placement in the family photo album. Zach was interested in seeing how he looked in the truck and so he grabbed the pictures and immediately noticed something strange in one of them.
“He asked me, who was in the truck?” Diane recalled. “I said, What? What are you talking about? What truck? He said, ‘Well, the day I got my driver’s license and got the oiled changed on my truck.’ I said, ‘Well, there wasn’t anybody in there.’ And he, said, ‘Well, look at the picture, there’s somebody sitting next to me.’ I said, ‘That’s impossible, I took the pictures. I saw you back out of the garage and go down the street to the gas station by yourself, there wasn’t anybody in it.’ So I looked at the picture and, sure enough, there’s somebody sittin next to Zach in the front seat but not the day he went to get the oil changed, in the picture.”
Upon inspection, there does appear to be what looks like a person sitting next to Zach in the truck. Eric Haney and Scott Wells of the Ohio based Munroe Falls Paranormal Society investigated the image. They went to the location and took measurements, spoke to all the witnesses and even examined the truck. They also had the picture checked over by an image specialist. Ultimately they ruled out reflection from a nearby tree, double exposure and photoshop shenanigans. Haney, who was skeptical at first, became convinced that the photograph was genuine.
Assuming that it was a spirit, Haney and Wells decided to find out about any car accidents that may have happened in that area of Ohio though but they found nothing. “The area had a couple of car accidents but nothing that seemed to be related or relevant to the picture,” Wells noted. Diane may have offered a clue as to the identity of the passenger: “When my husband got this truck, it was used… four wheel drive. It was perfect… extra vehicle. The front left end of the truck was damaged. It wasn’t severely, but it was damaged so that you know it hit SOMETHING.”
Curiously, everybody seems to have their own interpretations of the figure sitting beside Zach in the truck. Some of Zach’s friends believed that it looked like a Confederate Colonel from the Civil War, while others believed that it looked like Zach’s little sister, Kara, or even Zach himself wearing a fur coat. Diane has ruled this out. Eric Haney and Scott Wells believed that the figure is a small child of about 11 or 12 years of age.
One strange thing that happened on the night the image was taken, Zach had agreed to help his friend move. On the way home, he narrowly missed getting into an accident. Diane is convinced that the figure sitting beside Zach was a guardian angel.
The Evert photo was featured in the Pilot Episode of ‘Mysterious Midwest’ which aired in 2009 titled ‘Ghost Rider’.