A DRIVER has claimed he picked up a hitchhiker — who then vanished into thin air.
The man says his paranormal passenger left behind just a burnt smell and melted shoe marks on his rubber mats.
Pedro Peirone, from San Jose de la Esquina, Argentina, was driving home on February 26, when he saw a young man hitchhiking on the side of the road, The Sun reports.
As he often did on his trips around the province, he pulled over and offered to give the man a ride.
Despite the hitchhiker being a bit shy and reserved, Mr Peirone said he seemed to be a regular teen the likes of which he often picked up, Oddity Central reports.
But while he can hardly remember most of the people he had given lifts to over the years, he said this passenger’s face will stay with him for the rest of his life.
Looking back on the events that transpired that day, Mr Peirone wished he had learned more about his mysterious passenger.
All he was able to learn about him was that he came from the nearby town of Arteaga and he was 17 years old.
When asked if he was going all the way to San Jose de la Esquina, the boy said “no”, and said he would tell him where he’d like to get out.
Mr Peirone told reporters: “Finally, he asked me to drop him off at the junction with the road leading to the cemetery, and, as soon as I got there, I sensed an awful burning smell.
“I stopped to see if something had caught fire, got out to check the back of the truck, and as soon as I turned around, I noticed there was no one inside.”
The baffled trucker checked the passenger seat more thoroughly, but all he found was two footprints scorched footprints melted into the rubber mat.
He looked around to see if the boy had just ran out faster than he could spot him, but there was no sign of him anywhere and no other footprints.
Some friends of Mr Peirone happened to drive by moments later and helped him look for the boy for a while, but found nothing.
Unable to explain what happened, Mr Peirone went to the cops and told them the whole, spooky story.
Word of his experience spread around San Jose de la Esquina, and soon the man was contacted by dozens of TV and radio stations for interviews.
Mr Peirone said he is not the kind of man to believe in the paranormal and described himself as a devout Catholic.
“I’m a little stressed, nervous. I’m not afraid, but I just cannot explain what happened,” he said.