Friday, February 24, 2006

The Levelland, Texas UFO/Car-Stalling Incident

As any fan of the X-Files can tell you; one of the signs that you might be in the presence of an alien spacecraft is that your car engine shuts off and you can not get it restarted. Recall if you will the scene from Steven Spielberg’s classic Close Encounters of the Third Kind: Dark night, lonely stretch of road meeting a railroad crossing when suddenly your truck engine shuts off and bingo a UFO appears. Classic. One of the earliest examples of this to be reported was in 1957 and occurred in the town of Levelland, Texas. Let’s take a closer look…

Between the hours of 10:50pm on November 2nd 1957 until 1:15am of the 3rd seven separate witnesses near Levelland, Texas saw, what most described as “an oval shaped ball of light” approach their vehicles. As the light neared the cars it seemed to have the effect of causing their engines to sputter and stop and their headlights to shut off all by themselves. The events lasted from a few seconds to no more than 5 minutes in duration. Once the ball of light left the scene, all witnesses were able to start their automobile engines and their headlights went back to normal operation. It is interesting to note that each of these seven sightings was within 500 feet of the witness’ vehicle and in every case led to engine and headlight failure.
Most witnesses were scared about the incident and eventually called the Levelland Police Department to make a report. While descriptions of the sighting varied amongst all witnesses, there was a general consensus that some lighted object was stopping car and truck motors around Levelland. On the early morning of November 3rd, there were other witnesses who saw lights in the night sky as well as flashes of multicolored light.

On November 3rd the CBS TV news reported:
"Folks in Levelland, Texas are worried about strange objects in their neighborhood. Sheriff Weir Clem says he has received several reports of a strange, egg-shaped object, about 200 feet long, landing on farms and highways last night in the vicinity of Levelland. Sheriff Clem said he even got a glimpse of this thing, which somehow switched off lights and auto engines when it came near. The Sheriff said lights and engines worked fine again after the thing went away. This is Bob Pierpont in Washington."

On November 4th, the incident was reported in most U.S. newspapers who were all dumbfounded as to the nature of the mysterious ball of light and gave it different names such as: mysterious object/thing, flying egg, whatnick, and eggnick. Many newspapers quoted Representative J.T. Rutherford from Odessa, Texas who wanted to know whether the sightings were the result of an American experiment and sent a telegram to Air Force officials in Washington asking for answers. It was not until November 5th, that the idea that it was actually an extraterrestrial craft and not just a ball of light that caused the Levelland sightings gained publicity in the newspapers. Most of the newspaper quoted James A. Lee (a NICAP member from Abilene, TX) as the key proponent of this idea. On November 15th, the Air Force issued a summary report concluding that the incident was the rare form of lighting called ball lightning and that the engines shutting down was due to wet ignition systems. The Air Force solution to this puzzling case was so controversial that on July 15th, 1960, they had to discuss the case in a U.S. Congressional briefing on the UFO program.
While the case was solved as far as the Air Force Project Blue Book was concerned, many UFO organizations such as NICAP, APRO, and CSI keep the case opened as unsolved and point out that this case represents one of the best-documented multi-witness, engine failure cases of a UFO contact/sighting.


Now we will probably never really know just what happened in Levelland back in 1957, but one thing is sure; we live in a truly weird world!
I’m Average Joe

1 comment:

Lars said...

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