It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Help ATS via PayPal:
learn more

Classic case : Levelland, Texas electromagnetic interference / car stop cases (1957)

page: 1

log in


posted on Jan, 8 2008 @ 11:14 AM
As part of a project I'm currently finalising relating to the most frequently discussed UFO cases of all time, I’ve been collating links to discussions of the relevant cases on ATS. I could not find any threads relating to some of those cases so decided to quickly start a few of them, including this one:

During the night of 2/3 November 1957, there were several reports of UFOs and of interference with car headlights and car engines in Levelland, Texas.

There is a Wikipedia entry in relation to this incident: Levelland UFO Case, which has featured in lists of the best UFO cases produced by several researchers (including Kevin Randle, Don Berliner and Ronald Story).

For links to various relevant documents and articles online see Francis Ridge’s “NICAP” website.

This incident is discussed in numerous UFO books, many of which mention the fact that Sputnik 2 (containing Laika the dog) was launched by the USSR on 3 November 1957. Relevant discussion include:

(1) 16 page discussion by Kevin D Randle in his “Scientific Ufology” (1999) at pages 17-30, 31-32 (in Chapter 2), 209-210 (in Chapter 8) of the Avon softcover edition.

(2) 11 page discussion by Donald E Keyhoe in his “Flying Saucers: Top Secret” (1960) at pages 114-115, 117-118 (in Chapter 8), 130-131, 132-133 (in Chapter 9), 140-141 (in Chapter 10), 244 (in Chapter 18) of the G P Putnam hardback edition.

(3) 9 page discussion by Donald Menzel and Lyle Boyd in their “The World of Flying Saucers” (1963) at pages 174-176, 179-180, 186, 188-190 (Chapter IX) of the Doubleday hardback edition.

NICAP’s book “The UFO Evidence” (1964), edited by ufologist Richard Hall, includes the following material in relation to this incident (at pages 163-168). The relevant section of that book is available online here

“Levelland is an oil and cotton town, population about 10,000, located in northwest Texas 32 miles west of Lubbock, in plains country. Early on November 3 its sheriff, Weir Clem, suddenly found himself cast into national prominence following a rapid series of nightmarish reports.

At 10:50 p.m. Officer A. J. Fowler received a phone call from a "terrified" farm hand, Pedro Saucedo. He and a friend, Joe Salaz, were driving on Route 116 about 4 miles west of Levelland when they saw a flash of light in a field. "We didn't think much about it," Saucedo said, "but then it rose up out of the field and started toward us, picking up speed. When it got nearer, the lights of my truck went out and the motor died. I jumped out and hit the deck as the thing passed directly over the truck with a great sound and a rush of wind. It sounded like thunder, and my truck rocked from the blast. I felt a lot of heat."

When the object had passed, Saucedo got up and watched it go out of sight toward Levelland. It was "torpedo-shaped, like a rocket," and about 200 feet long. As the UFO moved into the distance, the truck lights came back on. Saucedo was able to start the truck and drive to a telephone. Ptn. Fowler thought his caller was drunk and shrugged off the report.

About an hour later, the phone rang again. Jim Wheeler, driving on Route 116 about 4 miles east of town had come upon a 200- foot egg-shaped thing sitting on the road. The brightly lit object cast a glare over the area. As he approached the object, his lights and motor died. When Wheeler started to get out of his car, the UFO rose into the sky. As its light blinked out, the car lights came back on.

Another call came from Jose Alvarez at Whitharral, 11 miles north of town. Driving on Route 51, he had approached a similar glowing object on the road and his motor and lights had failed.

At 12:05 a.m., Newell Wright (who did not report the experience until the next day, and then only at his parents' urging) had "motor trouble" while driving toward Levelland on Route 116 from the east. His ammeter began jumping, the motor gradually died, then the lights went out. Puzzled, Wright got out and lifted the hood to check his battery and wires. Finding nothing wrong, he closed the hood and turned around. For the first time, he noticed an oval object sitting on the road ahead of the car. The object appeared to be over 100 feet long, and was glowing a bluish-green. Frightened, Wright jumped in the car and frantically tried to get it started, without success. Then he sat helplessly watching the object, hoping someone would drive up. After several minutes, the UFO rose "almost straight up," veered to the north, and disappeared almost instantly. The car then started without difficulty.

Meanwhile, another telephone report was made at 12:15 a.m. Frank Williams had encountered a similar object on the road close to the position where Alvarez had seen it. He also experienced motor and headlight failure. The light from the UFO was pulsating steadily on and off; each time it came on, Williams' lights went out. Finally it rose swiftly with a noise like thunder, and disappeared. Then the car functioned normally.

By this time, Sheriff Clem and other police officers had begun searching the roads around Levelland, as reports continued to come in. At 12:45 a.m., Ronald Martin saw a glowing reddish UFO descend and land on Route 116 ahead of his truck, then turn to bluish-green. The electrical system of the truck failed. When the object took off, it turned reddish again.

About 1:15 a.m., James Long encountered a glowing egg-shaped object on a farm-to-market highway just north of town. His engines and lights failed. Then the object rose quickly and sped away.

About 1:30 a.m., Sheriff Clem and his deputy were searching on the same road. Near where Long had seen the UFO, Clem saw an oval light "like a brilliant red sunset" streak across the road about 300 yards ahead of his car, lighting up the pavement. Fire Marshal Ray Jones, farther to the north, had a similar experience sometime after 1:00 a.m.; his lights dimmed and motor "almost died, then started up again."

The Pettit incident, same night, was uncovered during an investigation by NICAP member James Lee. Two grain combines, each with two engines, failed as a UFO was observed passing.

An impressive feature of these reports is that the witnesses (in most eases) were going about their business when the UFOs intruded upon the scene. There is no evidence that the witnesses were searching the sky or otherwise expecting to see anything unusual. Their independent reports told a consistent story.”

posted on Dec, 7 2011 @ 08:38 AM
reply to post by IsaacKoi

Great thread Isaac and the 'egg-shaped' UFO accounts certainly are very intriguing , as are the electro-magnetic interference effects involved with the case -apparently the sightings caused such a flap they were reported in a CBS newscast by Bob Pierpoint in Washington:


CBS Newscast of November 3, 1957, extract:

"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 Pierpoint in Washington."

Here are some more eyewitness descriptions taken from the two and a half hour period over the West, North and East of Levelland - some of the reports seem to agree on a glowing 200 foot ellipsoid object landing (and taking off again) on the road - another County Sheriff stated the object had flashing bright white lights:

At 10:30 p.m. came the report from truck driver Pedro Saucedo, who described seeing a blue torpedo-shaped object with yellow flame and white smoke coming out of its rear. He estimated it was 200 feet (60 meters) long and 6 feet (2 meters) wide. His truck lights and engine failed while the UFO was in view; after it disappeared, his lights worked perfectly, and he was able to re-start the engine.

At Pettit, Texas, 10 miles (16 km) to the northwest, two grain combines failed as a UFO flew past: "shortly before midnight, Jim Wheeler reported seeing a large 200 feet (60 meters) elliptical object on the road; as he drove toward it, his car lights and engine failed. The UFO rose and flew off, and when it blinked off, his lights came back on and he was able to re-start his engine."

At the same time, Jose Alvarez's car lights and engine died when he saw a glowing, 200 feet (60 meters) UFO nearby. After the object flew away, his lights came back on and he was able to re-start his engine.

At about 12:05am, college student Newell Wright's car lights and engine failed. He got out to fix them, looked up and saw a glowing, bluish-green, flat-bottomed, oval object on the highway. The object was in sight for four or five minutes. During that time, Wright tried to start his engine, and while the starter made contact, the motor was unaffected. The object disappeared, straight up, and immediately the car lights came back on, the engine started, and then operated perfectly...

By 01:30am, Hockley County Sheriff Weir Clem had heard so many reports that he decided to see for himself. He drove out with a deputy sheriff, and saw a large oval red light, though he did not experience electrical system problems. Years later he said:"The object was shaped like a huge football and had bright white lights. The blinding lights flashed on, it went right over the car and was gone. No living human being could believe how fast it traveled. The whole thing was as bright as day; it lit up the whole area."

edit on 02/10/08 by karl 12 because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 7 2011 @ 09:20 AM
There's another video link below including testimony and newspaper clippings about the sightings, there's also mention of the USAF's 'ball lightning' explanation which was debunked (and wilfully ignored) by atmospherical physicist Dr James E. Mcdonald.

Video Link

Nov. 2, 1957: Route 116, west of Levelland. It's just after dark and two farm hands are in a pickup truck. The driver, Pedro Saucedo, would later describe his absolute terror when he suddenly saw a bright light rise up in the field ahead. His motor died. His headlights went out. Both men jumped out of the truck and hit the ground as the flaming object shot over.

USAF Explanation:

Project Blue Book sent a single investigator to Levelland to check the reports. His explanation, accepted as the official Air Force conclusion, was that:

"... the major cause for the Levelland case was a severe electrical storm. The storm stimulated the populace into a high level of excitement.


Atmospheric physicist Dr. James McDonald completed a study and determined that there had been no storm in the area, and thus no source of excessive moisture to interfere with the automobiles' electrical systems:

"In a two-hour period near midnight, November 2-3, 1957, nine different vehicles all exhibited ignition failures, and many suffered headlight failures as objects described as about 100-200 ft long, glowing with a general reddish or bluish glow, were encountered on roads in the vicinity of the small community of Levelland, Tex.
This series of incidents became national headline news until officially explained in terms of ball lightning and wet ignitions. However, on checking weather data, I found that there were no thunderstorms anywhere close to Levelland that night, and there was no rain capable of wetting ignitions. Although I have not located any of the drivers involved, I have interviewed Sheriff Weir Clem of Levelland and a Levelland newspaperman, both of whom investigated the incidents that night. They confirmed the complete absence of rain or lightning activity. The incidents cannot be regarded as explained."

With no "severe electrical storm" to "stimulate the populace into a high level of excitement," the official explanation falls apart.



posted on Dec, 7 2011 @ 10:21 AM
Thanks for posting this. It brought back memories of something similar that happened in the 70's, in western NC, USA.

I don't have any written report as a source, only my memory of what I heard on a local radio station.

The story is similar to the one you posted. Many people reported seeing something very strange one morning.
It has been so long, I can't remember the description of the "UFO".

What I do clearly remember is the reports of many peoples cars suddenly stop
operating. The people whose cars stopped running, all reported seeing this strange light, or "UFO". Their vehicles engines cut off, and would not restart.

They were hauled to a local repair shop. The owner of the repair shop could not find anything that would cause them to stop running.

The next day, all of the vehicles started, as if nothing had happened. This is my memory of the incedent. I have no pics, or newspaper reports.

Thanks for posting this. It helped bring back memories from long ago.

Additional info....The area where this occured is very close to the area of Burke County, NC....where the Brown Mountain Lights have been reported for over a hundred years. There is quite a bit of info on the lights.

I used to visit a site called Brown Mountain Not sure if it's still there.

posted on Dec, 7 2011 @ 11:11 AM

Originally posted by zeta55
Thanks for posting this. It brought back memories of something similar that happened in the 70's, in western NC, USA.

I don't have any written report as a source, only my memory of what I heard on a local radio station.

The story is similar to the one you posted. Many people reported seeing something very strange one morning.

It has been so long, I can't remember the description of the "UFO".

Hey Zeta, it doesn't mention much about vehicle EM effects but could this be the series of sightings you mean?

April 3-9, 1975; Lumberton, NC

Concentration of sightings of V-shaped objects, hover-acceleration, bright illumination. There were over 29 separate, independent UFO sightings and close encounters in Robeson, Hoke, Sampson, Bladen, Pitt, and Columbus counties in the early morning hours and again in the evening centered on Lumberton, North Carolina.

NICAP UFO Evidence II, Section VIII

April 3, 1975 ; Lumberton, NC
1:45 a.m. . The first sighting occurred on Highway 301 where a delta-shaped object the size of a car was sighted by police officers hovering over a water tower. It then shot off to the north.

April 3, 1975 ; Lumberton, NC
2:05 a.m. Two sheriff deputies in Hoke County pursued a delta-shaped object flying northeast toward Sampson County.

April 3, 1975 ; Roseboro, NC
2:20 a.m. A silent object with a searchlight flew over Highway 55 at 200 feet altitude and lit up some pecan trees.

April 3, 1975 ; Elizabethtown, NC
3:30 a.m. A police officer on Highway 701 chased an object along Highway 701 before losing it into the cloud cover.

April 3, 1975 ; Grimesland, NC
10:30 p.m. A police officer named Godley sighted a disc-shaped object with red, blue and white lights that zigzagged through the sky.

April 3, 1975 ; N. of Rowland, NC
11:45 p.m. There were sightings in Robeson County and in Scotland County on Highway 71.

April 3, 1975 ; Lumberton, NC
11:47 p.m. A Sheriff's deputy named Lewis pursued a V-shaped craft flying to the northeast toward Red Springs.


edit on 02/10/08 by karl 12 because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 7 2011 @ 11:36 AM
Thanks Karl,

The time frame is very close, but the sightings and vehicle stoppage I am refering to, occurred in Western NC.

The ones you list, are mostly from the Eastern part of NC.

Could very well be the same crafts causing the incedent in Burke County NC, as the ones in Eastern NC.

If they are able to travel from other star systems, they probably made it to East NC, in a few minutes, seconds, or in most likelyhood, if they used the same propulsion system they used to travel to Earth......instantanously.

Iv'e got to run....I'll see if I can dig somethiing up when I get back.

Thanks Again!

posted on Dec, 7 2011 @ 03:49 PM
Great stuff, once again a credible case.
Found another video about it at Wikipedia.
It's from FOX, but nonetheless interesting, there are some witnesses who speak about this case.

posted on Dec, 8 2011 @ 03:15 AM
reply to post by zeta55

Zeta55, no worries matey, there's an interesting collection of vehicle interference cases here (and a good section from James M. McCampbell's book at this link) but couldn't see any mention about the reports you mean -will certainly keep on looking.

As for the Levelland sightings, did find this document about the case compiled by Antonio Rullán and he does a great job of examining the eyewitness testimonies taken from Newell E. Wright, Pedro Saucedo, Ronald Martin, James Long, Jim Wheeler, Jose Alvarez and Frank Williams -like Dr James Mcdonald, the author also rejects the ball lightning hypothesis as an explanation for the Levelland events.

The Levelland Sightings Of 1957: Analysis of the Evidence and Evaluation of the Ball Lightning Hypothesis

Antonio F. Rullán

The following document is the most comprehensive study of the famous Levelland vehicle interference case ever performed, and took two years to complete. It has undergone peer review through CUFOS and by some members of Project 1947.



posted on Dec, 9 2011 @ 08:40 AM
Similar case (and object description) involving E.M. effects from one year later:

1958. Loch Raven Dam, Maryland

Brightly luminous UFO, skin reddening, obtained medical attention.

One large, flat egg-shaped object affected a car's electrical system and caused a burning sensation on one of its occupants.


EM reports -1957

posted on Apr, 9 2012 @ 01:22 PM
Good article about the Levelland sightings and the effects of UFOs on the functions of automobiles:

Statement of the effect of a UFO on the functions of an automobile

The third major wave of U.S. reports of UFO sightings peaked during the first week of November 1957, with at least 30 reports including breakdowns of electrical devices in connection with the apparitions of the UFO..


posted on Apr, 9 2012 @ 03:06 PM
Has anybody ever tried to reproduce the EM effects on cars, aircraft, etc. to understand what is happening in detail?

posted on Apr, 10 2012 @ 04:53 AM

Originally posted by cloudyday
Has anybody ever tried to reproduce the EM effects on cars, aircraft, etc. to understand what is happening in detail?

Cloudyday, here are some interesting studies and reports on the subject.


Automobile Engine Malfunction and Headlight Failure



Some Statements By Scientists Regarding UFO Detection & E-M Effects


posted on Apr, 10 2012 @ 07:26 PM

Originally posted by karl 12

Originally posted by cloudyday
Has anybody ever tried to reproduce the EM effects on cars, aircraft, etc. to understand what is happening in detail?

Cloudyday, here are some interesting studies and reports on the subject.


Automobile Engine Malfunction and Headlight Failure



Some Statements By Scientists Regarding UFO Detection & E-M Effects


Thanks, I've just started reading those articles and they seem very good.

posted on May, 1 2012 @ 12:00 PM
More strange 'egg-shaped object with no wings, tail, or fuselage' reports from the same time and area including a very intriguing radar/visual incident from Kirtland Air Force Base where two air tower control officers witnessed a highly unusual oval object hover and then fly across the runway on November 4th, 1957:

Kirtland Air Force Base UFO - November, 1957

posted on Feb, 14 2014 @ 02:23 PM
I came across this excellent thread while reviewing the Levelland case for comparison to the 1980 Cash-Landrum case. There are several points of similarity, but I'm trying to see if they are genuine or exaggerated.

One interesting thing about the cases mentioned here is that most of the UFOs were large bright oval shapes, but no structure could be discerned. That's just how the C-L UFO was originally described. Some of the early reports mention feeling heat from the flying eggs...

posted on May, 31 2015 @ 03:41 PM
Hanger1 just covered this case last weekend.

Seems like a genuine case of Alien Tech, surprised this doesnt get more mention. Is anyone aware of holes in this case?

As Isaac mentions, Kevin Randle considers it one of the best cases and he has blogged about it several times.

The Levelland UFO Sightings -2010

Levelland, Texas Revisited - 2014

Levelland and Electro Magnetic Effects - 2014

Link to article on engine restarts , this is also discussed in the comments of the last blog link.

Trumbull is the only other case that comes to mind where the primary witness claims his police car restarted.

posted on May, 31 2015 @ 04:40 PM
a reply to: 111DPKING111

This more recent & interesting MUFON case (2011) involves an "invisible" UFO casting a shadow on the ground and causing car to stall.

Invisible UFO causes car to stall

posted on May, 31 2015 @ 08:36 PM
a reply to: Jaellma

I guess this could be generalized to any electrical interference case

posted on Jun, 2 2015 @ 12:03 AM
After looking over the self start engine article, it is clear once again how hard it is to get your hands around the UFO situation, over 268 recorded cases are mentioned for vehicle disturbance alone.

Antonio F. Rullán (see above in Karl's references) had this conclusion about Levelland.

The Levelland sightings and vehicle interferences, despite being a puzzling mystery that ishighly rated amongst UFO researchers, were not very well documented andinvestigated. The evidence available consists only of eyewitness testimony. Moreover, of the seven eyewitnesses who reported vehicle interference, only three were fully interviewedin person. The accuracy of four of the seven eyewitness reports was deemed to be low. All
seven eyewitness’ accounts, while similar in general terms, were different in the
details. Therefore, it was difficult to determine whether the differences were due to accuracyin reporting or due to the variability of the phenomena. The poor quality of the testimonyavailable, the lack of consistency among the reports, and the different manner in which thesereports were collected should not place this case amongst the well documented, high quality,UFO cases.

I understand his concerns (fantastic article btw), but find myself lining up with director of NICAP , Keyhoe has this to say

Keyhoe supported this case as evidence for the extraterrestrial hypothesis because there were multipleindependent witnesses, because the claims were backed up by law officers, and because of the lack of a reasonable explanation for the reported anomalous events.

According to this same article, Hynek did not think this was an ET craft. I havent read anywhere what he believed it be, personally Im not sure what else could be the cause.

top topics


log in