A story from FATE Magazine - Oct 1973, pp. 127-8:

A 1928 UFO

One morning in August 1928 my father and I left our home in Tulsa, Olka., before daybreak to drive to Norman. Our Willys Knight car was performing smoothly until we were about 50 miles west of Tulsa when it started to miss and backfire. I suspected dirt in the fuel line and as the motor coughed and died I coasted to the shoulder of the road and stopped. Dad suggested that the filter might be dirty and that I should clean that first.

      In those days we were not prepared for any roadside repairs (primarily because of our lack of mechanical ability). Under the circumstances we just hoped for the best. I lifted the hood, hoping that the cowl light just behind the windshield would provide enough light to see the motor. As I started to look under the hood, suddenly the whole area was illuminated by the brightest light I have ever seen. It flashed by about 150 feet overhead. It was primarily a white light but as it faded it seemed to burst into many colors like a fireworks spectacle. Then darkness closed in again.

      Dad and I stood like statues -- speechless. Then we both blurted almost simultaneously. "What was that?"

      For the next 15 to 30 minutes we stood there trying to understand what had occurred. No other traffic passed and as the first light of dawn began to break we were able to determine there were no farmhouses nearby -- just open country. There were no clues to explain this puzzling phenomenon.

      The filter bowl in the gas line was clean so I didn't tackle it. At Dad's suggestion I tried to restart the motor. It started immediately and we had no further trouble on the rest of our trip.

      The county sheriff, the highway patrol, newspaper editors and several astronomers from larger observatories could give us no explanation for the occurrence. I can only conclude it was a 1928 UFO. -- Aaron C. Stern, Pine, Colo.

The above report illustrates the problems with EME [Electro-Magnetic Effect] reports. Were the effects and the UFO sighting related? Here we could say that the motorists had car trouble, and they saw a bolide.

It is possible with electrical and electromechanical systems to have problems which seem inexplicable. The source of the trouble is not known.  Maurizio Verga has reported that some motorists claimed problems with their cellular telephones during a recent bolide sighting. This is not unheard of. I believe the Rand Corporation did a study of communications interference caused by meteors. William R. Corliss has a few examples of meteors and EMI in his books.

Maybe in the above case just letting the vehicle sit for a short time fixed the problem. However, had this been a modern report the two events the car stopping and the "UFO" would have been connected.

In very few cases has equipment been checked after an EME report. The BUFORA study details the examination of a vehicle after such a case. The Condon Committee retained some automotive experts, and they did examine one vehicle for residual magnetic effects. In that case the examination of the vehicle proved inconclusive. However, the engineers "knew" what they were looking for, and they worked backwards from there. (BTW, these people were not skeptics. They were very interested in investigating these types of cases, and came away from the Colorado study very interested in UFO reports.)

The Condon Committee's automotive engineers thought the only way a vehicle could be stopped was with a strong magnetic field which would leave residual magnetism. - J.L.A.


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