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UFO evidence:

The Loch Raven Dam case, 1958:

The case is best introduced by its witnesses:

"Shortly after you pass the dam ... the bridge looms up in front of you at 200 to 250 yards away. ... We saw from that distance what happened to be a large, flat sort of egg-shaped object hanging between 100 to 150 feet off the top of the superstructure of the bridge over the lake."

"We slowed and decided to go closer and investigate the object... When we got to within 80 feet of the bridge, the car went completely dead on us. It seemed as though the electrical system was affected: the dash lights went out, the headlights went out, the motor went dead. Mr S., who was driving the car, put on his brakes [after the motor went dead], turned the ignition once or twice. We did not get any whirring sound; we were pretty frightened at that point. ... We watched it ... for approximately 30 to 45 seconds and then, I am not sure of the sequence of events here, it seemed to flash a brilliant flash of white light, and we both felt heat on our faces. Concurrently there was a loud noise, which I interpreted as a dull explosion. ... Then very quickly, ... the object started to rise vertically. It didn't change its position [aspect], as far as we could tell, during the rising."

"The only different feature it had while it was moving was that it was very bright and the age became diffused so that we couldn't make out the shape as it rose. It took from five to ten seconds to disappear from view completely. We were very frightened."

"...We got back to a phone booth in approximately 15 minutes. We proceeded to call the Ground Observer Corps, with no result. Our story elicited only complete disbelief."

At the Loch Raven Dam, Maryland, USA, on October 26, 1958, at 23:30 EST, two men, Philip Small and Alvin Cohen, saw an egg-shaped object hovering over the reservoir. It was 100 feet long and 125 feet in altitude and glowed white. The car power and engine failed when they approached at 200 to 300 feet from the object. The object emitted a flash. It then shot straight up with a loud noise and heat. The witnesses later reported their skin was reddened on the side facing the object.

US Air Force Project Blue Book summary of the case:

Oct. 26, 1958
2230

U.S., Loch Raven Dam Maryland: Two young men observed an egg-shaped object hovering above Bridge No. 1 over the reservoir. It was 100 feet long, 125 feet in altitude, and glowing a dim white. Their car went dead 75 to 80 feet from the bridge, or about 200 to 300 feet from the UFO. After leaving the car and watching for another 45 seconds, they saw the UFO flash brilliantly white, shoot straight up, and disappear from view in 5 to 10 seconds. There was a loud noise as the object left, as well as an increased sensation of heat. The witnesses later noticed that their skin had been reddened on the side facing the object.

The case is filed as "unknown" by the US Air Force's project Blue Book.

Skeptics comments:

I have been unable to find any comment in the skeptics literature I am aware of. The only mention of the case I found is in the German "CENAP Report" number 1, written by Werner Walter, the active member of CENAP who enjoys to fly balloons to demonstrate that UFO witnesses are unable to distinguish them from extraterrestrial machines. He does not mention any car problem, nor any details, only that the two witnesses say that they have been sunburnt by a UFO. The only comment offered is that "cases with physical effects are very rare" and that "Jacques Vallée had to dig out an old case." No evaluation of explanation or suggestion is made about the case itself.

Discussion:

The halt of the car's motor was not a stall of the motor caused by an error of the driver. Car motors do stall, but here we have a disappearance of the electricity in the electrical system; which is quite different from a motor stall. We also have a reappearance of the electricity, after which the witnesses could use the car again as if it had healed itself. This is not usual; when a car has an ordinary electrical or motor problem, it does not usually repair itself a moment later.

Of course if that was an isolated incident, one may imagine that there was a loose cable in the car, which caused a loss of contact by mere coincidence when the UFO was approached, and fell back in place also by mere coincidence when the UFO departed.

The car's problem is coincidental with the UFO observation. This may be interpreted as simple hazard; however, this is not an isolated case of that sort. This happens during numerous similar UFO observation when witnesses are driving in an otherwise perfectly functioning car. In those other cases, the event is almost always also primarily a disappearance of the electricity and a reappearance of it, and this begins generally between the moment when the driving witnesses approach the UFO and the electricity generally comes back when the UFO goes away.

If this was all a stunning series of coincidences, other types of coincidences would be noticeable. There is no sensible reason to imagine that one particular type of coincidence should occur so often, while none of the other possible coincidence occurs with any significant frequence in this type of sightings. For example, a tire may explode. It would be a coincidence if a tire exploded when the UFO is approached by the car in this particular case. But if, in many cases, tires do not generally explode, but electricity generally disappears, it becomes irrational to deny that the disappearing electricity is a consequence of the presence of the UFO.

Because the UFO is generally luminous, or emits light, there is reason to thing that it all has something to do with electromagnetism. Thunder and plasma are natural events which have also something to do with electricity. However, plasma and thunder occur during particular weather conditions, and do not have any resemblance nor in duration neither in behaviour with the observation described here. Moreover, I have been unable to find any instance in which a car lost its power in association with the presence of plasma ball.

References:

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This page was last updated on February 17, 2004.