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UFO-Related Blackouts and Power Failures

Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, STAR, 4 November 1957, Page 1

Mysterious Flying Object Stalls Cars, Douses Lights

LEVELLAND, Tex. (AP) - Reports of a mystery object which one witness said flew round with a "great sound and rush of wind" had officials and the public puzzled today.

Reporters and authorities had reports of sightings over a wide West Texas area Saturday and Sunday.

Police checking areas where landings were reported were unable to find any trace. Air force officials declined to say whether an investigation was being made.

CUT CAR ENGINES

Observers told reporters of at least five instances in which the engines of cars approaching the object were unaccountably stalled but restarted as the phenomenon rose into the air.

Sheriff Weir Clem, who said he observed the brilliant light but didn't get a close view, reported one witness fainted from fright.

Officers inspected the reported landing sites Sunday and found no marks to indicate anything had sat down there, the sheriff said. Policeman A. J. Fowler said at least 15 persons told of getting a good look and dozens sighted what appeared to be flashes of light.

"They seemed to agree that this something was 200 feet long, shaped like an egg and was lit up like it was on fire - but looked more like neon lights," Fowler related.

"They said it was about 200 feet in the air, and when it got close, car motors and lights would go off. Everybody that called was very excited."

Pedro Saucedo, 30, a farm hand and part-time barber here, said: "I was driving out to a farm near the Pettit community (west of here) Saturday night with a friend, Joe Salaz, when we first saw the thing."

"When it got near, the lights of my truck went out and the motor died. I jumped out of the truck and hit the dirt because I was afraid. I called to Joe but he didn't get out. The thing passed directly over my 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," he said.

It was "torpedo-shaped" or like "a rocket," but much larger.


Kirkland Lake, Ontario, NORTHERN DAILY NEWS, 5 November 1957, page 1

Mystery Object Spotted In Texas Reportedly Stalled Nearby Autos

LUBBOCK, Tex. (AP) - A missile engineer reported seeing a "brilliant colored egg-shaped object" which stalled autos in New Mexico Monday at about the same time the U.S. Air Force started an investigation into similar reports in this and other areas.

Witnesses say a mystery object skipped about the countryside here and near scientific military bases in New Mexico during the weekend. The reported sighting startled citizens, peace officers and servicemen but apparently left no concrete trace.

James Stokes, 45, an engineer from the USAF missile development centre at Alamogordo, N.M., said 10 autos were stopped on an isolated desert highway, U.S. 54, between White Sands proving grounds and Alamogordo Monday.

Stokes said occupants of cars saw a strange object flying toward them from the northeast. He said his auto radio faded and died, then his engine stopped.

He told a newsman: "It turned and made a pass at the highway and crossed not more than two miles ahead. As it passed . . . I could feel a kind of heat wave, like radiation from a giant sun lamp. But there was no sound. It had no visible portholes and there was no vapor trail."

The object moved very rapidly and its surface looked like "glowing mother of pearl."

Col. Barney Oldfield of the air defence command said "The object . . . was not picked up by radar. It did not seem to be traceable."


Sudbury, Ontario, DAILY STAR, 5 November 1957, page 3

'Egg-Shaped Ball of Fire' Flashes Across U.S. Sky

LUBBOCK, Tex. (AP) - A missile engineer reported seeing a "brilliant colored egg-shaped object" which stalled autos in New Mexico Monday at about the same time the U.S. Air Force started an investigation into similar reports in this and other areas.

Witnesses say a mystery object skipped about the countryside here and near scientific military bases in New Mexico during the weekend. The reported sighting startled citizens, peace officers and servicemen but apparently left no concrete trace.

James Stokes, 45, an engineer from the USAF missile development centre at Alamogordo, N.M., said 10 autos were stopped on an isolated desert highway, U.S. 54, between White Sands proving grounds and Alamogordo Monday.

NEAR A-BOMB SITE

His description was similar to ones reporting a big ball of fire in this Texas area during the weekend. A huge, oval object "nearly as bright as the sun" was reported Sunday, hovering near bunkers used in the first A-bomb explosion.

Strange lights were also reported near Chicago and in Virginia.

Stokes said occupants of cars saw a strange object flying toward them from the northeast. He said his auto radio faded and died, then his engine stopped. Several other cars also stalled.

He told a newsman: "It turned and made a pass at the highway and crossed not more than two miles ahead. As it passed . . . I could feel a kind of heat wave, like radiation from a giant sun lamp. But there was no sound. It had no visible portholes and there was no vapor trail."

CAR BATTERY STEAMS

"When I got back to my car and checked the engine, I found it intact but the battery was steaming. But the engine started with no difficulty. I called the air force and notified them.

The object moved very rapidly and its surface looked like "glowing mother of pearl."

Allan D. Baker of Las Cruces, N.M., reportedly shot pictures of the object.

Col. Barney Oldfield of the air defence command said: "The object . . . was not picked up by radar. It did not seem to be traceable."
______

In Washington Monday, the U.S. Air Force undertook an investigation of a huge and strangely-lighted mystery object reported to have flashed over west Texas.


North Bay, Ontario, NUGGET, 10 November 1965, Page 1

Power restored in big cities
Lights go on again in New York after frightening night

NEW YORK (AP) - Power coursed anew through New York today after a terror-fraught night of stygian blackout, brought on by a massive electrical failure that paralysed the city. Lights came back on but transportation remained grievously crippled.

The restoration of electricity to the city's millions eased an emergency unmatched in scope outside a war or disaster area.

But commuter train schedules were on a skeleton basis. Subway service was extremely spotty, as power was painstakingly fed into one section at a time of 236 miles of track to prevent overloading.

Public and parochial schools were open for more than 1,000,000 pupils, but thousands who use public transportation were advised to stay home.

SCORES TREATED

Hospitals treated scores of persons for bone breaks sustained in falls, for heart attacks and for traffic injuries. But miraculously no deaths were reported and the first rosy glow of dawn failed to reveal the misery and tragedy that it was feared the blackness of night was concealing.

Besides lights, water and steam heat were restored to hundreds of apartment dwellings where pumps had failed for lack of electricity.

At least two furniture stores, a wig shop, a record shop and two men's clothing stores on Harlem's 125th Street were broken into during the 10-hour blackout. Vandals also attempted to loot a jewelry store, but display windows had been emptied.

Police seized two men in the looting and recovered two television sets and a record player.

Uncounted thousands were stranded overnight away from home. Many enjoyed the relative comfort of hotels. But others made do for sleep on the cold floors of railway terminals. Food and blankets were sent into stalled subways where at least 2,000 elected to remain the night rather than attempt emergency escape through the inky tunnels.

Power began returning to some outlying sections of the city before midnight Tuesday night. But it was not until 3:35 a.m., EST that 10 hours of almost total blackout was lifted from midtown Manhattan, a world centre of wealth and corporate influence.

The potential for peril was greater than any in similar set of circumstances ever to confront New York - dwarfing indescribably a 1961 power blackout that covered five square miles of Manhattan.

At one point during a dire autumn night of cold and confusion, one of the few spots of light in the entire metropolis emanated from the upthrust torch of the Statue of Liberty, the city's historic harbor beacon.

Police officials reported only scattered instances of looting - 41 arrests were made.

Mayor F. Wagner declared:

"All New York should be proud of the way everyone has co-operated and helped. I'm proud of the people in this city."

An aura of monetary panic, quickly dispelled, rolled through the city like an evil fog as the lights went out at 5:28 p.m. Tuesday.

HUNDREDS TRAPPED

It crept into skyscraper elevators, where hundreds were trapped in more than 200 cars, some for hours. Doors had to be pried open to free some passengers.

It swept through subway tunnels where hundreds of thousands stood and sat interminably, waiting for rescue. One woman suffered a miscarriage in one stranded train.

It swirled above the city's busy airports. Where humans rode aloft in planes that had nowhere to land when they arrived. Passengers reported an eerie view of the blacked-out city beneath them.

And the panic flickered in the violent wards of city hospitals, where the mentally disturbed were uncomprehendingly frightened. Elsewhere in these institutions, babies were born and operations performed under emergency conditions.

News tickers stopped throughout the world's prime communications centre. Network radio microphones fell silent. Television screens went dark.

STAY IN OFFICES

Many persons simply spent the night where they found themselves - high up in offices or in the lobbys of apartment buildings where elevators were immobilized.

Said a woman in the lobby of a luxury East Side apartment building:

"My husband is up there with two quarts of whisky and a babysitter, but I don't feel like walking up 19 floors to join him."

St. Patrick's Cathedral on Fifth Avenue was nearly filled with worshippers. One woman knelt with her rosary in her hand, while a small child beside her sobbed.


Sudbury, Ontario, STAR, 15 November 1965, page 1

Pilot Reported Sighting Object Before Blackout

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) - A pilot says he saw a huge fireball last Tuesday night in the vicinity of the main power line from here to Niagara Falls, moments after the power failure in the northeastern United States and Ontario.

Weldon Ross of Syracuse, an employee of the Carrier Corp. and a part-time instructor-pilot, told the Syracuse Herald-American he and a student were approaching Hancock Field here "when the lights went out" Tuesday night.

"We were over the high line which runs from Clay to Niagara Falls when we saw the fire flash. It looked like a barn fire, a barn full of hay and it lasted for perhaps 10 seconds."

The New York Power Authority has two 345,000-volt lines that run from Niagara Falls to the Niagara Mohawk Power Corp. station in nearby Clay.

After the blackout, early reports said that it was possible the failure began at Clay but Niagara Mohawk officials had said their investigation indicates the Clay station was operating normally.


Sudbury, Ontario, STAR, 3 December 1965, page 1

Four Military Bases Affected
Another Blackout Strikes U.S., Sweeps Part of Mexico

EL PASO, Tex. (AP) - A power failure that momentarily blacked out four key U.S. military bases and plunged 1,000,000 persons into darkness in New Mexico, Texas, and Mexico has brought a federal investigation on orders of President Johnson.

The two-hour failure, triggered in El Paso, was a small-scale version of the blackout that left 30,000,000 persons in the northeastern United States and southern Ontario without power for up to 10 hours Nov. 9.

All four military bases reported they switched almost immediately to auxiliary power. But many civilian population areas were without power for more than two hours.

Authorities of El Paso Electric Company said the trouble was traced to failure of a device which regulated flow of natural gas to the two units of the company's Newman plant near New Mexico's border with Mexico.

President Johnson sent J. R. Johnson, a federal power commission engineer, to El Paso to determine what caused the device to fail and report to him.

Holloman air force base was reported without runway lights for some time.

Other bases affected in El Paso included Biggs air force base, where Strategic Air Command bombers are on constant alert, and the army's Fort Bliss, which has an air defence school for instruction of U.S. and allied troops in use of air defence missiles.

White Sands missile range in southern New Mexico, a missile development centre, also was plunged into darkness.

"The mission capability of the air force missile development centre was maintained, and combat readiness was not affected," a Holloman spokesman said.

Ironically, the president of El Paso Electric Company, Ray Lockhart, has been quoted in an El Paso newspaper as saying that a power failure such as occurred in the northeastern U.S. and southern Ontario probably couldn't occur in this area.

The blackout affected areas reaching to Van Horn, 20 miles east of El Paso, on the U.S.-Mexico border, and Socorro, N.M., about 175 miles to the north.

Juarez, Mexico, a city of 300,000 persons just across the border, also was thrown into blackness.

Power was later restored in parts of El Paso, which has a population of 350,000.

A spokesman for the El Paso Electric Co., which services much of the stricken area with electricity, said the trouble is believed to have originated in a company plant in El Paso.


Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, STAR, 18 April 1966, Page 2

See UFO In Area Of Falls

BOSTON (UPI) - An official of an organization which investigates reports of unidentified flying objects (UFOs) said today a strange flaming object was sighted over the Niagara Falls Power Station Nov. 9 just minutes before the northeast was plunged into darkness.

Raymond E. Fowler, head of the Massachusetts unit of the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP), said in an interview with the Boston Record-American that the weird object was sighted by an observer on the ground and a crewman aboard a cargo plane.

"A cargo plane was approaching Niagara Falls that night and, just before the blackout hit, an observer aboard said he saw a glowing mass over the power station," Fowler said.

"The man said it looked to him like a huge barn was on fire. It was just above the station and was rising. Just at that time, he said the lights began to flicker on the ground," Fowler said, "before the plane came to a halt on the runway, the blackout had hit."

Fowler said the NICAP, a non-profit organization, with headquarters in Washington, verified the report and an identical sighting made by a ground observer.

He said the organization also verified four other sightings the same night.

Fowler, an amateur astronomer who served in the Intelligence branch of the U.S. Air Force, said he has never sighted a UFO himself and is "convinced that most sightings can be explained as misinterpretation of natural phenomena, aircraft or artificial satellites, especially Echo I and II."

"But there is a certain percent - maybe 15 per percent - which are solid, machine-like, metal objects, intelligently directed and which have not been identified," he said.

"And there is excellent observational evidence - radar, electrical interference, burned areas, indentations, which, combined with the visual sightings, indicate that they are not man-made."
_______

RAVENNA, Ohio - (UPI) - Several pictures of a "bright circular" unidentified flying object which two Portage County deputies chased from Atwater, Ohio, to Freedom, Pa., were to be turned over today to government officials for study.

A spokesman said the photographs were somewhat obscure, but the object was visible as a dark outline of an "oversized dishpan" with a light shining around it.


Sudbury, Ontario, STAR, 31 July 1968, page 3

Massive Blackout Linked With UFOs

WASHINGTON (AP) - The massive blackout of 1965 and other power failures may be related to unidentified flying objects, a university physicist contends.

"There are too many instances of sightings of UFOs hovering near power plants," Dr. James E. McDonald of the University of Arizona told the House of Representatives Science and Astronautics Committee Monday.

McDonald is senior physicist at the Institute of Atmospheric Physics.

During the power failure of No. 9 and 10, 1965, the Federal Power Commission received hundreds of reports of UFO sightings, McDonald said at the committee symposium on unidentified flying objects.

He added that there also were reports in upstate New York of "a glowing object at the instant the lights went out."

The blackout struck first in western New York and southern Ontario and spread over 80,000 square miles.

The Ontario Hydro-electric Power Commission traced the cause to a malfunction of an automatic relay device at a distribution and generating plant near Niagara Falls.

McDonald stopped short of saying that failure and others were caused by extraterrestrial life but held that "there is a puzzling and quite disturbing coincidence between the sightings and power blackouts."


Sudbury, Ontario, STAR, 26 March 1970, page 1

Power Cut Is Blamed On Vandalism

Vandalism is suspected as the cause of a blackout Wednesday which left a large part of Sudbury district without power for about two hours, and trapped 400 men underground at Falconbridge Nickel Mines operations in the Onaping area for about five hours.

The line from Martindale transformer station on Maley Dr. to Blind River was out for about two hours, but the line from Creighton to Strathcona, a Falconbridge mine, was out for about 10 hours.

The break occurred in the bush between Creighton and Larchwood, about 10 a.m. Ontario Hydro crews were sent to the scene and found insulators broken.

Pieces of insulators found in the snow near hydro poles had marks indicating they were hit by rifle fire.

"The line was patrolled about two weeks ago, and everything was in good order, so we can only suspect it was vandalism," said a hydro official.

Communities on Highways 144 and on 17 as far as Webbwood had no power until about noon, but the line to Strathcona was out until 8:30 p.m. All services to the mines are back to normal today.

About 400 miners who would have come up at 4 p.m. were trapped underground because electrically-operated hoists were out of service. A Falconbridge official said there were no problems with light and air.

Men for the next shift reported for work as usual, but many were sent home.

Some of the trapped men near the top were able to climb out, and others got out through an adjoining Inco mine, which is served by a different power line.


Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, DAILY STAR, 26 March 1970, Page 3

Power Fails Stranding 400 Miners

SUDBURY (CP) - A power failure stranded about 400 miners underground for 102 hours Wednesday in six mines north of here.

Some of the men were able to climb out from shallow levels and a number left one mine through an adjoining mine owned by International Nickel Co. of Canada Ltd. No one was injured.

A spokesman for Falconbridge Nickel Mines Ltd., owner of the mines involved, said no troubles were reported underground and the men were thought to be all out by 9:30 p.m.

Ontario Hydro officials said the power failure at 10 a.m. might have been caused by vandals shooting out insulators. Power was restored at 8:30 p.m.

About 1,000 homes in the Chelmsford Valley were also blacked out but had their power restored about noon.

The Falconbridge spokesman was unable to say how deep the stranded miners were. He said the men were stranded because hoists are electrically operated.

He said they had ample food supplies and battery-powered headlamps. Natural air circulation, although usually augmented by machine, was sufficient, he said.

 
 
News clippings courtesy of The Sault Star, The Timmins Daily Press, The Kirkland Lake Northern Daily News, The North Bay Nugget and The Sudbury Star.