Levelland case

Date: November 2, 1957
Location: Levelland, Texas, USA
Appearance: Oval shaped, blue, loud sound
Classification: CE 2
Sources: Newspapers; KDFW radiostation; Dr. Allen Hynek; Dr. James McDonald
Summary: Fifteen independant UFO reports on one night in Levelland, Texas

This case is perhaps the most important concentration of vehicle interference events in the United States. Police officer Fowler reported that a total of 15 phone calls were made to the police station in direct reference to the UFO.

Atmospheric physicist Dr. James McDonald determined that there had been no storm in the area.November 2, 1957, 10:30 pm: Truck driver Pedro Saucedo called the Levelland police department to report a blue torpedo-shaped object with yellow flame and white smoke coming out of its rear. He estimated it was 200 feet (60 m) long and 6 feet (2 m) wide. It rose from a nearby field and roared low over his truck with a loud, explosive sound. He thought it came within 200-300 feet (60-90 m). His truck lights and engine failed; after the UFO disappeared, his lights worked perfectly, and he was able to re-start the engine. A certified statement made by Saucedo reads:

"To whom it may concern: on the date of November 2, 1957, I was traveling north and west on route 116, driving my truck. At about four miles out of Levelland, I saw a big flame, to my right front ... I thought it was lightning. But when this object had reach to my position it was different, because it put my truck motor out and lights. Then I stop, got out, and took a look, but it was so rapid and quite some heat that I had to hit the ground. It also had colors - yellow, white - and it looked like a torpedo, about 200 feet long, moving at about 600 to 800 miles an hour."

Shortly before midnight, Jim Wheeler of Whitharral reported seeing a large 200 feet (60 m) elliptical object on the road. As he drove toward it, his car lights and engine failed. Wheeler said that the object was lit up like a large neon light and cast a bright glare over the entire area. Then the UFO rose and flew off, the car's lights came back on and he was able to re-start his engine.

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

Levelland case news clipping

12:05 am: Texas Technological College student Newell Wright's car lights and engine failed. He got out, looked up and saw a 125 feet long, bluish-green glowing, flat-bottomed, oval object on the highway. He stated that the object seemed to be made of an aluminum-like material. The UFO was in sight for four or five minutes. Then it disappeared, straight up, and immediately the car lights came back on and the engine started. Later on, he made a statement at the sheriff's office, and his report was included in the US Air Force's Project Blue Book.

12:15 am: Frank Williams' car experienced a failure of its lights and engine, when a glowing, egg-shaped object appeared on or near the ground pulsating brightly. When it rose up, the car returned to normal.

Officer Fowler notified the sheriff and the patrol cars in the area, and reported what he had heard from the different travelers. In a matter of a few minutes, two different officers radioed in that they had seen two different flying objects with extremely bright lights, but had not yet encountered any engine problems.

12:45 am: Ronald Martin's saw a round, glowing UFO land about 1/4 mile ahead and change from orange to blue-green. His truck lights and engine stopped working. The glow was so bright it lit up the inside of his truck. The UFO then changed back to orange and took off straight up. The car lights came back on, and his engine re-started by itself.

1:15 am: James Long from Waco reported a brilliant glowing egg-shaped UFO on the road ahead. When he drove to within 200 feet of it, the lights and engine of his truck died. The UFO then shot up vertically with a sound like thunder, and the lights and engine returned to normal.

1:30 am: Hockley County Sheriff Weir Clem and Deputy Pat McCullough, who were receiving constant updates from Fowler, observed a "large, glowing object," pass across the highway. The two officers were trying to track the object by the radio calls from Fowler. They were about 4-5 miles outside of Levelland when they saw the object. The officers stated that the oval-shaped object looked like a brilliant red sunset as it passed over at 300 to 400 yards south of their car. Clem 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." He did not experience electrical system problems.

Patrolmen Lee Hargrove and Floyd Gavin were following in their patrol car several miles behind. In his signed statement Hargrove stated:
"Was driving south on the unmarked roadway known as the Oklahoma Flat Highway and was attempting to search for an unidentified object reported to the Levelland Police Department ... I saw a strange-looking flash, which looked to be down the roadway approximately a mile to a mile and a half ... The flash went from east to west and appeared to be close to the ground."

1:45 am: 17 miles to the north, Fire Chief Ray Jones called to report he saw a UFO and at that at the same his car lights dimmed and his engine almost quit.

The Air Force's Project Blue Book sent a sergeant to Levelland to check the reports. The engine failures mentioned by the eyewitnesses were blamed on "wet electrical circuits" and "ball lightning". The official conclusion was:

"... the major cause for the Levelland case was a severe electrical storm. The storm stimulated the populace into a high level of excitement. This excitement reflected itself in their reactions to ordinary circumstances, and resulted in the inflation of the stories of some of the witnesses concerning their experiences."

In his testimony before a committee of the US House of Representatives in 1968, atmospheric physicist Dr. James McDonald said that there had been no electrical storm in the area when the sightings occurred. Thus the official explanation falls apart.

Dr. J. Allen Hynek stated:

"In terms of probabilities, that all seven cases of separate car disablement and subsequent rapid, automatic recovery after the passage of the strange illuminated craft, occurring within about two hours, could be attributed to coincidence is out of the statistical universe - if the reports are truly independent (and they are, according to the tests we've used throughout)."

Forty years after the events, investigator Don Burleson talked to the daughter of the sheriff, Weir Clem. Clem had been called out to a ranch north of Levelland where there were markings on the ground, landing traces of the UFO.