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UFO in NY buzzes car causing electromagnetic effects

Google map of Port Jervis area.
Google map of Port Jervis area.

New Yorker John Smith (not real name, witness chooses to remain anonymous) had a Close Encounter with the paranormal that he will never forget, and his new 4-door sedan can prove it.  Fortunately, he contacted investigators at the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) who were able to get to the scene quickly to discover and document the shocking evidence.

On his short drive home from work in the Port Jervis area in Orange County, just after midnight on November 25th 2009, Smith was singing along with Christmas carols on the radio as he negotiated the winding wooded roads. Smith turned the corner and suddenly noticed some strange lights in the sky.  He described to the investigators a cigar shaped object with five lights across it.  The lights were blue, white, red, white and then blue again.  The object was moving slowly and turning clockwise.  Smith slowed down and stopped to get a better look.

Smith described the object as being rather large.  He estimated that it was 200 feet in length.  When asked the relative size to an aspirin at arm’s length, he described that it would have been the size of a baseball.  The lights were very intense, but he didn’t notice them reflecting on the ground.  The color of the craft appeared to be gun metal grey. As he watched, it continued to slowly move towards him at the speed of a hot air balloon.  He told investigators that it made a sound similar to a purring cat.

Rendition of the UFO (image credit: MUFON)
Rendition of the UFO. (image credit: MUFON)

Realizing that it was not an airplane or anything else he could think of, he got a little startled.  However, as the object passed directly over him, his car died.  Smith tried to open the electric windows to look at the object, but they would not work either.  Getting very worried now, Smith attempted to use his cell phone, which was also not working.

Not knowing whether to run or stay put, Smith opened his car door, still buckled in.  He looked up at the object, saw the lights on the object turn off, and his car was suddenly running again.  He was not sure if the object flew away, or if the lights on the object just turned off.  Terrified at this point, Smith didn’t stay to investigate.  Instead he took off wanting to get home as quickly as possible.  Running stop signs and almost crashing into a fence, Smith thought to himself, “no way I’m going to take that road again.”

Not knowing what to do when he got home, his wife suggested that he call the police.  Smith didn’t feel that the police would be interested in his experience, so he searched the internet for a UFO reporting center and came across MUFON.  The MUFON dispatcher, who took the call from Smith, noted that he sounded terrified.   Smith explained the event as being “the most unnerving thing to happen to me.”

Wooded area around Port Jervis, NY.
Wooded area around Port Jervis, NY.

MUFON dispatched members of their rapid response (STAR) team, Chuck Modlin, the Chief Technical Advisor, accompanied by Vicki LeBlanc.  Modlin has a lifetime of professional experience working with, among many other things, cutting edge radar, lasers, missiles, and telemetry systems.  These skills came in useful on this trip.  Richard Lang, who runs the STAR team, made a secondary visit with Modlin a few days later.

Investigators were able to make it to the site on November, 27th, just two days after the event.  Upon meeting the witness, they noted that Smith still seemed shaken by the events.  They found him to be credible, and that his story remained consistent.

EMF reading taken 36 hours after the event pegs the needle on the tri-field meter. (image credit: MUFON)
EMF reading taken 36 hours after the event pegs the needle on the tri-field meter. (image credit: MUFON)

The most interesting evidence supporting the witness’s claims came from electro-static and electro-magnetic testing.  Using a tri-field meter near the vehicle, a 2009 4-door sedan, the meter maxed out, indicating a very strong magnetic field.

In order to test a control vehicle, the STAR team investigators where able to find a similar vehicle, the same make and model, at a car dealership.  Since it was a late model car, the dealer had another one that was verified to have been made on the same day as Smith’s vehicle.  The test vehicle did not register any significant electro-static or electro-magnetic fields.

To further test Smith’s vehicle, the investigator’s grounded the vehicle.  However, there was no measured reduction in the intensity of the fields.  In a follow-up investigation 20 days later, the fields were still present, but had dissipated by approximately 60%.

Investigators also used a compass to measure the magnetic fields with interesting results.  The fields did affect the compass and was stronger towards the front of the vehicle.   During the second visit, the compass was able to show that as the fields dissipated, they remained strongest at the front of the vehicle.

Compass readings 36 hours after the event. (image credit: MUFON)
Compass readings 36 hours after the event. (image credit: MUFON)
Compass readings 20 days after the event. (image credit: MUFON)
Compass readings 20 days after the event. (image credit: MUFON)

During the investigation, Modlin did have two camera batteries fail.  The batteries were charged.  Modlin is at a loss to explain the malfunction.

EMF test on the control vehicle show no readings. (image credit: MUFON)
EMF test on the control vehicle show no readings. (image credit: MUFON)

Smith noted that he had a toothache for some days after the event, although he is unsure if it is related.  He also believes his car drives faster after the event.  However, investigators note that this may be a result of the engine getting broken in.  Otherwise, there have been no other noted effects.

Investigators asked Smith if he experienced any missing time, Smith said he had not.  In some close encounters, such as this one, missing time is reported.  This is when a sighting such as this occurs, and the witness arrives at their destination noticing that it took them much longer than it should have, sometimes even hours longer.  They often are at a loss as to where this time went.

Cars losing power during a UFO sighting where the objects come into close proximity of the witness and their vehicle have been reported before, although not often and even less in recent times.  This phenomenon was featured in the movie Close Encounters when Richard Dreyfuss’ character experienced his first sighting at the beginning of the movie.  Spielberg’s consultant for the movie was Dr. J. Allen Hynek who investigated UFOs for the US Air Force.

These strange effects to Smith’s car would have gone unnoticed if it wasn’t for the quick work of MUFON’s STAR team.  That is why it is important that experiences such as this are reported.  This sort of evidence will help in the ultimate goal to find out more about this enigmatic phenomenon we call UFOs.

For more information about the Mutual UFO Network visit

Alejandro Rojas

Alejandro Rojas is a radio host for Open Minds Radio, editor and contributing writer for Open Minds magazine as well as For several years Alejandro was the official spokesperson for the Mutual UFO Network as the Director of Public Education. As a UFO/Paranormal researcher and journalist, Alejandro has spent many hours in the field investigating phenomena up close and personal. Alejandro has been interviewed by media organizations around the world, including the largest cable and network news agencies with several appearances on Coast to Coast AM.

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  1. I think whoever saw this was seeing Santa Claus out delivering gifts..especially if Mufon investigated it. Jim Smith

  2. This was a timely, professional and fruitful effort. The effects and lights have been reported on many other sightings. Think how much more could be learned with rapid responses of this type becoming commonplace.

  3. That is a very weird area at night. I live in one of the outer boroughs of NYC and I have a few friends who live way up in Orange County, not far from this sighting in Huguenot, NY. I drive home late at night from there and you forget you are still within an hour or so drive back to the city.
    This is one of the few area around NYC where you can still see the stars at night without the light pollution of NYC and the surrounding cities in North Jersey.

  4. On April 19, 2009 at about 3:45 AM, while driving home, I witnessed two bright white orbs at the top of the mountain just above the trees on the west (PA) side of the road (RT 23 North) @ the High Point State Park Entrance on the NY NJ border only a few miles from Port Jervis. I reported this incident to MUFON who told me that I was a credible witness……….I wonder if it was the same craft ?? Scared the crap out of me too. Remember it vividly to this day. Had a headache for two weeks after the sighting. No issues with my vehicle though. Glad to hear that someone else is seeing this stuff too. Piss on the non-believers.

  5. I was camping in High Point state park Nj back in the mid 90s. It was around 12:30 am it was very clear out, I was looking at the stars when a light appeared. As I watched it I noticed there were no navigation lights, just one bright white light that started out small, and grew larger and larger as if it was heading directly towards me. Then it just hovered there, and from a stand still it shot up on an angle to my right, paused for a few seconds, then shot down on an angle to the left and paused briefly, then shot back up on an angle to the right again almost making a pattern of a capital “N” that’s slanted to the right, and that was it. It was gone. No clue what it was.

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