«Today, a wide spectrum of electromagnetic disorders coinciding with the approach or fluctuation of Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) is already an illustrative fact throughout the world. As evidenced by hundreds of cases, the alterations observed in combustion engines internal (electrical ignition), fully coincide with the passage of anomalous flying bodies, discoidal or cylindrical…» (Paragraph from the letter sent by Professor James Mac Donald to the Secretary General of the United Nations in 1967)


In the excellent article by researcher Donald Johnson entitled “The effects of position and distance in cases of UFO ignition-interference”, the author points out the aspects already investigated by those who, in a pioneering way, focused on EM (electromagnetic) effects in vehicles. We talk about Dr. James Mc Campbell and Mark Rodeghier (among others), in the 80s.

Rodeghier made a catalog of 441 events of this type in 1981.

Johnson notes:

“The purpose of this article is to investigate the role that two variables (the position of the UFO and the distance of the UFO) play in the severity of the reported power system interference. These two variables were selected because they appear to have a role in the literature and because they relate to issues of physical causality of the reported effect.” (end of quote)

We are going to detail some concepts on this topic, and the study that I have been able to carry out based on the largest statistics of UFO landings in Argentina, compiled over the years.

We will compare international and Argentine data. Only landing events are included, because if we add cases of UFOs on first type routes (simple sightings), the figure would be much higher. But it was important to see those events where the UFO only causes effects or is at a very low altitude and close to the observers).

A general article had already been written by Professor Oscar Uriondo (pioneer of Argentine Ufology), titled “The electromagnetic effect, interference in vehicles, automobiles and aircraft” (QUOTE 1)

In my current work – for the first time in our country – a complete statistical production on these cases is proposed.

The UFO effects on our vehicles are a constant worldwide. The GEIPAN study (France) also mentions this type of events.


It is already known in UFO history that we have a number of cases of land vehicles where interference occurs in the electrical system when the phenomenon appears.

Such is the impact of these cases that the Colorado Project itself became interested in them.

His staff attempted to determine the effect of a static magnetic field on a simulated automobile ignition system.

For steel spiral spark plugs, interruption of the spark could only occasionally be achieved by subjecting it to a magnetic field of intensity greater than 20,000 gauss (the “gauss” is the unit with which the magnetic flux density is measured. The field terrestrial magnetic is 0.5 gauss, a small magnet 100 gauss).

The Colorado Project research concluded that:

“In view of the antimagnetic protection of the steel sheet of a car, the intensity of the magnetic field in the surroundings of the mobile phone should be extremely higher than 20,000 gaus, to reproduce results similar to those reported by witnesses” (QUOTE 2)

Prof. James Mac Donald already said in the late 60s that it is not known with certainty what produces these effects.

“David Saunders and Jim Lorenzen believed that a rapidly alternating magnetic field can generate secondary currents strong enough to disrupt the timing that regulates the function of spark plugs. «Everything contributes to underlining the unusual detail that a static magnetic field of sufficient intensity affects only the ordinary engine, but not the diesel engine, which does not have spark plugs.» (QUOTE 3)

Richard Hall (1960) and McCampbell (1976) referred to these effects with the characteristic that UFOs appeared on the roads (in follow-ups – approaches), in front of cars and at low altitude at the time of electrical interference (in hypothesis, caused by microwave radiation (QUOTE 4)

According to McCampbell’s position, one should expect to observe an inverse relationship between distance and the intensity of the effect.

Mark Rodeghier (1978) could not find such a relationship between distance and intensity of the electromagnetic interference effect.

McCampbell also noted that:

“…the typical range in which we should see these effects is 425 gauss at a distance of 130 meters from a UFO, in which electromagnetic effects are observed and are consistent with experimental data on radios. It seems that the magnetic fields of UFOs are static or pulse very slowly. Therefore, it is unlikely that they can produce significant currents in the body because such induction is proportional to the rate of change of field strength. The rate of change of a static field is, of course, zero. On the contrary, direct evidence indicates that pulsed microwaves are a strong candidate to be responsible for these cases.” (end of quote)


Donald Johnson was able to achieve a compilation of 276 cases (1978) involving confirmed reports of motor vehicle ignition or electrical system interference attributable to witnesses of a close encounter with a UFO.

Of the 276 cases collected, 154 were obtained from books or catalogs published by UFO researchers.

The remaining 122 came from periodicals, newspaper accounts, and private investigator files. More than 100 different sources were consulted to compile this file (Vallée, Hall, Lorenzen, Philips, Fsr, Apro, Nicap, etc.).

The reports for each region showed us events from the US and Canada (145), Western Europe (50), Latin America (40), Australia and New Zealand (22), Great Britain (13), Africa (4) and Eastern Europe and the USSR (2 cases)

In my statistical study of Argentina I have been able to gather 198 cases since 1947, obtained from 90 different sources. The details of them are found in my work “The landing phenomenon in Argentina” (compendium of more than a thousand pages and 2,100 qualified cases from hundreds of sources).

In 20 of the 23 Argentine provinces, cases of electromagnetic phenomena on vehicles occurred (87% of the territory).

Again (as happens with cases of landings in Argentina), the city with the highest number of events regarding EM cases is Mar del Plata and surrounding areas (11 complaints), and the second ones are R. Cuarto, V. Tuerto and B. Blanca ( 4 cases each).

As in Johnson’s work, cases were coded in terms of the nature of the effect on the motor vehicle and the type of vehicle involved. We see this in the following graph:

Regarding the number of witnesses, Johnson mentions that in his work there are more than 500, and that 60% involve multiple witnesses.

In the case of Argentina the coincidences are striking: we have 70% of multiple witnesses.

Below is the graph of both studies:


As occurs in all cases of the phenomenon, we find trends that occur regarding the color of the luminosities seen by the witnesses.

We then have:

64 descriptions with a single coloration / 22 with two colors / 6 with 3 colors / 5 with description “multicolor”

When we unify and simplify globally, we find what we have already detected in other statistical works. The predominant color is white, followed by red, and then several others.

There are very few studies worldwide on this matter and we will get into it shortly.

There is also a significant percentage of cases of “teleportation” or approaches from the front or above, where we find a kind of constant: a blinding luminosity, with 2 predominant colors: yellow in the periphery and violet in the center.


For the types of electrical interference observed, what happened in the Argentine history is broadly similar to the international results. Have:

91 cases in which engine shutdown was reported

30 incidents in which both the vehicle’s engine and headlights went out

In 29 cases only the lights or radio failed without affecting engine performance.

9 cases in which the engine failed and lost power and 6 cases where there were accelerations

2 cases where the vehicle had not been running but could not be started

28 cases with reports of teleportations without accompanying details on electromagnetic effects have not been included.

The 6 events where we have MULTIPLE EFFECTS are very striking, namely:

November 7, 1962: e/Salta and Tucumán (TUCUMAN) = One motorcycle and two cars (complete engine)

May 1967: San Carlos (MENDOZA) = Various automobiles (complete engine)

July 26, 1967: Colón (BS.AS) = Various automobiles (complete engine)

December 14, 1967: Córdoba (CORDOBA) = Various automobiles (complete engine)

June 25, 1994: Campo de Mayo (BS.AS) = 2 cars (complete engine)

May 27, 1996: Córdoba (CORDOBA) = Various trucks (lights only)

These facts clearly show the unusual capacity for the UFO effect that can occur in different engines (not just one vehicle).

In the vast majority of cases of EM (electromagnetic) effects, the energy returned spontaneously once the UFO left the location (this is also another international constant already pointed out by Johnson).

The Cobo episode (Buenos Aires – Argentina), on July 29, 1968, shows us an example of the Electromagnetic effect on vehicles. At dawn, radio journalist Norberto Notario was traveling by car with his wife, her cousin and a merchant, on Route 2, near Vivorata stream (Cobo). At the height of kilometer 373 or 374, they saw at 500 meters a flying object of enormous dimensions, comparable to those of a railway car, with the shape of an “upturned basin”, from whose lower part a luminosity similar to the arc of a autogenous welding. He approached from the right and crossed the road at a low altitude, (heading SW to NE) slowly and without any noise, and at that moment the car’s engine stopped and the lights went out. When the UFO landed on the ground about 250 meters away, the car’s lights spontaneously turned on again. The strange element remained stopped for 45 minutes and several motorists stopped to watch the spectacle. (Illustration: Cadiu / C.Ferguson Archive)


One of the objectives of this statistical study is to check if there is any relationship between the position of the UFO and the effect.

In Johnson’s international study, UFO position data was obtained in 176 cases (64% of the total).

In the Argentine sample, of the 198 cases of effects, we have some detail of the position of the UFO in 106 events (53%).

Of them we have:

39 cases in which the UFO was reported to be directly in front of the vehicle at the time of ignition jamming

36 cases where the UFO was reported to be hovering over the vehicle

31 cases in which the UFO was reported to be positioned behind or to the side of the vehicle.

We see the graphs with the percentages:

In the percentage of comparative effects at the International and Argentine level (see graph), we find similarities in terms of quantity.

The affected engines are the majority, then the cases of joint “engine and lights”, and finally the “lights” or partial damage to the engine.

I also prepared a table detailing the effects caused and the position of the UFO at the time of the event. We always talk about the “initial” position.

Johnson noted:

“A highly significant relationship was found between the position of the UFO and the severity of the effect. “A substantial majority of cases experiencing complete engine failure occurred when the UFO was reported directly in front of or above the witness vehicle (much more so than cases where the UFO was behind or to the side).” (end of quote)

This also occurs in the Argentine data.

Johnson notes:

“Clearly, there is a very significant relationship between the reported position of the UFO at the time of the ignition interference and the severity of the effect. The strength of the reported effect appears to be much greater when the UFO is directly in front of or directly above the motor vehicle.” (end of quote)

To confirm this – and as in international work – we can refine the search, reducing the categories to two, namely:



By doing so, we have the following table:

And to confirm it further, we simplify it to graph


It is well known that the issue of distances is something relative, due to the difficulties we have when estimating them.

In any case, we consider them as approximations, and some are quite accurate with respect to nearby reference objects.

In his international study, Johnson was able to rescue only 56 distances.

In our case the figure reaches 78 concrete and 14 estimates (92 in total).

These last estimates are detailed by the witnesses with the phrase “next to the road” (which we can average over 30 meters).

This gives us the following graph:

As we can see, we have the majority of cases at distances from 0 to 50 meters (total average distance of 202 meters).

This coincides with the international study by Mark Rodeguier, who detected that the average distance from the witness to the UFO, according to studies carried out, varies between 30 and 60 meters, meaning that the phenomenon is almost always close enough to enable an observation. careful.” (QUOTE 5)

Johnson has simplified distances into 3 items:

NEARBY (less than 30 meters)

INTERMEDIATE (from 30 to 120 meters)

FAR (more than 120 meters)

In their study, the “Intermediate” distance is the one with more cases than the rest. This coincides with our Argentine study.

Based on this, I have allowed myself to compare both studies at the 3 distances referred to. The result is this graph:

We notice considerable similarities in terms of distances and effects.

We do not have a significant number of cases to analyze position / distance / effect.

There are only 51. In any case, in the following graph, I have reproduced a simplification, adjusting the positions to only 2: “Front” – “Behind”.

There we see cases with two variables: total or partial stoppage of the vehicle engine.

Reiterating the insufficient number of the sample, what we can clearly see is that there seems to be a correlation between the effects and the distance.

On July 21, 2002 in Chaján (Córdoba – Argentina), another typical case of the EM effect occurs. Police Sergeant Guillermo Arias was carrying out a routine patrol when an alert for strange lights in the area was reported to him by radio. As he approached with the police car he could see a structure with lights perched. Suddenly, the vehicle’s engine stopped and the police radio went crazy. In fear, he got out of the car and ran away. At that moment an immense triangular-shaped luminosity lit up in a neighboring field. To the police officer, the object looked like a “floating city”, with an approximate diameter of 70/80 meters. He was only 35 meters away and heard no sound. It had a long row of windows, through which violet-yellow lights came out, and inside they seemed to see shadows, like “tops of trees that moved with the wind.” The structure appeared to be in one piece, had no rivets and was moving away at a terrifying speed towards the West. Everything lasted 15 minutes and a smell similar to burnt grass was perceived in the air, leaving a trace. (Illustration and research: Lic. Ángel Alberto Díaz)


Johnson concludes his work with the following text:

“An obvious direction for future research would be to compare UFO events with ignition interference with other events involving UFOs with witnesses in cars where no interference is observed in the electrical system. The data of the position and distance variables would be compared. “It is recommended that all investigators conducting investigations of similar cases in the future make a special effort to obtain position and distance estimates.” (end of quote)

This interesting proposal was important, especially having at hand all the existing information on cases on Argentine routes.

For this reason – and I believe for the first time in our country – I focused on those cases where UFOs approached and/or followed our vehicles on the routes, where there was no electromagnetic effect.

I was able to find 193 episodes (remember that with the EM effect we had 198), which allowed me to find two samples that were almost similar in percentages.

The similarities are almost complete regarding:

Number of witnesses / UFO Colors / Fog generated (incredibly 100% match) / Duration / Humanoids / Source of information (researchers or others)

But the point was to focus on the 2 aspects that Johnson points out well: POSITION and DISTANCE.

We have 30 cases of perched UFOs, 32 suspended (generally a few meters away), and 9 descending.

Likewise 39 cases of objects “in flight”.

Of all these categories, we can only establish the position and distance in some of them (the missing is due to press reports without data, or to failures of the pollsters).

After refining the search, we can synthesize everything into 2 large groups:

IN FRONT / ABOVE = 64 cases

BEHIND / TO THE SIDES = 76 cases

The following graph shows:

In percentage, we also see it in this graph:

This is different from the cases of EM effects, where we had the majority for the “above” or “front” cases.

What Johnson stated is probably clearly confirmed: the presence of UFOs in front of or on top of vehicles generates the greatest effects.

The press media of the time illustrated what happened in Villa Mercedes (San Luis – Argentina), on May 1, 1994, when two witnesses who were traveling on route number 148 had damage to their vehicle while a powerful light focused on them. from above. It came from an object 20 meters high, which had perimeter lights and a large one at its lower base. (C.Ferguson Archive)


1 – The cases of electromagnetic effects (EM) in vehicles in Argentina show a consonance with what happens internationally, both in the proportions of quantity and in the details of quality.

2 – The witnesses are from all socio-cultural backgrounds and represent a heterogeneous sample. Most observers had no idea about the subject (some even denied it), which contradicts the speculation of detractors when they claim that the witnesses are “believers in saucers or green dwarfs.”

The impact of several of them in the cases of “teleportation” is greater – in general – than in other cases of the UFO Universe.

As Johnson rightly points out in his international study: “The reports were provided by witnesses from a wide variety of educational and professional backgrounds from almost all the major cultural linguistic groups in the world. Witnesses from one culture are unlikely to be familiar with accounts of similar events in other areas of the world, especially when the news has to cross linguistic barriers. It must also be taken into account that it seems that there is little that could be gained by inventing a UFO encounter.”

3 – The extensive Argentine geography shows that cases of EM effects on vehicles have occurred in 87% of the provinces.

4 – Vehicles affected by the EM effect range from cars to buses, trucks, vans, motorcycles, tractors, spraying machines or forklifts.

5 – In cases of Diesel engine, the engine is mostly not affected, except for 2 episodes (1%). Coincidentally, researcher Rodeghier confirms that in less than 1% there are cases of Diesel engines affected worldwide. (QUOTE 6)

6 – The casuistry of cases of multiple effects on several vehicles is interesting.

7 – Coincidentally, as noted by Johnson in his International work, in Argentina also «the position of UFOs seems to be inextricably linked to the phenomenon of failure of the electrical system of vehicles.»

8 – Another almost absolute coincidence has to do with the position of the UFO. Internationally, almost two-thirds of cases involve UFOs directly in front of or directly above the car. The Argentine result is almost identical: 67%.

9 – The distance and severity of the ignition interference effect appear to have an established relationship in a manner compatible with what would be expected from a high frequency electromagnetic force. The closer the UFO is, the more likely the vehicle will respond with complete engine failure. There is nothing definitive about it yet in this field, and it is something open to in-depth research.

10 – Regarding DISTANCE we must point out two aspects and an inference about the researchers (I will do the latter in the Epilogue).

The first aspect: in 70% of EM cases, we find events that occur at close and intermediate distances (0 to 120 meters). This minimizes ambiguity with potential confusion. We are not dealing with “autokinesis” (the phenomenon that makes a fixed luminous point appear mobile placed in an environment poor in reference points), nor before willing or believing observers.

The second aspect: it is totally true that distance estimates are usually difficult for any witness. In these cases we have environments with tree references, signs on the routes, etc. To a large extent, the Argentine sample has many cases with accurate distances (78 episodes) and 14 with approximate estimates.

And all this – in turn – is also linked to DURATION. We have 50% of the total cases with durations greater than 5 minutes and a third exceeding 10 minutes.

This is a considerable time range to further minimize ambiguity.

For these main reasons, the cases of electromagnetic (EM) effects on vehicles have particularly interesting characteristics.

11 – In cases where UFOs are perceived on routes over vehicles without effects (which we call NO EM EFFECTS), the general variables are completely coincident (number of witnesses / colors of the UFOs / fog generated / duration / humanoids / source of information) .

However, we found a difference worth highlighting: the cases “from behind” or “to the sides” exceed those from the front and above, which – a priori – would confirm that the latter are the maximum generators of electromagnetic effects.

12 – The phenomenon seems to manage an operating system – broadly speaking – where it produces approaches and follows our vehicles, mostly from the front and above. When it is from the sides, the overwhelming majority is from the left sector (this in EM and non-EM cases).

There are numerous objects suspended on the side of the roads, as well as those posed.

Sometimes the phenomenon is also camouflaged by what observers describe as a “strange fog” (12 cases for EM effects and 12 cases for non-EM effects).

Many cases on the routes are accompanied by fog that has nothing to do with natural fog (C.Ferguson) (Illustration: Tom in Pixabay)

Compact light beams can also generate immediate effects when projected onto vehicles.

And there are cases where more than one object appears, but the one that tracks or accompanies the vehicle (to move it away?) is a single UFO.

13 – Although Johnson does not mention it in his work, we have included in the Argentine cases, “teleportation” events (the most traumatic for observers), an item that will be the subject of a future article. Also those of presences of humanoid figures on the side of a road, although we have not added the latter to the study in question.


The international analyzes requested more information and collaboration from catalogs from other latitudes on this topic (as well as the physiological effects on the witnesses).

I have tried to add that recommendation, with the cases of Argentina, given that I have been able to compile the largest catalog of landings to date, with events declared and published in all available sources.

The Argentine data can now be added to others and from that place, I feel rewarded.

In any case, it is important to point out two final points that concern Ufology:

1 – This type of case (like the rest of the phenomenon), shows us a regrettable void at the official level. These witnesses – according to some of the 198 EM case reports – can suffer shocking physiological and temporal effects – and no one will take care of them, even though there is a supposed office that “studies aerospace phenomena.”

We are talking about the Aerospace Identification Center (Ciae), headed by Rubén Lianza.

About this office, the majority of UFO participants from Argentina prefer to talk and comment on details of what is happening in other latitudes, not taking charge of their own protagonism for critical analyzes of what is happening “at home.”

2 – The vast majority of UFO participants and theorists are unaware of the statistical analysis and are unaware of the information and the total number of cases. Therefore, when an event of these characteristics happens, they do not delve into fundamental and necessary aspects.

They will prioritize more the issue of the witness’s sensations without paying attention to data about:

A – Position of appearance and/or disappearance of the phenomenon

B – Approximate duration

C – Possible distance estimate

D – Climatic condition at the time of the event

The four points are key in all cases, but even more so in EM (electromagnetic) events, since the position of the UFO when approaching or following vehicles is key.

It is true that half of the cases are with sources from the Press in general. We know that when this occurs, a series of important details are not mentioned or asked of witnesses.

But it is no less significant that in almost 91 cases of EM effects (that is, 46% of the total), there are no references to the origin of the UFO. The stories only state: “The witness saw the UFO appear on the route,” without further ado.

All of this points to flaws in the investigations, which we already saw in a survey carried out at the Congress of the Argentine Ufology Network in 1999 in Mar del Plata.

This situation obviously has a clear reason: many of the UFO participants and theorists from Argentina seem to fulfill more of the task of “reporters or journalists” rushing with the scoop (or the attempt to develop a “novel theory”), ignoring or well leaving aside key details in each case.

And this does not happen as “new” or “old”, there are people who have been in the subject for years, and have turned to this mania of figuration with firsts.

For this reason, it is essential that new generations join UFO participation from much more than disclosure and being “mystery seekers.”

Until that time arrives, we share this material in areas that prioritize statistical and theoretical work (generally in Europe and the US) and with the prestigious and pioneering official CRIDOVNI commission of Uruguay.

In the phenomenon we have so many variables and aspects to investigate that it is ridiculous to hear some theorists stating that we are at a “dead end” with the issue.

These studies should have been carried out a long time ago with the collaboration of all researchers.

Delayed but concrete, today we can continue adding information on unpublished aspects of Argentine cases, statistical works, cases of physiological and electromagnetic effects, and others.

It is what encourages us in this company, far from the rumors and scoops of the UFO environment.

Carlos Ferguson

The author: He the first advisor to the Argentine Air Force (2011 to 2017) in Ufology. Carlos Ferguson works in the Logistics areas of the Ministry of Education (Province of Buenos Aires – Argentina), and administrative tasks. He is also a professor of artistic drawing and has been dedicated to researching the UFO topic for 48 years, when, being a non-believer, had a close encounter no more than 35 meters away with a disc-shaped UFO. He has courses in Satellite Technology, Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems. Author of 7 books and the largest compilation of landing cases in Argentina, with classified events. He has also carried out studies on cases of pilots and UFOs in Argentina, as well as underwater objects and the most recent, on the physiological and electromagnetic effects on witnesses. Hundreds of talks and notes over almost 5 decades show him with a line of work adjusted to the parameters of statistics.


QUOTE 1: “The electromagnetic effect, interference in motor vehicles and aircraft”, Oscar Uriondo:

QUOTE 2: Edward Condon – “Scientific Study of Unidentified Flying Objects”, p.100 – DUTTON, 1969.

QUOTE 3: K.Gosta Rehn, “Dossier Ovnis”, Ediciones Martínez Roca, Barcelona, ​​p.115.

QUOTE 4: “Radiation would build up in the headlight filament, which would increase the resistivity of the tungsten in the filament, thereby reducing current flow and extinguishing the lights when current flow is too low to keep the filament incandescent (McCampbell , 1976). The position of the UFO would play an important role because it would need to be within a narrow region directly in front of the headlights so that the lighthouse parabola could focus the microwave radiation onto the filament.»

QUOTE 5: Mark Rodeghier, UFO reports involving vehicle interference, Evanston, CUFOS, 1981.

QUOTE 6: According to Rodeghier, several hypotheses have been proposed to explain these effects:

1. The ignition or other electrical system may have been disrupted by high static electric or magnetic fields.

2. Ignition of the gas-air mixture may have been affected by ionization of ambient air

3. Fuel may have been prevented in some way from entering or leaving the carburetor.

4. Motor operation may have been interrupted by electric fields induced by an alternating magnetic field, possibly of low frequency.

“Physical Evidence Related to UFO Reports: Proceedings of a Workshop Held at the Pocantico/Conference Center, Tarrytown, New York, September 29 – October 4, 1997”