Car power failure but no flying saucers
Time of occurrence was about 1957 plus or minus year or so. One of the rare times I was not also transporting fellow college students with me.
Place of occurrence: on the mountain highway that connected Las Cruces New Mexico, with Albuquerque New Mexico then, before the now existing freeway was built. It was a winding highway, two lane, one each direction, and at this point was winding through mountainous terrain, a nicely crafted two-lane paved highway, and no other vehicle lights were visible, nor anything but possibly starlight, my trusty 1950 Hudson's headlights serving well as always to show the path ahead. A long somewhat familiar 300 mile trip ongoing, probably eventually to Gallup New Mexico, my High School home town. Nothing unusual to the trip, often driven, as usual now a bit fast, probably 70 mph on a 60 mph highway through the winding mountains.
Then suddenly complete electrical failure. Utter darkness. Engine not running. I pressed on the hydrolic brakes as I strived to remember the shape of the S-curve I was traversing at the point of utter darkness. Pressing on the hydraulic brakes as much as possible per my memory, hopefully without skidding. While using the steering wheel to guide my car in the utter darkness up there in the mountain road, guessing where the road was. The car continued to slow yet not skid. Not into the gravel much alongside the pavement.
Then, finally stopped. Total quiet. Total darkness. Yet, stopped.
Very dark. Engine silent, not running. But I and my car was stopped and had apparently not gone off the road to crash down the side of the mountain; there were no guard rails there.
Well. Now what.
I had a flashlight and found it. I opened the door and got out of my car, to look under the hood. Suddenly by itself, the electrical system started working again. Headlights came on. I was in the gravel alongside the highway, but still safe. I opened the hood of my 1950 Hudson but it looked normal; I was not much into auto mechanics at the time; engine, radiator, battery, looked as before. The headlights continued to shine out across the mountain curve ahead. I got back into the car, shut the door, turned my flashlight off. Started the engine; it started fine.
The path ahead looked reasonable so I let in the clutch and in low gear eased out off the gravel onto the dark pavement, and soon was back up to somewhat slower speed along the curving mountain road, yet tense, waiting for the lights to go out again. Making special effort to look at the curves ahead and trying to remember them as they approached and went, on and on. The headlights kept steady and the engine kept running. The miles went under and the minutes and then hours passed by, like they always had before.
In the months after that, sometimes I tried to do something, anything, to make the electrical failure happen but in safer conditions, but it never repeated, seemed solid as always before. I could not find and fix something that was not happening.
Several decades and lots of life experiences - and cars - later, I read of "Roswell and alien abductions" and even saw movies where a flying-saucer flew over a vehicle and killed its electrical system, as part of the movie adventure.
Hmm. Really a bit similar.
However, I saw no aliens. I saw no flying saucer. No monsters or freaking critters messing around.
Yet I never was able to explain what caused the total electrical failure of my car in a very dangerous curving stretch of a high mountain highway, nor the electrical system's spontaneous coming back to normal functioning, once I had stopped the vehicle before a wreck happened, and was inspecting the engine compartment in effort to figure out what what was going on, then suddenly the headlights came back on. And back in my car, the engine stared easily, and the car drove fine after that, never repeating the phenomenon.
For the Record, if there is one, I don't know what it meant. But something very strange did happen, that was very dangerous.
And, it was curiously like something portrayed in some later movies and novels at times, associated with "flying saucers and alien abductions."
I just remember a sudden very tense scary dangerous time on the highway, involving my car's electrical system suddenly shutting down at a particularly dangerous moment. And later, starting to work again, without apparent cause.
And so I make this effort at a record of the strange event. A piece of some larger jigsaw puzzle.