A video appearing online recently has begun receiving attention for an unusual traffic incident it depicts, in which three vehicles at an intersection appear to be lifted by some unseen force.
The clip in question features several vehicles approaching and moving through an intersection without incident over a period of several seconds. Then, at the left side of the intersection (from the perspective of the viewer), a van approaches, which suddenly appears to be "lifted" from the rear as it attempts to pass through, with its tires rising what appears to be several feet into the air.
As the vehicle begins to recoil, a second van, positioned immediately to the right of the first, begins to move as well, as its front end is seen lifting off the ground before being turned 90 degrees, with the first van landing on its side in front of it. A third, smaller vehicle on the opposite side of the intersection is also observed momentarily lifting off the ground.
The complete video can be seen below:
Had this been an earthquake, other evidence of tremors likely would have appeared. However, bystanders seem to be unaffected, as several even proceed crossing the intersection within just seconds of the odd disturbance that left one vehicle upturned. So what could have caused it?
As is often the case with such videos (like this one), much is left to the imagination here, particularly on account of the fact that the video depicts a foreign newscast. In the absence of a clear idea as to what is actually being reported, the story is easily capable of being misleading due to the language barrier. Thus, with little to indicate what the report had detailed apart from the video alone, many have interpreted this as possible evidence of paranormal phenomenon at work. But is that really the case here?
A few comments appearing on the various video sites that featured this clip had suggested a wire stretched across the road might have been to blame which, admittedly, seems almost ludicrous... at least initially. One might find it difficult to believe that anything along the lines of a downed electrical cable could sustain the weight of a vehicle in this way, resulting in the cars being lifted off the ground and tossed about like marionette strings being pulled.
However, there are other videos that can be found online which show this very sort of thing, and with far less ambiguity than the video above presents. Take, for instance, this video of a Ford Focus which becomes snared in an electrical wire, and completely overturns:
Rather obviously, a downed electrical wire can lift a car in this way... but what about three of them?
One thing we have to consider about the initial video is that the second van doesn't move until after the first vehicle is jolted backward. The third, smaller car similarly doesn't move until the other two are seen moving, and it is only briefly lifted off the ground. At no time are all three of the vehicles completely off the ground, although the first vehicle appears briefly to have been lifted into midair, recoiling backward and bouncing on its left front tire before doubling over. In essence, if we are to suppose that this event had been carried out by a downed electrical wire, the wire in question is never forced to support the full weight of any single vehicle; instead, it would more likely only have had to match the force of movement of the first van (which we see slowing down as it approaches the intersection), and thereafter it becomes entangled with the other vehicles as the wire itself moves.
Minimum breaking strength for wire can be calculated based on knowledge of the PSI (pounds per square inch), where the area is equal to one half the diameter in inches squared, multiplied by Pi (for those interested, more on this can be read here). However, one need not present a mathematical representation for the strength of the wire in question, in order to observe that electrical wire can easily flip a moving vehicle, as is demonstrated in the second video we featured earlier. The first video, once again, is more ambiguous, not only due to the language barrier it presents, but also the graininess of the film itself, which makes detection of any wire amidst the cars nearly impossible.
Then again, magicians have relied on the near-invisibility of wires for centuries, in order to present illusions of levitation and the apparent movement of objects by unseen forces.
With confidence, we can assume that this video details a news report about vehicles becoming ensnared in a downed electrical wire. If the cameras in question had managed to capture anything truly otherworldly on film, it would likely have caused a far greater stir by now than what we've already seen.
Then again, maybe there's that off chance that Magneto had been clowning around again on his lunch break, and decided to try his hand at directing traffic:
Hey, stranger things have happened.
Update: Ed Mazza at Huffington Post further noted this morning that a street sweeper, visible on the right side of the screen, "pulled the cable in, which caused it to tighten up and act like a tripwire for the vehicles -- but because of the low resolution of the video, the cable itself can barely be seen." This is, in essence, what we had already surmised, although now we know more specifically what led to the cable being in the way in the first place.