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Vehicle locks mysteriously stop working in parking lot

UPDATE (May 16) from Kevin Simmons at The Source: We are getting close to figuring out this problem. Industry Canada has been contacted and one of the local HAM operators may have found the origin of the signal. Once we have a definite answer we certainly will act on it. Thanks again for the continued patience. I’m starting to think I should change my title to “Picton Signal Anomaly Investigator”


UPDATE (May 11) from Kevin Simmons at The Source:
“I did a bit of further investigation last night. Using a scanner and locating antenna borrowed from local HAM operator Doug Monk, I did a “radio sweep” of the Sobey’s parking lot. I would like to point out that I am not a professional in this area and my test was highly unscientific. The only “chirps” (the sound made by the scanner when detecting sounds on the same frequency as key fobs) I detected were found along the tree line on the Walton street of the parking lot. No signals were found by Marvin Flowers, The Source, BMO, McDonalds or in front of Sobeys or PharmaPlus. We are contacting all local residents and businesses to see if they have installed any new equipment or changed anything. We are also contacting Industry Canada as well as looking into finding a professional “signal sniffer”. As strange as this situation is, there is an explanation and a solution. Once again I hope our customers are not too badly inconvenienced.”

* * *

County residents shopping at the Sobey’s Plaza in Picton say the parking lot became a mysterious ‘Bermuda Triangle’ when their remote-control car door locks jammed.
Motorists are reporting that the remote locks on their cars refused to work when they parked, and in some cases, refused to unlock.

“I thought it was my (key remote) battery,” said Lori Kileeg, who first experienced the problem last Saturday. “Luckily I can lock the driver’s side manually. I drove home and was telling everyone I needed batteries, then poof, the door worked.”
However, when she went back to the Sobey’s parking lot that evening, “poof” the door locks were unresponsive again.
“The lady beside me said hers didn’t work and I went into the store and asked about it. The people all piped up saying theirs didn’t work either. They all thought it was their batteries, too.”
Kileeg asked questions at Sobeys and Pharma Plus and learned there has been some investigation going on into the possibility of high frequency interference but the source of the problem is yet unknown.

Kileeg was back at the Sobey’s lot to do some shopping Tuesday and the locks again refused to work. I’m watching other people in the lot and see the confused looks on their faces. Does it have something to do with the renovations at Pharma Plus? Nobody knows.”

Two visitors to the countylive.ca office today reported they were unable to lock and unlock their cars and had to use the key manually, Countylive’s own vehicle wouldn’t unlock Saturday, but finally opened after a few clicks of the remote.

A quick check on the internet reveals a similar problem over the pond reported by the UK Daily Mail in Cambridgeshire. That report states modern push-button ignitions were also scuppered by the unknown interference.

TheIntelHub.com on February 6, 2012 reported on the Cambridge story and also shared a report from Missouri in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch which stated garage door openers at five homes on one street went haywire shortly after Christmas.

High frequency radio waves were named to be the culprit. It was also reported cases of interference can be caused by a video sender that transmits a television signal to other sets in the house.

countylive.ca will continue investigating, but for now, would love to hear any comments from people who have experienced this trouble – and at the same time, let everybody know that their car remote may not need new batteries after all!

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  1. LB says:

    My remote works! Its been working the last 2 days for me!
    so im so curious now!!

  2. Kevin Simmons says:

    We are getting close to figuring out this problem. Industry Canada has been contacted and one of the local HAM operators may have found the origin of the signal. Once we have a definite answer we certainly will act on it. Thanks again for the continued patience. I’m starting to think I should change my title to “Picton Signal Anomaly Investigator”

  3. Bob says:

    Couple of minutes searching using Google I found that signal jammers are readily available.

    These are available for security reasons to prevent unauthorized access or use of wireless devices.

    You can get one for less than $100 and apparently there is an “app” that can be installed on a Smartphone.

    Who ever has this device may be having fun on your expense! I suggest you use the old fashion method an insert the key and turn it!

  4. Loretta says:

    My van, is not alien proof after all as it happened to me last night (Mon) in the parking lot. I was parked in the first non-handicapped spot in front of Sobey’s & Pharma Plus. May car locked with the key fob but would not unlock.

  5. Martha says:

    Happened to me, today (May 13/12) early morning, in BMO parking. It is frustrating, and thank goodness I was aware of this silly problem.

  6. Paul Cole says:

    314.93MHz is the frequency used by remote keyless entries for automobiles apparently security systems and automatic door openers can cause problems if not calibrated properly.The Pharmacy has an automatic door.

  7. LB says:

    🙂 This started, as I recall, on the same day as SUPER MOON!….
    My car is not alien proof, but im glad i can manually lock and unlock the drivers side. (the other doors i can not open)..so im ok in the parking lot

    as noted here, there are cars that lock on all sides, and they have to have them towed

    and the lot is getting businer this weekend .
    lots of weekenders are getting surprises!..:-)

  8. Doris Lane says:

    Kevin thank you for all efforts in trying to find what is happening in the plaza. I guess everyone ran to you since you are in the electronic business
    I also sent an email to quirks and quarks

  9. Kevin Simmons says:

    I have contacted CBC -quirks and quarks via email and will be following up with a phone call mid next week. I have recomended that PIcton Plaza (our landlord) contact Industry Canada. I have also found a possible professional in the area of Radio Interference and have passed that information onto the landlord. I personally feel I taken this investigation to the limit of my abilities but am open to suggestions.

    Thanks
    Kevin

  10. David Norman says:

    Here’s my theory; The key fob phenomena is a product of a “strange matter” probe, constructed by aliens (purpose unknown) from a neutron star system and transported via the Marysburgh Vortex to the Sobey’s parking lot. The probe is likely constructed of 3 “up quarks”, 1 “down quarks” and 5 “strange quarks (antiquarks and gluons)” which would explain the RF interference at 315 megahertz. I’m just speculating, but when you think about it, what better place to listen in on conversations and gather intelligence then this parking lot! I hear tell that many County issues and secrets are clandestinely discussed while folk are loading up their groceries and sundries. Just sayin’.

  11. graham c says:

    My wife & I have noticed both computers have been acting up the last week – mostly with the connection logging on. It does work fine most of the time – just wondering if anyone else has beeen experiencing a problem with computers as well as their vehicles. . We live in town about 1\2 a kl from Mc D’s

  12. Doris Lane says:

    We should contact the expert on CBC quirks and quarks
    You said it was along the line of the Walton house
    Maybe someone who lived there is not happy about the present situation in the County
    I guess the moon got too close the other night
    Are they putting solar panels on the roof of Rexall
    It will be interesting when we find out what the real cause is

  13. PEter says:

    Just for the record, I hope it’s an “alien invasion” problem. Perfect timing! lol

    PEter

  14. Sarah C says:

    After work yesterday I stopped at Sobey’s to pick up a few things. I pressed the button to lock my doors before going in and it ‘beeped’. When I came out and pressed my button on the handle to unlock it, it actually locked (I have a vehicle with a ‘push start button’). Apparently it hadn’t actually locked when I went in.
    Note to self. Park away from Sobey’s before going in. I wouldn’t want to have to tow the car because of the push-start button not working.
    Bermuda triangle or aliens?
    Either way, I’m not leaving any valuables in the car.

  15. Scott says:

    We had to have our car towed as it is keyless and starts with a pushbutton. It wouldn’t lock and wouldn’t start… It was towed to Stormy’s where everything worked fine…. I think it could be a prelude to an alien invasion.

  16. Kevin Simmons says:

    Hello everyone,

    I did a bit of further investigation last night. Using a scanner and locating antenna borrowed from local HAM operator Doug Monk, I did a “radio sweep” of the Sobey’s parking lot. I would like to point out that I am not a professional in this area and my test was highly unscientific. The only “chirps”(the sound made by the scanner when detecting sounds on the same frequency as key fobs)I detected were found along the tree line on the Walton street of the parking lot. No signals were found by Marvin Flowers, The Source, BMO, McDonalds or in front of Sobeys or PharmaPlus. We are contacting all local residents and businesses to see if they have installed any new equipment or changed anything. We are also contacting Industry Canada as well as looking into finding a professional “signal sniffer”. As strange as this situation is, there is an explanation and a solution. Once again I hope our customers are not too badly inconvenienced.

  17. christine says:

    Happened to me too yesterday (Thurs)….also my hearing aid went wacky in Sobeys and the alarm went off when i left with “paid for” groceries !! When i got home my laptop was wonky with stripes running through it in the evening and still this morning…then magically it calmed down about 9am.

    I’m new to “the county” and this sure adds to the fun!

  18. Loretta says:

    @David Norman – maybe it was dinner time?

  19. David Norman says:

    This key fob thing is definitely a “Close Encounter of the Second Kind”. Had myself a Richard Dreyfuss moment yesterday when I finished constructing a Shitaki and Oyster mushroom garden out of logs and stumps. I call the garden Woodhenge because it looks allot like the more famous Stonehenge. Felt a strange energy when I stood in the center of it… and then developed an unusual craving for mashed potatoes. What does it all mean???

  20. Loretta says:

    I guess my van is alien-proof. I’ve been at the Sobey’s parking lot almost daily this week and never experienced any problems. I feel like I’m missing out. And no, my key fob does not have an aluminum foil cap!

  21. Brenda Bibeau says:

    Am glad to hear that I don’t need batteries or the lock mechanism on my car fixed. It seems if you stand in a certain area around the car, it may work. Hopefully, we’ll find the culprit.

  22. Irene Dobinson says:

    I was parked in Sobey’s parking lot on Thursday and couldn’t open my vehicle with my remote. Our vehicle is only one year old and I couldn’t believe the battery was dead already. I immediately went to “The Source” to buy another battery and the gentleman told me about the strange thing that was happening. He tested my battery and it was fine. Really strange????

  23. Linda Logan-Smith says:

    This has certainly been a fun thread, a nice change from what is usually written about on this site.

  24. Doris Lane says:

    NORMAN I like the bit about the alien invasion–maybe next all thr garage doors will start opening and shutting–Hope the bank card machines don’t go funny and start running through our purchases several times.

    Maybe it has something to do with the Tim Horton light–it has always been wacky

    Maybe. Mark Despault can write s song about the sobby’s parking lot mystery –If Mark cannot write a song maybe Janet K can write a story

    LOL anyway

  25. Kim says:

    I am sure there is a sensible explanation for what is happeneing, WiFi turned up, wireless security system, possible building security system, anything,there are just so many things these days that use RF signals.I have experienced this as well. Getting out of my vehicle,could not get it to lock with the remote.I reached in and locked it manually. Used my key to get in, setting off my Alarm that automatically engages when locked. To shut off the alarm I need to start my vehicle.

  26. D Michelle Fraser-Found says:

    Yupper. Happened to me Monday night at Sobey’s, parked beside the cart shelter. Thought it was the battery as well. Kind of scary when stuff like this happens… makes you wonder what else is in store for us down the road! Looking forward to more updates on this mystery.

  27. Trevor says:

    “you know mam, you can still insert the key into the door to unlock it, I know its crazy, but it might just work!”

  28. David Norman says:

    Actually Doris, last night I did notice some unusual lights in the sky over Picton way… and, there have been an unusual number of “rabbits” about. These rabbits are fearless and keep hanging around my back yard seemingly watching my every activity. I got to talking to one of them and mentioned the Marysburg vortex… when I did the rabbit scurried off. A prelude to an alien invasion perhaps?

  29. Joanne F. says:

    Same thing happened to me at Sobey’s! I thought I had an electricalfault. Unlocked the doors the old fashioned way, but my eight year old still doesn’t believe all cars had manual locks once upon a generation. Or dial phones, or 13 channels on the TV or that houses had aerials for that matter!

  30. Fran Taylor says:

    I had the same experience this morning aroun d 11 o clock. I kept going back and hitting the buttons but they wouldn’t lock. I manually locked them and as they wouldn’t unlock I had to use the key. I came home and told my husband we needed new battery’s ???? What is going on. ????

  31. Doris Lane says:

    David—-are you thinking there is some sort of electrical current in the air that you will stop entering your body if you put tin foil on your head?

    Maybr they are using something in building the rexall store that is causing this

  32. David Norman says:

    Haven’t tried it yet but I hear covering your head with tin foil helps… not sure how exactly!

  33. Mark says:

    It could be the curse of turbines or perhaps the solar farms.

    Now this may seem really difficult for some but one could always manually lock the doors and use the key to unlock!

  34. TM says:

    Blame it on wind turbines!

  35. Doris Lane says:

    Yes ,I was in Sobey’s lot on Tuesday about 5 and a lady beside me was standing by her car looking confused, She had a new car and neither fob would work so she said she was off to PRINZENS to find out what was the matter

  36. Karen Cook says:

    I just received an email from my daughter in Calgary with a link to this item. I was dumbfounded because this happened to me last night in front of Pharma Plus in Picton! I couldn’t lock the car, thought I needed new batteries, the whole deal.

    At least my daughter and I appear to have a connection even though my remote and car do not!

  37. Celia Sage says:

    Me too — near BMO.

  38. Judy Fraser says:

    Yup -same thing happened to me! I thought I needed a new battery, but it’s working just fine everywhere else.

  39. It’s the Marysburgh Vortex – it’s expanding.

  40. Kevin Simmons says:

    Hello,

    This is Kevin from the Source. Yes, there certainly seems to be a mysterious signal that is causing havok with key fobs. Since Monday I have had a great deal of customers having difficulty with these units. Testing the batteries has shown that most of these units are fully functional. On Monday, as well I was visited by the OPP investigating this situation. My own research has determined that these key fobs operate at 315mhz. I do have a piece of test equipment (Thanks to Doug Monk!) that I hope to determine the source (no its not from my store!) of this signal. So far the signal problem seems to be more towards the BMO and McDonalds end of the lot. Of course all of the business owners in the plaza are concerned about this and apologize deeply to our customers inconvenienced by this situation.

  41. Jason says:

    There are devices available which can jam the signal from your fob to the door locks. You can do this with one of these devices from 100m away. I’m not saying this is the explanation but if someone got a-hold of one of these devices they could sit on a park bench at the Cenotaph and giggle themselves senseless for hours!

  42. Doug Monk says:

    Kevin at The Source was looking into it.

  43. David Inch says:

    I believe there were other cases of this today at The Legion in Picton when I was in getting information on my grandfathers medals.

  44. UEL says:

    http://www.unexplained-mysteries.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=134293 votexs’ and “triangles” are all over the county if you research more into them you find they are supposed to be invisible magnetic fields they have the ability to move from place to place without warning the fields can cause electrical instruments from ship planes to car to stop working properly.

    form on it http://theforceiswithinyou.twilightlegend.net/t200p30-energy-vortexes

    the sudbury sun
    http://www.thesudburystar.com/PrintArticle.aspx?e=1608629

    number 4 on the top 10 of weird unusual event places
    http://www.listzblog.com/top_ten_shocking_places_events_theories_list.html

    Truth and old stories of the county still lie with remaining UE’s 😉

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