A bizarre occurrence in Owensboro Thursday morning might have made a professional conspiracy theorist wonder if alien spacecraft were hovering overhead. Long story short...no spacecraft.

Several Owensboro Motorists Report Breakdowns Thursday Morning

But when multiple vehicles break down on the same morning, you could understand if someone thought a sequel to Close Encounters of the Third Kind was playing out in our humble river city.

After several motorists bought gasoline at a Shell Station on Carter Road and Tamarack Road, comments like the ones below began making appearances on social media:

Hannah McCarty -- Did anyone get gas this morning at the Shell on Carter & Tamrack and have car issues? If so, message me!

Jessica Clark Quinn -- YES! I was stuck at the light getting off the bypass onto Parrish. Someone stopped me and told me about it. I have a number too. Let me know what comes out of it. I am seeing cars broke down all over town.

Madasin Ebelhar -- Yes! We was broke down with our kids in the middle of Carter when it was super busy, had to call a cop to help us get it out of the left turning lane to get onto the bypass.

Why This Shell Gasoline Caused Owensboro Vehicles to Break Down

Hinderliter Construction Inc. is also a company that maintains gas pumps in a four-state coverage area, including Kentucky. I spoke with Hinderliter's Brian Hickey who told me what happened.

The massive underground gas tanks are sealed with a cap and a gasket that are secured by two arms. One of the arms in one of the tanks broke off, resulting in rainwater getting into the gasoline. By the time the alarms went off, enough drivers had purchased gas to cause a mass breakdown incident in Owensboro.

Customers who bring in their receipts from purchases made while this was happening will be reimbursed. The pumps have been shut down until further notice.

LOOK: See how much gasoline cost the year you started driving

To find out more about how has the price of gas changed throughout the years, Stacker ran the numbers on the cost of a gallon of gasoline for each of the last 84 years. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (released in April 2020), we analyzed the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline from 1976 to 2020 along with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for unleaded regular gasoline from 1937 to 1976, including the absolute and inflation-adjusted prices for each year.

Read on to explore the cost of gas over time and rediscover just how much a gallon was when you first started driving.

Gallery Credit: Sophia Crisafulli