The UFO mystery is firmly grounded in hundreds of "classic" cases, well-documented reports that have stood the test of time and thorough investigation. These reports generally include many or most of the following features: multiple witnesses, a physical evidence component, typical UFO configuration, extraordinary performance, no apparent conventional or mundane explanation, and documentation of witness testimony and supporting evidence. The following examples, presented in chronological order, will be supplemented from time to time in this space. For more information, see references at the end of each case summary.
Note the following recurring features: geometrical shape (usually discoidal or elliptical), structural features such as portholes or legs, shiny metallic-appearing surface in daytime, luminosity and/or bright illumination of the environment at night, body lights, light beams, hovering and swift darting motions both horizontally and vertically, physical traces or effects.
AIR FORCE BOMBER ENCOUNTER WITH DISCS
Davis-Monthan AFB, Tucson, Arizona, May 1, 1952
Early in the 1952 UFO sighting wave two discs approached and paced a B-36 bomber in the vicinity of Davis-Monthan AFB, Tucson, Arizona. On May 1, 1952, Major Rudy Pestalozzi, a base intelligence officer, along with an airman, looked up as a B-36 flew overhead and saw two shiny discs overtake the bomber, slow to its speed and position themselves alongside.
The bomber crew, startled by the experience, made an unscheduled landing at the base and were interrogated at length by Major Pestalozzi, who happened to be the base UFO officer. Members of the flight crew had crowded into the starboard blister aft of the wing and looked down at a slight angle to see the closest disc, which was lens- or double-disc-shaped and about 20-25 feet in diameter. After about 20 seconds, the objects peeled off at an angle of 70-80 degrees from the flight path of the B-36 and sped away.
Major Pestalozzi sent a comprehensive report of the incident to Project Blue Book. Within the next two months the summer 1952 UFO sighting wave reached a crescendo, generating national headlines and stirring up major Government interest, as radar repeatedly detected UFOs, and jet interceptors engaged in cat-and-mouse pursuits.
In 1966 Dr. James E. McDonald interviewed Pestalozzi and attempted to obtain his original report from the Blue Book files, but it was missing. The report was reconstructed as carefully as possible and re-entered in the files.
(See J. Allen Hynek, The Hynek UFO Report, New York, Dell Publishing Co., 1977, pp. 109-112, 292-294; McDonald files, University of Arizona library; Project Blue Book files, National Archives.)
FORMATION OF DISCS BELOW AIRLINER
Newport News, Virginia, July 14, 1952
About a week before the famous Washington, D.C., radar-visual UFO sightings, a Pan American Airways DC-4 airliner was flying southward along the East Coast at 8,000 feet. It was a clear night with unlimited visibility. About 8:10 p.m., Capt. William B. Nash and Second Officer William Fortenberry suddenly saw six bright red objects rapidly approaching the plane, but at a lower altitude. "Their shape was clearly outlined and evidently circular," Nash reported. "The edges were well-defined, not phosphorescent or fuzzy in the least."
The upper surfaces of the discs were glowing red-orange. Within seconds the pilots saw that the objects were in echelon formation, "a stepped-up line tilted slightly to our right, with the leader at the lowest point and each following craft slightly higher." Abruptly, the lead disc seemed to slow and the next two discs in line wavered slightly, almost overrunning the leader. The discs were about a mile below the plane, at about 2,000 feet altitude, and about 100 feet in diameter.
When they reached a point almost directly beneath the plane and slightly to the right, the discs dimmed slightly, abruptly tilted on edge in unison, and reversed course. Capt. Nash reported that "...they flipped on edge, the sides to the left of us going up and the glowing surfaces facing right. Though the bottom surfaces did not become clearly visible, we had the impression that they were unlighted. The exposed edges, also unlighted, appeared to be about 15 feet thick, and the top surface, at least seemed flat. In shape and proportion, they were much like coins."
When the maneuver was completed the objects brightened again, and "...without any arc or swerve at all, they all flipped back together to the flat attitude and [still in-line] darted off in a direction that formed a sharp angle with their first course." Immediately, two more objects just like them darted out from beneath and behind the plane and sped after the departing formation.
They radioed a report of the sighting to be forwarded to the Air Force. Early the following morning, Nash and Fortenberry were thoroughly interrogated by Air Force special investigators. At that time, Nash said, "The investigators also advised us that they already had seven other reports [which] described a formation of red discs travelling at high speed and making immediate direction changes without turn radius...."
A careful computation of the times and distances involved indicated that the UFOs were travelling at about 12,000 m.p.h.
Two days later in the same vicinity, aeronautical engineer Paul R. Hill had a similar sighting from the ground of four amber-colored maneuvering objects joining up in formation. "Their ability to make tight circling turns was amazing," he stated.
(Captain Nash confirmed details of the sighting to the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena. His personal account was reported in True magazine, October 1952. Hill's sighting is reported in The UFO Evidence, NICAP, Washington, D.C., 1964, p. 57.)
HIGHLY MANEUVERABLE ELLIPSE WITH RED LIGHT BEAM
Red Bluff, California, August 13, 1960
Officers Charles A. Carson and Stanley Scott of the California Highway Patrol were on patrol near Red Bluff, California, at about 11:50 p.m., when they saw a large illuminated object apparently falling from the sky. Thinking it was an airliner crashing, they quickly stopped and leaped out of the patrol car to get a position fix.
"The first thing we noticed was an absolute silence," Carson stated in his official report. "We continued to watch until the object was probably within 100 feet to 200 feet off the ground, when it suddenly reversed completely, at high speed, and gained approximately 500 feet altitude. There the object stopped." It was an oblong or elliptical object with a definite red light at each extremity. In between the red lights, about five white lights could be seen occasionally.
"As we watched the object moved again and performed aerial feats that were actually unbelievable....The object was capable of moving in any direction. Up and down. Back and forth....It moved at high (extremely) speeds and several times we watched it change directions or reverse itself while moving at unbelievable speeds."
Twice the object came directly toward them; each time it turned and "swept the area with a huge red light. Officer Scott turned the red light on the patrol vehicle towards the object, and it immediately went away from us. We observed the object use the red beam approximately 6 or 7 times, sweeping the sky and ground areas." When the object was closest to them, they experienced radio interference.
As the object began moving off to the east, they attempted to follow it. At a point near the Vina Plains Fire Station they saw a second similar object approach the first. "Both stopped, remaining in that position for some time, occasionally emitting the red beam." Both then disappeared to the east.
Carson and Scott talked with several deputies at the Tehama County Sheriff's office who had also seen the UFO and observed the same maneuvers. The sighting lasted a little over two hours. The UFO was estimated to be about 150 feet in its longest dimension.
The case was investigated by Walter N. Webb. Carson told Webb, "I have been told we saw Northern lights, a weather balloon, and now refractions. I served four years with the Air Force. I believe I am familiar with the Northern lights, also weather balloons. Officer Scott served as a paratrooper during the Korean Conflict. Both of us are aware of the tricks light can play on the eyes during darkness. We were aware of this at the time. Our observations and estimations of speed, size, etc. came from aligning the object with fixed objects on the horizon."
(See The UFO Evidence, NICAP, Washington, D.C., 1964, pp. 61-62.)
ELLIPSE LEAVES LANDING MARKS
Socorro, New Mexico, April 24, 1964
While chasing a speeding car at about 5:45 p.m., Officer Lonnie Zamora of the Socorro Police Department heard a roar and saw flame in the sky to the southwest. Thinking that a dynamite shack in that area must have blown up, he abandoned the chase and went to investigate. As he approached the arroyo on unpaved roads he saw an elliptical object resting on legs in a gully. A red "insignia" or emblem was visible on the side toward him, and standing near it were two humanoid figures.
Zamora did not comprehend what he was seeing, so he reported in to the dispatcher that he would be out of his car "checking the car down in the arroyo." As he got out of his car he heard two or three loud "thumps," like someone slamming a door. The beings were no longer visible. The craft took off with a loud roar and blast of flames, and when it cleared the ground, rising straight up, it __came silent, levelled off and flew away horizontally. Then it rose at a slight angle and accelerated until it disappeared in the distance over the mountains, just clearing Six Mile Canyon Mountain.
After Zamora called the dispatcher to report the incident, Sergeant M.S. Chavez of the State Police was directed to the site as back-up. While waiting for Chavez, Zamora noticed that the underbrush was burning in several places. In his later report to Army investigators, Zamora described what happened next:
"Then Sergeant Chavez came up, asked me what the trouble was, because I was sweating and he told me I was white, very pale. I asked the sergeant to see what I saw, and that was the burning brush. Then Sergeant Chavez and I went to the spot, and Sergeant Chavez pointed out the tracks."
Socorro Deputy Sheriff James Luckie arrived a few minutes after Chavez, and he also confirmed the imprints and the still-smoking foliage.
Zamora had not paid much attention to the "legs" on the object at the time, but now they took on new significance. Four squarish indentations arranged in a trapezoidal pattern were visible. Four burned areas, three of them within the pattern of imprints, also were noted. Several small, shallow circular indentations adjacent to the other markings are labelled "footprints" in the Air Force case file.
The first military investigator on the scene, on April 25, was Army Captain Richard T. Holder, Up-Range Commander of White Sands Proving Grounds, along with an FBI agent, D. Arthur Byrnes, Jr., from the Albuquerque office. Major William Connor from Kirtland AFB and Sgt. David Moody, who was in the area on TDY, investigated for Air Force Project Blue Book on April 26. Dr. J. Allen Hynek arrived on April 28. Hynek also conducted a follow-up investigation on August 15, 1964. Following is an excerpt from Capt. Holder's report:
"Present when we arrived were Officer Zamora, Officer Melvin Katzlaff, [and] Bill Pyland, all of the Socorro Police Department, who assisted in making the measurements. When we had completed examination of the area, Mr. Byrnes, Officer Zamora, and I returned to the State Police Office [at] Socorro, then completed these reports. Upon arrival at the office location in the Socorro County Building, we were informed by Nep Lopez, Sheriff's Office radio operator, that approximately three reports had been called in by telephone of a blue flame of light in the area...the dispatcher indicated that the times were roughly similar...."
Zamora told Capt. Holder and Major Connor, according to their notes:
"Noise was a roar, not a blast. Not like a jet. Changed from high frequency to low frequency and then stopped. Roar lasted possibly 10 seconds覧was going towards it at that time on the rough gravel road....At same time as roar, saw flame. Flame was under the object. Object was starting to go straight up覧slowly up.....Flame was light blue and at bottom was sort of orange color....Thought, from roar, it might blow up...."
When the roar stopped, he heard a whining sound going from high tone to low tone, which lasted about a second. "Then," he said, "there was complete silence....It appeared to go in [a] straight line and at same [constant] height--possibly 10 to 15 feet from ground, and it cleared the dynamite shack by about three feet....Object was traveling very fast. It seemed to rise up, and take off immediately across country."
In 1968, Dr. James E. McDonald, an atmospheric physicist at the University of Arizona, said that he had learned of an alleged patch of "fused sand" at the Socorro landing site:
"A woman who is now a radiological chemist with the Public Health Service in Las Vegas was involved in some special analyses of materials collected at the Socorro site, and when she was there, the morning after [Apr. 25, 1964], she claims that there was a patch of melted and resolidified sand right under the landing area. I have talked to her both by telephone and in person here in Tucson recently."
She had analyzed plant fluids exuded from the scorched greasewood and mesquite plants, and told McDonald, "There were a few organic materials they couldn't identify," but most of the sample was just sap. "Shortly after she finished her work," she told him, "Air Force personnel came and took all her notes and materials and told her she wasn't to talk about it any more." Analysis reports of physical evidence at the site have never been released to the public.
Two additional witnesses, Paul Kies and Larry Kratzer of Dubuque, Iowa, submitted statements to Dr. Hynek on May 29, 1968. In May of 1978 Ralph C. DeGraw, an Iowa investigator, interviewed them. They were driving just southwest of Socorro at about 6:00 p.m. that day when they noticed something shiny and a cloud of smoke near the ground in the vicinity of the town. Later they heard a newscast about Zamora's sighting and the significance of what they had seen became apparent.
Kratzer said he watched as "a round, saucer or egg-shaped object ascended vertically from the black smoke....After climbing vertically out of the smoke, the object leveled off and moved in a southwest direction." He said the object was silvery and had a row of apparent portholes across the side and a "red Z" marking toward one end. At the time he thought it might have been an experimental vertical-lift aircraft. Kies saw only a shiny spot and the smoke.
An FBI report dated May 8, 1964, notes that Zamora has been personally known for about 5 years and is "well regarded as a sober, industrious, and conscientious officer and not given to fantasy." The report also confirms the scorched foliage and the imprints, noting that, "Each depression seemed to have been made by an object going into the earth at an angle from a center line [and each] pushed some earth to the far side."
Two years after the sighting, Major Hector Quintanilla, Air Force Chief of Project Blue Book at the time of the sighting, confided to intelligence specialists in a classified CIA publication that the Socorro case remained "puzzling." With the help of many other agencies, he had conducted an exhaustive check of military activities looking for an explanation, but none could be found.
"There is no doubt," he reported, "that Lonnie Zamora saw an object which left quite an impression on him. There is also no question about Zamora's reliability. He is a serious police officer, a pillar of his church, and a man well versed in recognizing airborne vehicles in his area. He is puzzled by what he saw, and frankly, so are we. This is the best-documented case on record, and still we have been unable, in spite of thorough investigation, to find the vehicle or other stimulus that scared Zamora to the point of panic."
(Hector Quintanilla, Jr., "The Investigation of UFOs," Studies in Intelligence (CIA), 10(4), Fall 1966, pp. 95-110. See also his similar comments in a reminiscence titled "Project Blue Book's Last Years," in Hilary Evans and Dennis Stacy, UFOs: 1947-1997: Fifty Years of Flying Saucers, John Brown Publishing, London, England, 1997, pp. 109-118. Richard T. Holder (Capt., U.S. Army) "UFO Report, 24 April 1964." Socorro El Defensor Chieftan, Apr. 28, 1964. Air Force case file, Project Blue Book files, National Archives. FBI memo, Apr. 28, 1964, from Special Agent in Charge, Albuquerque, to Director, FBI. FBI memo, May 8, 1964, from Special Agent in Charge, Albuquerque office, to Director, with report of same date titled "Unidentified Flying Object, Socorro, New Mexico, April 24, 1964." J. Allen Hynek, "Socorro Revisited," no date, circa August 1964, Project Blue Book files. Letter from Dr. James E. McDonald to Richard Hall, Sept. 5, 1968, re: "fused sand" at Socorro site. J. Allen Hynek, The Hynek UFO Report, New York, Dell Publishing Co., 1977, pp. 223-229. J. Allen Hynek, The UFO Experience: A Scientific Inquiry, Chicago, Henry Regnery, 1972, pp. 144-145.)
PATROL CAR ILLUMINATED BY UFO
Damon, Texas, September 3, 1965
About 11:00 p.m. on a Friday night, Deputy Sheriff Bob Goode, 50, was driving his patrol car south out of Damon toward West Columbia on Highway 36. Since he had suffered a bite on his left index finger earlier that day from a baby alligator, he had asked Chief Deputy Billy McCoy, 38, to ride with him in the event the pain flared up and interfered with his driving. It was a sparkling clear moonlit Texas night, and Goode rested his arm in the open window of the door as they drove through the prairie. Suddenly McCoy spotted a bright purple light on the horizon to the southwest which appeared to be about five to six miles distant. At first they thought it might be something in the nearby oil fields, perhaps an oil-drilling rig. But then a blue light, smaller in diameter than the purple light, emerged from it and moved to the right before stopping. Both lights remained in this orientation for a while before beginning to drift upward. This upward floating motion continued until the objects reached an elevation of 5-10 degrees above the horizon.
Goode then studied the lights through a pair of binoculars, but could not make out any additional features. As their curiosity mounted, the officers began to look for back roads that might take them closer to the lights. They stopped again, and this time the lights suddenly swooped toward them, covering the intervening distance in 1-2 seconds, abruptly stopping practically overhead. Their patrol car and the surrounding terrain were brightly illuminated in purple light. They could now see that the purple and blue lights were attached to opposite ends of an enormous object, hovering about 150 feet from them at about a 100-foot altitude.
In his later statement to the Air Force, McCoy described what he saw:
"The bulk of the object was plainly visible at this time and appeared to be triangular shaped with a bright purple light on the left end and the smaller, less bright, blue light on the right end. The bulk of the object appeared to be dark gray in color with no other distinguishing features. It appeared to be about 200 feet wide and 40-50 feet thick in the middle, tapering off toward both ends. There was no noise or any trail. The bright purple light illuminated the ground directly underneath it and the area in front of it, including the highway and the interior of our patrol car. The tall grass under the object did not appear to be disturbed. There was a bright moon out and it cast a shadow of the object on the ground immediately below it in the grass."
To both men, the object seemed to be "as big as a football field." Goode could feel strong heat emanating from the object onto his left arm, through his shirt-sleeve.
After a few seconds, with the strange object hovering almost directly overhead, they fled the scene and headed toward Damon "as fast as we could go," making speeds of up to 110 miles per hour. McCoy kept watching the object out the rear window of the car. For 10 to 15 seconds, the UFO continued to hover above the pasture. Then it abruptly shot back in the direction from which it had come. "After arriving at approximately its original position," McCoy reported, "it went straight up in the air and disappeared at 25-30 degrees above the horizon."
Back at Damon, the shaken officers calmed themselves, and then decided to go back and investigate again. This time they drove down the Damon-West Columbia road, but saw nothing. Finally they returned to the area where they had first seen the lights, and once again spied the purple light on the horizon, and again saw the smaller blue light emerge with a strange two-step motion and float upward. Fearing another close encounter, they again fled the area.
Goode and McCoy continued on their shift until three or four in the morning, then stopped for breakfast at a cafe. Goode noted that his alligator bite was no longer sore, and when he unwrapped the bandage he discovered that the swelling had gone down and that the wound was nearly healed. Next day, the wound showed virtually no scarring.
The deputies reported the sighting to Ellington Air Force Base, and Major Laurence Leach, Jr., arrived on September 8, 1965, to interview McCoy and Goode and take a statement. Leach's report to Project Blue Book headquarters at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base reflected his puzzlement. "There is no doubt in my mind," he said, "that they definitely saw some unusual object or phenomenon....Both officers appeared to be intelligent, mature, level-headed persons capable of sound judgment and reasoning."
(Air Force unidentified case, Project Blue Book files, National Archives. For more detailed information, see Donald E. Keyhoe and Gordon I.R. Lore, Jr., UFOs: A New Look, NICAP, Washington, D.C., 1969, pp. 7-8; McCoy statement, Brazoria County Sheriff's Department, Sept. 8, 1965; "Ellington [AFB] Probes UFO Seen by Local Deputies," Brazosport Facts, Sept. 6, 1965; Rhonda Moran, "The Night of the UFO," Brazosport Facts, Sept. 13, 1995.)
SHERIFFS WATCH HIGH-PERFORMANCE DISCS,
ALSO TRACKED ON RADAR
March 14-20, 1966: Southeastern Michigan
From about 3:50 a.m. on March 14 and for 2-1/2 hours thereafter, Washtenaw County sheriffs and police in neighboring jurisdictions reported disc-shaped objects moving at fantastic speeds and making sharp turns, diving and climbing, and hovering. At one point, four UFOs in straight-line formation were observed. Selfridge AFB confirmed tracking UFOs over Lake Erie at 4:56 a.m. Following is the log of "Complaint No. 00967" signed by Cpl. Broderick and Deputy Patterson of the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Department:
"3:50 a.m. Received calls from Deputies Bushroe and Foster, car 19, stating that they saw some suspicious objects in the sky, disc, star-like colors, red and green, moving very fast, making sharp turns, having left to right movements, going in a Northwest direction.
4:04 a.m. Livingston County [sheriff's department] called and stated that they also saw the objects, and were sending car to the location.
4:05 a.m. Ypsilanti Police Dept. also called stated that the object was seen at the location of US-12 and I-94 [intersection of a U.S. and an Interstate highway].
4:10. a.m. Monroe County [sheriff's department] called and stated that they also saw the objects.
4:20 a.m. Car 19 stated that they just saw four more in the same location moving at a high rate of speed.
4:30 a.m. Colonel Miller [county civil defense director] was called; he stated just to keep an eye on the objects that he did not know what to do, and also check with Willow Run Airport.
4:54 a.m. Car 19 called and stated that two more were spotted coming from the Southeast, over Monroe County. Also that they were side by side.
4:56 a.m. Monroe County [sheriff's department] stated that they just spotted the object, and also that they are having calls from citizens. Called Selfridge Air Base and they stated that they also had some objects [presumably on radar] over Lake Erie and were unable to get any ID from the objects. The Air Base called Detroit Operations and were to call this Dept. back as to the disposition.
5:30 a.m. Dep. Patterson and I [Cpl. Broderick] looked out of the office and saw a bright light that appeared to be over the Ypsilanti area. It looked like a star but was moving from North to East.
6:15 a.m. As of this time we have had no confirmation from the Air Base."
Washtenaw County deputies B. Bushroe and J. Foster formally stated: "This is the strangest thing that [we] have ever witnessed. We would have not believed this story if we hadn't seen it with our own eyes. These objects could move at fantastic speeds, and make very sharp turns, dive and climb, and hover with great maneuverability. We have no idea what these objects were, or where they could have come from. At 4:20 a.m. there were four of these objects flying in a line formation, in a north westerly direction, at 5:30 these objects went out of view, and were not seen again."
Deputy Bushroe told the press: "It would swing back and forth like a pendulum, then shoot upward at tremendous speed, hover and then come down just as fast." Dexter police and Livingston County sheriffs, contacted by Bushroe and Foster, "reported that they saw the same objects engaging in the same maneuvers."
March 17, 1966, Milan, Michigan. 4:25 a.m. Sgt. Nuel Schneider and Deputy David Fitzpatrick saw top-shaped objects making sharp maneuvers. They alternately hovered, rose and fell quickly, darted around at jet-like speed, their light dimming and brightening periodically. In a report to NICAP, the officers stated that two objects were operating together, circling and flying in formation, while a third object hovered at lower altitude.
March 20, 1966, Dexter, Michigan. About 8:30 p.m. Frank Mannor and family, and dozens of other witnesses, reported that a domed oval object with "quilted" or "waffled" surface and lights in the center and on each end had landed in a swampy field. Deputies David Fitzpatrick and Stanley McFadden parked car #34 adjacent to the area and began a search with Frank Mannor.
"While in the woods area," their report states, "a brilliant light was observed from the far edge of the woods, and upon [our] approaching, the light dimmed in brilliance....The brilliant light [then] again appeared, and then disappeared. A continued search of the area was conducted, through swamp and high grass, with negative results. Upon returning to the patrol vehicle, the undersigned officers were informed that one of the objects had been hovering directly over the area where our flashlight beams had been seen, and then [it] departed in a west direction of flight, at high rate of speed."
As he and other officers were rushing to the scene, Officer Robert Hartwell of the Dexter Police Department saw a luminous object buzz his car. Robert Taylor, Dexter Police Chief, said he watched an object in the field from Frank Mannor's home on a knoll overlooking the area. It appeared as a pulsating red, glowing object. Through binoculars he saw "a light on each end of the thing."
(Sheriffs' statements in NICAP files. See The U.F.O. Investigator, March-April 1966, pp. 5-6; Detroit News, March 14, 1966; LIFE Magazine, Apr. 1, 1966; Newsweek, Apr. 4, 1966.)
UFO BEAMS GREEN LIGHT ONTO HELICOPTER
Mansfield, Ohio, October 18, 1973
The four-man crew of an Army Reserve UH-1H helicopter, based in Cleveland, Ohio, was returning from Columbus, Ohio, at about 10:30 p.m. following regularly scheduled physical examinations. It was a clear, starry night with no moon. They were cruising at 90 knots at an altitude of 2,500 feet above sea level, over farmland and rolling hills. Lt. Arrigo Jezzi, 26, was at the controls from the left-hand seat. Sgt. John Healey, 35, the flight medic, sat behind him. In the right rear seat was Spec. 5 Robert Yanacek, 23, the crew chief. Commanding the flight from the right front seat was Capt. Lawrence J. Coyne, 36, a 19-year veteran of the Army Reserve.
About 11:00 p.m. near Mansfield, Ohio, Healey saw a red light off to the left (west) heading south. Three or four minutes later, Yanacek noticed a single steady red light on the eastern horizon, and reported it to Coyne. About 30 seconds later, Yanacek announced that the light appeared to be converging on the helicopter, and they all watched it warily.
As the light continued its approach, Coyne grabbed the controls from Jezzi and began a powered descent of approximately 500 feet per minute. He made radio contact with Mansfield approach control, requesting information on possible jet traffic. After Mansfield acknowledged their transmission, radio contact was lost on both UHF and VHF.
The red light appeared to be on a collision course, approaching at a speed estimated to be more than 600 knots. Coyne increased the rate of descent to 2,000 feet per minute until they reached about 1,700 feet, about 600 feet above the tree tops. With the unknown object about to ram them, the crewmen feared for their lives. Just as a collision appeared imminent, the light suddenly stopped and hovered above and in front of the helicopter. They saw a cigar-shaped, gray metallic appearing, domed object whose apparent size filled the entire windshield.
The object appeared solid, blotting out the stars behind it. It had a red light at the nose, a white light at the tail, and a distinctive green beam emanating from the lower part of the otherwise featureless "fuselage." The green beam swung up over the helicopter nose, through the windshield, and into the upper tinted window panels. The cockpit was bathed in intense green light. No noise or turbulence was noted.
After a few seconds, the object accelerated and moved off to the west. Coyne and Healey reported that it then made a distinct 45 degree turn to the right, heading toward Lake Erie. While the object was still visible, Jezzi and Coyne both noted that the altimeter read 3,500 feet with a rate of climb of 1,000 feet per minute. Yet the collective (steering mechanism) was still in the full-down position set during the descent.
As Coyne cautiously raised the collective, the helicopter continued climbing, as would be expected. At an indicated altitude of 3,800 feet Coyne finally felt that he had regained positive control. Then they felt a slight "bump." He descended to the previously assigned cruise altitude of 2,500 feet and made radio contact with Akron/Canton, which now was easily achieved. The remainder of the flight to Cleveland was routine.
At about 11:00 p.m., Mrs. Erma C. and four children were returning from Mansfield to their rural home southeast of town. As they drove south on Laver Road, they noticed a bright red light flying south. She turned the car eastward and continued on across the Charles Mill Reservoir, a distance of 3.6 miles, covered in about 5 minutes.
At this point they saw to the east a red and green light, moving together, coming down rapidly toward them. At first they assumed it was a low-flying light plane, but changed their minds almost immediately. The red was too bright, especially compared to the green. They could not see any shape or, at first, hear any sound. When they stopped the car and got out to look, they heard
the typical sounds of a helicopter. As they watched, the red light and the helicopter converged.
After the red-lighted object stopped, the green light flared up. "When we got out, everything was green. I saw that thing and the helicopter." The witnesses agreed that the helicopter was green "because of the light from the thing up above....It was so bright that you couldn't see too far. Everything was green. The trees, the car, everything."
The helicopter with the other object above and slightly ahead of it moved in tandem from southwest to northeast. Suddenly the green light went out and the object was gone. "When the light went out you couldn't see the object. And then the helicopter went northeast. Then we got back in the car and went on, and saw it [the helicopter] fly out over the lake."
Jeanne Elias, 44, was watching the news at her home southeast of Mansfield just after 11:00 p.m. She recognized the sound of an Army helicopter approaching覧so loud and near that she feared it was going to crash into the house. The sound persisted for "a long time," and when it was over her son John, 14, called out from his room. He had been awakened by the sound, and then had observed a bright green light that lit up the bedroom. The light persisted long enough for him to realize that "there must be some kind of object right above the house, because it was coming in so heavy in my room."
Investigator Jennie Zeidman conducted a time-line analysis, second-by-second, showing that the object was continuously in view of the helicopter crew for at least five minutes. This duration and the witness descriptions both from the helicopter and the ground rules out the object being a meteor.
(Jennie Zeidman, Helicopter-UFO Encounter Over Ohio, Center for UFO Studies, Chicago, 1979; International UFO Reporter, November-December 1988, pp. 13-14; International UFO Reporter, March-April 1989, pp. 17-18; MUFON 1989 International UFO Symposium Proceedings, Seguin, Texas, pp. 13-30; "UFO-Helicopter Close Encounter Over Ohio," Flying Saucer Review 22(4), pp. 15-19; Cincinnati Enquirer, October 22, 1973. Army Disposition Form incident report on case reproduced in Larry Fawcett and Barry Greenwood, Clear Intent, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, Prentice-Hall, 1984, p. 239.)
SHINY DOME-SHAPED OBJECTS LEAVE "CROP CIRCLES"
Langenburg, Saskatchewan, Canada, September 1, 1974
Farmer Edwin Fuhr, 36, was harvesting his rape crop at about 11:00 a.m., when he noticed a metallic-appearing dome-shaped object about 50 feet away in a grassy area. Stopping to investigate, he left his swather and walked to within 15 feet of the object. Noting that the object was spinning and swirling the grass beneath it, he became frightened and backed away. Climbing back on the swather, he looked around and saw four more domes arranged in a rough semi-circle, all identical and all spinning, hovering about a foot above the ground.
Suddenly one object took off, quickly followed by the other four, ascending in a step formation. At about 200 feet they stopped, each emitting a puff of gray vapor from exhaust-like extensions at the base. The vapor extended about six feet, followed by a downward gust of wind which flattened the rape in the immediate area. The objects then formed a straight line, hovered for a minute or two, then abruptly ascended into the low cloud cover and disappeared.
Later Fuhr learned that cattle in a nearby field had bellowed and broken through a fence about the time of the sighting. Going to inspect the landing area, he found five rings of depressed grass swirled in a clockwise fashion. There was no evidence of heat or burning. Some additional circles were found in the area later that month.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police Constable Ron Morier, quoted by Canadian Press, said: "Something was there and I doubt it was a hoax. There's no indication anything had been wheeled in or out and Mr. Fuhr seemed genuinely scared."
(MUFON UFO Symposium Proceedings, Seguin, Texas, 1975, pp. 113-129; International UFO Reporter, Mar.-Apr. 1992, pp. 4-11, with sketches and tables; Flying Saucer Review, 20(3), 1974, pp. 32-33, with photo and sketches; Jerome Clark, UFO Encyclopedia, Detroit, Omnigraphics, Inc., 1998, 2nd Edition, Vol. 2, pp. 571-572.)
UFOs INTRUDE INTO SAC BASE WEAPONS AREAS
Northern U.S., October-November, 1975
Over a period of about three weeks in October and November of 1975, several Strategic Air Command (SAC) bases in the northern tier states were placed on a high priority (Security Option 3) alert because of repeated intrusions of unidentified aircraft flying at low altitude over atomic weapons storage areas. The Commander-in-Chief of North American Air Defense Command (NORAD) sent a four-part message to NORAD units on November 11, 1975 summarizing the events. Some excerpts follow:
"Since 28 Oct 75 numerous reports of suspicious objects have been received at the NORAD CU; reliable military personnel at Loring AFB, Maine, Wurtsmith AFB, Michigan, Malmstrom AFB, Mt, Minot AFB, ND, and Canadian Forces Station, Falconbridge, Ontario, Canada have visually sighted suspicious objects."
On October 27-28, 1975, Staff Sgt. Danny K. Lewis, 42nd Security Police Squadron, while on duty at the munitions storage area of Loring AFB, Maine, at 7:45 p.m. saw an apparent aircraft at low altitude along the northern perimeter of the base. Other witnesses were Sgt. Clifton W. Blakeslee and Staff Sgt. William J. Long. The craft had a red light and a pulsating white light.
A teletype message to the National Military Command Center in Washington, D.C., said: "The A/C [aircraft] definitely penetrated the LAFB [Loring Air Force Base] northern perimeter and on one occasion was within 300 yards of the munitions storage area perimeter."
Staff Sgt. James P. Sampley, 2192nd Communications Squadron, was on duty in the control tower when he picked up the craft on radar nearing the base. He tried to make radio contact to warn the presumed aircraft that it was entering a restricted area. The craft began to circle in the vicinity of the nuclear weapons storage area at about 150 feet altitude. When it penetrated the nuclear weapons storage area at an estimated 300 feet altitude, Lewis reported it to the command post.
The Commander of the 42nd Bomb Wing, Col. Richard E. Chapman, arrived at the weapons storage area shortly before 8:00 a.m. and security police units were ordered into the area. Security vehicles with flashing lights converged on the scene. Col. Chapman implemented a Security Option 3 alert.
At 8:45 p.m. Sgt. Grover K. Eggleston was on duty in the control tower when a call came from the command post requesting a radar track on the mysterious craft. For 40 minutes he observed the object on radar circling around, then it abruptly vanished from the screen as if it had either landed or dropped below the minimum level of radar coverage. Witnesses observed the craft flying away toward New Brunswick. Radar tracked it again as it receded from the base until contact was lost in the vicinity of Grand Falls, 12 miles from Loring AFB.
Priority messages on the incident were sent to the National Military Command Center in Washington, D.C., the Air Force Chief of Staff, SAC headquarters, and other major commands. Loring remained on a high state of alert into the following morning. Efforts to identify the "aircraft" through the Maine State Police, local police departments, and the Federal Aviation Administration office in Houlton, Maine, were not successful.
The next night at 7:45 p.m. a similar craft with body lights again approached the base, tracked on radar, and maneuvered around in the vicinity for more than 30 minutes. Its speed and motions were similar to those of a helicopter. The craft would appear and disappear from view. Its lights went off and the craft reappeared over the weapons storage area at 150 feet (45 meters). At about this time Sgt. Steven Eichner, a B-52 crew chief, Sgt. R. Jones, and other crew members spotted an unidentified red and orange object over the flight line. It looked like a "stretched out football" (cigar-shaped) and was hovering in mid-air.
As the B-52 crew watched, the lights on the object went out and it disappeared, but soon reappeared over the north end of the runway, moving in a jerky, erratic fashion. When it stopped and hovered, Eichner and the others jumped into a truck and drove toward the object. As they turned onto the road that led to the weapons storage area, they encountered the object about 300 feet ahead hovering about five feet off the ground. Its length appeared to be equivalent to about four car lengths.
Sgt. Eichner said that it was like looking at a desert scene. "You see waves of heat rising off the desert floor. This is what I saw. There were these waves in front of the object and all the colors were blending together. The object was solid and we could not hear any noise coming from it."
The object again was tracked on radar as it departed towards New Brunswick. And once again priority messages about the intrusion were sent to higher commands. No explanation was ever found.
On October 30, 1975, at Wurtsmith AFB, Michigan, about 10:10 p.m., base personnel saw the running lights of a low-flying craft thought to be a helicopter, except that it hovered and moved up and down erratically near the base perimeter. One white light was pointed downward and two red lights were visible near the trailing edge. Airman Michael J. Myers, an air policeman on duty near the main gate, saw several unidentified lights near the western edge of the base. The object turned north and appeared to lose altitude.
Between 10:15 and 10:25 p.m., base security police at the back gate of Wurtsmith reported to the command post that an unidentified "helicopter" with no lights had come over the back gate and hovered at low altitude over the weapons storage area. Radar was also tracking low-flying objects intruding into the base, and an incoming KC-135 confirmed seeing two unidentified craft that sped away each time they attempted to close in for identification.
A teletype message November 2nd from Loring Air Force Base, Maine, Office of Special Investigations (OSI) detachment to the National Military Command Center and OSI headquarters in Washington, D.C., reported another "unidentified helicopter sighted at low level over Loring AFB" over the past two nights (October 31-November 1). It also referred to the intruder as an "unknown entity."
Capt. Richard R. Fuhs, Operations Officer, 42nd Security Police Squadron (SPS), "...advised that there had been three verified sightings of an unidentified A/C [aircraft] flying at low level over and in the vicinity of LAFB [Loring Air Force Base]" during this period. The initial sighting was made by Staff Sgt. Michael D. Scott, 42nd SPS, on duty at 11:14 p.m. Tech. Sgt. David E. Mott, Flight Chief, 42nd SPS, spotted the object from a position near the East Gate just past midnight, flying from east to west.
At Malmstrom AFB, Montana, November 7, 1975, electronic sensors at the Minuteman missile sites triggered an alarm indicating a breach of the K-7 site security at about 3:00 p.m. A Sabotage Alert Team headed toward the site, and from a distance of about a mile saw a glowing orange object over the area. As they came closer they could see that it was an enormous disc, the size of a football field, whose light was illuminating the missile site. They reported this to the launch control facility, and were ordered to proceed into the site. But they refused to do so because they were fearful of the consequences.
The object then began to rise and was picked up on NORAD radar at about 1,000 feet. Two F-106 interceptors were scrambled from Great Falls and sped toward the area, but the object continued to rise and disappeared off the radar screen at about 200,000 feet. As noted in the NORAD Commander-in-Chief's report cited above, the pilots were unable to obtain a visual sighting. Later investigation established that computer codes in the missile warhead had been altered. Several other UFO sightings at the missile sites later that evening and next day were documented in military records.
During the same time period as the SAC base intrusions, civilians, police officers, military officers, and NORAD radar saw and tracked UFOs that alternately hovered and darted around at high speed at Falconbridge Air Force Station, a radar site near North Bay, Ontario, Canada. The sightings occurred between 3:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. local time, November 11, 1975. NORAD regional director logs obtained by Larry Fawcett and Barry Greenwood gave some indication of the events, with times expressed in Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) or "Zebra" (Z) time.
1205 GMT. "Unusual sighting report" made.
1840 GMT. Jet interceptors were scrambled, airborne at 1750Z "due to unusual object sighting...UFO report from Falconbridge."
At 0202Z on November 15, 1975, "Report sent to NCOC Surveillance, referred to Assistant Command Director Space Defense Center, and intelligence. These 3 individuals considered the report a UFO report and not an unknown track report."
A detailed NORAD report on the incidents and a subsequent press release based on it both have been made public. Raymond E. Fowler quotes the NORAD report:
"Falconbridge reported [at 4:05 a.m.] search and height finder paints [radar targets] on an object 25 to 30 nautical miles south of the site ranging in altitude from 26,000 feet to 72,000 feet [appearing visually as like a bright star]. With binoculars, the object appeared as a 100-ft. diameter sphere and appeared to have craters [sic] around the outside....To date, efforts by Air Guard helicopters, SAC helicopters and NORAD F-106s have failed to provide positive identification."
On November 13, NORAD issued a press release in Sudbury, Ontario, containing essentially the same information. The press release added that, "Two F-106 aircraft of the U.S. Air Force Air National Guard's 171st Fighter Interceptor Squadron at Selfridge ANGB [Air National Guard Base], Michigan, were scrambled; but the pilots reported no contact with the object."
Seven Ontario police officers were among the witnesses to the UFOs that were also tracked on NORAD radar alternately hovering and darting around at high speed. Capt. Gordon Hilchie, director of public affairs for the 22nd NORAD Region Control Center at North Bay, Ontario, acknowledged: "Yes, we saw this so-called UFO at the same time people outside were seeing it too."
Lt. Col. Brian Wooding, Control Center Director, said: "We get quite a few UFO reports, but to my knowledge this is about the only one we've actually seen on radar, and the only time we've gone to the point of scrambling interceptors. The jets were scrambled because the indications were there was something very evident to a large number of people, and because we did manage to get some sort of radar sighting."
Del Kindschi, spokesman for NORAD headquarters in Colorado Springs, said the UFO was tracked on radar intermittently for six hours, first spotted 25-30 miles south of the radar site. The object zoomed from 26,000 feet to 45,000 feet, "...stopped a while, and then moved up very quickly to 72,000 feet." The first visual sightings were at 3:00 a.m. from Sudbury, Ontario, as brilliant lights that hovered low in the sky, then suddenly shot straight up at tremendous speed.
(Larry Fawcett and Barry Greenwood, Clear Intent, Englewood Cliffs, N.J., Prentice-Hall, 1984, pp. 27-31. See 24th NORAD Region Senior Director's log excerpt reproduced on page 29, and National Military Command Center memorandum reproduced on pp. 30-31. See also Raymond Fowler, Casebook of a UFO Investigator, Englewood Cliffs, N.J., Prentice-Hall, 1981, pp. 190-191; Fawcett and Greenwood, 1984, pp. 16-19, 46-47. Copies of Government documents in Fund for UFO Research files.)
JET INTERCEPTORS DISARMED BY UFO
Tehran, Iran, September 19, 1976
After midnight on September 19, 1976, above Tehran, Iran, two successive F-4 interceptors attempted to catch a radar-visual UFO that had been widely reported by civilians. Each time visual contact was made, and the crew attempted to arm a missile and prepare to fire it, the weapons system electronics failed.
The incident was first brought to light by the leak of a Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) evaluation report to NICAP in 1976. A three-page Department of Defense (DOD) teletype message on the case was obtained by Charles Huffer in 1977 under the Freedom of Information Act. Attached to the message was a copy of the DIA evaluation report. The main features of the message are paraphrased here, with quoted excerpts.
At about 12:30 a.m. the Air Force Command Post received citizens' calls about a glowing object in the sky. Subsequent sightings of a bright glowing object led them to scramble an F-4 "Phantom" jet from Shahrokhi AFB to investigate. The F-4 was airborne at 1:30 a.m. and proceeded to a point 40 nautical miles north of Tehran. As the F-4 closed in on the object, all instrumentation and communications (both UHF and intercom) were lost. The pilot broke off the intercept and headed back to base.
"When the F-4 turned away from the object and apparently was no longer a threat to it, the aircraft regained all instrumentation and communications." A second F-4 was scrambled at 1:40 a.m. and the electronics officer acquired a radar lock-on at 27 nautical miles, 12 o'clock high position with the rate of closure at 150 knots. As the range decreased to 25 nautical miles, "the object moved away at a speed that was visible on the radar scope and stayed at 25 nautical miles."
The DOD message said that the size of the radar return was comparable to that of a 707 tanker, although its visual size was difficult to discern because of its intense brilliance. Witnesses saw flashing strobe lights arranged in a rectangular pattern and alternating blue, green, red, and orange in color. The sequence of the lights was so fast that all the colors could be seen at once.
As the pursuit continued, another brightly lighted object emerged from the first object and headed straight toward the F-4 like a missile, at a high rate of speed. The pilot attempted to fire an AIM-9 missile at the UFO, "but at that instant his weapons control panel went off and he lost all communications (UHF and interphone). At this point the pilot initiated a turn and negative-G dive to get away. As he turned the object fell in trail at what appeared to be about 3-4 nautical miles. As he continued in his turn away from the primary object the second object went to the inside of his turn then returned to the primary object for a perfect rejoin."
Shortly after the rendezvous and merging of the two objects another object emerged from the other side of the primary object and streaked straight down. The F-4 crew watched it approach the ground and expected to see an explosion, but instead it appeared to slow and land gently, brightly illuminating the terrain. The pilot descended to about 15,000 feet and continued to observe and mark the position of the landed object before returning to base. On the return flight they experienced some night vision problems that made the landing difficult.
At daylight the F-4 crew was taken to the landing site (a dry lake bed) in a helicopter, but nothing could be seen. As they circled around to the west they picked up a beeper signal. Seeing a small house at the point where the signal was strongest, they landed and questioned the inhabitants about whether they had noticed anything unusual the night before. The people talked about a loud noise and bright flash of light.
The DIA evaluation termed this "An outstanding report. This case is a classic which meets all the criteria necessary for a valid study of the UFO phenomenon." The analysis called the UFO performance "awesome," noting that the objects displayed "an inordinate amount of maneuverability." In 1997, Richard Hall tracked down the author of the DIA report and interviewed him by telephone. At that time, he expressed a willingness to testify to a Congressional committee on what he knew about the case.
(DIA Defense Information Evaluation Report, IR No. 6846013976, 22 Sept 1976, by Maj. Roland B. Evans, USAF, Military Capability Analyst. The text of the teletype report to the Pentagon and other Federal agencies appears in International UFO Reporter, January 1978, pp. 6-7. See also Tehran Journal, September 20, 1976.)
VETERAN PILOT ENCOUNTERS UFO WITH PORTHOLES
Santa Monica, California, January 1, 1978
A dome-shaped UFO with portholes was seen in broad daylight by veteran pilot Floyd P. Hallstrom of Oxnard, California. Hallstrom had been flying for 37 years, 17ｽ as a Navy combat air crewman and personal crew chief to admirals, including the Commander-in-Chief of the Atlantic Fleet.
Hallstrom had left Oxnard at about 12:35 p.m. in a Cessna 170A bound to San Diego via Los Angeles, following a friend, Jim Victor, who was delivering another plane to a customer at Brown Field, San Diego. The plan was for him to transport Victor back to Oxnard after the delivery. The two kept in touch by radio.
As Hallstrom approached Santa Monica at 7,500 feet altitude, the sky was clear except for a smog layer in the vicinity of Los Angeles International Airport. "At this time I was looking for Jim straight ahead," Hallstrom reported, "when I spotted [the UFO] just on the edge of the haze area above LAX [Los Angeles International Airport] slightly to the east side....I thought it was Jim so I watched it for about a minute because he had just given me his position report, but it seemed to get larger and coming toward me so I naturally realized that it wasn't Jim....
"I started looking to see what it was but I could see no wings on this aircraft although at this time I could see windows which appeared to be passenger windows in the aircraft. As it drew nearer though, I was able to determine that there were no wings or horizontal empennage assembly to the aircraft as a conventional aircraft...."
Hallstrom began wondering if it was some kind of helicopter, but it was approaching at high speed. As the UFO passed about 6,000 feet to his left, he was looking down on it an angle of about 30-45 degrees. Then the true form suddenly became clear to him. There were no rotors, no tail assembly.
"All of a sudden I was able to make out the complete form of a saucer shape or round object...I could see the dome, also very vividly clear, including all the windows....[I] observed it to be of a very bright metal...it was more of a nickel or highly polished chrome or stainless steel type of metal than aluminum because it had more of a mellow glow than [if] it was of the type finish on a high finish aluminum."
About 16 to 20 evenly spaced windows were visible around the circumference of the dome, located just above the base. The dome appeared to be a perfect hemisphere about 20 feet in diameter resting on the base which was about 30 feet in diameter. The UFO continued on a course of about 310 degrees (opposite to Hallstrom's course) with no sign of rotation, oscillation, pitch, roll, or yaw. Neither was there any sign of a propulsion system. The sun reflected off the dome as a bright spot as the UFO passed. After about a minute the object disappeared from view behind the Cessna. Hallstrom estimated its speed at about 650 m.p.h. He quickly took notes and made a sketch of the UFO.
Reaching for his radio microphone, he first called Jim Victor to report what he had seen. Then he notified various FAA authorities.
Hallstrom, who was shaken by the sighting, later had troubling dreams, mostly about UFOs and aliens. He had not taken the subject seriously up to this time, but the implications of what he had seen struck home to him. He later reported that the experience had altered his entire life.
(MUFON UFO Journal, January 1978, pp. 3-5. Investigators: Robert K. Bowker and Idabel Epperson.)
DISC LEAVES EXTENSIVE GROUND TRACES
Trans-en-Provence, France, January 8, 1981
Renato Nicolai, a 52-year-old technician, was working on an upper-level terraced portion of his property at about 5:00 p.m. when he heard a whistling sound to the east. Turning, he observed an object resembling "a somewhat bulging disk like two plates glued to each other by the rim, with a central ring some 20 cm [8 inches] wide." The disc passed over two trees adjacent to his garden, descended and landed about 50 meters away.
After a few seconds on the ground, the object ascended, kicking up some dust, and retraced its incoming flight path, once again emitting a low whistle, and disappeared in the east. As it flew away, Nicolai saw two round protrusions on the underside like landing gear, and two circular areas that looked like "trap doors." The total elapsed time was 30-40 seconds.
Nicolai went to inspect the landing site, and found a circle about two meters in diameter with tracks or traces at certain spots on the circumference of the circle. Investigators described finding two concentric circles about 10 cm wide, one 2.2 meters in diameter and the other 2.4 meters in diameter.
Next day, the Gendarmerie arrived at the scene and gathered samples of the traces and control samples from outside the traces. Ultimately, GEPAN (Groupe d'Etude des Phenomenes Aerospatiaux Non-Identifies)覧a unit of the French space agency organized to investigate UFO reports覧was called in by the Gendarmerie, and 39 days after the landing they examined the site, collecting soil and vegetation samples for analysis. Their investigation also encompassed an appraisal of the witness, a check of atmospheric conditions at the time of the UFO encounter, and air traffic on the day in question. GEPAN, in conjunction with the Gendarmerie, continued their investigation over the course of the next two years.
The GEPAN final report, entitled Technical Note 16, came to the following conclusions:
1. Evidence indicates a strong mechanical pressure, probably due to a heavy weight, on the ground surface.
2. At the same time or immediately after this pressure, the soil was heated up to between 300 and 600 degrees C.
3. Trace quantities were found of phosphate and zinc.
4. The chlorophyll content of the wild alfalfa leaves in the immediate vicinity of the ground traces was reduced 30% to 50%, inversely proportional to distance.
5. Young alfalfa leaves experienced the highest loss of chlorophyll, and moreover exhibited "signs of premature senescence."
6. Biochemical analysis showed numerous differences between vegetation samples obtained close to the site and those more distant.
7. "It was possible to qualitatively show the occurrence of an important event which brought with it deformations of the terrain caused by mass, mechanics, a heating effect, and perhaps certain transformations and deposits of trace minerals."
8. Nuclear irradiation does not seem to account for the observed effects, but some type of electrical energy field might account for the chlorophyll reductions.
No single case is likely to provide absolute proof. Although some French researchers have criticized the methodology used at Trans-en-Provence, the case remains provocative and contains strong evidence suggestive of a real, unexplained, physical event.
(GEPAN, Note Technique No. 16, Enquete 81/01, Analyse d'une Trace; March 1, 1983; Jean-Jacques Velasco, MUFON 1987 International UFO Symposium Proceedings, Seguin, Texas, 1987, pp. 51-67; Jerome Clark, The UFO Encyclopedia, Detroit, Apogee Books, 1990, pp. 205-207; Eric Maillot and Jacques Scornaux, in Hilary Evans and Dennis Stacy, UFOs: 1947-1997: Fifty Years of Flying Saucers, London, England, John Brown Publishing, 1997, pp. 151-159.)
COAST GUARD ENCOUNTER WITH GIANT ELLIPSE
Lake Erie, March 4, 1988
Sheila and Henry Baker were driving home with their three children about 8:35 p.m., after going out to dinner. As they neared the waterfront, Sheila noticed something hovering over the lake and they drove down to the beach to investigate and got out of the car. The moon was bright and there was ice on the lake; Sheila could hear it cracking like claps of thunder.
Plainly visible was a huge, gunmetal gray football-shaped object that was rocking back and forth, blinding white light emanating from both ends, but it was silent. Then the object began moving, swinging one end toward the shore and descending. The Bakers became frightened, ran back to their car and fled. When they got home, the object was still visible from a window that faced the lake. The object moved out over the ice and continued to descend, with red and blue lights now flashing in sequence along its lower edge. Sheila then called the Eastlake police to report a UFO, and was finally referred to the Coast Guard.
Suddenly 5 or 6 bright yellow triangular objects shot out of the center of the large object and began darting around independently. Once they stopped and hovered, point up, around the parent object, then sped away to the north, turned east, then inland toward the Perry nuclear power plant.
At this point Sheila called the Coast Guard, which sent a team to their house to investigate. Seaman James Power and Petty Officer John Knaub arrived towing a Boston Whaler, a seaworthy boat. When Sheila pointed to the main craft and some of the triangular objects still zipping around it, the men drove closer to the lake to investigate, accompanied by the Bakers. At the lakefront they could hear the ice rumbling and roaring.
In their incident report later sent by teletype to the Coast Guard headquarters in Detroit, Michigan, the men were quoted as saying that "the ice was cracking and moving abnormal amounts as the object came closer to it."
Power and Knaub gave a running report to their base via the two-way radio in their Chevy Suburban on what they were seeing. The window was down, and the Bakers overheard them saying words to the effect, "Be advised the object appears to be landing on the lake...There are other objects moving around it. Be advised these smaller objects are going at high rates of speed. There are no engine noises and they are very, very low."
One of the triangles zoomed straight toward the Coast Guard vehicle, a blur of light, then veered east, straight up, and came down beside the parent object. Two witnesses in separate locations also reported seeing the triangles. Suddenly the triangles returned and one by one entered the side of the parent object as it seemed to land on the ice. The ellipse flashed a series of red, blue, and yellow lights, the light emanating from the end of the object turned from white to red, and the triangles re-emerged and hovered above it. The noise from the ice abruptly ceased, and the lights and triangles disappeared.
(Christopher Evans, "Space Case: The Night the Coast Guard Got Buzzed," Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 12, 1992. See also Coast Guard teletype report on incident.)
INTERCEPTOR PILOTS, GENDARMES ENCOUNTER UFOs
From late 1989 into mid-1990, a spectacular wave of sightings occurred in Belgium. Sightings were reported almost daily from October 1989 through July 1990. Witnesses included police, military and civilian pilots, and air traffic controllers. During part of this period the Belgian Air Force kept interceptors on stand-by status, equipped with infrared video cameras, and the Air Force cooperated with civilian groups in documenting and researching the sightings. In Eupen, Belgium, at 5:24 p.m. on November 29, 1989, hundreds of witnesses observed unidentifiable triangular craft maneuvering overhead. Two police officers in a patrol car were brightly illuminated by a brilliant light beam from a dark triangular object hovering at 600 to 900 feet, making a faint humming noise. The object alternately moved and hovered. One officer said the light was so dazzling "that we could read a newspaper under it." The object moved slowly in the direction of nearby La Gileppe Dam where it hovered for 45 minutes. Then it moved southwest about 13 miles and hovered over the city of Spa for 30 minutes before disappearing.
In June 1990, the Belgian Air Force released a report, including radar-scope photographs, of a 75-minute chase by two F-16 fighters of a UFO over Brussels on the night of March 29/30, 1990. During the chase, both interceptor aircraft detected the UFO on their radar; two ground radar installations also tracked it; and numerous witnesses (including 20 national policemen) observed the triangular object visually. The Air Force report stated:
"[On three occasions during the chase] the pilots managed to get their radars locked on the object, with the immediate result that the object's behavior drastically changed. The object literally played hide and seek with the fighters. It dived toward the ground to evade the airborne and ground radars. Then it climbed back into radar range in a leisurely manner, thus initiating a new chase."
Government files released to the public included a transcript of the conversation between the air traffic controller and the two F-16 pilots during the intercept mission. Excerpts of the transcript, translated into English, were reported by the Mutual UFO Network. The communications indicate highly trained pilots with topflight aircraft and radar, totally frustrated in their attempt to catch the elusive UFO due to its incredible maneuverability and its capability to abruptly change speeds.
(Vague d'OVNI sur la Belgique, Brussels, SOBEPS, 1991. The Belgian sightings were reported extensively in MUFON UFO Journal, especially July 1990, pp. 3-7; February 1992, pp. 5-6; May 1992, pp. 8-12. Paris Match, July 5, 1990; English translation in MUFON UFO Journal, August 1990, pp. 3-7. Wall Street Journal, Oct. 10, 1990, p. 1. Robert Durant, "UFO Intercept," in MUFON UFO Journal, December 1995, pp. 3-8.)
AIRLINE CREW REPORTS CIGAR WITH PULSING LIGHTS
West Texas, May 25, 1995
A cigar-shaped object with a row of brightly flashing lights along its length was observed over the Texas panhandle by the crew of a westward bound America West B-757 airliner on May 25, 1995. The case was thoroughly investigated by Walter N. Webb on behalf of the UFO Research Coalition, who interviewed the crew and air traffic controllers. Webb also obtained a copy of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) voice tapes of conversations between airplane and ground during the sighting.
America West Flight 564 was cruising at 39,000 feet near Bovina, Texas, en route from Tampa, Florida, to Las Vegas, Nevada. First Officer John J. Waller and a flight attendant saw, off to their right and somewhat below their altitude, a row of bright white lights which sequenced on and off from left to right. Waller contacted the Albuquerque FAA Air Route Traffic Control Center while the sighting was in progress and checks were made with military installations in the area, but no explanation could be found.
As the airliner proceeded westward, the lights began dropping behind. Then they observed the phenomenon against a background of dark thunderclouds. When the background clouds pulsed with lightning, they could see the silhouette of a dark, wingless, elongated cigar-like object around the strobing lights.
Though they did not know the object's exact distance, the pilot and co-pilot estimated its length to be 300-400 feet.
Air traffic controllers said the object was not visible on FAA radar. One of them contacted the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD), which monitors North American air space by radar, and said that NORAD had confirmed an unidentified radar track in the vicinity. This later proved to be a small aircraft whose transponder was not initially operative.
Next morning the controller said he had checked with NORAD again and was told that they had tracked another, very unusual target in the same general area a short time after the first覧something that at first was stationary, then accelerated rapidly and stopped abruptly, repeating this sequence several times. The bursts of speed were computed to be between 1,000 and 1,400 m.p.h. This report, based on the testimony of one air traffic controller, could not be confirmed independently.
Webb filed Freedom of Information Act requests for Government information about the case, and also checked military installations for any activities that might explain the sighting, but no known object or phenomenon could be found that correlated with the sighting.
(Walter N. Webb, Final Report on the America West Airline Case, May 25-26, 1995, Fund for UFO Research, Washington, D.C., July 1996)
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