Pilot UFO sightings Aug 26, 2010 23:21:39 GMT 1
Post by uforn on Aug 26, 2010 23:21:39 GMT 1
Pilot UFO sightings
Im going to make this thread a resource for all Military & Civillian Pilot UFO reports and sightings over the last 80 to 100 years.
PILOTS & AVIATION EXPERTS
If UFOs had not been reported by pilots of scheduled airliners, and military pilots in operation all over the globe, there might be some justification in writing off reports of ground observers as mistaken observations. For, if unknown objects are maneuvering in our skies, pilots would be among the most likely to see them. (Others whose professions cause them to spend many hours watching the skies, such as General Mills Corporation balloon trackers, also have reported numerous UFOs. )
Airline and military pilots are among the most experienced observers of the sky. Their profession requires them to spend hundreds of hours per year in the air. Few, if any, occupations require more practical knowledge of weather, other aircraft, and unusual activity such as missile tests. Undoubtedly, few groups of observers have seen more meteors or watched planets under a wider variety of sky conditions. In addition, professional pilots normally are trained in rapid identification of anything which may endanger a flight. Therefore, it is significant that airline and military pilots have reported a large number of totally unexplained UFO sightings.
Recognizing that airline pilots have special training and are in a unique position for observation, the Defense Department includes them in the military system of reporting vital intelligence sightings (CIRVIS), as detailed in the Joint Chiefs regulation JANAP-146(D). In 1954, the groundwork for CIRVIS reports was laid by meetings between representatives of the airlines and Military Air Transport Service (MATS) intelligence branch. The reason? "The nation's 8,500 commercial airline pilots have been seeing a lot of unusual objects while flying at night, here and overseas," Scripps-Howard reported. "But," the report continued, "there hasn't been much of an organized system of reporting to military authorities. . . [the airlines and MATS] agreed to organize a speedy reporting system so that a commercial pilot spotting strange objects could send the word to the Air Force in a hurry. The Air Force could then send jet fighters to investigate."
With a few exceptions, most UFO reports on record from military pilots have come from the World War II and Korean War eras, or from recently retired officers. Military pilots, naturally, are restricted from discussing the sightings freely while they are on active duty. But airline pilots (although in recent years some times under pressure from their companies not to discuss sightings) have contributed some of the best reports on record.
There had been scattered reports by airline pilots previously but "In the Spring of 1950," the former Chief of the Air Force UFO project reported, "the airline pilots began to make more and more reports - - good reports. . . In April, May, and June of 1950 there were over thirty-five good reports from airline crews." That June, Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker said in an interview:
"Flying saucers are real. Too many good men have seen them, that don't have hallucinations." Flying magazine, July 1950, published a roundup report on pilot sightings, giving them very serious treatment (as did other aviation journals in later years; for example, see RAF Flying Review, July 1957).
When NICAP was formed in 1956, four airline pilots (two of whom had personally sighted UFOs) joined the NICAP Panel of Special Advisers. Federal Aviation Agency personnel, aviation industry engineers, and other aviation experts also related their sightings and offered their services. Why are UFOs taken so seriously by professional pilots and aviation experts?
WHAT THE PILOTS HAVE SEEN
Below is a list of over 100 UFO sightings by pilots (AL=Airline pilot; M=Military; P=Private), the majority of whom reported
typical geometrical objects such as discs and ellipses. The resulting patterns of the observations, and their strong similarity to reports by other reliable witnesses are readily apparent.
Code Date Location Witnesses Description
M 8-10-44 Sumatra Capt. A.M. Reida,
USAF bomber pilot Spherical object with halo paced B-29 during mis-
sion; maneuvered sharply, climbed away vertically,
M 12-44 Austria Maj. W.D. Leet,
USAF bomber pilot Amber disc followed B-17 across Austria.
M 8-1-46 nr Tampa, Fla. Capt. Jack Puckett
USAF 4-engine pilot Cigar with "portholes" approached C-47 head-on,
veered across path.
P 6-24-47 Mt. Ranier, Wash. Kenneth Arnold,
businessman, pilot Nine flat shiny objects in line, zigzagged.
AL 7-4-47 nr Portland,
Oregon Capt. E.J. Smith,
Co-pilot Two groups of discs.
M 7-6-47 Fairfield-Suisan
AFB, Calif. Pilot (name deleted
by Air Force) UFO sped across sky "oscillating on lateral axis."
M 7-8-47 nr Los Angeles,
Calif. F-51 pilot (name de-
leted by Air Force) Flat, light-reflecting UFO passed above fighter.
P 7-9-47 nr Boise, Idaho Dave Johnson, pilot
& aviation editor;
others on ground Large disc, maneuvered erratically. [Section VII]
M 8-47 Media, Pa. W. Boyce, USAF
fighter pilot Hovering disc.
M 1-7-48 Ft. Knox, Ky. Capt. Thomas Man-
tell, Air National
Guard (A.N.G.); many
on ground Pilot killed in crash of F-51 while chasing
"huge … metallic" circular object.
P 7-48 Pasco, Wash. Don Newman, 6-year
USAF veteran of WW II
and Korean War Disc diving and climbing.
AL 7-23-48 nr Montgomery,
Ala. Capt. C.S. Chiles,
F/O J.B. Whitted,
Eastern Airlines Cigar with lights like portholes approached head-
on, accelerated, climbed away.
M 10-1-48 Fargo, N.D. Lt. George F. Gorman,
A.N.G.; 3 others "Dogfight" with disc; UFO out sped F-51.
P 1-1-49 Jackson, Miss. Tom Rush Cigar crossed path of plane, accelerated rapidly.
M 7-3-49 Longview, Wash. Cmdr. M.B. Taylor,
USN; many others
at air show Round UFO wobbling on axis, sharp maneuvers.
M 11-3-49 nr Baja, Calif. Capt. William H.
Donnelly, USAFR Four discs which cavorted in an "astounding man-
AL 3-8-50 Dayton, Ohio TWA Captains W.H.
Kerr, D.W. Miller,
M.H. Rabeneck; plus
USAF pilots Round UFO tracked on radar, observed from
ground and air, climbed away from clouds.
P 3-18-50 nr Bradford, Ill. Robert Fisher and
family Oval UFO, self-illuminated, sped past plane at
estimated 600 to 1,000 mph.
AL 3-20-50 nr Little Rock,
Ark. Capt. Jack Adams,
F/O G.W. Anderson,
Jr. Disc with apparent "portholes" flew above airliner
P 3-26-50 nr Washington,
D.C. B.A. Totten, former
USAF aircraft in-
spector Disc flew below plane; when pilot dove at it, UFO
"zoomed up into overcast."
AL 4-27-50 nr Goshen, Ind. Capt. Robert Adickes,
Capt. Robert F. Man-
ning, TWA; passengers Disc paced plane, sped away when pursued.
AL 5-29-50 nr Washington,
D.C. Capt. Willis T. Sperry,
F/O Bill Gates,
American Airlines Elliptical object circled plane, raced away.
AL 6-24-50 California desert F/O David Stewart,
United Airlines Cigar-shaped object paced plane for 20 miles.
M 6-24-50 nr Daggett, Calif. Navy transport pilot Cigar-shaped object above desert.
M 7-11-50 nr Osceola,
Ark. Lt(jg) J.W. Martin;
Enlisted Pilot R.E.
Moore, USN Domed circular UFO passed in front of two Navy
planes [confirmed by radar].
AL 10-5-50 nr San Fernado,
Calif, Capt. Cecil Hardin,
F/O Jack Conroy,
Airlines UFO with body lights came head-on at plane, dipped
down and passed below; "It appeared to be a wing,"
Captain Hardin said, "It had no fuselage. "Bands
of blue light were visible across its width.
P 11-27-50 Evansville,
Wisc. Bill Blair, commer-
cial pilot & flight
instructor Six elliptical objects in loose echelon formation,
made sound similar to helicopters. Appeared to
be at about 10,000 feet, traveling about 500 mph.
AL 12-27-50 nr Bradford, Ill. Capt. Art Shutts,
TWA Light source, making erratic and violent maneu-
AL 1-20-51 Sioux City, Iowa Capt. Lawrence
Vinther, F/O James
F. Bachmeier, Mid-
plus control tower
operators Cigar with bright body light approached, reversed
direction, climbed away.
AL 2-19-51 Mt. Kilimanjaro,
Africa Capt. Jack Bicknell,
Radio Officer D.W.
plus 9 passengers Cigar-shaped object with vertical bands hovered
for long period, ascended vertically at high speed.
AL 5-22-51 nr Dodge City,
Kans. Capt. W.R. Hunt,
American Airlines Blue-white star-like object gyrated around air-
liner, "moved backward and forward, then up
down" and finally dove below plane and sped away.
P 8-11-51 Portland, Ore. R.O. Dodge, former
USAF P-47 pilot Three disc-like UFOs in formation.
M 1-21-52 Mitchel AFB, N.Y. Navy TBM pilot Chased dome-shaped UFO.
M 3-29-52 Misawa, Japan Lt. D.C. Brigham,
USAF Small disc observed maneuvering around F-84.
M 6-52 Tombstone, Ariz. Lt. Cmdr. John C.
Williams, USN (Ret.);
others Disc hovered in plain sight, sped away.
AL 7-5-52 Richlands, Wash. Capts. John Baldwin,
plus two co-pilots,
Conner Airlines "perfectly round disc" observed hovering above
Hanford atomic plant.
AL 7-13-52 nr Washington,
D.C. Capt. W. Bruen,
National Airlines Light source approached plane, hovered, fled
when pilot turned on lights.
AL 7-14-52 Newport News,
Va. Capt. William B. Nash
F/O William Forten-
berry, PAA Six discs flew below airliner, executed sharp
turn in formation, sped away joined by two more
AL 7-18-52 Denver, Colo. Capt. Paul Carpenter,
American Airlines Three observations of speeding lights in period
of 2 minutes, maximum of 3 UFOs seen at one
time; objects appeared to reverse direction.
AL 7-20-52 Washington, D.C. Capt. Casey Pierman,
F/O Charles Wheaton Lights moving rapidly, up, down, and horizontally,
also hovered; coincided with radar 1952
M 7-23-52 South Bend, Ind. Capt. Harold W.
Kloth, USAF From ground saw two blue-white light sources;
one veered sharply.
M 7-26-52 Washington, D.C. Lt. William Patterson,
USAF Glowing objects surrounded his interceptor, con-
firmed on radar. [Section III; Section XII, July
M 8-1-52 Dayton, Ohio Maj. James B. Smith,
Lt. Don Hemer,
USAF F-86 pilots Saw and photographed round hovering object,
tracked on radar; UFO sped away.
M 8-13-52 Tucson, Ariz. Capt. Stanley W.
Thompson, USAFR Nine UFOs in three V's.
AL 8-13-52 Dallas, Texas Capt. Max M. Jacoby,
Chief Pilot; Capt. J.W.
Airlines Chased unidentified light, which turned and dove.
M Summer 52 MacDill AFB,
Fla. USAF Colonel,
B-29 pilot Investigated radar target, saw elliptical UFO.
AL 10-29-52 nr Richmond,
Va. Capt. Francisco
Rivas, Venezuelan Bright, luminous object with apparent exhaust,
traveled from 45º above plane, over horizon in
M 10-29-52 Hempstead, L.I.,
N.Y. Two USAF F-94 pilots Chased object which maneuvered at high speed.
AL Fall, 1952 New York to
Puerto Rico Capts. Charles Zam-
mett, Robert Harris,
PAA Large green sphere which hovered, then sped
M 12-8-52 Chicago, Ill. Ernie Thorpe, Co-
pilot H.S. Plowe String of lights, 5 or 6 white, one rapidly
blinking red, flew alongside plane.
P 1-27-53 nr. Livermore,
Calif. J.B. Bean Shiny circular object, climbed steeply at
M 2-9-53 nr Washington,
D.C. Lt. Ed Balocco, USMC Alerted by ground sightings, searched, saw
luminous UFO with red glow, climbing rapidly.
M 4-53 Laredo, Texas Lt. E.Wilford, USAF
jet instructor Cigar-shaped UFO leaving contrail of constant
length, made right angle turn.
P 5-21-53 Prescott, Ariz. Bill Beers; two others Eight disc-like objects maneuvered overhead for
about an hour. Beers, a veteran pilot, said the
UFOs "swooped around in formation, peeled-off,
and shot directly up and down in a manner that
could not be duplicated by a plane."
M 8-12-53 Rapid City, S.D. Two USAF jet pilots;
ground observers Multiple radar and visual sightings. [Section I]
M 9-7-53 Vandalia, Ohio Navy fighter pilots Brilliant light maneuvered around plane.
AL 10-18-53 English Channel Capt. Peter Fletcher;
F/O R.L. Lemon UFO "like two shallow saucers with their rims
AL 12-17-53 Sweden Capt. Ulf Christiernsson "Unorthodox, metallic . . .circular" UFO
AL 1-1-54 Victoria, Australia Capt D. Barker Large "metallic" elliptical UFO, speed estimated
over 7 m.p.h.
M 1954 Dayton, Ohio Lt.Col. Rchard
Senior Pilot Two UFOs which hovered, flew in formation, evaded
M 3-24-54 Florida Capt. Don Holland,
USMC Chased round UFO, which sped away.
M 5-14-54 nr Dallas, Texas Maj. Charles
Scarborough, USMC Sixteen UFOs, in groups, evaded pursuit by Marine
AL 6-1-54 nr Boston, Mass. Capt Charles
Kratovil, TWA White disc paced airliner.
M 6-23-54 Ohio Lt. Harry L. Roe, Jr. F-51 paced by unidentified light.
AL 6-30-54 nr Goose Bay,
Labrador Capt. James Howard;
crew, British Overseas
Airways Corporation Large dark UFO with several satellite objects,
paced airliner; disappeared as jet interceptor
neared to check.
M 10-4-54 Essex, England Flt. Lt. J.R. Salandin
Royal Air Force Disc (Saturn-shaped) approached head-on, veered
to one side.
M 10-24-54 Porto Alegre,
Brazil Brazilian Air Force
pilots Formation of silvery circular UFOs over base.
AL 11-21-54 nr Rio de Janero,
Brazil Captain; crew;
passengers About 19 discs rushed by close to airliner, causing
panic among passengers.
M 12-54 Nowra Air Base,
Australia Royal Australian
Navy Pilot Aircraft paced by two UFOs, ground radar confirmed
M 1955 Virginia, nr.
Washington, D.C. Cmdr., Navy pilot Disc with dome on top paced aircraft.
AL 1-2-55 nr Punta San Juan,
Venezuela Captain & crew,
National Airlines Orange light source approached plane, beam of light
shone in cockpit.
AL 2-2-55 nr Merida,
Venezuela Capt. Dario Celis,
Aeropost Airlines Top-like UFO with central ring and "portholes" paced
AL 2-11-55 Miami to
New York City Capt. J. King, PAA Two reddish-green UFOs shot by close to airliner.
P 11-14-55 San Bernardino
Mts., Calif. Gene Miller Globe of light, blinked in apparent pattern.
AL & M 12-11-55 nr Jacksonville, Fla. Navy jet pilots,
airline pilots, others Jets in dogfight with round, reddish UFO, confirmed
M 1956 North Atlantic Cmdr. Senior Pilot,
other flight crews
as passengers Large disc climbed up to R7V-2, paced it, moved
AL 2-17-56 Paris, France Air France pilot Investigated radar target, saw odd maneuvering
AL 4-8-56 Schenectady, N.Y. Capt. Raymond Ryan,
F/O William Neff,
American Airlines Bright light source hovered, sped through 90º arc.
AL 9-6-56 Pasadena, Calif. Western Airlines
pilot Reported UFO to Air Defense Command; erratically
moving white light source confirmed visually from
ground by 1st Lt. Mark Matlock, USAF.
AL 11-14-56 nr Mobile, Ala. Capt. W.J. Hull,
F/O Peter MacIntosh,
Capital Airlines Bright light source descended, gyrated near airliner,
M 12-56 Far East USAF jet pilot Radar-visual sighting of disc, radar jammed by
AL 1-24-57 Indiana Commercial pilot;
others on ground Four UFOs, in-line formation, last one larger and
P 3-8-57 nr Houston, Texas Victor Hancock and
Guy Miller UFO with three brilliant white lights sped past DC-3,
kept just ahead of plane, speeding up each time plane
AL 3-9-57 nr San Juan,
Puerto Rico Capt. Matthew Van
Winkle, F/O D.W.
Taylor, PAA, other
airliners in area Round greenish-white object came toward airliner;
outer ring appeared to reflect light from center; pilot
took violent evasive action.
AL 3-29-57 Off east coast
of Florida Capt. Kenneth G.
Brosdal, F/O George
Jacobson, PAA Observed brilliant pulsating light, confirmed by
radar. Visual sighting lasted 4 to 5 minutes.
AL 6-30-57 Belo Horizonte,
Brazil Capt. Saul Martins,
passengers Disc-like object paced airliner, maneuvered around
AL 7-4-57 nr Campos,
Brazil Cdr. Delgado,
REAL Airlines Disc with dome and "portholes" paced airliner, shot
AL 8-14-57 nr Joinville,
Brazil Cdr. Jorge Campos
Araujo, Varig Airlines Disc with dome, alternately hovered and moved at
high speed; aircraft engines affected.
P 8-15-57 Woodland Hills,
Calif. Eugene Allison, Chief
Aviation Pilot, USN
(Ret.) Disc hovered, rocked back and forth, shot straight
up out of sight.
AL 10-8-57 nr Boston, Mass. Capt. Joseph L. Flynn,
PAA Brilliant planet-like object (in daylight) moving at
high speed on steady course.
AL 11-4-57 Ararangua, Brazil Capt. Jean Vincent de
Beyssac, Varig Airlines Red light source approached below plane, made
erratic jump; electrical equipment on aircraft burnt
AL 11-6-57 Nebraska Capt. Irving Kravitz,
TWA Bright light source in high speed flight.
AL 11-9-57 Lafayette, La. Capt. Truman Gile,
Eastern Airlines Flaring bright light source, visible several minutes.
AL 12-12-57 Chatham-Windsor
area, Canada Capt. J.A. Miller,
lines; police officers,
others on ground Oval disc, changed course.
P 5-5-58 San Carlos,
Uruguay Carlos Alejo
Rodriguez Brillian UFO approached plane, hovered (pilot felt
intense heat); when pilot tried to pursue object, it
AL 5-27-58 Bahia State coast,
Brazil Cdr. Bittar,
Varig Airlines Luminous circular object maneuvered, hovered, below
AL 2-4-59 Off New Orleans,
La. Capt. H. Dunker, PAA Reddish light source sped back and forth across path
of DC-6B, shot straight up.
AL 2-24-59 Pennsylvania Capt. Peter Killan,
F/O John Dee,
ground observers Three glowing UFOs paced airliner.
AL 7-11-59 Pacific Ocean Capt. George Wilson,
PAA; several other
aircraft Formation of bright lights sped toward plane, veered
M 7-14-59 Pampulha, Minas
Gerais, Brazil Brazilian Air Force
pilot Luminous object paced B-26, hovered near airport,
reacted to flares.
M 10-7-59 nr Forrest City,
Ark. Lt. E.L. Barksdale,
Kentucky Air National
Guard Glowing UFO passed plane, pilot turned to chase it,
object sped away.
M 1960 Cincinnati, Ohio Kentucky Air National
Guard pilot Pilot pursued UFO which pulled away each time
plane closed to within about 10 miles.( Confidential
report, certified by Bluegrass NICAP Affiliate,
William D. Leet, President.)
P 3-4-60 Dubuque, Iowa Charles Morris,
flight instructor Three elliptical UFOs, in-line formation.
AL 7-2-60 nr Maiquetia,
Venezuela Captain & crew
Venezuelan Airlines Bright light source, paralleled plane for 20 minutes,
P 8-16-60 Oak Forest, Ill. Harry J. Deerweater,
former USAF pilot Disc-like UFO hovered, bobbed around in various
P 1-10-61 Benjamin, Texas W.K. Rutledge,
Thomas Glowing red UFO changed course, descended, ap-
peared to land.
P 7-4/5-61 Akron, Ohio Ernest Stadvec, owner
of flying service, for-
mer USAF bomber pilot;
others Light source dove toward plane, climbed away;
similar experience next night, confirmed by radar.
AL 7-24-61 Ilha Grande, Brazil Cdr Jose G. Saez and
crew, VASP Airlines Light source approached plane, bobbed around mak-
ing angular turns.
AL 9-21-61 Pacific Ocean nr
Wake Islnad Capt. R.F. Griffin,
BOAC; also PAA crew;
ship at sea Ring-like UFO, passed above plane and over horizon
at high speed.
P 10-2-61 Salt Lake City, Utah Waldo J. Harris,
several others Disc hovered, wobbled, moved away when pursured.
M 1-29-62 Eastern Holland Royal Dutch Air Force
pilot in F-86 UFO sighted, confirmed by radar, fled when pur-
AL 5-21-62 England Capt. Gordon Pendleton,
Airlines Globular UFO with antenna-like projections,
streaked below his Viscount.
M 5-22-62 Argentina Several Navy pilots Series of sightings by flight of aircraft.
AL 8-2-62 Liberal, Kans. Capt. Jack Metzker,
Central Airlines; air-
port observers Brilliant light source, hovered, streaked west;
airport alerted, also saw UFOs.
AL 12-22-62 Buenos Aires,
Argentina Pilots of Papagra and
airlines; control tower
operators Bright circular UFO observed near end of Ezeiza
Airport runway, took off rapidly.
P 2-5-63 nr Washington, D.C. Carl Chambers, pas-
senger Pulsating yellow-white light source, maneuvered
M 3-11-63 Hawaii Air National Guard jet
pilots Rocket-like UFO sped over high above jets, which
were at 40,000 feet.
What professional and private pilots have seen is readily classifiable into three general types of UFO phenomena
* Geometrical objects, generally circular (disc, oval, ellipse)
* Maneuvering or gyrating lights
* Cigar-shaped or rocket-like objects
(Since military pilot sightings are covered in previous sections, they will not be detailed here. In general, they correspond to nonmilitary reports, so the latter are discussed in this section as typical pilot sightings.)
The earliest recorded UFO sighting by an airline pilot, during the initial flurry of sightings in the United States, was the report by Capt. E. J. Smith, United Airlines, July 4, 1947. Flying a DC-3 from Boise, Idaho, to Portland, Oregon, Captain Smith and his crew observed two separate groups of flat round objects ahead, silhouetted against the sunset. The UFOs were visible for about 10 minutes over a distance of about 45 miles, opening and closing formation. In the second group of UFOs, three operated close together, and a fourth was off to one side by itself.
Since that date, dozens of pilots on all the major airlines have reported UFOs.
Private pilots, also, have witnessed typical geometrical UFOs. During July 1948, in Pasco, Washington, Don Newman (former Air Force pilot) watched a disc-shaped UFO with a dome on top maneuvering over the city at 1:00 p.m. "The exterior finish appeared to be spun or brushed aluminum," Newman said in his report to NICAP. The UFO alternately slowed and accelerated rapidly, diving, and climbing over the area.
On March 18, 1950, Robert Fisher was flying his family from Chicago to Keokuk, Iowa. Near Bradford, Illinois, at 8:40 a.m., he spotted an oval, metallic-appearing disc ahead and slightly to the left of his Bonanza NC 505B. The UFO was moving on a course of about 120 degrees true. (Fisher was flying a southwesterly course, approximately 225 degrees.) The UFO shone in the sunlight, but when it flew below an overcast continued to glow, indicating that it was self-illuminated. It quickly moved off into the distance, at a speed estimated to be 600 to 1,000 mph.
Near Goshen, Indiana, April 27, 1950, a bright orange-red disc paced a Trans World Airways DC-3, which was piloted by Capts. Robert Adickes and Robert F. Manning. As the crew and many passengers watched, the UFO pulled alongside the plane. It looked "like a big red wheel rolling along." Each time the pilot moved toward the object, it moved away as if controlled by repulse radar. When the pilot turned, the disc dove (presenting an edge-on view) and sped off to the north toward South Bend.
A month later (May 29), an American Airlines plane departed Washington, D. C., enroute south over Virginia. About 9:30 p.m., First Officer Bill Gates noticed a light approaching the airliner head-on and notified Capt. Willis T. Sperry. Flight Engineer Robert Arnholt also witnessed what followed. An unidentified object with a brilliant bluish light on the leading edge neared, and seemed to stop. Suddenly it darted to the left of the plane, stopped for a few seconds, then circled around to the right. There it was silhouetted against the moon, revealing a torpedo-shaped or narrow elliptical body. Finally the UFO sped away to the east. Captain Sperry called the speed "fantastic," and said it was "without a doubt beyond the limits of any known aircraft speeds."
A "perfectly round disc" hovering above the Hanford atomic plant, Richland, Washington, was observed by four veteran pilots July 5, 1952. The four Conner Airlines pilots were interviewed by United Press when they landed in Denver, Colorado, and their story was put on the newswires that day.
Capt. John Baldwin (former Air Force pilot, with 7000 hours airline pilot experience at the time) said he was flying near the Hanford atomic plant at about 9000 feet. The UFO was noticed above the plane about 6:00 a.m. It was "just below a deck of wispy clouds about 10,000 to 15,000 feet directly above us," Baldwin said. He described it as "a perfectly round disc, white in color and almost transparent with small vapor trails off it like the tentacles of an octopus." [cf., September 24, 1959 FAA case below]
Capt. George Robertson, D. Shenkel (both former Air Force pilots) and Steven Summers confirmed Baldwin's report. "All of us have been flying a number of years," Baldwin said, "and we've seen all kinds of clouds and formations, but none of us had ever seen anything like this before."
At first, the UFO was hovering. Then it "seemed to back away" and tilt edge-on. "It became flat, gained speed and then disappeared quickly," Baldwin reported.
On the evening of July 14, 1952, a Pan American Airways DC-4 airliner, flying at 8,000 feet, was approaching the Norfolk, Virginia, area enroute to Miami. The senior Captain was back in the cabin and Capt. William B. Nash, temporarily acting as First Officer, was at the controls. In the right hand cockpit seat was Second Officer William Fortenberry. The night was clear and visibility unlimited. Norfolk lay about 20 miles ahead, on the plane's course of 200 degrees magnetic. Off to the right were the lights of Newport News.
About 8:10 p.m. EST, both men noticed a red brilliance in the sky, apparently beyond and to the east of Newport News. The light quickly resolved itself into six bright objects streaking toward the plane, at lower altitude. The UFOs were fiery red. "Their shape was clearly outlined and evidently circular," Captain Nash stated. "The edges were well-defined, not phosphorescent or fuzzy in the least." The upper surfaces were glowing red-orange.
Within seconds, "we could observe that they were holding a narrow echelon formation--a stepped-up line tilted slightly to our right, with the leader at the lowest point and each following craft slightly higher," Captain Nash said.
Abruptly, the leader seemed to slow. The second and third objects wavered slightly and almost overran the leader. The pilots estimated that the UFOs were a little more than a mile below them, at about 2,000 feet, and about 100 feet in diameter.
When the line of discs was almost directly underneath the plane and slightly to the right front, the UFOs abruptly flipped up on edge in unison and reversed direction. (See diagram.) Captain Nash described the maneuver: " . . . 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.
"While all were in the edgewise position, the last five slid over and past the leader so that the echelon was now tail foremost, so to speak, the top or last craft now being nearest to our position. Then, without any arc or swerve at all, they all flipped back together to the flat attitude and darted off in a direction that formed a sharp angle with their first course, holding their new formation.
"Immediately after these six lined away, two more objects just like them darted out from behind and under our airplane at the same altitude as the others."
As the two additional discs joined the formation, the lights of all eight blinked out, then came back on again. Still in line, the eight discs sped westward north of Newport News, climbed in a graceful arc above the altitude of the airliner. Then the lights blinked out one by one, though not in sequence.
Captain Nash also noted that the original six discs had dimmed slightly before their angular turn, and brightened considerably after making the turn. The two discs speeding to join the formation were brightest of all. Captain Nash and Third Officer Fortenberry radioed a report of the sighting to be forwarded to the Air Force.
"At 7:00 a.m. the morning after the sighting," Captain Nash reported, "we were telephoned by the Air Force. . . to come for questioning. There were five men, one in uniform; the others showed us I.D. cards and badges of Special Investigators, USAF. In separate rooms, we were questioned for one hour and 45 minutes- -then about a half hour together. We made sketches and drew the track of the objects on charts.....the tracks matched....the accounts matched. . . all conversation [was] recorded on a stenotype machine.
"They had a complete weather report. . . it coincided with our visual observations. . . our flight plan. The investigators also advised us that they already had seven other reports. One was from a Lieutenant Commander and his wife. . . They described a formation of red discs traveling at high speed and making immediate direction changes without turn radius. .
"Regarding speed: We tried again to be very conservative in our computations. The objects first appeared about 10 miles beyond Newport News. . They traveled to within about a half mile of our craft. . . changed direction, then crossed the western suburban edge of the town areas. . . out over a dark area at least 10 miles beyond the lights, then angled up at about 45 degrees.
"We drew a line through the lighted area, measured the distance from our aircraft (and we knew our exact position both visually and by VAR navigation using an ILS needle) to the line through the lighted area. The distance was 25 miles. We had seen them cross this line twice, so we knew they had traveled at least 50 miles. . . . To get a time, we, seven times, separately, using our own panel stopwatch clocks, pushed the button, mentally went through the time, even to saying to ourselves again, 'What the hell's that!' Each time we came up amazingly close to 12 seconds. To be conservative, we increased it to 15 seconds....50 miles in 15 seconds equals 12,000 miles per hour."
Hovering Green Sphere
During the Fall of 1952, three airliners 15 minutes apart sighted a UFO simultaneously. Pan American Airways Captains Charles Zammett, Robert Harris, and William Hutchins were flying DC-4 aircraft about 600 miles south of New York, enroute from New York City to San Juan, Puerto Rico. Suddenly they all saw ahead of them a huge green ball, extremely brilliant and much larger than a full moon in apparent size. The object seemed to be absolutely stationary.
The sighting was not reported to anyone until several years later when one of the pilots happened to fly with Capt. William B. Nash, PAA pilot and NICAP Adviser. Captain Nash describes what happened next:
One ship called to one of the others: "Do you see that?"
"I'll say I see it! What the devil is it?"
Then the third crew broke in: "We see it too. Who could miss it!"
The three pilots continued to watch the amazing sight for about 45 seconds, as the UFO stood perfectly still. Then one pilot started to ask: "Do you think we'll pass it---------- wow! Look at it go !"
Just then the bright green orb suddenly sped off to the west at fantastic speed. They watched it move straight away from them on a horizontal path gradually diminishing in size, seemingly due to perspective diminishment.
John B. Bean, a flyer with 17 years experience, made the following report in a letter dated February 7, 1953.
"On the afternoon of January 27, 1953, after stopping at the Purchasing Office of the Atomic Energy Commission Research Facilities near Livermore, California, I was driving north on the road which runs parallel to the eastern fence bounding the Commission properties. Immediately opposite the northeast corner of the fence, I pulled over to the side of the road in order to stop and check some papers which I had in my briefcase behind the front seat of my car. In order to do this, I opened the door and stepped out of the car, thus facing southward. Having finished removing the papers from the briefcase, I was about to climb into the car again when I heard the sound of airplane engines overhead coming in from an easterly direction. . . . It was a DC-6 letting down in the direction of Oakland Municipal Airport, which is to the west of Livermore. Estimated altitude of this aircraft was 2,500 to 3,000 feet.
"As the DC-6 proceeded westward, I was about to take my hand down from my eyes when I noticed a small, whitish object proceeding southward on a course which had just brought it across the Commission property. My initial reaction was that it was some sort of plant fiber floating in the air. Since this was the first clear, sunny day in several weeks and the atmosphere was very spring like, it was a perfectly natural reaction.
"It suddenly occurred to me that we are still in the middle of winter and, insofar as I knew, there were no plants which were giving off any white fibrous substance into the air at this time. As this realization came to me, I also noticed that this object was moving directly away from me at a very rapid rate of departure.
"It began a shallow left turn and at that point I could see that it was perfectly round and had a metallic sheen somewhat similar to that of aluminum with a satin finish. I believe another term for this type of finish on aluminum is known as brushed aluminum. It did not have a sharp glint which one often sees when light is reflected from a conventional aluminum aircraft. The light was more diffused and whitish in color. . . Having gathered my wits about me to this extent, I followed its course and suddenly it began to alter direction, at first seemingly heading due south again, and then suddenly making a steep right hand turn. It also began to climb at the most terrific rate of ascent that I have ever witnessed. I should like to say parenthetically at this point that only the week previously I had watched two swept-wing F-86's chasing tails near Hamilton Field late one evening. The two F-86's had remained relatively stationary over one spot and I had an excellent opportunity to watch them in several merry-go-rounds. A number of times they each climbed almost vertically, but their speed was insignificant compared to the speed at which this object was able to climb and execute a sharp right turn.
"The moment the object began its climb, I started a count of 1,000-2,000-3,000. By the time the count of 3,000 had been reached the object disappeared from sight.
"At this moment, coming in from the East on a due westerly heading, at an altitude somewhat lower than that at which I had sighted the disc, was a jet. It was leaving a very definite contrail all the way across the sky and was on a collision course with that of the disc prior to its rapid ascent. When I say collision course, I mean that directionally the two objects were on a collision course but that actually they were separated by several thousand feet of altitude. However, it occurred to me that the disc might have taken evasive action in order to avoid the jet.
"The jet proceeded on its course due west and to the south of the Atomic Energy Commission grounds and at a point approximately over Hayward or Castro Valley turned and headed due north.
"The interesting facts about this sighting were that I had three distinct types of aircraft within my sight range simultaneously so that it was possible to evaluate their relative speeds. Thus there was no question that the disc-like object had far more power and far more rapid maneuverability than the other two. An additional interesting factor to be kept in mind is that, where as the jet was leaving a distinct contrail at the higher altitude, the white disc left no contrail whatsoever. Neither of the two higher aircraft made any sound. However, both of them were well to the south of my position and the wind was blowing from me toward them at about 15 to20 knots. Actually I imagine the correct direction of the wind was approximately north-northwest.
"As soon as the sighting was over, I glanced at my watch and noticed the time to be 1343. The date again was the afternoon of January 27, 1953 and the atmospheric conditions were CAVU.
In closing, there is one other factor which may be of interest. The whole elapsed time from the original sighting to the disappearance of the disc was approximately nine seconds in my estimation. It may have been slightly longer, but certainly no shorter. Three of those seconds were counted time, three or four of them were observed time when I had my wits about me, and the other two to four were initial-reaction time."
A disc-shaped UFO paced a Trans-World Airways plane June 1, 1954. United Press reported the incident (newswire copy on file at NICAP):
FLYING SAUCER OR A WEATHER BALLOON... THAT SEEMS TO BE THE ISSUE BETWEEN AN AIRLINES PILOT AND THE AIR FORCE.
TRANS-WORLD AIRWAYS PILOT CHARLES KRATOVIL OF PORT WASHINGTON, NEW YORK, SAYS HE SAW AN UNIDENTIFIED OBJECT . . . LARGE, WHITE-COLORED, AND DISC-SHAPED.
HE SAYS HE AND HIS TWO CREW MATES SPOTTED THE OBJECT 10 MILES NORTH OF BOSTON THIS MORNING
THAT IT WAS PURSUING THE SAME COURSE AS HIS PLANE BUT WAS OBSCURED BY HIGH CLOUDS.
KRATOVIL SAYS HE RECEIVED A MESSAGE FROM THE AIRLINES BOSTON OFFICE QUOTING THE AIR FORCE AS SAYING THE OBJECT PROBABLY WAS A WEATHER BALLOON.
HOWEVER, THE PILOTS PUT IT THIS WAY:
"IF THIS IS A WEATHER BALLOON... IT'S THE FIRST TIME I EVER SAW ONE TRAVELING AGAINST THE WIND."
Charles R. Morris of Dubuque, Iowa, attempted (unsuccessfully) to film three elliptical objects observed by him and his wife on March 4, 1960. The 8 mm kodachrome film, which he exposed in late afternoon, failed to show the UFOs. At 5:57 p.m. while watching one of his flying students perform aerobatics, Morris first noticed the three UFOs in the southeast sky. They moved in line, glowing a neon-like blue-white and arced from about 25 degrees elevation in the southeast toward the northeast. In about 4 minutes, the objects covered an area of about 135 degrees. During that time, Morris ran into the house for his camera while his wife continued to watch the UFOs. As the objects disappeared in the distance to the northeast, they appeared to be climbing slightly.
NICAP Member Lex Mebane telephoned Morris and interviewed him at length a few days after the sighting, obtaining some additional information. At their largest, the UFOs appeared to be about one-eighth the apparent size of the moon. They made no sound and left no trails. The third UFO lagged behind occasionally. [cf., February 24, 1959, American Airlines case, following.]
Morris was interrogated by the Air Force, who told him there were no aircraft scheduled in the vicinity. He had checked independently with Cedar Rapids Air Traffic Control and determined the same.
Maneuvering or Gyrating Lights
The typical disc-shaped or elliptical UFOs seem to fly a recognizable course, though they do hover, alter direction abruptly and accelerate rapidly. The second main category of sightings, however, displays a characteristically different pattern of flight in a number of cases. This pattern has been compared to the gyrations of a hummingbird--alternately hovering and flitting here and there, horizontally and vertically. Whether some of the erratically maneuvering lights seen at night are in fact different from the geometrical UFOs observed in daylight is an open question. In some cases the lights have proved to be body lights on discs or ellipses; in others no definite silhouette could be seen.
TWA Pilot Reports Gyrating Light
December 27, 1950: A TWA flight was enroute from Chicago to Kansas City. Shortly after sunset Capt. Art Shutts, at the controls, noticed a bright white light ahead of the plane, also flashing to green and red occasionally. The aircraft was on a heading of approximately 200 degrees. At first Captain Shutts thought it was a star, until it began to "wobble and swerve unsteadily." Then the UFO began to streak back and forth in a north-south line, through an arc of 10 degrees to 30 degrees, changing direction abruptly. The UFO would move at terrific speed, hover oscillating slightly, then speed up. Captain Shutts noticed that the visible horizon near the UFO appeared to vibrate as if light were being distorted, especially after the object put on a burst of speed.
Finally the light dimmed to a pinpoint and began to move slowly south in a straight line. Suddenly it "lurched," accelerated rapidly and zoomed upward at a 45 degree angle, made a nearly square turn, plunged downward and disappeared below the horizon on a north heading. It had been visible for 25 minutes. 
Chief Pilot Chases Unidentified Light
The following is an exact copy of a 1952 United Press news wire report:
DALLAS, TEX., AUG. 15--(UP)--A VETERAN AIRLINES PILOT TOLD TODAY HOW HE CHASED A MYSTERIOUS ORANGE LIGHT THROUGH THE SKY NEAR DALLAS IN AN ATTEMPT TO LEARN WHAT IT WAS HE HAD SIGHTED SKIMMING THROUGH THE AIR.
THE PILOT, CAPT. MAX M. JACOBY, MERELY CALLED THE OBJECT A "LIGHT." HE SAD HE WAS AFRAID HE WOULD BE LAUGHED AT
JACOBY, CHIEF PILOT FOR PIONEER AIRLINES, SAID HE SAW THE LIGHT WHILE ON A ROUTINE TEST FLIGHT WEDNESDAY NIGHT. HE SAID HE DELAYED TELLING OF THE INCIDENT BECAUSE HE FEARED HE WOULD BE RIDICULED.
JACOBY SAID HE MADE AN EFFORT TO INTERCEPT THE LIGHT BUT IT ELUDED HIM AND FINALLY DISAPPEARED.
HE SAID HE FIRST SPOTTED IT 15 T0 25 MILES FROM LOVE AIR FIELD AT AN ALTITUDE OF ABOUT 3,000 FEET
THE PILOT SAID THE OBJECT TURNED AND DIVED BUT THE APPEARANCE OF ITS BODY "DID NOT CHANGE WHEN IT TURNED . . I COULDN'T TELL WHETHER IT WAS JUST A LIGHT OR A LIGHT COMING FROM SOME OBJECT."
HE SAID HE WAS ACCOMPANIED ON THE FLIGHT BY CAPT. J.W. MCNAULTY, ALSO A PILOT
June 23, 1954: An Air National Guard pilot, flying an F-51 Mustang fighter, was trailed by a UFO over Ohio. The incident was reported to Leonard H. Stringfield, then director of an Ohio- based UFO investigation organization. [See Section VII; Ground Observer Corps]. Lt. Harry L. Roe, Jr., first noticed the object about 8:00 p.m. near Columbus, and kept it in sight for 45 minutes all the way to Vandalia. Lt. Roe repeatedly tried to maneuver so that he could see a silhouette behind the "round white light," but "it kept maneuvering around so it was against the darkened part of the sky." When Roe swung the F-51 around to give chase, the UFO "took off" and sped away.
November 14,1955: Another UFO which gave the appearance of intelligence behind its actions was observed at night above the San Bernardino Mountains of California. Gene Miller, a former Air Force instructor, was enroute from Phoenix, Arizona, to Banning, California. His passenger, Dr. Leslie Ward (Redlands physician) also witnessed the UFO.
A "globe of white light" appeared ahead of Miller's plane, moving very slowly. Assuming it was an airliner, he blinked his landing lights twice. The "white globe" went out twice, in apparent acknowledgment. As the light grew larger, closing on his plane, Miller flashed his landing lights three times. The UFO, he said, blinked three times, then "suddenly backed up in mid-air."
The sighting by Miller, who later became a NICAP member, was reported in the Los Angeles Times, November 26, 1955.
Commercial Plane Follows UFO
April 8, 1956: A very brilliant light was followed across New York State by an American Airlines plane. The pilots were Capt. Raymond Ryan and First Officer William Neff. The chase was described by radio to Air Force and civilian control tower operators. The following account of the sighting is taken from a tape-recorded interview program, "Meet the Millers," On WBEN TV, Buffalo, New York, April 16, 1956 (tape on file at NICAP). Mr. and Mrs. Miller are the interviewers (Int.); Captain Ryan, F/O Neff, and Bruce Foster (a Bell Aircraft Company engineer) are the guests:
Int: Was that a regular flight of American Airlines?
Ryan: Yes, it was.
Int: From Buffalo to New York?
Ryan: This flight comes out of New York and lands at Albany, Syracuse, Rochester, and terminates in Buffalo.
Int: What was your first idea that anything was happening-- that you were seeing something?
Neff: This very brilliant white light, like an approaching aircraft with its landing lights on. Naturally we moved away from it thinking that's what it was. Then we noticed it was standing still at the time and we got sort of curious.
Int: Just about what location was this?
Ryan: This was just about over Schenectady. We were coming out of Albany. We took off north and we made a left turn and we noticed this light over Schenectady. It seemed to be standing still.
Int: A light? Now, when you say a light do you mean a light like a light bulb- about that color?
Ryan: Oh yes, very fluorescent--a very bright light.
Int: A big what?
Ryan: A large light. It looked more like a light coming into Albany airport.
MIT: And both of you saw it? At the same time?
Int: How close were you to it, do you think?
Ryan: We turned a little bit to pass to the south of it, and we were probably 2 or 3 miles from it.
Int: And the thing was just standing there?
Ryan: Just about standing; it was off our wingtip.
Int: Was there anyone else on the flight with you?
Ryan: Oh, we had Miss Reynolds, our stewardess was with us.
Int: Did she happen to notice it too?
Ryan: She came up. We called her and she came up and looked at it later on after this had taken off at this terrific speed from where we first noticed it.
Int: How long was it stationary there?
Neff: We couldn't say that it was actually stationary.....(several talking at once) < br />
Ryan: · . . from the time we were off the ground at Albany, until we--it's about 15 miles by air to Schenectady and it was off our wingtip, and we watched it go through a ninety degree arc, go right straight to the west, and it was-- how many seconds does it take to go through a ninety degree arc?
Foster: How fast would you say it appeared to be going? Did it change speed very radically during the time that you saw it?
Ryan: The initial speed l would say probably was 800 to 1000 miles an hour. How fast can it--it's hard to say, just to compute that speed.
Neff: Certainly much faster than another airplane would.
Ryan: Oh much faster, much faster than a jet.
lnt: Faster than a jet?
Ryan: Yes ma 'am.
Neff: Couldn't be a jet, not at that altitude because their fuel is so critical.
Foster: Did it appear to change color at all?
Ryan: Yes it did. It changed color after it got to the west of us, probably 8 to 10 miles. It appeared--the light went out, that's what had Bill and I concerned. It went out momentarily, and we knew there was something up there, and now here we were with a load of passengers with something on our course up ahead, and what are we going to do, so we watched this where the light went out and this orange object came on--this orange light.
Ryan: We looked at one another a little bit amazed, so we decided we'd call Griffiss Air Force Base, and I thought they had the radar on. . . And they didn't have it on- It would taken them 30 minutes to energize the set.
Neff: They asked us to keep it sighted and we did, and we kept calling out our location and as we told them where we were we turned all our lights on. They asked us to turn them off and they could see us, and they asked if this object you see is orange in color. We said it was---
lnt: This is after it turned on I understand
Ryan: Yes. They said "we have a definite silhouette in sight south of the field." Now those fellas are observers who are in the tower. They said that they could see a silhouette.
Neff: Watertown could see it and they're quite a ways north of Griffiss, and Albany saw it--two men in the tower at Albany--one an Air Force man and one a CAA man. And they saw it after we first called them, and noticed--and they looked over to the west and saw it right away.
Int: And when they saw it was it moving?
Neff: Well, we didn't get to talk with them---
Int: But to you it was moving?
Neff: Oh yes.
Int: Real fast?
Ryan: It stayed just that far ahead of us, and they asked us what our point of next intended landing was, and 1 told them Syracuse, and they wanted to be identified--our aircraft, number and serial number, and they said "well abandon that next landing temporarily and maintain the course and your altitude," so we did. They were calling scramble.
Int: When you said ****(garbled), was it low, or was it low for a jet?
Neff: Well, it was low and it was also low for a jet. There happened to be an overcast that evening which eliminated the possibility of a star right off the bat, and ****(gar bled) the way I understand it a jet burns up three or four times the amount of fuel at low altitude than it does at high altitude. 1 don't think a jet could stay down that long with out using up a considerable amount of gas.
Int: How fast were you going?
Ryan: About 250 miles per hour.
Int: ****(garbled) then did they slow down or why didn't **** (garbled)
Ryan: They must have slowed down. "They" or 'it" must have slowed down.
Neff: We trailed out as far as Oswego which is right on the south shore of Lake Ontario and we passed up our point of landing at Syracuse and we weren't sure we should hold the passengers up any longer, and of course we didn't advise them.
Ryan: We called them (Griffiss AFB) and they said they were "about off, "and that was about 8 minutes and we couldn't work them any longer, and we turned over with Syracuse tower, and they were giving--relaying the messages back and forth, and it was then about 10 to 12 minutes and they're still not off yet. And we can't - -I don 'I know, we'd probably still be flying. I just don't know where the jets were. Why didn't they get the jets up?
Int: Well what happened to the object?
Ryan: It went off, it just went to the northwest and it went out of sight.
Foster: Was it more rapid? All of a sudden did it accelerate its speed?
Ryan: It did appear to - -after it got over the water it appeared really get out of sight very fast.
Neff: It did, in the direction of Toronto--in that direction.
Int: Was this object saucer-shaped or not?
Ryan: Oh I don't know; I couldn't say.
Neff: There was no definite shape to it, it was just a brilliant light,
Radar-Visual Sighting by PAA Flight
March 19,1957: About 7:30 p.m. local time, Pan American flight 206A was northbound off the east coast of Florida, at 30 degrees N. Latitude. The plane was enroute to New York from Nassau at 16,000 feet, moving through the tops of cumulus clouds, on a heading of 25 degrees magnetic. At the controls was Capt. Kenneth G. Brosdal, The engineer, John Wilbur, was in the co-pilot's seat. The co-pilot, George Jacobson, was navigating.
"About 50 miles east of Papa-3, a checkpoint between Nassau and Tuna," Capt. Brosdal stated, "we (the co-pilot, engineer and myself) saw this very bright white light. It seemed to grow in intensity to the point where it would be about 3 or 4 strengths of a rising Venus, then would subside. This happened about 3 or 4 times, during which I came to enough to check on the radar screen. Sure enough, a target showed up at 3 o'clock between 45-50 miles away.
"Using the cursor on the face of the radar, I checked the angle of sighting and it checked with the visual angle. This light appeared to be stationary, or moving in a N.E. direction (same as us). I observed this on the scope long after the light went out. I checked with Miami ATC [Air Traffic Control] but no other traffic or firing was in the area, to their knowledge."
The radar set, tuned to the 50 mile range, tracked the unidentified target for 20 minutes. The visual observation lasted 4-5 minutes. "The blip on the scope," Capt. Brosdal added, "indicated an apparent size in excess of the size of normal aircraft. The altitude of the light, on the basis of angle of sight and radar ranging, was estimated to be 20,000 to 25,000 feet."
Capt. Brosdal indicated that he was most impressed by the exceptional intensity of the light during the bright phase of pulsation.
Pilot Reports High-Speed Light
October 8, 1957: Another Pan American pilot sighted an unidentified light. Capt. Joseph L. Flynn, bringing a DC -7C flight into New York from Paris, noticed the UFO at 7:05 a.m. about 25 miles southwest of Boston. The object, "like a star traveling very fast," showed up to the right of the plane. "The sun was directly behind the plane and the object glowed a very bright silver," Captain Flynn said. "It was much brighter than the morning star." The pilot turned the plane and, for five minutes, tried to follow the UFO. But it sped out of sight.
At first Captain Flynn assumed the object was the Russian satellite, Sputnik I. But a check with the Smithsonian Institution's astrophysical observatory revealed that the satellite had passed over the New York area at 8:03 a.m., nearly an hour after the UFO sighting. Nor would a satellite be so readily visible or appear to travel at high speed as described.
Gyrating Light Ascends After Crossing Path of Plane
February 4, 1959: Over the Western Caribbean, 3:00 a.m., Capt. H. Dunker, Pan American Airways, was piloting a DC-6-B from New Orleans to Panama. He and the crew saw a reddish light speed across their course from right to left (west to east).
About 45 degrees to their left the light stopped suddenly, fading in luminosity. Seconds later it sped back across and stopped about 10 degrees to the right. Then the UFO moved again to the left. After remaining visible about 45 seconds, the object went straight up out of sight at tremendous speed.