An Incredible Pilot/UFO Encounter.
Introduction – My Personal Overview
The many UFO sightings I’ve investigated mostly happen to people who were in the right place at the right time and having a wide field of vision around them.
That is walking in parks, on beaches, camping etc etc. A head stuck in a telescope has a very, very small field of view and impossible to see anything else so saying most astronomers never see UFOs probably has some validity for hat reason.. It’s easy to miss a meteorite passing by if you’re standing facing the wrong direction and the UFO incident can be just as fleeting as that. Many amateur astronomers have reported unusual aerial phenomena, along with others from all walks of life. (Image above illustrative only)
A lot are mis-identifications for sure, that’s normal human behaviour. BUT there remains a largish number of accounts from witnesses who have been within metres of something unexplainable, exhibiting manoeuvres that defy known laws of physics. They can ‘t and SHOULDN’T be just ‘explained’ away.
Here’s where the cautious side of me comes out. We need to take a pragmatic look at what is being presented here in the form of ‘evidence’… and the evidence (I know it’s anecdotal) for the existence of UFOs in our skies is better than that for most convicted criminals…BUT it isn’t conclusive ie/ nothing tangible has ever been found to stand up to rigorous scientific analysis. To say the”travel light years” to get her assumes the known fact that ‘they’ are of extra-terrestrial origin. Incorrect, we don’t. Where is the evidence for that? There isn’t any, SO the statement has no basis of fact behind it, just a presumption.
‘They’ may be time travellers from our future when we’ve discovered how to do it? ‘They’ may be a super technology being developed under our noses. Highly improbable but as valid as any other explanation proffered. In the light of NIL evidence ALL probable outcomes are as valid and acceptable as the other. The visionary Carl Sagan once said,” Incredible claims require incredible evidence.” In my opinion, this following report comes close to achieving that:
Here is a document provided by a researcher held in the highest regard by research groups and various other investigative bodies around the world, Dr. Richard F. Haines, Ph.D. NASA Scientist and author and featured guest of “The UFO Anthology Volume One” on CD-ROM Richard has given me permission to reproduce a pilot report he compiled after a meticulous and time consuming study and one I regard to be of the highest ‘strangeness.’ He uses the term UAP. [Dave Reneke Astro-Space News]
What Is A UAP?
An unidentified aerial phenomenon (UAP) is the visual stimulus that provokes a sighting report of an object or light seen in the sky, the appearance and/or flight dynamics of which do not suggest a logical, conventional flying object and which remains unidentified after close scrutiny of all available evidence by persons who are technically capable of making both a full technical identification as well as a common-sense identification, if one is possible. (Haines, Pp. 13-22, 1980)
The term “Unidentified Aerial Phenomena” or UAP is an attempt to address the fact that not all UAP are described as unidentified flying objects or UFO. Many are simply described as unusual lights. NARCAP feels the term “UAP” more accurately reflects the broad scope of descriptions in aviation reports as well as the possibility that these phenomena may arise from several different sources.
The answers to the questions regarding the existence, source and nature of the subcategory of UAP referred to as UFO will be found in the data. Given that pilots do report aerial phenomena that they describe as structured objects, NARCAP feels it is appropriate to give attention to the witness’ description of what was seen or detected and engage it objectively. So, here is Richard’s report as close to original as possible:
Jumbo Jet Encounters UAP Soon After Take-of from LAX on September 27, 1996
NARCAP TR-15, 2012
Richard F. Haines – Chief Scientist
National Aviation Reporting Center on Anomalous Phenomena
July 8, 2012
A U. S. registered DC-10 had just taken off from Los Angeles International (KLAX) runway 25L bound for Newark, New Jersey (KEWR) on September 27, 1996. The time was several hours after midnight and the cargo jet was being flown (manually) by the Captain in the left seat. The primary witness was the First Officer in the right seat. There was also a Second Officer sitting behind the First Officer.
The flight (probably) followed the Gorman Four standard instrument (over-water), noise abatement departure and was about eight (DME) miles from KLAX VOR on the 210 radial on a SSW heading at the time.(1) The airplane’s flaps were at zero, gear was up and stowed and the indicated airspeed (and ground speed) was about 250 kts.; the airplane was climbing at approximately 1,500 ft./min. (Left: Richard Haines)
In short, the airplane was clean and everything was normal. It was a dark and clear visual flight rules (VFR) night and the ocean’s horizon could not be clearly seen against the star-filled sky; “visibility was excellent.” The Moon was full this night but well beyond the witness’ forward field of view being at eighty degrees to the right of the airplane’s heading and 58 degrees above the horizon at the time of the incident.
Later the witness wrote, “I do not specifically remember the moon that night, just that at the time this occurred it was dark out over the ocean in the direction we were headed.” (personal correspondence, 11 June, 2012) Just before this incident happened the Captain was looking forward out of the windscreen.
Significantly, the First Officer had scanned outside his forward (R1) window and the front portion of his side (R2) window for one to two seconds just before he looked down toward the inertial navigation input panel that was located just above the flaps and slats control handle near his left knee. He later wrote, “At that time there was nothing in view (outside the airplane).” (personal correspondence, 11 June, 2012)
He continued to look down at the panel for about five seconds while entering waypoint and heading data (from ATC) into the airplane’s inertial NARCAP Technical Report 15 R. F. Haines 2 navigation system (IRU). This is the relatively short interval in which the unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP) must have appeared.
The Flight Engineer was working at his control panel which faces 90 degrees relative to the front of the airplane and never saw anything outside the airplane. At that time the heavy jet was between 6,000 and 7,000 feet altitude, “…and maintaining the below 10,000 foot airspeed restriction of 250 knots (about 290 mph). Suddenly the Captain exclaimed, “Who the hell is that?” Following is the witness’ own account of what happened next.(2) “I looked up to see two brilliantly white ‘landing lights’ directed straight at us that appeared to be between five hundred and a maximum of seven hundred feet almost directly (at our 12:30 – 1:00) in front of us.”
Figure 1 (above) is a graphic artist’s depiction of the DC-10’s nighttime cockpit environment as viewed from the airplane’s centerline just behind the seats. The apparent location and approximate angular size of the UAP, relative to the right-forward window, is depicted very nearly as it was seen by the witness sitting in the right front seat.
“Five to seven hundred feet may sound like some distance to most people but traveling forward at 290 MPH and expecting that the other ‘aircraft’ is doing the same that becomes an incredibly short distance in which to avoid what we expected to be a very possible collision. I am sure that at this point we both were thinking how can we avoid this collision and is there enough space left in which to do so! Within the first 2 – 3 seconds it became shockingly clear that we were not closing on this traffic and that it was pacing us and staying in the exact same position in the wind screen.
Based on the fact that this object was pacing us and that it had its ‘landing lights’ right in our face it would have to have been going backwards. I was able to see some apparently metallic structure in the background between these two lights and still under the rapidly deteriorating assumption that this is some type of aircraft I was looking to see if I could make out the nose of the aircraft, as one would see on an aircraft with fuselage mounted lights on either side of the nose.
Figure 5. The final artistic rendering only of the UAP is shown here. It was achieved after a number of corrections were made to it by the witness. Illustration by Garret Moore Visual and 3D Reporting
The other option would be fuselage between the lights as one would see on an aircraft that has under-wing mounted lights. I could not make out either and what I did see appeared to be some type of horizontal edge between the lights with the metallic looking material both top and bottom tapering back away from this edge, but I could only see a small amount of this due to the brilliance of the lights. It appeared that the lights were mounted on or at least horizontally in line with this “edge”. At this point the realization had sunk in that this was not an airplane at all.”
Before the rest of this fascinating story is told let us briefly observe several key points:
First. The witness refers to this unidentified aerial phenomenon (UAP) in several different ways in his written narrative. They are presented here in their order of presentation:
“two brilliantly white landing lights” ……. (an objective, descriptive initial assessment) “ aircraft” ….. (a second level assessment that keeps the UAP within a known and acceptably neutral category) “traffic” ….. (another parallel, second level assessment, as above) “object” ….. (a progression to something that is possibly other than an aircraft) “rapidly deteriorating assumption (it was an) aircraft” …… (an honest admission that, having eliminated the most likely features of another airplane, he was now being forced into a totally different category) “this was not an airplane at all” ….. (usually the last stage in admitting publically that one’s previous interpretations of the other object are very likely not valid) “vehicle” ….. (a technically accurate yet non-assertive word) “they” ….. (the unidentified aerial object is now personified, perhaps as if piloted by people inside)
This progression of words, used to describe a never before experienced phenomena, is well known within the serious investigation of pilot reports of UAP. One can almost follow the thought pattern of pilots who are struggling with an idea that is previously thought to be impossible. Such a progression of words suggests a realistic and serious attempt by this particular pilot to try to explain what he saw in prosaic terms if at all possible. Only after eliminating other reasonable and socially acceptable explanations does he turn to his last alternative and call a spade a spade, so to speak. Most U. S. pilots today know that they will face ridicule and may even put their career in jeopardy if they report seeing almost anything that is not “naturally explained.” (Roe, 2004) Interestingly, this is not nearly as true in South American countries a fact which has helped encourage pilots there to immediately report what they see to authorities on the ground so that effective identification and support actions can be carried out immediately.
Second. Related indirectly to the first point above is the fact that the first word spoken by the Captain was “Who” not “What.” Because every word is recorded on the cockpit voice recorder (for possible use in later accident investigations) the Captain very wisely did not intimate that the UAP in front of them was not just another airplane. If instead he had said “What” and aviation authorities later had listened to the recording they could have assumed that the UAP was not another airplane at all and perhaps raised the question of his perceptual and even psychological stability. Unfortunately this common and seemingly “official” response shown toward pilot witnesses of UAP today in the U.S.A. is far more common than is realized. The interested reader should consult (Haines and Roe, 2001) for an example of how far this kind of negative bias was displayed toward a line pilot by his company. Let us continue to the next phase of this encounter in the words of the witness.
“After about 10 seconds this “vehicle” departed away and to our left at an angle with the horizon of about 25 degrees but stayed within our view throughout its departure. The speed with which it traveled was beyond anything I had ever witnessed or even contemplated. There was virtually no period of acceleration and it departed like one would imagine a bullet leaving a gun, my immediate thought was “oh my God, they are using antigravity.” They did not turn off the lights when they departed and based on the angle at which the lights were aimed at us it would have been traveling sideways, if sideways even means anything to this type of vehicle. We watched as this vehicle streaked from right in front of us to out of our atmosphere with the lights becoming a pinpoint before being lost to view. Based on my flying experience and knowing how far commercial aircraft light can be seen on a clear night my best guess, and a conservative one at that, is that this object traveled a distance of AT LEAST 50 Miles in 1-1/2 to 2 seconds. It was an astonishing thing to witness. I said to the Captain “holy s__ t, did you just see that?” to which he replied “hell yes I saw it”.
Before the rest of this account is given the following observations appear to be in order concerning the witness’ narrative given above. First, it is precise and qualified as is common among the reports of most pilot witnesses. He is careful to describe the events clearly, sequentially, and cautiously. Second, his narrative provides some useful details that can be related to previous aircrew sighting reports such as the sudden acceleration of the UAP, its apparent sideways upward travel (at about a 25 degree angle with the horizon), and its very high velocity. If it did travel fifty miles in 2 seconds it would have traveled at an astounding 90,000 mph, rapidly breaking the sound barrier and producing a sonic boom [if it was aerodynamic and not a virtual (optical) image]. His observation that the lights did not go out or change in intensity when “they” departed is also interesting not to mention the large amount of luminous energy that was emitted from each of the two sources.
What did the witness do next? “Immediately after its departure I keyed my mike and asked SOCAL (southern California air traffic control)… “SOCAL (flight number), do you have or did you just have traffic in our vicinity” to which SOCAL replied, “No, you are the only guys up there tonight, why?” I then stated, “disregard”. I simply wanted to know if what had just been right in front of us had painted at all on radar, it had not (been detected) on the cockpit radar to the best of my memory. As an aside, at no time did we experience any malfunction or failure of any of the aircraft systems, sub-systems, flight controls, electronics or navigation. “
Additional Facts from PIREP Form
NARCAP’s pilot reporting form (available at www.narcap.org “Make a Report” section) asks many questions that cover spatial, temporal, and energistic aspects of each sighting. In addition, detailed questions are asked about local weather, aircraft registration and configuration, and personal information. The present witness answered every question. Following are several additional details from his report that may be important.
The UAP appeared solid but it did not flicker, throb, or pulse. It did not break up into parts, give off smoke or a vapor trail, change color, or produce air turbulence (airplane buffeting). Its edges appeared sharply defined (other than the gradient of light surrounding each of the two round, bright sources). Relevant Flight Log Book Page (Left)
When asked “What do you think the object (phenomenon) was? He wrote, “Controlled manufactured vehicle of unknown type.” He indicated that this was his first UAP sighting and that the remainder of the flight took place without incident.
(Left ) Here is a photocopy of the witness’ flight log book showing his entry with the large initials “UFO!” He (later) wrote, “I need to clarify that the question marks on the log page don’t mean that I questioned what I had witnessed, they reflect that I now realized I had an enormous amount of new questions in front of me that I had never previously had to ponder for real.” (Personal communication, 8 May, 2012) Several pieces of information have been covered to safeguard the witness’s identity.
Acting as a go-between to safeguard the pilot’s identity, the author arranged for Mr. Duncan Moore, a highly talented digital graphic artist(3), to create images of what the witness had
described in words and by means of several line sketches. The pilot’s initial sketch provided on the NARCAP PIREP form (received on 2 May, 2012) is shown in Figure 3.below
Later Questions and Answers
The author asked the witness a number of additional questions about this incident over a four week-long period. Several of them are included here with his answers since they shed additional light on the event. ( Right. Figure 3: Initial Sketch of UAP by Pilot)
Q. Who was in the cockpit at the time?
A. “There were 3 crew on board, the 2nd Officer (Flight Engineer) was heads down at his panel giving our OUT, OFF, ETA report to the company and dealing with checklists when this (event)occurred so he did not witness the event. We tried to convince him of what we had just witnessed but he felt that surely we must be mistaken. The usual reaction I am sure.”
Q. Did you move your body and head position during this encounter?
A. “I was in a heads down position when the call "who the hell is that" was made by the Captain and I went heads-up for my first sighting and then I leaned well forward towards my windscreen to get a better view.” NARCAP Technical Report 15 R. F. Haines 9
Q. When you first looked up and outside would you say that your head and eyes were at the reference eye position for that airplane?
A. “Yes I would say that initially my position was close to the eye position for my seat in that airplane.”
Q. As you continued to look at the UAP did your head move forward (or in any other direction) at all? (question repeated later in slightly different terms).
A. “Yes I quickly moved my head straight forward so as to position myself for the best view of what was almost straight in front of us. It is only a guess but I probably moved forward between 12 - 16 inches. (If you push forward on the top rear of the seat belt buckle it releases the harness straps without releasing the belt strap and we most often do that shortly after takeoff for comfort).”
Q. What was the cockpit lighting like at the time.
A. “The cockpit was dark as depicted in the picture above. Standard procedures for us when below 18,000.” (His reference is to Figure 1 provided him by the digital artist).
Q. Can you comment on the artist’s first rendering? (Note: The following answer is quoted only because of other subtle details that are mentioned.)
A. “There should be an edge to the vehicle that is vertically aligned with its axis passing directly through both lights but still giving way to the brightness of the lights as you have depicted. It was my impression that there was more of this object above this edge than there was below this edge. Below this edge the color was a very dark gray that diffused quickly into a black that basically matched the night sky. The area above this edge was the color of brushed Nickel with just the slightest hint of an oxidized or rust color, very subtle and light coloring only adding to the brushed Nickel look. The upper portion above the edge was taller than the portion below, it would only diffuse into the lights and into the dark sky at a point which is slightly higher than the brightest portion of the lights as is currently depicted and was a surface that appeared to be going up and away from me until the scatter back of the lights could no longer illuminate it. It was my impression that I was by no means seeing all of the craft but only what could be illuminated by the backscatter of the lights. In other words I don't believe that the two lights represented the horizontal size limit of the vehicle but were simply mounted in some position along this edge. The edge I keep referring to is simply the transition point between the very dark gray bottom coloring versus the brushed Nickel appearance above which appears as a line for lack of a better term.”
Q. Can you describe the color of the two bright lights?
A. “The lights were just a very pure white with no other colors apparent.”
Q. Regarding the appearance of the two white lights, with what kind of known light source could you compare them? E.g., tungsten, arc light, halogen, xenon, etc.? What is of importance to me is their color temperature.
A. “I am not as up to speed as you about lighting. To the best of my recollection I believe that opinions on what constitutes “pure” white light fall somewhere between 4100 and 5000 (deg.) K so I would put it in that range. I don’t remember ever seeing a generated light that was any more pure than this was as there were no tints of yellow, orange or blue at all…. Correct me if I am wrong but I think of the types of incandescent lights you mentioned that Xenon is known for its light brightness and purity, so then I would say Xenon.”
Q. Once you looked away from one or both of these lights did you notice any visual afterimage(s) from them? If so, about how long did these afterimages last in seconds?
A. “That is a very interesting question and something I had never thought about. One would expect to have afterimages following something like this but I honestly don’t remember any afterimages. My memory of its departure stands out as perfectly clear and of good contrast. To me it raises the question is it my memory not retaining the afterimages or is it something about their lights? Interesting. “ In a subsequent letter he wrote, “When I said that I did not remember any afterimage I was speaking only about the position the vehicle was maintaining as it and the two bright lights that were aimed at us were, relatively wise, stationary. I remember no after image of that stationary picture as it departed that position. The lights did however leave the image of a white “streak”, to my vision, from the point it had departed from to the point at which it was so far away that it was only a speck. It was short lived but the image of a streak none the less.” (personal correspondence, 7 May 2012) Later he also wrote, “…my memory is that I just visually locked onto it and kept it in sight until it left our atmosphere and just winked out as a tiny point of light..” (personal correspondence, 30 May, 2012) These comments are important because they suggest that the witness’s eyes actually could not rotate fast enough to directly fixate on the UAP during its initial departure (and actually did leave an after image on the retina) but soon caught up with the UAP once its direction of travel was correctly determined.
Q. Were your own landing lights still on?(4)
A. “Yes. At that altitude we would still have the landing lights on… but they are basically aimed straight ahead for illumination of the runway environment and nothing else. Also, this craft was not straight in front of (us) but off to the side. Our landing lights could have some amount of illumination of an object not in front of us but it would be VERY minimal.”
Q. Could this UAP have been a reflection of your own lights off fog, air/water vapor, etc. If you disregard its impressive departure? I know that you can’t disregard it but, if you could would the spacing, light source diameter, color, intensity, etc. of the UAP be in any way similar to your own lights? NARCAP Technical Report 15 R. F. Haines 11
A. “Would anyone really believe that after 42 years of my continuous flying around, above, below and through thousands and thousands of clouds that we (the Capt. and I) would both be fooled by our own landing lights reflected off some clouds, fog or whatever? At that time, place, and altitude there were no clouds, fog or anything else for our lights to illuminate. … Most of my time aloft is at night and I am quite familiar with anything that can normally be viewed in a night sky. No, it is not possible that it was our own lights reflected back at us unless it was a flying mirror at six to seven thousand feet that also could depart at thousands of miles per hour…. Keep in mind that since it was off to the side our fuselage would have obscured most if not all of our left landing light and both of its lights were equally bright and equal in shape. That (idea) is barking up the wrong tree.”
Q. Can you discuss in more detail how the UAP accelerated away?
A. “I don't know that "infinite" acceleration would be the right word as that would seem to imply that it never stopped increasing its speed and that is not something I could attest to. A better word might be "instant" acceleration. I can remember that I recognized the instant it first began to move but that period was in my opinion so short a time that it was probably about as short a time as my eyes and brain are capable of processing. The speed ramped up instantly and as I said earlier it really was like a bullet leaving a gun. Even though a bullet is thrust by what is an explosion and obviously must still have some period of acceleration, that acceleration happens in an extremely short period of time. It was like that, an unbelievable short period of time. If they are not somehow bending space/time by use of some technology that at this point is way beyond our understanding of physics the G's experienced by this type of vehicle, whether manned or not, would be in the thousands! As I said it was an astonishing thing to witness.” Q. Did the Captain ever discuss with you how the UAP first came into his sight?
A. “Well I had looked out the windscreen about 5 seconds earlier and had seen nothing so whether or not it just popped up I knew from his tone of voice stating "who the hell is that" that he was surprised by it. The possibility exists that they were already there and simply turned on those white lights at that point because I never saw any other lights on the vehicle. Had those lights been off the whole time I don't think we would have seen it or identified it simply by its blocking of the star field behind it because it was nowhere near that big a piece of the sky. At night you are always looking for lights as that is all you are going to normally see.”
Q. On the NARCAP PIREP form you sent in you estimated the angular size of the UAP to be about equivalent to a grapefruit held at arm’s length. Do you mean that this angle went from the far left side of the left-most light to the far right of the right-most light?
A. “That is correct, I could see nothing outside of the outer limits of each light.” This angular estimate is about eleven degrees arc which would indicate a UAP about 97 feet wide at 500 feet distance or 136 foot-wide at 700 feet distance.12
Q. Upon looking back on this incident almost sixteen years ago would you say now that this encounter qualified as an air-safety event?
A. “Within the aviation rules it does qualify as an air safety event but even more then than now you did not want to be noted as having seen and reported a UFO (UAP). This atmosphere of being afraid of the damage to your reputation for making a report has to change but it is going to require a truly open effort and public stance by the powers to be in either the government, or military, or both. When I say public I mean an unambiguous public announcement that reports are now wanted, desired and will be handled in a professional manner, if this never happens then the stigma will never be removed. I am not holding my breath. As far as my particular sighting I still feel that their technology and demonstrated capabilities are so matured that I feel they were in complete control of the situation and I have never felt that they put us at risk. But that's just my opinion on my experience and I cannot comment on any other occurrences.The subject of what specific actions should be taken by aviation officials to improve the ongoing climate of denial within the aviation world regarding UAP is discussed elsewhere (Haines, 2010).
Q. As a result of there being no radar paint on this UAP what were your honest intellectual feeling(s) about the adequacy/usefulness/reliability of FAA radar after that?
A. “Well it has a lot to say about how ground radar, airborne radar and TCAS are all useless in detecting or avoiding these vehicles if they don’t want to be painted. There have been many instances where sightings of UAP have been matched with radar returns but if we have stealth then they most definitely have stealth. It must all be a matter of whether they want to be seen or not or they care if they are seen or not. This all brings up a question I have always had, why did they bother to make their presence known to us? Had they not turned on those lights we most assuredly would never have known about them. What purpose did it serve for us to know they were there or were they just playing with us?”
Q. During your sighting could you see the earth-ocean surface or horizon?
A. “It was a very dark night so I don't remember seeing much of the ocean as horizon but since the visibility was excellent we could see all of the lights along the coastline and inland north of Los Angeles prior to the sighting and south of Los Angeles after the sighting. During the sighting my view was out over the ocean which I remember as being very dark.”
Q. Were any clouds visible?
A. “No, the sky was clear.”
Q. Can you describe (or draw) how the UAP appeared to move relative to your forward cockpit window, e.g., where it intersected the center post. Could you make a simple sketch showing the UAP’s initial position and its departure streak?
A. “Because of the fact that I had moved forward the streak never intersected the center post for me, I was able to witness the entire departure path through my windshield. See the attached drawing (Fig. 4). I have tried to show in my drawing that the two lights became a single streak almost immediately. “
Q. Did you ever speak with the Captain about this incident afterwards?
A. “I only saw that Captain two or maybe three times after this experience and it was always in a public setting so the opportunity never arose for us to discuss it again. We only discussed it at length the night after it happened.” Witness Qualifications The witness had flown for forty two years and amassed over 17,000 flight hours before retiring recently. He began flying at age 18 and has flown a wide variety of airplanes including the Cessna 310 twin, DC-3, DC-6, DC-7B, DC-8, DC-10, B-747, A-300, A-310 as well as smaller propeller-driven airplanes. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Technologies and also earned an FAA license as an Airframe and Power Plant mechanic and has taught flying as well. He requested to not be identified with this report.
(1) It is standard practice at KLAX in the early hours to both land and takeoff over the water , wind permitting, because of noise concerns.
(2) Written report received on 2 May 2012 through the NARCAP website. The witness requested complete anonymity and waited until he had retired before submitting his report.
(3) Figure 1 and 2 are renderings provided by Garret Moore, Owner and Principal of UFOEARTH.NET: Visual & 3D Reporting for which the author and NARCAP are indebted. Each illustration is the final result of three iterations with the witness.
(4) The two sealed beam, halogen-Quartz landing light lamps on the DC-10 are extremely bright and pre-focused to a narrow beam that is aimed straight ahead and slightly downward toward the runway. Each 600 watt lamp, operated at 28 volts (21.5 amps) could produce up to 750,000 candlepower. Use of such sources is a part of the FAA’s Lights on for Safety program.
Haines, R.F., and T. Roe, Pilot Survey Results: Part I. National Aviation Reporting Center on Anomalous Phenomena, Technical Report 5, December, 2001.
Haines, R.F., Recommended Actions to Improve the Current Climate of Denial Within the Aviation World about Unidentified Aerial Phenomena and Related Commentary.
National Aviation Reporting Center on Anomalous Phenomena, Topical Review 02, 2010.
NARCAP Technical Report 15 R. F. Haines 14
Roe, T., Aviation Safety in America: Under-Reporting Bias of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena and Recommended Solutions. National Aviation Reporting Center on Anomalous
Phenomena, Technical Report 8, July, 2004.
Air Traffic Controller at KLAX Comments on UAP Activity
An air traffic controller who has worked at Los Angeles International Airport for six years said that he has personally witnessed four unexplained UAP incidents. (www.sightings.com/ufo/ laxrep.html) Making it clear that because he and the other controllers are kept informed of all kinds of air traffic including secret military testing, this controller said that when he sees something (on radar) that is “truly unidentified, he’s pretty sure it’s not a super-secret military project.
He was present when another colleague told his supervisor about a reported unusual aerial encounter and they both could find nothing on their radar “…they kind of shook their heads and rubbed their chins, and that was that…. This I believe is what typically happens,” he said. “Nobody knows what to do, really.” He personally monitored a United Parcel Service jet in his sector that was descending to land at Ontario, California airport at about 2100 hours after sundown in 1995.
No other traffic was within thirty miles of him. Suddenly the flight crew radioed to report that a large aircraft of some type, “I’m not sure what it is, just went over and in front of us, crossing right to left… it has some strange lights.” Nothing showed either on primary or secondary radar.
Additional Sighting Report
An attempt was also made to find out if other aircrew or ground witness reports had been made for the same time and locale as the present KLAX sighting. The closest event took place in mid- September, 1996 near Victorville, California at 11:00 am. This is about forty three miles SE of Edwards AFB, California and about seventy five miles NE of KLAX. A geological engineer with good vision reported seeing a dark gray (sometimes shiny), spinning, circular disk with a black ring in its bottom surface for about two hours that remained stationary above a given spot on the ground but gained and lost altitude. When viewed through 15x binoculars the UAP looked like a Saturn shaped metal object “…making gyroscopic maneuvers in place.”
It seemed to be above a distant thunderhead cloud estimated at about 45,000 feet. When it rolled on its side its shape was round; three or four little “wispy blobs” flew around it and seemed to merge with it as well as fading in and out of sight. A Southwest Airlines (?) airliner flew on its designated course at about 35,000 feet AGL below the object which was at about 40,000 feet. “I could not believe the airliner pilots did not see this thing or that this flying saucer and companions did not fly away.” The witness thought that the UAP was at least six times longer than the jet airplane. No other sighting reports could be found for southern California around the date of the inflight incident reported here.
Report an Aviation-Related UAP Incident or Observation
Richard Haines Would Like Your Feedback
If you are a pilot, air traffic controller, radar operator or other aviation professional and you would like to report an observation or incident involving unidentified aerial phenomena please click here. NARCAP is interested in both current and historical UAP incidents and observations.
We are specifically interested in those cases involving concerns for aviation safety. Reporter Confidentiality: We maintain confidentiality for all reporters unless they specifically authorize the release of their name.
(left) Richard Haines and the Late Dr. Allen Hynek ca/ 1975)
* If this publication should turn up any Australian pilot reports of high quality please aim them in Richard's direction. Richard Haines: email@example.com
Declassified UFO Files Released in Australia
Bill Chalker looking through the official files
Finally, they've released their so-called X Files UFO sightings cache from the 1970s and '80s, and the results are a mixed bag of super-secret military intrigue and an episode more akin to This Is Spinal Tap. The Australian government has a very good law. They automatically release classified documents to the public after 30 years, which is a lot more convenient than filing for disclosure through the Freedom of Information Act. They've recently released their so-called X Files UFO sightings cache from the 1970s and '80s, and the results are a mixed bag of super-secret military intrigue and an episode more akin to This Is Spinal Tap.
The Australian government seems to believe its citizens can be trusted with sensitive information more than many other nations, including the U.S. 30 years appears to be enough time to open up the vault, with very little black marker redaction involved. Or, maybe, it's just that not much was really happening in those days. In a story filed by the Sydney Morning Herald, the two most intriguing incidents from decades ago seem to show that the military of the day was not quite as sophisticated as this era, when Australia is one of the world's more notable countries for UFO sightings.
The first involves some unidentified images recorded on the radar screens at RAAF Williamtown, in the capitol region. It turns out the blobs were probably caused by what are known as "running rabbits" which are false readings caused by magnetic interference. The second involves an unidentified rock band testing out some laser light show equipment.
The photo posted here (left) is the only evidence left behind in those declassified files. It's certainly the kind of image which would spook UFO researchers, even today. But, considering the Australian government tries to prove it's not in the business of deceiving the public, on a scale of 1-10 (as Nigel Tufnel would say) "These go to eleven." Source: The Examiner
In 1982 world renowned Australian UFO researcher Bill Chalker was the first civilian researcher to gain direct access to the previously classified RAAF UFO files during several visits to the Canberra headquarters of the Directorate of Air Force Intelligence.
Bill has undertaken extensive research and published major papers on many topics including Australian physical evidence, historical Australian reports (pre 1947), the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and UFOs, Australian "missing time" events and UFO abduction experiences. See: http://theozfiles.blogspot.com.au/
Unknown Object Captured Over Melbourne, Australia – 6 August 2012
With the advent of new technology more and more people these days have video capability and the cameras can easily be adapted to telescopes. Anomalies appear in the night skies all the time and most can be explained away by correct and astute investigation, including checking the rise/set times of the planets. However, every now and then, one report shows up that is a real head scratcher.. like the above video from Melbourne.
Now, I have witnessed an almost similar event in the company of experienced and seasoned astronomers. Nothing I could account for did what I saw that night! I cannot explain it in astronomical terms nor can I ascribe an E.T. explanation to it. A spaceship it was not. A light source making manoeuvres at impossible speeds and making turns without curve radius it WAS. I just know it was real.
Aircraft, UFO ...Or Venus?
In the interests of fair and accurate reporting I present this observation.
It is not meant to counter any other report on this page nor is it meant to represent any form of commonality in UFO reporting. Its meant to show both sides of the coin in the hope that a balanced and unbiased ideology prevails among present and future UFO researchers. Mistakes CAN be made and we need to acknowledge it.
I don't believe we should invoke a mystery to solve another mystery. This report may explain THIS sighting but it cannot and must not be used as a template for other reports. It is presented as I found it.. read on.
On Jan. 14 of last year, an Air Canada pilot flying from Toronto to Zurich, Switzerland, woke up from a nap to see an alarming sight out the cockpit window: what appeared to be a flying object (presumably another plane) flying directly at him. The first officer alerted the pilot, who correctly identified the light and told him not to worry about it, but the first officer almost immediately saw a second set of lights and took evasive action, sending the jet into a steep, sudden dive that injured 16 people and almost resulted in a midair collision with another aircraft flying 1,000 feet lower.
It was a terrifying, bizarre event over the Atlantic Ocean, but what makes it even stranger is that, according to a new report from the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, the initial light that first officer saw was an optical illusion. He thought it was a UFO -- quite literally, an unidentified object flying at the plane. Yet there was no aircraft, identified or otherwise: he had instead seen reflected sunlight from the planet Venus. (The second set of lights—the ones that caused the evasive action—were actually from another aircraft the pilot mistakenly believed was on a collision course with the Air Canada flight.)
Depending on when you measure it (since everything in the universe is in constant motion), Venus is between about 25 million and 162 million miles away. Yet the pilot thought that it was close enough to pose an imminent threat of collision. How could the pilot's estimate of the light's distance to the plane be off by at least 25 million miles? How could an experienced airline pilot mistake a planet for a plane?
It's actually not that difficult to understand and has implications for other UFO sightings.
As this incident shows, accurately judging the size, speed and distance of unknown lights in the night sky is virtually impossible.
A light in the sky might be small and 100 yards away, medium-sized and a few miles away, or even planet-sized and tens of millions of miles away -- and there is no way to know the difference. John Nance, a former commercial pilot and ABC News aviation analyst, said that such a mistake, while seemingly inexplicable to the average person, was "not outlandish ... a bright light, which can be a planet like Venus, can be very startling, and you can mistake it for an airplane."
Venus and UFOs
The strange fact is that Venus has been responsible for many UFO sightings over the years. This skeptical explanation causes discomfort for many UFO believers, who claim that eyewitness UFO reports by pilots are the most reliable in the world. After all, they claim, experienced pilots are familiar with normal lights in the night sky -- surely no pilot could possibly mistake a planet for a nearby flying object!
Robert Sheaffer, a columnist for Skeptical Inquirer magazine and veteran UFO investigator, told Discovery News that "there is a long history of Venus (or some other bright planet or star) being perceived as something that it isn't. Even the UFO proponent Jacques Vallee wrote back in 1966 that "no single object has been misinterpreted as a 'flying saucer' more often than the planet Venus."
In fact, Sheaffer noted, "During World War II, B-29 crews making night bombing raids in Japan reported being followed by a 'ball of fire' that turned out to be Venus. Since then, numerous police officers and pilots have made the same mistake, as did Jimmy Carter, who reported seeing a UFO back in 1969 that turned out to be in exactly the same place as Venus."
This case came to light primarily because the Air Canada pilot's reaction caused injuries to the passengers (several were hospitalized). While it's impossible to know exactly how often pilots and others mistake Venus (or other ordinary lights in the night sky) for UFOs, it's likely to be underestimated and underreported.
Pilots may be reluctant or embarrassed to admit they mistook a planet for a plane and not report the error (in fact Air Canada initially claimed that the incident was the result of "severe turbulence").
Though this size/distance miscalculation effect is strongest at night, the phenomenon also occurs in daylight when unknown objects are sighted (or recorded) in the sky at an unknown distance from the camera. Whether night or day, without some way of establishing the scale or distance of a flying object, it is impossible to determine its size or speed accurately. (In one recently released UFO video taken at an Air Force base in Chile, it seems that insects -- probably bees -- were captured in the foreground on videocameras and mistaken for high-speed extraterrestrial spacecraft in the skies.)
Of course Venus does not explain all UFO sightings. But this case proves that even experienced pilots can (and do) mistake our neighboring planet for unexplained lights in the sky. Source: Discovery News
UFO Crash Investigator: Leonard Stringfield's Research Goes Public
Sixty volumes of “meticulous UFO research over 30 years” by the late Ufologist Leonard H. Stringfield were donated to the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON), according to an August 3, 2012, announcement by MUFON Executive Director David MacDonald who spoke at the organization’s annual symposium.
The news of Stringfield’s work surfacing and in MUFON’s hands now had been kept secret prior to the 8 p.m. announcement as one of two “blockbuster UFO discoveries” that the group was to make at the Cincinnati event. A second briefing will be made about 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, August 5.
Stringfield (1920-1994) was an American ufologist who worked with government and private agencies to track UFO reports and had a special interest in reports of crashed objects. MUFON Pennsylvania State Director John Ventre, reacting by telephone just minutes after the announcement, said MacDonald touched on just some of the written evidence compiled by Stringfield.
“In those 60 volumes we have government interference, the FBI and CIA stopping the ufologists at any cost,” Ventre said. “He names Donald Rumbsfeld and President Ford as being briefed on UFOs by J. Allen Hynek. He talks about UFO investigators being beaten or receiving death threats. He names heads of state that knew. He even has actor Jackie Gleason’s contact information in there. There is a lot of explosive information in there.”
Media stories from the past suggested that President Nixon had shown Gleason an actual alien body. Ventre said that MUFON plans to digitize the files and make them available to researchers in the future.
The subject of UFOs first caught Stringfield’s attention on August 28, 1945, just three days before the end of WWII, when he had his own encounter as an Army Air Force Intelligence Officer en route to Tokyo with 12 other specialists from the Fifth Air Force. The group was approaching Iwo Jima at 10,000 feet with a sunlit sky.
"I was shocked to see three teardrop-shaped objects from my starboard-side window,” Stringfield wrote. “They were brilliantly white, like burning magnesium, and closing in on a parallel course to our C-46. Suddenly our left engine feathered, and I was later to learn that the magnetic navigation-instrument needles went wild. As the C-46 lost altitude, with oil spurting from the troubled engine, the pilot sounded an alert; crew and passengers were told to prepare for a ditch! I do not recall my thoughts or actions during the next, horrifying moments, but my last glimpse of the three bogies placed them about 20 degrees above the level of our transport. Flying in the same, tight formation, they faded into a cloud bank. Instantly our craft's engine revved up, and we picked up altitude and flew a steady course to land safely at Iwo Jima."
Stringfield walked away from the event frightened about what he had seen, and later heard independent reports from other witnesses that caused him to take a more serious look at UFOs.
He created Civilian Research, Interplanetary Flying Objects (CRIFO) and published the monthly newsletter, ORBIT. The newsletter caught the media’s attention and soon his paid subscribers swelled to 2,500, becoming the world’s largest civilian UFO research group of its day.
Then on September 9, 1955, the Air Defense Command (ADC), Columbus, OH, called on him for cooperation in passing along current UFO reports. The Ground Observer Corps (GOC) in southwestern Ohio was asked to call Stringfield with UFO activity and he was asked to call the ADC to report the better sightings.
In 1957, Stringfield became the public relations adviser for the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP), a new civilian UFO reporting group operated by Donald Keyhoe – a position he held until 1972.
In the 1970s he began collecting witness accounts of crashed UFOs that included accounts of alien bodies. He went on to publish seven reports on this material until his death in 1994. He served as director of public relations and as a board member for MUFON. He was a regional director for the J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies. He was an advisor to Grenada Prime Minister Sir Eric Gairy during efforts to establish a UFO research agency within the United Nations.
He published his first UFO book, "Inside Saucer Post 3-0 Blue" in 1957. Other books followed. His most famous, "Situation Red: The UFO Siege" was published in 1977 and subsequently translated into several languages. Later, he published seven reports on UFO Crash/Retrievals. The latest, "Status Report VII: Search for Proof in a Hall of Mirrors," was published in February 1994.
In his private life, Stringfield worked for DuBois Chemicals, a division of Chemed Corporation, Cincinnati. He died on December 18, 1994, in his sleep one day after his 74th birthday after a long battle with lung cancer.
[Background information compiled from Wikipedia, NICAP and Mr. Stringfield’s published obituary].
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