"Pilots And UFOs: Death In The Skies"," Thus, terrestrial pilots should have seen and reported a goodly proportion of UFO events.
There's been many an interesting close encounter between military, commercial and private pilots.
However, there have been several UFO incidents that have resulted in the death or disappearance (and presumed death) of the pilot(s) and sometimes crew too.
UFO sightings by airline pilots (military, civilian, and private) now number in the thousands.
That alone suggests that UFOs are not only a serious business, but also at times a deadly business.
There is however that deadly subset of those pilot-related encounters.
MAURY ISLAND INCIDENT (1947): This incident is only indirectly related to 'pilots and UFOs' insofar as it involves an alleged UFO incident and the death of two military officers piloting a military aircraft, but there was no direct encounter between the UFO and the aircraft.
The basic tale revolves around Harold A.
They were all out boating near Maury Island in Puget Sound near Tacoma Washington on or about the 21st of June 1947 (which actually precedes the 'official' beginnings of the modern UFO era by a few days).
The object that was in some distress or that was malfunctioning ejected some solid slag-like material which, obeying the laws of gravity, fell earthwards, struck and damaged Dahl's jointly owned boat, caused some minor injuries to himself and his son, but alas killed the dog.
Via a roundabout route, two military (Army Air Corps) intelligence officers were ultimately called in to investigate.
Davidson and Lieutenant Frank M.
The plane carrying the two investigators and the slag crashed near Kelso, Washington, shortly after leaving Tacoma, killing both men.
Taft and Technical Sergeant Woodrow D.
An FBI report into the incident noted that investigators from McChord Field near Tacoma had investigated the wreckage and were convinced there was no sabotage involved.
Ruppelt, chief of Project Blue Book in the early 1950s, wrote in his 1956 book ""The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects"" that he was convinced that the entire UFO sighting story was a hoax.
Regardless whether the incident was true (as some still believe), the cover-up of an advanced, classified but nevertheless terrestrial aerospace craft, or a hoax, the death of Capt.
Brown was real enough.
On the afternoon of the 7th of January 1948, Godman Army Airfield (at Fort Knox, Kentucky) was notified by the state highway patrol of a strange circular object they could not identify some 250 to 300 feet in diameter that was flying along a westward course.
Military personnel, including the Commanding Officer, spotted the unknown object in question from the airfield's control tower.
Witnesses collectively described the movement of the object ranging from stationary to 500 mph; ranging in altitude from near ground level to 10,000 feet.
Unfortunately, a formation of four P-51 Mustangs of the Kentucky Air National Guard just happened to be in the air and in the vicinity - that vicinity being the wrong place; wrong time for one of the pilots, the flight leader, Captain Thomas Mantell, an experienced pilot (over 2000 flying hours) and veteran of World War II.
Not all of the P-51's were able to comply with that order to the maximum extent possible.
Mantell, without an oxygen supply, however, being the flight leader and no doubt an alpha male, threw caution into the wind, boldly went ahead, outdistancing his wingmen when he shouldn't of.
He allegedly described the object as metallic and of tremendous size, in contrast to some of his wingmen who described it as small and indistinct.
Mantell climbed too high, blacked out from lack of oxygen, and the rest, as they say, is history.
A witness later reported Mantell's Mustang in a circling descent.
Some interested parties have suggested that while Mantell was an experienced pilot, he was rather new to the P-51 Mustang, and that this relative inexperience could have been a factor in the crash.
So what was the object that ultimately led to Mantell's death? Well the first half-hearted explanation was that everyone had sighted, and the P-51's had chased, the planet Venus! It's obvious that no plane can climb high enough to get up close and personal with a planet that's millions of miles away, so if Venus it was, it's no wonder Mantell failed to close in on it.
So went explanation number one.
However, it's going to be quite faint as a daylight object at the best of times
Mantell and his wingmen, zeroed in on Venus is absolutely astounding - too astounding to be credible.
Why a weather balloon should be top secret is beyond me, but classified it was.
Regardless, if the object was a Skyhook, it's little wonder nobody could identify it as such seeing as how it was a classified project and object.
In 1948 flying discs or saucers were still pretty unique and so the first death directly attributed to a flying saucer was Big News and it was widely reported in the press.
These reports were false.
KINROSS INCIDENT (1953): On the 23rd of November, 1953, First Lieutenant Felix Moncla (pilot) and Second Lieutenant Robert L.
Ground Control tracked the F-89 Scorpion and the unidentified object as two separate blips on their radar screen.
Assuming that pilot Lt.
There was little actual fear that the two objects had struck one another in collision.
The F-89 apparently merged with the other mystery radar return.
Attempts were made to contact Lt.
A search and rescue operation was quickly mounted, but found not a trace of the plane or the pilots and radar officer.
Moncla and Lt.
The official USAF Accident Investigation Report identified the unidentified second aircraft as a RCAF C-47 Dakota VC-912, crossing Northern Lake Superior from west to east at 7,000 feet en route from Winnipeg to Sudbury, Canada, that had traveled off course.
So, like the Valentich case below, did a bona-fide UFO make off with an aircraft and crew? No trace of the F-89, Lt.
Wilson has, to this day, been found despite the alleged 'crash' in the official report.
On the 8th of that month an unknown object was picked up by radar at various locations, and aircraft from various bases in Iceland and Scotland were directed to take off and investigate it.
When it became visible to Capt. Schaffner
He spotted and described a dazzling blue conical-shaped object minutes before his plane then disappeared off the radar.
Schaffner was flying way too low and actually flew directly into the North Sea.
The aircraft was located (within three weeks) and recovered from the bottom of the North Sea shortly thereafter (within three months) of the incident.
The canopy was in place and closed.
Schaffner was not in the plane.
So was the missing pilot snatched by aliens? The Board of Inquiry came to the conclusion Capt Schaffner manually abandoned the aircraft, but because he has not been found, he was presumed to have drowned during or after his escape.
Schaffner was trying to intercept and not a bona-fide UFO at all, you still have a UFO incident and one missing, presumed dead pilot.
Schaffner while in the air, that would explain why his now unmanned jet landed in the drink!
VALENTICH INCIDENT (1978): America, the U.
, so why not Australia? One of many, many highly unexplained UFO cases is the events surrounding Frederick Valentich on 21 October 1978.
In a nutshell, on the evening of that date, in perfect weather for night flying, Mr. Valentich
He took off only to shortly thereafter radio in repeatedly asking if there was another aircraft in his vicinity.
This 'aircraft' ultimately started hovering or orbiting over him.
The UFO was also spotted by several independent witnesses.
An extensive air and sea search failed to find any sign of Mr. Valentich
No oil slick, no floating wreckage, no body - nothing, zip, bugger-all.
One obvious explanation was that Mr. Valentich
Of course many people voluntarily disappear themselves for various reasons; many eventually are found, are caught or reappear voluntarily.
Valentich who disappeared.
If he had deliberately gone walkabout, in these decades since of security cameras and computer facial software recognition technology, it would be hard to remain an unknown walkabout in any populated area.
Anyway, no suicide note was found.
It's a mystery, and while it doesn't prove aliens ran off with Mr. Valentich
Interestingly, despite my (and others) asking for a copy of the Valentich 'accident' case report in an official capacity related to my employment at the time, the Department of Transport (Air Safety Investigations Branch) refused.
A summary report was issued mainly giving the transcript of Valentich's final conversation with air traffic control with the conclusion being that they could not determine the exact cause into the mishap.
But that alone is enough to strongly suggest that UFOs are a serious business indeed.
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