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The UFO phenomenon in the daily Press:

1987, The Seattle Times:

Article from the daily newspaper "The Seatlle Times," Seattle, USA, January 1st, 1987.

UFO report no surprise to longtime believer

`They're here to warn us of danger we are'

by Peter Lewis
Times staff reporter

Reports of a jumbo walnut-shaped unidentified flying object being sighted across the Arctic skies were music to Wayne Aho's ears.

"I'm always thrilled to hear those reports because not many get into the news," said the Tacoma resident known as "Mr. UFO."

Aho was referring to recent news accounts telling aof a veteran pilot who said three UFOs - two small ones and one shaped like a walnut and twice the size of an aircraft carrier - trailed his Japan Air Lines cargo jet for 400 miles as he flew across northeastern Alaska from Iceland to Anchorage on Nov. 17.

The pilot, his co-pilot and flight engineer on JAL Flight 1628 reported seeing flashing lights trail their jet. Federal Aviation Administration officials confirmed that the controller who handled the flight saw a mysterious object trail the jet on his radar, and Air Force officials at the Alaska Air Command said their radar picked up something near the JAL plane.

But Aho, founder and president of the New Age Foundation Inc., yesterday predicted that in the coming days or weeks, news organizations will be running "kill stories" that cast doubt on the sighting's authenticity.

"Someone will come up with an explanation far more impossible for anyone to imagine as being reality," Aho said.

That's what happened, Aho recalled, after amazed crew and passengers on a Soviet airliner reported seeing a star-like UFO beam a thin ray on the ground, then turn its dazzling light on the aircraft, then become a green cloud that "escorted" the plane during a flight over Minsk in January 1985.

The story first appeared in a Russian newspaper. But Soviet authorities later discredited the report, saying the UFO was actually space junk orbiting the Earth, Aho recalled. His memory is borne out by U.S. newspaper clips.

"How could space junk fly alongside and not fall?" asked Aho. "How could it follow at the speed of an airliner and fly beside it for 17 miles?" he asked.

In the case of the newly reported sighting, Aho wondered why it has taken nearly two months for it to make news. "What held it up?" he asked.

Aho, who said he has personally seen UFOs nine times, believes there is a deliberate effort on the part of the National Security Council to suppress UFO sightings because of the economic and political upheaval confirmed sightings would cause.

Yet according to an eight-year-old Gallup Poll, 16 million Americans have reported seeing UFOs, Aho said. And worldwide, an estimated 150 million people have seen them, he added.

Aho's "awakening" to UFOs started in 1957 while he was attending a UFO convention in the Mojave Desert, where he became involved in a "close encounter of the third kind - like the movie," he said.

UFOs are from a superior civilization that have come here "to warn us of the danger we are to ourselves," Aho believes.

A self-described "70 years young," Aho said he was an intelligence officer trained in aircraft identification who attained the rank of major in the Army during the war.

Robert Gribble, a retired Seattle firefighter who operates the Seattle-based National UFO Reporting Center, has received thousands of reports of UFO sightings over the years. He said the large, walnut-shaped UFO report in the Arctic skies is similar to outlines previously reported.

"I think the significant thing there is that they tracked it on radar," Gribble said. "It lends credibility that they saw both objects (the UFO and the plane) on the screen at the same time."

Two weeks ago, Gribble said yesterday, he was contacted by a Japanese reporter in Washington, D.C., who was the first to alert him to the sighting. Gribble said the reporter was trying to gather confirmation from various agencies to see if they had the sighting on radar, or if it had been reported by other airline crews, "and wanted to know if we had other reports, and of course we didn't," Gribble said.

In 1986, his center received an average of six reports a day of sightings from English-speaking people from the Caribbean across North America to Hawaii, Gribble said. Busier years have averaged from 15 to 20 calls a day.

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