This article was published in the daily newspaper Lake County Life, of Highland Park, Illinois, USA, on November 1, 1973.
I have never quite believed in the furor being generated by Unidentified Flying Objects. There have been feature articles lately in almost all of the daily newspapers. There has been a great deal of reporting of UFO sightings in flying magazines and trade papers.
Most of these stories combine sightings by reliable persons with weird tales of bearded monsters emerging from Louisiana bogs or something like that. Instead of delving carefully into one report, they make up a mish-mash of incredible stories, and readers discount them, as I have.
Last week, however, I heard a chilling report of a sighting as told by a listener who phoned a local station in St. Louis.
The caller was an airline captain. He had a slight southern accent and was apparently very sincere. He would not identify himself or his airline, and I can understand his reasoning.
At 38,000 feet last May he spotted a large object with a tube-like shape floating off his right wing. Doubting that any equipment we know could be pressurized and certificated to occupy that section of airspace, he deviated slightly from his air lane to take a closer look.
His co-pilot and flight engineer both observed it. It was dusk and he advised the passengers to look out the right window and take pictures if they had cameras.
His flight engineer took a Polaroid out of his flight bag and got three shots, slightly blurred, but obviously showing something red, hovering, with a projection or hump underneath it.
When they landed at the destination airport, the captain took the names of passengers who admitted seeing the object and collected a fourth roll of undeveloped film from one of them with a promise to return it. He then went to his dispatcher, wrote a report by hand of the circumstances and attached the film and the pictures to it.
He has never heard from his company. The dispatcher advised he turned everything over to the airline office that evening. The dispatcher was transferred to another city, and repeated calls to the airline are all answered with the denial that anyone has EVER received the report with pictures.
The captain was told that he could file another report and was advised that the airline had more than 150 UFO sighting reports on file and that he should "cool it."
He called the radio program because they were discussing the subject. He sounded darned authentic to me. All this would make one believe there is some kind of conspiracy either to keep these "sightings" from the public or report them in such a strange manner that they sound implausible.
I wonder what is "up"?