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Bob Gribble UFO report column

  • Written by MUFON
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FORTY YEARS AGO -- July 1948: 

Two pilots of Eastern Airlines, who thought they’d seen everything, soberly announced that they had encountered a giant, wingless, flame-throwing aircraft straight out of Buck Rogers on the 24th. Capt. Clarence Shipe Chiles and his co-pilot, John B. Whitted, each corroborated the other’s report of the fantastic craft. 

They were flying along serenely in a DC-3 Eastern airliner at 5,000 feet about 20 miles southwest of Montgomery, Alabama, at 2:45 a.m. when the UFO came at them. It looked like a B-29 “blown up about four times and stripped of its wings.” In the seconds during which the craft swooped past and shot up into the clouds, it cast a light more vivid than lightning, they said. They also saw two decks of big square windows.
     
“We looked out the right side of the cockpit and saw a tremendous light,” Capt. Chiles said. “The first thing that came to my attention was the long stream of flame coming out of the rear end of the craft. Then I noticed the two rows of square windows -- we couldn’t see any people aboard. It was traveling too fast for that. The craft seemed to be four times the circumference of a B-29 fuselage but it was only a little longer. There were no wings whatever. The object passed us on our right, then, as if the pilot had seen us and wanted to avoid us, it zoomed up into the same cloud it came out of.” “I’d say that when it shot up into the clouds it was going between 500 and 700 miles an hour.” Whitted said. “I’ve seen meteors -- they look pretty close when you’re a pilot -- but I’ve never seen anything like this.”
     
As the UFO passed them their comparatively small DC-3 fluttered in the prop-wash, jet-wash or rocket wash. It sent out tremendous shock waves. The brilliant light of the craft and the flame of its propellant brought “lightning blindness” to their cockpit, the pilots said, and they had to turn up their instrument lights.
   
Only one of the 20 passengers aboard the DC-3 saw the UFO. Clarence L. McKelvie said that he saw “an unbroken stream of light  that sped past and above the plane and streaked into a cloud.” The airliner was headed for Atlanta, Georgia, at the time. Just prior to the incident, J.V. Morris and Lindsay Fall were hunting near Covington, Georgia, when they saw “an unusually bright light -- as bright as a lighted room,” speeding westward and out of sight in a few seconds. About the same time a crew chief at Robins Air Force Base in Macon, Georgia, reported seeing an extremely bright light pass overhead, traveling at high speed. Also, a pilot flying near the Virginia-North Carolina state line reported that he had seen a bright object in the direction of Montgomery, Alabama, at about the exact time the Eastern Airlines DC-3 was “buzzed”.

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THIRTY-FIVE YEARS AGO -- July 1953: The crew of a Navy jet flying from Seattle, Washington, to Colorado at 8:10 p.m. on the 1st spotted a fast-moving triangular-shaped craft moving southeast by east at an altitude estimated to be 18,000 feet. At the time of the sighting the aircraft was over LaGrande, Oregon, flying at 11,000 feet. The craft, which appeared to be a bright metallic color, was also observed from the ground by West Coast Airlines personnel at LaGrande.
     
At about 3 p.m. on the 19th, two adult witnesses sighted a black object move out of a high white cloud over Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The UFO began to travel at a tremendous speed in large circles for at least five minutes.
   
At times it appeared to be in the shape of a cigar and at other times round. The object was extremely black in color, having an appearance of a deep black metal surface with a fine gloss. No sound was heard. The UFO flew east at a high speed for what appeared to be three miles, then suddenly stopped. The object was then joined by two more identical objects. A formation similar to a spread “V” was formed and the three UFOs, again at a tremendous speed, moved out of sight to the east. They did not leave a vapor trail. Dozens of witnesses in Denison and Sherman, Texas -- and in the control tower in nearby Perrin Air Force Base -- observed seven UFOs maneuvering at an altitude of five to eight thousand feet at 9:39 PM on the 26th. The formation was in groups of three with one trailing, and then coming together to form the letter Z. the formation then circled while gaining altitude and faded from sight, one object at a time. They were visible for 16 minutes.

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THIRTY YEARS AGO – July 1958: Two mechanics were working on the landing gear of a Lockheed F-104 jet interceptor at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, at dusk, when they noticed a noiseless, disc shaped craft in an open area near the runway, not more than 50 yards away. The UFO looked something like a wide, thick-brimmed hat. Its top was dome-shaped, with several oblong openings, the craft wobbled as it hovered only a few feet off the ground. Occasionally it tilted upward, revealing three ball-like appendages on its underside. The outer rim of the craft was thick and flat. The craft was estimated to be about 25 feet in diameter and six or seven feet high. The openings intermittently gave off a bluish light, first one, and then another. A wide band of highly polished metal, resembling polished brass, extended around the dome like a ring. The entire craft appeared to be metallic in color. After several minutes, the craft moved away at a high rate of speed. (Date of sighting unknown).

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TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AGO -- July 1963: Jim Wheeler was driving his truck near Maryhill, Washington, shortly after midnight on the 26th when he saw a flash in his mirror. At first he assumed it was the lights of a car coming up behind him. Another flash of light caused him to look to the left, and he saw a huge disc- shaped object giving off an eerie light. It was about 1,000 feet in the air and on about a 45-degree angle from the ground, riding along on the top of the ridge. Wheeler estimated the disc was between 35 and 50 feet across, and about 20 feet thick. The disc followed along beside his truck, turning the inside of the cab a bluish color, for about 20 minutes as he was climbing a long hill. Wheeler said when he was about two-thirds of the way up the hill the disc tipped over on its side, revealing a glowing white top, made a sharp turn to the right, and disappeared over the hill -- all in the span of about 15 seconds. Another truck driver about a mile behind Wheeler’s truck witnessed the same thing.

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TWENTY YEARS AGO -- July 1968: What began as a rather romantic airplane flight on the 8th ended as a nerve-wracking experience for two Warren, Ohio brothers and their dates when they encountered a UFO which simulated an attack on their aircraft at an altitude of about 4,000 feet. Richard Montgomery, 24, was piloting his own Cessna 172 Skyhawk, with his brother Ken. Richard said: “We were cruising over the west side of Warren about 10:20 p.m., headed east when I noticed an object coming toward us from the direction of Youngstown to the southeast. I swung over in that direction to get a closer look when the object headed directly toward our airplane. It stopped and hung motionless in the air at an altitude of about 4,000 feet momentarily and as our aircraft came closer it moved swiftly upward and came back at us from another angle. The pilot described the UFO as cylindrical in shape, of metallic composition with a muffled light beaming from underneath. He said it was from 16 to 20 feet from top to bottom, from
six to 10 feet in diameter and was poised in a vertical position during its entire flight. Montgomery said that although the object was cylindrical in shape, the metal sides had a sort of octagonal appearance. “I sent my aircraft into several maneuvers and the UFO kept following me, staying a distance of 150 to 200 yards away all the time. After several maneuvers which simulated a military ‘dogfight’ the object suddenly sped in an easterly direction at amazing speed and was quickly out of sight,” Montgomery said. The pilot said the staff at Youngstown airport had received several calls from area residents who reported seeing a “dogfight” between two aircraft in the skies over the southeast section of Warren. The pilot had been flying for six years. On the 29th, several scientists told Congress there were too many sightings of UFOs to rule out the possibility that earth might be under surveillance by creatures from outer space. “This is a possibility I take very seriously,” said Dr. James McDonald, senior phys
icist with the Institute of Atmospheric Physics at the University of Arizona. “If there is even a chance of surveillance, we should explore it.” Noting UFO sightings by responsible and skeptical witnesses around the world, McDonald said: “Far too many defy our best analysis.” He said these included some cases where witnesses on the ground flashed lights into a pattern of hovering, disc-like craft which responded with flashing lights in the same pattern. “It would be terrible if this was surveillance and our technology was represented by the Eveready flashlight.” The scientists testified at a symposium on UFOs sponsored by the House Committee on Science and Astronautics.

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FIFTEEN YEARS AGO -- July 1973: Jack Kane was driving near Lake Isabella, California, at 2:10 a.m. on the 27th when he saw an object about 14 or 15 feet in diameter and three to four feet tall on the roadside at a 45-degree angle. He stopped and focused his car lights on it. A motorcycle coming from the other direction stopped also. The object was dull green in color. His car, the motorcycle and the “thing” remained motionless. Then the UFO slowly rose about three feet off the ground and started across the highway. When this happened, Kane’s headlights dimmed and his car radio emitted static. The object moved across the road and over the bank of the canyon. Kane said that three minutes later his car headlights were bright again and his radio became clear. He proceeded to Lake Isabella and reported the incident to the Sheriff’s office. He said the object made no noise and showed no lights. It was flat on the bottom and round on top. Kane also said, “My wrist watch stopped at 2:10 a.m. I didn’t know that it was
almost 4 a.m. when I reached Lake Isabella.     MUFON