'Classic' UFO Case
by Bob Pratt
A plain old nuts and bolts case that yielded strong evidence of the existence of UFOs as real physical objects occurred in Tehran, Iran, on the night of September 18, 1976, back when the Shah was still alive and in power. It was a case that a Pentagon military intelligence analyst called a "classic that meets all the criteria necessary for a valid study of the UFO phenomenon.”
In an hours-long drama, first one Imperial Iranian Air Force F-4 Phantom jet fighter and then a second one chased a UFO across the Iranian skies at up to twice the speed of sound.
At least one of the pilots tried to fire a missile at the UFO but the UFO was somehow able to jam not only his weapons control system but his navigational and communications systems as well. It also was able to neutralize the navigational and communications systems of the second jet and an airliner that was passing through the area.
At one time, the UFO even sent out a smaller object to chase one of the jets back to Tehran before breaking off and returning to the mother ship.
The incident began about ten thirty in the evening when Hossain Pirouzi was on duty at Tehran's Mehrabad Airport with three air controller trainees. Pirouzi, thirty-five, was then night shift supervisor at the air traffic control tower.
"A lady telephoned and said, 'I see a strange object, like a sun in the sky, about a thousand meters above me,” said Pirouzi. "She said the colors changed from blue to orange to red to yellow. I told her we didn't have any aircraft in that area. Our radar was not working. It was out of operation for maintenance, so we had nothing on radar either.
SEES OBJECT THROUGH BINOCULARS
"I did nothing about it then because I was busy with over-flying aircraft and, frankly, I thought she was seeing a star. About ten minutes later another lady called from the same general area of northeast Tehran and said, 'I was walking on the roof of my house with my child and I suddenly saw, and I am still seeing now, a strange object, lighting up and changing direction and sometimes dividing in two and joining together again.’
“I began to wonder what was happening. I had three trainees on duty with me and asked them if they could see anything. They couldn't.
"Then came a third call, this time from a man living in the northeast area, and he said, 'I'm sure I’m seeing an object that is not an aircraft, what is it?' It was now after eleven and I was busy for the next ten minutes with traffic. Then one of the trainees took another phone call, which was like the others.
"I went out onto the terrace with my binoculars and after about five minutes I saw the object in the northeast part of Tehran. It was a rectangular shape about five miles away at a height of about six thousand feet. The right end was blue, the left end was blue and in the middle was a flashing red light. The object was seesawing up and down and moving towards the north very, very slowly.
"Suddenly, it appeared to disappear and then suddenly re-appear a mile further on just seconds later. I could see it this time as bright as the sun. It was all yellow, like a star, but much bigger. Then it appeared to me to be like a starfish. I can't be sure of the colors but there were blue, orange, red and yellow lights. I gave the binoculars to one of the others on duty and he said he saw the object as a half-circle in the same colors.
EMERGENCY SIGNALS HEARD
"We had no aircraft expected to land, although around this time several aircraft were due to cross into our flight information region. They started to report by radio that they could hear emergency signals coming from an automatic aircraft distress transmitter.
“The first report in was a BOAC airliner, who called and said, 'Do you have a crashed aircraft in your area? We are receiving an automatic signal on 121.12 megacycles.' We said we had no crashed aircraft or missing ones in our area nor had any made a forced landing.
"Then a Swissair, a Lufthansa and an Iran Airlines plane all reported hearing the emergency signal. I decided to report the whole thing to the air force base because by now I was getting really worried."
At twelve thirty in the morning Pirouzi phoned the local air force headquarters and reported what was going on. He said he could see the object himself at six thousand feet. The air force officer on duty phoned Brigadier General Abdullah Yousefi, the senior officer in charge that night.
"The general himself called me," said Pirouzi. “He went out onto the porch of his house and said to me on the telephone, 'Yes, I can see something. It isn’t a star.’ So he ordered one of the Phantom jets on standby at Hamadon, also known as Shahrokhi air base, two hundred miles away, to scramble.
“This was about ten minutes flight time away. One took off and arrived over Tehran at one a.m. and came under my control. The pilot reported he was over Tehran and I gave him radio instructions. At this time the object was at about fifteen thousand feet.
PILOT DESCRIBES OBJECT
"I was getting instructions from General Yousefi and passing them on to the pilot by radio. I told him to go higher and he said, 'Yes, I can see it – are you sure it’s not an aircraft?' I told him to get close and describe its shape but to do no more.
“A few minutes later he reported passing the speed of Mach Two and radioed, ‘I’m going Mach Two and I'm fifty miles behind the object. I can’t catch him. It's no use to follow any more.’ He described the object as rectangular shaped.
"I told him to return to Tehran and he headed back. When he was about a hundred and fifty miles away and still coming back, the object suddenly appeared over Tehran again. It had beaten him back and was now ahead of the Phantom jet fighter. The pilot radioed, 'I see the object ahead of me, the same shape as before.'
"By now the pilot was about fourteen miles away from the tower and he reported that every time he came close to the object it affected his radio and all his instruments. 'My navigational aids are not working,' he radioed and asked, 'What was that emergency call?'
“I told him that four other planes had already heard the emergency call and he said, 'Yes, I am getting some emergency signals now.' But every time he got close to the object his navigation aids went out and his radio went dead but his engines were working normally and the lights on his instrument panel were working. One time as he was talking to me, his radio went dead.
SECOND PILOT TAKES OVER
"Later I ordered him to close again and when he came within twenty miles of the object, he lost all of his electronic equipment. Finally he said he would have to return to base because his fuel was running low. At that point the object was about fifteen miles from me at about twelve thousand feet.
"By now a second jet had been scrambled by the air force and the pilot called the other on the radio and said, 'You go back to the base. I'll follow the object. ' The first pilot asked, 'Can you see the object?' and the second pilot, who was still a hundred miles away, said, 'Yes I can.'
"The second plane then got within twenty-five to thirty miles of the object and the pilot suddenly reported, 'I've lost all my navigational aids. I cannot get near the object because I've lost every aid I had. What can I do?'
"General Yousefi ordered him to remain over Tehran, circling at fifteen thousand feet. At this time the object was below him. The general could hear all our radio conversations and I was passing on his orders.
"Then the second pilot reported, ‘I can see his lights. He keeps changing his position very fast. I cannot follow the path of the object. I can see his position but cannot follow his track. He appears here, suddenly he appears there and I can’t track him.' We could all see the object with the naked eye.
"The pilot decided to come back to land but when the object was about ten miles away he radioed, 'It has divided in two and an illuminated object has separated and is following me! It keeps coming towards me!’
"He swung his jet around in a tight turn and the light followed him, and as they swept over the tower in Tehran the object that was chasing him was by now five hundred feet above and just behind him. I saw the light for the first time, though only for a few seconds.
‘TOO DANGEROUS’ TO GO CLOSER
“Then the pilot reported that the light had gone back and rejoined the main object. This was about fifteen miles away from the control tower and the pilot reported, 'Now they have joined together.'
"The pilot said it was too dangerous to go any closer and he decided to come in and land. He reported that every time he got close his navigation and all his electronic systems went crazy.
"Then he radioed, 'OH! The illuminated object has separated again and is going toward the ground. Now he is settling on the ground. Can you see him?'
"I couldn’t because we weren't high enough. The pilot radioed that the object had settled on the ground southeast of Tehran near a place called Rey and he said, 'The main object is orbiting slowly over the illuminated object on the ground and it is so bright I can see stones on the ground. It is like daytime.’”
The UFO finally disappeared shortly after four in the morning, becoming smaller and smaller as it climbed ever higher until it was gone from sight.
That is only part of the story, as obtained by John Checkley, then a National Enquirer reporter based in London, and Vahe Petrossian, a freelance journalist then living in Tehran. The military was releasing no details of the incident and Pirouzi, the air traffic controller, was the only one who would talk about it at that time.
Additional interesting details were provided in a classified message sent to the Pentagon by Colonel Frank B. McKenzie, the defense attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. It said in part:
"A second F-4 was launched at 1:40 a.m. The backseater acquired a radar lock on at 27 NM (nautical miles), 12 o'clock high position with the rate of closure at 15 mph. As the range decreased to 25 NM the object moved away at a speed that was visible on the radarscope and stayed at 25 NM.
"The size of the radar return was comparable to that of a 707 tanker. The visual size of the object was difficult to discern because of its intense brilliance. The light that it gave off was that of flashing strobe lights arranged in a rectangular pattern and alternating blue, green, red and orange in color. The sequence of lights was so fast that all the colors could be seen at once.
"The object and the pursuing F-4 continued a course to the south of Tehran when another brightly lighted object, estimated to be one half to one third the apparent size of the moon, came out of the original object. This second object headed straight toward the F-4 at a very fast rate. The pilot attempted to fire an AIM-9 missile at the object but at that instant his weapons control panel went off and he lost all communications (UHF and interphone). At this point the pilot initiated a turn and negative G dive to get away. As he turned the object fell in trail at what appeared to be about 3-4 NM. As he continued his turn away from the primary object, the second object went to the inside of his turn and then returned to the primary object for a perfect rejoin.
"Shortly after the second object joined up with the primary object, another object appeared to come out of the other side of the primary object going straight down at a great rate of speed. The F-4 crew had regained communications and the weapons control panel and watched the object approach the ground, anticipating a large explosion. This object appeared to come to rest gently on the earth and cast a very bright light over an area of about 2-3 kilometers.
"The crew then descended from their altitude of 26,000 to 15,000 and continued to observe and mark the object's position. They had some difficulty in adjusting their night visibility for landing so after orbiting Mehrabad a few times they went out for a straight in landing. There was a lot of interference on the UHF and each time they passed through a magnetic bearing of 150 degrees from Mehrabad they lost their communications (UHF and Interphone) and the INS fluctuated from 30 degrees to 50 degrees. The one civil airliner that was approaching Mehrabad during this time experienced communications failure in the same vicinity (Kilo Zulu) but did not report seeing anything.
"While the F-4 was on a long final approach the crew noticed another cylinder shaped object (about the size of a T-bird at 10,000) with bright steady lights on each end and a flasher in the middle. When queried, the tower stated there was no other known traffic in the area. During the time that the object passed over the F-4, the tower did not have a visual on it but picked it up after the pilot told them to look between the mountains and the refinery.
"During daylight the F-4 crew was taken out to the area in a helicopter where the object apparently had landed. Nothing was noticed at the spot where they thought the object landed (a dry lake bed) but as they circled off to the west of the area they picked up a very noticeable beeper signal. At the point where the return was loudest was a small house with a garden. They landed and asked the people within if they had noticed anything strange last night. The people talked about a loud noise and a very bright light like lightning.”
This latter information did not become available until nearly a year after the incident, although much of it was published in the November 1976 newsletter of the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena, a civilian UFO organization that is now defunct. NICAP had obtained a copy of McKenzie's classified message from some still-unrevealed source inside the Pentagon.
The document itself was finally declassified and released, largely through the persistent efforts of Charles Huffer, an American who then taught mathematics at the U.S. Armed Forces High School in Berlin. He spent much of his summer vacation in 1977 filing Freedom of Information requests and appeals and going from office to office in the Pentagon until his efforts paid off.
Long before the document (part of which is shown at left below) became available, Lieutenant General Abdullah Azarbarzin confirmed some of the details. At that time he was deputy commander in chief of operations for the Imperial Iranian Air Force.
I phoned him on January 3, 1977, and he acknowledged that the incident had occurred and promised to give me more details later. I was to call him the next day but got assigned to something else late in the day and John Cathcart, who was then my editor, phoned him instead.
Some of the things Azarbarzin said were rather startling. He acknowledged that both jets had locked onto the object with their radars but had received very strong jamming, as had an airliner passing through the area at the time. One Phantom pilot got close enough to see the size, shape and color of the UFO.
"According to the report from one of the pilots who was almost crossing under the UFO, he explained the shape of the cockpit and the kind of lighting and all these things," General Azarbarzin told Cathcart.
"It was quite circled and just like a saucer and the shape of the cockpit was a half ball, and the color of lighting inside the cockpit was different than what it had on the outside. It was close to yellow. It was not like any vehicle we have up in the sky."
GIVE INFORMATION TO U.S. AIR FORCE
Then he dropped a shocker. John Cathcart asked him if he had come up with any information as to what UFOs were.
“No, we don't know yet," General Azarbarzin replied, adding: "Of course, we passed all the information on to the U.S. Air Force."
Asked to elaborate, General Azarbarzin said: "We have this procedure, if we have some information on UFOs we just exchange it and we did it. We gave all the information to the U.S. Of course, that was the request from the U.S. We have given all this information to our MAAG. I think they send it to the organization in the United States."
MAAG refers to the U.S. Military Advisory and Assistance Group that was then posted in Tehran. It was then under the command of General Robert Secord, who later became one of the prominent figures in the Iran-Contra investigation.
General Azarbarzin said that whenever the jets got within fifteen miles or so of the UFO it was somehow able to temporarily knock out most of the electronic systems aboard the planes.
“The first time it happened, the pilot said, 'I have everything locked on but when I reached firing range the whole system went out,’” said the general. "That means the fire control, radio, navaids, even the intercom between the two crew members."
He explained that "fire control" meant the missile and weapon control system but stoutly denied that either pilot was ever ordered to shoot at the UFO.
‘NO DOUBT’ JET CREWS SAW A UFO
"Why should we?" he asked. "Would you do that in the United States? It was harmless. No reason to shoot them. We wanted to get as close as we could."
General Azarbarzin admitted the incident was "extremely strange and unexplainable. I can say it is because what we found out – this technology they were using for jamming was something we haven't had before and we don't have it. It doesn't exist, because it was a very wide band and this jammer could jam different bands, different frequencies, at the same time. It was very unusual."
The UFO could hover and then move at extremely high speeds, he said.
"We were estimated at Mach Three," he said, meaning three times the speed of sound. "Very fast acceleration, especially when going from zero speed to maybe Mach Three. Pretty fast. And this is something you don't find in any other flying object."
He said there was no doubt the Phantom crews saw a UFO. "We didn't know if it was a UFO in the beginning, but then later on we just wanted to get as close as we could to get more information. We had no intention of destroying it."
On the same night, the crew of a 707 jetliner reported a near collision with a large, bluish object over Lisbon, Portugal, and in Morocco an object described sometimes as a disc and sometimes as a cylinder was seen flying slowly over eight cities. The Moroccans were so worried that they requested assistance from the United States in determining what the objects were.
Stories on the Portugal case were published almost immediately, but the Moroccan sightings did not become known generally in the United States until the State Department released documents under the Freedom of Information Act in June 1978. The documents were several messages between the U.S. Embassy in Rabat and the State Department in Washington.
PROBABLY A METEOR, KISSINGER SAYS
The final message was a two-page reply from Secretary of State Henry Kissinger stating that the U.S. Government was no longer involved in studying UFOs and suggested that what the Moroccans had seen was probably a meteor or part of a decaying satellite.
When the Pentagon finally declassified and released the Iran UFO message from Colonel McKenzie, it made interesting reading even though most of the details of the encounter were already known.
For the first time, we learned that McKenzie had sent the message to the Defense Intelligence Agency, which had re-transmitted it to the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, the Secretary of State, the White House, the chiefs of the Air Force, the Navy and the Army as well as to the commander in chief of our European forces and the commanders of several European bases.
I tried to find out from the Pentagon if it was routine to send UFO messages to the CIA, NSA, White House and all the others, but the only answer I got was that it is routine to send intelligence messages to these points, with the stress on the word "intelligence."
With the name of the man who sent the message now known, I phoned Colonel McKenzie in Tehran and reached him at his home. I wanted to find out from him why the UFO message was sent and whether it was a common thing to send UFO messages to the Pentagon.
"No, it's not necessarily common, I guess," he replied in an easy-going, disarming way. "Part of our job over here is reporting on unusual things and a UFO report is unusual regardless of whether you believe in them or not. This thing had such big play in the papers over here that it was almost unreal."
REPORTS TO PENTAGON REQUIRED
For many years, American and Canadian military forces operated under JANAP 146 (E), or the Joint Army, Navy and Air Force Procedures for reporting "vital intelligence sightings." One portion of it requires reports to the Pentagon on any UFO incidents involving military installations, equipment or personnel and includes two and a half pages of specific details to check for on unidentified objects.
I asked McKenzie if he was familiar with JANAP 146 (E) and was this why he sent the UFO message to the Pentagon.
No, he said, he wasn’t familiar with it and added: "I sent it in because it was an unusual incident and not necessarily in relation to or in response to any requirement."
I asked how he obtained the information for his report and he replied: "Well, we read the newspapers, we talked to various people around town, other attachés. It was really quite a topic of conversation for three or four days.”
The partial report published by NICAP indicated he had talked to one of the Iranian pilots, but McKenzie said:
"I didn't talk to the Iranian pilots. As a matter of fact, I didn't talk to anybody who did talk to him, per se. I got my information from, oh, various sources. I got a lot of it from the newspapers, in fact."
I said he had an awful lot of details that weren't in the newspapers.
"Yeah, I can agree with that," he said. "In fact, if you set all the newspapers down most of it is in there but some of the detail probably isn't. If I had a real source that was giving me all this information I'd be hard pressed to tell you who it is but I don't have a one-source type of guy."
But, I said, certainly you investigated to some extent before you sent the message to the Pentagon to make sure your information was as accurate as possible?
"Well, I guess I would do that with anything," he replied.
A REVEALING ‘MEMO OF RECORD’
Colonel McKenzie had said he had no "one-man source" for his information and had no ties with MAAG. However, the Air Force eventually released another document on the Iran affair.
It was a "Memorandum of Record," written by Lieutenant Colonel Olin R. Mooy, the U.S. Air Force executive officer for MAAG. He was one of two U.S. Air Force colonels who sat in on the debriefing of First Lieutenant Jalal Damirian and Second Lieutenant Hossein Shokry, the crew of the second F-4 Phantom jet (similar to the one shown here) that went up that night.
It is interesting that Colonel McKenzie's classified message to the Pentagon on the UFO incident says exactly the same thing, word for word, as Colonel Mooy's report written after the debriefing.
In December 1977, the Iran case took another strange twist. A scientist that I will call “X” claimed to have heard some startling new information. “X” was flying to Chicago on an airliner and fell into a conversation with the man in the next seat, who turned out to be a very high-ranking Iranian air force officer in civilian clothes. He was based temporarily at a U.S. Air Force base in Texas.
After discussing a number of other things, “X” asked about UFO sightings in Iran that had been mentioned recently in the newspapers. “X” said the officer began talking about the September 18, 1976, case and claimed that the UFO had hovered over the military air base next to Mehrabad for forty-eight hours and seemed to be communicating with the field on the air traffic control radio band.
He said no one could understand the language, which was described as conversational, and the Shah of Iran became personally involved. He had a team of linguists flown in from another country to try to decipher the language. They were unsuccessful.
SHAH OF IRAN ALLEGEDLY INVOLVED
The officer told “X” that all aircraft were kept away from the object because of intense heat it was giving out. He said he himself had gone up in a helicopter and had come within a mile of it when the helicopter's engine began malfunctioning and they returned to the ground. He said he and others aboard the helicopter suffered minor sunburn type burns.
“X” took down the man's name and Texas address, but later attempts to locate him were unfruitful. The man had supposedly returned to Iran for a brief visit but never returned to Texas.
The Iranian newspapers had carried UFO stories for several days in a row, reporting on other incidents as well as the one the night of September 18. But none of the stories mentioned a UFO being in the sky for forty-eight hours. One story, however, did say that a scientific group from Germany had quickly arrived on the scene, but the team was never identified nor was it learned what they were doing.
In trying to confirm this report, we eventually managed to obtain a copy of the tape recordings made in the air traffic control tower that night. But there was nothing in them of the nature described by “X”.
Then, with my editor's approval, I wrote to General Azarbarzin, requesting permission to visit Tehran and interview the officers who were in the Phantom jets that night as well as any others involved in the case. I explained that even though we had published a story already, it was such a dramatic event that we wanted to do a follow up with the officers personally involved. To my knowledge, their story had never been published and such a story would be highly interesting
I was being truthful, to a point. I really did want to talk to the crewmembers. But we were much more interested in trying to confirm the report about the UFO's alleged attempt to communicate and the Shah's becoming personally involved.
TRIP TO TEHRAN POSTPONED TOO LONG
In April 1978, General Azarbarzin replied by letter, saying I could talk with the men and asked me to advise him when I would be in Tehran. By that time, I was working for another editor, Bill Dick, who was away in London on a special assignment. He asked me to wait until he got back before going to Tehran.
Unfortunately, he was there for more than two months and by the time he got back and I had time to go to Iran, the country was embroiled in the political unrest that led to the Shah's going into exile. We decided to abandon the idea.
Whether the Shah was ever involved, we probably will never know. OMNI magazine reported that when American astronauts visited Tehran he discussed the UFO incident with them. After he went into exile and while he was living in Cuernavaca, Mexico, I wrote to him asking permission to talk to him about the incident. I never received a reply.
Late in 1978, a new, revealing document about the case came to light. Todd Zechel, then a UFO researcher and one of the founders of Citizens Against UFO Secrecy (CAUS), uncovered it. He obtained a copy of a military intelligence analyst's evaluation report of the Iran incident as reported by Colonel McKenzie.
Zechel informed me that the analyst was Air Force Major Roland B. Evans, who was then stationed at Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha, Nebraska. I phoned Major Evans in January 1979.
“This was a classic case because everything that was bizarre about it was confirmed with real sources," he told me. "We don't have this capability to jam all these systems simultaneously.”
Major Evans, then forty, had served as a military capabilities analyst for the Defense Intelligence Agency in Washington for four years. He was then re-assigned to Offut AFB in July 1978, where he was serving as an electronic warfare officer flying in an RC-l35 reconnaissance aircraft with the 343rd Reconnaissance Squadron.
‘AN OUTSTANDING REPORT!’
"I was an intelligence analyst," said Major Evans. "This (Iran incident) came through as a routine intelligence analysis. I was given the report because my field is electronic warfare. The DIA intelligence community is broken up by region. Within each region we have some specialties. I was in the Middle East region and I was an air defense expert. I was given this particular case because of my electronic warfare and air defense field.”
I asked him if he knew UFOs were also reported in Portugal and Morocco the same night as the Tehran case. He didn't, he said, and added: "Morocco is in North Africa, another branch, and of course Lisbon would be in the western European branch. My chances of talking with those analysts were reasonably slim."
In his evaluation of the Tehran case, filed October 12, 1976, and approved by a civilian superior, Clifford J. Souther, Major Evans stated:
"An outstanding report! This case is a classic which meets all the criteria necessary for a valid study of the UFO phenomenon:
"(a) The object was seen by multiple witnesses from different locations (i.e. Shemiran, Mehrabad, and the dry lake bed) and viewpoints (both) airborne and from the ground.
"(b) The credibility of many of the witnesses was high (an air force general, qualified aircrews and experienced tower operators)
"(c) Visual sightings were confirmed by radar.
"(d) Similar electromagnetic effects (EME) were reported by three separate aircraft.
"(e) There were physiological effects in some crew members (i.e., loss of night vision due to the brightness of the object).
"(f) An inordinate amount of maneuverability was displayed by the UFOs.”
The UFO's ability to jam several systems simultaneously greatly impressed Major Evans, who said this was the only UFO case he had evaluated in his four years with the DIA.
"We had several other messages that someone would attribute to UFOs," said Major Evans. "I didn't pay much attention to them, but I felt this particular case was very interesting. Here we had a case where we had a visual sighting from three different locations, three different angles, by highly qualified people and they were confirmed by radar from three different points.
"The electromagnetic effects were very interesting to me as an electronic warfare officer, and the fact that this thing was so highly maneuverable impressed me quite a bit. As an electronic warfare officer, I would love to go into combat with the capability of turning off my opponent's weapon system panel at will, and to be able to figure out when he's going to turn it on, and to cut off his communications.
AIR FORCE CRITERIA USED IN EVALUATION
"I was impressed that he (the UFO) did even more than jam the jets' systems. He actually turned them off. He made them completely useless. He didn't just foul them up. Jamming is sort of like a lot of static on your radio. It's where we override their electronic emissions, but in this case he didn't override the emissions. He turned them off, made them completely inoperable.
"It's rather frightening, as a matter of fact.”
I asked what criteria he used to evaluate the case.
"The criteria I used were the criteria the Air Force used, or at least my impression of what the Air Force and the government used, to discount most UFO information," Major Evans replied. "That is, their criteria had always been that visual sightings were no good unless you confirm them by radar and vice versa. Radar phenomena happen all the time and if you can't confirm them visually, they are not really valid.
"Then, too, the maneuverability sort of eliminates planets and fishing trawlers and such, and other aircraft just flying over and satellites. And the electromagnetic effects, the fact that this happened to three different aircraft – the two F-4s at two different times under the same circumstances and the fact that a commercial airliner just happened to be passing by that was also affected in the area where the F-4s were – indicated that this was not just peculiar to the two aircraft. The airliner was an innocent bystander that also received some of the same effects.
"To me, there were too many circumstances that fit in, indicating this thing was no an aberration, it was not swamp gas or anything else. There's just no other way to explain it. It was real. It was there.
"That's why I call it a classic."
‘TECHNOLOGY WOULD BE USEFUL’
Concerning some of the incredible capabilities demonstrated by the UFO, Major Evans said:
"Yes, it does seem to be beyond the capabilities of any of the military systems that I'm aware of. As far as its being extraterrestrial, I don't know. That's getting a little out of my field. This electronic capability was very interesting to me, and it was far more than any country I know of is capable of."
In his evaluation, Major Evans indicated that the value of the information contained in the report was "high" and "potentially useful" and was in the highest category of reliability.
"The technology would be useful," he explained. “My main thought at the time was that if this was a Soviet system, we've got a lot of homework to do. My first thought was not of anything extraterrestrial, just the fact that there is something out there with capability far beyond ours. That is definitely of high interest, even though at the time it did not appear to be hostile. There didn't appear to be any immediate threat, but the prospects were rather frightening, especially if it was a Soviet system. We should definitely start playing catch up.”
Major Evans said he did not understand why the government didn’t continue its investigation of UFOs after the Air Force ended Project Bluebook in 1969.
"I always thought it was puzzling that the whole investigation was dropped," he said. "It has been a mystery to me as to why they weren’t investigating the whole time.
"I'm assuming there were other reports similar to the one I analyzed. I've read of other cases of Air Force aircraft having similar problems and I'm sure that this was not an isolated report. I don't think this was an isolated classic report, although I can't verify that. I just have that feeling.
"UFOs notwithstanding, it seems like these electromagnetic effects should be investigated. It's a mystery to me that we're not looking for these effects, because this affects lives."