UFO Sightings - Part 2

As United Airlines Flight 446 pushed back from its gate at O'Hare International Airport on November 7th, 2006, the ground crew looked up to see a silvery disc-shaped object hovering directly above the airliner at Gate C-17. For five minutes, a dozen different witnesses, including the captain and first officer of Flight 446, observed the object as it created chaos at one of the world's busiest airports.

Suddenly, the saucer shot straight up into the air at such a high speed that it left a large hole in the overcast cloud layer above that allowed blue sky to shine through. Despite the substantial number of witness reports, including persons that were viewing the object from a distance away from the airfield itself, the FAA and United Airlines initially denied any knowledge of the incident.

Several months later, the story was picked up by various news outlets and an audio tape was leaked to the press that captured a United Airlines radio conversation on the date of the event. The tape records an airline supervisor asking controllers if they had seen a flying disc over Gate C-17, reporting after 15 minutes that several pilots had in-fact seen the disc. The tape also records the control tower operators warning outgoing planes of the unidentified object and to use caution.

After being compelled to address the situation, an FAA spokesperson claimed that the sighting was caused by a weather phenomenon, such the reflection of airport lights off a low cloud cover or a phenomenon known as a hole-punched cloud. Both explanations have been refuted by meteorological experts. Although reports of an unidentified airborne object hovering for several minutes over a busy airport constitutes a potential threat to flight safety, the FAA stated that they would not be investigating the incident any further.

In the early morning hours of April 17, 1966, Sheriff’s Deputy Dale Spaur was responding to a call of an abandoned vehicle on the side of Route 224 in Portage County, Ohio. While inspecting the car, along with his partner, auxiliary deputy Wilbur Neff, a huge object suddenly rose up from behind a nearby hill. Spaur rushed back to his patrol car and radioed in the UFO sighting to their dispatcher.

Waiting for backup to arrive, the deputies continued to observe the object, which they later described as silver in color, like an inverted ice cream cone with a dome-shaped top, with an antenna-like protrusion, and roughly 25 to 35 feet in diameter. They reported it made a humming noise like an overloaded transformer and was floating perfectly still in the sky. Suddenly, the craft projected a bright white light onto the ground at the officers, completely illuminating the surrounding area, then began to move away at high speed. Spaur and Neff decided to give chase, and thus began a wild 30-minute, 86 mile chase along the highways of Ohio.

Monitoring the situation from his own car, another patrolman, Officer Wayne Houston, observed the craft pass him by and joined the chase. Reaching speeds above 100 miles an hour, the police officers did their best to keep up with the unidentified craft, which they felt was ‘toying’ with them—allowing them to catch up before rocketing hundreds of feet ahead of them again.

Eventually, the Ohio officers had pursued their quarry across the state line and into Pennsylvania, eventually meeting up with an officer - Frank Panzanella - who had also been watching the object. It now appeared to be gaining altitude above them, and they watched as it finally shot directly upward and out of sight.

Hundreds of civilians also reported seeing the object during the chase, and the story was widely distributed across the country by the Associated Press. The USAF’s Project Blue Book investigated the incident, insisting that the police officers had been chasing the planet Venus or a satellite in orbit, an explanation roundly rejected by those who saw the object from only a few hundred feet away. In statements taken within days of the events, they talked about the object being low enough that it lit up the surrounding fields as it passed over them.

Sadly, most of the officers involved found themselves ridiculed and many had their lives very negatively affected by the attention — Spaur himself eventually had a mental breakdown, losing his family and job and doing his best to disappear as a recluse.

Lonnie Zamora was a lifelong police officer in Socorro, New Mexico, who had a reputation for honesty and integrity. And on the afternoon of April 24, 1964, Zamora had one of the most bizarre encounters in the history of UFO sightings. While chasing a speeding automobile, Zamora heard a loud roar and spotted flame in the sky not far off the side of the road. Fearing it was a major explosion at a nearby mine, he broke off the chase and turned down a dusty road into the desert.

On the other side of a small hill off the highway, he spotted a strange, white, egg-shaped object sitting on the ground some 200 yards away. Slowly approaching the object, he radioed dispatch to report that he was going to assist what he assumed was a car stuck in the sand. But as he got closer, he realized it was absolutely not a car.

Zamora stopped his vehicle and climbed out for a closer look. Sitting on top of four narrow legs, it was oval-shaped, totally smooth, and had some strange red writing or insignia on the side. But more remarkably, something else stood in the desert next to the object—two figures, the size of small adults or large children, dressed in white coveralls. Zamora felt that he had apparently surprised and startled them; they quickly disappeared behind the object and it began producing a low, rumbling roar.

To his shock, the object now produced a red flame from its bottom, and it began to rise into the air. Remaining only a few dozen feet off the ground, the object slowly disappeared over the hills and out of site. Not long after, another officer arrived, and the two searched the area. They found spots of brush still burning, apparently lit by the flame from the craft. They also discovered four square marks in the sand that seemed to have been made by the landing legs of the UFO.

Possible explanations over the years have cited NASA testing an early model of the Surveyor lunar probe, even an elaborate prank played on Zamora by a local tech university. However, the testimonials of such a reliable and well-respected officer, coupled with the strange data collected at the site (scorched foliage, melted and solidified sand, and other eye witnesses from town) provide evidence to indicate a most real phenomenon of undetermined origin.

The US Air Force’s Project Blue Book, established to explore and explain UFO sightings, summed the case up in this way: “This is the best-documented case on record, and still we have been unable, in spite of thorough investigation, to find the vehicle or other stimulus that scared Zamora to the point of panic.”