The copilot's answer was classic: "No, not one of those things."
Both pilots had only recently voiced their opinions regarding the flying saucers and they weren't complimentary.
As they watched the UFO, it passed across the nose of their DC-3 and they got a fairly good look at it. Neither the pilot nor the copilot was positive of the object's
shape because it was "shadowy" but they assumed it was disk-shaped because of the circular arrangement of eight or ten "portholes," each one
glowing from a strong bluish-white light that seemed to come from the inside of whatever it was that they saw. The UFO also had a blinking white light on top, a fact
that led many people to speculate that this UFO was another airliner. But this idea was quashed when it was announced that there were no other airliners in the area.
The crew of the DC-3, when questioned on this possibility, were definite in their answers. If it had been another airplane, they could have read the number, seen the
passengers, and darn near reached out and slugged the pilot for getting so close to them.
About a month later, over northern Indiana, TWA treated all the passengers of one of their DC-3 nights to a view of a UFO that looked like a "big glob of molten
The official answer for this incident is that the huge orange-red UFO was nothing more than the light from the many northern Indiana blast furnaces reflecting a haze
layer. Could be, but the pilots say no.
There were similar sightings in North Korea two years later--and FEAF Bomber Command had caused a shortage of blast furnaces in North Korea.
UFO sightings by airline pilots always interested me as much as any type of sighting. Pilots in general should be competent observers simply because they spend a large
part of their lives looking around the sky. And pilots do look; one of the first things an aviation cadet is taught is to "Keep your head on a swivel"; in
other words, keep looking around the sky. Of all the pilots, the airline pilots are the cream of this group of good observers. Possibly some second lieutenant just out
of flying school could be confused by some unusual formation of ground lights, a meteor, or a star, but airline pilots have flown thousands of hours or they wouldn't
be sitting in the left seat of an airliner, and they should be familiar with a host of unusual sights.
One afternoon in February 1953 I had an opportunity to further my study of UFO sightings by airline pilots. I had been out at Air Defense Command Headquarters in
Colorado Springs and was flying back East on a United Airlines DC-6. There weren't many passengers on the airplane that afternoon but, as usual, the captain came
strolling back through the cabin to chat. When he got to