because it was much brighter and it was dead ahead. In a split second it closed in and flashed by their right wing--so close that both pilots thought that they would collide with it. When it passed
the DC-3, the pilots saw more than a light-- they saw a huge object that looked like the "fuselage of a B-29."
When the copilot had recovered he looked out his side window to see if he could see the UFO and there it was, flying formation with them. He yelled at the pilot, who
leaned over and looked just in time to see the UFO disappear.
The second look confirmed the Mid-Continent crew's first impression-- the object looked like a B-29 without wings. They saw nothing more, only a big "shadowy
shape" and the bluish-white light--no windows, no exhaust.
The tower had missed the incident because they were landing the other airplane and the pilot and the copilot didn't have time to call them and tell them about what was
going on. All the tower operators could say was that seconds after the UFO had disappeared the light that they had seen was gone.
When the airliner landed in Omaha, the crew filed a report that was forwarded to the Air Force. But this wasn't the only report that was filed; a full colonel from
military intelligence had been a passenger on the DC-3. He'd seen the UFO too, and he was mighty impressed.
I thought that this was an interesting report and I wondered what the official reaction would be. The official reaction was a great big, deep belly laugh.
This puzzled me because I'd read that the Air Force was seriously investigating all UFO reports.
I continued to eavesdrop on the discussions about the report all day since the UFO expert was about to "investigate" the incident. He sent out a wire to
Flight Service and found that there was a B-36 somewhere in the area of Sioux City at the time of the sighting, and from what I could gather he was trying to blame the
sighting on the B- 36. When Washington called to get the results of the analysis of the sighting, they must have gotten the B-36 treatment because the case was closed.
I'd only been at ATIC two days and I certainly didn't class myself as an intelligence expert, but it didn't take an expert to see that a B-36, even one piloted by an
experienced idiot, could not do what the UFO had done--buzz a DC-3 that was in an airport traffic pattern.
I didn't know it at the time but a similar event had occurred the year before. On the night of May 29, 1950, the crew of an American Airlines DC-6 had just taken off
from Washington National Airport, and they were about seven miles west of Mount Vernon when the copilot suddenly looked out and yelled, "Watch it--watch it."
The pilot and the engineer looked out to see a bluish-white