From one of our own Field Investigators:
Now, what is it like to experience a UFO? Some individuals find personal UFO visitations or visual experiences highly upsetting or even terrifying, while other find and UFO experience highly intriguing or fascinating. Therefore, I will proceed to discuss the personal UFO encounter I experience while flying my Beechcraft Bonanza en route from Lincoln ,NE, to Memphis, TN, 0n the tenth of September, 1978. I received by clearance to takeoff and departed Lincoln, NE, Lincoln Municipal Airport in the late afternoon and climbed to 9,500 ft. and establish a course southwest for a fuel stop at Springfield, MO. The weather was pleasant and visibility of good. A couple hours later I approached Springfield, listened to the Automated Approach Information (ATIS), and then contacted approach control for instructions. I landed, refueled, and departed Springfield early evening. The weather was mostly clear to the north and to the west with expectations of scattered clouds as I approached Memphis, TN. If the weather is Visual Flight Conditions (VFR) I usually cruise at or about 9,500 feet due to conditions associated with reduced visibility in the southern atmosphere. The reason for this is that high humidity in the southern united states cause dust/dirt particles to be suspended in the atmosphere and is visually perceived as a dark brown haze, which decreases visibility. This reduces visibility and tops out at about 8,000-10,000 ft. So, I could cruise just above the haze in clean cool air. As I approach the northeast corner of Arkansas, I contacted Memphis Approach Control for a position report and Memphis advised me that they had me on radar. This was approximately 20:17 hours CDST. The controller was pleasant and asked how the visual weather was where I was. I looked to the left and then to the right and I advise Memphis Approach Control the weather was hazy but smooth and clear above 9,000 ft. He said it looks quiet out there. I then happened to look to the right and a landing light caught my attention behind me to the right at about 5 o’clock relative and descending out of approximately 11,000ft. I said to the controller that there was nothing out here except me and this commuter descending out of approximately 11,000 ft. and he will pass beneath me. Well, the controller’s voice became a bit more aggressive and he said, negative One Bravo, there is no reported traffic on radar within 200 hundred miles of you. Now, the sun has gone down and with the haze, it is now dark. I started to look to the right for the commuter when just off my right wing tip was a bright light in formation with me. I reported to the Memphis Center that if there were no other aircraft in my area I have a BOGEY, at 3 o’clock, and in tight formation with me. Memphis Center advised me to switch frequency and stand by. Immediately the controller asked if the UFO was still visible. I replied, “It was”. He then said has was going to ask me some questions to determine if I was safe and the aircraft was o.k. We went through a check of all navigation and radio equipment and I advised Center all appeared normal. Center had me double check the magnetic compass for any unusual error or rotation. I replied, negative. The UFO was still directly off my right wing tip and it appeared as a bright white light(like a diode). I stated to the Controller that I was going to make a gentle turn towards the light. Well, at that point the Controller said with a loud and excited voice,” NEGETIVE ONE BROVO, DO NOT ENCROACH OR SHOW ANY AGGRESSION TOWARD THE UFO!”. I replied, affirmative Memphis.
Memphis Center advised me they were trying to get in contact with Naval Air Station, Millington, TN to try and request Naval aircraft to support me and intercept the BOGEY.
And then all of a sudden the UFO made a vertical move so rapidly that I couldn’t follow it with my eyes, yet could observe the motion from my attitude to approximately 15,000 ft. This maneuver was an instantaneous perpendicular vertical maneuver without any evidence of deviation from perpendicular. One moment the UFO was beside me and then
faster than the eye can physically follow it was at the new elevation. Then, the UFO proceed to display another maneuver, the UFO went from the elevated position moving only in stair-step movement to a position ahead and in front of me. Again, the maneuver was so rapid I could only sense the movement and not actually follow it with my eyes.
The UFO then shot back to its original position off my right wing. I then noticed another UFO at extremely high altitude. The second UFO, BOGEY #2 appeared as a bright light and moved above me at approximately 30 degrees to my let and approximately 60 degrees elevation. The UFO moved at exception speed to an approximate position 60 degrees in front of me and still at extremely high altitude. The 2nd UFO made a few variable maneuvers and then departed the area to the south west at astonishing speed. Now I returned to check on BOGEY #1. BOGEY#1 was still in formation with me at 3 o’clock.
All of a sudden BOGEY#1 began to slowly peel off in a descent that took it down and under my tale. At this time I was proceeding over the city of Jonesboro, AR. Therefore, I thought if I made a climbing turn to the left I might get a view of BOGEY#1 with the lights of Jonesboro behind it. I started a climbing turn to the left and would you believe it, there was BOGEY#1 swiftly gliding across the city of Jonesboro with the lights of the city fully behind it. As I watch the light which was clearly visible, and I could clearly see there was no mass or structure to the BOGEY. It was a light moving across the city. At this time I began to experience broken clouds and had to return the business of flying and navigating the aircraft. I had been explaining the above discussion of the GOGEYs to Memphis Center during this entire event. I remember telling Center that this experience was like watching the best movie I had ever seen. Memphis Center advised me to contact the UFO reporting center in Washington state after I landed. I continued on to Memphis without incident. I contacted the UFO center and make m y report. They classified the even as a UFO.
Richard L. Renne MPH, is a Radiological Physicist and a Commercial Rated Pilot and Advanced Flight Instructor.