Every so often, those of us who are invested in the serious study of alleged UFO craft hear some incredible stories, which variously involve the testimony of trained pilots and other witnesses to unusual things seen in the skies. Countless numbers of stories that involve this sort of interaction between airmen and exotic-looking aircraft can be found by performing online searches, with the occasional appearance of flight audio that recounts such events.
Recently, a story along these lines was shared with me by one of my listeners, who had recently heard this subject being discussed on the The Gralien Report Podcast. Thus, she felt compelled to share the following account with me, in hopes that somebody else may have heard about what may have been going on recently in the skies over Indiana. Was it a UFO, or something else?
Here's the message that appeared in my inbox only a few days ago:
I heard something today and thought that with your contacts in the ufo field you might be able to find something out. My sister called me today and told me that her husbands best friend (who is a pilot) was flying in Indiana airspace last night. He received a call over his radio redirecting him from his original flight plan. He said everyone was being redirected out of the area. At the time he said he was close enough to look into this no fly zone and he saw a very bright light. He also said that F18's were in the air. He said that the chatter over the radio from the other pilots was all about this bright light, the F18's, and the fact that they had orders to shoot!
I did a google search to see if I could find any news reports of ufo sightings in Indiana last night but was unsuccessful.
In truth, this was indeed the very first I had heard of such an incident, and a subsequent online search seemed to turn up few further details.
In the past, various incidents that involved the appearance of UFOs in midst of Fighter Pilots have occasionally resulted in disaster. Perhaps the most infamous, taken directly from the files of Project Blue Book, dealt with the death of 25-year-old pilot named Captain Thomas F. Mantell, on January 7, 1948. Mantell, of the Kentucky Air National Guard, had been pursuing what was believed to be a "flying saucer" at a high altitude, and in attempting to reach it himself, likely passed out due to loss of oxygen or similar circumstances, thus resulting in the crash of his jet. Rather tragically, Edward Ruppelt would later surmise that the entire Mantell incident may have involved nothing more than a high-altitude weather balloon, which, from Mantell's perspective, could certainly have resembled a huge, silvery flying disc.
So far as the more recent incident over Indiana goes, few details have been made available with regard to just what may have been going on... and fortunately, there have been no reports of ill-fated pursuits of strange UFO craft on part of the U.S. Airforce this time around, either.