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Veteran Pilot and Korean War Vet Sees UFO over North Carolina

If there’s one thing the Nimitz UFO revelation has strengthened, it’s the belief that pilots are by far the most reliable and credible witnesses to unidentified aerial phenomena. If length of experience makes them even more credible, then the sighting in North Carolina revealed recently by pilot Charles Cobb should peg the meter at “He definitely saw something strange – Cobb is an 88-year-old Korean War veteran who has also been a pilot for 45 years. What he saw and recorded in June baffled him to the point that he feared telling anyone – until he recently read a similar account that made him feel less alone in the experience. What did he see? Some experts are equally baffled, especially after more witnesses came forward.

“No reflection off a jet. This object while zooming to incredible heights, and coming back down, was always heading in a northerly direction as the photos show, yet it remained in the general area that I was viewing. A plane of any sort passing through my viewing area would have been out of sight in a matter of a few minutes.”

Piper J-3 Cub

Cobb was on the ground at the Silver Creek Airport in Morganton, North Carolina, doing his daily check on his vintage 1940 Piper Cub when he saw the object. (Photo here.) He told the Charlotte Observer that, while he couldn’t judge its size, its altitude was easy for this veteran pilot to estimate – it dropped to 15,000 feet before shooting back up to at least 30,000 feet. The Observer contacted the National UFO Reporting Center, which had no sightings at the same time as Cobb’s on June 12 but a report of “right light flares” making a 90 degree turn over Huntsville (about 90 miles east of Morgantown) and a “spear or teardrop structure” with a vapor trail over Salisbury (near Huntsville) the following morning. The Observer notes that North Carolina and the Charlotte area in particular rank on lists of UFO sightings in the U.S., partly due to the number of military bases in the state and in South Carolina.

“It really looks to me more like sunlight reflected off a distant jet and its related condensation trail; typically, that would disappear from sight in less than 20 minutes. Good luck getting a definitive answer on this one.”

Contacted by the Observer, Bernard Arghiere, board advisor with the Astronomy Club of Asheville, said it wasn’t a comet but he would vote for reflection and a contrail from a jet. The pear-shaped UFO sighting the following morning sounds similar, or possible a rocket launch. Don’t tell that to a longtime pilot like Cobb. He showed his photos to pilot friends – including a commercial pilot who flew F4 Phantoms in the Air Force and they couldn’t identify it.

F4 Phantoms – not UFOs

Charles Cobb may never find out what he saw, but it’s a good bet that he’ll keep on looking with his trusty iPad … and maybe his vintage Piper Cub. If you can’t trust the UFO sighting of a Korean War vet and experienced pilot in a Piper Cub, who CAN you trust?

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Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.
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