Awesome or Off-Putting is a weekly delve into cryptozoology, ufology, aliens, medical marvels, scientific wonders, secret societies, government conspiracies, cults, ghosts, EVPs, ancient artifacts, strange facts, odd sightings or just the plain unexplainable.
90% of the time people sight UFOs it ends up being a comet, a misidentified airplane, or a child who’d sucked too much helium and floated way up into the sky. That last one is personal experience.
But the point being the encounters can usually be easily explained. But what about when it can’t be? The Chiles-Whitted sighting, for instance, will probably leave little brown clumps all over your underpants-innards.
Wikipedia lists a very interesting intro to this story. It takes place at the Hague in the Netherlands, and was apparently investigated by the US Airforce. Edward J. Ruppelt, the head of Project Blue Book at the time, sums it up in a report:
“On July 21  a curious report was received from the Netherlands. The day before, several persons reported seeing a UFO through high broken clouds over The Hague. The object was rocket shaped, with two rows of windows along the side. It was a poor report, very sketchy and incomplete, and it probably would have been forgotten except that four nights later a similar UFO almost collided with an Eastern Airlines DC-3.”
Does that grab your attention? Well lets fast forward those four days then. Pilot Clarence Chiles and co-pilot John Whitted were chugging along the Alabama skies. They were probably having the standard peanut fight up in the cockpit, which we’ve been told repeatedly was industry standard in the forties. That’s when the cigar shaped flying object almost smashed right into them.
UFOs.About.com has the details:
“The object appeared to be directly in their path of flight. The two pilots had no cause to think anything other than there was another airliner in their vicinity, albeit unreported. Almost before they could react, they saw the object coming right at them. The object streaked by, just barely edging to their starboard side. The unknown object could not have been more 1,000 feet away. When reflecting on the near-miss later, both pilots agreed that the UFO had no wings, and no tail.
“They also had seen two rows of windows, which appeared to be extremely reflective… The two pilots also recalled that the object’s front section was pointed, and along its belly was a blue glow. This glow ran the full length of the UFO. Exhaust of a red color could be seen at the end of the object. The UFO’s size compared favorably to a B-29, except with a thicker body.”
And then it disappeared. It could probably be ruled out as a hoax, right? Just a story two bored pilots came up with as the peanuts flew accompanied by riotous giggles – except that one of the passengers saw it too.
Wikipedia, if you would please:
“Given the early hour of the flight, most of the passengers were asleep. One of them, Clarence L. McKelvie, would later offer corroborative eyewitness testimony. He asserted that he saw an extraordinarily bright light from his window seat in the aircraft, describing it as unlike lightning. He later told Project Sign investigators that the light seemed to have moved parallel to the plane, but at a higher altitude.”
Still not convinced? What about ground witnesses. UFOs.About.com says:
“One saving grace for many of the passengers was that, because of the hour, they were asleep at the time of the incident. But there were also witnesses on the ground who saw the UFO. Several individuals from Robbins Air Base, located near Macon, Georgia, also saw the unknown object. Their description was consistent with that of the two pilots. Their observation was about 1/2 hour before the DC-3 encounter. After tracing 225 flights of the same morning, a passenger plane was ruled out, according to a government official.”
The government, apparently, was at a loss for words. An Air Force spokesman went as far as saying:
“…this country has no plane resembling a double-decked, jet-propelled, wingless transport shooting a 40-foot flame out of its back end.”
The explanation they eventually went with was first offered by Dr. J. Allen Hynek. It was an extraordinary meteor. One that apparently wasn’t confined by gravity’s typical demands.
That’s a lot of sightings by a lot of people describing the same thing. In a court of law that spaceship could have been found guilty on testimony alone. And assuming that causing the spill of peanuts was as serious a crime then as it really should be now (what with the economy and all) – it’d probably be sentenced to quite a stint in the pen.
And you know, really, if a spaceship was behind bars hammering out license plates and taking conjugal visits from the Deathstar – well what could the skeptics really say then? Unless the spaceship joined the prison crips, that is. Everyone knows it’s best not to report on a prison crip.