IF YOU EVER SEE “IT”, YOU’ll NEVER FORGET IT
What, you may ask, is “IT“?
The date was August 21, 1952. I was just a young naval aviator flying a sleek Grumman F9F-5 Panther jet from the east coast to the west coast all by myself. I didn’t have a partner (wingman), on this particular flight. However, if I would have had a wingman, he’d most likely never forget either.
I had filed a flight plan for the last leg of my trip across the country, which was from El Paso, Texas to San Diego, Ca (North Island NAS). It was a distance of about 700 miles, well within the 1100 hundred mile range of my aircraft. At FL 40, (forty thousand feet) it’s awfully quiet except for the chatter with ATC (air traffic control) issuing clearance and traffic advisories. There were no commercial jets flying high in the sky back then. They were still years away into the future. It was lonely and if something appeared on their radar to get their attention, they would call you.
Suddenly, ATC called saying, “Navy 557, are you still with me?” I clicked my mic button and replied, “You bet, what you got?” Albuquerque ATC answered, “We’ve got a target at your twelve o’clock ten miles crossing left to right at a high rate of speed.” The serial number of my jet was filed as 125557 on the flight plan from El Paso to San Diego NAS. “I’m lookin” I replied. “What level?” “Yours,” was their answer. “What the hell could be up here except another military aircraft?” was my first thought. Then I caught sight of something. It sure didn’t look like another military jet to me. “Can you identify the target?” was the request of ATC. “I’ll try,” I replied as I changed my course to the right for an intercept angle on the reported target. “The target stopped,” they said. “Now it’s moving at a high rate, almost unbelievable,” the excited controller said. “ Do you still have a visual on the target?” “Yeah,” I said. “It’s big, looks like a cigar, a shiny one but I can’t tell yet.”
My jet couldn’t fly any faster and as I closed on the target it simply disappeared. It was mind boggling to see something just move away that fast. What could it be?
When I arrived at my destination I was advised to report to operations to file a report. Report what?
That’s the first time I was informed that the military had a special file called, “Operation Blue Book.” It was supposed to be a record from pilots who encountered UFO’s. “Big deal” I thought until I got to thinking about my experience. Yeah, I never saw anything like that before but it did get my attention and certainly the attention of ATC who caught everything on radar. They probably were one step ahead of me and informed my destination operations to question me, which they did. Because normal routine was to shut down, go into operations and simply close a flight plan and go on your way. But, not this time. I was hustled into a room for details of my sightings and advised that everything would go into a report…”Blue Book.”
Where are we today with all the hype about UFO’s? It’s still an unanswered question that won’t go away and everybody has an opinion. I still don’t. However, I know what I saw, I think. And, no matter what skeptics can comment about saucers, lights in the sky and alien little men taking them to lunch, my position is, IF YOU EVER SEE IT, YOU WIll NEVER FORGET “IT”… I haven’t!
If you are one of the few who may not know who Captain Ike Eisenhauer is:
Captain A.L. “IKE” Eisenhauer, is a World famous author, speaker, instructor, adventurer, and currently a regular featured columnist for Airliners and Airports Magazine and master Aviator. Captain “Ike” as he is known to aviators worldwide, flew the only privately owned multi-million customized Boeing 707 for renegade genius financier Robert Vesco. Names like Nixon, Juan Tripp, Howard Hughes, Arthur Godfrey, King Juan Carlos of Spain were no strangers to “Ike” and the “Silver Phyllis” (the moniker Ike hung on the 707).
In the days of the presidency of Richard Nixon, shady characters like Bebe Rebozo, a Tampa Banker, Robert Vesco owned politicians and controlled countries. That whole world started to unravel in March 1973 for Vesco when many of his inner circle testified in front of a grand jury in New York city and Vesco fled in his Boeing to parts unknown.
Supported by Costa Rican leaders and even Fidel Castro of Cuba, Vesco was insulated from the jurisdiction of American courts. But In 1995 Castro threw Vesco in Jail and the “fugitive financier” vanished. However, the Silver Phyllis had been hidden and Captain Ike Eisenhauer was contracted by the United States government to find the Boeing and return it to the United Sates by “hook or crook.” Like an undercover agent, a spy, and a swashbuckling buccaneer “Ike” found the airplane and like Mr. Phelps of Mission Impossible, formulated a plan and executed it, to finally recover the multi-million Boeing 707 and brought his beloved “Phyllis” home. He did and the rest is history and it is all in his book “The Flying Carpetbagger” (Captain Ike is currently working on another book)…
You can read about more of Captain Ike Eisenhauer’s true life adventures in his regular articles in The Airliners and Airports Magazine. The is a Link at the right side of the page to their website to order the a subscription to Airliners and Airports Magazine.