On an Eastern Airlines DC-3 in 1948, two pilots reported seeing a torpedo-shaped UFO with windows flying above them. There were many witnesses to the event, and the U.S. Air Force ordered the destruction of the report. One of the earliest known UFO incidents occurred at 2:45 a.m. on July 24, 1948. Captain Clarence S. Chiles and his co-pilot, John B. Whitted, witnessed the UFO while they were flying an Eastern Airlines DC-3 at 5000 feet on a clear night. Moonlight brightened the sky and earth.
The two pilots were about twenty miles southwest of Montgomery, Alabama, when they spotted something coming quickly toward them. According to the pilots, the object was torpedo shaped, wingless and about 100 feet long.
“Powered by some jet or other type of power shooting flame from the rear some 50 feet. There were two rows of windows, which indicated an upper and lower deck, from inside these windows a very bright light was glowing. Underneath the ship there was a blue glow of light. The fuselage appeared to be about three times the circumference of a B-29 fuselage. The windows were very large and seemed square. I estimate that we watched the object for at least five seconds and not more than 10 seconds. We heard no noise nor did we feel any turbulence from the object. It seemed to be at about 5500 feet.”Captain Clarence S. Chiles told this to investigators from the Air Force’s Project Sign
Their eyes were almost temporarily dazzled by the dazzling combination of window and flame light. Suddenly, the object flew by them to their right. At approximately 700 mph, according to the pilots, the object was moving in the vicinity of a half-mile away.
“After it passed, it pulled up into some light broken clouds at 6000 feet altitude and was lost from view.”Captain Clarence S. Chiles
An awoken passenger happened to be staring out the window on the right side, where she saw an unidentified flying object pass by. The rest of his co-passengers were sleeping.
“I suddenly saw this strange eerie streak. It was very intense, not like lightning or anything I had ever seen before, I could not get my eyes adjusted to it before it was gone.”Clarence L McKelvie of Columbus, Ohio
At 3:49 a.m., the two pilots touched down in Atlanta and were led away to radio station WCON for an interview. As a journalist, William Key interviewed Chiles and Whitted, who denied seeing a meteor. What they had just seen “was a man-made thing,” they insisted.
The Pentagon first claimed that the two people had seen a weather balloon, which was later quickly disproven and then taken back.
“This country has no plane resembling a double-decked, jet-propelled, wingless transport shooting a 40-foot flame out of its back end.”Air Force spokesperson in Washington
Soon, the Air Force found out that a grounds-keeping crew member at Robins Air Force Base in Georgia had seen the same or a similar object from the ground an hour before. Walter Massey saw a “stream of fire” coming from the north at 1:40 a.m. He was sure it was not a meteor.
“As it got overhead,” he said, “it was a fairly clear outline and appeared to be a cylindrical-shaped object, with a long stream of fire coming out of the tail end. I noticed a faint glow on the belly of the wingless object – a phosphorescent glow. A shooting star falls perpendicular. This object was on a straight and level plane. When it disappeared, it disappeared from sight due to distance, rather than drop. It looked like it was about the size of a B-29. It might have been a little larger, in circumference. It was too large for a jet. It seemed to be of a dark color and constructed of an unknown metallic type material.Walter Massey
A report from The Hague, Netherlands, on July 20 was also considered by investigators. A rocket-shaped object with two rows of windows on each side was spotted by witnesses in the clouds above. When asked what he thought, astronomer and Sign expert J. Allen Hynek said that if we take the report at face value, there was no astronomical explanation.
” Nonetheless, the sheer improbability of the facts as stated makes it necessary to see whether any other explanation, even though far-fetched, can be considered.”J Allen Hynek
Maybe Massey was wrong, or maybe he saw the object at the same time as Chiles and Whitted. In that case, “the object must have been an unusual meteor” whose trail gave the “subjective impression of a ship with lit windows.” The findings of other Sign researchers, on the other hand, were not as encouraging. Captain Robert Sneider deemed the wingless rocket shape aerodynamically viable and devoted a page of his report to the engineering features of the design.
“That this development possibly being of foreign origin would seem to be a logical premise.”Captain Robert Sneider
By “foreign origin,” Sneider did not mean that the craft was made in a different country.
“According to the old-timers at ATIC (Air Technical Intelligence Center), this report shook them more than the Mantell Incident.”Project Blue Book head Edward J Ruppelt
The Chiles-Whitted case showed to Sign employees that UFOs were extraterritorial spacecraft, as they had already suspected. A few days later, they made a document called “Estimate of the Situation” that said this was what they thought. For years, the Air Force denied that the document even existed. Finally, General Hoyt S. Vandenberg, who was the Air Force’s Chief of Staff, ordered all copies to be burned.
As public Air Force attitudes hardened into a conviction that all reports were explainable, Hynek’s self-described “far-fetched” fireball explanation became the official solution for the Chiles-Whitted case. When James E. McDonald analyzed Air Force data in the 1960s and questioned the two primary witnesses independently, he came to a conclusion.
Both pilots reiterated to me, quite recently, that each saw square ports or windows along the side of the fuselage-shaped object from the rear of which a cherry-red wake emerged, extending back 50-100 feet out of the object. To term this a ‘meteor’ is not even qualitatively reasonable. One can reject the testimony; but reason forbids calling the object a meteor.James E. McDonald
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Source: Donkey Junk