The Iran UFO Incident – Shattered Military Jets And Physiological Effects On Witnesses

The Iran UFO incident took place in 1976 in Tehran and it involved high-ranking military officials, F-4 fighter jets, and a plethora of credible witnesses.

The Iran UFO Incident Of 1976

Residents of Tehran, Iran, were shocked late on the evening of September 18, 1976, when they noticed what they believed to be a multicolored aircraft hovering a few thousand feet over the city. The calls came in from all over, including the adjacent Mehrabad airport, but their reports were ignored until ultimately, chief air traffic controller Houssain Perouzi decided to go looking himself.

His binoculars were focused on an unexpected object at 6000 feet in altitude and five miles away from the camera lens. With blue lights on its right and left sides and red flashing light in the middle, the item was moving in an unpredictable manner, changing colors and even its apparent shape as it moved.

Perouzi passed the glasses over to another controller to take care of business. When passing aircraft reported that they were hearing emergency beeper signals on their radios, the situation became even more serious. Perouzi alerted a duty officer, who in turn immediately notified his superior, General Youssefi, of his confusion and alarm.

Youssefi stepped out onto his veranda and noticed the object, which he subsequently reported to two military radars, one at Shaharoki (135 nautical miles west-southwest) and the other at Babolsar (140 nautical miles north-northeast) (88 miles to the northeast). It’s possible that the signals were being blocked by the mountains surrounding Tehran because neither device was being picked up. At the time, the radar station in Mehrabad was not operational.

On the general’s orders, an F-4 from Shaharoki was dispatched at 1:30 a.m. to the location. However, once it reached within 25 nautical miles of the UFO, the aircraft’s equipment and communication systems stopped working. The only time the plane was able to restart normal operation was when the pilot drew away.

When he turned around to drive back toward Tehran, he was startled to find a UFO ahead of him on the horizon. Evidently, it had arrived before him at his intended location. Youssefi, who had taken up residence in the control tower, was in radio touch with the pilot, whom he instructed to shut in on the invader as soon as possible.

However every time he approached within 20 miles of the target he experienced the identical avionics breakdown that he had experienced the day before. Because his plane was running out of gasoline, he was obliged to abandon the pursuit. The object was approximately 14 miles away and 15,000 feet above the ground at this point.

At 1:40 p.m., a second plane took off from Shaharoki. The aircraft’s radar picked up an object the size of a “707 tanker” 27 miles away from the target, according to the pilot. As the pilot got closer to the UFO, it began to move away, which was confirmed by his radar. The following is described in detail in a United States Air Force memo issued by Lieutenant Colonel Olin R Mooy, who interviewed the pilot:

“The visual size of the object was difficult to discern because of its intense brilliance. The light that it gave off was that of flashing strobe lights arranged in a rectangular pattern and alternating blue, green, and orange in colour. The sequence of the lights was so fast that all the colours could be seen at once. The object and the pursuing F-4 continued on course to the south of Tehran when another brightly lighted object, estimated to be one-half to one-third the apparent size of the moon, came out of the original object. This second object headed straight toward the F-4 at a very fast rate of speed. The pilot attempted to fire an AIM-9 missile at the object but at that instant, his weapons control panel went off and he lost all communications (UHF and interphone). At this point, the pilot initiated a turn and negative G dive to get away. As he turned the object fell in trail at what appeared to be 3-4 NM (nautical miles). As he continued in his turn away from the primary object, the second object went to the inside of his turn, then returned to the primary object for a perfect rejoin.”

Shortly after the second object joined up with the primary object, another object appeared to come out of the other side of the primary object going straight down at a great rate of speed. The F-4 crew had regained communications and the weapons control panel and watched the object approach the ground anticipating a large explosion. This object appeared to come to rest gently on the earth and cast a very bright light over an area of about 2-3 kilometres. The crew descended from their altitude of 25,000 to 15,000 and continued to observe and mark the object’s position. They had some difficulty in adjusting their night visibility for landing, so after orbiting Mehrabad a few times they went out for a straight-in landing. There was a lot of interference on the UHF and each time they passed through a mag. bearing of 150 degrees from Mehrabad they lost their communications (UHF and interphone) and the INS fluctuated from 30 degrees to 50 degrees. The one civil airliner that was approaching Mehrabad during this same time experienced communications failure in the same vicinity (Kilo Zulu) but did not report seeing anything. While the F-4 was on a long final approach, the crew noticed another cylinder-shaped object (about the size of a T-bird [jet trainer aircraft] at 10 NM) with bright steady lights on each end and a flasher in the middle. When queried the tower stated that there was no other known traffic in the area. During the time that the object passed over the F-4, the tower did not have a visual on it but picked it up after the pilot told them to look between the mountains and the refinery.”

“During daylight, the F-4 crew was taken out to the area in a helicopter where the object apparently had landed. Nothing was noticed at the spot where they thought the object had landed (a dry lake bed) but as they circled off to the west of the area, they picked up a very noticeable beeper signal. At the point where the return was the loudest was a small house with a garden. They landed and asked the people within if they had noticed anything strange last night. The people talked about a loud noise and a very bright light like lightning. The aircraft and area where the object is believed to have landed are being checked for possible radiation.”

At 1:40 p.m., a second plane took off from Shaharoki. The aircraft’s radar picked up an object the size of a “707 tanker” 27 miles away from the target, according to the pilot. As the pilot got closer to the UFO, it began to move away, which was confirmed by his radar. The following is described in detail in a United States Air Force memo issued by Lieutenant Colonel Olin R Mooy, who interviewed the pilot:

“just like a saucer, and the shape of the cockpit was a ball… half a ball, and the colour of the lighting of the cockpit was different with what it had on the outside. It was close to yellow.”

General Azerbarzin asserted that the United States Air Force had received all of the investigation’s records, which he said were complete. Although the Air Force insisted that the only record of the occurrence was the Mooy note, this was not accepted by many people at the time. (According to two students studying official UFO policy, “Reliable sources within the government have informed us that the Iranian case file was around one and a half inches thick.” That memo was distributed to an impressive list of offices and agencies, including the Secretary of State’s office, the Central Intelligence Agency, the White House, the Air Force and Army Chiefs of Staff, the Chief of Naval Operations, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Commander in Chief of the United States Naval Forces in the Middle East, the Commander in Chief of the U.S. Air Force in Europe, the European Defense Air Command, and the Commander in Chief of the United States Forces in Europe.

According to a Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) “Report Evaluation,” it received a “High” rating because it was “unique, timely, and of major significance.” It went on to say:

An outstanding report. This case is a classic which meets all the criteria necessary for a valid study of the UFO phenomenon:
a) The object was seen by multiple witnesses from different locations (i.e., Shemiran, Mehrabad, and the dry lake bed) and viewpoints (both airborne and from the ground).
b) The credibility of many of the witnesses was high (an Air Force general, qualified aircrews, and experienced tower operators).
c) Visual sightings were confirmed by radar.
d) Similar electromagnetic effects (EME) were reported by three separate aircrafts.
e) There were physiological effects on some crew members (i.e., loss of night vision due to the brightness of the object).
f) An inordinate amount of maneuverability was displayed by the UFOs.”

MIJI Quarterly, a classified journal distributed among US agencies involved in electronic intelligence, reported on the incident in its third-quarter 1978 issue. In 1981, the article was declassified.

There has never been a convincing explanation for the incident, though debunker Phillip J. Klass would attempt one. According to Klass, the witnesses initially observed an astronomical body, most likely Jupiter, and the remainder was explained by pilot ineptitude and equipment malfunction. Klass’s argument presupposes that the Iranian participants lacked even the most elementary observation and technical skills.

In some ways, it would be simpler to believe the notion that the witness knowingly manufactured the sighting, for which there is no evidence either. Both General Azerbarzin and air controller Perouzi were perplexed by the incident. As evidenced by the documents, so did American analysts familiar with it.

Another incredible UFO experience that has remained unexplained to this day. Leave your thoughts in the comments area below about the Iran UFO incident.


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  1. interestingly, the Shah’s regime kept silent about this. Three years later, the Islamic Revolution will take place, and logically, all state documents should have been in the possession of revolutionaries. If the Americans didn’t take them out

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