UFOs, ETs and YOU
Another UFO/Jet Fighter Encounter
by Tom Dongo
As much researching of UFO activity as I do, it is a surprise when once in a while an amazing story of which I had been totally unaware comes to my attention.
This particular encounter happened on the night of September 8, 1970, on the North Sea between the Shetland Islands and Norway. At 8:17 on that night in September, the radar station at Saxa Vord, a British radar station, picked up an object flying at 630 mph at an altitude of 37,000 feet. They thought it was a Soviet plane testing NATO's perimeter defenses. But the object then made a 180 degree turn, accelerated to a speed of 17,400 mph and disappeared off the radar screens. Two British Lightning jet fighters had been scrambled but were unsuccessful in intercepting the object. In the next several hours, the UFO appeared and disappeared, playing a game of cat and mouse with British jet fighters. US F-4 Phantoms were then scrambled from Keflavik Air Force Base in Iceland. The F-4s had very sophisticated onboard radar and were able to track the UFO without any help from the radar station.
The UFO disappeared for a time, but at 9:30 that night, it was again on radar screens. This time it was flying at 18,000 feet at a speed of 1,300 mph -- the upper speed limit of the jet fighters. The UFO caused such alarm that NATO and the North American air defense networks went into full alert. President Richad Nixon ordered nuclear-armed Strategic Air Command B-52 bombers airborne at once. They thought the UFO was some sort of unknown Soviet aircraft.
It was at this stage of the encounter that things got very interesting. There happened to be, at the time, a crack American Air Force pilot, Captain William Schaffner, at the Royal Air Force base at Binbrook. It was discovered that Capt. Schaffner was "flight available." An order came from the highest level for Capt. Schaffner to join the British pilots on the hunt for the UFO. When Capt. Schaffner was located, he was still in a flight suit as he had just returned from training sorties with British pilots.
Schaffner raced onto the airfield and leaped into a Lightning Jet fighter that was in the process of being checked over and having its fuel tanks topped off. He waved away the ground crew. Schaffner started the fighter's engines while the tanks were still being fueled. The ground crew ran like hell to get out of the way. The Lightning fighter, number XS894, was armed with 30-mm. cannons and Red-Top air-to-air missiles. Schaffner pulled out onto the runway and blasted off into the night sky. The airborne fighters were going to try to corner the UFO. The UFO was now at an altitude of 6,100 feet and flying at 530 mph. Schaffner was the first to come into contact with the UFO. Here is an official transcript of the conversation between Schaffner and the radar station at Staxton Wold in Scarborough, England;
Schaffner: (Sch) I have visual contact, repeat, visual contact. Over.
Staxton: (Stx) Can you identify aircraft type?
Sch: Negative, nothing recognizable, no clear outlines. There is bluish light. Hell, that's bright... very bright.
Stx: Are your instruments functioning 94? Check compass. Over.
Sch: Affirmative. GCI, I'm alongside of it now. Maybe 600 feet off my... it's a conical shape. Jeeze, that's bright, it hurts my eyes to look at it for more than a few seconds.
Stx: How close are you now?
Sch: About 400 feet. He's still in my three o'clock. Hey wait, there's something else. It's like a large soccer ball. It's like it's made of glass.
Stx: Is it part of the object or independent? Over.
Sch: It... no, it's separate from the main... the conical shape... it's at the back end, the sharp end of the shape. It's like bobbing up and down and going from side to side slowly. It may be the power source. There's no sign of ballistics.
Stx: Is there any sign of occupancy? Over.
Sch: Negative, nothing.
Stx: Can you assess the rate?
Sch: Contact in descent, gentle. Am going with it...50, no about 70... it's leveled out again.
Stx: Is the ball object still with it?
Sch: Affirmative. It's not actually connected. Maybe a magnetic attraction to the conical shape. There's a haze of light. Yellow, it's within that haze. Wait a second, it's turning. Coming straight for me..shit! Am taking evasive action..a few... I can hardl
Stx: Come in 94. Foxtrot 94 are your receiving? Over. Come in.
Then the radar station operators watched in amazement as the two radar blips, the UFO and Schaffner's jet, became one blip on the screen. The then-single blip descended and stood stationary at 600 feet over the North Sea. The single blip, after a time, accelerated its speed suddenly to 600 mph and climbed rapidly to 9,000 feet. The one blip then separated and became two blips. One of the objects accelerated to a speed of 20,400 mph and vanished. The remaining blip, Schaffner's plane was observed to be flying erratically in a southerly direction. At this point, Staxton Wold reestablished contact with Schaffner.
A Shackleton aircraft which had been on patrol was ordered to hold station near Capt. Schaffner's position.
Sch: GCI... are you receiving?
Stx: Affirmative 94, loud and clear. What is your condition?
Sch: Not too good. I can't think what has happened... I feel kind of dizzy... I can see shooting stars.
Stx: Can you see your instruments? Over.
Sch: Affirmative, but, er... the compass is U/S.
Stx: Foxtrot 94. Turn 043 degrees. Over.
Sch: Er... all directional instruments are out. Repeat U/S. Over.
Stx: Roger 94, execute right turn, estimate quarter turn. Over.
Sch: Turning now.
Stx: Come further, 94. That's good. Is your altimeter functioning? Over.
Sch: Affirmative, GCI.
Stx: Descend to 3,500 feet. Over.
Sch: Roger, GCI.
Stx: What's your fuel state, 94? Over.
Sch: About 30 percent, GCI.
Stx: That's what we calculated. Can you tell us what happened, 94? Over.
Sch: I don't know, it came in close. I shut my eyes. I figure I must have blacked out for a few seconds.
Stx: Okay, 94. Stand by.
At this time the Shackleton arrived over Flamborough and began circling before XS894 was vectored into the area by Staxton controllers.
Sch: Can you bring me in?
Stx: Er, hold station, 94. Over Foxtrot 94, can you ditch the aircraft? Over.
Sch: She's handling fine. I can bring her in. Over
Stx: Negative, 94. I repeat, can you ditch the aircraft? Over.
Sch: Yea, I guess.
Stx: Stand by, 94. Over. Oscar 77. Over.
Shackleton 77: Affirmative, GCI. Over.
Stx: 94 is ditching. Can you maintain a wide circuit?
Shackleton 77: Affirmative, GCI. Over.
Stx: Thanks, 77. Standby. 94, execute ditching procedure at your discretion. Over.
Sch: Descending now, GCI. Over.
A period of six to seven minutes elapsed without contact, then suddenly:
Shackleton 77: He's down, GCI. Hell of a splash...he's down in one piece though. Over.
Stx: You see the pilot yet? Over.
Shackleton 77: Negative, we're going round again. Pulling a tight one. Over.
Two minutes elapsed.
Shackleton 77: The canopy's up, she's floating okay...can't see the pilot. We see a chopper out here, GCI. No sign of the pilot, where the hell is he?
Stx: You're sure he's not in the water? Check your Sabre receptions. Over.
(Note: Sabre was the search and rescue beacon carried by all RAF aircrews.)
Shackleton 77: No Sabre yet. No flares either. Hang on, we're going round again.
A further two minutes elapsed.
Shackleton 77: GCI. Over.
Stx: Receiving you, 77. Over.
Shackleton 77: This is odd, GCI. She's sinking fast, but the canopy's closed again.
Stx: Can you confirm the pilot clear of the aircraft?
Shackleton 77: He's not in it. We can confirm that. He must be in the water somewhere.
Stx: Any distress signals or flares? Over.
Shackleton 77: Negative, GCI. We're going round again. Over.
A short time later the Shackleton was back in contact with Staxton Wold.
Shackleton 77: She's sunk, GCI. There's a slight wake where she was. Still no sign of the pilot. I say again GCI, we need a chopper fast. Over.
Stx: A Whirlwind's on its way from Leconfield. Are you positive you saw no sign of the pilot? Over.
Shackleton 77: Nothing, GCI. The first pass we assumed he was unstrapping. He must have got out as we went around for the second pass, but why shut the canopy? Over.
Stx: That's what we were thinking. Maintain patrol 77, he must be out there somewhere.
Shackleton 77: Roger, GCI.
Boats and aircraft searched the area through the night and into the next day. They didn't find Captain Schaffner. There were never any distress flares or any signals from the rescue beacon installed in the pilot's flight suit. Three weeks later they located the wreckage of the fighter on the seabed. The ejector seat was still in the aircraft. They surmised that the pilot's body must still be in the aircraft. On October 7, divers from HMS Kiddleston inspected the wreckage and said that Schaffner's body was still in the cockpit. When the Lightning was brought to the surface, there was no trace of Schaffner.
And from Chucklebuck comes the following:
Summary: In 1978, another report of a pilot-UFO encounter became a classic UFO mystery. Twenty-year-old Australian Frederick Valentich was buzzed by a UFO, and a search by boats and aircraft could find no trace of the pilot, or his plane. Valentich was on a 125 mile training flight in his single engine Cessna 182 along the coast of Bass Strait when he related to air traffic controllers in Melbourne that he was being buzzed by a UFO with 4 bright lights about 1000 feet above him.
"It's Coming for Me... ": The pilot's final communication to the tower contained this enigmatic, haunting phrase:
"It's approaching from due east towards me. It seems to be playing some sort of game... Flying at a speed I can't estimate. It's not an aircraft. It's... It is flying past. It is a long shape. I cannot identify more than that. It's coming for me right now."
Pilot's Last Words: About a minute later this message followed:
"It seems to be stationary. I'm also orbiting and the thing is orbiting on top of me also. It has a green light and a sort of metallic light on the outside."
Valentich then radioed that his engine was running roughly. His very last words were: "It is not an aircraft."
If not an aircraft, then what could it have been?