PILOT ENCOUNTERS ALIEN CRAFT OVER LAKE MICHIGAN
JULY 4, 1981 South central Lake Michigan
Captain Phil Schultz, 54, was flying TWA flight 842 from San Francisco to John F. Kennedy Airport, New York (on autopilot control) and was at cruise altitude (FL370) at 280 kts airspeed (540 kts. ground speed) in an L-1011 heavy jet. The sky was generally clear over Lake Michigan with a high, thin layer of cirrus over much of the southern part of the lake and some scattered mid-level clouds at about 10,000 feet. The sun was still high in the sky (41 deg. above the horizon) and behind the aircraft. Then the high altitude encounter (FL370) happened. In the captain’s own words, “A large, round, silver, metal object descended into the atmosphere from above and to the left of my airplane to about 40,000 feet overhead and passed off to my left.” After an extensive reconstruction of this event in the cockpit of his aircraft, I was able to ascertain many more important facts about this event [cf. Haines, 1982(a); 1982(b)]: (1) The object traveled very smoothly during the five or six second-long encounter. (2) The UAP was about 2.5 times wider than thick with six jet black perfect circles (“portholes”) aligned and equal-spaced around its circumference. Centered on the bottom surface of the circular disk was a single, jet-black circle. (3) The UAP traveled along an approximately parabolic course and performed a high speed turn (calculated to be approximately 20 g) relatively near the aircraft before departing in a gradual climb to the north and leaving a darkish wavy trail behind in the sky. (4) Its approach and departure speed was calculated to be about 1,000 mph, (5) No shock wave or turbulence was felt at any time. Capt. Schultz remembered seeing a fan-shaped region extending outward from behind the object which was “of a much darker blue than the rest of the sky.” (6) The aircraft’s autopilot remained coupled throughout the encounter and no E-M effects were noticed. (7) The FO saw approximately the final two-thirds of the event but the FE did not see anything due to his position in the rear of the cabin. (8) When Captain Schultz called Chicago Center to ask about other possible traffic in the area he was told there was none. He did not report what they had just seen. (9) Before this sighting Capt. Schultz did not believe in UFO at all. His extensive jet combat experience during the Korean War and afterward had left him with the strongly held belief that such objects “simply do not exist.” This encounter instantly changed his view and, when I asked him what he thought the object was he quickly replied.” (10) Both pilots were very concerned about a mid-air collision and began to brace themselves for an impact. Other technical details must be omitted due to space limitations. (Pilot report form). NOTE: The above image is a rendering.
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