Category 11 Case Directory
Rating: 5  


AVCAT is a special project being conducted by NICAP, with the help and cooperation of the original compiler of AIRCAT, Dr. Richard Haines, and other sources, to create a comprehensive listing of sightings from aircraft with detailed documentation from these sources, including Projects SIGN, GRUDGE & BLUE BOOK.

Aircraft Encounters Rough Engine & Compass Deviation
April, 1951
Atlanta, Georgia

Duration  8-10 mins
aircraft Loan L-4
United States
1 observer
No radar contact

Fran Ridge:
Morning. Pilot was flying a Loan L-4 that had taken off from Atlanta Municipal Airport. He climbed to 3000 feet on a 180° heading. The wind was from the west, 270° at 12-15 mph and there was some low ground fog and scud. Overhead, it was very clear, no overcast or cloud. Pilot was in the rear seat, as the aircraft was placarded for solo flights the pilot was to fly from the rear. He was about 20 minutes out of Atlanta when he saw a perfectly round disc slightly SW at about the two o’clock position. His first thoughts were that he had lost his heading and that he was looking at the sun through an overcast.. He glanced at his compass and he was steady on a 180° heading. He looked to the East and saw the sun well above the horizon. His next thought, was it a weather balloon?  He ruled this out because it was not moving. He then headed in the direction of the disc which he noted was 210° and high. He tried to guess how far away the object was, but there wasn’t anything to compare or estimate the distance. He began to climb in the direction of the object, constantly observing it. The disc was a white silvery color and seemed to be oscillating but remaining perfectly stationary as far as vertical or horizontal motion was concerned. He continued towards the object and after 8-10 minutes of steady observation the L-4’s engine began to run rough and the instrument panel began to vibrate very badly. He looked at the compass and it appeared to be spinning wildly. He thought the engine was icing up and he tried to get the carburator heater on, but nothing happened, the vibration and roughness continued seemingly getting worse and he thought the engine was going to quit any second. His thoughts were of disappointment not to be able to continue towards the object but that possibly he could glide to some open field where he practiced emergency landings. He turned back N and headed for the airport and at the same time continued to look back over his left shoulder to watch the object, which was still in the same position. He was looking directly at the object, and as if someone pulled a switch the object completely disappeared, no vapor trail or anything, it was just gone. Immediately the vibration and roughness disappeared and the L-4 ran as smooth as ever. He landed at Atlanta.  (NARCAP Case 12, Source : Capt. Robert H. Pasley written report sent to Major Donald Keyhoe, NICAP in March 1965).

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