MITCHEL FIELD, N. Y., Sept. 11 (UP)--Two Air Force jet pilots reported today they chased a mysterious round flying object--traveling at a speed they estimated at 900-miles-an-hour--for 30 miles and couldn't catch it.
Wilbert S. Rogers of Columbia, Pa., told Mitchel Field authorities that he and Capt. Edward Ballard, of Dover, Del., sighted the object yesterday over Sandy Hook, N. J., while they were on a routine flight in a T-33 jet training plane.
"I don't know if it was a flying saucer, but it sure was something I've never seen before," Lt. Rogers, pilot of the plane, said. "We couldn't have caught it in an F-86." (The F-86 Sabre jet is the United States' fastest jet fighter).
Rogers described the object as white or silver-colored and said it was about the size of a fighter plane.
Lt. Rogers and Capt. Ballard, on a flight from Dover Air Base in New Jersey, said when they sighted the object they were traveling at 450 miles an hour at 20,000 feet.
"I pointed it out to Capt. Ballard," Rogers said, "who suggested we try to follow it. But we soon found it was no use. It was going too fast."
The object moved in an arc from Sandy Hook to Redbank, N. J., and then headed out to sea at Asbury Park, N. J., Rogers said. He estimated it traveled the 30 mile course in two minutes, or a a speed of 900-miles-an-hour.
The U. S. Air Force and Navy have officially said that flying saucers reported previously had been nothing more than weather balloons.
"This couldn't have been a balloon," Rogers said, "because it was descending and no balloon goes that fast."
He said they got as close as 8,000 feet from the object which kept a constant speed and "didn't appear to be running away."
Capt. Ballard returned to Dover Air Base to report the incident to officials of the 148th Fighter Interceptor Wing, where both pilots are assigned.