DOVER, De., (INS)--"I'd heard of flying saucers, but never thought I'd see one." Thus Lt. Wilbert S. Rogers, a jet pilot from Columbia, Pa., told yesterday of his sighting a round object speeding at an estimated 900 miles an hour high over the New Jersey coast.
Rogers, a veteran of World War II and his fellow officer, Capt. Edward Ballard of Dover, left the Dover Air Force Base Monday to fly a T-33 jet trainer to Mitchel Field, N. Y.
Rogers told about it this way:
DOING 900 MPH
"We were cruising at an altitude of 20,000 feet when we spotted the object 12,000 feet below us.
"I don't know whether it was a flying saucer, but it sure was something I've never seen before.
"It was a silver-colored object about the size of a fighter plane. Our best speed is 480 miles and hour while this disc-like thing was zipping along at 900. I followed an arc from Sandy Hook island to the Red Bank area and then over AsBury Park and out to sea in a southwesterly direction. We lost sight of it."
ROUND AND FLAT
Rogers said the mysterious object was "perfectly round and flat," and neither Rogers nor Ballard noticed any exhaust coming from the "saucer." The jet pilot said the center of the disc was raised "about six feet" and that the flight of the thing was not at all erratic.
First word of the phenomenon came from Maj. John Barron, public information officer at Mitchel Air Base. Barron said the air officials have no opinion as to the identity of the object--only reported what Rogers and Ballard had related.
NOT A BALLOON
Rogers, who said Ballard went on to report the incident to his superiors, said the object "could not have been a balloon."
(Previous reports of flying saucers have been explained by armed services spokesmen as probably balloons used in weather research.)
"This couldn't have been a balloon. It was describing a
descending arc as we got within 8,000 feet of it. And it was
going at twice our maximum speed. No balloon flies that
fast. Why, we couldn't have caught it in a World's record F-86