Officials at Mitchel Air Force Base, L. I., today revealed an Air Force jet pilot reported chasing a mysterious round object in a 30 mile arc over New Jersey before it zipped out to sea at Asbury Park at about 900 m.p.h.
"I don't know if it was a flying saucer, but it sure was something I've never seen before, " declared Lt. Wilbert S. Rogers, 28, a World War II veteran of Columbia, Pa.
Rogers said he and Capt. Edward Ballard were on a routine flight yesterday from Dover Air Force Base, Del., in a T-33 jet trainer when they spotted a white or silver circular object over Sandy Hook, N. J.
The object was moving inland at about 12,000 feet, he reported. The time was at 11:35 a.m.
AT CONSTANT SPEED
"I pointed it out to Capt. Ballard," Rogers said, "who suggested we try to follow it. But, we soon found out it was not use. It was going too fast."
He declared the object about the size of a fighter plane, zoomed a 30-mile course to Red Bank and then to Asbury Park in two minutes, or 900 m.p.h.
"We couldn't have caught it in an F-86," the flier said. The F-86 Sabre jet is this country's fastest jet fighter. One recently set a world's speed record of 735.411 m.p.h.
The object didn't appear to be running away, Rogers disclosed, and its speed seemed constant.
Before it disappeared, the flier asserted, his plane got as close as 8,000 feet to it.
DROPS TO 2,000 FEET.
Rogers said they came down 20,000 feet and chased the object at 450 m.p.h. before it dropped to an altitude of about 2,000 feet and they lost sight of it as it headed in a southeasterly direction.
Reminded that the U. S. Air Force and Navy had knocked down reports of 'flying sauces" and officially explained most of them were weather balloons, Rogers said:
"This couldn't have been a balloon, because it was descending. Besides, no balloon goes that fast."
Landing at Mitchel Field, Rogers reported the incident to authorities. They Refused comment.State and local police for the three New Jersey communities said they received no calls from persons claiming to have seen something strange in the sky.