Date: Sunday, 27 March 2016
From: fran ridge
Subject: Jan. 16, 1957; Bet. Ft. Worth and Lubbock, Texas (BBU) / AVCAT

Case 18                                                                                                                       score : 24

January 16, 1957    20:00 LT

Between Fort Worth and Lubbock, Texas, USA

 On January 16 1957, Colonel Wright took off from Fort Worth to Lubbock followed by a second B-25. He was flying at 8,000 ft and the visibility was so good that when he was at a point about 90 miles from both Wichita Falls and Sweetwater, Texas, he could clearly see the split-beacons at the military fields at each of those localities. Colonel Wright was in the left seat as the pilot, but a captain was actually flying from the co-pilot’s seat at his right. He spotted the luminous source first to their right and up at 30-45° elevation angle. It was a bright ball. He immediately called the co-pilot’s attention to it and warned him that it might be an aircraft. When the co-pilot looked at the light he thought at first it might be the tail-pipe of a jet. It was soft white, round. Its angular diameter was somewhat smaller than the moon but maybe ten times bigger than Venus. There was no blinking of the light source at the start of the observation. Wright immediately checked his radio compass. It was pointing directly at the object. He had it set for Lubbock and it tuned in on Lubbock. Because of the distance to Lubbock and hence its weak signal, the needle had been hunting from 270-90. When the object came in view, the radio compass had flipped over the object’s 3:00 o’clock position and held there. As they watched, the object moved rapidly away from its initial position and came down a 45° angle up ahead to a position off their right wing. It evidently receeded because it shrank to the size of a tennis ball. Then it started blinking. It was still a soft white. Wright called the navigator and crew chief into the cockpit to make sure that they saw it. At some time in the observation he got a flash light which he held against the window and using morse code, blinked 10 or 15 times : « We are friends. Come closer ». No reply was recognizable. According to Colonel Wright, the object stayed off their starboard side for approximately one hour. (If the speed was in the neighborhood of 170 knots, this would correspond to nearly 200 miles of flight path.)  Very interestingly, the compass needle followed the object very closely even when it occasionally accelerated almost up their 1:00 o’clock position and held that relatively position awhile, before accelerating back the the 3:00 o’clock position. The needle followed it.  Sometimes, the object moved back rapidly to the 4:00 o’clock position. Occasionally it accelerated up to 15 or 20° angular elevation. Twice it went down but only two or three degrees below the horizontal position, and came right back up quickly. Somewhere during the sighting Wright took out a stop-watch and with the sergeant counting to get the sequence, he recorded the blinks sequence of the light’s flashing. They took about four pages of notes. He gave these to the Colorado Springs people. None of them could make any sense of it. As they got to Lubbock, the object came up close to them, exhibiting an angular size larger than before (« Basketball »), hung there for five seconds, not blinking, and then accelerated without blinking away from them disappearing on a straight away course in a time of 12 seconds as measured by stop-watch. When they landed, the crew of the second B-25 reported the same sighting (the two B-25 were not in radio contact). They have been followed by a light source. They were interrogated by the OSI man (Office of Special Investigation) and at that time the consensus was that the second B-25 was followed by a different object. The OSI man decided that they should go back up and have a look. They refueled and took off again about an hour after landing. Whright said that he put the OSI man in the nose of the B-25 with a camera and another OSI man was in the engineers section. In all they were six or seven people, and they flew several hours back and forth over the same area, but found nothing.

(From Pilot's report, interviewed by Richard Hall, NICAP, on May 16, 1970)

 Sources :

Pilot's report, interviewed by Richard Hall, NICAP, on May 16, 1970