March 9, 1957 in the Atlantic Ocean North/South commercial flight lane:33 As usual, commercial airliners were strung out all along the route between New York City and Miami. At about 4:30 a.m. one of the Pan-Am flights saw an object ahead, which had a greenish-blue perimeter and a bright white center. The light seemed to be at their level and coming directly forward. Then the thing seemed to veer, pass by to starboard while descending, and then "go out." A piece of the object, red in color, seemed to fall off before the light went out.

The next plane was another Pan-Am, piloted by Captain M. Van Winkle, and flying well to the rear of the first airliner. This time the initial observation was of something orange. It, too, seemed to be moving very fast and on a collision course with Van Winkle's plane. As the object neared, it took on the appearance of a brilliant greenish-white spotlight. The object seemed sharp-edged and well defined. Instinctively, Van Winkle roughly yanked the plane upwards and to the left. The light raced by to the right and slightly below. The flight engineer said that it then just "went out." In the back, passengers and stewardesses had been thrown all over the place. Van Winkle immediately reported the "near miss" to ground control. Another 150 miles behind, a third pilot saw an unusual brightly flashing, greenish tinged light moving rapidly in the distance (though not at an angle that it could be the same object as
Van Winkle's).

Because four persons were hospitalized, this event became a major affair. Van Winkle was on the hot seat, but, since other pilots testified to seeing similar objects that night, his story was credible. The Air Force immediately denied having any missiles or experimental traffic in the area.

The Department of the Defense could not identify today the flaming object that almost collided with an aircraft of Pan American Airways at great altitude over the Atlantic.

A spokesman said that the Department had not received any information regarding the incident. It refused to state if a runaway guided missile could have been the flaming object. There have been considerable controversies in the last few years over similar incidents where flying saucers are seen. The Air Force said in October, 1955, that after a study of over eight years they could say that such objects could not exist.

Retired Rear Admiral Delmar S. Fahrney, expert in all that refers to guided missiles, said at the beginning of this year certain unidentified objects, guided it seems by certain intelligences, are penetrating the earth's atmosphere. He also says that these rare objects acquire such velocity that neither the United States nor Russia could duplicate.34

The Blue Book records marked the case "meteor" but also "classified."