Possible UAP-Related Accident Factors
from the Modified ASAFE Taxonomy
(After Turnbull and Ford, 1999)
65. June 5, 1969 1600L UC 70 mi. S. Kansas City, Missouri
The reporter for this near-miss was James V. Beardsley, an FAA air traffic controller who was flying jump seat on American Airlines flight 112 from Phoenix, AZ to Washington, D.C. on a routine familiarization flight. The B-707 jet aircraft was at FL 390 heading ENE having just passed over the Missouri River (now under St. Louis Center control). The weather was calm and clear with excellent visibility. The FO was flying (while the captain was out of the cockpit temporarily) and was the first to sight the oncoming objects. Beardsley heard him cry out, "Damn. Look at this!" Beardsley looked straight ahead of the jet and saw "a flight of four - whatever they were - flying in a square formation." They were almost directly ahead at their 11:00 o'clock position and passed with about 300 feet of their aircraft within a period of three to five seconds little more than 1,000 feet above the jet.
The four objects consisted of one longer, smooth, "hydroplane-shaped" body about 18 to 20 feet long and 7 to 8 feet thick. Its estimated width was about 12 to 14 feet. It was located in the upper left-hand corner of a (vertically oriented) square with three smaller, identical missile- or dart-shaped objects one at the other three corners of the square. All had the color of burnished aluminum. The object in the lower right-hand corner "was on a collision course with us," said Beardsley. However, at the last instant the three smaller objects appeared to climb toward the larger object. As he turned to look back at the objects just after they passed Beardsley saw that they each had a bluish-green flame (like a gas stove burner) in their aft ends. The FO then radioed St. Louis Center and discovered that their radar had picked up their aircraft as well as two "paints" of unknown objects near the airliner. Nothing was said about why ATC didn’t alert the flight crew to the approaching objects.
Flying eight miles behind the B-707 was a United Airlines passenger jet at FL370 and four miles behind it at FL410 was an Air National Guard jet. Several seconds after the objects passed the first aircraft the pilot of the second radioed (on a common radio channel), "We see it too!" A few seconds later came yet a third radio comment, "Damn, they almost got me!" This statement was from the Air National Guard jet pilot. The radio chatter following this incident was intense, however, as the field report states, "All participants agreed they had seen a flight of UFOs but none seemed willing to pursue the matter further, at least officially," remembers Beardsley. Neither the FAA nor the airlines ever investigated these near-air misses.
Beardsley said that, "the lack of interest or follow-up in the sighting was not surprising considering the skepticism and caution expressed by most aviation people following the release of the Condon Report." (cf. Gillmor, 1968; UFO Investigator, pg. 2, NICAP, February 1972)