Date: 5 April 2016
From: Fran Ridge
Subject: Oct. 24, 1982; Lowell, Indiana
Distribution: MADAR, CE, NICAP

October 24, 1982; Lowell, Indiana
9:20 GMT ? Pilot (Michael Davis) and student pilot (his father) in a single-engine Cherokee 140 were returning to the Lowell airport after practicing navigation and landings. Approximately 4-5 minutes after takeoff, and just after reaching their cruising altitude of 2,300 ft (above ground level), on a 240° course, the pilot noticed an object that at first he took to be a malfunctioning parachute. It first appeared in their 10 o’clock position sufficiently enough below their level to be silhouetted against the ground. The object would pass beneath him, so the pilot initiated a left-hand (45°) turn, applying power and climbing to 2,800 ft. Immediately before this turn, the UFO appeared to be on a bearing of 355° (almost due north) and at a height of approximately 1,700 ft. The pilot planned to turn and pursue, looked around for the target and was startled to find it just 10 seconds later only 50 yards behind them holding their course and speed. Just after the pilot began a slow turn to the right, away from the object, and initiated a gradual descent from 2,800 ft to 1,100 ft. As they descended through the object’s original flight path, they encountered about 2 seconds of heavy turbulence. According to the pilot, it was like hitting the vortex of a large airliner. Until then, the flight had been entirely smooth. After making a 270° turn, they levelled out at 1,100 ft on a bearing of 90° at 140 kts, with the object still holding at 50 yards at their 4:30 position. After a mile or two, the pilot banked slightly to the right across the UFO’s path coming to a bearing of 120°. The object did not turn with them, but slowed down to remain on the inside of the curve. At this point they had a good look at the object for almost one minute. It has a complex 3-part structure consisting of a set of four tubes and a nozzle with two upper ringed-dome sections. The nozzle itself was cream colored but had small dark markings resembling cooling vents or fins. The rest of the lower structure was transluscent grey with a tinge of blue, like some type of raw plastic stock. The upper structures consisted of two pod-like domes, connected at their bottom center by a sort of tubular swivel-joint. The major portion of the dome surfaces were of a silver-blue color, with the right dome being approximately 20 %  larger then the other. Both "domes" were encircled at their equators by a ring of goedesic-type panels made out of some glass-like substance, clearish but with an almost iridescent blue-grey sheen. Now as the object slowed to stay inside their curve, the two domes began to gyrate in a peculiar manner, best described as a twisting motion, like holding two tennis balls, one in each hand, and rotating one ball away from you, and the other in the opposite sense (while still touching them together), and then reversing the directions. The UFO now, without any sort of transition, instantly reversed course, heading back on a mirror image bearing of 270°, remaining at its level of 1,100 ft at a speed of 140 knots, in a period of no more than two seconds. The pilot completed his turn to the right and took a pursuit position directly behind the object, about a mile to its rear. The moment they fell in directly behind, they again encountered the same heavy turbulence as before. This time the turbulence continued for the length of the pursuit. The pilot increased his aircraft speed to its maximuml (140 knots), but the object began to pull directly away from them, gradually building between 50 and 100 mph, separation speed, and drawing almost 5 miles away. After 3-4 minutes,  the pilot was just about to give up the chase when, suddenly, despite the distance, the dome-spheres went into their peculiar rotation again. Almost instantly the object reversed course once again, picking up speed fast by this time, and giving them only enough time to realize that it had reversed course, where it was headed. Then at the last moment, the object flicked across their nose, veering to its left and missing the aircraft's right wing tip by no more than 10 feet. At the instant that it passed, the vortex hit them so hard that the plane’s airframe groaned in protest, and the altimeter "went wacky". It continued to curve to the left, back on what appeared to be its original heading of 355°, still accelerating, and eventually beginning to climb until it finally disappeared into the distance haze. At no time during the encounter had the UFO shown any sort of exhaust trail.

From the International UFO Reporter, CUFOS, May-June 1983; Haines Case 50