Pilot Spots Unidentified Aircraft Near Indy
ARTC At Chicago Reports Indy Center Was In Emergency Mode
Indianapolis, Indiana
December 2, 1993


Francis Ridge:
On 12 Dec at 11:32 AM I received a land-line call from Diane Desimone, MUFON state director for Massachusetts. She had a computer message picked up by SSD Linda Claffey:

PRODIGY (R) interactive personal services, SCIENCE & ENVIRON
TOPIC: UFO
TIME: 12/07 10:22 PM
FROM: Confidential (Source known at UFOFC)
SUBJECT: A NEW SIGHTING
"I am a radar air traffic controller at the Chicago Center and this last Thursday night at approximately 5:30 PM I was working the high altitude sector that covers eastern Illinois arid western Indiana. This is typically a very busy time with a lot of departures out of Chicago. So I was a little dismayed that the Indianapolis Center, due south of me, was rerouting all of their normal traffic into my sector. This made the sector extremely busy. After it was all over. my supervisor called the Indianapolis Center supervisor to inquire about all the reroutes into my sector. As it turned out there was a pilot on the frequency at Indy Center who was completely dominating the frequency with claims of being in contact with a UFO. This contact must have been pretty significant because they took the time to clear all air traffic out of that sector. This is only done in emergency situations. The pilot must have been rather hysterical. And, as I said, this was high altitude, so it wasn't a C172 pilot, it was either an airliner or at least a business jet. That's about all I know. If you want further information you should contact the Indianapolis Air Traffic Control Center located at Indianapolis International Airport. You may be able to request tapes of the controller/pilot conversation as well under the Freedom of Information Act, as this is a US government facility. You should ask for the tapes of Sky arid Wabash sectors. I have no idea if the radar actually picked anything up, but you may be able to request an NTAP, which is radar data for that time period. Hope this helps you investigators. I believe in 8 days from now they will erase the tapes, so if you want them (had) better get your requests in. (End of transmission)."

Francis Ridge:
I immediately contacted Norma Croda, my SSD/FI for Marion County and briefed her on the incident report. She then contacted various people at the FAA facility.

Elaine Douglas, Operation Right To Know in Washington, DC, advised me of the case on the 15th. She had the event date incorrect, but offered to help. She spoke with Katheryn E. Kuhlmann and Mr. Bob Matt of the FAA at Indianapolis International Airport right after she talked with me.

On 15 Dec I sent an Express Mail/certified letter to the supervisor of the FAA at Indy. The purpose was to try and delay the routine erasure of voice tapes arid NTAP radar tapes arid readouts for 2 Dec. SSD/FI Norma Croda had contacted the FAA two days earlier, arid Mr. Bob Matt contacted me regarding my letter on the 16th. I was told by him that this is a non-case, that is, it was not a UFO situation. There was nothing on the NTAP readouts, he said. However. before this case is closed, certain steps must be undertaken, one of which is direct contact with the source of the transmission. I have requested that Mark Rodeghier of the Center for UFO Studies contact this individual since they are both in Chicago.

On 18 Dec I received the hard copy of the computer transmission that started all this for us at UFOFC on Sunday, 12 Dec.

A number of people were brought into my investigation of this case, including Mark Rodeghier, Barry Greenwood, and Robert Durant. I conducted many taped interviews with officials in Indianapolis without any positive results. The final conclusion was that we felt that something unusual had occurred, but we couldn't document it. The ARTC in Chicago (and his supervisor) told the truth, even told us to contact Indy Center. There was an incident, and an unidentified aircraft operating without a transponder was officially reported by another pilot to Indy Center by radio, then later by telephone.

Robert Durant:  
Matt (the Quality Assurance Specialist) states that the pilot-in-command of the airliner was asked to telephone the supervisor at Indianapolis Center upon landing. This is consistent with standard FAA practice pursuant to a serious incident. That Matt should then follow up with yet another telephone call to the pilot underscores the serious aspect of the affair.

Francis Ridge:
The Quality Assurance Specialist contacted the pilot concerning this incident, but told me there was never any emergency and the incident was nothing serious.

Without the pilot report or other evidence, there is no way to confirm this extensive report as a UFO incident. However, it is no coincidence that the ripple effect from this incident found its way all the way to Chicago and an unusual amount of traffic was being channeled out of the region around Indianapolis. Whatever the object was, it was never identified, and caused a major stir. And since we know the story is basically true, then maybe the  pilot WAS hysterical, hardly the thing you'd expect from a mere sighting of an unidentified military aircraft.

Francis Ridge
UFO Filter Center