Form: 97 Research
Dated: 25 Aug 2006, reprinted from Source (UFOE II)
From: Francis Ridge
Subject: Bovina, Texas - Large silhoutted cigar-shaped object observed by American West Airlines Flight 564; May 25, 1995
Source: UFO Evidence: A Thirty Year Report, page 67
Cat: 9/11
Distribution: CE, SHG, NCP




Copilot's drawing of UFO observed against thundercloud  (Copyright 1995, John J. Waller)

This incident was one of the cases presented, with audio transcripts of conversations with the pilots of Flight 564, NORAD, and a n F-111 pilot, on the recent History Channel program, "Black Box UFOs".

Cited here is Dick Hall / UFOE II report:
 
Were UFOs Still Being Sighted in the 1990s?

Yes, but daylight sightings of clear, geometrically shaped objects are not nearly as common as in previous years. Part of the reason for fewer UFO reports may be the ridicule factor, but even active UFO groups report an apparent actual reduction in frequency of sightings (see section VIII).
A classic cigar-shaped object with a row of brightly flashing lights was observed over the Texas panhandle by the crew of an America West B-757 airliner on May 25, 1995. The case was investigated thoroughly by Walter N. Webb on behalf of the UFO Research Coalition, who interviewed the crew and air traffic controllers. Webb also obtained a copy of the FAA voice tapes of conversations between airplane and ground during the sighting.
Flight 564, commanded by Capt. Gene Tollefson, was cruising at 39,000 feet (12 km) near Bovina, TX, en route from Tampa, FL, to Las Vegas, NV. First Officer John J. Waller and a flight attendant also were in the cockpit. Off to their right and somewhat below them they saw a row of bright white lights that sequenced on and off from left to right. Waller contacted the Albuquerque FAA Air Route Traffic Control Center while the sighting was in progress, and checks were made with military installations in the area, but no explanation could be found.

As the airliner proceeded on its westerly course and the object began dropping behind, they observed it against a background of thunderclouds. When the background clouds pulsed with lightning, they could see the silhouette of a dark, wingless, elongated, cigar-like object around the strobing lights. Though they did not know the object's exact distance, the pilot and copilot estimated it to be 300-400 feet (90-120 meters) long.
The object was not visible on FAA radar. One of the air traffic controllers contacted the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD), which monitors North American air space by radar, and said that NORAD had confirmed an unidentified radar track in the vicinity. This later proved to be a small aircraft whose transponder was not initially operative.

Next morning the controller said he checked with NORAD again and was told that they had tracked another, very unusual target in the same general area a short time after the first—something that was stationary at first, then accelerated rapidly and stopped abruptly, repeating this sequence several times. The bursts of speed were computed to be between 1,000 and 1,400 mph (1,600-2,240 km/h). This report, based on the word of one air traffic controller, could not be confirmed.

Webb conducted a thorough investigation, including filing Freedom of Information Act requests for government information about the case. He also checked military installations for any activities that might explain the sighting, but no known object or phenomenon could be found that correlated with the sighting.34

Table 1 provides a sample of other UFO reports for the mid-1990s from around the world displaying typical features, notably including several "satellite object" cases (see section X).