All International Cases
Date: September 1978, at 1:30 UTC
Place: North of Samoa, on the route between Auckland and Honolulu
Airplane: DC 10-30
Witness: copilot George Richardson and pilot
Captain Richardson is a retired pilot. He flew for New Zealand airline companies on DC 10-30 and Boeing 747-200. He has a private pilot license and a commercial pilot license. He has done 18,000 hours of flight time. He was a commercial pilot between 1961 and 1991, and an air traffic controller between 1961 and 1965.
Details: positive sighting of an unidentified aerial aircraft. The weather conditions were stable, with some flat clouds. The stars were visible but there was no moon.
DC-10 was flying at cruise speed at 33,000 feet, north of the Samoan Islands. Captain Richardson (who was then a copilot) described the night as very black and dark. The airplane was flying over strata of clouds. From the cockpit window the copilot saw a very shiny white light closing in on them at great speed over the clouds. He shouted: “a traffic coming up on the left!”
The light moved from west to east, from 270 to 90 degrees. It (the unidentified object) crossed the DC-10’s trajectory from left to right. The DC-10 airplane was heading to the north at about 10 degrees while the unidentified traffic was heading to the east flying on the same level. The object passed really close to the airplane, at about 150 feet away. For a few seconds, they thought they would collide with the object.
Both pilots observed a very big cylindrical object, about 150 feet long, with 3 feet large oval windows. It cast a very powerful white light. It did not seem to have any airframe; no wing, no fin, no rudder, and clearly it had a hard metallic structure. They reckoned it traveled at more than 500 knots (575 mph). It disappeared behind them on the right side.
The pilots could observe the cylindrical object for 3 or 4 seconds. It had more or less the same structure and fuselage as DC-10 without the tail and the wings. The front part had a round sharp end whereas one third of the rear was markedly thinner. Captain Richardson commented that the object had not caused any turbulence.
Place: Route between Los Angeles and Tahiti near the equator line
Airplanes: Boeing 747-200
Witnesses: Captain George Richardson and his copilot, and Captain Pullem and his copilot.
Captain Richardson has retired from New Zealand airlines, with a total of 18.000 hours approximately. He has been an air traffic controller as well.
It deals with the observation of a light-anomalous phenomenon that lighted up a huge area with an extremely powerful glow. It happened by a clear night after the occultation of the moon. It lasted approximately 5 minutes.
Captain Richardson was flying on the route between Los Angles to Tahiti near the equator line. His aircraft maintained itself between 33 and 35 thousands feet.
Captain Pullem’s aircraft was on the route between Honululu to Nadi, more or less on a parallel line at 1,000 miles distance from the Captain Richardson.
The pilots were talking through VHF radio when the captain Richardson listened to the other pilots shouting “what the hell is this?”
The pilots from both planes were suddenly flying by the edge of what the Captain Richardson described as “a huge dome of very shiny light – extremely shiny which illuminated the ocean between 80 to 100 miles ahead – to the point that it seemed to be daylight. All the cumulus and lower clouds were clearly visible and even the sea conditions could be seen.”
A bubble of light
The most disturbing but also very intriguing is that this glow did not come from any visible source; the light did not radiate from any specific area or determined point. It did not seem to shine from above or from under, nor did it to have the characteristics of any known artificial or natural light. The captain Richardson commented that he had never seen such a thing. It was like a bubble of light producing its own energy. The light was extremely white and intense, and it seemed to radiate in every direction within this area, keeping up clear “borders”.
This Captain could see the phenomenon on his starboard while the other one was observing it on his port side. Observing the luminous phenomenon made them feel alarmed and afraid; worried for their aircrafts safety and wondering what decisions they should take. They even thought that the light could come from an atomic explosion; yet there were no sign of it in this place, no shockwave, and no turbulence. They continued to fly on their route talking over their course of action when, exactly as it had started, the massive area of light “turned off” and both planes were enveloped back in the darkness.
The pilots did not report the incident when it occurred. They thought that if they did so they would be interviewed by “men in white coat if they made any public reference to the incident”. “We decided to remain silent as the official from the New Zealand airline operations was a man of little understanding and there was no need to disturb him with this type of information.”