Why did I decide to write about Pilots, UFOs and UAPs?

With retirement in his sights, a chief airline pilot confesses his encounter with the unknown.

Where it all began…

I was a first officer at this time on the Airbus 320. A short flight to Dublin to London Heathrow, with a westerly wind on our tail, we had just over 50 minutes from wheels up to wheels down. 1

Not my shortest flight which was from the Island of Fuerteventura to Lanzarote, 7 mins from wheels up to wheels down. A fast-paced sector with no room for screw ups in an airbus 320 with 180 people onboard. That number of people is important to note, because as you fare paying passengers sit there, sipping your ginger ale or something stronger, the pilots at the front are concerned with getting their asses safely from departure to destination. And generally, if we get there safely, so will you. That’s how many of manage to cope with that level of responsibility.

Although incredibly skilled and highly trained, pilots are not machines.

When something distracts those pilots, either a family tragedy, a personal health issue, fatigue or a lack of safety culture at that airline, then you and your ginger ale are at risk.

Imagine how it would feel for pilots then, when something disturbs that natural order. When something encroaches our turf, and throws us completely, so much that we realize that we are not the masters of the sky, but merely a part of it.

Consider this story told to me some years back…

“It scared the shit out of me. I was reading the paper, heard my cojo (co big jet jockey) swear which caused me to look up at him. He was pointing past me, out my window. I turned and couldn’t believe what I saw. Normally I’d think of it as a beautiful machine, I’ve seen them at air shows and am always fascinated by them. This time I was scared shitless. Fast, furious and powerful, it was there, ready to take a shot at us if we made a move they didn’t like. An RAF typhoon, so close we could see the pilot pointing to his facemask, and making a gesture with his gloved hand. “Talk to me.” The hand said.

Crap, did we call London?” I asked my cojo. (Most First Officers ‘co-pilots’ hate being called cojo).

“Shit, shit, shit.”

That plane was armed, and since 911, all pilots know that it’s unlikely, but if things got desperate, then that plane was armed, and could shoot at you.

“With no real idea of the frequency we should have called once transferred, as it was some time ago and they were probably out of range now, the blanching cojo was fast tuning in the emergency frequency on 121.5. At once, the distinctly British voice of Nigel the RAF pilot was heard.”

“Flight #### please respond.”

“We did.”

That plane was armed, and since 911, all pilots know that it’s unlikely, but if things got desperate, then that plane was armed, and could shoot at you.

“We’d made a simple mistake on the coms unit, (communications units) and forget to change frequency after a handover by ATC. Who knows why, tiredness, who knows. I was shaken. Especially when I realized how badly we’d lost situational awareness.”

This still happens, as does many other incidents in the skies. Apart from the roasting and potentially job ending F%$@ up, it’s unsettling to say the least.

When something disturbs the equilibrium for pilots, like a shark circling a surfer’s board, it can throw you, distract you from your job, but also throw your sense of normality out of that heated and armor-plated window. Can affect flight safety? According to NARCAP there are risks, and who's to say that UAP’s have not contributed to incidences or accidents. Until we understand what is going on, there remains a risk.

Meanwhile on our flight to London, Heathrow

So, imagine my feeling when a normally very straight, very serious captain who in fact was a chief pilot on the fleet of airbus planes, began to tell me a story I’d never dream he would even consider believing himself, never mind relating.

We were at our cruising altitude, and for this short flight, we’d only have 15 minutes at best to drink our coffee or tea and maybe shove a cardboard sandwich down our necks.

I’d mentioned I was writing a sci fi book. And this must have spurred him on to tell me this story, perhaps he’d been bursting to get it out for years.

“I’ve actually never told any other pilot. It was a flight like this. A bright light appeared, off to the first officer’s side. He pointed it out. A ball of light that flew alongside us. That’s very strange, I said. I was intrigued but not shocked by it, probably a reflection. Off what I couldn’t imagine. There were no clouds to reflect off, maybe the glass? But then it moved, to the front of the plane. I’m not sure how far away it was, hard to tell, or how big it was. It was a ball of light. We were both shocked. We didn’t call ATC, what would you say?

It flew in front of us for a bit, then came around to my side. Like it was checking us out. Ten seconds or so, then up it went. He snapped his fingers. Just like that! Flew away from us faster than anything I’ve seen move.”

He used the term, flew away. From a pilot perspective, that’s imporant. he said. It didn’t disappear, actually flew. This pilot had three decades of flying under his belt. This is his home, and he knew when something was out of place and not just a visual anomoly.

And let me tell you, this guy was a serious player, a career pilot who didn’t take any shit, but also didn’t give any. A highly respected and liked man who was recounting a story like this, to me, because he knew I was writing books, was open minded and probably, most assuredly, the most important reason, he was only weeks to retirement.

UFO sightings did not begin at the advent of the movies and television shows, rather they were created ‘because’ of them.

It’s been over a decade since Leslie Keane released her book, UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and Government Officials Go on the Record. This incredible and ground breaking work, covers the accounts of UFO encounters and sightings of the modern era.

Jerome Clarke’s UFO Encyclopedia focuses on pre-modern times, and is one that anyone who thinks this phenomenon is new should read.

Perhaps a ton of books be released on this subject, before I finish my next one, and that’s great. The more this subject is researched the better. However. you may find my take a little different than others. I’ll do my utmost to write it from a professional manner, respecting the pilots who trust me to tell their story without sensationalism as we did with Second To Disaster.

Trust is everything if you want to hear the real stories from real people.

Let’s continue to investigate from a pilot’s POV, shall we?

#ufo #pilots #uap


If you’re a pilot who wishes to relate something to me, please feel free to contact me at ray @ writers game .com (You will be asked to show proof of your flying credentials.) As with Seconds To Disaster and it’s contributors, your identity will never be divulged to anyone. We adhere at all times to GDPR.