Confessions Of A Ufo

In the early 80s I was an Air Force B-52 copilot. One night, we were flying a low-level training mission in eastern Colorado (the flat part). We were flying about 600 feet above the ground at around 350 knots (around 400 mph, 650 kph); the aircraft commander was flying, and I was monitoring (that is, not doing much for the moment). Out 2 or 3 miles in front of us I saw a truck on a highway, and saw my opportunity.

The B-52 has a very, very bright "terrain clearance" light on the belly that can be aimed at a spot on the ground in front of the aircraft. The purpose of that light is to light a runway from a long distance out in case we ever had to land at night on an unlighted runway. That is, in practical terms, the light was useless on any training mission, and we never turned it on.

On a whim, I extended the light and held the spot on that truck as we flew the last couple of miles (about 20 seconds at that speed), and as we passed over the highway, turned it off. This is an activity we called "trolling for UFO reports." I didn't think it up, and I wasn't the first or last to do it.

So, any time I hear about "unexplainable lights in the sky", I always think, "It's probably just somebody screwing around."

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Feb 19, 2011