Passenger plane ‘chased by UFO for 50 minutes’ in chilling close encounter

A jumbo jet was chased by a UFO for 50 minutes in a chilling close encounter covered up by the US Government, a shock TV show reveals.

A Japan Airlines Boeing 747 was pursued by a mystery disk-shaped craft several times its size for 350 miles as it came into land in Anchorage, Alaska, en route from Paris, France.

Captain Kenju Terauchi – a former fighter pilot with 10,000 hours of flight experience – performed a dramatic 360-degree turn in a bid to shake off the UFO.

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But the object, which had dazzling lights, continued to track him until his final approach to the runaway – accelerating, hovering and making manoeuvres that defied gravity.

The pilot reported it as a UFO sighting and was promptly grounded and assigned to a desk job by his bosses.

John Callahan, who was then-head of the Federal Aviation Authority's accident and investigations branch, launched a probe and found the mystery craft had been caught on radar.

But he told National Geographic documentary UFOs: Investigating The Unknown – screened today (Tuesday, May 23) – that he was summoned to a meeting with CIA and White House officials in Washington and ordered never to talk about the 1986 encounter.

He said he showed them radar footage, eyewitness accounts of Capt Terauchi and his two co-pilots and recordings of their bemused conversations with air traffic controllers and the government officials `were all excited about it'.

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But he went on: "So I'm sitting there next to this little guy and he says, 'OK, we were never here, we are confiscating all this data and you are all sworn to secrecy'.

"So I said, `what do you think it is?'

"He said, 'well it's a UFO'.''

Mark Rodeghier, scientific director of the Center for UFO Studies, told the TV show: "So what's going on here?

"Well of course we don't know because it disappeared into the black mass of the government.''

Former NASA chief scientist Dr Richard Haines, who runs the National Aviation Reporting Center on Anomalous Phenomena, said the sighting was among many which showed the danger UFOs pose to aircraft and should have been properly investigated.

"Would it constitute a threat to flight safety? The answer is clearly yes,'' he said.

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Two months later an Alaska Airlines flight heading to Anchorage clocked a similar object flying at 18,000mph on its radar.

Around the same time the pilot of a US Air Force KC-135 jet flying nearby reported a large disk-shaped object came within just 40ft before disappearing.

The documentary told how in 2006 up to 150,000 people – including pilots and ground crew – reported seeing a metallic saucer-shaped craft over Chicago O'Hare International Airport.

After hovering over Gate C-17 for five minutes it shot vertically upwards leaving a hole in the clouds.

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Author and investigator Leslie Kean said the authorities at first dismissed it as "airport lights reflecting off the clouds" and then a weather phenomenon caused by falling ice.

But she said it happened in broad daylight, when no lights were switched on and the temperature was 18F above freezing.

Leslie said the aviation world had ignored countless UFO sightings despite the safety risk they posed.

"There are cases where the pilot would have to make a very fast turn or have to dive to avoid hitting a UFO,'' she said.

"Cases where passengers were actually injured by manoeuvres the aeroplane had to make.

"If we have commercial pilots that are somehow in danger I just think that's really important.

"How could the aviation world ignore this?'

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The revelations come after Gazientep Airport in Turkey was shut down by a UFO at the weekend.

At least 26 flights were grounded over 12 hours after the mystery craft buzzed a passenger jet as it came into land.

The unidentified flying object appeared on the aircraft's radar at 9,000ft above the southern city.

Air traffic controllers, who reportedly spotted it separately, had no idea what it was.

They immediately ordered all scheduled flights to be diverted to airports in Adana and Sanliufa.

Turkish news outlets said 13 departures and 13 arrivals were cancelled.

The airport remained shut for 12 hours on Saturday before reopening when the collision risk was deemed to have passed.

The US Senate has ordered an investigation into 650 reported close encounters involving US military personnel – including many Top Gun pilots – spanning seven decades.

Sightings by commercial pilots are not believed to be part of the probe.

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