|Occurred : 2/26/1998 19:15 (Entered as : 02/26/98 19:15)
Reported: 3/21/2001 14:59
Location: St. Andrews (Canada), ON
Duration:15 to 20 minutes
|I stumbled on to this website by accident, looking for anyone else who might have seen what I had on February 26th, 1998. I was amazed to see that the time, date and location of one of the sightings listed on your site is almost the same as my sighting. I am a ((senior aviation specialist)) in Ontario, Canada. I and my friend ((name deleted)) were in the air at the time of the Feb. 26th, 1998 sighting above, that was reported near Ontario, NY. We too had a sighting. We had departed from the Oshawa airport and were flying on an eastward heading of about 080 degrees, eventually passing just north of St. Andrews, which is just west of Cornwall Ontario, Canada. ((name deleted)) tapped me on the shoulder, pointed out the window to my right and said,"what's that?" I saw an object that looked like the underside of a massive metal bowl with multi-coloured lights on it. This thing was much, much, larger than our airplane (a Piper Cherokee 180) and appeared to be tagging along with us at the same altitude (5500-ft.) about 5 nautical miles off of our port side wing. There were several different coloured lights on the object, some of which are not used in aviation at all. They pulsed from left to right slowly, dimmed out, then pulsed from right to left. The color pattern from left to right was: GOLD-RED-BLUE-GREEN-GOLD, then from right to left: GREEN-GOLD-BLUE-RED-GOLD. When the lights were not on, the thing looked semi-transparent. You could see the outline of it, yet it appeared to me that you could see right through it at the same time. I was very excited to see something like this, but at the same time quite upset and afraid because I was unsure of what is was or might do. ((name deleted)) and I were quiet for what seemed like quite a while, just watching this thing, then I decided to call Dorval Terminal in Montreal, Quebec. I said, "Dorval terminal, this is Cherokee 180"; (I'm holding my callsign until I know what is going to happen with this information). "Cherokee 180 good evening, Dorval Terminal.". "We are on a VFR cross-country flight plan, passing just north of the town of St. Andrews on an eastbound heading and have traffic to the south of us at the same altitude. Could you tell us what it is?" "Cherokee 180, squawk code (####) on your transponder and standby." "Dorval Terminal, Cherokee (call sign) squawking (####)." "Cherokee 180, there in no know traffic at that altitude on our radar within a 60 mile radius of your area." I couldn't believe it. "Cherokee 180, what kind of aircraft is it?" "Dorval Terminal, I don't know. It doesn't look like an aircraft. It's got multi-coloured lights on it that go from left to right and back again and it looks bigger than a 747. It's massive." "Cherokee 180, how long have you been in the air?" "Dorval terminal, we've been up here for a few hours." Maybe you should land and stretch your legs for awhile, maybe take a break." "Negative Dorval, we'd like to keep going if that's O.K. with you, but you don't know what that is we’re seeing?” “Maybe it’s a u.f.o. Cherokee 180! Ha! Ha!” I was upset and annoyed at the attitude of the controller, because Stan and I both were seeing that thing and the tower was denying it being there. I didn’t think it was a joke. “O.K. Cherokee 180, call us again in another 10 minutes”. “Roger, Dorval. Cherokee 180 checks remarks”. I said, “Stan whatever that thing is out there, it doesn’t matter right now. We’ve got to pay attention to our aircraft and flight plan right now, so let’s do that.” We resumed our time keeping and navigating. The next time we looked out the window, the object was gone. I asked Stan how he felt about seeing something like that and he said he felt sort of scared. I said, “me too”. I contacted Dorval terminal and they gave me a VOR radial (a navigational frequency) to track outbound, away from they’re airspace. I set up the VOR receiver with the proper radial selected and began trying to track it outbound as requested. The needle twitched from left to right and no matter how hard I tried to hold my heading, no matter what I did, I was unable to keep the needle in the center. I tried the second VOR receiver. Same thing. “They were working when I tested them a few hours ago!”, I thought to myself. I knew that Stan had no idea what a VOR was and what was happening, so I tried not to draw his attention to the problem. I looked outside for the object we had seen earlier, but there was nothing there. I had a look at my VNC (VFR Navigational Chart) and set myself a new course for our destination in Quebec. The ceiling started coming down and a call to the local FSS (Flight Service Station) revealed that the weather was below VFR minimums where we were headed. Also, I was amazed to see that the fuel gauges read only ¼ of a tank on either side! I remembered passing a small airport a short while ago and decided to find it on the map, turn back and land there. I asked FSS if there was fuel available there and they said they’d have someone waiting for us. We found and identified the airport quite easily, made the appropriate radio calls and landed safely. I had the tanks filled to the rim on both sides before we left Oshawa. I had been running the engine at “best-lean”, to conserve fuel and get reasonable power, so I was surprised to see how much fuel had been used. I’d never noticed this plane to have had such high fuel consumption before. It was as if we’d been in the air a lot longer than we actually had been. We couldn’t find anyone to buy fuel from when we arrived at there, so we called FSS and asked them if they had any ideas. They said that we’d have to go to another nearby airport, about 15 miles away. I was told I’d get fuel there for sure. Neither of us had enough money for a hotel for the night and cab fare to and from it, so we considered our options. At the time, Quebec had recently experienced an ice storm and was recuperating from downed power-lines, blocked roads and even food shortages in some areas. The temperature was probably between –15 to –20 degrees Celsius, so waiting in the plane all night was not an option either; we had to fly. Again I planned the route to our new destination and we took off. Enroute to our new destination I was in constant contact with Dorval Terminal and they gave me some vectors (directions/headings) to help out along the way. The fuel was running out fast and I told Dorval that I didn’t think I was going to make it. Stan heard this in his headset and must have been terrified, but he said nothing. For some strange reason, I wasn’t worried. All the events leading up until the end were so surreal. Dorval told me that I should see the airport soon and sure enough, there it was. I had to fight a crosswind like I’d never experienced before. On final approach, I had such a great deal of crab (wind correction) in that it seemed as if we were flying at almost a 70-degree angle to the runway. As we got closer to the runway, the wind strength died off considerably and I was able to use the rudder to get more in line for our landing. There were fire and foam trucks, the local police and the Chief Pilot of one of the FBO’s at the airport, waiting for us. We landed normally and taxied in. Along the taxiway, the engine started sputtering and when I went to do my shutdown checklist, the engine quit before I had a chance to pull out the mixture control. The firemen walked over to the plane as Stan and I got out. One of them took the fuel cap off and said something in French. Stan told me that he’d said, “there’s nothing in there”! One of the firemen asked me in english what my name was, and when I told him, everybody including the police and Chief Pilot was roaring with laughter. I imagine the reason for that is that my last name is almost the same to the letter as a pilot who flew across the Atlantic in a single engine plane without knowing if he’d make it or not. We got our fuel, had a bite to eat, I got the Chief Pilot to stamp my logbook and we set out to return to Oshawa. The trip back was uneventful and we landed with…..plenty of fuel!??! I’m not sure what happened that night, or if any of the events were connected, but I know what I saw. I haven’t stopped thinking about our sighting and certainly have kept it quiet in commercial circles. I’ve told a few people, but they all think I’m either making it up, or that I’ve got something wrong with me. I’ve given up talking to people who are ignorant. I’m ready to talk to someone that believes me, but I’m still afraid of being ridiculed. I’m not sure what to do, but it seems to be bothering me more than usual lately. Also, for some reason I keep having this vivid picture in my head of turning directly toward this object and flying in that direction. When I get the image of this in my head, I feel sick, distressed and the tears start coming out. I don’t know why. I’m starting to get worried about it.
((NUFORC Note: I will remove all the spurious computer glitches at a later time. I can't get all of them tonight. PD))