I wanted to do a post about one of the most impressive cases of a UFO encounter with a civilian airliner. The reason for this is not only because I think this is an extremely interesting case, but I also feel that not very many people are aware of it due to the passage of time and lame media coverage. On 16 November 1986 Japan Air Lines (JAL) Flight 1628 left from Paris, France with a layover in Reykjavik on the way to Tokyo. The plane had two crews which relieved each other during the long flight. They were transporting 200 cases of top quality French wine. Their stay in Iceland had been prolonged due to bad weather. They were finally able to leave Reykjavik on 17 November 1986.
The pilot of flight 1628 was Flight Captain Jenju Terauchi, pictured above, who had nineteen years of flight experience. The planned route was the polar route over Greenland, northern Canada and Alaska towards Japan. The moon was bright that evening and cast a blue-white light upon the glaciers of Greenland. When the 747 was above a settlement called Shingle Point at the border between Canada and Alaska it was pitch dark. The only lights that could be seen were the lights from isolated human settlements strewn here and there in the immense Arctic desert. Towards the east there was a bit of an afterglow from the sunset. Everywhere else, the land below them was extremely dark. In the cockpit too, it was dark and quiet except for the lights of the flight instruments.
At 5:11 pm Captain Terauchi saw two lights that shouldn't have been there. He had become aware of them a minute earlier but had thought they were military aircraft, the lights were to the left and below the 747. But by now, had they been military aircraft, their position should have moved and even more, they seemed to be flying in formation with Terauchi's aircraft. He was flying on autopilot at a speed of 525 knots at an altitude of 35,000 feet. The 747's location was about 90 nautical miles northeast of Fort Yukon, Alaska. Both lights appeared to be flying 2,000 feet below the JAL plane and were keeping to the 10:00 position.
Suddenly after six minutes they appeared in a position directly in front of the flight crew and Captian Terauchi saw two pairs of rectangular shaped lights, one above the other. Terauchi described the lights later as "two spaceships from which white and amber-colored lights shot out, pulsating jets in the direction of a dark vertical field in the middle of each object." The lights were so close that they lit the cockpit of the 747 brightly. Terauchi also believed he could sense warmth emanating from them. A few seconds later the objects stopped sending out beams and started forming small circles of light. These lights would switch from bright to dim and their colors were of a dull red, soft green, white, orange and a brighter red. The objects were now estimated to be 600 to 900 feet away, higher than the 747 and "had the size of a DC-8." Five minutes later the objects changed their formation and flew side by side. Co-pilot Takanori Tamefugi said, "Somehow I was reminded of Christmas decorations." Flight engineer Yoshio Tsukuba was also witnessing these events and said, "I did not even feel threatened by their sudden maneuvers." Later he would also state, "There was something reassuring that came out of them."
The radio contact with ground control at Anchorage was unusually poor and at 5:22 pm it stopped completely. At 5:23 pm, Anchorage asked them (the flight crew) to change the frequency they were operating on because they could barely hear them. However on other frequencies there was only static and hissing. The control tower at Anchorage asked Elmendorf Regional Operation Control Center (EROCC) if they could see anything near the JAL 747 on their radar. Things were getting stranger for the flight crew, as the two objects left the 10:00 position in front of the plane. After doing this they appeared as two lights in the distance in front of a huge silhouette. Later, Captain Terauchi would say of this, "the outlines of a gigantic spaceship, and also, "I got the impression that they were two small ships returning to their mothership, which was hanging there hidden in the night sky; but the rest of the crew could hardly make out more than lights of the reconnaissance ships." Captain Terauchi could see the Saturn-like shape of what he thought of as the mothership. He switched on the on-board radar. On the screen an echo could be seen of an enormous object in the 10:00 position and at a distance of about 8 nautical miles. It was not like the red echo of a conventional aircraft. The echo was green in color that only non-metallic objects reflect. From Michael Hesemann's, UFOs: The Secret History, "Either the gigantic space vessel was not made of metal, or it used a camouflaging technique like the American stealth bomber. That would explain why the air traffic controllers at Anchorage had not seen anything definite on their radar, whereas the far more sensitive EROCC radar had picked up something which, with certainty, was no normal aircraft. And now, Anchorage could also spot the target 8 miles in front of the JAL machine, somewhat in the 10:00 position. But for the crew of the Japanese Boeing, the two objects were just two points of light."
Around 5:30 pm, the crew could see the lights of Fairbanks, Alaska, as they were thirty miles away from the city. For a few minutes the crew thought that maybe the objects were gone. The wonderment and silence of the cockpit crew was broken by Captain Terauchi's voice, "There it is again!" He had looked out of the left window towards the back and could see the enormous silhouette of the 'motherhship' better than before, because it was backlit by the bright moonlight. Also from UFOs: The Secret History: "The lights from the city of Fairbanks were reflected on the metallic stern of the spacecraft. It was a majestic spectacle. A shiver of fear ran, down Terauchi's spine: for the first time now, flight captain Terauchi was touched by fear: "Request...deviate...from...object...request heading two four zero," stuttered copilot Tamefugi into the microphone, "its...ah...quite big!" He had to repeat his request four times because the connection was so poor. Then after a minute the JAL 747 was granted permission to change course." Flight Captain Terauchi was unable to shake off the craft by changing course and even when he flew in a circle with permission of the tower the enormous craft stayed in the same position behind the airplane. The craft or whatever it was, was no longer visible to the naked eye, but at 5:38 pm the EROCC radar confirmed that there was definitely no military traffic in the area and the unidentified radar echo was still in the area of the JAL 747.
Again from Hesemann's, UFOs: The Secret History, "JAL 1628 would you like our military to scramble aircraft?", asked Anchorage. Terauchi quickly refused the offer: "Negative, negative." "Whatever it is, we should not provoke it", were his feelings. After 10 minutes, however, when a United Airlines plane came flying in the opposite direction, the apparition came to an abrupt end. At 6:20 pm, the Japanese plane landed at Anchorage. The same evening, the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) of the United States at Anchorage started investigating the incident. Three FAA officials interviewed the three witnesses from the JAL crew as well as the traffic controller at Anchorage and the radar operator at EROCC. Four months later, in March 1987, the authorities released their concluding report: "The FAA is not responsible for UFO investigations, and since there is no proof of violation of the airspace, we have ended our investigations with this conclusion."
I wanted to do this post also because it is so well documented and the witnesses are beyond reproach. I do not know what to make of it, but one thing that I feel is certain in this case is that whatever JAL flight 1628 encountered was not ours! Maybe some aliens looking for a great deal on expensive French wine:-)? In all seriousness I believe in this case of airliner contact, that this crew witnessed something of extraterrestrial origin or ultra-terrestrial origin. I am indebted to the Michael Hesemann book for the idea for this post. I am working on many projects for the blog right now and hopefully can post about one of the new ones tomorrow, while continuing with the reincarnation series, poetry and my writing here and there. Peace and be well to anyone stopping by! http://www.ufocasebook.com/jal1628.html