When he was a young lieutenant, he and his instructor pilot were flying a T-38 aircraft over South Texas in September 1971. The T-38 is a hot Air Force jet trainer and has a ceiling altitude in excess of 40,000 feet. Just after sunset, both pilot and instructor sighted a strange object in the sky a little above their cruising altitude, which at the time was 37,000 feet. The object appeared round and dark in color. The pilot called Houston Radio and asked if they had the object on their radar scopes. They did not.
At this point the pilot and his instructor decided to have a closer look. It was a clear night, the colonel said, as he approached the stationary object from underneath at a speed of mach .94. At a distance of about a quarter-mile, he said the object appeared to be about the size of a football field. It had a domed top and appeared to be metallic. They could see red and green lights spaced evenly around the bottom rim of the craft. The colonel said they circled the large round object and kept it in sight for almost five minutes, then they watched as it departed at great speed.
Upon landing at their base, the young lieutenant and his instructor filed UFO sighting reports, each pilot being taken to a separate room to make his report.
Was the report classified? I asked. Perhaps it was at one time, but the colonel said I was free to write about it now. He drew a sketch (see above) for me to submet with my report of the event. Since the colonel is still on active duty, I have withheld his name from my account at this time.
James Parsons is an art appraiser and dealer in Taos, N.M. In the 1950s he was an Air Force navigator.