|Posted on November 4, 2011 at 3:35 AM|
The events that I am about to describe, are all very real and have occurred multiple times over the course of the last four years. They are a much too common occurrence to many active military pilots and from what I have researched, have been a regular sight to many military pilots since World War II.
First let me fill you in on a little bit of background information, I am 38 years old, have been in the military since I graduated college until I left in 2005. I am an active member of the Indiana Air National Guards 122nd Operations Wing/ 163rd fighter squadron as well as a small business owner, husband and father of two.
My first encounter with what eventually became known as an “ Indiana Oh-ball” (short for Orange Ball) was in 2007 while returning from a routine training mission. We were inbound back to Fort Wayne , Indiana . We were cruising at an altitude of 7500 feet and in a three plane formation, when a pair of objects passed us like we were going backwards! Each object was approximately 10 feet across and a perfect sphere, they glowed a brilliant orange that made them look like a pair of flying Jack O’Lanterns. The passed us and banked hard right, climbing as they went. In the span of 3 seconds, they were about 1500 feet above us and still climbing till they were out of sight. We contemplated giving chase, but we fly the A-10 Thunderbolt (Warthog) which is a ground attack plane and not built for speed, it wouldn’t have matter since we were clearly out matched in every way by these two objects.
This lead to us radioing in what we saw to the tower in Fort Wayne, this was met by about 20 seconds of radio silence before we were told to return to base and report for debriefing. I of course can not and will not divulge the matter of the debriefing due to security reasons. But this was the only time we were ever debriefed by our superiors in regards to any of the sightings that we have had.
Another memorable sighting we had was more recently, we were on another routine training flight, we had been airborne less than half an hour and in route to the practice range when we were made aware by one of the pilots of three objects trailing us about a half a mile behind us and a little higher than we were. No sooner had the pilot finished this when those three lights overtook us and again made our planes (which were practically brand new, having only been delivered 6 weeks earlier) look like we were flying Model T’s. As soon as they overtook us, they climbed and basically looped completely around us, appearing behind us in a matter of seconds. For the next hour, they trailed behind us, as we made course changes; the three objects matched us. They stayed approximately 100 yards behind us the whole time. We again radioed in the sighting and were told that as long as they posed no threat to our safety, then to continue on course to our destination.
We all made small talk about the objects following us, mostly to calm our nervousness, this eventually became a game of sorts, at one point we increased speed and were matched by the objects. After an hour of flying, we were approaching the range and our minds switched to the task at hand, but not before the pilot that originally had spotted the objects earlier, said out loud “Sorry guy’s but we have to get to work, thanks for keep us company!” As we banked toward the northwest, the objects began to climb at a rather steep angle and within a few seconds they were gone and it was only us. We completed our training mission and returned home without further incident.
These are just two of the more than 1 dozen sightings that I have had since flying with the Air National Guard. I will be writing in with more sightings as time passes, just remember that I will not be giving out any details that might be too revealing for both myself and my fellow guardsmen. I have a reputation, a family and a business to consider and to protect. I thank you for giving me a forum to allow me to share these amazing stories with the rest of the world and I look forward to sharing more of my sightings in the near future.