Southwestern Missouri was the site of a big UFO flap last week.
On Saturday, December 7, 1996, at 5:30 a.m., a farmer feeding his cattle three miles (5 kilometers) west of Mansfield, Missouri (population 1,423) "was startled by a large orange ball of light moving silently above him." The UFO "descended and dropped behind some trees to the east."
Two days later, on Monday, December 9, 1996, at 6:45 p.m. a father and daughter in Ash Grove, Missouri (population 1,157) spotted "a bright orange ball of light" about 10 degrees above the horizon. The UFO "hovered for several minutes, then vanished."
The main action, though, took place in the city of Springfield (population 133,000) between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Brian Adams of the Ozarks Area Research Group was an eyewitness.
"After arriving home (near the 2700 block of West Republic Road), I observed a large amount of strange aircraft lights in the clear evening sky to the south and east of Springfield. The peculiar lights were moving slowly in two groups of two in each direction. I used a set of 7X35 binoculars to view the lights from my deck in the backyard."
Adams counted numerous small lights, "white, red and blue lights that were moving randomly around an oval-like perimeter. As the UFOs moved slowly about, you sensed that they were very high up in the atmosphere and that they were very large. At least three times larger than a commercial jet airliner."
"My wife and 17-year-old son then came out to view the objects while I went inside to call some other local members of OARG to get them to go outside to view the UFOs and (to) get their opinion," he added. "One member, Bruce Lanza, and his wife, on the eastern side of Springfield (near the 1800 block of East Republic Road) noticed the strange aircraft also."
Following "an hour of viewing, at 7:15 p.m., a very luminous orange ball of light was observed just above the horizon, moving slowly upward." While Adams viewed this object with his binoculars, it suddenly vanished.
Five minutes later, "a jet fighter shot across the southern sky at approximately 300 miles per hour at a very low altitude of a couple thousand feet," Adams wrote. "I ran inside to call Bruce about the fighter jet, and while I was talking to him, I heard Bruce say that the jet was flying above his house. I ran back outside to see the jet" bank sharply and fly toward the spot where the orange sphere had vanished.
At 8 p.m., Adams and his son "observed a very bright red oval-shaped UFO with small white lights appear in the south, moving westward very quickly."
Lanza, a USAF veteran, reportedly identified the fighter jet as an F-15 Eagle, a tactical interceptor.
Adams said he saw four distinct lighted objects and "the way they moved, very slowly. Like it was hovering. They decided to move to avoid detection by the approaching jet."
The following day, OARG members began investigating. Adams phoned the Springfield/Branson Regional Control Tower at the local airport, which reportedly confirmed the presence of the F-15 the previous night. The jet pilot "was flying VFR (Visual Flight Rules)." Since the pilot was just passing through, Adams added, he was not required to notify the tower. Adams also learned that a squadron of USAF A-10 jets landed at the airport earlier that day and took off in the afternoon. (Email Interview)
(Thanks to Brian Adams and the other OARG members for providing such detailed information.)
Original file name: CNI - Jet Chases UFO.Missouri
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