Phillips: I'm an Air Force brat. My dad flew fighters. I've got a story... Unfortunately my mother and father are both deceased and I can't confirm it.
The story is, my dad was a Lt. Colonel at that point in time at Lackland AFB in Florida. I was going to school there. This would be late 1950's or early 1960's, probably around 1960-61. What happened is -- and my dad didn't tell the story until after he retired -- he started out as a bomber pilot and then transferred over to fighters. They had to rotate sleeping on base in case whatever would happen.
They were scrambled one night about 10:30 pm. They had a radar blip and they were scrambled to go out and see what was coming toward our coastline. They were in the air within six minutes after the radar blip showed on the screen. They were about three to four miles off the shore, the east coast shoreline, and they were given a description of exactly where this thing was. They saw a light coming at them. They thought it was a single aircraft coming straight towards them. They were at about 7500 feet altitude, cruising at about 400 knots at that point.
This thing did a roundabout 180 and started heading away from them. They radioed in, saying, "Bogey is heading out to sea, do you want us to intercept?" And they were ordered to intercept to see what it is. So they were starting to gain on it, increasing their speed up to 450 knots and trying to close in. They got to about half a mile. They could see the running lights on it pretty good.
My dad was the flight leader so he was in front. He could see that it had not a normal aircraft shape. The lights were going in a circle pattern. A normal aircraft will have a light on each wingtip and the tail. He said they got within about half a mile, and gaining, and as soon as they got within half a mile, it shot off horizontal for about two seconds, and it just left them like they were sitting still. It went horizontal, and then vertical, out of sight within about five seconds. It just left them sitting there.
Each of them were talking back and forth on the radio -- there were three of them -- and they said, "Did you see what I just saw?" "We sure did." "How many seconds was it?" "It was five seconds, horizontal, then vertical and out of sight." It had to be going thousands of miles an hour.
They were brought back and debriefed. There were two younger officers and my dad, the senior officer. My dad was within probably five years of retirement, and they threatened him with his retirement if he told anyone. And they threatened the junior officers, if they want any promotions at all, the story is to be kept under lock and key. Their families are not to know.
My dad never did say anything, even to my mom, til two or three years after he retired. He was afraid the whole thing would die with him. So finally he did say something to my mom and myself. He said, "I had no way of knowing what it was. I never was a believer in any kind of UFOs til then. Til you get a visual of something like that, you have no idea what kind of impact if can leave on you."
My dad was a super-serious kind of guy. You could tell it made him uncomfortable.
He was flying a P-51 Mustang at that time. They had jets available, but they were still flying the Mustangs.
I was in gradeschool, but I don't know what age I was. I'm guessing about 10 years old. He didn't tell the story til I was well out of highschool and he was well out of the service. I think he was still worried about his retirement when he told us. But he didn't tell us not to tell the story.
ML: Have you had any other exposure to concrete info of this sort in your line of work?
ML: What is your father's name? May I use it?
BP: Yes, you may. It's Claude J. Phillips. He retired a full-bird Colonel in 1962.
Original file name: CNI - Bruce Phillips UFO story
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