F-16s Pursue Unknown Craft Over Region
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F-16S PURSUE UNKNOWN CRAFT OVER REGION
By Steve Vogel
Saturday, July 27, 2002; Page B02
For Renny Rogers, it was strange enough that military jets were flying low
over his home in Waldorf in the middle of the night. It was what he thinks
he saw when he headed outside to look early yesterday that floored him.
"It was this object, this light-blue object, traveling at a phenomenal rate
of speed," Rogers said. "This Air Force jet was right behind it, chasing it,
but the object was just leaving him in the dust. I told my neighbor, 'I
think those jets are chasing a UFO.' "
Military officials confirm that two F-16 jets from Andrews Air Force Base
were scrambled early yesterday after radar detected an unknown aircraft in
area airspace. But they scoff at the idea that the jets were chasing a
strange and speedy, blue unidentified flying object.
"We had a track of interest, so we sent up some aircraft," said Maj. Douglas
Martin, a spokesman for the North American Aerospace Defense Command in
Colorado, which has responsibility for defending U.S. airspace. "Everything
was fine in the sky, so they returned home."
At the same time, military officials say they do not know just what the jets
were chasing, because whatever it was disappeared. "There are any number of
scenarios, but we don't know what it was," said Maj. Barry Venable, another
spokesman for NORAD.
Radar detected a low, slow-flying aircraft about 1 a.m. yesterday, according
to a military official. Controllers were unable to establish radio
communication with the unidentified aircraft, and NORAD was notified. When
the F-16s carrying air-to-air missiles were launched from Andrews, the
unidentified aircraft's track faded from the radar, the military official
said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Pilots with the D.C. Air National Guard's 113th Air Wing, which flew the
F-16s from Andrews, reported nothing out of the ordinary, NORAD officials
"It was a routine launch," said Lt. Col. Steve Chase, a senior officer with
the wing, which keeps pilots and armed jets on 24-hour alert at Andrews to
respond to incidents as part of an air defense system protecting Washington
after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Rogers remains convinced that what he saw was not routine. "It looked like a
shooting star with no trailing mist," he said. "I've never seen anything
WALDORF PUTS THE U IN UFO
Saturday, July 27, 2002
What was that bright light in Maryland's sky???
WTOP has learned that residents near Andrews Air Force base were shaken from
their beds early Friday morning by some strange activity in the air.
"Incredible. Absolutely incredible" is what Renny Rogers of Waldorf calls
it. Just before two in the morning, Rogers says he saw a large blue ball of
light streaking across the sky. But it was the military jets that really
"(The jets) were right on its tail. As the thing would move, a jet was right
behind it," Rogers recalls.
He is not the only one who saw it. Several people called WTOP Radio
reporting seeing a bright blue or orange ball moving very fast, being chased
Rogers says there was no smoke coming from the object, no flashing lights,
and says it was smooth, and eerily silent.
The Air National Guard confirms they scrambled the 113th squadron. Spokesman
Sheldon Smith says they are investigating and in contact with NORAD.
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