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Westendorf is 40 years old, a father of three children and a successful businessman. He is also an avid private pilot rated for acrobatic flying. The following account is based directly on his one-hour presentation at the Brazilian UFO conference, which included several detailed illustrations.
When he got close to the object, he realized that in his twenty years of piloting experience he had never seen or heard of anything like it. Since he had done stunt training in the United States and had also flown in France, he had become acquainted with some very advanced and exotic aircraft. But he knew that this was not an airplane.
He describes the object as a faceted cone, flat on the bottom with a rounded point on top. On each of the eight or ten sloping side panels were three large bulges, like triangle-shaped bay windows on the side of a house -- but they did not look like windows. The entire surface was brown in color. The structure was about 70 meters (225 feet) high and about 100 meters (325 feet) in diameter, big enough to fill nearly an entire soccer field if landed. His own plane, less than 6 meters wide, was tiny by comparison.
Then, to his amazement, the object rose straight up at tremendous speed. For the first time, Westendorf was scared, because he believed the object's rapid acceleration might produce a shock wave of turbulence that could overwhelm his own plane. As a trained pilot, he knew that air traffic controllers recommend staying at least three minutes behind a large aircraft to avoid such turbulence. He estimated that the unidentified object probably weighed at least three times as much as a 747 jumbo jet, so its shock wave should be huge -- and he was only a few hundred meters away.
He quickly began emergency procedures in case his plane went into a spin or a stall. But to his surprise, he did not encounter any turbulence.
He... decided to return to Pelotas airport. But when he landed, he discovered that press and TV people were already on hand, waiting for him.
Speaking with the head air traffic controller and two others on duty at that time, he asked them if they would back up his story to the press. He said that if they refused to back him up, he would deny the whole thing. So the head traffic controller called his boss, an Air Force colonel in the city of Porto Alegre, to ask permission to talk about the UFO. The colonel told the traffic controller to decide for himself -- so the controller told Westendorf that he and his assistants would back up the story. All of them agreed to have their pictures and stories printed in one of Brazil's leading news magazines, and from that point on the case became a national sensation. Westendorf himself was featured on the cover of that magazine (he carries a copy with him to prove it).
Whatever the case, if I'm not mistaken, regardless what this pilot saw or didn't see, what do we have other than just another story, just another eye-witness report?
A guy who was a stunt pilot would presumably be familiar with hot air balloons.
my first guess would be he saw a mountain.
the Fata Morgana where objects on the horizon or even beyond the horizon, such as islands, cliffs, ships or icebergs, appear elongated and elevated and can look like there floating in the air.