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The sighting the crew did see was 10-15 minutes before the mothership. That's noted by the FAA interview after the incident by both the flight engineer and co-pilot.
At the risk of sidetracking and turning this into a JAL 1628 thread-
Maccabee suggested to Callahan something like they probably weren't ready yet to release any information to the public, and Callahan apparently thought Maccabee was some kind of "spook" and interpreted that to mean he wanted to to cover things up, but what he was really trying to convey to Callahan is that the investigation was far from complete and they needed to do a lot more work before trying to go public with anything.
Yes that is strange the way they ended up talking to Leslie Kean when they tried to reach Callahan, isn't it? From your source:
originally posted by: 111DPKING111
See the following for details
It makes you wonder why the refusal to cooperate, but without any clarification we can only speculate, that perhaps Callahan was a little confused and if he cleared it up he'd have to admit that. By refusing to talk he doesn't have to correct any of his prior claims, so I'm guessing it might be a way to save face.
We contacted Maccabee and he also confirmed that he was at such a meeting and received all of the data for his analysis and report, but he also did not recall anyone at the meeting trying to cover it up.
We reported this contradiction to Leslie Kean of the Coalition for Freedom of Information – the only listed contact for Callahan – and she initially did not believe us. Therefore, I put her in direct contact with Pandolfi and Maccabee, who both told her exactly what they told us. Kean refused to let us speak directly with Callahan to resolve the discrepancy, and eventually refused to cooperate regarding getting any clarification from Callahan.