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J. Allen Hynek, the pro-UFO astronomer who coined the famous term Close Encounters of the Third Kind, wrote in his book The Hynek UFO Report (p.271 of the paperback edition) that “commercial and military pilots appear to make relatively poor witnesses”. Hynek found that the majority of pilot misidentifications were of astronomical objects, just as they are for other UFO witnesses. Only slightly better results were found by Allan Hendry, who investigated over 1,300 cases reported to the Center for UFO Studies in the US during the course of a year. Hendry found that he could explain 75% of the sightings from pilots. In the case of sightings by police officers, the clear-up rate rose to 94%.
The were many times during my twenty years as a scientific consultant to Blue Book that I also wondered whether the very best reports were being kept from Blue Book...My own suspicions about this were reinforced by Richard Budelman..He served in a sensitive position with a Top Secret Navy Squadron stationed at Port Lyautey, Morocco...He is firm in his own belief that had a UFO been sighted by the pilot or crew of one of his squadron's aircraft...the report would never have reached Project Blue Book....But there's another reason why I also believe Blue Book didn't have access to that kind of Top Secret information - that it was in certain respects "low man on the totem pole." The low rank of the officer in charge of Blue Book was a dead giveaway.
It would seem that, as a rule, the best witnesses are multiple engineers or scientists; only 50% of their sightings could be classified as misperceptions. Surprisingly, commercial and military pilots appear to make relatively poor witnesses (though they do slightly better in groups).
What we have here is a good example of a well-known psychological fact: "transference" of skill and experience does not usually take place. That is, an expert in one field does not necessarily "transfer" his competence to another one. Thus it might surprise us that a pilot had trouble identifying other aircraft. But it should come as no surprise that a majority of pilot misidentifications were of astronomical objects.
Most unexpectedly two spaceships stopped in front of our face, shooting off lights. The inside cockpit shined brightly and I felt warm in the face. Perhaps the firing of jets was the result to kill inertia of their quick high speed maneuver, but the ships appeared as if they were stopped in one place in front of us.
Then three to seven seconds later a fire like from jet engines stopped and became a small circle of lights as they began to fly in level flight at the same speed as we were, showing numerous numbers of exhaust pipes. However, the center area of the ship where below an engine might be was invisible. The middle of the body of the ship sparked an occasionally stream of lights, like a charcoal fire, from right to left and from left to right. Its shape was a square, flying 500 feet to 1000 feet in front of us, very slightly higher in altitude than us, its size was about the same size as the body of a DC-8 jet, and with numerous exhaust pipes. The firing of the exhaust jets varied, perhaps to maintain balance, some became stronger than others and some became weaker than others, but seemed controlled automatically.
If you're referring to the A-12 back when it was classified, I agree it exceeded the operation of known contemporary aircraft of the time. And I have no reason to believe that development of secret high performance aircraft ended with the A-12/SR-71 so there are probably more modern secret aircraft we don't know about that can exceed the performance of known contemporary aircraft.
Originally posted by TheIrvy
Simple fact, there are aircraft that exceed the operations of our contemporary aircraft flying in our skies. We see them depicted in paintings and cave drawings throughout history.
But I've never seen anything like that in cave paintings. But I have seen people think old anthropomorphic representations of the sun and moon are spaceships.