By Michelle Radison
Special to the Triplicate
In January 1969 the "Crescent City American" reported on a local police officer who was conducting his usual beat when he spotted what he thought to be a unidentified flying object over the Pacific Ocean. The officer called for back-up and the duo met at Brother Jonathan Park overlook to investigate the strange light show overhead.
On arrival, a tourist was standing at the overlook next to his white '68 Studebaker, and was entranced by the sight before him. Staring at the light it seemed to look narrower in width and height as if it were pulsating; the colors seemed slightly change as it did so. The light then seemed to hang suspended in one place and appeared to sway back and forth.
After the men watched the object for some time, suddenly a plane jetted up from the Crescent City airport and flew southwest toward the object, banking and circling it a few times.
Shortly after the plane had disappeared the light traveled west at an unusually high rate of speed. The flying object seemed to turn red, white, and then red again then disappeared into the horizon. At 8:45 p.m., the officer traveled to the airport to inquire on the strange sightings. The employee working at the weather shack also reported to the officer that he had seen the strange light display, and that it had been hovering above the seas for quite some time. He also stated that in his career he had never seen anything of this nature before.
Meanwhile, the Navy had been notified of the occurrence and the curious caller was told, "You are probably watching Venus." The light had been in the wrong part of the night sky to be Venus and this did not explain the changing light show or the fact it had traveled at a high rate of speed. Unhappy with the information that planets were now moving about in unusually speedy orbits, the man made another call. This one was to the Requa Air Force Base.
Requa stated they did not know the nature of the strange aircraft, although their radar had picked up something approximately 100 miles out to sea. They stated they would return to the caller any information they could dig up.
Indeed, at 9:25 p.m., they called and informed the caller that after checking with headquarters, they found out that there were maneuvers being preformed in the area at high altitudes, and dropping flares. However, this did not explain why Requa AFB had no knowledge of any such exercise.
Why would the flares dropped from the so-called aircraft stop seemingly in mid air? On the other hand, why did the flares seem to hover for a period of 10 full minutes instead of dropping into the ocean? The police officers took note of the military explanation but reported, "This is the Air Force explanation."