Captain Terauchi of JAL flight 1628 was equally convinced that he had encountered an extraterrestrial craft in the skies above Alaska.
JAL flight 1628 Captain Kenju Terauchi
People have been seeing unidentified flying objects in the skies for years. But when the eyewitness is up there with the UFO, is the sighting more difficult to explain?
By Dennis Stacy
for Air & Space Magazine
December 1987/January 1988
In the late afternoon of November 17, 1986, Japan Air Lines flight 1628, a Boeing 747 with a crew of three, was nearing the end of a trip from Iceland to Anchorage, Alaska. The jet, carrying a cargo of French wine, was flying at 35,000 feet through darkening skies, a red glow from the setting sun lighting one horizon and a full moon rising above the
A little after six p.m., pilot Kenju Terauchi noticed white and yellow lights ahead, below, and to the left of his airplane. He could see no details in the darkness and assumed the lights were those of military aircraft. But they continued to pace the 747, prompting first officer Takanori Tamefuji to radio
Because he was sitting in the left-hand seat, Terauchi had the only unobstructed view when the lights, still in front of and below the airplane, began moving erratically,"like two bear cubs playing with each other," as the pilot later wrote in a statement for the Federal Aviation Administration. After several minutes, the lights suddenly darted in front of the 747, "shooting off lights" that lit the cockpit with a warm glow.
As the airplane passed over Eielson Air Force Base, near
Drawings by Captain Terauchi and the crew of JAL flight 1628 of the UFOs they observed over
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