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How This Airline Pilot’s UFO Sighting Led To A Bestselling Novel

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Ambush Audiobook Cover - How This Airline Pilot's UFO Sighting Led To A Bestselling Novel

Find out how this airline pilot’s UFO sighting led to a bestselling novel. Did you know I modeled the movements of the strange ship in the first scene of my bestselling sci-fi novel, Ambush, after the flight profile of a UFO I saw above Fort Hood, Texas? In this blog, I’ll lay out exactly what we saw and where. I’ll also tell you what it might have been and how that ties into my novel’s backstory.

This Airline Pilot’s UFO Sighting

I, along with several of my fellow Apache pilots, had the sighting on a dark, predawn morning. At the time, I was in First Cavalry Division’s 1-227th Aviation Regiment, and we had recently returned from the Middle East following Desert Storm. The sighting occurred about an hour before sunrise. We were doing stretching exercises in a parking lot along Fort Hood’s Motor Pool Road, preparing to start the morning’s PT (physical training). The eastern horizon hadn’t even begun to glow, and the moon had already set, so the sky was black, a cloudless, star-filled night.

We were seated in a semicircle oriented toward the base’s massive, live-fire impact area: a miles-wide no man’s land ringed by hundreds of firing ranges for everything from pistols to artillery cannons. The impact area was also where we performed live-fire exercises in our AH-64 Apache Attack Helicopters. Additionally—and this is highly germane to the significance of the sighting—military fighter jets regularly performed maneuvers over the impact area.

It all started when a fellow pilot peered up into the sky and asked, “What is that?” Following his gaze, we all looked up to see what he was talking about. Then we sat mesmerized for the next couple of minutes, watching a point in the sky cut a halting, zigzag pattern across the starfield. The object hung at an extremely high altitude. It glowed brightly, bathed in the light of a sun that hadn’t yet brightened the still-black eastern horizon. If not for its sporadic movements, I would have thought it a satellite of the variety you often see shortly before sunrise or after sunset. At the time, I recall thinking the thing must’ve been at an altitude of at least a hundred thousand feet. Having since flown jets at high altitude at the same time of night, I still believe that estimate accurate.

The object would hang motionlessly against the starfield for a moment and then dart across an appreciable swath of sky. Using Pythagorean theorem (A-squared + B-squared = C-squared), I’ve guesstimated those instantaneous jaunts as miles long. The only way I could describe the speed with which it moved would be to tell you to imagine that you shine the spot of a laser pointer at a wall across the room from you. Flick your wrist a few degrees and snap that red dot to another point on the wall, and you will see the kind of rapid, almost instantaneous movement that we saw the object executing.

After a couple of minutes, the apparent vehicle dropped to a lower altitude and passed out of the sun’s radiance. It disappeared. I exchanged silent looks with my fellow pilots, but none of us commented. Actually, we never spoke of it. Not then. Not later. I have no reason to believe that a report would have been received negatively, but as a military pilot with nothing less than my aviation career on the line, I figured why risk the possibility of being looked askance by a disapproving eye. I imagine it was the same for the others, but I don’t know. As I said, we never talked about it.

Anyone Else Seen Something Like This?

While I never discussed it then, I did, on occasion, discuss it with other pilots and individuals over the intervening years. Twice, I ran into highly intelligent, well-respected individuals who’d had similar sightings. One was the manager of an oil production facility in the Gulf of Mexico, and the other was a Canadian pilot I flew with in Africa. Both had seen a vehicle that moved exactly as I described above.

The oil company manager spoke of having seen an object silently hovering at treetop level. He approached to within a hundred yards of the thing before it darted away so fast its movement formed a blur across his vision. Then it was gone. He added that it had a ring of multicolored light filling the air around its equator (remember this part—there’s a tie-in later in the blog.)

The Canadian pilot’s sighting was not as close. His was more like mine except the movements he saw were even greater than what we witnessed above Fort Hood. He and I remain friends to this day. I’ll be posting a link to this blog on my Facebook Author Page, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he relates his sighting in the comments. 

What Was It?

I never jumped to aliens, and I still don’t believe that’s what we saw. Remember that thing I said about fighter jets above the impact area being germane to the story? Well, here it is. After some thought, I suspected not aliens but us, that the US government had developed a craft capable of maneuvering in a manner that violated physics as we know it. Either through assignment or habit, an Air Force pilot was testing a vehicle at high altitude above Fort Hood’s impact area, unaware that we could see it from ground level due to its being illuminated by the sun’s rays.

How Could Humanity Make That Technological Leap?

I wondered about that for some time. Then I read an article about an obscure German physicist, Burkhard Heim, who had introduced an alternative quantum theory, Heim’s Quantum Theory, or HQT, in the 1950s. He became an instant celebrity (in Germany) when he first presented his work. In the 1960s, Wernher von Braun, the famous German rocket scientist who fathered the United States’ rocket program, aka NASA, approached Heim about his work and asked whether his Saturn rockets were worthwhile.

How Does HQT Tie In?

Burkhard postulated that spinning an extremely powerful magnet in a sufficiently powerful electric field would generate an anti-gravity effect. He also thought it would emit light in the form of particles he called gravitophotons. (Remember the light emanating from the vehicle in the oil company manager’s sighting?) Additionally, Burkhard postulated that the anti-gravity bubble would isolate the vehicle’s inertia, giving the vessel and its occupants the ability to accelerate and stop instantaneously, without being crushed by G-forces. (Sound familiar?) For multiple reasons, his theory was never put to an experimental test. Primarily because the cost, scale, and technologies involved exceeded his abilities.

However, it wasn’t outside our government’s abilities. Here’s an excerpt from the Wikipedia page about Burkhard Heim:

“During the 1955 holiday week of Thanksgiving Day, the New York Herald Tribune, and The Miami Herald carried announcements about the completion of contractual arrangements between Burkhard Heim and Glenn L. Martin Company. Heim was to assist them with their gravity control propulsion project.”

If that name sounds familiar, it should. Glenn L. Martin Company is one of the entities that became Lockheed Martin. That’s the corporation that built practically every top-secret aircraft that ever graced a runway in the Air Force’s secret Groom Lake airbase, popularly known as Area Fifty-One.

How This Airline Pilot’s UFO Sighting Led To A Bestselling Novel

How does this former airline pilot’s UFO sighting tie into Ambush? What if Heim was right and if the scientists at Martin and Lockheed along with those in Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories tested his theory? What if the US Government already has a craft that flies using an HQT inspired drive? What if someone made all of this part of the backstory of his novel?

I’ve flown an additional 9000+ hours in helicopters and jets since that dark morning in 1992, but I never again saw anything move like that unidentified (to me) flying object. I still don’t know exactly what we saw in the sky above Fort Hood’s impact area. However, I think the scenario I put forth makes a good backstory for a fun, thought-provoking, science fiction tale.

You be the judge:

Ambush on Amazon

Ambush on Audible

Series Covers - How This Airline Pilot's UFO Sighting Led To A Bestselling Novel

PS: No, It Wasn’t The Autokinetic Effect.

A few people have suggested that we saw a visual illusion, the autokinetic effect. Also referred to as autokinesis, it’s a phenomenon of visual perception in which a stationary, small point of light in an otherwise dark or featureless environment appears to move, but I can tell you with certainty, this was not what we were experiencing. As military pilots, we were fully aware of this visual illusion. It can be particularly dangerous if you’re trying to land a helicopter at night by looking at a single point of light. It will appear to move around and trick you into thinking your aircraft is moving. We are trained to scan and find other points of reference to avoid this. In this case, the background stars were clearly visible. The point of light was moving against them in radical, instantaneous starts and stops.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2019 Dean Cole

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A Day in the Life – Africa Part 1

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The Author at Work in the Gulf of Guinea.

I’m often asked what it’s like to work, fly, and live in Africa. This telling of the story is an amalgamation of some of my African aviation and cultural experiences. Part 1 portrays the working part of our day, while Part 2 and beyond depicts our off time and the cultural experience that is sub-Saharan West Africa.

So, without further ado:

BEEP, BEEP, BEEP!

The beautiful blonde’s smile falters, Wait don’t go.

BEEP, BEEP, BEEP!

Reaching for her hand, I grasp only air, You’re fading away…

BEEP, BEEP, BEEP!

Ah crap, it was just a dream. A smile crosses my sleepy face. But what a beauty … it was a nice dream.

BEEP, BEEP, BEEP!

Groping in the dark, I find the source of the cacophony: my iPhone. Bleary eyed and squinting, I study its face.

4:20am … Ugggh.

Thus starts a typical African day.

Resolved to begin another of my forty-two straight work days, yet not quite ready to leave the warm cocoon of my bed, I check in on a couple of my social media sites. (Love my iPhone; it’s like a miniature laptop without all the fuss.)

4:20am here equates to 10:40pm in the Central Time Zone. Various friends are wishing each other good night. I throw out a few goodnights/mornings.

Fully awake I slide from under the covers into the air-conditioned room’s chilly air. Proud of my manhood, yet concerned the effects of cold-induced shrinkage might become permanent, I quickly wrap a towel around myself, grab my shaving kit, and head for the warmer climes of my bathroom.

Thirty minutes later—showered, shaved, and dressed—we head to work. On this contract, we fly our helicopters out of Malabo’s Santa Isabel Airport.

It’s Saturday, we only have one flight today. Scheduled for a six AM departure, the total round trip should take less than an hour. One of us handles the flight planning while the other does all the day’s flying. We share the load and take turns, either flying or doing the radio/paperwork thing on an every other day basis.

Today it’s my turn to fly. (Beats working for a living.)

Flightplan filed, passengers loaded, and engines started, we receive our movement clearance. As I taxi to the active runway, the non-flying pilot reads off the checklist. I confirm the items and reply in the affirmative.

Centered on the runway, checklists complete, and in position, we receive our takeoff clearance. Announcing ‘Lifting,’ I bring the fourteen-seat helicopter to a low, stationary hover, and after a final check of the instruments and flight controls, tilt the helicopter forward, increase power, and accelerate down the runway. In seconds, we accelerate through 100mph as we climb at 800 feet per minute. Crossing three hundred feet AGL (Above Ground Level), we retract the gear, turn on course, and continue our climb to 2000 feet.

Early Morning in the Gulf of Guinea Oil Patch.

Completing all required radio calls, we navigate to the rigs, land, unload arriving passengers, and load the returning passengers. Departure checks and procedures complete, we begin our return trip to planet earth (or at least the small chunk of it known as Equatorial Guinea’s Bioko Island). En route we spot something vaguely reminiscent of a life raft—low in the water, its white edges surround central dark protrusions.

Dropping to a lower altitude, we turn to intercept and identify the object. At closer range, it hasn’t resolved. Then we spot an identifiable feature. A huge, surreal tailfin is dangling from one end of the mass. Bleached white by the sun and salt, the whale’s bloated skin and blubber are bobbing like a Styrofoam cork. The dark shapes protruding from its center are ribs and decaying entrails. A huge shark dines on the fetid feast. We see pods of whales all the time; however, this is the first dead one for us. Firm in the knowledge that, save a Joana-want-to-be, there are no sailors waiting for rescue, we turn toward the airport.

Onboard radar shows a significant line of showers approaching the airport from the opposite direction. Ordered to hold for landing traffic we orbit two miles north of the airport. This affords us the opportunity to watch as a lifting ship floats a GIANT drilling rig on its cargo deck.

USS Cole Aboard Lifting Ship.

For scale, it’s the same class and size of the pictured vessel that brought back the USS Cole after it was bombed in Yemen.

Finally cleared, and with the impressive monsoon bearing down on us, we land mid-field, abeam our hangar, and taxi the short distance to our refueling point. As we complete our shutdown, the plane that delayed our arrival taxis past. It’s an Antonov AN-124, the world’s second biggest airplane.

World's Second Largest Airplane in Malabo.

For Scale, Here's a NASA File Photo of an AN-125.

Our passengers and cargo are unloaded, and the aircraft is refueled.

With the storm bearing down on us, the maintenance crew moves the helicopter into the hangar. The black clouds are ready to make their contribution to Bioko Island’s annual 300+ inches of rain.

Taking shelter from the downpour, we complete the paperwork, (the work is not complete until the paperwork is). Loading into the company bus, we head back to the compound.

7:30am and the day’s work is complete. This doesn’t happen often, but I’ll take it when it does. I regularly joke that I don’t work for a living. And if it wasn’t for the ever-present danger of malaria, military coups, internment in a third world prison for taking pictures (it has happened), and the(remote) potential to contract a parasite that takes six years of treatment to rid … this would be a cake job.

But I digress.

Where was I? Oh, on the way to the compound we spot a small Isuzu pickup with twelve Chinese laborers in its bed. Equatorial Guinea’s oil production has led to rapid growth and significant improvements in infrastructure. Chinese contractors do Ninety-five percent of the related construction. Ex-Soviet Ukrainian troops and Air Forces in Russian equipment provide military security. Thus I am surrounded by Chinese workers while sharing airspace and ramp-space with ex-Soviet troops and airmen in uniforms and equipment that, two short decades ago, I’d only seen in grainy black & white photos (presumably snuck out of the USSR by Cold War era spies) … who’d a thunk it.

Back at the compound, a few of us decide to head to the Sofitel Resort on the island’s northeast corner. It’s time for some spearfishing and jet skiing.

However, I’ll save that for Part 2.Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2012 Dean Cole

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