Come Fly With Me!

December 10, 2010 | By | Add a Comment

Come fly with me, let’s fly, let’s fly away….

This week I had the opportunity to, “Take the Controls” and actually fly a small aircraft. Springs Aviation of Colorado Springs ( offers a Discovery Flight program. This program is designed for students who wish to start flying or for the curious who are deciding if flying is right for them. Spending an hour in the air, I pretty much flew the plane outside of the take-off and landing. My instructor Tom Mace, who’s been flying since he was a teenager, is an awesome instructor. After take-off and when we got to altitude, Tom basically gave me the controls and the plane was all mine. Well… not when I took this picture. This lesson enabled me to ascend, descend, pull 180’s, fly “S” curve maneuvers, and learn the mechanics of the plane. If I decide to continue my training, this flight is considered my first lesson and will be counted towards flight hours needed to complete the full training. And yes, I respect more than ever now, pilots and especially those who are reading this blog. There is a lot to do when you’re flying, scanning the instruments while scanning the sky, it was really tough, yet Awesome!

The plane of choice? A Cessna 172R with 180 Horsepower. This fixed wing craft sports an IFR, GPS, and Autopilot. Uh… we didn’t need to use the Autopilot function. The take-off was just a “point and shoot”. Rolling down the runway as we picked up speed, the plane just lifted off the ground. Yea, I know pilots reading this are laughing, but I was amazed at how easily the plane became air-born. Once in the air, it was one hand on the steering yoke, one hand on the throttle, feet on the rudder pedals, and eyes scanning everywhere. The slightest movement of the yoke started us into a turn, the slightest pedal movement changed the yaw of the plane’s vertical axis and the slightest push/pull movement of the throttle could increase or decrease our altitude. Lot’s to learn, too much for one lesson, but enough to catch the bug.

So why would a UFO investigator have the urge to be interested about flying? Well… There have been thousands of UFO sightings reported by pilots throughout history. From the Foo Fighters during World War II, to the 2006 Chicago O’Hare International Airport sighting, to the recently 2010 July 7th sighting over Xiaoshan airport in Hangzhou, China. I need to familiarize myself more with the fundamentals of flight, to better understand cases as of these. And it’s also something I’ve always wanted to do.

So what about the many cases in which pilots have seen unknown objects? The multiple sightings throughout World War II by experienced military airmen have always fascinated me. So I’ll touch on the famous “Foo Fighters” of the 1940’s.

This image is said to have been taken in 1942 over the sea of Japan. An Imperial Japanese Sally bomber was approached by a small dark spherical object which flew around and between the aircraft in the formation. An alert gun-cameraman snapped one photograph. This is a picture of an actual “Foo Fighter”.

Around late 1944, American and German pilots flying over Germany at night reported seeing fast moving orb-like objects following their aircraft. These lights were described as flaming-like glowing balls emitting colors of orange, white, and even red. Some sources say the term “Foo Fighters’ was borrowed from Bill Holman’s Smokey Stover comic strip by a radar operator in the 415th Night Fighter Squadron. The cartoon strip consisted of what he called, “foo” signs and puns. By the mid 1940’s the term “Foo Fighter” was used by various military radar operators describing the strange orb-like sightings.

The U.S., the Germans and even the Japanese took these sightings very serious. Each military thought they could be some form of a secret weapon which was gathering strategic information. To my knowledge no aircraft was ever downed by a Foo Fighter, they basically just shadowed the military planes. They could never be out maneuvered and could never be shot down. Some pilots who saw them numerous times even welcomed their presence as some form of an unknown protection. Skeptics and debunkers described the sightings as forms of ball lighting or electro-static balls of energy. The pilots knew different and were never convinced otherwise.

Today, pilots still have unusual sightings, from balls of light, to triangular craft, to extremely large cigar shaped craft dubbed “Mother Ships”. Some pilots report them and some don’t due to ridicule or military orders.

As an investigator I’ve had pilots tell me their sighting stories while asking that their names not be disclosed. Some pilots will report their sightings to various UFO groups asking for help. As an investigator I want to experience the environment in which pilots see these craft, so I can better understand what they saw. It’s just not the same when you’re sitting as a passenger in a large commercial jet and have a sighting. Without pilot experience being able to identify known craft they’re familiar with, we can only guess most passenger sightings are of actual known craft. The majority of passenger sightings I’ve investigated, don’t hold enough water to pursue. Given by people with no aeronautical experience, most objects they see in flight could merely be other aircraft of various types doing some type of maneuvering. Don’t agree?

Take your cell phone and hold it at arms length using your thumb and forefinger. Rotate the phone around in different directions and notice how the phone appears rectangular, square, thin, and even triangular. The same illusion occurs with aircraft ascending or descending in a turn. You’re moving at x miles per hour, and it’s moving at y miles per hour so it appears as an unknown.

If an object appears to be stationary, it’s usually because it’s another plane off in the distance within your same flight path. The object getting larger or smaller will indicate it’s moving towards or away from you. If you see an object flash by you in a streak, then it’s most likely another plane passing you. Think about traveling on a two lane highway with two cars passing in different directions at 70 mph. He’s a blur to you, and you’re a blur to him.

I don’t want to indicate to the readers that I think all sightings from passengers of commercial aircraft are explainable, it’s just that they’re extremely hard to investigate. And if the witness reporting the sighting has no aeronautical experience, then that makes the sighting less plausible. Photos taken by passengers must be examined by “non biased” experienced pilots before any assessment can be made. Anyone who makes claims without proper examination would be considered fraudulent until examination by experience individuals can be accomplished.

My decision to study and experience flight from a pilot’s point of view, enables me to better help eye witnesses with their aerial sightings. Contacts I make give me the opportunity to share testimonials and photographs with very experienced pilots which will help determine if the sightings are really unknowns. This is just another step an investigator needs to achieve to enable them to make the proper judgement calls.

Outside of the UFO arena, I recommend anyone reading this post who has the opportunity to take an Intro or Discovery flight, to definitely pursue it. If opportunity never arises, take the initiative and look for it. Contact your local airport and ask for flight school information. Even if you never want to take the controls of the airplane and decide never to pursue further training, you’ll at least be able to describe the experience not as a by-stander but first hand. And if that’s the case, then just check that one off your bucket list, right next to riding a Harley to Sturgis.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Category: Chuck Zukowski, The Z-Files

About the Author ()

For the past 28 years Chuck has been researching and investigating the UFO/Paranormal phenomenon. Chuck approaches his investigations with an analytical understanding, making sure to address all human known possibilities before venturing into the non-human or paranormal aspects of the sightings. (TV Shows in which Chuck's investigations have been featured on:) *2002, The Roswell Crash, Startling New Evidence: Documentary Sci-Fi Channel *2006, Sci Fi Investigates: Episode 5, The Roswell episode, Sci-Fi Channel *2009, Primetime: Outsiders, with Juju Chang, Alien Abductions, NBC *2010, SyFy Fact or Faked: Episode 6, San Luis Cattle Mutilation, SyFy Channel *2011, Chasing UFO’s, Episode 3, Alien Cowboys, San Luis Cattle Mutilation, Nat Geo *2013, Finding Bigfoot, Bailey Colorado episode, Animal Planet

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: