National UFO Reporting Center Case Brief
March 11, 1999
Commercial Flight Crew Reports Being Burned by  “Surge of Green Light”

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Early Friday morning, March 12, 1999, Art Bell, host of the late night radio program, “Coast to Coast,” reported on his program having just received a fax from an individual who identified himself as a crew member of a commercial airliner.  In his message, the unidentified individual asserted that both he and another member of the cockpit crew had experienced a burning sensation of the skin on their faces shortly after having witnessed a peculiar green light in proximity to their aircraft at approximately 2100 hrs. (CST) on Thursday night, March 11, 1999.  At the time of the incident, the aircraft was in the northern mid-western United States.

On Saturday morning, March 13, The National UFO Reporting Center received a written report, apparently from the same individual, which details the events of the alleged incident.  This summary is based on the contents of that written report.

Note:  All personal and professional information regarding the individuals involved in the reported incident is deleted here.  This practice is in keeping with the policy of anonymity that the National UFO Reporting Center adheres to, and also in response the crew members’ request to remain anonymous and unidentifiable.  For simplicity sake, the individual is referred to here as “he.”

SUMMARY:  The individual described in his report the fact that both crew members of the airliner had been witnessing an “intense” display of the Northern Lights as they were descending for landing at a major metropolitan airport in the northern mid-western United States.  The person adds that he had witnessed the Northern Lights on many occasions during his 10+ years of flying, so he was not paying a great deal of attention to the display.  However, he comments that the display on the night of March 11 was of such intensity that it appeared to “stretch above and over the aircraft,” and that the dramatic colors of the display—green, red, and blue—were  reflected off the metallic surface of the aircraft.

The crew member then describes how both he and the other member of the cockpit crew were witness to a short-lived “pulse of green light,” which appeared to be “concentrated in a green ‘ball’,” and which approached their aircraft from the north, apparently at a very rapid velocity.

Immediately following the event, all members of the cockpit crew began to experience an sensation on their faces, as if they had been “burnt by the sun.”  They reported this sensation to each other, at which point the crew immediately requested clearance to divert to a different altitude.

After the aircraft passed through a thin layer of overcast, the sensation of burning that the crew members had experienced seemed to them to disappear immediately.  However, on the next day, the author of the report noticed that the skin on his face was “red and sore.” The individual reports that he has made arrangements to see a physician about the skin condition.  Also, he requested assistance in investigating the case.

The alleged incident occurred approximately 1-2 hours prior to a number of seemingly credible, and rather dramatic, UFO sighting reports were received from the states of Illinois and Ohio.  (Please see related posting.)