|Occurred : 7/23/1998 22:30 (Entered as : 07/23/98 22:30)
Reported: 3/6/2000 08:48
Location: Fort Smith (about 20 miles SW), AR
|My instructor pilot and I were coming back from Bentonville AR I had just taken my instrument check ride. We had somehow lost all of the fuel out of our left tank so we landed at Ft Smith to get some more fuel.When we left we were talking to Razorback approach control. We saw five lights lined up at about our one o'clock position and they appeared to be headed right at us. I though that they were military hellicopters because the lights were very bright and we could not see any Nav lights. So I inquired about the traffic with razorback approach and they told me that the only aircraft within 20 miles was a B727 at FL200. I told him that I didn't know what it was but there were 5 aircraft that were in formation headed right at us. Immediately after I had said this the aircraft either made a sharp turn or turned off their lights because the lights just faded out and were gone. Well me and my instructor just looked at each other hummed a verse of the Twilight Zone and kind of laughed it off. I didn't think anything of it untill the tape of the Art Bell show was passed around our specialty at work. You see I am an Air Traffic Controller on the same specialty with Joe and Mike, the ones who were on the show and the controller working the position when the airline pilot reported 3 lights that he thought were at FL500 or higher. The difference was that I was in a PA28-181 at about 6000 ft when I saw five of these objects. I thought that my report might help to substantiate their report and I was amazed at how similiar the details were even though the altitudes are very different.
I was able to fit it all in the summary. If you have any further questions feel free to contact me.