|Occurred : 6/1/1989 04:55 (Entered as : 1989 04:55)
Reported: 10/19/2009 7:01:39 PM 19:01
Location: Mansfield, OH
|Fast, small, round low level ATC tower fly over.
USAF, retired Major,Master Navigator Instructor C-130, FAA Air Traffic Control Instructor Radar and Tower.
As I was opening the tower at the MFD Airport, I turned on the Brite screen, (tower radar). I saw a round blip on the outside ring, (15 miles), heading directly to the airport.
We were closed for another 5 minutes so I just kept doing my opening checklist. I kept an eye on the target occasionally because in a few minutes I figured I may be talking to him. Primary target only, but the target was exceptionally large.
Visibility was unlimited and no cloud cover. I expected to see some lights and here the pilot transmit on the common freq with closed tower procedures. I glanced again and the the target was moving fast, so it got my attention. I saw it the last time on the 5 mile range ring then I saw a round ball, no lights, unable on color zoom low level directly over the tower. Unsure on altitude but it caused me to reflexively duck, so low very low. I thought at first it went through the tower over my head. But I realized that was not possible, I think it's speed and low altitude caused this feeling.
Size, very small, smaller then an airplane. Hard to estimate, dark, fast no lights, no noise. I would say a little larger than a beach ball. Maybe smaller though.
Long time ago, I never reported this to anyone. Hope this helps with your investigations. Below I checked other aircraft in vicinity, these aircraft were all buttoned up on the flight line. No airborn aircraft in vicinity.
Only other guy awake that time of the day at Mansfield Airport is the radar guy, he saw the target, but I did not discuss the incident with him.
((NUFORC Note: Witness indicates that date is approximate. PD))