Location: Pacific Ocean (in flight), , Pacific Ocean
Reported: 2007-08-23 00:00:00 Pacific
Posted: 2022-12-22 00:00:00
The second sighting I would like to mention was related by my flight examiner navigator, then a Captain, later a Major, named Jordan W. Grant. We called him "Pappy Grant" and he was probably in his forties at the time.
On December 5, 1962, I was given a line check from Pappy, again to Rhein Main.
During our two-day crew rest in Germany, we had several meals together and at one of them, Pappy related the following story.
It was during a mission in over the Pacific and Pappy was navigating. It was daylight and Pappy had the LORAN set on as well as the radar (which was always on when it was working correctly). Suddenly the display on the LORAN scope and the display on the radar scope shrunk, leaving only a dot in the middle of each scope. The compasses began to gyrate wildly.
Pappy stuck his head into the cockpit and found the pilots gibbering incoherently and looking fearfully back as best they could from their side windows. Pappy asked what had happened. Finally, they calmed down enough to tell him. One told him that a flaming red ball had just nearly hit them head-on and that he was afraid that it might return. The second said the same thing but claimed that there were four balls instead of just one. The ball or balls had been at the same altitude as the airplane and flying straight and level.
Eventually, the radar, the LORAN set, and the compasses returned to normal.
Chances are Pappy is no longer alive. He had a master's degree in marine biology and worked on his own blueberry farm with his wife between missions. He would eat two large steaks whenever he could and enjoyed good food perhaps more than he should have. If you have any suggestions on how to find either John or Pappy, please let me know. A search on line might help. Pappy was more than just a flight examiner with a higher rank than most of us. He was a valuable friend to us all.
Witness elects to remain totally anonymous; provides no contact information. PD
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