Peter Sturrock is an emeritus professor of applied physics at Stanford University and one of the very few scientists who has publicly expressed a great deal of interest in UFOs and acted on that interest by twice surveying colleagues on the subject which resulted in some very surprising findings. He is also unambiguous on one particular category of UFO evidence which he happens to know a little bit about . . . . radar reports.
“Yes – radar is physical evidence,” Sturrock stated in an email exchange he was generous enough to grant me.
Professor Sturrock’s involvement with radar dates back to World War II. While studying mathematics at Cambridge University, he interrupted his studies to help in the war effort and joined the Telecommunications Research Establishment in 1942, now known as the Royal Radar Establishment, where he helped develop radar systems.
Skeptics commenting on the UFO phenomenon often claim that a major problem with UFOs is the only evidence are witness sightings, claim they are unreliable and cite a lack of physical evidence. While that is often the case, there are notable exceptions where physical evidence does exist in the form of radar reports and they corroborate the accounts of multiple credible witnesses. There have been a number of famous UFO cases that have involved radar reports and two of the most famous contemporary incidents are the JAL Alaska case from 1986 and the Stephenville, Texas sightings of 2008.
On November 17, 1986, a Japan Air Lines 747 cargo jet, piloted by Captain Kenju Terauchi, was flying westward near Mt. McKinley when he spotted a UFO. “Then there was a kind of reverse thrust, and the lights became dazzlingly bright. Our cockpit lit up. The thing was flying as if there was no such thing as gravity. It sped up, then stopped, then flew at our speed, in our direction, so that to us it looked like it was standing still. The next instant it changed course. There’s no way a jumbo could fly like that. If we tried, it’d break apart in mid-air. In other words, the flying object had overcome gravity,” Terauchi said.
Terauchi and his crew had the sighting but John Callahan, the FAA Division Chief of the Accidents and Investigations branch, had the data. The radar report covered more than a half hour. Callahan states in the following video interview, “As far as I’m concerned, I saw a UFO chase a Japanese 747 across the sky for over half an hour on radar.”
He goes on to say that members of President Reagan’s Scientific Study Team, the FBI and the CIA he met with about the incident expressed excitement at the data.
The Stephenville, Texas case of January 2008 featured dozens of residents of the Texas town and its’ surroundings sighting UFOs. Some reported aircraft the size of a football field and larger.
Freedom Of Information Act requests were quickly sent to the FAA, National Weather Service and local Air Force bases by radar expert Glen Schulze and Robert Powell, MUFON Director of Research, seeking radar data for January 8.
In their summary, Schulze and Powell wrote, “The enormous size of the object, its’ complete silence and its’ ability to travel at high rates of speed and to also remain stationary or travel at slow speeds is not explained by any known aircraft. Based on approximate distance of the object and witness descriptions of degrees of sky covered by the object indicated an object closer to 1000 feet in size. Twice, radar picked up an unknown object flying at 1900-2100 mph.”
They discussed their findings in the CNN interview below and the full radar report is available at this link.