Two Korean Air Force combat jets evidently engaged an Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) in 1980, according to a documentary program aired on JTBC on Sunday.
The incident was reported to top commanding officers of the Korean Air Force at the time, but they decided not to investigate the matter as it was not within their area of expertise. According to the documentary, Lim Byeong-seon, a reserve Major General and a former Korean Air Force pilot, was flying a combat aircraft for a Korea-U.S. combined military exercise named Team Spirit on March 31, 1980. Korea at the time was in distress after a military coup had taken place on Dec. 12, 1979. Lim was flying at night with three other pilots to Gangneung, Gangwon, where the combined exercise was taking place, when they detected a floating object that was not picked up by their radars.
Lim reported that “an unidentifiable object is coming towards us,” and in response, the ground air controller ordered Lim to pursue the object. As ordered, Lim started pursuing the object but when his aircraft blocked its path, the object stopped and vertically ascended to an altitude of 33,000 feet. The two pilots observed the object floating at 33,000 feet while circling it at a distance of about 200 meters (656 feet).
The object had a rounded appearance with bright lights and was as big as three combat aircraft combined. Soon after, the object vanished from the pilots’ visibility. Some have taken to calling the event the “Korean Roswell UFO incident,” after a case in 1947 in which a UFO allegedly crashed near the small town of Roswell in New Mexico. The documentary also revealed UFO data from the Korean War that lists multiple sightings of unidentifiable aerial objects over the Korean Peninsula.
There are 42 cases related to UFO sightings reported by pilots, sailors, servicemen and radar operators during the Korean War. Dr.
Richard Haines, a research scientist, also claimed that three American servicemen during the Korean War were sick with various symptoms after witnessing strange aerial vehicle in the vicinity of Cheorwon County, Gangwon.
JTBC’s documentary concluded that UFOs have been frequently sighted during wars or when societies were unstable. It also cited Hillary Clinton’s interest in the matter and her half-joking remark, made on a talk show in March, that she will reveal the truth behind UFOs when she is elected as the president.