By Donald R. Todd
Walt Hammel (pseudonym) aged 48, is a TWA pilot (or was!). After a previous encounter reported to the FAA and upon ensuing company and other authoritative Harassment, has sworn never to report another UFO encounter. Fortunately he has confidence in my confidentiality and discretion.
Thursday December 22, 1977, 11:40 p.m. Captain Walt Hammel and Lt. Slim Dickson flew out of Boston's Logan International Airport. (Both names are pseudonyms)
At 4:45 p.m. Friday December 23, 1977, Captain Hammel called me to report a UFO close encounter and that he wanted to talk it out. At 5:30 p.m. Capt. Hammel and I met at the Pagoda Chinese Restaurant in North Kingstown, Rhode Island and Capt. Hammel narrated the following:
"We were out about six hundred miles over the Atlantic at 21,000 feet heading in to Logan. The weather was clear except for some widely scattered clouds beneath us. It was 11:40 p.m. and I had a guy by the name of Slim Dickson as co-pilot. We had just been having a cup of coffee and Slim had set his cup on the panel next to his right elbow. As he put the cup down, he glanced out to what would be between One and Two o'clock, and suddenly he grabs me by the arm.
"Reflexively I swiveled my head to look at him and caught this dazzle of twinkling lights coming at us from the starboard side, just ahead, and appearing maybe about fifty feet below. Instantly Slim and I realized that whatever the thing was, it was moving in a hurry, that it was entirely too close, and appeared to be about to cross in front of, or about to collide with us. And it was huge!
"I slammed on some power, hauled the nose up and prayed we'd go over the top of that thing. Just as we started to climb, this thing swept straight up, did an impossible right angle turn and begins to pace us. I don't see how ANYTHING could have executed a maneuver like that -- I mean almost a simultaneous two-directional turn -- up and to the right, not to mention coming to damned near a dead stop!
"We couldn't detect any sound, see any prop or jet wash, nor see any exhaust. It just kept flashing a lot of lights around the middle. Once we leveled off again, the thing stayed just ahead of us off to our right and we had a chance to observe it. We couldn't see any hard outline or shape to it but, you could tell it was circular because of the lights.
"The lights were mostly white." Here Walt Hammel grinned. "This is going to make you laugh and sound nutty as hell. But do you know what it reminded me of? It reminded me of an Oreo cookie." Hammel put his hands together in a circle. "There was a red blinking light on top of the thing with all of those twinkling, silvery-white lights on around the middle. In other words, there was darkness between the red light on top and the white lights around the middle, and then darkness below the lights again.
"A little later the thing rose up and there was another red blinking light on the bottom of it. So with the dark on top and the bottom, and the silver white lights in the middle, it just reminded me of an Oreo cookie."
"It looked as if about every dozen or so lights around the middle, there was a reddish-purple one, an in between THEM, there was a blue one. But they were all blinking off and on intermittently.
"I don't mind telling you I was nervous as hell, and Slim, he was chalk white and scared stiff. It suddenly occurred to me.... what if the passengers are watching that thing? What am I going to tell them? I didn't want panic back there, so I buzzed the stewardess. When she came on the phone I asked her how things were back there? She answered, "Okay, why?" I said, "Oh, nothing. Just checking." I figured as long as she hadn't made any mention of the thing out there, then evidently none of the passengers had spotted it. The object may just have been far enough forward to be out of their sight line.
"Now comes the wacky part of the whole thing. While we were watching the UFO, suddenly this other glowing thing drops out from underneath it. The damned thing drops out from underneath it. The damned thing looked like a neon-green smoke ring. It dropped away from the larger UFO down toward the water... and submerged! We saw the glowing green circle of water where it went in, and then the glow disappeared!
"Seconds later, two more green rings dropped out. The second one dropped away and submerged like the first one, but the third one dropped down and then shot straight ahead to disappear toward the coast.
"It was hard to tell sizes but, afterward over a couple of beers, Slim and I finally came to the conclusion that the BIG one must have been all of a hundred feet across, or maybe even more. By comparison, the smaller ones looked like they might have been twenty feet across.
"I guess the big UFO paces us for about twenty minutes, then all of a sudden the lights around the middle began going out in clusters -- not in banks of say, six or eight in a row, but six or eight separate individual lights at the same time, like someone inside was throwing switches. The top and bottom blinking red lights went out too with only scattered blue lights around the middle still blinking.
"As our eyes became accustomed in the dark again, we could faintly see the silhouette of... like two inverted shallow soup bowls put together. Then very faintly just above the mid-lateral line, we could see a soft subdued green glow emanating from what appeared to be trapezoidal shaped windows... you know...wider at the bottom than at the top.
"Just about the time our eyes got focused on the windows, the thing assumed an overall bluish corona. Then it took off straight ahead like a cut cat (!), leaving nothing in front of us but a blue streak in the sky. It was positively the damnedest thing I've ever seen. When we finally came in to Logan, we must have hit the runway half a dozen times I was so damned nervous."
This an old case from APRO's files but a good one. Many of you have never heard about it. Just as good today as way back then!