Pilot UFO sightings have been a constant in the world of UFOlogy ever since the sighting in 1947, that started the public fascination with the subject, by Kenneth Arnold, who was flying in his own plane near Mount Rainier in Washington State. Even though these are often single witness sightings, researchers generally take them seriously, as pilots, especially a commercial pilots, risk their reputations and continued employment by coming forward. But, what about airplane passengers? In the case of passenger sightings, you often have multiple witnesses, or at least one witness that can corroborate the pilot report.
An instance where a passenger witness came forward to back up a pilot report occurred in 1948 in the case of the classic Chiles-Whitted UFO encounter. On July 24, 1948, pilot Clarence Chiles and co-pilot John Whitted, were flying a DC-3 over Alabama. At about 2:45 a.m., Chiles spotted a red glow up ahead and brought Whitted’s attention to what he assumed was an Army jet. It closed in on the DC-3 quickly, shot past the right side of the plane, and then, with a burst of flame coming out of its rear, climbed up into the clouds. The pilots reported that the object was torpedo-shaped, had no wings, was 100 feet long, and 25 to 30 feet in diameter. Passenger Clarence L. McKelvie added to the credibility of the sighting by reporting that he saw a bright light streak by his window at that time. He later appeared in the documentary,“UFOs: It Has Begun,”(A 1976 and 1979 re-release of the 1974 documentary “UFOs: Past, Present, and Future.”) and there he says he spoke with one of the pilots and his description matches theirs.Read more