Wednesday, January 12, 2011


On November 17, 1986, a Japanese crew of  JAL (Japan Airlines) cargo jumbo freighter aircraft encountered three unidentified objects while flying over Alaska.  The Boeing 747 cargo aircraft was on a routine flight from Paris to Tokyo cruising at 966 km/h (600MPH) at an altitude of 10 600 m (35,000 ft).

The plane was heading towards Anchorage, Alaska to re-fuel when at 5:11pm Captain Kenji Terauchi reported seeing three large objects flying below. He described the largest as resembling a shelled walnut. Captain Terauchi further described the largest craft as twice the size of an aircraft carrier. After several minutes observing the unidentified objects, the crew noticed that they matched the speed of the freighter plane and began trailing behind.

Japan Air Lines Flight 1628 Incident

My dad used to tell me a UFO story when he was still alive. I was too young to recall the exact details, but he said we spotted an orange metallic object hovering over the sky.

You see, our old house had a big opening that leads to the neighbors' rooftops. We leave the huge window open at night to take advantage of the breeze. Then it just happened one evening: an unknown object in stationary flight appeared.

We knew it was a UFO after it was reported in the tabloids the next day. Records of the news article may have all been gone, but the personal account remains.

It has shaped my being.

Several years after the strange encounter with the mysterious aircraft, a UFO craze hit Manila. I remember those wall posters announcing the coming Rapture; Roy Alvarez and his TV appearances; Commander Ishtar and his armada of spaceships as big as the Araneta Coliseum; the "classified" documents my dad had obtained from local "ufologists."

When the fad died out, I turned my attention to science, space operas and strategy games to fuel my fascination: Star Trek, Babylon 5, Battlestar Galactica, Carl Sagan, Master of Orion, Galactic Empires, Homeworld. My nerdy existence was driven by this thought; this mere ponder about our place in the sun in hopes of getting a piece of the answer.

But until now, I still ask:

Are we alone in the universe?

Strange as it is, but in a time when everyone has access to digital images, earth-like planets being discovered in distant stars, and microbes thriving in nearby planets, the age-old question remains.

Within a few months after these events Captain Terauchi was grounded, apparently for his indiscretion of reporting a UFO, even though he was a senior captain with an excellent flying record. Several years later he was reinstated. The UFOs in this case were tracked on both ground and airborne radar, witnessed by experienced airline pilots, and confirmed by an FAA Division Chief.

However, for unknown reasons, the FAA did not pursue the case.


tim said...

The question is intolerable. We don't know if we lived alone, well, if you asked me about ghost, bible can tell the real story about that, they exists, since God cast them here on earth. About those UFO's i don't know, but if they exists, i know not in our planet, it would be in the universe.

Carlo said...

i always wondered if there really is an existence of another solar system same as ours.

Anonymous said...

I read an news article that the US is fighting this UFO/extraterrestrial phenomenon since '94 at the Southern Arctic.

And that UN had come up with an arm to handle such event (kaka-discuss lang ni prof kanina sa class. haha)

well, for me, its better to think that there are aliens. its more practical. look at your surroundings.


Anonymous said...

t'pol, you are such a geek!

- 7of9

James - M.I. said...

For me, the logic is simple.

If we are living and surviving here on planet earth. There must be some other terrestrial beings living and thriving on some other planets.

Who knows, we might have some visitors already.

Kawawa naman si Japanese pilot. Buti na reinstate. :)

hard2getxxx said...

dati may nakita akong UFO pero yun pala eh skylantern lang pala

pero sa tingin ko meron talagang aliens

Sean said...

i'm a believer. lumaki kasi ako sa star trek, v, x-files at kung anu-ano pa.

Blakrabit said...

We are of peace. Always.