Airline Pilot Sees Object Over Lake Michigan
Date: July 4, 1981
Location: South central Lake Michigan
On a clear day in 1981, Captain Schultz was piloting TWA flight 842 from San Francisco to John F. Kennedy Airport over Lake Michigan.
In his written report, he described seeing a large, round, silver metal object, with six jet black portholes equally spaced around the circumference, which descended into the atmosphere from above. Expecting a mid air collision, Schultz and his first officer braced themselves for an impact. The object suddenly made a high speed turn near the aircraft and departed.
Schultz did not inform TWA about the incident, but instead filled out a detailed report for a NARCAP investigator. He also invited the same investigator into the cockpit of his airplane while on the ground, and reconstructed the event there to assure accuracy. The investigator made a sketch of the event to Schultz's specifications, drawn to scale. With extensive jet combat experience in the Korean War and afterward, Captain Schultz had never believed in UFOs. But he stated at the time: We have nothing that can do what that object did.
NARCAP investigators story:
Captain Phil Schultz, 54, was flying TWA flight 842 from San Francisco to John F. Kennedy Airport, New York, on autopilot control, and was at cruise altitude Flight Level 37,000' at 280 kts airspeed, 540 kts. ground speed, in an L-1011 heavy jet. The sky was generally clear over Lake Michigan with a high, thin layer of cirrus over much of the southern part of the lake and some scattered mid level clouds at about 10,000'. The sun was still high in the sky 41° above the horizon, and behind the aircraft. Then the high altitude encounter happened.
In the captain’s own words: A large, round, silver, metal object descended into the atmosphere from above and to the left of my airplane to about 40,000' overhead and passed off to my left.
After an extensive reconstruction of this event in the cockpit of his aircraft, I was able to ascertain many more important facts about this event:
(1) The object traveled very smoothly during the five or six second-long encounter.
(2) The UAP was about 2.5 times wider than thick with six jet black perfect circles, portholes, aligned and equal spaced around its circumference. Centered on the bottom surface of the circular disk was a single, jet black circle.
(3) The UAP traveled along an approximately parabolic course and performed a high speed turn, calculated to be approximately 20 g, relatively near the aircraft before departing in a gradual climb to the north and leaving a darkish wavy trail behind in the sky.
(4) Its approach and departure speed was calculated to be about 1,000 m.p.h.
(5) No shock wave or turbulence was felt at any time. Capt. Schultz remembered seeing a fan shaped region extending outward from behind the object which was of a much darker blue than the rest of the sky.
(6) The aircraft’s autopilot remained coupled throughout the encounter and no E-M effects were noticed.
(7) The FO saw approximately the final two-thirds of the event but the FE did not see anything due to his position in the rear of the cabin.
(8) When Captain Schultz called Chicago Center to ask about other possible traffic in the area, he was told there was none. He did not report what they had just seen.
(9) Before this sighting, Capt. Schultz did not believe in UFO at all. His extensive jet combat experience during the Korean War and afterward had left him with the strongly held belief that such objects simply do not exist. This encounter instantly changed his view and, when I asked him what he thought the object was, he quickly replied.
(10) Both pilots were very concerned about a mid air collision and began to brace themselves for an impact. Other technical details must be omitted due to space limitations.