Published: 9:12 AM 9/14/2010
In the chapter he wrote for “UFOs,” Airline Captain Júlio Miguel Guerra relives his lengthy encounter with a highly active UFO while serving as a flight instructor for the Portuguese Air Force in 1982.
He writes: “At various times the object had been very close to me and I was able to verify that it was round with two halves shaped like two tight-fitting skullcaps. I carefully looked at the lower one, which seemed to be somewhere between red and brown with a hole or dark spot in the center.
"The center band looked like it had some kind of a grid, and possibly a few lights, but it was hard to tell since the sun was so bright and was reflected.”
The object circled his small airplane for 15 minutes while he was alone in the sky, in his DHC-1 Chipmunk. He made this drawing the day after the encounter and submitted it with his report to the Portuguese Air Force.
(Júlio Guerra, CNIFO Case Report)
Guerra states that the object “flew at a fantastic speed in a large elliptical orbit to the left, between 5,000 feet to the South and approximately 10,000 feet to the North, always from left to right, repeating this route over and over.
"I tried to keep it in sight.”
Two fellow Air Force officers, Carlos Garcês and António Gomes, flew to the location, and they too watched the object repeat its elliptical course, passing between the two planes on each return, for about 10 minutes. They were able to estimate the size, given its proximity to the two aircraft: about eight to 10 feet.
After landing, all three pilots filed detailed, independent written reports with the Air Force. General José Lemos Ferreira, the Portuguese Air Force Chief of Staff at the time, authorized the release of all the records to a team of scientists and experts, which conducted a lengthy scientific investigation.
The group estimated that the unidentified object was flying at over 300 MPH vertically and its velocity when it circled Guerra’s aircraft was about 1550 MPH.
Since leaving the Air Force in 1990 after 18 years of service, Júlio Guerra has been a Captain with Portugália Airlines (TAP), Portugal’s largest commercial airline. He has 17,000 hours of flight experience, and in 2009 he received an aeronautic science degree from the Lusofona University of Oporto. (Courtesy Júlio Guerra)