Published: 5:40 PM 5/15/2014
AMARILLO, Texas — What's that in the sky over Amarillo, Texas?
"It was the strangest thing I've seen, as far as aviation," said Dean Musket, part of the motley crew of airplane buffs who sits down at an airport restaurant in this West Texas city.
"They are aviation junkies," said waitress Erin Williamson. "They love it."
And they are seeing things you can't see anywhere else.
Military aircraft cruise over Amarillo like sharks looking for bait fish.
"If you're flying east, west, or vice-versa across the United States, you're probably flying over Amarillo," said Steve Douglass.
A group that might be called the "interceptor club" watches everything military that flies over. But in March, they spotted three craft they had never seen before, about 6 miles up.
"We had captured something completely unique," Douglass said.
It was triangular, like a stealth bomber... but not a stealth bomber.
"The back edge was smooth like a Dorito," Douglass said. "It wasn't jagged."
A few weeks later, the same shape was snapped by another spotter in Kansas.
"This is when we first saw it flying in formation from the backside of the airport," said Douglass, who could be considered an aircraft enthusiast or a fanatic.
He's sitting in what he jokingly calls "Kitch Com," a nook of his kitchen crammed with electronic gear to monitor aircraft traffic. He has a special antenna to pick up satellite transmissions.
"On this side, it's my bunker, and on this side, it's my kitchen, which is microwave ovens and food," he said.
On the day the mystery planes were spotted, Douglass recorded air traffic controllers giving the aircraft a clear lane through the sky. The Air Force confirms nothing.
Now Douglass suspects the triangular shape may be a stealth transport.
"You could put a dozen Navy SEALs in, fly them over Afghanistan or Pakistan or whatever-stan, and have them bail out the back or be inserted in some way without an adversary being any the wiser," he said.
At the Old English Field House Diner, Williamson has become part of the group.
"They're out here four or five days a week," she said. "They watch the planes; they take pictures; they'll let us know if there's an important or cool looking plane coming in."