- This brief report may provide some closure to some questions
that I have previously raised regarding the flare deployment possibility
in relation to the July 26th scramble of F-16 fighter jets in pursuit of
an unidentified radar target approaching the restricted flight zone around
- I had previously informed that military jets will sometimes
deploy flares for training purposes, and these flares are frequently mistaken
for UFOs. It was my suspicion that flares may have been procedurally deployed
by the returning pilots on July 26, causing the UFO sightings reported
around the 1:00 a.m. time frame near Waldorf, Maryland. I offered a vague
recollection that pilots may be required, for safety purposes, to dump
their flare load prior to landing for safety purposes.
- Two E-mail questions regarding the Washington D.C./UFO
Incident of July 26, 2002 were transmitted to public relations officer
Lieutenant Colonel Phyllis E. Phipps-Barnes of the DC Air National Guard.
The initial communication, dated August 22 and a second electronic request
for information dated August 30 were left unanswered by Lt. Col. Phipps-Barnes,
who offered no reply to my polite inquiry.
- Lt. Col. Phipps-Barnes was asked if she could determine
if 1). the 2 F-16 jets involved in the July 26th scramble were equipped
with countermeasure flares and 2) did the July 26th pilots deploy flares
at any time during their scramble and/or before their return to base.
- After an extended period of time in which my inquiry
was left unanswered by Lt. Col. Phipps-Barnes, I placed a phone call around
4:00 p.m., Tuesday, October 8, 2002 to the DC Air National Guard at 202-685-9862
and spoke with Public Affairs Officer Captain Smith.
- I explained to Captain Smith that I sought to ascertain
if the UFO sightings as claimed by the Waldorf, Maryland citizenry might
be due to flares deployed by the military jets. I asked if he could verify
that such a policy or procedure might be in place requiring operational
flights to jettison their flare-load before landing.
- "I don't know any such procedure," Captain
Smith said. "I've been out there when they come back in with flares
- I again asked Captain Smith if he is certain if there
is no official or unofficial policy to jettison countermeasure flares for
safety purposes and he struggled to think of a viable answer, saying: "I've
always been understanding that they always have the flares, but I'll check
into that and get back to you."
- Captain Smith took my name and phone number after saying
he would check into the possibility. I waited for his call back but no
return call was made.
- The following afternoon (Wednesday, October 9), I placed
a follow-up phone call to Captain Smith, hoping he had some additional
information to convey. The Captain again answered the call and said that
he did make some inquiries.
- "I went to our office next door, staffed by Air
Guard personnel, and it's not necessarily true that pilots will drop flares
in the manner you suggest," he said. "It's not a standard thing
for them to discharge flares when returning."
- When asked if he had conferred with the actual pilots
involved in the July 26th scramble, Captain Smith said: "I wasn't
able to get in touch with the pilots that were there, but it's not something
I see them routinely doing."
- Capatin Smith also said he would be unable to think of
any particular reason the July 26th pilots would have deployed flares during
- "Those flares are for one intended purpose,"
he said, "and I don't see them arbitrarily discharging flares over
a populated area and at a low elevation for just any purpose."
- Captain Smith was thanked for his input and I asked him
if he still had my E-mail address or if I could leave it with him in the
event that any additional information surfaced.
- He said that he still had my website address http://home.fuse.net/ufo.
This took me by surprise because I had not previously given Captain Smith
a website address. He clarified by saying that he routinely reviews information
posted online, as he often finds himself quoted.
- At one point, I offered to Captain Smith that the 'flare
possibility' posed a 'rational explanation' to explain what people were
claiming to be a UFO being pursued by military jets. This seemed to be
a probability that officialdom might find appealing. Despite my suggestive
wording and perhaps somewhat leading method of inquiry, the DC ANG officials
did not take the bait and jump at the possible opportunity to satisfy the
mystery behind the reported UFO sightings.
- Unless the official position is recanted, flare deployment
should not be considered a component of the July 26th event. We are left
with an official acknowledgment of an unidentified radar target approaching
the restricted area around Washington D.C., official acknowledgment that
the radar target evaded and eluded fighter interceptors and no official
statement (of value) regarding the citizen sightings of an unidentified
flying object seemingly pursued by military fighter jets near Waldorf,
- Filed, Wednesday, October 9, 2002 Kenny Youny
- UFO Research http://home.fuse.net/ufo