I realize this has been on the web for a few years now but I just recently stumbled upon this transmission recording on Youtube and it thoroughly blew me away.
According to FOIA documents that were released about this incident on January 12th, 2007 two F-15 Eagles were requested by LATCC (Lakenheath Air Traffic Control Center) to investigate a radar target. As you might remember, this is the same RAF base which was at the center of the infamous Lakenheath-Bentwaters incident. Inquiries to the LATCC staff were made regarding the incident, but there was no final determination given as to what the result of the intercept was. Apparently, a HAM radio operator of unknown origin recorded a very clear conversation between the two pilots discussing what they were seeing.
Some important points to make note of which I believe make this a very important encounter:
- The object was picked up visually AND on radar by both pilots.
- The object increases altitude by 700 feet over the course of several minutes and this is verified by one of the pilots. This pilot clearly states that it is "not falling"
- The object ranges in speed from 30 to 80 knots with one pilot verifying a speed between 30 and 60 knots with the other pilot recording a peak velocity of 80 knots.
- The object was described as being between the size of a "grapefruit and a soccer ball"
- Both pilots managed to target the object with radar and then guns to confirm a positive 'lock' on the target, meaning IF they had permission to engage the target they would have hit whatever it was.
This is a great recording for a number of reasons, namely the fact that these are military pilots who are trained observers and not prone to seeing something that isn't there. We have verifiable radar hits on a seemingly small object (but not small enough to not be picked up by radar) as well as multiple visual locks with no explanation from the pilots as to what it could be.
A transcript of the conversation is posted below this video. PLEASE NOTE that the actual video has nothing to do with the incident, it is simply there for aesthetics. The Object Report claims no ownership of any of these videos.
Transcript Of Transmissions:
Aircraft 1 Pilot ...alright dude no kidding. I just flew over I have a bulls-eye at zero zero eight for twenty -BREAK- I had a radar hit -BREAK- and I ahh, it was swinging looked like thirty knots err there was something there it looks like a uhh it didn't look like a bird it looked like no kiddin' a rock to me I -BREAK- kid you negative -BREAK- I have no idea what it was but uhh basically just -BREAK- heads up try to stay away from seventeen thousand keep your nugget on swivel I have no idea what it was -BREAK- I'm gonna' use my radar to see if I can pick this object up again -BREAK- I've picked it up twice the first time I picked it up my radar broke lock so I thought it was just uhh some kind of bad lock or potential chaff -BREAK- I'm gonna' turn back towards the ahh north for a little bit -BREAK-
Aircraft 2- Two will pick up trail -BREAK-
Aircraft 1 Pilot- Thanks I'm gonna uhh -BREAK- start coming back towards the uhh west (faint) I think it was zero zero four for about twenty -BREAK- I've got it again it's at seventeen seven -BREAK- three miles off my nose at sev..yeah seventeen seven I'm flying that way now. I'm gonna' slow down -BREAK- I'm not gonna get below three hundred knots but uhh -BREAK-
Aircraft 2 Pilot ...right towards you. Dude I can't tell, something small
Aircraft 1 Pilot- very small black object I had it at seventeen seven -BREAK- He just flew right it just flew right over me -BREAK-
Aircraft 2 Pilot- Confirm the object appears stationary?
Aircraft 1 Pilot- Well I, I couldn't tell cause it was -GARBLED-
Aircraft 1-WSO (faint) Think it was moving about thirty.
Aircraft 2 Pilot- Nearer eighty knots -BREAK-
Aircraft 1 Pilot- Yeah my radar showed between thirty and sixty so I have no idea what it's -BREAK- actually doing -BREAK- but it went from seventeen the first time I saw it to seventeen seven so it's not falling -BREAK- I don't think it was a bird -BREAK-
Aircraft 2 Pilot -UNINTELLIGIBLE-
Aircraft 1 Pilot- What's that?
Aircraft 2 Pilot- Were you taking a manual lock or was it an auto guns lock? -BREAK-
Aircraft 1 Pilot -TONE- I'm getting' him on auto guns every time -BREAK- Putting in a bulls eye zero zero nine for fifteen -BREAK- Still at basically no airspeed on it -BREAK-
Aircraft 2 Pilot- Two is clean
Aircraft 1 Pilot -Say again -BREAK-
Aircraft 2 Pilot- Two's clean -BREAK- Two's locked! Bulls-eye at zero one two fifteen, eighteen thousand.
Aircraft 1 Pilot- alright I'm gonna' uhh -BREAK- climb up slightly here. I wanna try and look at it then you follow in behind me if you can. -BREAK-
Aircraft 2 Pilot- I'm at fourteen thousand.
Aircraft 1 Pilot- (Dual Transmission) UNINTELLIGIBLE. BREAK- Dude I have no idea what that is -BREAK- But he's passed over me. -BREAK- Now I've got it uhh seventeen thousand feet eight miles off my nose -BREAK- Bulls-eye zero four nine for twenty -BREAK- Seventeen thousand I'm gonna' get down to sixteen five -BREAK- Uh two point five miles off my nose right now -BREAK- seventeen thousand feet -BREAK- Yeah I'm not gonna be able to slow down as much as you are maybe you can slow down a little bit more, get a better look -BREAK-
Aircraft 2 Pilot- (bass tone) UNINTELLIGIBLE -BREAK-
Aircraft 1 Pilot- UNINTELLIGIBLE outmaneuver him -BREAK-
Aircraft 2 Pilot- Copy confirm you've merged weapons (?) -BREAK-
Aircraft 1 Pilot- I am about to merge right now. I'm seeing him -BREAK- Underneath me now -BREAK- And I'm gonna' get my airspeed back before I maneuver -BREAK- Are you locked or clean? -BREAK-
Aircraft 2 Pilot- I'm no joy approaching line abreast with you two thousand feet high eighteen five -BREAK-
Aircraft 1 Pilot- Copy that I'm gonna UNINTELLIGIBLE right hand turn -BREAK- You, you said you're at eighteen? -BREAK-
Aircraft 2 Pilot- Yeah contact I'm at eighteen five now you're six o'clock for about three miles TONE -BREAK-
Aircraft 1 Pilot- Copy that -BREAK-
Aircraft 2 Pilot- If we are well clear I will descend at this time -BREAK- Fox are we clear of this target? -BREAK-
Aircraft 1 Pilot- I uhh -BREAK- I'm not sure. Again it stays between seventeen and eighteen so -BREAK- I, I believe I'm in the vicinity of it I'm not uhh a hundred percent positive -BREAK- UNINTELLIGIBLE -BREAK- I have visual now -BREAK- I'm gonna fly underneath you -BREAK-
Aircraft 2 Pilot- Copy I saw it that time and I cannot make out what it was -BREAK-
Aircraft 1 Pilot -TONE you didn't see it? -BREAK-
Aircraft 2 Pilot- Confirmed
Aircraft 1 Pilot- Alright I'm gonna circle back around -BREAK- TONE Hopefully we'll be able to see it through the HUD.
Aircraft 2 Pilot -We've got somebody else out here with it -BREAK-
Aircraft 1 Pilot- Yeah I see him -BREAK- Dude did you see anything? -BREAK-
Aircraft 2 Pilot- Negative
One of the first points that people say about this is that these are American fighter pilots flying out of an RAF base so this can't be correct. Yes, there are indeed F-15's and US pilots operating out of Lakenheath-Bentwaters and there have been rotating squadrons from various countries visiting the base over the years. The callsign of one of the pilots was revealed to be "Gator" which is clearly not indicative of a UK pilot. LATCC admitted that the aircraft were scrambled and even pointed several researchers toward this recording according to the FOIA letter.