Eerie Encounter

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“I was flying a UH-1H copter from Port Columbus, Ohio, for our home base of Cleveland Hopkins airport maybe about ninety-six nautical miles to the north-northeast on October 18, 1973, at approximately 10:30 PM."
"To my left at the controls sat First Lieutenant Arrigo Jezzi and behind him sat Sergeant John Healey (our flight medic) and Sergeant Robert Yanacsek (our computer tech)."
"We were above hills, woods, and farmland on a fairly calm night. We were perhaps 1,500 feet plus above sea level, but I can’t be totally certain.”
“Healey claimed to have noticed the light first somewhere to the west. I was relaxing, smoking on a Marlboro, when Yanacsek brought it up too. ‘Captain, I think there’s something out there: a light of some kind,’ he said, clearly perplexed."
"I didn’t think much of it— probably just the wingtip of an aircraft or some radio tower— but I knew he wouldn’t bring it up unless it stood out for some reason. I told him to keep an eye on it.
Not one minute passed when he brought it up again, reporting that it now moved towards the copter picking up pace. There I sat with nineteen years plus of flying experience, and I wasn’t about to jeopardize the safety of my flight through ignorance and pride.”
“ ‘Is it a F-100?’ I demanded, ready to eliminate the logical. Both Healey and Yanacsek responded with firm denials. ‘Any sort of craft?’ I pressed. Once again, they responded with cryptic excuses that only a light was visible."
"Then Jezzi let out a meaningful curse and turned to me with panic in his eyes. Fear consumed all of us, and I seized the controls from Jezzi, barking orders to Healey to verbally monitor the light’s trajectory.”
“In rapid succession he reeled off positions, descriptions, and guesstimates. He told me the red light was brighter and larger as it gained on the copter, seemingly preparing to intercept us ahead of our path. I had us in a sharp descent of 500 feet per minute! I could not believe what I was hearing, so I snuck quick sidelong glances to my left out the front windshield, dying to see this anomaly for myself. What I saw left cold chills down my spine and a dead weight in my stomach; a crimson light with a sinister glow was indeed gaining on us. I saw no outline of a physical craft— only the glow.”
“Jezzi silently attempted to make radio contact with our pursuer, trying both UHF and VHF frequencies; I envied his steady hands and voice. There was nothing. It was as if nothing was out there but the eerie light. Then, as it suddenly bore down upon us, missing the copter’s blades by inches, the light flashed white, green, red, and an array of other colors I have no name for and vanished into thin air.”
“For ten whole minutes we flew in silence. I sat back and gave up the controls to Jezzi again, speechless. I swear to you I have no words for the mixture of terror and relief we all felt, or how the energy surge of our emotions evaporated with the light, gone as quickly as it came. The effect of our eerie encounter sank in. After listening to nothing but the staccato of the copter blades outside, Yanacsek’s voice came out, hoarse and incredulous: ‘What the he**?’ And I could not add much more.”





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