Objects in sky spark inquiryAn unidentified flying object observed in the night sky over the Ranches of Sonterra recently prompted an inquiry to the Ruidoso News and other agencies as to possible training missions of experimental aircraft.
By Deanna Cheney
By Deanna Cheney
Witnesses of the UFO did not necessarily claim that the objects observed were extra-terrestrial, just that they were airborne and unidentifiable. On Aug. 6 one witness, who requested anonymity, said she saw a strange object floating slowly over the Ranches of Sonterra, passing over the Spencer Theater before leaving sight.
"I awoke about 2:15 a.m. and happened to look out the door of my upper back deck and noticed something in the sky," the witness wrote. "At first I thought it was a satellite cruising above me but when I watched it closer it seemed to move erratically."
The woman said that as she watched the object, originating from the northern sky, it moved toward a larger rectangle shaped object. She said a second flying object also flew toward the larger object from a southern approach.
The rectangular-shaped aircraft "seemed to be made up of web-shaped lights," she continued. "It had a dot at the corner then a hazy line that met yet another light dot. I watched this phenomenon for about 15 minutes."
Over the course of the next several days the woman said she spotted fighter planes zooming at low speed around Ruidoso.
When she consulted her brother-in-law, a retired pilot, he theorized that what she had seen might have been an exercise by a fighter group stationed at Holloman, practicing refueling from a C-130.
"These giant planes' trails leave contrails that I may have seen as webbing," the woman said.
The woman lives in North Alto and said she has unobstructed views of the sky from all directions.
Another resident of Alto, a retired professional, also contacted the Ruidoso News.
In his report, the unnamed man said he observed in early August a bright light just above the horizon near the Alto Post office. Residents near Gavilan Canyon and Hull Street also reported strange lights.
When contacted by the News, Tom Fuller, public information officer for Holloman, said. "Neither Holloman Air Force Base nor White Sands Missile Range had anything flying over Ruidoso at 0200 on 6 Aug."
However, Fuller said, "we did have a lot of different aircraft (F-117, F-15, F-16 and T-38s) operating out of Holloman flying above 12,500 feet MSL or several thousand feet above the highest terrain in the general area on Aug. 7 from around 8 a.m. until 10 p.m. But these were nothing out of the norm."
Balloon tests out of White Sands also were not conducted in early August, he said. In seeking a response to the News' inquiry, Fuller's search for an explanation took more than four weeks.
To rule out a terrestrial explanation about aerial events, Fuller said the airbase, located 60 miles southwest of Ruidoso, is glad to respond to inquiries from the public and in recent years has received calls from as far away as Phoenix.
With regard to alleged "other worldly" sightings, Ful-ler said the Air Force's position is "no position.
"We've spoken on this and have nothing further to say," he said, while adding, that with the occasional "strange" inquiry coming into his office, "[Holloman] must be in the UFO phone book."
Fuller said the reporting procedure of strange objects and lights is to contact his office at 505-572-5406 with the date, time and GPS (Global Pos-itioning Satellite) coordinates of the object sighted.
He said that while he can provide an answer to questions related to activity out of Holloman and White Sands, he cannot speak for military installations in nearby states that sometimes conduct trainings over Ruidoso airspace, such as recent testing "over" Holloman Air Force base by developers of the F-22. He stressed, "Holloman does not test new, secret aircraft under development.
"We do have a test group out here performing 'new tests' but I cannot speak to those tests," he said.
Fuller said he wonders if with the 49th Fighter Wing stationed at Holloman AFB and with F-17 stealth missions having been conducted at Holloman in recent decades, if some training maneuvers "in the past haven't been what people have taken for UFOs operated by aliens."
He also pointed to balloon testing and launches conducted by the National Aeronautical Space Administration (NASA) in Fort Sumner and other similar testing out of Kirkland Air Force Base in Albuquerque as other possible sources of "unidentified flying objects" in the area.
Persons who feel they have observed something that cannot be explained by the U.S. government, can contact area representatives of the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON).
In Roswell, Dennis Balthaser can be reached at www.truthseekeratroswell.com
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See Also: MEXICO: PILOT REPORTS UFO