By Billy CoxDon’t try selling Milton Torres on the idea of launching another public study of UFOs. He says the genie's been out of the bottle forever.
“The one I chased didn’t follow classic Newtonian mechanics. It made a right turn almost on a dime,” he tells De Void from his home in Kendall, Fla. “The (Royal Air Force radar) scope had a range of 250 miles. And after two sweeps, which took two seconds, it was gone. And I was flying almost at Mach 1, at .92.”
Bottom line for Torres: Any military organization that isn’t interested in this sort of elusive high technology is incompetent.
If you’ve been following this stuff, you’ll recall how the retired USAF major broke a 51-year silence last October about his potentially lethal UFO scramble. The British Ministry of Defence had just released another batch of dusty UFO files through its National Archives, and the sexiest of the lot occurred on April 27, 1957. That’s when an unnamed Yank with the American 406th Fighter Wing operating out of RAF Manston in Kent was dispatched with specific orders to blast a UFO out of the late-night sky.
Torres, now 77, promptly stepped forward and owned up (“It was such a relief!”) to being the guy assigned to shoot it down. Climbing to 32,000 feet in his F-86 Sabrejet along with a wingman, Torres couldn’t see the bogey, but he got a strong radar lock-on some 15 miles out. With just seconds to go before closing to within missile range, things got freaky. The blip on his scope flashed to a 6 o’clock position, then 3 o’clock, then 12 o’clock, and 11 o’clock. Then it was gone. Ground control lost it, too.
End of chase, but not the story.
Back on the deck, Torres says he was bullied by a member of the U.S. National Security Agency, and told that if he breathed a word of what happened — even to his own commander — his flying days were over.
“What the hell did I know? I was just a pilot, I didn’t have any information,” he said. “The thought of losing my flight status was unacceptable.”
So Torres put a cork in it and went on to complete a 20-year USAF career. He earned a doctorate in mechanical engineering, and taught at Florida International University.
Contrasting the threats he received with the routine manner in which that information was released, Torres is struck by the arbitrary nature of state secrecy. And it jams him up, because he’s heard from other military pilots reluctant to go public.
“They’ve told me about getting scrambled, and how what they’re chasing left ‘em standing there like they weren’t even moving,” says the former college professor. “They don’t know what’s it is, but somebody sure does.”
Impressed by President Obama’s executive order directing federal bureaucracies to err on the side of transparency when dealing with public information requests, Torres says it’s time to pony up.
“I want Obama to open it up, to declassify this UFO material,” he says. “This has gone on for too long.”