|By Lee Speigel|
The Huffington Post
Forty years ago today, a four-man crew of an Army Reserve helicopter was flying over Mansfield, Ohio, around 11:00 p.m. when they "encountered a near midair collision with an unidentified flying object," according to the official report, signed and submitted by the crew after the incident.
A full explanation for this terrifying UFO close encounter has never been offered, and to this day, the helicopter-UFO incident remains one of the most credible -- and terrifying -- in the history of the subject.
The commander of the helicopter, Maj. Larry Coyne, and his crew, thought at first that the light on the horizon was a radio tower beacon.
"We were flying along at about 2,500 feet when the crew chief on the helicopter observed a red light on the east horizon. He then informed me that the light was closing on the helicopter -- that it was coming at us on a collision course," Coyne told this reporter in 1975.
"I looked to the right and observed that the object became bigger and the light became brighter, and I began to descend the helicopter toward the ground, to get out of the collision course path. We were descending and this object was like a missile locked onto the helicopter, only it came at us on a perpendicular angle, to hit us almost broadside.
"It looked like we were going to collide with it and we braced for impact, and then I heard the crewmen in the back say, 'Look up!' and I observed this craft stopped directly in front of us -- stopped -- it was hovering, right over the helicopter!"
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