Among the stranger reported mysteries that accompany the UFO enigma is a number of incidents during the 1950’s that involved a very odd substance appearing in lieu of a Close Encounter of the Third kind. This phrase coined by Blue Book Scientific Adviser, Doctor Allen J. Hynek. The year is 1953. In stormy weather the US Air Force Base stationed in Michigan near the Great Lakes detects an unknown aerial object on their radar screen. An F-89 Scorpion all weather interceptor is scrambled on the flight line. Pilot, Felix Moncla is ordered to identify the unknown intruder. The aviator quickly ascends in altitude to a course and heading vectored by Kinross AFB flight service.
Point of separation
Once over Soo Locks in questionable visibility USAF air traffic controllers watch as Moncla’s F-89 approaches the “Bogie” when all contact is lost! The two aircraft reportedly merge as one on the radar screen and disappear. Repeated attempts to raise the 27 year old Air Force Lieutenant over the radio fail. The brave pilot and his backseat “Wizo” (Weapon and Instruments Officer) are never found and unwittingly join that bizarre club known as pilots who have vanished in pursuit of UFO’s.
An investigation typically leads to nowhere with the US Air Force blaming the Royal Canadian Air Force for a cargo flight that was never logged with the traffic controllers colliding with Moncla’s F-89, but the Canadians deny any such flight! Once again whenever such a strange set of circumstances involving UFO’s occurs the US Air Force comes up with an unbelievable explanation and newspaper reporters simply shrug their shoulders and roll their eyes! However, this incident coincides with another such odd set of circumstances involving an aerial disappearance involving a commercial light plane pilot working for a mining company.
Scene of another incident
Having set up a field office and needing to construct a road to the site of a mine entrance in the remote northern California region, the mining company keeps a full time light aircraft pilot on duty. His job is to act as a courier between company headquarters and the field operations office. Weather is a factor as when winter moves in operations can no longer function until spring and time is short only two or three weeks remain. On a routine flight the pilot calls into the field office radio operator and a bizarre conversation occurs! He is being harassed by some kind of unknown object that he cannot clearly identify! He fears that it will collide with his small airplane! Then suddenly he screams saying that it’s as big as a mountain! The flight conversation has been recorded so the mining personnel listen to the tape over and over again trying to guess where their pilot crashed by timing his call and the approximate location he was assumed to be at according to his navigation records.
It takes 3 days before another pilot can get into the air and develop a search pattern that should bring them to the crash site. In the remote northern California region assistance by the USAF or Air National Guard does not come without lots of red tape and an official report so the mining company wants to keep the situation discreet until they can locate the crash site! The downed pilot’s wife comes to the small field office demanding why more has not been done to rescue her husband! The situation is becoming tense! Finally the pilot hired to locate the missing aviator is up and airborne and conducting a search. For hours he sweeps the route that company man should have taken at the time of his disappearance!
Upon making a landing near what appears to be metallic wreckage the search pilot and a company employee work their way across rocky terrain and come upon something strange. A feathery fiber-like substance clinging to the rocks and on the ground. Bewildered over what it might be they take it back to the company field office with them, but find that the wreckage they thought was an aircraft was something else, a discarded piece of machinery.
An unknown substance
The strange substance nicknamed “Angel Hair” is a feathery light material of unknown composition. After handling it in their possession for a while it suddenly just vanishes! Soon a number of other incidents such as this began popping up in news reports. Each time a UFO sighting occurs occasionally another “Angel Hair “material appears again and is recovered but soon disappears after handling. Authorities are mystified and no answers are ever arrived at. Once again another baffling situation arises concerning flying saucers and the enigma that follows their enigmatic appearance.
This true incident was also depicted on the TV program “One Step Beyond” a show that many said was more like a dark “Twilight Zone” but unlike Rod Serling’s masterpiece based primarily on fiction, “One Step Beyond” was related to actual true life events that were recorded with witnesses and other corroborating evidence which made the series much more intriguing!