The Chiles-Whitted Sighting
When? 24 July 1948
Where? Montgomery, Alabama
What happened? This case was one of the very first UFO sightings reported by commercial pilots. Whilst flying from Houston to Atlanta, pilots Chiles and Whitted encountered a large, cigar-shaped craft flying close to them, barely missing them at times. At one point, the object appeared to stop abruptly before vanishing into thin air. The pilots agreed that it was a long, thin craft, with two rows of windows that emitted a blueish glow. It was moving really fast, leaving a trail of orange/red exhaust in its wake. What makes this sighting more credible is that this sighting wasn’t only reported by Chiles and Whitted. Several witnesses at an airbase in Georgia claim to have seen an identical object half an hour before the pilots’ experience. Government officials were able to rule out the possibility of it being a military or commercial flight as there were no fitting flights scheduled at that time.
How was it explained? After an investigation, government debunkers wrote the sighting off as an illusion caused by temperature inversions, and later changed their minds and claimed it was a meteor. However, as the description of the object does not at all fit that of a meteor, this sighting is still classed as ‘unexplained’.