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F-16s Chase Mystery UFO Over D.C.

Ever since September 11, F-16 Air Force jets somewhat routinely zoom over the skies of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. But the noise can still startle residents--especially in the middle of the night. And it was this noise that woke Renny Rogers of Waldorf, Maryland early Friday (July 26) morning and sent him outside to gaze heavenward.

What he saw stunned him. ''It was this object, this light-blue object, traveling at a phenomenal rate of speed,'' Rogers told The Washington Post. ''This Air Force jet was right behind it, chasing it, but the object was just leaving him in the dust. I told my neighbor, 'I think those jets are chasing a UFO.'''

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  • What ARE they? Military officials will confirm this much: Two F-16s carrying air-to-air missiles took off from Andrews Air Force Base early Friday morning after radar detected an ''unknown aircraft'' in area airspace and they were unable to establish radio communication.

    Although officials insist the jets were not chasing a UFO, they admit they never caught up to the object since it just disappeared. ''We had a track of interest, so we sent up some aircraft,'' said Maj. Douglas Martin, a spokesman for the North American Aerospace Defense Command in Colorado. ''Everything was fine in the sky, so they returned home.''

    What were the jets chasing? ''There are any number of scenarios, but we don't know what it was,'' said Maj. Barry Venable, another spokesman for NORAD, admitted to The Post. Rogers, who witnessed it all on the ground, said, ''It looked like a shooting star with no trailing mist. I've never seen anything like it.''

    - Cathryn Conroy

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