The Associated Press
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - For the second
time in two months, a Japan Air Lines pilot has reported spotting an
unidentified object that seemed to be flying near his cargo jet over central
Capt. Kenjyu Terauchi reported his
second sighting Sunday on a cargo flight from London to a refuelling stop in
Anchorage, said Paul Steucke, a spokesman for the U.S. Federal Aviation
Terauchi's co-pilot reported seeing
the lights, Steucke said, but the flight engineer, who sits farther back in
the Boeing 747 cockpit, "indicated he was uncertain whether he saw any lights
Steucke said FAA officials and
experienced pilots speculated Sunday's sighting could have been caused by
light bouncing off ice crystals in the atmosphere.
On Nov. 17, Terauchi reported two
bright objects and third object as wide as two aircraft carriers placed
end-to-end followed his JAL plane for more than 500 kilometres as it flew to
Anchorage from Iceland.
"We asked him point-blank if this was
like the Nov. 17 sighting, and he said, 'No, no, there's no similarity between
the two,'" Steucke said.
Terauchi said he saw the lights twice
Sunday, once for about 20 minutes and again for about 10 minutes as his plane
flew at 37,000 feet. He notified an air-traffic controller in Anchorage of the
"His statement to the controller was
'irregular lights, looks like a spaceship,"' Steucke said.
Unlike the lights he reported in
November, which seemed to stay with him even when he took evasive action, the
lights seen Sunday appeared to approach from the front of the plane, went
beneath it and reappeared to the rear.
Controllers and the supervisors
immediately checked their radar screens for objects in the vicinity of the JAL
flight Sunday. "There were none, and that was confirmed" by military radar,