Thursday, January 7, 2016

The only man to ever shoot at a UFO

The only man to ever shoot at a UFO

AS WILL Smith would say: “Welcome to Erf.”

Thirty-five years ago, fighter pilot Oscar Santa Maria Huerta had a real-life Independence Day moment when he attempted to shoot down a mysterious light-bulb shaped craft, in what to this day remains the only documented case of a military aircraft firing on a UFO.

It was early on the morning of April 11, 1980, and the 23-year-old Peruvian air force lieutenant was preparing for daily exercises along with around 1800 military personnel and civilians at the La Joya Air Force Base, 1000km south of the Peruvian capital.

Lt Huerta, a pilot with eight years’ experience who had been flying combat missions since 19, was ordered to take off in his Russian-made Sukhoi-22 fighter to intercept the strange silvery object that had been spotted floating near the end of the runway.

The object was five kilometers away, hanging in the air about 600 meters off the ground, and was not replying to any communications.

“This ‘balloon’ was in restricted air space without authorization, representing a grave


Challenge to national sovereignty,” the now-retired Colonel writes in UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and Government Officials Go on the Record.

Colonel Huerta was one of many researchers, former military officers and others who gave evidence at a major press event at the National Press Club in Washington in 2013, aimed at pressuring the US government to open its files on UFO encounters.

“It had to come down. La Joya was one of the few bases in South America that possessed Soviet-made warfare equipment, and we were concerned about espionage,” he wrote.

After takeoff, Colonel Huerta flew to 2,500 meters and came in for an attack run. “I reached the necessary distance and shot a burst of sixty-four 30mm shells, which created a cone-shaped ‘wall of fire’ that would normally obliterate anything in its path,” he writes.

Just one of those shells would wipe out a car, but they had no effect on the object. “I thought that the balloon would then be torn open and gases would start pouring out of it. But nothing happened. It seemed as if the huge bullets were absorbed by the balloon, and it wasn’t damaged at all.”

A diagram showing the encounter with the object.

The object then shot rapidly skywards away from the base, prompting Colonel Huerta to activate the plane’s afterburner to give chase 500m behind. As they reached the city of Camana, 84km from the base, the object came to a sudden stop, forcing him to veer to the side.

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