November 17, 1986 was marked as one of the greatest UFO sightings that happened over Alaska when the Japan Air Lines (JAL) cargo flight 1628 (Boeing 747) was approached by three UFOs that tagged along with the airplane for 50 minutes. This incident was recorded by the military radar, and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) also verified it.
JAL1628 was en route from Paris to Tokyo via Alaska, loaded with French wine. It was sunset, and the plane was flying over eastern Alaska. In the cockpit, there were Captain Kenju Terauchi, co-pilot Takanori Tamefuji and flight engineer Yoshio Tsukuba.
As the plane crossed the Alaska border, the flight controller asked the pilot to turn 15 degrees left and advised him to head towards Talkeetna. It was a routine flight, the plane was at an altitude of 35,000 feet with a speed of 600 miles per hour.
Captain Kenju Terauchi with his UFO Sketch
At around 5 p.m. (local time), three UFOs were witnessed by the crew members that were in the cockpit. At first, Captain Terauchi noticed the lights of two unknown aircraft, flying 2,000 feet below JAL1628 which he ignored by considering them as military fighter jets that came just for surveillance. But after a few minutes, he noticed that the unknown aircraft kept maintaining their pace and speed with his own flight.
It had been already 7 minutes since their appearance. Suddenly, they activated a reverse thrust, approached in front of the plane, and illuminated the whole cockpit with bright light with intense heat.
Illustration of large UFO witnessed by the Captain of flight JAL 1628
Captain of the flight JAL 1628 contacted the Anchorage air traffic control center and asked them if there was traffic in his area. Surprisingly, the center said there was no trace of any aircraft.
After 3 to 5 minutes, the UFOs came closer to the Japanese plane and were flying on its left and right sides for the next 10 minutes.
Terauchi said: “The thing was flying as if there was no such thing as gravity. It sped up, then stopped, then flew at our speed, in our direction, so that to us it [appeared to be] standing still. The next instant it changed course.”
In his report to FAA, Terauchi noted that each object had a square shape, similar to the size of the Boeing 707. The strange flying object would appear to be cylindrical if viewed from another angle.
Illustration of the first two UFOs based on Captain Terauchi’s description
According to Terauchi, it was not possible for humans to create such an aircraft that was moving with sudden movements in front of Boeing 747. However, the UFOs posed no threat to the flight, and the crew members had no idea from where they had appeared.
The UFOs show did not end there. There was another UFO, but it was quite large, green and round in shape. When the two ships flew away, a pale white light came in their direction. The air traffic control center could not see anything, but the captain was able to see this UFO on his digital weather radar.
Terauchi described the third UFO as the size of two cargo aircraft
When they reached the Eielson Air Force Base and Fairbanks, this pale white light was behind them, and the captain noticed a shadow of the gigantic spaceship. He was terrified and wanted to get away from there quickly.
Later, Captain Terauchi said that the gigantic spaceships were the size of two aircraft carriers.
Philip J. Klass, a journalist, and UFO researcher wrote in his book “The UFO Invasion” the following:
“The FAA reveals Terauchi to be a “UFO repeater,” with two other UFO sightings prior to November 17, and two more this past January, which normally raises a “caution flag” for experienced UFO investigators. The JAL pilot is convinced that UFOs are extraterrestrial and when describing the light(s) Terauchi often used the term spaceship or mothership.”
Captain Terauchi made a joke about the incident saying that maybe the UFOs had been chasing their cargo plane because they were carrying the Beaujolais, a very famous wine made in France, and they wanted to drink it.