Pilots Urge Government to Investigate UFOs

It's time for the government to resume investigating UFOs, a group of former air pilots and other noteworthy officials told reporters Monday.

Former Arizona Gov. Fife Symington, who claims to have seen a UFO in 1997, led the panel at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

"We want the U.S. government to stop perpetuating the myth that all UFOs can be explained away in down-to-earth, conventional terms," said Symington, according to Agence France-Presse.

He called for the reopening of Project Blue Book, the Air Force's 18-year probe of UFO sightings, which was shut down in 1969 for lack of evidence.

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Several pilots described their own encounters with UFOs.

"Nothing in my training prepared me for what we were witnessing," said retired Air Force Sgt. James Penniston, who said he saw and touched one while stationed in England.

The triangular craft had "blue and yellow lights swirling around the exterior," and was "warm to the touch and felt like metal."

The panel was sponsored by the Coalition for Freedom of Information, a group that agitates for public release of government information about UFOs and which has ties to cable television's SciFi Channel.

• Click on the highlighted phrases to read reports by Agence France-Presse, the BBC, Reuters and CTV.