John Lear talks about a July 1987 incident when an enormous UFO reportedly followed a cargo plane over Anchorage, Alaska, and a 1975 incident when UFOs reportedly hovered over Strategic Air Command bases. Investigative journalist George Knapp asks Lear about the church’s view of UFOs as the interview continues in On The Record, a 30 minute TV show broadcast on KLAS TV in Las Vegas in the late summer of 1987. Third of 3 Parts.

Knapp: Welcome back. We have a few minutes left with John Lear. We’re talking about UFOs. You’re about to tell me about the Japanese Airline Incident. It’s probably something that’s still in the memory of our viewers.

John Lear “On the Record” in 1987
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Lear: Yeah, the Japanese Airline Incident was a cargo 747 that had taken off from Iceland flying to Anchorage. And as he passed over the United States border and the northern part of Anchorage, he was intercepted by a UFO that was twice the size of an aircraft carrier. And he was followed about 40 minutes. He made a complete 360-degree right turn, he made a descent of 5,000 feet and the thing stayed with him. Regardless of what you hear, the FAA did have him on radar and so did the Air Force. If you have a picture there. This is a 26-page document made by Bruce Maccabee who’s a physicist employed by the Naval Surface weapons laboratory and one of the most respected figures in ufology.

Knapp: I don’t think we have that picture. So go ahead.

Lear: Okay, I’m just going to hold it up here and you can see the size of the 747 to the UFO. Now the UFO was not brightly lit like that. It’s just made like that for reference. It was dark, but this is what he saw beside him.

A rendition of the UFO that followed a Japanese 747 cargo plane. (KLAS-TV)

Knapp: Whose rendition is this?

Lear: This is the captain’s. This is from the captain’s rendition when he was debriefed by the FAA. Now, certain UFO de-bunkers have said what he saw was the planet Jupiter. Well, this is an insult to all transport category captains around the world. I mean, the guy knows a difference between something that’s twice as big as an aircraft carrier and the planet Jupiter.

Knapp: I’ve also heard that it’s the reflection of his own plane.

John Lear, aviation pioneer and UFO researcher. (KLAS-TV)

Lear: What the, the radar?

Knapp: Yeah.

Lear: That was an attempt to describe it. You can’t imagine what pressure these people are under to cover this stuff. It’s tremendous pressure. It really is.

Knapp: Okay. You’re going to tell me that the church, did you want to go further into the JAL Incident?

Lear: No, that’s it. I just want to say it has a 26-page report, it had the captain and the ATC conversation. It had the radar plots, and it had the Air Force plots and the FAA radar plot. There was no question about it. The thing followed him.

Knapp: The church, what do they think about UFOs?

Lear: Well, here’s a copy from the London Evening News, July 21, 1987, and says, “Prepare to meet thine aliens. Vatican theologians have acknowledged that there could be life on other planets. Now they plan to train missionaries capable of working in space and meeting aliens. Jesuit scientists at the Vatican Observatory in Prescotti near Rome have reported moving lights and other identified phenomena in the sky. Starting in September, the Vatican university will have a special UFO section.”

Knapp: You’ve said before you thought that a lot of their intentions were hostile and you’ve mentioned before that a lot of the sightings around the military bases. Why don’t we see them here? Las Vegas, we’ve got a lot of military bases here.

George Knapp interviews John Lear on a 1987 broadcast of “On the Record.” (KLAS-TV)

Lear: Well, the in fact there have been a lot of a lot of reports of UFOs in around Las Vegas, not specifically over the Air Force bases. We have the Test Site and of course, we don’t know what’s going on there, and we have Nellis Air Force Base. But there have not really been a lot of sightings over there. The main Air Force sightings were in 1975. And the UFOs descended on every Strategic Air Command base guarding the perimeter of the northern United States. They hovered over the nuclear weapons storage area and they stayed there with impunity for up to two and three hours over a period of three days.

Knapp: And nobody heard about it?

Lear: Well, there were a few reports, but you really don’t, I have a I have a report 150 pages long of the F-106s that were sent out to chase them. And the helicopters, and notifying the Canadian authorities and the security patrolman that were sent down to actually see what was going on and they’d come up on these things and they’d say, “I’m not going any further.”

Knapp: You think maybe it’s a top-secret area if the Air Force actually does have them, maybe they’ve got them here?

Lear: I’m certain they do. Up at the Test Site there’s a report that of the three that they’ve got in perfectly good condition, at least one is up at the Test Site and has flown and one was being flown as of 1981.

John Lear, aviation pioneer and UFO researcher. (KLAS-TV)

Knapp: By us?

Lear: By us.

Knapp: We mentioned at the top of the show that perhaps a breakthrough might be coming. That some of these people from MJ-12 or from the Project Blue Book who are in on the government’s research and saw some of the stuff might be ready to talk we got about a minute left. Why don’t you tell me about that?

Lear: It’s our information that half of, part of MJ-12 wants to release it, part of it doesn’t. We’re hoping that we can do this but of course, as researchers we’re not aware of all the ramifications, we just know of what we’re looking at, so we would like to see them release it but we really don’t know if they are.

Knapp: Okay. John Lear. It’s been very interesting. You keep us posted.

Lear: Sure will.

Knapp: Thank you. We’ll see you next week with more of On The Record.

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