May 25, 1995
Location: Bovina, Texas, United States
Boeing 757 piloted by Captain Eugene Tollefson and First
Officer John J. Waller, was passing near Bovina, Texas.
Captain Tollefson left his seat to look [at a line of
regularly flashing lights]. As the lightning flashed behind
the lights, it silhouetted something that to the observers
appeared to be a large, dark, cigar shaped object between
300 and 500 feet in length.
UFO observed by America West pilots. (credit: Ronald Story)
Photograph of an America West Boeing 757.
Loy Lawhon, About.com
564" was a routine America West flight that began
in Tampa, Florida. The final leg of the flight was from
Dallas/Forth Worth into Las Vegas, the ultimate destination.
the night of May 25, 1995, Flight 564, a Boeing 757 piloted
by Captain Eugene Tollefson and First Officer John J.
Waller, was passing near Bovina, Texas, just across the
state line from Clovis, New Mexico at about 9:25 MST.
There were thunderstorms to the northeast, and the lead
flight attendant was watching the lightning flashes in
the night sky.
flight attendant was the first to notice a line of regularly
flashing lights in the sky to the north and below the
airliner. The First Officer then saw them as well, and
they observed a horizontal row of eight strobe-like lights,
flashing on and off in sequence from left to right.
lights, which were as bright as aircraft landing lights,
were at an altitude of between 30,000 and 35,000 feet,
and were bright white with a tinge of blue.
Tollefson left his seat to look, and he saw the left to
right sequencing lights also. As the lightning flashed
behind the lights, it silhouetted something that to the
observers appeared to be a large, dark, cigar shaped object
between 300 and 500 feet in length, depending on how far
away it was.
about five minutes of observing the object, Flight 564
called Albuquerque Air Traffic Control to report the object.
Albuquerque ATC noted that the position of the object
was over a restricted military area called "Tieband."
The controller also noted that the description sounded
similar to that of a tethered aerostat except for the
large number of strobes. However, the controller contacted
sites that would know if an aerostat or any other military
aircraft were in the air that night, and was given negative
responses all around. The controller contacted other aircraft
in the area, but no one else was able to see what Flight
controller then contacted NORAD, who at first reported
nothing on their radar at that location, then called back
and said they had an unidentified return in that area,
then called back again and said that the radar return
had been a common small airplane with a malfunctioning
transponder. An air traffic controller later said that
there was yet another call from NORAD reporting that they
later did have an unknown at that precise location, but
this has never been corroborated. There is a transcript
of the controller's radio conversations at UFO Plaza and
there is a Real Audio excerpt of the conversations from
the "Sightings" TV program at Cosmic Videos.
satisfactory explanation has ever been found for the Flight