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Merle Shane McDow

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Mr. McDow entered the Navy in 1978 and gained a top-secret, Special Compartmented Intelligence (SCI) clearance with a Zebra Stripes. He was assigned to the Atlantic Operational Support Facility, Atlantic Command, then under Admiral Trane. Mr. McDow was present when a UFO was tracked by radar and seen by pilots visually moving at high speed up and down the Atlantic coast. The Command Center was put on Zebra alert and Admiral Trane gave the order to force down the UFO. Mr. McDow discusses the threats, intimidation and confiscation of logbooks that occurred after the event. …And the early warning system - I believe it came in from an Air Force base in Greenland or Nova Scotia at that time - said that we had contact with an unidentified flying object that had entered our air space. … And within minutes Admiral Trane was rushed into the Command Center into his viewing booth that he had right under the Mezzanine there and the first thing that Admiral Trane wanted to know was how many contacts we had, where they were, which direction were they going and were the Soviets responding. Because we knew that it wasn't the Soviets that had entered our airspace. That was verified from the get go, from the start. At that point, when Admiral Trane found out that it wasn't the Soviets and that he wanted to know were the Soviets responding to this threat also, that was the moment that he gave authorization to put two planes up to go see what this thing was. And that was when the chasing up and down the eastern seaboard began. We launched planes from as far north as Greenland to NAS (Naval Air Station), Oceania. This object, we had it on radar - this event lasted almost an hour. You could hear the pilots live voice transmissions being piped into the Command Center. And they had visual confirmation of the object and made descriptions of the object. Pilots were able to close a couple of times and were able to see that the object was not an aircraft that we were familiar with-it was nothing that we had and nothing that the Soviets had. That was determined very quickly. This vehicle or whatever it was that they were chasing showed very erratic flight up and down the coast, quick flight… One minute it was here and the next minute bam, it was down several hundred miles down the coast, just playing tag… The photographs that we did get back in the Command Center later on came from the first encounters that the planes had with it off of the northern North American coast. They did get close enough to get some photographs taken that were later brought over to the Command Center… What was really bugging Admiral Trane, what was really driving him nuts, was this thing absolutely had complete control of the situation and could be anywhere that it wanted to be in a matter of seconds. One minute we were closing on it off the coast of Maine, and the next minute it is in Norfolk heading south towards Florida. And it is all that we can do to get the early warning radar up and down the coast to watch for this thing as it just had it's day with us. Admiral Trane and his staff were quite concerned about it to say the least. They were quite concerned especially once they found out that it wasn't the Russians and it wasn't us and he wasn't aware of anyone else who had the technology to build such a craft that could move about so easily and so quickly. I remember distinctly looking over the rail of the mezzanine and just watching complete chaos break out because of their inability to keep an eye on this thing, whatever it was. The UFO was moving around so erratically and so quickly up and down the coast… They were trying to notify as many commands as they could up and down the coast to track this thing or get a plane up. Admiral Trane was scrambling and authorizing planes just left and right, up and down the whole eastern seaboard to try and cut this thing off and to get some planes from the north and south to literally track it and to force it down. It was clear that they wanted to recover it, to force it down, by whatever means possible. The order was given by Admiral Trane to try and get this object forced down out of the sky, if at all possible, by whatever means possible… When this event, as I refer to it, ended, the object that we had been chasing up and down the seaboard headed out over the Atlantic, over the Azores. I do remember them saying that it had pulled up at a 66 degree angle as it approached the Azores like this, and it just pulled up at a 66 degree angle, without slowing down or anything, and left the atmosphere and was gone into space. It just took off into space and was gone like that [snaps fingers]. I mean it just absolutely left. You are talking about something that covered thousands of miles in a blink of an eye and it was just gone and it just left everyone sitting around scratching their heads. "Gee whiz, I wonder what that was." It was comical in a way to see how the vast military might of the United States was put on its knees by something they had no idea what it was, where it came from, where it was going or anything. The only thing that they knew for sure was that it wasn't the Soviets and they were very adamant about finding that out… "These two gentlemen began to question me about this event. They were being pretty rough about it, to be honest with you. I remember literally putting my hands up and saying, "Wait a minute fellows. I am on your side. Just a minute." Because they were not really nice. They were very intimidating and made it quite clear to the point that nothing that was seen, heard, or witnessed, that transpired was to leave this building. "You are not to say a word about it to your co-workers. And off base, you just forget everything that you may have seen or heard concerning this. It didn't happen …" You got the impression that they would do bodily harm to you otherwise, without really coming out and threatening you. You could just tell by their tone of voice when someone is saying, "Hey buddy, do what I say or else." If this object had been hostile and wanted to drop weapons or shoot missiles at us, or whatever, it would have been very easy for them to do that. There was no question about that. We didn't have anything at that time that could hold a candle to whatever this was. And it just had its own free run of our airspace and could do anything it wanted as far as traveling. We did not pose any threat to it whatsoever. That was painfully obvious; very much so. I do believe that Admiral Trane knew that too and was quite afraid. Just in a word I would say that that old boy was just plain scared… I would say that the facilities that actually had this UFO on radar - there were five that I am sure of and that is from Greenland all the way to Florida, and there may be some others that I don't know. I know this because Admiral Trane was giving orders to NAS Oceania, "Let's get some planes up from there, scramble some fighters." He did make a call for them to alert Dover Air Force Base, Patuxent River, Maryland, Cecil Field down in Florida…

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