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TLOs In Southeast Asia During Vietnam Conflict
In August, 1968, a Navy Photographer was standing the 2400 to
0800 security watch at a top secret intelligence installation
in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam conflict. He had just
phoned the OOD at 0600 to report all secure and decided to step
outside to get a breath of fresh air.
The two story concrete building was behind him. To his right
was a range of low mountains obscuring approximately 20 degrees
of the southern sky. To his left was (a bay) and the South
China Sea. He was facing east where, about 20 miles away,
another range of mountains obscured approximately 5 degrees of
Immediately upon stepping outside the building he saw a bright
luminous object gliding silently from west to east above the
range of mountains. He "felt" the presence of another object
and turned toward the bay to see an identical object gliding at
the same altitude and speed as the first. The objects were
approximately one mile apart.
The second object sighted made a sharp right turn, glided
overhead at an altitude calculated to be 1200 to 1500 feet,
passed behind the first object and disappeared from view beyond
The first object sighted continued eastward at approximately 20
to 25 miles per hour. Both objects were described as being as
bright as a 1000 watt street light as seen from a distance of
200 feet. Neither object made any noise and neither object
displayed any normal aircraft running lights. The objects were
described as being the size of a dime as seen at arm's length.
The witness estimates their size to be 40 to 50 feet in
diameter and spherical in shape.
The first object was in sight for approximately 45 minutes. It
did not deviate from its eastward course, nor did it pulsate or
change colors. Its speed remained constant throughout the
The witness states that he was unaware that 45 minutes had
passed until the morning crew began arriving for duty. At that
time the eastbound object was a pinhead size bright light still
visible on the face of the rising sun! He calculates that the
object was approximately 20 to 25 miles away at the time he
returned to the building.
He signed over the duty log, relinquished his sidearm and went
back outside. The object was still visible on the lower edge of
the rising sun which was approximately 10 to 12 degrees above
The witness later remembered that the duty crash cameras, a 4x5
Speed Graphic and a 16mm Cine camera, were inside on the floor
beside his chair and he had not even thought to take a picture!
This witness had been in the Navy for 10 years, the entire time
as a photographer, a portion of that time as an aircrew member.
His MOS was Photographer but his job was processing and
printing surveillance and intelligence film from U2s, RA3Bs and
other reconnaissance aircraft. He had been around aircraft,
both civilian and military, for twelve years.
He cannot explain what he saw but believes they were not fixed
wing or rotary wing aircraft, not weather balloons (one turned,
the other did not) and they were not celestial bodies or
His original assessment, although the objects appeared to be
identical, was that he had seen two different things, one a
weather balloon, the other a slow flying aircraft of some kind.
Neither, however, displayed the movements or identification
lights one would expect for an aircraft.
Weather balloons, when blown by the wind (there was none that
night) wobble and bob through the sky. Instrumentation packages
swing below them, causing them to change shape and direction.
Additionally, weather balloons are not lighted from within nor
do the instrumentation packages carry such bright lights.
Helicopters can certainly fly at 20 to 25 miles per hour,
however, none known at that time could fly silently at 1200 to
1500 feet. Neither of the TLOs emitted engine sounds or
exhaust trails or displayed navigation lights. When seen
against the sun, even at a distance of approximately 25 miles,
no hull shape or fuselage could be seen.
The object seen against the sun appeared to have travelled in a
straight line; that is, not following the curvature of the
Earth. At last sighting, the witness estimates the altitude of
the object to be 10,000 feet or higher above the ground.
Because of his background in photography and his experience as
an aircrewman, the witness feels he properly calculated the
altitude, speed and size of the objects. The description of the
two TLOs does not fit any known aircraft or weather balloon. It
does, however, perfectly define the phenomena known as
Transient Luminous Objects which have been shown to glide
silently and slowly for long distances, change directions with
apparently intelligent purpose and emit no sounds or exhaust
TLOs do not display any signs of hostility or covert curiosity.
They do not damage objects or affect the environment in any
apparent manner. They simply appear, move about the skies for a
time, then glide away or vanish, leaving stunned and confused
witnesses to wonder what they have observed.
Unlike UFOs, which seem to have destinations and purpose, and
are solid and three-dimensional, TLOs are truly an
unexplainable phenomena having no observable substance or core,
no common size or brightness, no common speed or direction.
They may forever remain a mystery.
This information is provided as a public service, but we cannot guarantee that the information is current or accurate. Readers should verify the information before acting on it.