Many people wonder about the existence of UFO's (unidentified flying objects). There are believers, doubters and non-believers – most of whom base their ideas about UFO’s on second or third-hand reports.
But NAS Pt. Mugu’s Ed Wehrle’s beliefs are based on first-hand experience gained while working in the Air Traffic Control Facility. His radar sightings of UFO's near Pt. Mugu were verified by air traffic controller Chief Bob Moore and a commercial airline pilot. “I've always had an open mind about UFO's, but I've never seen anything like this in all 20 years that I have worked as an Air traffic controller,” Wehrle emphasizes.
lt was a slow night for air traffic on Dec. 8, 1977, when the event took place. “At about 8 p.m. I suddenly spotted three or four moving targets on the radar scope about three to five miles north of Laguna Peak. Scope readouts indicated that the targets were jumping five miles at a time, but there were no planes in the air to verify the sighting.” A few minutes later, Wehrle talked with a pilot near the Peak, who reported a strobe light between 7,000 and 9,000 feet. The objects could not be identified.
“I called Chief Moore into the room to look at the scope with me,” recalls Wehrle. “We watched the targets on the scope for nearly three hours.”
It wasn’t until 9 p.m. that Allen Dredge, Golden West Airlines pilot, was flying a commuter aircraft bound from Oxnard to Los Angeles International Airport. Dredge, who has been a commercial pilot for 10 years, was contacted by Wehrle to verify the unexplained targets on the radar scope.
“After being switched from Pt. Mugu approach control, I and my first officer spotted unfamiiar-looking strobes an two targets at the nine o’clock position (to the left of the cockpit). We then proceeded east bound on our way to LAX as the two objects appeared to move geometrically," Dredge says. "One of the objects paralleled our course and then disappeared. As quick as you can blink your eyes, there were two bright amber lights in a changed configuration closing in on us at a very fast speed near Malibu.”
The object’s light became very intense and was at the 12 o'clock position (dead center) for about one minute, Dredge reports. “We were both amazed and curious,” Dredge adds. “We called into LAX but they had not seen the targets on their radar scopes.” Just as quickly as it had appeared, the object disappeared from sight after about 30 seconds, vanishing eastbound.
Wehrle filed a report with the Phenomena Research group in Seattle, Wash., as directed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). He later talked with pilot Dredge about the experience. Now, four months later, Wehrle is still taken with the the three-hour sighting. “These targets moved horizontally at speeds that I have never seen before on radar scopes,” he says. “I am convinced that there were unidentified flying objects over Pt. Mugu that night.”
This article was released to veteran researcher Barry Greenwood via a FOIA request. Given the US Navy's history of being evasive when it comes to releasing details of UFO reports, it's interesting to note that there was a time when a major Radar-Visual UFO case was able to be openly reported in the official Navy base newspaper.