London, Oct.21 : A former American pilot has revealed that more than 50 years ago, he was ordered to shoot down a UFO in British airspace.
Recalling the event, 77-year-old Lieutenant Milton Torres told The Times that on May 20, 1957, he received an order to fly his Sabre jet from the Royal Air Force base in Kent and fire on sight at an unidentified object that his superiors had judged to be hostile and probably Russian.
The dot indicated an object about the size of a B52 bomber about 24 kilometres away and Torres set a course, rockets at the ready, to catch it. But thereafter, the aircraft vanished. The blip on the radar was gone too.
Torres spoke about his top secret mission following the declassification of Ministry of Defence files.
Torres told The Times that the day after he was scrambled from the RAF base he received a visit from an American in a trenchcoat who waved a National Security Agency identity card at him and warned him that, if he ever revealed what had happened, he would never fly again.
He took the warning to heart and said nothing until 1988 when, through a solicitor with an interest in ufology, he sent the Ministry of Defence a report giving a full account of the incident.
That narrative has now been released by Britain's National Archives.
"I shall never forget it, and for the last 50 years I have been waiting for an explanation, but I've never had one," he told The Times.
Neither Torres, who was 24 at the time, nor the pilot of a second Sabre flying behind, actually saw what was making the strong blip on their radars.
Since the incident, Torres has become more convinced that the object, travelling at speed and performing manoeuvres beyond the capability of any known aircraft at that time, was an alien UFO.