November 23, 1953: UFO Captures US Fighter Jet! (Kinross Incident)

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A Brief History

On November 23, 1953, a United States Air Force F-89C interceptor fighter jet was scrambled to intercept an unknown radar contact over Lake Michigan.  The jet, both crewmen (pilot and radar operator) were never seen or heard from again.  Was this Air Force jet and its crew abducted by aliens?  You be the judge.

Digging Deeper

On the fateful day, 1st Lieutenant Felix Moncla, Jr. was the pilot and 2nd Lieutenant Robert Wilson was the F-89’s radar operator.  The Northrup F-89 Scorpion was a first generation all-weather jet interceptor, powered by 2 turbojet engines and capable of 635 mph, able to intercept enemy bomber day or night in all weather, utilizing air to air guided missiles to shoot the enemy down, including the first air to air nuclear explosive missiles.  The F-89 proved to be considerably faster than the Lockheed F-94 (developed from the F-80/T-33 family of jets) in the running for purchase as the main all-weather interceptor for the Air Force.  Over 1000 of the straight wing jets were procured by the USAF.

Ground radar intercept controllers vectored the F-89 to the target blip, and watched as the 2 blips on their screen merged into one over Lake Superior, and continued on as one blip until leaving the range of the radar at Kinross Air Force Base on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  No other information about the fate of the F-89 and its crew is available.  Initial explanations were that the unknown radar contact was a Canadian aircraft, but this has been denied over and over again by the Canadians.  Presumably, Moncla got vertigo or some such disabling effect and crashed his jet into the deep water of Lake Superior, although radar tracking did not verify that theory and no wreckage has been found.

Whenever there is such a mysterious set of circumstances surrounding the loss of a military aircraft, conspiracy theorists will provide answers!  The so called “Kinross Incident” as the loss of the F-89 and its crew has been dubbed has been attributed to a UFO capturing the jet in mid-flight, abducting the jet and crew for parts unknown.  Sketchy and contradictory explanations by the US Air Force and denials from the Royal Canadian Air Force have fueled the conspiracy theories.  Rumors among Air Force personnel and others that an alien abduction had taken place fanned the flames of controversy. 

In 1968 parts of a jet aircraft were reportedly recovered on the shore of Lake Superior (Canadian side), though the parts were not identified and in any case, the Canadians deny having any such parts.  In 2006 a “Great Lakes Dive Company” hoax was perpetrated on the public, with fake news reports of a dive team having located the wreckage of Lt. Moncla’s jet.  Expert salvage men and UFO investigators alike have claimed the reports of finding the lost interceptor were indeed false.

Was an Air Force F-89 captured by aliens?  Did the pilot suffer from vertigo and crash his jet without a radio report of impending disaster?  What do you think happened?  Please feel free to share your opinions on this mysterious event.

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About Author

Major Dan

Major Dan is a retired veteran of the United States Marine Corps. He served during the Cold War and has traveled to many countries around the world. Prior to his military service, he graduated from Cleveland State University, having majored in sociology. Following his military service, he worked as a police officer eventually earning the rank of captain prior to his retirement.