It’s a stormy November evening in 1953. Somewhere in North America’s Great Lakes region, an unexpected object has just appeared on a United States Air Force radar screen. Keen to get to the bottom of this mystery, officials dispatch two airmen to take a closer look. But as this pair approach the anomaly aboard their aircraft, something happens. Mysteriously, they seem to vanish into thin air.
Based at Truax Air Force Base in the Wisconsin city of Madison, First Lieutenant Felix Moncla wasn’t exactly wet behind the ears. In fact, by November 1953 he’d clocked more than 800 hours of flying time. But somewhere in the skies above Lake Superior, he encountered a challenge that he couldn’t defeat.
On board an aircraft known as the F-89 Scorpion, Moncla and Second Lieutenant Robert Wilson set off in pursuit of the unknown object. And before long, they began to close in, thousands of feet above the dark waters of the lake. But what happened next continues to defy explanation, sparking a mystery that endures to this day.
The story began on the evening of November 23, 1953, at an Air Defense Command facility on the border between Canada and the U.S. According to some reports, snow was falling, while other sources state that the weather was stormy. But whatever the conditions, at just after 6 p.m., something unexpected occurred.
Around that time, an operator detected something unusual on the radar. Traveling through restricted airspace, an unknown entity appeared to be nearing the commercial hub of Soo Locks on the southeastern shore of Lake Superior. However, there were no American or Canadian crafts cleared to be in the area at the time.
Puzzled, officials scrambled to a F-89 Scorpion jet that was temporarily stationed at Kinross Air Force Base, around 20 miles from Soo Locks. Normally, this craft was based some 400 miles away at Truax Air Force Base, which is situated in the Wisconsin city of Madison. Unfortunately, it would never make the journey back down south.
When the aircraft was relocated, two men who were also based at Truax Air Force Base made the journey to Michigan, as well. In the pilot’s seat was Moncla, a veteran of the U.S. Air Force with over 120 hours’ experience flying planes just like this one. Initially on track to be a doctor, the 27-year-old had abandoned a career in medicine to join the military some three years previously.
On the evening of November 23 Moncla set off in search of the mysterious object. And with Wilson manning the radar equipment, the two were soon in hot pursuit. However, the Second Lieutenant struggled to keep track of the unknown craft, which appeared to dart swiftly from place to place.
Thankfully, a radar operator on the ground was on hand to assist Moncla and Wilson as they gave chase. On the screen, they watched as one blip followed the other in a high-altitude game of cat and mouse, slowly descending from 25,000 feet to just 7,000. And then, finally, it looked as if the F-89 was gaining ground.
At a point some 70 miles off the Keweenaw Peninsula on the southern shore of the lake, Moncla and Wilson’s jet caught up with the unknown object. By that time, the airmen had tracked the unidentified craft for some 160 miles. But then, something happened that no one could have predicted.
According to witness reports, the two blips on the radar somehow locked together as one. Days after the incident, local Madison paper The Capital Times published an article about the strange occurrence. It read, “The Truax jet was followed on the radar screen at Kinross until its image merged with that of the plane it was checking.”
After that, Moncla and Wilson’s jet seemed to disappear into thin air. Later, an official report would note that the F-89’s radar signal simply vanished. And if that wasn’t strange enough, the blip representing the unknown craft veered off course before also disappearing. Dumbfounded, the U.S. military launched a search-and-rescue operation to track down the missing airmen.
But despite an extensive search of the area by both boat and plane, no sign of Moncla, Wilson or their F-89 was ever found. Both men, along with their jet, seemed to have disappeared without a trace. So, what happened to the experienced pilot and his second-in-command? To this day, the truth has never been uncovered.
So, what really happened to Moncla and Wilson that fateful night? Two years after the incident, Donald Keyhoe published The Flying Saucer Conspiracy. In this book, the writer speculated about the true cause of the airmen’s disappearance. Specifically, he hinted that the missing F-89 had been in pursuit of an alien craft. Source: “This Air Force Jet Was Scrambled To Intercept A UFO – But Then Disappeared Without A Trace“, Twenty Daily,
So, what really happened to Moncla and Wilson that fateful night? Two years after the incident, Donald Keyhoe published The Flying Saucer Conspiracy. In this book, the writer speculated about the true cause of the airmen’s disappearance. Specifically, he hinted that the missing F-89 had been in pursuit of an alien craft.
Source: “This Air Force Jet Was Scrambled To Intercept A UFO – But Then Disappeared Without A Trace“, Twenty Daily,