UFO sightings, the Teheran incident
Ufo sightings: not a week goes by without some new case gets conveyed, but in most cases, it turns out to be hoax, deliberate or involuntary. But some incidents remain still without of a convincing official explanation, as in the case of the UFO sighting over Teheran in 1976.
Ufo sightings: that night in Teheran, in 1976
According to a U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (Dia) report, in the early hours of September 19, 1976, two military fighters scrambled to intercept a flashing light which appears to change its shape spotted by the air traffic controller Houssain Perouzi of Mehrabad airport, over Teheran.
The first jet fighter, a Phantom F-4D of the Imperial Iranian Air Force piloted by Captain Mohammad Reza Azizkhani assisted by navigator Hossein Shokri (died in 1980 while the Iranian devolution was going on), took off at around 1.30 a.m. from Shahrokhi Air Force Base at Hamadan, approximately 282 km west of Tehran, and was headed towards a point at around 74 km north of the capital.
The object was of such brilliance that it could be seen from 110 km away; a few minutes after takeoff, when the jet was about 46 km away from the objective, there was a blackout of all the radio and captain Alikhani decided to return to the base before he can positively identify the UFO.
At 1.40 a second F-4 was then scrambled, piloted by Colonel Parviz Jafari assisted by navigator Lieutenant Jalal Damirian. They observed, as several times had occasion to confirm Jafari (gone out with the rank of general), a multicolor object, diamond shake, with flashing blue, green, red, and orange lights.
Iranian jets failures
Jafari’s jet acquired a radar signature of the object at 50 km range, which was compatible with that of a Boeing 707 (or its military version, KC-135), but after a few the flying saucer began to move at a speed equal to that of the military jet (about 280 km per hour), keeping a steady distance of 46 km from the military jet.
Suddenly, Jafari told, a smaller second object detached itself from the first and advanced on the F-4 at high speed: Jafari, thinking he was under attack, tried to launch an AIM-9 sidewinder missile, but also its weapon controls and communications went into failure.
Followed some emergency turns for groped to escape the alleged missile that for a few seconds continued to follow the military jet at a distance of approximately 7.5 km, before reversing course and apparently rejoin the Ufo.
The instruments of jet diverted back to their normal function and the crew could observe a further object of small dimensions fall off the unidentified flying object and point towards the ground, without exploding but touching down on it “gently” near the Rey Oil Refinery (later Pars Oil).
General Jafari's version
Jafari went back in turn landing at Mehrabad, noting that every time you fly over a magnetic field to 150 degrees from Mehrabad tools seem to go broken down and communications are interrupted. A civilian jets that in those minutes was approaching Mehrabad to report the same condition.
Subsequent investigations carried out at the area where it seemed to have landed the second object broken off the UFO did not lead to any result except to witnesses who confirmed the presence of flashing lights and loud noise the night before in the area.
What was the mysterious flying object over Tehran? Since then Jafari continued to be excluded that it could be a land-based vehicle, captain Nazeri also reported that the object appeared to travel at a speed higher than that of its jet and thinking that it must be a UFO from another planet.
The journalist and ufologist Philip Klass argued instead that the light could simply be Jupiter and that the problems experienced by the two military jets were due to faulty maintenance and inexperience of the pilots, explanation later rejected by the analysis of other ufologists as Jerome Clark and Bruce Maccabee.
Was the teheran incident just a cover-up?
Regarding the military and secret services, some noted that the DSP-1 spy satellite detected an infrared anomaly during the time in the area of the incident, but even that Iran was engaged in a covert operation named Project Dark Gene which involved plane spotter missions launched by Iranian military bases to the Soviet Union.
The whole story of the flying saucer sighting over Tehran that night of 1976 could, therefore, have been a cover-up of some intelligence activities, but probably we'll never know. During the Iranian revolution, a few years later, all related documents may have been lost or may have been moved out of the country by Dia before the fall of the Shah.