The Japan Airlines (JAL) Flight 1628 UFO incident occurred on November 17, 1986, when a Japanese cargo plane en route from Paris to Tokyo encountered an unidentified flying object over Alaska. The incident involved multiple witnesses, including the flight crew and air traffic controllers, and is often cited as one of the most compelling and well-documented UFO cases in aviation history.
The incident unfolded when the crew of JAL Flight 1628, consisting of Captain Kenju Terauchi, First Officer Takanori Tamefuji, and Flight Engineer Yoshio Tsukuba, noticed a set of unusual lights while flying over Alaska. The lights appeared to be trailing their aircraft at a distance. Initially dismissing it as an escorting military aircraft, they soon realized the lights were something they couldn’t readily identify.
As the plane continued its flight, the crew reported that the lights changed their position and configuration, exhibiting extraordinary maneuvers. They described the object as a massive, disc-shaped craft with rows of pulsating lights along its circumference. According to their testimony, the object was estimated to be about twice the size of an aircraft carrier.
The crew promptly contacted air traffic control to report their encounter and were instructed to change course to avoid any potential collision. The situation intensified when the object moved directly in front of the aircraft, blocking their view. The crew further claimed that the object emitted a bright, glaring light, making them fear for their safety.
The sighting continued for about 50 minutes, during which time the crew provided detailed descriptions of the object and its movements. The incident was also tracked on radar by air traffic controllers, who confirmed the presence of an unknown object in the vicinity of JAL Flight 1628.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) were alerted to the situation. Fighter jets were dispatched to intercept the object, but by the time they arrived, the UFO had disappeared from sight.
Following the incident, JAL Flight 1628 landed safely in Anchorage, Alaska, where the crew was extensively interviewed by FAA and military officials. Their testimonies were considered credible and consistent, supported by radar data and corroborated by other witnesses, including another aircraft in the vicinity.
The Japan Airlines Flight 1628 UFO incident received considerable media attention and sparked intense interest from ufologists and researchers. Investigations by the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) did not provide a definitive explanation for the sighting.