Clarence S. Chiles
Former WWII combat pilot that witnessed an unusual glowing "ship" while flying a commercial plane in 1948 enroute from Texas to Georgia.
After departing on the evening of July 24, 1948 out of Texas, a commercial flight piloted by Clarence S. Chiles and co-pilot, John B. Whitted, witnessed a wingless cigar-shaped object fly at high speeds past their aircraft near Montgomery, Alabama. It had flames shooting at the back end that were believed to be propelling it forward. Chiles reported being able to "view the ship as it passed for a period of about ten seconds" before it pulled up into some clouds. He said that it appeared to have two tiers of windows near the front in which a very bright white light was emitted. No air turbulence was felt by Chiles' plane as the object sped by it.
The two pilots radioed in what they observed, but the operator told them that there were no other jets or aircraft in the vicinity. J. Allen Hynek, an astronomer and scientific consultant with Project Sign, investigated the incident. He concluded that the object the pilots observed was an incredibly bright meteor. During the night of the event and the previous night, many amateur astronomers had likewise witnessed a large volume of bright meteors. According to Hynek, "the flaming tail and sudden disappearance were consistent with the brief passage of a meteor." In regards to the observed windows of the object, Hynek wrote that, "It will have to be left to the psychologists to tell us whether the immediate trail of a bright meteor could produce the subjective impression of a ship with lighted windows."