At around 11:15 am on 17th June 1977, Jose Francisco Rodrigues was speeding down the runway of Tancos Airbase in a Portuguese Air Force aircraft – a Dornier 27 – ready to embark a routine flight. The 23-year-old was already an experienced pilot, with over 800 flying hours of flight behind him. He was soon leaving the ground and heading into the cloudy, grey, skies overhead, which looked likely to disperse their soaking load at any time.

Around 45 minutes later, he was approaching the Castelo de Bode Dam, a hydroelectric facility, which could perhaps be of key importance as to the events that would unfold next.

Castelo de Bode Dam

As the pilot scanned his surroundings, he would suddenly notice a dark object coming out of a bank of clouds slightly ahead of him. He at first believed the object to be another plane so he changed his course before radioing to base for confirmation of other aircraft in the area. However, rather than confirm the other “plane”, the base claimed to have nothing out of the ordinary of their radar screens. And more to the point, no other aircraft apart his Dornier plane.

He decided to turn his plane once more so that he could examine the object further if indeed it was even there. However, when the control tower heard Rodrigues cry out in alarm as if something had surprised him, it was evident to all that something out of the ordinary was taking place.

There, directly in front of the young pilot’s plane, was a dark, round object, unlike any aerial vehicle Rodrigues had ever seen.

Disappeared In An Instant “From A Stationary Position!”

Knowing he was not looking at a plane but not knowing exactly what the strange craft was, Rodrigues would take in as much detail as possible. He would later state that the upper part of the object was black, although part of it was obscured by the clouds. Meanwhile, the lower part was made of several different panels.

It remained where it was “no more than 6 meters away” from his plane before suddenly vanishing into the distance at fantastic speed. And what’s more, and something not at all lost on the pilot at the time, it did so “from a stationary position”.

Impression of pilot’s view of UFO

It was at this point the pilot’s plane began to suddenly vibrate greatly while the compass began to spin aimlessly. Within seconds, despite his engine working, the plane went into a freefall nosedive, the treetops near the dam wall suddenly rushing up to meet him.

He would ultimately open his throttle and just as he was “almost touching the treetops” he regained control of the plane. Furthermore, he would manage to land the plane back at the base. After undergoing a medical evaluation (which he would pass with no problems) he would report the incident to his superiors. It was noted, however, how distressed he was due to the experience. An experience who both the doctors and his superiors accepted must be something a lot more than “just engine trouble”.

Corroborative Witnesses And Further Strange Events

In fact, the Portuguese Air Force would investigate the case thoroughly, and would ultimately cooperate with “independent” UFO investigators.

There were also two witnesses, who would corroborate Rodrigues’s version of events. At least as far as the loss of control of his plane. Two shepherds happened to notice his Dornier suddenly take the nosedive just over the dam. They would also witness the plane suddenly level out thanks to the pilot’s quick thinking.

They would even offer that they heard a loud noise before the plane came out of its “falling leaf” like descent. Both the description of the fall and the loud noise would match the nosedive and the opening of the throttle to regain control of the plane.

What’s more, at the actual dam facility itself, although they were unaware of Rodrigues or the bizarre object he had witnessed, at the same time he began to experience plane trouble, they would notice a sudden drop in pressure and energy. As if everything was suddenly being drained. The incident would last only a few seconds. Most likely for as long as the nosedive of the plane. It would, however, cause great concern to those working at the facility at the time.

Might it be a case of coincidence? It surely would, though, take the most skeptical mind to dismiss entirely the likeliness that a genuine connection exists between the two strange incidents. NOTE: The above image is CGI.