On the gray, dull morning of 12th February 1954, at around 10:30 am, Second Lieutenant Lamar Barlow was piloting his F86 Sabre jet over the North Shore Mountains, and specifically Grouse Mountain in British Columbia, Canada.

Earlier that morning, Barlow had left the runway from McChord Air Force Base over the state border in Tacoma, Washington. Although the jet was fully armed the flight was simply a standard instrument checking exercise. However, shortly after 12 noon, the control tower began receiving “Mayday” calls from Barlow.

According to the report, he had lost the use of his compass and consequently was now lost himself. Records from McChord Air Force Base show that at 12:06 pm, Barlow was approximately 60 miles north of Vancouver. Nine minutes later, and with the aid of radar operators, that distance was reduced to only 15 miles.

By this time, however, the F86 was beginning to run remarkably low on fuel. Preparations were made for an emergency landing at Vancouver’s Sea Island Airport. Before permission to land was granted, though, all communications were lost.

We will examine the speculative circumstances in a moment, as what exactly happened following this loss of communication is unclear. And certainly the speculation is not part of the official version of events.

However, at an altitude of 2,700 feet and at a speed of over 750 miles per hour, Barlow, still strapped firmly into his seat (which is how military recovery teams would find his body), slammed squarely into the mountainside. Debris would fly into all directions and travel a considerable distance.

Official Explanation Claims Pilot Error – “Radar Ghosts!”

Several days later accounts began to appear in newspapers, locally and nationally. The cause of the crash, according to the United States Air Force, was pilot error. Barlow, they said, was seeing “radar ghosts”. This, combined with the loss of his navigation equipment, confused the pilot, who believed he was nearer to Tacoma than he actually was. When Grouse Mountain suddenly came into view, given the speed at which he was traveling, the pilot simply had no time to react.

A sound enough explanation. However, to some, the official explanation didn’t add up. Not least why he was traveling so fast while descending in the first place. While the military chalked this up to experience or lack thereof on Barlow’s part, it was an aspect of the case, like many others, that niggled at the minds of many UFO researchers.

For example, why was the plane carrying 24 fully armed rockets on what was essentially a training exercise? Although skeptics to the UFO claims – which we will get to in a moment – point out that this is to produce the realistic weight of a plane should it be heading into combat – this would appear to be something achievable without using fully armed weaponry. Certainly not with an inexperienced pilot, if we accept for a moment the US Air Force’s claims regarding Barlow and his error causing the crash.

Furthermore, the entire area was roped off and protected by armed guards 24 hours a day for several days after the incident. Officially, and understandably, this was to retrieve “most” of the 24 rockets in question. Whether that is an honest assessment or not, it certainly provided ample reason for the military to shield the activities at the crash site from the public.

Was Lamar Barlow On A Secret Armed Intercept Mission?

Returning to the question of why the F86 jet was armed, some researchers believe the reason to be far more serious than a mere test. Even sinister. According to some who have studied and researched the Grouse Mountain incident, Barlow’s mission that morning was not to check onboard instruments. According to some researchers, he left the runway that gray morning with orders to pursue and intercept a UFO. With deadly force if necessary.

As a quick side-thought here, all reports concerning the clean up operation following the crash mention that “most” of the rockets were retrieved. Might there still be missing weaponry from the F86 somewhere in the woodlands of Grouse Mountain? Or might it be that one or more of the rockets were discharged during the two hours or so that Barlow was in the air? Again, while that is pure speculation, it is certainly worth keeping in mind. NOTE: The above image is CGI.