MARCH 1989 ROMANIAN MILITARY AIRPORT
At the Mihai Kogalniceanu military airport, north of Constanta, several supersonic fighter aircraft pilots of the Aviation Group 57 had witnessed an unidentified aerospace phenomenon. The event took place probably in the second half of March 1989 (there are differences in the timing remembered). Between the hours of 15.00 and 21.00, the unit, consisting then of 18-20 pilots, executed a shooting exercise in two sets: day flight and night flight. “At one point, it was announced that the training flights were halted, although weather conditions were excellent and the visibility was very good” said one witness. At around 21.20, the pilots were stripped of their equipment. Some of them, including the Commander and the Colonel Platon Streja, flight inspector in the Air Force Command in Bucharest, delegate to attend and participate in flights that week, were in the “alarm cell”, a room located in a building, planning the next flight, scheduled over two days. The other pilots were talking on a bench outside this building. The technicians were preparing the aircrafts for parking at night. The sky was “glass clear”, and the visibility perfect. Colonel (ret.) Aurelian Dobre remembers: I was talking with some fellow pilots before the ‘cell’. I was facing the take off terminal. At one point, I saw many lights, appearing actually above the trees. I immediately entered the ‘cell’ to warn those who were inside. When I went out, the lights were already on top of us.” Colonel (ret.) Paul Otelea, commander of the second group, then flying a MIG -23, says:”At one point our colleague Aurelian Dobre entered, calling us: Come out quickly!” We went all; we looked in the sky and saw a triangular sections train at an equal distance between them, bathed in white light silver matte, strong but without giving light around. [… ] They moved from south to north. I appreciate that they were at an angle of about 20-25 degrees and about 7,000 meters high. Along with the passing over him, he heard “a noise that resembled very well with the rustle of a flock of birds in flight over the forest at night. I knew it from childhood, when I was wandering the woods”. “From the first moment I saw them until they disappeared, several tens of seconds passed, then the lights faded out towards Ukraine”. He adds that it is a great mystery the lack of “sonic bang” shock wave. Colonel (ret.) Dan Aioanei, who at the time was flying a MIG-29, says: “From Medgidia, a formation of 7, 8 or 9 flowing objects were approaching. They looked like neon tubing, several kilometers long each, and were thus positioned relative to one another that form a “V”. From the distance, the tubes seem to have a diameter of 15-20 cm, so in reality they have 2-3 meters. Travel speed must have been at least supersonic. They were flying very high, at an altitude of over 3,000 m but may be well over 10,000 meters. Even for us, acquainted with the sky, was hard to estimate, because the reference points, i.e. clouds, were missing. As pilots, we know what shape, texture, dynamics have the clouds, depending on the altitude at which they are. The formation left no trace behind, no light, no trail. The “tubes” have disappeared from the horizon, somewhere east of Tulcea. In 1989, the Group 57 of Air Force, now disbanded, was among the highest rated in Europe in terms of professionalism of the pilots and endowment of the unit. The pilots who witnessed the event were both well qualified and trained to distinguish an airplane, helicopter, balloon, flock of birds, or satellite from whatever. NOTE: The above image is a rendering.
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