The 1976 Iranian (Tehran) UFO Incident

The 1976 Iranian (Tehran) UFO incident allegedly involved a close encounter between two Iranian piloted F-4s and a UFO.

The "incident" began at approximately 12:30 a.m. September 19, 1976, when the Imperial (pre-revolution) Iranian Air Force command post began receiving reports of strange activity in the night sky over Tehran. Some callers thought it to be a brightly lit helicopter, others reported it as unidentified.

Unable to account for the reports, the command post contacted General Yousefi the assistant deputy commander of operations. At first sceptical, the general contacted Mehrabad International for confirmation before apparently seeing the object in the night sky himself. At 0130 hours (local time) an F-4 Phantom was dispatched at his request from Shahrokhi Air Force Base to investigate.

Yaddi Nazeri, the pilot of the jet, approached to approximately 46 kilometres before being forced to break off due to instrument and communications failure; minutes later all instruments regained full functionality. Nazeri later remembered thinking that the object whatever it was, was from another planet its technology far beyond that of any earthly government.

At 0140 hours a second F-4 took to the air piloted by Lieutenant Parviz Jafari (later to become General Jafari) and quickly closed on the UFO even acquiring a radar lock. At 46 kilometres the object matched the F-4’s speed forcing the jet to keep its distance, while the brilliant light which emanated from the UFO (it was apparently visible from over 100 km away) made it difficult to determine its size.

Suddenly a smaller object detached itself from the larger and streaked toward the F-4. Jafari believing he was under attack tried to retaliate with an AIM-9 sidewinder only to be faced (just like Nazeri) with a total loss of instrumentation, weapons control and communications. Diving to escape, the pilot witnessed the smaller object fall in behind him before suddenly turning and rejoining its primary. The UFO apparently then left the area at speeds in excess of Mach 3, the F-4’s instruments returning to normal with its departure.

Allegedly a number of separate but related events then occurred:

A brightly lit smaller object dropped from the primary upon its departure, illuminating then landing in a dry lake bed.

Another UFO was observed by the F-4 crews upon final approach to Mehrabad, this time the object was cylindrical in shape with a steady light at each end and a flashing light in the center.

The F-4s experienced interference and communications failure while landing at Mehrabad.

A commercial airliner experienced interference and communications failure while landing at Mehrabad.

Mehrabad personnel (including air traffic controllers) also saw the tubular/cylindrical object, the tower experiencing power and equipment failure as it overflew the airport.

Due to the large number of visual sightings by highly trained observers both military and civilian, it's hard to dismiss the Iranian UFO Incident out of hand. Add to this radar confirmation of said visual sightings and the fact that three separate aircraft experienced equipment failure at approximately the same time and place, and one has to accept that something strange was in the skies above Iran the morning of September 19, 1976. The question of course is what? [1]

The pilot of the second F-4, Parviz Jafari (now a general) stated on November 12, 2007, while attending a Washington press conference that he fully believed he’d had a close encounter with an alien spacecraft a statement in keeping with those of the first F-4 pilot, Yaddi Nazeri.

General Nader Yousefi, who had ordered the two F-4s to intercept the object stated, "Because of the experience I had on September 19, 1976, I believe there is something up there. We just don't know what it is or where it came from."

A document from the American embassy in Morocco to the State Department, alluded to reports of sightings received by Moroccan police two or three hours after the Iranian Incident, of a cylindrical object trailing sparks and according to an unnamed witness, preparing to land

Henry Kissinger, then Secretary of State, responding with his usual pragmatism and in a highly dismissive manner drew their attention to the Condon Committee report, claiming it showed all UFOs have a natural cause, “the object was probably a meteor or decaying satellite.”

Other debunkers have suggested a bright star, a planet, mass hysteria, hallucination, pilot error, incompetence and equipment failure.

[1] A Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) report distributed to the highest levels of other United States agencies, government, military and security called the case a classic which met all the criteria necessary for a valid study of the UFO phenomenon.

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