Yes, I thought we would revisit the Chiles-Whitted sighting just one more brief time. As I was working on something else, I happened to thumb through Ed Ruppelt’s book, The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects when something about the Chiles-Whitted sighting caught my eye. These guys were airline pilots who suggested a cigar-shaped object had flashed by their aircraft. In the hours that followed they said that there had been no turbulence associated with the sighting but they also said that there had been turbulence. It was a case of taking the position which most closely matched your own belief structure because a solid case could be made from either position.
About the sighting (see pages 57 – 58 in his book), Ruppelt wrote, “Just as the UFO flashed by about 700 feet to the right, the DC-3 hit turbulent air. Whitted looked back just as the UFO pulled up in a steep climb.”
Does this change anything?
Not really. Ruppelt was working from the Blue Book file, and that information is in the file. There are also indications that someone there (Hynek?) thought that a bolide would explain the sighting and that the turbulence was nothing more than imagination, like the double row of brightly lighted windows.
I have to say that while I lean toward the bolide explanation, especially after the Zond IV reentry confusion in 1964, and having seen those compilations of meteor falls on YouTube, there is just enough here to make you wonder. There aren’t actually additional witnesses to that craft or that bolide and that leaves the door open however slightly. If you ask me, I would cautiously say that they saw a bolide that was bigger and brighter than other meteors they’d seen at night, but in the back of my mind there would still be a sliver of doubt.