50 years ago, US Air Force pilot William Schaffner flew from a British military base towards the North Sea. Soon his plane disappeared, and a few weeks later was found sunk at the bottom of the sea.
The pilot’s body was missing on the plane, while the cockpit was intact and tightly closed, giving rise to many conspiracy theories. The most popular one said that Schaffner was abducted by a̳l̳i̳e̳n̳s and he did not go on a training flight but was trying to overtake a strange object that was visible on the radar.
William Schaffner, 28, was stationed at a British exchange base and flew a BAC Lightning fighter with the 5th RAF Squadron at RAF Binbrook. The official report stated that the pilot died in an accident.
On the evening of September 8, 1970, military radar spotted an unidentified object over the North Sea and Schaffner was on duty, so he took off to track this object. His callsign was Foxtrot 94.
The mysterious object was tracked at 9:30 pm by RAF Fylingdales and USAF radar at Thule Air Force Base in Greenland, as well as Cheyenne Mountain Complex radar base in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
So it wasn’t just some kind of interference with the radar. Schaffner took off from Beanbrook on a Lightning XS894 at 22.06. The fighter was armed with two Red Top air-to-air missiles. The unidentified object was by then flying east of Whitby, parallel to the coast.
It was being tracked by the Royal Air Force at Staxton Wold in North Yorkshire. After 22.30, Schaffner’s plane stopped responding and did not return to base. It was discovered at the bottom on October 7, 1970, but it was only in December that it was able to be brought to the surface.
To everyone’s surprise, the main part of the plane looked outwardly almost unharmed. Including the cockpit, the dome was in place and was closed. But the pilot himself was not in the cockpit. He was never found.
His sons, Glenn and Mike Schaffner have been trying for years to find out the truth about their father’s disappearance, but to no avail. In October 1992, the story of Schaffner’s mysterious disappearance surfaced when a series of articles by one Pat Otter were published in the Grimsby Telegraph.
He argued that new evidence had emerged in this case and that the real reason for the spinning of the British fighter jet and the disappearance of the pilot lay in the “e̳x̳t̳r̳a̳t̳e̳r̳r̳e̳s̳t̳r̳i̳a̳l̳ visit“. Otter eloquently described that, according to new evidence, the strange object on the radar was an a̳l̳i̳e̳n̳ ship. According to him, he received this information from unnamed military sources, which tracked the path of the movement of this object along the coast and beyond.
One of these articles also indicated that during his flight, Schaffner allegedly reported that a “cone” and a “transparent sphere” were flying around his fighter. And that these objects caused malfunctions in the equipment of the fighter.
It also claimed that the mysterious U̳F̳O̳ flew much faster than the fighter and seemed to be playing catch-up with it. At the end of this newspaper sensation, it was stated that attempts to investigate further led to the “brick wall” and that the real cause of the Schaffner plane crash was deliberately hidden.
In 2002, Captain William Schaffner’s sons, Mike and Glenn, made another attempt to look at the official files of their father’s disappearance. In the end, they got the files declassified, but the disclosed documents only indicated that the incident was just an accident.
It plausibly explained that the glass cockpit was tightly closed because, according to the laws of hydraulics, fluid compresses when it gets cold. That is, the cockpit “closed” by itself when the plane landed on the cold bottom of the North Sea. Nevertheless, for obvious reasons, the case of William Schaffner is still widely considered and studied by U̳F̳O̳logists and many curious people who are not satisfied with the official version of the incident.