Japanese Air Force Also Has Encounters with UFOs: A New Book by a Retired Lieutenant General

Mr. Mamoru Sato (born in 1939), a retired Lieutenant General of the Air Self-Defense Force (air force), has done an epoch-making work: his new book introduces UFO sightings of his colleagues and subordinates. The hardcover book, Jitsuroku: Jieitai Pairotto-tati ga Sekkin-Sogu shita UFO (A True Record: UFOs the Self-Defense Force Pilots Encountered Closely), published by Kodan-sha, the biggest publisher in Japan, appeared July (\1700 + tax; 294 pages). 

    According to his blog, Mr. Sato wrote this book at the publisher’s request. He asked 37 persons (page 120), and, contrary to his expectation (page 40), he got many UFO stories (#1). The witnesses are not against the duty of confidentiality, because any UFO does not exist for our Ministry of Defense. “The subject of UFO is virtually taboo in the Self-Defense Force,” says Mr. Sato at Preface of this book. But it does not meancover up.”  There is no such deep meaning.”  It means no more than that the high officials of Japanese air force look down on the UFO problem. Thus almost all of these stories were hidden not only from the nation but also from Ministry of Defense! (#2)


    Though this book has nine chapters, clear UFO stories of the Self-Defense Force members are described only in the first three chapters, that is, Introductory Chapter: The High Frequency of Close-Encounters with UFOs / Chapter 1: A Major who was Loved by UFOs / Chapter 2: UFOs  Aim at Bases in the Tohoku Region [a part of northern Japan].


    The rest are as follows. ?? Chapter 3: Pilots who were Saved by Aliens / Chapter 4: The UFO Incident File / Chapter 5: History of Unidentified Flying Objects / Chapter 6: UFOs and Nuclear Installations / Chapter 7: UFOs, Spiritual World and Yukio Mishima [1925-1970; a famous novelist who killed himself by means of cutting his abdomen (the so-called “hara-kiri : traditional way of samurai) at a base of the Ground Self-Defense Force in Tokyo . Mr. Mishima was one of the earliest members of Japan Flying Saucer Research Association, one of the earliest UFO groups in Japan (see the third issue) ] / The Last Chapter: Beyond of Romantic Sky.


    As these chapters show, this book tells about Mr. Sato’s view of UFOs. He even refers to Shakoki Dogu, spacesuit-like clay dolls of prehistoric Japan (see the 6th and the 7th issues). However, you may not meet a UFO in Chapter 3. The first pilot was saved by a voice (“Go back immediately”) which he heard when he saw “a very bright light” in the direction of his base. His fighter (F-86F) exploded at the next flight by another pilot: metal fatigue in its engine caused the accident. This story barely contains a strange aerial light. But the next story is of a prophetic dream. And the last pilot is Mr. Sato himself whose reckless flight was saved by a miraculous change in the weather.


    The left figure (#3) shows this book. The lower one third is not the cover but a paper book-band to advertise the book (many Japanese books have a such band). Unfortunately, this book almost lacks UFO photos and illustrations (the only exception is a sketch by a prophet), and therefore this book may have no interest for those who can not read Japanese. Then, let us see some of clear encounters. ??


Invisible Radar Targets: Mr. Sato introduces many stories. One is exceptionally from the Maritime Self-Defense Force (the navy). Around 1968. Mr. Sumihiko Kawamura (retired Rear Admiral) was the captain of an anti-submarine patrol plane (P2V-7) of Shimofusa Air Base (Chiba Prefecture) near Tokyo. When his plane was flying over the Pacific Ocean, his radar captured an object in front. The object made a rapid approach. As his plane was in clouds, he could not see the object. He made a left-turn in a hurry to avoid a collision with it. “But nothing was seen, and there was no change,” says Mr. Kawamura. He did not make a report on this event, because his plane had gotten into no trouble. (Introductory Chapter)


Objects Radars Can not Capture: Mr. Tetsuo Higaki (retired Lieutenant Colonel) was a very capable fighter-pilot. One night of 1981, over East China Sea, he saw a white light flying on his right. It was about 9 kilometers away from his fighter (F15). But not only a ground radar but also the following fighter could not see it. As an ambush training started, he had to make a left turn. And the object disappeared before he knew. This light was seen for 2-3 minutes. (Introductory Chapter) / On the afternoon of April 11, 1986, over the Sea of Japan, Mr. Shinkichi Nagatomi (retired Major General) on his fighter (F-1) noticed a motionless “black dot” in the air. Another fighter also saw it. While they were on patrol, the “dot” stayed put. But when he approached, it began to move and flew away at very high speed. His radar could not capture this object.  “Though a F-1’s radar of those days was not perfect,” says Mr. Nagatomi. (Chapter 2)


Encounters with Breakdowns: This was an open secret story for the then members of Matsushima Air Base (Miyagi Prefecture) in northern Japan. The story was brought to Mr. Sato from “the retired Colonel T” who had served at the base at that time. Around 1983, before noon, over the Pacific Ocean. “Captain G” on a training plane (T-2) noticed a cigar-shaped” object flying. “Captain M” on the front seat of the plane did not notice (the two Captains were not trainees but instructors). Just before this detection, troubles happened with an electrical system and a control system of their plane. While the two pilots were busy with this troubles, the object disappeared, and the troubles also disappeared. In the afternoon of that day, the same event occurred at the same plane when “Captain M” and another pilot were on board. In both cases, maintenance men could not find anything wrong. However, this incident of the order of American big UFO cases was hushed up because of a poor reason: Air Staff Office (the headquarters in Tokyo) hated the breakdown-story on this made-in-Japan-plane! (Introductory Chapter)


 A Repeater: Of course, not every Self-Defense Force pilot meets a UFO. In spite of his 3,800 hours’ flying time, Mr. Sato saw no UFO (#4). In contrast, Mr. Noboru Funatsuki (retired Major) saw three times. Two are when he was assigned to that Matsushima Air Base, and one is after he became a civil aviation pilot; one is from a T-2 training plane (“a shining spherical white object” that flew about at around Mach 8-10; not captured by a ground radar; seen by 6 pilots), and two are from the ground (“a white round dot” that kept still for more than 1 hour in the sky; at the Matsushima Air base. / two bright lights that changed their positions in an instant; at a hotel in Singapore). According to Mr. Funatsuki, civil aviation pilots also often meet UFOs. Those stories also, though not specified, were not reported to the airline companies. (Chapter 1)


As you see, our Government does not collect UFO reports. Mr. Sato points out that this is one serious drawback of Japanese national defense, because “not all ???unidentified flying objects???are ‘genuine UFOs=flying saucers’ ”(page 176).


    One day of 1986, when Mr. Sato was the head of Public Relations Section in Air Staff Office of Tokyo, a young reporter visited to collect materials for a magazine. The reporter believed that a F-4 Phantom fighter of the Air Self-Defense Force had been shot down by a UFO near Hyakuri Air Base ( Ibaraki Prefecture near Tokyo ) on May 1, 1973. He showed Mr. Sato a copy of a document in the style of the United Nations, which told a mistaken aircraft registration and mistaken pilot names. The reporter’s story seems to have meant an alleged event on June 9, 1974 reported by an American UFO magazine. The victims of this aerial explosion accident in 1973 are Lieutenant Colonel Yoshihiro Ozaki and Captain Masayasu Abe. (The Last Chapter)



#1  This book contains UFO stories from 11 Self-Defense Force members including 1 navy pilot.  7 or 8 (if a light seen by a pilot who saved by a voice [see later description] is a UFO) of them have their own experiences. 


#2  Japanese “Act on Access to Information” is almost useless to UFOlogy: our bureaucrats have only poor information. This June Mr. Ryo Takemoto (1957-) again demanded documents about the Japan-Airlines-pilot-sighting over Alaska in 1986 (see the 13th issue). However, it is very doubtful whether such a document was made by our dull bureaucrats.  


#3  From Mr. Kiyoshi Amamiya’s blog, Kiyo-rin no UFO Hokoku (Kiyoshi’s UFO Report). Mr. Sato refers to him on pages 92, 145, 169, 172.


#4  Years ago, one night Mr. Sato’s wife saw an orange-colored round light like a naked bulb flying about, when she walked along a street in Setagaya-ku, Tokyo (page 50). The text can be translated as “???lights???flying past each other”; Mr. Sato uses ordinary Japanese which is sometimes not lucid.


This spring Mr. Tsugio Kinoshita (1947-) retired from “UFO Fureai-kan” (UFO Public Hall) in Fukushima Prefecture . He had filled the post of its director since 1993 (see the 5th issue). Iino Town, the founder of this hall, became a part of Fukushima City in 2008. Unlike the Town the City does not include the word of “UFO” in the title of the ordinance to put this hall.  

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