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UFOlogists Look into Air Battle in Finland
UFO Roundup, January 5, 1999

Ufologists in Finland are looking into a reported air battle between a Finnish jet fighter and a squadron of five UFOs. According to Lars Osterman, the dogfight took place on March 31, 1997 in northern Finland. Local researchers learned of it when the pilot, whose name has been kept under wraps, phoned a radio talk show and reportedly said he was "having trouble dealing with" the experience. According to Osterman, the fighter was an F-18A Hornet of the Suomen Ilmaviomat (Finnish Air Force--J.T.), which was posted to the Lapin Lennosto (Far North Air Department) air base at Rovaniemi, 400 kilometers (240 miles) north of Helsinki.

The F-18 took off on "a routine 960-kilometer patrol of the border" with Russia. As the jet flew over the frozen tundra southeast of Lake Inarijarvi, the pilot spotted three discoid UFOs flying in a northeasterly direction. Going in for a closer look, the pilot saw that "there seemed to be five saucers, instead of just three." He then radioed Rovaniemi and advised them of the situation. Lapin Lennosto Flight Control ordered him to intercept the objects. The five UFOs, described by the pilot as "glowing orange objects," veered sharply to the northwest. The F-18 pursued them to Ivalo, a city 200 kilometers (120 miles) north of Rovaniemi. From there, the F-18 chased the saucers west to Inari, 40 kilometers (24 miles) to the northwest. Then the saucers darted eastward, high above Lake Inarijarvi.

The pilot told Flight Control that the UFOs were breaking formation and requested permission to fire at them. Flight Control responded, "Permission granted. Fire at will." The pilot got behind one glowing saucer and lined it up with the reticule on his windshield "heads up" display. But instead of picking up the "target acquisition tone" in his earphones, he heard the raucous honk of an alarm. All at once, the targeting computer went off-line. The "heads up" display disappeared. The F-18's firing system for the 20mm cannon was also down. Instantly the pilot hit the "arming" switch for his air-to-air missiles. The red Malfunction light began blinking on the dashboard.

According to Osterman, the saucers regrouped and flew away to the east "at Mach 4 or 5. They had an orange glow around them." None of the F-18's flight control systems were affected, and the pilot returned safely to Rovaniemi. "They tested the computers for days afterward but could find nothing wrong with them," he added. The saucers crossed the border and were last seen heading for Talvikula in Russia. (Email Interview)