Maj Milton Torres, PhD, USAF
Maj Milton Torres, PhD, USAF retired
In 1957 Major Torres had an extraordinary
encounter with a UFO. “The one I chased didn’t
follow classic Newtonian mechanics. It made a
right turn almost on a dime,” he relates from his
home in Kendall, Fla. “The (Royal Air Force
radar) scope had a range of 250 miles. And after
two sweeps, which took two seconds, it was
gone. And I was flying almost at Mach 1, at .92.”
Bottom line for Torres: Any military organization
that isn’t interested in this sort of elusive high
technology is incompetent.
Retired USAF major broke a 51-year silence in
October of 2009 about his potentially lethal UFO
scramble. The British Ministry of Defence had just
released another batch of UFO files through its
National Archives, and one of the cases occurred on April 27, 1957. That’s when an unnamed USAF
pilot with the American 406th Fighter Wing operating out of RAF Manston in Kent was dispatched with
specific orders to blast a UFO out of the late-night sky.
Torres, now 77, promptly stepped forward and owned up (“It was such a relief!”) to being the guy
assigned to shoot it down. Climbing to 32,000 feet in his F-86 Sabrejet along with a wingman, Torres
couldn’t see the bogey, but he got a strong radar lock-on some 15 miles out. With just seconds to go
before closing to within missile range, things got freaky. The blip on his scope flashed to a 6 o’clock
position, then 3 o’clock, then 12 o’clock, and 11 o’clock. Then it was gone. Ground control lost it, too.
End of chase, but not the story.
Back on the deck, Torres says he was bullied by a member of the U.S. National Security Agency, and
told that if he breathed a word of what happened — even to his own commander — his flying days were
“What the hell did I know? I was just a pilot, I didn’t have any information,” he said. “The thought of losing
my flight status was unacceptable.”
So Torres put a cork in it and went on to complete a 20-year USAF career. He earned a doctorate in
mechanical engineering, and taught at Florida International University.
Contrasting the threats he received with the routine manner in which that information was released,
Torres is struck by the arbitrary nature of state secrecy. It bothers him that he has heard from other
military pilots reluctant to go public.
“They’ve told me about getting scrambled, and how what they’re chasing left ‘em standing there like they
weren’t even moving,” says the former college professor. “They don’t know what’s it is, but somebody
Impressed by President Obama’s executive order directing federal bureaucracies to err on the side of
transparency when dealing with public information requests, Torres says it’s time to pony up.
“I want Obama to open it up, to declassify this UFO material,” he says. “This has gone on for too long.”