While having dinner with Dr. Barry Taff last weekend we found ourselves on the topic of UFOs. No surprise there, but honestly for the most part, our conversations tend to be less of the paranormal and more of everyday life. Anyways, Dr. Taff mentioned to me a UFO sighting that he had witnessed while driving in L.A. in 1981. Dr. Taff explained how the craft was cigar-shaped and emitted absolutely no noise. This was unlike anything he had ever seen. No helicopter, plane or blimp would match what Dr. Taff observed that evening of April 19, 1981.
The following account was written by Dr. Barry Taff just shortly after his sighting. It was posted in its entirety on the UFO Evidence website.
On Sunday evening, April 19, 1981, I had just left my friend’s apartment (Larry Brooks) on Jasmine in the city of Palms and headed south on Palms to the 7-11 store at Overland and Palms.
I purchased a small bite to eat at the 7-11 store and then headed northbound on Palms toward my home. I didn’t notice anything unusual until I crossed under the Santa Monica Freeway bridge after which Palms turns into National Blvd.
It was now approximately 11:30 P.M. PST and I was just coming up the grade from the underpass. As I reached the crest of the grade which is approximately parallel with the 76 Union Gasoline station just to the right, I noticed something in the air slightly off the the right. I was now about even with the parking lot for Von’s Market and the accompanying shopping center located there.
At first glance I thought I was observing either a low-flying, fixed-wing aircraft, or possibly a police helicopter which are quite common in that area during the late evening hours. After I ruled out those two possibilities based on my sighting, I then thought it might possibly be the Goodyear Blimp in distress, as it appeared to be quite low in altitude.
I would estimate that it was no higher than 500-600 feet. It was over the northeast leg of the shopping center, at a compass heading of 40 degrees.
“What made me so sure I was not observing any type of conventional aircraft was its basic structure’ design—that of a flattened, elongated cigar, with no tail section or wings of any kind”
After effectively eliminating all the aforementioned aircraft possibilities, I then pulled the car over and stopped, turning off the engine. I stepped out of the car and continued to observe the vehicle in the air.
The most apparent factor at this point was that there was absolutly no sound being generated by the object whatsoever. My eyeball estimate of the object’s range is about 2,500 feet from my location as marked on the map. At that range I would expect to hear either engines or propeller blades from a fixed-wing aircraft or the rotor blades of a helicopter. Neither were heard. Nor was the sound of a jet engine or turbine.
What made me so sure I was not observing any type of conventional aircraft was its basic structure’ design—that of a flattened, elongated cigar, with no tail section or wings of any kind. It is hard to imagine an aircraft staying aloft without any type of horizontal or vertical stabilizer. Additionally, what appeared to be “running lights”, were positioned along the top and bottom of the cigar shape which was viewed on edge. The colors of these running lights were a green/blue and white, alternating.
Another peculiar feature observed was that this long cigar-shaped object had what looked like windows or rectangular openings spaced equidistant from each other between the rows of running lights (see drawing). The “windows” or openings were emitting extremely bright white light.
The object itself appeared to be quite solid and its surface had a charcoal grey color and looked opaque. The object’s attitude was slightly tilted toward the ground (see drawing) and it was moving very slowly.
It seemed to come out of the northeast, tilt down towards the ground, then turn away from my position to a point where I could no longer observe the lights of windows, only its backside which had no lights or windows. At that point, it appeared to begin moving back in a northeasternly direction and I lost sight of it.
Again, it is important to note that during this entire observational period, there was not any sound heard coming from the object. And inasmuch as it was a relatively late hour (11:30 P.M.), there were few if any cars on the street to distract me or drown out the sound, if any.
My entire sighting lasted approximately 45 seconds and I did intend to pursue the object, but I could not drive the car and observe the object at the same time since I was alone, and there was no one present to assist me in navigation.
In conclusion, I’d estimate that the object’s size was considerably larger than any helicopter that the police have flown locally (perhaps 65 feet in length), and was about 15 feet high. It could not have been a blimp as its shape was not consistent with that type of aircraft-aircraft.
Dr. Taff has experience as a pilot and is very well educated in the sciences of flight, aerodynamic and physics. I would assume that such qualifications would help dispel the notion that what Dr. Taff observed that evening was nothing more than a blimp.
I can assure you, as an Angeleno, that when the GoodYear blimp floats across the light-polluted night sky in Los Angeles, That there is not doubt about its shape and outline. The GoodYear blimp has become something of a staple here in L.A. Which makes me doubt that anyone would mistake it as a UFO.
What did Dr. Taff see that night hovering above West Los Angeles?