AFM has obtained copies of an Iranian report into alleged UFO overflights that occurred some ten years ago. During 2004 and 2005 the pilots of four Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) F-4E Phantom IIs and a single F-14A Tomcat reportedly confronted ‘luminescent UFOs’ over strategic facilities in Khondab and Bushehr. In the process, at least two ‘dogfights’ occurred, albeit without any success for the fighter pilots.
Original scans of the pages as well as their English transcript were first published on Twitter by Iranian aviation reporter Babak Taghvaee on December 17.
The incident involving the F-14A occurred on October 28, 2004, when the interceptor was on a combat air patrol (CAP) over the Arank heavy water reactor near Khondab. The glowing UFO was seen at night and was judged to be ‘collecting data from the reactor’, according to the report. Details of the encounter including a dogfight as well as an interview with the Tomcat pilot and RIO are mentioned on four pages of the IRIAF report into UFO overflights:
UFOs are an inseparable part of Iranian Air Force history. Since the late 1960s, when the air force began to rapidly expand its combat aircraft fleet, luminous unidentified flying objects began to appear over strategic locations across the country. These sightings increased with the expansion of the air force and reached a peak on September 18-19, 1976 when examples were reportedly intercepted by Imperial Iranian Air Force (IIAF) F-4Es over the capital, Tehran.
UFO overflights resumed after the Islamic Revolution of 1979 and there were alleged sightings over the US Embassy during its occupation by pro-Khomeini students. Mass UFO sightings occurred two weeks prior to the official outbreak of the Iran-Iraq War in 1980. During the Tanker War later in the decade, UFOs apparently appeared over Iranian oil rigs a few hours before US Navy strikes.
Covert agents from the Iranian Army Command of Intelligence and Reconnaissance reported UFO sightings over strategic locations in Iraq prior to coalition air strikes during Operation Desert Storm in 1991. Similar reports of UFO sightings over Afghanistan and Iraq came just days prior to the launch of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2002 and Iraqi Freedom in 2003.
UFO sightings in Iranian airspace resumed after the Tehran government covertly launched its nuclear programme in the early 2000s. UFOs were began to be reported over nuclear sites, and the IRIAF blamed US intelligence-gathering operations. Other UFOs started to appear over the Semnan ballistic missile test range. Beginning in 2009 the IRIAF employed special air defense measures during ballistic missile tests at Semnan.
In 2009 the Iranian Air Force Strategic Research and Studies launched a research project to study the nature of the UFOs spotted over Iran in the past five decades. The IRIAF researchers working on the project included F-4E instructor pilots and aerospace engineers assisted by scientists.
The study concludes that the UFOs in question were manmade and that, in the past two decades, the objects primarily appeared in proximity to sites related to Iran’s ballistic missile and nuclear programmes.
Coincidentally, the Iranian dislocures come at a time of increased interest in UFOs in the United States, too. Luis Elizondo, an intelligence officer at the US Defense Department, recently secured the release of three videos showing encounters between fighters and “anomalous aerial vehicles”, the military term for UFOs. One of these videos, from a US Navy F/A-18F, is posted below. Babak Taghvaee