Patrick D. McCaslin Interview, 25 February 2001

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pattern, which is just basically a box pattern—you're flying down the runway, you make a left, you make another left and you are flying downwind, and my memory is that we told the AC—the Aircraft Commander at that time—we've got the position where this thing disappeared on our—we got the crosshairs on it, just sending your PDI and the TG meter will tell you how far it is. The TG meter tells you how many seconds to go, or minutes to go to a bomb release. The PDI is a Position Directional Indicator. But you center it—they have an instrument on the dash at the pilot's position, and when they have that needle centered, they're flying toward the crosshairs.
PM:So my memory is that we instructed them that if they just did that, they'd fly to that position where this thing disappeared. And as the TG meter was counting down, we also had the PDI and the TG meter downstairs, I heard, one of the pilot's said, "Jeez...Jesus, look at that"—something to that effect, and at some point, because I had been so involved in tracking this thing and everything, somebody upstairs, I don't remember which one it was, said, "Hey nav, you've gotta come up and see this," and I basically said, "Screw you, I'm in a perfectly good ejection seat and I'm not gonna leave it to go up there and look at whatever that is," because, I was convinced by then, that this was nothing—this was beyond anything I'd seen or heard of, and I tried to put myself in the position of whatever this thing was, and now you're gonna have an 8-engine bomber fly over you at a very low altitude, I'm just not comfortable with un—I mean these guys that were asking me to come up and take a look were in ejection seats. The act of getting out of my ejection seat and going up there would mean I would have had no parachute, no nothing. I mean even if they blew the airplane away from me, I would've had no parachute to open. So, my mother raised—
INT:But you were scared?
PM:Let's say prudent. Now I don't remember—I've been scared. I've been very afraid in airplanes, and I don't remember being afraid. I guess I'd call it apprehensive. I knew there was something going on that wasn't normal, and I knew that in situations like that, you want to be—gonna give yourself every chance to survive in it, and I wasn't gonna unstrap from that seat. You know, in retrospect, I kinda wish I'd seen the thing visually.
INT: Now there wasn't anything stopping you from doing that, right?
PM:No, no. I was being invited up to take a look, which as we recall, I would've had to unstrap, climb up the stairs, go up front, stand there

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