UFO? Mystery airplane buzzes the Banks
BY SANDY SEMANS | SENTINEL STAFF
What appeared to be a dark colored C-130 transport plane barely cleared the tree tops around the Dare County Regional Airport on Friday and again on Sunday afternoon.
The aircraft swooped down at the airport, followed the path of the runway and then climbed up again before heading to First Flight airstrip at Wright Brothers National Memorial where it repeated the almost-touch-and-go.
Airport personnel said that they are aware that there were three such passes made at Dare airport late Friday afternoon and two more on Sunday, but don’t know what agency owns the plane.
Not knowing the owner of the aircraft or why it was there is not unusual, according to airport personnel. The military practices at the landing strip but doesn’t notify the airport about such activities.
Steve Thompson, chief ranger with the National Park Service, said that he was not aware of the use of that airstrip by the plane but that the military doesn’t notify NPS before using its facility for training.
Asked if it was an Air Force plane, a public affairs spokesperson at Seymour Johnson Air Force base, canvassed other bases in the area, including Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force facilities for information. Their queries netted no information other than all three of the services denied having such a plane in the area on those days. The Army doesn’t own the large transport planes.
One clue left behind is the fact that it apparently is either leaking some type of fluid or dumping a strange sort of fuel. Some vehicles under the path of the plane were splattered with a sticky, milky substance that is difficult to remove without scrubbing.
In the meantime, civilian pilots should be on the look out for a large low-flying plane. If anyone sees the plane close enough to read the insignia on the side, please contact the Sentinel – inquiring minds want to know.