As a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, this site may earn from qualifying purchases. We may also earn commissions on purchases from other retail websites.
Did a UFO attack in the Vietnam War change US policy toward responding to UFO encounters?
As we know, most unidentified flying object stories don’t include mention of a UFO attack. At most, there may be a tense confrontation, but here we have stories where witnesses claim a wartime fight ensued.
Furthermore, the incidents in question seem to have had a significant impact, changing how the military would respond to UFOs ever after. Fortunately, UFO attack stories remain extremely rare.
The Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) UFO Attack
On June 15, 1968, during the Vietnam War, a remarkable UFO encounter dubbed the DMZ incident took place.
Lieutenant Pete Snyder and crew headed out for patrol in the demilitarized zone between North and South Vietnam. Aboard the PCF-12 patrol boat, they kept an eye out in the rivers near Cua Viet, a port area.
At 12:30 AM, Lieutenant Davis aboard the PCF-19 patrol boat contacted Snyder saying the boat was under attack. Shockingly, Davis said the attackers were unidentified objects, possibly “enemy helicopters.” At the time, there were no Vietnamese helicopters.
In the distance, Snyder and his crew watched as the boat raced toward them. Above the boat, two glowing UFOs were following along. Then, in a flash of light, the UFO destroyed the boat. Suddenly, the objects flew rapidly back to sea and disappeared from view.
A Second UFO Attack
Fortunately, two people survived the attack on PCF-19. Thus, they were able to tell Snyder that the UFOs followed them for miles along the river.
Nevertheless, the Navy instructed Snyder to continue with his patrol, and the crew spotted the same UFOs again hovering in the air.
Afraid they might suffer the same fate as the crew of PCF-19, Snyder ordered the crew to fire as the UFOs approached. However, the fire was returned, spraying the area around the boat as they attempted to escape.
Steffes, the second engineman, described seeing two beings aboard the UFOs sitting in an observation area. Although they believed the aircraft was firing at them, he never saw any weapons.
Later, investigations revealed the bullets they fired at the UFOs were the same ones returning at their boat. Possibly, a protective field around the aircraft caused the bullets to bounce back?
Phantom Fighter Jets Give Chase
Reacting to the UFO attack, the military sent Phantom F-4 fighter jets to protect the patrol boats at 3:20 AM. However, the UFOs quickly left and headed out to the China Sea once more.
There, the HMAS Hobart from the Royal Australian Navy was cruising along the coast. The Hobart Commander reported seeing 30 UFO lights nearby. Then, the ship sent a radio message that two lights were approaching.
Soon, the fighter jets came within range and shot at the UFOs near the Hobart. Suddenly, the UFOs vanished, and all went back to quiet again. So, the jets returned to base in Da Nang.
The Hobart Incident
The next morning near daybreak, the Hobart was near Tiger Island when suddenly, a missile struck the boat. Sadly, the impact killed Seaman RJ Buttersworth and wounded two others. Before the remaining crew could respond, two more missiles struck the Hobart and killed the chief electrician.
In the distance, the survivors saw UFOs hovering on the starboard side of the boat. Interestingly, descriptions match what Lieutenant Snyder witnessed the previous night. Following the attack, UFO reports continued for months in the Australian newspapers.
Later, investigators traced a serial number on a missile that struck the Hobart. Amazingly, it matched the number on a missile that one of the US Phantom F-4 fighter jets shot at the UFOs. Therefore, the conclusion of the formal investigation found it was a case of friendly fire.
Years later, General George S. Brown would explain that it was not friendly fire but an unseen enemy, a UFO attack.
You can see the damage to the Hobart below:
General George S. Brown
Why haven’t we heard about this incident? According to the show, a Pentagon record from an October 16, 1973 press conference lends evidence.
At the conference, General George S. Brown revealed that UFOs plagued troops in Vietnam. Brown also revealed the “enemy helicopters” was the codeword for UFOs.
“I don’t know whether this story has ever been told or not. They weren’t called UFOs. They were called enemy helicopters,” Brown reportedly said. “And they were only seen at night and they were only seen in certain places. They were seen up around the DMZ in the early summer of ’68. And this resulted in quite a little battle. And in the course of this, and Australian destroyed took a hit and we never found an enemy. We only found ourselves when this had all been sorted out. This caused some shooting there and there was no enemy at all involved but we always reacted. Always after dark. The same thing happened up at Pleiku at teh Highlands in ’69.”
Later, President Nixon announced that Brown would become the next chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. You can see General Brown below from AP News:
A Change in Policy Toward UFOs?
Following the UFO attack in Vietnam, Hangar 1 states that the US Military changed policy on UFOs. From then on, the Navy and fighter pilots would be advised to never fire at UFOs again.
Moreover, George Filer, MUFON State Director in New Jersey, states that he’s heard from air traffic controllers on the matter. If a pilot reports seeing a UFO, the controllers are told to divert the plane away, avoiding any confrontation.
“They believe it’s important for [pillots] to stay away from [UFOs] as much as possible,” says Filer.
For MUFON Executive Director Jan C. Harzan, the policy change indicates that the military recognized UFOs as an unstoppable force. Thus, it would be a humbling and sobering reality to admit.
“I think this was an important time in our history when we learned an important lesson in dealing with UFOs,” says MUFON Executive Director Jan C. Harzan. “The fact that we installed a new protocol to not engage with any unidentified flying objects seems to indicate that our military brass may have realize that we could not defeat them.”
Thankfully, the UFOs seem much more interested in stopping war than in engaging in another UFO attack.
See more about this incident from Project Blue Book below: