by Norio Hayakawa
May 5, 2010
At around 10:30 a.m. on March 21, 1987, there was a crash of an F-14 Tomcat fighter in a canyon just north of Scripps Ranch, San Diego, California.
The newswires reported that the crash occurred shortly after the jet had taken off from Miramar Naval Air Station.
Two pilots, after they ejected from the aircraft, said they heard 3 loud explosions as the jet plummeted to the ground.
The crash site was about one mile north of Scripps Miramar Ranch, about two miles northeast of Mira Mesa, and about 4 miles northeast of the air base.
About 65 firefighters from the San Diego Fire Department and Poway were summoned to the canyon area to battle a two-acre blaze triggered when the jet crashed.
Firefighters had trouble reaching the site because of the poor access roads through the rugged terrain.
The blaze continued for about three hours.
A Sheriff Department’s helicopter, which had helped in transferring the pilots out of the area to the Naval air base, also aided firefighters by dumping water on hot spots.
Navy spokesman Lt. Ed Mapers said that “Quite a few people called us and they all said it was strange”. “They said it was quiet and the aircraft was making no noise. It could lead you to believe possibly that the engines shut down”.
Mr. Lucky Endo, a long-time area resident, said that he did not witness the crash itself nor did he see the crash site because it was on the other side of the hill.
But he heard the explosions and soon he witnessed two parachutes coming down.
He said that fire broke out but the fire engines may have had difficulty reaching the area.
A helicopter was used initially to put out the fire on the ground, he said.
Smoke from the crash was still visible for several hours.
According to him, the area was completely secured and became off limits to the public by the military, the police and the fire department.
What was most interesting was that Mr. Endo states that around 3:30 p.m., he began to observe an oval-shaped object hovering in the distance on the visible side of the hill, just above the tree lines.
It hovered in that area for about a minute or so.
Mr. Endo said he took two still photos at that time.
He did not take any videos. He only sent me two copies of his original photos. Therefore the images are not too clear but it is, nevertheless, most interesting.
According to the news reports, the F-14 Tomcat fighter had crashed due to electric malfunctioning.
Mr. Endo theorizes that the pilots of the jet may have earlier encountered an unidentified craft during the training mission and may even have been chasing the object.
He believes that the object that appeared around 3:30 p.m. may have been observing the crash site after the ground fire was put out.
The Navy never released any final investigation results on this incident.