The following account is extracted from the Tokyo Japan Times of March 21, and is a UPI Agency release originating from Hiroshima.
Three Japanese airline pilots reported Friday night that they were chased by a flying saucer while they were on their scheduled flights between this city and Osaka. The first to report seeing the so called flying saucer was Yoshiaka Inaba, pilot of the domestic TOA Airlines, as he was flying his Convair-240 with 40 passengers aboard over Himeji, near Osaka, on his way to Hiroshima, shortly after 7:00 p.m.
A mysterious elliptical luminous object appeared just after I had passed Himeji. I was flying at the time at an altitude of about 6,500'. The object followed for a while, and then stopped for about three minutes, and then followed along my left wing across the Inland Sea for a distance of about 55 miles, until we reached Matsuyama on Shikoku Island. It then disappeared.
Inaba said the object emitted a greenish colored light and violently affected his automatic direction finder and his radio. He said he tried to contact the Osaka communications tower but was unsuccessful.
His co-pilot, Tetsu Umashima, tried to contact the Matsuyama tower to report on their observation of the strange object. While he was trying to do so, he heard the frantic calls from the pilot of a Tokyo Airlines Apache, who said he was being chased by a mysterious luminous object while he was flying along the northern edge of Matsuyama city.
Inaba, a veteran of 20 years with more than 8,600 hours, said it was the first time in his flying experience that he had ever seen such an object.
Extract from the Mainichi Daily News - Tokyo of March 22.
A group of aviation, astronomical, and defence experts left the United States for Japan today to investigate the reports of a flying saucer seen by Japanese pilots Thursday night, according to a message from U.S., relayed by the New York Times Tokyo office to the Toa Airlines Office here.
The Americans, flying saucer experts from the Defence Department, the Federal Aviation Agency, and the Palomar Astronomical Observatory, want to talk to pilot Yoshiharu Inaba of Toa Airlines and Joji Negishi of Tokyo Airlines.
Inaba was the captain of the Convair-240, with 28 passengers aboard, which encountered the oblong and luminescent object over the Ieshima Islands in the Seto Inland Sea at 7:06 p.m. on Thursday. Fearing a collision, Inaba turned the plane 60° to the right, but the flying saucer made an abrupt turn and flew along with the plane for about three minutes.
Negishi, piloting a Piper-Apache, reported seeing the same flying saucer near the same spot within a few minutes of its encounter with the Convair-240.
The sky was clear and the moon was almost full that night. There was not much possibility that the three pilots: Inaba, Negishi, and Inaba's co-pilot Tetsu Majima, were deceived by a meteorological phenomenon. Inaba is a veteran pilot with flying experience of more than twenty years.
A test conducted by the Airlines on Saturday night under similar circumstances ruled out the possibility that the pilots saw the reflection of light from their planes.
The American mission is believed to be interested in the case because there have been several mysterious aviation accidents and flying saucers might have been involved.