In a November night, in 1992, three military helicopters were recalled from the military exercise when they encountered an unidentified aerial phenomenon, near Buzau, Romania.
map buzauThe airplanes accomplished a night flight in "triangle" from Buzau to Urziceni, with return after passing Mizil. The weather was ideal for flying, with unusually clear sky. At first, the flying at an altitude of 100 meters, with 150 km/h, seemed running smoothly and the pilots of the three devices threw their look occasionally to the cars circulating at that time, along with their route, on the European road 85 to Urziceni.

Retired Colonel Marcel Smoleanu, today deputy chairman of Buzau branch of the veteran pilots association ARPIA, led the first helicopter. He reports that: "It was an easy task, for training. Helicopters had no weapons. On each device was a pilot, a second and a technician. We left around 22.00, expecting to return at around 24.00. It was a pleasant flight so that each of us was taken with his thoughts. We listened quietly a soft music found through a radio station".

"At one point I froze with my hand on the stick, when I suddenly saw approaching from the left a bright red sphere. It was huge, with an estimated diameter of nearly 20 meters. It was no change of colour, no flicker, no noise and no trail of smoke. The object started flying in parallel with the helicopters.

Smoleanu"I tried to explain to myself what it could be, and, at one point, I thought that it is possible that this strange object is not manufactured on earth. I also asked my colleagues if they see the same thing I see, and they have confirmed briefly, not adding a word. I was so shocked by what happened to us, that I could not speak more”, says Smoleanu. "I was mesmerized. Later I thought it might be a UFO, something seeking us from outside”. The pilot did not look at all to the instruments, so he does not know if the occurrence had any influence on them. However, the engine speed was not disturbed in any way.

Frightened by the unusual experience Smoleanu asked the pilots of other helicopters: "Do you see what I see?” They confirmed. Then, although they knew, before leaving, that there was no flight scheduled in that area, Smoleanu called for explanation the military base at Urziceni which also had helicopters, asking: "Do you have something in the air?” He was told that there is nothing in the air, not from them, nor from Otopeni (near Bucharest).

After tens of seconds in which the pilots did not know how to react, the object has made some unusual manoeuvres. "At one point, our tracker has accelerated sharply and reached an incredible speed. He went suddenly from us, and making an impossible turn, in an angle of 90 degrees, without reducing speed, it cut our path. He entered our travel axis, therefore I made ​​a turn to the left and I slowed almost to hover. After this manoeuvre our object disappeared" adds Smoleanu. ”As suddenly as it appeared, it was extinguished. Even in a light bulb, when it is off, we see the filament. Here, just suddenly there was nothing in the face.”

The flight exercise was stopped. Arriving in emergency to their base, the pilots reported the incident to the commander of the Boboc aviation school, near Buzau. Smoleanu commented: "They had no way to think I'm crazy, because there were still eight witnesses but me. All of us had made ​​the medical visit, including psychological test, which is not a joke in aviation. Therefore, they did not put into question our story… Commander of the school reported to General Alexandru everything we have seen that night. Next morning, we were called to report to the commander's office, where the General expected us. He said only - gentlemen, watch what you say, because you have not seen anything last night! Do you understand? You have seen nothing… and made a gesture as though he would pull zipper over mouth. From this I deduced that we must keep our mouth, thing I did till now, said Colonel Smoleanu.

The former fighter pilot decided to break the silence about the incident, only in an interview in 2012 with reporter Florin Mitu, from the news organization Stiri de Buzău (News of Buzau) and, after a while, telling the story to the investigators of ASFAN.

Accustomed to false sensations in flight and with all kinds of optical illusions, Colonel Smoleanu can not explain the phenomenon experienced. He is convinced, after more than 20 years, that he still took a risk when he decided to talk about the incident. After his first stories appeared in the press, he received „some phone calls”. It was not pleasant, but refuses to discuss more about this topic. And he adds: "I can not give you the names of my former colleagues because I can not take any risk to them. I have chosen to speak because I still do not understand why it was so much secrecy regarding this incident.”

DragoiIn the fall of 2013 Florin Mitu identified and interviewed a second key witness of the case, Lieutenant Colonel, now retired, Doru Dragoi, who was shift manager that night at the command point of the radar of the military airfield Buzau. He remembers that he was called in emergency by a Captain who was "at the tube” (radar screen), when he saw an unidentified target very close to the three helicopters. “That object appeared different from our helicopters and much bigger. Looked like a grain of rice, the helicopters being no more than a half. After I saw that the UFO was close to strike our helicopters, we informed the flight leader with the proposal to bring the aircrafts to the ground. „Initially, he refused saying „Mind your own business; there are those of Alexeni or those of Bucharest", although he had been informed that no flight is scheduled from those airports that night. However, he contacted a pilot (not Smoleanu) and said: „Be careful that you have on your right a large object”. The pilot replied, „It’s not on right; it passed to the left and it's huge." After speaking also with Marcel Smoleanu, the flight leader agreed to bring the helicopters to land.

Doru Dragoi reports further: "After the helicopters landed, those from radar called me to look again to the screen. I saw a lot of radar targets, more than ten. They made strange movements in the Mărăcineni – Sapoca area (several kilometres north-east of Buzau). They walked as if they were helicopters, in string until Sapoca, then, one by one, made ​​a 180 degree turn and then disappeared as if entering the earth. „Witnesses later joked that "they have made a base at Sapoca”.

For maximum surprise, another call coming from radar, asked the officer Doru Dragoi „to come out and see them in the sky”. Dragoi says: "When I came out of the command post, I saw the clear sky, the stars, and bright objects crossing from east to west with an amazing speed. I knew the flight information that no ground object was flying at that time. Foreign aircraft were unable to be here because we are in the centre of the country and would have been detected at border. Then I realized that we are dealing with a large scale UFO phenomenon”, said Doru Dragoi. Speed, acceleration and cornering leads him to believe that the objects „were not originated on earth”.

Radar tapes were kept in 48-hour rule, but Doru Dragoi kept the ones from that night more. He was right, as the third day came a Major from the higher Command who wanted to see them. Then he said that if something happens, they should immediately report directly to Bucharest, "because these mock us too much, with their simulators”. He was probably acquainted with other similar incidents. However the hypothesis of simulators can not be accepted both because they appear on radiolocation as having the size of a helicopter, but mostly because of the observations made with the naked eye. Marcel Smoleanu commented also that some fighter pilots at the base Boboc were telling him, privately, that they saw above them, in some nights, unidentified objects moving with high speed; „But they were very high-up."

Florin Mitu journalist who was the first to investigate this case, found some other strange and unexplained phenomena that occurred in the Mărăcineni – Sapoca area in the same period. These phenomena are still under investigation.

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