On August 17, 1968, a Romanian IL-18 airliner, of the Tarom company, flying from Constanţa (Mihail Kogălniceanu Airport) to Düsseldorf, Germany, at an altitude of 7600 meters, was near Oradea, Romania, very close to the Hungarian border, when the crew saw an unidentified flying object.

As Captain Benjamin Gabrian stated: "We noticed suddenly, in our right, at a distance of about one kilometer, and about 300 meters above, an oval object. It travelled at high speed in the opposite direction with us, and issued a dazzling, extremely strong, greenish light. I checked the clock. It was 20 hours and 21 minutes. We watched a few seconds the bright object, then it accelerated and disappeared to the west. We observed the object 10-15 seconds but it was enough to appreciate – for my colleagues: Alexandru Niculescu, Marian Constantinescu and me - its dimensions. As far as I could see, it had a diameter of 2.5 to 3 meters ... ".

By contacting the control tower of the airport in Vienna, the captain learned that 400 kilometers around him was no aircraft.

A few minutes later, the Budapest, Hungary, airport called to report that the crew of an airliner of the Hungarian company Malev saw, in the Austrian airspace, a similar UFO, moving rapidly west, about two and a half minutes after the Gabrian observation. If it was the same object, its speed must be 14,000 kilometers per hour. No plane could achieve this speed, at an altitude of 6000 m.In an interview, gave by Gabrian to the August 18, 1968, edition of the newspaper Dobrogea Noua from Constanţa, he said: "I think, what we have seen is routinely described, in international media, under the term UFO. The chance that we could watch it 10 to 15 seconds, is due to the fact that the object has reduced its speed [...] Perhaps because the alien crew was interested in our machine and what was inside it."

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