Captain William Schaffner (born September 11, 1941 - September 8 1970) was a pilot in the United States Air Force. He died in mysterious circumstances in 1970 over the North Sea.
In September 1970, Captain Schaffner was an American exchange pilot flying with the RAF at RAF Binbrook in north-east Lincolnshire, England. Binbrook was one of the bases, along with RAF Coningsby (which flew Phantoms), that was on Quick Reaction Alert. On the evening of September 8 1970, an object was spotted over the North Sea by radar and he was on duty so took off to follow the object. His callsign was Foxtrot 94.
An object was picked up on radar at 20.18 by an operator at RAF Saxa Vord on the island of Unst in the north of the Shetland Islands. The object has travelling at 630mph at 37,000 ft heading south-west between Norway and the Shetland Islands. It changed direction to south, and increased speed to 900 mph at 44,000 ft. Two Lightning planes were scrambled from RAF Leuchars in Fife, east Scotland. The object on the radar screen then inexplicably changed direction by 180 degrees and disappeared off the radar screen. The speed of the object at this point was later calculated to be around 17,000 mph. The object appeared a few times for the next hour, with planes being scrambled, only for the object to disappear from the radar screen again. Two USAF Phantoms were scrambled from the USAF base at Keflavik in Iceland. These planes had more sophisticated radar than the (British) Lightning planes. They were unable to intercept the object.