Just What Did Happen To Tom Preziose? Contact, Or Cover-Up?

Marcus Lowth
Published Date
November 8, 2017
Last Updated
October 13, 2021
Estimated Reading Time
4 min read
Posted in
UFOs, Cover-Ups

Although the official verdict remains “pilot error”, the events of 23rd October 2002 are, for some, far from solved. Many close to the fifty-four-year-old pilot, Tom Preziose, as well as several independent investigators, firmly believe the verdict to be wrong. Furthermore, they believe the small, one-engine Cessna cargo plane crashed out of the sky due to a collision with a mystery object, breaking up in the air, and not as a result of hitting the waters of the Big Bateau Bay in Alabama.

The cockpit of a similar Cessna light aircraft at night.

The cockpit of a similar Cessna light aircraft at night.

Was this “another” case of the powers that be wanting to cover up evidence, however tragically it presented itself, of intelligence from elsewhere in the universe? Or might there be more down to Earth reason for an apparent disregard, and covering up of the facts?

“I Needed To Deviate!”

The weather that evening in late October 2002 was such to impair visibility, but not so much that it would bother an experienced pilot – which Tom Preziose undoubtedly was. Relying on his navigation instruments, as well as his “eyes on the ground” in the form of the control towers, the flight proceeded initially with little out of the norm to report.

Up until the very last moments, the conversation between Preziose and the control tower on the ground was of a calm, routine nature. He was aware of a larger DC-10 aircraft, but it was a considerable distance from him and around a thousand feet above him to boot.

As he would bring his plane out of the clouds, however, it was apparent something was wrong. Suddenly the calm demeanor became a panic-stricken voice. One that uttered the same sentence over and over until the transmission suddenly cut off.

“I needed to deviate! I needed to deviate! I needed to deviate! I needed…..!” [1]

The last plea was almost exactly that, as if Preziose was hoping against hope of the apparent certainty of his predicament.

Questions And Re-Written Reports!

The following day, search teams would find both the body of Tom Preziose and his plane in the cold muddy waters of the Big Bateau Bay.

The wreckage was over a considerably wide area, with extensive damage to the entire craft. Preziose himself was several hundred feet away from the ruined aircraft. The engine – literally cut cleanly in half – as if something had cut right through it.

All of these things made National Transportation Safety Board investigator, Butch Wilson, [2] believe that the plane had not simply fallen from the sky as the official report would eventually state. All indicators, according to him, was something had crashed into the plane at full speed, shattering it instantly.

Wilson’s report, however, was essentially binned, and replaced with the “official NTSB” report. This report placed the blame for the crash squarely on the shoulders of Tom Preziose. As for Wilson, he would state it was the “first time he had known” the NTSB conduct itself in such a manner.

To many in UFO and conspiracy circles, the fact the report was subject to such outright change, indeed suggested “something” of a cover-up.

“Unidentified” Red Substance

One of the most intriguing finds on the ruins of the aircraft was the presence of a red substance in various places over the wreckage. When the wreckage was “pieced back together” for examination, it appeared as though the red substance was some kind of paint or material from another craft. What’s more, the places where this red substance was, suggested it to be the result of a collision from a craft that “hit the plane from the left!”

As to what the red substance is, results have been unable to produce any kind of match to materials on record. Tests by several investigators, including official sources sending samples to Wright Patterson Air Force base in Ohio, coincidentally or not, the same base accused of sheltering a plethora of alien vehicles, are all inconclusive.

While we will look at the possibility that the craft may have been one controlled by something other than human beings, there is another theory that is worth considering.

Drug-Running Route Connections and the “88-Line”

Further investigations would also reveal another interesting dynamic to the case. The area where Preziose was flying that evening, is a well-known route for drug-smuggling groups, [3] known in such circles as the 88-Line.

Former Alabama state trooper and DEA investigator, Ed Odom, was perhaps the first to draw attention to this. According to his experience, including many narcotics trafficking cases, many drug smuggling gangs would use the 88-Line as it was a direct and undisturbed route from South America into the United States.

However, according to intelligence agencies, there was no suggestion of any such activity in this area that evening. Further to this, there was no wreckage of any other aircraft in the area, not even of “broken off debris” from a larger craft.

As suggestive as it is, might the need for a cover-up be more to do with intelligence agencies apparent involvement in such actions as drug-smuggling than due to an unknown craft from another world?

Although that is certainly not beyond the realms of the imagination, and even assuming that any crippled “intelligence” planes in the area “vanished” before they any kind of connection to the incident, it does not account for the unknown red substance found on Preziose’s aircraft.

Check out the video below. It looks at some of the basics of intelligence agencies and their alleged involvement in drug smuggling.

Another UFO Cover-Up?

Of course, whether expectedly or not, many UFO researchers and investigators would soon take an interest in the Preziose case.

Upon listening to the final moments of the recordings from Preziose, it appears as though the background noise increases dramatically. Might this be the approach of the much larger, mystery craft? One that Preziose mistook for the DC-10? Might it even be possible that the background noise was even the beginnings of the actual collision?

The fact that the red substance is still unknown, combined with no other known wreckage in the immediate and surrounding areas, do seem to lend these theories a certain amount of credibility. Not to mention the “suspicious” behavior of the NTSB in their rejection of the initial report – a report that appears to come from sound judgment.

If the UFO was not one from another world, might it be some kind of military experimental craft or even a drone? Is it “just coincidence” for example, that the only substantial evidence left on the wreckage, the mystery red substance, was sent to Wright Patterson Air Force base for official testing?

Check out the video below. It looks at the case of Tom Preziose in a little more detail.


1 2002, Cessna Collided with “unknown object,” says NTSB, UFO Casebook https://www.ufocasebook.com/cessnacrash.html
2 What Happened to Night Ship 282?, James Donahue, Mystery Air Collision https://perdurabo10.tripod.com/warehousef/id167.html
3 NTSB: Collision With Unknown Object Killed Mobile Pilot, Aero News Network http://www.aero-news.net/index.cfm?do=main.textpost&id=c8886b93-36c4-4dca-a0dc-a5f40806f6c8

Marcus Lowth

Marcus Lowth is a writer with a love for UFOs, aliens, and the Ancient Astronaut Theory, to the paranormal, general conspiracies, and unsolved mysteries. He has been writing and researching with over 20 years of experience.

Marcus has been Editor-in-Chief for several years due to his excellent knowledge in these fields. Marcus also regularly appears as an expert on radio talk shows including Troubled Minds and Unexplained Radio discussing these topics.

Read Marcus' full bio.

You can contact Marcus via email.

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