“Something just passed over us. I don’t know what it was, it wasn’t an aeroplane”
Two pilots operating separate aircrafts on 24 February claim to have experienced an encounter of the third kind.
Flying over the desert in southern Arizona, they both saw what could only be described as a UFO – an unidentified flying object.
Around 3:30 p.m. mountain time, Albuquerque Center air traffic control received a message from a Learjet pilot claiming that something had just passed over the aircraft between the Sonoran Desert national monument an the New Mexico border.
The Learjet pilot reported an unusual object flying over his plane and asked the centre for clarifications.
“I was wondering if there was anybody above us like 30 seconds ago?” the pilot asked.
“Negative,” the air controller reacted.
“I don’t know what it was. It wasn’t an aeroplane but it was, the path was going in the opposite direction,” the pilot said in the recorded conversation published by The Drive.
To identify the object passing over, the air controllers asked an American Airlines pilot who was flying through the area with a commercial jet to let them know if anything passes over the plane.
The message caused a bit of a confusion from the side of the AA pilot.
“If anything passes over us?” he asked.
But only a few minutes later, he reports back saying that he saw “it”, whatever “it” was.
“Something just passed over us, like a, don’t know what it was, but it was at least two, three thousand feet above us,” he said. “Yeah, it passed right over the top of us.”
The pilot was unable to identify what exactly he’d just seen, but he claimed it “had a big reflection” and flew at a height of 12 kilometres.
“Was it a Google balloon?” someone in the background asked the pilot.
“Doubtful,” the pilot replied.
“UFO,” someone else clarifies the encounter.
The FAA, who provided the recorded conversation, told KOB 4, the local NBC station in Albuquerque, that they didn’t know what the object was either.
“We don’t have any comment beyond what you hear. Other than the brief conversation between two aircraft, the controller was unable to verify that any other aircraft was in the area,” they said in a statement.
As the incident happened in a close to two military bases – Davis–Monthan Air Force Base and Luke Air Force Base that is just 100 miles away – military tests might have been responsible for the unusual sightings.
FAA spokesperson Lynn Lunsford implies, however, that air traffic controllers would likely be aware of any military aircraft in the air.
“We have a close working relationship with a number of other agencies and safely handle military aircraft and civilian aircraft of all types in that area every day, including high-altitude weather balloons,” he said.
UFO enthusiasts may also find it interesting that the area is only 500 miles away from Roswell, New Mexico, that is famous for a reported UFO crash in 1947, and is a similar distance from the infamous Area 51 in Nevada – the base that some think was the home of a series of US government experiments on aliens.