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It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s a…UFO?
Audio obtained from the Albuquerque Center Air Traffic Control Communications recorded on February 24, 2018, appears to show not one, but two pilots spotting an unidentified flying object directly over their two aircraft. The recording is unedited and comes from the FAA.
The incident, which took place around 3:30pm between the Sonoran Desert National Monument in Southern Arizona and the New Mexico border, reveals the audio between the pilots and air traffic controllers discussing what the pilots saw during their commercial flights.
“I don’t know what it was,” the pilot of a Learjet said to air traffic control. “It wasn’t an airplane, but it was, the path was going in the opposite direction.” Air Traffic Control responded by asking an American Airlines pilot who was nearby to keep an eye out for anything around his airspace. The pilot replied, mockingly, “If anything passes over us?”
Within minutes of that conversation, the AA pilot returned to say, “Something just passed over us, like a, don’t know what it was, but it was at least two, three thousand feet above us…Yeah, it passed right over the top of us.”
Control then asked if the object could have been a Google weather ballon, and the pilot replied, “Doubtful.” Someone else can be heard saying, “UFO,” over the other pilot.
In a statement to KOB 4, a news station in Albuquerque, the FAA essentially said it is unable to identify the objects: “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,” the statement read. “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.”
This is not the first case of pilots, commercial or military, who report sightings of unidentified flying objects while in the air.
The Washington Post reported that in 2004, two US Navy F-18 had documented encounters with unidentified aircraft. The Department of Defense released the videos in December 2017. The Post reached out to a Pentagon spokesman, but the Pentagon did not respond. In December, however, the military confirmed the existence of a program to investigate UFOs and said it had stopped funding the research in 2012.
According to experts, the videos from 2004 provides evidence of aircraft far superior to any within the United States or its allies — the reported altitude would put the UFO well above the range of consumer drones, according to The Washington Post.
As for the most recent ‘UFO’ spotting, The Huffington Post noted that the pilots who were near the New Mexico/Arizona border were just 100 miles from Luke Air Force Base, so the pilots might have seen new aircraft being tested. Huff Post also noted that the sightings were only 500 miles west of Roswell, New Mexico, the location of the famed “UFO Crash” of 1947.
H/T: The War Zone
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