On Feb. 24, there was something in the sky that pilots and air traffic control could not identify. High above the Arizona and New Mexico border, they saw a UFO.
A bizarre incident happened to pilots of a Phoenix Air Learjet 36, an American Airlines Flight 1095, an Airbus A321, and the Albuquerque Air Traffic Control last month.
They reported an unidentified flying object cruising at an altitude of 40,000 feet above the area between Sonoran Desert National Monument in Arizona and border of New Mexico.
The sighting was reported in conversation of the pilots with the Air Route Traffic Control in Albuquerque. The recording of the mile-high chatter was submitted for investigation to the Federal Aviation Authority.
Flying Object With Big Reflection
It was pilot codenamed N71PG of the Learjet that first reported the sighting to air traffic control at around 3:30 p.m.
"Was anybody above us that passed us like 30 seconds ago?" the Learjet pilot was heard asking in the audio recording. The air traffic control responded with a no, but the Learjet pilot assured that something did. It was then that another pilot on the frequency joined the chatter.
"UFO," the other pilot was heard saying.
"Yeah," confirmed the Learjet pilot.
The report from the Learjet pilot prompted FAA air controllers to alert the pilot of American Airlines Flight 1095 to be on the lookout for an aircraft.
"Affirmative. We had an aircraft in front of you at 37 [thousand feet] that reported something pass over him and we didn't have any radar targets, so just let me know if you see anything pass over you," air control told the American Airlines pilot.
The Learjet pilot said he doesn't know what the flying object was, but he is certain that it wasn't a plane. After a minute, the American Airlines pilot said something also passed over their plane at more than 3,000 feet above.
Another pilot chimed in the conversation and said he couldn't make out if the object was a giant balloon. He said it was beaming light or had a big reflection.
An unidentified pilot suggested that it could just be a Google balloon, but another pilot expressed doubt.
Based on the conversations, the UFO hovered above the eastern-bound airplanes in the opposite direction and was located a few thousand feet above the aircraft.
What Could It Really Be?
A spokesperson for the FAA did not confirm anything or gave a comment about the reported UFO sighting.
"Other than the brief conversation between two aircraft, the controller was unable to verify that any other aircraft was in the area," Lynn Lunsford of the FAA Public Affairs Office said.
Lunsford said the FAA is closely working with several agencies, including military and civilian aircraft and even high-altitude weather balloons.
Roswell And Other Stories
The location of the unusual incident encountered by the aircraft pilots further fuels speculation that the thing that flew above the aircraft is a UFO.
The said UFO sighting was located some 500 miles west of Roswell, New Mexico, where the original UFO theory originated in 1947.
More than 50 years ago, a rancher named William Branzel discovered unusual debris in his pasture outside Roswell. The U.S. military said the debris was from a crashed weather balloon, but many speculated that the scraps were from a crashed alien flying saucer. That incident made Roswell a favorite place for alien stories enthusiasts and UFOlogists.
All year round, the internet is abuzz with stories of UFO sightings.
In January, a video clip of an oddly-shaped UFO went viral as the first UFO sighting of 2018. The said UFO was reportedly seen hovering the sky in Mexico.
In early March, an image a UFO that crash landed in Antarctica was captured by Google Earth, according to UFO hunters.