Thursday, January 4, 2007

At Least The FAA Isn't Saying It's A Weather Balloon

You've probably heard on the news...United Airlines crew members reported seeing a UFO over O'Hare aiport in Chicago in November. This story broke right on New Year's Day. In other words, it took a whole two months after the initial sighting for it to make it to the media outlets.


Reading the reports, here's a summary of what several United crew members (including some pilots) saw: On November 7, 2006, at 4:30 PM, a mechanic taxiing a Boeing 777 saw a disc shaped object in the sky. Others soon spotted the same object. The UFO was dark grey and very defined against the clouds. Some said it looked like a rotating frisbee, while others didn't think it was spinning. It had no lights. It hovered above the airport until bolting at tremendous speed through the overcast sky, even leaving a strange hole in the clouds in its wake.

"It was like somebody punched a hole in the sky," said one United employee.

John Hilkevitch first broke the story, calling the FAA to verify. The FAA denied any sort of report coming from O'Hare aiport or from any United employee. After Hilkevitch did some fantastic reporting and got the Chicago Tribune to file a Freedom of Information Act request, the FAA finally admitted there was some report filed, but they were not investigating it.

FAA spokeswoman Elizabeth Isham Cory said that the sighting was probably caused by a "weather phenomon"(like one pictured left). End of story.

I'm surprised she didn't say it was perhaps Pat Robertson's angels of death decending on the city, readying to make his prediction of a mass murder coming true.

United Airlines denies any sort of report being filed by crew members or employees, however. A United spokeswoman said there is no record of the UFO report and that United officials don't recall any discussion of this sighting. "There's nothing in the duty manager log, which is used to report unusual incidents," said United spokeswoman Megan McCarthy. "I checked around. There's no record of anything."

Really? Hmmm...

Speaking anonymously, the United witnesses said they were interviewed by United management and even told to draw pictures of what they saw. They were also told not to discuss the matter with anyone.

I did some digging of my own, and went to the National UFO Reporting Center's database. The NUFOC is an organization that has established a nationwide hotline for anyone to report a UFO. I actually found a revised eyewitness report from a United manager employee (revised to protect his identity). Here are just a few exerpts from his report:

"I ran out of my office and saw a relatively small object hovering in place over C17. The METAR was reporting OVC 1900 and I initially estimated the object hovering at about 1000 feet. After about a minute, I saw the aircraft zip to the east and disappeared."

"[A crewmember] then made the radio call and notified the pilots at that gate who opened the front windows and witnessed the object for themselves. The employee stated the object was 500-1000 feet above the ground, rotating, and metallic in nature with no lights. He said it looked like a frisbe and was directly above."

"All employees are very familiar with aircraft around the world's busiest airport - this was nothing we are familiar with. As a side note as it is probably unrelated, the next aircraft into that gate was experiencing electrical problems."

With United Airlines and the FAA denying everything and not taking the sighting seriously, many employees are angry and frustrated. They said that such an object might interfere with radar equipment, airplane functions, or even create a collision hazard.

One witness was emotionally overwhelmed from witnessing the craft and had
"experienced some religious issues" over it, one fellow worker reported.

UFOs flying over the airport could potentially be very dangerous, and I can't figur
e out why our government isn't investigating. At the very least, do we need yet ONE MORE reason for delays at O'Hare?

In related news, O'Hare rival, Midway Airport, crew members have reported sightings of Sasquatch running from Concourse A, through the food court, into Concourse C, often times grabbing a hot dog from Gold Coast Dogs, stealing office supplies, or dry humping a wall along the way.


KC said...

"One witness was emotionally overwhelmed from witnessing the craft and had "experienced some religious issues" over it,..." There's always someone who will bring religion into things that can't be explained.

Interesting story.

grrrbear said...

Yeah, because when the second coming happens, Jesus is coming in a flying saucer.

I heard about this a while back (I think because I live in Chicago) and honestly I'm surprised that the feds aren't just trying to deny the existance of O'Hare airport altogether. I mean, how could there possibly have been a UFO flying over an airport that doesn't exist?

Plus, they need to distract the media from the fact that they are waterboarding aliens at Guantanamo.

Jamie Dawn said...

I'd LOVE to have seen that thing!
Wouldn't YOU?
I'd like to see something that I could not explain away.
If several people are on record as having seen it, then it really was there. It may not be alien occupied, but it sure seems like it's not a known type of aircraft.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone find out exactly what "Weather Phenomenon" the FAA is claiming would look like the witness' descriptions? Can't we call them on this?

Mimi said...


I think the gov is keeping UFO and alien truths from us. Probably better that way because many people could not handle it and would go nuts. In the 40's I think it was, a radio show did a story on Halloween where aliens were landing. It was meant to be for fun. People who tuned in late thought it was real and starting killing themselves.

Anonymous said...

OMG ROFL. But for real -- why doesn't UA just say - here is what our investigation found -- here is what our employees said -- why not full disclosure? I would buy a ticket on UA whether I was going anywhere or not -- just because truth is refreshing and rare, oh, so, rare.

The Phoenix said...

KC, I think the deal is that this person's religion didn't allow for such occurances to happen. It's a tough pill to swallow when it happens right in front of you.

grrbear, Right! And Jesus will be clad in black leather. I thought the new Area 51 was underneath Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch.

JD, these people are professionals and know the difference between something weather-related and something that's...well...not.

anonymous 1, They said it was weather phenomena based on the clouds forming and light reflecting off of it. Yeah right.

shocked, The more they try to deny, the more they make it more obvious something happened.

mimi, That was Orson Wells' reading of H.G. Wells' "War of the Worlds." And in reality, people did go nuts - but no one actually committed suicide.

anonymous 2, I feel bad for the employees that saw this. They are now being made out to be ignorant dumbasses. Pilots know the difference between light reflecting and some craft that hovers and then speeds away.

Anonymous said...

One of the radio shows I listen to on my evening commute home, The Roe Conn Show (btw Roe's female co-host , Christina Filiaggi is pretty hot), was discussing this incident the other night. They jokingly said that the aliens must have seen Soldier Field and mistaken for one of their own fallen spacecraft.

O Ceallaigh said...

why doesn't UA just say - here is what our investigation found -- here is what our employees said -- why not full disclosure?

Oh sure. An airline just emerging from bankruptcy is going to admit publicly that its employees are going around seeing UFOs. Not gonna happen.

I take the "Superman - NOT" approach to UFO stories.

"Look, up in the sky!"

"It's a bird!"

"It's a plane!"


"It's a bird."

Anonymous said...

I was recently in O'Hare, and I have to say, that the airline personnel must have been WATCHING for a UFO because they sure weren't WATCHING the clock.

That being said, I don't mind UFOs and their pilots as long as they leave me alone. You don't see me flying over to THEIR planets causing conspiracy theories.

Anonymous said...

There are alot of UFO's on the east coast, but we are used to traffic.

Anonymous said...

sounds like too much new year's *bubbly*.

Keshi said...

I know few my own family :)


Michelle said...

Yikes....anal probes :(

Stacy The Peanut Queen said...

And just what were they smoking prior to said sighting?

I'm sorry...but every time I think of airports, I think of the movie "Airplane" (I think that's the name of it anyway) and that guy that was running the tower who got high sniffing airplane glue.


Curare_Z said...

A weather phenomenon that "zips the east?" Never heard of one of those....

I'm a little surprised the gov't isn't all over this, what with thier new "focus" on illegal aliens and all... :-)

Anonymous said...

Geez, what's the big frigging deal? That was just me testing out the new supersonic spaceship that I slapped together over the holidays.

BrianAlt said...

Sorry about the Sasquatch thing. I was just really, really hungry!

And that wasn't just a wall, that was an advertisement for Geico. That caveman is HOT!

Anonymous said...

Wow, I haven't seen a UFO story in awhile... thanks for being the guy with the scoop!

I really enjoyed your podcast on the reading... I have to listen to the others!

The Phoenix said...

perplexio, Soldier Field looks like a Mothership for sure.

O.C. I was hoping for, "It's Superman" at the end there.

grafs, O'Hare is notorious for delayed flights. I've never had a flight be on time when leaving from there.

goldennib, I guess UFOs don't visit the East Coast very much then.

karen, Maybe it was Santa!

keshi, I hope they're not illegal aliens.

The Phoenix said...

Michelle, Ouch...don't remind me.

Stacy, I love the part where that one lady has a nervous breakdown and the passangers all get in line to beat the crap outta her.

Curare, It's scary if we're not in control of our own airspace.

dan, With duct tape, no less.

brianalt, It's so easy, even a caveman can hump a wall.

carae, Thanks! I've been meaning to do another podcast. It's been so long since I did one.

Anonymous said...

Sasquatch - - you're so funny!!!

I read that report too. And yes, it is strange they're not investigating it, considering there were so many witnesses. People who, I would imagine, aren't completely insane if they're allowed to taxi a 777; you'd think.

David Amulet said...

Ok, ok, I'll fess up ...

I tossed a pie tin over Chicagoland to get some attention. It was a cry for help, really.

-- david

stephanie said...

Oh my lord. Pat Robertson is crazy. Crazy. Crazy. CRAZY!

Jamie Dawn said...

I forgot to tell you that the candles you saw in the photo of our kitchen are not under the sink. They are sitting on the counter and are just Christmas decorations. I think the photo was kind of an optical illusion for you. :)

angel, jr. said...

I knew E.T. didn't make it all the way home!!

Jim said...

dah, it's the VIP shuttle to airport

Lloyd Irving Bradbury said...

I Live in a cave in Chicago. Things happen every day in Cnicago and are disregsrded.So a UFO is no exception if it not a murder of four people or some other violent event

cube said...

klaatu barada nictu

Fated said...

They were told not to discuss it with anyone? That's not suspicious at all!

Cari said...

damn ... i wish my husband saw that!
he is a very skeptical person so seeing something like that would change him forever to say the least!! :}

sounds like a cover up.!!

then again i watched the last season of 24 on dvd last night...i think im getting ideas from there hahahah ...

but really who knows... maybe the goverment is doing some sort of experiment ... on us or aliens or whatever... who knows right! ?

Anonymous said...

My ol buddy Al has seen them many times. He says that you really have to watch out for the gray aliens tho'. They're the mean ones. There are some taller, lighter skinned ones that just like to chat.
Maybe the airlines has had too many run ins with the gray ones!

Anonymous said...

I just saw an episode of CSI that talked about UFOs and if they had observed us all they would not bother coming down. This of course is assuming they are an intelligent life form.

Big Pissy said...

I agree with kc....and this was an interesting story.

Anonymous said...

Cool. I'm surprised at how long it took to get out in the media. God only knows what else went on in the meantime.

Chantel said...

Well said.

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