A New Mexico blogger got more than he bargained for when he accidentally intercepted a radio transmission from an American Airlines flight that was straight out of the sci-fi series “The X-Files.”
In the radio transmission, Steve Douglass heard a pilot on Flight 2292 describe what was later confirmed by the Federal Aviation Administration as a UFO sighting on the Cincinnati-to-Phoenix route.
“Do you have any targets up here? We just had something go right over the top of us,” the pilot said at 1:19 p.m. CST on Sunday, according to audio published on aviation blog Deep Black Horizon. “I hate to say this but it looked like a long cylindrical object that almost looked like a cruise missile type of thing moving really fast right over the top of us.”
Douglass told The Arizona Republic that the interception “was pure coincidence,” and happened when he was trying to pick up another aircraft with a radio scanner.
The FAA later released a short statement indicating that the Flight 2292 crew had indeed reported seeing a “long cylindrical object” over New Mexico shortly after noon local time on Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021, but said its own traffic controllers did not see any such object.
“FAA air traffic controllers did not see any object in the area on their radarscopes,” they said in the statement.
A former air traffic controller tweeted that UFO sightings by flight crews was not unusual. A procedure of reporting such sightings was added to the FAA manual around 2003.
“When I was an air traffic controller there are procedures in their FAA manual for how to handle reports of UFOs. It happens enough they had to add something around 2003ish,” Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) tweeted.
FBI Spokesperson Frank Fisher told TMZ that the agency was “aware of the reported incident.”
“While our policy is to neither confirm nor deny investigations, the FBI works continuously with our federal, state, local, and tribal partners to share intelligence and protect the public,” Fisher added.
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More government classified information about UFOs has come to light in recent years. In 2020, the Defense Department officially declassified videos shot by Navy pilots in 2004 and 2015 depicting UFOs.
In October 2020, former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said the U.S. government has information about UFOs that it has been hiding and covering up for years.