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American Airlines confirms UFO contact over New Mexico on Sunday (viewfromthewing.com)
332 points by miles 48 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 283 comments

I won’t be able to provide information that other people haven’t already but I have encountered one of these “aircraft”.

I own a small light sport airplane and was flying between UT and CA at 12.5k ft and saw one of these pass 1,000ft below me not far outside of Reno. ATC didn’t call it so presumably they didn’t see it on radar. It was exactly as described, small, shiny, cylindrical, no wings, and fast. If I could guess it was doing 500kts in the opposite direction. By the time I pulled out my phone to snap a picture it was gone. If it was a cruise missile it was flying over a populated area and not in restricted airspace or a MOA. Not sure what conclusions to draw other than these things are real and probably more common than people assume. It was not an airliner or private jet I’ve seen plenty of them.

tbh this seems like the perfect situation to test US air defences and radar technology.

Flying a long range unarmed stealth drone in lightly populated areas through the US would tell you a great deal about how observable the drone is to US radars. Flying dangerously through Air traffic controlled space also ensures that the military radars get pointed in your direction at some point or another.

For an unarmed small(ish) drone the risks of getting caught are likely minimal. Crash in an unpopulated area (plenty of those in the west coast), self-destruct at high altitude or simply acknowledge the spying incident and point to the SR-71/U-2 as precedent.

This seems like the perfect situation to test how quickly you would like to be arrested.

If I understand the GP correctly, it’s hard to arrest the Russian or Chinese Air Force.

aye - or given how low cost/portable drones are now - any agents of those governments ( or other governments ).

It's also possible it is an internal US-on-US test of existing air defense systems? It's not like anything as huge as US air defense is totally monolithic, and people in the detection side may not even have need-to-know for the stuff being prototyped by offensive types.

Always fascinating to read about similar accounts. Have you checked MUFON for others who may have seen it when you did?

Edit: Any resemblances to these?



I'm curious why you don't film the whole flight. I'm almost surprised it's not a requirement, given how cheap and easy it is now.

There is very little requirement on equipment to fly in the US, you don't even need a radio in the majority of the space (only when you approach towered airports and other busy / special areas). So we're far from requiring a camera :)

Sure but for what GA costs on a recurring basis, a small camera or two is such a negligible cost and is really valuable for learning.

Not to mention, there's a great possibility that these unidentified aircraft are American.

What you say may be true, but the conclusion isn't, I don't think.

Case in point: the FAA now requires a digital transmitter beacon (ADS-B) in most of the commonly used airspaces in the continental US as of last month.

I saw one too when I was flying in/around the restricted airspace near Cape Cod / Camp Edwards in MA. I was flying at 5,500 ft. Surprised the heck out of me, until I realized it was probably just a drone.

> ATC didn’t call it so presumably they didn’t see it on radar.

Not a reasonable presumption. VFR aircraft are lowest priority, and traffic calls for VFRs are very much not guaranteed. If a controller has too much to do, you won’t get traffic calls. And just because the frequency is quiet, doesn’t mean the controller is twiddling their thumbs. They could be on the landline or briefing the next controller.

While this is true something at that closing rate and speed would have stood out like a sore thumb, it’s also probable alarms would have gone off. Source: I’ve been inside of a center facility and had the privilege of playing with a scope and asking questions.

ATC operates on secondary radar (transponder data). If there is no transponder, it would not appear on their scope. Some facilities have an option to switch to primary radar, but it is not usually monitored.

I'm wondering how you estimate its speed and distance Wouldn't it look identical to a smaller, slower object closer to your aircraft?

It’s an educated guess from years of watching and avoiding other airplanes. The reason it drew my attention was the abnormal speed, then I focused in on it and realized it was a featureless cylinder.

Doesn't that mean you assumed it was similar size, speed, or distance as another plane? If you really have no idea what it is, I can't think of any way you could distinguish a large fast distant object from a small nearby slow one. It's too far away for our binocular depth perception to measure distance.

I hope I don't sound too critical. I wondered if the thing in the article's story was some small object ejected from the pilot's own plane and he overtook it as it slowed down so it appeared to be moving backwards. Since you had a similar experience, I wondered if there was some other information that helped you judge it.

How long ago did this take place?

> It was exactly as described, small, shiny, cylindrical, no wings, and fast.

When you say "small", can you give an estimate of it's length and diameter?

Are we talking small-plane-small, or welding-gas-cylinder-small?

I wonder if this was NASA's Super Guppy: https://www.kwch.com/2021/03/05/nasas-super-guppy-spotted-ov...

Is it possible this thing is like a cigar with a propeller rotates around the cigar so that you don't actually see there being a propeller because it's rotating? And somehow computer control maintains level flight, or maybe it's multiple propellers around the axis of the cigar.

Alternate theory: Boeing wheels one of these things out to buzz commercial aircraft and airports every time they have some sort of mishap as a PR diversion.

In the off chance you pass one again, would you consider mounting go-pro's on your plane, or one of those fancier ones that gets 360 degrees some bush-plane youtubers are using? I don't have a link handy to the model of camera.

There are dirt cheap HD dash cameras that would work nearly as well.

Which will capture 3 blurry pixels if anything...

Did it leave a trail?


What would you guess the dimensions were? Color(s)? Was there any vertical component to its trajectory?

Dimension: Fifth

Color: Twilight.

(a) They are common, lots of stories.

(b) Completely impossible to get good video about them.

a & b => bs

Oddly enough, people used to say the same thing about gorillas. They thought people were just confusing the natives with monkeys, or making up stories about monsters.


Surely things have changed between then and now.

We're talking about visual phenomena, and we capture video constantly.

I'm a pilot (recreational, and my license is not current). Although I've never personally seen a UFO, I've heard enough stories to believe it (not implying alien but nobody seems to know what they are). I've never once recorded anything while flying, ever. And I don't know anybody who ever records while flying (I don't mean for long periods of time, I mean at all). Why would I ever think to do that?

By the time I see the thing and pull out my phone it's already gone before I can hit record (unless it's really slow I guess, but those reports are much less common).

>> Although I've never personally seen a UFO, I've heard enough stories to believe it.

Reminds me of growing up in fundamentalist religious communities where it was commonplace to hear of physical miracles. All sorts of people had stories of God healing people for example. And yet it never happened around me or on film, despite me spending over a thousand hours at religious services as the like.

Eventually I realized many people are just willing to believe things and succumb to simple cognitive biases.

But do you believe in evolution? :)


LOL thanks for the clip.

Yep! That's my favorite TV bit of all time.

> Why would I ever think to do that?

...because one has seen UFOs in the past, and wants to capture them?

If I went on a walk through the woods behind my house and saw Bigfoot, I would probably carry a camera next time I went walking behind my house to try and get a picture of bigfoot.

I'm not sure how many people have claimed to see a UFO more than once. Sure, after the first time you might. But you're not thinking about it beforehand.

Also how many thousands of hours of flying and not seeing anything interesting do I have also add another thing I have to focus on when it will likely last only a few seconds and I can never guess when? I don't need another distraction while flying.

Pilots claiming to see these aren't typically trying very hard to convince others that they're real (or at least I've never met any, they're often hesitant to bring it up at all for fear of being labeled crazy). They're just reporting what they saw. So most really don't have much incentive to bother with installing a GoPro on their flights.

Yes, if my goal were to prove the existence of these things what you're saying makes sense. But my goal is to fly the plane to wherever I'm going.

> And I don't know anybody who ever records while flying (I don't mean for long periods of time, I mean at all). Why would I ever think to do that?

The joys of having radio control. As a driver, I find a dash camera very valuable for the rare occasions I've needed it, but maybe pilots think "radio control knows where everyone is flying, and even if there's any accident, the black box will survive. That's all I need".

Many private pilots have GoPro's mounted on their cockpits or even on their wings.

A380 has camera on it's tail, aerodynamic external camera system mounts are can be installed in almost all Airbus and Boeing models. Passengers have cameras.

There are satellites with radar, IR and visual range looking downwards.

That's what they used to say about rocks falling from the sky. Right up until 1803. https://www.daviddarling.info/encyclopedia/L/L_Aigle.html

"Ernst Florens Chladni, was the first to publish (in 1794) the idea that meteorites might be rocks that originated not from Earth, but from space....The scientific community of the time responded with resistance and mockery." - Wikipedia

None of that is relevant today. Cameras are everywhere. External cameras, GoPros in cockpits.

Ball lightning stories disappeared with mobile phones. Ufo stories are also disappearing. It's less and less likely that everybody just happens to miss opportunity of taking pictures.

Not really. I don't even have a camera on my car and most of the people I know don't either. Even with the accessibility of cameras it's hard to capture events that take place in a small time interval. That's why when someone sees something momentarily spectacular (like seeing a person throw a basketball into the hoop from behind their back at half court) they say things like "I wish I caught that on camera"

Cars disappeared for smartphone users too: https://www.amongtech.com/car-accidents-caused-by-smartphone...

Camera's are definitely everywhere. Recently a meteorite struck Belgium. Lot's of videos and around 200 people testified of seeing it.

The difference can be lots of things of course: densely populated, maybe seen from further away etc. But it's indeed peculiar that now in the smartphone age, we hardly see any UFO's on video, relative to how many camera's there are.


if something is small and fast and you are flying a plane i do not find it difficult to believe that capturing video might prove elusive

In this era, people can fake anything, as well as debunk anything. If someone doesn't want to believe something, no amount of video will be enough to convince that person.

That said, because they're very common, and that there are many stories about them across the history (and not just in recent times) and from many different sources, and that there's a lot of government documentation, and the fact that even Pentagon officially recognized that there's something going on, should be at least enough to steer you away from saying something is just 'bs'.

Reports of rare marine phenomenon such as rogue waves¹ were widely dismissed as “tall” (no pun intended) tales by sailors – and more recently – surfers. It wasn’t until the last few decades that photography and marine instruments provided empirical evidence for their existence.

I wouldn’t be too quick to dismiss anecdotal reports of simalarly rare and hard-to-capture aeronautical pheonmenon.

1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rogue_wave

> wasn’t until the last few decades that photography and marine instruments provided empirical evidence for their existence.

Exactly my point. There are so many cameras in the air that you should trust less and less these ufo stories.

Well, if these were high altitude drones designed to be hard to see, the lack of good video is expected.

How do you take a good video of a fast moving... missile?

A cylinder like.. a cylinder with flat ends? No aerodynamic control surfaces? Was it metal? Was it rotating along an axis? Did it make a sound? Was it 1 foot, 10 feet or 100 feet long? Did it leave a vapor trail? Your story sounds like bullshit.

Just a rocket booster reentering? These happen regularly especially now that launches are more frequent in US and China.

It seems to match up with https://aerospace.org/reentries/cz-11-rocket-body-id-46463

That is a link to Chinese satellite launch mission. Would the booster even be noticeable in the US at aircraft altitude?

Yes, re-entry can survive for the lower velocity orbits all the way to ground depending on debris material and orientation. Air density is 20% at 40k ft, so much more likely to make it that far.

Sometimes a cigar-shaped object near an air-force base is just a cigar-shaped object near an air-force base.

Thanks frued.

> 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.

Vaguely Identified Flying Object

The article really jumps to conclusions. This missile shaped and moving like a cruise missile in a part of the US where they test missiles, was probably... a test missile.

Especially given all of the hypersonic missile development going on right now.

I really hope nobody is testing cruise missiles by flying them close to civilian flight paths.

I skimmed the original recording posted by the source to find where this happens (it's 1:13:03, you're welcome). The recording is from a scanner and I think either the user was actively tuning it or it was set to scan. You seem to be hearing more than one center simultaneously and things are getting cut off in odd ways.

The point is, the recording posted at the linked article is... really all of the context there is. You hear "Have any targets here? We just..." with the beginning of that sentence cut off. You never hear the pilot identify, presumably it was cut off, so I'm not even totally sure how the source identified which aircraft this was.

You also do not hear the response.

If the transmission was on 127.85 or 134.75 as the author suggests, it was either Borger Low or Amarillo High. They filed FL360 and for the type anyway it was probably Amarillo High, ZAB sector 97. Unfortunately atclive doesn't archive that sector or it seems even any near it. Any chance some other website does?

How come aircrafts are not equipped with color video for later visual confirmation? If a pilot claimed something, we can at least see what they are describing as well, and maybe more details that they didn't catch with video.

Also are commercial pilots not allowed to carry smartphones? Did the pilots not record outside the cockpit window with their phones?

Hearing of this UFO is pretty exciting, and it would be even more exciting to have actual photographs of it from official sources.

> Hearing of this UFO is pretty exciting, and it would be even more exciting to have actual photographs of it from official sources.

It would be, indeed.

There's probably a simple explanation for the fact that when the general public started carrying around high-quality camera equipment at all times, UFO/alien sightings went down and police brutality incidents started cropping up.

Looks like the peak for UFO sightings was 2014-2015 and sightings are still above year 2000 rates[1]. I'm not certain I trust this data, 1990 seems awfully low, maybe there is a bias in how the data is collected, but it's the best source I found.

Apparently it's difficult to quantify the number of police use of force complaints, in part, perhaps, because there are so many different jurisdictions and they collect data and report (or not) differently. I'd bet on use of force complaints declining though, I'd bet it is directly related to crime, which I expect has also gone down.

One explanation for the above is that it is as easy as ever to see a UFO without video evidence. "I forgot to film it! It was so fast! My phone wasn't working! etc". It's also possible to create fake photos, either with props or taking pictures of things that aren't immediately identifiable, or with photo editing software. The existence of phones probably makes police brutality a little less likely, on the other hand, if it does anything, because police know there is an increased chance their subject/victim will be recording them or that someone else will be (or that their bodycams are).

1 - https://www.statista.com/chart/8452/ufo-sightings-are-at-rec...

Aliens are afraid of cameras and police hate people who carry cameras?

> How come aircrafts are not equipped with color video for later visual confirmation?

They are called reconnaissance aircraft, and open you up to all sorts of fun stuff like compliance with arms control treaties. Also as a general rule, airlines and even private pilots don't like to pay (in fuel) to carry things up in to the sky that they don't need on a regular basis.

> Also are commercial pilots not allowed to carry smartphones?

Pilots are trained to follow one general principal above all else: "Just fly the airplane." The concept is further expanded to "aviate navigate communicate administrate," if you are ever wondering what you should be doing at a given time. Screwing around with your phone is nowhere on the list unless you are on scheduled break time.

Airbus A380 has a tail camera that any passenger can view during the entire flight: https://www.google.com/search?q=airbus+a380+tail+camera

Pilots can also operate a camera and many do record and share their travels on Youtube.

Only a handful of US airports would receive A380s (from international destinations) before Covid, and currently few of any of those routes are flying A380s at all (most replaced with a340s, 777, 787 etc). The a380 tail cam probably can’t help us with this one! But I wish they’d add the tail cam to all the wide bodies with IFE. It’s fun to watch on the journey.

Tracking cameras on civilian passenger plane seems like a whole lot extra stuff for operator to maintain and service compared to the benefit of capturing an UFO pictures once every few months.

Because that would make a civillian passenger transport indistinguishable from a recon asset.

You know what happens to recon assets that frequent hostile airspace, don't you? There are legitimate reasons to not build functionality into something.

I think this is a bit of a stretch. I’ve been on a few transatlantic flights that had live camera feeds under the plane that you could tune into as a regular station on the tv. I’d wager they’re more common on commercial flights than you think.

Emirates B777s and A380s do this too. Especially the A380s that stream 3 different cameras (tail, below, front). I don’t think they record the feeds though, maybe that makes a difference? But yeah seems odd to me that recording video makes it a military asset... how many millions of passengers on commercial planes have recorded the view out their window etc.

No it wouldn't. A recon plane would be pointing mostly at the ground rather than in front of above the plane. And you're assuming international flights, whereas there is abundant domestic air traffic in the US that never leaves the country.

I imagine the pilots where busy flying the aircraft.

There's really not all that much to do in an airliner during the cruise phase. The computer's mostly in control.

In cruise at FL370, there’s plenty of free time.

honestly because i don't think "UFO surveillance equipment" is part of the budget for airliners :P

Good idea, give pilots smartphones so they have less time looking around.

Taking a video with his smartphone is definitely the first thing I want my pilot to do when he thinks he's spotted a missile cruising nearby. /s

> I hate to say this but it looked like a long cylindrical object that almost looked like a cruise missile type of thing

Holy smokes, that would be quite alarming.

American Airlines confirms...the radio transmission was from one of their pilots. OK. It will be interesting to see how the 6-month pentagon directive goes.

(I personally have no opinion on this, as to weapon or sky dolphins or aliens)

One of my pet theories is that there is no big "coverup of the known" with UFOs. Instead it's a coverup of the unknown.

We humans have basically built up a pile of experiential-scientific debt, due to leftover 20th century "don't look into it, don't ask questions" psychology which was rampant in world militaries and governments.

If there's a UFO coverup, it's likely a natural human coverup due to leftover human evolutionary speedbumps like the delayed-frightened animal response.

One specific example:

“There’s no doubt it was something beyond anything we know or understand. […] I have concerns, but I don’t think we can do anything about it. I think this is beyond us. So: Quit worrying about it.” --Lt. Colonel Charles Halt, USAF, who actually experienced the Rendlesham Forest incident

(Can you imagine a military leader with similar psychology managing a department of UFO research?)

Another researcher's take:

“…not only is there a UFO coverup, but they [government / miltary] simply have no idea what they are. They really don’t.” --John Greenwald

IMO we should train our elected and appointed leadership to look into things--otherwise in many cases they will refuse to do so when their subjective leanings are calling the shots. This is basic, foundational strategy for contingencies...

Or, you know, it could just be secret military aircraft from one of the multiple bases in the general area.

Does it even have to be a secret aircraft? Unless the pilots have relevant qualification, it doesn't even necessarily look the way they described it, due to any number of physics factors.

That's why I said--I have no opinion as to what it is. Why leap to conclusions in either direction, which just gets subjective way too early?

If you're saying, "it's probably..." then that's your call, but being so subjective, the attractiveness of having reached an answer so fast could also prevent you from learning that it's something else. A.k.a blindspot.

>“There’s no doubt it was something beyond anything we know or understand. […] I have concerns, but I don’t think we can do anything about it. I think this is beyond us. So: Quit worrying about it.” --Lt. Colonel Charles Halt, USAF, who actually experienced the Rendlesham Forest incident

Col Halt is not a UFO researcher. He has other primary duties. David Fravor (the tic tac guy) does a good job on Lex Fridman's podcast of explaining why the folks that experience these things can't/don't/won't do anything about it. Basically it's somebody else's job. So don't blame them.

What is your conclusion here/what are you saying. Are you claiming this could be extraterrestrial?

Not the OP, but sometimes I wonder whether some of these events are effects of testing by foreign militaries, and the DoD wants to hide knowledge of foreign military technology (because maybe they're trying to copy it).

Interesting but it raises some questions that get really weird fast:

A) The contents of these experiences tend to swing toward "random and subjective, but in a funny, objective way" which would eventually, logically lead to the conclusion that e.g. mind control is directly available and usable--so why not use it like a government would?

B) Which experiences fall within this scope? Which do not? How could you start to identify them and develop an idea as to purpose?

And C) in the event of any disclosure from moles or leaks inside _any_ military that's involved, I would expect it to hit the fan very fast, on any side you can name.

The details are going to be key, and there are way too many hand-wave explanations that involve broad gestures toward "government stuff".

My point is that A) coming to a conclusion as to what the object is may be way too early, and B) the coverup that urgently needs to be exploded and brought to a conclusion ASAP is the "don't look into things" approach to things we don't already know about.

Again: I personally have no opinion on this, as to weapon or sky dolphins or aliens.

Same as covid response. Which is unbelievable.

Fwiw, the skies over Arizona were loaded with contrails today. Very unusual to see this kind of volume.

All of the aircraft appeared to be heading due west in the direction of Las Vegas (Nellis AFB) and southern Cal.

The last time I witnessed this degree of activity was in early 2020, one day after the drone strike on Iranian General Soleimani. The whole sky was a crisscross mesh of expanding vapor.

In these circumstances you can easily tell the difference between commercial and military aircraft simply by their speed. Military aircraft haul ass at all altitudes, without exception.

Ironic to me that this story appeared on HN today given what I've mentioned. I'm not surprised AA reported a UFO encounter two days ago either. Southwest US skies seem to have become very busy.

I saw all that, too (I even took a picture of it and make a joke about living on a missile range), and I think you're reading too much into this.

Those contrails do not indicate more aircraft. They indicate favorable conditions for the formation of contrails.

And I wouldn't call it "very" unusual. It happens about every month or so, and more often at this time of year.

One contrail in particular took a sharp turn from the southeast and headed directly for Vegas. Its shape is what made me look up to discover everything else going on.

It has been very windy for many months, along with drought conditions, so the skies here have been clear. No monsoon to speak of either. I found it unusual given what seems to be the new "normal" of clear skies the past couple of years.

Yeah, the monsoon failure was a disappointment this year. But it happens.

I check the humidity every day, and it's been elevated on and off for the last few weeks. But that's here at the surface. What happens at the level that jets fly is entirely different weather.

Most military aircraft don't fly any faster than civilian airliners. In fact many of them are slower.

Fighters can reach supersonic speeds in some circumstances but seldom do so outside of controlled exercise areas.

You can't reliability differentiate between civilian and military aircraft just by watching contrails from the ground.

Missiles, on the other hand...

Why would Arizona skies be a crisscross mesh of expanding vapor because a drone in Baghdad assassinated someone?

I interpreted it as training flights for readiness preparation. Plus, drones sorties were (are?) flown remotely out of Nellis.

It is not uncommon to be driving between Las Vegas and Phoenix and have jets from Luke AFB flying training missions overhead at low altitude.

A lot of helicopter training is done out here as well.

Why is everyone arguing about stuff in this thread instead of focusing on the less-interesting but still super concerning fact that something flew "right over the top" of a commercial airplane? Even in the least-interesting case of it probably a US test thing of some kind - wtf is it doing flying in commercial airspace? Can you imagine if it had hit the plane?

Probably because "right over the top" can be a 2D descriptor of 3D space. We therefore have no idea how close this object was to the plane. It is entirely possible it was directly above the plane but high enough that it actually wasn't in commercial airspace.

There is no such thing as "commercial airspace." I think you're confusing Class A with commercial, as that's primarily where commercial airliners fly, but there's nothing saying that military operations can't happen there too, so long as they are IFR

I was simply using the terminology OP was using and explaining why "right over the top" doesn't mean there was potential for collision.

Yeah, that’s my question. I’ll assume someone (whether the US government, Elon Musk, or whoever) was testing a rocket of some sort. Why the hell was it in the same area as a commercial flight? I’ll add another stupid human error to my list of things to be afraid of while on a plane.

Elon Musk actually commented that he had no idea of this thing's existence on Joe Rogan's podcast

Why poo poo this? This is what really irks me when people laugh this stuff off and spout off something about Fermi's paradox without even understanding it.

Fermi's paradox only asks simply "if statistics say they are everywhere, well then where are they?"

What if the answer is simply: "Zooming all around us and we occasionally see one". Period. The rest is assumption.

Fermi's paradox does NOT presuppose contact. That is likely a false assumption. It does not presuppose consistent detection also.

Why would they make contact anyways? Didn't Hawking point out that contact is a bad idea for lesser advanced cultures throughout history? Wouldn't extreme clandestine scientific activity be the MOST intelligent thing to do, even the most benevolent? Wouldn't extreme evasiveness and covert activity, even active concealment of both your orgin, existence, and intention be the most species-self-preserving if you knew you weren't "alone out there"? If they are sufficiently advanced, what could they possible gain talking to us that cannot simply be deduced from observation alone? When was the last time you parked your Tesla next to an ant hill and demanded to talk to the queen ant? When was the last time you tried to contact an un-contacted tribe deep in the jungle to announce your existence? None of that seems to pan out so we convince ourselves that it cannot be therefore it must not be based on false assumptions. Even if they were sloppy about concealment like we are I don't think we would even be able to pick up a alien TV station if it was emanating from a planet orbiting Alpha Centari. The signal loss is 1/r^2 unless you direct a focused tight beam dedicated to being detected.

And what would you want the governments of the world to tell you if they knew? "Yes, they are here. Yes we know some. Yes they are super advanced. No there is nothing we can do about it sorry they run circles our best stuff. Yeah we also heard a rumor they are taking people in the middle of the night and we don't know why. Sleep tight!" ... Think of the lawsuits!

I would say black project aircraft is the only viable alternative theory, but how is that not EQUALLY interesting also given the capability described? Why poo poo it? That's what I don't understand. I don't buy mass hallucinations of the same thing over and over. Its just too consistent.

"Where's the video"? Go take a video of the full moon with your phone and tell me if its discernible from a can light on a distant black ceiling.

Just my 2 cents. Would love the hear the counter argument.

We know that the government kept the SR71 secret in the 50s and 60s and the stealth bomber secret in the 80s and 90s. There’s a great book called Skunk Works that details how massive military aviation advances were kept secret for decades.

Now, we’re 60 years on from the Blackbird and 40 years on from the stealth bomber. We know the military has operated drones for decades and that Russia has hypersonic missiles.

I find it much more plausible that these are top secret man made UFOs. In 10-20 years when this technology is outdated we’ll probably find out what it really was.

> In 10-20 years when this technology is outdated we’ll probably find out what it really was.

Based on something I saw in the mid 90s and the numerous reports of these cylindrical crafts, I think it will be more than 10-20 years before these are outdated. Like the Stealth version of the UH-60 helicopter that crashed during the Osama raid, we likely won't know more about these crafts unless there is a similar sort of accident.

Reports and witnessing of UFOs are not something that started happening only in recent times. And by recent, I mean the last ~80 years (which is far longer than the 10-20 year window). You can find examples - stories and depictions of UFOs - throughout the history.

There have been stories throughout history of ghosts, supernatural powers, witchcraft, dragons, Bigfoot, a flat Earth, etc.

Eye witness testimony is notoriously poor evidence on it’s own.

Of course anything is possible, but stories alone are not sufficient evidence since we do have a history of misinterpreting things or making things up without physical evidence and buying into it en mass.

>Why poo poo it? That's what I don't understand.

I think many people take a certain comfort in the assumption that we basically have the universe and the nature of reality figured out. They can accept the possibility that there may be some microbes buried deep on Mars, because it doesn't disrupt their world view or understanding of the nature of reality. But to consider the possibility that there are actually "alien" intelligent beings from other worlds, other dimensions or places unknown flying around on earth shatters their entire understanding of how the world works. It turns all of their assumptions about the universe, the history of our planet and the nature of life itself on its head. Its too much for many people to even contemplate, so they reflexively look for mundane explanations that fit into their perceived understanding of reality. For those predisposed to cling to the safety of what they think they know, the further idea that the government could have been aware of this phenomenon for decades while lying about it and covering it up is just another bit of paradigm busting trauma. The possibility is just too frightening for some, so they refuse to consider it (consciously or not).

> I think many people take a certain comfort in the assumption that we basically have the universe and the nature of reality figured out.

People have that assumption? That's... a pretty terrible assumption, and even a cursory read of some pop-sci articles is enough to tell you there's a ton we don't know. I'm just not convinced that most people assume we know these things.

> That's... a pretty terrible assumption

Couldn't agree more. Unfortunately it doesn't make it any less prevalent.

If there are aliens, we are in deep shit.

There are two poles: Either the aliens are extremely rapacious, or very enlightened.

If they're rapacious, we are weak annoying ants to be crushed.

If they're enlightened, a cursory examination of our history and treatment of the world would show that we are extremely rapacious, and need to be contained or destroyed.

So no matter where on that continuum, we are either destroyed or enslaved.

Why would alients want to enslave us if they have robots? In any case they are not very talkative, they didn't even contact us; if it is them they are just monitoring; makes sense: the only thing one could do with a primitive culture is to monitor it, because otherwise you risk destoying it. Maybe these are alien anthropologists doing a field study.

Do you worry about how rapacious a cockroach is on a distant island in the middle of the ocean? Even if, one day, you decided to visit that island and see what this distant place was like, would you feel compelled to seek out the cockroach and destroy it? Would you worry about the possibility that a million years from now the cockroach might develop the technology to escape its island and challenge you?

A million years?

Again, they'd know the future tech path forward better than we, but I'd see a "cockroach" that went from basic agriculture to nuclear weapons and launching rockets into space within 100 years.

We've had the tech to be a significant solar system race for 60 years now. If the military budget were allocated to space development we'd have a full fledged space civilization and manufacturing base by now.

If you were a civilization that was a million years (or tens of millions of years) farther down the tech road from us, perhaps you wouldn't view a small outpost of intelligent apes that are barely able to visit their own nearby moon as a threat. The larger point is that its far from certain that alien beings would see us only as either a threat or a useful commodity. Both are possibilities but both are from from the only possibilities.

You're only addressing the rapacious pole.

If they are enlightened, they will very much see us as dangerous to the planet that needs to be curtailed.

Your assertion that a civilization that is a million (or more) years ahead of us technologically would see us as a threat is, ironically, just more confirmation that they have absolutely nothing to fear.

>need to be contained

Yes? When was the last time you were on the Moon?

It sounds like you’re saying “the absence of evidence IS evidence of an advanced alien civilization (because they’d hide)”.

Or do I misinterpret?

Exactly. I'd even build upon Asimov a little: Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, and any sufficiently advance civilization would appear both magical technologically and would LIKELY trend towards being highly elusive.

Then, by your logic, they don’t exist since they got caught on tape.

What's your opinion on existence of Planet nine?

Thank you for this comment. I think what poo pooing is showing us is that the majority of humankind is not yet ready to be in contact with an extraterrestrial civilization because such thinking is way too narrow to even begin a conversation.

This is why publishing such articles is important, and why they should make more people think that there is a possibility after all that humans are not the only ones in the universe and that life is all around them.

This is such a preliminary line of thought, that, if most humans lack this perspective, why even begin to engage?

>... Think of the lawsuits!

On what grounds? Besides, the federal government is sovereign and can't be sued in most circumstances.

Another reason to not dismiss it: UFO does not mean extraterrestrial, it just means unidentified.

I remember a French documentary from a while ago and a helicopter pilot said that he witnessed something similar while he was flying. A large cylinder craft flew past him rapidly and was relatively close to the helicopter to the point that this would have affected it (air displacement?), but nope.

It was as if the "UFO" flew inside its own sort of bubble, isolated from the surrounding environment. Flew right past the helicopter as if it was nothing. That's what was the most shocking.

"Long cylindrical" doesn't even sound like whatever weirdness is going on in the Navy tapes. I'm guessing military experiment that got off track somehow.

David Fravor, who I believe is the Navy Pilot that is the public face of the "Navy tapes" you are referring to, described the object as a "Tic Tac" - which is cylindrical. Still, I'd bet on some experimental (or just rare) type of human/American aircraft. Second place theory is that a pilot is making a joke or resigning or something, similar to how a developer might open a sev-1 ticket to tell his soon to be former company that he is resigning. (Although, hopefully "mischievous prankster" is an attitude that is heavily discouraged among commercial airlines pilot)

Yes it does since they describe them as "Tic-Tacs" which are in fact round and cylindrical.

That's the first thing I thought of when I heard about this. If the US was testing its drones, I think it would prefer to keep them in a restricted airspace. On the other hand, if I were a foreign power looking to flaunt my new drone tech, I'd take it over the area that seems to be rife with sensitive bases.

Still, it's most likely this is a US drone on a long range testing mission(or just flying off course due to a sw bug).

For hypersonic vehicles, restricted airspace is too small. They need to be able to fly into commercial airspace to demonstrate range, guidance systems, etc...

Are there reports of any foreign drones flying so far within US borders? I only recall media accounts of stuff like that happening in international waters or borders.

Sounds like a situation where if there were any witnesses to such incidents, they're probably under gag orders.

thedrive also fantasizes about impossible tech that has been patented by some guy who claims to be in the defense department.

Pilot: "We saw a UFO"

People: "Theres no such thing as aliens, you're mad, its nothing"

> Foreign nation continues to send cylindrical drones into US airspace as no one cares

"I invented the term Unidentified-Flying-Object-Oriented and I can tell you I did not have C++ in mind." -Alien Kay

I think the proper term here is "Unidentified Flying Object" for a reason. The pilot clearly said it looked like a cruise missile. The notion that "Unidentified = Alien" is rather far fetched. The acronym should be more accurately called "Undisclosed Flying Object".

We've really gotta adopt a new term for this stuff. It's fine to be pedantic and say "well 'UFO' doesn't actually mean aliens in the first place", but the acronym has clearly been co-opted by pop culture to be closely tied with aliens for decades now. Even a minor change like "UFOB" (which has been used by the USAF officially) would probably make a big difference. People will continue to say UFO to mean aliens, and that's fine, but official press releases can use a different term so that people don't read the headlines and immediately think "wow, aliens!".

Yes, the term now is UAP, unidentified aerial phenomenon. There is an official UAP Task Force in the Pentagon. Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid uses it, Hilary Clinton uses it.

"Ariel phenomenon" sounds like the kind of word that will be very quickly co-opted by paranormalists and occultists.

You can run as fast as you like on the Euphemism Treadmill, but you won't get anywhere.

The problem isn't with the term. Any term that means "An unknown flying thing" will come to be associated with aliens. If you start using a new term, that will just make it more exotic and interesting and "official seeming". "Authorities are reporting a UFT!" "What's that" "A UFO!!"

The interesting/curious/conspiracy-invoking concept is the unknown flying thing, whatever you call it. Whatever name you use will get associated with the interesting/curious/conspiracy aspect.

Yea, I don't understand why there can't be intelligible/non-conspiracy conversations about the extremely unusual stuff that has been reported by a good number of reputable people. It seems like there are a few plausible theories and we should be able to have conversations about wth they are.

You're suggesting the media use a new, accurate term to avoid the "wow, aliens" sensationalism and voluntarily lose out on page views/ad clicks? Cool, who do you think will go first?

It's in American Airline's benefit to make this story get as big as possible, it's free advertising. They already know the term will be misunderstood, that is their goal.

I feel like this “all press is good press” argument gets deployed a lot as a sort of thought-terminating cliche. I don’t think it’s obvious that AA necessarily benefits from a story that does involve them but could also potentially make some people more afraid of flying.

It gets their name on the front page places like here and probably some regular media coverage, it doesn't say anything bad about the company, and your worry that it could cause people not to fly requires them reading and internalizing the entire article. And all that was required of them was using a correct term for the event.

I think the all press is good press more applies to lesser known companies. At this point everyone knows who american airlines are.

e.g. boeing/United airlines after the engine failure

Would guess they both would prefer it if that wasn't in the news.

Also the most straightforward explanation. UAVs and ALCM's can be dropped from high altitudes and have hundreds of miles of range and all look very similar, plus who knows what they're developing. The whole Southwest has plenty of military airspace and their toys don't always play nice with commercial air traffic.


Going a bit further, once an object has been confirmed as alien, then it's not really "Unidentified" anymore, now is it?

Almost a linguistic catch-22 version of the "ATM Machine" phrase. Not redundant, but guaranteed to be either colloquially misinterpreted, or technically incorrect.

It's kinda weird how words can just get coopted by popular use. Take calling someone a "Nimrod" -- before Loony Tunes, that would have been a compliment that meant "mighty hunter". But kids growing up in the 50s and on first heard it in when Bugs Bunny used it as an insult, contextually meaning idiot or bumbler or something -- which due to Loony Tunes' cultural influence is now the dominant meaning, supplanting the original biblical origin (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nimrod#Idiom)

> Going a bit further, once an object has been confirmed as alien, then it's not really "Unidentified" anymore, now is it?

Depends. Let's take the opposite case, where the object has been determined to be of likely terrestrial origin (identifiable letters and numbers on a wing or tail), but otherwise still mysterious. Is it identified or not? How about if it is rumored to be US military, but officially no one will confirm or deny? How about if someone does officially confirm, but no specifics are available (so there is no project/program name, or branch, or model)?

Especially considering that official statements may be misinformation, at what point can we say that the FO is no longer U?

A similar continuum of identification specificity applies to non-terrestrial origins, all the way up to "Oh yeah, that was BortXd from Omega Draconis, he got drunk again at a tailgate party."

>Going a bit further, once an object has been confirmed as alien, then it's not really "Unidentified" anymore, now is it?

Somehow confirming that it is not from Earth doesn't identify it. There are multiple types of flying objects, like planes and missiles, and could be multiple different aliens groups it could be from.

Also, how does one identify it as ‘alien’? It could be sent by humans from the future, or by “the first men”.

The way that "Unidentified Flying Object" and "Alien Spacecraft" have become synonymous is a remarkable pernicious evolution of language.

It's a strange thing - I don't think there's any conspiracy to create a cult, just a certain bias in the use of symbols makes "I couldn't explain what that was" become "intelligent creatures from other worlds created this effect".

This is exactly there's been a shift to using other acronyms, such as UAP (Unidentified Aerial Phenomena), which don't have the same baggage.

Universal Alien Persons

It's because UFO is never used to mean "plane of unknown precise identity or origin country". Other terms are used for those, like "plane with its transponder disabled" or whatever.

The problem is, when UFO reports occur they invariably seem to objects that cannot fly by any sort of conventional aircraft physics:

a) There are no wings. Ever.

b) They are often reported as moving slowly or even hovering, which missiles cannot/would not do.

Thus UFO has come to be synonymous not with its literal meaning of a flying object that doesn't light up with proper ID codes on radar, but a flying object that is not merely unidentified but unexplainable. Unexplainable Flying Object would be a more accurate expansion given how it's used. That doesn't automatically imply aliens, but the whole "secret military breakthrough" angle is no more falsifiable than aliens are.

It's a huge mystery how an airline pilot could possibly see a cruise missile shaped object right outside of the White Sands Missile Range. Probably aliens.

There is absolutely zero chance a cruise missile would be fired without closing the airspace to civilian aircraft.

The pilot was at 37,000 feet and said the object was above them. Commercial planes top out at about 42k feet and would have shown up on ADS-B. A U-2 flying at 60k would look like a long cylindrical object about the size of a cruise missile (in the same way a 747 looks small from the ground), and not show up on instrurments. Oh and they regularly fly out of Nevada to swoop down over New Mexico/Texas on their way to Mexico and Central America.

> There is absolutely zero chance a cruise missile would be fired without closing the airspace to civilian aircraft.

Sometimes the military misses a lot of items on the checklist, and accidentally ships a nuclear missile where it didn't intend [0]

[0]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2007_United_States_Air_Force_n...

I wouldn't say "absolutely zero chance", but I'd say "it's unlikely this was an expected outcome, and it's possible that someone is in deep trouble right now."

Cruise missiles are able to fly in controlled and uncontrolled airspace on Military Training Routes (MTR). There are procedures in place for a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) to be requested and published that alerts other operators of the hazard to flight.

Speaking as a pilot, If there was a NOTAM I can guarantee with 100% certainty an airline pilot would know about it. Also the military doesn’t screw around with this sort of thing, I think the chance is virtually nil they intentionally flew an unmanned aircraft that close to an airliner.

Also pilot here: I’d drop that figure to 90% as there are so many notams it’s easy to miss the needle in the haystack with the ridiculous volume of irrelevant notams out these days.


The military screws around constantly. That's why Cavalese happened. That's why that Apache crashed showing off in Afghanistan. IR655 got blown up. Like, we have lots of "military screwing around" instances and like zero aliens. It's so hard to believe that it's aliens.

Just doesn't make sense in a Bayesian sense.

It's not military. It's private weapons development company. There's no payload, so they do not need to notify commercial airliners, and it's a classified project, so they cannot anyway.

They are testing hypersonic missile systems for both ABM and warhead delivery.

If a private weapons contractor was testing a new hypersonic missile without any warhead on it, under a classified program - it seems to me that they would need to fly it outside restricted space to test long distances range and guidance systems.

As long as they were not at commercially used altitudes, it seems to me that they wouldn't advise anyone.

A320 and U-2 go the same speed. Also the U-2 has big wings and a big radar signature. Basically this makes no sense.

They go the same speed, but the U-2 is at twice the altitude.

Due to retinal persistence you will see the part of an aircraft that is longest in the direction of travel (the body) more clearly than the wings. Only military aircraft carry radar, commercial planes depend on TCAS which requires the other object to be transmitting a beacon signal.

For others unfamiliar and reticent to google, a "U-2" is:

> The Lockheed U-2, nicknamed "Dragon Lady", is an American single-jet engine, high altitude reconnaissance aircraft operated by the United States Air Force and previously flown by the Central Intelligence Agency.

On the contrary, the USA has accidently dropped nuclear missiles from planes, and have experience all kinds of other incompetence over the decades.


There are quite a few more safeguards in place now to prevent accidentally letting a missile reach over 30k feet above US soil.

0 chance implies no one makes mistakes.

U-2s don't fly fast.

They do when they’re flying the opposite direction as you.

Also, he’ll if we civilians know what kinds of retrofits have been made in the past several decades, particularly for the purpose of testing and development.

The U2 is a very well-understood and photographed airframe. Even if given engine upgrades, it wouldn't be more than a few mph faster than before. Those big glider wings limit it to a very narrow, predictable, flight envelope.

Tell that to the people on the plane that was shot down above Ukrainian airspace.

Wait, wait, wait...you're saying that because a missile has shot down a plane before in another country during a conflict, the United States military is firing cruise missiles without clearing civilian airspace?

Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down with a surface-to-air missile, a weapon intended specifically for targeting aircraft. A "cruise missile" by comparison is intended for terrestrial targets and has a minimum range of a few hundred miles. Should the missile come in contact with an aircraft during its initial launch phase, your warhead would basically come right back down on top of you - which is why they close the airspace.

This is reference to this incident that happened during peacetime in 2001 - not later incident during the conflict.


I'm not sure how that's related? Ukraine was a warzone at the time.

And still is at the time :(, just nobody cares anymore

this is a poor comparison

shh, those were aliens too, at least according to Russia.

It was over 300 of miles from the white sands missile range. The plane had just flown over the western edge of Oklahoma, in the far northeast corner of new Mexico. It was closer to the air force academy in Colorado Springs than it was to white sands.

Either there's military activity that the military doesn't want to talk about, or extraterrestrials consider green chile a delicacy that is otherwise unobtainable in the universe. Both seem equally plausible.

I'm not completely up to speed on modern cruise missiles, but don't they leave a smoke trail/contrail/etc behind them if they have a conventional propulsion system? Or do they burn fairly clean in flight?

Aside from launch where they typically have some kind of boost stage, cruise missiles fly at low altitudes with small turbofan engines. Not much of a visual exhaust signature:



Ah fair enough. Thats some impressive footage by the way!

You think the range officer just let this one get away? They shut down highways during testing, let alone airspace.

the northeast of the state is actually pretty far from WSMR, and no launches from WSMR leave the range that I'm aware of (or at least haven't for a long time. They did launch a V2 after WWII, and it went the wrong direction and hit the outskirts of Ciudad Juarez.)

Are there cruise missiles that operate at those altitudes? Seems like "sitting duck" height for a cruise missile.

Altitude fits the mission.

If you're throwing Tomahawks at the Taliban, you'll get longer range from a higher altitude approach, with little risk of being detected let alone shot down.

If you're trying to hit Moscow, by all means, try to avoid radar by going 50 feet off the ground.

Because cruise missiles regularly do close unannounced fly-by's of passenger jets in civilian airspace /s.

Depends. In the 80s there were “UFO” sightings in upstate NY which were tomahawk missiles flying between Rome and Griffis AFB for testing purposes. I believe they appeared triangular from some angles due to landing gear.

this is not reddit

Did you mean to reply to another comment? The article doesn't make any mention of "alien".

> Former CIA Director John Brennan thinks there may be life on other planets too.

Found this in the article. This is close enough to "aliens!" if added to an article about airline incidents.

Indeed. Also, there's a world of difference between "there may be life on other planets", and "intelligent life from other planets is visiting earth".

The last two paragraphs of the article is clearly talking about aliens.

> Former CIA Director John Brennan thinks there may be life on other planets too. December’s Covid-19 relief bill included a directive to the Pentagon and intelligence agencies to share what they know about UFOs within 6 months. People with the highest of security clearances think there’s something out there.

> ‘Something’ of course doesn’t necessarily mean extraterrestrial in origin, even though New Mexico is home to Roswell…

> December’s Covid-19 relief bill included a directive to the Pentagon and intelligence agencies to share what they know about UFOs within 6 months.

Seems like that Covid-19 relief bill was about everything but the Covid-19 relief, lol

It most assuredly was. The amount of fat in that bill is stunning. This rather proves it.

Is that 6 months up yet? I forgot to put that date into my calendar

They released their files, it hasn't been six months yet. I haven't looked at them, but the lack of hype makes me assume they're nothing huge.


UFOs in american english are a common colloquial term for aliens from mars (or other sci fi plots)

I saw (mostly heard) a rotorcraft flying really (but plausibly, for human tech) quite fast with absolutely no lights and no Mode B output about 400-500ft over residential areas a few months ago, about 15-20km WSW from Nellis AFB.

I don't think it was more than 2-3 meters across, but it was dark and scale was difficult. It was quite loud, I assume internal combustion but don't know what non-hobby-drone electric rotorcraft sound like.

It was about 0100. I assume it was a friendly, but who knows?

There's all sorts of shit going on in the sky, legal and otherwise. :D

Here’s my theory that I haven’t seen anyone else mention. Here in California and specifically where I live (Palos Verdes look it up) we have had video sighting of the “jet pack man”. If you don’t know who it is look it up. That thing flies fast. You may be thinking what does this have to do with something that looks like a missile? Keep reading. Jet pack man was first seen flying by LAX and reported by an AA plane. Later, people in my neighborhood have taken videos of him flying past our cliffs (over the water) Going extremely fast.

We have all seen videos of the coast guard finding submarines with people smuggling drugs into the US. In my years of growing up in Palos Verdes, we have had multiple submarine like vessels, skiffs, and other odd marine vehicles wash up on our shores due to tough sea conditions with tons of drugs and even some manned by smugglers which were later arrested.

The cartel obviously has tons of money, and to me it would make sense that they are going Ariel with smuggling. It gets harder and harder to smuggle on land across our border and same with sea, due to coast guard being more present than ever on coast lines.

I guarantee they have some military grade equipment and are attempting to fly under radar to smuggle goods into the US. Maybe this missile like object drops the packages out of the sky with parachutes attached to certain drop points, who knows. I think this is a more realistic scenario than aliens. This incident did happen over New Mexico which is a place in which a lot of cartel activity happens. Let me know what you think.

More than 2.7 billion people live in India and China. Someone is always up. How come UFO sightings only reported from westerns countries (USA?) mostly?

Because we are testing hypersonic missiles here.

It shouldn't be too hard for an interested private citizen of means to set up a grid og drones that automatically land and recharge and constantly record everything, passing it to a computer system that looks for these enormous objects.

I'm sure if it was real and if we wanted to we could obtain decisive visual proof in a way where the public was convinced that was not fraudulent.

Like why should we be spending millions of dollars on seti when the corresponding search for these kind of things on earth should be a lot cheaper and easier.

If it comes that close it's a hostile irrespective of origin.

I have a hypothesis about UFOs that everyone needs to ponder.

You know how they are frequently just simple shapes? Okay well imagine you are making a game and you need an object to act as your player and you don't care what it looks like. The easiest way is to just drop in a primitive shape. So you just drop in a cylinder or whatever because it doesn't matter.

I think that might be the kind of thing that's going on with UFO shapes, assuming they are extraterrestrial in origin.

Pondered, I have no idea what you're alluding to.

I think he's suggesting maybe we're in a simulation and the people writing the code are testing in prod.

You think you're good enough for prod?

So many more things make sense in that light!

It's called a Capsule Container, and it's a common replacement for an AABB or Sphere bounding container when representing avatars.

This is kind of sensational. UFO, but a radar signature of something missile like? Hardly invokes the idea of something extra-solar like the common colloquialism does.

Could it be a discarded second stage from a satellite launch, reentering with orbital speed?

Besides the U.S. Navy videos, there's only one video (out of hundreds I've seen) that has me genuinely wondering if it might be real evidence of an advanced vehicle (aliens or not). It seems to match this American Airpline pilot's description in some ways.


Anyone have any guesses?

Best guess I've seen was that it was a supply canister or drop tank. But it seems to pause in mid-air at 0:32, travel horizontally, and is over a civilian area where it seems unlikely that something would be dropped. It does look somewhat like a cruise missle but a lot slower.

The pause at 0:32 looks to me like a parallax effect [0] which would have occurred if the person holding the camera moved slightly right, counteracting the object's natural movement. I don't know why there are no contrails or seemingly no wings but the movement is less mysterious.

[0] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parallax

Looks like the tic-tac, similar to what Cmdr David Fravor saw off the coast of San Diego in 2004. The well known USS Nimitz incident.

Looks like something near the camera. Note that its movement (particularly at 0:32) is correlated with camera movement.

It somewhat resembles the reflection from a strand of spider silk. Maybe something caught on a long strand of spider silk?

It is hard to imagine how much time this person wasted by speaking 50 words.

When I was young (back to my primary school time), these UFO stuffs really fascinated me. But nowadays, I've lost interests...

Does "contact" have a definition I'm not aware of? They didn't communicate with it, and they did not touch it.

"visual contact", "radar contact", ... are used in aviation and military.

I assume it's possible to build a drone using ducted fans.

Aren't there other possibilities besides military (domestic or foreign)or alien? What about a civilian/hobbyist drone? Wasn't there a to-my-knowledge-unexplained "drone swarm" in Colorado recently?

I was thinking some startup was a possibility. There’s obviously a ton of money to be made by making something go really fast. “Tesla sky teleport can get you from LA to Portland in 40 minutes.” Just sit in this cylinder as we launch you in your personal ballistic missile.

We saw a lot of recklessness with self driving vehicles. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a similar attitude while developing tech like this.

One idea that I've entertained is that they are terrestrial biological entities, like maybe a blue whale or giant squid but more rare and possibly of a shadow biome.

Whenever I see this kind of news pulling the attention of a significant number of smart people I ask what terrible reality we don't want to see or try to escape by injecting us UFO heroin.

It's not aliens IMO. More likely old military surveillance tech that is ready to be declassified.

Hypersonic missile test?

How is this not on film in 4k stereo in the age of smart phones and dash cams

At 37K feet, above the airplane, tracking really fast moving objects, in the direction the cockpit is facing, we are expecting a phone or a dash cam? C'mon

Why isn't everything that the pilot can be seen recorded in some black box?

If the pilot can see it, certainly a cam from inside the cockpit can see it.

I understand that planes aren't cars but... We have cars doing just that: recording absolutely everything in case something unexpected happen.

It's 2021: I'm sure airliners could have it at some point. It doesn't look like a feature too much out of a science-fiction movie.

And this would settle quite some of the UFO sightings.

I wonder whether camera feeds are included in the black box? This feels more like a tech progression being overlooked in tech upgrades.

Why not? Seems like it would be a simple and cheap forensic aid to put cameras covering the field of view of the pilots

Well, is op wondering why this can't be done in the future, or are they asking why it's not on video for us to watch right now? Those are two different questions, your answer addressing the former.

A car accident occurred down the street from me the other day; I heard it, and there were eye witnesses, but there was no video.

I guess it didn't happen.

Cant these planes have dashcams come on!

I'm so sick of the term UFO being applied to stuff like this. Even the pilot said it looked like a cruise missile but lo and behold the first conjecture in the article by the journalist is that it could be extraterrestrial and only at the end they say oh yeah it could also just be a military thing since you know there are a trillion military bases right under where it was flying over.

I think we need a new term, maybe: Not an Extraterrestrial Flying Object NAEFO, never mind...

To be fair, the pilot said it looked like a cruse missile probably because that's the only reference point they could use.

Let's hope the US military was testing stuff and that's what it was.

To be real fair most likely even a cruise missile would not look anything like a cruise missile if one zoomed past by when you're busy flying an airplane.

Let's not want to believe [0]

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_X-Files:_I_Want_to_Believe

Why are you "sick" of it, what triggers such a response in you?

There's a reason people like to put such a spin on articles like this, and it isn't only because they want more clicks.

It's because it's related to one of the most important questions humankind has ever asked for many centuries.

That, and there are a lot of these reports throughout the history about this. And in very recent times, Pentagon officially recognized such phenomena - phenomena that is very similar to what is described in the article. Is it, then, so unreasonable to use a similar tone in such an article?

Why would you be "so sick" of it? Instead of allowing yourself to wonder at the sheer vastness of the universe and asking yourself similar questions, why would you choose to be so put off by it?

The pilot said: "it looked like", so it's technically Unidentified. It flew over the top of the plane. So it's Flying though the air. And it wasn't an animal of any sort so it must have been an Object. Sounds like a UFO.

UFO != extraterrestrial

I think the term now in use is UAP - Unidentified Aerial Phenomena.

Downvoters - UAP is indeed a term used nowadays: https://www.defense.gov/Newsroom/Releases/Release/Article/23...

> On Aug. 4, 2020, Deputy Secretary of Defense David L. Norquist approved the establishment of an Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) Task Force (UAPTF). The Department of the Navy, under the cognizance of the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security, will lead the UAPTF.

>the pilot said it looked like a cruise missile

What percentage of commercial airline pilots do you think have ever seen a cruise missile?

I'd guess at least half. Anyone who was alive during Desert Storm could describe one, they were all over TV at the time.

I agree. But your suggested acronym to fix it is a bit over the top. Perhaps: Uninteresting Friendly Object.

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