Exactly one year ago today, UFO experts were buzzing about reports of a pilot who claimed he saw “a long, cylindrical object” flying over New Mexico.
American Airlines and the FBI confirmed reports that flight AA 2292, which was travelling between Cincinnati and Phoenix on February 21, 2021 had a near-miss with an unidentified flying object shortly before twenty past one, local time.
The pilot contacted Albuquerque air traffic control to request information on the bizarre sighting and was heard asking if they had “targets” up in the air.
In an audio clip of the radio transmission, he added: “We just had something just go over the top of us.
“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.”
While American Airlines initially played down the report, a company spokesperson confirmed the incident in a statement that said: “Following a debrief with our Flight Crew and additional information received we can confirm this radio transmission was from American Airlines Flight 2292 on Feb. 21.”
The Federal Aviation Administration added in their statement that air traffic controllers “did not see any object in the area on their radarscopes.”
But the sighting quickly became of the most significant UFO sightings of 2021 as it was one of several triggers that saw experts push for more transparency from the US government about investigations into alien life.
In a Daily Star exclusive in September last year, anonymous pilots had come forward claiming that they could lose their jobs for reporting sightings – despite many being seen before.
One pilot said airline bosses are so hostile to ET claims that a colleague was told to get counselling after reporting a UFO.
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“Most pilots will use phrases like unidentified traffic or aerial phenomena. No one wants to say UFO. If you say UFO people think you are either drunk, on drugs or nuts.”
Another pilot added: “Many airline pilots, self-included, and military pilots have had encounters at altitude with UFOs over many decades and before the internet.
“Encounters are reported internally and amongst colleagues and seldom reach the media. When you are fortunate to be a close witness, it is really quite serious stuff. There are advantages in having an office window at 37,000ft.”