In a statement, the FBI said it was "aware of the reported incident" but would not "confirm or deny" if it was investigating the event.
American Airlines Flight 2292, which was flying between Cincinnati and Phoenix, had a close call with a UFO at around 1:20 p.m. local time. The pilot called Albuquerque air traffic control to ask for information on the strange sighting and was heard asking if they had "targets" up in the air.
"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," the pilot said in an audio clip of the radio transmission.
According to flight data, the Airbus 302 was flying at 406 miles per hour at the time. It was not far from the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico but the Department of Defense said no tests or launches were directed on that day
The UFO mystery got deep when AA affirmed the cockpit recording came from its passenger jet aircraft and told reporters to "talk to the FBI" for more details.
According to UFO hunters, this was one of the latest in a string of bizarre events involving passenger jets.
While American Airlines initially played down the report, a company spokesperson verified the incident in a statement. "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 spokesperson said.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), on the other hand, said in a statement that air traffic controllers "did not see any object in the area on their radarscopes." (Related: FAA mystified by blue UFO that disappeared into the sea in Hawaii.)
The sighting, however, instantly became one of the most important UFO encounters of 2021 as it was one of various sparks that saw experts press for more transparency from the United States government about investigations on alien life.
In September last year, anonymous pilots in a Daily Star exclusive came forward claiming that they could lose their jobs for reporting sightings of UFOs despite many being seen before.
According to a pilot, airline bosses are so opposed to extraterrestrial claims that a fellow worker was told to receive therapy after reporting a UFO incident.
"When someone says UFO everyone thinks they are referring to aliens but that is not always the case, especially with the surge in drone activity," another pilot told the Daily Star.
"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."
According to another pilot, many airline pilots 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 37,000 feet," the pilot said.
Watch the video below to know more about pilot encounters with UFOs.
This video is from the channel TheOutThereChannel on Brighteon.com.
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