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Chicago O'Hare's UFO Sighting

Updated on October 11, 2011
O'Hare International Airport
O'Hare International Airport

It was all over the international news. More than a dozen people saw it. A pilot might even have caught digital photographs of it! So why didn't the Federal Aviation Administration investigate the UFO that flew over Chicago's O'Hare International Airport in 2006?

Some say it was a weather phenomenon. Maybe it didn't even happen. Or maybe the FAA is trying to cover up the "truth."

I don't know the answer; I only know the evidence with which I've been presented. Videos, photographs, witness statements, official government statements... Let's take a look.


Upwards of twelve people (employees of United Airlines) claim to have seen a UFO hovering above O'Hare International Airport in Chicago on November 7, 2006.

Collectively, they seem to agree that it stayed for about two minutes (starting at about 4:30 pm) and then shot up through the clouds, leaving a hole to the clear blue sky beyond. They also all state that it was M&M shaped, silver and shiny, and spinning in place as it hovered.

A self-proclaimed skeptic and aircraft mechanic was quoted as saying that there was "no way" the craft he saw was Earth-bound.

The pilot witnesses attested that it was not a plane, helicopter, kite, weather balloon, blimp, or any other known flying device. It seems to me that, if anyone would know that, commercial jet pilots would.

Apparently, air traffic control received word of the incident but saw no evidence of the unidentified craft on any of their instruments. Many air traffic controllers reportedly found the incident funny.


Surprisingly enough, many of the mainstream media networks picked up this story for broadcast. Most UFO sightings are reported only on local news, and when reported nationally, the newscasters tend to have a sarcastic grin on their faces. This story, interestingly, was nothing but serious.

Personally, I would attribute this to the fact that Americans are typically pretty sensitive about their airports post-9/11. It would seem to me that the United States government would want a pretty good handle on the airspace above major American international airports in major American cities such as Chicago.

A Behind-the-Scenes and On-Air Interview

An artist's depiction of the alleged UFO.
An artist's depiction of the alleged UFO.


So where is the appropriate response from the United States government?

The Federal Aviation Administration denied they had received any reports of the incident until the Chicago Tribune filed a Freedom of Information Act request. They eventually admitted that they had received a call from a United Airlines official with a claim of the sighting.

The FAA has opened no official investigation into the incident on that day, which seems a bit strange considering the aforementioned touchiness of Americans and airports. Suspicious? A bit, but it's perfectly possible that they have launched a low-profile preliminary investigation that they are not announcing to the public.

One Skeptic's Comedic Take

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The official "party line" has been that all of this was simply a weather phenomenon. It was an overcast day, and that combined with the twighlight and various lights at the airport could potentially create an optical illusion or two.

There will always be the group of people who will never believe any story of ghosts, UFOs, or Elvis' staged death. They are the skeptics, and -- God love 'em -- what would we do without them pinning us to the ground?

What Do We Think?

In the interest of full disclosure, I am usually a huge skeptic of UFO "sightings," mostly because (no offense to anyone intended), the witnesses tend to not be... credible.

But in the case of Chicago's O'Hare sighting, I'm a bit caught off guard. I would trust a commercial pilot to identify objects in the sky, as that is a pretty big part of his job. And while I don't think the aliens are planning on visiting us face-to-face for quite some time, my suspicion is aroused at the apparently odd handling of the U.S. government in this case.

Let me know what you think! Spin your theories for me! I'd love to hear any input, scientist or otherwise, believer or skeptic, educated or not.


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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      most UFO's are fake

    • profile image

      From:S.A. Tx. 

      8 years ago

      It was arond the Year 1988, as I was getting my goceries out of my car trunk. I heard a roaring sound right over me and, I saw what look like a brilliant colorful disk. I got scarred ran, went to tell my spouse what i seen, I thought i was seeing things, well about few minutes later on news it came out there was a U.F.O. sighting.

    • profile image

      Greg Pomparelli 

      8 years ago

      Let's see. They say this thing appeared for two minutes. That's 120 seconds. That's certainly long enough to take a picture. On the other hand, UFOs are so out of the norm, there has to be some pause for, 'wtf?' As weird as this thing supposedly looked, I am surprised no one had the presence of mind to reach for at least a cell-phone camera. Assuming something was actually there, whatever supposed 'intelligence' that was responsible was smart enough to know precisely how long to linger unrecorded. Also, this doesn't seem to have presented a danger to anyone. Thus the lack of any impetus for any imperative governmental investigation. Alas we are all left with but our own speculation. How I do love these kinds of stories!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      A friend of mine works in the FBI, and he said that what some people claim are UFOs are actually high tech military air craft that they want to test out in open areas like Arizonia and such.

    • profile image

      Alien Watcher 

      8 years ago

      Update on Chicago UFO :

      UK, France, China Admitted UFO Are Real and Of Extraterrestrial Origin

    • jez_jay33 profile image


      8 years ago from Los Banos Laguna

      well, the US government really is hiding something from us. don't be too scared though, because UFO's are actually manned vehicles that the government is developing somwhere, probably in Area 51 or some other top secret military bases. Area 51 is real. and UFO design actually originated from the Nazzis and was taken to US by some general i think. first it was a bell shaped design then was further improved to a UFO scifi style because of the good physics incorporated with the shape.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I noticed that most of the other youtube videos that were placed about this topic were removed. Who knows if the Gov got to them. I would have like to see them. This was a world wide known incident. Here is a good picture from the saucer craft:

    • helenathegreat profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Manhattan

      Thanks for commenting, Tilly! I'm pretty sure the government is investigating absolutely EVERYTHING that happens in the air post-9/11, so I'm not particularly worried about reportedly "strange" lights. If aliens have the technology to make it here, they have the technology to never let us see them. We know that the universe is that complex. That's science.

    • Tilly Holiday profile image

      Tilly Holiday 

      9 years ago

      UFO's creep me out entirely. Even more than that, the way people keep reporting them and nothing is ever truly investigated. It just fuels the imaginations of the conspiracy theorists.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I saw the exact same object in late July 2006 landing in Chicago

    • helenathegreat profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Manhattan

      That sounds spectacular, knolyourself! Thanks for sharing that. I'm a strong believer that you should never doubt your first instinct in that situation. I believe that I saw a ghost or an angel or something -- a full-body apparition in any case -- and have second-guessed myself several times. But the best person to judge a situation like that is the person IN the situation, not the person after it! Keep believing in what you saw!

    • greathub profile image


      10 years ago from Earth

      I think UFOs are made by human beings. Governments of advanced nations hide these high-tech aircrafts. MAy be they use them to keep an eye on other nations. I have written a guide to ufo:

      Please read it and give comments.

    • knolyourself profile image


      10 years ago from Bay Area, Ca

      I have always considered myself very fortunate to have seen one. I saw it, a white disk flying slow horizontally, and take off at a right angle from the direction it was traveling, into space, getting smaller as it disappeared with the speed of a split second. No doubt in my mind. However when I tell others, they usually start telling me what I really saw, cause you know - they were there.


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