Chicago O'Hare's UFO Sighting
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
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.