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Pilots sightings:

Sighting over the Sonoran desert, USA, February 24, 2018:

The pilots of two different airline planes spotted a mysterious reflective object hovering at about 40,000 feet (12,000 meters) over the southern Arizona deserts of the Sonora region on February 24, 2018.

Radio transmissions between the befuddled pilots and air traffic controllers were realeased in full thanks to an Federal Aviation Authority recording released two months later to the Phoenix New Times newspaper, the sighting occurred around 3:30 p.m. local time.

A first pilot, flying a Learjet west toward California asked: "Was anybody above us that passed us like 30 seconds ago?"

An air traffic controller at the FAA's Albuquerque Air Traffic Center in New Mexico answered: "Negative."

"OK," the pilot responded. "Something did."

The object, whatever it was, was flying at least a few thousand feet above the jet, which was cruising at an altitude of around 37,000 feet (11,000 meters), the Phoenix New Times reported. A few minutes later, the FAA asked another nearby flight — an American Airlines Airbus traveling in the same direction — to keep an eye out for anything "passing over" it in the desert.

The confused pilot agreed, and within 45 seconds, the Airbus crew saw an object fly over their plane.

"Yeah, something just passed over us," the Airbus pilot reported. "I couldn't make it out, whether it was a balloon or what... but it had a big reflection on it and it was several thousand feet above us, going the opposite direction."

Several weeks after the sighting, authorities were still stumped as to the object's origin. Beyond these two pilot reports, the FAA could not verify that any other aircraft were around. It likely was not a "Google balloon," the FAA reported, nor a weather balloon or a military craft.

Lynn Lunsford, FAA mid-states public affairs manager, told the Phoenix News Times: "We have a close working relationship with a number of other agencies and safely handle military aircraft and civilian aircraft of all types in that area every day, including high-altitude weather balloons."

The object had not been detected on the ground radar.

In other words, whatever the UFO was, the FAA should have known about it, but it did not.

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This page was last updated on April 6, 2018.