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Sighting Reports 2002

Mysterious Object With Long Contrails Prompts NORAD to Scramble Jets - November 27, 2002

3:31 PM E.S.T: 
American Airlines aircraft flying in Caribbean pilot flying at 40,000 feet spots object coming out of the water which rose and crossed aircraft altitude.  Other airlines also reported object along with contrails to NORAD.

4:29 PM E.S.T.
Miami Traffic Control Center received report from U.S. Airline pilot that an object with a long contrail was flying extremely fast towards the northwest at 35,000 to 40,000 feet.  U.S. Airline aircraft was flying at near 35,000 feet near the Grand Turk and Caicos Islands.  The Grand Turk and Caicos Islands are about 500 miles southeast of the Bahamas. (See map.)  We estimate that the object was flying at 1,200 mph based upon known sighting locations and times.  This is nearly twice the speed of sound.

5:00 PM E.S.T.
NORAD reports object 30 miles to the East of Dothan Alabama (See map).

NORAD says that this object is not the result of space debris.  The object was spotted as far north as Indiana.  Commander of NORAD directed scramble of all eastern airbases within proximity of high speed track.  Several other bases around the U.S. from New Mexico to Massachusetts was placed on alert or scramble (see NORAD FOIA response PDF).  Jets attempted to intercept and identify source of contrails.  No visual or radar confirmation was observed. 

The following airbases and sites were placed on alert of scrambled jets:

Homestead AFB - (Florida)

Tyndall AFB  - (Florida)

Holloman AFB - (New Mexico)

Ellington Field - (Texas)

Buckley AFB - (Colorado)

Mt Clemens, Michigan

Madison, Wisconsin

Atlantic City, New Jersey

Otis AFB - Massachusetts

Duluth, Minnesota

Bill Puckett MUFON field investigator prepared a map that depicts both the array of bases on alert or scramble (above) as well as the path and presumed speed of the source of the contrail(s).

1. NORAD was not able to identify this object and the source of the contrails.  Several witnesses saw the contrails late in the afternoon on November 27, 2002.

2. The map showing the airbases and airfields listed above suggests that at least two-thirds of the United States of America (east of the Rocky Mountains) was on alert in the afternoon and evening of November 27, 2002.

3. Information for this report was obtained via a FOIA response (PDF 79 KB) received from NORAD on January 10, 2003.  The original CNN article (PDF 26 KB) was also used to prepare this report.