Location of Sighting: Northeastern New Mexico (Just West of Clayton, New Mexico)
Date of Sighting: February 21, 2021
Time of Sighting: 1:19 PM CST
Description: See news report below courtesy of Fox News (https://www.foxnews.com):
An American Airlines passenger jet traveling from Cincinnati to Phoenix encountered an apparent UFO over northeastern New Mexico Sunday afternoon.
The pilot on flight 2292 radioed around 1:00 p.m. CST and said that the unidentified object was flying right on top of them, according to a transmission recorded by Steve Douglass on his blog, Deep Black Horizon. American Airlines verified to Fox News that the transmission is from flight 2292.
“Do you have any targets up here? We just had something go right over the top of us,” the pilot said in the radio transmission.
“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. It went right over the top of us.”
American Airlines confirmed that the radio transmission is authentic, but did not give any further comment on the possible alien encounter.
“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,” an American Airlines spokesperson told Fox News in a statement. “For any additional questions on this, we encourage you to reach out to the FBI.”
The FBI did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.
Flight 2292 was around 37,000 feet at the time of the sighting, and Albuquerque Center did not respond because local air traffic interfered, according to Douglass. The flight went on to land in Phoenix, Arizona.
New Mexico is home to White Sands Missile Range, which is located in the southern part of the state and is described as the Department of Defense’s “largest, fully-instrumented, open air range.”
Scott Stearns, the chief of public affairs at White Sands Missile Range, said the range was not testing anything on Sunday and also noted the distance between the missile range and northeastern New Mexico, which is about 400 miles.
“We have no idea what it could have been or if anything similar has been sighted in that area before,” Stearns said in a statement to Fox News.
Note: Freedom of Information (FOIA) requests have been submitted to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for radar data, tower logs and voice tapes. A FOIA request has also been submitted to the FBI regarding what was reported and what (if any) investigations are planned or have been completed. Updates will be posted.
Update – Mar 1, 2021: I have conducted a search of the website LiveATC.net and could not find the recording obtained by Steven Douglas. I checked recordings from Albuquerque, Kansas City and Denver air traffic centers. No communications were recorded from AA flight 2292 from 1 to 1:30 PM CST on Feb 21, 2021. This site stores recordings for 30 days. Perhaps this site doesn’t archive all recordings?
Apparently the FAA released a statement that they told AA 2292 that no returns were detected. This statement was not on the audio tape produced by Steve Douglass.
Also another UFO researcher (Fran Ridge) found that a Lear Jet passed over the AA flight at about 1:10 PM CST. These data were obtained from the FlightRadar24 website. The Lear Jet was moving southeast at 41,000 feet about 500 MPH and the AA aircraft was flying at 36,000 feet. Apparently the two craft were as close as 8 miles, and 5,000 feet in altitude. Could this have been the object that the pilot reported? The aircraft was over Oklahoma at 1:10 PM CST. Commercial aircraft are equipped with a Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS). This system will detect aircraft up to 40 NM and 9,000 feet. The device detects transponders from other aircraft. The pilot would have seen this as the Lear Jet approached. It is highly unlikely that he would ask flight control if they detected anything on radar if he looked at his TCAS.
Update – Mar 8, 2021: Today I received a response from the FBI regarding my FOIA request for information about the Feb 21, 2021 AA 2292 encounter with an unknown object. I got what I expected: “ We were unable to identify records responsive to your request. Therefore your request is being closed.”
The FBI acknowledged to the media that AA reported the incident to them. I clearly defined my request to the FBI.
Update – June 15, 2021: The FBI provided a response to my request for information about the above UFO encounter. Click here to read the report.
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Once again, in case my last response didn’t make it, thank you for following this one up as it’s a better that average report! Joel Small.
Your welcome. Thanks for your comments.
I know this response is waaay late, but thanks so much for following this one up!
Joel Small here, Mr. Puckett. Obviously, at least on it’s face, this is an excellent U.A.O. report due to it’s origin being a present airline pilot during daylight hours who got a good look at the object as it passed over his plane, and he submitted his initial report as it was happening. I sure wished that the New Mexico ground control could have responded to the pilot’s question as to whether they had any reading on their scopes of the object, and it’s said that they couldn’t reply to the pilot’s query due to some other aerial traffic that they had to handle. This probably is the case, but I have come across other reports made by airline pilots who ask for their ground control’s confirmation of other aerial objects that might be on their instruments, and more often than not, nothing is picked up or the pilot’s don’t get any feedback at all. I think that what this American Airlines pilots might have seen is some kind of classified experimental craft, but if it is, then why didn’t the flight of this craft happen so close to the known path of an airliner? Thanks for posting this in the detail that you did, as I’ve seen this event posting on some other sites, but not half as inclusive in the details that you presented! Go get ’em, William!!
Hi Joel: Thanks for your comments. Apparently the FAA said that no returns were on their scope. This information was obtained from the FAA. I am trying to get the original tape from the FAA plus radar data. The conversation doesn’t show up on the LiveATC.net website. This is suspicious as the tape should have been there. I will know more when I get a response to my FOIA.