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.
Note to Commenters: If you are reporting a sighting, be sure to include the location (city, state, country), date and time of your sighting. Be detailed in your description. You may also use our report form to report your sighting. Comments will only be published if they are in "good taste" and not inflammatory. Also the name that you list in the comment will be posted. Use abbreviations or aliases if you don't want your name listed.