Background: On April 10, 2019 several witnesses reported seeing a white object hovering near sunset to the east of the Phoenix, AZ metro area. Photos were taken that showed the white object. One witness said that two objects were sighted. One was farther away. The following reports were received by UFOs Northwest:
Apache Junction – 6 PM MST
East Mesa – 6:42 PM MST
Gold Canyon – Near Sunset
Scottsdale – 6:45 PM MST
In addition other UFO organizations received reports of the object or objects.
Analysis: Given that so many people saw the objects and that several good photos were taken I requested radar data for the Phoenix Traffic Control at Sky Harbor Airport from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Results: A couple of months after radar data were requested I received radar data for several radar installations in Arizona and New Mexico. Radar data were received for the Phoenix Traffic Control, long range Phoenix radar, Phoenix-Mesa Airport, Seligman, AZ, Gallup, New Mexico, Luke Air Force Base, and Scottsdale. For this analysis radar data for the Phoenix Traffic Control at Sky Harbor Airport were used.
The map above shows the results of our analysis for the Sky Harbor Airport radar. The four witness locations are shown by the black dots. The witness locations are to the east of downtown Phoenix. A look at radar data showed that two military vehicle operations were tracked. One was about 60 miles to the northeast and the other about 20 miles to the east-northeast. The data indicated that the beacon code used was for military high altitude craft. Data indicated that the altitude was between 87 and 88 thousand feet and the speed was about 15 MPH. One craft was moving to the west-southwest which was in the direction of the wind noted at the altitude (east-northeast). The other object was moving to the east-northeast at 15 MPH. The map shows the entire flight of the craft for the one hour that radar data were requested. It should be noted that the flight distance was less than the 20 mile legend bar at the bottom center of the above map.
One of the witnesses saw two objects, one being much larger than the other. The other witnesses saw one object. The witnesses all stated that the objects were hovering. These observations (and photos) are consistent with what the radar picked up. The question arises what military vehicle would fly at 15 MPH at 87 to 88 thousand feet? The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has developed a radar “blimp” which does surveillance at high altitudes. However, it is believe that the DARPA blimp flies lower than the craft in this report. I believe that the craft were probably some sort of research blimps, but I don’t know what type of craft that they would be? The beacon code table indicates that the craft are spy aircraft from Edwards Air Force Base in California. However, it is not known where the craft originated.
Conclusion: Based on the radar data I believe that the witnesses saw a high altitude military operation of some sort of “blimp” craft. I don’t know what type of craft they were nor what the operations entailed.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.
I wonder what the windspeed was at that altitude?
The wind speed was about 20 MPH at 88,000 feet.