Chicago O Hare UFO Sighting

The Chicago O'Hare UFO sighting concerns a multi-witness sighting of a saucer or disc-shaped UFO over Chicago O'Hare International Airport on November 7, 2006, that eventually garnered national media attention.

The Sighting

At approximately 4:30 p.m on Tuesday November 7, 2006, federal authorities at Chicago O'Hare International Airport received a report that a group of twelve airport employees were witnessing a metallic, saucer-shaped craft hovering over gate C-17.

According to eyewitness reports, the strange object was first spotted by a ramp employee who was "pushing back" United Airlines flight 446 which was departing Chicago for Charlotte, North Carolina. The ramp worker then apprised the flight crew of UA446 of the existence of the spinning, metallic object above their aircraft, and it is believed that both the pilot and co-pilot of this aircraft also witnessed the object at that time.

According to Jon Hilkevitch of the Chicago Tribune in an interview on CNN's 'Glenn Beck' Program: "The disk was visible for approximately two minutes and was seen by close to a dozen United Airlines employees, ranging from pilots to supervisors, who heard chatter on the radio and raced out to view it." The UFO was then seen to suddenly accelerate straight up through the overcast skies. Witnesses reported that the object left behind an open hole of clear air in the cloud layer and that the mysterious hole disappeared or "closed" within a few minutes. So far, no conclusive photographic evidence of the UFO has surfaced although it was reported to Hilkevitch that one of the United Airlines pilots was in possession of a digital camera at the time of the sighting and may have photographed the event.

Official Reaction

Both United Airlines and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) first denied that they had any information on the O'Hare UFO sighting until the Chicago Tribune, who was investigating the report, filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. The FAA then ordered an internal review of air-traffic communications tapes to comply with the Tribune FOIA request that subsequently uncovered a call by the United supervisor to an FAA manager in the airport tower concerning the UFO sighting.

The official FAA stance concludes that the sighting was caused by weather phenomenon and that the agency is not investigating the incident. This stance seems to be in direct contradiction to the FAA's responsibility to investigate possible security breaches at American airports such as in this case; an officially reported object witnessed by numerous airport employees, hovering in plain sight, in restricted airspace, over one of the busiest airports in the country. Many witnesses interviewed by the Tribune were apparently "upset" that federal officials declined to further investigate the matter.

Media Coverage of the Incident

The Chicago O'Hare airport UFO story was picked up by various major mainstream media groups such as CNN, CBS, MSNBC, Fox News, Chicago Tribune, NPR. Widespread coverage of a UFO sighting by today's mainstream media is somewhat unusual for large media companies who, when they do cover UFO events, often tend to use a facetious or mocking style when reporting about the sightings. Many UFO researchers and UFO conspiracy theorists consider this to be an often deliberate way of deflecting any serious attention from the UFO phenomenon and specific incidents.

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