The FBI has confirmed it is ‘aware’ of an American Airlines flight which had a close encounter a fast-moving, ‘long cylindrical object’ on a trip from Cincinnati to Phoenix on Sunday.
The FBI has since been notified of the incident, although they did not say if they were launching an investigation.
‘The FBI is aware of the reported incident,’ FBI spokesperson Frank Connor told Fox News.
‘While our policy is to neither confirm nor deny investigations, the FBI works continuously with our federal, state, local, and tribal partners to share intelligence and protect the public.
‘Anyone who is aware of suspicious or criminal activity should contact their local law enforcement agency or the FBI.’
In a radio transmission intercepted by Steve Douglass, who runs the Deep Black Horizon blog, the pilot can be heard telling Albuquerque Air Traffic Control: ‘Do you have any targets up here? We just had something go right over the top of us.
‘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 right over the top of us.’
The encounter, which occurred at 36,000 feet above the remote northeast corner of New Mexico, west of Des Moines on Sunday, involved AA Flight 2292 (file photo)
The plane was travelling at around 460 miles per hour at the time.
In a statement to DailyMail.com earlier this week, American Airlines confirmed the authenticity of the audio clip obtained by Douglass.
According to Douglass, no significant military aircraft presence was noted in the area at the time, reported to be just at 1pm local time.
Flight AA2292 went on to land in Phoenix without any further incident.
The apparent encounter shares various similarities with another incident that occurred in the same area just under three years ago.
In that incident, two pilots on different aircraft – a Learjet and an Airbus – reported having close encounters with a mysterious object flying above them.
The sightings occurred within minutes of each other on February 24 in 2018, 37,000 feet above southern Arizona, close to New Mexico.
The pilot of a Learjet 36 belonging to Phoenix Air, with the tail number N71PG, reported the initial sighting, telling Air Traffic Control: ‘Was anybody above us that passed us like 30 seconds ago?’
When the dispatcher replied ‘no’, the pilot laughed insisting it must be a ‘UFO.’
‘I don’t know what it was, it wasn’t an airplane but it was – the path was going in the opposite direction,’ the pilot went on.
Moments later, the pilot of American Airlines Flight 1095, reported a similar encounter, announcing: ‘Yeah, something just passed over us, like a – I don’t know what it was. But it was at least two, three thousand feet above us. Yeah, it passed right over the top of us.’
American Airlines Flight 2292’s flight path is seen above. The Airbus A320 was making its way from Cincinnati to Phoenix on Sunday
According to The Drive, the incident happened not too far from the sprawling White Sands Missile Range (above), and New Mexico itself is home to a number of military facilities and restricted areas
In the 2018 incident, pilot Blenus Green told local media: ‘It was very bright but it wasn’t so bright that you couldn’t look at it … it didn’t look anything like an airplane’
When asked if the object was in motion or hovering, the pilot said: ‘Couldn’t make it out whether it was a balloon or whatnot. But it was just really beaming light or could have had a big reflection and was several thousand feet above us going opposite direction.’
That pilot, Blenus Green, later told local media: ‘It was very bright but it wasn’t so bright that you couldn’t look at it … it didn’t look anything like an airplane. You know, most airplanes, you’re going to see some kind of wing surface, some type of a tail, really no matter what type of airplane it is.
‘What was weird about it, normally, if you have an object and the sun is shining this way, the reflection would be on this side, but this was bright all the way around. It was so bright that you really couldn’t make out what shape it was.’
In Sunday’s incident, the pilot’s description of a missile-like object matches a number of encounters US Navy Fighter pilots have reported having with anomalous objects off the eastern seaboard over the last 15 years.
Many of such encounters were revealed in a 2019 New York Times report, in which Navy pilots spoke out for the first time about how strange craft would appear in their training airspace, sometimes for days on end – defying known propulsion and aerodynamic capabilities.
The state of New Mexico is no stranger to strange encounters, with the city of Roswell reporting one of the nation’s most infamous UFO sightings in 1947
What the pilots aboard AA Flight 2292 may have seen on February 21 remains unclear.
According to The Drive, the incident happened not too far from the sprawling White Sands Missile Range, and New Mexico itself is home to a number of military facilities and restricted areas.
The likelihood that a missile may have ‘gone off the reservation’ during a test, or any other kind of military exercise, is slim, as procedural practice would mean the pilots would’ve been pre-notified to any such safety hazard.
Pictured: The FBI’s field office in Albuquerque, New Mexico
The incident also occurred near the Mount Dora Military Operating Area (MOA), but again pilots would’ve been alerted that the airspace was ‘hot’ – or that military activities were being conducted in the area at that time.
The state of New Mexico is no stranger to strange encounters, with the city of Roswell reporting one of the nation’s most infamous UFO sightings in 1947.
DailyMail.com has reached out to American Airlines for comment about potential FBI involvement.