While flying over the desert in southwest Arizona on February 24, the pilot of a Learjet radioed to air traffic control to say there was something traveling above his aircraft in the opposite direction, though he couldn't make out quite what it was.
"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 says in audio of the exchange released by The Drive. Air traffic control then asked the pilot of a nearby American Airlines jet traveling from San Francisco to Dallas to let them know if he spotted anything flying above them. Lo and behold, shortly thereafter the American pilot saw whatever it was.
“Something just passed over us, like a, don’t know what it was, but it was at least two, three thousand feet above us,” he said. And while he couldn't make out quite what it was, either, he described it as having a "big reflection."
So what the hell was it?
The short answer is: no one knows. Initial speculation was that it might have been one of Google's Wi-Fi balloons, though the pilots found that doubtful. The FAA also has no comment beyond what is captured in the audio recording of the pilots and air traffic controllers, per a report by an Albuquerque, New Mexico NBC affiliate.
Whether or not you believe hyper-intelligent aliens exist or that bug-eyed extraterrestrials are occasionally dropping by good ol' Planet Earth to scope things out, it's tough not to be intrigued by this latest incident. Particularly since it comes in the wake of several recent revelations regarding UFOs including declassified footage of Navy pilots freaking out over some wingless and tailless aircraft whizzing by at an unimaginable speed and the fact that the US Defense Department was running a super-secret UFO investigation unit between 2007 and 2012.
Still, it's entirely possible there's a very ordinary explanation for what the pilots spotted overhead. It could have been the military (which would reasonably remain mum about whatever it was up to), or it could have been a rogue amateur drone or weather balloon.
In any case, for the believers among us, this is just another reason to remain convinced we're not alone.
h/t Huffington Post, The Drive