2006 O'Hare International Airport UFO sighting
The Chicago O'Hare UFO sighting occurred on November 7, 2006, when people at Chicago O'Hare International Airport reported seeing a saucer or disc-shaped UFO.
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 the History Channel's television show UFO Hunters, several independent witnesses outside of the airport also witnessed the object. In an audio interview aired during the episode, one of these witnesses describes a "blatant" disc shaped craft hovering over the airport which was "obviously not clouds." According to this witness, several nearby observers gasped as the object shot through the clouds at high velocity, leaving a clear blue hole in the cloud layer. 
According to Jon Hilkevitch of the Chicago Tribune in an interview on Fox News' Glenn Beck program: "The disc 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.
Reaction from the Federal Aviation Administration and United Airlines
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 which subsequently uncovered a call by the United supervisor to an FAA manager in the airport tower concerning the UFO sighting.
The FAA stance concludes that the sighting was caused by a weather phenomenon and that the agency would not be investigating the incident. UFO investigators have pointed out that this stance is a direct contradiction to the FAA's mandate to investigate possible security breaches at American airports such as in this case; an object witnessed by numerous airport employees and officially reported by at least one of them, hovering in plain sight, over one of the busiest airports in the world. Many witnesses interviewed by the Tribune were apparently "upset" that federal officials declined to further investigate the matter.
On February 11, 2009 The History Channel aired an episode with the title "Aliens at Airport" in which they reconstructed the incident.
Leaked newsroom footage of Jon Hilkevitch interview
A video surfaced in early 2007 showing an unedited pre-interview discussion of the Chicago O'Hare Airport UFO sighting between Jon Hilkevitch (the Chicago Tribune transportation reporter who reported the Chicago UFO story) and Jim Wagner a news anchor with CLTV, a 24 Hour news channel in Oak Brook, Illinois. The video shows both men having an off-air discussion about the amount of international media reaction to the UFO story as well as discussing United Airlines' alleged "flip-flop" on the event and the FAA's explanation as "weather phenomenon" that according to Hilkevitch's sources "just doesn't wash." Hilkevitch also mentions that photographs were possibly taken by a pilot with a digital camera and that the story is "the most read story in the history of CT.com [chicagotribune.com]" with almost a "million hits."
Hilkevitch then goes on to say that he is hearing from: "serious researchers at major US universities who've attempted to do their own investigations and, when they go to the government to try to get information, they get stonewalled." Hilkevitch continues by saying "So there really is this universal feeling that the government knows more than it's willing to tell."
After the actual on-air interview is conducted both men continue to discuss the reaction to the event until the screen goes dark and only the audio is heard. The video finally ends with an unknown person off camera saying "It would've landed but uh..." at which point the camera shuts off.
- ^ http://www.history.com/shows/ufo-hunters/episodes#slide-5
- ^ Beck, Glenn (January 3, 2007). "Are We Ready for Another Attack?; 2008 Elections Gearing Up". CNN. http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0701/03/gb.01.html. Retrieved 2007-04-04.
- ^ "Rich Dolan on CNN". Keyhole Publishing. January 3, 2007. http://www.keyholepublishing.com/CNN-Beck.htm. Retrieved 2007-04-04.
- ^ a b "Behind the scenes newsroom pre-interview footage of Jon Hilkevitch Interview". http://video.google.ca/videoplay?docid=5488895546832717747.
- ^ "Report of an Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon and its Safety Implications at O'Hare International Airport on November 7, 2006" (PDF). http://www.narcap.org/reports/010/TR10_Case_18a.pdf. Retrieved 2008-01-01.
- ^ "Aviation Safety in America: Under-Reporting Bias of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena and Recommended Solutions". http://www.narcap.org/reports/008/TR8Bias1.htm. Retrieved 2008-01-01.
- ^ Hilkevitch, Jon (January1,2007). "In the sky! A bird? A plane? A ... UFO?". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on 2007-11-17. http://web.archive.org/web/20071117073414/http://www.chicagotribune.com/classified/automotive/columnists/chi-0701010141jan01,0,5874175.column?page=1&coll=chi-newsnationworldiraq-hed. Retrieved 2009-03-29.
- National Aviation Reporting Center -- 155 page report -- July 2007
- CBS News Report
- Interview with Chicago Tribune reporter Jon Hilkevitch
UFOs and ufology Notable Incidents Scientific studies UFO conspiracy theory Culture Involvement Skeptics
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