Tag Archives: Air Traffic Control

OREGON UFO EVENT: Air Traffic Control Audio Tapes Released via FOIA Request

F-15 Chasing Oregon UFO

FOIA Strikes Again

     Remember that riveting opening sequence in “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” when air traffic controllers stared at their boards as airline pilots barely avoided colliding with something nobody wanted to talk about afterwards? A drama that unfolded over America’s northwest corridor in the early evening of Oct. 24, 2017, wasn’t quite that Hollywood. But whatever it was, the thing was flying. It had no transponder but got caught on radar. Then it erased itself and vanished from ATC screens. Immediately after that, at least three airline pilots reported seeing it. Jet fighters scrambled; by time they
Billy Cox
By Billy Cox
De Void
2-16-18

got airborne, whatever it was vanished for good, and the whole sequence probably left a few people who had to deal with it wondering if it was worth the effort.

We know all this thanks to some masterful work from Tyler Rogoway, a military aviation reporter at a non-UFO website called The War Zone. Armed with voluminous details harvested from a Freedom of Information Act request, Rogoway broke the story last November. And the updated results are so cool, De Void anticipates a Congressional suspension of FOIA laws any day now.

On Thursday, Rogoway posted audiotaped real-time chatter from eyewitnesses and official sources. It begins with the detection of an unknown flying object by Oakland Center air traffic control. It popped onto its screens at 37,000 feet, and for more than an hour, the speeding bogey drew swivels from both the Federal Aviation Administration and North American Aerospace Defense Command. It streaked for several hundred miles over northern California and Oregon, northbound. It ended when F-15s from the 142nd Fighter Wing out of Portland were dispatched on a fool’s errand to identify what at least one civilian pilot described as a big white unmarked aircraft, with few additional details.

Three months later, Rogoway has augmented his early reporting with a fascinating narrative presented in four separate videos, some syncing radar maps with recorded participant dialogue. The confusion among FAA operators is unambiguous: “You know that target south of the boundary there, that 0027 code moving very fast at 37,000?” “Yeah, look at that thing.” “Yeah, that’s, uh, crazy.” “Hmm, um, and you don’t have anything on him, huh?” “I got nothing.” “Well, we’ll look.”

Oblivious to requests for identification, the UFO merges into existing air traffic lanes and no longer expresses itself in radar pingbacks. But northbound airline pilots report seeing a distant white somethingorother that paces and maybe passes them, even as it resembles thin air to radar beacons. Although this potentially dangerous behavior fails to trip the planes’ Traffic Collision Avoidance Systems, it does alert a picket fence of other acronyms – DEN (the Domestic Events Network) and WADS (the Western Air Defense Sector, also nicknamed Bigfoot). Somewhere along the way, a command goes out to put F-15s in the sky to get some military eyes on the intruder. When an Alaska 439 pilot requests new info on the bogey, an ATC operator says it may have gone into “stealth mode or something.”

The F-15s hunted for the UFO “with the most capable air-to-air radar set in the world (AN/APG-63VC) and Sniper advanced targeting pods for long-range visual identification,” Rogoway states in his November report. “Their pilots are some of the best in the world and are highly trained in the homeland air defense mission. The fact that they ‘didn’t find anything’ is surprising to say the least. Maybe this was due to the nature of the aircraft being searched for, or the possibility that they launched long after it was first sighted, or that we simply aren’t being told the whole story.”

Rogoway’s FOIAs also produced an after-action audio gem. In this segment, an unnamed Seattle Center ATC Manager In Charge of Operations reaches out to airline pilots and FAA officials to figure out what just happened. All spoken names, phone numbers and emails are literally beeped out; but then, curious stretches of silence punctuate some of those interviews.

We also get a peek into procedural tensions during an exchange between Seattle and the FAA Air Traffic Security Coordinator. Among other things, FAA wants to know who asked for jet-fighter support. Seattle says Oakland sounded the first alert and, as the UFO entered another coverage zone, Oakland told Seattle to call WADS. Seattle said he notified WADS, but he didn’t ask for air support. FAA reminds Seattle that a “request for military assistance has to come through FAA headquarters.” Again, Seattle tells FAA he never made such a request.

FAA: “I explicitly said over the line that headquarters was not in conference with requesting military assistance at that time because I was on the DEN … I had no radar, had no target, I had nothing –” Seattle: “Yeah, we had nothing, either.” FAA: “—from anybody. So I would not send the fighters to go up and, y’know, toodle around and –” Seattle: “Right, flying around. ‘Cause we don’t even know what we’re looking for.”

Afterwards, sounding slightly chastened, Seattle calls Oakland to compare notes. Oakland has Seattle’s back: “But there was definitely something out there.” Seattle: “There was definitely something there, there’s no question, because United 612, it was … off his 3 o’clock, and about 5 to 10 miles for about a hundred miles … so what we’re trying is to reach those pilots of all those aircraft to see if they can write us a little a report about what they saw …”

Oakland: “Our radar did pick up an intruder target coming in at a high speed right toward the southwest …” Seattle: “Southbound? Not northbound?” Oakland: “Southbound. And then it did an abrupt maneuver and just took off northbound. And we’re like, what? He was southbound, now he’s northbound. Weird …”

A new weapon system going out for a test spin? Hey, what if it was North Korean? They do sneaky secret stuff, right? Unfortunately, the FOIA material doesn’t get us anywhere close to an answer. The last audio clip finds Seattle talking with an official with the FAA’s Safety and Quality Assurance Group. She calls the incident “potentially significant,” says it’s “a weird enough thing that there is not a set procedure,” and “It’s not often we hear about an unknown guy up at that altitude.”

Maybe, as Skeptic James McGaha would reassure us, the mystery would solved by now if only the pilots and radar monitors had been astronomers. Anyhow, great reporting. Well done. Stay on it.

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UPDATE: F-15’s Scrambled Over UFO; Radar & Audio Data Released via FOIA Request | VIDEO

UPDATE - F-15's Scrambled Over UFO; Radar & Audio Data Released via FOIA Request

     Last November, The War Zone posted an exclusive story detailing a bizarre incident involving an unidentified aircraft that transited the skies of the Pacific Northwest in the early evening of October 25th, 2017. What started as a radar target moving at very high speed over
By Tyler Rogoway
www.thedrive.com
2-20-18

Northern California turned into a series of eyewitness accounts made by nearby airline pilots traveling northward over Oregon. Even F-15 fighters were launched to intercept the mysterious intruder that quickly became invisible to radar.

Now, through the Freedom of Information Act, we present what could be one of the most insightful instances of official documentation surrounding such an encounter that had already been confirmed to have occurred by both the FAA and the USAF. These materials include fascinating audio recordings of radio transmissions and phone calls made as the incident was unfolding, as well as pilot interviews, and conversations between FAA officials made in the aftermath of the highly peculiar incident.

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US Air Force Confirms, Unidentified Aircraft Flew Through US Skies; F-15C Interceptor Fighters Were Scrambled

THE US Air Force admits it. Something strange flew through US skies, startling flyers and spurring the launch of jets.

     On October 25, an unidentified aircraft was seen flying — in broad daylight — among the airliners in one of the United States’ heavily trafficked air corridors in the skies above Oregon.
By Jamie Seidel
www.news.com.au
11-16-17

It had no submitted flight plan. It had no identification transponder active. Nor was it transmitting collision avoidance signals.

Air traffic control stations were reportedly having difficulty following it on radar.

[…]

At first it sounded like a typical example of an aircraft suffering communications failure.

But then came news, via Reddit, that US air force F-15C interceptor fighters had been launched in response to the sightings.

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F-15’s Scrambled Over Mystery Aircraft

F-15's Scrambled Over Mystery Aircraft

     Something quite out of the ordinary occurred in the skies over Oregon on October 25th, 2017. A mystery aircraft was flying in daylight hours among the steady stream of airliners that traverse from south to north, between locales in California and Nevada and cities
By Tyler Rogoway
www.thedrive.com
11-15-17

like Portland and Seattle and beyond. The incident began, at least as best we can tell, around 4:30pm near the California-Oregon border and resulted in multiple pilot eyewitnesses, recorded air traffic control audio, and eventual confirmations from both the FAA and North American Aerospace Command (NORAD) that it did indeed occur.

[…]

NORAD’s reply was quick and clear. An incident involving multiple airline crews, air traffic control, and F-15Cs from the 142nd Fighter Wing based out of Portland did occur. According to the limited information NORAD supplied, airliner pilots were asked by FAA air traffic controllers to help track and possibly identify a “white aircraft” traveling in the flightlevels nearby—roughly between 35,000 and 40,000 feet based on the radio recordings. NORAD also said that the incident did result in F-15s from Portland being scrambled to investigate, but by the time they got up and “looked around” the mystery aircraft couldn’t be found.

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UFO Reported To Air Traffic Control at Port Elizabeth | SOUTH AFRICA

UFO Reported To Air Traffic Control at Port Elizabeth

At approximately 21h30, on Monday night, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) in Port Elizabeth was requested by Air Traffic Control to investigate the sighting of an unidentified flying object – commonly called UFO.

     “A Boeing 737 cargo aircraft Captain and Co-Pilot, flying from Cape Town International Airport to Port Elizabeth International Airport, reported seeing what appeared to be a green object increasing in altitude past the cockpit of their aeroplane reaching to about a thousand feet into clouds above them and then returning towards earth at high speed past the cockpit of the aeroplane,” said NSRI spokesperson, Craig Lambinon.

“The sighting was reported to Air Traffic Control at Port Elizabeth International Airport, who requested NSRI’s assistance to investigate the possibility that an aircraft or craft may be in difficulty.

By www.rnews.co.za
12-13-16

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