The crew of an American Airlines flight spotted a “long cylindrical object that almost looked like a cruise missile” while the aircraft was flying over New Mexico in the US on February 21.
According to reports, the American Airlines Flight 2292 (AAL 2292), an Airbus A320 narrow-body airliner, was flying between Cincinnati and Phoenix at an altitude of 36,000 feet and a speed of 400 knots when the crew witnessed the unidentified flying object (UFO).
It is still unclear whether the long, cylindrical missile-like object was a man-made missile, aircraft, or something else. The incident took place over the remote northwest corner of New Mexico, to the west of the tiny town of Des Moines.
An experienced radio, Steve Douglass, said that he had heard the strange transmission of the UFO encounter of the flight.
Douglass, who runs ‘Deep Black Horizon’, a blogging website, said he received the transmission while he was recording from his arsenal of scanners. Work is already underway to authenticate Douglass’ recordings from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
As per the recordings, the pilot of the airlines reported, “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.”
According to Flight 24, a global flight tracking service, the American Airlines 2292 was over the northeast corner of New Mexico west of Clayton, New Mexico at a flight level of nearly 370 (37k).
Later, the aircraft landed in Phoenix, Arizona after completing its flight. A thorough investigation may be undertaken to clearly understand the reasons behind the airlines and their crew having such a major scare. The presence of a potential cruise missile in the same zone as the flight can have severe repercussions if things get out of control.
A cruise missile is a guided missile that is used against terrestrial targets. The missile remains in the atmosphere and flies a considerably major portion of its flight path at an approximately constant speed.
Designed to deliver a large warhead over long distances with high precision, the cruise missiles boast the ability to travel at supersonic or high subsonic speeds.
The missiles can self-navigate and possess the ability to fly on a non-ballistic, extremely low-altitude trajectory.
This is not the first incident to happen in the region with two aircraft already having similar encounters in the same aerial zone in 2018. At the time of the incident, a Bombardier Learjet private plane and another Airbus aircraft had consecutive close encounters with a UFO.
As per reports, the purported UFO flew above the aircraft over eastern Arizona while cruising at approximately 37,000 feet.
The pilot of the Learjet aircraft told local news outlets regarding the ‘strange’ nature of the encounter.
The latest sighting of a ‘missile-like object’ is similar to some of the documented encounters provided by several fighter jet pilots belonging to the United States Navy.
It is pertinent to mention that New Mexico houses the US military’s White Sands Missile Range (WSMR). However, the chances of a missile going off the reservation during a test are very slim, with there being a certain protocol before undertaking such tests including prior notification to airlines to avoid flying during a particular time period.