The O'Hare UFO

  • #1
Ivan Seeking
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It seems reasonable to start a thread about this. Please feel free to post any pertinent information. For starters, see the main page of NUFORC - The National UFO Reporting Center.
http://www.nuforc.org/

This is the report database for Illinois. See November 7th, 2006.
http://www.nuforc.org/webreports/ndxlIL.html

Also
More than 3,000 reports of unidentified flying objects were sent to the National UFO Reporting Center over the past year - but not one has generated as much buzz as November's sighting at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. Was it a metallic-looking, saucer-shaped object rising through the clouds, or nothing more than a meteorological oddity? It's hard to figure out whether the truth is really out there, but one thing is for sure: Clouds can do some positively alien-looking things.

Peter Davenport, the UFO center's director, says the buzz over the O'Hare sighting is fully justified.

"In my opinion, because I know the quality of the witnesses, and because I know the nature of the documents that were generated, it is one of the most dramatic cases of the year 2006 that this center has handled," Davenport told me today from the center's headquarters in Washington state.

On the other side, NBC News space analyst James Oberg - a longtime UFO skeptic - says the evidence that's come to light so far isn't all that compelling.

"It's just sad that we keep getting these reports which are of zero evidential value," he told me. "It's sad because there's a lot of strange stuff in the air that we do need to know."

...One of the airport witnesses did take a photo of the phenomenon, but is reluctant to make it public out of concern for his job, Davenport said. "So far, over almost two months, we've been unable to get that," he said. [continued]
http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2007/01/02/25212.aspx [Broken]

If you check post 78 of the UFO News thread, you will see that there have been three other UFO events involving multiple witnesses around the Chicago area in the last two years.
 
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Answers and Replies

  • #2
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One of the airport witnesses did take a photo of the phenomenon, but is reluctant to make it public out of concern for his job, Davenport said. "So far, over almost two months, we've been unable to get that," he said.
He could upload the picture anonymously. I dont understand what the problem is. Is airline personel not allowed to take pictures of the sky?
 
  • #3
Ivan Seeking
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He may be holding out for money, or he might be rushing to fake a video.

As for airline personnel being allowed to take photos, it has long been claimed by pilots that to discuss UFOs is to put one's career in jeopardy. Most pilots only speak out after retiring. Note for example that in the case of http://72.14.253.104/search?q=cache...+JAL+1628+UFO+Alaska&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=8, the pilot had to sue the airlines in order to get his job back. He did win in court because of the evidence available to support his claim. So in the airline industry especially, there is reason to be concerned about your job if you see a UFO.

It is all part of the lunacy of the stigma attached to such reports.
 
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  • #4
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I'm kicking myself now because I live near O'hare, and didn't stick my head out the window.


One of the official debunks was that the UFO was not seen on radar, hence it can't be an object. But who's to say that UFO wouldnot be reflacting radio waves especially when they are so advanced.
 
  • #5
Aether
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...it has long been claimed by pilots that to discuss UFOs is to put one's career in jeopardy. Most pilots only speak out after retiring...So in the airline industry especially, there is reason to be concerned about your job if you see a UFO.
See one, or report one?
It is all part of the lunacy of the stigma attached to such reports.
Are you assuming this, or do you have statistics on the motives of pilots who choose not to report UFO sightings?

I recently asked a retired air-traffic controller (who is also still-licensed as a commercial pilot, and who has many years of experience handling air traffic at both Andrews Air Force Base and Washington National airport) about "why pilots and air traffic controllers are reluctant to report UFO sightings", and he didn't say anything at all about "the stigma attached to such reports". He said that "the government doesn't want this information given to the public".
 
  • #6
Ivan Seeking
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My statements are based on many statements made by pilots over the last twenty years. I'm sure that plenty of quotes can be found at links in the Napster. I also cited a specific example of a pilot who lost his job over a UFO report. Obviously the problems only happen if one reports what one sees. Also, pilots and air traffic controllers aren't privy to classified information so I doubt the conspiracy angle. Perhaps in some cases the military asks people to keep quiet, but it is hard to understand how that would happen since the government no longer investigates UFO reports.
 
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  • #7
Ivan Seeking
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Still, one has to wonder: If twelve airline employees, including pilots, claimed to see an unidentified aircraft hovering over an airport, and since stealt technology is now a public fact of life, why would the FAA not be interested in investigating? Does this or does this not pose a potential threat to public safety?

Why would they not assume, for example, that this was potentially some kind of college prank or an illegal test?
 
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  • #8
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You'd have to think these witnesses, being at airports all the time could tell the difference. With this many credible witnesses, you'd think they'd do some sort of investuigation. Unless the authorities already know what is was and want to keep it quiet, perhaps some test aircraft.
 
  • #9
Ivan Seeking
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Gate 17 at O'Hare, at 4:40 PM, is sure a funny time and place to test a new aircraft.

Maybe with additional information this will all make sense. Also, from the main page at NUFORC
...Both the Federal Aviation Administration and Transportation Security Administration were apprised of the event at the time it was occurring, and FAA personnel in one of the towers at O'Hare may have witnessed the object, probably with binoculars. The FAA apparently reported that the object was not visible on radar, although that fact has not been confirmed at the time of this writing.

We hope to be able to release more information about the incident at some time in the near future. In the meantime, we would like to invite anyone who may have been personal witness to the event to submit a report of their sighting, using our Online Report Form. We would be most grateful if you would indicate in your report where you were located, at the time of the sighting, and what the object looked like, from your vantage point.[continued]
http://www.nuforc.org/
 
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  • #10
Ivan Seeking
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For more information, see also the Jan 3rd entry at the accuweather blog:
Chicago UFO: Weather Phenomenon?
CONCLUSION:

What's being described by these people does not match any meteorological phenomena or equipment that I am aware of. The closest match would be lenticular ("UFO") clouds but they typically do not occur outside of mountainous regions and do not behave in the way this object is described.[continued]
http://72.14.253.104/search?q=cache...tions+O'Hare+records&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=2

NPR interview with the chicago Tribune reporter who broke the story by filing a Freedom of Information Act request.
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6707250
 
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  • #11
Ivan Seeking
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The only thing that I can think of that might make sense is that this was [something like] a stray weather balloon caught in a vortex or an updraft. However, the observers described it as disk-shaped, so the locations of the observers, and the percieved orientation of the disk from each location is signficant here.
 
  • #12
Ivan Seeking
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The descriptions here reminded of a video made near Somerset, England, back in 1998. It can be seen at about the 56 minute mark here:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5594744703753734741 [Broken]

They also provide a few highlights from the case files:
Malmstrom AFB
Big Sur missile test
Bentwaters AFB
Iran ’76 F4 encounters
A bit about Soviet UFO encounters
The Condon Report
The COMETA report

Also, comments by:
Presidents Ford and Carter
Dr. Sturrock on the Condon Report
Ed Mitchell
Gordon Cooper
Allan Hynek makes his famous swamp gas statement
Phillip Corso – former Chief of Foreign Technology at the Pentagon
Congressman Schiff on Roswell
Admiral Lord Hill Norton – former Chief of the British Defense Staff
And others well known to the UFO community
 
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  • #13
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The descriptions here reminded of a video made near Somerset, England, back in 1998. It can be seen at about the 56 minute mark here:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5594744703753734741 [Broken]
What did that 1 turn out to be? Or is it still unidentified.
 
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  • #14
Ivan Seeking
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What did that 1 turn out to be? Or is it still unidentified.
I have never seen a case file.
 
  • #15
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There are still a lot of reports going around the Net about the O'Hare Airport UFO. Several researchers who are usually well informed tell me that in a few days there will be photographs and video of the event. Why has it taken this long? Financial negotiations. [continued]
http://ufos.about.com/b/a/256843.htm
 
  • #16
Ivan Seeking
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For one thing, it is now confirmed that at least one photograph was taken of the object. There may be more.

...Secondly, a pilot who saw the UFO has come forward, and been interviewed by Peter Davenport of NUFORC on the Jeff Rense radio program. You can download the mp3 file...
http://ufos.about.com/b/a/256839.htm
 
  • #17
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Pilots and UFO's

Concerning earlier postings about ridicule of pilots, please consider this quote from http://www.ufoevidence.org/documents/doc3.htm

In the 1950's, pilots and crew reported seeing flying discs, cigar-shaped craft with portholes, and gyrating lights, all with extraordinary technical capabilities. Documents show the unexplained objects were considered a national security concern. By order of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, commercial pilots were required to report sightings and the unauthorized release of a UFO report could cost them ten years in prison or a $10,000 fine.

To keep this information from the public, officials ridiculed and debunked legitimate sightings, angering some pilots. According to the Newark Star Ledger in 1958, over fifty commercial pilots who had reported sightings, each with at least fifteen years of major airline experience, blasted the policy of censorship and denial as "bordering on the absolutely ridiculous."
Ten years and $10,000 fine is a pretty strong incentive to keep your mouth shut, if this is true.
 
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  • #18
Ivan Seeking
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I believe that the JANAP 146E document relaxed the requirements for commercial airline pilots imposed by JANAP 146.
 
  • #19
Chronos
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For a pilot to log having 'seen' a UFO is like a ship captain logging having 'seen' a sea monster. Not a good career move. I yield great credence to those foolhardy enough to register such observations while still employed. These are people who are familiar with what does, and does not, belong in the sky. I'm not sold on ET [unless ET was tippling on a bottle of dumbass while hovering over O'Hare at rush hour], but, this is a classic case of 'what the heck was that?'
 
  • #20
Ivan Seeking
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  • #22
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FAA spokesperson Tony Molinaro says the "absence of any kind of factual evidence" precludes an investigation. "There was nothing on radar."

To explain the witnesses' reports, he offered his best "guess." They may have seen a "hole-punch cloud," he said, which is in "a perfect circular shape like a round disc" and has "vapor going up into it."

These unusual natural cloud holes form only at below freezing temperatures, according to climatologists. It was 48 degrees at O'Hare that afternoon.

John Callahan, Division Chief of Accidents and Investigations for the FAA during the 1980s, says it's not at all surprising that the O'Hare UFO was undetected on radar.

Radar technology cannot always capture objects at extremely high speeds. A hovering object wouldn't necessarily show up either. "If it did, it would be a small dot, and air traffic controllers would not give it much concern," Callahan says. [continued]
http://www.sacbee.com/110/story/128106.html [Broken]

This report illustrates one reason why we have conspiracy theories - the official answers are often, clearly, nonsense.
 
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  • #23
Aether
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They may have seen a "hole-punch cloud," he said, which is in "a perfect circular shape like a round disc" and has "vapor going up into it."

These unusual natural cloud holes form only at below freezing temperatures, according to climatologists. It was 48 degrees at O'Hare that afternoon.
If it was 48 degrees-F at O'Hare that afternoon, then it was below freezing everywhere above 4,000ft. above ground level. http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap040112.html" [Broken] report says that the cloud deck was at about 1,900ft..

"After hovering in place for a few minutes below low cloud cover, the object rose vertically and rapidly into the cloud deck, which was at about 1900 feet. The UFO appeared to leave a “hole” in the clouds where it entered, as has been reported in a few other UFO sightings."

http://www.wunderground.com/history...ml?req_city=NA&req_state=NA&req_statename=NA" site gives the weather history for O'Hare (KORD) on 11/7/2006. At around the time of this sighting, the surface temperature was around 53 degrees-F and the dewpoint was around 48 degrees-F. This would imply that the cloud deck should actually be somewhere around 1250ft above ground level, and the lowest freezing level would be somewhere around 5250ft. above ground level.
 
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  • #24
Ivan Seeking
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If it was 48 degrees-F at O'Hare that afternoon, then it was below freezing everywhere above 4,000ft. above ground level. http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap040112.html" [Broken] report says that the cloud deck was at about 1,900ft..

"After hovering in place for a few minutes below low cloud cover, the object rose vertically and rapidly into the cloud deck, which was at about 1900 feet. The UFO appeared to leave a “hole” in the clouds where it entered, as has been reported in a few other UFO sightings."

http://www.wunderground.com/history...ml?req_city=NA&req_state=NA&req_statename=NA" site gives the weather history for O'Hare (KORD) on 11/7/2006. At around the time of this sighting, the surface temperature was around 53 degrees-F and the dewpoint was around 48 degrees-F. This would imply that the cloud deck should actually be somewhere around 1250ft above ground level, and the lowest freezing level would be somewhere around 5250ft. above ground level.
Of course the biggest problem is that hole punch clouds are thought to be caused by falling, not rising, ice crystals. It is a nice idea, and there are hole punch clouds, but this explanation does not speak to details of the reports. Cherry picking the details does not lead to explanations that people will accept.

Btw Aether, if you see the Pilot UFO sightings video in post #50 of the UFO Napster, you will find some validation of the alleged stigma that concerns pilots.
 
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  • #25
Aether
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The elevation of O'Hare is 668ft. above sea level, so 1,250ft. above ground level is equivalent to 1918ft. above sea level.

Of course the biggest problem is that hole punch clouds are thought to be caused by falling, not rising, ice crystals. It is a nice idea, and there are hole punch clouds, but this explanation does not speak to details of the reports. Cherry picking the details does not lead to explanations that people will accept.
A naturally formed hole-punch cloud seems to be ruled out in this case since the lowest level that such a cloud might form is 4,000ft. above the cloud deck; even if one did form, it would not have been visible from the ground. It might be possible to build a machine that could punch a visible hole in a cloud under these conditions.
Btw Aether, if you see the Pilot UFO sightings video in post #50 of the UFO Napster, you will find some validation of the alleged stigma that concerns pilots.
I will look at that later today. What I don't like about that is the implication that professional pilots and air-traffic controllers would suppress important information regarding air safety, national security, and scientific discovery out of some personal fear of stigma.
 
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