One of the pilots involved in the sighting of a UFO made by the flight crews of two commercial aircraft over Arizona has come forward to offer more details regarding what he witnessed during their February encounter, eliminating the possibility that the object could have been a high-altitude balloon. Additionally, an executive that debriefed the pilots of the other aircraft involved has confirmed that the identity of the anomalous object is indeed a mystery.
The February 24 sighting was initially made by the crew of a Phoenix Air Learjet, traveling east over southern Arizona. The westbound object had just passed over them at an altitude higher than airliners typically travel, prompting them to query air traffic control in Albuquerque to see if anything was on their scopes; ATC, however, did not have a track on the object. Albuquerque then asked an American Airlines aircraft traveling the same route a short distance behind the Learjet to keep an eye open for the object, and soon enough, they spotted the anomalous aircraft.
On March 29, American Airlines pilot Blenus Green was interviewed by KTAB/KRBC-TV News, offering more details regarding what he and his co-pilot saw. Green is a former USAF flight instructor, having specialized in training B-1B Lancer bomber pilots until retiring from active service in 2009.
"It was very bright but it wasn’t so bright that you couldn’t look at it. You know, you almost wanted to look at it to try to figure out what it was," Green recounts of his experience. "It didn’t look anything like an airplane. You know, most airplanes, you’re going to see some kind of wing surface, some type of a tail, really no matter what type of airplane it is."
"What was weird about it, normally, if you have an object and the sun is shining this way, the reflection would be on this side, but this was bright all the way around. It was so bright that you really couldn’t make out what shape it was," Green said. This suggests that the object was self-illuminated, rather than reflecting the light from the sun.
Although the crew of the Phoenix Air Learjet that initially spotted the object have not come forward, the vice president of the company, Bob Tracey, has offered more details regarding the incident. After a "full debriefing" with the pilots, he was left with the question, "what the hell was it?"
Their description of the object matched the one offered by Green, as an intensely lit object, "like you woke up in the morning and stared at a bright light," according to one of the pilots.
The pilots estimated that the object was at an altitude of at 50,000 feet, placing it at more than 10,000 feet above the 37,000 feet that the Learjet was at. It was also traveling westward at high speed, in the opposite direction that the Learjet as traveling.
"He said that it passed him at maybe a similar speed that an airliner would," Tracey explains, with most modern airliners having a cruising speed of 500 mph. This eliminates the possibility that the object was a high-altitude balloon: not only was the object traveling at nearly two-thirds of the speed of sound, it was also doing so against the 80-knot (95mph) winds of the eastbound jetstream.