Real Answers from Real Pilots

Hey Pilots! I have a question

Hey Pilots,

First of thank you very much for the fine job you always provide.

Ive always had a question, as someone whos always been into UFOs. I always wanted to ask how common are first hand UFO sightings up above the clouds.

Im aware airline pilots report back to ground control on the matter and often times go unreported. Or uncommented on.

From ground level, I always look up at the night sky and see things I dismiss or call satellites.

Am I really wondering as a collective how common these events really are if any.

Thanks for reading,
D

Damian,

While I have seen some weird things from the sky like Elon Musk’s Starlink satellites, I take Neil deGrasse Tyson’s stance on UFOs.

Tory

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Damian,

While I know there have been reports, in 16yrs I’ve been flying professionally I’ve never seen a UFO nor have I met anyone who has. Not saying there aren’t any but I can tell you sightings are not very common.

I will however share a story. About a year ago I was doing a very early morning flight to KOA. The sun hadn’t come up and it was a very beautiful dark sky with no moon. I was looking up when I saw this bright “train” of lights moving quickly but steadily across the sky. There were quite a few (I was thinking 50ish) perfectly spaced in a perfect straight line and clearly in space. I’m not going to lie, I was more than a little freaked out. Honestly I’ve always been somewhat skeptical but all that went out the window. Both myself and my FO were in shock an I said “holy moly, I guess I’ve been wrong all this time and the world as we know it is about to change”. Time to call my kids and tell them I love them!

After we landed I quickly Googled “train of lights in the sky” thinking others surely saw this and I was in fact correct. Many had seen it BUT it was not an alien invasion it was a string of 60 satellites launched by SpaceX called Starlink. Not sure if I was disappointed or relieved but if you ever want to see something REALLY cool Google where to see it. Might not be ET but def worth a look.

Adam

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Ha funny. We saw the same thing

Damian,
I too have never seen a UFO. I’ve heard stories but I think more often than not they are satellites. It’s pretty cool, at night up at FL450 you can see some of them pretty clearly.

-Hannah

I just looked this up and saw a video of this, how cool. That is definitely something unique to see.

@Tory, do you get any of the Aurora lights your way?

Brady

@BFries yes! I’ve only seen them once myself. Less so since we’re not flying to Canada as much. It was a strange sight to see. Actually looked more like light pollution, until I saw it MOVE!

Tory

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Brady,

I have seen the northern lights several times, mostly when flying to Stockholm and Oslo. They are very pretty, in an almost indescribable kind of way.

Chris

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Check this out guys! An opportunity to see some UFOs :joy: (aka more satellites in the sky)
Why you may see strange bright lights in the San Francisco Bay Area sky tonight

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Thanks for the tip Hannah. There’s a lot of light pollution where I live but we managed to get the kids faces out of their iPads to catch a glimpse of the “UFOs” going by in a line :slight_smile:

I got views of Starlink and the new satellite launches (50+ at a time all lined up) several times over the last two nights of flying. Such a cool view!

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