Skip to comments.What the Hell Was That Mystery Aircraft Flying Over Oregon?
Posted on 11/21/2017 12:25:46 AM PST by ransomnote
Something flew over the west coast in late October, that much we know. But the mystery plane disappeared before anyone could figure out what it was and has defied all attempts at identification since. Was it a classified U.S. government aircraft, a flying saucer, or something else?
The War Zone reports that in the afternoon of October 25, air traffic controllers started querying commercial airline pilots flying between Portland and Seattle, asking if they could help identify a mystery object. The object in question didnt have a traffic collision avoidance system (TCAS) transponder turned on, was not responding to radio communication, and, most intriguingly, could not be picked up on radar.
Numerous pilots reported they saw the aircraft, but none came close enough to identify it. Ultimately, Oregon Air National Guard F-15 fighters from Portland International Airport were sent up to investigate, but saw nothing. The War Zone article also cites two Reddit users familiar with the incident and who seem to corroborate much of what the air traffic controller audio has to say.
The aircraft was near Crater Lake, Oregon when air traffic controllers started asking nearby pilots about it. The aircraft was described as a white object flying north between 35,000 and 40,000 feet. At one point in the air traffic controller audio clip, one pilot says the mystery bird is 12 to 15 miles away, and distances from other aircraft ranged from four to 20 miles. Another pilot, observing the aircraft, estimates an airspeed of 370 knots, or 425 miles an hour on the ground, also noting he is not getting a TCAS transponder signal.
What was it?
(Excerpt) Read more at popularmechanics.com ...
The OP links to a related article:
And that related article features a recording of air traffic in the area trying to identify the craft:
“You can listen to the entire series of exchanges here starting at around the 20 minute mark (http://archive-server.liveatc.net/kmfr/ZSE-KMFR-14-15-Oct-25-2017-0030Z.mp3) and through to the first part of the next time interval recording that can be found here (http://archive-server.liveatc.net/kmfr/ZSE-KMFR-14-Oct-25-2017-0100Z.mp3)."
Loretta Lynch and Hillary flying to a secret meeting with The Russians?
Interesting. How high was it?
Wait - I see it was 35k to 40k feet. Still. INteresting.
Miitary friends and family told same thing
Do not report or will end career
If questioned refuse to confirm or deny
Experience over missile silos at US base drove at least one to drink
Also happening semi-frequently, especially now thru January 1 2019, could have had a botched ADS-B installation. I know because this happened to me. And, the big Iron that travels at 35k feet, they have to switch over just like us little guys. The installation of ADS-B (Out) is quite tricky, and there is even a mechanism for the pilots, taking their aircraft back after an install, to test it on their own (called "Public ADS-B Performance Report Request"). You enter the form online, submit, and within an hour, you get a detailed report back on the performance of the longest flight of the day you request it for. If you "fail", you take your report to the mechanic to get it right. So, when it "fails", you are likely flying without ATC receiving your transponder signals.
Was that you Fred?
“...maybe it was a Russian Backfire bomber...”
Are you being serious or silly?
At any rate, it wasn’t squawking anyway, was it?
The good thing is the military knows what it was.
The thing is, for me, as a controller, I would not be looking at the radar, with the intention of finding a skin paint aircraft, not squawking a code. I may or may not even see it, and if I did see it, without the transponder, I wont see any information, like call sign, type aircraft and altitude. Our rules said we could give a traffic advisory, if we were not busy trying to keep other aircraft from running into each other. Our choice, to give a traffic advisory, on an unidentified aircraft, was based solely on traffic, and the decision not to give it, was not subject to question by the pilot. There is so much clutter on a radar scope, that it is almost impossible to even see an aircraft that is not squawking an SIF code.
I am unable to figure out, why any controller would be trying to figure out what a raw radar target was, and why they would be asking other aircraft if they saw it.
As I said, I was not looking for UFOs. I didnt want to end up in a rubber room somewhere. 😀
Someone was putting together their new AR-15, and launched one of the detent pins into orbit.
How often did you see “weird” stuff?
I am being semi silly. I was only familiar with ATC radar. I dont know what the capabilities of early warning radars are. I doubt if a Russian aircraft, that was trying to penetrate US airspace, would be squawking any code. I dont even know what kind of IFF/SIF equipment Russian aircraft have, so I wouldnt know if Russian Bears flying off the coast of Alaska are squawking anything, while out in international airspace. My job was to keep them apart, not run them together, as in running intercepts.
I am not sure what your definition of weird is, but I saw different traffic conditions every day. When I worked in the tower, we had radar there too, for help in sequencing C-5s, KC-10s and C-141s. What scared me, more than once, was when a heavy pilot told me he was turning base, and the optical illusion, made me think he was turning away, instead of turning toward the airport, like he was supposed to. That was scary, but I just looked at the radar, and the radar could never show an optical illusion.
I am a retired Air Traffic Controller and found you comments on issuing traffic interesting. I once asked my trainer, when I was first starting out, what is the difference between traffic advisories and merging target procedures? He answered, tone of voice.
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