A Bird? A Plane? American Airlines Pilot Spots UFO Over New Mexico

On Sunday, February 21st, shortly after passing into New Mexico, the pilots of an American Airlines’ Airbus jet reported seeing a ‘long cylindrical object’ passing by at great speed. The airline has confirmed the sighting but refers to the FBI for any further questions.

American Airbus A321
The pilots of American Airlines Flight 2292 saw what they said resembled a ‘cruise missile type of thing.’ Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Almost like a cruise missile

American Airlines Flight 2292 was operating from Cincinnati to Phoenix on Sunday when its pilots reported an unidentified flying object (UFO). What looked like a ‘long cylindrical object’ passed right above the plane. The occurrence was picked up on radio chatter by Steve Douglass, the author of the blog Deep Black Horizon.

Around 13:09 local time, the Airbus A320 was cruising at close to 37,000 feet over the northeast corner of New Mexico just west of the town of Clayton. The pilots then reported that something resembling a cruise missile traveled at great speed just above their heads.

“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,” the cockpit crew can be heard saying on the recording.

Flight path AA2292
The A320 had just crossed the border into New Mexico when the sighting was made. Flight data: Radarbox.com

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FBI investigation

American Airlines has confirmed to several sources, among them Fox News, that the radio transmission is authentic. However, the carrier did not wish to comment further on the object’s potential nature and referred instead to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

“Following a debrief with our Flight Crew and additional information received, we can confirm this radio transmission was from American Airlines Flight 2292 on Feb. 21,” an American Airlines spokesperson said in a statement. “For any additional questions on this, we encourage you to reach out to the FBI.”

The FBI was not immediately available for comment at the time of writing. This article may be updated should more information be forthcoming.

Roswell 1947 newspaper article
The New Mexico UFO-associations began with a ‘flying saucer’ in July 1947. Photo: Roswell Daily Record via Wikimedia Commons

UFO tradition

New Mexico and UFOs inevitably evoke Roswell following the crash of what the US military stated was a conventional weather balloon in July 1947. Still, several witnesses claimed to have seen a ‘flying disc,’ and the area has become synonymous with theories about alien spacecraft and their presence on Earth.

Meanwhile, the so-called Area 51 in Nevada, where the alleged UFO was later stored, has since become a focal point for alien enthusiasts and X-Files fans. The Air Force says that it uses the empty desert space to test new military technology. This renders the entire area a heavily restricted ‘no-fly-zone.’

What do you think it could have been that passed over American Airlines Flight 2292 on Sunday? Leave a comment below and tell us about it.