|Occurred : 9/23/2005 20:00 (Entered as : 09/23/2005 20:00)
Reported: 10/24/2005 6:22:57 PM 18:22
Location: In-flight (Georgia), GA
|Pilots See UFO Over Southeast Georgia
In order to protect mine as well as the witnesses name, I have been asked by the witness to report this UFO, as well as omit certain details concerning the event. Both the witness and I are pilots involved in a flight training program and fear our careers as airline pilots may be jeapardized by this report.
On September 23rd, 2005 the witness was flying a small light twin aircraft (a Piper Seminole) on an IFR flight plan from Montgomery, AL to Jacksonville, FL. The sun had already set so it was dark by this point. Both witnesses on board the aircraft were instrument-rated pilots and were on frequency and in-contact with Air Traffic Control. The aircraft originated in Dallas, Texas and had been attempting to outrun Hurricane Rita before it hit the Texas and Louisiana coast, so there were very few, if any, other aircraft on frequency or even airborne in the area.
Very frequently, it is normal to be one of the only, if the only aircraft on a controller's frequency later at night. This was the case this evening, as the airlines and other traffic were being vectored or vectoring themselves well north of the gulf coast area.
The two pilots were about to enter what is an MOA or a Military Operations Area. The name of the MOA was either the Moody 3 MOA, or the Moody 2 South MOA which are both located over southeastern Georgia, but the witness can't remember as to which one it was. These areas are a type of airspace mainly used for military aircraft training purposes, or other types of military activity.
When one of them is active or what we call "hot" it is normal for aircraft to be vectored around them via Air Traffic Control. This was not the case that night, as the MOA was reported "cold" by Atlanta Center after the pilots queried ATC.
It is not illegal to enter these areas, for they are not prohibited or restriced airspace.
Suddenly, prior to entering the MOA, ATC informed the pilots that their aircraft would go out of radio contact for the next 5 minutes. This is fairly common, especially along the gulf coast during this active hurricane season when transmitters have often been hit.
Soon after radio contact was allegedly "lost" with Atlanta Center, the pilots both said they saw a light, like a strobe or beacon, similar to that of another airplane, not far in front of them at a distance of 3 miles or less. As it began getting closer, the two pilots became nervous as ATC normally informs aircraft within that close of a vicinity to one another.
Suddenly, the object began to move rapidly in a way that known aircraft don't move, darting to the right, then straight up, then back left in right angles. It got close to them, then suddenly sped away at what seemed to be thousands of miles an hour.
The pilots then conferred with one another as to whether they should try to contact Atlanta Center and ask about what they saw. Since it seemed that their safety was at stake, they decided to make the attempt.
The following is an aproximation of what was said: (I am making up the call-sign in order to once again protect both of the witnesses identities)
Witness: "Atlanta Center, 123 Alpha Romeo" (short pause)
Atlanta Center: "123 Alpha Romeo, go ahead"
Witness: "Atlanta Center, do you possibly have any traffic up ahead of us at our 12 o'clock?" (almost immediately and seemingly aggravated)
Atlanta Center: "3 Alpha Romeo, negative I have nothing ahead of you."
Witness: "Roger, 3 Alpha Romeo"
The witnesses never saw the object again and had an uneventful duration of the flight. They both found it peculiar that Atlanta Center would report going out of radio contact, but when asked about traffic ahead got a very rapid and aggravated response.
Upon arriving in Jacksonville, both witnesses met up with me and described the event.
After discussing it with them, we've come up with our own conclusion: It was probably something military in nature, possibly top secret or a black-project aircraft but we can't be sure. We also think that Atlanta Center knew it was there, and wasn't supposed to give any traffic advisories while the object passed through his airspace.
Thank you for your time, and any more info upon the event would be greatly appreciated.
((NUFORC Note: Witness indicates that the date of the incident is approximate, possibly to protect the anonymity of the witnesses. PD))