NUFORC UFO Sighting 173388

Occurred: 2022-12-09 04:45 Local
Reported: 2022-12-11 18:35 Pacific
Duration: 25 minutes
No of observers: 3

Location: Southern MI/Northern IN, IL, USA
Location details: 35,000 ft. On flight from LAX-JFK

Shape: Orb

Numerous Orbs from the Flight Deck of commercial flight

I was the Captain on a flight from LAX to JFK on December 8, 2022. Upon returning to the flight deck from a bathroom break, I was told by the first officer to quickly look outside and see what he was viewing. There was a large white orb, with a second one above it and slightly right, in the night sky.

As pilots we try to rationalize and determine what we are looking at and verify that it is no issue for our aircraft. The orbs stayed for a bit and then suddenly vanished. The first officer and the flight attendant, who was in the cockpit while I was in the bathroom, said there had been an even brighter orb which looked like oncoming aircraft traffic just a few moments prior. They had looked at the TCAS with nothing on the display.

The night sky was quite bright due to a full moon in the western sky which was lighting up our whole eastern view of the sky. There was a low overcast layer which kept the ground light from shining through. A few moments later we noticed the orbs again and were shocked by how bright they were.

We had heard earlier that day that Mars would be the second brightest object in the sky, after the moon, due to its proximity to our planet this evening. The orbs that we saw were larger and much brighter than Mars, which we had seen in the western sky during our departure out of LAX. I radioed ATC to have an adjacent UPS flight come up on a separate frequency. I asked them if they were seeing anything in the eastern sky when the orbs showed up again. They said they also saw them. Cleveland ATC got involved in the discussion and asked us to report everything we were seeing. Our location was just east of Chicago airspace near Indiana/Michigan border.

ATC then queried other planes, including an Alaska Airlines flight. Other planes, including a private jet, also reported seeing the orbs. We probably saw the orbs come back into our views seven or eight times over the period of 25 minutes. As I said previously, we tried to rationalize to figure out what we are looking at. The interesting thing to me was the fact that they were extremely bright, and moved extremely quickly when they did. During one of the viewings there were multiple orbs, I counted six, and one of them had moved in an arcing manner. I have seen Starlink satellites numerous times in my career, including a launch chain of Starlink satellites on a flight over the Pacific four years ago. These orbs, when they moved, moved much faster than a Starlink satellite or a common satellite. I estimate the orbs were at a much higher altitude than a satellite would normally be at, as I just by chance was able to see a satellite moving slowly across the sky right after one of our sightings.

Approximately 15 minutes in I viewed what I thought was a shooting star. I have seen many shooting stars during my 32 year career at the airlines. I thought hard about this one and realized most of the shooting stars I have ever seen are very brief and move across or slightly down. This one moved almost straight down from 12 o’clock to 7 o’clock and was extremely bright like the orbs we had been viewing in the previous 15 minutes. It struck me as kind of odd as it moved in a direct straight line and didn’t have the typical tail you would see on a shooting star. About two minutes later, another orb moved the exact same way, exactly parallel to the one I had seen prior. After that I saw a distant orb a few minutes later and that was the last activity witnessed by me.

In total, I estimate that 6-7 flights had some type of viewing of the same orbs we viewed, based on the chatter on ATC frequency. Cleveland ATC did comment that they have have a large uptick in unexplained sightings in the last few months over the Great Lakes area.

I am not an aerodynamic engineer or physicist but I don’t know of anything man made that could fly at that altitude, move that quickly, and be able to turn at that speed and sustain that type of G load. What we witnessed was unexplainable to me. The hair on my neck was standing and my heart was racing due to what we were viewing. In total I viewed the orbs 7-8 times during my 25 minute encounter. The First Officer has some photos and videos that he will add with his report.

Posted 2022-12-22

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