NUFORC Sighting 180471

Occurred: 2024-02-17 20:43 Local
Reported: 2024-02-17 21:37 Pacific
Duration: 38 Minutes
No of observers: 2 - Pilot - Aviation Expert

Location: Rockford, IL, USA
Location details: 25nm South of RFD VOR at 24,000ft

Shape: Light
Color: White, Orange
Estimated Size: Undetermined
Viewed From: Aircraft
Direction from Viewer: 300 degrees
Angle of Elevation: 25
Closest Distance: 25nm
Estimated Speed: Mach 2.5
Characteristics: Lights on object, Aircraft nearby

Triangle formation of lights with other lights making passes through and around the formation

I was the Captain of an airline flight from Chicago to Des Moines. Shortly after takeoff, climbing through 18,000ft to 24,000ft we saw 3 white lights appearing and disappearing in a triangular formation at very long range, bearing 300 as we flew on a heading of 270.

There were other lights, sometimes orange in color, making passes East and West through and around the formation at a very high rate of speed, sometimes climbing and descending.

One extremely bright light appeared directly ahead of us at 24,000ft at what we estimated to be 25nm range, but it is difficult to determine as we have no idea of the size of the object. It then disappeared.

We also saw and reported the same lights last night from 400nm South of our position at 34,000ft last night.

The difference in angle above our line of sight from last night’s sighting would have us estimate with a fair degree of accuracy that the formation was about 400nm North of us.

We continued seeing them, with one being bright enough that it was easily observed at only 3000ft.

This was also witnessed by my First Officer, who I was with last night as well.


We spoke via telephone at length with the witness and found him to be quite serious minded and sincere.

Posted 2024-03-13

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