The FBI said it was “aware” that an American Airlines pilot’s reported a close encounter with a “long cylindrical object” over New Mexico – but stopped short of saying whether it was probing the strange incident, according to a report.
A pilot on Flight 2292 from Cincinnati to Phoenix reported seeing the object — which “almost looked like a cruise missile” – on Sunday while the Airbus A320 was cruising at 406 mph at an altitude of about 37,000, The Drive reported.
Steve Douglass, an experienced radio interceptor, told the outlet’s The War Zone that he heard the pilot’s bizarre transmission while recording from his multiple scanners.’
“The FBI is aware of the reported incident,” spokesperson Frank Connor told Fox News in an email Thursday.
“While our policy is to neither confirm nor deny investigations, the FBI works continuously with our federal, state, local, and tribal partners to share intelligence and protect the public. Anyone who is aware of suspicious or criminal activity should contact their local law enforcement agency or the FBI,” he added.
In the call, the pilot is heard telling ATC in Albuquerque about the strange sighting.
“Do you have any targets up here? We just had something go right over the top of us,” he says.
“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,” he adds.
On the day of the incident, The Drive asked American Airlines to confirm it.
“At this time, we do not have any indication the radio transmission was from the flight crew on board American Airlines Flight 2292 on Feb. 21,” an airline rep told the outlet initially.
But when pressed later, the airline provided a different response.
“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,” the company told The Drive.
“For any additional questions on this, we encourage you to reach out to the FBI,” it added.
A message left by The Post with the media contact at the FBI’s Albuquerque office was not immediately returned Thursday. The agency’s national media office in DC could not be reached.
The Federal Aviation Administration said in a short statement to The Drive: “A pilot reported seeing an object over New Mexico shortly after noon local time on Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021.
“FAA air traffic controllers did not see any object in the area on their radarscopes,” the FAA added.
Douglass said on his blog that, “no reply was monitored by Albuquerque Center because local (Amarillo) air traffic walked on top of it. AAL 2292 was near flight level 370 (37k) at the time of the report.”
He added that “no significant military aircraft presence” was reported in the area.
The Drive noted that the incident was similar to one that occurred in the same area almost three years ago, when a Learjet and an airliner both had close encounters with an unidentified object.
The pilot of the Learjet, who was flying for military contractor Phoenix Air, described the off encounter to local news outlets, The Drive reported.
US Navy fliers also reported similar encounters off the eastern seaboard in the past several years, according to the outlet.