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One of the more interesting UFO sightings in recent years is the O’Hare Airport incident, and it has once again appeared on the public’s radar (pun intended) after it was mentioned during Leslie Kean’s interview on The Colbert Report on Monday night.

Kean discusses the incident at length in her book UFOs: Generals, Pilots and Government Officials Go on the Record (Amazon US and UK), but you can get even more detail from a free online source: the official report (PDF download) released by the National Aviation Reporting Center for Anomalous Phenomena (NARCAP):

This report presents the results of an investigation into an interesting incident at O’Hare International Airport on November 7, 2006 at about 1615 hrs (4:15 pm) CST that had definite safety implications. A number of highly reliable airline employees and others reported seeing a round, revolving, gray, metallic appearing object [hereafter called an Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon (UAP)] hovering approximately above United Airline’s Gate C17 in Concourse C at an altitude less than 1,900 feet above ground level and departing sometime between 4:18 and 4:33 pm. Since two United taxi mechanics reported seeing the object sometime after 4:00 pm the object could have been present for at least eighteen minutes or more.

…It accelerated at a steeply inclined angle through the 1,900 ft cloud base leaving a round hole approximately its own size that lasted for as long as fourteen minutes. This is suggestive of a super heated object or otherwise radiated (microwave?) heat energy on the order of 9.4 kj/m3

The report includes witness testimony, historical context possible ‘mundane’ explanations, and weather and radar analysis.

One of the stranger elements of this case is the manner in which it has been ignored (at least publicly) by officials – both the FAA and the Airlines involved. As one of the witnesses mentioned, in this day and age of strict anti-terrorism regulations and policies, the response is odd in the extreme: “If we see a funny looking bag all damn hell breaks loose but park a funny silver thing a few hundred feet above a busy airport and everyone tries to hush it up. It just don’t make sense.”

Note too that you can get a real feel for the surreal impact the UFO sighting had on workers at the airport by listening to audio of staff discussing/questioning/laughing at the sighting as it happened and soon after. Great to be able to have this sort of perspective on the event, and gives you an idea why people are reluctant to report this sort of thing.

Previously on TDG: