7:24 PM

A UFO at O'Hare?

Anyone who has ever flown in or out of Chicago’s O'Hare Airport knows the sky can be thick with traffic. The maze of runways has inbounds and departures mixed together in a confusing jumble of airplanes all identified as tiny little green blips on a series of radar screens up in the control tower.

But last fall, a group of United Airlines employees swear they saw a mysterious, saucer-shaped craft hovering over O'Hare Airport, and this target had no little green blip attached to it, making it technically an “unidentified” flying object, or UFO.

A report in Monday's Chicago Tribune states this:

Some of the workers who reported the UFO were pilots. They said the object didn't have lights, and hovered over an airport terminal before shooting up through the clouds.
Now normally I would write this kind of thing quickly off as another Internet hoax. But when the Associated Press picks it up and distributes it widely across their wires, I have to assume someone in their food chain has at least fact checked this enough to make sure there really was a group of workers who really reported a UFO.

The FAA is taking the usual government stance any time the subject is UFOs. Nada, zilch, negatory, didn’t happen. They admit that a United supervisor called the O’Hare tower asking if anyone had spotted a spinning disc-shaped object. But according to FAA’s spokeswoman Elizabeth Isham Cory, a preliminary check of radar found nothing out of the ordinary:
"Our theory on this is that it was a weather phenomenon," Cory said. "That night was a perfect atmospheric condition in terms of low ceiling and a lot of airport lights. When the lights shine up into the clouds, sometimes you can see funny things. The FAA is not investigating.”
As is always the case surrounding this type of report, someone always has to be the wise guy. One O'Hare controller reportedly said “to fly 7 million light years to O'Hare and then have to turn around and go home because your gate was occupied is simply unacceptable." Sounds like a little TRACON humor there, boys and girls.

Years ago, when I had a job driving late at night, I swear I saw a couple of unexplainable lights in the sky that did not look like airplanes. I believe they could very well have been UFOs, simply because I cannot wrap my brain around the theory that of all the planets out there in the universe, we cannot possibly be the only ones with the technology to build space ships. It just makes sense that somewhere out there, in a galaxy far, far away, there really are little green men getting a real laugh out of watching us Earthlings – still in our relative infancy regarding space travel – shoot our odd-looking little shuttles into space, only to have them drop back to the planet a few days later.

A UFO over O’Hare? We’ll never know. But this I do know: When you see one, you know it. Now why these particular spacemen choose the busiest airspace in North America for their touch and goes remains a really great question.

UPDATE on 05.21.09: Chicago O'Hare Airport has a new website, found here.

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