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Did Aliens Really Visit O’Hare Airport?

Did Aliens Really Visit O’Hare Airport?

Something Did, But Who or What?

Imagine your job is to guide airplanes up and down the runway at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport.

Pretty exciting, considering around 2500 planes use the airport daily. But not as exciting as what you witnessed one afternoon.

You look up and spot a large, gray disc hovering above one of the gates. You glance at your co-workers, they see it too. Some are already calling the control tower. All are in a state of awe.

You know it’s not a cloud or a weather balloon. The thing is metallic, silent and just hovering (without the propellers of a drone).

Really? A Flying Saucer?

Come on! It seems too cliché to be true. It was time to activate my inner investigative reporter (every writer has one) to dig into the details.

One thing is certain, as reported across major media outlets: In the afternoon of November 7, 2006, twelve airport employees reported a metallic, saucer-shaped craft hovering over O’Hare’s Gate C-17.

First, there must be recordings of the chatter among the airline workers as the event unfolded in real time. Turns out, there is, made available thanks to the Freedom of Information Act.

Captured are the cryptic words of an inbound ground controller first warning a United Airlines pilot to “use caution for the, ah … UFO.”

A little later, the controller explains, “Somebody reported a UFO or a flying disc above Charley concourse, seriously.”

“They actually, believe it or not, they called us and said, somebody observed a flying disc about a thousand feet above the, ah… gate Charley 17,” the mechanic elaborates. “Do you see anything over there?”

“Not that I can tell,” replies the pilot with a joke, “I thought my job was stressful” (laughter).

Intriguing, but so far, this is just a second hand account of what other people witnessed.

But another mechanic speaks up who actually did witness it: “Oh, we saw it a half hour ago.”

“Who saw it?” the ground controller asks.

“A whole bunch of us over at Charley concourse.”

“Really? You guys did? Who is this?”

“United taxi mechanics (5 sec. pause). We thought it was a balloon but we’re not sure.”

Ah, the ol’ weather balloon, that catch-all contraption which routinely takes the blame for many UFO sightings… However, the mechanic first said they saw a flying disc, not a balloon. This makes me wonder, maybe he mentioned the weather balloon to save face?

To go a step further, I found a photo of a weather balloon from around that time, and it certainly doesn’t resemble a metallic disc…

Mandy Fetterman, Aerographer’s Mate 3rd Class, launches a 100-gram weather balloon as part of her duties to gather and record weather information aboard USS Preble. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 3rd Class Ramon Preciado, public domain via Wikimedia Commons

Then Things Turn Funny…

The next exchange reads like a comedy script. It’s a phone conversation between a United Ramp Tower worked named “Sue” and an FAA Area Supervisor in O’Hare Tower named “Dwight”.

Sue: “This is Sue from United” (laughter)

Dwight: “Yes” (serious tone)

Twelve second pause…

Sue: “There was a disc out there flying around.”

Dwight: There was a what?”

Sue: “A disc.”

Dwight: “A disc?”

Sue: “Yeah.”

Dwight: “Can you hang on one second?”

Sue: “Sure…”

A 33-second pause and background chatter follows…

Dwight: “OK, I’m sorry what can I do for you?”

Sue: “I’m sorry, there was … I told Dave, there was a disc flying outside above Charley 17 and he thought I was pretty much high. But, um, I’m not high and I’m not drinking.”

Dwight: “Yeah.”

Sue: “So, someone got a picture of it. So, if you guys see it out there ….”

Dwight: “A disc, like a Frisbee?”

Sue: “Like a UFO-type thing.”

Dwight: “Yeah, okay.”

Sue: “He got a picture of it.” (laughs)

Dwight: “How, how, how high above Charley 17?”

Sue: “Well, it was above our tower. So…”

Dwight: “Yeah…”

Sue: “So, if you happen to see anything…” (she continues to laugh)

Dwight: “You know, I’ll keep a peeled eye for that.”

Sue: “Okay.”

Dwight: “Bye.”

Sue: “Bye.”

After hovering awhile, witnesses said the saucer launched upward so fast that it punched a hole in the clouds, revealing the blue sky beyond.

The sky beyond, beyond the sky … something humans can’t help but ponder at times staring at the sea of stars surrounding Earth.

Talk About the Weather

Aside from weather balloons, “weather phenomenon” is another common reason given for UFO sightings, which is how the FAA explained the sighting.

Of course, according to the Chicago Tribune, the FAA originally denied having any information on the alleged UFO sighting, until the Tribune filed a Freedom of Information Act request.

Are We Really Afraid Of Them?

Why not just share everything with the public freely? Do we really think people would panic if they knew alien crafts were visiting our bright planet?

Why not see it as a great opportunity for humanity? We would expand our consciousness outside of our own internal conflicts, to bond as humans.

However, never having been face-to-face with a UFO, I could understand it being a real shocker at first. In fact, one United employee appeared emotionally shaken by the incident.

The employee “experienced some religious issues,” a co-worker revealed to The Tribune.

However, Astronaut John Glenn said space travel actually deepened his Christian faith and made him more in amazement of God’s creation.

If a Creator gave rise to millions of life forms on this planet, why couldn’t they also be on other planets?

And wouldn’t it be the ultimate irony if they believed in the same Universal Creator? What if discovering alien life could actually affirm our faith rather than destroy it?

What Were the Alleged Aliens Thinking?

If this was an alien aircraft, it sure didn’t stay long.

At least nobody saw it for long. It makes you wonder, perhaps they were passing through our solar system on the way to somewhere else, and figured they’d go visit this planet teaming with life.

Kind of like when you’re on a highway and there’s a fun stop along the route. Why not?

Chicago would surely stand out, with all the primitive aircraft flying in and out of it. Seems like it’d be a great place to stop and take some video to show the folks back at home.

“Look, they can fly, but they’re burning all this gas! Maybe we should show them how to use magnetic fields… Nah, we just watched their news. They’re not ready. On to the party on Andromeda-9!”


As for debunking the story, I couldn’t. These were all credible witnesses with no motive to lie, describing what they saw, verified by recordings.

A United mechanic summed it up nicely. He watched the UFO from the cockpit of a Boeing 777. “I tend to be scientific by nature, and I don’t understand why aliens would hover over a busy airport. But I know that what I saw and what a lot of other people saw stood out very clearly, and it definitely was not an [Earth] aircraft.”

It comes down to the twelve witnesses (shades of the twelve disciples). Perhaps they just gave testimonials to glimpsing an otherworldly species. And maybe one day we’ll know them by name.