Last November, an unusual incident over Oregon made headlines after a mystery aircraft–resembling a jet by some descriptions–was tracked by various aviation authorities. The incident produced no results in terms of who had been piloting the aircraft, and for what reason, although attempts to communicate with and track the aircraft ultimately proved unsuccessful, as it had reportedly been “invisible” on radar at the time.
However, new details about the case have now emerged, following a new Freedom of Information Act request which provides further details on the unusual incident.
Tyler Rogoway, a writer for The Drive‘s “The Warzone,” first heard about the story from associates of his in aviation, as well as via a Reddit thread that appeared seemingly in relation to the incident. This information was later confirmed through dialogue with the FAA, NORAD, and USAF officials.
Along with a summary Rogoway penned for The Warzone, a series of Freedom of Information Act appeals were made in relation to the incident. Now, several months after the incident took place, FOIA data released to The Drive helps to further corroborate the incident, and according to Rogoway, represents what “could be one of the most insightful instances of official documentation surrounding such an encounter that had already been confirmed to have occurred by both the FAA and the USAF.”
Included with the release were a number of audio recordings of telephone conversations between officials, discussing the incident and the actions that were taken by official agencies in response to it.
According to the newly released data, the object was described as being a large aircraft by the pilots who saw it, who most commonly referred to it as a jet. Its coloration appeared to be white, or at least light-colored, and the aircraft was flying at an altitude of approximately 37,000 feet. It was also reported that the object was “moving at a clip” (fast, in other words) and that it was neither responding to attempts at radio communication nor was it being detected on radar or by traffic collision avoidance systems on the nearby aircraft.
What can we determine from this, and do any observations come to mind immediately? One thing that seems clear is that the object was probably not an experimental drone, as some suggested previously since it is unlikely that any unmanned remote-controlled aircraft would have to be as large as the aircraft seen over Oregon. Also, while it may be tempting to treat the object as an “unknown,” most descriptions did indicate that the object most closely resembled a jet (although distance had been a prime factor in making further details about its appearance less easily determinable).
Altogether, Rogoway has done a fine job reporting on the incident and gathering additional information about it. Also, he acknowledged what the circumstances here seem to entail, in light of the New York Times report on the Pentagon’s “secret” UFO program, noting that, “after recent reports unmasking how the Pentagon remains highly interested in encounters just like this one, it holds even more weight than it did three months ago.”
As to the origins of the aircraft that was observed over the northwest last fall, there is still a lot that remains unclear. Despite reports that likened the object’s appearance to that of a large jet, we can’t be certain as to what kind of plane the incident involved. Equally perplexing is the question of what it was doing flying at this altitude, and in broad daylight, while remaining unresponsive to queries from the FAA and other agencies (and let us not forget that concern over the aircraft’s presence prompted the scrambling of a group of F-15s, with the mission of intercepting the object).
As with the more esoteric incidents involving unexplained aerial phenomenon, this one leaves a lot to the imagination and even more questions than answers with the release of the new FOIA data. Pending further data in the future, this UFO “cold case” will for now remain one of the many mysteries of the skies that occasionally still transpire in modern times.