Chicago O'Hare UFO Sightings
In addition to numerous airport and airline workers, many individuals present in the immediate vicinity outside the airport reportedly saw the UFO. One such witness said it resembled a "blatant" disc-shaped spacecraft that was "obviously not clouds." The witness further stated that other bystanders outside the airport gasped in shock when the strange UFO suddenly shot through clouds at a very high speed, thereby creating a big blue gap in the sky. However, the blue hole seemed to seal itself shut very quickly.
Per Chicago Tribune reporter Jon Hilkevitch, the disc-shaped UFO was clearly visible for about two minutes and observed by nearly a dozen United Airlines Flight 446 crewmembers whose job titles ranged from supervisors to pilots. According to Hilkevitch, airline employee who witnessed the event were initially alerted by a sudden frenzy of radio chatter and rushed outside to see what was causing such a big ruckus. Hilkevitch also related that despite a lack of known visual images, a United Airlines pilot might have photographed the aircraft with his digital camera.
United Airlines and United States Federal Aviation Administration official responses
At first, both the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and United Airlines denied having any knowledge of or information about Chicago O'Hare's alleged UFO sighting. However, that cohesive stance of stony silence changed its tune very soon after the Chicago Tribune launched an investigation by filing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. The FAA then ordered a complete internal review of all pre-recorded air traffic control communications tapes. That move by FAA officials was reportedly necessary to comply with the Tribune's FOIA request, which later revealed a phone call from a United Airlines supervisor to an on-site FAA manager at O'Hare regarding the reported UFO incident.
Controversy surrounded FAA officials' final decision
Based on its stated official conclusion that reported UFO sightings resulted from ambient weather conditions, the FFA decided not to investigate the matter any further. However, investigative UFOlogists pointed out that that stance was directly counter to FFA's legal duty to investigate all potential security compromises at U.S. airports. Thus, Chicago's O'Hare UFO Incident was a classic case that cried out for thorough federal investigation. Cited grounds were a large object hovering in plain sight above one of the world's busiest airports that was seen by numerous witnesses, of whom at least one promptly reported it.
Many witnesses who were later interviewed by the Tribune expressed feeling "upset" at FAA officials for declining to further investigate. Nevertheless, Chicago's O'Hare UFO Sighting received widespread coverage by major news media like CNN, NPR, MSNBC and CBS. The History Channel also televised a reenactment of the event titled "Aliens at the Airport" on February 11, 2009.