A remarkable recording recently appeared online featuring a bewildered pilot reporting a UFO sighting over Long Island to an air traffic controller. The intriguing exchange occurred a little less than a month ago, on May 26th, as a man flying a Piper Saratoga cruised at 6,000 feet over the town of Huntington, New York at around 1 PM in the afternoon. On his approach to JFK International Airport, the pilot suddenly spotted something out of the ordinary and radioed air traffic control for assistance.
“I have an object in front of me,” the pilot reports, “and I don’t know what it is.” Sounding somewhat confused, the ATC operator responds, “like a drone or something?” The witness then tells him that he doesn’t think that’s the case because the object is “bigger than a drone.” The incident then gets even stranger as the air traffic reporter tells the pilot that he does not see anything on radar that could account for the literal unidentified flying object.
Nonetheless, the pilot asks for and is granted permission to make a slight left turn, since he would otherwise be heading directly for the object. Once he’s avoided any kind of collision, the man is queried as to what he had just seen and responds that the object has seemingly disappeared behind a cloud, but “definitely something was there.” The confounded controller replies that “we have to assume it was a drone … I don’t know if that’s a safe assumption or not, but that’s what we’ll go by.”
In a testament to the pilot’s honesty and willingness to endure what might come next, he contradicts that assessment by saying, “actually, it looked like it had lights on it.” Confounded by this observation, the ATC operator slowly answers, “that’s really interesting,” confirms again that the object is not on radar, and muses, “I don’t know what to say.” Wrapping up that part of the conversation, the pilot answers with a statement that will ring familiar to UFO enthusiasts everywhere: “I know I’m not delusional.”
One additional aspect of the case comes up shortly thereafter as the air traffic controller contacts the pilot with something of an unsettling-sounding request. He tells the witness that “one of the managers” would like him to, upon landing, call air traffic control to further detail his experience. After the pilot jokes about being in trouble, the ATC operator assures him that he is not, but also includes the somewhat creepy caveat that “they’ll be expecting your phone call.”
Aside from the recording, little is known about what specifically happened on that afternoon in May over Long Island. According to website The Drive, the FAA confirmed that a pilot had encountered a “drone-like object,” but offered no other details about the event. Attempts by the site to obtain the pilots report were met with resistance and the suggestion that they file an FOIA request for it. The entire affair echoes a similar case which took place back in February where audio of two pilots reporting a UFO to air traffic controllers popped up online.