Chicago O’Hare UFO Sighting

Disc-shaped object hovering above gate C17 at Chicago O’Hare International Airport

The O’Hare UFO sighting occurred on November 7, 2006, when witnesses reported a disc-shaped object hovering above gate C17 at Chicago O’Hare International Airport. At approximately 16:15 CST, federal authorities at Chicago O’Hare International Airport received a report that a group of twelve airport employees were witnessing a metallic, saucer-shaped craft hovering over Gate C-17.

The object was first spotted by a ramp employee pushing back[1] United Airlines Flight 446, departing Chicago for Charlotte, North Carolina. The employee apprised Flight 446’s crew of the object above their aircraft. The object was also witnessed by pilots, airline management, and mechanics.

No air traffic controllers saw the object, which did not appear on the radar. (Freedom of Information Act released a transcript of the Air Traffic Controller’s phone report to the FAA).

  • Ramp Mechanic – Standing beside B737 at C17 (
  • Aviation Mechanic – Left Cockpit seat in B-777 taxiing on Alpha
  • Aviation Mechanic – Right Cockpit seat ( as above)
  • Supervisor – Outside at Gate B5
  • Ramp Mechanic – Near C17
  • Supervisor – Near B5
  • Captain B737-500 – Near C17
  • First Officer B737-500 – Near C17
  • Aviation Mechanic – International Terminal ramp area

There were also witnesses that weren’t airport employees. One came forward after seeing the news coverage but asked to remain anonymous, She said that she was with a group of people who saw the same reported disc. When it shot upward some of the crowd gasped in disbelief that it was moving so fast. She also said that you could see the blue sky through the hole it made in the clouds on ascension.

The object was described as being dark gray, about six feet in diameter, and without any visible means of propulsion or navigation. Witnesses claimed that the object remained stationary for several minutes before shooting straight up through the clouds, leaving a hole in the cloud cover.

Despite the numerous witnesses and the potential implications of an unidentified object appearing in one of the busiest airports in the world, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) did not investigate the incident, claiming that it did not pose a safety threat to air traffic. United Airlines initially denied that any such incident occurred, but later acknowledged that it had received reports from employees and that it was cooperating with the FAA’s investigation.

The incident gained significant media attention and renewed interest in the subject of UFOs. Some UFO researchers and enthusiasts believe that the Chicago O’Hare incident is one of the most credible and significant UFO sightings in recent history.

However, skeptics have pointed out that the witnesses did not have a clear view of the object and that it is possible that the sighting was a misidentification of a conventional aircraft, a weather phenomenon, or a reflection in the window. Additionally, the lack of an official investigation and the FAA’s initial dismissal of the incident has raised questions about the transparency and accountability of government agencies when it comes to UFO sightings.

  1. Airlines pushback is when an aircraft is pushed back from its gate or parking position using a specialized pushback tractor. This is typically done to prepare the aircraft for departure, allowing it to taxi to the runway for takeoff. During pushback, the pushback tractor is attached to the nose gear of the aircraft, and the tractor’s driver uses controls to steer the aircraft backward while also maintaining its position on the ground. Once the aircraft has been pushed back far enough, its engines can be started, and it can taxi to the runway for takeoff. [Back]

Further Reading

  • Clark, J. (2007). The O’Hare Airport Incident: A Case for Official Inquiry?. Journal of UFO Studies, 14, 1-26.
  • Kean, L. (2010). UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and Government Officials Go on the Record. Crown.
  • MUFON. (n.d.). Chicago O’Hare International Airport UFO Sighting. Retrieved from
  • “UFO Hunters” History
  • “The Most Credible UFO Sightings and Encounters in Modern History, According to Research”- Newsweek
  • “2006 O’Hare International Airport UFO sighting” – Wikipedia

Author: Doyle

I was born in Atlanta, moved to Alpharetta at 4, lived there for 53 years and moved to Decatur in 2016. I've worked at such places as Richway, North Fulton Medical Center, Management Science America (Computer Tech/Project Manager) and Stacy's Compounding Pharmacy (Pharmacy Tech).

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