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Mysterious 'UFO' Lights Spotted By Pilots Were 'Celestial Bodies', Astronauts Claim

Anish Vij

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Mysterious 'UFO' Lights Spotted By Pilots Were 'Celestial Bodies', Astronauts Claim

A mysterious 'UFO' sighting has been claimed to be that of 'celestial bodies', according to astronomers.

Now, we've all heard the numerous 'sightings' people have supposedly come up with over the years.

However, if we look back on an intriguing incident, which occurred in 1995, some might say there has been more questions left than answers.

On 25 May, two pilots were on American West flight 564 from Dallas, Texas, to Las Vegas where they said they had a very close encounter with the unidentified object.

Credit: Smithsonian Channel
Credit: Smithsonian Channel

Captain Eugene Tollefson was flying with his co-pilot John Waller when, out of nowhere, a flight attendant spotted something strange in the sky. And no, it wasn't a cloud.

Quite the opposite, as the sighting was that of 'strobe lights' shining in the distance, among the clouds.

Mr Waller was forced to report the object to Air Traffic Control in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to get more information on the lights.

In a transcript of the exchange, Mr Waller said: “Off to our three o’clock, got some strobes out there. Could you tell us what it is?”

When he was asked what he could see, the co-pilot replied: “There’s a strobe and starts… um, going on counter-clockwise, and uh… the length is unbelievable.”

Credit: Smithsonian Channel
Credit: Smithsonian Channel

Strangely, there was no detection of the mysterious aircraft on radar systems as Air Traffic Control called the pilots back, Express reports, saying: “Cactus 564… we checked with Cannon and they don't have any, uh, weather balloons or anything up tonight. 

“Nobody up front knows any idea about that. Do you still see it?”

They replied: “Negative… back where we initially spotted it was between the weather and us and when there's lightning you could see a dark object… and, uh, it was pretty eerie looking.”

20 years later, in the 2015 Smithsonian Channel documentary UFOs Declassified: Pilot Eyewitness, experts tried to analyse the incident and get to the bottom of what actually happened.

Lead astronomer at the SETI Institute Seth Shostak said: “The kinds of things that can fool even, I think, trained pilots are, for example, bright planets.

Credit: Smithsonian Channel
Credit: Smithsonian Channel

“For people who are not paying attention to the night sky very much it’s a little startling.”

The narrator in the documentary went one step further and alleged that it could have been 'celestial bodies'.

He explained: “From 30,000 feet, a distant planet or star can appear to strobe, giving the illusion of the UFO.”

However, professor of Astronomy at York University in Toronto Dr Michael De Robertis said: “There are extensive records of military pilots and commercial pilots seeing things in the sky that are unidentified.

“Some of the brightest stars can give an illusion that they’re strobing, that they’re changing brightness really rapidly.”

He continued: “As much as we respect our commercial and military pilots, part of their training does not include courses in astronomy and astrophysics.

“The sky is filled with apparitions and mystery, but not all of them are UFOs.”

Featured Image Credit: Smithsonian Channel

Topics: UFO

Anish Vij
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