An American Airlines pilot reported seeing "a long, cylindrical object" over New Mexico during a flight from Cincinnati to Phoenix this past weekend. A representative for the Federal Bureau of Investigation says the department is "aware" of the sighting, but refused to say whether the agency was investigating.
"The FBI is aware of the reported incident," representative Frank Connor told CBS News "While our policy is to neither confirm nor deny investigations, the FBI works continuously with our federal, state, local and tribal partners to share intelligence and protect the public. Anyone who is aware of suspicious or criminal activity should contact their local law enforcement agency or the FBI."
At around 1 p.m. CST, a pilot on American Airlines Flight 2292 radioed Albuquerque's Air Route Traffic Control Center, claiming to have spotted a UFO that "almost looked like a cruise missile" and "moving really fast." CBS News received a recording of the transmission, in which the pilot seemed reluctant to describe what he saw.
A Pentagon representative said that the military was not carrying out any aircraft tests that day in the area. The Federal Aviation Administration told CBS News that it was aware of the report but said its air traffic controllers didn't see any objects in the area on their radar scopes.
Last year, the Pentagon officially released footage showing "unidentified aerial phenomena." The Pentagon has had a long history of aerial encounters with unexplained objects as part of a now-defunct operation undertaken at the request of former Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada. The program was launched in 2007 and terminated in 2012 when it was assessed there were higher priorities.
However, in 2017, Luis Elizondo, the former director of the classified program, told CNN he personally believed there was very clear proof that we might not be alone.
Former President Donald Trump during his term called the officially released Pentagon footage a "hell of a video" and told Reuters he wonders "if it's real."