The Airbus A319 Incident And The Mystery Of Spherical UFOs

Marcus Lowth
Published Date
February 2, 2020
Last Updated
October 21, 2021
Estimated Reading Time
24 min read
Posted in
UFOs, Sightings

An apparent UFO sighting in the skies above the United States somewhere between Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Los Angeles in California in March 2004 has all the elements that really should captivate UFO researchers and enthusiasts, even today, a decade and a half after it took place.

A picture of a Swiss plane with two superimposed UFOs in the background

UFOs are often reported by airline pilots

The incident is another that is easily overlooked, especially in the contemporary age of the Internet and wall-to-wall media platforms. However, when we begin to dig through the mountain of UFO reports from around the globe during the period in question, whether from the NICAP database or the NUFORC files and the many others available, we begin to see many others with similar details and a similar nature, some of which stretch back to almost six months previously.

And while these incidents may or may not have a connection to the Airlines Airbus 319 encounter, we will examine some of these other incidents also in the event that patterns are established, either here or later down the line when other incidents come to light or are reexamined once more. Further still, many of these other incidents appear to involve closer encounters with the actual occupants of these strange crafts.

What some of these sightings might also force us to ask, is what makes these apparent spheres or circular objects different to other UFOs – if indeed such a difference exists.

Before we examine some of those other incidents, though, we will turn our attention to the skies over the American northwest during a routine flight to the City of Angels in sunny California.


The Otherwise Routine Flight Of Airlines Airbus A319

It was while the Northwest Airlines Airbus A319 [1] was in the airspace of Minnesota, at around 8 pm on the evening of 25th March 2004, when the air traffic control in Minneapolis received communication from the crew that they could see two unidentified objects approximately 15 miles in front of their position and seemingly traveling in the same direction (and so maintaining this steady cushion).

The plane was traveling at an approximate altitude of 35,000 feet and it appeared the two strange objects were possibly only slightly higher than that. The crew requested any information from the control tower of other air traffic in the area.

However, the response returned that there were no signs of any other aircraft in the plane’s vicinity. They would ask the crew, though, if they were “still seeing the targets” to which they would respond they very much were.

A superimposed UFO on a picture of a plane taking off from the runway at night

Several crew members witnessed the strange objects

Upon focusing on the scene in front of them further, one of the pilots felt he could see two sets of two objects, which, if correct, would mean that four individual, solid crafts were making their way, from the north, in a west, southwest direction to a destination unknown.

The two spherical objects would remain in their sight for approximately a quarter of an hour before eventually vanishing into the distance. While the plane continued its flight with no further incidents, eventually landing as planned in Los Angeles, the air traffic controller would make a report of the incident to the National UFO Reporting Center (NUFORC).

A U-Turn On The Decision To Speak!

The incident would catch the attention of Peter Davenport the NUFORC’s director. So much so, that Davenport would initially arrange to speak with the witness on an upcoming talk radio broadcast. However, before the show could take place, the controller’s supervisor somehow became aware of the impending appearance and would order that the witness not appear on the show and was not to speak of the incident publicly.

While this might be nothing more than a desire to keep such “sensationalist” stories away from a commercial airline so as to avoid any potential negative effects, it also smacks ever so slightly of the way other witnesses, particularly those connected to airlines, have been silenced from telling their stories.

A view of the land from the plane window with a superimposed UFO

Just what did the crew witness that evening?

How many other incidents may have taken place over the years involving professional pilots and crew that we simply don’t know of due to orders from their employers not to speak of the incidents? Would we, for example, be aware of the Airbus A319 incident if the witness had not already made a report of it to Davenport? And of the two pilots? Did they receive similar requests not to speak of the incident?

There are some other intriguing points to consider. For example, upon investigation, the Federal Aviation Administration would reveal that they had reports of sightings from other pilots on the night in question.

All Signs Point To A Credible Account

There was also some intriguing information to be gleaned from the radar data, obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests.

For example, although the pilots believed the object to be around 15 miles from their location, the radar returns would suggest the actual distance was around 40 miles. What’s more, and perhaps of more interest, is the report suggests that at this distance to be still be viewed by the crew visually they must have been of a considerable size. This is perhaps of even more interest when we consider that the data suggests the objects were traveling between three and four times the speed of sound.

What is perhaps also of interest is that the weather data for the night and region in question suggests that the mystery radar returns were not due to any adverse conditions or phenomenon.

The radar data also suggested that the objects were disappearing and reappearing which, in turn, would suggest to skeptics that a nuts-and-bolts vehicle wasn’t present in the skies on the night in question. However, the pilots claimed they maintained visual contact with the object until they finally disappeared into the distance. This detail should force us to ask just how these crafts are traveling through our skies.

What’s more, only hours earlier north of the border in Ontario, Canada, a similar sighting would come to light. We will return to that incident shortly.

Something Decisively Out Of The Ordinary

There were also other points to consider, all of which would essentially provide the sighting with that bit more credibility. And this is on top of the fact that the pilots were trained in aerial sightings, and certainly were knowledgeable in what they may or may not see during their time in the air.

Firstly, the sighting began around half an hour before sunset. This would seemingly dismiss the idea that the sighting was nothing more than Venus, which at the time was in a similar position in the skies along with Mars and Mercury. However, once more, leaving aside the fact that the witnesses were more than trained in how to recognize such heavenly bodies, only Venus would have been visible to the pilots at the time, and only then, only in the minutes at the end of the sighting as the skies began to darken.

A superimposed UFO on a picture of a cockpit view

Sightings of UFOs are reported in airspace around the world.

What’s more, some would point to the (seemingly age-old) explanation that the strange objects were weather balloons. However, once more, this is easily dismissed when we examine the weather conditions, in particular, the wind direction, which would suggest had the objects (of which there were at least two) have actually been a weather balloon, the wind would have blown it toward the pilots and not away from them. Furthermore, it would have also been rising as opposed to traveling in a straight line.

Even the fact that the pilots both clearly claimed the objects were decisively moving away from their location dismisses both the above suggestions.

In short, it would appear that the crew of the Airbus A319 as well as the air traffic controller on duty at the time most definitely experienced something out of the ordinary that March evening in 2004.

A Potentially Chilling And Disturbing Scenario

While there are no official records of such claims, investigations would suggest that, following conversations between air traffic control staff and other pilots that many other incidents had taken place of a similar nature. And while it is speculation on our part here, it is very likely that air traffic control towers and aviation meeting rooms are full of such talk across the United States and around the world.

It would appear following a spate of sightings in 2018 and 2019 that airlines – at least commercial airlines – were beginning to take a new, open and transparent approach when it came to allowing their pilots to speak of such incidents. And this very well may still prove to be the case.

We have to ask, though, how many other sightings might have been withheld from the public arena, still locked in the minds of pilots, military or commercial, who experienced them? We also have to ask just how many more pieces to the UFO and alien puzzle would be placed on the table should such a release of information or encounters were to find itself in the public domain.

A picture of an aerial view of a plane with a superimposed UFO over the top

Some researchers suggest such UFO sightings are increasing

Might we find that sightings of these round or spherical objects – themselves drone-like – are more widespread and persistent than they already appear to be? Perhaps this has always been the case, only now in the Internet era and the “age of information”, documentation of such sightings is in more abundance.

Are these spheres an extension of the disc-like “flying saucer” craft that most associate with claims of UFOs and aliens? Or might we be dealing with another intelligence altogether? One who appears to be conducting extensive research on humanity, and quite possibly, our collective weaknesses and vulnerabilities.

Speculation admittedly, but still a rather chilling and disturbing thought, no less.

Connections To Be Found In Other “Sphere” And “Circular” UFO Sightings?

Whether or not there is a connection or not to the above incident is open to debate, but there are several sightings that occurred around the same time as the Airbus A319 incident, including one that would unfold in the (relatively speaking) exact location only six months earlier.

We start, though, with an incident that took place only hours before the incident over the upper Midwest of the United States, north of the border in Canada.

The Ontario Sighting – An Almost Identical Craft Less Than Two Hours Earlier!

At around 6:20 pm on the evening of 25th March – around 90 minutes before the sighting of the two objects by the Northwest A319 crew [2] – a Toronto resident was walking his dog as he normally would be at that time in each evening. The sound of an airplane caused the dogwalker to look upward. However, due to the clouds, he couldn’t see the passing plane. He did, however, witness “two small spheres” seemingly below this cloud cover moving overhead.

Because the objects were of a dark material, they were perfectly visible against the white backdrop of the clouds. The witness would guess that they were traveling at an altitude of anywhere from 1000 to 8000 feet and were seemingly traveling at the exact same speed given how they maintained the same distance from each other throughout.

A superimposed UFO on a picture of a field at night

Encounters with UFOs in the air go back decades

It was after watching them for several moments that the witness realized that the sound of the airplane had ceased. This also alerted them to the fact that the two objects, whatever they were, were traveling in absolute silence.

The objects would remain in sight for between one to two minutes before disappearing from the witness’s view. He would make note of the details as soon as he returned home and would make a report of the incident the following day, although he was essentially thanked for his information and dismissed.

Whether of consequence or not, records also show that the day following the sighting, on 26th March, NORAD would conduct “classified” military training exercises in the South Dakota and Canada regions. Might these training exercises have provided perfect cover to investigate the region that had recently witnessed such strange aerial activity?

The Bizarre Encounter Of “Mr. MN”

Another sighting (from the files of Albert Rosales) from the Ontario area, this time in Sault Sainte Marie around two weeks previously in the early hours of 12th March is also worth including here. The witness, known as “Mr. MN”, was driving alongside Lake Superior approaching the city when he became aware of a strange “vertical beam of light” near a hill in the distance. He was so engrossed and intrigued by the light that he would bring his car to a stop and exit the vehicle so that he could focus on the strange goings-on with a little more clarity.

He would focus toward the end of the road he was driving on to where the strange beam of light appeared to be coming from. Mr. MN could make out what appeared to be a small, humanoid figure standing still as if waiting for something.

A superimposed UFO on a picture of a sunset sky

Many UFO sightings take place near water

He returned to his car and started the engine. He headed, slowly, in the direction of the light and the strange figure. As he moved forward, the figure appeared to begin floating in the air, eventually transforming into a “transparent, shadow-like entity” that appeared to climb a waiting metal staircase of a nearby building.

As he watched this bizarre scenario unfold, the light reappeared once more, only now it was only 100 feet from his location. He would put the car in motion once again and head toward where the light appeared to be coming from.

When he eventually reached the top of the hill he would discover three “circle-shaped burn markings” on the nearby pavement. As he was examining these strange markings a sound, like a gunshot rang out. When he looked upward, he could see a “bright light shooting up into the stars” and disappearing into the night sky.

An “Unorganized V-Shape” Of Paired Round Lights!

An incident from the files of UFO researcher, Brian Vike on the evening of 9th April 2004 at an unknown location somewhere in Canada, also bears similarly intriguing details to the other cases we will deal with here.

The main witness and their friend (both unnamed) were sitting outside at a little past 9:30 pm watching the stars overhead, in particular, the Big Dipper. It was as they were doing so that they noticed around 10-15 glowing orb-like objects moving through the sky. The witness would describe them as being in an “unorganized V shape” although seemingly under intelligent control.

The witness called out to their friend who turned around just in time to see where he was pointing to. Upon seeing the glowing lights, the second witness jumped up to his feet and walked to the garden fence, not taking his eyes away from the bizarre scene above. The main witness quickly followed.

A superimposed UFO on a picture of a dawn sky

Like the US, Canada has a wealth of UFO reports

As they watched the strange crafts moving toward the north of their location each noted that they moved without making a sound. What’s more, they had a warm, yellow-orange glow to them.

After the objects had vanished, the pair would head inside to quickly sketch what they had seen. When they conducted some basic research online, they were stunned to find that what they had witnessed was almost identical to a recent sighting in Newbury of “egg-shaped objects”.

Perhaps a most intriguing detail the witness included in his correspondence with the NUFORC team is that, according to his research, the color of the crafts are in sympathy with the “speed it is flying”. This is a detail and conclusion that has been arrived at by several other UFO researchers, and would, on the surface, make perfect sense.

Connections To Several Intriguing Incidents In November 2003?

Although it took place around six months previously in November 2003, another sighting, one that resulted in video footage of the craft, once again features an apparent craft that is remarkably similar to the one witnessed by the Northwest crew.

The Ashland Sighting – A “Very Large Dark Disc-Shaped Object!” Over Nebraska

The incident, which took place during the day on 30th November 2003, just might share a connection to the incident that would unfold six months later.

On the day in question, an unnamed married couple was at home when the husband would begin calling out to his wife to come outside to view something strange overhead. When she reached the backyard, she was shocked to see a “very large, dark-colored disc-shaped object” in the cloudy skies.

The couple remained where they were, watching the mysterious craft and noting how every now and then it would move rapidly but “smoothly” before settling down once again. The witness would recall that the object even appeared to hover “on its side” during which a bright light would flash from the craft which was very noticeable below.

As the object began moving away, the husband ran inside so as to retrieve his camcorder. By the time he came back, he found the object overhead and hit the record button. He would manage to record several seconds of footage as the craft made its way into the distance, eventually being blocked by the surrounding trees.

You can check out the video footage below. While it is only several seconds long, it is most certainly intriguing.

A Surge Of Orbs And Spheres Around The World In November 2003?

Following the Ashland sighting, there were several other incidents [3] around the same time specifically of spherical or orb-like objects.

For example, on the evening of 25th November in British Columbia also in Canada, two witnesses would report seeing strange, blue orb-like lights in the sky overhead. On the same evening in Bedfordshire in the United Kingdom, the witness would become aware of a “strange humming” noise coming from overhead. When the witness looked upward they saw several “hovering spherical objects”. What’s more, several moments later military jets arrived overhead causing the ball-like objects to vanish into the distance.

Several weeks later, back in the United States at around 10 pm on the 16th December in Kern County, California, a married couple would report a round “flying saucer” hovering over their home for around half a minute before vanishing into the night sky.

Several weeks later in Tatum, New Mexico, at just after 9 pm on 30th December, an unnamed witness would claim to have seen a “circle of light” hovering over a field before shooting directly upwards into the night sky.

An Egg-Shaped Object “Lit From Within” Over Bournemouth, England

A report from the NUFORC files from Bournemouth in England one evening in late October/early November 2003 is also of particular interest here. On the night in question, at around 9 pm, the witness was returning home to the flat he lived in with his mother from the local shops when he suddenly noticed a bizarre egg-shaped object flying above him.

He would note how the object moved completely silently and appeared to have a “tail of light” behind it. As he stood below in awe at this strange craft moving across the skies, he watched it approach the flats where he lived. Within a few more moments it had vanished out of sight over the tops of the buildings.

A picture of a two superimposed UFOs on lakeside scene at sunset

UFO sightings continue at a steady pace around the world

The witness would then express his difficulty in assessing the true size, speed, and altitude of the object. On the one hand, he would estimate that the object was moving around the same speed as a typical jet and likely at a similar altitude. However, he would also state that if this was the case, given the clarity and detail he could see, the object must have been “the size of a football field”. However, on the other, and after further consideration, he would suggest that the speed was maybe only 10 miles per hour and that “football field-sized” object may actually have been more in line with a typical bus. And what’s more, the object could actually have been only 75 feet above the ground.

The details concerning the lighting are perhaps some of the most intriguing details. The witness would describe how it appeared to be “lit from within” but “not transparent”. The glow changed from a white-yellow color to a warmer orange. The glow, as opposed to being a tool for illumination would remind the witness of something being “superheated”.

From Wakefield To Corsica – Circular Discs And Lights Reports Continue

Around the same time as the above sighting, also in the United Kingdom in Wakefield in Yorkshire, a mother and son would witness a bizarre aerial anomaly while driving home. It was around 6 pm on the 16th of November when the pair were driving under the dark skies of the early evening. Suddenly, out of nowhere a large “bright red light” appeared while at the same time a “loud humming noise” filled their ears.

They would bring their vehicle to a stop and concentrate on the activity taking place above them. They would recall that the light was moving “very slowly” and that it was obvious that the sound was emanating from the object itself. The witnesses would watch the bizarre glow for several more moments before setting out on their way once more, eventually losing sight of it.

Only hours earlier on the same day in Corsica, a guest staying at Le Royal Hotel witnessed several bright “circular disc-shaped objects” as he looked out on the Mediterranean town from his second-floor balcony window at around 6 am. The witness, serving at the time as a teacher on the USS Emory S Land for the United States Navy would count at least 12 objects in total, each of which would traverse the skies in pairs as opposed to solo. They also appeared to swoop down toward a cove of water along the coast.

Perhaps the presence of water and the apparent attention to it by these strange crafts should not surprise us too much when we reconsider the point that a larger proportion of UFO incidents than not take place near or over large bodies or reserves of water.

Yellow-White Orbs On Both Sides Of The Atlantic

Five nights later, at around 7 pm on the 21st November in Snappertuna in Finland, a very similar incident would unfold. The witness was driving along the road with their children in the back seat when they suddenly noticed two strange lights come into view from over the treetops that lined the road.

As the craft came closer over the car, the witnesses could see that the lights appeared to be connected to a much larger object. By the time they had brought the vehicle to a stop, the object and the lights had vanished into the pitch-black sky.

A superimposed UFO on a picture of city at night

Are orb-like objects being seen more?

Perhaps just to demonstrate how far-reaching these sightings of round, orb-like lights were during this time period we should quickly note a report from Montevideo in Uruguay on 25th November when two “red, circular” objects were witnessed moving across the skies overhead.

Only three nights later in Didsbury in Canada, three white-yellow orb-like lights were reported by a local resident. The witness would claim to have watched the strange glowing objects for around three minutes. They then simply “blinked out” in unison. As he watched them, he noticed that the three lights would move independently of each other, suggesting they were each a separate object and not part of a larger craft.

Multiple Witnesses Of “Professionals” See Bright Flashing Lights Over Nottingham

A sighting of bright, circular lights occurred the following day, in the middle of the afternoon, no less, over Nottingham in the United Kingdom. The witness was driving on the M1 motorway at around 30 minutes past noon on 30th November when “five intensely bright flashing lights” appeared in the skies overhead.

As well as the main witness (who was driving the vehicle), his wife and three other passengers were also in the car. After his wife spotted the lights and alerted her husband to them, the three passengers in the back seat of the moving vehicle also viewed them. In this instance – and a detail that is indeed unique compared to the others we have examined here – the witnesses would claim to see a “white light flashing on and off at a slow pace” during the sighting.

The witness would reiterate how bright the objects and the flashing lights had to have been in order that they could see them clearly, despite the skies being particularly bright and sunny.

A superimposed UFO over a black tree at night

Many UFO witnesses are viewed as very credible

As the car carried on down the M1, the passengers would wind their windows down in order to get a better look at the strange objects. As they did so, they noticed other road users and their passengers doing the same thing. They would remain visible for around five minutes before eventually disappearing from view.

Although the group was apprehensive about reporting the incident (due to them all holding “professional” positions) they would ultimately make a report to the National UFO Reporting Center. In it, which is perhaps a point of interest, they expressed their surprise that no news stories or coverage, even at a local level, existed.

Shadowy Figures Below A Large Round Object

One of the strangest incidents during this period also comes from the United Kingdom, and on this occasion, also features a brief encounter with the apparent occupants of these strange ball-like crafts.

At around midnight one early December evening in 2003, an unnamed 25-year-old man was making his way home on foot from his girlfriend’s home in Longbridge. As he was walking past a park that was on his route, he noticed a strange “mechanical” humming sound, similar to an idle car engine. He stared into the park area and noticed strange lights moving behind the trees.

He made his way toward the lights and upon peering through a gap in the trees could see a “large round object” in a clearing, hovering around five feet in the air. The sphere appeared metallic and it was obvious that the humming sound was coming from the hovering ball. It was as he was taking in as much detail as he could of the object that he first noticed the “shadowy figures” below it.

He turned his attention to these strange entities, noting how their arms and heads were too long and too large for their frames. As he was studying them, he suddenly felt a surge of fear run through him. A second later, the figures all turned toward him as one. As they did, he could see clearly how large and black their eyes were.

“You Didn’t See Anything, Did You?”

Now beyond terrified, he would turn and run out of the back and out into the road. A black car pulled up at the same time, its driver seemingly halting to see what the matter was with this obviously distressed man. However, when the man staggered over to the car, the driver, dressed in a dark suit offered to him that “you didn’t see anything, did you?” It was spoken more like an order than a question.

The witness would gather his thoughts as best he could and make his way home. He would make a report to the police, but they were largely dismissive of the incident and offered only that no other reports had been made.

As a quick side-thought, the inclusion of what would appear to be a visit from the Men In Black is an interesting notion. What should we make of such claims? Does it discredit this particular account or merely add another layer of interest to it?

And if so, does that suggest a secret, covert government involvement in these and other UFO sightings? Or are these entities themselves of an extraterrestrial or ultra dimensional origin?

A Truly Bizarre Account From Ivanovo

Another intriguing globe-like sighting comes to us from Chronometer Magazine regarding an incident from Ivanovo in Russia on 1st January 2004. As they had only had a little champagne to celebrate the new year, the main witness, along with two friends, put on their coats and decided to take a quick walk around the streets to soak in the festivities taking place.

However, as they were doing so they noticed a “large orange sphere” that was not only overhead but appeared to be heading toward them. What’s more, it was descending as it did so. The three witnesses stared in fascination and nervousness at the object before one of them suddenly noticed that a strange humanoid figure – that appeared to have a snout in place of a nose – was watching them from several yards away.

A superimposed UFO on a picture of the countryside at dawn

Are aliens the intelligence behind these strange craft?

Even more bizarre, however, was what happened next. The strange figure, which appeared to be smiling at the group menacingly, suddenly turned around. When it did so, though, it appeared to be completely flat. The witness would later state it appeared as though “it had been run over by an asphalt roller”.

Suddenly, an “invisible wave” hit the man sending him falling to the ground as if he had been physically pushed. He appeared to black out momentarily as the next thing he knew the figure nor the glowing orange sphere were no longer there. Even stranger, while his two friends saw the glowing sphere, they couldn’t recall it disappearing. Nor did they see the strange “flat” humanoid”.

This particular account has many insinuations that these spherical crafts, and perhaps even the occupants are not as real – at least as we might understand the word – as we think they are. We will come back to this shortly.

A Merging Of Realities?

Interestingly or not, on the same day, several hours later at 4 pm in Rome in Italy, a witness would claim to have seen a “strange object resembling a wedge without wings” in the skies over the city. What’s more, the object shined several different tones of bright orange. The account comes from the files of the researcher, Roberto Malini.

The anonymous witness would watch the object as it made its way overhead before it suddenly stopped and hovered in one place. Then, at a blistering pace, it vanished into the distance in a matter of seconds.

The most intriguing aspect of this encounter, however, would occur several hours later while the witness was laying on his bed. He suddenly realized that he couldn’t move, even though he was perfectly aware of his surroundings. Strangest and most unnerving of all, however, was a strange creature with large, black eyes and green skin seemingly standing over him. Even stranger, he could hear a strange “mechanical” buzzing or humming sound all around him. Just as he regained control of his limbs, the creature disappeared, and he was back in his room as normal.

What is perhaps interesting with this account is that it suggests an abduction scenario but one that takes place while the victim – at least their physical form – remains where they are. It might even suggest a bizarre merging of realities by technology or other means not available to us, for the sake of the examination before the two realms are separated again.

Other “Sphere-Like” UFOs on Record Throughout History!

While we can’t go through every single UFO sighting that has featured a sphere or orb-like UFO here, it is also worth noting that such sightings have occurred since the beginning of the modern UFO era. For example, in our article looking at the Nils Frost photograph, we looked at a sighting of a spherical object in 1952 during Operation Mainbrace.

Four years later, off the coast of Cleethorpes on England’s northeast coast, a huge, glass-like sphere, around 80 feet across, was witnessed hovering for over an hour. The object was also picked up on radar at nearby RAF Manby. Records show that RAF fighters were even scrambled in an attempted intercept mission. However, when they arrived the mysterious craft disappeared into the distance at a pace too great for the planes to keep up.

We might also wish to note that two of the most famous mass UFO sightings from history – the incidents from Nuremberg in Germany and Basel in Switzerland in 1561 and 1566 respectively which also featured reports and descriptions of decisively round and sphere-like objects.

This, then, suggests that whatever they are, they have either been coming here for hundreds of years, or that they are perhaps traveling not across the great distances of space, but through the reaches of time itself. It is certainly an interesting notion and one that must be kept on the collective backburner of the UFO community in our attempts to get to the truth of the UFO and alien question.

Around a century later in Robozero in Russia in August 1663, almost the entire community witnessed a “great ball of fire” seemingly circling and swooping over the village.

Before that, check out the video on the 1561 incident which featured spherical UFO craft.

The Iran-America Connection

However, in more recent times of the early twenty-first century, there are several other very similar encounters worth noting. In fact, one particular report coming out of Iran may suggest a discreet intelligence involvement.

According to an article in Forbes, [4] using the respected Combat Aircraft Monthly as its source, would state that Iranian Air Force F-14 fighter jets had engaged in attempts to intercept and down “aircraft that didn’t seem very Earth-like”. What’s more, it was the Iranian military’s belief that these bizarre crafts were “spy drones” attempting to obtain photographs of the country’s nuclear facilities.

The report would state that these bizarre but advanced aerial vehicles “displayed astonishing flight characteristics”. These would include, perhaps most impressively, “an ability to fly outside the atmosphere” while being able to obtain a maximum cruise speed of Mach 10 as well as the ability to stop dead and “hover over the target”.

A superimposed UFO over a river at dawn

Are at least some UFOs actually secret military intelligence?

Perhaps most interestingly was the claims that these suspected intelligence drones “used powerful ECM” which would “jam energy radars”. Furthermore, they would do so by “using very high levels of magnetic energy” which would “disrupt navigation equipment”.

All of these details would sit nicely in many UFO reports. Might it be, then, that many UFO sightings, particularly ones of a spherical, glowing nature are, in fact, secretive United States intelligence drones? And if so, how does that explain the advance and futuristic nature of such aerial spying devices? Might they, as many UFO and conspiracy researchers claim, have their origins in recovered and back-engineered technology?

Deadly Intercept Missions Over Iranian Nuclear Facilities

The article would continue to highlight several other intriguing and disturbing encounters.

For example, in November 2004 when a glowing, spherical object was witnessed hovering over the Arak nuclear plant, an F-14 was scrambled to intercept the object and was approaching it shortly after take-off. However, as it attempted to lock its onboard radar onto the mysterious object, the equipment suddenly began to malfunction as if something was causing some kind of disruption to it.

The pilot would recall that as well as being spherical in shape, it appeared to have a “green afterburner” which caused “considerable turbulence” around it. The object, whatever it was, then disappeared in an instant.

A superimposed UFO over the water at dawn

UFOs appear to have a particular interest in nuclear facilities

Eight years later, though, things turned decisively more deadly. This time, as a similar object was spotted heading toward the Bushehr nuclear facility, again an F-14 was scrambled to intercept it. However, only seconds after leaving the runway, the jet exploded. Both pilots were killed instantly and there has been no official cause for the incident.

The above accounts and more importantly here, the accusations made don’t take that much of a stretch of the imagination to believe them. However, a piece of footage that would enter the public arena several years later, followed by an apparent admission by the United States military that they “didn’t know” what was behind these crafts forces us to view such events from yet another revised perspective.

Denial Of Knowledge By US Navy – Genuine Concern? Or Disinformation?

While it is famous now, inside and outside of the UFO community, the piece of footage showing a spherical object released showing the United States Navy air pilot’s encounter with a mysterious sphere-like object in 2017 is also worth mentioning here. Especially in light of the account above.

The Navy would ultimately comment on the footage, and state that they too were unaware of the nature or source of these “Unidentified Aerial Phenomena” – a term that the Navy used to reference these strange crafts. While some would suggest that such an admission was merely disinformation in order to throw people away from the fact the military knew more than it was letting on, many others saw this admission as a first tentative step to transparency and possibly even disclosure on the subject.

Of course, if this admission is indeed true, then what were the Iranian military shooting in our accounts above? And are these strange spherical crafts the same that have been reported in the many other UFO encounters across the decades, but certainly, it would appear, increasingly in the 2000s and beyond.

While this admission certainly doesn’t automatically endorse the notion that these strange sphere-like crafts are extraterrestrial in nature, it doesn’t rule it out either. And if we accept that they are of terrestrial origin but not an aerial device of the United States, then what does that say about the real balance of power in the contemporary world?

What if these strange crafts are of alien intelligence? Are these merely drones gathering information and intelligence? And if so, for what purpose or end game? Should the increase in spherical sightings, bearing in mind the alleged admission from the Americans that they are not theirs, concern us all somewhat?

Very Similar Sighting Over Columbia, January 2020

Of course, even though the United States Navy – just one branch of the military – claim that they are unaware as to the nature of these unidentified anomalies, it doesn’t automatically mean that departments in other military branches, or more specifically, intelligence departments are also. And while it very well may (and perhaps even likely will) prove to the case that such bizarre activity is beyond the understanding of all such government departments, we need to remain alert enough to consider the possibility. Perhaps particularly as these sightings are continuing today.

In fact, one of the first UFO sightings of the 2020s took place in similar circumstances to the Northwest A319 incident in late-January of that year. The pilots of a Viva Air flight would report – and capture footage of – two spherical or cube-like objects seemingly traveling alongside their plane.

Many UFO enthusiasts were impressed with the footage, with some observers stating that if genuine, it could prove to be some of the clearest video of these strange, aerial anomalies. And if it does prove to be genuine, authentic footage, are these the same strange objects that featured in the A319, as well as the many incidents that would follow it and that proceeded it?

Before we turn our attention back to the skies of northwest America and the incident involving the Northwest Airlines A319 flight, you can check out the short video of that footage below.

Many Things To Contemplate

Perhaps one interesting detail to note is how the bright spheres often appear to be some kind of distraction aid. For example, on several occasions where a close encounter with the presumed occupant has transpired, the witness is often preoccupied with the ball-like crafts only to then notice that the occupants have seemingly appeared out of nowhere. Is this a purposeful act? Again, it is purely a random speculative thought, but one worth noting should such details crop up in other accounts.

Perhaps another point to consider, specifically in relation to the 2004 incident in Ivanovo in Russia, is that these spherical crafts and their occupants are the result of some kind of technology, with the aim being, once again to create some kind of distraction.

A superimposed UFO on a picture of a river at sunset

What might the intelligence be behind these continued sightings?

What is particularly interesting here are the legends of a race of beings who live deep within the Earth and have done since antiquity. Many of the legends associated with this mystery race of entities revolve around ancient flying machines – some of which are disc-shaped but some of which are most definitely round – and the ability to create illusions from deep within the Earth to the upper world and the inhabitants on the surface – essentially, us.

This is an extremely intriguing consideration. Not only would it perhaps begin to shine a light on the realities of the UFO and alien question (in theory), but it might also begin to show that many legends, folklore, and tales from antiquity have more basis in reality than we might suspect. Many such fairytales, for example, feature the protagonist being taken to an underground lair by a beastly monster or shadowy entity.

If there was any truth in such considerations, our history, present, and future would be decisively different.

Will These Spherical Sightings Continue And What Is The Endgame?

The incident involving the Northwest flight is likely a genuine and credible case. And one that is intriguing for several different reasons. Not least that it appears there has been an effort made somewhere to ensure that the pilots and the air traffic controller don’t speak of the incident (despite the initial report of the air traffic controller).

What we know of the incident comes due to the Freedom of Information Act and the piecing together of different reports and pieces of public information. Is there nothing more to tell of the case? Or is there more information waiting to be revealed that would put the incident in yet a different light?

Also, should we pay attention to the NATO operations taking place at the time? And if so, what connection might they have had to the sightings? And what about the similar sightings that stretched back to November 2003? Is there a connection to them, and if so, what? What might we find if were to keep pushing that time frame wider and wider? Would we begin to see further connections over a much longer period?

As ever, there are more questions than answers regarding the incident. And it would appear likely to remain that way for the foreseeable future. Will more spherical sightings continue as the 2020s unfold? Or perhaps these strange objects will usher in a new era in UFO sightings. One that pushes us collectively toward the real reason such incidents are happening in the first place.

Check out the video below. It looks at the risks to pilots when they report a UFO sighting.


1 Analysis of Airline Pilot UFO Sighting, UFOs Northwest
2 Man Spots Two Spheres Following Airplane, Toronto, Ontario, UFOs Northwest
3 The 2003 UFO Chronology, NICAP
4 Did Iranian Fighters Battle UFOs?, Michael Peck, Forbes, January 14th, 2014

Marcus Lowth

Marcus Lowth is a writer with a love for UFOs, aliens, and the Ancient Astronaut Theory, to the paranormal, general conspiracies, and unsolved mysteries. He has been writing and researching with over 20 years of experience.

Marcus has been Editor-in-Chief for several years due to his excellent knowledge in these fields. Marcus also regularly appears as an expert on radio talk shows including Troubled Minds and Unexplained Radio discussing these topics.

Read Marcus' full bio.

You can contact Marcus via email.

Fact Checking/Disclaimer

Fact Checking

The stories, accounts, and discussions in this article may go against currently accepted science and common beliefs. The details included in the article are based on the reports, accounts and documentation available as provided by witnesses and publications - sources/references are published above.

We do not aim to prove nor disprove any of the theories, cases, or reports.  You should read this article with an open mind and come to a conclusion yourself.  Our motto always is, "you make up your own mind".  Read more about how we fact-check content here.

Copyright & Republishing Policy

The entire article and the contents within are published by, wholly-owned and copyright of UFO Insight.  The author does not own the rights to this content. 

You may republish short quotes from this article with a reference back to the original UFO Insight article here as the source. You may not republish the article in its entirety.

Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to our free newsletter and join our subscribers. Receive the latest articles directly in your inbox weekly.

If you don't like what you read, you can unsubscribe at any time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *