The Multi-Pilot-Witness Canadian Prairies UFO Sighting

Marcus Lowth
Published Date
March 8, 2024
Estimated Reading Time
8 min read
Posted in
UFOs, Sightings

Sightings of UFOs involving professional airline pilots are often regarded as very credible, both because of the experience these professional pilots have in aviation, and because of the risk to their reputations for speaking of such sightings. In the early hours of a January morning in 2024, not only did one airline pilot witness something strange over the skies of Canada, but several did. And what’s more, the audio of the exchanges between the pilots and the control tower has been made public and makes for fascinating listening.

Just what was witnessed during those early hours remains open to debate. And while some explanations have been put forward, the vast majority of the witnesses to those strange events remain convinced that what they saw was not a conventional aircraft or some naturally occurring phenomenon.

Furthermore, as we shall explore later, this sighting is just one of several to have been reported over the Canadian skies in the opening weeks of 2024 – a region that has had more than its fair share of UFO sightings over the decades. Furthermore, only hours later over the United States, another airline crew reported almost identical lights over Memphis. Whatever was witnessed that evening, it would appear to have been something quite out of the ordinary.

“Lots Of Active Bright Lights In Formation!”

According to reports from the Transport Canada database (CADORS), beginning at around 4:20 am in the early hours of January 19th, 2024, several pilots in different aircraft reported strange lights in the skies over the Canadian Prairies. [1] And what’s more, the exchange between the pilots and the air traffic control was recorded and released into the public arena.

The recording begins with the pilot of the Morningstar 70-62 plane if there was “any active military in the airspace just north of Winnipeg”, to which they were informed there was nothing they were aware of. The pilot then went on to describe “lots of active bright lights in formation” – three of them in total at an approximate altitude of 50,000 feet.

When the control tower asked the pilot to confirm what he was seeing, he responded that there were around “three to four really bright lights, and then they kind of form like a triangle formation, and then they look like the Little Dipper for a bit, and then they disappear, and then they come back”.

It is clear from the recording that the air traffic controller is truly perplexed by what the pilot is relaying to him. And the events that morning would only get stranger.

They Keep “Flying Away And Coming Back!”

Following this initial exchange, air traffic control began contacting other aircraft to see if they had seen flashing lights also. Around 10 minutes later, another aircraft (identifying as Air Canada 70-86) reported seeing an “aircraft” with strange “flashing lights” directly ahead of them. What’s more, these lights were also reported as “forming triangles (then) flying away and coming back”, adding that it was “pretty odd”.

At this point, air traffic control confirmed this was the second sighting of the exact same aerial display. It was clear that something strange was in the skies that morning. A short time later, Cargojet 591 requested information concerning “some sort of flashing lights somewhere over the prairies, perhaps in a triangle shape”.

A potential explanation was offered by a crew member from Air Canada 328, who stated they had also seen the lights, and wondered if they were “just like a reflection from the sun” as they “matched the heading of the position of the sun”. He continued that they viewed the lights for around an hour, and they appeared to “move up as they moved east”, which made him further contemplate if they were a reflection of the sun. However, the pilot also offered the caveat to this statement that this was “a wild guess” and that whatever the light display was it “looks quite spectacular and weird”.

“It’s Quite Bizarre!”

The control tower put the suggestion of the pilot from Air Canada 328 to the crew of Air Canada 70-86. The pilot responded that while he was “certainly no expert”, he disagreed with the assessment, offering that “they’re moving side-to-side and then going away from each other and then forming triangles”, adding “that doesn’t really seem like they’re in any type of orbit”.

Next in the audio, we hear the control tower contact Flair 600, asking them if they were still seeing the strange lights they had also reported earlier. They responded that they were, stating, “It’s quite bizarre. There’s around six of them just randomly in formation flying at a high altitude”.

What is also interesting is that during these exchanges, one of the pilots asks the control tower what procedures they have for reporting these sightings, to which the operator states that they will be filed with the shift manager and then it would be up to them if he makes any further reports.

To this, the pilot asks if the control tower will be reporting the sightings as a “UFO”, to which they respond the shift manager will be shown the exact report made by the respective pilots and then they will take any further action for there. From this, we can see how easy it would be – and perhaps is and has been – for UFO sightings to be simply “lost” in the mountain and data of information concerning modern aviation.

They’re “Definitely Not Satellites!”

In total, at least four separate aircraft reported the aerial anomalies between 4:20 am and 6 am that January morning. All of them stated that whatever the lights were, they were much higher than their aircraft, with one pilot estimating they were around 100,000 feet. Judging from where many of the planes that made reports were in the sky, it was estimated that the lights were between 80 to 90 miles away and seemed to be heading east.

Also of interest was the admission by two other aircrews also in the air that evening that while they hadn’t seen anything strange that particular night, they had “been seeing those lights for probably the last 18 months or so”. This pilot also offered that the descriptions of the movement of the lights matched what they had seen previously, stating that they “sometimes make a triangle, sometimes they make a diamond and square”, elaborating further that these lights were “always eastbound and always at the 11 or 12 o’clock” position. Interestingly, another pilot offered they had also witnessed the light previously, but only in the west, which perhaps suggests that it was not some kind of natural phenomenon.

Ultimately, everyone concerned that morning was left somewhere between enthralled and perplexed.

The pilot on a Morningstar Air Express cargo flight from Calgary to Toronto offered that what they had seen was “definitely not satellites”, adding that they were “unlike anything I’ve ever seen in the 15 years of night flying”. [2] Another witness, an air traffic controller stated that there was “no active airspace, military airspace, or anything like that we’re aware of”, stating they “honestly have no idea what that might be”.

Strange Objects Moving At “Very High Speed!”

Midway through the events, a shift change takes place in the control tower, with the new operator having been tasked with filling out a form of the sightings by her shift manager. She begins to ask the pilots the questions, and their responses make for fascinating listening.

The operator begins by asking for a “brief description of the sighting: number, size, shape, etc.”. One of the pilots responds that “multiple different points of light would be the way we would describe this”, adding “sometimes there were three, sometimes there were six, sometimes there was just some individual lights just flying at random intervals”, before stating “there’s no specific numbers”.

The operator asked the pilot where the object was in the sky when they first noticed it, to which they responded it was “at our 12 o’clock or 11 o’clock side, and it looked pretty high up”. The pilot offered an approximate altitude for the lights of between 70,000 to 100,000 feet.

In response to the “direction of movement of the object”, the same pilot stated that the movement was “so random, (and) all over the place”. He continued that “at times I saw three lights in a triangle formation just flying in a random movement up and down, left, right, all over the place”. With regards to the speed of the object (or lights), the pilot stated that as far as they could see “they were moving at a very fast pace and (in) all directions, very, very high speed”.

You can listen to the 13-minute audio clip from Transport Canada’s online aviation database below. In reality, this recording was around two hours long but has been condensed for ease of listening and continuity.

A Further Sighting Over Memphis Hours Later

Just under two and a half hours later, at around 8:20 am just north of Birmingham, Alabama in the United States, pilots reported very similar lights. Audio of the exchange between the pilots was put into the public domain courtesy of the Memphis Air Traffic Control radio feed.

The audio begins with one of the pilots asking if others can see the strange lights that seem to be to the west of the plane. These lights were “in formation”, were “real bright” and were “really high”. Furthermore, the lights appeared to be in the same location “intermittently and then they split into different directions and then come back in”. One of the pilots even quips, albeit slightly tongue-in-cheek, that it’s “aliens”.

The controler then asks where the lights are located to which the pilot responds that they are coming out of the west and that there are “multiple lights”. When it is suggested to the pilots that they could be witnessing Starlink satellites, they responded that they didn’t believe so simply because “Starlink doesn’t flash”.

Whether these lights were the same as those witnessed over Canada several hours earlier or not remains open to debate. It would, however, certainly seem likely. And if that is the case, it would appear that something highly strange and unusual was making it way over the North American continent during the early hours of January 19th, 2024.

You can listen to just over 60 seconds of that audio exchange below.

Only One Of Many Sightings Over Canada

It is also worth drawing attention to two other UFO sightings in the opening weeks of 2024 in the Canadian skies.

At around 2:25 am in the early hours of January 5th, for example, over Ontario, a Porter Airlines plane on its way from Toronto to Edmonton reported seeing two or three “erratic moving lights” above their aircraft. [3] The pilots also reported some kind of laser interference during the incident.

Just over a week later during the evening of January 13th, a Federal Express Corporation Boeing 777-200 on its way from Anchorage to Oakland, California in the United States reported a strange object while over British Columbia. [4]

We might remember, that these are just two sightings that were witnessed and reported by professional pilots. There will be many others that have been reported by witnesses on the ground, and more still that have, at least so far, gone unreported entirely.

Just What Did Those Pilots See?

The Canadian Prairies incident is intriguing not only because the witnesses are all highly trained pilots and knowledgeable in aviation, but because the audio feed gives a remarkable insight into the demeanor of the witnesses as the sighting was taking place, as well as the detail they offered.

That multiple professional pilots witnessed something strange that night is surely without doubt. Perhaps especially so when we consider that at least two other pilots stated that although they didn’t witness the strange lights that particular night, they had seen identical light formations themselves on previous occasions. And not just on one occasion, but several.

Furthermore, we know that Canada – much like many areas of North America – is awash with UFO reports, and has been for many decades. It should not surprise us, then, that pilots might see these strange aerial anomalies regularly. We might wonder how many other sightings have gone unreported, either to the general public or even at all.

Could there be a “rational” scientific explanation for these particular sightings that early morning in January 2024? Or is it just another example of the realities of the UFO mysteries, which highlights just how little we, the general public, actually know about this bizarre if thought-provoking phenomenon?

The video below is a news report on the sighting.


1 CADORS: Report 2024C0262
2 Pilots describe ‘bizarre’ lights and ‘triangles’ over Canada in air traffic control audio, CTV News
3 CADORS Report 2024O0029
4 CADORS Report 2024P0111

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.

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