Results of NARCAP Investigation
concerning a UFO incident at
O'Hare International Airport (USA)
November 7, 2006
In CUFOS International UFO Reporter (volume 31, number 3) an account was published concerning a detailed investigation into a UFO incident which occurred on November 7, 2006, at approximately 4:15 pm at O'Hare International Airport. What follows is a rough, reduced version summary of some of the principal points from that investigation by NARCAP (National Aviation Reporting Center on Anomalous Phenomena) performed by a nine person team, led by Dr. Richard F. Haines, Chief Scientist. I am publishing portions of it here to give all people worldwide a chance to read something they might possibly not see otherwise due to computer or software limitations.
It is very important to note that, to get the full details of the investigation, one must read the actual NARCAP report in that CUFOS issue, or directly at the NARCAP website. (direct link to report - as long as it remains at this address. Adobe pdf reader required.)
N.B. A jc: preceeding any comment denotes an interjection by this researcher.
Also, some of the report's information was collected by Jon Hilkevitch, Chicago Tribune transportation writer who also interviewed witnesses. Jon was tipped off to this event by Peter Davenport of NUFORC (National UFO Reporting Center) because some of the witnesses came to him first.
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THE CAUSE OF THE INVESTIGATION
An object had hovered over the O'Hare airport concourse at United Airlines gate C17. It could not be identified by witnesses as any known craft. One United Airlines officer who observed it from almost directly below for approximately five minutes described it as "a dirty-aluminum color, very stable, and without any optical distortions near it" . . . it was "perfectly round and silent." The object, what ever it was, appeared to have punched a "sharp-edged hole" through cloud cover when it left. There was an almost perfect cut-out (of clear air) in the cloud layer where the craft had been. It is estimated the hole remained visible for approximately five to ten minutes. The investigative team interviewed witnesses, determined angles of viewing, were able to figure the height and diameter of the phenomenon since it had been under the cloud cover, listened to airport recorded tapes (i.e. conversations regarding the object), checked records from a number of radars for that time period, noted the total meteorological conditions, compared what effect any other propeller or jet airplane would have had on those same clouds, and performed various scientific computations to attempt to ascertain what the object might have been. (or, to at least eliminate what it definitely could not have been.)
The following three paragraphs are from NARCAP's summary and conclusions section. Below that, and in some cases linked directly to items in those paragraphs, is additional information concerning same. I am once again reminding the reader here that the original NARCAP report (same link previously given) contains the full witness testimonies and the complete details of investigative procedures followed, which ultimately led to the release of NARCAP'S summative statement immediately below. What follows is merely a basic overview.
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"This investigation, based upon the testimony of multiple eyewitnesses in different locations at O'Hare International Airport, has determined that a solid object on the order of 22 feet in diameter hovered over the United Airlines concourse area for at least 10 minutes, but was not detected either by radar or visually by air traffic controllers in the tower. For this reason, the object is considered a definite potential threat to flight operations at O'Hare.
Calculations have been presented which suggest that the UAP (Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon) above Gate C17 possessed a high-energy density that produced a hole in the cloud layer as it rose through it. If the UAP was only 6.8 m (22 feet) in diameter, the power it would require to evaporate all the water droplets within a cloud column 300 meters long (assuming a vertical velocity of 300m/sec) in one second would be approximately 100 megawatts (MW). By comparison, the steady-state power consumption of a B747 airplane cruising at about 0.9 Mach is approximately 60 MW.
We cannot identify the object or phenomenon lying inside the reported oblate spheroid surface, but two conclusion seem inescapable: (1) the object or phenomenon observed would have to have been something objectively and externally real to create the Hole In Cloud effect; and, (2) the atmospheric phenomenon associated with this object cannot be explained by either conventional weather phenomena or conventional aerospace craft."
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OTHER RELATED INFORMATION
FROM THE REPORT
Two flight crewman saw the object for about five minutes. "Both opened their cockpit side windows and looked up at the object. The first Officer, age 39 with over 13,000 flight hours, said the UAP was a dirty-aluminum color, very stable, and without any optical distortions near it. It was perfectly round and silent."
"Because the UAP hovered below a cloud base of about 1,900 feet, that fact established its maximum distance. Several witnesses provided angular diameter estimates for the UAP that made it possible to calculate its maximum diameter, assuming it was at the distance of the cloud base."
The composite of various witness size estimates, from varied angles summated to approximately 22 feet in diameter.
HOW THE UAP ROSE:
Witnesses accounts had the UAP rising almost vertically but at a slight angle to the east.
"The reports that the UAP departed almost vertically are significant in that the airspace directly above Gate C17, at least up to 7,000 feet altitude, is probably one of the lesser traveled areas of local sky above the airport." (jc: a coincidence?)
". . . the UAP was hovering in perhaps one of the safest areas of the entire ORD airspace." (jc: a coincidence?)
"It is also interesting to note that this UAP hovered within the tower controller's blind spot." (jc: another coincidence?)
"The greater Chicago area was under the influence of a stable air mass with low pressure gradients. The air mass was moist below about 2,000 feet (AGL) and quite dry above 2,000 feet. Surface winds were below 10 knots in the lower 5,000 feet. A few light rain showers had occurred earlier in the day. Cloud ceilings were 1,000 to 2,000 feet with visibility restricted to 3-5 miles in haze and fog. "
"O'Hare International Airport, Chicago, observation on November 7, 2006, at 4:51 PM CST:
Sky: Overcast with Ceiling at 1,900 feet
Visibility: 4 miles haze
Wind Direction: West (270 Degrees Compass)
Wind Speed: 7 Knots
Temperature: 53 degrees F
Dew point: 48 Degrees F
Relative Humidity: 83%
Altimeter Setting: 20.80 inches of Mercury "
Radar systems covering the O'Hare Airport area, distant FAA radars, and weather radar records were searched for evidence of "an unusual phenomenon" over the airport for the period in question.
"None of the radar analyses found evidence of primary radar returns at the approximate time of the sighting within even a mile of United Gate C17." Therefore, tower personnel would not have been alerted.
jc: What they noted strikingly interesting about this fact is that (considering the size of the object) the ASR-9 ORD#1 antenna should have painted it when it left, but did not.
"The FAA stated publicly that no one in the air traffic control tower saw the UAP." The height of the control tower and operators was known. Total "Information was available which made it possible to calculate the height (above the airport surface at Gate C17) above which an object would not have been visible from the control tower" by the specific control tower operators.
It was determined that "if an object were above about 1,438 feet (AGL) it would not have been visible from the tower without leaning forward over the console and looking up into the sky."
Since the bottom of the cloud layer was approximately 1,900 feet and the UAP was under that, "we conclude that the UAP hovered somewhere between about 1,438 feet and 1,900 feet altitude (AGL)." This was in line with witness estimates as to the height of the object, made by people who were at the best angle to ascertain this facet of the sighting.
". . . even if we cannot identify the ultimate cause of the sighting reports, we can make some reasonable inferences about what it was not. As usual, in attempting this we should apply Occam's razor and avoid needlessly invoking any unconventional physics."
"According to testimony given to NARCAP by one witness, after looking away for a short while, the witness 'noticed that the craft [was] no longer there but there was an almost perfect circle in the cloud layer where the craft had been. The hole disappeared a few minutes later.' "
"Estimates given for the time of departure of the UAP and a fairly definite time when the hole in the cloud was still visible range from five to ten (mean seven and one-half) minutes."
"Because the freezing level above Chicago O'Hare on November 7 was at 10,000 feet, we know that the clouds in which the hole appeared consisted of water droplets only."
" . . there are three ways to make a cloud of water droplets disappear. One way is to evaporate them (turning them back into invisible vapor); another way is to freeze them into ice particles (causing them to drop out of the sky); the third way is to aggregate them into large rain drops (which also fall out of the sky)."
"We know it was not raining on November 7, 2006 . . . so we need only consider evaporation and freezing."
"In fact, we may generalize this conclusion to eliminate any form of freezing as the removal method because falling ice crystals were not present at the time and location in question." (jc: which they noted leaves us with evaporation)
"In order for the size and shape to be preserved, the cloud water droplets must have been evaporated out to a distance that is of the same order as the body radius."
"Moreover, all the energy required for this evaporation must have been transferred from the object to the cloud droplets during the brief period they were within this range (about 10 milliseconds)."
"Consideration of this fact yields a startling realization regarding the motion of the object -- the relatively high power associated with its passage."
JC: COULD IT HAVE BEEN A BALLOON?
A balloon could not have punched the hole that was left in the clouds as it could not possibly have enough energy to do so. Evidently, nor could standard propeller or jet planes, etc.
"Explanations carefully considered and ultimately dismissed as impossible included weather balloons, military "stealth" vehicles, lenticular clouds, and a jet airplane flying through the cloud cover causing the HIC."
Source: International UFO Reporter (CUFOS), volume 31, Number 3, p 3, "A UAP and its safety implications: O'Hare International Airport, Nov. 7, 2006" by Richard Haines, Chief Scientist with K. Efishoff, D. Ledger, L. Lemke, S. Maranto, W. Puckett, T. Roe, M. Shough, R. Uriarte.
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N.B. An introduction to this piece is located on page 1 of my website -> Here
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BUT CERTAINLY MORE IMPORTANT:
Another well-investigated, amazing case that also occurred in Illinois, USA, approximately 7 years earlier . . witnessed by police in three separate towns: click -> Here.
Page from the website of: CohenUFO.org