NOVEMBER 7, 2022……….FLIGHT OVER KANSAS CITY
I am a pilot for a major US airline. We were flying a red eye from Las Vegas to Cincinnati. Throughout the flight all night, there was chatter on both Guard frequency (121.5) and our ATC frequencies about aircraft seeing strange things. A bunch of aircraft saw something over Pueblo Colorado about an hour to 90 minutes prior to our sighting (we didn’t see whatever was over Pueblo, just heard radio chatter on it). At about 0330 EST, we had just passed over Kansas City and the Captain said something like “whoa, what was that?!?!” I asked him what he saw, and he said, “it looked like a slow-moving meteor.” He had the cockpit lights on full bright to keep us awake so I recommended we turn the lights down to get a better look. He agreed and we dimmed the cockpit.
A short time later, we both saw a bright orb of light off in the distance, bearing about 070 or 11:30 clock code from our nose (we were heading roughly 085ish from memory). The light was extremely bright, similar to a night space shuttle launch I had seen decades prior. It did not turn the sky blue at night like the space shuttle, but it was VERY luminescent. We used parachute flares when I flew jets in the military and the brightest of the three lights was exponentially brighter than a parachute flare (and it wasn’t Venus, both the Captain and I were familiar with Venus being bright and even talked about it). We then we saw a second light which was dimmer flying around the main one (this was NOT stars, satellites, Autokinesis, or somatagraphic illusion). Shortly after we saw a third that was very dim. We would not have seen this if we had not seen the bright light initially.
We witnessed these lights for well over 20 minutes as we flowed east to Cincinnati. The sighting was not continuous as the lights would fade out or disappear then come back a few minutes later in the same area (11:30 ish off our nose). We saw these until we got closer to Cincinnati and a high cirrus layer of clouds blocked our view (also from our descent on the instrument arrival). There were no clouds in the area of the sightings, it was a crystal-clear night. One thing I am not sure of at all is whether these lights were flowing east with us or just so bright that we could see them over 200 miles away. We were cruising at 0.8 mach so if we saw these for over 20 minutes, we would have covered 160 nautical miles. These lights always remained at our 11:30 out the windscreen. Instinct says the objects were hovering over an area and were just so bright we could see them from a great distance, but this is just a hunch. I will share a little more if someone deems this worth investigating. Some I would like to keep discreet. NOTE: The above image is CGI.
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