Transcribed and described by (then) State Chief Investigator, Dr. David Toth
(MUFON log# MI96058) The following transcript is from the conversations between aircraft pilots and the Cleveland FAA-ARTCC that took place on February 27, 1996 at approximately 2000 EST over parts of Ontario, Canada and Michigan. The actual flight numbers will not be used as requested by one of the pilots of a commercial airline who gave MUFON a statement of the incident.
The following script is as near to verbatim as an amateur transcriber can get. AC#1 and AC#2 refer to the two different aircraft, and CC refers to the Air Traffic Control Center:
AC#1: Cleveland this is Flight #1, we see traffic out there ah, at 12 or 1 o'clock at lower altitude. Do you have anything in the air?
CC: Air shuttle #1, that's a negative sir. I don't have anything out in front of you at 12 or 1 o'clock.
CC: Ah, can you give me...he's down well below or can you get an altitude ah...an estimate on the altitude on him?
AC#1: Well, it would be real difficult, we're between layers here, I'm going to estimate about (garbled conversation) about a good two to three thousand feet below us, maybe and ah...pulsating light about, I don't know, about ten miles out.
CC: OK Air shuttle #1, I'll keep my eyes open but I don't see anything.
AC#2: Is that northwest of Detroit that you see that light?
AC#2: That's what I saw, real bright white light, sometimes flicker underneath the clouds...(interrupted by background noise, conversations with other aircraft).
CC: Air shuttle #1 is that traffic ah...that you saw earlier, do you see him out there any longer?
AC#1: Air shuttle #1...that's affirmative...and it's a light that kinda, it goes dim then gets bright, and a...I don't know if we're closer to it or what...but it looks like a rotating light around it like ah...ah...Frisbee type thing...ah...it's going around it...
Unknown Aircraft: Ah so...
CC: Air shuttle #2, do you see the same thing?
AC#2: Ah...Sir, I saw it coming out of Detroit and I wondered ah...all I saw was just a couple of real bright flashes of light and ah...almost looked like ah...lighting caught my eye...then I kept watching it...then it looked a little bit less bright...but it looked like it was underneath the cloud deck and to me ah...and it was just as we were coming out of ah...Detroit.
CC: OK and can you get an altitude on it at all...can you...can you tell or no?
AC#2: OK...now...the light that I saw was just like maybe, I don't know...maybe 25 miles Northwest of Detroit...is that what you were referring to? Or you talking about the light that's at about 12 o'clock now at about ten miles?
CC: That's ah...12 o'clock (Background conversations) don't have anything on my RADAR that ah, any kind of target out near 12 o'clock.
AC#2: Ah...we got some kind of white light out there at ah...12 o'clock...and the Captain...says that it's pulsating (background conversations) looks like oncoming traffic, but it's just sitting at about the same place that it's been the whole ten or fifteen minutes that we have been watching it.
AC#1: Air shuttle #1, it looks like it's almost over Saginaw from our position.
CC: Air shuttle #1, contact Saginaw Air Control 12645, I appreciate the information.
AC#1: OK..Ah...12645, we copy that, we'll see ya.
CC: So long.
AC #2: And ah...#2 that...that target looks like it's ah...below us...I would estimate it may be at 10K feet.
CC: At around 10K feet...would...would you think it would be like a reflection...ah...like perhaps like it's off a beacon that for some reason it's just one of those weird things ah...natural phenomenon that you're getting a reelection, because I got nothing out there.
AC #2: I don't know...it...it looks like it's...we can see it clear you know...relatively solid cloud deck ah...below us...ah...it's definitely a distinct, a light, whitish ah...well, there it's looking a little red and greenish light and it's pulsating...and it's constant...it's not a beacon.
AC #1: Hey, Cleveland, this is Air shuttle #1.
CC: Go ahead, sir.
AC #1: Ya hey. Just advise we're starting to 4K feet right now and as we descended through 10K feet...ah...that object is above us right now, ah he is not on the ground, it's about 6K feet.
CC: OK sir, ah...we're checking on it right now, I still don't have anything out in front of ya at all that I'm showing and I appreciate you coming back to the frequency to let me know.
AC#1: I'll keep you advised, it is weird, just sitting there and pulsating.
CC: Air shuttle #2, where is it relative to you right now?
AC#2: 12 o'clock sir.
CC: OK (background conversations) I'm concerned to try and do a little investigating as to what this might be and ah if you would keep me advised on this.
AC#2: OK sir and I'm going to put my lights on to see if I can get any action out of it.
AC#2: And ah Air Shuttle #2, was the other guy that saw ah that light, was he headed ah Southeast bound or was he headed in the same direction we're going?
CC: Well, he was inbound to Saginaw and actually when I sent him over to Saginaw, I thought that would be the last I heard from him but, he came back up on the frequency and advised me that his clearance was down to 4,000 and he said what he saw was still up above him and was like a red and ah he said it was a red and green light that was pulsing and like rotating and he said he would keep me advised and give me a report once he got into Saginaw.
AC #2: Yeah it's about (background conversations) pulses different colors...now we're trying to figure out what we're seeing is a planet.
CC: OK. You don't have a camera on board do ya?
AC#2: I can probably get one from a passenger; you want us to ask?
CC: Yeah, that would be kind of interesting to have a couple of pictures, I think it would make our case a little better.
AC#2: #2 we have a passenger taking a picture of it right now and we got a flight attendant and he said that they might have seen the same thing the other night.
CC: OK. #2 I copy that and let's see, I wanted to ask you something, let me get back to you in a second.
CC: #2, when you flashed your lights, did you get any response?
AC#2: Ah, didn't appear to be, sir.
CC: #2, we will send you over to Minneapolis now sir ah is it still out at your 12 o'clock?
AC#2: Ah negative sir, it's at about 2 o'clock, we made a turn.
CC: OK, so it's off your right side about 2 o'clock? Ya, I sure would be interested to see those pictures. Can I get you an address that you might be able to send a copy if you guys get a copy of them?
AC#2: Sure, we could do that and actually I said a wrong, we made a right turn and he's off about 10 to 11 o'clock.
CC: OK sir, so he's off your left side, OK. Do you have a pencil, let me give you that address.
AC#2: OK go ahead (abbreviated conversation to get correct address).
CC: OK. Address it to NATCA, and the address is 326 E. Lorain St., Oberlin, OH 44074.
AC#2: OK. (repeats address)
CC: #2, you got it all and I (background conversation) have a good weekend.
AC#2: OK, we'll see ya and I wonder if those pictures will show up anything?
AC#2: 2, person said I took the picture as Captain of the left side and tried to keep it at the bottom so the stars would be in the picture (narrative is close to actual).
CC: OK, great, that's a good idea, I appreciate that.
AC#2: Captain used an instamatic camera, good night sir.
CC: Good night.
Editor's Note: Keep in mind that those conversations occurred over a protracted period and sometimes, as for example when the one aircraft flashed its lights at the stimulus to see if it could elicit a response, the wait got a little "hairy". You could really feel the emotion in the voices of the air crews and ground communicators.
(transcribed from Volume 2, Issue 5 of the Michigan MUFON Newsletter-August 6, 1996)