An unidentified flying object, or UFO, was reported over Saskatchewan earlier this month after a pilot travelling from Fairbanks, Ala., to Minneapolis, Minn., spotted something they could not identify while flying over the province.
The incident, filed with Transport Canada’s Civil Aviation Daily Occurrence Reporting (CADOR) system, took place on May 9 near Hudson Bay, Sask. A pilot with Delta Air Lines reported spotting something “well above them” moving right to left, despite the plane cruising at 39,000 feet.
When the pilot inquired about the object, they were told “there was no known traffic in the area” at which time the pilot said, “they couldn’t figure out what it was either,” according to the official account.
One expert called that account curious.
“Between them, they couldn’t figure out what was seen,” said Chris Rutkowski, a science writer who specializes in UFOs. He said this being reported by a pilot, who spends much of their time in the air, is an important factor in the sighting.
“It certainly is possible that this has an explanation,” said Rutkowski. “But at the same time, one would think that if a UFO is reported by a pilot, that we should take notice, because it suggests perhaps there’s something in the sky that shouldn’t be there.”
Rutkowski said that while it’s hard to say more about this specific incident without more information, sightings like these are important to record, track and examine, as there is a possibility of failed equipment or an outside threat that may put others in the sky at risk.
“The fact that we are getting these reports at all suggests we should be taking a closer look at what pilots are reporting,” he said, noting that of the thousands of CADOR reports filed monthly, there are always a handful with some sort of UFO connotation.
The incident’s official classification under CADOR was a “weather balloon, meteor, rocket CIRVIS/UFO” with CIRVIS standing for communications instructions for reporting vital intelligence sightings.
When reached for comment about the incident, a Delta Air Lines spokesperson said the company has “nothing else to add.”
The recent incident over Saskatchewan is one of many UFO sightings captured by pilots across the country, with some of those official reports now making their way into the public realm.
Rutkowski said he thinks this is likely due to an increase in interest and coverage from media about official accounts — which have been well documented in Canada for years — as opposed to an overall increase in sightings.
He also noted that while there may be more media attention on the government documents detailing these instances of unexplained aerial phenomenon, those who aren’t combing through hundreds of CADOR reports still have a role to play on the ground.
“The average person can get involved by simply watching the skies,” he said.
He said each report received by the public helps government officials and researchers continue their quest in answering the question of whether humanity is alone.