A series of strange UFO incidents over the Pacific Ocean this summer were captured on video and in air traffic control footage after sightings by dozens of pilots.
Experienced captains and a former F-18 pilot told DailyMail.com they saw bright lights moving in elongated circles or ‘raceways’ for hours high in the sky while flying routes from Japan and Hawaii towards the US West Coast in August and September.
The incidents were reported to the FAA, and a researcher obtained dramatic audio of the pilots who called in the strange sightings to the Los Angeles Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC).
Pilots also tried from their cockpits to film the group of between three and five bright objects which appeared to be flying around the area of the sky where the ‘scoop’ of the constellation of the Great Abyss sits.
Some of the witnesses told DailyMail.com they are now being told by their employers to keep quiet and are calling for better reporting procedures for encounters with ‘unidentified aerial phenomena’ (UAPs).
A graphic shows the location and dates of the several reported UFO sightings, mainly in the Pacific Ocean, that occurred in August and September of this year
Pilot Chris Van Voorhis, 63, told DailyMail.com he saw between three and five objects, far brighter than the stars around them, fade in and out with no discernible pattern and move in a “racetrack” circular motion as he flew. from Honolulu to Los Angeles in August
Two of the pilots can be heard in ARTCC recordings from Aug. 18, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by Ben Hansen, a former FBI agent and the host of the Discovery+ show UFO Witness.
‘We’ve got a couple of planes up north here and he’s going around in circles, much higher than us. Do you have any idea what they are?’ Mark Hulsey, a pilot flying a Gulfstream charter jet off the coast of Los Angeles, radioed in.
“Uh, no, no, I don’t,” replied the confused controller. ‘You don’t walk into anyone [military] airspace or something. I’m not sure.’
Van Voorhis, who has been flying since he was 14 and has 32,000 hours of experience, said the objects appeared to be in Earth orbit or even further out in space
The pilot described seeing ‘maybe three planes there’, then called ARTCC 23 minutes later saying ‘there’s like seven of them now’ and estimated they were ‘at least 5 or 10,000 feet above us’ .
Asked to elaborate by the controller, a rattled Hulsey added: ‘They just keep going in circles. I was an F-18 pilot in the Marine Corps, and I’m telling you, I’ve done a lot of intercepts, I’ve never seen anything like this.’
At certain times of the day, satellites can reflect the sun and appear to pilots as bright lights in the sky. But expert fliers say they believe the circular motion and duration of the sightings — some for hours — ruled out satellites.
Chris Van Voorhis, 63, told DailyMail.com he saw between three and five objects, far brighter than the stars around them, fading in and out with no discernible pattern and moving in a “racetrack” circular motion as he flew from Honolulu to Los Angeles in August.
Van Voorhis, who has been flying since he was 14 and has 32,000 hours of experience, said the objects appeared to be in Earth’s orbit or even further out in space, given their continued position close to the constellation of deep water when he flew over the sea for hours.
‘The other airlines said, hey, do you see what we see?’ said the veteran pilot.
‘They were lights that would come on very brightly, you would see them move, then they would go off.
‘It had to be in a very, very high orbit, or indeed even out in space some distance away from something that a satellite would be, because every time we saw it, it was in the lower right corner of the Big Dipper, wherever we were in the world.
‘It went on for so long that it actually got boring, almost.
‘If it was [Elon Musk’s satellite system] Starlink, or something like that, it will move in a linear fashion and everyone will move in the same direction. These weren’t. They moved in different directions.’
Van Voorhis said his employer, whom DailyMail.com has chosen not to name, told him to “stop” even mentioning the incident publicly and that he feared his job could be at risk for reporting his sighting.
Gulfstream captain and former F-18 pilot Mark Hulsey’s saw a UFO sighting on August 18 at Santa Catalina, an island off the coast of LA
This image shows the brightness of the UFO compared to the three circled stars, which are much fainter
Two UFOs (also called UAPS – Unidentified Aerial Phenomena) are seen in this image, taken from a video of the encounter
Hansen has collected accounts of pilots for Southwest Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines and others between August 6 and September 23 who say they saw the same lights in the sky as Van Voorhis.
‘Many of these pilots are very sure that the lights were not just going in one direction, but in both directions, which is very unusual for satellites.
‘In Mark’s case they would go from the north and then actually go over his vessel where he would have to hover on his neck to see them from the canopy.
‘It was seen by up to 15 different commercial flights. And at least six pilots are willing to go on the record with their names and everything if asked by any investigative agencies.
‘In this case we have a global phenomenon from as far west as Japan, to as far east as possibly Miami. Whatever it is, pilots are watching it from halfway around the world.’
But Hansen said there is currently no proper process for reporting such sightings — even of strange objects that could pose a threat to commercial airline safety.
“Civilian pilots do not have a structured, robust process that is publicly available for them to report UAPs,” he told DailyMail.com.
‘The reason the pilots don’t report is primarily because they don’t think the FAA will follow up, or worse, they’ll be ridiculed.’
An FAA spokesperson told DailyMail.com: ‘The Federal Aviation Administration documents sightings of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) when a pilot reports one to an air traffic control facility.
‘If the pilot report can be corroborated with supporting information such as radar data, it is shared with the UAP Task Force’ – a Department of Defense unit that investigates UFOs, now officially called the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office.
A 2021 Director of National Intelligence report warned that ‘UAP threatens flight safety and possibly national security’ due to 11 near misses between Navy aviators and unidentified objects.
Van Voorhis said UFO sightings are fairly common among pilots.
“Out of my pilot friends, at least 50% have seen some kind of anomaly,” he said.
Two of the pilots can be heard in ARTCC recordings from 18 August. ‘We’ve got a couple of planes up north here and he’s going around in circles, much higher than us. Do you have any idea what they are?’ Mark Hulsey radioed in
“Uh, no, no, I don’t,” replied the confused controller. ‘You don’t walk into anyone [military] airspace or something. I’m not sure’
The incidents were reported to the FAA and a researcher obtained dramatic audio of the pilots who called the strange sightings to the Los Angeles Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC)
His sighting in August was not his first. In February 2004, while flying for the Japanese airline Jalways, he said he and the crew of another plane saw three ‘discs’ descend from outside the atmosphere, ‘stop’ in mid-air, then suddenly turn 30 degrees while holding their triangular formation and shoot out over the horizon at thousands of miles per hour.
‘I was on my way back from Japan to Honolulu. We were at 39,000 feet across the Pacific Ocean. It was 5:30 in the morning, local time. Something caught my eye from the left side of the plane. There were three large discs,’ he said.
‘They were high enough in the atmosphere to reflect the light from the sun, which was not up yet.
‘They came in a triangular formation and stopped. They turned in formation, they didn’t bank or anything like that, nothing aerodynamic, they just turned. And then they took off over the horizon.
‘It wasn’t like they were accelerating. They were just speeding and going beyond the horizon. It all took about 15 seconds.
“The plane in front of us saw it too. They said ‘do you want to tell anyone?’ and we said ‘no’.’
Gulfstream captain and former F-18 pilot Hulsey’s August 18 UFO sighting was at Santa Catalina, an island off the LA coast.
Famously, US Navy aviators from the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz chased a ‘tic tac’ shaped UFO near Santa Catalina Island in 2004.
Eluding Top Gun ace commander David Fravor, the Tic-Tac maneuvered and accelerated in ways that seemed to defy the laws of physics. It then disappeared before astonishingly reappearing 40 miles away in less than a minute, at the airman’s CAP point, a rendezvous known only to the pilot and his boss.
In July 2019, in the same area, several strange objects harassed US Navy warships over several days.
The Pentagon claimed they were drones, but could not confirm the origin or operators of the craft. A source close to the investigation into the incident told DailyMail.com that a nearby Chinese cargo ship, the Bass Strait, believed to be the culprit, was searched with no sign of drones.