"It sounds like a tired joke--but a group of airline employees insist they are in earnest, and they are upset that neither their bosses nor the government will take them seriously.
A flying saucerlike object hovered low over O'Hare International Airport for several minutes before bolting through thick clouds with such intense energy that it left an eerie hole in overcast skies, said some United Airlines employees who observed the phenomenon.
Was it an alien spaceship? A weather balloon lost in the airspace over the world's second-busiest airport? A top-secret military craft? Or simply a reflection from lights that played a trick on the eyes?
Officials at United professed no knowledge of the Nov. 7 event--which was reported to the airline by as many as a dozen of its own workers--when the Tribune started asking questions recently. But the Federal Aviation Administration said its air traffic control tower at O'Hare did receive a call from a United supervisor asking if controllers had spotted a mysterious elliptical-shaped craft sitting motionless over Concourse C of the United terminal.
No controllers saw the object, and a preliminary check of radar found nothing out of the ordinary, FAA spokeswoman Elizabeth Isham Cory said.
The FAA is not conducting a further investigation, Cory said. The theory is the sighting was caused by a "weather phenomenon," she said.
The UFO report has sparked some chuckles among controllers in O'Hare tower.
"To fly 7 million light years to O'Hare and then have to turn around and go home because your gate was occupied is simply unacceptable," said O'Hare controller and union official Craig Burzych.
HAVE A HAPPY NEW YEAR! No matter where in the galaxy (or universe) you may be from.