N161MA UFO Encounter over Long Island Sound

Mick West

Staff member
Via Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/UFOs/comments/8s5odl/its_bigger_than_a_drone_atc_audio/

Pilot reports an object "bigger than a drone". Says he has to make a slight left turn, and that the object has lights on it.

Date May 26 2018, 1630Z (12:30PM EDT). Callsign N161MA talking to Kennedy approach. The time 1630Z (UTC) is the time of the start of a segment of ATC recording, and it's not clear exactly when the event is, but 1630A is just at the time the pilot makes an erratic turn to the left.
Metabunk 2018-06-19 13-27-08.jpg

A possibility is that it's another plane. N111NY was in the air at that time, at about the same altitude, and moving on a course that would lead to near intersection, except N111NY was climbing.

However it would be over 20 miles away at time of first sighting, so does not seem that likely.

Metabunk 2018-06-19 13-40-48.jpg

And the closest they get is 6 miles:
Metabunk 2018-06-19 13-42-04.jpg


  • KJFK-NY-Dep-May-26-2018-1630Z (2).mp3
    914.6 KB · Views: 726
  • FlightAware_N161MA_KBED_3N6_20180526.kml
    24.1 KB · Views: 708
  • FlightAware_N111NY_KHPN_KBID_20180526.kml
    4 KB · Views: 708
Last edited:

Mick West

Staff member
6000 feet. And N111NY was at 9,000 - I though it was still climbing, but no. But not too different if spotted at at long distance. I don't think that's it though. Too far away. However it's the closest plane on FR24


Senior Member.
I'm not finding any collaboration of anyone else seeing anything, from any of the UFO reporting sites or Connecticut news stations.

And it was Saturday the first day of Memorial Day weekend. On the shore. Here in Conn Memorial Day is the 'official' start to summer (as we have winter here) and everyone and their brother has barbecues, heads to the beach etc.
And of course, the same would be said for the NY side of the Sound.

Beaches will likely be busy today with temperatures expected to rise into the 80s and even 90s throughout the state https://www.nbcconnecticut.com/weat...Weekend-Heat-and-a-Rain-Chance-483705641.html
Content from External Source

This site (which seems to be confusing the time of the report at JFK with the time of the siting) says they filed a FOIA request with the FAA to see what the pilot said
When we requested the report the pilot filed we were denied and were told to file a Freedom Of Information Act request, which we already had done. That request will take time to process, but if our prior experience is an indicator, it could be well worth the wait. http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...nge-object-to-new-york-air-traffic-controller
Content from External Source

there is a MUFON sighting :) that might be the morning of May 25th, they don't really specify a date over Melville NY which is the general vicinity
Last edited:

Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member.
Man, that fireball event is a very good match on the map. He was traveling roughly SW, roughly here - (Red Arrow). If the time were right he would have been looking right at it. A left turn would move him away from it. And he said it went behind a cloud, so it was a distant object. Altogether, this would be a classic pilot taking evasive action from a fireball UFO report... if only the times matched up.

Sample witness report:
"I've been lucky to see a few of these in my life. This was one of the most vibrant and constant streaks with a bright termination. Vibrant yellows and greens.
Content from External Source

There's no reason it couldn't have been a daylight fireball that wouldn't have attracted as much attention as the previous night's event.
Last edited: