Solved: MUFON Case 105762 - White Cigar "Following" Plane near Zion Nation Park (United 541)

Mick West

Staff member
Metabunk 2020-01-29 11-16-57.jpg

A pilot looking down and to the left from 40,000 feet saw this white cigar-shaped object seemingly following him, and took a video with his phone.
Lucklily the original file was uploaded to the MUFON database, and it had both a timestamp, and GPS location!
File Modification Date/Time     : 2020:01:29 08:00:51-08:00
GPS Coordinates                 : 37 deg 13' 2.64" N, 113 deg 3' 31.68" W
With this it was a relatively simple matter to find both the plane, and the white object, which of course turned out to be another plane.

Metabunk 2020-03-27 13-48-38.jpg
So the photographer's plane was a private jet at 40,000 feet. The white object is United 541, a 737 at 25,800 feet, descending towards Las Vegas.
Last edited:

Mick West

Staff member
I'm completely ignorant about aviation, but, wouldn't the pilot photographer have been aware of, or able to inquire about, exactly what jet he was looking at?
ATC isn't really going to care about a plane that's 8 miles away, flying roughly parallel, and 15,000 feet lower. It's "no factor", as they say. He probably thought it was much closer, so if he asked, he would get told there was nothing there.

Mick West

Staff member
I put the camera roughtly in the private jet's position in Google Earth and imported the UAL541 flight track:

Metabunk 2020-01-29 12-54-06.jpg

The terrain matches the video:
Metabunk 2020-01-29 12-55-32.jpg


Senior Member.
I am surprised this is even a thing. At first glance I thought it was a plane. You can see the tail in the first picture.

Mick West

Staff member
I am surprised this is even a thing. At first glance I thought it was a plane. You can see the tail in the first picture.
Yeah, me too. It was just fun because I got the GPS coordinates and time from the file, which apparently MUFON had overlooked.

It's also interesting that "a professional pilot" apparently thought it was a UFO.
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