Multiple UAPs Reported On FAA’s Internal Hotline In Just A Week

Just one week of entries from the FAA’s Domestic Events Network hotline offer new insights into reports of unidentified aerial phenomena.

byJoseph Trevithick, Tyler Rogoway|
Logs offer an inside look into what a week's worth of activity on the FAA's Domestic Events Network looks like, including sightings of UAPs.
Colin Anderson Productions pty ltd via Getty Images


The Federal Aviation Administration received pilot reports about a floating glowing white cylinder, a fast-flying white diamond-shaped object, a 25-foot-long black triangular drone, and someone zooming around using a jetpack in just one week in June 2021. This is according to logs from the U.S. Domestic Events Network, or DEN, that The War Zone recently obtained. Taken in all, the hundreds of 'DEN line' log entries provide a fascinating and somewhat unprecedented look into what a week of this network's activity actually looks like.

The entries also offer new insights into sightings of so-called unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP), more commonly known as unidentified flying objects, within U.S. national airspace, as well as how they are recorded, categorized, and investigated. Interest in the UAP topic has grown drastically on Capital Hill and new legislation, including that being put forward by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, aims, at least taken at face value, at releasing more information to the public on this historically stigmatized and long-tortured issue. These developments follow claims by defense intelligence officer-turned-UAP whistleblower David Grusch that not only does the U.S. government know far more than it is letting on about the UAP issue, but it actually has in its possession crashed craft of an otherworldly origin.

The FAA manages the DEN, but it acts as a central hotline for reporting aviation-related incidents within U.S. airspace that other parts of the U.S. government, such as the Department of Defense (DOD), the Department of Justice, and the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Transportation Security Administration (TSA), can also utilize. In addition to the unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP) sightings, the logs from the week in June include entries describing drone encounters, the dangerous lasing of aircraft, warnings about space debris reentering the atmosphere, bomb threats, technical and medical emergencies, and more. When intercepts by Air Force alert fighters are made on unresponsive or potentially threatening aircraft in or around U.S. airspace, DEN line traffic usually facilitates these actions, with the Air Force's air defense sectors stepping in.

War Zone contributor Adam Kehoe obtained a copy of the logs, which cover events that occurred between 04:00 Zulu on June 7, 2021, and 03:59 Zulu on June 14, 2021, from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). A total of 1011 incidents were logged in the DEN in that period, according to what was released. Some of the entries are fully or partially redacted, citing exemptions to FOIA intended to protect sensitive details about law enforcement techniques and procedures and critical infrastructure, as well as personal information.

The full metadata released along with the June 2021 DEN logs. FAA via FOAI

Of the 1011 total incidents in the logs, three are specifically labeled as UAP reports. Metadata at the top of the released document says that there are 114 entities dealing with uncrewed aerial systems (UAS), though it's not clear if this also includes one of the UAP entries that is also labeled UAS.

A manual counting of the entries indicates that some of the drone incidents are among those that are fully redacted. Some, but not all, are also labeled as so-called Mandatory Occurrence Reports (MOR). The FAA regulations require the creation of MORs in various situations, including after a pilot reports “unauthorized UAS activity or authorized UAS activity that is conducted in an unsafe or hazardous manner.”

More on all this accounting later in the story.

Two of the labeled UAP entries very clearly fit that definition.

One of these concerns a reported sighting at 02:01 Zulu on June 9, 2021, of what is described as "a glowing white cylindrical object" by the crew of a Gulfstream IV business jet flying northeast from Van Nuys Airport in California to John Glenn Columbus International Airport in Ohio. The jet was cruising at 45,000 feet and was around 29 nautical miles southwest of Grand Canyon Airport in Arizona at the time, according to the entry, which is reproduced in full below. This also means that the incident technically occurred late on June 8, local time.


"The unknown phenomenon was paralleling the aircraft at the same speed approximately 3,000 feet above," according to the entry. "PIC [pilot in command] stated he was taking pictures and video of the object."

No further details about this incident or any follow-up investigation, if one even occurred, are provided. Marc Cecotti, another contributor to The War Zone, was able to obtain the MOR, including an accompanying map showing the estimated location of the object relative to the aircraft's flight path, for this specific incident, which is reproduced below. Sadly this does not provide any significant additional information. Despite the MOR confirming that the pilot said they were taking pictures and video, none were attached to the report.


A second UAP incident involved the reported sighting of an object that was "white and diamond shaped" and "traveling fast" at 21:10 Zulu on 6/12/2021. The crew of an Envoy Air Embraer E170 airliner made that report while they were flowing southwest at around 20,000 feet and some 40 nautical miles northeast of Palm Beach International Airport in Florida. The jet, operating at that time as Envoy Air Flight 3858, was heading from Portland International Jetport in Maine to Miami International Airport in Florida at the time.

The report says that the E170's crew saw the "unidentified aerial phenomenon pass underneath" at around 19,500 feet and that the "unknown phenomenon was smaller than their aircraft." That entry, seen in full below, says that the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office was notified, but provides no information about what may or may not have happened afterward.


Despite how it is categorized, the third UAP entry in the logs involves a report at 00:27 Zulu on 6/10/2021 of what is expressly said to have been a "manned jet pack." The crew of a Gulfstream IV business jet – not the same one from the June 8/9 incident – reported seeing the jet pack-wearing individual "maneuvering in circles" at between 8,000 and 9,000 feet as they departed from Teterboro Airport in New Jersey on their way to Westover Airport in Massachusetts. This entry specifically says that no law enforcement agency was notified, but that an entity abbreviated "JH," the definition of which is not immediately clear, was alerted.


There is a fourth entry in the logs that is labeled as a UAS incident, not a UAP one. However, from the description, it sounds as if it could easily belong in the latter category. It is certainly distinctly different from the other listed drone encounters, most of which are described as commercially available quad-copters.

At 18:32 Zulu on June 7, 2021, the pilot of a Cessna C82R Skylane light aircraft reported that they "observed a 25 foot long black triangular UAS" around 500 below them to the right as they flew at around 6,000 feet near Los Angeles International Airport, or LAX, in California. The plane had departed from John Wayne Airport and was heading to Paso Robles Municipal Airport, also in California. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office was alerted, but again no details are provided as to what follow-up actions may have been taken.


It is, of course, worth noting that all of these entries simply reflect reported sightings of things and that without more information it is hard to assess what they might have been.

With this in mind, it is interesting to note that the June 2021 DEN logs include an entry about a drone sighting near aircraft engine maker Pratt & Whitney's research facility in West Palm Beach, Florida that says authorities later determined the report to be "non-credible."


Still, all four of the aforementioned UAP or UAP-liked incidents are interesting for a variety of reasons.

The report about the cylinder is actually not the first time we've heard about something like that being spotted by pilots flying over the southwestern United States in recent years.

In February 2021, The War Zone reported on an American Airlines crew's sighting of what they described as "a long cylindrical object" that almost looked like a cruise missile type of thing" and was "moving really fast." That sighting, which you can read more about here, came from airspace above the northeastern corner of New Mexico. The FBI reportedly initiated an investigation afterward, but it is unclear whether that is still ongoing and, if it is not, what the results might have been.

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The reported sighting of the black triangular drone fits into a history of reports about triangle-shaped UAPs/UFOs over the years, at least some of which may be linked to top-secret U.S. government advanced aerospace programs. There were famously multiple reports about aircraft with this general description, dubbed "Flying Doritos," spotting flying over Texas in 2014. At the same time, delta-shaped flying-wing-like drones, which have been in use in limited ways for decades, are now a widespread staple around the globe.

The entry is also a reminder of how troubling it is that the UAS issue is intertwined so deeply with that of UAP. You can read more about this unfortunate situation here.

The Teterboro "manned jet pack" sighting is differently notable in light of a plethora of similar reports from pilots near LAX in 2020, 2021, and 2022. There is a possibility that those incidents actually involved drones with manakins made to look like people flying around with jet packs, as seen in the video below. Still, the exact craft involved in those reports remains unknown.

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The fact that the pilot who reported the Teterboro encounter said that the individual was circling at an altitude of somewhere between 8,000 and 9,000 feet can only further calls into question whether that was an actual person. As The War Zone highlighted in 2020 after the first round of sightings at LAX, known jet pack designs have limited endurance and overall capability to fly thousands of feet in the air.

Beyond these four mysterious incidents, the June 2021 DEN logs paint a broadly interesting picture of incidents in U.S. airspace and how they are managed. For one, just over 11 percent of all of the entries have to do with drones, though some of them are clearly reports, sometimes nearly simultaneously, from multiple sources about the same UAS.

An example of the same drone being reported twice by different sources from the June 2021 DEN logs. FAA via FOIA

Still, this underscores now long-standing concerns about national security risks and general safety issues associated with that dramatic increase in the availability of uncrewed aircraft. The War Zone has repeatedly highlighted how commercial drones can be weaponized or otherwise utilized for malign ends relatively easily even by terrorists and criminals, and how this presents dangers on and off traditional battlefields. It remains possible, if not highly probable that a significant number of UAP sightings are actually drones or balloons, which potential adversaries might be operating.

A rash of very publicly reported UAP or similar sightings in recent years has called new attention to these matters. In the past two decades or so, there have been multiple instances of U.S. Navy pilots reporting encountering UAPs off the East and West coasts of the United States. Single drones and swarms of uncrewed aircraft have also appeared in various areas, including near Navy ships.

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Critical military and civilian infrastructure like the U.S. Army missile sites on Guam and the Palo Verde Nuclear Power Plant in Arizona – both of which The War Zone was first to report – have also seen these kinds of incidents. The War Zone previously created an interactive online tool using a database of thousands of drone-related incidents, specifically, recorded by the FAA that can be used to search through and map out those reports.

A screenshot of the tool. Adam Kehoe

This all was, of course, further underscored by the U.S. government disclosure of a Chinese government spy balloon transiting through U.S. and Canadian airspace before it was shot down earlier this year. Three other still unidentified objects were later shot down over the United States and Canada. Significant questions remain about those latter three incidents and no imagery of those objects has so far been released.

A picture taken from a US Air Force U-2S Dragon Lady spy plane of the Chinese spy balloon over the United States earlier this year. No pictures or videos of the three other objects shot down over the United States and Canada have been released to date. USAF

Those episodes and the Chinese spy balloon all raised new questions about the general ability of American authorities to safeguard and even just adequately monitor the country's airspace. In February, President Joe Biden promised "sharper rules" for dealing with airspace incursions would be coming in the future, helped along by input from a newly formed working group. That, in turn, had prompted renewed discussion about the roles of existing organizations, including the Pentagon's fledging All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO), as you can read more about here. A number of members of Congress are continuing to push for more transparency and accountability on UAP-related matters, especially in light of the potential national risks they might represent.

The June 2021 DEN logs highlight long-standing limitations on the U.S. government's ability to respond domestically to airspace incursions by UAPs and drones, among other events. Despite there being 114 UAS incidents in the logs, two there are only two entries that describe active counter-UAS (C-UAS) activity.

One of the C-UAS entries appears to be entirely redacted. The other involves an incident in New London, Connecticut on June 7, 2021, where the entry says that unspecified "security forces" recovered a Chinese-made DJI drone with Ocusync capability and located its operator. There are no details about what specific C-UAS action was taken, where that event occurred within New London, or what happened afterward. New London and neighboring Groton are home to a major U.S. Navy submarine base, as well as a shipyard where General Dynamics Electric Boat makes new nuclear-powered submarines for that service.


There are also two drone incidents in the logs that are described as dangerous near-collisions that are not said to have resulted in any immediate C-UAS response. The U.S. government has taken steps in recent years to better enable more direct responses to threatening or otherwise suspicious drone activity.

Regardless, these logs represent just a fraction of what goes across the DEN line in a year. Judging by all that is in the little we have, there is certain to be many more insights to be garnered from many more weeks' worth, or even just the entirety of June alone. The War Zone will now be delving deeper into the data to see what other significant and notable details might be contained within.

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