An Alcubierre warp drive is a theoretical device that can make a spacecraft travel faster than light. Pic credit: Pixabay
A mass UFO sighting over Chicago O’Hare International Airport in 2006 remains unresolved. Experts still debate the incident nearly two decades after it happened.
A team of physicists analyzing the incident concluded that witness descriptions of the UFO were consistent with the behavior expected of a spacecraft powered by a theoretical faster-than-light spacetime warp propulsion device known as an Alcubierre drive.
The O’Hare UFO sighting
Several people at the O’Hare airport, including United Airlines employees, witnessed a metallic flying saucer UFO in the skies on November 7.
National media outlets covered the incident with sensational headlines after Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) authorities released recordings of chatter over the radio during the sighting.
The sighting occurred minutes after 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 7, 2006. A UFO appeared in the skies over Gate C-17. Witnesses, including 12 employees of United Airlines, described it as a disc-shaped metallic object about 50 feet in diameter. It rotated while hovering silently about 500-1000 feet above the ground.
The witnesses reported seeing it hovering over United Airlines Flight 446, preparing for take-off to Charlotte, North Carolina.
The witnesses included a ramp worker, Flight 446 pilots, mechanics, and airline supervisors.
Multiple bystanders outside the airport also saw it. All denied suggestions that it was a weather phenomenon.
They described it as metallic, flat, and saucer-shaped. It “punched” through the clouds at a very high speed, leaving a dark hole after passing.
FAA declined to investigate the incident
The FAA denied knowledge of the incident until the Chicago Tribune obtained recorded conversations between air traffic workers during the incident.
The released tapes showed that a United Airlines worker called an FAA officer in the control tower to report the sighting.
However, the FAA said they did not investigate the object because air traffic controllers did not report seeing it. They also did not detect it on radar. FAA officials said it was likely a freak weather phenomenon.
The reaction of the FAA to the incident sparked speculation and conspiracy theories about an official attempt at covering up a mass UFO sighting.
UFO may have been Alcubierre warp-driven, physicists suggested
A team of physicists working with a research group known as Applied Physics reportedly proposed earlier this year that witness descriptions of the UFO were consistent with an advanced spacecraft powered by an Alcubierre warp drive.
The Debrief reported that the team said witness descriptions of the acceleration, shape, lack of radar signature, and how it punched a hole through the cloud suggested an Alcubierre drive propulsion system.
They suggested that the optimal shape of a spacecraft powered by an Alcubierre drive was a saucer or spherical shape.
However, the researchers warned that their analysis relied on witness testimony. Thus, the reliability of their conclusions depended on the accuracy of witness observations.
They added that their analysis wasn’t meant to confirm the testimony of the witnesses.
The team presented the analysis after publishing a paper in 2021 describing a “general model” for an Alcubierre warp drive based on the principles of “classical relativity.”
What is an Alcubierre warp drive?
In 1994, physicist Miguel Alcubierre described how a warp drive might work to make spaceships break the light barrier.
According to Alcubierre, a warp drive could make a spaceship travel faster than light by compressing space in front and expanding or stretching the one behind.
Although other physicists have offered alternative models of a theoretical drive, no one has suggested how to build one in real life.
However, fans of the sci-fi TV series Star Trek will recall that Captain Kirk’s USS Enterprise traveled faster than light with the help of a warp drive device.