The incident began at about 4:30 pm on a seemingly normal day in 2017 when the air traffic controller from Oakland Center Sector 31, which covers the area from Sacramento to Redding, spotted the “intruder” and began telling the appropriate officials about the unidentified aircraft flying at 37,000 feet.
Moving quickly, the plane flew north into Oregon, passing over Crater Lake and the Willamette Valley before swerving into nearby air traffic and disappearing from the radar completely. During this time, there were multiple eye witness accounts from nearby pilots that saw the flying object but couldn’t identify an aircraft type. The aircraft never communicated with air traffic control and didn’t have a transponder broadcasting.
After the aircraft became well-known to most of the local air traffic controllers, pilots and the Federal Aviation Administration, military F-15 aircrafts were deployed from Portland to find and apprehend the aircraft. They found nothing.
The incident resulted in multiple pilot eyewitnesses, recorded air traffic control audio, and eventual confirmations from both the FAA and North American Aerospace Command that the incident did indeed occur.
The event was documented in great detail by The War Zone in their initial article here and their follow-up article here. The follow-up article details the incredible exchanges between air traffic control, pilots and the FAA throughout the incident. When going into further detail, the incident seems even more mysterious.
We’ll probably never know exactly what was in the air that day, but we can certainly have fun speculating. There are three prominent theories on this incident:
1. It was a plane smuggling drugs to Canada
I’m not quite sure where this aircraft initiated from but after reading reports I’m going to assume it came from the Shasta County/Mt. Shasta area, since it would be hard pressed to make it far before being spotted on radar. There’s no question there are illegal marijuana grows in this area and it’s somewhat plausible that they would brazenly try to transport there crop via airplane.
But there’s a few problems with this theory. There are claims the aircraft was going very fast. depending on the knots it was flying, it would be difficult for a non-military or even bizliner aircraft to get to this speed. Also, flying at 37,000 feet is a very dangerous venture for drug runners, putting them right in the action of the radar system.
2. It was aliens or Lemurians leaving Mount Shasta
This is my favorite theory. Look, we’ve all seen the crazy lenticular clouds around Mt. Shasta that look like an obvious cover for an alien spacecraft. And there are plenty of theories that say that aliens and/or Lemurians are living in the mountain. It seems like they took off for a routine alien flight, eventually realized they were being tracked by radar and did whatever they do to avoid that radar.
Am I a crazy person that wants to believe that Mt. Shasta is a breeding ground for mysterious paranormal activity? You bet I am. I even wrote a pretty convincing article about it – Strange Paranormal Encounters of Mt. Shasta.
3. It was a secret government aircraft
This seems like the most plausible explanation for a few reasons, most notably the speed, altitude and brazenness to fly within the air traffic without getting caught. This would also explain the F-15’s not being able to find the aircraft, which would be a simple lie to spout to any air traffic controller or FAA representative. Could it be an experimental aircraft from Beale Air Force Base?
Whatever this aircraft is, it’s always fun to speculate when mysteries venture their way into NorCal. And heck, we’ll probably never know what it was. But the fact that it happened over our mysterious mountain is pretty interesting, isn’t it?
If you want to fully nerd out on this incident, check out the Reddit Post with more details and conspiracy theories.