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A lot of people assume that when a plane goes up in the air, the skies are clear from roadblocks. This isn’t always the case. Over the years, pilots have witnessed all types of strange and unusual sightings while soaring through the skies. Keep reading to find out a few of the craziest things that pilots have witnessed in the air.


One of the most frequent and strange pilots claim to see is UFOs (unidentified flying objects). UFO sightings span back decades ago, to June of 1947 to recent sighting in November of 2018. In 1947, pilot Kenneth Arnold claims to have seen nine blue and glowing objects fly over Mount Rainier in Seattle, Washington in a V-shape formation. In 2018, pilots believed they saw UFOs near the coast of Ireland. Rather than these sightings be proof of aliens, the US government has identified these sightings as routine military testing, hoaxes, camera errors, and even the planet Venus.

Lightning Striking the Plane

Airplanes getting struck by lightning is not an uncommon occurrence, but when it happens it sure is terrifying. Many aircraft are made of aluminum, which conducts electricity, but the way the airplane is built ensures that lightning stays outside of the plane and won’t affect the people on the inside. NASA pilot Conway Roberts recounts a time he flew into a cold front about 40,000 feet over Amarillo. Roberts says that the plane was completely emersed into a lighting storm and the plane was surrounded by lightning bolts.

St. Elmo’s Fire

St. Elmo’s Fire is similar to lightning but it is a phenomenon that only a few lucky pilots get to see. The branch-shaped electricity is caused by heavy thunderstorms and planes flying through a high-intensity electric field.┬áSt. Elmo’s Fire looks like dancing lighting bolts and is usually blue, or purple but sometimes it can be green. Pilots report that they can hear St. Elmo’s Fire “signing” on the plane’s radio. The “singing” is more like a hissing sound and the sound goes up and down the musical scale.


Since drones have hit the mainstream market, more of them have entered the sky. In early 2018, a pilot reported that he saw a drone flying only 20 feet below the plane. To keep pilots, people, and structures safe, there are strict regulations for drones and they can’t come within a kilometer of airports. However, this rule only works if the drone pilot follows it.