Video: unidentified flying object trailing a C-17 over the U.S. West Coast

Recorded on Nov. 11, 2011 (or if you prefer on 11/11/11) this video shows an unknown object trailing a C-17 Globemaster III over the U.S. West Coast. Although it is obviously a UFO because it is both unidentified and flying, I don’t believe the object has an alien origin. The distance from the aircraft tail, the position and apparent angle with the flight path make me think to something dragged by the American transport plane, like an undeployed drogue chute used for cargo drop (even if the cargo door seems to be closed) or a pallet that has lost (?) the extraction chute.

Another intriguing theory: the UFO is actually an unknown sensor or antenna.

The green tailband makes the C-17 a 62nd AW plane from McChord AFB, Washington.

Below, a U.S. Air Force image that shows how a C-17 air drop looks like from distance.

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. Looks like a LAPES drogue and line that failed to deploy, so they closed the cargo bay and flew back home.

    It if was from McChord, they’d probably flown out to the Yakima Range or Fort Lewis Range to drop some cargo

  2. I agree, it really seems like an airdrop gone a bit wrong and we’re seeing a trailing drogue chute as the plane returns to base.

  3. A chute that doesn’t open? Seriously? C’mon that’s absurd. You can see it zip into frame. Parachutes don’t do that. It zips in to catch up to the speed of the C-17, then once it matches the speed it trails the jet. A chute that doesn’t open would not do that nor would it appear shaped as it does here. That is definitely a craft. There’s plenty of footage like this, just do a Google search for Mexico City airport UFOs and you’ll see that they trail airliners all the time, in fact they even dodge them or play “chicken” if you will. A chute that doesn’t open? That’s laughable!! I suppose the Phoenix Lights were flares and the filmed footage showing the UFOs over D.C. in 1952 were weather balloons, huh?!!

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