Multiple aircraft told air traffic controllers they were seeing unexplained lights in the skies north of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada on Jan. 19. Pilots of several aircraft separately described the lights as numbering three to six, flying at high speed, in formation, and maneuvering.

In a YouTube audio-only post, one pilot estimates the altitude of the lights as 50,000 feet, though she acknowledges it was hard to tell. Others estimated the altitude of the lights as 70,000 to 100,000 feet. Another pilot said he had seen the lights multiple times within the last 18 months. Air traffic controllers said they had no knowledge of military or other activity that could explain the sightings.

Mark Phelps
Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.


    • I realize it can be confusing, but the thumbnail from the video link is just a backdrop for the audio-only post. It is not meant to be an illustration of the lights.

  1. Did no one think to catch a cell phone pic/video of said phenomenon? UPS could have made a feature length film!

  2. Could have been a launch of low orbit satellites. Elon Mush has been sending hundreds into space the last couple of years and they appear to “fly” in formation.

  3. Night flights on autopilot are boring to the point that pilots want to speak to someone on the ground who is as bored as they are.
    Don’t be frightened, you might be seeing light reflections from sources inside your cockpit.
    Or + attracting – electrons in the atmosphere….

  4. I agree with Joseph; this sounds a lot like Starlink satellites deploying. The first time you see it, it’s pretty surreal. There are some youtube videos showing deployment and formation “flight” of these lights in the sky prior to rotating.

  5. Did Aurora let her children out to play for a while. Why yes, I think she did. Bori and Alice, it’s time to stop annoying the night flyers and come home…

  6. The rocket engine noise from these unknown craft even at an estimated FL750 is just incredibly loud – more atypical of an afterburner kicking in. Some Four Zero Feet above us.

  7. Guess it could be the Starlink satelites. First time I saw it was pretty weird. It looks like a bright star with little ones moving around it. I could see it in several flights I did from Brazil to Portugal when passing close close to the Cape Verde archipelago. Tried to record it on the phone but it was to blurry.
    Been flying for a while and people always ask have you see anything weird? Yes! I reply, but inside the cockpit never outside !