American Airlines’ inflight announcements are being haunted by mysterious noises

There is still no explanation for the phenomenon.
Loukia Papadopoulos
American Airlines.jpg
American Airlines

Michael Valdez/iStock 

Recently reports have been surfacing of a strange voice appearing on American Airlines announcements, as first reported by Waxy on Friday. The voices take the form of moans and grunts delivered over the airline’s speakers.

A possible hack?

Twitter user John NYC was on one such flight and shared what he heard. “Currently on AA1631 and someone keeps hacking into the PA and making moaning and screaming sounds the flight attendants are standing by their phones because it isn’t them and the captain just came on and told us they don’t think the flight systems are compromised,” he wrote.

He went on to create a thread where he reported further on the mysterious sounds collecting reports from other passengers. He mentioned other people who had tweeted about the event and responded to speculations that someone might have hacked the airline’s teleprompter.

“I also feel the need to add that the "hacked into" part is the part I'm having the most trouble with-- it doesn't feel physically possible. At same time, cannot for the life of me figure out what the eventual explanation is gonna be,” he stated.

Actor and producer Emerson Collins was one of the people featured by John NYC. He had similar comments about the creepy voices.

“Someone has made a sound three times over the intercom on this plane somewhere between an orgasm and vomiting. A flight attendant just announced “it’s not one of us, our flight crew or deck crew, we are all fine.” Which does not answer the question of who is having a puke yank?!” he tweeted.

The phenomenon is not so new. Some reports date back to July, which means it’s an ongoing problem.

“My wife and I experienced this during an AA flight in July. To be clear, it was just sounds like the moans and groans of someone in extreme pain. The crew said that it had happened before, and had no explanation. Occurred briefly 3 or 4 times early in the flight, then stopped,” tweeted Bradley P. Allen.

View from the Wing’s Gary Leff actually asked American Airlines about the mysterious event and claimed that they responded by saying that the issue was caused by a problem “with the PA amplifier. There was no external access to the system.” Still, they did not explain what the problem might actually be.

A plausible explanation

The only plausible explanation was offered by a “former avionics guy” on Reddit.

“The most likely culprit IMHO is the medical intercom. There are jacks mounted in the overhead bins at intervals down the full length of the airplane that have both receive, transmit and key controls,” he wrote.

“All somebody would need to do is plug a homemade dongle with a Bluetooth receiver into one of those, take a trip to the lav and start making noises into a paired mic. The fact that the captain’s announcements are overriding (ducking) it but the flight attendants aren’t is also an indication it’s coming from that system.”

Overall, no absolute explanation has surfaced, just plenty of speculation making this event one of the coolest mysteries to come along in a long time.

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