Mystery Moans On American Airlines Flights Haunt Passengers and Crew

Some think it’s ghosts, others say it’s the sounds of the mile high club, but whatever the noise is, it’s freaking folks out

In a pathetic effort to deflect speculation about what’s clearly a cut-and-dried case of haunted airplanes, American Airlines said that the eerie, off-color moaning passengers heard on recent flights was due to “a mechanical issue.” First-person accounts say otherwise.

As airline industry site Paddle Your Own Kanoo first reported, the not-quite-nightmare at 30,000 feet began shortly after take off, when the 100-odd brave souls on last week’s AA 3211 from LAX to Dallas heard “moaning” or “screaming” coming over the in-flight intercom.

One passenger felt the sound evoked two far-flung in-flight experiences: “somewhere between an orgasm and vomiting,” film producer Emerson Collins said in a viral tweet from the plane. He included a video shared on TikTok, in which a clearly human utterance can be heard followed by the voice of a flight attendant.

“Ladies and gentlemen, we realize there’s an extremely irritating sound coming over the public announcements,” the attendant says. “The flight deck is trying to troubleshoot, trying to turn it off, so please be patient with us, we know this is a very odd anomaly and none of us are enjoying it.”

In the video, Collins posited that someone had “broken into” the intercom system. American Airlines attempted to debunk that theory.

“The PA systems onboard our aircraft are hardwired and there is no external access,” the company said in its statement to PYOK on Friday. “Following the initial report, our maintenance team thoroughly inspected the aircraft and the PA system and determined the sounds were caused by a mechanical issue with the PA amplifier, which raises the volume of the PA system when the engines are running.”

The airlines further assured, “Our team is reviewing the additional reports.”

Collins titled his sky-high post, “Weirdest. Flight. Ever.” But passengers on other American flights, both Boeing and Airbus aircraft, have reported hearing similar sounds.

After seeing Collins’ video, Manhattan Beach tech exec Bradley P. Allen reported hearing another possessed P.A. on his AA flight from John F. Kennedy Airport to LAX in July.

The human-like sounds were also encountered on an American Airlines flight out of John Wayne Airport in Orange County to Dallas on Sept. 18. Aviation insider JonNYC determined the call was coming from inside the plane, reporting “someone keeps hacking into the PA and making moaning and screaming sounds.”

 A self-described avionics professional on reddit floated a convincing practical-joke scenario: someone plugged a homemade Bluetooth receiver into one of the medical intercom jacks, pairing a microphone they commanded from inside a bathroom.

But the most compelling verdict comes from unidentified crew members of a flight on September 5, which JonNYC posted after accessing an internal AA messaging board: “I am hoping someone can explain what was going on otherwise the ac [aircraft] is straight up haunted,” one flight attendant wrote after passengers reported hearing the organic-sounding medley over that airplane’s intercom.

The internal messages chart the discovery of the phantom moaning, and the failed attempts by the crew to discover its source.

“Then our phones started to go off as an all call [in which every interphone is called at once on a party line] and when we would answer it would be just the tone sound,” the flight attendant posted. “Next the breathing noise started coming over the PA [public address system] and it is loud. It literally sounds like someone taking a big breath in and out. it happened throughout the flight and on top of the breathing noise a groaning, moaning guttural throat sound would play over the PA.”

The unknown attendant added unnecessarily: “It sounded completely out of a horror film.”

The rather urgent nature of the mile-high acoustics has been enough to put flight crews on edge, with increasing speculation that the intercom system may have somehow been hacked—although AA denies this could be a possibility and there is no evidence at present to suggest that this has actually happened.

We will be monitoring this situation for gremlins, langoliers, and other airborne maladies.

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