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Passengers and crew baffled by reoccurring screaming and yelling noises from an American Airlines PA system

Deseret News 9/29/2022 Ashley Nash
Two American Airlines Boeing 737s are shown at the gate on Thursday, July 7, 2022, at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. © Wilfredo Lee, Associated Press Two American Airlines Boeing 737s are shown at the gate on Thursday, July 7, 2022, at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Passengers from several different American Airlines flights have reported a series of odd and unsettling moaning and screaming sounds over the plane’s PA system that the crew had no explanation for.

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What’s that noise? The phenomenon gained traction when Emerson Collins, a Los Angeles-based actor and producer, uploaded a video of the sounds on his flight, which eventually went viral.

  • “Someone on this flight seems to have broken into the intercom system,” Collins said as human-sounding grunting, yelling and moaning broke out over the speakers.
  • The crew eventually announced over the intercom that they too had no idea what was making the noise, some even pinning it as a prank.
  • They assured the passengers that there was no danger, as the aircraft was working properly.

American Airlines’ response: The airline later released a statement stating that each aircraft is hardwired without any Wifi or external access, making it impossible for anyone to hack into the system from outside of the plane, according to The Washington Post.

  • “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,” said Sarah Jantz, a spokesperson for American Airlines to the post.

Other accounts: Following the viral video, several other people shared their own experiences of hearing strange sounds while flying with American Airlines, per CNN.

  • Twitter user @windog wrote, “This happened to me last week. It wasn’t the whole flight, but periodically weird phrases and sounds. Then a huge ‘oh yeah’ when we landed. We thought the pilot left his mic open.”
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