Pilot's near-miss with UFO under investigation

2014-01-07 15:07
United Kingdom- An airline pilot has reported a near miss in which a “rugby ball”-shaped UFO passed within a few feet of his passenger jet while flying near Heathrow Airport some few months ago. The incident is being further investigated by aviation authorities.

The Telegraph reports that the captain told the aviation authorities that he was certain the object was going to crash into his aircraft and ducked as it headed towards him. The investigation has been unable to establish any earthly identity for the mysterious craft, which left the aircrew with no time to take action.

The incident occurred while the A320 Airbus was cruising at 34 000ft, around 32 kilometres west of the airport, over the Berkshire countryside. The captain spotted the object travelling towards the jet out of a left hand side, cockpit window, apparently heading directly for it. The pilot’s immediate reaction was to duck to the right and reach over to alert the First Officer.

The Captain described the UFO as being “cigar/rugby ball like” in shape, bright silver and apparently “metallic” in construction. He then checked the aircraft’s instruments and contacted air traffic controllers to report the incident. However, there was no sign of the mystery craft.

The incident was investigated by the UK Airprox Board, which studies “near misses” involving aircraft in British airspace. It checked data recordings to establish what other aircraft were in the area at the time, but eliminated them all from its quest to find out what had been responsible. It also ruled out meteorological balloons, after checking none were released in the vicinity. Toy balloons were also discounted, as they are not large enough to reach such heights. Military radar operators were also contacted but were unable to trace the reported object.

The Ministry of Defence closed its UFO desk in December 2009, along with its hotline for reporting such sightings. Following that change, the Civil Aviation Authority took the decision that it would continue to look into such reports, from aircrew and air traffic controllers, because they could have implications for “flight safety”.

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Read more on:    flights  |  air travel  |  travel  |  international

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