April 23, 2007, captain Ray Bowyer was flying a routine
passenger flight for the civilian airliner Aurigny Air Services,
when he and his passengers gained progressively clearer
views of two UFOs during a 12 to 15-minute period. Bowyer
had 18 years of flying experience, and the 45-minute flight
was one that he had completed every working day for more
than 8 years.
80-miles (130 km) journey of 45 minutes took them from
Southampton on the southern coast of England, southwestwards
to Alderney, being 10 miles (16 km) from France, and the
northernmost of the Channel Islands. Their particular
flight path had them converging on two enormous, seemingly
stationary and identical airborne craft, which emanated
brilliant yellow light.
pilot of a plane near Sark, some 25 miles (40 km) to the
south, confirmed the presence, general position and altitude
of the first object from the opposite direction. Radar
traces also seemed to register the presence of an object,
which Ray Bowyer believed to be correlated with the position
and time of the sighting. A study by David Clarke, however,
could not establish a definite link, as the radar reflections
of passenger ferries may have affected at least some of
April 23 observation was preceded, ten weeks earlier,
by a sighting of an initial two, and a subsequent twenty
to twenty five unexplained lights in formation over the
northern extremity of Alderney's coastline. These were
noticed at 6:15 AM on February 14 by builder Paul Gaudion.
passengers of flight A-Line 544 departed in a BN2a Mk3
Trislander aircraft at 2:00 PM in fine weather with good
visibility. They rose to an altitude of 4,000 ft (1,200
m) and were cruising on autopilot about 10 miles (16 km)
south of the Isle of Wight, when captain Bowyer was doing
paper work and looking out for other aircraft. At this
point he noticed, exactly in the direction of Guernsey,
i.e. southwest and twelve o'clock ahead, what appeared
to be a brilliant yellow lamp or light. He considered
that it might be an aeroplane, or alternatively, reflections
from the ground, as Guernsey was immediately behind it.
The reflection of the sun off a greenhouse was a possibility,
but surprisingly, for a minute and then a couple of minutes,
the apparition continued.
concluded that it was not a reflection but an emission
of light. With his binoculars, always at hand, he could
make out a definite shape. The object was pointed at each
end, and the horizontal to vertical dimensions of its
body were in a ratio of about 15:1. It was brilliant yellow,
with a dark grey band enveloping it 1/3 from the right,
like a band around a cigar. With his 10x magnification
binoculars, he could make out that it bore no relation
to a normal aeroplane. He took his glasses off to exclude
the possibility of a reflection from behind.
reaction was to make contact with Jersey ATC to confirm
or exclude the possibility of traffic heading his way.
Paul Kelly at Jersey ATC denied the presence of traffic
in the said position, but could pick up a faint primary
return radar signal, i.e. a signal without the additional
transponder return. His instruments were however set to
detect only moving objects.
passenger behind the captain confirmed what he was seeing,
and pointed out a second similar craft, immediately behind
the first: "Upon nearing the object, a second
identical shape appeared beyond the first. Both objects
were of a flattened disk shape, with a dark area to [their]
right. They were brilliant yellow, with light emanating
from within, and I estimated them to be up to possibly
a mile across." Jersey ATC was now able to get
confirmation from the pilot of Blue Island Air, who at
25 mi (40 km) to the south, also had visual contact with
Bowyer relates: "This [was] a big object in the
sky, a very, very big object. I did not want to be too
close to it and it was at that time that we had to descend
to land. We descended through the 2,000 ft (610 m) haze
layer and lost sight of it." ... On Guernsey,
he related: "There was no hiding it, they were
just there. I wasnt too happy. I was quite glad
to get on the ground ... and have a cup of tea."
If it was designed by an engineer, that man had to be
shaken by the hand because it was a fantastic piece of
equipment, if that is what it was. I can't really say
much further than to say what I've said all along, that
this thing is not from around here. Ray Bowyer
Bowyer produced drawings of the two objects in his CAA
Air Safety Report of April 23, 2007, and again in October
Radio Guernsey reported that two visitors to Sark enquired
at their hotel as to what two bright yellow objects in
the sky might be. The objects were observed during an
afternoon walk on the 23rd, in the direction of Alderney.
Jersey Airport Radar Control saved a radar recording of
the incident, which was submitted to the CAA. These showed
traces of two objects with slow north and southward movements,
for a period of 55 minutes. They were recorded on Jersey
Airport's primary, low level radar system, but not on
the secondary radar used for air traffic control, which
was screening out stationary objects. It remained unclear
whether the radar station near Cap de la Hague, not far
from the nuclear reprocessing site, observed any traces.
Press Club UFO meeting
Ray Bowyer addressed the US National Press Club on November
12, 2007, and highlighted some details of the sighting.
morning everybody. Thank you for coming this morning.
My name is Ray Bowyer and I fly a civilian airliner, as
captain. Ive been invited here, due to my sighting
last April of multiple, as yet unidentified objects, over
the Channel Islands region of the English Channel. This
encounter lasted for fifteen minutes, and the first object
being visible from 55 miles distance. On nearing the object
a second identical shape appeared beyond the first. Both
objects were of a flattened disk shape with a dark area
to [their] right. They were brilliant yellow, with light
emanating from within, and I estimated them to be up to
possibly a mile across. I found myself astounded but curious,
but at 12 miles distance these objects were becoming uncomfortably
large, and I was glad to descend and land the aircraft.
Many of my passengers saw the objects as did the pilots
of another aircraft, 25 miles further south. There is
also possible radar information still being investigated.
A team headed by Dr. David Clarke looking at this case,
will shortly [
] publish a report but I understand
that at this time no definitive solution has been discovered
to explain the sighting as yet."
the address, he also highlighted a supposed secrecy and
suppression of pilots' UFO sighting reports in the United
taken note of some of the differences between the British
and the U.S. reporting system. It appears that attitudes
on opposite sides of the Atlantic, are very different
when it comes to the required reporting and recording
of this type of event. Air Law stipulates quite clearly
that if an operating crew of an aircraft see another aircraft
at a place that it shouldnt be, then at the earliest
opportunity the whole scenario is to be reported to the
my case, the British Civil Aviation Authority knew within
20 minutes of the sighting, what was seen, as described
in a flight log, and faxed directly to the relevant CAA
office. The military were informed by Jersey Air Traffic
Control at the same time. This is not an option. This
is an obligation that crews react in this manner. In my
experience, having reported the experience as required,
has had no negative effect, and there was no problem with
me talking about this on British television. Indeed, my
company, Aurigny Air Services, have offered every support
to [date]. The assistance of Jersey Air Traffic Control
in releasing recorded information between myself, and
] investigating team, has been of great benefit.
I did not feel that I was in any danger of being ridiculed,
because all I did was to report what actually happened
as was my duty as operating air crew.
heard about the multiple witness sightings at Chicago
OHare Airport, about a year ago now, on November
the 7th, 2006. I was surprised to hear how it was handled.
Despite many pilots and airport personnel witnessing the
object hovering over the terminal, there was no investigation
at all by the FAA. It appears as if pressure may have
been applied to crew members by their company not to discuss
this incident. I would have been shocked if I was told
that the CAA in the UK would obstruct an investigation,
or if the CAA told me that what I had seen was something
entirely different. But it seems as if pilots in America
are used to this sort of thing here.
would urge all fellow air crew to report whatever they
see as soon as possible and to stand up and be counted.
It is only when crucial and critical witnesses such as
air crew, make reports that authorities may be kick started
to broader investigation of [these] phenomena. Thank you
Clarke, David, J. Baure, P. Fuller, M. Shough (2008), "Report
on Aerial Phenomena observed near Channel Islands, UK, April
23, 2007", Journal of Scientific Exploration