July 19, 2013
Location: Berkshire, United Kingdom
airline pilot reports a close encounter with a UFO near
Heathrow Airport which has baffled the aviation authorities.
The incident occurred while the A320 Airbus was cruising
at 34,000 feet, around 20 miles west of the airport,
over the Berkshire countryside. (Photo: ALAMY)
By Jasper Copping/The Telegraph
AM GMT 05 Jan 2014
It was certainly a close encounter, but with precisely
what remains a mystery.
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.
captain told the aviation authorities who have investigated
the incident that he was certain the object was going
to crash into his aircraft and ducked as it headed towards
investigation has been unable to establish any earthly
identity for the mysterious craft, which left the aircrew
with no time to take evasive action.
incident occurred while the A320 Airbus was cruising at
34,000 feet, around 20 miles west of the airport, over
the Berkshire countryside.
captain spotted the object travelling towards the jet
out of a left hand side, cockpit window, apparently heading
directly for it.
report into the incident states: "He was under
the apprehension that they were on collision course with
no time to react. His immediate reaction was to duck to
the right and reach over to alert the FO (First Officer);
there was no time to talk to alert him."
adds: "The Captain was fully expecting to experience
some kind of impact with a conflicting aircraft."
told investigators he believes the object passes "within
a few feet" above the jet.
described it as being "cigar/rugby ball-like"
in shape, bright silver and apparently "metallic"
he had composed himself, he checked the aircrafts
instruments and contacted air traffic controllers to report
the incident. However, there was no sign of the mystery
incident was investigated by the UK Airprox Board, which
studies "near misses" involving aircraft
in British airspace.
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.
sighting occurred in daylight, at around 6:35 p.m. on
July 19. It has only emerged now, following publication
of the report, which concluded it was "not possible
to trace the object or determine the likely cause of the
report does not name the airline or flight involved. Even
though it describes the aircraft as being "just
to the west of Heathrow", aviation experts believe
that at such an altitude it would be unlikely to have
taken off from, or be preparing to land at, the west London
the A320, which is popular with many carriers, among them
British Airways and Virgin, is likely to have been travelling
between a regional airport elsewhere in the UK, and another
on the Continent. The aircraft typically carry about 150
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."
2012, the head of the National Air Traffic Control Services
admitted staff detected around one unexplained flying
object every month.
David Clarke, a Sheffield Hallam academic and the UFO
consultant for the National Archives, said: "The
aviation authorities obviously think this is something
they should continue to look into and if you are a regular
air traveller, you are likely to agree."
Clarke, a sceptic on UFO issues, said: "This latest
sighting is interesting, because it is detailed and clear.
These pilots dont file these reports for something
and nothing. There was obviously something there."
Yates, an aviation consultant, said: "Although
we assume when these things happen, a UFO is responsible,
there is usually an explanation that materialises at some