spotted off Irish coast under investigation
13 November 2018
Irish Aviation Authority is investigating reports of bright
lights and UFOs off the south-west coast of Ireland.
began at 06:47 local time on Friday 9 November when a
British Airways pilot contacted Shannon air traffic control.
wanted to know if there were military exercises in the
area because there was something "moving so fast".
air traffic controller said there were no such exercises.
pilot, flying from the Canadian city of Montreal to Heathrow,
said there was a "very bright light" and the
object had come up along the left side of the aircraft
before it "rapidly veered to the north".
was wondering what it could be but said it did not seem
to be heading for a collision.
pilot from a Virgin plane joined in and suggested it might
be a meteor or another object re-entering the earth's
said there were "multiple objects following the same
sort of trajectory" and that they were very bright.
pilot said he saw "two bright lights" over to
the right which climbed away at speed.
pilot said the speed was "astronomical, it was like
Mach 2" - which is twice the speed of sound.
could it have been?
Christou, an astronomer from the Armagh Observatory and
Planetarium, said what the pilots saw was probably a piece
of dust entering the earth's atmosphere at very high speed.
was most likely what are commonly called shooting stars,"
appears the matter was extremely bright so it must have
been quite a large piece of material.
cannot say from the pilots' description, but it could
have been the size of a walnut or an apple."
astronomer said November tended to be a very busy month
for such activity.
also appears there were bits coming off the object and
flying past the aeroplane, that is also what you would
expect if it was a particularly large rock from space
hitting the atmosphere, it would tend to fragment."
reports from a small number of aircraft on Friday 9 November
of unusual air activity the IAA has filed a report,"
the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) said.
report will be investigated under the normal confidential
occurrence investigation process."
spokesperson for Shannon Airport said it would not be appropriate
for the airport to comment while the IAA investigation is