A pilot of a passenger jet has reported a near miss incident when a ‘cigar/rugby ball-shaped UFO’ passed within a few feet of his aircraft while it was flying into Heathrow Airport, The Telegraph has reported.
The captain of the A320 Airbus told British aviation authorities that he was certain that the object was going to crash into his aircraft and ducked as it headed towards him. The incident occurred while the plane was cruising at 34,000ft, around 32km west of the airport, over the Berkshire countryside.
The captain spotted the bright silver, ‘metallic’ object travelling towards the jet out of a left hand side, cockpit window, apparently heading directly for it. However, when he checked the aircraft’s instruments and contacted air traffic controllers to report the incident there was no sign of the mystery craft.
Without naming the airline or flight, a report into the incident said: He (the pilot) 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.’
It added: ‘The Captain was fully expecting to experience some kind of impact with a conflicting aircraft.’
The incident was investigated by the UK Airprox Board, which studies ‘near misses’ involving aircraft in British airspace. The investigation was unable to establish any earthly identity for the mysterious craft. It ruled out meteorological balloons, after checking that none were released in the vicinity. 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 this, the Civil Aviation Authority decided that it would continue to look into such reports from aircrew and air traffic controllers, because they could have implications for ‘flight safety’.