The crews of three separate airliners reported having an encounter with an apparent UFO over Ireland on the morning of November 9, described as a bright object that appeared to be traveling at twice the speed of sound. The reports were made to air traffic control immediately after the sightings, prompting the Irish Aviation Authority to launch an investigation into the incident.
At 6:45 am local time, British Airways flight 94, en route from Montreal in Canada to London’s Heathrow Airport, contacted Shannon Air Traffic Control (ATC) in Ireland, asking if there were any military flights in the area. Shannon ATC replied that there were none, and that both primary and secondary radar were clear. The pilot reported that two fast-moving objects had "come up on our left hand side and then rapidly veer[ed] to the north."
"We saw a bright light and then it disappeared at a very high speed," the pilot continued. She reported that she didn’t think that there was in any danger of a collision between their Boeing 787 and the unknown object, but they were curious as to what it might have been.
As this was happening, another controller was receiving a similar report from a Virgin Atlantic 747 traveling between Orlando, Florida and Manchester in the UK. The crew reported seeing two bright lights at their 11 o’clock position, that banked to the right and proceeded to "climb away at speed, at least from our perspective… very bright from where we were."
At this point, the pilot of a third aircraft, a Norwegian Air 737 traveling from Stewart, New York, to Shannon, chimed in: "Glad it wasn’t just me!"
"No… Er, yeah, very interesting, that one," the Virgin pilot replied.
Shannon ATC then informed the British Airways flight that other aircraft had reported seeing the same lights, and that they were "going to have a look and see." "The speed was astronomical, it was like Mach 2 or something," according to the British Airways crew, estimating that the object was flying at twice the speed of sound.
Regarding the incident, the Irish Aviation Authority issued a statement that said, "Following reports from a small number of aircraft on Friday, November 9, of unusual air activity, the IAA has filed a report. This report will be investigated under the normal confidential occurrence investigation process."
Authorities were quick to brush the incident off as simply being a meteor that had entered Earth’s atmosphere at a low angle — a plausible explanation, provided one ignores the pilots’ descriptions of a pair of objects that changed direction mid-flight and "climb[ed] away at speed."
Sightings of UFOs made by airline pilots are not uncommon, with two high-profile incidents having surfaced in the US southwest earlier this year, and another encounter over Canada two years ago. In the case of the February 24 incident over Arizona, one of the pilots came forward to set the record straight in regards what he and his co-pilot saw, quashing speculation that their sighting was due to a weather balloon. Hopefully, one or more of the witnesses to the incident over Ireland will also make a statement, to add more detail to the story of their high-altitude encounter.
Listen to the ATC recording of the incident on the video above. Thanks to CedarJet201