It seems that a few airline pilots have caused a bit of a flap over the weekend. Multiple flights dealing with Shannon Air Traffic Control in the west of Ireland had asked about traffic in their area. That in itself is not an unusual event, however these pilots were reporting seeing some lights in the sky, travelling at speed.
The voice recordings of the pilots talking to air traffic control have been captured and published. Whilst recent news updates appear to try and dismiss what the highly experienced pilots reported as meteors, at least one pilot mentions that the objects climbed ‘at speed’. Another mentions that the objects come alongside to the pilots left before veering off to the north.
Clearly there is a problem with the meteor theory. Meteors are subject to gravity and do not have their own propulsion system, so they cannot climb, let alone change course.
The reports from the pilots about these UFOs are now being investigated by the Irish Aviation Authority, though the news reports were keen to point out this investigation would be confidential.
Why should we take any notice? Well, these commercial airline pilots are probably amongst the most experienced users of that particular area of airspace. The planes involved are regular scheduled routes. Pilots are trained extensively and part and parcel of that training is observation from the flight deck using technical equipment and good old fashioned visual means. The fact there were multiple flights reporting sightings contemporaneously strengthens the case.
It will be interesting to see, in time, what the investigation by the Irish Aviation Authority concludes. Though I do suspect the investigation will take some time, to allow the public to forget the incident ever happened and the conclusions will be released in a very low-key manner.
As ever, only time will tell.