A pair of “ UFOs ” zoom past a military helicopter as it hovers over a sinking ship off the French coast.
The silver disc-shaped objects were caught on camera by a local news crew who were filming the Spanish vessel after it smashed into rocks.
The footage has been revealed for the first time by British UFO expert Jason Gleave.
Twelve people were rescued from the 100m cargo ship The Luno after it hit the sea wall at Anglet, off the south-western coast of France in February 2014, and broke in two.
The ship was carrying fertiliser when its engine failed in the choppy Atlantic ocean.
Startling new footage has now been revealed showing how the UFOs flew in formation close by to the chopper as if keeping a watch on the rescue operation.
Jason Gleave, 46, who has studied the film using the latest computer technology, believes the objects are not drones or seagulls.
The former RAF man, from Liverpool, said: «Upon analysing the footage the twin objects pass to the rear of the helicopter at high velocity and dangerously close.
«Other theories as to what they could be are possible drones or even birds, but unlikely drones because they would not normally operate in such a close dangerous proximity to the rescue helicopter, due to the volatile unpredictable weather conditions.
«The sighting was captured by a local television news company who had been covering the dramatic events.
«Upon closer analysis of the video frames the two objects stay together in flight, in a tight compact formation not deviating from each other.
«It is difficult to get an accurate distance for the two objects from the stationary helicopter. This was a truly fascinating piece of video footage which I do believe the analysed frames do not give it full credit.»
The startling footage from February 2014 has only just come to light after Jason featured it in his new book UFO PHOTO, published by Flying Disk Press run by Philip Mantle, of Pontefract, West Yorkshire.
Nick Pope, who ran the Ministry of Defence’s ‘UFO desk’ for three years, has backed Jason’s research by writing the introduction to the book.
He said: «Jason has been involved in researching and investigating UFOs and other mysteries (like many experts in this field, he uses the phrase “high strangeness events” to describe a lot of this) for many years, but his particular area of expertise is imagery analysis.
«Jason has skill and experience in carefully examining photos and videos, sorting out the fact from the fiction.»