SAS soldiers waiting to ambush IRA gunmen were stunned when aliens walked in front of their gun-sights, it was claimed yesterday.
The undercover troops — hiding near an arms cache on a hillside in South Armagh — say they saw up to four small grey figures.
The «aliens» and soldiers stared at each other for a minute. Then the «spacemen» disappeared — and seconds later the eight SAS troops saw a flash in the sky.
They were so disturbed by what they had seen that they took the rare decision to abandon the stake-out.
Their commander was furious — and their comrades in the elite Special Air Service Regiment laughed or accused them of being high on drugs.
But the eight stuck to their story and it was accepted. Now, four years later, it has been revealed to a Ulster UFO study group by a former Army intelligence officer.
Belfast-based expert Hugh O’Brien said: «We are trying to interview the soldiers even though some may be too embarrassed to come forward.
«We have learned that on that morning they were convinced they saw three, perhaps four, small grey figures in human form.
«At no stage did the soldiers feel threatened. They simply could not believe what they were seeing.
«The alien forms made no move towards them but judging from what the soldiers told their regimental priest and commanding officer, the aliens knew the soldiers were there. It was like a stand-off. Within a few minutes, probably much less, the aliens disappeared.
«All the men can recall is that in a very quick space of time they saw a brief flash of light in the sky.»
Mr O’Brien added: «These men were fit, highly-trained observers and to put it down to some flight of imagination would be absurd.»
The weapons cache was recovered by other soldiers.