UFO sightings are being investigated by the Ministry of Defence.
Two experienced airline pilots on separate flights saw something up to a mile wide off the coast of Alderney on Monday afternoon. Surprisingly, Jersey radar equipment did not pick up the object, although an air traffic controller said he had received simultaneous reports from the Aurigny and Blue Islands pilots.
Aurigny’s Captain Ray Bowyer, 50, said he saw the strange object during a flight from Southampton.
He spotted a bright-yellow light 10 miles west of Alderney while his plane was about 30 miles from the island and at 4,000ft.
«It was a very sharp, thin yellow object with a green area. It was 2,000ft up and stationary,» he said.
«I thought it was about 10 miles away, although I later realised it was approximately 40 miles from us. At first, I thought it was the size of a 737.»
A 737 is slightly smaller than a jumbo jet.
«But it must have been much bigger because of how far away it was. It could have been as much as a mile wide.»
As he continued his approach to Alderney, Capt. Bowyer saw a second identical object further to the west.
«It was exactly the same but looked smaller because it was further away. It was closer to Guernsey.»
The sightings come days after reports that scientists have discovered outside our solar system an Earth-like planet capable of supporting extraterrestrial life.
«I can’t explain it. At first, I thought it might have been a reflection from a vinery in Guernsey, but that would have disappeared quickly. This was clearly visual for about nine minutes.»
The sightings happened at about 3pm. Capt. Bowyer, who has flown commercial planes for about 20 years, said he had described the objects to air traffic control and filled in an incident report.
«As I got closer to it, it became clear to me that it was tangible. I was in two minds about going towards it to have a closer look but decided against it because of the size of it. I had to think of the safety of the passengers first.»
He added that the experience had been quite scary.
«I»m certainly not saying that it was something of another world. All I»m saying is that I have never seen anything like it before in all my years of flying.»
Paul Kelly, 31, the air traffic controller who was on duty, said the Blue Islands pilot had made a similar report, but nothing had appeared on his radar.
«The pilot from Blue Islands was en route to Jersey at the same time and as he went past Sark he described an object behind him to his left,» he said.
«The description was very similar to Captain Bowyer’s and they described it as being in exactly the same place. But they were looking at it from opposite sides.»
The pilot told him the object had been 1,500ft beneath his plane.
The Blue Islands plane was at 3,500ft at the time so, again, both pilots placed it at the same altitude.
«If the object was stationary, our equipment would not have picked it up because the radar would have screened it out.»