The British ministry of defence today faced calls to launch an official inquiry into a series of UFO sightings, including one filmed by a soldier on night patrol.
UFO experts believe the incidents, which happened in south Wales earlier this month, are ‘particularly significant’ because they included observations made by the crew of a police helicopter and military personnel.
The ministry confirmed today that it had been handed footage captured on a mobile phone by a corporal on guard duty at Tern Hill barracks, near Market Drayton, Shropshire, on 7 June.
Corporal Mark Proctor told The Sun newspaper that he witnessed a ‘fleet’ of objects zig-zagging across the sky at about 11pm.
The 38-year-old soldier, a member of the 1st Battalion Irish Regiment, said: ‘I was on duty in the guard room when the other boys outside began shouting.
‘I went out to see what the commotion was about and could see 13 craft in the skies. They were like rotating cubes with multiple colours.’
Former UFO expert at the British ministry of defence Nick Pope said that an inquiry to establish what had been seen by the witnesses was vital.
Mr Pope said: ‘Something quite extraordinary does seem to be going on in British air space at the moment.
‘There has got to be an official inquiry into all this and we need a senior air force officer to take personal charge and oversee the inquiry.’
Radar tapes, as well as footage of the incidents, should be examined as part of the investigation, said Mr Pope, who added: ‘It’s indisputable that something was seen — the very fact that it was seen by military personnel over a military base makes it a national security incident.’
A British army spokesman declined to comment in detail on the sightings at Tern Hill.
‘The ministry examines reports solely to establish whether UK airspace may have been compromised by hostile or unauthorised military activity,’ the spokesman said.
‘Unless there is evidence of a potential threat, there is no attempt to identify the nature of each sighting reported.’
By Richard SavillLast Updated: 3:21PM BST 25/06/2008
Special glowing lanterns released into the night sky at a wedding may have been mistaken for a UFO by police officers in a helicopter. The three-man helicopter crew reported spotting an «unusual aircraft» in the sky above St Athan in the Vale of Glamorgan on June 8.
The sighting made headlines around the world, but when newly married Lucy and Lyn Thomas read about it on honeymoon in Turkey they realised they had a possible explanation.
The lanterns were lit in Cowbridge, also in the Vale of Glamorgan, and floated off towards St Athan.
«There is no doubt in my mind it was our lanterns,» said Mr Thomas, 30, a salesman, whose claim was disputed by police.
He added: «We went on the internet on our honeymoon and saw a report about this UFO. I thought, ‘Oh no, it was exactly the same time and I remember they were going straight towards St Athan’.»
The couple first saw the glow lanterns at the Glastonbury festival last year and thought they would make an ideal alternative to fireworks for their wedding party of 150 guests.
Mr Thomas bought 100 lanterns on an internet auction site and set off about 30, with guests making wishes, from about 11pm on June 7 until 2am on June 8. The police helicopter reported seeing the UFO shortly after midnight on June 8.
«I can see how they would look like UFOs. They are about 2ft 6in high and are paper lanterns with a wax ball underneath.
«You light them and they inflate and float off — exactly the same principle as a hot air balloon,» said Mr Thomas, who added that he checked aviation regulations and made sure the lanterns were set off five miles away from Cardiff International Airport.
«You can’t judge their size [in the air] because they’re so bright. They just look like a big ball of light.» Wedding guest Geraint James, from Llantwit Major, said: «A few people had said they looked like UFOs, kind of spooky as they floated off.
«I read about the UFO and saw it had had coverage in India and in the New York Times. It made us laugh. I suppose this sheds a bit of light.»
South Wales Police said the crew sighted an «unusual aircraft» and reported it to the relevant authorities.
A spokesman said: «We don’t believe it was one of these lanterns. In today’s skies, there are a wide variety of aircrafts which come in a range of different shapes and sizes and in all probability, this sighting has just confirmed that one of these was in the area at the relevant time.»
15:00 AEST Thu Jun 26 2008By ninemsn staff
Alarmed UK citizens convinced they saw an armada of UFOs in the sky have flooded radio stations with their calls of distress.
Hundreds of people witnessed strange orange orbs hover over Liverpool, north England, on Monday, British tabloid The Sun reports.
The sightings prompted widespread speculation about the possiblity of an alien invasion.
Former policeman Steve Rafferty, 50, and his daughter Emma, convinced they were having a close encounter, filmed the unexplained phenomena on a mobile phone.
Another witness suggested the «alien craft» appeared to be scouting for a place to land, the newspaper reported.
The sightings came as three soldiers reported seeing UFOs spinning over an army base in Shropshire, in the west of the country.
The 13 flying objects were captured on film and are now reportedly being investigated by army officials.
June 25, 2008 13:16 EDTLONDON (AP) — Mysterious lights in the sky? Some British soldiers thought they might be UFOs.
Britain’s Ministry of Defense has received numerous reports of a squadron of mysterious rotating, cube-like UFOs this month, including one from a soldier who used his mobile phone to record video footage of the suspected space visitors.
A Ministry of Defense spokesman confirms that military officials had investigated the reports to make sure there was no hostile military action threatening the United Kingdom.
The Sun tabloid has reported that an «Alien Army» was gathering above the seemingly tranquil British countryside.
But there could well have been a more earthly explanation, like about a hundred blazing Chinese lanterns released at a wedding party down the road from the sighting.
The lanterns are a new craze in England. Once they are lit, the small lanterns rise into the sky, much like hot air balloons.