There are some UFO incidents that just seem to attract more attention than others for one reason or another and this one, from 2007, is right up there with the best of them.
The date was April 23rd 2007. Captain Raymond Bower, an aeroplane pilot with over 18 years of flying experience had an odd experience of his own when he, and a passenger on the plane, were able to see two very large unidentified flying objects between taking off from Southampton airport and Alderney on flight A-Line 544.
The flight departed as planned from Southampton at 14:00 in a BN2a Mk3 Trislander aircraft. The weather was considered fine with good visibility. Upon rising to 4,000ft, and appx 10 miles south of the Isle of Wight, Captain Bowyer noticed a bright yellow lamp or light in the immediate direction of Guernsey.
Bowyer initially believed it to either be another aircraft or a reflection from the ground, however with the light remaining in place this was ruled out. He confirmed the sighting with his binoculars describing the object as a definite shape, horizontal and pointed at each end in brilliant yellow with a dark grey band around it about one third from the right, as you would see on a new cigar. Bowyer concluded it was not another aircraft. He also removed his own glasses to confirm it was not a reflection from behind him.
Bowyer’s next step was to inform Jersey air traffic controller Paul Kelly. Kelly confirmed no other aircraft were in the area but that there was a faint primary return radar signal despite Kelly’s instruments only set to detect moving objects only. Bowyer also had a flight passenger confirm the sighting who also pointed out a second object as they got nearer to the original object.
“Upon nearing the object a second identical shape appeared beyond the first. Both objects were a flattened disk shape with a dark area to their right. They were brilliant yellow, with light emanating from within, and I estimated them to be about a mile across.”
In the meantime Jersey air traffic control were able to get a second confirmation from another aircraft pilot of Blue Island Air who was 25 miles to the south of the object who also had a visual on it.
When Bowyer was asked further about the object he said:
“This was a big object in the sky, a very, very big object. I did not want to be too close to it and it was at that time that we had to descend to land. We descended through the 2,000 ft haze layer and lost sight of it. There was no hiding it, they were just there. I wasn’t too happy. I was quite glad to get on the ground, and have a cup of tea. If it was designed by an engineer, that man had to be shaken by the hand because it was a fantastic piece of equipment, if that is what it was. I can’t really say much further than to say what I’ve said all along, that this thing is not from around here.”
Bowyer also added the following in November of that year to a United States press club.
“Good morning everybody. Thank you for coming this morning. My name is Ray Bowyer and I fly a civilian airliner, as captain. I’ve been invited here, due to my sighting last April of multiple, as yet unidentified objects, over the Channel Islands region of the English Channel. This encounter lasted for fifteen minutes, and the first object being visible from 55 miles distance. On nearing the object a second identical shape appeared beyond the first. Both objects were of a flattened disk shape with a dark area to their right. They were brilliant yellow, with light emanating from within, and I estimated them to be up to possibly a mile across. I found myself astounded but curious, but at 12 miles distance these objects were becoming uncomfortably large, and I was glad to descend and land the aircraft. Many of my passengers saw the objects as did the pilots of another aircraft, 25 miles further south. There is also possible radar information still being investigated. A team headed by Dr. David Clarke looking at this case, will shortly publish a report but I understand that at this time no definitive solution has been discovered to explain the sighting as yet.”
Bowyer was also keen to stress teh importance of transparency where safety is concerned, in relation to the lack of support those at Chicargo O’Hare airport received when they had a similar sighting.
“I’ve taken note of some of the differences between the British and the U.S. reporting system. It appears that attitudes on opposite sides of the Atlantic, are very different when it comes to the required reporting and recording of this type of event. Air Law stipulates quite clearly that if an operating crew of an aircraft see another aircraft at a place that it shouldn’t be, then at the earliest opportunity the whole scenario is to be reported to the relevant authorities.”
“In my case the British Civil Aviation Authority knew within 20 minutes of the sighting, what was seen, as described in a flight log, and faxed directly to the relevant CAA office. The military were informed by Jersey Air Traffic Control at the same time. This is not an option. This is an obligation that crews react in this manner. In my experience, having reported the experience as required, has had no negative effect, and there was no problem with me talking about this on British television. Indeed, my company, Aurigny Air Services, have offered every support to date. The assistance of Jersey Air Traffic Control in releasing recorded information between myself, and the […] investigating team, has been of great benefit. I did not feel that I was in any danger of being ridiculed, because all I did was to report what actually happened as was my duty as operating air crew.”
“I heard about the multiple witness sightings at Chicago O’Hare Airport, about a year ago now, on November the 7th, 2006. I was surprised to hear how it was handled. Despite many pilots and airport personnel witnessing the object hovering over the terminal, there was no investigation at all by the FAA. It appears as if pressure may have been applied to crew members by their company not to discuss this incident. I would have been shocked if I was told that the CAA in the UK would obstruct an investigation, or if the CAA told me that what I had seen was something entirely different. But it seems as if pilots in America are used to this sort of thing here.”
“I would urge all fellow air crew to report whatever they see as soon as possible and to stand up and be counted. It is only when crucial and critical witnesses such as air crew, make reports that authorities may be kick started to broader investigation of these phenomena. Thank you very much.”
This sighting, where compared to others, makes ver interesting reading given the sources of information and the number of them. The fact he also hasn’t “released a book” also adds weight to it’s authenticity.