I find this fascinating. Dr. Richard F. Haines, is the Chief Scientist for the National Aviation Reporting Center on Anomalous Phenomena (NARCAP). His research focuses on airline sightings, airline safety, and these strange aerial mysteries. Dr. Haines goes into quite comprehensive detail about military/civilian pilot sightings, electromagnetic interference effects and the 3400 actual unknown reports collated from aviation professionals, civilian and military. Here’s one example of a close encounter over Scotland.
Glasgow, Scotland Airport – 12-21-2012
An airbus with 220 passengers came very close to a collision with a UAP as the plane began to approach the airport for a landing. The plane was at 3,500 ft. when it spotted a ‘blue and yellow’ UAP.
The unknown flying object passed just under the plane at 13 miles from the airport. The pilot said that they only avoided the crash by some 10 seconds.
After receiving details of the event from the crew, UK Airprox Board proceeded to investigate the case. They could not identify the object in question, and the UAP did not register on radar.
The pilot was clearly shocked and reported that there had been a ‘high’ risk of collision following the incident on December 2 last year. He told his control tower: ‘We just had something pass underneath us quite close. Have you got anything on in our area?’
Nothing Seen on Radar
Not only did the object not show up on radar, but no other vehicles were in the area at the time. Neither one of the crew members had time to react to the sighting, it happened so quickly. The fact that there was no collision was simply a stroke of luck.
Both pilots described the object as blue and yellow (or silver) in color with a small frontal area, and it was “bigger than a balloon.” Even outside of official channels, no other investigators could solve the case.
They wrote: The controller stated that he was not talking to anyone else in that area and that nothing was seen on radar. Search action was taken with no result and the A320 pilot stated his intention to file an Airprox report.
This is a transcript of what the A320 pilot told the control tower.
A320: ‘Glasgow Approach [A320 C/S]’ Air Traffic Control: ’[A320 C/S] pass your message’
A320: ‘Er yeah we just had something pass underneath us quite close and nothing on TCAS have you got anything on in our area’
Control: ‘Er negative er we’ve got nothing on er radar and we’re n-not talking to any traffic either’
A320: ‘Er not quite sure what it was but it definitely er quite large and it’s blue and yellow’
Control: ‘OK that’s understood er do you have a an estimate for the height’
A320: ‘Maybe er yeah we were probably about four hundred to five hundred feet above it so it’s probably about three and a half thousand feet. ’… we seemed to only miss it by a couple of hundred feet it went directly beneath us… wherever we were when we called it in; it was within about ten seconds’… couldn’t tell what direction it was going but it went right underneath us"’
Control: ‘do you suspect it might have been a glider or something like that?’
A320: ‘well maybe a microlight… it just looked too big for a balloon.“
More from the Pilot
Shortly after the Airbus landed, the pilot gave additional information to the Glasgow Aerodrome Controller.
The pilot said: ‘We seemed to only miss it by a couple of hundred feet it went directly beneath us – wherever we were when we called it in it was within about ten seconds; couldn’t tell what direction it was going but it went right underneath us.’
Asked if he thought it was a glider, the pilot replied: ‘well maybe a microlight – it just looked too big for a balloon.’
The board immediately ruled out anything like a glider.
The board initially considered likely candidates for the untraced aircraft. The A320 crew had not been able to assimilate any information regarding the form of the untraced aircraft in the fleeting glimpse they had, reporting only a likely colour, it said.
Members were of the opinion that, in the absence of a primary radar return, it was unlikely that the untraced aircraft was a fixed-wing or rotary-wing aircraft or man-carrying balloon.
It was considered that a meteorological balloon would be radar significant and unlikely to be released in the area of the Airprox.
A glider could not be discounted, but it was felt unlikely that one would be operating in that area, both due to the constrained airspace and the lack of thermal activity due to the low temperature.
Similarly, The board considered that a hang-glider or para-motor would be radar significant and that conditions precluded them, as they did para-gliders or parascenders.
Members were unable to reach a conclusion as to a likely candidate for the conflicting aircraft and it was therefore felt that the Board had insufficient information to determine a cause or risk.
Courtesy of Billy Booth, About.com Guide