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No. 96: Nov-Dec 1994

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Close Encounters With Unknown Missiles

In addition to all those alien-controlled UFOs in terrestrial airspace, human pilots sometimes encounter bizarre missiles or objects of enigmatic origin. C. Svahn and A. Liljegren have collected several intriguing cases. Here follows the so-called "Britannia Encounter":

"A few weeks later, on July 15 [1991], another Britannia Airways Boeing 737 on a holiday flight from Crete to Gatwick (London) had a similar encounter, this one at 5:45 p.m. Descending 15,000 feet, the copilot caught sight of a "small black lozenge-shaped object" some 500 meters ahead and above. The object was on a collision course, and within two seconds it passed the aircraft's wing at a distance of only 100 meters at less than 10 meters above the wing. The crew felt no impact or wake, and the passengers were not alerted. The pilot assessed the risk of collision as high.

When reported to London Air Traffic Control Center, the missile was picked up on radar moving away from the aircraft. It was moving at 100 mph in a southeasterly direction and was no known traffic since it had no transponder to identify it. Another aircraft was warned since the unknown target appeared to turn and head toward it, but the other aircraft saw nothing. The radar target, however, may have been a helicopter at a lower altitude.

"The sighted object was small, some 1.5 feet in diameter, smooth and round. A balloon, meteorological or toy, was suspected, but this does not conform with the radar reports of an object moving at 100 mph -- if that was the unknown object. The official report still regarded the unknown object as "untraced."

(Svahn, Clas, and Liljegren, Anders; "Close Encounters with Unknown Missiles," International UFO Reporter, 19: 11, July/August 1994.

From Science Frontiers #96, NOV-DEC 1994. 1994-2000 William R. Corliss