The calls to air traffic controllers were brief, almost embarrassed: “It came up to my left-hand side, then rapidly veered to the north,” reported a British Airways pilot.
She was flying a Boeing 737 on Flight 94 from Montreal to London in the early hours of Friday Morning, November 9.
“Is there a military exercise,” she asks?
Air traffic controllers at Shannon Airport were bemused: “There’s nothing showing on either primary or secondary (radar).”
“Okay,” the British Airways pilot responded. (It) was travelling so fast — in fact you can no longer see it. We were just wondering. We didn’t think it was likely on a collision course, but just wondered what it could have been.
“It was such a bright light and then it disappeared at very high speed …
But it was soon apparent she wasn’t the only to see something strange in the morning sky.
Two more pilots radioed in sightings in the following minutes.
Virgin Airlines Flight 76 out of Orlando to Manchester cut in, the pilot confirming he had also seen something, a “meteor or another object making some kind of re-entry. There appeared to be multiple objects following the same sort of trajectory. They were very bright from where we were … two bright lights that seemed to bank over to the right and climb away at speed at least from our perspective.”
One pilot added that the speed of the objects seemed “astronomical, it was like Mach 2 (2500km/h)”.
“Glad it wasn’t just me,” another pilot remarked.
Here, the exchange ended.
The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) says it will investigate the reports of “unusual air activity”.
“Following reports from a small number of aircraft on Friday 9 November of unusual air activity the IAA has filed a report,” the Irish Aviation Authority said.
“This report will be investigated under the normal confidential occurrence investigation process.”
Originally published as Three pilots report ‘strange lights’