Stansted Airport labelled ‘UFO hotspot’ with several near misses with planes

A UFO expert has called for the Government to investigate after a string of sightings at London Stansted Airport. The airport has become a UFO hotspot after reports of several near misses with passenger jets.

In one alleged incident, a mystery black craft came within 20 metres of a Ryanair plane travelling at 230mph shortly after it took off from the airport. It was one of 27 reported UFO sightings in Essex in the past six years.

The object did not register on drone-monitoring equipment which alerts air traffic controllers to potential collision risks, the Daily Star reports . An official report of the 2022 incident said the Ryanair jet was climbing out from Stansted Airport and was at a height of 4,000ft and just over the St Elizabeth Centre.

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“The pilot saw an object which they describe as black’ which passed within 20 metres of the aircraft,” it said. “The plane was travelling at 230mph and the object was travelling from north to south.”

In another incident the same year at the airport – which serves 27 million passengers annually – multiple pilots reported their collision avoidance systems were detecting an object 500ft beneath their aircraft as they came in to land.

An Essex Police report, obtained under the Freedom Of Information Act, said: “Three aircraft reported an object was in their vicinity. Informant from tower reporting that two planes have reported an object at about 500ft below them as they are coming into land on Runway 22, the closest being 20km away.

“Approach (two-three miles out) when their TCAS (traffic collision avoidance system) alerted them to something at around 500ft. None of the pilots could see anything when they looked.”

The incidents are just two of 27 reports Essex Police received about UFOs since 2018. They include sightings of a “green fluorescent light like a comet coming from the sky” and a “big faded ball of light going in and out of the clouds”.

Nick Pope, who used to run the Ministry Of Defence’s UFO investigation unit, said the incidents were “fascinating”.

He called for the UK Government to take such sightings as seriously as their counterparts in the US who are probing more than 800 close encounters with military personnel. “These fascinating revelations illustrate that whatever one thinks about UFOs there’s a credible and serious flight safety issue involved,” said Nick.

“When an object passes within 20 metres of an aircraft this is a very close call by anyone’s definition. This, and the other incidents revealed in this FOI response, shows that it was a mistake for the MoD to terminate their UFO investigation programme at the end of 2009 and suggests it’s time to reverse this policy.

“Even if people are sceptical and think this is all just drone activity it should be borne in mind that while drones can be flown as a hobby, or by surveyors, they can also be used in espionage and terrorism. Either way – and particularly in crowded flight paths – we need to identify all objects in our airspace.

“The subject of UFOs is taken very seriously in the United States with hearings in Congress, provisions in the annual Defence Bill, and a dedicated Pentagon unit set up to research and investigate the phenomenon. The UK needs to treat this issue with the same seriousness and take action to mitigate the potential threat posed by these objects – whatever they are.”

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