UFOs Over Ireland

UFOs Over Ireland



While numerous UFO sightings have been reported in the UK, it seemed that relatively few had occurred in Ireland. We now know this is simply not so. There are numerous case studies of all kinds of UFO events – including alleged contacts with aliens – reported throughout the Republic over a lengthy period.

Among the most impressive UFO reports are those by military and civilian pilots, literally thousands of which have occurred since the dawn of aviation, frequently confirmed by radar and sometimes on camera. The year 2007 marks the sixtieth anniversary of two landmark incidents which triggered the modern era of Unidentified Flying Objects. In June 1947, while flying over Washington State’s Cascade Mountains, private pilot Kenneth Arnold’s eyes were drawn to the glint of sunlight reflecting from the evidently metallic structures of a flight of crescent-shaped, fast-moving airborne objects. When asked to describe their movements, Arnold commented that they had behaved like a saucer would if it were skimmed across water. The term ‘flying saucer’ was born, courtesy of an attentive (and inventive) correspondent. The description has become part of the vocabulary of journalism ever since, despite the fact that many reported UFOs look nothing like saucers whatsoever. In July of that year, the world’s media carried the stunning revelation – albeit briefly, until a sudden official about-turn – that one of these ‘saucers’ or ‘flying discs’ had crashed and been retrieved by the United States Army Air Force. The craft had met its demise on the Foster ranch, and its scattered wreckage was found by William ‘Mac’ Brazel in New Mexico. The ‘Roswell Incident’ had occurred, and its controversy continues to this day.

The idea of beings from above arriving on earth is nothing new, but again it’s a matter of interpretation of the language and imagery used. The ancients explained things that were mysterious to them in terms that they could grasp. Whether these ‘clouds’ represented spaceships or not isn’t really the point. The point is that they were telling of something that was apparently structured, and that flew. How many centuries was this before powered flight was invented? How many millennia? Science dictates that because faster-than-light travel is impossible, no extraterrestrial beings could possibly have made the trip to our planet. Yet this assumes that the extraterrestrial hypothesis is the only explanation on offer, the only game in town. It also assumes that there is no one out there in the cosmos more advanced than us, and a lot more experienced than us at space travel. Science is infallible, so some would have it; but then, didn’t science give us such pearls of wisdom as the ‘fact’ that the earth was flat?

The aim is not to promote the extraterrestrial theory on UFOs, nor any other single theory, rather to show that many ordinary people in Ireland have seen extraordinary things in our skies. Some have gone through bizarre experiences, after which they have asked for anonymity. The phenomenon, no matter what causes might lie behind it, is as real here in Ireland as it is throughout the rest of the world. Its reality can be gauged by the fact that UFOs even made it into questions and answers sessions in Dáil Éireann. The fact that the Irish government discussed the subject in the national parliament will surprise some, but it shouldn’t. Governments elsewhere have admitted that sections of their military and intelligence apparatus have maintained an interest in UFOs. It is a fact that the British Ministry of Defence had its own ‘UFO desk’ for many years, which supplied us with a map showing four ‘unidentifieds’ over Northern Ireland in 1996. If the military’s access to logs, radar tapes, etc., cant get to the bottom of a sighting, then what is the public meant to make of it? America’s Defense Intelligence Agency made available to us a copy of a declassified 1976 report, in which an Imperial Iranian Air Force F-4 Phantom jet’s air-to-air missile system was immediately rendered useless when the pilot attempted to lock onto and engage a UFO. How can something ‘unreal’ cause this? Further aerial close encounters between commercial jets and UFOs north of Dublin, especially in early 2004 and mid-2005, give plenty of food for thought.

So what has been going on over our heads over the past few decades, or further back? What is going on at the moment? Just what are these UFOs and who or what flies them? Perhaps none of us will ever solve the mystery.

Contact With Commercial Aircraft

There are plenty of anecdotal events reported in relation to UFO contact. The following is a report by the captain of a 737, filed as a near miss.

“The UFO angled off to the port side and a huge wake turbulence was experienced as the aircraft was violently shaken. The outside temperature rose to 164 degrees centigrade as the huge UFO scorched through the air (as shown on the systems display digital readout). This lasted for about fifteen seconds. The only other phenomenon that can cause such an effect is lightning. All of this was witnessed by the British Midlands Airbus crew, who also experienced the wake turbulence from the triangular object.  The UFO headed southeast at great speed. When the 737 landed, the crew could not raise the speed brakes, which are on the leading edge of the wings, more than a quarter of the distance up. They were then requested to go to Stand 132 by the air marshall. The aircraft was examined, and the wings were found to be badly damaged, as if dented by a hammer. There was aircraft skin damage and also hydraulic damage to the speed brakes caused by the UFOs wake. The pilots were told to go to the lounge and await further instructions. Soon afterwards, they were sent home for two days.”

Aer Lingus Jet Damaged by UFO

According to an Aer Lingus pilot, a huge triangular UFO was responsible for causing panic for the crew and passengers of two commercial jet liners en route to Dublin Airport – and considerable damage to one of the jet liners. At 8.30 p.m. on 4 January 2004, an Aer Lingus Boeing 737-400 series aircraft, EI-BXD, with 135 people on board, was approaching the east coast. The aircraft was fifteen nautical miles from the Ashbourne VOR (Very high frequency, Omni directional Range) beacon. The QDM (the magnetic bearing to the beacon) was 190 degrees and the QDR (the magnetic bearing away from the beacon) was 010 degrees. The chart position was fifty-three degrees, thirty-one minutes west. The 737 was being followed in for landing on Runway 10 by a British Midlands Airbus 330 at six miles’ distance. Both aircraft were at an altitude of 3,000 feet AMSL (Above Mean Sea Level), and their speeds were 250 knots, standard for below 10,000 feet. As the 737-400 series approached the Slane area, the Midlands Airbus crew observed a UFO taking off from a field with very bright strobe light flashes – as if taking photographs of the aircraft. The crew of the Airbus could make out a triangular shape to the UFO. The UFO began to circle the 737. The crew on board the 737, observing this, experienced a power drain on their aircraft. At this point, the British Midlands Airbus 330 could observe a purple-coloured glow surrounding the Aer Lingus 737. As the UFO flew in front of the 737, at the same altitude and a short distance in front of it, the captain requested a vector to avoid a collision. Even though they were on a VOR track, ATC gave the 737 an eight degree vector to avoid the UFO, as they had the UFO on radar. This is a very unusual procedure, as it upsets aircraft following behind and may require vector changes to all aircraft, incoming and outgoing.

A second encounter on the same night occurred at 10.30 p.m., as an inbound Airbus 330-200 series aircraft, with 213 people on board, was approaching the east coast. As in the earlier incident involving the 737, the Airbus crew observed a flashing strobe light over the Slane area. As the aircraft throttled back to 230 knots, and at 2,500 feet, the UFO took on a triangular shape. It was now in front of the aircraft, giving off a continuous, very bright flashing light. Again, this effect was akin to a camera flash repeatedly going off. The crew was advised by ATC to vector ten degrees to avoid the unidentified object. As the aircraft began to take up its new heading, the UFO began to circle it in a very aggressive manner. The crew members were terrified, and they expected a collision at any moment with the strange craft, which was estimated to be around 360 feet long. At this point the captain filed a ‘near miss’ report with ATC.

As the craft continued with its aggressive manoeuvres, the interior lights on the Airbus grew dim, indicating another power drain. At this point, the captain drew the attention of the passengers to the ‘strange craft’ circling their plane. At least some of the passengers had already been observing what was happening, and were now beginning to feel panicked. This scenario went on for several minutes. At one terrifying point in the confrontation, the wake turbulence from the huge UFO shook the aircraft violently and activated the ‘wind shear’ warning device. (This also records the stress on the aircraft and pitches it down to compensate and avoid stalling.) All through this terrifying episode, other aircraft in the area were observing the encounter and listening in on the radio transmissions between ATC and the Airbus 330. The Airbus was vectored in on its final approach to Runway 10 and, just two minutes before it landed, the UFO departed towards the south-east, shooting off into the distance. After landing and completing their flight logs, the crew passed the details of their encounter on to other pilots. The general consensus was that the area north of the VOR, i.e. the general Navan and Slane region, was now an area where UFOs had become a regular occurrence over the previous three or four years.

So What Now?

Ireland’s UFO story shows that governments and defence bodies elsewhere in Europe have become more open in admitting that they have had an involvement in the subject for many years. Our closest neighbour’s government even operated its own UFO desk for witnesses to contact with details of sightings. Unidentified Flying Objects have even been officially acknowledged in Northern Ireland. Despite all of this, the Republic’s authorities tell us, we live in a UFO-free zone! There are no files on the subject, even though copies of military reports have already been made available. Then there are the pilots, who might ‘see things’ but who are still trusted to fly thousands of people in and out of Ireland every day.

It is difficult for information on the UFO subject to reach the public domain, because, behind closed doors and in the corridors of power, the conspiracy of silence continues.

More reports of UFO activity in Ireland are available in the book Conspiracy of Silence. It is available  here. Authors Carl Nally and Dermot Butler are co-founders of UPRI, UFO and Paranormal Research Ireland.


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