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British Airways and Virgin Atlantic reporting UFO over Ireland. IAA investigating.

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British Airways and Virgin Atlantic reporting UFO over Ireland. IAA investigating.

Old 13th Nov 2018, 02:29
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British Airways and Virgin Atlantic reporting UFO over Ireland. IAA investigating.

The ATC recording has be found in the story below.

Listen As Multiple Airline Pilots Report Very High-Speed Unidentified Objects Over Ireland - The Drive

Additional reporting from CBS News.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/pilots-...nd-2018-11-12/
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Old 13th Nov 2018, 05:50
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This may be a tragic misunderstanding - Every week O’Leary burns ‘employee paper work’ with his managers in the backyard of his home (fondly named, Toad Hall) Apparently, its so bright that it can be seen from the International Space Station.

Perhaps thats what the pilots saw ?
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Old 13th Nov 2018, 08:13
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Usually, we call them meteors...
I remember about 2 years ago coming out of Nice under Milano radar, seen quite a bright one, was far from the first time seeing them, but apparently Alitalia E-190 crew were more impressed and reported to ATC asking about military activity in the area, no idea why, but we were quite accustomed to seeing meteors and were quite surprised our Italian friends were so impressed, and much less cool about them.
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Old 13th Nov 2018, 08:35
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Just a slight technical point about this reported sighting. The ATC recording that is linked from the news article is a little misleading as there are 2 separate frequencies being played back. You can clearly hear two separate controllers one male and one female. This is because "Live ATC" website groups frequencies together by recording using a scanner that monitors multiple channels at the same time. This particular group is labelled EINN Shannon Control High #1 and you can hear that one controller is working Shannon West and the other is Cork sector.
The reason I highlight this is that the BA female pilot is talking to the female controller whereas the VS pilot reports the same lights to the male controller on a different frequency. Thus the BA crew would be unaware of the separate chat taking place during the VS report. You can hear at the end of the tape that BA are told that other reports have been made.

Clearly two separate crews made independent reports about unidentified lights over Ireland without being aware of the others..........
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Old 13th Nov 2018, 08:40
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According to the BBC (which illustrates its story with a silly graphic of flying saucers) the BA pilot contacted Shannon at 0647 local (= UTC at this time of year) on 9 November (UFOs spotted off Irish coast under investigation).
The annual Leonid meteor shower is taking place, but not due to peak until the coming weekend, and shouldn't have been active in that area at that time last Friday. Perhaps satellite debris?
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Old 13th Nov 2018, 08:49
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from The Guardian (can't use URls, sorry) - I like this bit:
A spokesman for the Irish Aviation Authority told the Irish Times it was investigating the incident and would file a report. “This report will be investigated under the normal confidential occurrence investigation process.”
The spokesman added that it was unlikely to be aliens from another planet.
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Old 13th Nov 2018, 09:08
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Here's a shot of the positions of Speedbird and Virgin at 0649Z from FR24:

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Old 13th Nov 2018, 12:23
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Why the apparent change of direction and reported climb by the VS though?
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Old 13th Nov 2018, 13:08
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It’s been a busy few weeks for bright meteors/fireballs not associated with any of the major showers e.g.

https://www.sott.net/article/400398-...-in-the-region

I’d have that sort of object down as favourite, that or “space debris”
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Old 13th Nov 2018, 13:27
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Perhaps it was a scout from our recent visitor.


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Old 13th Nov 2018, 13:28
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I believe that meteors can bounce of the earths atmosphere and that, depending on you relative position, may give the appearance of a sharp turn and climb.
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Old 13th Nov 2018, 14:50
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Originally Posted by 601 View Post
I believe that meteors can bounce of the earths atmosphere and that, depending on you relative position, may give the appearance of a sharp turn and climb.
You do get what are known as Earth-Grazing meteors, or Fireballs which transit through the upper atmosphere but then depart out into space again ..but as seen by the observer they travel pretty much in a straight line (lots of momentum), I have ever heard of any of the few recorded as being seen to "bounce", turn, or sharply change direction.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth-grazing_fireball

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1972_G...light_Fireball

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth-...3_October_1990

Last edited by wiggy; 13th Nov 2018 at 15:02.
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Old 13th Nov 2018, 15:02
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Looking at the positions & headings of the two aircraft, you can see that they are broadly on an East/North/East heading. At this time of year the Leonid Meteor shower becomes evident in the constellation of Virgo in the easterly sky shortly before dawn in the UK. I don't know the times of the sightings. in this instance but the meteors are characterised by their bright brief trails (because of the chemical composition of their sand grains- See wikipedia).

I surmise that the crews of those transatlantic flights whose eyesight would have been self adjusted to the low light levels in their respective cockpits were surprised and alarmed in part by the light show.

It never surprises me when the press/media hype up a story to ridiculous proportions. No radar tracks because the meteors don't normally "Squawk" and modern radar relies Synthetic processed displays. They burn up high in the mesosphere 75-100 Km above the earth. The ionisation trails can persist for some time (I wonder if these ionisation trails were visible on primary radars ?)

Edit:[OldLurker is correct] Sorry I missed your ref at first look at the posts. The times of the sightings was in the early morning before dawn. I missed that from the graphic.

CAT III

Last edited by CATIII-NDB; 13th Nov 2018 at 15:12. Reason: old Lurker
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Old 13th Nov 2018, 16:22
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Originally Posted by CATIII-NDB View Post
(I wonder if these ionisation trails were visible on primary radars ?)
Forgive me if you are already aware of this but in general they can be detected on Primary radar , but it's a specialist/geeky/anorak field (delete as apropriate) and I've never heard of ATC owning up to observing them .

https://ares.jsc.nasa.gov/meteorite-...nd-meteorites/

and

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Old 13th Nov 2018, 16:49
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Wiggy: Thanks. I do seem to remember "Radar" being used to track Meteor ionisation trails - But could not recall all of the details. Because they are electro magnetic wave emitters by nature - "Small",transient and very energetic ones (in the main). Thanks for the links. In the main they vaporise in the mesosphere (Meteors the size of grains of sand) and I would imagine the reception lobes and frequency response characteristics of aeronautical primary radar would not be appropriate to receive the trails emissions. I bet now someone will come forward and prove me wrong. I will look at those links.

Edit: Further details https://www.electronics-notes.com/ar...io-signals.php

CAT III




Last edited by CATIII-NDB; 13th Nov 2018 at 17:11. Reason: Further Details.
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Old 13th Nov 2018, 17:24
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Originally Posted by ETOPS View Post
Just a slight technical point about this reported sighting. The ATC recording that is linked from the news article is a little misleading as there are 2 separate frequencies being played back. You can clearly hear two separate controllers one male and one female. This is because "Live ATC" website groups frequencies together by recording using a scanner that monitors multiple channels at the same time. This particular group is labelled EINN Shannon Control High #1 and you can hear that one controller is working Shannon West and the other is Cork sector.
The reason I highlight this is that the BA female pilot is talking to the female controller whereas the VS pilot reports the same lights to the male controller on a different frequency. Thus the BA crew would be unaware of the separate chat taking place during the VS report. You can hear at the end of the tape that BA are told that other reports have been made.

Clearly two separate crews made independent reports about unidentified lights over Ireland without being aware of the others..........
Negative - they are on same frequency, you can hear Speedbird pilot say "Glad it wasn't just me!" when the Virgin 76 pilot calls in his report.
Differing controller voices may be because there is always 2 controllers working the same sector, or a supervisor/shift change swapped in.
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Old 13th Nov 2018, 17:50
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probably a US stealth thingy going into its secret scottish base...................
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Old 13th Nov 2018, 18:10
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probably a US stealth thingy going into its secret scottish base.............
You could be right, Rescue3 - except that, unless there really is an 'Aurora' (who knows?), nothing goes that fast these days, apart from short range fighters. As far as I can make out, the fastest bomber is the B-1B, max M1.3-ish (excluding the Russians and Chinese, of course). And, also as far as I can make out, the SR-71 Blackbird (M3+) hasn't flown since 1999, and the suggested SR-72 (hypersonic) doesn't (yet?) exist.

All total speculation, of course. Don't expect this post to last long.... (like UFO sightings?)

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Old 13th Nov 2018, 18:15
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For the ATC frequency discussion, here is the listing of scanned channels on the recording from liveatc.net :

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Old 13th Nov 2018, 18:38
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Long term, long haul PAX here, and I can say having fllown on a reguler basis since 1963 man and boy, I have yet to see an unexplainable incident. Many intresting natural ones - Ball lightening and Sprites being the peak, but have yet to see little Green men. I did see some space junk recently at high altitude flashing in the setting sun tracking NNE across the UK when already dark on the ground. It looked quite intresting at first, as a lot higher and brighter than other AC in the sky, and a long slow pattern but very bright when it spun towards the sun light, even Mrs Mac was thoughtful until she got the scope out ! Anyway in the air tonight bound for DXB from MAN so will look out for the little Gren men from the bar but as returning NZ Rugby League team are on board it maybe abit crowded ! Hope they are better behaved than the English Football team I once flew with from HK, glad I was on Swiss passport as it was embarrassing.

Kind regards
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