Nov 21 2008 by Anuji Varma, Birmingham Mail
A POLICE helicopter flying over Birmingham narrowly avoided tragedy when it nearly collided with a UFO, a report has claimed.
The pilot managed to swerve out of the mystery aircraft’s way while he was on a routine police surveillance task over the city centre earlier this year.
The helicopter was also carrying two police observers during the journey at around 9.50pm on May 2.
All three reported seeing an aircraft with two continuous blue/green lights – but were unable to identify what it was. The extraordinary incident is detailed in a document compiled by experts from the Airprox Board, which records near misses and reports them to the military and air traffic control units.
The report stated: “The front observer saw unidentified lights flying around their aircraft. The pilot established visual contact, as he manoeuvred the aircraft to avoid a collision and to identify the light source.”
The object was less than 100 m away and flew around them. The pilot told the Airprox Board he thought the intent may either have been sinister or just someone messing around.
It was initially believed that the object was a radio controlled aircraft and that it was purposefully flown around the helicopter.
The report stated: “He (the pilot) believes the lights may have come from a radio controlled fixed wing aircraft, the lights being to assist with night flying.”
Despite searching the area with a thermal camera, the pilot was unable to find any signs of radio-controlled model activity.
And the British Model Flying Association ruled out the possibility, saying the mystery object was flying too high to be a miniature craft.
Leading expert Nick Pope, who previously worked for the Ministry of Defence’s UFO desk and is nicknamed the British Fox Mulder, told the Birmingham Mail today: “A helicopter was nearly blown out of the sky.
“This is a very disturbing incident which needs to be thoroughly investigated by the MoD and the Civil Aviation Authority as well as other near misses.
“The conclusion on the report is unsatisfactory, especially when this aircraft came within seconds of a collision. It is a very interesting case especially when you look at the eyewitnesses. They are credible and reliable sources who have experience in night time flying.”
“This sighting clearly illustrates that whatever one believes about UFOs, this incident raises important air safety issues and should be taken seriously.”
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