Military footage of unidentified flying objects (UFOs) is widely known to have come from the US, Chile and Mexico. But what you may not know is British military helicopters encountered — and filmed — anomalous objects twice over the span of a decade. It occurred in the same general patch of sky above the waters of the unforgiving Bristol Channel. Buried in the UK Ministry of Defence’s declassified UFO files is a reference to the first of the sightings, in 2008.
The crew reported it as “flying saucer shaped,” and the police department backed up their account, calling them “very experienced” observers. Eight years later, in 2016, British NPAS disclosed a second encounter above the channel and declassified 8 minutes of footage. They said the spherical object only was visible on infrared, and doubted it could’ve been a balloon because it was flying into the wind approximately 1,000 feet above the water. Crew also doubted it was a drone, saying their helicopter couldn’t keep up with it.
Sources in order of mention
MOD UFO Desk copy of BBC story on 2008 encounter: https://archive.org/stream/UKUFODocs3/UK%20UFO%20Docs%201#page/n1639/mode/2up/search/Athan
Telegraph article on 2008 encounter: https://web.archive.org/web/20090122012503/
NPAS disclosure of 2016 encounter: https://twitter.com/NPASSouthWest/status/779325831101423617
Helicopter flight log: https://gea-kt1.weebly.com/flight-details.html
Bristol Channel, Dr Blofeld (CC): https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bristol_Channel_from_Porthkerry.jpg
Bristol Channel, J. Anderson (CC): https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Llantwit_Major_Beach_Bristol_Channel.jpg
Avro Vulcan, RuthAS (CC): https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Avro_Vulcan_VX770_VX777_FAR_13.09.53_edited-2.jpg
Harrier, J. Gunner (CC): https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Am_I_the_only_one_who_thinks_they_still_look_pretty_damn_good%3F_(5120741913).jpg