The UK Airprox Board—an organization dedicated to the reporting and evaluation of near collisions between airplanes and various objects—recently released a report detailing an incident last November 16th in which a Royal Air Force (RAF) cargo plane almost collided with a “doughnut shaped” UFO near Currock Hill in England.
According to the report,
The Atlas pilot reports they had just completed instrument approach training at Newcastle and were climbing out to route towards Humberside. After the last approach they had been cleared to climb ahead to FL90. During the climb they received radar vectors from Newcastle ATC before being cleared on navigation to Humberside.
During one of the radar vectors, in a left turn passing through about south at FL75, one of the crew on the flight deck alerted the rest of the crew to a drone that was ahead and just to the right of the nose. Other crew members then saw the object as it passed quickly down the right-hand side.
There was no time for the crew to react.
The drone was assessed to have passed level with the flight deck windows and a few feet outside the wing tip. The drone was circular, had a hollow [center] (doughnut shaped), was dark in [color], and approximately 2-3ft in diameter.
The incident was reported to Newcastle ATC. It was noted that, had the aircraft not been in a turn at the time, there would have been a very high chance of collision with the drone.
Although the report referred to the object as a “drone,” the ultimate determination was that the nature of the object was unknown.
“In the Board’s opinion the reported altitude and/or description of the object were such that they were unable to determine the nature of the unknown object,” the report read.
Near collisions with unidentified flying objects are more common than some might think.
A similar incident was reported by the same organization just one month prior.
That report detailed an encounter between a commercial airliner and an unknown “reflective silver” object on September 10th, 2022.
Much like the above report, the Airprox Board ultimately ruled that they were “unable to determine the nature of the unknown object.”