There was a time not so long ago when the most common descriptor of an unidentified flying object was a ‘flying saucer’. As more planes, rockets, drones, satellites, balloons and other flying objects filled the skies, other shapes joined the club – orbs, triangles and cigars, to name a few. As science fiction film directors demanded more from their props departments – and later, computer graphics departments – UFOs and spaceships took on more complex shapes like flying battleships. We may now be trending back to simpler times, as the military sightings over the past few years have taken on the description of a popular breath minty known as the Tic Tac. That food theme seems like it may continue for a while with a new report from England that a Royal Air Force plane recently had an encounter with a donut-shaped UFO. This comes shortly after another report from Switzerland of a donut-shaped UFO over Zurich. Call Homer Simpson – he’ll want to hear about these and other UFDs – Unidentified Flying Donuts!
“The crew, who were out on a training exercise, described the object as circular, with a hollow centre (like a doughnut), and dark in colour.”
The Northern Echo revealed this week the details on an investigation by the UK Airprox Board into an encounter in November 2022 between an RAF aircraft and an unidentified object described in terms that could only make one think “donut” or “doughnut” if you prefer. According to its fact sheet, the UK Airprox Board (UKAB) is “the UK’s focal point for investigating and reporting the circumstances, causes and risk of collision for all Airprox occurrences in UK airspace.” This is the place to report possible airborne conflicts and mid-air collisions with UFOs (or UAPs), not mere sightings, because it is associated with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), and its primary objective is “to enhance air safety in the UK, in respect of lessons learned and applied from Airprox occurrences reported within UK airspace.” Yes, other countries are concerned about their airspace – not just the balloon-watching United States.
“At 1 pm on November 16, the crew of an RAF Atlas aircraft, a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft, spotted an object quickly passing them down the right-hand side of their vehicle. They were flying over Currock Hill, in Tyne and Wear.”
The Airbus A400M Atlas is a massive and versatile transport plane used by the RAF and the Air Forces of Germany, France and Spain. The UKAB report (as described by The Northern Echo) says the plane had just completed instrument approach training at Newcastle and was climbing to FL90 (9,000 feet). During a left turn passing through about south at FL75, one of the crewmembers on the flight deck noticed a UFO ahead and just to the right of the nose. Other crew members also saw the UFO as it passed quickly down the right-hand side. It was estimated to be level with the flight deck windows and a few feet outside the wing tip. That is far too close for comfort.
“The object was only around two or three feet in diameter.”
Because of its size, the UKAB referred to the object as a ” drone” which was doughnut-shaped and dark in color. The report noted that it was fortunate that the plane was in a turn – otherwise “there would have been a very high chance of collision with the drone” that was estimated at one point to be one foot from the plane. However, it also pointed out that because of the high altitude at which the incident occurred and the doughnut shape, “they were unable to determine the nature of the unknown object.” Unfortunately, as noted, the incident happened too fast for any photographs or videos to be taken, and there doesn’t appear to be any radar report given by the plane or air traffic control. While ‘drone’ is the easy answer and ‘balloon’ is the best alternative, the report sticks with “unidentified.”
“On the night of Monday, Nov. 8, a photographer in Zurich, Switzerland, who goes by the Twitter handle @Eavix1Eavix aimed his camera at the sky and snapped several pictures of what he aptly described as a “doughnut UFO.””
England is not the only place experiencing donut UFOs. In November of 2021, many witnesses and at least one photographer spotted another round object – this time over Zurich in the late evening. Unlike the classic hole-in-the-middle donut seen by the RAF pilots, this one (see the photo here) looks more like a solid filled donut with an icing swirl, or perhaps a cinnamon bun, which can technically be considered a donut since they are often sold at donut shops. As reported by Space.com and other media sources, the “donut” UFO was thought by many to be a SpaceX Endeavor capsule which was returning to Earth from the International Space Station at about the same time. However, that 10:30 pm splashdown occurred in the Gulf of Mexico, more than 5,000 miles from Zurich – later analysis showed the capsule was never visible over Switzerland. Another frequent suggestion was that the bright-blue donut was an unclear, out-of-focus star captured by an amateur photographer unclear on the concept of focus. Other suggestions or rocket parts reentering the atmosphere have not held up to scrutiny, leaving the Zurich donut to remain unidentified.
Another less-common donut UFO is the black or white smoke ring – these slow-moving space objects are often proposed to be strange alien crafts, portals to hell, witch rings, space-time vortices or anything other than what they most likely are … smoke rings from fireworks, factories, celebrations (like weird gender reveals) and machines that make smoke rings for those occasions. These rings look like donuts suffering from malnutrition or maybe spent too much time in the oven, pretzel rings or the large Obwarzanek bagels popular in the Polish city of Krakow. What they are not are alien spaceships or even drones – hence they don’t show up on reports by air safety organizations.
Should the donut be added to the list of common UFO shapes like cigars, balls, boomerangs, saucers, eggs, triangles, footballs, cubes, dumbbells and Tic Tacs?
What would Homer say?