Multiple airline pilots reported a UFO off the southwestern coast of Ireland last Friday.
As detailed in a recording from the Shannon Airport air traffic control found by the Irish aviation blogger Trevor Buckley, a British Airline pilot making a transatlantic flight from Canada to the UK said she saw a light to the right of the plane that “rapidly veered to the north.”
“We saw a bright light and then it disappeared at a very high speed,” the pilot told air traffic control in the recording. “We don’t think it was on a collision course, but we were wondering what it could’ve been.”
Another pilot added to her account and said “it appeared to be multiple objects following the same trajectory” at an “astronomical speed” that appeared to be almost twice the speed of sound. (It’s worth noting that this is well within the capabilities of experimental military aircraft, the fastest of which top out at nearly ten times the speed of sound.)
Shortly thereafter, a pilot for Virgin Airways called the Shannon air traffic control and said that they also saw “two bright lights.” An air traffic controller then told the pilots that “other aircraft in the air have also reported the same thing, so we’re going to have a look and see.”
According to the air traffic controller, no military exercises were occurring in the area at that time.
The Irish UFO may be extraterrestrial in origin, but it’s probably not aliens. First, it’s worth noting that the reported speed of the UFO is well within the capabilities of experimental military aircraft, the fastest of which top out at nearly ten times the speed of sound.
Apostolos Christou, an astronomer at the Armagh Observatory, told the BBC that what the pilots probably saw was a meteor. Indeed, a number of pilots have witnessed meteors burning up in Earth’s atmosphere before, and video of the phenomenon looks quite similar to what the pilots described.
Read More: Why Do Some Rocket Launches Look Like UFOs?
Nevertheless, the Irish Aviation Authority said that it has opened up a confidential investigation into the matter.
“Following reports from a small number of aircraft of unusual air activity the IAA has filed a report,” the Irish Aviation Authority told the BBC. “This report will be investigated under the normal confidential occurrence investigation process.”
Motherboard has reached out to the IAA for further details and will update this post if we hear back.