A recent report filed with the United Kingdom Airprox Board describes a pilot’s terrifying encounter over Berkshire with a metallic object that nearly collided with the Airbus A320 he was flying.
At present the object, which the pilot said was traveling on a collision course for their plane at the same altitude they were flying, remains unidentified.
A report filed on the incident, quoted by the UK’s Daily Mirror, detailed the pilot’s reaction:
“[T]urned to look ahead, [when] he perceived an object travelling towards them at what appeared to be the same level, slightly above the flight deck windscreen. Having very little time to focus, he was under the apprehension that they were on a collision course with no time to react. His immediate reaction was to duck to the right and reach over to alert the first officer; there was no time to talk to alert him.”
Reports dating back to the 1940s describe encounters with strange metallic objects, often resembling missiles or rockets in shape. At present, details about the shape of the object observed over Berkshire do not suggest a projectile, per se, although the possibility of a drone may be likely.
In the United States, the Aviation Saftey Reporting System, an online database maintained by NASA, collects incident reports anonymously from aviation professionals regarding possible dangers to aircraft in flight. A number of incidents spanning the last three decades detail similar encounters with metallic objects of unexplained origin, similar to the events that transpired recently over Berkshire (for more on this, see The Ghost Rockets, which devotes a chapter to these reports).