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Source: Daily Mail newspaper (UK)
Publish Date: Monday 27th April 1998
RAF track mystery craft over north sea - and fighters can't catch it
24,000mph UFO buzzes Britain
By DAVID DERBYSHIRE
THE RAF has tracked a UFO `as big as a battleship' off the coast of
Britain, military sources revealed yesterday. They said the massive
craft was tracked flying in a zig-zag pattern at 17,000mph over the
North Sea. It then accelerated to 24,000mph and zoomed off towards
The Dutch air force also tracked the UFO, but two F-16 fighters
scrambled to intercept the object were unable to keep up, it is
claimed. RAF officials are said to be baffled by the object, spotted
by the Ministry of Defence long-range listening station on
Fylingdales moor in North Yorkshire.
`It was definitely under control, judging by the various manoeuvres
executed,' said a source. `It appeared to be triangular and was
around the size of a battleship (about 900ft long).'
Radar records of the craft are due to be presented to science and
military experts from around the world, who will examine how to
exploit space for milltary purposes at a conference at RAF College,
Cranwell, Lincolnshire, in June. Other tapes of the UFO - thought
to have been made during the last two years are being withheld
because they give too to much information about the radar base's
However, military chiefs may release a second series of tapes,
reported to show 12 UFOs changing shape in mid-flight.
While the `battleship' UFO is most likely to be an experimental
aircraft or a sighting caused by a freak weather effect, UFO watchers
believe it is further evidence that the Earth is being visited by
The popularity of TV series such as the X-Files has rekindled
interest in flying saucers and conspiracy theories in recent years.
A spokesman for the Fortean Times, the journal devoted to UFOs,
psychic phenomena and the paranormal, said: `The vast majority of
strange objects seen in the sky have a more down-to-earth
explanation. But most UFO investigators would be very interested in
seeing these tapes.' The latest theory gaining popularity among some
dedicated UFO watchers is that the military deliberately release
stories about UFOs as a 'smokescreen' - and that witnesses are really
seeing top secret experimental aircraft.
The base at RAF Fylingdales has been watching the skies since the
end of the Cold War. A large pyramid shaped, 360 degree radar has now
replaced the gigantic landmark 'golfballs' tracking system.
The base has concentrated on tracking satellites and pieces of junk
circling the Earth.