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A PILOT has reported a close encounter with a "rugby ball-like" UFO that passed within just a few feet of his passenger jet.
The incident happened about 20 miles west of London’s Heathrow airport at around 6pm local time in July last year.
The pilot of the A320 Airbus saw the object flying straight for him and was so certain of a collision he ducked at the last minute, UK’s Sunday Telegraph reported.
He reported the close call to air traffic control and the incident was later investigated by the UK Airprox Board, which studies “near misses” in UK airspace.
“He was under the apprehension that they were on collision course with no time to react,” the Airprox report states. “His immediate reaction was to duck to the right and reach over to alert the FO (First Officer); there was no time to talk to alert him.”
The pilot told investigators the object was “cigar/rugby ball-like” in shape, bright silver and metallic.
According to the Sunday Telegraph, Airprox ran checks on data recordings but could find no other aircraft in the area at the time. Meteorological balloons and military aircraft were also ruled out.
The paper said the head of the UK National Air Traffic Control Services admitted in 2012 that one unexplained flying object was reported on average every month.