Llandrindod Wells, Powys, Wales-5th November 2011

Location of Sighting: Llandrindod Wells, Powys, Wales
Date of Sighting: 5th November 2011
Time: 1730-1735
Witness Name: Robert Christie

Witness Statement: My companion and I were standing approximately half way up the golf course hill road above Llandrindod Wells, watching a few early fireworks. The sun had set and there was a clear moon casting strong shadows, with clear sky above us and some cloud in west and east. There was very little wind at ground level but the clouds were moving from east to west. The town and all fireworks were below us.
The first object flew silently from the north, possibly very slightly west of north, and passed in a straight line high above us and almost directly over our heads. It was a bright glowing and slightly flickering orange/yellow, with no obvious shape. It passed to a point about 40 degrees from vertical away from us and then the light faded rapidly and disappeared. Almost at once another identical light appeared in the same place as the first had, I would say approximately 50 degrees above the northern horizon, and repeated this trajectory and behaviour, followed almost immediately by a third.
My first thought was that these were jet aircraft, possibly military, catching the light of the set sun and passing out of it as they descended. There was a very slight, distant noise as of jet engines just after the third passed. My companion thought that the light was on the right side of the objects, which would fit the “alpine sunset” explanation, although I could not see this.
However, within a minute or so we saw the distinct pattern of the lights of a jet airliner passing directly above us from east to west and apparently not catching the light of the sun — certainly with no bright light of the kind just described. It is possible that this was the source of the jet engine noise, which we had not heard before. At this point it became clear that the three lights had to be higher than the airliner, if they had caught the sunlight so clearly and it had not; but if that was so, the relative speed of the three objects would have been significantly higher than that of the airliner — I would say many times higher.
At that point we considered the possibility of the light being caused by re-entry heat, as from a failed satellite; but this does not fit the regularity of interval between the three objects.
I attempted to photograph the last two of the objects with a Canon Powershot but my hand was unsteady and all I have is a couple of photographs showing curling criss-cross lines of light. All these convey is the brightness, the colour, and the time.
I am intrigued by the sheer number of similar reports from all over the UK that night. It was of course Guy Fawkes night, but these were not fireworks.
I am a practising solicitor with some long-past military training. My companion has a first-class university degree.

Source: www.uk-ufo.co.uk

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Updated: November 7, 2011 — 6:57 pm


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  1. I forgot to mention that the visible time of each light was probably about 10 seconds, to the nearest 5 seconds; and that one possible explanation which we did not consider at the time was some sort of afterburner or reheat on a military jet.
    [Previous comment accidentally submitted/aborted prematurely.]

  2. Could it be chinese lanterns?

  3. Living near Mildenhall/Lakenheath I have seen high altitude afterburner flare from F15s in formation over Bury St Edmunds, early evening after sunset. These two were small but strong orange lights moving swiftly & purposefully across the sky, but I certainly heard the roar & rumble that’s usually associated. I do sometimes wonder if it’s possible for A/C like F15 or Typhoons/Tornados not to be heard at ground level when in reheat at maximum altitude. You would see the flares, but I very much doubt they would be silent. I mean if you can hear civil AC at levels between 35/45thou, then you should be able to hear Jet fighters at far higher altitudes despite the thinness of the atmosphere. I have seen iridium flares(solar panel reflections from satellites), but they are definitely solitary objects & their reflection fades in & out slowly. One way of confiming either way is phoning Lakenheath the control there are helpful or contacthttp://www.sat.dundee.ac.uk/ & they can tell you for sure.

  4. Thanks for these comments. I would say there is no realistic possibility of these lights being Chinese lanterns — I’ve had a look at the caveats on this site. They were moving fast, purposefully, at high level, and not with the wind as far as we could tell. I think the afterburner explanation is much more likely. Very impressive anyway.
    Does anyone know what is the maximum operational height of modern military jets?
    What particularly interested me was that similar phenomena were observed all over Britain that night. The same explanation, whatever it is, seems likely to apply to all of them. That suggests possibly:
    (a) that these flights, whatever they are, were carried out on Fireworks Night so that they could be confused with/dismissed as fireworks (the conspiracy theory); or
    (b) more likely, that they were noticed more because more people, like us, were watching the skies (the practical theory).
    As a wry afterthought on the reliability or otherwise of witness statements: I mentioned our backgrounds at the end of the statement to try to give some sort of indicator of possible relative objectivity as witnesses. That was unwise, as I have now discovered that where I thought there were 3 lights in succession, my companion is adamant that there were 4! So much for professional/academic reliability as witnesses.

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