There’s something strange in the skies of Derbyshire County, U.K. For the past week, dozens of residents of Derbyshire have been reporting sightings of large mysterious “ghost planes” flying low overhead, silently, and then vanishing into thin air. Also, the mysterious aircraft make the sky darken when they show up.
Curiously, it seems that there have been over 50 plane crashes in this area of England, dubbed “the U.K.’s Bermuda Triangle,” and ghost plane sightings in the Dark Peak area of England have been covered by Mysterious Universe in the past.
The Derby Telegraph, a local Derbyshire news agency, reported the story on Tuesday, March 27. According to the Telegraph, they have been “inundated” with reports from citizens across the county who saw one or two grey, old looking planes flying strangely and frighteningly low to the ground and making no noise.
The Royal Air Force has come forward with an explanation. They say that the “ghost planes” were in fact Hercules C-130 military transport planes on training exercises from the local air force base. Which is exactly what you would expect from sightings like these, and also exactly what the military would have to say if there were mysterious ghost planes terrorizing the green hills of England. This explanation may, in fact, add another layer of mystery to this situation.
As reported by the Derby Telegraph, the witnesses all saw the planes—or plane, singular, a distinction which becomes important pretty soon—between 6:00 PM and 7:00 PM as the mysterious “ghost planes” resembling either a Douglas Dakota, a WWII era transport plane, or a Hercules military transport plane, made their way across the English countryside. According to the Telegraph, many reports mentioned the area going eerily dark as the craft passed over. Interestingly, most witnesses report nearly the exact same description, with one or two key differences.
One witness describes the strange event this way:
I was driving with one of my colleagues when these two aircraft flew really low from right to left. I saw the first one go past and bank over and I thought it was going to crash, but then the second one flew past and then they vanished. It was really weird to be honest.
Another describes the same thing:
I saw two planes like this on Monday night as I looked out my bedroom window they were so low that I thought they were going to land near here or crash as nearly touching the tops of trees and houses. I was shocked as I couldn’t hear them at all then they were gone.
One more description just for good measure:
I was walking through the village and I saw two big planes which seemed to be chasing each other. They didn’t seem to be making any noise which was unusual and they were flying really low. I was scared at how low the second one was.
OK. So a few accounts of two planes, described as unusually silent and seemingly vanishing. If they were so low, then it seems reasonable that the vanishing would be due to geography, or some other mundane factor. How, though, were these large transport planes so quiet if they were in fact so low and so close?
One witness describes something else:
I think it was a Hercules. All we heard at first was the engines. It was about 6.45pm when we saw it flying really low over Derby Road.
So, this witness describes hearing one plane loud and clear. Is it possible that there actually were ghost planes and the air force sent one of theirs to intercept it? Several reports say it looked like one plane was chasing the other, but a large transport plane isn’t generally used for interception. Perhaps it was a calculated act of disinformation. Perhaps it was just a training mission, as the RAF says, and there is some terrestrial reason for the lack of sound and the darkening of the skies.
This is not the first time ghost planes have been seen in this part of England, called Dark Peak. Derbyshire has a long history of ghost plane sightings and mysterious airplane crashes. Very similar sightings to the 2018 occurrence are regularly reported, many describing ghost planes simply vanishing and a Douglas Dakota did crash in the area approximately 70 years ago.
Strangely, on March 24, 1997, almost exactly 11 years before these sightings, a plane was seen in the act of crashing into a moor. One hundred search and rescue volunteers and police were assembled, but no wreckage or any other trace of the plane was ever found.
Curiouser and curiouser