Dec 13, 2018 I Brett Tingley

Royal Air Force Scrambled to Intercept ‘Unidentified Aircraft’ Over England

Something odd happened over Hull, England this week. Or, at least it sure appears like something odd happened. On the afternoon of Monday, November 10, residents in the Preston Road area of Hull in East Yorkshire spotted what appeared to be a strange-looking aircraft in the skies and took to social media to ask if anyone knew anything. The aircraft was described as having a "short body, no nose or tail and huge wings" and was reported to hover silently and still before zooming away at a high rate of speed. Sound familiar?

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Why, yes. Yes it does.

It should, to anyone who’s ever read a single UFO sighting report. Of course, many modern unmanned aerial vehicles match that description and are capable of similar acrobatics. Whatever the airborne object was, it seems to have attracted the attention of the Royal Air Force in a big way. According to the UK Ministry of Defence, a “Quick Reaction Alert” (QRA) mission was carried out Monday afternoon by RAF Typhoon aircraft around the same time as the reported sighting. That’s where things get confusing, though; the MOD claims that the Typhoons were scrambled from RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland to intercept an “unidentified aircraft” that was not the same one that was spotted over Hull. Seems like a pretty big coincidence.

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An RAF Typhoon

Civilian air traffic logs show that a Cessna 680 Citation Sovereign flew over Hull around the same time as the reported sighting and the RAF intercept flights, but that aircraft doesn’t exactly match descriptions of what was seen in the skies of East Yorkshire. Meanwhile, the MOD released a press statement stating simply that the QRA over Hull was to intercept “an undisclosed airspace incursion” but released no further details.

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The 680 Cessna Citation Sovereign

Interestingly, the MOD statement also says the QRA was the first mission in which RAF Typhoons have carried the new Meteor Air-to-Air missile, an anti-aircraft missile capable of flying at four times the speed of sound designed to counter new hypersonic weapons and aircraft. Was this merely a chest-thumping drill to demonstrate that the Meteor missiles are ready for action, or could this have been something stranger?

Brett Tingley

Brett Tingley is a writer and musician living in the ancient Appalachian mountains.

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