The Sheffield UFO Incident - None of Our Aircraft are Missing

Based on the large number of reports coming in to the local police forces, a major rescue operation was launched by the UK Emergency Services. A search for a downed aircraft and survivors took place. Over 140 mountain rescue volunteers, RAF personnel and a large number of police officers from four neighbouring forces were involved in a 13 hour search across the Moors. A thorough search was made on foot and from the air. By 10am next day a 10 mile area around the Howden Reservoir was set up as a no fly zone to enable two helicopters to complete their search unhindered by other military or civilian aircraft.

Mar 25th 1997 noon – Chief Inspector Burbeary, heading the operation, gave the order to scale down the operation:

“We got nothing back from air traffic control, no reports of aircraft failing to return, and eventually, having looked at all the circumstances, the decision had to be made to call the search off.
The conclusion at the end of the search had to be that no aircraft crashed on the moor.”

However, she re-iterated a number of genuine reports of “phenomena”, including a low-flying aircraft, a huge explosion in the sky, and smoke.

Mike France, the Mountain Rescue co-ordinator, remained as baffled as the police. He said his teams knew the area intimately and had thoroughly searched the moorland with help from the helicopters. “There was no scouring to the moor; there were no bits of wreckage. There was no oil traces on the reservoirs,” he said.

The police log for the night of March 24th revealed that a check of radar tapes was in fact made by Lt. Stilwell at the RAF’s Air Sea Rescue Centre at RAF Kinloss at 12.04am on March 25. He told police: “…we have consulted with all radar information for that particular area and surrounding area, nothing significant is indicated from the readings. “

That same night the British Geological Survey (BGS) microphones at Leeds University recorded two sonic booms or air explosions over the Sheffield area. The first was recorded at 21.52 over the Peak District area and the second was reported at 22.06. The BGS did contact the RAF Low-Flying Complaints Department on March 25th and were told they “could not confirm” that a military jet was the cause. An MOD spokesman said at lunchtime that day that the MOD were not involved in the investigation of the incident, and that it was outside their remit, He stated that “nothing had been picked up on radar and an RAF plane was not responsible.” And he added that the report concerned a low flying aircraft and the inquiry was “a matter for the police

Dr Jacqueline Mitton of the Royal Astronomical Association at Cambridge University ,speaking in April 1997, said that the events were consistent with a bolide meteor.

The mystery of what the witnesses saw to trigger the reports remained. Was it a meteor, ghost plane, an illegal drug operation, a secret military operation or even a UFO?

The incident became so high profile that questions were eventually asked in the Houses of Parliament in March 1998.

Continue Reading »