UK pilots blog

10/JUN/2024 - Research article by Gary Heseltine released to the media regarding historical incursions into UK airspace.

An historical look at UAP Incursions in British Airspace: An Assessment

By Gary Heseltine 

Founder UK Pilots Reporting UAP

In 2021 according to Baroness Goldie in a debate in the House of Lords, there has never been a report that has confirmed that the UK’s airspace has ever been penetrated by a UFO/UAP.

Successive British governments over the last 75 years have steadfastly maintained that UFOs are nothing more than misidentified man-made objects, stars, atmospheric phenomena or simple mistakes by the observer etc. 

In late 2009, after more than 50 years of operation, the MoD suddenly closed its UFO reporting facility as part of a cost cutting exercise. Its rationale for doing so was based on the fact during all of that time they had found no evidence had emerged to confirm the existence of UFOs as in extraterrestrial craft. Ironically the closure of the UFO Desk came at a time of increased reports of strange aerial activity in the skies above Britain.

However, despite the lack of interest on behalf of the MoD, UFO encounters continued to be reported to the police, military bases and private web based groups. The only difference now for the police and the military in particular was that nothing happened to the reports. There were no investigations, no determinations made based on recovered evidence etc. The reports were simply left to gather dust on police and military hard drives. A handful of UK groups have taken up the challenge of cataloguing of British UFO reports.

Today, with a fragmented reporting network, obtaining statistics on UFO activity in the UK cannot be accurately measured and with one single decision the MoD had perhaps achieved its unofficial aim, that of ridding itself of the ‘UFO’ problem once and for all.

I say this because it is self-evident for anyone who has really studied the historical connection between the Ministry of Defence and UFOs that their position has and has always been demonstrably false. Let me explain why.


The Foo Fighters Phenomenon

Almost no-one apart from UFO enthusiasts will be aware of the ‘foo fighter’ phenomenon of the Second World War where numerous British and American pilots encountered strange glowing balls of orange light* that would follow their aircraft during raids over France and Germany. Fearing that they were new deadly weapons the pilots would often take evasive action trying to shake of these mysterious objects yet, despite their best efforts, they couldn’t do so. Nor did these objects ever attack any aircraft which is puzzling if these objects were German advanced weapons.

Many of these encounters were duly reported to the RAF/USAF authorities by confused aircrews as they related the incidents during intelligence debriefs. As was common practice pilots were told to keep quiet about their experiences for fear of frightening the other aircrews.

We now know after decades of research since the end of the war, that foo fighters were seen in all theatres of the war by aircrews on all sides of the conflict. Craft that appeared to be unlike any man-made object, which moved in terms of speed and angular manoeuvres that were far beyond the capabilities of the aircraft of that era.

However, despite hundreds of ‘foo fighter’ accounts having been catalogued the mainstream media have largely failed to produce any noteworthy television documentaries of the phenomena which begs the question – why?


What about UFO incursions in the UK? 

Here are some historical UFO reports in British Airspace:

1952 – The Little Rissington Incident 

On 21 October 1952, Flight Lieutenant Mike Swiney flying a Gloster Meteor Mk 7 fighter aircraft was on a training flight with student David Crofts, a Navy Lieutenant as his backseat passenger when at 13,000-14,000 feet they passed through some clouds to see three white circular object literally ‘framed’ in their cockpit window.

Swiney’s immediate reaction were that they were parachutes canopies but soon realised that they were circular in shape and they all appeared to be ‘stationary’ in the sky.

The objects quickly began to climb so Swiney pursued them as they soon reached 30,000 feet in altitude. As the aircraft climbed he noted that the objects were more ‘plate-like’ in shape.

Then the objects changed course and moved from his port side to his starboard side. 

Initially it was Swiney that saw the objects before he alerted Croft, who was sat beside him, to see if he too could see them. Crofts quickly confirmed that he could see the three objects. A short time later they had sped away and out of view.

Swiney had been initially keen to pursue them but after talking with Crofts they decided not continue because there were accounts of US pilots having done so and some of these pursuits had proved fatal. Neither one was able to accurately gauge their size.

Swiney duly reported the incident to air traffic control and he was told to return to RAF Little Rissington.

No official RAF documents have been found to date corroborate their accounts however, there is no suspicion that they are lying about the incident.

The only things that confirms the incident occurred are respective flying logbooks and the entries they made on them. In addition, the RAF Little Rissington Operational Record Book states,

21.10.52 - “Flight Lt M J E, Instructor and Lt D Crofts RN, student, sighted three mysterious saucer shaped objects travelling at high speed at about 35.000 feet whilst on a high-level navigation exercise in Meteor V11. Later ATCC Gloucester reported radar plots to confirm this, but the Air Ministry discounted any possibility of ‘extraterrestrial’ objects.”

Swiney would later rise to the senior rank of Air Commodore and when he was able to, he asked to see the report into his sighting. When he did so he was surprised when he was shown the file, despite the fact that he had been told that the records of his incident had been routinely destroyed after being held for five years. The report he was shown has never been released. This suggests that more documents on the case do exist but are being withheld from public release.

Again this begs the question, if there is nothing to hide then why don’t the MoD release all the documents to be transparent on the issue of UFOs?

The Little Rissington Incident is not the only case where unknown objects have been flying in British airspace.

Here are a few more cases that bely the lie promulgated by the MoD and successive governments.

1954 – The Flt Lt Salandin Pilot Encounter

At 1615 hours on 14 October 1954, Flight Lt. James. R. Salandin took off from RAF North Weald, home of the 604th Squadron, flying a twin jet Meteor fighter and had begun climbing southwards into a clear blue sky. As he did so he noticed two other Meteors flying in formation high above him. 

When he reached an altitude of 16,000 feet and whilst over Southend-on-Sea he suddenly noticed two circular objects traveling in the opposite direction which passed between the two meteors at high speed. 

He described one of the objects as silvery in colour with the other gold. He continued to watch the two objects until they disappeared from his view.

Then as he turned his gaze forward away from the where the objects had been he suddenly saw a bun-shaped object heading straight toward his aircraft. He described the object as having a bun-shaped top, a flange like two saucers in the middle, and a bun underneath.

The object was so close to the aircraft that it completely filled the cockpit windscreen area (estimated at 37 feet at 150 yards). Suddenly, at the last moment, the object swerved and narrowly avoided colliding with the plane.

Salandin was very shaken by the incident and waited for approximately 10 minutes to gather his thoughts before reporting to ground control what had just occurred.

When he landed, he gave a full account of the two incidents that day to Derek Demster who was the 604 Squadron’s intelligence officer (who later became the editor of Flying Saucer Review in 1955) and published his story. 

He was later interviewed by UK author and researcher Timothy Good and he told him, “I have no satisfactory explanation for what I saw, but I know what I saw.” 

1956 – The Lakenheath/Bentwaters incident

At 2130 hours on 13 August 1956 Airman 2nd Class John Vaccare of the USAF stationed at RAF Bentwaters began to track an object on radar (type AN/MPN-11A) that flew 40-50 miles in 30 seconds which equated to a speed of 7,500 to 9,500 km per hour. Several minutes later he tracked 12 to 15 unidentified radar targets which ‘merged’ together into one large blip on the screen 40 miles northeast of RAF Bentwaters. The size of the blip was considered larger than any known aircraft of the era. The blip then stopped on two occasions briefly before disappearing from the screen. 

At 2200 hours a single radar target tracked by RAF Bentwaters covered an area of 55 miles in 16 seconds which equated to 12,000 km per hour.

At 2255 hours Bentwaters Ground Control radar picked up another target traveling east to west moving at an estimated speed of 2,000-4,000 km per hour.

At approximately the same time someone in the Air Traffic Control Tower observed a ‘bright light’ passing over the airfield from east to west at an approximate altitude of 4,000 feet.

At approximately the same time the pilot of a twin-engine C-47 aircraft flying over RAF Bentwaters reported seeing a ‘light’ pass under his aircraft traveling east to west at a ‘terrific speed’.

Soon after radars at RAF Bentwaters and RAF Lakenheath detected a stationary object 20-25 miles southwest of the latter base. At that point the object began to move north at 400-600 mph but there was no acceleration – it was a constant speed. The object was seen to make several abrupt changes of direction without slowing.

At 2330 hours an RAF De Havilland Venom jet interceptor was scrambled from RAF Waterbeach. According to the USAF report on the incident it stated: 

“Pilot advised he had a bright white light in sight and would investigate. At 13 miles west he reported loss of target and white light. Lakenheath (radar) vectored him to a target 10 miles east of Lakenheath and the pilot advised target was on his radar and was ‘locking on’. Pilot then reported he had lost target on his radar. Lakenheath GCA reports that as the Venom passed the target on radar, the target began to chase the fighter.”

The pilot tried to ‘shake’ off the object but he was unable to do so. A second Venom aircraft was scrambled to the area and at one point the two pilots were heard by those in the Lakenheath Tower talking to each other and the original pilot was heard to confirm that he had seen an object which he described as ‘the darndest thing I’ve ever seen’. 

The case was included in the University of Colorado Condon Report and its conclusion was,

“In summary, this is the most puzzling and unusual case in the radar-visual files. The apparent rational, intelligent behaviour of the UFO suggest a mechanical device of unknown origin as the most probable explanation of this sighting. However, in view of the inevitable fallibility of witnesses, more conventional explanations of this report cannot be entirely ruled out.”

Perhaps the most noteworthy of all the air incursion reports in the UK is the one involving a USAF pilot called Milton Torres who in 1957 was stationed at RAF Manston in Kent. Here is a brief summary of his story.

1957 – The Milton Torres Encounter 

On the evening of 20 May 1957 two Super Sabre jet fighters belonging to the 406th Fighter Interception Wing were on a five-minute QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) standby to scramble at RAF Manston in Kent. The USAF pilots were Lt. Milton Torres and Lt Dave Roberson who were members of the 514th Fighter Squadron on attachment   to the 406th.

Late in the evening they were scrambled to an unidentified radar confirmed target that had been seen for some time over the East Anglia area. At the time of the incident the weather conditions were poor with low cloud cover. Both were asked if their aircraft were armed. 

Even though there was poor visibility Torres was authorised to open fire at the object when he confirmed he had a ‘solid’ target on his onboard radar!

Seeking confirmation of the order to open fire he requested the necessary authentication code for the release of his weapons. He described the size of the radar target as being similar to that of a B52 heavy bomber aircraft.

At 15 miles out from the target he was able to acquire a radar lock-on on the object despite the fact that he did not have a visual on it. However, before being able to fire his salvo of rockets he advised ATC that the object had suddenly broken the lock-on and was speeding away and beyond the range of his onboard radar that was limited to 30 miles.

Upon landing back at RAF Manston, they spoke with ATC who told Torres that the object had disappeared off their radar in just two sweeps which indicated a fantastic speed of several thousands of miles an hour.

Torres states that a day or so later he was interviewed by someone who claimed to work for the National Security Agency who told him not to speak about the incident as it was ‘classified’.

During the incident Lt Roberson confirmed that he saw the object on his radar but he was unable to get a lock-on and at no time did he have a visual on the object.

Despite Torres going public many years later about the incident no records, either at the National Archives and the RAF have been found to corroborate the incident however, there is no suggestion whatsoever that either men are lying.

Torres retired from the USAF in 1977 with the rank of Major.

It begs the question, does this case with multiple pilot, multiple ground and airborne radar confirm that an object had penetrated UK airspace? 

And more importantly that the military authorities believed that the object was real enough to authorise Torries to fire his salvo of rockets at it over the skies of Britain.

Note: This story did not emerge until 1988 when by accident UK researcher and solicitor Harry Harris met with Torres at a social function who asked him if he had ever seen a UFO. As a result, details of the case emerged.


More recent incursions

The incidents I’ve highlighted are not alone, there are many others that have been reported over the decades that demonstrate that UFOs were being seen in UK airspace on a regular basis despite the MoD and successive governments dismissing all such reports.

1980 – The Rendlesham Forest Incident

For example, Britain’s most famous UFO case, the Rendlesham Forest Incident that occurred in late December 1980 in Suffolk.

In 2023, after five years of research and three years of writing, I published my book on the case called ‘NON-HUMAN The Rendlesham Forest UFO Incidents: 42 Years of Denial.’ Available only on Amazon £17.99 500 pages.

In the conclusions I detailed 17 different timed events involving various UAP of differing sizes and shapes that occurred over an approximate seven day period in late December 1980.

Despite many military witnesses going on the record publicly, the British attitude is that there is nothing to see, there is no evidence to believe that UK airspace has been penetrated or demonstrated a threat if any kind however, the sheer weight of military witness testimony in this one case totally contradicts that.

Here are several examples of UFOs seen by some of military witnesses:

Sergeant Jim Penniston involved in what has become known as the 1st night landing of a structured triangular craft approximately 3 metres by 3 metres that left three ground impressions.

Sergeant Adrian Bustinza/Airman Larry Warren who corroborate that a second landing took place several nights later in a farmer’s field that was witnessed by many USAF security police officers and senior officers (including the Base Commander, Colonel Gordon Williams) and it was also being filmed by movie cameras!

Airman Steve Longero was a direct witness to a UFO shining a beam into the nuclear bunkers of the Weapon Storage Area at RAF Bentwaters on one of the nights of UAP activity.

Lt Col. Charles Halt/Sergeant Monroe Nevels (and others) saw multiple UFOs in and above Rendlesham Forest which made incredible high-speed turns and manoeuvres including a high-speed approach and a beam of light being shone down from 1000/2000 feet altitude close to their ground position!


Police Helicopter UAP Encounters

It is not only fixed wing aircraft that encounter UAP. Here are two examples where police helicopter crews have encountered strange objects in recent years:

2008 – Police helicopter UAP encounter over South Wales

08 June 2008. At 00:40, an Air Support Unit Police helicopter was coming into land at RAF St Athan airport, South Wales, at the end of a flight, when the pilot saw an illuminated spherical object about the size of a basketball that flew, ground up towards the helicopter as it descended. 

It stopped in front of his face, about three feet outside the cockpit window. It then kept pace with the helicopter, the powerful downwash from the rotor blades having no effect on it at all. 

It was translucent, like a bubble, with a small red and green light side by side inside the sphere. He called the attention of his two colleagues who also saw it. The object then shot off down into a farmyard and disappeared. They followed it and hovered while they searched for it. The sphere then reappeared, and it flew towards the Bristol Channel coast. They followed it for a time before they had to abandon the pursuit as they had to turn back due to running low on fuel. 

Interestingly, although they could see the sphere with the naked eye, they could not see it with the hi-tech night-vision goggles. The object did not emit a heat signature. The pilot reported the encounter to Cardiff Airport ATC. It was subsequently suggested to the pilot that what he and his crew had seen was a drone. He categorically rejected this explanation, as there was no way a drone could have withstood the downwash of the helicopter rotor blades. 

2016 – Police Helicopter films an unknown object on its FLIR cameras

In September 2016 the National Police Air Service (NPAS) unexpectedly released a tweet and some FLIR footage taken by a police helicopter crew.

It was recorded by South Wales police over the Bristol Channel and captured a strange UAP that was only detected on the on-board FLIR camera system. It was filmed for seven and a half minutes and was seen moving against the prevailing wind. It was not seen in the visible spectrum by the pilot and crew.

I duly submitted an FOI request and was sent the footage which is bizarre and does not show any kind of recognisable conventional object. It is circular with no wings or tail, moving against the wind and is without any kind of propulsion system.


Commercial and Private Pilot UAP reports

Over the years there have been dozens of commercial and private pilots in the UK that have reported UFO/UAP encounters in UK airspace.

Following a recent submission of an FOI to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) their subsequent reply to me confirmed that the term Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena was not recognised by them and there were no set procedures for pilots to report UAP.

Since 1998 pilot reports involving any kind of air incident are dealt with by the UK Airprox Board who investigate the event and make a determination as to the cause. 

Their determinations can range from pilot error, balloons, drones etc., but also has a category called ‘unknown object’ distinct from the former explanations.

Whilst the majority of ‘airmiss’ cases are determined to be ‘drones’ or ‘likely to be drones’ the category itself leaves many of the reports open to interpretation. 

For example the legal height for a drone is just 400 feet yet many of the cases involve strange objects that are seen at much higher altitudes, which would be prone to high wind speeds and many have descriptions that do not correspond to commercial drones.

Here are several examples that featured in a newspaper article in 2020 that illustrate how close ‘unknown objects’ are seen in close proximity to passenger aircraft, often to within 20 feet!

These cases offer clear examples where the risk of collision was deemed extremely high coupled with all its obvious associated air safety implications. 

A - On October 16, 2020 moments after an Airbus A321 had taken off from London's Heathrow airport a UFO was seen at an altitude of 3,000ft and just six metres away from the left wing of the plane!

Safety regulators of the UK Airprox Board classed the near-miss as 'category A' - meaning there was a serious risk of collision.

The object was described as a bright red object which may have been a drone but the pilots were unable to be certain.

B - In September 2020 another unidentified object – possibly a drone, came within seconds of colliding with another aircraft as it passed within 10 feet of a Boeing 737 at an altitude of 8000 feet.

C - In the same month and year, another object, possibly a drone, was spotted within feet of an EasyJet Airbus A320, carrying 186 passengers, that was seen at an altitude of 8000 feet, shortly after it had taken off from Manchester Airport.



The historical U.S/U.K ‘special relationship’ is non-existent on UAP reporting

The British attitude to UFOs or UAP (Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena) as they have been retitled in recent years has historically been based on the lead provided by the United States and our centuries old ‘special relationship’ with them.

The United States has been the leading country in the Western world to have ‘studied’ UFOs via a succession of investigations i.e. Project Sign, Project Grudge and the famous Project Blue Book.

For decades the U.S. stated that there was no evidence to suggest that any of the reports from around the world indicated incursions by extraterrestrial craft.

However, after decades of research, it is now widely acknowledged that Project Blue Book was actually nothing more than a public relations exercise, a front-desk as it were for the Air Force to give the impression to the public that they were doing serious research into the phenomena, yet in reality they were doing little or no proper investigations.

In 1969 the USAF closed Project Blue Book on the grounds of lack of evidence for an extraterrestrial explanation following the conclusions of the Condon Committee report. The Condon report was something of a whitewash itself and its conclusions did not align to the actual facts. 

For example, the report concluded that there was no evidence to support the extraterrestrial hypothesis despite that fact that 8% of the 12000 cases remained unidentified after investigation by the USAF!

Prior to 2017 the UK had always followed the U.S. lead on UFOs however, since then, at least publicly, the British attitude has differed completely from that of its American counterparts. 

Why there has been such a wide divergence on UAP is not known however, we do know that behind the scenes (via Canadian MP Larry Mcguire) the UK Authorities at military level, do discuss UAP via the secretive and little known ‘Five Eyes’ intelligence group which comprises the United States, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.


Examples of UK Airprox Reports with a determination of ‘unknown object’

I recently researched UK Airprox Board reports for 2023 and 2024 and found several cases that were designated as ‘unknown objects’. Of the 19 listed as ‘unknown’ for 2023 there are at least 12 that could be deemed as involving ‘UAP’ based on the object’s descriptions and movements etc.

Here are several reports from that category that illustrate that point to unidentified anomalous phenomena (UAP) being seen regularly in UK airspace and with each one there are clear air safety implications involved.

UK Airprox report number: 2023033

At 0713 hours on 12 March 2023 an A320 pilot reported that on arrival into Heathrow, that he had seen a ‘drone’ was seen ahead of the aircraft which then passed below and under the right side of it. 

The object appeared to be a large circular structure with twin upper and lower circles connected by a vertical rod/connection (similar to a barbell shape). 

The pilot stated that the object was seen at an altitude of 18000 feet approximately ten miles from TANET.

He said it looked like a “reasonable size but hard to gauge exactly” and was seen within 500/1000 feet of the aircraft and the Board determined that the cause was an ‘unknown object’.

UK Airprox report number: 2023043

At 1519 hours on 8 April 2023 the pilot of B787 reported that on approach to Heathrow RW09L, they had encounters a ‘possible drone’.

At approximately 1500-2000ft over Windsor they encountered a red object was seen passing the right-hand side of the aircraft at the same level, a few metres from the wingtip. 

The object appeared to be red and stationary.

The encounter was corroborated by a crew member a following aircraft who also saw the object. Police met with the aircrew upon landing to gather more information.

The reported separation between the aircraft and the object was no more than several metres from the wingtip.

The board concluded that the risk of collision was high and that the object seen was deemed ‘unknown’.

UK Airprox report number: 2023164

At 1129 hours on 19 June 2023 the pilot of an A320 reported that whilst in a holding pattern over Ockham whilst on his approach to London Heathrow (LHR) and at an altitude of 8500 feet a possible drone flew into the middle of the holding pattern.

The object was so close that the fuselage golden colour was visible from the cockpit. 

The reported separation was listed at just 100 feet and deemed by the Board to be of a high risk of collision.

The pilot described that the object had been a little bit below their aircraft during the holding pattern and could not describe the ‘drone’ further. Of interest is that fact that neither primary or secondary radar had detected the object.

The Board listed the object as ‘unknown’.

And finally here are two reports from 2024 that could easily fit into the ‘UAP’ category.

UK Airprox report number: 2024033:

At 1310 hours on 5 March 2024 a Beagle Pub light aircraft was flying at 1300 feet near Tutbury when it saw a dark blue object, which may have been stationary in the sky that passed by it within 20 metres!

The Airprox report concluded that there was a high risk of a collision and that the object seen was categorised as ‘unknown’.

UK Airprox report number: 2024040:

At 1521 hours on 25 March 2024 a F35 military jet encountered a high speed dark coloured object that was seen to pass under the aircraft on its right side at a slightly lower altitude i.e.11970 feet! 

The object was not detected on ground radar and the Airprox Board determined that there was a high risk of collision and deemed the object involved as ‘unknown’.



It is likely that the United States Congress will vote to adopt the provisions of the Safe Airspace for Americans Act at the end of this year. 

If successful this legislation will give legal protections for the first time to American civilian pilots when reporting UAP incidents using a formal set of procedures. This is an unprecedented bill that will truly make history if it becomes law at the end of 2024.

And note, the United States has already admitted that these objects are ‘real’ as in physical craft and they are at present of unknown origin.

Surely after decades of stigma all pilots around the world deserve to be able to report UAP sightings without fear of being grounded, intimidated or being ridiculed.

With the stigma beginning to recede I would suggest that UK pilots also deserve to be treated in the same way and that it is time for the government and the Civil Aviation Authority to liaise with it counterparts in the U.S seek to replicate the proposed commercial pilot reporting procedures.

Indeed I urge all countries to adopt similar UAP reporting procedures around the world.

Countries really need to work together for common aims based on the fact the UAPs are seen globally and there is only one human race.

The days of derision are decreasing in the mainstream media and the UK authorities need to recognise that fact and act accordingly.

In the meantime UK Pilots Reporting UAP members ( are on standby to investigate any UK pilot encounters by military, commercial or private pilots.

Please visit the above website to leave a message and we'll get back to you. All contact will be treated in the strictest confidence.

*All the historical pilot cases/references mentioned in this article can be found on the UK Pilots Reporting UAP website (

Gary Heseltine, Founder of UK Pilots Reporting UAP


12 FEB 2024 - Launch press release - UK Pilots Reporting UAP (UKPRU)

Launched today is a new website, UK Pilots Reporting UAP ( the brainchild of Gary Heseltine, a long-time respected British UFO/UAP researcher and author.

Heseltine, a former police detective and the current Vice President of the International Coalition for Extraterrestrial Research (ICER) has now decided to tackle the issue of UK pilots who have had encounters with UAP.

He has put together a small specialist team of leading UK UAP researchers (Alan Foster, Dave Hodrien and Chris Gaffney) who will investigate British pilot reports (and other aviation personnel including radar operators and Air Traffic Controllers).

The team stress that there are genuine air safety implications for pilots who for decades have been seeing strange objects in the sky that they cannot explain.

Since 2017 there has been a resurgence of interest in the subject of UFOs, now referred to as Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena (UAP), especially in the United States where there have been a number of Congressional Hearings held recently.

The issue of ‘air safety’ in relation to UAP encounters is now the subject of proposed new legislation (in association with Americans for Safe Aerospace ( in the U.S. that seeks to coordinate and standardise UAP reporting procedures and also calls for greater transparency on the issue with regard to pilot reports.

Heseltine believes that all countries should be doing likewise and wants to raise the issue of pilots reporting UAP in British airspace to the highest levels of government and the aviation industry.

Selected media quotes from me:

“UAPs are seen by pilots on every continent and the UK is no different. There needs to be a worldwide, coordinated and standardised set of reporting procedures along with greater transparency on the issue.”

“I believe the time is now right for a new phase of research. In recent years the U.S. authorities have confirmed that craft of unknown origin are flying in their airspace with impunity, many of which move in ways which seemingly defy our current understanding of physics.”

“I have no doubt whatsoever that UK pilots and International pilots (transiting through UK/Irish airspace) are encountering similar objects but they rarely report the incidents for fear of it effecting their career and being the subject of ridicule. It’s high time British pilots were encouraged to come forward without such stigma being involved and that there should be a transparent, standardised set of reporting procedures to deal with such reports.” 

“The stigma that has dogged the UFO/UAP issue for decades is fast receding with a worldwide resurgence in interest in the subject  in recent years. These objects are real and represent a clear air safety issue in the UK which needs to be fully addressed.”

UK Pilots Reporting UAP* aims to address these issues.

We appeal to British pilots and aviation personnel to come forward and contact us.

Your communications will be treated in the strictest confidence.

*UK Pilots Reporting UAP is a non-profit website.

Gary Heseltine, founder and press spokesperson


15 FEB 2024 Launch Update:

The UK Pilots website has been heavily promoted on X with 18k views on one particular tweet by Christopher Sharp of the Liberation Times.

In addition, UAP News did a full page on the promoting the launch press release. 

The UFOTalker podcast with Michael Ryan did a nice 'shout out' for the website on his latest show.

Thank you for all those supporting this initiative.

We now have UK Pilots Reporting UAP Facebook and X pages.

Standby for further updates. GH.


29 FEB 2024

On 12 February 2024 after several months of preparation, I launched a new website ’UK Pilots Reporting UAP (

I have put together a small team of experienced UAP/Aviation researchers, Dave Hodrien, Alan Foster and Chris Gaffney.

I have been frustrated for a while that the UK is lagging far behind the developments that have been taking place in the United States since 2017 and the famous New York Times article which revealed details of the hitherto secret AATIP UFO study program.

Despite numerous significant legislative procedures set in place in the U.S. the UK by comparison has done little or nothing, at least publicly to do likewise? This is odd in itself because the UK usually takes its lead from the U.S. and adopts the same approach, but not this time. Why not?

The UK seems almost totally dismissive of the U.S. developments, it’s almost as if they don’t exist! The trouble is they do so when the likes of former military pilot, Ryan Graves, argues the need for U.S. air safety regarding UAP and after the successful launch of ‘Americans for Safe Aerospace’ organisation (, I believe the time is now right to try to raise the UAP issue of ‘air safety’ for pilots in the UK.

I have no doubt whatsoever that UK pilots are encountering UAP in British air space but few incidents are reported and those that are, are handled in an uncoordinated way. 

At present, as far as I can see, the term UAP is not even mentioned in any reporting procedure for pilots, military or civilian! I think this is unacceptable and the team at UK Pilots Reporting UAP are determined to raise the issue at the highest levels of the aviation industry. 

However, I don’t think this is going to be easy because of the ‘backward’ approach to the topic taken by the British government, the poor mainstream media coverage and the failure of the aviation industry to recognise and adapt its reporting procedures to deal with legitimate UAP issues. 

On behalf of the team, all I can say is that we are going to try and make a difference and it won’t be quick. It will take time.

The website will cater for UK pilots reporting UAP in British airspace and also overseas.

In addition, we will also record UAP reports made by UK aviation employees (i.e. radar operators, air traffic controllers etc), whether they be military or civilian. For example, if you think of the 2006 Chicago O’Hare Airport incident in the United States it was the baggage handlers who looked up into the sky and were the first to report to the Tower that there was a UAP hovering above one of the terminal gates. 

Later other aviation personnel came forward and the case was eventually confirmed as a genuine UFO/UAP related incident. 

Therefore, if a similar incident took place, say at London Heathrow Airport, UK Pilots Reporting UAP (UKPRU) would seek to obtain staff reports to gather comprehensive data in order to make a reasoned determination, based on ‘best evidence’ as to the nature of the incident.

UKPRU are determined to be transparent and when investigations are complete, so we will release our final report into an incident to whoever wishes to examine it.

Whilst we fully support the scientific method and approach we recognise the nature of UAP reporting is far from ideal, due to the nature of the subject matter that is still dogged stigma, albeit at a receding level.

We also aim to provide searchable scientific data deriving from a stand-a-lone database maintained by Dave Hodrien.

Ultimately we will use that data to ask questions of the British Government and the UK aviation industry regarding the UAP issue. 

We believe there needs to be a genuine discussion about UAP in British and Irish airspace. GH.





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