The Guernsey Island UFOs



This item should be read in conjunction with Pilots’ Sightings on this site.

The following article was published by BBC News, 25th April, 2007


Pilot spots 'UFOs' over Guernsey

A commercial airline pilot has reported seeing two unidentified flying objects in the sky near Guernsey. The bright yellow flat disc shapes, estimated to be twice the size of a Boeing 737, were spotted on Monday, 12 to 15 miles north east of the island.
Captain Ray Bowyer was about to fly an Aurigny plane from Alderney to Southampton when he saw the objects through binoculars. Mr Bowyer said he was "pretty shook-up" by the sighting.

Captain Ray Bowyer
Captain Ray Bowyer

                                   "This is not something you see every day of the week - it was
pretty scary,"
he said.


An Aurigny

An Aurigny Aircraft similar to the one flown by Captain Bowyer.



At first he thought it was the sun reflecting from greenhouses in Guernsey. He said the objects were bright like the sun, but did not hurt his eyes when he looked at them.
The stationary objects were also observed by other aircraft and the passengers on the plane.

It is hard to imagine what technology or even equipment financing one would need to build the flat yellow disc shaped flying objects

Guernsey Island

Disappearing pilot
John Spencer, deputy chairman of the British UFO Research Association, said:

                             "These types of sightings have been reported by pilots - generally accepted to be reliable and sensible observers - since the 1940s and they have excited attention to this day.                            
Such light effects are often popularly thought to represent alien visitors but many UFO researchers believe they more likely represent natural, atmospheric, phenomena not yet fully understood by science.

However, a similar encounter in 1978 over the Bass Straits in Australia, where the pilot was in radio contact with the ground throughout, resulted in the pilot never being heard from again, so these phenomena are important to study."

Nick Pope, who used to investigate UFOs for the Ministry of Defence said:

                              "While no witnesses are infallible, pilots are trained observers and less likely than most people to misidentify something mundane.
The MoD's UFO case files contain several reports from civil and military pilots, some of which were correlated by radar. This is the sort of sighting that is taken seriously and should be investigated thoroughly.
While most UFOs can be explained as misidentifications of aircraft, weather balloons, satellites and suchlike, a small percentage are more difficult to explain. This is one of the most intriguing sightings I've heard about in recent years."

A current spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence, said that while it does monitor air space for any unusual foreign objects which might pose a threat, they would not be carrying out an investigation in this instance.

     Guernsey Island UFO Pilot speaks out!


Captain Ray Bowyer, commercial pilot, who reported the sighting of a UFO in the English Channel on 23rd April 2007, spoke about his experience today on British television – namely the Richard and Judy Show (Channel 4, 5-00p.m.), the following audio file is a recording of Captain Bowyers interview.


Captain Bowyer discusses his UFO sighting with Richard and Judy on their Channel 4 Television Show.



Captain Bowyer interviewed by Richard and Judy.


Captain Bowyer described this graphic, produced by the show, as nothing like the object he saw.


Photo of a UFO taken in Russia in 1989 - very similar to the object seen by Captain Bowyer.


Captain Bowyer claimed that the object he sighted was very much like this UFO captured on film by Ella Louise Fortune on 16th October, 1957 whilst driving along Highway 54 near Three Rivers in New Mexico.





Retired Pilot lends Support to Captain Bowyer


In an article published by “This is Guernsey” on 2nd May, 2007 (UFO ‘evidence’ grows by Joel de Woolfson) a retired Air France pilot has backed Aurigny’s Ray Bowyer’s UFO sighting.

Captain Jean-Charles Duboc claimed he saw a huge object over Paris on 28 January 1994 while flying an Airbus 320 from Nice to London. It was well documented in the French media and on internet sites.

The 55-year-old’s sighting was supported by fellow flight crew and French radar, which picked up the object about 25 miles east of Paris for 50 seconds.

             The observation of Captain Ray Bowyer is really impressive for several reasons,’ he said. ‘The fact it was daytime, a huge size, low altitude, nine minutes of sighting, passengers and another crew to confirm it. In fact, Captain Bowyer’s observation is very similar to mine, except there were two objects and they were very low.’


However, unlike Captain Bowyer, who gave no suggestion as to what the UFO might have been, Captain Duboc believes the one he saw was from another world.

              ‘My position about the sighting off Alderney is that an extraterrestrial civilisation wants to develop contacts with our planet and that they deliberately organise UFO sightings.’


He said that in the last 60 years, there have been approximately 1,300 sightings by pilots and about 15% have been confirmed by radar.

               ‘It is a really scary reality, but pilots have exceptional training and are the best qualified observers to identify UFOs.’

Air France would not say if Captain Duboc had flown for it because of data protection laws.


Captain Bowyer praised his bosses at Aurigny for their understanding.

              I think if I had not had eight years with the company it would not have been mentioned. But I’m lucky that I had the security with Aurigny and I want to thank them for their support. It’s really nice that other people have come forward to say that they have had similar experiences.’



Captain Bowyer described the craft as like looking at a slightly upturned CD at an angle -  The image produced in so doing does look remarkably similar to an airship or blimp.





The Channel Island UFOs Some notes and observations



Blimps or Air Ships?

Captain Bowyer described the objects as looking at a C.D. slightly at an angle.

Certainly this brings into mind some type of blimp or airship. However, he quite resolutely denies that the objects were, in fact, crafts of such a type.

Bowyer was looking into the sun.....therefore a solid object would be in
shadow on his side
Captain Bowyer describes the objects as having a highly reflective surface which infers that
the pilot of the Jetsream should have seen such a surface as he was looking down sun.

The descriptions given by both pilots also infers that the object can not have been solid because a solid object cannot be illuminated on both sides at the same time by one light source.




Military Test Planes



The following is an extract from an article published in “This is Guernsey” on the 28th april, 2007

THE UFOs seen by two airline pilots earlier this week could have been military test planes.

Another pilot, Flybe’s Troy Queripel, put forward that theory yesterday.
There is military air space all around Guernsey and there is a lot of activity in that space. We call them danger areas,’ said the 40-year-old.

My theory is that it could have been some sort of military test aircraft that entered our air space by mistake.’

 French military air space starts 20 miles west of Guernsey and occupies an area of approximately 150 square miles. British military air space starts 40 miles north of Guernsey and Captain Queripel believes military involvement was the likeliest explanation.
                 ‘I am not trying to discredit anything that Ray said because I saw him 45 minutes after the incident and he was clearly shaken. He obviously saw something.
‘But think about the stealth bomber and the U2 spy plane. They were being tested for years before anyone was aware of them.’



Photograph (cropped from original) which was apparently taken by a passenger on Captain Bowyer's aircraft and allegedly supposed to be of the object sighted by Bowyer. However, close examination shows that the photo is, in fact, of another aircraft in profile.

Claimed to have been a photo of a gigantic flying disk, this was proven to be a photo of a giant 10 engined Convair B-36 - seen in profile and reflecting light.




Lenticular Clouds



In the interview on the Richard and Judy Show, Captain Bowyer stated that the objects he saw were somewhat similar to two of the graphics displayed during the show – see above.

Despite his insistence that the objects were not lenticular clouds it has to be said that they are, at least, very similar to lenticular Clouds.

Lenticular clouds, technically known as altocumulus standing lenticularis, are stationary lens-shaped clouds that form at high altitudes, normally aligned at right-angles to the wind direction ( The visual characteristsics of these clouds can be very misleading and they are commonly mistaken for UFOs.

The pilot mentioned going through a haze layer indicating that conditions were calm with little air movement, idea for the presence of oval clouds ( possibly lenticular ) which could have been around for a couple of hours. Also, whatever the pilots saw does seem to have been translucent in some way, again indicating a cloud-like object.




Examples of Lenticular Clouds. Notice the similarity with the Russian UFO photo (see above) and the convincing lens-type shape they can adopt. They are often mistaken for craft-like objects.




Satellite Images



It is indeed fortunate that the NASA MODIS satellite was over the area the same time envelope as Captain Bowyer’s sightings – especially when we take into account his comment that the objects were visible as Radar tracings for 55minutes.

Captain Bowyers comments that he was 50 miles from the " large object" which means
it must have been of some considerable size (seemingly at least a mile in length if not considerably more), anything of that size would show up on the images and all that is visible is thin cloud and elongated, possibly lenticular cloud.

It is also noticeable that aircraft trails are evident criss-crossing the region – none of these trails are a mile wide so they do give some indication of scale.

It is quite safe to state that the satellite images contain no evidence whatsoever of any solid, extremely large object at altitude in the area – certainly nothing over a mile long and predominantly glowing yellow in colour.

Satellite Image 1 - The resolution of this image is 250 metres resolution.

Satellite Image 2Different wavelength and resolution of 500 metres – allowing us to see through the cloud.

For website presentation purposes the images have been reduced to the area of the sightings.

(Please note: MODIS (or Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) is a key instrument aboard the Terra (EOS AM) and Aqua (EOS PM) satellites. Terra's orbit around the Earth is timed so that it passes from north to south across the equator in the morning, while Aqua passes south to north over the equator in the afternoon. Terra MODIS and Aqua MODIS are viewing the entire Earth's surface every 1 to 2 days.)

Courtesy of NASA - Reproduced with permission (Many thanks to "The Bionic Man")

MODIS image - Satellite 1

MODIS image - Satellite 1

MODIS image - Satellite 2


Air Map of the Incident - "Thanks to the Bionic Man"
( Click on image to see in full resolution)





Click on image to see in full resolution

Differences in the various statements makes it difficult to determine the exact positions of the aircraft involved in this incident and the objects reported. The Air Chart graphic is, as far as it is possible based upon the information available, an accurate representation of the position of the aircraft and objects which were described as UFOs.

The Casquets Lighthouse is Visual reporting point (VRP) and is marked on the chart hence Captain Bowyer must be very familiar with it. Interestingly, via Email Trinity house stated:

                 …… there was no testing or maintenance taking place at Casquets at that time. Casquets is a 24 hour light and therefore would have been on during the day.

It is also worthy of note that all the red circles shown on the chart are danger areas and Flamanville is a Nuclear facility.

Bowyer reported being on airway R41 , as shown on the chart but he claims to have been heading South, but in fact he must have been heading SSW within the airway. He must have been flying almost directly into the Sun.

It is interesting to note that Jetstream 32 almost certainly flew over, through or very close to the second object which is the more westerly of the two.

The chart shows a scale in Nautical Miles bottom right. According to Bowyer's description and that of the Jetstream the objects could not have been more than 25 Nautical Miles from Bowyer’s aircraft - not 50 Nautical Miles as he estimates.


The Size of the Object

The size of the object described, taking into account the distances mentioned by Captain Bowyer, is also debateable. For instance, an object 1 mile wide at a range of 25 miles subtends an angular size of about one degree and the description given buy the pilot suggests the object he was looking at was much bigger than one degree....and further away. Consequently he may well have been looking at an object at least five miles across This means the object Captain Bowyer was looking at was at least five miles across.


It is interesting to note that there have been numerous reports by pilots of the sighting of large glowing spheres from all over the world – for instance:

On June 17, 1966 from the air near Teheran, Iran, several airline pilots sighted a brilliant sphere of light, "sitting on the horizon," so to speak, deep within the Soviet Union. The intensely glowing sphere expanded to enormous size, dimming as it expanded, always remaining "sitting on the horizon." The pilots observed the phenomenon for 4 to 5 minutes. A CIA report on the incident was released under the Freedom of Information Act.

On September 10, 1976, the crew and passengers of British European Airway Flight 831, over Lithuania en route from Moscow to London, observed an intensely glowing, stationary ball of light above the clouds underneath the plane. When alerted by the airline pilot, Soviet authorities on the ground curtly informed him to pay no attention and, effectively, to exit the area.

From Afghanistan in September 1979, British war cameraman Nick Downie observed gigantic, expanding spheres of light deep within the Soviet Union, toward the direction of Saryshagan missile test range.

On June 18, 1982, pilots and crews of Japan Air Lines Flights 403 and 421 reported sighting a giant, expanding globe of light in the North Pacific, 700 kilometers east of Kushiro.

Etc…………….       (See: The Berwyn Mountains Incident on this site.)

So perhaps Captain Bowyer’s sighting is not unique, especially when it occurred within close proximity to a military test area. Is it possible that the object he observed was the results of a military test of some description? In fact the UFO photograhed in New Mexico in 1957(see above) which, according to Captain Bowyer, is very similar to the object he observed, was actually flying over the Holloman Test Range – the implications cannot be ignored.

Also, the incident occurred close to areas which have been used for the dumping of nuclear waste. Apparently the Hurd Deep, a seismic rift trench which runs just north of Alderney, contains large amounts of plutonium in concrete drums and other radioactive waste dumped there by the British authorities in an era when less care was taken over these matters.

Who knows what might happen in an area where such dangerous substances lurk on the seabed? Is it unreasonable to suggest that a large glowing gas cloud could be emitted, eventually to be observed in the skies over the area?

The absence of visual evidence of any object on the MODIS Satellite photos does suggest, however, that a brightly-coloured object or craft of immense proportions was not present at the time of the sighting allowing for the 55 minutes tolerance during which Captain Bowyer claims that Radar shows traces of something.

Without the actual Radar tapes that show the alleged “traces” it is impossible to reach any definite conclusions in this matter but it has to be pointed out that the satellite images do show evidence of meteorological conditions that are ideal for the creation of lenticular clouds. Also as shown above, calculations show that the object was quite possibly five miles in length which is not unusual for this phenomenon.

The Casquets Lighthouse does, in fact, continue to emit a beam for twenty four hours a day and taking this into account, surely it is worth considering that the object observed by Captain Bowyer was, in fact, a lenticular cloud formation through which the lighthouse beam passed – creating a highly visible, bright craft-like illusion.

The M.O.D. Documents

The M.O.D. responses to the reported UFO sighting by Captain Bowyer.
ufo sighting channel islands 23 apr 07 (PDF Documant)
ufo sighting channel islands 23 apr 07 enc (PDF Documant)


NASA, The M.O.D., Ufology in UK, Channel 4 Television, Trinity House and "The Bionic Man"