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Airplane passenger films UFOs over Cardiff

An airplane passenger returning home from a vacation in Greece caught some strange lights on video while in the air on approach to Cardiff, Wales.

The sighting was reported by Wales Online. The video was apparently captured on the passenger’s cell phone late Tuesday night. The 29 year-old witness says his plane arrived in Cardiff at about 10 pm. He says the lights were very bright. In fact, he says, “it was the brightest thing I’ve ever seen.”

Although he observed the lights for a few minutes, he didn’t start recording until after watching the lights for a couple minutes. He then captured about a minute of video.

Close-up of the mysterious lights from a still of the UFO video. (Credit: Wales Online)
Close-up of the mysterious lights from a still of the UFO video. (Credit: Wales Online)

The witness told Wales Online: “We were flying from Greece to Cardiff. It was on Tuesday night and happened about 20 to 40 minutes before we arrived at 10pm.

“The lights could have been from a few miles away – it was pitch black outside, so it’s hard to say what it was.

“It was quite weird. It was very bright, it was the brightest thing I’ve ever seen. I just realised how bright it was and said to my girlfriend ‘look at that!’

“I was staring at it for a while before I picked up my phone to film it, but it was there for about three or four minutes.

“I thought it maybe could have been lanterns, but they didn’t go away, they kept flying til I couldn’t see them anymore.

“I really have no idea what it could have been – it was just really, really bright.

“UFO is a really broad term. That’s what it is, you know, an unidentified flying object.”

In the video, five out of focus lights can be seen in the distance. Then the witnesses zooms in and the lights come into focus. It is hard to tell if they are moving at all. Then a couple more lights appear, making about eight at once. Some of the lights continue to dim out as others appear.

Wales Online does not speculate or offer any suggestions as to the nature of the lights, but does ask, “What are they?”

The lights are probably not Chinese Lanterns, as lanterns are lit from the ground and stay lit until they get into the sky. Unlike these lights, which lit up in the sky.

However, another possibility is military flares. A couple of miles west of Cardiff Airport is the St. Athan Royal Air Force base. During night time operations flares can be dropped from planes that are working in a covert mode with their visible lights off. I have emailed the Royal Air Force to inquire if indeed they were running exercises at that time.

Map of Cardiff's proximity to St. Athan Royal Air Force base. (Credit: Google Maps)
Map of Cardiff’s proximity to St. Athan Royal Air Force base. (Credit: Google Maps)

Meanwhile, the lights remain a mystery. The video can be seen on the story by Wales Online here.

Alejandro Rojas

Alejandro Rojas is a radio host for Open Minds Radio, editor and contributing writer for Open Minds magazine as well as OpenMinds.tv. For several years Alejandro was the official spokesperson for the Mutual UFO Network as the Director of Public Education. As a UFO/Paranormal researcher and journalist, Alejandro has spent many hours in the field investigating phenomena up close and personal. Alejandro has been interviewed by media organizations around the world, including the largest cable and network news agencies with several appearances on Coast to Coast AM.

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  1. Could be anything, probably candles on a birthday cake, right? Or Girl Scouts with flashlights. Or even a real UFO. Which makes the most sense to you?

  2. The lights might be from Mobile Offshore Drilling Units flaring gas which can be very bright. I’ve seen the glare from them from the surface of the sea from 80 km away.

    There are no direct flights from Athens to Cardiff. The only flight I found from Greece to Cardiff has a layover in Amsterdam. This is a Google Earth file of that flight for the night in question:

    It’s only about an hour long flight. 40 minutes before landing they would have been over the North Sea. There are a lot of MODUs in the North Sea. There was a cluster of them about 130 km to the north of the flight. This link has a Google Earth file for MODUs: http://msi.nga.mil/NGAPortal/MSI.portal?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=msi_portal_page_67

    It would explain the lack of all other lights. The UK is pretty lit up at night so if it were over land you should expect to see a lot of other lights.

  3. Chew, thanks for the great analysis!

    Marc D’Antonio, MUFON’s photo and video analyst posted this on Facebook:

    “Alejandro.. I looked at this video. What is interesting is that the lights come and go as if some obstructions are getting in the way. Not sure what that is BUT I have an idea WHERE it is. This object is actually LOW below the aircraft and we are looking down on top of it. It doesnt appear to be moving at aircraft speeds because it shrinks in size at a rate that is consistent with passing by a relatively stationary object on the ground. The reason we know its at least in the DIRECTION of the ground or water is because at one point the video drops below the window and you can see the curved window bezel showing it was being seen down below the lower left side of the window. Based on my examination I would bet she was sitting on the left side of the aircraft looking down and then later down and to the left as the plane passed the lights. They could have been military flares as the story suggests but they are quite low to the ground which indicates to me a potential ground object, perhaps a ship in the water? I dont see reflections in the water but this is not uncommon being pitch black outside and somewhat lit in the aircraft.. The video would not necessarily pick them up at all.It will be interesting to see more data…”

  4. Me and my family saw this last night in phoenix az and my boyfriend has it on video but it had a few more lights and we saw the lights going back and forth and we tried to follow it but it was gone and then we noticed that the moon disappeared and it wasnt even cloudy outside and it was around 11pm

  5. I can show u ufo’s anytime as me and my kids mess with them all the time first I thought it was my eyes but my kids lan see them too we call them with a torch a every night I phoned the m.o.d.and told them but they just thought I was messing around.phone me if u want to see them I can prove to enyone.. my name is Antony.. number is xxx..u will be amazed only me and my kids know ..

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