Local authorities are so far baffled as to what the object was. No one is sure as to what its size was. It was flying against the wind, so a balloon and a Chinese floating lantern have been ruled out. The object was not caught on air traffic control radar.
Naturally, talk has quickly turned toward the possibility of aliens. The fact that Bristol may be a UFO hotspot(2), with ten sightings having occurred in the year before the September sighting, has only heightened the possibility that it’s aliens.
British Police Speculate About UFO
In January, months after the sighting, Gary Heseltine, editor of UFO Truth magazine and a retired police officer suggested(3) that the National Police Air Service, which operated the helicopter, is not being as forthcoming as it could about the incident. Heseltine has advocated that the incident be subjected to a “scientific inquiry.”
What organization would conduct such an investigation was left unsaid.
No press or any other report could be found on a Google search about any more information since the night of the sighting. No one has laid claim to the object, whether it was a low-flying aircraft or a drone. We can surmise that the object was flying under power because it was moving against the wind, and the heart signature indicates some sort of engine under operation.
The object was not flashing navigation lights, so it can be guessed that it was on a clandestine flight. Given those facts, we can make a few guesses and posit a few hypotheses.
UFO Sighting Theories
The object could be a military aircraft(4) of some sort, perhaps a stealth fighter from the RAF, on a secret exercise. The Bristol Channel area does have a number of air bases situated around it that accommodate fast jets and helicopters.
According to an Air Safety document(5), the area is considered an intensely traveled area for aircraft which includes those of military origin. So the object that the police helicopter spotted may have been military in origin, either a stealth vehicle or something that was flying too low to be picked up by air traffic control radar.
The second possibility is that the object was a drone–military, commercial, or even private. A military drone flight is certainly a possibility, especially if it was conducting a test to make certain it would remain undetected. In that case, the spotting of the drone by an infrared camera would have been a happy accident that exposed a design flaw.
In either case, the RAF would not be anxious to come forward if it was conducting a secret flight.
If the object was a private or commercially-operated drone, it may have been in violation of British regulations(6), which stipulate that such vehicles have to be flown in a safe manner in visual contact with the operator. In that case, the operator would also not likely be keen to admit to what they were doing.
As for the idea that the object was an alien spacecraft, the idea is possible. But it would stretch credulity that an alien civilization capable of crossing interstellar distances would not have a method for concealing the heat signatures of its vehicles from prying eyes (or cameras) of the Earthlings. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that the object is extraterrestrial in origin.
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