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UFO mystery deepens as Met Office rejects balloon explanation

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UFO over Annalong

UFO over Annalong

UFO over Annalong

A UFO filmed flying over a Co Down village was not a weather balloon, the Met Office has said.

A woman who captured footage of the object over Annalong on July 8 passed it to the Northern Ireland UFO Society (NIUFOS), which is investigating the sighting.

The round and grey UFO moved through the sky from north to south at a time when the wind in the area was blowing from the east, suggesting it could not have been a weather balloon.

In response to a NIUFOS query, the Met Office said it doubted the object was a radiosonde - the device carried by such balloons.

"A radiosonde was launched from Castor Bay Autosonde near Lough Neagh at 12.15pm on July 8, 2020," a statement read.

"At 1.15pm this radiosonde had travelled almost due east to position 54.423, -5.023 at an altitude of just under 18km.

"Google Maps indicates that this is about 20km off the coast in the Irish Sea and 70km from the filming location. The balloon path stayed significantly to the north of the filming location throughout the ascent.

"The weather balloons that we use at Castor Bay are almost all off-white in colour and spherical, with very small white instrument packages suspended far below.

"The object in the video is too unclear to identify, but we doubt a phone camera could see such a relatively small object at such a great distance and height from the reported filming location.

"As such, we doubt that the object seen could be the Castor Bay radiosonde."

NIUFOS founder Chris McMurray told Sunday Life he had received a report of a similar sighting from a woman in Kilkeel, about five miles from Annalong, a few weeks beforehand.

He added that his group intended to visit the area, which has a record of strange phenomena, next month to investigate further.

The incidents were not the only reports of unexplained aerial activity this year.

On the night of May 8, Iliana Draven recorded a bright object moving in the air over her home in Carnlough, Co Antrim. It came after other reports of lights above the village.

Ms Draven said she saw a "black ball" above the light and in a video of the sighting can be heard to say "it's falling".

In February, filming of the BBC drama Bloodlands, starring Jimmy Nesbitt, sparked a UFO alert over the Ards Peninsula.

The crew of an aircraft flying from London to Belfast asked air traffic control about a "big ball of light" as they passed over the area.

It's believed to have been caused by a light on a cherry-picker used to represent the Moon during filming at Castle Ward.

Belfast Telegraph