Northern Ireland news

Jimmy Nesbitt film linked to UFO reported by flight crew

A BBC film crew at Castle Ward in Co Down may have sparked a UFO alert over Co Down last week. Picture taken from the Salthouse Restaurant Facebook page.
Connla Young

A MYSTERIOUS light which appeared in the Co Down night sky sparking a 'UFO' alert may have been caused during filming of a new BBC drama starring James Nesbitt.

Details of the incident emerged last week after an aircraft crew reported seeing a ”ball of light” in the night sky close to the Ards Peninsula.

The crew of one flight was so concerned by the mystery light that they contacted Air Traffic Control (ATC) at Belfast International Airport.

A recording of the conversation was later posted online by an amateur radio operator.

The flight from Stanstead Airport to Belfast international was flying at almost 11,000ft at around 2am last Wednesday when the recordings were made.

During a conversation with ATC a Titan Airways crew member was heard to say “you could see for a mile offshore illuminated”.

After confirming flight details the crew member then added “It was a big ball of light from the ground.

“So I would have thought probably you would have known something.”

A member of the flight crew later posted details of the incident saying ATC was contacted about the light but “nobody could give us an explanation”.

The mystery has prompted debate online in recent days.

However, it has now emerged that filming for new BBC drama Bloodlands was taking place in Castle Ward at Strangford Lough, on the same night the unexplained light was seen.

A spokeswoman last night said that film crews “were using a light on a cherry picker, which represented the moon”.

The new drama stars Mr Nesbitt, who plays a PSNI detective who is placed on a cold case after a car is pulled from Strangford Lough.

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