Aircraft meets an orb over Reading, England

William C. Treurniet, August, 2011

Summary. In August, 2011, a luminous orb was recorded on video in the sky over Reading, England. The orb appeared to be relatively stationary, oscillating randomly around a fixed location. After a period of time, an aircraft entered the field of view and passed directly over the orb's position. It is likely that this orb was created by a UK military research program, much like a similar orb seen in approximately the same location a month earlier. Such a program of research was proposed in a 2000 MoD report released in 2006.

An earlier report discussed an orb executing fast, random motions in a video of the sky taken by Claire O'Regan on July 22, 2011. A frame-by-frame analysis of the video showed that the orb passed through cloud material, and moved at speeds impossible for a self-propelled, physical object. The movements were like that of a spot of light on a wall from a flashlight. This led to the hypothesis that the orb was a luminous plasma ball painted in the sky by some kind of projector on the ground. Statements in a UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) document released under the freedom of information law suggest that the orb was the result of a military research program.

On August 19, 2011, a second video was taken beginning at 16:55 PM in the same place under the same conditions. This 15 min video also showed an orb during the initial 6 min which remained in approximately the same location in the sky. This time, the orb's motion seemed to oscillate randomly around a fixed point. Near the end of the 6 min interval, an aircraft appeared heading directly for the orb's location. The following clip shows the last 3 1/2 minutes when the dot was present. The red dot in the lower left of the image is merely a lens flare and may be ignored.

The following image from about 2:54 shows the aircraft coming into view. Note that it is aimed directly at the orb.


The gap closes and, although the orb bounces around, the mean position appears to be on the projected path of the aircraft. The next image shows the orb directly in front of the aircraft.


In the following frame, the orb is positioned precisely on the aircraft. This is hard to judge in the single still frame, but movement to this position was seen by stepping frame-by-frame through the video. At the same time, the orb seems to have lost definition and brightness. Is this because of its proximity to the aircraft?


From this point on, the orb remains near the aircraft's contrail. It fades away as the aircraft leaves the scene.


The analysis of the earlier July 22 video indicated that the orb was physically located near the cloud layer. Further, the movements suggested that the light source was controlled by a distant device. For example, the orb might have been illuminated by plasma in the sky energized via a novel technology on the ground. The pattern of movement suggested that the aiming mechanism for the device was under manual control.

This interpretation is consistent with what is seen in the current video where the orb oscillates around a particular place in the sky. Jitter in the device's aiming mechanism on the ground would have caused the orb to dance around its mean location. One possibility is that the aircraft in the scene was there to monitor the properties of the orb since it flew directly toward the orb's mean location.

More likely, the unsuspecting aircraft may have been a convenient practice target for a person manually controlling the orb's position. There was a sudden increase in the frequency and amplitude of the jitter just as the aircraft entered the scene. This might have been caused by anticipatory tightening of the controller's muscles as his unexpected target came into view. If the pilot of the aircraft had seen the orb, it is no surprise that the flight path did not deviate as a result. The previously mentioned MoD report recommends that "pilots should be advised not to manoeuvre, other than to place the object astern, if possible" when an orb is encountered.