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Friday, July 23, 1999 Published at 16:17 GMT 17:17 UK


ET and the eclipse

Captain Howard draws what he saw from his cockpit

Special report
Special report
11 August
In 1954, eclipse watchers aboard a BOAC stratocruiser, en route from the US to Britain, got more than they bargained for when they spied UFOs through the portholes.

The sighting was reported upon landing in London and the captain interviewed by a reporter from the BBC.

Watch this classic 1954 report from the BBC archives

Captain James Howard told how he, along with his entire crew and some of the passengers, watched the phenomena for a total of 18 minutes.

[ image: Captain James Howard: UFO was being intelligently handled]
Captain James Howard: UFO was being intelligently handled
He described several small objects, which disappeared and reappeared at will, and one large one, which was able to change its shape, although "it was always black in silhouette and there was a clear edge to it".

Eventually, this object disappeared as well.

When pressed about the reality of what he had witnessed, Captain Howard remained firm:

"There is no question that this was not an illusion...and that it was being intelligently handled".

Mexican wave

More recently during the eclipse of 1991, video photographers all over Mexico found that, while attempting to catch the cosmic event on film, they had caught something else they could not explain.

In the days following the eclipse, a wave of videos were sent in to the main TV station, showing what appeared to be UFOs in the sky.

Indeed, these sightings are now claimed to be among the best examples of UFOs caught on film.

The 1999 total eclipse can be viewed on 11 August.

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