REPORTS of a bright white light over Herefordshire and Worcestershire almost 17 years ago have been included in newly-released Ministry of Defence files.

Nineteen files, covering sightings of unidentified flying objects (UFOs) between 1986 and 1992, were made available online by the National Archives yesterday. Among them was the sighting of a bright white light over the two counties and south Wales on December 9, 1991.

At the time your Worcester News reported how callers jammed police switchboards as a mysterious blazing object flew through the sky. It was spotted above Worcester, Hereford, Leominster, Bromyard and Droitwich.

Two days later we revealed that the “fireball” was in fact burning fuel from an F1-11 aircraft. The documents released yesterday show how RAF officers at Hereford were among those bemused by the sighting. A letter written to the MOD stated: “The object seen was a bright white light, at a high altitude, with flames (or an illuminated vapour trai) in its wake.

“Many witnesses believed that they were witnessing an aircraft accident and some reports indicated that the object broke up. A few seconds after the sighting, a low rumbling sound was heard, and some windows were seen to be shaking.” In its reply, the MOD wrote: “At approximately 4.45pm an F1-11 from RAF Upper Heyford was ordered to return to base because of the deteriorating weather conditions. As a safety precaution the pilot jettisoned some of his fuel, which was ignited by the afterburner.”

Also among the files released yesterday were reports that a passenger jet coming in to land at Heathrow Airport had a near miss with a UFO in in 1991, which remains unsolved; a US Air Force pilot’s account of being ordered to shoot down a UFO that appeared on his radar while he flew over East Anglia; and a letter from a woman claiming to be from the Sirius system who said her spacecraft – also containing two ‘Spectrans’ with ‘Mr Spock ears’ – crashed in Britain during the Second World War.

The files can be accessed at