He was flying a routine passenger flight from Southampton to Alderney, when he spotted a bright yellow light with a green area, about 10 miles west of Alderney. He estimated the object to be about 2,000 feet above sea level and stationary.
As he approached the object, he realized it was much larger than he had initially thought. He described it as a “very sharp, thin yellow object” with a flat base and a dome on top. He said it was about a mile wide and half a mile long. He also noticed a second, identical object further to the west.
He concluded that it was not a reflection but an emission of light. With his binoculars, he could make out a definite shape. The object was long and thin from his viewpoint, and was pointed at each end. The horizontal to vertical dimensions of its body were in a ratio of about 15:1.
It was brilliant yellow, with a dark grey band enveloping it one third from the right, like a band around a cigar. With his 10× magnification binoculars, he could make out that it bore no relation to a normal aeroplane. He took his glasses off to exclude the possibility of a reflection from behind.
His reaction was to make contact with Jersey ATC to confirm or exclude the possibility of traffic heading his way. Paul Kelly at Jersey ATC denied the presence of traffic in the said position, but could pick up a faint primary return radar signal, i.e. a signal without the additional transponder return.
His instruments were however set to detect only moving objects.
A passenger behind the captain confirmed what he was seeing, and pointed out a second similar craft, immediately behind the first: “Upon nearing the object, a second identical shape appeared beyond the first. Both objects were of a flattened disk shape, with a dark area to [their] right. They were brilliant yellow, with light emanating from within, and I estimated them to be up to possibly a mile across.”
Jersey ATC was now able to get confirmation from the pilot of Blue Island Air,: 336 who, from 25 miles (40 km) to the south, also had visual contact with one object.
While observing the objects, Bowyer had proceeded well beyond his descent point. At this closest approach the two objects changed their positions and appeared to line up, one directly above the other.
A transitory feature of the nearest object now became apparent. At the boundary between its radiant yellow area and the dark grey vertical band, Bowyer believed to perceive a pulsating interface where sparkling blues, greens and other hues were strobing up and down about once a second.
Out of concern for the safety of his passengers, he started the descent to the runway and a haze layer obscured their final view of the objects. At no point during the flight however, had there been any interference with the aircraft’s systems, instruments or radio communications.
Captain Bowyer relates: “This [was] a big object in the sky, a very, very big object. I did not want to be too close to it and it was at that time that we had to descend to land. We descended through the 2,000-foot (610 m) haze layer and lost sight of it.” … On Guernsey he related: “There was no hiding it, they were just there. I wasn’t too happy. I was quite glad to get on the ground … and have a cup of tea.”
“If it was designed by an engineer, that man had to be shaken by the hand because it was a fantastic piece of equipment, if that is what it was. I can’t really say much further than to say what I’ve said all along, that this thing is not from around here.” – Ray Bowyer
Bowyer was not the only one who saw the mysterious objects. His passengers and co-pilot also confirmed his sighting, as well as another pilot flying near Sark, 25 miles south of Alderney.
The second pilot, Captain Patterson, reported seeing “something like an oil rig” in the same position and altitude as Bowyer’s first object.
The objects also appeared on radar, according to Bowyer. He said he contacted air traffic control in Jersey and Guernsey, and they confirmed that there were two unknown targets on their screens, matching the location and size of the objects he saw.
However, a later investigation by David Clarke, a UFO researcher and lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University, suggested that the radar traces could have been caused by interference from cargo or passenger ferries in the area.
Bowyer was convinced that what he saw was not a natural phenomenon or a man-made structure. He said he had never seen anything like it in his 18 years of flying experience.
He said he felt “pretty weird” and “quite frightened” by the encounter. He also said he was concerned about the safety of his passengers and himself, as he did not know if the objects were hostile or not.
Bowyer disagreed with Clarke’s team on the supposed link between the radar traces and ferries, and proposed that two solid airborne craft, which were not and could not have been manufactured on Earth, were working in unison that day, as suggested by the evidence that their sortie was coordinated in both time and space.
He later participated in a National Press Club UFO meeting in Washington DC, where he appealed for more transparency and investigation into UFO sightings by pilots and military personnel.
He said he believed that the objects he saw were extraterrestrial in origin, and that they were working in unison for some unknown purpose.