back to article UFO fleet menaces east London

The Sun has mobilised a crack team of hacks and ufologists to probe a sensational sighting of a formation of extraterrestrial vehicles swooping over the mean streets of Bethnal Green: UFO fleet seen on Street View A close-up view of the Street View UFO fleet "Baffled" expert Nick Pope, who apparently "used to …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Interesting how all the people in the photograph appear to be looking at the flying formation. Anyone from the area care to shed some light on what it really is?

  2. Dominic Kua

    It's a flag.

    Or possibly a banner.

    Baffling indeed.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Slow news day?

    It has to be bad when you get this excited over a flock of birds.

  4. Vulch

    Double rotor helicopters?

    Don't think the MoD could scrape together a formation of 9 Chinooks, but it could be a US Air Force formation. It looks like they're all flying at slightly different altitudes which would make sense for keeping the rotors apart.

  5. Mihai
    Thumb Down

    How 'bout a flag instead of an UFO ?

    The white color around the "UFO's" is different from the clouds and flag-shaped. They also appear pretty close to what can be a mast...

  6. John Routledge

    My guess

    Plastic bag? I can definitely see an outline of something around the "formation".

    Any idea whose logo it might be?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns


    Looks like a flock of Chinooks

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Men in Black have already corrected the information.

    I see no UFO's. You must have imagined it.

  9. Nick

    It's the Red Arrows

    The Red Arrows fly in that formation.

    They don't appear in focus probably because streetview cameras won't be set up to capture things moving that fast, or up high. (It's a similar effect to when a person blinks when taking a slow exposure of their eye -a brown eye can look blue)

    All the people in the street are watching them, or taking photos (although the Alien death ray has disrupted the photographer's legs on the corner of the road)

    I for one welcome out formation flying overlords!

  10. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: My guess

    Sometimes there's just so much... beauty in the world. I feel like I can't take it.

  11. Simon

    Plastic bag?

    Yeah, it looks to me like a plastic bag thats being blown about in the wind. Anyone else spotted the overflowing litter bin in the picture, possibly the Invasion Mothership the "UFOs" came from.

    Why is it people always jump to the usual sane conclusion, see something in the sky "Oh noes, it's an alien invasion fleet!".

    Or see a shape in something like a tree or a piece of toast and go "Ooh looky it's the Virgin Mary, we are saved! Let's worship it!"


  12. Andrew Wren
    Black Helicopters

    Looks like the RAF to me

    The Red Arrows aren't the only ones who fly formations. There were a number of fly-pasts of Buckingham Palace last summer (Queen's Birthday and RAF Anniversary as good examples) and each used formations of planes just like that.

    As further proof, trace a line from the Palace, up the Mall, and you'll find it goes very close to that spot. Chances are it's a formation of Tornados or Typhoons on the run-in.

  13. David


    If you look at the lamppost, it appears blurred in an upwards direction, from almost the same height as the objects

  14. Tom Sparrow

    I thought a bag...

    But when you look on streetview itself, doesn't look so much like one.

    Whatever they are, there's a guy on the other side of the road taking a photo of them. Perhaps someone could ask him.,-95.677068&sspn=38.554089,63.896484&ie=UTF8&t=h&layer=c&cbll=51.527148,-0.059647&panoid=i9VCs_VnVkv00M75nrPriQ&cbp=12,189.49573882942641,,1,9.841123703597443&ll=51.527022,-0.059631&spn=0.008557,0.017488&z=16&iwloc=addr

  15. Alexander


    cough cough. i wonder what fly's in formation and mirgates anually could not be birds.

    I have taken indentical pictures with my digital slr of migrating geese or ducks ..looking at the close up geese is my guess.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Something to do with the lamp column

    Looking at the larger image it appears there's a brighter edge around the objects. I would suggest it's something to do with the column, possibly even a streetlight of some description. I've seen at least one other UFO photo where the object is probably connected to a lamp, but looks like it's flying. What would be interesting is if anyone who knows the area looks to confirm or deny it!

  17. Adam Foxton
    Thumb Down

    It may LOOK like a plastic carrier bag

    with a logo printed on it.

    It's actually a plastic Death Squadron from Pluto coming in to attack us for demoting their planet to "dwarf planet".

    On a more serious note, there's definately an outline. It's a carrier bag.

  18. Martin Lyne

    Street view + paper = mass retardation it seems.

    See title

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Diamond Nine

    Red Arrows - Diamond Nine

  20. Sean O'Dea

    stringing along

    They are converging from left to right in strings of 3 - pretty obvious they're strung on lines from the pole across to a single point on the building.

  21. Zoniad


    Fortunately however the bloke in question was persistent with his love of the spycar so can be found in the next shot down the road still going for it....,-3.205434&panoid=YdLhR7qbnqbXHyf9pE4eSA&cbp=12,303.0169011228897,,1,5.984602917341978&ll=55.945721,-3.205476&spn=0,359.986761&t=h&z=17

  22. JayB

    I know what it is.....

    Ahh, our Sarah is an aesthete and lover of "American Beauty".... good movie if just a tad depressing at the end.....

    Anyway, I've no idea why everyone is so puzzled when it's clearly a squadron of flying pigs on a special mission to justify Wacky Jacqui's latest expense claims!!!!

    Pirates... 'cos in their heyday they weren't as crooked as a Politician in Nu Britain.

  23. Richard Thomas


    Noticed this in the Street View address of my old flat in Bow as well. How old is their address database?!

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Chinese Air Force

    It's just the local Chinese Air Force Squadron out on patrol as lead by Wing Commander Whu Fli

  25. Peter Simpson
    Black Helicopters

    CH-47 Chinook helicopters?

    Would be my guess. They'd make quite a racket and the objects do look a bot dog-bone in shape...

  26. Parax
    Black Helicopters

    People opposite can see it too!!

    Theres a whole crowd of up lookers... some with cameras..

    My vote is for a fly past from the RAF... if it were UFO's we'd havwe seen those pictures in the papers already.

    I seriously doubt that many people would look up for a carrier bag...

    as for the blurred lampost that is a result of merging the horizontal and vertical camera images there are multiple images stiched together not always sucessfully..

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    You's slow day more like! Exactly what type of birds do you reckon they are then!? LOL.... BIRDS?

  28. dan russell

    I for one...

    deplore the over use of cliche's. But flying in formation like that we better watch out as they are about to get a lot faster as they pass from left to right over our last three defensive shields.

  29. It'sa Mea... Mario

    Some of you need glasses/your heads read..

    And in at least one case a new camera...

    There is no species of bird that is silver and amoust perfectly round no matter the distance or how crap the camera is.

    There is no outline around the nine objects that implies a flag or carrier bag just some variation in cloud colour on one side causing your minds to create one. As a flag it would be pretty crap as nobody recognises it.

    Formation planes/helicopters would have to be above the pictured cloud height to look that small.

    Only two reasonable explainations left:-

    1 Radio Controlled UFO formation Flying team

    2 Small fleet of real (yet tiny) UFOs.

  30. It'sa Mea... Mario

    It's not the Red Arrows..

    the giveaway clue..?

    They are not red!!!

  31. Parax
    Black Helicopters

    Proof! - a Flypast

    Found more conclusive evidence...

    Another craft in precession

    and possible the same 9 from another angle:

    Seems the street view vehicle drove this street 3 times these images are from a run that was kind of out of position....

  32. Yorkshirepudding
    Black Helicopters

    swamp gas

    move along folks move along

  33. Anonymous Coward

    I for one.. bought the Tee shirt..

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "It's actually a plastic Death Squadron from Pluto coming in to attack us for demoting their planet to "dwarf planet"."

    Pluto is not a planet, don't you watch QI!

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    couldn't possibly be the red arrows

    nope they didn't fly past on 20/08/08. Nothing to see here.

    The exhaustive checks of the MoD expert clearly didn't involve spending 10 seconds on google.

  36. Anonymous Coward

    Mothership over Edinburgh

    Head to The Mound in Edinburgh and checkout the mothership lurking in the clouds. As you get closer to the end of the google cars route you see it head from east to west.,-4.064941&sspn=15.03761,28.300781&ie=UTF8&ll=55.950161,-3.194962&spn=0,359.944725&z=14&layer=c&cbll=55.950097,-3.194794&panoid=BN7zKdGv4ebBup-dDeB-xw&cbp=12,276.91125009711254,,0,-20.0520875183989

  37. Lloyd

    Hold on isn't his an episode of Dr Who?

    That's the Toclafane flying in formation over London, does this mean Gordon Brown's the Master? It would certainly explain why he's trying to destroy this country.

  38. Pete

    Stratford flying club on a sortie.


  39. Anonymous Coward

    zoomed in too much

    An artifact of the dithering? When I zoom out a bit the blobs look more like airplanes.

    But better than blurry airplanes I like the overstuffed trashcan spilling over onto the street.

    Google's not quite up to the task of blurring faces -- about a third of them are quite clear. Better send the police around to arrest them for something.

  40. Steve Roper
    Black Helicopters

    Image has been removed

    After following the El Reg link to the photo in question, it came up black. Dragging the "Street View man" icon a little brought back the view of Bethnal Green Rd from further down. But when I clicked the arrows to move back up the road, I found quite a gap: one shot from a position right next to the "Coral" sign on the brown brick building, and the adjacent one from the middle of the Wolverley St T-junction; the one posted in the article is clearly between these two positions, and it's been removed. The 'UFOs' don't appear in either of the existing two shots, either.

    Maybe the UFOs' pilots complained about a violation of their privacy to Google?

  41. Alexander
    Thumb Down

    good story for the Sun........

    oh my god , and you asked this lot questions about I.T .......

    It is birds

    @It'sa Mea... Mario

    round? both futherest away objects in the group of nine are V shaped ? and their are no round objects in that picture.


    It is the shape that gives it away V edged , it most probably the moment at which the formation realigning after a turn.

    if you look at some of the objects (birds) in the distance they have a similar shape to your round objects.

    story -10

  42. kliff


    It's a formation of eurofighters on their way to a flypast at buckingham palace for last year's trooping of the colour. This can all be found online - there were 9 of them, and if you trace their path over Fairlop towards the palace, you can see it goes right over Bethnal Green.

    The large delta-wing shape of the planes, plus the blurriness of the image makes it look a bit like orbs. But look again.

  43. It'sa Mea... Mario


    Lol, there are a lot rounder than they are bird, plane or V shaped..

  44. Nick Davey


    They are Tie Fighters, I for one welcome our new dark lord of the sith overlord.......

  45. Danny

    Privacy concern

    Street View is rubbish. Everytime I look at a house where I know a pretty girl lives, either the curtains are closed or the angle is too great to see in. Google should do it all again this time using Millimetre Wave cameras that can see through the walls. At the very least have higher cameras on the car too so that I can see in the top floor windows.

  46. Damien Thorn


    Well they are UFO's no more, now there just planes.

    The sun reporter is unavailable but thats not unusual, after lunch the class has milk and a little nap before there parents collect them, so when he wakes up we can tell him its just an aero plane.

    Case Closed.

  47. Adam Foxton


    ... fine. "It's a Death Flotilla from the former-planet-then-pluton-now-Dwarf Planet Pluto for calling their non-planet a Dwarf Planet".

    Doesn't really roll off the tongue, does it?

    And I don't watch QI anymore owing to the unfortunate beer-spill related lack of a TV. But I watched the whole story of the IAU reclassifying Pluto as it unfolded.

  48. Steve

    Nice formation

    Just go north a block to the junction of Ellsworth and Clarkson streets and look north above the scaffolding You'll get a much better view of all 16 aircraft in formation...

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    Looks like a carrier bag to me!

  50. Anonymous Coward

    @Steve - Nice Formation

    Time space continuim and all that must have been an earlier/ later part of the same flypast...

    Or a different Gcar.. (unlikely but not impossible) Nice spot!

    Goes well with Parax's spottings..

  51. MinionZero
    Black Helicopters

    Google's conspiracy shown at last!

    I think we finally have conclusive proof Google are evil. They are in league with the aliens! ... they have now edited out the alien fleet and replaced the picture with a woman standing in the road.

    ... that and I need to cut back on the coffee.

  52. Parax

    More Palnes.. Better Formations..

    To go with: (Posted earlier)

    Theres More:

    No Black Helicopters though...Yet...

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    “This is definitely the strangest thing I’ve ever seen in Bethnal Green.”

    Not been there long then?

  54. Simon Preston

    Get it right.

    From the Sun article

    "“I thought it was some planes but they look pretty close together for that. Maybe they are UFOs.”

    Well done. You can't indentify them and they are flying. That's a UFO. I wish people would stop lazily using this term when what they really mean is Alien Deathforce Squadron.

    Anyhow. I've emailed the Sun with the Telegraph article that shows the 9 planes in formation. Reckon they'll print it?

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    @ It'sa Mea... Mario

    >> Only two reasonable explainations left:-

    >> 1 Radio Controlled UFO formation Flying team

    >> 2 Small fleet of real (yet tiny) UFOs.

    You are a complete and utter buffoon.

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A closer look

    Looks like some of the planes here,-95.677068&sspn=38.554089,63.896484&ie=UTF8&t=h&layer=c&cbll=51.52734,-0.05887&panoid=sH8Ik5M7ZodKzp5m6uWPzA&cbp=12,6.105002651766003,,3,-24.062101248746376&ll=51.527262,-0.058837&spn=0,359.986439&z=16&iwloc=addr

  57. Thorsten


    Search for "1 jersey Street london" and look up. Looks like some formation fly-by to me. The large plane in front is probably a C-17 Globemaster.

  58. It'sa Mea... Mario

    @Anonymous Coward...15:03 GMT

    Lol, Just Lol

  59. kliff

    it's all in here

    There was a lot of planes flying past that day

  60. ratfox

    Pulled pic

    The guy is still giving the finger in the pic just south of that one...

  61. Luther Blissett

    And why shouldn't UFOs fly information?

    Virtually everyone else is doing IT. Most are doing it unconsciously - but is folly ever an excuse for knavery? I think not.

    Listen to the hyperspace(wo)man inside of you.

  62. Astarte

    Too soon to tell

    Maybe this was posted a day too early?

  63. Maty
    Black Helicopters

    Obviously UFOs

    These are UFOs. Let's be clear - these objects seem to be flying, and have not yet been definitively identified. Ergo, they clearly are unidentified flying objects.

    Doesn't mean they are alien spacecraft.

    Black helicopters, because if you look at those pics sideways and squint a bit ...

  64. ned

    That's no UFO

    Not UFOs. Red Arrows - diamond nine formation that was the first thing I thought of looking at this picture.

  65. cor
    Black Helicopters

    C'mon people it is clear to see that these are...

    Plain ol' chinooks flying in formation.

    If anyone has ever been under the flightpath of a couple of those twin-rotor monsters, they'll understand why everyone is looking up. They make a serious deep-bass thunk-thunk. So nine of them would be clearly audible over the traffic and general street noise.

    check out :

    for an example of how they look from a distance.

    Now get back to work.

  66. Anonymous Coward


    its a flag hanging on the pole....dumbasses! :)

  67. Anonymous Coward


    I cant be arsed to read your comments... your explanations are all pointless.

    This is clearly a picture of a squadron of those new mini spherical chinook helicopters printed on a carrier bag tied to a flag pole disguised as a lampost.

    theres no way any of you (whose comments I have not read) are right... deffinatly not!!!1!

  68. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This looks shooped

    I can tell by some of the pixels and by shooping a few whoops in my time.

  69. Andrew Newstead

    I don't belive it!

    RAF Typhoons, diamond 9 formation, flying left to right. The close up clearly shows the direction of travel (based on the fact that the aircraft are staggered vertically as well as in formation) and the delta planform of the aircraft would explain the shapes easily.

    I would say this photo was taken 14th June during the flypast. As for the people watching, well how often do you get a formation of combat jets flying over your high street, it would stop mine!

    I would say Mr Pope had severed his links with the MOD a little too early or he would have known about the event...

    BTW I've seen many strange flying objects in my time but they have all had terrestial serial numbers on their tails. Shame really, I would like to see a genuine unidentifiable flying object.

    Andrew Newstead

  70. Anonymous Coward

    Clearly UFO's

    These are definitely alien spacecraft - they are clearly casing the planet so they can decide where to start their burglary spree. As someone already mentioned, they are headed for Buckingham Palace.

  71. Tom

    At the risk of...

    you lot,

    I have seen objects like this in Sheffield before, one arrived, and was swiftly met by two other 'teams' in triangle formation, 2 teams of three, they lined up around the first one, the hung for a moment, then all sped off in the same direction, with the original object left where it first appeared.

    this then followed a similar course, albeit much slower. then simply disapered halfway to the horizon.

    This was witnessed by three or four people, and we haven't told anyone before, surley to be lambasted as imagining it, etc. from what i saw, they were small, featurless and brilliantly reflective chrome spheres. they did not waiver in the sky, and most deffinatley had controlled vectors.

    birds my fucking anus.

  72. Anonymous Coward


    Nuff said

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