Military exercises etc

The UK Ministry of Defence's response to the information supplied to it by CAA indicated that MoD was aware of no UK activity that could be relevant. An inquiry was made to the UK MoD in respect of any military exercises or experiments carried out in the Channel area on 23 April. The MoD responded explicitly as follows:

The MoD did not conduct any military exercises (naval, RAF or army) in the English Channel, nor is it aware of any known military activity involving other nations (e.g. France) on or about Monday 23 April 2007.

Channel Islands Air Traffic Control Zone were aware of no activity of any kind. The CAA Manual of Air Traffic Services describes the detailed regulations for the issuing of Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs) and Airspace Co-ordination Notices etc. connected with "Unusual Aerial Activity" such as unusual aircraft concentrations, air displays, races, competitions, scientific experiments, special Permissions and Exemptions, and special Flight Priorities of all kinds including Calibration Flights, Air-to-Air Refuelling, military deployments and exercises n1Manual of Air Traffic Services, Sect 1., Ch.4, p.11, CAA July 2007. No individual or organisation to whom we have spoken having any connection to air activities in the area was aware of any such notifications, neither are we aware of any possible type of conventional air activity that would tend to fit the observations.

Of course it is true that we would not necessarily be made aware of highly classified activities; nevertheless the location would seem a poor choice for such activities on several grounds. Capt Patterson, pilot of the Blue Islands Jetstream, suggested (Appendix B) the possibility of some secret military technology deliberately deployed in public as a test of stealthiness, or similar. We are unable to rule this out, but we find it implausible.

Plausibility: (0-5) 1