|UFO or mystery solved? Previously sceptical John Powell ran for his camera to capture this shape - although a ufologist provides a possible explanation.|
Retired school teacher captures UFO 'stalking' RAF Hercules on cameraAugust 2, 2009
Daily Mail, UK
Apparently following the path of an RAF Hercules as it comes in to land, a mysterious round shape hovers ominously in the sky.
There were no flashing lights as it floated above a British military base on a rare sunny summer's day, and no close encounters of the third or any kind.
But the sight of this strange looking silver orb was enough to send a previously skeptical John Powell running for his camera.
The retired school teacher was gardening when he noticed the sun glinting off the flying object as the Hercules flew in to RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire.
He said: 'I don't believe in things from outer space but that thing was definitely tracking the plane.
'My neighbour was in the garden at the time and I wanted to shout to them, but I didn't want to say 'there's a flying saucer in the sky' so I didn't say anything in the end.'
Mr Powell, 56, added: 'I thought at the time this is too good to miss but I didn't think the picture would come out as good as this.
'I'm desperately curious to find out what it is.'
So far Mr Powell has remained in the dark since the sighting from his home in Westbury, Wiltshire, at 3.45pm on July 22.
RAF Lyneham is the military base where the bodies of dead British soldiers are flown back into the UK on Hercules planes but there were no repatriations that day.
Ministry of Defence bosses said they would not be investigating because they didn't consider the sighting to be a 'potential threat'.
A spokesman said: 'The MoD examines reports solely to establish whether UK airspace may have been compromised by hostile or unauthorised military activity.
'Unless there is evidence of a potential threat, there is no attempt to identify the nature of each sighting reported.'
But Russ Kellett, 44, vice-chairman of the British Flying Saucer Bureau, seemed to have solved the mystery.
The UFO researcher explained that a formation known as lenticular clouds are often mistaken for UFOs, as they form at high altitudes into a smooth lens or
saucer like shape.
He added: 'There is just a dark area of cloud and a light area of cloud. There are no reflections, no lights.
'I wouldn't have given it a second glance'.
Nick Pope, who used to investigate UFOs for the MoD, said: 'It's an intriguing image. It's difficult to offer a definitive view, as the photo isn't that clear, but the fact that the witness saw something at the time - as opposed to noticing the anomaly after the image was developed - shows there was something there in the sky.
'This is more than just a glitch with the camera or the film.'
He added: 'Whatever you think about UFOs, the fact that something passed so close to a military aircarft is clearly of concern.
'If nothing else, this is an air safety issue. The MoD needs to investigate - it only takes one phone call to see if anything unusual was tracked on radar.'