HC Deb 30 March 1998 vol 309 cc414-5W
Helen Jackson

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what complaints were received by the RAF concerning low-flying aircraft relating to 24 March 1997; [36407]

if RAF/NATO military aircraft were engaged on an exercise over Northern England between 9.30 and 10.30 pm on 24 March 1997; [36404]

for what reasons the RAF imposed an air exclusion zone around Howden reservoir on the morning of 25 March 1997; [36408]

what reported sightings of UFOs were received from the (a)public and (b)police from the South Yorkshire/ Derbyshire area on 24 and 25 March 1997. [36402]

Mr. Spellar

A number of military aircraft were booked to carry out low flying training in northern England on the evening of 24 March 1997. The Ministry of Defence received 13 complaints about aircraft activity for that date from locations across the UK. No reported sightings of "UFOs" on 24 or 25 March 1997 were received by my Department. A Temporary Danger Area was established on 25 March, centred on Howden Reservoir, to allow an RAF Search and Rescue helicopter, in response to a request for assistance from South Yorkshire Police, to carry out a search of the area without disturbance by other military aircraft. Such Danger Areas are routinely established for Search and Rescue operations.