'Mystery Man' Flies Past Plane at 3K Feet

Pilots say man whizzed by plane over Manchester, England
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 20, 2014 4:48 PM CDT
'Mystery Man' Flies by Plane at 3K Feet
In this undated photo provided by Airbus, an Airbus-320 is shown in flight.   (AP Photo/Airbus)

Pilots flying over England this summer were shocked to see what looked like a man whizzing by the aircraft at about 3,500 feet, the Daily Mail reports via Yahoo. According to Britain's Airprox Board, which investigates such matters, the passenger plane was making a descent to Manchester on June 13 when pilots "first sighted the object a few hundred meters in the 11 o’clock position." The mystery man passed within 300 to 600 feet of the Airbus 320 as other crew members caught a glimpse of him. "The crew only saw it fleetingly, there was no time to take avoiding action," the board adds, per the Mirror. The pilots made their report assuming it was "a person under a [parachuting] canopy," says the board, yet neither "can remember seeing a canopy."

What's more, air controllers spotted nothing on their radar screens, and British hang-gliding and parachuting experts say a lone flyer couldn't have operated due to weather that day. Maybe it was a person-shaped balloon, but weather conditions make that doubtful as well—so "the board agreed that it was unfortunate that there was really no information that could lead to identifying the unknown object." Maybe the so-called "Superman of Macclesfield" was a man wearing a wingsuit, Inquisitr reports, noting that occasional skydivers have used wingsuits to land without a parachute. "If it was an extreme sports wingsuiter," says Yahoo, "we’ll probably see footage on YouTube eventually." (More parachute stories.)

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