The revelations that in November of last year a UFO was spotted by personnel at Chicago's O'Hare Airport have created an undoubted frenzy within the media on a scale that hasn't been seen for a long time. Yet, UFO encounters at prominent airports are nothing new. In fact, they are positively old-hat.

I could ramble on for hours with regard to all of the cases I have in my files; but for now, one such report will suffice.

Between 7.25 p.m. and 7.45 p.m. on the evening of February 25, 1959, an unidentified flying object was sighted hovering over London (now Heathrow) Airport by four separate witnesses. One of those fortunate enough to have seen the UFO was an Air Traffic Control Officer at the airport, who studied the phenomenon with binoculars for several minutes, before checking with operators to see if any unexplained air-traffic had been monitored.

Although nothing untoward was picked up on radar, one of the witnesses stated that the UFO resembled "the reflection of a searchlight on the clouds." He was keen to stress, however, that the sky had been entirely devoid of cloud cover at the time of the encounter.

As a result of the sighting, officials at the airport asked Royal Air Force Fighter Command at Stanmore to conduct an investigation. They in turn authorized the release of the following statement concerning the UFO: "Bright yellow light varying in intensity some 200 feet from the ground. It stayed in one position for about twenty minutes, then climbed away at high speed."

Although the possibility was raised that the UFO had been a weather balloon (where have we heard that before?!), this was disproved when an official at the airport informed the media that no balloons had been in the area at the time. Pressed for an answer, the Air Ministry found itself directly embroiled in the controversy and conceded that the sighting would be logged as "an unidentified flying object because there was no immediate explanation for it."

It would not be long before the Air Ministry maintained that the case had been solved. According to a spokesperson at the airport, the stationary light viewed for approximately twenty minutes had merely been the planet Venus. But what of the light that (according to RAF Fighter Command's own files) "climbed away at high speed"? Nothing more than the nose-cone light of a civilian aircraft, the Air Ministry assured the media.

Not everyone was satisfied, however, including UFO writer Frank Edwards, who commented in his book Flying Saucers - Serious Business: "The Air Ministry announced that the glowing disc had been nothing more remarkable than 'the nose-cone of a civilian plane.' How it had hovered in one spot for twenty minutes was not explained, of course. London Airport, unaware that planes can allegedly hover while their nose cones glow in the dark, issued a statement on that same morning of March 6. The Airport claimed that the hovering object had been 'the planet Venus, seen through a layer of clouds.' [Yet we already have the testimony of one witness that the sky had been entirely cloud-free.] The airport failed to mention the alleged plane's nose-cone, nor did they explain how Venus got down to two hundred feet altitude."

Given that the controversy concerning the British encounter is still talked about nearly half a century on, it seems unlikely that the O'Hare case will go away any time soon - much to the annoyance of the official world, I strongly suspect.