London, Oct 22 : For the first time in nearly 20 years, an Italian airliner pilot has opened up about a near miss with a UFO after a record of the encounter was released by the Ministry of Defence in London.
Captain Achille Zaghetti, who lives in Grosseto, Tuscany, was flying from Milan to Heathrow when he and his co-pilot saw a mysterious khaki-coloured, missile-shaped object streaking across the sky above the Kent countryside.
While recalling the incident that occurred over Lydd, Kent, in 1991, Zaghetti revealed that the 10ft-long UFO came so close to the airliner that he shouted "Look out! Look out!" to his co-pilot, who also spotted the object.
"It was shaped like a cigar and passed very close, about 300 metres on the right, or 1,000ft," the Telegraph quoted Zaghetti, as telling Italian newspapers.
"It was military beige in colour. My co-pilot and I estimated that it was about three metres long. It was in the evening - around 8 or 9pm - when it is still light at altitude but dark on the ground.
"It could have caused a terrible accident. If you're flying at 700 kilometres an hour, hitting an object of 1kg is like hitting something which weighs 700kg," said Zaghetti.
The UFO was seen on radar by air traffic controllers at Heathrow, who were guiding a British Airways flight into land.
Zaghetti asked the control tower: "Do you see something behind me?"
After, 20 or 30 seconds, Heathrow officials affirmed that there was an object near the airliner.
The incident was described in MoD files released this week by the National Archive.