Derry Journal
22 March 2012

An aviation enthusiast believes he may have an explanation for the mystery night time noises that have been plaguing the north west over recent months.

Last month the ‘Journal’ first reported that scores of people in Derry are being kept awake by unexplained activity in the night sky – and the noise it creates.

SDLP MLA Pat Ramsey, who has revealed a letter he wrote to the north’s Secretary of State in relation to the noises has since been passed to the MOD, and has vowed to get to the bottom of the mystery.

He said if it is caused by police or military activity then the authorities must offer an explanation.

And then last week, the ‘Journal’ revealed people in Limavady were also being plagued by the “relentless and disturbing buzzing noise.”

Now north west aviation enthusiast Norman Thorpe says he might have an explanation.

Mr Thorpe says an aircraft he has spotted, albeit not “on a clear night, with a good lens”, could be an unmanned British reconnaissance aircraft used as part of defence company Thales UK’s ‘Watchkeeper project’.

“It could well be a Watchkeeper reconnaissance aircraft used quite often in Iraq and Afghanistan. That is one possibility. I saw it myself a while ago, at night-time, but I haven’t seen it since.

“I am waiting for a very clear night and a good lens to have a look at it to say for sure, but it flies so high up that it makes it very difficult to see. It could well be one of those surveillance planes.

“A Watchkeeper is a long narrow thing, and there is a propeller on it, which would explain the buzzing or droning sounds.”

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