‘Craft’ in sky ‘shaped like cigar or sausage’

Alleged UFO sighting in Boyle recalled

According to an article in last weekend’s Sunday Independent, two friends from County Tyrone are preparing to revisit the well-known County Roscommon location where they claim to have spotted a UFO 26 years ago.

In the summer of 1997, the two friends – Barry Brown (now 46) and Mark Monaghan (now 47) – were on a camping trip in Boyle, Co. Roscommon, during which they claim to have seen something unidentifiable travelling in the sky above them.

Speaking to the Sunday Independent, Mr. Monaghan described the object in question as a “cigar-shaped, sausage-shaped craft, the size of a bus” with “four big lights on the side”, and “a metallic look”.

The friends, who were walking through a forest beside Lough Key at the time, claim to have seen the ‘craft’ sail silently through the air about 500 metres above them, before reaching the lake and hovering over the water. They said that after seeing it, they continued through the forest without taking a look back – “It definitely scared us. There was a real sense that we were watching them and they were watching us right back”, commented Mr. Monaghan.

After news travelled of the alleged UFO sighting, the friends were featured in an RTÉ documentary in 2001, which also included footage of a similar unidentified cylindrical flying object near Lough Key, taken by local astronomer Dr Eamonn Ansbro shortly after the friends’ original experience. Dr Ansbro, who works at Kingsland Observatory in Boyle, recently said he has recorded 40 UFO sightings in Roscommon over the past 22 years.

The area’s association with alleged UFO activity doesn’t stop there. The late Boyle-based Betty Meyler founded the UFO Society of Ireland in 1996 following a mysterious crash in the Curlew mountains outside Boyle, an event many have described as “Ireland’s Roswell”. (Roswell, in New Mexico, is famous as the site of an alleged UFO crash in 1947).

Meyler, who was the UFO Society of Ireland’s president for many years, was also convinced that she had discovered a UFO portal just off Church Island on Lough Key, near the scene of the alleged 1997 sighting.

Ahead of the Tyrone friends’ upcoming return to Boyle, Linda Dungan Young, Ireland’s national director for the Mutual UFO Network, commented that as the sighting dates back 26 years ago, it is harder to figure out whether the object could’ve simply been something like a satellite. “We would be looking at what else was in the area at the time. We do due diligence by excluding everything first when investigating such sightings… We might say, ‘This is a UFO’ (unidentified flying object), but we wouldn’t then say, ‘This is aliens’. Just that it’s unidentified”.