Zfort Ertfay’s photo (July 14) of what might be a UFO he saw flying off Qawra certainly poses a real challenge as to what it was. His photo deserves analysis.

He says he took the picture with his mobile phone at about 8 p.m. The sea and what appears to be part of Comino in the distance is sharp and in focus. The aerial object is not, it being blurred. That is because it was too small for Mr Ertfay’s camera to automatically focus on, it naturally locking on to the largest subject it could visually detect, literally the sea.

The object was probably closer to Mr Ertfay than he had time to realise, especially if it was fast moving. It is triangular in shape and appears to be aerodynamic. If it was moving, in what direction? Mr Ertfay’s description suggests it was under controlled flight – by what?

There is the possibility that the UFO is what is known in aviation as a UAS – an unmanned aerial system. That acronym covers everything from a small radio-controlled model aeroplane to a full-scale remotely piloted aircraft, such as the drones the CIA are using in Afghanistan. UAS come literally in all shapes and sizes – some were being demonstrated last week at the Farnborough Air Show in England. Triangular-shaped UAS are very common and are often small – the Israelis have such a UAS they call a Harpie and, believe me, it is as nasty as its name sounds!

Mr Ertfay’s UFO might have been a UAS but, if so, who was controlling it remotely?

Was it privately owned and flown? Or could the Armed Forces of Malta know something about it, especially if they were conducting an exercise in the same area that same evening? If it was a UAS, it seems that whoever was remotely flying it didn’t ask Malta Air Traffic Service’s permission to fly it in Maltese airspace. Naughty!

Mr Ertfay should be congratulated for proving correct the saying used by professional photographers that the best camera you can wish for is the one that you have with you when you need it immediately.

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