Zfort Ertfay quickly interrupted a brisk walk on the Qawra front when he spotted an unidentified flying object hovering over the horizon on Thursday.

The 29-year-old quickly swiped out his mobile phone and snapped away at the object, unable to make out what it was, except that it was triangular in shape, dark and flying at high speed.

“I was out walking, when, all of a sudden, I saw something appear in the sky. It disappeared in a matter of a few seconds,” said Mr Ertfay, from Romania, who is in Malta visiting friends.

The sighting happened on Thursday evening, at dusk. Mr Ertfay estimates it was sometime around 8 p.m.

The Armed Forces of Malta said that an elaborate military exercise took place off Qawra on the day using the Augusta AV212 helicopter. However, it is recorded to have taken place at about 10 p.m., a couple of hours after the sighting. The helicopter took off at 9.05 p.m.

The Malta Air Traffic Services, which monitors whatever is in Maltese airspace, said: “From an air traffic management perspective, all aircraft flying at that hour were accounted for”. They received no reports about any abnormal sightings.

Amateur astronomer David Pace said that the UFO in the picture looks very similar to the “traditional” flying saucer shape. “It’s almost too good to be true,” he said, adding however, that it could be anything. “You can safely call it a mysterious thing.”

This was not the only sighting in recent days. Last week, another UFO was spotted off San Ġwann at about 1 p.m.

Edward Zammit, 29, was on the roof of his house in Birkirkara when he spotted a triangular red object speeding away.” It was like three blobs of light speeding away. It can’t have been flares,” said Mr Zammit.

Can this lead us to conclude that there is life outside our planet? “It is mathematically possible but not very common,” said Mr Pace. The possibility of extraterrestrial beings is even more remote, he said. “Intelligent life is much more difficult. It needs a lot of time to develop”. The UFO Reporting Centre database released yesterday in the UK said that people most commonly see a light, circles, spheres and an oval when they witness unidentified flying objects, with the most common shape reported to be a triangle.

» See also page 19

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