Looking back... Unidentified object crash lands in Jordanstown garden

The discovery of an unidentified object in a garden in Jordanstown caused alarm for a local family in January 1961.

A six-foot metal tubular structure covered with fine netting had crash landed at the rear of the house in Glenkeen Avenue.

The householder was baffled about the object’s function and said she believed that it looked like a flying saucer.

However, her husband suggested that it may have been a meteorological weather balloon which had strayed off course.

The Met Office at Aldergrove later confirmed that it was one of their devices which had been launched to measure wind direction and was being tracked by radar.

Weather balloons were filled with helium and floated to gather information.

They were launched daily from the Met Office to measure wind and humidity.

The information was gathered during the balloon’s vertical ascent.

The first experiments took place in 1958 when they were used to measure radioactive debris from atomic fall-out.

They were designed to stay at a constant altitude for a sustained period.

The balloons were able to reach an altitude of 25 metres.