Ireland: Mystery Aerial Visitor What Was It Up To?


The reports of a US military reconnaissance aircraft spending several hours over Ireland and the Irish Sea area (on Tuesday) have led to a focus once again on Irish neutrality and much speculation as to the type of aircraft and its role.

Initially identified as a Boeing E6 Mercury this was later changed in some reports to speculation it was a Boeing E3 Sentinel however the aircraft was hardly at a height (28000 feet) to be identifiable and therefore the initial identity probably seems more likely.

The E6 Mercury is used by the US Navy for communications with ballistic missile and other nuclear submarines. The aircraft carry out what’s called a TACAMO role particularly when the submarines have communications and other problems.

In the 1980s on the two occasions the USS Nathaniel Greene got into difficulties in the Irish Sea TACAMO aircraft (C-130) were on station (and as in this case for several hours).

Other speculation is that it was connected to possible Russian military penetrations of Atlantic air space but no such operations were reported – anyway the Russians always seem to be a convenient scapegoat when the US or NATO have some activities to hide.

Based on many decades of military monitoring experience I’ll lean towards a nuclear submarine in trouble for a period – though given the aircraft’s orbit over South Central Ireland whether this was in the Irish, Celtic or Biscay area is anyone guess!


Issued by: The Celtic News



The Celtic League established in 1961 has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It promotes cooperation between the countries and campaigns on a range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, military activity and socio-economic issues


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