“It was dark, it was low and it was silent.”
These are the words of dozens of people who claim to have seen a ghost plane flying through Derbyshire.
Since first reporting on the story on Monday, our newsroom has been flooded with calls and messages of sightings of what witnesses say was a dark-coloured Second World War aircraft in the sky on Monday evening.
There have been sightings in the Peak District as well as Ripley, Hilton, Hope, Matlock and Ambergate.
Sue Dorling, 57, of Hilton, said: “I was at the crossroads heading towards Hilton when this dark and low aircraft swept overhead.
“I thought it was odd as it was going the opposite way to Egginton airfield and looked like it was going to crash.
“It made no sound at all and the guy who was changing the crossing pointed to it so it wasn’t just me who saw it. I don’t believe in ghosts, but this was very strange.
Iris Robinson, 76, and her husband Keith saw two planes fly low near their home in Belper at 6.50pm on Monday.
She said: “We were in the kitchen when we heard them coming. We looked out and saw one plane pass over and bank to the right towards Ashbourne. Then a few seconds later another one passed over.
“They were flying ever so low. They were dark coloured but they went so quick that you couldn’t see anything else.”
Many witnesses said they saw what appeared to be a large green aircraft, possibly a Douglas Dakota, sweep the skies before making its way towards the ground as it if were about to crash.
The sightings were all at about 6.45pm and many said the area went eerily dark as the plane flew over.
Aaron Titterton wrote on our Facebook page: “I was in the car with my Dad on the A38 at around 6.45pm on Monday and two aircraft flew over us.
“It was scary, they were so low, I thought they were going to crash. They made no noise and produced no contrails.”
Julie Lilley also wrote on Facebook: “We saw two large planes around 6pm on Monday night.
“They flew over our house in Bargate, in Belper. They were very low, huge and quiet and I wondered if anyone else had seen them.”
Engineer John Haigh was driving along Woodhead Pass heading towards Glossop when he saw two aircraft at some time between 6pm and 6.30pm on Monday evening.
He said: “There were two of them flying quite slowly close to the ground. They looked like they were grey, oldish army planes with no markings that I could see. I wanted to take a picture but there was nowhere to stop. They flew straight across the road then one of them started banking.”
A woman from Derby, who did not wish to be named, said: “We were driving along Bretby Lane at between 6.45pm and 7pm and we saw a massive green and black military plane flying really low and not making any noise which was bizarre. A few cars in front of us had stopped so people could look at it.”
Hairdresser Katie Redshaw, from Belper, saw the unidentified aircraft over the Jet garage at around 6.45pm.
She said: “I was really flabbergasted when I saw it. It was really strange and looked like it would crash.”
Kitchen worker Anne Donnellan saw the plane from her home in Hilton between 6pm and 7pm.
She said: “It was dark and looked really old and I thought ‘that’s a bit low’. There is an old airfield over in Egginton so I thought they maybe they were on training exercises. I’d never seen anything like it so close.”
Another Derby Telegraph reader from Hilton said: “It was low, scarily low.”
Thomas Slack, a builder from Horsley Woodhouse, said: “I was walking through the village and I saw two big planes which seemed to be chasing each other. They didn’t seem to be making any noise which was unusual and they were flying really low. I was scared at how low the second one was.”
Mark Dean, a building contractor from Ambergate, also saw an aircraft on Monday evening.
He said: “I think it was a Hercules. All we heard at first was the engines. It was about 6.45pm when we saw it flying really low over Derby Road.”
One resident who lives in Newbridge Road, in Ambergate, who did not wish to be named, said she saw two planes fly right past her bay window.
She said: “It was really scary, I was just sitting and reading when the first plane flew really low outside the bay window.