A mysterious plane flew through the airspace of six NATO countries and triggered several fighter jets – before the pilot promptly disappeared in a small field in Bulgaria, reports claim.
The airborne vehicle was spotted by the Hungarian and Romanian Air Force and also soared through Poland, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Lithuania.
Fighter jets including two USAF F-16s, two Romanian F-16s and two Hungarian Gripens followed the plane throughout its journey as it did not respond to radio transmissions.
It reportedly landed in a small airport in in Debrecen, Hungary, where a group of people got off to refuel the plane before taking off again before cops could catch them.
Prosecutors in the Bulgarian city of Targovishte have started an investigation into what happened, according to media outlet Euractiv.
The brazen plane was found abandoned in a small local airfield with its engine still warm, the reports say.
It parked in a Bulgarian airfield known as the Targovishte Airport, which has been left unused for years and is reportedly now used for agricultural purposes.
Bulgarian Ministry of Defence official Dragomir Zakov said it entered his country’s airspace in the evening of Wednesday, June 8.
He is reported to have said: “At no time was the plane a threat to civilian or military infrastructure in Bulgaria.
“It flew at low altitudes, which made difficult the interception for fighter jets, but it was monitored all the time.
“The Ministry of Defense is taking the appropriate actions to establish the circumstances.”
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Whilst the Bulgarian Minister of Interior Boyko Rashkov is said to have asked: “What’s the purpose? Who are these people? What happened? We are investigating.”
Despite the plane’s unknown whereabouts and refusal to respond to communication attempts, officials are said to have been cautious as opposed to panicked over the flight, since it didn’t pose a threat to military or civilians.
An investigation into the plane is continuing and the pilots remain unfound.