Pilots say they have seen hundreds of UFOs but reporting them could cost their jobs.

The commercial and military ­aviators claim any crew member who speaks out is risking their career.

One pilot said airline bosses are so hostile to ET claims that a colleague was told to get counselling after ­reporting a UFO.

Another told the Daily Star Sunday: "When someone says UFO everyone thinks they are referring to aliens but that is not always the case, especially with the surge in drone activity.

"Most pilots will use phrases like unidentified traffic or aerial phenomena. No one wants to say UFO.

"If you say UFO people think you are either drunk, on drugs or nuts."

Their fears emerged on an online forum for pilots.

One member said: "Many airline pilots, self included, and military pilots have had encounters at altitude with UFOs over many decades and before the internet.

"Encounters are reported internally and amongst colleagues and seldom reach the media.

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"When you are fortunate to be a close witness, it is really quite serious stuff.

"There are advantages in having an office window at 37,000ft."

Another said that he first saw a UFO 30 years ago when he was flying a cargo jet from Singapore to Brisbane.

He said: "It was 2am local time and my co-pilot asked air traffic control, 'Do you have traffic in our vicinity?' Negative was the response.

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"Not long after, we saw something we, shall we say, shouldn’t have seen. No, we didn’t query air traffic control."

Earlier this year an American Airlines pilot was recorded saying he saw something moving in a cloud.

The pilot asked: "Do you have any targets up here?

"We just had something go over the top of us that, I hate to say this, but it looked like a long ­cylindrical object that almost looked like a cruise missile type of thing moving really fast right over the top of us."

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