UFO News: A trained radar operator should be able to differentiate between a flock of birds and an aircraft, but this mistake is actually a fairly common one," according to retired Air Force Col. Cedric Leighton. "How the flock of birds appears on a radar screen can be very similar to the radar 'look' of a small aircraft. This happens sometimes with older radar systems." Tuesday's event highlights the need for radar images to be "enhanced by other sources of information that can either confirm or call into question the radar operator's or air traffic controller's interpretation of those blips on his or her screen." Slow moving blob "UFO" that may have been a flock of birds caused White House panic.