The Rendlesham Forest Incident

The Rendlesham Forest UFO Incident


The Rendlesham Forest Incident (RFI) refers to a series of alleged sightings and events, including the UFO sighting by three United States Air Force personnel in Rendlesham Forest near RAF Woodbridge in Suffolk, England. Considered by many as Britain’s most famous UFO case, it remains one of the most well-documented accounts of a reported military encounter with an unidentified flying object on record.


Rendlesham Forest is a royal forest in Suffolk, England which covers about 3,000 acres (12 km2) of land. Today, the “Rendlesham Forest” is most connected with the UFO incident, a succession of reported sightings of unexplained lights and the alleged landing of a craft or multiple craft of mysterious origin.

The area has been an important site for centuries: it was used by people from prehistory through to the modern day; Romans settled here; it was part of King John’s hunting grounds in 1215; it was where Henry VIII hunted deer in 1552 and 1601 and is today open to the public as a recreation area.


The first sighting of an unidentified object occurred over this forest on December 26th 1980. At around 3:30am UK time, two USAF security officers (Jim Penniston and John Burroughs) were patrolling the base when they saw an object in the sky radiating light beams down to the ground. They stopped their vehicle and got out to investigate further. As they did so they noticed that it wasn’t actually moving but instead hovering above them at about 100ft altitude before suddenly disappearing into thin air leaving behind a strange odour described as smelling like burning metal or rubber and giving off radiation which caused Burroughs’ Geiger counter to go off scale for about 10 minutes afterwards


The Rendlesham Forest Incident is one of the most famous UFO sightings in history. The events occurred over three nights in 1980 at two sites in Rendlesham Forest, Suffolk, England: RAF Woodbridge and the nearby USAF military base RAF Bentwaters.

The first night of the incident was December 26th 1979 and usually referred to as the ‘Bentwaters’ sighting.  However, both nights centred around reports of lights in trees and the landing or hovering of an unknown craft over the base.  These were witnessed by multiple observers including military personnel who claimed they saw an unidentified craft at close range.

On the third night there were further reports of UFOs at the nearby RAF Woodbridge base, but this time they were tracked on radar by USAF personnel who allegedly also photographed them on infrared camera equipment. Witnesses claimed these objects moved fast through sky above the treetops before disappearing into forest below only moments later after being sighted by air traffic controllers at Stansted airport near London who confirmed that no aircraft were airborne in area at time of sighting


Three days after the incident, Lieutenant Colonel Charles I. Halt submitted a memo to his commanding officer stating that he had observed lights through binoculars at close range and that they were red, blue and amber in colour.

The UFO he saw was depicted as being “as big as an aircraft” but made no sound until it accelerated away from the base at high speed. He also said that there were other objects in the sky above him which he could not identify because of their distance, but seemingly appeared to be under intelligent control.

Halt’s memo was forwarded to the Ministry of Defence by Lieutenant General Sir Arthur Walker, who headed up Britain’s Joint Air Staff during the early 1980s. In 1991 Walker wrote an article for a British military journal called “Military Review”, in which he mentioned this encounter while discussing UFOs.

Rendlesham Holt Memorandum


As with any investigation, the testimony that you get from witnesses will be crucial. In this case, there were two witnesses: Jim Penniston and John Burroughs. They were interviewed separately by different people, both under the Official Secrets Act and by the Ministry of Defence.


Experts agreed that the testimony of the witnesses was consistent, credible, experienced, and reliable. In short, they were not lying.

At the time, the MOD later released a statement saying that they had no knowledge of any UFO incidents in Rendlesham Forest but did admit to finding a damaged missile during an exercise at RAF Woodbridge on December 27th, 1980.  In 2010, the Anglian Times newspaper reported that several servicemen had come forward with claims that during this time a number of nuclear weapons stored at the base had been tampered with by an unknown force or intruder.

Correspondence sent by one of the men who saw the lights in Rendlesham forest claimed that “nothing has been proved” as far as UFOs are concerned; however this does not mean he believes what he saw was actually real or fake. This could be because he was told not to talk about it by his superiors after reporting it; thus allowing us to conclude that there are still many unanswered questions regarding this incident.


After the incident, investigations were conducted by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) and USAF authorities. The MoD investigation was headed by Squadron Leader Donald Moreland USAF, who had been assigned to RAF Bentwaters since 1977 as a liaison officer. His report concluded that the sightings were caused by an unusual light phenomenon called “temperature inversion”.

RAF Bentwaters Control TowerThe report was not published in its entirety because it contained sensitive information about nuclear weapons being stored at Bentwaters/Woodbridge bases. However, some parts of his report were later released under freedom of information legislation. In these released sections he stated that he had come to his conclusions based on an analysis of witness testimony and photographic evidence but did not consider radar data or scientific reports about possible causes for visual phenomena such as ball lightning.


On December 26th, 1980, Suffolk police received reports from two separate witnesses of a strange light in the sky. One witness, who was an Air Force security policeman stationed at RAF Woodbridge, claimed to have seen a bright object circling near the base and moving over nearby woods.

The second witness was a police constable who was called to the scene by another member of the public. He reported seeing a “red glow” in Rendlesham Forest, which he described as “unusual.”

The incident is one of the most famous UFO sightings ever recorded, but it wasn’t until recently that it became known that there were actually multiple reports made on that night—a fact that had been kept secret for 30 years by both the British Ministry of Defence (MOD) and Suffolk Police.

The log states that three uniformed police officers were sent to the forest to investigate a UFO sighting reported by two USAF security personnel. At 2:15am one of the police officers reported watching lights moving through the trees and claimed he could hear a high-pitched noise which sounded like an electric motor. He also reported that he felt very cold while investigating the event phenomenon.

At 6:20am two men from RAF Bentwaters arrived at the site and were accompanied by two civilian photographers who had been sent by the Ministry of Defence (MOD). They took photographs of the area where there were large impressions in the ground which appeared to have been made by heavy machinery or something similar.

The Suffolk police log was not made public until it was released under the Freedom of Information Act following extensive work by UK UFO expert Dr David Clarke and his colleagues to obtain declassified documents relating to UFOs from various agencies in Britain.


Analysis of the event by investigators concluded that it was an unidentified flying object (UFO), now referred to as a UAP (Unknown Aerial Phenomenon) and that there was no evidence to suggest it was a meteor, helicopter, comet, fireball, aircraft, or weather balloon.  There was some speculation that it might have been the beams from the Orford Ness lighthouse, but this has been debunked on many occasions.

The incident was also analysed by civilian scientists from nearby Woodbridge Hospital who concluded that “[the UFO] definitely could not have been a helicopter based on its lights.”

According to Dr. David Clarke in his book The UFO Files: The Inside Story of Real-Life Sightings (1999): “The hospital’s conclusions were very similar to those of USAF Scientific Advisor Dr. J Allen Hynek [who] believes Rendlesham is one of only six genuine ‘close encounters’ on British soil.”


In the decades since the incident, the Rendlesham Forest Incident has been the subject of several investigations, most of which have concluded that the sighting was likely a misidentification of known aircraft or natural phenomena. Investigators often conclude that witnesses are unreliable and suggest that they are hoaxers.

Although some sceptics dismiss most UFO sightings as mistaken identification of mundane phenomena, some UFO researchers consider this case to be an exception to this trend due to its high-strangeness factor and sheer number of witnesses. This view is supported by former UK Ministry for Defence (MoD) investigator Nick Pope who interviewed many personnel who served at RAF Bentwaters and Woodbridge from 1980–1984. In his book Open Skies Closed Minds (1997), he wrote: “There were enough eyewitnesses within or associated with Bentwaters/Woodbridge…to make [the] Rendlesham Forest incident one of the best-corroborated UFO cases on record.”


The Rendlesham Forest UFO Trail is a series of monuments and markers, erected by local people and the Forestry Commission, which tell the story of the December 1980 UFO sightings. The trail starts at the old USAF base at Bentwaters on Warren Hill.

The Rendlesham Forest UFO MonumentAt this point on your tour you can follow the path into Rendlesham Forest itself, where there are two more memorials dedicated to what happened there during December 1980. One is called “The Triangular Zone”, which marks where most witnesses reported seeing triangular craft hovering over trees during their encounters with something unknown.


The Rendlesham Forest Incident has never been explained. The British government denies any ET involvement, and the U.S. government has classified all documents related to the incident as “above top secret” since 1988. These two facts are enough to keep any UFO conspiracy theorist busy for a lifetime, but they don’t necessarily mean that aliens were involved in this incident. Perhaps it was some kind of military experiment that went awry? Perhaps there was some kind of natural occurrence or atmospheric disturbance? Perhaps—and this is a long shot—the whole thing was an elaborate hoax perpetrated by someone who wanted attention or money? Whatever happened in 1976, it doesn’t seem like we’ll ever know for sure what caused those lights and imprints in the woods outside RAF Bentwaters.  And … that’s how the authorities seem to want to keep it.

Ezekiel UFO Vision

The UFO Vision of Ezekiel Artwork

Ezekiels UFO Vision

Authentic, hand-aged, interpretive reproduction of the UFO Vision of the Prophet Ezekiel based on the etching by Picart, Bernard, 1761 with original sketches. Trimmed A4 Size – 28.8cm (W) x 20.0cm (H).

The artwork is reproduced on aged and trimmed parchment-style 120gsm art card and hand-finished on both sides to add an authentic visual appearance and natural textures associated with the period.

  • Hand Redesigned and Finished
  • Dispatches from United Kingdom
  • Size: Pretrimmed A4 / A3
  • Height: 20 centimetres
  • Width: 28.8 centimetres
  • Dated Art Print Quality Paper
  • Materials: Art paper, inks, graphite, colour dyes & natural organics.
  • Frame not included

The artwork shows the original 1761 etching together with text from the ancient scriptures from the holy books of the Abrahamic religions. Many people believe that that the UFO Vision of Ezekiel was based on a real encounter with an extra-terrestrial craft sometime around the period 580bc in the region of the Chaldeans by the River Chebar, north of Babylon. Ezekiel’s description of the craft bears no resemblance to anything in existence at that time and has often been considered a problem for religious scholars who have tried to suggest that it was just a chariot.

“The prophet Ezekiel explained his vision of a supreme being that showed itself to him by the banks of the Kebar River during the sixth century BC. Bizarre beings with four wings and four faces materialised in front of him along with clouds and fire. Along with the beings were machines of undetermined purpose; they had wheels within wheels together with enigmatic “eyes” set all around the border. These wheels or hoops could also fly through the air, and land on the ground before taking to the air again. As the smoke cleared, Ezekiel was able to see the supreme being in the centre of the craft.”

Do the Dogon People Have Impossible Celestial Knowledge?


Victorian historians started the tradition of dismissing the legends and folklore of indigenous people. This may have been a deliberate attempt to reduce the value of these tribes and nations and thus justify the extensive colonisation that was taking place at the time.  The concept of devaluing conquered people is as old as the hills, but the British Victorians and their European counterparts definitely perfected it.

Oral traditions and artefacts that went against the accepted view were cast aside or at least ignored.  Examples of this behaviour are everywhere including the walls of the great British Museum in London.  For example, the tablets of Gilgamesh clearly record a great flood predating the old testament tradition.  Genesis stories of Adam and Eve can now be traced to ancient Sumerian records and the first depictions of angels, the Anunnaki, most definitely predate the Abrahamic record.

Dogon Men with Antenna Headgear
Dogon Men with Antenna Headgear

This tradition of denigrating historical findings that don’t fit the accepted doctrine continues to this day.  Ancient sculptures depicting otherworldly beings, unexplained patterns that can only be seen from the sky and entire civilisations that simply disappeared are all consigned to the ‘we don’t know’ box and thus nobody else can know either.  This is especially true of the Dogon Tribe of Mali.


In 1950, ethnologists Germain Dieterlain and Marcel Griaule recorded in a small article that, while researching the life of a small Dogon tribe, they discovered that these indigenous people had extraordinary knowledge of the distant star system known as Sirius. Although these folks did have contact with the wider world, they were still largely a culturally independent communal society.

The Dogon people still live in a long a section of sandstone cliffs roughly 100 miles in length with peaks reaching as high as 1,500 feet.  This area is known as the Bandiagara Escarpment.  It bears a remarkable resemblance to the dwellings of the first nation American tribe – the Anasazi – who also claim to have had contact with beings from the sky and have recorded these contacts in their petroglyphs and other rock art.

Dogon and Anasazi Dwellings - Identical!
Dogon and Anasazi Dwellings – Identical!

The Dogon people explained to the researchers that the “beautiful star of Sigui” is located in the “heavenly heights”. Around it, according to their information, another star revolves – Po tolo. “Po” in the language of the tribe means “grain of bread.”

Interestingly, in modern astronomical literature, this star is called the Latin word Digitaria, which also means “grain of bread”. Digitaria is the heaviest star in the Sirius system, it is invisible to the human eye, and its orbital period around Sigui is 50 years. The Dogon also report that the Sirius system includes two more stars. They call one of them Emma I. She is larger than Digitaria, but four times lighter. Another satellite of Sigui is located very far from it and rotates in the opposite direction.

The most surprising thing is that the information that the Dogon have at their disposal largely coincides with modern scientific ideas. Already in 1934, the American scientist Clarke discovered the first satellite of Sirius, which later astronomers began to call Sirius-B, or Digitaria.

In 1970, Sirius-B was photographed. The period of its revolution around Sirius was calculated – 51 years. The diameter of Digitaria is approximately equal to that of the Earth, but its mass is unusually large.

Until recently, scientists believed that the Sirius system consists of only two stars: Sirius-A and Digitaria (Sirius-B). However, in 1997 the French astronomers Bonnet-Bidault and Gris suggested that Sirius-A had two more satellites: Sirius-C and Sirius -D. It should be noted that in addition to Sirius, the Dogon were also aware of other stars and planets. For example, they already understood the existence of Jupiter and that Saturn had rings.


In 1976, astronomer Robert Temple published his book: The Sirius Mystery based on the legends and knowledge of the Dogon.  He offers a number of theories including the existence of ancient civilisations or paleo-extra-terrestrial contact.

Dogon Carvings Depicting Symbolics - Grey Aliens
Dogon Carvings Depicting Symbolics – Grey Aliens

There is no consensus among modern scientists regarding the information received from the Dogon. Some believe that everything stated by the original scientists is so incredible that it simply cannot be true. Some critics have accused Griaule and Dieterlen of a hoax. Others have claimed, incorrectly, that all the celestial objects mentioned by the Dogon can be seen with the naked eye.

Robert Temple proposes that it is possible that in very ancient times the inhabitants of Sirius, or one of the planets included in this star system, arrived on Earth. It can be assumed, that, having met intelligent beings on the “blue planet”, the messengers of a distant star passed on some of their knowledge.

A popular theory is that the Dogon actually gained their ancient knowledge from recent explorers and rapidly assimilated it into their origin myths.  This would be a good explanation except for the fact that this celestial information has been incorporated into Dogon art and artefacts some of which date back four hundred years and easily predate contact with Europeans who might have inadvertently passed on the knowledge.


The Dogon aren’t alone in their belief that they were visited by otherworldly beings.  This legend is repeated all over the world from the Sumerians of the Middle East to the Mayans of Central America.  The Anasazi of North America, the Indians of the Indus Valley, the ancient Greeks, and the Aztecs of South America all talk of sky beings as part of their written and oral histories.  Even the Abrahamic religions such as Christianity talk of messengers from the sky and miraculous chariots powered by fire.

Dogon Dancers with Antenna Displays
Dogon Dancers with Antenna Displays

The Dogon certainly believe their legends are incredibly old.  Every 60 years Sirius marks a cycle in its orbit by appearing between two mountain peaks.  When this happens, the Dogon hold a festival known as Sigui.  The younger males take themselves away from the main group and live together apparently speaking a secret language.  On their return they seem renewed in the knowledge of their legends and more aware of their place in the universe.  Some of the knowledge they are prepared to share but it also appears as if there is other information learned that it kept secret from outsiders.

In keeping with Victorian traditions, many scientists are simply not prepared to consider the implications that the Dogon anomaly could have for modern science and our understand of human evolution.  Those that do are ridiculed by their educated peers and never dare do it again.  It’s a tragedy that so many origin legends are dismissed without genuine investigation.

International Space Station UFO

ISS Spots Huge UFO


The International Space Station (ISS) has a number of live camera feeds – some of these are available to watch live through the NASA website. According to NASA: Live video from the International Space Station includes internal views when the crew is on-duty and Earth views at other times. The video is accompanied by audio of conversations between the crew and Mission Control.

On 1st April 2021 the live stream from the space station appeared to capture a large, well illuminated, spherical shape that seems to appear and rise above the horizon before it dims and slowly vanishes from the view of the camera.

Although the shape seems to rise from the horizon, it is in fact the rotation of the Earth that causes the anomaly to appear.  Some claim that the effect is the result of light refraction from a solar or lunar sunrise or sunset.  However, just as many people believe that this lighting explanation is not realistic and therefore, we cannot rule out that the anomaly is an artefact of extra-terrestrial origin.

International Space Station UFO
International Space Station UFO (Source: NASA)

This is just another example of anomalies caught on cameras from the ISS that still need to be fully explained.

The Mantell Incident

The Mantell Incident - An Enduring UFO Mystery


Radio Transmission: Air Force Captain Thomas F. Mantell / 3:15 PM / 7th January, 1948

“It appears to be a metallic object or possible reflections of the sun from a metallic object, and it is of tremendous size. I’m still climbing, the object is above and ahead of me moving at my speed or faster. I’m trying to close for a better look.”
… minutes later Captain Thomas F Mantell was dead!

Mantell Incident Transcript
Mantell Incident Transcript


On 7th January 1948, residents of Maysville, Owensboro and Irvington, Kentucky started reporting a UFO to their police. The police reported this to the Military officials at Godman Air Force Base (close to Louisville). The ATC tower at Goodman AFB checked with other installations and discovered that there were no official or unofficial flights in the area. They started scanning the sky and at 1:45pm they too saw the UFO. They immediately recognised that it was not a weather balloon or aircraft that they recognised. It was large, silvery, somewhat cone-shaped with a red base. At 2:20 PM a flight of four F-51D aircraft approached Godman en-route from Marietta AFB to Standiford AFB. The flight, led by Captain Mantell, was requested by the Godman tower to investigate the object. What happened next is still very much open for debate but the planes set off to intercept the object. One aircraft broke off from the investigation due to low fuel levels.

According to the official story, Mantell pulled ahead of his two wingmen who were forced to turn back due to a lack of high altitude oxygen equipment. At 14,000 feet Mantell reported, “The object is directly ahead of me and above me now, moving at about half my speed.” Around 3:15 some of the tower crew thought they heard Mantell say, “It appears to be a metallic object or possible reflections of sun from a metallic object, and it is of tremendous size. I’m still climbing, the object is above and ahead of me moving at my speed or faster. I’m trying to close for a better look.” Further communications at 03:17 were garbled although some listeners claim they heard Mantell say: My God, I see people in this thing.

After this point contact was lost and it seems that the Mustang suddenly went into a steep dive and, after partially breaking up during the descent, it crashed into the field of a farm some five miles South of Franklin, Kentucky. Mantell’s body was removed from the aircraft wreckage by fire fighters and taken to the mortuary by ambulance.

The newspapers and media printed sensational stories involving aliens, death rays and radiation – all of which were denied by the Air Force and other government officials. The official story was that everyone had mistaken the planet Venus for a UFO and Mantell had taken his aircraft to an unsafe height beyond 25,000ft and had passed out from lack of oxygen. Case closed!? … Really?

Crashed Mantell Aircraft
Crashed Mantell Incident Aircraft

But what about the UFO?

Back in 1948 researchers were severely restricted by two factors: A) Authorities were general believed and trusted B) There was no internet to allow for rapid information gathering and cross-referencing. It’s not surprising then that when the media were told the UFO was just the planet Venus they – by and large – meekly accepted this answer.

FACT: The UFO could not have been Venus!

At the time of the incident, Venus was indeed roughly in the correct location. However, the planet simply didn’t reflect enough light at this time of the year to be mistaken for anything like what the witnesses described. Venus would have been just another a pinprick of light in the sky. This ‘Venus’ phenomenon has never again been witnessed in the region even though more than six decades have passed. In addition, Dr. Hyneck who wrote the original report actually stated later that he did not believe the UFO was Venus.

Venus and the Moon - Mantell Incident
Venus and the Moon – Mantell Incident Size Review Image (C) Clint Pavenu

Perhaps the authorities realised that the Venus explanation was somewhat weak and later suggested it was a weather balloon. For some time after this statement there was confusion with some spokespersons still sticking to the Venus version of events. In the end, people seemed to broadly accept that it was one or the other.

After many years had passed, a secret project known as Skyhook came to light. This involved using large, roughly cone-shaped, balloons to send monitoring equipment high into the atmosphere. Superficially this sounded like the solution and – once again – case closed.

FACT: The chances that the Mantell UFO was a Skyhook balloon are remote!

Skyhook Balloon Release – Mantell Incident (WMC CC National Museum of the U.S. Navy)

FACT: Sundogs … not likely!

Professor Donald Menzel offered the suggestion that the phenomenon was a parhelion effect more commonly known as a sundog. These occur when sunlight is reflected off ice crystals high in the atmosphere. As with the Skyhook balloon, this would mean that ever person that observed the UFO would have had to view it from exactly the same angle. This did not happen. In addition, as Mantell’s plane changed height and viewpoint it would have become immediately obvious that he was chasing a sundog. This did not happen either. Sundogs … not likely!

Sundog Parhelia Solar Light
Sundog Parhelia Solar Light (EE (C) Mint Images)

A single lenticular cloud in the typical saucer-shape that has triggered many UFO reports.

FACT: It was not a lenticular cloud!

There has been extensive speculation that the UFO sighted by the personal of Godman Tower was actually a lenticular cloud and weather reports indicate that there were clouds in the sky. However, both the pilots and the ground personnel would have recognised a lenticular cloud. In addition, The UFO described by witnesses bears little if any resemblance to this well-known weather phenomenon.

Example of a Lenticular Cloud
Example of a Lenticular Cloud (EE (C) Francescos Gura)

So … If the aerial phenomenon seen by so many witnesses was not Venus, a balloon, a cloud or even a sundog then what was it?


An Alien Ship of Some Kind?

This is by far the most popular proposal. The theory goes that aliens and their spaceships have been monitoring activity on planet Earth for quite some time. Their ships – observation stations – are invisible to both sight and radar thanks to highly sophisticated but temperamental technology. This is not as farfetched as it may sound. However, from time-to-time, their technology fails (as all technology does) and their craft becomes visible. It is these technical failures that account for many of the UFO sightings witnessed every year. It is proposed that this is what happened in the Mantell case. Captain Mantell did see an alien spacecraft and tried to reach it but it was at too high an altitude causing him to pass out from lack of oxygen and lose his life in the ensuing plane crash.

UFO In Clouds
UFO In Clouds  – The Mantell Incident – Was there a real Alien UFO?(SSPL Shutterstock)

A Secret Military Aircraft?

Many researchers of the Mantell UFO Incident believe that the object was an advanced type of military aircraft – the details of which have never been released. In particular, they suggest that it may have been a form of high altitude airship based on a circular version of the 1945 K-class blimps and German WWI Zeppelins. Some have even speculated that these were to be aerial forts permanently aloft and designed to intercept incoming enemy bombers including future nuclear bombers. It is worth noting that the first Russian nuclear test explosion took place on the 29th August 1949 – the year after the Mantel Incident.

A Future Time Window?

One suggestion is that a portal through time briefly existed over the region and the witnesses were able to see future aircraft. Worth mentioning but not likely.

A Weapons Test – Project Harp?

Since conspiracy theories started appearing on the internet there has been speculation that the USA has been developing a way to control the weather and use it as a weapon. In 1990 the US government funded the High-Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP). This was said to be jointly funded by the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Navy, the University of Alaska and the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The most prominent instrument at the HAARP Station is the Ionospheric Research Instrument (IRI), a high-power radio frequency transmitter facility operating in the high frequency (HF) band. Some investigators believe that HAARP is a cover for a weather weapon programme. They also suggest that this research has been active since NAZI scientists were relocated to the US as part of Operation Paperclip. They have further suggested that the phenomenon witnessed as part of the Mantell Incident was actually a weather control experiment.

Futuristic Planes Look like UFOs

Futuristic Planes that Look like UFOs


We live in an age where awareness of UFO’s is commonplace, but can we tell the difference between UFO’s and Planes that look like UFO’s but are manmade?


Vought V-173 “Flying Pancake”
In development from 1939 / Operational 1942 – 1947

Futuristic Planes - Vought-V-173

The Vought V-173 or ‘The Flying Pancake’ was an experimental WWII test aircraft built by the USA as part of the Navy fighter aircraft program. It had a daring, almost circular, “all-wing” design.  The project was initiated in 1939 and flight tested by Chief Test Pilot Boone Guyton on the 23 November 1942. Evaluation of the V-173 carried on throughout 1942 and 1943.  A total of 190 flights were undertaken prompting numerous UFO reports from worried Connecticut residents.  The final test flight took place in 1947.  Overall, the project contributed greatly to the understanding of aerodynamics and the possibility of near vertical take offs.


McDonnell XF-85 Goblin
In development from 1942 / First Flight: 1948 / Cancelled: 1949

McDonnell XF-85 Goblin

From the start of America’s involvement in World War II there was concern that US bombers would need long range fighter support.  The problem was tackled in two ways.  Firstly, the USA developed the Flying Fortress which was meant to be able to defend its formation on its own.  Secondly, the USAF wanted to develop a fighter that could be carried by the bombers in their bomb bays.  The program to develop a small (parasite) fighter started in 1942.  The program was accelerated after the Flying Fortresses suffered catastrophic damage during the infamous Schweinfurt raids of late 1943 but slowed down again with the development of the P51 Mustang long-range fighter.  As time went on the specification for the new aeroplane was changed from propeller to jet engine.  Project authorisation was slow and the war in Europe was over before prototype development began in earnest.  The aircraft showed promise but instability issues, particularly with regard to reconnecting with the mother bomber proved overwhelming.  After a series of accidents the project was cancelled during 1949.


Horten Ho-229 Flying Wing
In development from 1943 / Testing: 1945 / Project Transferred to USA: 1945

Horten Ho-229 Flying Wing

HORTEN HO-229 FLYING WING – THE REMAINING FUSELAGE / (By Michael katzmann at Wikipedia)

During 1943 during the height of World War II, Herman Göring, the Head of the German Luftwaffe demanded that Deutsche industry should design and build a fighter bomber capable of carrying 1,000 kilograms of explosives to targets 1000km from their bases at a speed of 1000 kilometres per hour. The Ho 229, designed by by Reimar and Walter Horten was the only plane that came close to the specifications set by the German military. Without unnecessary external control surfaces, powered by two Jumo 004C engines, and with a flying wing configuration it was effectively the first stealth aircraft to be invented. The plane never made it into full combat before the Allies forced Germany to surrender after the fall of Berlin. The designs and components of the HO 229 were smuggled back to America as part of Operation Paperclip. Tests later revealed that while it had a significantly reduced radar signal but would still have been visible to medium range detection systems.


Avro Canada VZ-9 Avrocar
In development from 1951 / Testing: 1959 – 1961 / Project Cancelled: 1961

Avro Canada VZ-9 Avrocar

The Avro Canada VZ-9 Avrocar was a top secret and experimental “proof-of-concept” VTOL vehicle designed and built in Canada and intended for use by the US Military.  Powered by a single “turborotor” the aircraft was strikingly similar to the Flying Saucers that were being featured both in serious news reports and children’s comics.  Although fascinating to look at and intellectually captivating, the UFO plane never performed sufficiently well to warrant further development.  The project was cancelled in in September 1961.  It has been suggested that the project was actually never more than a disinformation programme designed to confuse overseas observers and US citizens.  Some UFO researchers have even claimed it was part of the Blue Book cover up to  be used as an explanation for the large number of ‘unexplained’ UFO sightings that were occurring during the 1950’s


Convair XFY-1 Pogo VTOL
In development from 1951 / Testing: 1954 / Project Cancelled: 1955

Convair XFY-1 Pogo VTOL

The Convair XFY Pogo tail-sitter was an attempt to create a VTOL fighter that could fly from any small warship.  These concept aircraft was designed to prove that forward, contra-rotating, propellers would act like the blade of a helicopter and provide sufficient lift to raise the fighter into the air.  Although the aircraft did fly its stability was never considered fully acceptable and landing the craft was near impossible.  However, the main problem was the plane’s inability to slow down once it had reached combat speeds.  To make matters worse, the plane was no match for other fighters being developed at the time and the project was cancelled during May 1955.


SNECMA Coléoptère
In development from 1956 / First Flight: 1958 / Project Cancelled: 1959

SNECMA Coléoptère
SNECMA Coléoptère

The SNECMA Coléoptère has to be one of the weirdest looking aircraft ever to be designed and looked like a UFO from the start.  It was developed by the French during the 1950’s as a single-pilot VTOL plane with an annular wing configuration.  In many ways it has a striking resemblance to ‘Thunderbird One’ of the popular puppet TV series by the same name which has led to speculation that it may have been the inspiration for the aircraft/spaceship piloted by Scott Tracey.  On its ninth test flight it suffered a devastating crash caused by basic instability.  The project was subsequently cancelled in 1959.


Moller 200 X
In development from 1976

Moller 200 X

The M200G Volantor was built as proof of concept for a saucer-shaped craft that would eventually operate as both a plane and a hovercraft. Looking very much like the UFO’s of 1950’s comics, it has eight computer-controlled fans which will allow it hover up to 10ft in the air. The project may have started as early as 1976 but, as of 2015, has yet to deliver a commercially available product. The Volantor was the brainchild of Paul Moller – aeronautics engineer from British Columbia, Canada.


Boeing: Bird of Prey
(Technology Demonstrator – Area 51) In development from +/- 1992 / First Flight: 1996 / Project Transferred to X-45 1999


This ‘black-project’ was actually named after an alien spacecraft – namely the Klingon ‘Bird-of-prey’ from the popular Star Trek film and television series. It’s one of the few aircraft that was actually meant to look like a UFO. It should come as no surprise that it was developed at Boeing’s ‘Phantom Works’ located at Area 51 in the Nevada desert. It was never intended as a finished aircraft but rather as a testbed for stealth related technologies, much of which would later be used on the X-45 Combat UAV. It represented a significant advance in aircraft camouflage technology and was eventually transferred to National Museum of the United States Air Force at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio.


Boeing X45a
In development from +/- 1996 / First Flight: 2002 / Project Suspended 2008

Boeing X-45A UCAV
BOEING X-45A UCAV (CC) NASA/Dryden Flight Research Center / Jim Ross)

The Boeing X-45 was an unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) manufactured by Boeing Integrated Defence Systems. It was created as a concept demonstrator for the next generation of wholly autonomous military aircraft. As with the Boeing ‘Bird of Prey’ – on which it was based – it was developed at the Phantom Works within Area 51, Nevada. The X-45A made its first flight on May 22, 2002. Testing and research continued until 2006 when the project was suspended in favour of the developing the aircraft for the US Navy. In 2008 Boeing lost the completion and the Navy continued the project with the Northrop Grumman N X-47. A Variation of the X-45 project remains partially active as a ‘non-commissioned’ development known as ‘Phantom Ray’.


Northrop Grumman Navy X-47B
In development from 2000 / First Flight: 2011 / Project Active

Northrop Grumman Navy X-47B
An X-47B demonstrator with folded wings on the aircraft elevator of George H.W. Bush on 14 May 2013 (CC Wikimedia Commons)


This plane, that looks distinctly like a UFO, is an unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) designed for use on the US Navy’s aircraft carriers.  It is a jet-powered aircraft capable of semi-autonomous ops and aerial refuelling.  The body is based on a blended-wing design and is completely without a vertical control (tail).  It will be developed into a battle-ready aircraft for the (UCLASS) ‘Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike’ system.  It is expected to be fully combat operational by 2022.  In 2015 the US Navy has made the unusual decision to retain the two prototypes in flight condition rather than allowing them to become museum exhibits.  The aircraft has very advanced electronic warfare systems and on-board counter measures.  It has already received two major design awards.  As a full-sized aircraft it is almost certainly going to spark a frenzy of UFO sightings once it starts to appear in the skies around the world.


And this one has been included because readers kept writing in to say that it had been left out of the original ten …

Mysterious USAF Saucer Plane
On the Internet since +/- 2007

Mysterious USAF Saucer Plane

This is the ‘Plane with no Name’.  Given how it looks this would definitely be the winner of the ‘Plane that looks like a UFO’ category except for the fact that this is almost certainly a hoax.  What makes it so believable to so many people is there are at least six different images of the aircraft in different locations.  However, it seems as if the plane is a carefully made model that has been isolated and then very carefully superimposed over the various backgrounds.  Researchers have actually uncovered the original images that were used – without the saucer craft in them.  So … the photos are fake but who created them.  Some say they were produced by the US Government as part of a disinformation campaign, but the truth is, they were probably just put together by a model maker who was also extremely good with Photoshop.  It’s a pity, but that’s what it seems to be.

Alien Gargoyle

Scotland's Alien Gargoyle Surprise


It looks very much like the xenomorph alien creature from Ridley Scott’s ‘Alien’ films from the 1980’s. It’s actually a gargoyle on a 13 century Abbey near Glasgow in Scotland. A picture of the stone sculpture was posted on the ‘Paisley Heritage and Mysteries’ Twitter page in 2013 and was soon being featured in mainstream media.

A twitter debate quickly erupted regarding the origin of this unexplained architecture. Was the gargoyle the inspiration of the monster that attacks the crew of the spaceship Nostromo? How could it be that a creature of science fiction was embedded in the stones of a building that was older than the Aztec civilization? Could this be the perfect proof that extra-terrestrials had visited Planet Earth during its ancient past?


Gargoyles, or grotesques as they are sometimes known, were a common architectural feature of grand buildings and were used to hide spouts designed pour rainwater away from the walls. Why these carvings should represent caricatures of distressed humans and fantastical beasts – some say monsters – is not entirely clear. The everyday reason often trotted out is that they were there to scare away evil spirits which, when you think about, makes absolutely no sense at all. Let’s face it, gargoyles are actually representations of evil spirits themselves. Others believe that it was a way for stonemasons to incorporate ancient figures more associated with paganism than Christianity.

Paisley abbey was duly contacted and the mystery of the ancient alien investigated. It turned out that although the stones sculptures looked hundreds of years old they had actually been installed in 1991 to replace a number of gargoyles that were beyond repair. This and other restoration work was carried out by Stirling Stone Ltd of Stirlingshire, Scotland. In total ,11 new gargoyles were installed, However, it wasn’t until 1997 that a visitor to Paisley Abbey pointed out the remarkable similarity between the 4th sculpture on the southwest side of Paisley Abbey with the infamous xenomorph ‘chest busting’ alien.

When interviewed in 2013, Reverend Alan Birss said that he believes that one of the stonemasons must have been having a bit of fun. In the past, stonemasons had even included the likeness of their mothers-in-law and public figures they thought deserved a touch of ridicule.

The alien gargoyle isn’t the only time that modern monsters have been added to ancient buildings. the Washington National Cathedral in America has a grotesque in the shape of Darth Vader’s mask and the 15th century Chapelle de Bethléem (Bethlehem Chapel) in Nantes, France, has a gargoyle in the shape of Gizmo the Mogwai from the movie ‘Gremlins’ released by warner Brothers in 1984.

Perhaps it’s not surprising that stonemasons have taken inspiration from modern horror movies. According to tradition a gargoyle should be relevant to what currently frightens people and no two gargoyles should ever be the same.

UFO Sightings in the UK

Top Ten UFO Sightings in the UK

Top Ten UFO Sightings in the UK

Over the past decades, Britain has had its fair share of strange UFO sightings from flying saucers that landed behind a Welsh school to mysterious black triangles that hovered over RAF air bases. Some of these encounters have caused a media frenzy while others have simply been given amusing nicknames and relegated to the more bizarre pages of the tabloid newspapers. Here’s the top ten ‘Incidents’ from 1954 to 2013.


The Stephen Darbishire Photo: 1954

In America the UFO phenomena of the 1950’s was already gaining significant momentum following the publication in 1953 of the book entitled ‘Flying Saucers Have Landed’ by George Adamski. In 1954 the first major UFO sighting in Britain took place near the village of Torver in the lake District of Cumbria, England.

Stephen Darbishire, the 13-year-old son of a local resident, and Adrian Meyer, his eight-year-old cousin went for a walk to a place overlooking the ‘Old man of Coniston (mountain) taking with them a period Kodak box camera. Stephen claims he felt an unusual urge to keep climbing the hill behind his house. Adrian apparently noticed the UFO first and pointed it out to Stephen who took two, slightly out of focus, photographs. Highly excited by their experience the boys returned home where they were made to write a report for Stephen’s father and draw a sketch of what they’d seen.

UFOs UK - Darbishire Incident
Darbishire Incident Representation

The picture depicted an Adamski-style scout ship. The photos were developed and clearly showed an unusual craft with portholes and bulbous projections suspended beneath it. Dr Darbishire notified the newspapers, and, within days, the boys found themselves at the centre of a media storm. The UFO phenomena had arrived in Britain.

Since this event took place there has been considerable debate regarding the incident. For many it was nothing more than a childish hoax that spiralled out of control and gripped the imagination of the nation. For others it is the first official sighting of a modern-day UFO in Britain. Stephen certainly became quite famous and was even interviewed by the private secretary of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Overwhelmed by the intensity of events, Stephen later announced that it was all a hoax but was then accused of being part of a government cover up. The media frenzy eventually passed and Stephen went one to have a very successful career as an artist. He is reputedly no longer interested in discussing the subject.

(Images: Top Right) The photograph is an artistic reproduction of the famous image taken in 1954. The original image(s) taken by Stephen Darbishire has been lost. It is still possible to find close ups of one of the original images on the internet.


The Lakenheath Incident: 1956

The Lakenheath Incident – also known as the RAF Bentwaters UFO – was a series of radar interceptions followed by a first-hand encounter with a UFO that took place over two Royal Air Force bases in Suffolk during the night of the 13th of August 1956.

Lakenheath Incident
Lakenheath Incident

The incident began when USAF radar operators, stationed at Lakenheath, locked on to what seemed to be an incoming aircraft traveling at extreme speed. Additional blips indicated another group of UFOs moving more slowly and in a north–easterly direction. The blips eventual merged into a sing large radar signal, much larger than that created by a B36 Bomber – the largest aircraft in the USAF at the time.

At 22:55, a UFO was detected approaching RAF Bentwaters from the east at an estimated speed in excess of 3000 MPH. Later during the night two RAF de Havilland Venom jet aircraft were dispatched to intercept a radar blip approaching Lakenheath. One interceptor was forced to return to base due to engine problems but the second, achieved visual contact. The UFO, which was described as an intensely bright ball of light changed course and pursued the Venom for around ten minutes. The incident was recorded as part of the covert USAF investigation into UFO’s known as Project Blue Book (1952 – 1970) and it was one of very few incidents that the Condon Committee were forced to admit that it could not explain.

Project Blue Book was a systematic study of unidentified flying objects carried out by the United States Air Force from 1952 to 1969. It had two goals. (A) To determine if UFOs were a threat to national security, (B) to scientifically analyse UFO-related data. Many hundreds of UFO reports were recorded and studied.


The Warminster Thing: 1964 – 1976

During the 1960’s and early 1970’s the town of Warminster experienced an unusually large number of UFO sightings and unexplained audio related incidents. In fact, the Warminster phenomenon started around 1964 with the occurrence of strange and unidentifiable noises which sounded like roof tiles being rattled or sticks being broken. Some claimed to have heard and felt a deep vibration – the kind often associated with ultra-low frequencies.

UK UFOs - The Warminster Thing
The Warminster Thing

These noises were experienced by hundreds of individuals and often caused anxiety and discomfort. They continued until 1966. The phenomena was nicknamed the Warminster ‘Thing’. The first visual sighting of a UFO took place in 1965 and was described as a ‘Silvery Cigar” in the sky. Over the next decade many ‘UFOs’ were seen by the residents with nine events being carefully studied and documented. During the early 1970’s the number of incidents decreased and by 1975 they ceased to occur. Many researchers believe that there may be a connection between the Warminster events and the proximity of the restricted military area at nearby Salisbury plain

(Images: Above Left) A copy of the famous photo of a Warminster UFO taken by Gordon Faulkner’s in 1965.

Broad Haven Landing: 1977

The ‘Broad Haven Incidents’ started at lunchtime on 4 February 1977 at the Broad Haven Junior School. During a break between lessons, some 14 youngsters – aged 9 to 11 years old – witnessed a UFO land in a small field next to their school and claimed they saw a humanoid with pointed ears wearing a silver suit leave the ship and examine the ground nearby.

UFOs UK - Broadhaven Humanoid Alien
Broadhaven Humanoid Alien

The children told the headmaster of the school who made them each draw a picture of what they saw without discussing the incident with each other. The similarity between the drawings was remarkable and the authorities were notified. The national newspapers picked up the story and Broad Haven quickly became the focus of private, media and military investigations.

Over the following months many other ‘visitations’ were witnessed including fireballs, more 7ft silver suited aliens and even UFO’s seen hovering near to ‘The Stack’ a coastal rock formation in St Bride’s Bay. A large number of unexplained events seemed focused on and around Ripperston Farm some three miles south east of the School. It is worth noting that the farm is located less than one mile east of the abandoned WWII Talbenny Airfield.

In a further case Mrs Granville, the manager of the Haven Fort Hotel, saw an oval UFO land in an adjacent field. Two silver suited figures emerged and seemed to examine something on the ground that later turned out to be the entrance to an abandoned Royal Observer Corps bunker.

The Broad Haven Landing is one of the very few UFO cases to officially be investigated by the UK Ministry of Defence.

Over the years several people have come forward and claimed that they were behind the Broad Haven UFO sightings and that it was all just a hoax. However, people who actually experienced the events are dismissive of these claims. As one woman is said to have put it: ‘If you think I can’t tell the difference between a space creature and a man dressed in a boiler suit you must be an idiot yourself.’


The Dechmont Woods Encounter: 1979

At around 10.30 am on the 9th of November 1979, Mr. Robert Taylor of the local forestry department parked his pick-up truck on a side road at the base of Dechmont Law (Hill) located between the Deer Park Golf and Country Club and the M8 motorway. Together with his dog, he walked up a grassy path to a southwest facing clearing roughly 35 metres in length by 35 across. He was shocked to find a large sphere-like craft roughly 7 metres in width and made of a dark metallic material. The texture of the UFO was rough like sandpaper and certain sections were transparent and similar to the windows in a cockpit of a plane.

UFOs UK - The Dechmont Woods Encounter
The Dechmont Woods Encounter

He is said to have walked closer and saw two smaller spheres, each looking somewhat like a WWII magnetic mine, exit the craft and roll towards him. The spheres then seemed to attach themselves to his trousers and draw him towards the main craft. He was aware of a hissing noise and the smell of gas after which he fell unconscious. When he woke the craft was gone and he was unable to speak. He staggered back to his truck, drove home and, at the urging of his wife, reported the incident to the local police. An investigation of the site discovered ladder shaped impressions in the soil and indentations where the secondary spheres may have rolled over the grass. The findings were considered inconclusive to prove the existence of a UFO.

Character: What makes this UFO event particularly important is the general consensus that Robert Taylor was a man of calm character with a down-to-earth nature and not one for fanciful stories. He is said to have stuck consistently to the same story for over three decades.


Sightings of UFO in the UK have remained constant over the past several decades and the MOD (Ministry of Defence) has investigated a fair number of these over the years. In 2012 more than 7,000 pages of information were released to the public as part of the Freedom of Information Act. There is even a section entitled: (Prime Minister) Tony Blair’s Briefing and the Flying Saucer Working Party (DEFE 24 1987 1). Here are some more of the best sightings:


Rendlesham Forest UFO: 1980

The Rendlesham Forest Incident is the most famous, and well documented, of all UK UFO episodes. It is often referred to as the British version of ‘Roswell’ and took place during the nights of the 24th, 25th and 26th December 1980. The encounter occurred in the forested area adjacent to the military bases of RAF Bentwaters and RAF Woodbridge in Suffolk England. At the time of the incident both bases were being used by the United States Air Force (USAF). At approximately 03:00am on 26 December 1980 dozens of soldiers observed a number of unusual lights falling slowly into an area of the nearby forest to the east of RAF Woodbridge. A patrol was sent to investigate and discovered a metallic object that was illuminated with coloured lights. As they approached the craft it moved away through the trees. Nearby farm animals appeared very disturbed and made frantic noises.

UK UFOS - Rendlesham Forest Incident
Rendlesham Forest Incident (Artists Impression)

The site was revisited the following day and three impressions in the ground were discovered where the craft had originally been located. The following night additional lights were observed in the area and were even witnessed by the Deputy Base Commander Colonel Charles Halt.

Sceptics claim that the soldiers just saw the beam from the Orford Ness lighthouse located on the same line of sight as the alleged UFO. Those involved have pointed out that they could see the UFO lights and the Light house beam. A huge amount has been written about the incident with claims of inaccuracies, mistaken dates and even exaggeration of the story over the years. However, what lends credibility to this incident is the fact that Colonel Charles Halt is said to have publicly made accusations of an official cover-up.

UFOs UK - Nuclear Pagoda
Orford Ness Neclear Pagoda – (CC Chris Gunn – Wikimedia)

One point that is omitted from most of the accounts of the Rendlesham Forest incident is that to the east of the two air force bases, and directly to the west of the light house, was a top secret weapons testing facility used by the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment and later by the Cobra Mist Project. The site was ‘officially’ shut down in 1971/72 but decommissioning of the site and the management of large controlled explosions took place as late as 1986 – well within the timeframe associated with the Rendlesham Forest incident.


The Ilkley Moor Alien: 1987

Around 9.30am on the morning of Tuesday, 1st December 1987 an off-duty policeman by the name of Philip Spencer set off across Ilkley Moor in Yorkshire. The morning was misty, but Spencer had a compass with him. His stated purpose was to photograph lighting effects of the moor in the fog. Ilkley Moor was already well known for its ‘strange happenings’ and unusual features such as the ‘Swastika Stone’ and the ‘Twelve Apostles’ stone circle. After some time walking and shortly after the mists had lifted, Spencer spotted an alien-looking creature next to some boulders and took its picture. This would become the famous photo that would excite UFO investigators for decades. The creature was approximately four-foot-tall with greenish-grey skin, large hands and feet with only two extended toes. He followed the alien and saw a saucer-shaped craft with a dome on top take off from a nearby indentation in the landscape.

Ilkley Moor Alien Side by side
Ilkley Moor Alien

On his way home he noticed his compass had reversed its polarity and that an hour of the day had vanished. Later under hypnosis Spencer would recall that he had been abducted and subjected to a medical examination and then made to watch two films. The first film seems to have depicted natural disasters and the effects of human pollution. The contents of the second film are a mystery and Spencer has refused to discuss what he saw. The validity of the encounter has never been proven one way or another. That fact that Spencer was a policeman, and therefore an expert witness, has added credibility to the incident. (Images: Top Right) The much-circulated close-up photograph of the Ilkley Moor Alien) (Images: Bottom Right) An artist’s impression of the Ilkley Moor Alien based on the photograph and the description provided by Philip Spencer.


RAF Cosford & Shawbury Incident: 1993

Opinion with regard to the RAF Cosford & Shawbury Incident is sharply divided. For some researchers it is compelling evidence for UFO’s and an ensuing cover up while for others it is an easily explained misunderstanding. After removing some of the confusion and exaggeration the facts are reasonably straightforward.

RAF Cosworth UFO
RAF Cosworth UFO (C) Clint Pavenu

During the very early morning of Wednesday, 31 March 1993 many people across the United Kingdom reported seeing brilliant white objects travel at considerable speed across the night sky. In some cases various people claimed to have seen triangular or diamond shaped aircraft unlike anything typical of the time.

Around 1.15am a MOD police patrol at RAF Cosford witnessed the lights pass overhead and, as per standard procedures, alerted the meteorological officer at nearby RAF Shawbury with information that a UFO was approaching. Wayne Elliott, the officer at Shawbury, then witnessed what he believed to be a large triangular craft, roughly the size of a jumbo jet, hover at an altitude of 200ft approximately 10 miles from the base. He claimed that it emitted a low frequency humming sound and was using a ‘spotlight’ as if it was search for something on the ground. The object did not appear on the radar and the incident was reported to the Ministry of Defence. It was investigated by (Agent) Nick Pope who concluded that something of inexplicable significance had occurred.

Sceptics have pointed out that the Russian Tsyklon rocket booster 22586U re-entered the atmosphere during the same night and created quite a pyrotechnic display as it burnt up in the sky. It also turned out that the triangular UFO witnessed by Wayne Elliott could have been the Dyfed-Powys police helicopter tracking a stolen vehicle. Some reports claim that Elliot subsequently played down the sighting, but Nick Pope remains convinced that the rocket and helicopter theories simply do not effectively explain the events of the night. The debate continues.


The Bonsall UFO Video: 2000

In Around 9.15 pm on the 5th October 2000 Sharon Rowlands noticed that a large luminous object was hovering over a field close to her house in the small village of Bonsall, Derbyshire. She was intrigued and filmed the shimmering pink phenomenon for six and a half minutes as it hovered and rotated nearby. The actual footage of the UFO shows that it appears to be made up of concentric rings each of which pulsed with a magenta coloured light. Some investigators have compared it to a photographic orb.

UK UFOS - Bonsall
Bonsall UFO (Artists Impression)

Rowlands informed her local newspaper, the Matlock Mercury, about the incident. They, in turn, published the story which was picked up by UFO enthusiasts around the World. There is some confusion as to whether the video that can be found on the internet is the same one that Mrs. Rowlands took. It appears that the photos and videos of the Bonsall UFO currently in circulation may have been from an earlier incident in the same region. The tape has allegedly been purchased by an American TV company for about £20,000.


The Dudley Dorito: 2007 – 2013

Around 7.00pm on Wednesday 28 November a black triangular craft was observed flying over Halesowen towards Stourbridge in the West Midlands region of England. The first witness observed that the craft hovered over Halesowen, in the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley, before moving towards the west. A second witness saw the same craft from the observation Beacon located off Monument Road at the top of the Lickey Hills. Both described it as a black triangle with three distinct lights – one at each point of the triangle. Both agreed that the craft flew at extreme speed above the eastern horizon of the Black Country region of Birmingham.

The sightings were reported to a local UFO research organisation who, in turn, released a statement to the local press. Based on the descriptions provided the newspapers quickly nicknamed the UFO the ‘Dudley Dorito’ after the location in which it was seen and the popular triangle shaped snack. The story might have ended at this time except that this strange craft has been observed on many separate occasions during the period between 2009 and 2015. It generally seems to be seen more frequently during winter between the hours of 7pm an 11pm. The usual explanations for sightings have been rolled out with amusing predictability. Ball lightning, fast moving clouds and atmospheric anomalies have all been suggested as the cause. However, the most likely explanation is that it’s a new form of stealth military aircraft.

So … while it’s probably not alien in origin it’s still a UFO – for now.