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My Mysterious Moor III. The Dartmoor Flying Cross.

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posted on Feb, 4 2017 @ 05:40 PM
My Mysterious Moor III. The Dartmoor Flying Cross.

This particular “UFO” was not actually within Dartmoor National Park when it was initially sited but the subsequent chase did eventually cross the park boundary.

More senior British UFOlogists will still recall the famous Dartmoor ‘Flying Cross’ case of October the Twenty Fourth Nineteen Sixty Seven. Two police officers, Roger Willey and Clifford Waycott, reportedly chased an apparent UFO in their police car along country lanes at up to 90 mph (edit: doubtful) in the early hours of the morning. “It looked like a star-spangled cross radiating points of light from all angles,” Constable Willey told the press. “It was travelling about tree-top height over wooded countryside near Holsworthy in Devon. We drove towards it and it moved away. It then led us on a chase as if it was playing a game with us.”

Howard Miles of the British Astronomical Association (BAA) looked into this case but never published any results, but his recollections were later sought by UFO investigator Ian Ridpath to put on the record. When Ridpath contacted Miles he was retired and living in Cornwall. At the time of the event Miles taught at a technical college in Coventry and ran the BAA’s artificial satellite section which sometimes brought UFO cases his way. Mr Miles was something of a cynic who did not gladly suffer those he considered foolish, as we can see from his recollections of this case and his involvement in it. In this case it wasn’t difficult for him to recognize that the ‘flying cross’ was a classic sighting of Venus, which was particularly bright in the dawn sky at the time. In Two Thousand Mr Miles emailed Ridpath the following information on his involvement with the case.

“I did not carry out any astronomical observations on this event as it was purely in the field of the “nutters”. I became involved because the TV station at Plymouth phoned me up when I was living in Coventry and asked me to appear on a programme that particular evening. I was late in arriving at Plymouth and the producer met me at the Station. On the way to the studio he outlined what was involved and said that I would interview a UFO supporter who was described as a bit weird and then two policemen who had witnessed the event from their patrol car.

“The UFO chap was a prize “nutter” and knew no astronomy. He was completely confused about the positions of the planets and I came out with a sentence which is frequently quoted to me “For God’s sake talk a bit of ruddy sense”. The camera crew roared their heads off and after the programme the producer congratulated me in the way I handled him. “The two Police Officers were completely different and accepted completely my explanation of the apparent motions of Venus as being due to travelling along a bending road. “I explained all the usual optical illusions that arise when a very bright object is seen in the sky and the idea that it must be near if it is very bright. They seemed quite satisfied.
“That was my sole contribution to the episode. I did not wish to become involved with the UFO organisations as I had enough to do with the satellite work. These organisations were a pain throughout my years as satellite director. In the end I used to say that UFOs were outside the terms of reference of the BAA and hence could not comment. It usually shut them up.” The case attracted a fair bit of publicity at the time because of the two policemen involved but even those familiar with the case may not have known of Howard Miles’s involvement.

In early Two Thousand and Four BBC Devon reinterviewed Waycott and Willey, both retired, about the events of that October night and reported the events of that early morning long ago as follows.
"Roger Willey and Clifford Waycott have never been given an explanation about what they saw"(This statement is factually incorrect).
This is the strange tale of a UFO sighting which was reported by two Devon policemen and placed in Britain's X-Files(This is a typical example of how the media sensationalise reports of unusual events to fit the narrative of the time). More than Thirty Five years on, there's still no explanation as to what it was that the two officers saw in the sky above West Devon that October night"(once again completely incorrect).

For an example of how the media tends report any UFO activity so that it fits the current narrative, read the following sample from the BBC Devon.

You're driving along a country lane in rural Devon when all of a sudden something appears in the skies above you.
It's a series of bright lights arranged in the shape of a cross - and you've never seen anything like it before. It's not an aircraft, and it's definitely not the stars. It must be a UFO.
Far fetched? Try telling that to retired policemen Roger Willey and Clifford Waycott, because this is exactly what happened to them one weird October night back in 1967.
They reported the sighting, and were amazed to receive a visit from a team of investigators from the Ministry of Defence.
Their report was then stored away in Britain's very own X-Files, deep in the MoD's vaults in London.
There, the report has remained - together with almost 200 other UFO files. All of them are now set to be released for the very first time in 2005 as a result of the Freedom of Information Act.
Follow that UFO...
Sgt Roger Willey and PC Clifford Waycott were on their way back to their police station when they were diverted to an investigation which they've never been able to solve. This time, it wasn't criminals they were chasing, it was a UFO. Thirty-seven years on, and the sighting is still vivid in Roger's memory: "We were making our way back between Holsworthy and Hatherleigh when we saw this unusual bright white light in the sky. (Edit: I know this road and it is winding and undulating which would certainly make a bright Venus, low on the horizon on a clear night appear to move erratically). "We both registered that we'd seen something. It was something we couldn't logically account for.
"It was something that I hadn't seen before; I haven't seen since; and something that nobody can explain exactly what it was."
The two officers 'followed' the UFO before returning to the station. Like Roger, Clifford also recalls the evening as though it was yesterday: "My view of it was that it was moving slowly.
"It wasn't a star. It was bright - it was white. If you look at glass which has got rain on, it was the same sort of inference. It was a splash. It was just too...eerie."

Journalism purists among readers will have noticed what a particularly scrappy and even amateurish piece of reporting the above is. Factual inaccuracies, misquotes, The sensationalist use of the term "Britain's Own X-Files"(nothing even remotely close to the travails of Mulder and Sculley has ever taken place in the UK or anywhere else as far as can be proved), and numerics among the text.


posted on Feb, 4 2017 @ 05:41 PM
It is worth noting the time of year and day during which this sighting took place. Autumn in Britain inspired Wordsworth to name it "Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness", a poetic way of describing moisture hanging low in the atmosphere.
It was the nearing the end of the what would likely have been an uneventful shift during the early hours, as is evidenced by the two officers reporting they were returning to the station when they saw the "object". "The UFO Flap" was in full swing during Nineteen Sixty Seven in Britain.

Consider two tired and possibly bored officers, on a clear moorland night, with a low hanging mist and a particularly bright planet Venus low on the horizon, on a winding undulating road, during a period of time when UFOs and Cold War paranoia had a firm hold on the national psyche. Put all of these factors together and you have an almost perfect set of circumstances to produce what was reported.

The incident was reported on the national BBC TV news bulletins, but Clifford says the powers that be wanted the sighting 'hushed up.'
"We were visited by a boffin from the MoD who told us that we were still officers under the Official Secrets Acts and they would rather we kept it to ourselves."
The fact that the two officers were interviewed by DI55 was later proved accurate by a Two Thousand and Five Freedom Of Information Act request, in which it was concluded that what had been seen that night was the planet Venus. Back then, a number of debates were raging about the UFO sightings in Britain. Could it be the Soviet Union spying on us? Were the UFOs further evidence of life in outer space? Or were people just seeing things?

Roger and Clifford, meanwhile, say they didn't imagine their sighting and they're still waiting for a logical explanation. "No explanation has been given to us by anybody and we haven't asked," said Clifford. (Once again this is either a blatant misquote or a case of faulty memory.)
"We've just gently been asked to sweep it under the carpet. It didn't happen - that's what they said. But we know what we saw." “Nobody can explain exactly what it was,” said Willey. “No explanation has been given to us by anybody,” agreed Waycott.

Evidently the policemen, and BBC Devon, had forgotten that Howard Miles of the B.A.A. had provided the answer in the BBC’s own Plymouth studios back in Nineteen Sixty Seven. The Devon police case was the most high-profile sighting in a countrywide UFO flap that occurred during the mid Sixties. Among other cases in that month was the sighting of another bright, cross-shaped object by PCs in Cheshire three days after the Devon report, which would almost certainly have been case of similar factors coming together and is not difficult to believe that the highly publicised Devon report coloured the already fraught perception.

DEFE24/1925 page 145 (Part of the 2005 FOIA requested release) reveals the primary role of DI55 which was to assess Warsaw Pact space systems.

From Wikipedia.
Project Condign was the name given to a secret UFO study undertaken by the British Government's Defence Intelligence Staff (DIS) between 1997 and 2000.[1]

The results of Project Condign were compiled into a 400-page document titled Unidentified Aerial Phenomena in the UK Air Defence Region that drew on approximately 10,000 sightings and reports that had been gathered by the DI55, a section of the Directorate of Scientific and Technical Intelligence (DSTI) within the Defence Intelligence Staff (DIS).[1][2] It was released into the public domain on 15 May 2006 after a September 2005 Freedom of Information Act request by UFO researchers Dr David Clarke, a lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University, and Gary Anthony, a former BUFORA astronomical consultant. The identity of the report's author/s was not made public.

If you search Project Condign you will see that it comes to the interesting conclusion that much of the UFO phenomena can be attributed to the effects of plasma and that plasma should be investigated for its use in defence purposes. It also notes that it believes the Russian military will likely have begun researching the possible military applications of plasma.

It is very likely that representatives of DI55 new that this was indeed a Venus sighting, but requested the two police officers kept the incident to themselves so that they did not further alarm members of the public who were afraid of the soviet threat, or exacerbate what was then being called “The UFO Flap”.

It was never my intention to debunk Dartmoor's two most famous UFO incidents in my first two UFO threads, and what I have discovered does not do so. I am a lover of the mysteries of the moor, but my inherent investigative nature and love of paying attention to detail means I have a natural tendency to look for a normal explanation. This has lead some to call me a cynic, but that could not be more wrong. I want paranormal and supernatural stories and legends to remain as such, but if you wish to be taken seriously in an investigation it is essential to apply A.B.C. Accept nothing at face value. Believe nothing until proved. Challenge everything. Only when these principles have been fully employed and there is still no rational answer do you have a real mystery, and where Dartmoor is concerned, I can promise you there are many.

I have only just begun to scratch the surface of the many moorland mysteries and legends, so if any of you reading this have enjoyed the experience I will be happy to provide more, Dart more😄.

posted on Feb, 4 2017 @ 05:57 PM
a reply to: CulturalResilience

Great info thanks
edit on 4-2-2017 by Realtruth because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 4 2017 @ 06:21 PM
a reply to: Realtruth

You're welcome. Glad you found it to be of interest.

posted on Feb, 4 2017 @ 07:04 PM
Venus is very, very bright at this present time, but it never looks like a flying cross to me, Jupiter when visible is effectively the same, though some some might see some visual artifact of it's moons, but not a flying cross. greasy windscreen perhaps could distort an image, or even the windscreen itself, but that would be a variable to be taken into account.
As for our current round of documentaries, there is not much need to pay too much attention, because they are crappy setups, the formula being a set up, then a knockdown in most cases, with irritating noise and flash sequences begged stole or borrowed, shown over and over again, here, there and everywhere. Simple as that. Any possible truths are subsumed into someone else's reality. Me, driving a car down any road, not just wobbly ones, and I see something 'odd' in the sky, enough to pique curiosity, I would just stop for long enough to discern shape, motion and hopefully function.
Even walking is deceptive at night, the same applies if you look at the sky. It does help though if there is some degree of understanding as to where the brightest stars are at any given time and say the ISS, easily available today, which helps no end, but not so easy back a while.
Anyway, the approximations for the time and place are given in this detail for1967 and are close,

Still though, not tree top height, but could be viewed through trees. picture file.

edit on 4-2-2017 by smurfy because: Text.

posted on Feb, 4 2017 @ 07:34 PM
a reply to: CulturalResilience

I used to live nearish Holsworthy, my parents still do and this is the first I have heard of this. Next time I go visit I'll enquire in the local meadery if anyone knows anything about it. A lot of people have been living there for 50+ years so I am sure if anyone noticed anything they would still be there to tell the tale.

Interesting story, Dartmoor has harbored a lot of mysteries.

I'm guessing you too are a local?

Thanks for the post

posted on Feb, 5 2017 @ 06:13 AM
The area where the sightings took place is around Devon's highest point above sea level which may have contributed to the the perception in this case. As I said at the end of the thread it was not my intention to debunk this sighting or the Scorriton UFO in my two. Dartmoor UFO threads and I don't believe what I have posted does so.

I see you also reside in an area that is rich in mystery legend and folklore.

My Regards to you and the beautiful Emerald Isle.
a reply to: smurfy

posted on Feb, 5 2017 @ 06:32 AM
I am indeed. I was born on the coast and have travelled extensively. Coming to live on the moor was the realisation of long held ambition. Dartmoor is a part of what makes me who I am and I have immersed myself the culture and folklore of the moor, and I intend to live here for as long as possible. I would be very interested to here about any recollections or opinions that are shared with you in the local hostelries etc.

Cheers my ansome.
a reply to: constant_thought

edit on 5-2-2017 by CulturalResilience because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 7 2017 @ 07:25 AM
I have enjoyed your threads. Very thorough and informative.

posted on Feb, 10 2017 @ 12:04 PM
Thanks. Glad you enjoyed them.
a reply to: In4ormant

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