The MOD has no opinion on the existence or otherwise of extra-terrestrial life. However, in over fifty years, no UFO report has revealed any
evidence of a potential threat to the United Kingdom. The MOD has no specific capability for identifying the nature of such sightings. There is no
Defence benefit in such investigation and it would be an inappropriate use of defence resources. Furthermore, responding to reported UFO sightings
diverts MOD resources from tasks that are relevant to Defence.
What exactly did this mean? We will need to go back to the past to find out.
This series of posts will highlight a selection of Close Encounter stories from Great Britain during the last century to highlight a variety of
experiences and link to existing threads that provide more detail. Many of these get buried rapidly on ATS, get few replies and so go unnoticed .
There are also a number of cases that have not been discussed in a full thread here.
What will become apparent is that Britain has a number of unsolved UFO cases. There is also evidence to suggest that UFOs are real and that the
British Establishment has often simply ignored them and at other times made attempts to cover up their existence.
Before World War II, the world was a very different place. The terms UFO and Flying Saucer were yet to be defined. So to warm things up we will start
at the very dawn of the 20th Century.
One of the earliest reports comes from the first days of the post-Victorian era in 1901. The witness was a young boy of 10 who chose to remain
anonymous when he told his story. Returning home to Bournbrook, West Midlands on a warm summer day, he walked down a path near the back of his home
and noticed a strange object sitting on the grass. It was around 4” in height and width and no more than 6” long. It had no windows, just a small
door and a ‘turret’.
Two small entities came out of the door. One of them approached the witness with his hands held in such a way as if to signal that he should retreat
and keep back. They were both described as humanlike in a close fit grey/green military style uniform, clean shaven and about 30-40 years of age. Both
also wore a cap that covered their ears with a wire like protrusion from each side. The entities then quickly returned to the “craft” as the
witness began to back off. He recalls a bright flash and an electric arc lit all around the object. There was a “whoosh” sound and the object
disappeared rapidly with a pulsating red light above the rooftops. A number of local neighbours remembered hearing the noise.
The original witness never considered the experience to be a UFO or alien
encounter and had often tried to make sense of his experience. He even drew this sketch when interviewed again in the 1950s. He still believed that
what he saw was something odd rather than something from another world.
Source : Flying Saucer Review Vol 25 No. 4
The tale, if true, is one of the very first humanoid contact tales of the 20th century. Compared to other nations, sightings of alien beings have been
few and far between down the decades across the British Isles.
Caerphilly Mountain 1909
This is a rare story of a dock worker, Mr. C. Lethbridge who also travelled about with a Punch & Judy show during the light evenings in 1909. Around
11 pm on May 18th he was walking home over Caerphilly mountain. As he walked over the summit he noticed a tube shaped contraption and two men working
on something close by. They wore large heavy fur coats with tight fitting fur caps. Lethbridge became quite nervous as he got closer and the noise of
his cart appeared to startle the men as he got within 50-60 feet of them.
They then began to furiously converse in a strange language according Lethbridge.
The tube shaped object began to rise and the odd looking men jumped into a small carriage suspended below it. The object rose in a zig zag fashion
and then sailed in the direction of Cardiff clearly showing 2 wheels below the carriage and a whirring fan at the rear. Next day investigators
visited the scene. They found trampled grass, a papier mache like substance and a small object like the regulator to an air valve. The mystery was
never solved but the finger was pointed at foreign spies. These airship stories had actually started two months before. But South Wales seemed a
strange place to land.
Original source : Daily Mail of May 20th 1909
The 1909 Scareship flap
During the night of March 23rd 1909, Constable Kettle saw 'a strange, oblong and narrow craft passing over the city' of Peterborough, Cambridgeshire.
The incident was the start of a series of sightings in the United Kingdom throughout April and May of 1909. The majority of sightings came from East
Anglia and South Wales. The London Standard noted :
PC Kettle’s statement
“With few exceptions they all speak of a torpedo-shaped object, possessing two powerful searchlights, which comes out early at night."
Back in 1909 the only thing torpedo-shaped and capable of flight, known to man, was the airship. The national and local press all assumed this the
most likely explanation for these machines and some coined the term 'scareships'.
There were actually very few airships operating across Britain and Ireland at this time. Jane's All the World's Air-ships, first published in 1909,
listed just two in operation. Neither was equipped with high power searchlights.
One conclusion was that a foreign power was testing their craft over Britain and surveying the local defensive capabilities. The main suspect was
Germany. Zeppelin's airships were as long as a battleship, could stay aloft for hours, and carry more than 10 men and a payload of bombs. No other
country possessed craft with anything close to these offensive capabilities. More importantly anti-German feeling was growing in Great Britain as
stories of German spies began to grow in the popular, but jingoistic as ever, Daily Mail.
Some sightings supported the idea that Zeppelins were responsible. For example, Mr. Free of Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, saw a long sausage-shaped airship
manoeuvring over the cliffs for a few minutes at dusk:
" It hovered at 600 feet for a few minutes, and then departed in a north-easterly direction. "
The following day, Free found 'a curious object', a sort of piston weighing 35 lb and stamped with the words 'Müller Bremen Fabrik'. This was taken
to mean that it was made in a factory in Bremen, Germany, and the War Office reportedly confiscated it. But investigations failed to turn up any such
factory and it was virtually impossible for airships from Germany to have visited Britain in 1909.
No German records have ever been found to confirm this and any journey would have presented a great risk for the underpowered, slow airships of the
early 20th Century.
edit on 19/12/12 by mirageman because: (no reason given)