Birmingham UFO Group Case Report
Author: Dave Hodrien
Last Updated: 21/04/2014
For reasons of anonymity pseudonyms have been used
From September 2012 onwards Peter has experienced five very distinct UFO sightings. The majority of these have been of very unusual shaped objects, some of which have displayed highly unusual characteristics or impressive flight manoeuvres. These sightings deeply affected him on an emotional level, and ever since he has avidly looked into the UFO subject. Distraught at the media’s general portrayal of the subject he eventually decided to get in touch with both BUFOG and Richard Hall to report his sightings.
This report covers each of his sightings in depth, assessing the evidence and looking into possible explanations for each.
03/09/2012 – U-Shaped UFO
At approximately 4.25pm on the afternoon of 3rd September 2012, Peter was out walking in Wokingham on Molly Millars Lane. It was warm and sunny, with a clear sky above. He decided to give his friend a call on his mobile phone.
Aerial map of Molly Millars Lane:
As he spoke on the phone he walked past an electricity tower, about 50 feet away from him. He happened to look up and spotted a very strange looking object. On approach to the tower at an angle of about 60 degrees was a U-shaped object, no bigger than 6 feet across. It was metallic light grey in colour and had what appeared to be prongs sticking out from both of the front points. The object was turning back and forth, clockwise then anti-clockwise. It was about 20 feet higher up than the top of the pylon. The object was travelling at between 40-50 mph and appeared to be intentionally moving towards the pylon.
Photograph of the electricity tower where the sighting took place:
Witness drawing of the UFO:
As it reached the top of the tower its speed dramatically reduced until it stopped. It also ceased rotating. Peter was now able to get a better look at the object. Its surface texture was very unusual, somewhere been solid metal and reflective glass. The object began to ascend vertically into the sky, rising slowly until it was just a glinting point of light. Peter suddenly noticed two of his work colleagues nearby. He called them over so they too could observe the UFO.
By this time the object was at quite high altitude. Here it seemed to be joined by two other flashing points of light. The three points formed a perfect triangular shape, which remained for between 10-15 seconds. All three then went out of sight. In total the sighting lasted for about 15 minutes, so the witness had a clear view of the object for a decent length of time. Sadly his mobile phone was a low tech one without an in-built camera, so he was not able to photograph the UFO. He did not talk about the sighting much afterwards with his colleagues as he was not particularly close to them.
At first the witness assumed the object was a novelty balloon. It appeared quite small in size and also seemed light weight in the manner which it was turning back and forth. I would agree that this is the most likely mundane explanation for the object. Although the movement patterns of the object could have seemed to indicate intelligence, it is possible that the object was being carried on an air current which happened to stop over the pylon. At this point the object would have stopped drifting and rotating and would then have naturally ascended due to the helium inside it, much as the witness eludes to. Another possibility is that the object was an unusual radio controlled model of some kind, although you would expect this to have made some kind of sound.
Other than the odd appearance of the object, the only other mystery to the sighting was the fact that at high altitude it seemed to be joined by two other separate points of light. However it is possible that these were an optical illusion and all lights seen were caused by sunlight glinting brightly off the one object. I therefore think that the most likely explanation at present is a novelty balloon of some kind.
09/10/2012 – Cylindrical UFO
It was about 5.15pm on Saturday 9th October 2012. The weather was very clear and sunny, with barely a cloud in the sky. Peter was walking home from Martin’s Heron train station in Bracknell. He was on New Forest Wide, and walking up the road to the South-South West in the direction of the roundabout. Beyond the roundabout lies Savernake Pond and an area of woodland. Over this woodland he suddenly noticed a strange object appear, at an angle of about 40 degrees in the sky.
Aerial map of New Forest Wide showing the location of the witness (A) and estimated position of the UFO (B):
At first the only thing which was clear was a pulsating bright light. The rest of the object seemed fuzzy and indistinct, despite the fact it was a clear day. It almost looked like it had just materialised in the sky. It seemed grey in colour and was roughly circular. It appeared to be about 100 feet above the tops of the trees and several hundred metres away from his location. It was completely motionless in the air.
Peter continued to walk along the road. As he reached the island to cut through Woodford Green he now got a better look at the object. It now looked quite different to how it had before. It appeared to be a dark grey/black vertical cylinder hanging in the sky. Positioned to one side of it was a smaller pale grey coloured triangular shaped object, the corners of which were intermittently pulsing a bright white colour with no discernable pattern. This seemed to be much brighter than sunlight would relect at, almost like burning magnesium.
Photograph of the sighting location in the direction the UFO was seen:
The cylindrical object seemed to have a haze around it, perhaps distortion due to heat or energy. He describes this distortion as “almost like someone had taken an image sourced from the American NTSC video format and placed it within a high definition background”. The top of the cylinder appeared to distort and change shape almost like it was morphing. Peter was quite concerned by it and felt that it was aware of his presence.
Witness drawing of the UFO with notes:
He continued to walk home, glancing back at the UFO as he walked. Sometimes it would be obscured from view behind houses or trees but he would then catch sight of it again. As he got close to his home, the distortion around the top of the cylindrical object seemed to be more pronounced, almost like lumps were appearing out of it. Peter even wondered if it was going to explode.
As he got to within 50 metres of his flat, Peter decided to run inside and grab his Nikon camera, as the object was still visible in the sky. He threw down his shopping and returned outside to the spot where he had last seen it. This only took about 20 seconds. But during this period of time the object had shifted position in the sky and was now much further away! It was only visible as a dot in the distance. Peter felt that it somehow knew he was going to photograph it and this is why it had changed position.
View of the sighting location from witness’s flat:
Not giving up, he then ran all the way back to New Forest Wide looking in the direction of the woodland over which the object had been situated. But unfortunately it could no longer be seen. On route to the location Peter thinks he noticed a white streak of light move off in a Westerly direction, but he cannot be certain and says this may have been down to the fact he was running as fast as possible. Disappointed that the object had gone he returned home.
Numerous aspects of this sighting are very unusual indeed. The appearance of the object is far from common. Most mundane explanations can immediately be discounted. It was clearly not any normal aircraft or helicopter, was too unusual a shape to be some kind of military drone and is also unlikely to have been a radio controlled model. It was the wrong colour and appearance to be a daylight Chinese lantern. I initially wondered if what Peter had seen was a vertical floating solar airship. These are launched on hot sunny days and can sometimes tip up until they are completely vertical in the sky. However after seeing the drawing Peter sent me, this too can be discounted. Although they are cylindrical in shape, solar airships are quite long in length, where as the object he has drawn is a much shorter and wider cylinder. Also this would not explain the triangular object seen hovering alongside it.
The only explanation which could possibly explain the incident is a novelty balloon or kite of some kind. If it was a kite then it would have been tethered, but perhaps this tether could not be seen due to the distance. Perhaps the triangular shape was some kind of separate attachment to the main object, and the brightly glowing points of light on it were its corners catching the sunlight. The morphing and lumping seen towards the top of the object could have been caused by it being very light weight and being buffeted by an air current. However the object appeared to be completely stationary in the air for a number of minutes. Surely if it was a kite then its owner would have had to move it around by tugging on the tether to keep it afloat? Similarly if it was a novelty balloon surely it would have drifted during this time?
Another interesting aspect is the way in which the object appeared distorted around the edges suggesting heat or energy. I find it unlikely that this would have just been an optical illusion caused by the distance of the object. Perhaps the sunlight was heating up the surface of the object causing a mirage-like effect around it, but this would just be speculation.
It is also odd that the object seemed to move much further away in the short space of time that the witness entered his flat to get a camera. Surely if it was a kite then it would have remained in the area or have been taken down and not there at all? And if it was a novelty balloon it would have only gradually drifted so should still have been close by.
July & August 2013 – Segmented Disc Sightings
On the first or second weekend of July 2013 Peter was staying over at the house of some friends on Ennersdale Road, close to Hither Green train station, London. It was a warm sunny day and they were having a BBQ in the back garden at around 4pm. Peter was relaxing in a deck chair, with some small binoculars to hand.
Aerial map of Ennersdale Road:
Without the aid of the binoculars he noticed a black circular object moving in an Easterly direction at a slow speed. It was very high up and at an angle of 70 degrees. The object was reflecting the sunlight brightly causing it to glow a variety of colours. Earlier in the day he had seen balloons drifting on by, and it was obvious this is what they were due to the way they were drifting and rotating in the wind. However this object seemed much more solid and on a definite flight path.
Through the binoculars the object looked like a black metallic milk top. There were ridges all around the edge and each panel would catch the sun as the object rotated. Peter got the attention of his friend to also observe the object. They watched it for about a minute, neither witness able to identify it.
Witness drawing of the UFO:
Peter continued to observe the object as it changed course and headed away to the North. At one moment a bright flash of light appeared a few feet to the right of the object, the origin of which was unknown. Peter does not think this flash was due to a reflection on the object itself or in the lens of the binoculars. At a distance the object began to glow a sunset orange, possibly due to the sun reflecting on its surface. Just before it went out of sight it appeared to begin to ascend in the sky. In total he had watched it for about 10 minutes.
At the time he did not think too much about the sighting, it was at high altitude and could have been a novelty balloon or other inflatable. However this was not the last time he would see the object. Several weeks later on a Sunday he was back round his friends and sitting in the same garden. It was another hot, clear and sunny day. Peter was watching the skies and observing aircraft on their flight paths. As he was watching one jet airliner through his binoculars all of a sudden the same UFO he had seen previously seemingly appeared from nowhere and hovered in front of the view he had of the plane!
It looked bigger this time (probably closer) and the ridges were more clearly defined. Peter could barely believe he was seeing the same unusual object a second time and that it had appeared so close to a passing plane. The object hovered for several seconds. Then without warning it suddenly shot upward vertically at an incredibly fast speed. He was unable to track it with the binoculars, so quickly lowered them and observed a black blurred streak for a couple of seconds before it had left the area. The high strangeness of the sighting and the fact he had again witnessed it from the same location as before caused Peter to laugh. Also the astounding acceleration and flight speed he had seen the object perform confirmed to him that it was something highly unusual and not just a balloon or other mundane object.
07/09/2013 – Glowing Orb
On 7th September 2013 Peter was at Bestival music festival at Robin Hill on the Isle Of Wight. It was about 9pm and he and three friends were sitting outside their teepee in the camping area. At an angle of 30-40 degrees in the sky, Peter saw a bright white glowing orb of light suddenly appear. It travelled horizontally at a leisurely speed, Peter estimates roughly 30 mph.
Aerial photograph of Bestival, the camping area visible in the background:
As he watched the orb got even brighter making it look like it had grown in size. He shouted “Look!” and pointed the light out to his friends. As they turned around to look, the orb started to get dimmer before vanishing. One of the other witnesses suggested that it had been a satellite. However Peter believes the object was at too low an angle in the sky and had appeared to be within the atmosphere. He also felt it was too bright to have been the International Space Station.
While a satellite briefly catching the sun’s rays cannot be entirely ruled out there are other mundane explanations which may have explained the orb. Perhaps it was a light on a helicopter or aircraft, or a white LED balloon which then flew into cloud causing it to appear to vanish. It is unlikely that the object was ball lighting as it was a pleasant evening, ball lightning only appears in stormy weather conditions.
It is clear from the details which Peter has provided that many of the objects he has seen have been extremely unusual. While some of them could possibly be explained away as novelty inflatables, others displayed movement patterns which makes this explanation extremely unlikely. I hope that Peter decides to keep in touch, if so this report may be updated with any further sightings he has going forward.
Copyright Dave Hodrien 2014