Updated: Jun 10, 2021
Birmingham UFO Group Case Report
Author: Dave Hodrien
Release Date: 07/06/2021
Last Updated: 10/06/2021
On the evening of 4th June 2021 BUFOG member Mark, 50 years old, got in touch with me via Facebook Messenger to report a UFO sighting which he and his father had just experienced over Northfield, Birmingham. In the following days I spoke with Mark about the incident and analysed the footage which was sent to me directly.
After releasing the report online, three other independent witnesses came forward on Facebook to state that they had also seen the same object. I spoke with one of these witnesses in depth, another briefly, and am awaiting contact from the third.
Sighting 1 - Kingshurst Road
At 5.09pm on 4th June 2021 Mark and his father Dave were in the back garden of their house on Kingshurst Road in Northfield, Birmingham. Dave was sat at a table while Mark was up a ladder fixing the guttering on the rear of the house. It was a hot, still and sunny evening with partial cloud cover.
Mark had just come down off the ladder when Dave exclaimed “You want to see that up there!” Looking to the North North East at an elevation of about 80 degrees he saw what appeared to be a highly reflective spherical shaped object travelling slowly across the sky. It seemed to be at quite a high altitude up, just lower than the clouds. Mark wondered what it could be. It did not have the appearance of a plane or helicopter and appeared to be completely silent. It also seemed too high up and large to be a drone.
Aerial map of Kingshurt Road indicating the direction the UFO was observed in:
Mark ran inside to grab his Samsung Galaxy S7 smartphone. Returning outside the object was still visible, moving on a slow course to the East. He zoomed in on the object attempting to get a better look at it. The course of the object was not level or continuous, it would meander and also alter its speed. He and Dave continued to watch the object.
After watching for about a minute it seemed to slow down to a halt, and then begin slowly reversing direction heading back towards the West. Soon after this Mark lost sight of the object on the camera. He stopped filming at this point, but continued to watch for a further 15 minutes to see if it reappeared.
Second Witness Statement
Mark sent me an audio recording of his dad describing in his own words what he recollects taking place. The transcript of this recording is as follows:
“I was sat outside, cloudless sky, and I seen this coming like a bird, a very…very high. I thought it was a bird at first, it seemed ever so high and small and I thought ‘Blimey that’s high!’ Then it was coming from like the East. Then slowly, and then all of a sudden, it started like flashing off the sun and I thought ‘That can’t be a bird, it’s got to be a plane.’ And then it suddenly like stopped, and then started like floating, seemed like hovering or floating, whatever it was, and then it like started moving down South way, and all of a sudden it got…there were clouds coming up then, and all of a sudden it was like inside the clouds, and I thought…I couldn’t believe what I was watching! When Mark came out I said to him ‘You want to see that up there.’ Ever so funny, I’ve never seen anything like it, and I even thought about it could be a balloon but it couldn’t have been a balloon because it was flashing off the sun, you know. There was no particular shape, that’s why at first I thought it was a bird. Then I thought it was a plane. That was the…but being so far up in the sky I couldn’t make out what it was, you know. It was ever so funny. It was really high, you know.”
Below is the footage Mark shot on his smartphone:
As you can see, the footage shows what the witnesses reported, a spherical/oval shaped object which is highly reflecting the sunlight. However it is possible that this apparent shape is due to the distance and the reflective glare, it may not actually be this shape.
Mark first captures the UFO on camera at 3 seconds into the footage:
He initially finds it hard to keep it in the zoomed lens, so changes position before managing to locate it again at 38 seconds:
The object gradually moves on an Eastward course, sometimes meandering up and down rather than remaining precisely level. By 1 minute 38 it has slowed right down and is near stationary:
At 1 minute 57 seconds it slowly starting to move in a Westerly direction while slowly ascending:
At 2 minutes 53 seconds Mark loses sight of the object At this point it is very close to the edge of a cloud so it is possible it either enters this cloud or is hidden behind it:
At various points of the video white or dark coloured dots can be seen flying past the lens. These are very likely to be insects flying close to the camera. Here is a good example from 2 minutes 11 seconds:
Throughout the video the two witnesses can be heard speaking about the object. Below is a transcript of the audio of the video:
D: Where is it?
M: There! What is it up above?
D: Can’t see it. I can’t see it.
M: Strange in’it? Looks metallic!
M: Like a metallic looking thing in’it?
D: I can’t see it.
M: It’s ‘cause of the sun in my eyes I can’t zoom in.
D: Where abouts?
M: Above here. Right above us. Look there! Here!
D: Oh I can see it now!
M: What the hell is that?
D: That ain’t a plane!
M: It’s not a plane is it? It looks like it’s hanging about by there. What is that? It’s still now!
D: What it is?
M: I dunno.
D: Lost sight of it…
M: It’s in this cloud here. Right there. It’s just hangin’ in the cloud. Dunno what the hell that is! Trying to zoom in. It’s just hovering in the cloud ain’t it?
D: Still can’t see it.
M: Like a metallic…I dunno…a metallic ball or something in’it? That’s well high that is, in’it?
D: Still in the cloud is it?
M: Yeah it’s just stuck there.
D: I can’t see it.
M: I dunno.
D: Can you still see it?
M: I dunno. It’s the light in my eyes as well I mean it’s still there…it was there.
D: Wonder what it is.
M: I don’t know, but it’s like…oh there it is there look!
M: Just there between them…see if I can get it. Bloomin’ sun! It’s in my eyes. There.
D: It’s leaving the cloud?
M: There. I’m…it’s just there now. There.
D: Lost it whatever, I can’t see it at all.
M: Don’t even know if I…yeah.
Zoomed view of the UFO taken at 39 seconds, with and without edge find:
Zoomed view of the UFO taken at 71 seconds, with and without edge find:
Here is a stabilized section of the footage making it easier to see the slow movement of the object against the cloud:
Because Mark sent me the original video footage directly I was able to extract the metadata from it. Below is the first page of this metadata:
Note that the Create Date stated in the metadata is an hour before the time reported by the witness. I have seen similar anomalies with other video files. This is because the internal clock of the camera does not change with daylight savings, so at some points of the year it can be an hour off.
The GPS positioning of the phone is visible, and the metadata also confirms the footage was shot on an Android smartphone just as Mark reported.
Sighting 2 - Borrowdale Road
On 9th June Helen Bennet got in touch with me to confirm that she and her friend “Lisa” had also seen the object after coming across the case report on Facebook. I got in touch with her via Messenger audio chat to go over the details.
Helen says she cannot provide an exact time, but it was between 5-5.30pm. She and Lisa were in the back garden of her home on Barrowdale Road, approximately 1 mile West of Kingshurst Road. She looked up into the sky and happened to see an object glinting in the sky to the East. It was at a very high altitude up amongst the clouds and appeared to be travelling on a straight and level course slowly to the South.
At first she assumed the object was a large balloon, as it looked spherical to the naked eye, but it did not seem to be drifting up and down in the manner balloons would usually do. Helen is an avid sky watcher and owns some ran into the house and grabbed her Celestron binoculars to take a closer look at the object.
When she returned to the garden and looked at it through the binoculars she immediately exclaimed “Oh my god!” Helen says that it appeared to be a silver-coloured domed-disc shaped object with bright amber coloured lights around the central rim. There was no rotor blades, wings, tail or vapour trail. The sunlight would also occasionally catch the upper half of the object, but this looked distinctly different to the glowing lights around the middle.
It was very hard to judge the exact distance and therefore size of the object, but it certainly appeared very high up, which would have made it about the size of a small car. Helen says the movement was very direct and it certainly appeared to be a controlled craft rather than drifting balloon.
Lisa could not initially see the object due to poor eyesight, so Helen handed her the binoculars so she could observe it too. They took it in turns watching the object for up to 10 minutes as it slowly moved to the South, sometimes passing through or behind clouds. In the end it vanished into the distance. Helen says she did not see the object ascend or descend at all or change direction.
Helen had an Android smartphone on her at the time, but did not attempt to record the object as she was too amazed with looking at it through the binoculars. Later on in the evening she confirmed the direction the object had been travelling in using the Stellarium app on her smartphone.
Sighting 3 – Kitts Green
On 9th June a third witness, “Grace”, contacted me via Facebook to confirm that she too had seen something unusual in the sky on 4th June which she believed was the same object. I am still awaiting detailed information on this sighting but here is an initial statement from her:
“I sat watching that in my garden Kitts Green. B33. It was like a silver shiny object going above and around the clouds. I thought I was seeing things. I was trying to figure out what it was. It wasn't anything I have seen before but I'm just thinking maybe a drone. Don't know the time, it was sunny day time. But it was earlier than 5.09pm.”
I will add further details as they become available.
Looking at the video footage taken by Mark the object does not move like an aeroplane, these tend to continue on a straight course across the sky or perform gradual arcing turns. A distant helicopter reflecting sunlight would be capable of making the manoeuvres observed. However firstly the area does not lie within an airway, as confirmed on 360 Radar:
Also there were no tracked helicopters (or aeroplanes) in the area around the time of the incident, as seen on Flight Radar 24:
I checked for a period of time prior to and after the quoted time of the incident to allow for time discrepancies, and at various zoom levels. While not every aircraft is tracked on Flight Radar 24, the fact nothing showed up makes this explanation far less probable.
The slow manoeuvres of the object throughout the course of the video are not consistent with a distant bird, nor is there any sign of movement coming from it, so I feel this explanation can be discounted. While a drone is theoretically possible, the object filmed does seem to be at a very high altitude. If it is at the height it appears to be (which is backed up by the fact it seemingly vanishes into or behind cloud towards the end of the footage) then it would have to be quite large in size.
Of course none of the above explanations fit with what Helen described the object as looking like through binoculars. I initially felt the most probable explanation was a large inflatable of some kind, possibly silver or white and reflecting the sunlight. This was because the object does not perform any sudden manoeuvres which would indicate it was under control, it just gradually drifts. However Helen’s drawing of the object puts this explanation into question – what she has drawn looks more like a domed-disc shaped craft of some kind than a balloon.
We must also address the change in direction. Helen and her friend did not see this occur, probably because they were more distant from it and lost sight of it before it began to change course. At the time of the incident there was a 3 mph wind blowing to the East, as confirmed by Meteoblue historical data for Northfield:
Mark says that at ground level it seemed completely still, however at higher altitudes this may well have been present. All the witnesses report that the object was initially travelling to the East, and this can also be seen in the early part of the video footage. However at 1 min 28 secs into the video the object appears to slow down. At 1 min 48 secs it stops completely and then begins to travel in a South Western direction until Mark loses sight of it.
Therefore in this latter part of the video it appears to be travelling into the wind. It is entirely possible that there were numerous air currents at various points in the sky, and it just got caught in a different current. However another possibility is that the turn the object performed was intentional, and that it really was flying into the wind.
When Mark lost sight of it, it is possible that it was hidden from view behind a cloud, but due to the length of time he and Dave continued to look for it after he had stopped recording it seems more likely it moved out of visible range, in much the same way that it did for Helen.
It is unknown if the Kitts Green sighting is related or not at present. Kitts Green is on the other side of Birmingham, and Grace believes that her sighting happened prior to the other ones. The various witnesses from Northfield all confirm that the object was travelling Eastward from the West, not the other way around. Of course it is possible that the object was circling the area for a period of time, after all it changed direction towards the end of Mark's video footage. Hopefully once more details are received from Grace it may be possible to confirm whether or not it was a different object.
Based on the evidence currently available I feel that a large silver coloured inflatable cannot be entirely ruled out. However this has not yet been confirmed without question, and with the closer examination of the object by Helen and her friend there is certainly the possibility that this was an advanced craft of some kind.
Copyright Dave Hodrien 2021