Birmingham UFO Group Case Report
Author: Dave Hodrien Release Date: 02/11/2019
Paul Southey is one of the Chairmen of Spectral Ghostseekers, a paranormal investigation group which has been running for 11 years. In recent years his group have been interested in the subject UFOs because of the cross-over between the world of ufology and the world of ghosts – the paranormal activity often reported by experiencers following ET contact.
On Saturday 28th September I was invited to speak at a paranormal-focused market day known as the Supernatural Fayre. In addition to my talk I also ran a live UFO investigation desk. Spectral Ghostseekers have attended numerous BUFOG meetings in the past, but this gave Paul the ideal opportunity to discuss a fascinating sighting he and a friend experienced at Rendlesham Forest, the location of the infamous series of UFO incidents in December 1980.
Paul and his friend Tim visited the forest in Tim’s car on Friday 7th September 2018. It was a warm and sunny day. As it was their first time at the forest they parked on the visitor’s car park and walked the UFO trail which leads to various locations linked with the events from 1980.
At around 4.45pm they were walking along one of the trails on their way back to the car when they suddenly both heard and felt a very strong sub-bass frequency. The noise lasted for several seconds and was quite loud and the vibrations could be felt in the air. It stopped abruptly and both witnesses were puzzled by what had just occurred. They initially thought that it must be a HGV on a nearby road, but Paul checked their location on his mobile phone GPS and they found they were nowhere near any roads. They waited for about 10 minutes to see if the sound would occur again but it did not, so in the end they continued their journey back to the car.
After dark at around 10.30pm they returned to the forest. Tim parked in the car park a little further up the road and made their way to the fence at the edge of Capel Green, the farmer’s field in which a UFO landing took place back in 1980 that was witnessed by numerous military personnel. They spent several hours sky watching at the location. It was a very clear and still night, with the stars fully visible overhead. Only distant aircraft and satellites were observed. At around 12.45am a low mist began to appear so they decided to call it a night.
They walked back to the car and left the forest with Tim at the wheel, heading West along Woodbridge Road towards the hotel they had booked for the night. They purposely drove slowly at around 20mph in the hopes of yet seeing something unusual. It was very dark as there are no streetlights on that stretch of road.
In the distance ahead of them they suddenly noticed what at first appeared to be bright white car headlights coming down a hill. However they were positioned quite high above their position at an angle of about 30 degrees. Paul said to Tim “That’s a big hill!” Tim turned to him and said “There’s no hills around here, that’s why it’s an army base!” Puzzled by this Paul asked “So what’s that light?”
Tim provided a written statement which covers what happened next.
“As soon as we spotted it, it moved from a stationary position above the road quickly down and to the right putting itself behind a clump of trees. The road curved gradually to the right and we sped up to try and catch up with the light. As we came around the curve in the road the light came back up above the tree- line and moved quickly back cross the road dropping down to the left and behind more trees. We could see its glow through the trees before it dropped out of sight completely.
We took another bend in the road at roughly 40 mph and caught sight of the light as it crossed from left to right in front of us again, before dropping behind the treeline to our right. It appeared to have moved back away from our position during this time and was maybe a quarter to half a mile away and dimmer than when we first saw it.
Paul had by this time got his phone camera primed and was hanging out of the passenger side window. He managed to get a few seconds of footage as it passed back across the road from right to left and again further distant than when we had last seen it. That was the last we saw of it.”
Below is the footage which Paul took on his phone:
Transcript of the video:
P: Oh what if that was a meteorite coming down or something?
P: What if that was a meteorite?
T: No chance.
P: I can’t even tell which side of the road that was coming down you know? There it is! Got it! I’ve got it on my camera. Shit, it’s gone behind the fucking thing!
T: It’s moving.
P: It is, but far ain’t picking it it up.
The light is clearly visible on the video but Paul says the footage does not do it justice and it looked far brighter to the naked eye.
In order to discount the idea that the light had been caused by a reflection of their own headlights Paul decided to retrace their route. He turned the car around and began driving back down towards the turn off to Rendlesham Forest at around 15mph, with a view to then turning back round to see if the light would come back. By now it was about 1.30am.
About 60 yards before reaching the turning for the forest they noticed an old man coming towards them on the opposite side of the road riding a bicycle. He was wearing what looked like a dark blue jumpsuit and was cycling very slowly. The bicycle the man was riding appeared to be very old-fashioned and had a very small light strapped to the front of it. Both witnesses stared at him through the car window thinking “Why is he on a dark country lane with only a single light on at one thirty in the morning?” As they drove on past, the old man never acknowledged them he was just staring straight ahead.
Witness drawing of the man on the bicycle:
When they reached the forest car park Tim once again turned the car round and started to drive back along Woodbridge Road. Unsurprisingly they did not see the white light again. But what was far more confusing was that the man on the bicycle had completely vanished. They drove for several miles along the road but there was no sign of him. This was of course particularly spooky due to the type of bicycle he had been riding, and both men wondered whether they had encountered a ghostly apparition.
Below is Tim’s recollection of the cyclist:
“Around a half mile from the car park we suddenly saw an old gent dressed in an old boiler suit and riding a very old- fashioned pushbike coming down the road towards us. I slowed even further to around 10mph, and he passed us on the opposite side of the road without even glancing at us. This struck us as odd, but given what we’d seen 15 minutes earlier it didn’t register as how odd immediately.
We carried on to the car park, turned round immediately and headed back. The journey time back to the same spot where we’d seen the old gentlemen took around two minutes. There was no sign of him along the road, despite carrying on for several miles.”
The following day they drove back along Woodbridge Road to look for hidden turn offs which the man could have used. While there were no side roads for a number of miles, there were numerous forest paths which he could have conceivably decided to use (although you would have to ask why).
Paul also E-Mailed a local UFO group and reported the sighting. They responded saying that other people had also reported seeing something. Paul never received further details of these other sightings, but it appears that there may have been additional witnesses.
It’s fascinating that what sparked Paul’s interest in going to Rendlesham Forest were the links between ufology and the paranormal, and when he went there he may have seen a UFO and a ghost on the same night! The white light observed and apparently filmed by Paul was interesting. Although it was far too distant to confirm as something anomalous, the extremely fast manoeuvre it was seen to perform suggests it was something highly unusual rather than a normal aircraft or LED balloon. It was also too prominent to be a drone, this is something which was considered by Paul in his discussion with me. It is a shame that these extreme manoeuvres were not caught on film as this would have made the video footage more compelling.
The encounter with the elderly cyclist is very spooky. While it was of course possible for a local man to be out cycling in the middle of the night, the way in which he vanished without trace is both intriguing and un-settling. Could this really have been an apparition haunting the road that leads down to the forest entrance? Or was it just someone out after dark who decided to then leave the road along one of the numerous paths at some point giving the appearance that they had vanished? Maybe there have already been other sightings of the cyclist we are yet to learn about, or will be other sightings in due course. Only time will tell.
Copyright Dave Hodrien 2019