Birmingham UFO Group Case Report
Author: Dave Hodrien
Release Date: 24/05/2022
On 10th May 2022 I was contacted via phone by a man named Gary Hodgkins who reported to me that on the previous morning he had seen something unusual in the sky near to his house in Wolverhampton. This report covers what took place.
At 4.20am on the morning of 9th May Gary left his house on Wenlock Avenue, Wolverhampton, to drive to work. The sun had just come up and it was a bright and clear morning, with only very light cloud. Due to the time there were very few other vehicles or pedestrians in the vicinity.
As he pulled out of the driveway he noticed an object with a white light and a red light on in the distance to the North East. Initially he assumed it was an Air Ambulance helicopter. It was moving slowly across the sky in a Westerly direction and appeared to be a couple of miles away, and at an altitude of about 300 feet.
He set off on his journey, travelling along Wenlock Avenue, and turning left onto Trysull Road. As he drove North East along Trysull Road he could see the object in the distance ahead of him.
He noted that the object was now hovering motionless in the sky. He could also see it more clearly now. The main body of the object was dark in colouration and was rhomboid in shape, with a defined shorter section at the top. There was a white light to the left of it and a red light to the right of it. It seemed to be about the size of a small passenger plane. He thought it looked odd and was convinced at this stage that it was not a helicopter after all.
As he reached the traffic lights at the junction with Birches Barn Road he temporarily lost sight of the object behind some trees.
30 seconds later as he turned right onto Birches Barn Road he decided it was time to attempt to capture the object on his mobile phone camera. He pulled up at the side of the road and looked into the sky, fully expecting to once again see the object. However it had completely disappeared. This was confusing as there was very little cloud it could have vanished behind.
He waited a minute to see if the object would reappear. When it did not he got back in his car and continued his drive to work.
This is an unusual sighting with some interesting aspects to it. Rhomboid shaped objects are not often reported. There was clearly something present in the sky which appears to have been physical rather than meteorological.
Due to the colours of the lights on the object, combined with its movement patterns I did wonder whether it could have been a distant helicopter or aircraft. Red and white are two of the standard navigation light colours. Below is a drawing showing the standard navigation lights of both light aircraft and helicopters:
The object was travelling from right to left in the sky, which means that if it did have a green light on the right side it may have been hidden from view. No white or red strobe lights were observed, but it would be possible for the white light to have been a white landing light, with the red light positioned to the right.
Regarding the manoeuvres observed, helicopters can of course hover motionless, and if a plane turns to fly either away from or towards a particular location it can sometimes appear to have come to a halt.
That said, Flight Radar 24 confirms that there were no tracked aircraft over Wolverhampton around that time period:
Of course not all aircraft have transponders and are tracked. However 360 radar confirms that the area does not lie within any airways, and also that it is within controlled airspace. This reduces the possibility of it being an untracked aircraft:
In addition to this, Gary assured me that he is very familiar with how both helicopters and aeroplanes look at a distance and does not think this could explain what he observed. If it was not an aircraft, what else could it have been? The object sounds too large to be a drone, it was quite far away and therefore must have been quite sizeable. A lit inflatable of some kind, like an advertising balloon, cannot be entirely ruled out, although it seems unlikely due to how rare lit inflatables are combined with the time the sighting took place.
The way in which the object vanished in a clear sky does not really fit with any of these explanations. Granted, the witness did lose sight of it for half a minute, so it was not an instant disappearance, but it is still an interesting aspect which needs to be taken into consideration.
As with many UFO sightings, the object observed remains a mystery. Whether you feel that it must have been a distant aircraft or inflatable, despite the evidence to the contrary, is going to be down to your own personal interpretation of the incident.
Due to the time of morning that the sighting occurred, the chance of other witnesses is reduced. However it is possible that it was observed from elsewhere. If you have any information regarding the object please contact BUFOG.
Copyright Dave Hodrien 2022