Updated: May 19
Birmingham UFO Group Report
Author: Dave Hodrien
Release Date: 18/05/2023
Note: For reasons of anonymity pseudonyms have been used and certain locations have not been mentioned
I have previously investigated two sightings by a man who I have named “Simon”. These are written up as separate case reports, the links to which can be found at the end of this report.
In January 2023 he got back in touch with me via Whatsapp to report a third incident which he witnessed in 2014. This incident seemed to involve a low altitude object with a very unusual appearance, and possible military involvement. This report documents the bizarre series of events in depth.
Back in 2014 Simon rented an art studio which was part of a complex of buildings at a farm near a small village in Staffordshire (precise location provided but not disclosed here). The farm was owned by an elderly couple who were partially sighted, and in exchange for the rental costs he used to drive them places when required.
On the morning of either 12th February or 8th April, one of the farm owners, “Margaret”, asked him to drive her to Kidderminster to see her aunt who was in a retirement home. Unfortunately Simon can’t recall which of these two specific dates it was, he is just aware that it was one of them.
They set off on the journey at around 11am in Margaret’s old Volvo V70. It was a clear and sunny morning but quite cold. The journey time took just over an hour. They had made the journey several times before but every time would take a different route, it was not the most straightforward place to reach from their location.
After remaining with Margaret’s aunt till around 1 pm they then began their journey back to the farm. At 1.20 pm they were travelling North West along a rural stretch of road between Kidderminster and Bridgnorth. Unfortunately, despite actively searching for it on numerous occasions and doing a thorough search on Google Maps, Simon has been unable to locate the road so is unaware of its name.
It was a straight stretch of road with trees and bushes either side, with occasional gaps through which the surrounding fields were visible. It was not particularly busy, but there were other vehicles travelling in both directions.
As he drove along, he noticed several helicopters circling over the road about half a mile ahead of them. They appeared to be at very low altitude, no higher than 100 feet up. Margaret is partially-sighted, and Simon brought them to her attention, asking “Can you see what I’m looking at Margaret?” She replied “Yes, what are they doing?”
As they got closer Simon realised that they were black without any markings. Each had the side door slid open, and visible through the open doorway of each sat a single man. They were each dressed in a beige coloured uniform with black boots, balaclava-like head piece and rubber ear protectors. Each held an automatic rifle positioned downwards in the safety position. One of the men had a circular megaphone-like device strapped to his chest.
As they drove under the helicopters Simon noted that he could not hear their rotor blades at all, despite being in quite close proximity. He looked either side of the road to see if he could work out what they were doing in the area.
They happened to be driving past a gap in the hedgerow on the left side of the road. When he glanced to his left past Margaret in the passenger seat, he was able to see what was in the local vicinity. He only managed to see for a brief time before the view was once again blocked by the hedgerow, but Simon says that what he saw “will stay with him for the rest of his life.”
There was a open grass-covered field, about 300 yards wide, beyond which was a dense copse of deciduous trees, which were about 45 feet high. But beyond these trees was a large and very peculiar object. It seemed to be airborne and slowly descending, with the lower part hidden from view behind the treetops.
Due to its appearance, he immediately assumed it was some kind of aerial vehicle. It appeared to be about 400 yards (365 metres long). It was split into three distinct sections. The main body of the object was roughly rectangular in shape. But attached to this by a short circular neck was a spherical section. He assumed this was the front of the vehicle, like a cockpit area.
Around this sphere was what appeared to be three bands of continuous windows, one around the centre, with another both above and below. These windows seemed to be made out of dark glass and nothing could be seen through them. The top and bottom sections of the sphere were yellow in colour, but the sections splitting the three bands of windows were black. All sections were shiny and reflective, like painted metal.
The neck which linked the sphere to the main body of the object looked like a series of circular black-coloured rings which slowly expanded.
The main body of the object was covered in different sections at different levels of depth, with some other smaller rows of windows at various locations across it. Like the sphere, the main section was also a mix of black and yellow colours, and looked quite complex in its structure. It was titled at a slight angle with the spherical section at the lower end, suggesting that it was coming in to land.
Simon had never seen anything like it before in his life! He was absolutely awestruck by what he was looking at. Unfortunately he only managed to glimpse the object for a few seconds before it was lost behind the hedgerow again. Margaret was distracted by the helicopters and did not appear to have noticed it. Simon did not immediately tell her about what he had just seen as he did not want to frighten her.
Now you may be wondering why at this moment he did not stop the car to continue observing the object. When I asked him this exact question, he informed me that there were a number of reasons for why he didn’t stop. Firstly there was no hard shoulder and embankments on either side, so there was nowhere safe to pull over. There were other vehicles behind him on the road, and he didn’t want to hold up the traffic, this could have even been dangerous and resulted in a pile up. He had Margaret in the car with him and felt responsible for her safety. Lastly, he felt a little threatened by the presence of the helicopters with armed men on board.
He continued driving, thinking about what he had just witnessed. About a mile on there was a lay-by and he was able to pull over. However this was still surrounded by an embankment and he was unable to see the surrounding area. He could just make out the helicopters in the distance still circling. At this point he decided to tell Margaret about what he had seen.
Once he was back at the farm and was able to check on his computer he looked at a website which confirmed that there had been no aircraft in the area at the time of the sighting. Obviously due to its appearance he did not think it was not a normal aircraft of any kind, but he decided to check anyway. This also confirmed that the military helicopters he had seen were untracked. He searched online for any planned military activities but could not find anything.
The following day he was standing in the courtyard of the farm with Margaret discussing what had taken place. They then heard the sound of rotor blades. Looking up they saw what appeared to be a single helicopter of the same type they had seen the previous day hovering motionless in the sky. It had a disc-shaped device of some kind attached to the front of it. This one was flying at a higher altitude than the others had been, around 300 feet.
After a few minutes they watched it fly away into the distance. After their discussion, Simon again checked for aircraft in the area on his computer but once more nothing came up, so the helicopter was again untracked.
A number of weeks later he once again brought up the incident with Margaret in discussion. He was amazed to find that she could barely recollect what had taken place. He says that this was not at all like her, and despite her age she could usually remember details of incidents very clearly indeed. But for some reason she had almost entirely forgotten about seeing the helicopters over the road or what he had said about the strange object.
This is a very unusual sighting and Simon clearly witnessed something out of the ordinary. There are of course many questions regarding what took place. What could the object have been? Was the presence of the helicopters directly related to this object? If the object was not mundane, was this a military intercept or a pre-arranged event which they knew was going to occur? Was the helicopter seen the following day over the farm spying on him because its pilots were aware that he was a witness?
First let’s discuss the object itself. I did initially wonder whether the object could have been something on the ground rather than in the air, such as a temporary construction, perhaps for a movie set. However Simon confirmed that in the few seconds he observed it for he actually saw it descending. When he first spotted it the base of the sphere could be seen above the trees. Several seconds later this had disappeared from view, and due to the short length of road which he drove along in that time I highly doubt this was due to a change in viewing angle. Therefore I believe unusual buildings, temporary or otherwise, can be discounted as the explanation.
It was clearly not a normal aircraft of any kind, civilian or military. No aeroplanes or helicopters look anything like what was witnessed, and Simon also confirmed that there had been no tracked aircraft in the vicinity at the time.
360 Radar confirms that the area does fall within controlled airspace, and does not lie within any airways, which decreases the possibility of the object being an untracked aircraft of some kind:
It was much too large to be a radio controlled model, drone or novelty balloon. Could it have been a much larger inflatable object? It had a very specific and unusual structure which tends to put the idea of it being a blimp out of the question. However there is a possibility that it was some kind of novelty hot air balloon just coming in to land behind the copse of trees. Simon said that it certainly appeared to be solid and metallic, however this explanation cannot be entirely ruled out, especially given the unusual shape, colouration and the fact that no extreme flight manoeuvres were observed.
It seems likely that the helicopters were military in origin due to their colour, lack of markings and the armed individuals sitting inside them. If the object really was nothing more than a hot air balloon then they would of course have had no interest in it.
There is also the individual helicopter of the same type observed the following day by the witnesses in the vicinity of the farm. Was the disc-shaped device attached to the front a listening device, and if so was this helicopter actively monitoring what Simon was saying about the object? They may have been able to find out the address the car was registered at and then approached to listen in to conversations.
However if this was the case why wait until the following day to do so, surely they could have determined the address much sooner? Perhaps, like the helicopters over the road, it was merely a coincidence.
On 20th April 2023 I raised a Freedom Of Information Request with the Ministry Of Defence to inquire as to whether any military exercises were taking place on either of the two known dates/times. On 17th May they came back with an official response:
As you can see, the MOD claims that there were no military exercises taking place in the area which took place in the area at the dates/times provided by the witness . They suggested that the helicopters may instead have come from the civilian helicopter training school or police helicopter base at Wolverhampton Half Penny Green Airport.
The fact the helicopters contained armed men means the first of these possibilities can immediately be discounted.
Using Wayback Machine, a website which allows you to view previous saved versions of webpages, I checked a 2014 version of the the Aircraft FAQ page of the National Police Air Service (NPAS) website:
As you can see, the page confirms that back in 2014 NPAS had a fleet of MD902's, a fleet of Eurocopter EC135's and a single EC145. When privately owned it is possible for these helicopter types to be painted in a range of colours, including black. For example here is a photograph of a black coloured MD902:
However the FAQ confirms that all of the NPAS helicopters had the standard police navy and yellow colours back in 2014, so their MD902's would have looked like this:
The above checks suggest that the helicopters which the witness observed could not have been civilian or NPAS.
It should be noted that although the helicopters appeared to be unmarked, the colours of the UFO itself were somewhat similar to police helicopter colours - mostly dark but with bright yellow sections. This might imply that it was police-owned, but if so I have no idea what it could have been.
If the object really was some kind of advanced craft, then it is an extremely unusual one. I have never investigated nor heard of any other cases involving a similar shaped craft. If it was, then the pilots of the helicopters must have been aware of its presence, and were potentially there to ensure that nobody stopped or approached it, or were even actively trying to provide a distraction for passing drivers so they wouldn’t spot it in the first place.
It is disappointing that Simon is unable to determine the precise location where the incident took place. He says that this has been extremely frustrating. He visited the area about a year after the incident took place to see if he could track down where it happened, but after driving along all of the main roads between Kidderminster and Bridgnorth he could not find the stretch of road they were on at the time. He tried again in 2020 but again failed to find the location, which confuses him greatly.
One thing I feel sure of is that Simon observed something that day. This does not come across as a fabricated story, the details provided are too unusual and specific.
This is not the only UFO sighting Simon has experienced. As I stated at the start of the report, there are two other sightings of his which I have previously investigated. The first is a sighting of a disc-shaped UFO in 1978 witnessed by him and his wife at the time. Click here to go to the report on this. The second is a Flying Triangle sighting he witnessed in 2012. To go to the case report on this click here.
Copyright Dave Hodrien 2023