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1975 - Croxton, Staffordshire - Stretched Rugby Ball UFO Sighting

Updated: Jan 31, 2023

Birmingham UFO Group Case Report

Author: Ian Jones

Release Date: 29/01/2023

Last Updated: 30/01/2023

Tim Quick is a member of BUFOG Truthseekers Facebook community group. He made contact to say he had a sighting, which got him interested in the subject.

The sighting: Occurred in 1975. Tim was 8 years old.

The time of year: June or July.

The place: Close to Croxton, a small village in Staffordshire, UK, between Loggerheads and Eccleshall, on the B5026. In a pub car park.

Aerial map of Croxton (A), Loggerheads (B) and Eccleshall (C)

The time of day: Dusk.

The weather: Fine, warm and no clouds in the sky. Tim says it was a nice summer’s evening, very calm and quiet.


Tim’s original, brief report, says:

“My mother, cousin, nan, aunty saw it, it was at a place called Croxton on the Shropshire, Staffs border not far from Eccleshall, this was when you could drink and drive my father took us out in the car grandfather and family, pulled up at a pub, now a private house, father and grandfather went in the pub for a drink!”

The Sighting

“The rest of us were sitting in the car when my mother said ‘Bloody hell what is that?’ It looked like it took off from about 300 yards away, looked like a stretched out rugby ball very bright same colour of a light bulb, it came right over the car very low.

I ran in the car shouting get in the car but my rest of family were watching it go over us, it shit me up I tell you, I’ll never forget it!

Then it disappeared over the trees!”

More Details

I discussed the sighting with Tim and he was able to provide more details about what happened that evening. After Tim’s mum shouted out to the others in the car, everyone got out and looked up at the object.

Tim thinks it may have risen up from behind a wooded area in the distance (see on the map). At first, Tim says they thought that it might be landing close to them and his mum shouted to him to get back into the car for safety.

He describes it as “light-bulb white” in colour, so bright that it hurt his eyes to look at it directly. The light seemed to come from inside the object, and was not a reflection from the sun. There was also a low, humming, whining sound as it moved over them. Tim reckons it was about 300 to 400 metres high as it flew over their car. The underside was visible and Tim says he couldn’t see any windows, or other details on it.

He estimates it was at least 40ft long and 20ft tall, like a stretched out rugby ball and moved in a straight line. It’s speed was no more than 25 to 30 mph. He thinks that it may have been visible for about 5 minutes altogether.

There is a small, wooded area is to the North of where the pub was, and the object headed in a South-East direction, disappearing from view behind some trees, towards Eccleshall. Tim says at the time he wondered whether it was searching for something.

There was no-one else around at the time and no cars went past the pub.

Sighting location (ringed) & wooded area (X)


Tim says he was scared when this happened. His mum and the others in the car were shocked. They told his dad and grandad about it when they emerged from the pub, but it was not taken too seriously by them. He doesn’t think the incident was mentioned much afterwards in the family and he has not discussed it with anyone before.

Since then, Tim says he has had no further sightings, or other unusual experiences, although he has a telescope and enjoys looking at the night sky.


Based on the reactions of Tim and his family members in the car, they definitely saw something they found surprising/shocking that evening. However, most of those who were present are no longer alive, and he says his cousin has only a vague memory of something happening that day. There is, therefore, no way to corroborate this account.

Tim did not remember the name of the pub, which is not surprising given his age at the time, but it was called the Vernon Yonge Arms. It later changed to be an Indian restaurant and is now a private house.

Vintage photograph of the Vernon Yonge Arms

The small copse from where the object seemed to rise up behind is of ancient origin and is still there, in the middle of a large agricultural area devoted to mixed crops and dairy farming. The straight-line distance from that copse to the pub is between half and one kilometre.

There are no houses, or industrial developments, in the direction of the copse and beyond it, including small airstrips.

The only real possibilities for any military explanation would involve RAF Tern Hill 9 miles to the West, or the Swynnerton Training Camp, about 5 miles to the East. This was a Royal Ordnance Factory, dealing with munitions, during World War Two and until 1958. Since then, it has been a Military Training Camp. There has never been an airstrip there.

Aerial map showing the sighting location (A), RAF Tern Hill (B) and Swynnerton Training Camp (C)

Newcastle-under-Lyme is the nearest large settlement and is about 25 miles away to the North East, while Stoke-on-Trent is about 5 miles further away in the same direction.

To the South East, Stafford is about 11 miles away. Over 35 miles away there is the Whittington Military Barracks, which during the 1970s provided basic training for new army recruits.

Telford is over 20 miles to the South West.

This seems to be an area of the country that has not changed much over the years.


This is an historical sighting from nearly 50 years ago, so it is impossible to research the case in depth, but it is interesting and should be recorded.

Given that Tim and the others saw this object up close and the description of this object as being an elongated rugby ball shape, and the relatively slow speed at which it moved, it was not an aircraft. The type of noise it made also rules out any sort of helicopter. Balloons do not have bright white lights in the way described and drones were not invented in the 1970s.

There are no indications of weather-related possibilities, such as ball lightning, and certainly no astronomical events would explain this sighting.

There are no alternatives that I can think of to explain what this object could have been.

Therefore, my conclusion is that it was an Unidentified Flying Object (UFO), or to use a more recent term an Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon (UAP).

Copyright Ian Jones 2023



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