Updated: Aug 22, 2019
Birmingham UFO Group Case Report
Author: Dave Hodrien
Release Date: 06/01/2019
In this day and age, many people have camera-enabled mobile phones to hand when they witness UFOs. Despite this, the number of videos/photographs captured remains quite low. This is because in most cases the object is sighted for too short a period of time, is too distant, is moving too fast or because the individual is so transfixed by the sighting that they forget to start the camera in the first place. However sometimes footage is captured by the witness which supports their statement. This is one such case.
On 23rd December 2018 Michael was visiting his friends Trish and Barbara on Fieldhead Close, Pontefract. They were sitting in the dining room having a late lunch. The room has a large South facing window. It was a very grey day outside, cold and still, with complete cloud cover. Every so often seagulls would swoop past the window.
Aerial map of Fieldhead Close:
At 2.37pm Michael noticed out of the corner of his eye what he initially thought were two gulls. Glancing towards the window, he watched as one of the birds quickly flew out of sight like usual. However the second one remained. He quickly realised that it was something else entirely. The object was situated towards the South East in the direction of Darrington, and was heading towards the house. It appeared to be at an altitude of approximately 1300-1500 feet. There was some kind of movement around the edges of the object, which is why it had initially appeared to be a bird.
Michael leant forward to have a better look. He pointed the object out to Trish and Barbara exclaiming “What’s that up there?” The ladies also began to watch the object. Trish responded “I don’t know, what is that?” Barbara asked “Is that a helicopter?” Michael got up and approached the window. At this point he noted that the object was circular in shape. He could see it silhouetted against the sky. Confused by what he was looking at he exclaimed “That’s a sphere!” The ladies agreed, replying “Yeah it is!”. However the object then began to change and began to look more flattened in shape. Michael quickly realised that the object was a smooth disc which was constantly rotating on two axis. It also appeared to be very large in size. Michael estimated that it was approximately 100 metres across (the length of a football field). It was no more than 3 miles away from them but was definitely moving in their direction.
After watching the object for about a minute, Michael opened the patio door and stepped outside. He then got out his Nokia 8110 camera phone and began to record the object. As it got closer to within a mile of the house, it began to turn. As it turned it began to reflect the light differently and he realised it was metallic in colour.
Michael's drawing of the UFO:
The object continued to turn on a smooth arc until it was heading South towards Carleton. Michael filmed it until he felt it could not longer be seen by the camera. He, Trish and Barbara then continued to watch it until it had vanished from sight into the distance still performing the same rotating motion. In total the sighting had lasted for about 3 minutes.
Aerial map showing the estimated path of the UFO:
Later in the day Michael checked on the Yorkshire & Lincolnshire radar tracking website www.donnyradar.co.uk to see if the object had been recorded. However the site only shows live tracking, it does not allow you to view tracking information from a previous date or time.
In early January I contacted Trish and Barbara via phone to discuss the sighting. Below are their statements.
Trish: “It was a very grey sky. The object was like a cylinder or round thing. It wasn’t anything like anything we would normally see. We are used to seeing helicopters and planes in the sky, this was quite different. It was clearly under control rather than drifting. I’m not sure if it was rotating or not. I watched it for about a minute before returning to my dinner.”
Barbara: “It was quite a way off and looked and moved funny. It definitely wasn’t a helicopter, plane or bird. It didn’t move like a helicopter and had no lights on it. One minute it was round and then it looked more like a cylinder. It appeared like it was rotating. It didn’t look like what a balloon would do. It looked like it was under control rather than drifting. It remained in our sight for quite a while. I watched it for about 2-3 minutes, maybe longer.”
Below is the 1 minute 48 second long video which Michael filmed of the UFO:
At various points through the footage you can hear him speaking with Trish. The transcript for this is as follows:
T: I don't know.
T: In't one of them drones is it Michael?
M: No...What is that? Don't...I'm not sure if it's picking it up.
M: It's about there, so we should get that there.
M: Don't think it's picking it up.
Unfortunately, as you can see from the footage, the object is too distant to be clearly picked up by the camera. It is definitely something, but sadly due to the quality of the phone camera and the distance of the UFO not much detail can be made out.
Below is the best still of the object that I can obtain, a zoomed image of it, and a zoomed highlighted image of it. The still is taken from Michael’s first attempt to zoom in on the object with his camera at 25 seconds into the footage.
I believe the dark patch to the lower right of the object is just caused by pixellation. Despite the low sharpness it is possible to make out light catching the edge of the object, suggesting the shape of a curved disc as Michael described. This also suggests that the object has a reflective surface which would fit with the metallic description given.
This is an interesting sighting with lots of aspects worth discussing. Due to the fact there were multiple witnesses and the video recording it is clear that there was definitely an object of some kind present in the sky. It was clearly not a normal aeroplane, helicopter or drone of any kind. It could not have been a meteorite because of the length of the sighting and turn it performed. And with its unusual rotation motion and daylight flight over populated areas it is unlikely that it was some kind of secret military aircraft.
Although the object appeared black throughout most of the sighting, Michael feels sure that the object was metallic silver in colour due to the way it caught the light as it turned, as indicated by the still from the video footage. He has been employed as a welder so is familiar with how metal appears in different lighting conditions.
If it was indeed a mundane object, the most likely explanation would be a large inflatable or balloon. However there are a number of points which suggest this was not the case. It could not have been a solar airship, as these are cylindrical not disc-shaped. Michael has previously served as a Royal Marine for a number of years and is familiar with identifying aircraft at distance. When I suggested that the object may have been an inflatable drifting on air currents, Michael said that the rotation and turn that it performed were far too smooth and continuous to have been caused by drift. He certainly believes the object was under intelligent control. He is also convinced that the object was at least a hundred metres in size, which would put a novelty balloon and most advertisement inflatables out of the question. Although it is possible to mis-judge distance and therefore size of objects in the sky, due to Michael’s military background I feel the chance of this is greatly reduced.
It is a shame that the camera was unable to capture a more clearly defined image of the UFO. However if it was as large as it appeared to be and was under direct control then I feel this could well be a genuine sighting of an advanced craft, perhaps of extra-terrestrial origin. Due to the length of the sighting it is possible that other people may have also witnessed the object who are yet to come forward. I will keep you informed of any further developments.
Copyright Dave Hodrien 2019