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26/04/2009 - Netherton, Dudley - Unidentified Lights Sighting

Birmingham UFO Group Case Report

Author: Dave Hodrien

Release Date: 17/02/2013

Note: For reasons of anonymity pseudonyms have been used

Sighting Details

It was around 11pm on 26th April 2009. Steve, who was 33 at the time, was on his way back home and walking along Baptist End Road. It was a dry, clear and relatively still evening. He glanced to his left across an area of allotment plots to the East , which afforded him a brief unobstructed view of the night sky.

Aerial map of Baptist End Road showing the sighting location:

It was now that he noticed a yellow light in the distance with smaller red pulsing lights close to it. It appeared to be at low altitude, between 50-100 metres in the air. Steve estimates it was about 500-600 metres from his location. At this point the main yellow light was bright enough to draw attention, but could easily have been dismissed as a helicopter. All the lights were moving very slowly to the North.

Witness drawing showing the surroundings and position of the lights:

Photograph of the sighting location:

A moment later a couple of teenagers on bikes came out of a nearby alleyway. They paid no notice of Steve, but looking in the direction of the lights one of them asked the other “Is that it again?” His curiosity heightened, Steve looked back at the lights. At this moment the yellow light flared up extremely brightly and appeared to triple in size, although this could have been due to the brightness. It was like a glowing yellow street lamp in the sky. The two teenagers said to Steve that they had seen it over the local reservoir and that it had split into two lights which headed off in separate directions. They sounded sincere and did not appear to be joking.

Aerial map showing the sighting location (A) and the reservoir (B):

Steve decided to run back home to get his father so he too could see the object. As he ran, he tried to keep track of the lights in the sky, although they were largely obscured from view by buildings. About five minutes later he met up with his father who was out walking the dog. The lights were now a bit closer, perhaps 100 metres closer than they had initially been. It could now be seen a little clearer, and looked like a bright yellow light, with a red orb-like light behind it and a small red flashing light. The lights appeared to be connected to a single object which could not be seen due to the night sky. Going on the estimated distance, this object appeared to be about twice the size of a helicopter. It was completely silent.

They both watched the object as it approached and flew past their location about 100 metres away from them. Steve’s dad did not seem to believe the object was anything unusual, and kept repeating “It’s just a helicopter, it’s just a helicopter.” Suddenly the object made an abrupt 45 degree turn and started flying away from Baptist End Road. Steve ran up the hill to get a better vantage point, but the lights were lost from sight. Out of interest, Steve noted later on that the object had moved off in the direction of a nearby radio mast.

Before coming to BUFOG, Steve initially posted details of the incident on the UK UFO Sightings website. You can have a read of this report here

Sighting Analysis

This is a very interesting sighting, and there are numerous aspects which point towards it being something unusual. Many sightings of glowing lights after dark turn out to be nothing more than Chinese lanterns. Although only lights were seen during the incident, they flew together and appeared to be attached to a single object. They did not drift but maintained the same pattern throughout. The sudden flare up of the main yellow light is also not consistent with lanterns. While the flame in lanterns can sometimes increase in brightness, it would then tend to die back down again, not remain consistently bright for the remainder of the sighting. The sudden sharp turn that the lights were seen to perform suggests it was an object under direct control rather than drifting on air currents. Steve is familiar with how lanterns look at a distance and says that they look nothing like what he saw that night.

Could the object have been a helicopter or other aircraft, civilian or military? Lights on aircraft can sometimes seem to flare up extremely brightly as they change angle or distance. However this explanation seems unlikely due to the fact that it was completely silent, even at relatively close proximity to the witnesses. Steve says that he has since seen helicopters at the same distance that the object was believed to be at, and they can be easily heard. The sudden sharp turn that the object performed was not consistent with an aeroplane; it did not bank as it turned. It should be noted that the lighting configuration seen does not fit in with normal aircraft or helicopter navigation lights.

We must also take into consideration what the two teenagers said. They described seeing the object split into two and head off in different directions. This does not sound in any way normal behaviour for Chinese lanterns, an aircraft, or any other mundane aerial object. Can what they said be trusted? Steve believes they were just as surprised and intrigued by the lights that he was. He did not feel that they were joking in any way when they quoted this.

Unfortunately Steve is no longer in contact with his father, and does not know who the teenagers on the bikes were, so we only have his testimonial evidence to go on. However I have no the incident took place as he describes, and appears to have involved an unusual flying object under intelligent control.

The object was seen for a lengthy period of time, so there may well have been other witnesses. If you have any information on this sighting or believe you saw it too, please get in touch.

Copyright Dave Hodrien 2013



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