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26/07/2008 to 03/10/2009 - Northampton/Portway - Black Arrowheads, Grey Sphere & Red Light Sightings

Updated: Aug 25, 2019

Birmingham UFO Group Case Report

Author: Dave Hodrien

Release Date: 10/10/2009

Witnesses Colin & Ruth have been lucky enough to experience several UFO incidents since July 2008 to October 2009. This report will cover each of these sightings in detail in seperate sections.


It is impressive enough when a witness reports seeing a single UFO. But when many UFOs are seen by multiple witnesses from different parts of the UK on the same night, we should definitely sit up and take notice. The fleets of glowing orange UFOs seen on the evening of Saturday 26th July 2008 were reported by numerous individuals and appeared in newspapers around the UK. This report will concentrate mostly on what the witnesses Colin and Ruth from Northampton experienced, however it also features details on other related sightings and newspaper articles.

Sighting Details

It was around 10pm at night. Ruth was in the back garden of their house on Whiteland Road, relaxing on the patio. It was a clear evening with patchy cloud but completely still and silent. The sun was starting to set but there was still light in the sky. Colin arrived home and went about putting his motorbike away. Ruth was staring at the sky when suddenly she noticed what looked like a very bright orange orb of light coming from the South West. It seemed to be travelling quite fast and was on a straight path in a North Easterly direction. The light had an irregular pulse to it, occasionally dimming before becoming brighter again. She called Colin who came out to join her on the patio. As the glowing orb got closer they could start to make out details of the object behind the light, and as it started to move away the light seemed to dim and they could make out what looked like a black arrow-head shaped craft, although the exact shape of the tail end was hard to distinguish. The orange glow came from a central light in the middle of the underside of the object. At no point did they hear any sound from it. It continued to travel in the same direction and velocity until it was out of sight. The witnesses estimate it was visible in the sky for about 40 seconds, so must have been travelling at quite a speed. They believe the object was about the same size as a military jet and was less than a thousand foot up, flying below the clouds.

About five minutes later another similar object appeared in the distance and once more flew North East on the same path. From then on the objects started to appear roughly every couple of minutes. Some were grouped, some individual. They each travelled in the same straight path. The lights on some of them dimmed as they approached, others stayed bright and could still be visible lighting up the far horizon in a dull red glow. However the seventh object suddenly began to change its course and curved off away from where the other objects were travelling. It looked like it was over the area of the Pitsford Reservoir. The orange light on it was still glowing brightly obscuring its shape. It slowed down and came to a halt. Suddenly what looked like bright sparks shot out of the top of it, and then it dropped straight downward to the ground! After this more objects continued to appear but did not veer off their path. Colin had his mobile phone on him but decided not to take any photographs as he believed they would not come out clearly enough. They called Ruth’s son out, who also saw at least one of the objects before heading back into the house. The final object that the witnesses saw moved on a different path to the majority of the others, and instead came right over their house. Colin felt like it was aware it was being watched and had come over to check them out. As it passed overhead its shape was hidden by the brightness of the orange pulsating light emanating from it. The witnesses watched the objects for around 20-25 minutes in total.

Photograph of sighting location facing the direction the UFOs came from:


Location map showing witness location, paths of the objects and estimated location for the one which descended to the ground:


After the sighting was over, Colin first wrote down details of what they had seen. He then decided to ring Northampton police. Both he and Ruth were concerned because of the one object which appeared to have crash landed. The lady who he spoke to confirmed that other witnesses in the local area had reported the same objects and that officers had already been sent out to investigate. She then put him on hold a minute. When she came back on the line she started to ask him really detailed questions about the objects they had seen, including what shape the craft were, the lighting configurations on them and direction they were heading in. Colin found this to be a little unusual.

The next morning they decided to contact the Northampton Chronicle & Echo newspaper to report their sighting. They were informed by the paper that other people had also contacted them about the objects, and were asked to send details in an E-Mail. Later they discovered that there had been numerous other sightings in different parts of the UK on the same night including the South coast and up in Scotland. Also orange lights in the sky had been seen on previous dates around the area of Northampton.

A couple of weeks later Colin was speaking to his barber who lives in Brixworth, close to the Pitsford Reservoir. He informed Colin that numerous roads in the area were mysteriously closed off just on that particular night, with no explanation given. Did the officers find the object which had fallen to the ground, and had some sort of clean up operation taken place?

Witness Drawings

What the objects looked like on approach once the light had dimmed enough to make out the actual shape:


An estimation of the shape of the objects:


The explosion of the object which veered off course:


Newspaper Articles

Below is the Chronicle & Echo newspaper article which was released a couple of days after the witnesses sighting. It mentions numerous other witnesses to the same UFOs:

Mystery lights spotted in sky

Published Date: 29 July 2008

Mystery surrounds the identity of 10 orange lights seen in the sky above Northampton on Saturday night. A number of people called Northamptonshire Police after watching the strange lights, which reportedly moved across the sky, with one of the lights then exploding. Alun Bye, from Spinney Hill, Northampton, said: "They appeared to rise from Kingsthorpe and go towards Milton Keynes at about 10pm. "At first they looked like stars but got bigger. I thought they could have been balloons, but they had no baskets and were noiseless." Mr Bye attributed the lights he saw to night flights at the model helicopter convention held at the University of Northampton at the weekend. Organiser Jeff Barringer said helicopter flights had stopped at 9.20pm although he added the lights could be "linked" to the convention.

Other sightings were also made in Spinney Hill and in The Headlands area of Northampton, with eyewitnesses describing the lights as being present until about 10.30pm. Colin Bicknell said: "These craft were very bright balls of pulsing orange light. They had no other lights at all. These craft were totally silent and the one that exploded made no sound either."

Headlands resident Mark Edwards said he noticed the light "quite high up" with no noise coming from it. He added: "It moved quite quickly to the south then disappeared behind clouds. Then about two minutes later another one appeared and did exactly the same, this was followed by one more straight after."

Janet Stawarz, from Spinney Hill, described seeing 12 lights in the sky, which she said "seemed to be on the same pathway, like they were just following one another". Bob Pinckard, also from The Headlands, said he was left "completely confused" after spotting the lights.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence (MOD) said: "The MOD examines reports solely to establish whether United Kingdom airspace may have been compromised by hostile or unauthorised military activity. Unless there is evidence of a potential threat, there is no attempt to identify the nature of each sighting reported."

The Chron was also contacted by people living across the UK who spotted similar lights on Saturday, following previous articles about unidentified lights in the sky. Reports came in from East Yorkshire and Scotland.

The next article is from the same newspaper from a fortnight before, and seems to describe similar or the same objects over Northampton:

Bright orange lights in sky evidence of UFOs?

Published Date: 15 July 2008

Panicked residents of Northampton say they are now believers in UFOs after capturing eerie soundless lights in the sky on video. Heidi Spencer and her partner spotted a cluster of bright lights from their flat in Abington while watching TV on Saturday night. They stood up to investigate only to see one break off and scoot soundlessly across the sky and disappear. Mrs Spencer said: "They were bright orange and moved quite steadily from the north west and went off to the south. We lost sight of them in the clouds. When I looked back the other one had gone. We managed to get a video of it on my phone but I was pretty freaked out all night."

Mrs Spencer was not the only one who spotted the unexplained lights above the town. Elaine Byrne, of Park Avenue North, Abington and her 18-year-old daughter also saw some of the lights from their bathroom window at about midnight. She said: "I saw a brilliant orange light in the sky. It was not far at all from us. "I shouted to my daughter so she could witness it and we watched it before it went over us. I went to the other window to follow it then my daughter shouted to me that another one was there. It was strange."

Other readers as far away as Earls Barton also saw the lights on Saturday but no one has yet offered a feasible explanation. However, worried Northamptonians may be comforted by the fact that the Ministry of Defence, which collects data on sightings, said no reports of a UFO had been recorded and deemed them no threat to national security. A spokesman said: "The MoD examines reports solely to establish whether UK airspace may have been compromised by hostile or unauthorised military activity. Unless there is evidence of a potential threat, there is no attempt to identify the nature of each sighting reported."

Two months before Colin and Ruth had their sighting, flights of orange glowing UFOs had already been reported in the area, as this article shows:

27 UFOs 'seen over Northamptonshire' in 10 years

Published Date: 14 May 2008

Written records detailing reported sightings of unidentified flying objects in Northamptonshire have been released by the Ministry of Defence. The MoD official files keep a record of UFO sightings to check on unauthorised military activity and are investigated by air defence experts. The records suggest parts of Northamptonshire could be a hotspot for UFO reports with four sightings recorded in the county last year in the Kettering and Rothwell area and Cold Ashby.

The description of the reported UFO on March 7 at Cold Ashby referred to "joined lights suddenly moving independently and erratically." Lenny Archer, 48, from Ecton Brook, also saw bright orange lights in February and said the sight put doubts in his mind over extra-terrestrials. Mr Archer, a landscape gardener, said: "I was surprised to see it because first of all we saw the one orange light and then we saw several more coming behind it in 20 to 30 second intervals that shot up and then disappeared. It could have been army training but the lights were an orange colour. I've seen nothing since and I'd seen a few things before but put them down to shooting stars."

Since 1998, there have been 27 reported sightings in Northamptonshire. An MoD statement said: "Unless there is evidence of a potential threat, no further work is undertaken to identify the nature of each sighting reported.


Both Colin and Ruth are convinced that what they witnessed that night was something truly unexplained. They believe that the objects were definitely controlled craft of some kind, and personally think that they were top secret military aircraft which were all heading somewhere in a hurry for unknown reasons. Certainly, aspects of this case seem very hard to explain. As soon as groups of orange lights are witnessed, we should always take the lanterns theory into account. Chinese lanterns have been responsible for many UFO sightings over recent years, and generally appear as glowing orange spheres of light that drift in patterns. Occasionally they can even catch alight and fall from the sky like a fireball. Some of the previous sightings in the Northampton area may well have been lanterns. However, with this particular incident we can discount this theory for numerous reasons. Firstly the witnesses saw solid craft behind the lights, they only appeared as orange orbs when in the distance. The majority of the objects flew in the same straight path heading to the horizon. This would seem to be too uniform and controlled, lanterns tend to drift randomly or appear to create formations. Also it was a completely still night, there was no wind at all, and it would have required quite a strong breeze for the objects to have been blown right across the sky in the same direction. When I put the lanterns theory to the witnesses, they were adamant that the objects were much too large and too controlled to have been these. Also the speed that the objects were moving at certainly looked like they were being powered.

If we discount the lanterns theory because of these various reasons, what else could the objects have possibly been? It is unlikely that they were radio controlled models, there were far too many of them and again looked much too large. They also seemed far too uniform to have been balloons of some kind. So we can assume that the objects were craft, though whether alien or military it is impossible to say. There are numerous USAF bases in the local area, Colin speculates that maybe the objects were covert craft from one of these.

The road closure in the area where Colin and Ruth believe the object came down is interesting. It is unlikely to have been road works as apparently the roads were only closed for that one night and then re-opened as normal. Maybe the object was located and people were called in to clear it up. However this is just a theory, there is no other evidence pointing towards this. It does stand to reason though that something landed on the ground. If the objects were solid craft as they appeared to be, then it is unlikely it would have completely burnt up in the air.

The fact that these fleets of objects were seen in different locations around the UK on the same night once again points towards them being craft rather than anything else. The question remains – were they the same objects or completely different ones? It is more likely that they were different groups, otherwise there would have been many more sightings right up and down the country. Surely these objects would have been picked up on radar or attracted the attention of the military? Unless the military already knew exactly what they were. Colin and Ruth certainly seem to be two of many witnesses of a major event of some kind. Hopefully one day we will get to the bottom of what actually took place. Further sightings may well occur in the area, we will have to wait and see.


The couple had another sighting of an unexplained object a month later during the Northampton Hot Air Balloon Festival. They went over this sighting with me in detail when I met them in early December 2008.

The yearly Northampton Balloon Festival takes place over the 3rd weekend of August, which this year was the 15th-17th. It was about 6pm-6.30pm on the first evening of the festival. The balloons pass right over the witnesses’ house on Whiteland Road, so every year they spend time outside watching them. This year was no exception and they were out on the back patio. It was a sunny clear day with a blue sky and very little cloud. Colin was looking to the North in the direction that the balloons come from awaiting the next one. He suddenly noticed an unusual object hovering still in the sky. It looked like a dark grey sphere a few metres in diameter. He estimates it was around 600 foot high. The object was making no sound and did not have any markings or lighting on it. He had not seen this sphere approach from anywhere it was just suddenly there in the sky. But the most unusual thing of all was that he didn’t seem to be able to fully focus on it. He believed it to be a solid object but couldn’t seem to lock his eyes on it, almost as if it had some kind of aura around it or was constantly moving. Colin pointed it out to Ruth. At first she couldn’t see it in the sky but then she located it. When she saw it, it appeared to be moving slowly away from them to their right. She too noticed that it was impossible to focus on the object fully. Less than a minute later the sphere vanished completely from their sight. They were mystified by what they had seen, and were convinced that it was not a balloon of any kind.

Map of sighting location:


Drawing of UFO:


As the sighting took place in the middle of a balloon festival, some may dismiss it outright and claim that it was simply mis-identification. But if it was a balloon, why did the witnesses neither see it appear from far away or drift away to the horizon? It was visible to them for under a minute and during this time it was either stationary or moving very slowly. It seems unlikely that it was obscured by cloud as it was a very clear day and it seemed to be to low in the sky for that to happen. It was also too small to be a hot air balloon. There have been numerous UFO sightings reported where the craft displayed some sort of aura or distortion effect around it, including the infamous Rendlesham Forest incident. Could this have accounted for the fact the witnesses could not focus on the object directly? Colin suggests it could have been caused by continuous movement or vibration of the object. The witnesses believe that what they saw was some kind of covert reconnaissance probe craft, military or otherwise. Without further reported sightings of the object, we cannot progress much further with this particular case. However the witnesses did mention that their son had seen a similar grey sphere in the sky the previous year. Could this have been a similar object, or even the same one appearing on a previous occasion?


On the evening of Saturday 3rd October 2009 Colin and Ruth went to a bike club birthday party. The party was held at The Rose and Crown pub on Alcester Road, Portway, Birmingham. Between 8.30-9.00pm they both went back outside to the car park to get something from the car. It was awarm and clear night, with only a little cloud in the sky, and the moon and stars visible. There was only a slight breeze. While Ruth looked in the car, Colin stood next to it looking up at the night sky.

The Rose and Crown pub:


He was staring to the North West in the direction of Birmingham looking at the lights of a commercial airliner at high altitude. Suddenly from behind and to the left of him came two solid very bright red lights which were in close proximity to one another, flying in a North North Westerly direction. They were a constant brightness, and Colin was not aware whether they were two lights on a single object or two separate objects. The lights were moving at an extremely fast speed, and moved right across the sky in only several seconds! Colin says if he had not been looking at that part of the sky that particular moment he would not have seen the lights at all. He believes they were at low altitude, roughly 200 feet high. As he watched, the lights appeared to jump erratically side to side on their straight flight path. Throughout the sighting the two lights kept the same distance from each other.

Witness drawing of the lights:


Map showing location of pub and estimated path of the lights:


Colin stresses that he had not had anything to drink and that he is certain the lights were something very unusual. The strange way that the lights seem to erratically jump means that most mundane explanations do not fit what was seen. They were moving far too fast to be a normal aircraft, balloons or lanterns, and were completely silent. There was very little wind, so the speed of the objects suggests they were powered rather tan drifting. The colour and the fact that two lights were seen means it is very unlikely to have been a meteorite. Also they were on a level flight path and did not appear to be descending. If it was a secret military craft of some kind, why would they be flying over a populated area and towards Birmingham centre, this explanation would seem illogical.

If the object/objects really were extraterrestrial craft, could the erratic jumping have been caused by the propulsion system? I have read and investigated numerous sightings before which have reported similar behaviour. When Bob Lazar described the recovered alien craft he had seen test flown at Area 51, he mentioned that hese craft can appear to make strange jumping movements or sudden changes of direction, and that this is an optical illusion caused by the anti-gravitational forces employed around them. This certainly seems like a possibility here and should not be dismissed, wther or not you believe Lazar’s claims. Due to the various factors in this sighting – the appearance, very fast speed, lack of sound and movement patterns observed I believe that this was something completely out of the ordinary. If you know of anyone else who also saw this object or objects please get in touch with me.

Copyright Dave Hodrien 2009



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