Birmingham UFO Group Case Report
Author: Dave Hodrien
Release Date: 19/02/2019
On the evening of Sunday 27th January 2019 Rob was standing just outside the back door of his house on Rymond Road, Hodge Hill, having a cigarette. It was about 7.15pm and a cold but still evening. Due to the time of year the sun had fully set and the stars were visible in the sky between patchy cloud. Rob has a big interest in aircraft and helicopters, and lives under the flight path of Birmingham International Airport, so he is always looking up at the sky.
Aerial map of Rymond Road:
Aerial map showing Rymond Road (A) and Birmingham International Airport (B):
Out of the corner of his eye he suddenly noticed a brief flash of white lights in a curved arc off to his left to the South West. He wasn’t looking directly at that area of sky at that moment but was sure he had seen something. He thought to himself “That’s weird!” and began to stare in the direction he had noticed the lights.
Between 90-120 seconds later the lights suddenly reappeared and flashed again! This time he clearly saw them and was absolutely shocked by what he witnessed. For a brief moment he saw about 7 very bright white glowing points of light in a gradual curve formation. However this time when the lights went off they were immediately replaced by a single brighter point of light. This too went off, then began to flash intermittently. Rob was convinced that this single flashing light was directly related to the curve of lights he had seen.
Photograph of the sky with the arc of lights drawn on top:
He felt sure that what he was looking at was not a helicopter or plane, but something far more unusual. It was hard to judge how high it was, but it was above cloud height. He ran back into the house to call his wife and grab his I-phone. She soon joined him and they returned outside. The light was still present in the sky and he pointed it out to her. He then decided to start filming it. As he lifted up his camera phone he accidentally took a single photograph of the sky, but then began to record video footage. It seemed to be flashing on 4 second intervals, although not all of these flashes were picked up by the camera. The object began moving in a staggered pattern across the sky until it was above the house almost directly overhead. To Rob the path of movement appeared odd and not at all like a normal aircraft. As they watched, they noticed 5 other aircraft in the vicinity, several taking off from the airport, and two at very high altitude.
After a couple more flashes the light vanished without trace. About 40 minutes later Rob returned outside to see if it had reappeared. He did see a couple of flashes in the same area of sky where it had vanished, suggesting it was still there.
Photograph and Video Analysis
Here is the photograph that Rob took of the sky accidentally before starting to film:
It is unknown whether the dull white spot towards the centre of the image is the object or just a reflection in the lens. It is possible that Rob managed to capture it here but by no means a definite.
Below is the 90 seconds of video footage that Rob recorded:
As you can see the white light is clearly visible at certain moments of the footage. The light can be seen at the following seconds - 3, 15, 19, 31, 46, 62, 74, 78. On two occasions the gap between the flashes is 4 seconds. And the gaps between the other flashes are exactly/roughly divisible by 4. This suggests that it may have been flashing constantly at that speed, but the other flashes were obscured by cloud or distance.
In the footage Rob can be heard speaking with his wife about the UFO. The transcript for their communication is as follows:
W: There's two! It's like it's back-tracking on itself. You sure it's not a plane...
R: No. No a plane's just gone over, and as it went over it stopped, but that thing is actually going round in a curve. Lost it again now.
W: There it is! Right above us.
R: It's moved.
W: It's coming over the house. Where's it gone?
R: I don't know, it's disappeared. There it is.
W: Wow! There's a plane on its way over.
R: I thought I was seeing...
Here is a still from 3 seconds into the video footage showing the white light:
It is clear that there is something there, but sadly due to the distance and the time of day no detail such as shape or possible size can be determined.
This is a sighting of three parts – the initial arc of bright white lights, the slowly flashing individual light immediately following the arc, then the flashing light observed 40 minutes later. One of the big questions is whether the three were related or not. Rob first noticed the single white light immediately after seeing the curve of lights. While this tends to suggest that they may be related, this may have just down to coincidence. We therefore need to analyse each part of the sighting individually.
It is a shame that Rob did not grab his camera sooner and manage to capture the arc of lights which he initially witnessed. This would have been fascinating to see, and certainly left a lasting impression on him. The fact that there were 7 lights spaced apart from one another which all appeared at the same moment puts many mundane explanations out of the question. If they were all attached to a single large object, this would have had to have been massive in size, and clearly not a single plane or helicopter of any kind. A formation of helicopters or jets would have remained visible not just flashed their lights once at the same moment. There are no nightclubs in the area which could have projected spotlights into the sky, and again if this were the explanation they would very likely have been left on for a period of time and clearly visible. A drifting line of LED balloons would have flashed continuously not just twice. The lights appeared twice, once when Rob was not looking directly, and once where he was. This suggests it was not caused by an unusual light reflection.
The white flashing light seen in the video footage is of course less impressive. Rob is ex-army and also has a big interest in aircraft, and due to the location of his house he regularly sees planes and helicopters fly over. He also owns a drone and knows how these can appear after dark. He feels sure that none of these can adequately explain what he saw. Due to the flashing it was clearly not a star. The erratic movement also puts out of the question the idea that it could have been a satellite catching the sun’s rays every so often. However as the object was so distant, I feel that a high altitude helicopter or drone cannot be entirely ruled out.
When Rob returned outside 40 minutes later he claims to have again seen the white light flash twice in the same area of sky as it had been situated. Could it have been there for this period of time? If so this would possibly point towards a helicopter performing a patrol within the area. It is very unlikely that someone would have still been flying a drone after this amount of time, and any LED balloons would have drifted away.
If the individual flashing light was directly related to the arc of lights this could have been a large unidentified craft, possibly of extra-terrestrial origin. And even if the strobing light seen in the footage had a mundane explanation, the initial sighting of multiple lights is much harder to explain. This remains a compelling and mysterious sighting.
This is not the first UFO that Rob has witnessed. Back in 2007 he and his wife witnessed a silver coloured cigar-shaped object over Kettering. There is a seperate case report for this incident.
Copyright Dave Hodrien 2019