Birmingham UFO Group Case Report
Author: Dave Hodrien
Release Date: 05/01/2022
In early December 2021 Sarah Jane McGrath-Carter got in touch with me via Facebook Messenger to ask about BUFOG’s investigative work. In chatting with her she informed me she and her father had a sighting earlier in the year which she had managed to catch on camera. Below are the details of the incident and analysis of both the video footage and photograph.
On the morning of Saturday 27th February 2021 Sarah Jane’s father went to the window of his house on Joshia Road, Longbridge, for a cigar. It was a bright and clear morning and approximately 11.40am. He glanced up into the sky and noticed a white or reflective orb-shaped object seemingly at high altitude. While still observing the object he called up Sarah Jane who lived nearby on Hanging Lane and asked her to look up into the sky.
Sarah Jane went to her open bedroom window. Looking up at a sharp angle of 80 degrees to the South South West she too set eyes on the object. The orb appeared to be stationary. It was hard to tell exactly how far away it was (and therefore how large it was), but it seemed to be at high altitude. It wasn’t visible continuously, it occasionally seemed to vanish and then reappear seconds later.
After watching for a short period of time Sarah Jane decided to attempt to capture the object on her iPhone camera. She first took a photograph of the orb, and then filmed it for 35 seconds. She did not continue to film it for longer as it was quite distant and did not appear to be leaving any time soon.
Several minutes later, with the orb still present in the sky, she noticed something else in the sky over the North Worcestershire Golf Course to the West of Joshia Road. She saw what appeared to be either two or three dark oval-shaped objects. The objects were loosely circling at a consistent speed. They remained horizontal in orientation and did not appear to rotate. The movement seemed far too precise for them to have been either birds or balloons.
Sarah Jane attempted to capture the dark objects on video but unfortunately they did not come out due to the distance. She continued to watch both them and the orb for a number of minutes, unable to work out what any of the objects could be.
Suddenly another couple of orbs appeared close to the first one. They only remained visible a few seconds before vanishing. The remaining one then moved around in a circle like it was doing a loop-the-loop. After this both it and the dark objects appeared to vanish around the same time.
After Sarah Jane realised the objects were unlikely to reappear she rang her father back to discuss what they had seen. She found out that he had only seen the initial high altitude orb, he had not remained at the window or seen the darker objects.
Later on she posted about the sighting in a UFO related Facebook group. The members had a variety of thoughts on the incident. Several said they had seen something similar at the same time at other locations around the country. It is unknown at present if these other sightings were in any way related to what Sarah Jane and her father saw.
Photograph and Video Footage Analysis
Below is the photograph Sarah Jane took of the initial orb, with the date and time shown below it and the object ringed:
Here is an enhanced version of the photograph:
As you can see, the object seems to be too distant to make any clear identification. It appears round or spherical in shape.
Below is the video footage that Sarah Jane shot soon after taking the photograph.
Zoomed view of the UFO taken at 4 seconds into the footage:
As there is no point of reference it is hard to tell if the object is moving slowly, or whether the clouds are slowly moving towards it and it is stationary. Sarah Jane thinks that it was the later of these possibilities, and that it only moved significantly towards the end of the sighting, long after she had stopped filming it.
The object does appear either spherical or circular as Sarah Jane described, however due to the distance it is hard to accurately determine its shape. It is either white or highly reflective. The fact that Sarah Jane said it sometimes temporarily vanished from sight could indicate that it was capturing the sunlight at some moments and not at others, which could have made it look like it was vanishing and reappearing. At 27 seconds into the footage the object vanishes from sight. At this moment the cloud is close to it, and it is possible it has actually entered the cloud and been hidden from sight.
It is unfortunate that Sarah Jane did not manage to capture the darker objects on camera. The fact that they did not come out indicates that they were far away and potentially quite small in size.
There are certainly some intriguing aspects to the sighting, including the fact that the orb seemed to remain stationary for quite a period of time, the sudden appearance of the other two orbs, and apparent disappearance of both the orb and darker objects around the same time.
That said, the timings involved with the incident could have just been coincidental and do not necessarily mean that the orbs were in any way related to the other objects, so they should be analysed independently from one another.
The sudden appearance of the two other orbs, sadly not captured on camera, could have been down to them being caught in the sunlight or coming into view from the distance.
I feel quite sure that the orbs were not distant aeroplanes or helicopters. They were hovering much too still in the sky to be planes, and even at a high altitude the rough shape should be possible to make out in the clear weather conditions. Flight Radar 24 website confirms that there were no tracked aircraft in the vicinity at the time as the below image shows:
The below screenshot from 360 Radar confirms that the area does not lie within any airways:
However it does lie within controlled airspace, decreasing the chance of the objects being untracked aircraft:
The orbs did not show any signs of intelligent control during the sighting. According to the witness the initial orb remained largely stationary for most of the time it was visible. While this in itself could be considered suspicious, the weather was clear, so it could have been quite still in the sky even at that height. The circling movement it performed before finally vanishing could easily have been caused by it suddenly being caught in an air current.
The relative stillness of the orbs for most of the sighting tends to suggest they were not birds. However after analysing the photograph and video footage I feel that these could have certainly been distant mylar balloons.
Unfortunately we have no footage of the darker objects to analyse. But from the witness description I feel that these may well have been two or three distant drones being flown over the golf course. Sarah Jane says that the circling movement of them was very precise, and for this reason did not think they were birds or balloons. However this precise flight characteristics could certainly fit with them being under remote control.
Also she confirmed that they looked oval shaped but remained horizontal in their orientation with no sign of rotation. At a distance a drone could conceivably appear this shape, and due to the way that they fly there would be no observed change of angle. It is possible that the drones were either landed or flown away into the distance out of sight at around the same time as the orbs also fully vanished from sight, giving them the appearance of being connected.
None of the above suggestions can be categorically proved beyond doubt, so there is still the chance that this sighting was of something far more unusual. However it seems that a number of balloons drifting in the sky at the same time as several drones being flown at lower altitude is the most likely explanation for what was observed.
Copyright Dave Hodrien 2022