Updated: Aug 25, 2019
Birmingham UFO Group Case Report
Author: Dave Hodrien
Release Date: 05/03/2009
Over the years, witness Francis Mulholland has been lucky enough to see several UFOs, all in close proximity to his house on Ewell Road, Erdington. All three sightings have aspects that are hard to explain, making them very interesting cases. This report will cover each of these sightings in detail, as well as a fourth sighting by one of Francis’ friends.
August 1996 Sighting
The first time Francis witnessed something unexplained was in the summer of 1996. It was between 6.00-6.30pm, and a warm still evening with some cloud cover. Francis was in his bedroom watching TV. He happened to glance out of the window to the road outside. In the distance above the trees to the North East he noticed something unusual in the sky. The object appeared to be a highly reflective metallic silver sphere. It was hard to judge the size of it as it was quite far away, but he estimates it was around the size of a car. It was quite high up in the sky, about the height a plane would be. What was most striking about the object was not its appearance, but its movement patterns. It appeared to be continuously moving and changing direction, spinning around in circles and zigzagging. It was doing this at quite a speed (at least 200mph he believed), and never stopped moving even for a second. This movement was localised to an area, the object was not flying right across the skyline. Francis wondered what it could be, but most explanations didn’t seem to fit what he was looking at.
After watching the object for several minutes, it suddenly began to slowly move in a straight path away from his location until he could no longer see it from the window. He ran to the front door of his house to see if he could still see it. When he looked, he could once more see the object, and it was once again performing all sorts of circling manoeuvres. He continued to watch it for several minutes before it disappeared into a cloud. He then waited for quite a while to see if it would reappear but he did not see it again.
Map showing location of witness and possible location of object:
Drawing by witness showing object and movement pattern:
Night photograph of witness viewpoint from front drive:
With this sighting, the movement performed by the object dismisses many explanations straight away. It was not an aeroplane or helicopter, as neither of these would be able to perform such high speed manoeuvres, nor would they have the reason to. It is unlikely a bird caught in the sunlight would have flown in this pattern too, and the witness clearly identified it as a metallic orb. A balloon of some kind would certainly have drifted slowly, not span and zigzagged in the sky. Francis is sure that it was under intelligent control. He does not believe it was a secret military craft as why would they be flying it over the middle of Birmingham in such unusual patterns? Unfortunately Francis does not have a camera so no photographic/video evidence could be taken. He did not see anyone else nearby and it is unknown whether there were others who also saw the object. At this present time we cannot come up with a suitable explanation for what was observed.
5th August 2007 Sighting
The UFO in this sighting was witnessed by not only Francis, but also his father and brother-in-law. It was between 2-4pm on a warm summer’s afternoon. The sky was mostly blue with patchy cloud and it was quite still. The three witnesses had decided to visit the local Sports & Social Club for a drink. The club is on Holly Lane, within walking distance of Francis’ house. They were sitting outside at a picnic table in the beer garden. To the North of the club lies some playing fields, and beyond this housing.
Map showing location of witnesses and possible location of object:
Night photograph of the Sports & Social club:
Francis was the first to spot the object. He looked up into the sky and saw an object hovering above the housing in the distance. The object resembled a dark grey triangular shape with rounded corners. It sat motionless in the sky. Francis could see no other details on the object at all. Judging from the distance, the object appeared to be extremely large in size, at least as big as a jumbo jet. He estimates it was hovering about 1000 foot up. As far as he could tell it was completely silent. He was fascinated, and having a belief in UFOs already, he was convinced that it was a craft of some kind, possibly one of the “Flying Triangles” that had been sighted many times before around the world. He sat and watched the object for a number of minutes before finally getting the attention of his father and brother-in-law. They then also saw the object, and neither could explain what it was they were looking at. Francis informed me that his father is sceptical of UFOs, but even he was suitably impressed by it. They watched it for a short while and as it was not moving, continued talking and checking back at it every couple of minutes. Suddenly when they looked back they found that the object had completely vanished from sight.
Witness drawing of what the object looked like:
This is an interesting sighting, and certainly seems to fit with the object being a Flying Triangle craft. The UFO was dark grey in colour, this is one of the colours most often reported in FT sightings. It appeared to be extremely large, rather than a smaller object closer in the sky. It is unlikely to have been a kite or balloon as these would almost certainly drift in the air, where as this object was completely motionless. Obviously this fact, combined with its description, suggests it wasn’t a conventional aircraft of any kind. Unfortunately the witnesses did not see the object depart, so no motion was observed at any point in the sighting.
January 2009 Sighting
Out of all the sightings, this is the most puzzling. It was between 10.00-11.00pm on a clear but very cold evening half way through January 2009. Francis was watching TV in the lounge and decided he would go outside to the garage in the back garden to get a drink. As he was half way across the garden, he looked around the sky at the stars. To the North West of his position he could see the backs of the houses on Allman Road. Above one of them in the sky he spotted a large glowing white light. At first he thought it was the moon with clouds passing in front of it, but then he realised it couldn’t possibly be. Firstly it was a clear night, but more importantly the moon was visible in the opposite direction in the sky! He turned back to look at the object. It looked like a large square shaped object with rounded edges. It was glowing white but had a darker band across the middle of it (which he had first thought was the cloud). Rather than being clearly edged, this band was blurred, he assumed this may be due to distortion from the white light coming from behind it. The object looked quite large and was visible over the rooftops; he felt it was not directly over them but further away. He was highly confused as to what he was observing. He became even more confused when he moved closer to the garage and the shape of the object seemed to alter, as if it was morphing in some way. He repeated this numerous times, but was clear that the object was present in the sky and not just an optical illusion of some kind.
Witness drawing of what the object looked like:
Map showing location of witness and rough location of object:
He stood in the back garden for almost an hour, staring at the object. In the end he decided to head back inside as he was very cold. He kept checking back every ten or so minutes, and after a while when he checked the object was no longer visible.
So what could have been the cause of this bizarre sighting? The object displayed some characteristics that suggest it was some kind of illusion/reflection. Could it have been a mirage of the moon caused by atmospheric conditions? Or was the apparent “morphing” of the object due to the brightness of the light emenating from it? If it wasn’t a solid object then what could explain its squared shape? This suggests that it was artificial rather than natural. The witness watched it for a long time; if it was an internally lit balloon of some kind surely it would have drifted rather than remained completely stationary? Obviously most other explanations can be disregarded due to the objects strange appearance. Whatever it was, it looked quite large, so it may well have been seen by other people from different angles that have yet to come forward.
November 2008 Sighting
One of Francis’ friends, Phil (name changed for privacy reasons), also had a UFO sighting in the local area. As he knew Francis is interested in the paranormal he informed him about the sighting. It took place in late November 2008. Phil was relaxing in his back garden on Marsh Lane, several roads to the north west of Ewell Road. It was late evening, and was a clear night with the stars visible. He looked into the sky and to his south east he saw a number of hovering lights. They were arranged in a diamond shaped configuration – two red lights with a green light to the left and to the right. He was immediately puzzled by the lights as not only were they completely stationary, but also the object appeared to be silent. He was close enough to the object to know that it was not a helicopter as he would have been able to hear the rotor blades. He assumed due to the configuration that he was looking at one object not a number of small objects. Phil stood and watched the lights for several minutes, but did not keep watching them so did not see the object depart.
Drawing by Francis of what his friend described to him:
When Francis told Phil about his January 2009 sighting, they worked out that Phil saw the lights at around the same location as Francis’ sighting took place. Was this purely coincidence or were the two sightings related? It is hard to tell much about what this object could have been as only lights were seen. It seems likely it was an aircraft of some kind – but what aircraft can hover silently in the air for a number of minutes? As with Francis’ various sightings, this incident currently remains a mystery.
Copyright Dave Hodrien 2009