August 1963 to 09/07/2012 - Smethwick - Orb, Sphere, Disc, Cigar & Flying Triangle Sightings & Photo
Birmingham UFO Group Case Report Author: Dave Hodrien
Last Updated: 21/07/2012
Some people never get to see what they can describe as a UFO their entire life. Many others have one, maybe two, sightings of something unusual that they remember for many years. However this report covers fourteen UFO incidents that have been witnessed by Kevin and Vera Byng, and their nephew Michael. With many of these incidents other witnesses have also been present.
After their early sightings the family, especially Kevin, became interested in the UFO subject. Over the years he has looked into it in great depth, and has continued to see things he could not explain. Kevin has worked as a delivery driver for the army, the Air Corps and the RAF, and he knows exactly what normal aircraft and helicopters look like at all times of the day and night. He is certain that the things him, Vera and Michael have witnessed cannot be explained by conventional means. As you will see, a number of the objects they have witnessed appear to perform intelligent manoeuvres and move at incredible speed.
When I went to interview the family about their sightings on 13th January 2009, I found that Kevin had already logged all the incidents for his own personal interest. He had drawn many pictures and created overhead maps to keep a detailed reminder of the various unusual objects they had witnessed over the years. Many of these drawings and maps are used in this report.
In October 2009 Michael had a stunning sighting of a clearly defined disc-shaped craft. On 18th October I interviewed Michael about the incident, and took some photographs of the sighting location. This sighting was also accompanied by some highly unusual sounds, that were heard not only by Michael, but by two other people that he knows (And possibly others yet to come forward).
In early March 2010, Kevin once again contacted me with details of another sighting of a white daylight orb which possibly followed an aircraft.
Each sighting will now be looked at in detail.
August 1963 – Cleobury Mortimer - Green Fireball
During the first week of August 1963 back when Kevin was only 13 years old, the family were staying at a caravan they owned on a site to the North West of the village of Cleobury Mortimer in Shropshire. The site was built on three different levels, and the family’s caravan was on the middle of these levels. At the bottom of the site was a stream behind a fence, and beyond this a line of trees and then fields. The site was surrounded by hills, and at its west end was a road that led to the village.
Kevin cannot remember the exact date when the sighting occurred, but it was a very clear night. He woke up in the early hours of the morning to see a bright green glow behind the curtains of his bedroom in the caravan, which faced to the North. He looked outside and saw over the tree line what he could only describe as a green fireball moving from East to West. He watched it for about 5 seconds before it vanished behind one of the hills. He continued to look out of the window a while but did not see the object again.
The most interesting thing about this sighting is the colour of the object. If it was white, yellow or orange in colour it would be possible to assume that what was seen was a meteorite. However these do not usually appear bright green. Perhaps it was space debris of an unusual make up. But the object looked like it was on a relatively level path, not descending through the atmosphere. There was no sound during or after the sighting, and if something had crash landed it would surely have caused a loud explosion or been reported by the media soon afterwards. To this day, Kevin finds the sighting hard to explain, and does not know whether it was a natural phenomenon or something else entirely.
June 1964 – Warley, Birmingham - Grey Circular UFO Formation
At the time of this incident, Kevin was 14 years old, and at secondary school. He had just arrived home on Elizabeth Crescent. He had a part time job at the local butchers after school, and needed to come home to change his clothes each day before setting out again. It was 4 pm when he arrived at his house, and he walked round to the back door to let himself in.
It was a bright sunny afternoon with light cloud cover and a medium breeze. He happened to glance up into the sky. Through a break in the clouds he saw five round objects travelling in a northern direction just above the cloud layer. They were a dull silver-grey colour and were flying in a rough V formation. At first he took them to be hot air balloons. He went indoors but then realised that they couldn’t be as they were travelling in the opposite direction to the clouds. He quickly went outside again but the objects had vanished. He ran around to the front of the house but did not see them again.
Could the objects have been a small flock of birds reflecting the sunlight? This is certainly a possibility, but Kevin says that the objects looked bigger and too defined, and appeared to be round in shape. If they were not birds then they appear to have been flying in formation, so we can assume that they were intelligently controlled and not randomly drifting objects. Also the fact that they were flying against the wind means that they must have been powered. It remains an intriguing case.
September 1973 – Penhale Point - Orange Orb Photograph
Kevin joined the army back in 1970. After his training was complete, he was posted to a military port at Marchwood, opposite Southampton docks. In September 1973 he was taking part in an exercise at Penhale Point in Devon, 4-5 miles South West of Newquay.
During one of the night exercises, Kevin was driving a truck along a track that follows the cliff edge. He had been sent to collect a platoon of soldiers and return them to camp. As it was under simulated battle conditions he only had the side lights of the truck on. He had with him a small Kodak 125 “point and click” camera to get some pictures of his comrades.
It was around 2 o’clock in the morning. As he drove along the track he noticed to the west, quite a distance out over the sea, a dull orange ball of light. He stopped the truck to get out and try to photograph the object. The night was overcast and the stars could not be seen. There was a slight breeze and it was quite cool.
Because of the basic model of his camera, he didn’t expect anything to come out, but when he got the film developed he was pleased to see that he had managed to capture the object.
He could not judge how far out to sea the object was so it was hard for him to estimate its size as there was nothing to compare it too. It gave off a steady dull orange glow. It was moving in a northerly direction at about 50-60 mph. He watched the object until it disappeared beyond Ligger Point. After this he got back in the truck and continued his drive.
At the time he did not report the object to anyone as he thought that people higher in command may have thought he was a bit crazy for seeing the object. He has no idea what it was, but is certain that it wasn’t an aircraft or helicopter. Neither was it the light off a ship, it was much too high in the sky for it to have been this.
Chinese lanterns can appear as orange orbs of light in the sky, however it seems very unlikely that it was one of these. These were not readily available back in 1973. Also the object was seen quite far out to sea and appeared to be flying on a level path. It certainly sounds as if it was either a glowing airborne object of some kind, or a light attached to such an object.
125 “point and click”
Late 1979 – Quinton, Birmingham - Pink Orb
Kevin got married to Vera in 1978 and moved into a bedsit on Gillott Road, Edgbaston. On an evening in the latter half of 1979 they had gone out to a cinema in the Quinton area. It was an overcast night but there was no wind. After the cinema they caught the bus home. The route followed Hagley Road and their stop was on a disused railway bridge. They got off the bus at around 10.30pm, along with another middle aged couple. To the north they saw a large glowing ball of pink light with a darker purple centre. Comparing it to the surrounding buildings, Kevin estimates that it was about 20 foot across. It was moving southward just above the trees from the direction of Birmingham centre. Both they and the other couple saw the object.
The ball of light was moving at around 40-50 mph. As they watched it suddenly turned a pale white colour, and then climbed at about 60 degrees into the sky before disappearing from sight.
None of the witnesses had any idea as to what the object could have been. It certainly seemed to have performed intelligently controlled movements. But the colour of the light emanating from the object, its apparent shape, and the manoeuvres it performed all seem to suggest it was not a conventional aircraft. It is also unlikely to have been caused by earth lights, as these do not generally appear over built up areas. Could the object have been some kind of remote controlled model? If so, then it does seem to be of quite a large size. For one reason or another, the object does not seem to fit in with most explanations and will therefore probably remain a mystery.
August 1984 – Weston-Super-Mare - Saucer UFO Photograph
In the summer of 1984, Kevin and Vera decided to make a day trip to Weston-Super-Mare. It was a warm day with some cloud cover, but was also quite breezy. They were walking around the resort enjoying their day out, and were approaching the pier. It was not overly crowded but there were other people around the area. Suddenly Vera saw an object up in the sky out to sea. She pointed at it and said “Look at that!” At first Kevin thought she was pointing at the small island named Steep Holm which lies about 6-7 miles off the coast, but then he saw the object she was actually pointing at. The object was dark in colour and a classic flying saucer shape. It was moving northwards at about 50 mph, and appeared to be about half way between the pier and the island. Kevin quickly raised his camera and took the below photograph.
Olympus OM 10
Shutter speed 250
No fitted filter
200 ASA Kodak Colour Film
The object was only visible for a few seconds before it had disappeared out of sight. Kevin is unsure if anyone other than him and Vera saw the object, but nobody appeared to be staring or pointing at it.
The shape of the object certainly fits in with it being a flying saucer. Kevin estimates that it was about 15 foot wide. When he got the photo developed, he thought that maybe he could have photographed a seagull in flight. However it seems unlikely as they saw the object with their own eyes and he took the photo in the direction that the object was sighted. It’s movement appeared to be powered rather than something just drifting in the wind like a balloon. This may well be a genuine sighting and photograph of a craft of unknown origin.
August 2002 – Winson Green, Birmingham - Glowing Saucer UFO
Back in 2002 Vera used to work at City Hospital in the centre of Birmingham. One morning in August she was outside having an early cigarette with two work colleagues. They would often meet first thing to relax a few minutes before work began. City Hospital covers quite a large area with many different buildings designated smoking area was next to the Eye Centre along the East edge of the hospital. South of them lay a derelict building, that used to be part of the hospital but was no longer in use. There were many rumours of the old building being haunted.
It was about 6.15am when suddenly Vera noticed a highly unusual object in the sky above the derelict building. She immediately pointed it out to her colleagues. It was a classic flying saucer shaped object with flashing coloured lights around the rim. Vera described it’s shape as a “similar to a top hat”. The entire object appeared to be glowing. The witnesses all stood transfixed watching the object for several minutes. It remained stationary, hovering in the sky. Suddenly it vanished without trace, as if it had just “switched off”. They were all extremely puzzled by what they had seen.
They finished their cigarettes and was wondering if they could afford the time to have a second smoke. Looking at their watches they found that all three of their watches had stopped at precisely 6.15am, the time they had first sighted the unusual object in the sky! They were both amazed and very spooked out by this, so quickly headed back inside.
Out of all the sightings witnessed over the years by the family, this is one of the most perplexing. The fact that three completely independent watches all stopped at exactly the same time certainly seems to suggest that the UFO was the cause. As far as Vera is aware there was no other nearby equipment which could have done this. Therefore this is stunning evidence pointing towards it being a genuine sighting rather than simple misidentification. There is a lot of documented evidence that UFOs can cause electrical or magnetic interference in their local area. For example, many people have reported that their car radio has stopped working, or electrical equipment (camera, phone etc) has inexplicably turned off. Also the appearance of the object, its shape, luminescence and flashing coloured lights also puts many alternative explanations out of the question, making this a fascinating sighting.
September 2002 – Smethwick - White Glowing UFO
It was 5.30am on 11th September 2002, and Vera was waiting on Montague Road to be picked up by her work colleagues. She would do this every morning as this was her regular way of getting to work at City Hospital. The morning light had just started to come up and it was very quiet. She randomly looked up into the sky, and when she did she spotted a glowing white light which appeared to be very high up. It was moving slowly in a North Westerly direction. She watched for a number of seconds and then suddenly the light stopped moving. It remained still for a short while and then moved round in a semi circular path to its right. It then stopped again, before moving in a semi circular path again but to its left. It stopped a third time then began moving again. After a few more seconds it suddenly increased rapidly in altitude and completely vanished.
Vera could not explain the light she had seen at all. Most rational explanations can be discounted because of the unusual movement patterns. Planes cannot suddenly stop and hover motionless for a time. If it was a helicopter then she would have surely heard the noise, but she says it was completely silent. The whole sighting lasted a couple of minutes.
November 2003 – Stonnal - Glowing Cigar UFO
It was about 6pm on a clear November evening. Kevin was out on a food delivery to a Total garage situated on the Chester Road in the area of Stonnal. He made the delivery, and walked back outside to his lorry. As he reached it he looked in the direction of Birmingham. Due to the time of year it was already very dark. He saw what looked like a long glowing white cigar shaped object. As he stared at it he could also make out lights of various colours rotating around its centre. These lights were red, blue, green, yellow and possibly other colours.
Kevin estimates that the object was about five miles away and was very large indeed, at least four times the size of a plane. The object was following the Birmingham airport flight line. As he watched, a normal aircraft passed close to but in front of the object, and then the object appeared to begin following the plane slowly across the skyline. He could hear the noise of the aircraft, but the UFO was completely silent. He watched it for at least 30 seconds, but he had a time limit for his next delivery so he had to continue on his journey. He got back into his cab, and when he looked back the object had vanished but he could still see the plane in the distance. There was no-one else around at the time except for someone manning the garage who would not have been allowed to leave their post.
This sighting is quite stunning and has many aspects that cannot be explained. Kevin is very good at judging distance of aircraft so it is unlikely it was a small object close to him. The object seemed much too large to be a lit up balloon of some kind, or a remote controlled model. Some of the lights he could see slowly rotating around it were of a colour not seen in normal aircraft warning lights. Also the fact that he could hear the other aircraft as it flew alongside the object shows that it was completely silent. It performed controlled manoeuvres, an appeared to be following the aircraft. All these facts make it a very interesting case.
August 2004 – Smethwick, Birmingham - Flying Triangle
This sighting occurred in the local vicinity of Kevin and Vera’s current house on Edith Road, Smethwick. It was the night of 8th August 2004 and Kevin decided to take the dog for a walk. As it was a very hot and humid night, Vera decided to keep the front door of the house open to cool down the living room while Kevin was out. It was a very clear and still night. Kevin took his usual route which lead around his local neighbourhood in the area of Cape Hill.
It was about 00.45am and he was about 2/3 of the way down Florence Road walking towards Montague Road. The dog stopped to mark his territory and Kevin turned round momentarily. As he turned back he noticed three bright white lights in a triangular formation moving in a southerly direction. The lights were not flashing at all and were totally silent. The lights were of equal distance to one another. Kevin could make out no connecting body between them. He assumed it was completely black in colour, as he could see that the object was blocking out the stars in between the lights. The object looked like it was 150 foot in the air. and quite large, about 100 foot in length. Kevin watched it for about 5 seconds before it disappeared behind some housing to his right, heading in the direction of his own house.
He hurried home to see if he could see it from his own road. The object had disappeared but his wife was standing on the doorstep looking puzzled. When he asked her about what had happened she explained that looking outside the front of the house to their parked car she had seen a bright white lights shining down on the roof of it. She assumed it was someone messing about with a torch so went outside to check. At this moment the lights vanished, and she saw nothing which could have been responsible for them.
Night photograph of witness location in direction he saw the UFO:
Both Kevin and his wife are familiar with normal aircraft as they often see them taking off and landing at Birmingham airport. The ones which fly overhead are quite loud, but whatever Kevin saw on that night was totally silent. He is certain it was not a conventional aircraft or helicopter of any kind.
This incident is certainly one of Kevin’s most impressive sightings. It seems to be of a classic Flying Triangle (FT). Craft very similar to this have been reported many times from all over the world – very large, triangular, black, and silent, with lights underneath at each corner. Some people assume that these are top secret military craft. However there is lots of evidence to suggest otherwise. Firstly, if they are supposed to be secret, why would the military fly these craft over populated cities? There have been a number of incidents where they have been seen to perform incredible manoeuvres in the blink of an eye, sometimes when aircraft have entered their proximity. Also there have been a number of reports of alien entities seen in the vicinity of these craft. It is impressive that Vera saw white lights on top of the car outside shortly after Kevin sighted the object heading in the direction of the property, it seems reasonable to assume that these lights were from the same object. It seems likely that there may have been other witnesses to this incident that have yet to come forward.
November 2004 - Cheltenham - Red Glowing UFO
Kevin currently works as a delivery driver, delivering food to shops and service stations. His route begins in Bromsgrove and covers Tewkesbury, villages in the Cotswolds and Cheltenham. On the evening of 3rd November 2004, he had finished his deliveries and was driving along the A4109 towards the M5 motorway. It was already dark, and the sky was overcast. As he passed through Uckington, just before reaching the M5, he noticed a red, slightly pulsing light just below the tree-line to his left.
He thought at first that it was following the road at a constant height, but as he was in a moving vehicle he assumed that it was fixed and this movement was an illusion. He decided that the light must be a marker light on top of an electricity pylon, as there is a nearby airport at Gloucester. However the following night when he drove the same route there was no red light present, and he has never seen it since.
Kevin feels it cannot have been an aircraft or helicopter as it was much too low, he estimates around 15 feet in the air. Also there were no other lights visible, just the single red light. He cannot say for certain whether or not the light was in motion, however if it was stationary there is not many explanations which would fit with what was observed. There were other vehicles on the road at the time, but Kevin is unsure if anyone else saw the light. It remains an interesting incident, and one which Kevin wishes he had an answer for.
November 2005 – Leckhampton - White Glowing UFO With Smoke Trail
On Wednesday 2nd November 2005, Kevin was once again out on a food delivery in South Cheltenham. It was about 4.30pm and the sun was setting, and both a clear and still evening. As he was driving down one road towards two mini roundabouts, he saw a very bright white light in the sky over a nearby row of shops. As it was stationary he assumed it must be Venus. Suddenly the object started to move slowly, leaving behind a white smoky tail. Then without warning it shot off to the right of Kevin’s vision in the blink of an eye. He estimates it must have accelerated to at least 300mph in under a second. Kevin said that the speed it shot off at was unbelievable. He was not aware whether or not anyone else spotted the object.
Witness drawing showing view from van, object and direction it moved in:
Witness drawing showing object producing smoke trail:
The sudden acceleration that the object performed in this incident is very impressive and disproves many alternative explanations that could be given. The object could not have been a meteorite as when he first saw it, the object was stationary. If it was coming towards him and just appeared stationary then it would not have turned 90 degrees. There are a number of reported UFOs which have been seen to leave behind a trail of smoke in their wake, could this be a similar type of craft? As the object was apparently at quite a distance, it is hard to say whether it had a natural or un-natural explanation, but certain aspects seem to suggest the later.
2007 – Smethwick, Birmingham - Green Fireball
From outside Kevin and Vera’s house it is possible to see Birmingham centre and the GPO Tower in the distance. After dark the red lights on the top of it are clearly visible. It was about 11-11.30pm at night, and quite cloudy. Kevin and Michael were outside the front door having a chat. They were looking East towards Birmingham when suddenly they noticed something very strange. To the left of the GPO Tower they saw what looked like a green fireball with a long tail descending vertically through the cloud. It travelled downwards until they lost sight of it due to the buildings in the distance.
Witness drawing showing viewpoint, object in distance and GPO Tower:
Several days later there was an article in the Sandwell and Great Barr Chronicle newspaper about the object, as other people had also seen it. However the newspaper passed it off as laser lights from a Broad Street club. The witnesses both knew this could not be the case. They are used to seeing the laser lights from the club in question. From their position the lights always appear to the right of the tower not to the left. Also there is never any beams seen, it is just possible to make out green patches of light on the cloud layer. I asked whether the “tail” seen behind the object could have been a laser light being displayed through fog, but they explained that although there were some clouds that evening, it was relatively clear with certainly no fog. Due to these reasons the laser light explanation is not sufficient.
Photograph of sighting location pointing in direction they saw the UFO:
One possibility is that the object was space debris of an unusual make-up which was burning green as it fell through the atmosphere. However meteorites and space debris generally appear white, yellow or orange when they burns up. It is certainly an unusual sighting and one that certainly occurred, the question is, what was it that was seen? Could it have been a similar object to what was seen back in 1963 at Cleobury Mortimer campsite?
September/October 2008 – Smethwick, Birmingham - White Glowing UFO
It was approximately 10.30pm on a very clear night in the autumn of 2008. Kevin’s nephew Michael had come round to visit. Both witnesses were standing on the pavement opposite their house on Edith Road in Smethwick having a chat. The stars were out overhead and it was quite still. Looking towards the North West they noticed a single white moving light in the sky. It was moving quite fast in their direction. Kevin estimates it was about as fast as a fighter jet. It was almost overhead when suddenly it flared up extremely bright. The witnesses describe it as like “an explosion of white light”. It looked as if the object had got about ten times as large and was about ten times as bright. It only flared like this for a second before it returned to how it originally looked and continued across the sky until it was out of sight behind some trees. The witnesses only saw the object for less than a minute.
Photograph of sighting location pointing in direction the UFO appeared from:
This is an intriguing case. Is it possible that Kevin and Michael saw a satellite travelling across the night sky that caught the sun’s rays for a moment? When this was suggested Kevin said that it looked like it was moving too fast for a satellite, and also that the “flare up” effect that was witnessed seemed much too impressive to just be reflective light. The object was too fast to be a conventional aircraft or helicopter, but also too slow to be a meteorite. As previously mentioned, Kevin’s house lies below the flight path from Birmingham Airport, and also because of his experience working in the military, he can easily recognise known aircraft at night time. Both he and Michael are adamant that this was something different and could not be easily explained.
9th October 2009 - Smethwick, Birmingham - Dark Grey Saucer UFO
Early on the morning of Friday 9th October 2009, Michael was awoken by some very unusual sounds. The noises sounded like a jet engine starting up, accompanied with other strange creaking and bangs. As he listened they seemed to randomly change in volume, so would occassionally die down before becoming loud again, although never to the point that he could not hear them at all. He wondered what could be making the sounds, and was sure that they were coming from outside of the house. This was confirmed to him when he went to the bathroom and closed the window. When he did so the noises became quieter. He re-opened the window and it was louder again.
He went back into his bedroom and looked out of the window. It was still quite dark but the morning light was just starting to come up to the East. Most of the sky was covered in cloud, though to the East this cloud parted and became clearer. He noticed that his father’s car was not on the drive, which meant that he had left for work and the time was at least 5.45am, though Michael did not check the exact time.
Michael lives on Market Gardens, a cul-de-sac which resides next to Smethwick Hall Park. The park has large areas of grass with a childrens play area near the middle. A row of trees partially blocks the view from Michaels window, but he can still make out a large proportion of the park. When he looked out he could see a couple walking along the path which crosses the park. To his bemusement they did not appear to be reacting to the strange noises at all, it was almost as if they couldn’t hear them. This seemed very odd to Michael as the sounds were quite loud and appeared to be coming from the North across the far side of the park. He soon lost sight of the couple due to the lack of light.
Smethwick Hall Park:
Michael lay down but the noises continued and he was fascinated by what they may be. He propped himself up and again looked out of the window. It was now that he noticed a glowing constant white light to the North North East. The light was a short distance above the tree tops on the far side of the park, but looked like it was further away, about half a mile from his position. Michael estimates it was about 300 feet high. It was moving at a moderate speed, perhaps 50mph, on a level course in an Easterly direction. It kept the same altitude throughout, even though the area is on a slight slope. Michael was intrigued by the light, and watched it as it moved across the sky, occasionally obscured by the row of trees along his road.
View of the park from Michaels window:
As the light got to roughly level with his position, it reached the part of the sky that was beginning to be brightened by the morning sun. It was now that the object became clearer and he finally got to see it in more detail. He was absolutely astounded by what he saw. The object was a “classic” curved saucer shape and metallic dark grey in colour, and he was immediately convinced that he waas looking at a craft of some kind. On the top of the object was a rectangular shaped protrusion, and on this upper section was a white rotating light. It was rotating roughly every few seconds in an anti-clockwise direction. There was no visible beam coming out from it but it reminded Michael of a lighthouse. As it was rotating the light would alternately become dim then bright again. This was the only light visible on the object, but up until this point the white light had appeared a constant brightness, which is a puzzling aspect of the sighting. Michael estimates the object was at least 50 feet wide if it was as far away as it appeared to be.
Witness drawing of UFO:
Drawing done by Kevin based on Michael’s description:
Amazed by what he was witnessing, Michael continued to watch the object for a further 8 seconds until it was lost from view behind trees to the North East East. During this time he did not think to get a camera and try to photograph the object, but even if he had it would have disappeared before he had the chance. Once it had vanished from view he continued to hear the unusual sounds for a further 20 minutes or so. After this time the noises began to