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Autumn 1997 & November 2003/2004 - Sedgley & Oldbury - Unexplained Fire & Red Orb Sighting

Birmingham UFO Group Case Report

Author: Dave Hodrien

Release Date: 13/12/2015

For reasons of anonymity pseudonyms have been used

Red Orb

On an evening in November 2003/2004 Jason was walking along Sandfields Road in Oldbury. It was cloudy but dry. The sun was setting but there was still some light in the sky. Looking to the North West in the direction of Sedgley Hill Jason noticed what initially appeared to be a bright white star-like light. It was slowly moving in his direction. It appeared to be about 1000 feet up. As it got nearer and reached the grass fields along the North edge of the road it gradually turned until it was moving aligned to the road heading Eastward.

Aerial map of Sandfields Road indicating the fields over which the UFO traveled:

As it neared the end of the road where Jason was standing it began to dim in brightness. It then flared back up changing to a brilliant red colour. It appeared to be massive in size, similar to a small red-coloured sun. It was very bright but Jason was still able to observe it directly by squinting. The red light shining from the UFO reminded him of a laser pen. He was quite frightened by the objects appearance but continued to watch it. Without warning it began to descend, dimming as it went until it vanished from sight.

Witness drawing of the red orb:

Jason was convinced that he had seen something highly unusual. He was aware of what aircraft look like after dark and also of Chinese lanterns, but this looked completely different to anything he had seen before. Soon after the sighting Jason found out that one of his friends who lived about ½ a mile away had also observed the same object.

It certainly appears that Jason and his friend may have witnessed something out of the ordinary. If it was an aircraft or helicopter it is likely that other navigation lights/strobes would have been visible when the object approached. The red glow coming off the UFO was intense enough to give the impression of a spherical shape of great size, I find it unlikely that an aircraft light would appear in this manner. It was clearly impressive enough to have got the attention of Jason’s friend in addition to himself, meaning that it cannot have just been down to his individual interpretation.

The apparent size of the object also suggests that it was not a lantern. These tend to be amber orange in colour rather than red, and even though it would be possible for a lantern to perform the observed manoeuvres I feel this is unlikely to be the explanation in this case. However a larger electronically lit inflatable of some kind cannot be entirely ruled out.

Jason wonders if an unusual atmospheric event such as an earth light was to blame. However it was not stormy weather, and earth lights tend to appear over rural areas rather than towns and usually only last for a brief amount of time.

Ghostly Fire

The orb sighting is not the only unusual incident which Jason has experienced. In 1997 when he was 15 years old he used to regularly head to Baggeridge Country Park in Sedgley on his BMX. One evening autumn he and his friend Steve met up at the adventure playground for a while. It was 9.30pm and getting dark so they decided to head on back. They started walking along the path that led back to the top of the hill alongside Himley Gardens.

Aerial map showing the area of Baggeridge Park where the path lies:

Jason was a little bit further along the path than Steve. He suddenly noticed a glowing light about 20 feet from the edge of the path visible in the darkness. Looking more closely he saw what appeared to be a huge fire with flames reaching 15-17 feet into the air. Standing next to the fire he could see the silhouette of a figure. He immediately thought that this figure may be someone burning a body out of the prying eyes of the public.

Suddenly Jason heard Steve shout at him from along the path. He motioned to him to be quiet and they both continued to watch the figure by the fire. Steve got quite spooked out so they decided to head back home.

When they arrived back at the houses Jason said goodbye to Steve. He was about to go home himself but the urge to return to the hill was too great. Five minutes later he arrived back at the path. But the fire was nowhere to be seen! It had completely vanished. It was too dark to have a proper look around so Jason called it a night and headed back.

The following morning he went back to the path and had a walk around the area. There was absolutely no sign that there had ever been a fire there. It was a complete mystery. The flames had seemingly been much too large to be put out in the short amount of time that he left the area on the previous evening. And even if the figure had put them out there would have been remnants of a fire left behind to see now that it was daylight.

It is possible that the fire was situated at a different location to where it appeared to be, but Jason was familiar with the area so surely he would have found the site when he went looking for it. The area was too remote for it to have been a reflection of house/street lighting, and it was close enough for him to see the actual flames rather than just an orange glow.

Could the fire and figure have been an apparition? Even though this sounds improbable, given the facts of the incident it is certainly worth considering. Either way, this is a bizarre, and some would say rather spooky, incident.

Copyright Dave Hodrien 2015



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