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December 2008 - Southend - Metallic Disc Photograph

Updated: Aug 25, 2019

Birmingham UFO Group Report

I find it fascinating when people send in UFO sighting details to the group. But it’s even better when they have some actual proof of their encounter, and can add a lot of weight to their story. In this particular case, a UFO was both witnessed and photographed by Gary, his wife Deborah and two children (Names changed for privacy reasons). Both the appearance and the movement patterns displayed by the object were very interesting.

The incident took place back in December 2008 and at the time they did not decide to report what they had seen. However in late November 2009, Gary and Deborah randomly began discussing the sighting again and thought they would send it to some UFO groups as they would be interested to see it. BUFOG was one of the groups who received the photograph with a brief description of what happened, and I soon got in contact with Gary for further details on the incident.

Sighting Details

The family involved in this case live close to East Beach in Shoeburyness, Southend, Essex. Their sighting occurred in the second week of December 2008. It was a day of mixed weather, with both sunlight and showers. It was 10am and the family were out for a drive. It had recently ceased raining. Looking to the North West they suddenly noticed that a rainbow had appeared in the sky. It was in the direction of East Beach so Gary suggested they drove over there to get a better look at it.

Aerial map showing Shoeburyness and East Beach:

About five minutes later they arrived at East Beach, and parked the car close to the water’s edge. The beach was quiet due to the rainy weather. Over the water on a clear day it is possible to see across to Kent without having to get out of the car. The family looked out of the car windscreen at the rainbow. Almost immediately they noticed a stationary object in the sky. It appeared to be metallic and was reflecting the sunlight. The object was smooth-surfaced with curved edges and did not appear to have any protrusions or obvious means of propulsion. Gary estimates it was about ¼ of a mile out to sea, and possibly a few hundred feet high. In his opinion it was large in size, possibly twice as wide as a long wheel transit van.

All the family were puzzled by the object. Gary decided he would get out of the car and take a photograph of it almost immediately. There was a slight breeze coming in from the sea, a mild temperature (about 7/8 degrees C) and it was very sunny with partial cloud cover. It had been raining about 10 minutes previous. The object was hovering over the sea and was completely silent. Gary aimed his camera to the North West and took one photograph. Due to the distance the object was not very big on the photo but could certainly be seen.

Gary got back into the car and the family continued to stare at the object. Deborah had no idea of what it could be, she was mystified by the fact it was hovering completely still in the sky. Her and Gary joked about it being a UFO, but in truth that is exactly what it was. About two minutes went by, then suddenly without warning the object shot vertically upwards at a fast speed. It did this instantly rather than slowly increasing in velocity. In a few seconds the object was completely out of sight and had vanished into the sky. There was no cloud above which it could have been hidden behind, it was just gone. The family were amazed at what they had just seen and wondered how the object could have remained stationary one moment and then moved extremely fast the next.

Later in the day Gary copied the photograph off his camera and was pleased to see that the object had come out on it.

Photograph Analysis

Below is the original photograph of the UFO with the rainbow in the background. The object can be seen in the upper middle of the photo:

Focus on the UFO:

Zoom view of the object with noise reduction:

Zoomed edge find view of the object:

As you can see, the object certainly appears to be solid and metallic or highly reflective. It appears to be a “classic” flying saucer shape, a disc with a raised domed top. The pixilation around it is caused by the resolution of the photo, and is not due to an aura of some kind around the object. The object does not look like a conventional aircraft of any kind or a bird.

MOD Freedom Of Information Request