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June 1976 – Wargrave – White Orbs Sighting

Updated: Jan 3, 2023

Birmingham UFO Group Case Report

Author: Dave Hodrien

Release Date: 23/12/2022

Last Updated: 03/01/2023

In early December I released a case report on Facebook covering a historical sighting of some white orbs seen over Kings Norton, Birmingham. In response to this report I was contacted by a man named Danny Lemon from New Zealand who claimed to have seen something similar earlier in his life while living in the UK. I arranged a video call via Facebook Messenger to go over what took place.

Sighting Details

It was June 1976, a summer Danny remembers well because of the extreme drought which took place. He was 16 at the time, and living in Reading, South England. At the time he had a part time job as a dishwasher at a hotel on the outskirts of Henley-on-Thames, a town 9 miles to the north of Reading.

He recalls that there had been a number of reports of UFOs seen across the South of England in the newspaper (Unfortunately he did not keep any of the articles and I have been unable to track down any of them online). He was fascinated by these reports, and wished that he would have a sighting of his own. Incredibly, the following evening, he did!

It was 5.30pm and he and his work mate Howard were riding their mopeds North along Wargrave Road, one of the main roads that leads between Reading and Henley. It was a pleasant, still and sunny evening. There were a few other vehicles on the road but it wasn’t particularly busy.

They were just south of Wargrave, with Howard taking the lead. Danny happened to glance up into the sky to the East, and was amazed at what he saw. There was a cluster of really bright white orbs travelling North-North-Eastward. The objects seemed to be moving at quite a pace across the sky. As they moved they seemed to dance around one another.

Aerial map showing Reading (A), Henley-on-Thames (B) and the location of the sighting (C)

Intrigued by the objects Danny honked his horn in an attempt to draw Howard’s attention, but unfortunately he was too far ahead of him and he did not hear. Instead of continuing to follow him, Danny decided to pull up at the side of the road and watched the objects. He happened to be approaching the entrance to The Piggott Church Of England School, so pulled over and stopped. Howard did not notice and continued on his way.

Modern photograph of the entrance to The Piggott Church Of England School
Aerial map showing the entrance of the school where Danny pulled over and the direction the orbs were initially seen in

On the far side of the road were open fields, giving a great view of the sky. The objects were still present and moving fast to the left, slowly getting more distant as they did. It was hard to judge their altitude or exactly how far away they were, but they were at an elevation of about 25 degrees and Danny thinks they were between 300-400 feet up.

Photograph of the opposite side of the road as it appears today (In the 1970s the trees were not present):

There were at least six of them and they all looked identical to one another, brightly glowing white orbs. They were not in an organised formation but as they moved they oscillated around one another in circles, seemingly under intelligent control. They appeared to be moving extremely fast, much faster than aircraft would fly at. They also seemed to be completely silent, although they weren’t particularly close so this could have been due to the distance.

The glow coming from them was so bright that they imprinted on his vision so when he briefly looked away from them for a moment he could still see the shape of them, similar to staring at a lightbulb for too long.

It took the orbs about 45 seconds to reach the distant horizon and vanish from sight. Nobody else on the road seemed to have noticed the objects, if they did then they did not stop to observe them. Danny was astounded at what he had just witnessed. He felt sure that the objects had not been aeroplanes, helicopters or drifting inflatables reflecting sunlight. There was nothing else left to do but to get back on his moped and continue his journey to work.

When he arrived he excitedly told Howard about what had taken place. It quickly became apparent that he had not noticed the objects at all. Their shift at the hotel ended at 9pm. Danny does not recall telling his father about the sighting when he arrived home. He says that his relationship with him was a little strained at the time. He says that over the years he has told very few people about the incident, mostly due to the stigma of the subject. However it has remained with him and led to a big interest in UFOs.

Sighting Analysis

This is an interesting sighting and I can see why Danny was intrigued by the objects. Due to the oscillating movements the orbs were making I feel that aircraft can be ruled out from the off. Aeroplanes would not be able to perform such manoeuvres in the first place, and a formation of helicopters would have no reason to move around each other in this manner. As this happened back in the 1970’s drones can also be ruled out, as this was decades before they became commercially available.

Birds can sometimes reflect sunlight and appear as silver or white orbs of light. However flocks of birds tend to follow one another in longer swooping arcs rather than roll around one another. It was clear weather so the objects could not have been ball lightning, and earth lights only tend to appear in rural locations and are usually seen to drift slowly. The objects cannot have been meteorites seen during daylight hours as these do not circle around one another.

One explanation which is worth considering is that the orbs were a number of balloons reflecting sunlight. Danny believes that the objects were self-illuminated as they all appeared exactly the same brightness, and this brightness did not alter as they moved across the sky. He also believes that they were moving too quickly to be drifting inflatables. However it was hard to judge the exact distance of the objects, and therefore also hard to judge how fast they were moving. They did not move to the horizon in only a few seconds, Danny watched them for almost a minute, so they could conceivably have been closer and slower than they appeared to be.

While the movements of the orbs appeared intentional, balloons can sometimes get caught in air currents and drift in loops around one another as they drift along. The objects did not perform any movements which would definitely indicate intelligent flight, such as suddenly coming to a halt or performing any right angled turns. However, from Danny's description, the objects were extremely bright which could suggest that they were self-illuminated rather than merely reflecting sunlight.

It is entirely possible that the objects were advanced craft of some kind, especially given the fact that there had been a number of sightings around the area in the days leading up to the incident, and that Danny had this sighting very soon after wishing for it. However this could have been merely down to coincidence, and I feel that based on the information provided balloons cannot be entirely ruled out as the explanation. As it is impossible to confirm this so many years on, whether you feel that this is what was seen is going to be down to personal opinion.

Copyright Dave Hodrien 2023



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