Birmingham UFO Group Case Report
Author: Dave Hodrien
Last Updated: 10/02/2014
In late December 2013 I was contacted by a gentleman named Kerry Devine. He had been looking through the cases listed on the BUFOG website and realised that his own fascinating sighting was not present, so decided to forward me the details of what he and others witnessed back in 1997.
It was dusk on an evening in June 1997. Kerry was on his work shift at the Automobile Association Headquarters on Dogkennel Lane, Halesowen. He was in the West wing of the building which faces in the direction of Brierley Hill. He noticed that 5 of his work colleagues were gazing out of one of the large windows, pointing and chatting to one another excitedly. Kerry was intrigued and walked over to see what all the commotion was about. They pointed up into the sky through the window.
The clouds were quite low in the sky and were catching the orange glow of the setting sun. Below the clouds there were what appeared to be a couple of spherical objects moving slowly to the West. The objects were white or silver in colour and were reflecting the setting sunlight, so were definitely solid. They appeared to be at an altitude of about 3-4000 feet. Judging by the distance and estimated height, Kerry feels that they must have each been about the size of a large car. Kerry was informed by his colleagues that there had been about 20 of the objects, but most had already moved out of sight.
Aerial map of the sighting location with the location and directional movement of the UFOs added by the wintess:
The remaining objects began to perform a series of very unusual manoeuvres. They appeared to be taking it in turns to move vertically up through the cloud layer at incredible speed then descend back down while zig-zagging through the air. This continued for about 10-15 minutes in front of everyone. These manoeuvres would have been impossible for an aircraft to perform.
The witnesses could barely believe what they were seeing. However as they were supposed to be working at the time some of them dispersed and returned to their desks. Kerry continued to observe the objects for as long as he felt he could get away with. After a while the objects which had remained behind the main formation seemed to finish their display and fly off rapidly to catch up with the rest of the UFOs.
As it happened, to his work colleagues amusement, Kerry was reading a book on UFO sightings at the time. Within the book there was a contact number for the MOD at Whitehall. At around 2am after thinking about whether he would be believed or not, Kerry rang them to report the incident. They took down the details of the sighting. They also denied that there had been any air traffic in the area at that time.
Kerry didn’t see his work colleagues again until a couple of days later. When he went back in for another shift he was informed that the Express and Star newspaper and numerous UFO societies had been trying to get hold of him. Kerry wondered how they had found out about the sighting or why they particularly wanted to speak with him. The other witnesses did not seem to want to talk about the incident as they felt it may damage their reputation if they were named.
As Kerry is the kind of person who does not deny what he has witnessed, he decided to speak to the Express and Star about what took place. He asked them where they had got their information from and they informed him that the MOD had contacted Brierley Hill police directly with his report. The police had subsequently got in touch with the papers. The article that the Express and Star released made front page news, possibly due to the involvement of the AA.
Kerry later found out that there had been other witnesses elsewhere in Halesowen who had also seen the formation. A gentleman who was out walking on the Clent Hills did see the UFOs and also reported it to Halesowen News, but unlike the Express and Star they did not release an article.
Kerry continues to have an active interest in the UFO subject. He believes that what he and his work colleagues observed was one of the largest formations of UFOs to have ever been seen over the UK and feels very lucky to have been a part of it. He has also pointed out the similarities between what he saw and the fleet sightings that have been observed and videotaped in Mexico.
Below is the Express and Star article on the incident, which was published on 17th June 1997.
This is a very interesting sighting indeed and certainly one worth looking into. A possible mundane explanation for such an incident would be a cluster of silver-coloured balloons released into the sky either on purpose or accidentally, and drifting on air currents. Another possibility would be a flock of birds caught in bright sunlight, as they can sometimes appear like small reflective orbs during these conditions. I have actually witnessed this directly on more than one occasion. If the formation had merely floated away into the distance then I would have certainly suggested balloons or birds as an explanation.
However the manoeuvres performed by the 2 objects which split away from the main group sound far too controlled to have been caused by gusts of wind. Let’s imagine for a minute that the UFOs seen in this incident were indeed silver balloons or birds. Firstly it is unlikely that just a few would break away from the main group without the others being affected in any way. Then it is highly improbable that one at a time these balloons would be caught in gusts of wind which would cause them to ascend vertically before descending while twisting and turning while the other remained stationary in the sky. Then it is even more unlikely that after doing this for about 10 minutes they would then suddenly stop and move away in the direction that the formation had travelled away at increased speed.
Due to these manoeuvres I feel that balloons or birds are an inadequate explanation for what was observed. And the witnesses involved certainly seemed convinced that they had seen something unusual. If the objects were a formation of ET craft, why did the two remain behind and perform this strange series of movements? Kerry feels that they were doing this on purpose as a display for the witnesses. There are many other reported UFO sightings where similar things have been reported, including the fleet sightings in Mexico as Kerry himself highlighted.
It is unknown were the UFOs moved off to or how far they continued across the UK. I find it very probable that there were other witnesses who for one reason or another have not shared the details of what they saw. If you have any further information on this incident or saw it for yourself but have never spoken about it please get in touch.
Copyright Dave Hodrien 2014