Updated: Aug 25, 2019
Birmingham UFO Group Case Report
Author: Dave Hodrien
Release Date: 25/01/2009
For reasons of anonymity pseudonyms have been used
When UFOs are reported by people with good credentials it lends a lot of weight to their statements. Many would put police officers into this category. Due to the nature of their job, they are often adept at describing things they are seeing. There is also less chance of misidentification taking place, as they will often need to report to others about what they have witnessed.
On 20th November 2008 I was privileged to meet up with two police officers from Birmingham who have had numerous sightings since early 2007, including a mass of incidents since mid-October. Some of these sightings have been photographed/videoed and some have other witnesses also present. Most took place while the officers were out on night duty. I met Martin and Sandra at a location in Tamworth to discuss what they have witnessed in depth. This report will cover each of these sightings separately.
March 2007 Rome Sighting
While most of the incidents took place in the Birmingham area, the first significant sighting that the couple had together took place on the 31st March 2007 while they were on holiday in Rome. It was a clear sunny day with some light cloud cover. At 6.30pm the witnesses were out walking the streets of Rome after a day of sightseeing. They were around the area of the coliseum, and were crossing a small open grassy area between the rows of buildings. Dusk had just started to set in but it was still quite bright in the sky. As they walked, Sandra looked into the distance over the buildings. She could see a light grey oval shaped “cloud” in the sky. It was moving slowly to the left along with the other clouds, but stood out as it looked slightly darker and more rounded. It looked about 30000 ft up, the same sort of height as an aeroplane would fly. It was hard to judge how far away it was from them but it appeared to be at least a couple of miles away. Due to the distance, the witnesses estimate that it must have been much larger than a plane. Sandra watched it for several seconds. Suddenly it changed direction and started to move back to the right, in direct contradiction to the other clouds! She realised at this point that whatever she was looking at was not a cloud but something else entirely. As she watched, the object changed shape to resemble a tornado. It appeared to be spinning and was waving left and right in the sky. By this point she had stopped and was staring at it, this is where Martin’s attention was drawn to it. Less than a minute later it changed its shape again and became almost spherical. It also became a bit darker (as if becoming more solid) and became stationary in the sky. Sandra decided at this point to get her mobile phone out and start videoing the object. Sadly the footage didn’t pick up the object too well due to its distance. While watching the object, it began to fade in and out. The witnesses couldn’t tell whether this was due to it moving further and closer or if it was becoming more and less solid in nature. It did this for about 30 seconds, then without warning split into two separate smaller circular shaped objects. These began to move around each other, darting about the sky in curved patterns. Martin noted at this point that the objects certainly seemed controlled in some way. 30-40 seconds later the objects moved together and formed one object again! After this it once more split into two and then became whole a second time, then it started to fade away from their sight until it had vanished. Other people in the area at the time didn’t seem to have noticed the object at all; however the witnesses speculate that maybe somewhere else in the city others may have seen it from different angles.
Afterwards, the witnesses talked about what they had seen a lot and were fascinated by it. It was the first UFO that Martin had seen in his life, so he was excited to discuss it with Sandra and his family. To this day they have no explanation as to what it could have been. Due to its appearance, there is the possibility that it was some sort of atmospheric phenomenon. However the movements and shape changing that the object performed seem far too unusual for this explanation. Whatever it was, it managed to both stop still in the air and go against the wind direction. And the darting manoeuvres that the smaller spherical shaped objects performed seemed far from natural. The fact that it formed numerous different shapes makes it improbable that it was some sort of floating object such as a balloon. It looked almost as if it was trying to communicate in some way. The witnesses have never seen anything like it since, and it remains a mystery.
Witness drawing showing different shapes that the object formed:
June 2007 Tamworth Sighting
This incident took place on a hot clear summer’s day. It was about 1.00pm in the afternoon and the witnesses were off duty and out driving in their own car. They were in Tamworth town centre and just approaching Tamworth snow dome. There are two islands close to the snow dome, and it is between these that the sighting took place. As they went round the first island, Sandra suddenly noticed two objects in the sky off to their left out of the passenger seat window. There were two metallic grey cigar shaped objects, one positioned above and to the right of the other. They were smooth and had no visible markings on them. They were quite low in the sky and seemed to be quite large; the witnesses felt they were about the size of a standard airliner. The objects were stationary in the sky and about ½-1 mile away from them. Initially Martin couldn’t see them as he was driving. They continued up the road towards the second island, and as they approached Martin also got a look at the objects. They then also spotted a 3rd object which looked the same off to their right. It was the same height in the sky as the others. They began to head round the 2nd island and suddenly the objects had all completely vanished. The witnesses didn’t see them disappear, they just looked and couldn’t see them any more. From start to finish the whole sighting only lasted around 10 seconds. Nobody else appeared to have seen the objects, but it’s possible other drivers could have seen them without stopping just as Martin and Sandra did.
This sighting is once again very interesting and hard to explain. The appearance of the objects obviously rules out most explanations. But could the three objects have been some sort of balloons that were released into the sky? Maybe they were drifting so slowly that they appeared stationary to the witnesses. However if this were the case, how did they all vanish at the same time? Surely as it was a clear day they would have been visible until they drifted into the distance or to the ground. Also the objects seemed much too large to be balloons. The objects were clearly present in the sky and not an optical illusion of some kind, as both witnesses saw them from different viewing positions and at various points along the road. It is quite probable that there were other witnesses to these objects but so far none have come forward.
Witness drawing showing the first two objects seen:
Sighting location map:
August 2007 Kingstanding Sighting
This incident was witnessed in total by six people. It was towards the end of August about 11pm at night. Both Martin and Sandra were out on duty in the Kingstanding area in separate vehicles. Martin, a colleague and two paramedics had been called out to force entry onto a house where an elderly person had fallen over. They had just finished up and Martin was on the doorstep of the property talking to the paramedics. It was a clear still night and the stars were out. To their right they suddenly noticed what looked like a bright orange orb of light in the sky. Martin estimates it was about 200 foot up and was less than a mile away from them. It was moving a bit faster than an aeroplane. The size of the object was hard to judge, it seemed about as big as a small aircraft. At first due to its brightness the witnesses thought it was a plane in trouble with an engine fire. Everyone stared at the object and watched as it moved across the sky in front of them. It seemed to be moving in on a circular path heading away from them, so by the time it was to their left it was quite a bit further than it had been when they first spotted it. Eventually they lost sight of the object, which they attributed to the distance. It had taken a couple of minutes to make this manoeuvre. Martin got on the radio to Sandra to tell her about what they had seen and asked her to get across to the area in case it was still around. She was on patrol elsewhere and took several minutes to arrive. Just before she and another officer turned up, the object reappeared in almost exactly the same position it had been in when they first saw it! Sandra parked up in an adjoining road just round the corner from where Martin and the other witnesses were. She and her colleague could now see the object too.
Sketch by Sandra showing the area, her position, and the object:
Everyone watched as it performed exactly the same movement across the sky a second time. Sandra’s colleague took a photograph of it on their mobile phone. The object once again vanished from sight after a couple of minutes. The witnesses waited but this time it did not reappear. They were all a bit shocked by what they had seen, and nobody could offer any rational explanation.
Sighting location map:
Sketch by Sandra showing location she and her colleague stood, the object and the direction it was moving in:
The number of credible witnesses to this incident as well as the photographic evidence show beyond all doubt that it occurred. The question is, what on earth could the object have been? Martin says the most confusing thing about it was the fact that it seemingly returned and performed exactly the same movement pattern a second time. If it was some kind of lit balloon or lantern it is highly unlikely to have done this. In sightings where orange orb shaped objects are reported, often the cause will turn out to be lanterns, however these tend to drift randomly not fly on a direct path, especially not twice in a row. The witnesses did not see the object reappear so it was not necessarily the same object, it could have been a second similar one. If it was the one object it may have travelled round in a loop to appear back at its starting point. Most other explanations can be discredited due to the movement patterns. Meteors would not reappear and perform the same movement twice in a row; neither would they fly in an arc across the sky. It is unlikely to see earth lights appear over a city, and once again the repetition of the object’s movement path means this is improbable.
The photograph taken by Sandra’s colleague is interesting. Below is the original photograph, and a close up enhancement of the object:
The most unusual thing about it is that it captured a different shape to what the officers saw at the time. To them it looked like a clear round orange orb of light. However on the photograph it appears to be a roughly rounded shape with a long “tail” hanging coming down from underneath it. The photo was not prolonged exposure so it is not caused by the objects movement. It is possible it is some sort of light reflection caused by the brightness of the object. Or has it captured the true shape of the object? Sadly no more details can be seen in the photograph giving clues as to what it may have been.
Night-time location photograph:
May 2008 Sutton Sighting
When this bizarre sighting took place, Martin and Sandra were in the same police car on night duty. It was the 1st of May about 11.30-12pm, and a clear night with the stars visible in the sky. They were travelling along Chester Road North. The day time traffic had died right down and the road was quiet. On the approach to a large island, both the witnesses suddenly saw a very unusual object in the sky out of the front window. It was a glowing light blue coloured tear drop shaped object. They described it as the shape of a comet but it seemed like a solid object not something with a trail behind it. The object looked about 200 foot up and was within a mile of them. It was moving very slowly in a diagonal path towards the ground. They watched it for about 5 seconds. Then the object suddenly came to a halt in the sky and retained its shape. A couple of seconds later it started to flicker in brightness, similar to a candle. Then a small spherical object seemed to come from out of the front of the big object. It was the same colour so could have been a part of it breaking away, it was hard to tell. Suddenly both objects vanished without trace. The witnesses were completely baffled by what they had seen, and discussed it as they continued their night shift.
In regards to this sighting, the obvious alternative explanation that comes to mind is that the object was some sort of falling debris/meteor burning up in the atmosphere. However there are numerous things that do not fit this hypothesis. The object looked like a solid structure that was glowing rather than something on fire. Also it was moving much too slowly to be a shooting star, and also seemed to halt for several seconds, which means it can’t have been this. Could it have possibly been an unusual firework of some kind? Or even something exploding and falling to the ground? Due to the movement patterns and shape of the object these explanations also hold little weight. Also if something did explode in the sky over Birmingham it would probably have been reported in the media.
Sandra informed me that her friend told her about a similar object he had seen previously at Newell Estate in Sutton Coldfield, but that whatever he had seen actually came right down to the ground. I have asked Sandra to pass on my details so we may be able to get more information regarding this case soon.
Witness drawing of object/objects seen:
Sighting location map:
Night-time location photograph:
June 2008 Birmingham Incidents
The unusual series of incidents that took place in the early hours of June 11th 2008 covered numerous areas of the Birmingham area. It is not known whether or not all these incidents were related, however there seemed to be too much going on for it to be coincidence alone. To this day it has never been adequately explained.
Martin and Sandra were out on night duty with a third officer in the Great Barr area. They had a radio call asking them to investigate an alarm at David Lloyd Sports Centre that was going off. They arrived at the centre around 1am in the morning. It was a clear night with very little cloud cover and the stars out. They parked up the car outside the gate and got out, but soon found that they could not get past the locked entrance gate. As they waited and talked, Sandra looked up into the night sky and saw a white light, similar to a star but brighter. It was moving quite fast across the sky, far too quickly to be a plane. It looked like it was very high up, about 35000 foot, and was pulsating very slowly. They watched it for about 8 seconds until it disappeared into the distance. Seconds later Sandra saw a stationary white light appear, then vanish and reappear a short distance away from where it had first been. This light was stationary at first, then it began to slowly move away from them, pulsating in the same way that the other object had done. A few seconds later Martin looked to the left and saw what must have been a shooting star speed across the sky. But then moments later a second shooting star took exactly the same path as the first had. The witnesses were puzzled by this – it seemed very odd that two would do exactly the same thing in quick succession.
Just after the shooting stars had occurred, they were radioed and informed that there had been a massive power cut in the areas of Kingstanding and Sutton. Soon afterwards, numerous residents called in from completely different areas all reporting the same thing – their house alarm was going off and they could see a shadowy figure or figures moving round outside of their houses. They could never give a good description, just that there was something moving around. Various officers including Martin and Sandra were sent out to investigate these reports, but were never able to find any explanation behind them. One officer was ordered to return multiple times to the same property – he checked it out and there was no-one there, but then minutes later the resident called back to say there was movement outside again. It felt really bizarre that at least five people from different areas of Birmingham would individually report the same thing at the same time. Martin and Sandra were called out to an estate in Erdington. When they arrived the power was still on. As they were chatting to a young man about the reported incidents, suddenly everything went dark and alarms started going off. Moments later they heard what sounded like a massive explosion coming from somewhere nearby! They received a radio call which informed them that it could possibly be the sub-station in Edmonton Avenue, Kingstanding, and that they should drive over to investigate.
They arrived at the sub-station and could see nothing wrong. Suddenly there were what sounded like several underground explosions on Finchley Road, about 500 yards from where the sub-station was situated. The witnesses watched a manhole cover get blasted right into the air! Nobody seemed to have an explanation as to what was going on. They felt that they were not in control and everything felt very eerie. After this, things seemed to settle back down. In the morning they heard that the electricity board had said there had been nine incidents in the local area. This was very unusual indeed – apparently there would usually only be one or two incidents a night.
Shortly after they were off duty, Martin and Sandra decided to E-Mail BUFOG to let us know what happened. However half way through it the computer randomly shut itself down. Ever since that night they have had unusual things going on in their house – computer and internet issues, the phone making automatic calls to people, a pane of glass shattering by itself. The witnesses believe that these events are somehow linked to what they experienced, or that they are being monitored by someone.
Was what was experienced a series of completely unrelated incidents? Or were they all connected in some way? Could the lights that Martin and Sandra saw in the sky somehow have been responsible for what was to follow? And if they were, for what purpose? Could the lights seen have just been satellites, space debris or other atmospheric phenomena? This is certainly a possibility with the first object which just moved across the sky, but what of the lights which appeared and disappeared? As for the shooting stars, it could have been coincidence that both occurred in quick succession in the same place. Or perhaps they were not shooting stars at all, but something else entirely - it is impossible to say either way.
I contacted the electricity board for Birmingham, Central Networks. They confirmed that they received complaints reporting power failures in the areas of Kingstanding and Sutton, however said they had none on record from Erdington. This does not necessarily mean that there wasn’t one, it just means nobody rang the company to complain about it. They also confirmed that at 12.35am on Finchley Road a faulty cable sparked. This must have been what was witnessed, although the contact at Central Networks was confused as to how this could have looked or sounded like explosions in any way. Perhaps the pressure built up due to the heat, which caused the manhole cover to lift. Despite having them on record, the person I spoke with could not give me any possible causes for the power cuts, she was just able to confirm that they did take place.
Was all that was witnessed that night signs of an event taking place across the Birmingham area? Or were they completely unconnected and just pure coincidence? If something strange was at work, was information held back from both the police officers involved, and the public at large? To this day, the witnesses involved ask themselves these questions and hope that at some point they will be answered.
October – December 2008 Birmingham Sightings
Since October 16th Martin and Sandra have experienced a wave of sightings of UFOs. They estimate that they have had around thirteen sightings of strange objects in the sky. Many but not all of these have been similar in shape and form. They are confused as to why this is happening, but feel that part of the reason is that they are now more aware of their presence so are more likely to keep an eye out for them.
The sightings began late in the evening of October 16th 2008. Sandra’s dad rang her to say that he could see something unusual in the sky over the centre of Birmingham from his back garden in Kingstanding. She and Martin drove over to his house to take a look for themselves. When her dad first pointed the object out it looked like nothing more than a bright star low down in the sky. However he then told them to check its position in relation to a fixed point. When they did this they could see that the object was moving very slowly to the west. The rest of the sky remained stationary so it was not just due to the rotation of the earth. They then had a look through the binoculars at the object. Every time Martin checked the object looked different. At first it appeared as blue, white and red lights stacked on top of each other. Then it the lights had shifted to a different layout. Then it looked like two white lights with some sort of black band between them. They were convinced that what they were looking at was not a plane taking off, or a helicopter - as they are in the police force they would easily be able to recognise this. They felt that they were looking at an unknown craft of some kind. After a while the object vanished, they assume it went out of sight due to the distance.
Since the sighting on October 16th they have had at least 11 more sightings of unusual objects. Many of these times the object seen has been very similar to the first time. On 28th of October while on night duty at Rectory Road, Sutton Coldfield, the witnesses saw a stationary blue light in the sky. As they watched, a smaller red light appeared to one side of it. Then they saw two separate bright white lights which moved across the sky descending in a wavy pattern. What sort of aircraft would be responsible for the lighting patterns and movement witnessed?