Updated: Aug 25, 2019
Birmingham UFO Group Case Report
Author: Dave Hodrien
Last Updated: 01/06/2010
For reasons of anonymity pseudonyms have been used
Helen and Barry moved to their current address, a quiet cul-de-sac in Huntington on the edge of Cannock Chase in July 1990 when they were both 43 years old. They have a good view from their lounge to the North of both open fields and dense forest.
Aerial map of Huntington:
One night in May 1992 the couple were sitting outside when they noticed a bright white light to the North over the Chase. As they watched, the object moved up and down, side to side, and periodically shone down a bright beam of light to the ground. Due to these movements they initially assumed it was nothing more than a helicopter. However suddenly the object vanished, leaving nothing but a red trail across the sky for several seconds! The couple were amazed by what they had just witnessed.
The following evening the same object was back in the sky again, roughly the same place it had been previously. Helen and Barry began watching it intently. To Helen the object appeared more long than round in shape, it reminded her of a dragonfly. After a short while a red glowing orb of light appeared below and to the left of the main object. Soon after this a second red orb appeared below and to the right. The two red orbs moved closer together until they were directly under the main object. Then all three unidentified lights vanished at once.
Astoundingly this same thing began happening every night for the rest of the week. It always happened at the same time in the same location. Helen and Barry informed their teenage children and their next door neighbour of the objects, and on numerous evenings they too saw them. After about a week the lights no longer appeared in the sky.
However this wasn’t the last time they were seen. They appeared on several other weeks between June and August. Each time they would reappear for numerous days in a row.
In July one of their neighbours was having a leaving party for a Scandinavian exchange student who had been visiting for the week. During the evening, the unusual glowing object was once again seen in the sky, this time very low down. Their neighbour found some binoculars and some of those present managed to get a closer look at the object. Like usual, the two red orbs appeared underneath and then the lights appeared to fly away in a North Westerly direction extremely fast. The exchange student was astounded by what she had seen.
The UFOs appeared so regularly during those months that it became quite common to observe them. Barry would just say to Helen “You friend’s in the sky again tonight!” The couple were unsure if anyone else also noticed the lights in the area; if they did they kept quiet about it. Helen used to regularly check the newspapers to see if anything was reported but the lights were never mentioned.
At the end of August for the bank holiday weekend, the family decided to go on holiday to Tywyn in Wales where they own a caravan. Their eldest son travelled with his sister in his own car. Barry and Helen travelled in their car with their 5 year old son. They set off in the early hours of the morning at about 2.30am to avoid the traffic. About 10 minutes into the journey Barry realised that the car was not driving fast. They advised their son to split up from them and take the M54 motorway from Featherstone. They assumed that the reduced speed was due to some unclean petrol. Barry decided that the best course of action would be to travel back home, siphon off some of the petrol, then they could top it up at a 24 hour petrol station, before travelling on the A5 to Telford.
When they arrived home they found that the car was responding a bit better, so decided to continue their journey through Penkridge to the A5 without bothering to stop to siphon off any petrol. As they left the house Barry noticed the glowing light in the sky again in the usual position. He pointed it out to Helen.
They continued on their journey. It was a very clear night with no rain. The road was very quiet with hardly any other traffic. They travelled at a slower speed than normal, about 45 mph. The distance to the caravan at Tywyn was 106 miles.
As they left Welshpool on the A458 and began driving up a long hill, Barry said to Helen “Your friend must be keeping an eye on us!” Helen looked out of the left passenger window and noticed a bright white light in the sky, which looked very similar to the glowing light they had seen over the Chase on many occasions. It was higher in the sky than they had normally seen the UFO at. As they were travelling West at that point not North, Helen thought that the light must be a bright star or planet rather than the UFO.
Photograph showing the long hill just west of Welshpool where the light was first spotted:
They continued driving and the light remained to the left of them in the sky. As they approached a deep valley which leads to Mallwyd, Helen noticed that the light seemed to be getting nearer to them. She pointed this fact out to Barry. He continued to drive, keeping one eye on the road and the other on the light. They neared an area which they have nicknamed “the wilderness” due to the fact that the fields on one side of the road are always brown and scorched, while the other side is always green. There is a line of pine trees growing in this area. The light now got brighter and seemed to be hovering low down over these trees. It was now quite close to the road and clearly an object rather than just a bright star.
Photograph of the approach to the valley which leads to Mallwyd:
Helen was now very frightened due to the proximity of the object. She stared up at it through the passenger side window. The object was long and cigar-shaped, and had small illuminated square windows along it. It was at least the size of an aeroplane, and seemed to be completely silent. It appeared to follow alongside them for a short distance, during which it briefly shone down some searchlight-like beams towards them. They then turned a sharp bend at the start of the valley. Helen now saw the familiar red orbs arrive. One came in from the left, and the other from the right.
At this moment all the objects flew off together extremely fast down the valley and out towards the sea. Barry and Helen did not say much to each other after it had gone. They were quite shocked at what had taken place. By the time they reached the caravan, it was beginning to get light. They both felt exhausted. Their 5 year old son had been asleep in the back of the car for the entire time.
When they arrived their children looked extremely happy to see them. They soon found out that the time was now 7 o’clock in the morning! The journey had taken far longer than it should have. They had set off at 2.30 am. By the time they had returned home after the car started going slow it was around 2.50 am. The journey from their home to the caravan was 106 miles and they were driving approximately 45 mph. Therefore they should not have arrived any later than 5.10 am. There was nearly 2 hours of time they could not account for. Both Barry and Helen were very confused by what had happened, as they had no recollection of stopping at any point to observe the UFO.
Aerial map showing the entire journey indicating Huntington (A), Welshpool (B), Mallwyd (C) and Tywyn (D):
The couple told their son and daughter all about what had happened, but have not spoken to many others about it. In Helen’s own words “Unless something like this has happened to you, it is difficult to expect people to understand. It is beyond reasoning. There are no explanations”.
After the missing time experience, the UFO was not seen again over Cannock Chase until the following year. In the summer of 1993 they only saw the object on several occasions, but it was still enough to know that they were still in the area for whatever purpose. On one of these occasions they had gone to pick up Helen’s father from Bloxwich to bring him back to theirs for a visit. Prior to this experience her father had been sceptical about what had been observed, but now he too had become a witness, and from this point onward kept an eye on the night sky.
The UFO would not be seen again for many years after this. However in 2010 Helen and Barry once again spotted it in the sky over the Chase. They observed it for around an hour. As had been seen on previous occasions it was shooting beams of light down into the forest. During this incident they attempted to take photographs. Unfortunately the light from the object was too bright and the photos didn’t come out correctly. Since then the object has not returned to the area, but due to the amount of repeated times it has been seen it is likely that the witnesses have not seen the last of it.
Analysis Of Events
It seems incredible that a UFO would return to the same area again and again. In most cases a UFO will be seen only once at a specific location, or only a few times within a particular area. However due to the aspects of what has been observed, it is very hard to provide a suitable mundane explanation for what has been seen.
The obvious explanation for the lights seen at a distance would be a helicopter over the Chase, military or otherwise, performing a regular operation for whatever purpose. However there are several reasons why this could not have been the case. First of all, if the helicopter did switch its lights off suddenly this could give the appearance that it had vanished, but not leave a glowing red trail in the air. It was clear that the objects had not just switched off but had left the area at an extreme speed. This was observed on many occasions, so an optical illusion seems very unlikely. While the colours of the lights seen – white and red – were correct for helicopter navigation lights, the white light had an elongated shape, it was not simply a glowing light. Also the red lights did not appear alongside the white one, they would appear separated and then move towards each other shortly before all the lights would vanish. Again if the lights had only been seen once, you could perhaps assume this was just an illusion caused by a change in angle of view. However the lights were seen time and time again performing this same pattern. If it was just due to viewing angle surely the red lights would sometimes have been visible immediately? The lights were also seen by the whole family, their neighbours and other individuals. Surely this many people could not mistake helicopter lights for something far more unusual?
Then we must take into account the fact that the lights were seen much closer up during the couple’s journey to Wales. It was clear that these were the same objects that had been seen over the Chase, and to separate them as entirely different objects is unrealistic. It was also clear that the white light was a cigar-shaped self illuminated object, which even had a row of visible windows along it. The red orbs of light were definitely separate objects and not connected in any way to the main glowing object.
The missing time aspect of the close encounter with the UFOs is fascinating, and does suggest that something else occurred. There are many cases of abductions taking place while people have been out driving in their car. These incidents usually begin with a UFO approaching the vehicle, which is often followed by a period of missing time which cannot be accounted for. This is because the memories of the experience are often blocked out, probably to reduce the trauma involved. Barry and Helen were aware of the time they had set off from home, the speed they were driving at, and the distances involved to reach their destination. It was clear that the journey had taken nearly 2 hours longer than it should have. This fact was concurred by their son and daughter who were extremely worried by the time Barry and Helen did arrive at the caravan.
I recommended a hypnotic regression to attempt to discover what may have happened during the period of missing time. However at present the couple do not wish to proceed with this as they are worried by what might be unearthed. If they change their minds then this report may later be updated with additional details that come to light. It may also be updated if the family have any further sightings of the UFO over Cannock Chase. I have suggested that they get hold of a decent infra red camera to attempt to capture the UFO on film if it should reappear.
Copyright Dave Hodrien 2012