Birmingham UFO Group Case Report
Author: Dave Hodrien
Release Date: 07/09/2019
Richard Freeman is a renowned UK-based cryptozoologist. He is the zoological director of the Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) and has published a number of books on the subject.
In August 2019 he came to give a talk at BUFOG about a number of well-known cryptids (animals whose existence or survival are disputed or unsubstantiated) from around the world, and his various expeditions to attempt to obtain evidence of their existence. After his talk Richard stopped overnight at my house as his train home was not till the following morning. We got chatting and he informed me of a number of experiences which fitted more closely with Ufology and ET contact than with cryptozoology. He gave me permission to write down these experiences and document them in this report.
Knocks on the Wall
In the early 80’s Richard lived in a house on Cedar Road, Camp Hill, Nuneaton with his grandparents. His earliest unusual experiences happened in 1983 or 1984 when he was 13-14 years old. They began one night after he had gone to bed around 10-11pm. He was lying down with the light off but had not yet dropped off to sleep. He suddenly heard a tap tap tap-tap sound of knocking on his bedroom wall, coming from the adjacent room. It sounded like someone knocking on the wall with their fist.
The room adjacent to his bedroom was just used as storage. It contained a wardrobe and some book shelves. Richard got out of bed and went to check in the room. As expected there was nobody there. He returned to his room and got back into bed. At the time Richard was aware of cases of poltergeist activity and wondered if that was going on. He decided he would attempt to communicate. He knocked twice on the wall. To his astonishment he got two knocks back in response! He then began knocking different numbers of times, and each time got the same number of knocks back. For an unknown reason he wasn’t scared of what was taking place. After several minutes he stopped getting a response to his tapping on the wall and so settled down to sleep (Which you may feel is strange in itself – I certainly wouldn’t be able to sleep after something like this had taken place!)
The following night once again he was lying in bed and the tapping started again! Like before he began communicating with whatever it was, and each time it would copy the number of knocks on the wall. Richard informs me that it repeated like this every night for the period of about two weeks. The tapping would always start around the same time and always in the same location.
On one of the nights he tried asking it questions out loud. He asked it basic mathematics questions and would get the correct number of taps in response. For example he asked it what two times three was and got back six knocks on the wall! Richard does not know why he did not take this much further, for example getting it to respond with one knock for yes and two for no. If he had done this he may have been able to ask it detailed questions.
After this particular time period he never heard the knocks again. He was certain that whenever it occurred the adjacent room was empty and it was not someone playing a prank on him. If the knocks had always started with Richard, it could be suggested that it was just caused by echoes within the wall, but this was not the case, nor does it explain the knocks given in response to questions. Richard is adamant that nobody was playing a practical joke. The fact that it happened night after night for a period of time tends to back this up – if it had occurred only once or twice this would be plausible (not that there was anyone else living there besides his grandparents).
Around the same time as the knocking sounds (Richard cannot remember whether prior to or after) he had what would be described as an alien visitation. He woke up in the early hours of the morning. When he rolled over in bed he saw a being hovering in the air alongside the bed. It was about two feet away from the edge of the bed and in a lying down position at the same height as himself.
The being was completely unclothed. It had a slender frame and smooth skin with no wrinkles visible. Its arms were very long and thin, and positioned along its side. There was no genitalia visible. It had the general features of a Grey but with a number of unusual aspects. Firstly its skin colour was bright pink like peppermint rock from the seaside. Its eyes were very large, oval in shape and brown in colour. The being’s chest had human-like nipples. Its feet were rounded and there were no noticeable toes.
He stared at the being, frightened by its presence. It slowly turned its head to look at him. It then stretched out one of its arms and put it round his shoulders. Suddenly he jolted up in bed. He was fully awake and the being had completely vanished. It took him a while to settle back down.
Richard feels that this incident was probably a hallucination brought on by hypnagogia rather than ET contact. While some of the aspects of the experience such as the odd colour and features of the being and the unusual position it was in, it is still interesting that it had the general appearance of a Grey. In addition to this, as you will see later in this report, this is not the only time that Richard has had encounters of this kind.
Red Orbs Sighting
Richard’s first UFO sighting took place in the autumn of the same year as the poltergeist activity. It was a clear and still evening with only light cloud in the sky. Richard was walking along Cedar Road from his grandparents’ house to his mother’s house. It was quiet and there were no cars on the road at the time.
He happened to glance up at the stars and noticed two glowing red orbs of light in the sky. They were situated slightly to the left of his location at an angle of about 75 degrees. The orbs were positioned diagonally from one another. It was hard to accurately judge how high they were, but Richard believes they were about 2000 feet up. Due to their apparent height this would have made them quite sizeable.
The orbs were cherry red in the centre with a red glowing haze around their edge. The brightness was constant, there was no flickering which you would tend to see with a flame. They were completely stationary. Richard stared at them in fascination for about 10 seconds wondering what they could be. Unfortunately he did not have a camera on him.
Suddenly an arc of blue electricity passed from the higher orb to the lower one. A couple of seconds went by and then another arc came down from the lower orb, seemingly down to the ground, although this was lost from view behind the local housing. Within a second of this both the orbs instantly vanished from sight!
Mystified by what he had seen, he continued walking to his mother’s house. He does not recall whether he mentioned the incident when he arrived there. He did mention it to a number of his friends at school.
Several years went by without any further unusual events. But in 1987 Richard would once again experience a night-time visitation. For an unknown reason he woke up in the early hours. Looking across his bedroom past his pet snake’s vivarium he noticed that the bedroom door was open. He immediately thought to himself “That’s strange, I thought I closed that.”
He then noticed a shape which should not have been there. Peeping around the door was a Grey very similar to the one he had seen before. The only difference was that this one was a tan brown colour rather than bright pink. The being was partially hidden by the door, he could just see the side of its face with a single eye, and one long arm which the being had positioned up in the air stretched out above it.
A moment after he looked at it the being made a shocked noise and then quickly retreated from view behind the door with a waddling motion. It appeared that it had noticed Richard looking at it and it did not wish to be seen. Immediately just like before Richard jumped wide awake. He felt dazed and the Grey was nowhere in sight. However the bedroom door was still open.
Richard once again puts the incident down to a hypnagogic hallucination. This could the case, once again the being was in an unusual position with its arm up in the air. But it is interesting to note that the door was clearly ajar even after the experience ended. While it could have drifted open of its own accord, or perhaps been opened by Richard getting up in the night, this may instead point to the experience physically taking place.
By the late 90s Richard was fully involved in the world of cryptozoology. He also had an interest in the mystical, including ancient monuments of the UK. It was late autumn in either 1999 or 2000 and he had gone to Dartmoor with two friends Phil and Alison, and another friend of Phil’s. They were there to check out Grey Wethers - one of the most well-known stone circles.
It was dusk by the time they arrived, so due to the time of year must have been mid-evening. The weather was not great, it was a little drizzly and windy, with cloud cover overhead. Grey Wethers is not alongside any public roads, in order to reach it you have to park and walk by foot. They parked at the side of the B3212, the closest main road to the stone circle. They then began walking North West towards its location.
Between them and their destination was a number of grass covered fields edged by low stone walls. As they entered one of these fields something unusual started to take place. Richard and his friends somehow all became confused and lost. They began wandering about in all directions looking for the gate to the next field.
This seemed to go on for quite some time, at least half an hour, as Richard noticed it was becoming dark. The situation felt strange, almost dream-like. He thought to himself “Why are we all wandering around and can’t find the way out?” As they walked around they occasionally spoke to one another about the situation but were relatively quiet.
Suddenly across by one of the walls Richard saw a circle of small pale blue-white lights appear, roughly 25-30 feet from his position! It appeared to be about 5 feet across and just above ground level. His friends were further away at the time, and he drew their attention to it by exclaiming “Look at that!” They stood there wondering what it could be. They were not frightened, just puzzled by its appearance.
After about 30 seconds all of the lights suddenly blinked out. Then several seconds later they all reappeared, but this time they were in the shape of a figure with arms and legs by its side and a dome shaped head! After a few more seconds the lights disappeared again.
At this point Richard knew something really unusual was taking place. He thought back to Dartmoor folklore stories he had read about pixies (piskies) and how they were known to lead travellers astray. He recalled in these stories that one of the ways to break the curse was to turn your jacket inside out. Without really thinking this would actually have any effect at all he took off his coat and turned it inside out, asking his friends to do the same. For an unknown reason none of them questioned what he was asking them to do, which later on felt odd.
As soon as they did this the dream-like state seemed to dissipate and they immediately noticed the gate to the next field in the stone wall. They walked over to and through the gate, and could then see the circle of stones in the distance, lit up a bonfire some other people had lit. At the same time they noticed the sound of guitars and drums being played. It felt strange that they had not heard these while in the previous field as according to Richard they should have been able to.
They soon arrived at the stone circle and stayed there a while. They did not mention the bizarre incident in the field to the other visitors, just simply smiled at them on their arrival. After a while it started to rain so they decided to return to their car. They took a different route back to it rather than re-trace their steps through the fields.
Richard never really discussed the incident with his friends again after that evening to any great extent. They have now moved elsewhere and he has lost contact with them, but he often thinks back to the strange series of events that occurred that night. Was there really something to the stories of people being pixie-led? In these stories people would often find themselves mysteriously dis-oriented and would lose track of time and direction, just as Richard reported.
Here is a link to a page on the Legendary Dartmoor website about the Pixie Led phenomenon:
What occurred in the field made no sense, as obviously in this situation the logical thing to do would be to walk to the wall and then walk along until the gate is found? But for some reason nobody present thought of this, they just started walking back and forth aimlessly. Richard confirmed that they had not drank any alcohol or taken any drugs. The orbs of light which were seen are a fascinating mystery. They were off-road and there was no farming machinery around which could have been responsible for what they saw. No machinery would make that pattern of lights in the first place, nor would the lights have changed shape in the way that they did.
The bizarre shape the lights formed after vanishing for the first time is very interesting indeed. Was it, as Richard interpreted, a humanoid figure? Or was it merely reminiscent of one? If it was a figure this certainly suggests that the lights possessed intelligence, maybe this display was done on purpose to show the witnesses that they were sentient. And what of the way in which things seemed to go back to normal after Richard got everyone to put their coats on inside out? Surely this could not have actually had an effect on what was taking place, and it was just coincidental?
There are so many unanswered questions to what happened here, but for those who believe in pixies I presume the answers are already clear…
In January 2015 Richard went on an expedition to Tasmania for a number of weeks in an effort to track down the Tasmanian wolf (Thylacine), a carnivorous presumed by mainstream science to have become extinct in 1936. In modern times there have been many reported sightings of this elusive creature, and Richard travelled to Tasmania with his Australian friend Mike in order to try and capture evidence of the species’ continued existence.
It was the final evening of their trip before their flight back to England. They had been un-successful in capturing footage of a Tasmanian Wolf, but Mike had arranged for them to spend the night at a farmhouse on the edge of Bronte Lagoon, Bronte Park. The daughter of the family who lived there had apparently had an encounter with the wolf. Mike also claimed to have seen unidentified glowing orbs of light in the woodland south from the house on numerous previous occasions when the weather was clear, and was aware that the family had also seen them.
After arriving and settling in they discussed the sighting of the Tasmanian Wolf with the daughter. After this the conversation then turned to the lights. The farm owner said that the lights would appear most nights and they had seen them on many occasions. He said that on one occasion one of them had come in close to the house and hovered outside over a window box. In the morning when they checked the window box they found that the plants had shrivelled up and died.
Richard hoped that he too would get to see the lights. Around 10pm once the sun had fully set everyone went outside to look for the lights. It was a clear night, with only partial cloud cover. Suddenly about 60 feet South of their location directly over the chicken coop one of the orbs appeared! It looked like a glowing white fairy light. It was hovering about a foot above the coop, which meant it was about 4 feet off the ground. It was completely stationary and the brightness
It was only present a short while. Before they began moving towards it to get a closer look it went out. But then further away at the edge of the woodland several other lights came on amongst the trees. As they continued to watch the lights go out and others appear. They would sometimes appear next to the tree branches, other times they would be in mid-air. Richard had seen both glow worms and fireflies on numerous occasions before and was convinced that these were something else entirely.
Richard had his camera equipment with him. Unfortunately the normal cameras he had did not have a good enough zoom on them, and it was not dark enough to use the night vision camera he had with him. He attempted to capture footage of the lights in the woodland but because it was not pitch black the footage came out over-exposed and un-watchable.
They decided to approach the lights in the wood. As they began to get closer the orbs would always vanish, but then others would appear further into the trees. It felt almost as if the lights were leading them South through the woodland. Eventually they came out from the trees at the Northern edge of the lagoon.
Across the far side they could see a small lighthouse. They wondered if the light from this was somehow reflecting off the trees and causing the phenomenon. They felt that this probably wasn’t the explanation, but wanted to be sure, so walked back to the farmhouse. They then set off in their car to drive round to the other side of the lagoon.
When they arrived at the lighthouse it immediately became clear that the orbs of light could not be caused by it. The beam was not far too localised and was not shining in the right direction to catch the woodland on the North side of the lagoon. However while they stared back across it they then saw a much larger orange orb of glowing light appear in the woodland! It looked at least as big as a beach ball and was hovering in the air.
Richard and Mike jumped back in their vehicle and quickly drove back to the farmhouse. On route they lost sight of the orange orb because of the layout of the road. As they arrived they realised the orb was no longer present, and the smaller white orbs were now nowhere to be seen. When they spoke with the family, they confirmed that they too had seen it through the trees, however they described it as red in colour not orange.
Everyone stayed up a while longer hoping to see more lights but no more appeared that night. Richard purposely woke very early before the morning light in an effort to see them again but they did not make an appearance. Once everyone else had woken up he and Mike said goodbye and set off for the airport.
Looking back at the incident Richard feels certain that there was some kind of intelligence behind the lights rather than them being a natural phenomenon such as earth lights. He feels that it was a display of some kind put on for them because they were watching.
Richard has had an impressive number of varied fascinating experiences, especially when you consider that these are in addition to his experiences involving cryptids. Clearly some of these experiences have links with ufology, from his sightings of unexplained aerial objects to his encounters with Grey-like entities, although I’m sure Richard would not consider himself to be an alien contactee.
If you would like to learn more about Richard’s cryptozoological work, the website for the Centre of Fortean Zoology can be found at http://www.cfz.org.uk/
Copyright Dave Hodrien 2019