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Summer 1967-76 - Rushden & Eastcombe - Cigar UFO Sightings

Updated: Jan 4

Birmingham UFO Group Case Report

Author: Ian Jones

Release Date: 28/04/2023

Last Updated: 04/01/2024


This report covers multiple sightings of cigar shaped objects from various locations by independent witnesses. The initial witness from Rushden, a lady named Paula Moss, got in touch with BUFOG in the spring of 2023. The first version of this case report was released on 28th April.


Later in the year a man named John from Eastcombe got in touch as a result of reading the report to discuss his own sighting. At this point the report was updated.


Griff Chamberlain, a member of the East Anglia UFO Discussion Group, and another resident of Rushden at the time of the inicent, contacted BUFOG in November 2023 to say he saw something very similar to what Paula reported seeing.


There are a number of similarities between the sightings which suggest they may well have been of the same object, and various viewpoints regarding what it may or may not have been.



Paula's Sighting


The Sighting: Occurred sometime between 1967 and 1973

The Time of Year: Sometime during the summer

The Time of Day: Between 5.30 and 6 pm

The Place: Rushden, Northamptonshire


Paula lived in Rushden, Northampton, in the late 1960s to early 1970s. She cannot be more precise about the year when this event happened to her and her husband and neighbours. She was in her 20s. Their house at 28 Mallery Close, a cul-de-sac, was in a row of 4 semi-detached terraced houses with a gap down the middle, which gave access to the rear gardens. The area has changed since then, but the following pictures indicate the general nature of the area.


2009 view of the houses in Mallery Close
Ariel map of Mallery Close as it is now, with Paula’s house circled

Paula’s Testimony


It was sometime during the summer months between 5.30 and 6 pm. It was daylight and no electrical items were being used.


Paula reports that she was in the kitchen cooking a meal, when suddenly the pans on the gas stove began to vibrate and a terrifyingly loud roaring noise could be heard. Then the cooker began to shake and the house to vibrate and shake. She thought at first that the cause might be an earthquake, so she ran out into the back garden. The occupants of the other houses had also gathered outside, clinging to one another.


Paula reports that the ground was actually shaking and the noise became more deafening and it seemed to be coming from above them, in the sky. However, initially there was nothing visible. Then it was a terrible shock as a huge “rocket shaped thing” came over the rooftops, really low so that they thought it would crash. Lengthwise it was like a passenger jet. It reminded her of a tube, rounded, but open at the back. It had no wings, or fins.


The noise was incredible, overpowering, and there were masses of flames belching out of the tail end, which was round. The flames were enormous.


She said “I think they were multi-coloured, but also invisible, which is mad, but I say that because I could see up into the rear end and the inside looked dark. What was strange was that it wasn’t going very fast somehow. Then it gained height, still not going fast. It was like a plane with no wings, or a sort of missile, just terrifying. I don’t recall seeing any markings on it. Suddenly, within a garden’s length, it went upwards at speed and was suddenly gone – flames gone, noise gone, vibration gone. There was complete silence as we waited for the explosion, that never happened. There was no smoke, or smell. We didn’t have any pets, so no problems with them.”


Paula's drawing of what she saw

She said it cleared the rooftops and seemed to be heading towards Chelveston Air Base.


Just before the object disappeared, Ivor, a friend of Paula’s, who lived less than 2 miles away, ran into their garden. He had heard and seen the object at his house and followed it, either by car or motor-bike, from when it was over his house, to their house.


“No air traffic, clear, if you get a map and can find The Hayway, or just Hayway, that is where Ivor lived. The object flew in a straight line diagonally from there to over our house.”


Ivor worked at the US Upper Heyford Air Base and said he thought it was some sort of missile, or perhaps a plane was in trouble. After the event he phoned them to report the strange sighting and was told that there was nothing in the local air space.


Paula emphasised that the object’s speed was unusual:


“How it stayed in the air was remarkable, I would say too slow to be airborne, but I know nothing about planes. How it suddenly vanished even now sounds unreal. What I cannot understand is how Ivor managed to get to my house in time to see it shoot off! I think that is why we felt it would crash on us. So to blink out was probably scarier.”


Paula’s husband confirms the event. He says it reminded him of the Doodlebugs he’s seen in war films, although not the size of the object, but in particular the loud roaring of the engine and the sudden silence after seeing it disappear from sight, and then expecting an explosion, which never happened. He thinks that either the explosives didn’t work, or they were not present.


Paula commented “The whole row of houses was involved and with the noise many other neighbours no doubt, but weirdly it was never discussed. Like it was pretended it never happened. My husband and I had never spoken of it until I asked him which direction the airbase was in. It was like the thing dropped a feeling of 'that's OK nothing to see here.’ We have never spoken of it, even to our son, that in itself is probably weird.”


She looked in the local press at the time, and also since then, to see whether there were any other reports of the object, but there have been none.


She said that “It is unbelievable I realise, but I doubt I have ever been as terrified in my life as that day.”


Paula moved away from Rushden to Buckinghamshire shortly after this, so lost contact with her neighbours. Ivor also moved away.


General Analysis


Paula’s sighting was a long time ago and she admits that there are some details that she is not certain about, or has forgotten, such as the date and year it took place. However, the core elements of the event – the loud noise, the shaking of appliances and buildings, the appearance of the object, the neighbours’ reactions, her friend Ivor turning up because of seeing the object as well – are the main elements that she does remember. On that basis, this is an interesting and unusual report.


Based on Paula’s description, weather-related causes and astronomical causes can be ruled out.


Similarly, Paula’s description did not suggest this was a conventional airborne object, such as a passenger aircraft, jet fighter, or helicopter, nor could it have been a glider, micro-light, balloon, blimp, etc.

Factors that are significant in this report include:


1. The speed at which the object was moving.

2. The description of the object.

3. The appearance of intense flames from the rear of the object.

4. The loud noise it made.

5. The way it caused things to vibrate and shake.

6. How it disappeared, suddenly.

7. The location of the sighting, where it came from and was heading towards.

8. The lack of reports in the media from people in the local area.

9. The lack of confirmation of anything by way of an incident from the local air base.


Focused Analysis


1. For such a reportedly large object (like a passenger jet, but with no wings) to be moving so slowly seems to defy the usual laws of physics. From the Hayway, where Ivor lived, to Paula’s house in a straight line, which is the track the object would have taken, is about 1.2 miles, as in the map below.


The distance the object travelled, with Paula’s friend following it from his house was 1.2 miles

For Ivor to have been able to follow it from his house via local roads, to Paula’s, according to Google maps, the shortest route was 1.5 miles, which would take about 6-8 minutes, depending on the traffic conditions.


Paula can’t recall whether he used a car, or motor-bike, but both would have needed time to get started and then to be parked on his arrival at Paula’s as well.


Adding in those factors, the time Ivor took to travel the 1.5 miles to her house and run into the back garden, at best, could have been about 10 minutes. However, this means that the object travelled just over a mile in 10 minutes, which is less than 10 miles an hour!


Yet for Ivor to be able to initially hear and see the object and then to follow it as he drove along confirms that it MUST have been clearly visible and moving at a very slow speed, compared with any other usual flying object. Otherwise, he would have lost sight of it. At that sort of speed it should have stalled and crashed.


Pauls says she has always been puzzled by this whole event, the slow speed of the object and the fact Ivor could have followed it at all. “I have never been able to explain the time factors or the slowness of sudden appearance…I cannot think you can explain it, because it sounds so impossible.”


The approximate direction the object was moving in, from Hayway to Paula’s house, was from the NW to SE. Paula says she thinks it was going towards Chelveston Air Base, but this is more to the NE of where she lives, about 5 miles away.


2. As Paula says, her description is like that of a rocket, or missile, flying horizontally.


As far as I have been able to discover, it is not likely that it was either of these things. Rockets take off vertically and do not fly horizontally, certainly not at the height Paula describes.


Rockets cannot move at slow speeds, typically they move at hundreds of miles an hour, and they do not manoeuvre in flight. Accidental launchings of rockets do not happen. There were no rockets launched in this country at that time, even on a test basis. All rocket test launchings were conducted overseas, such as at Cape Kennedy in Florida in the USA, or at Woomera in South Australia.


Regarding missiles, there had been, for example, the Thor intermediate-range ballistic missile system located at many sites in eastern England, but they were withdrawn from service by 1966. They were over 60 feet long and about 6 feet wide, but had to be launched vertically, their liquid propellant only burned for 3 minutes and they travelled at about 10,000 mph up to a height of up to 1100 miles! All testing was done in the USA.



Thor missile

Short-range surface-to-air missiles, used for airfield defence, such as the Tigercat, were also located at many RAF airbases. They were heavy subsonic missiles that had a maximum range of over 3 miles. The altitude was limited to about 3,000 ft due to the low power of the rocket motor. Upon launch there was a dead zone of about 1,500 ft in which the operator had to actually see the missile whilst tracking the target at the same time. Then it was guided by radio. However, they were only about 5 ft long, 9 inches in diameter and had 4 wings that stuck out about 2 ft. All missiles at that time had wings and fins.


Tigercat missile

From 1966 the Thunderbird 2 surface-to-air missile was 20ft long and less than 2 ft in diameter, with a wingspan of over 5ft. It travelled at about 2,000mph with a range of up to 46 miles.


Thunderbird 2 missile

There were other, similar, missile systems around, but all were similar to those described above.


Clearly, safety concerns would prevent a missile from being test- fired anywhere near such a built-up area. The procedure for firing a missile means it cannot be done accidentally.

None of the missiles I have researched fitted the description Paula gives of the object she saw, specifically it’s remarkably slow speed, low horizontal flight and sudden disappearance.


3. Such military objects had markings on them, identifying their make and nationality. Paula says she saw no markings, or windows, on the object. However, perhaps it was some sort of fighter aircraft? So, where might it have come from?


Air bases in the Northamptonshire area: RAF Upper Heyford is about 24 miles to the WSW, near Bicester. In 1965 RAF Upper Heyford became a ‘standby base’, before a USAF Tactical Reconnaissance Wing arrived from France in 1966 and the role of RAF Upper Heyford changed. It’s role from 1971 was to house General Dynamics F-111 Aardvark tactical strike aircraft, as in the next picture.


F-111 Aardvark fighter jet

RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk, which is over 60 miles to the East, also had the F-111 fighter aircraft at this time.


This aircraft was 74ft long, wingspan 63ft (32ft swept back), air speed up to 900 mph at sea level. It would have made a lot of noise.


There is no reason to think the US Air Force would fly their nuclear-armed fighters low over residential areas.


An aircraft such as the F-111 could have flown over the house, but it would have been flying a lot faster than the object was and it’s shape, markings and the way it disappeared do not fit in with Paula’s description. Her friend Ivor could not have followed it at all, by car or motor-bike.

RAF Chelveston is to the NW, about 5 miles away. Again, this is not the direction the object was travelling in. It hadn’t been active during the 1960s. This was closed due to Department of Defence budget cut-backs in the early 1970s.


RAF Croughton is 42 miles to the SW of Rushden. It was designated as part of the US Air Force Communications Service throughout the 1960s and 1970s. No rockets, or missiles were there.


RAF Harrington was 18 miles to the NW of Rushden, but the buildings, runways and taxiways were demolished in the mid-1960s and it became farmland.

Similar findings apply to other military airfields in England at that time.


4. Paula described the colours of the flames coming out of the rear of the object as being transparent close to the exit area, but then being multi-coloured. Also, she said they were belching out, suggesting a forceful, continuous blast. However, Paula says there was no smell associated with this incident. If the flames were the result of fuel combustion, there would be some sort of residual smell resulting from that process. As the object was moving slowly and just above the houses it would have been impossible to ignore.


5. The “terrible” loud noise Paula reports may have been the result of whatever the fuel was that was burning and powering the object.


6. The vibration of everything, from the house and it’s contents to the ground below it, was caused by the noise and movement of the object as it passed overhead.


Factors 5 and 6 suggest this was a real solid object.


7. The way in which the object disappeared was unusual. It started to move upwards, increasing in speed and then seemed to vanish suddenly. It didn’t move extremely fast out of sight. All sensory contact with it was lost simultaneously and instantly. That does not happen with a conventional aircraft, etc.


8. It was flying really low over a residential area, something that aircraft do not do, especially when they are no-where close to a landing site. If it had been an aircraft, or some other conventional flying object, that was in trouble, it would have crashed in the open fields across the A6 just to the east of Paula’s house, and made the news. But it disappeared completely in mid-air, so such an explanation does not apply.


9. At the time of day this happened, many people would have been at home, because it was around evening meal time. Yet despite the reported extremely loud noise and disruptive vibration caused by this object it doesn’t seem to have caused much discussion locally. From Hayway the object would have passed over the following: many houses and roads, a primary school, and the cricket club. It was a built-up area, so if the noise and vibration disturbed Paula and her neighbours, it should have had the same affect on many others living along the route below where this object travelled along. Yet this does not seem to have been the case, which is incredible.


10. The nearby air base at Upper Heyford said they didn’t have anything in the local air space that could explain Paula’s friend’s enquiry. In itself this is no help – they could have been with-holding information about something that did happen, but was sensitive information. If that is the case, we may never discover what happened.



John's Sighting


The Sighting: Occurred sometime between 1972 and 1973

The Time of Year: Sometime during the summer

The Time of Day: After 4 pm

The Place: Bismore Common, Eastcombe, near Stroud, Gloucestershire


Sighting Details


The following is the description John gave me of the sighting he had in the early 1970s. It was after school had finished for the day.


“It was sometime in the summer of 1973 or 2, it is a long time ago, so I do not remember all the details. It was in a wooded valley near the village of Eastcombe near Stroud, Gloucestershire. The actual location was in a field known as Bismore Common. I think I had gone down there with my friend after we had finished primary school for the day.


I was in their house next to the field when two of the girls ran in saying they could see a UFO. I ran outside and immediately spotted the object. It appeared to be about 2000 feet up (although altitude is difficult to work out) and was bullet shaped just like the picture you previously posted. I could not see flames coming out of the back, but it did have some sort of contrail coming out of the back.


This meant that I had a good look at it before it disappeared over the trees. There were no wings, fins or windows or anything to break the outline. From memory it seemed to be a dull bronze colour (I am slightly colour blind so take any description of colour from me with a pinch of salt). I would say the sighting took about two minutes or so.


It’s difficult to remember the month and exact time of day I saw it. I know I had school next day, so could not have been August and if I went down after school, it must have been BST rather than GMT. I think it must have been late afternoon about four-ish. All I can remember is that it was a bright day as the object was easy to see.


My friend denied seeing anything the next day in school (fear of ridicule I think) and it was only their late father who said anything about it afterwards.


The reason I have not mentioned it before, was the slow speed involved and the contrail which seemed to go against every other report.”


John also described the size of the object as like the fuselage of a modern jetliner and it was about 30-40 feet in diameter and that it may have been July when he saw it.


John's drawing of the object he saw

Eastcombe is about 3 km (about 2 miles) east of Stroud, 12 km (7.5 miles) south of Gloucester and Cheltenham, 30 km (19 miles) north-west of Swindon and 35-40 km (about 24 miles) north-east of Bristol and Bath. It is a relatively sparsely-populated area now and was probably more so in the early 1970s.


John can’t recall the address of the house he was in, but the field he saw the object from was known locally as Bismore, or Bismoor, Common. The red and blue icons on the maps below show where this is located, just to the north of Eastcombe village. They give slightly different geographical information about the location where John was.


Even today it is not easy to obtain good photos of this area. There is no road nearby, so a helpful google street image of it does not exist. It is not open farmland, but is at the bottom of a small valley with a stream running through it, surrounded on both sides by trees.


Map showing streams and rivers in the surrounding area
Map showing built up areas and woodland in the surrounding area

The house John was visiting is just to the right of the red icon in the below aerial map, but it is obscured by trees. The larger area around Bismore/Eastcombe is still a mixture of mostly open and wooded land.



John said that where he saw the object from “was a long flat field at the bottom of the valley, with a stream running through it. Woods on all sides & only able to see a few houses”.


Links With Paula's Sighting


John reports that the UAP came from the Southwest and it was heading Northeast. John was about 110 km (68 miles) away, in a straight line, from where Paula lived in Rushden and that trajectory would take the UAP towards her location. The direct route between Stroud and Rushden is over mostly open countryside. The only significant populated places over which the UAP would have passed are Banbury and to the south of Northampton. Both would have had smaller populations than they have now. Also, the roads between Stroud and Rushden would have been less busy then and they were not major roads anyway.


The flight-path of the object is also midway between the airports of Birmingham, to the north and Luton to the south-east.


The following section is an exercise in comparing the details in Paula’s and John’s descriptions of what they saw, to see whether there is much agreement between them. Then, to consider whether the object they saw, from their different locations, could be the same one.


Year?


John thought 1972 or 1973. Paula thought between 1968 and1973.


Time of year?


John thought a summer month, possibly July. Paula thought during the summer months.


Time of day?


John thought after school, late afternoon after 4 pm. Paula thought between 5.30 and 6 pm.


Weather conditions?


John described “either clear, or high cloud cover. A bright day, the object was easy to see”. Paula described “Daylight”. (The object was just above the height of the houses, so easily visible)


Size?


John estimated “the fuselage was like a modern jet liner”. Paula estimated “Lengthwise it was like a passenger jet”.


Shape?


John described “bullet shaped, no wings or windows”. Paula described “a huge, rocket-shaped thing, a tube, rounded, but open at the back. It had no wings, or fins.”


Colour?


John reported "a dull bronze colour”, but he’s slightly colour-blind, so may be wrong about that. Paula said it was white.


Exhaust?


John described “some sort of contrail, a faint vapour trail, white cloud-type”. Paula described “masses of flames belching out of the tail end, which were enormous. I think they were multi-coloured, but also invisible, which is mad, but I say that because I could see up into the rear end and the inside looked dark.”


Smell?


Both John and Paula reported that there was no smell associated with this object.


Height?


John said “about 2000 to 10000 feet”, although he then states that “altitude is difficult to work out”. His comment above, about the weather conditions may suggest it was at the lower end of this height. Paula said “it came over the rooftops, really low so that they thought it would crash.”


Length of sighting?


John estimated it as being about 2 minutes, but there is no way to estimate the distance the object travelled as he observed it. Paula couldn’t estimate this.


Speed?


John said “It was flying in a straight line and going very slowly. About the speed of the slowest light aircraft. Or even slower.” Paula said “the object’s speed was weird. How it stayed in the air was remarkable, I would say too slow to be airborne, but I know nothing about planes.” I previously estimated the speed of the UAP Paula saw as being less than 10 mph. John reckons it was after 4 pm when he saw the UAP, Paula thought it was between 5.30 and 6 pm. So, that is anywhere between an hour and a half and 2 hours between the two reported sightings. If the UAP was moving at a constant speed, to have covered the distance between where John was near Stroud and Paula near Rushden would mean it travelled at a speed of between 45 mph and 60 mph. Crucially, that speed is too slow for any aircraft to stay aloft. For example, today, the slowest speed an average single-engine plane will fly at is around 115 mph to 140 mph. Take-off and landing speeds are about 70 mph for small, single-engine planes. In early 1970s these speeds would have needed to be the same, or faster, because current aircraft engines and breaking systems are more efficient and powerful.


Direction of travel?


In Paula’s case the object seemed to travel initially from the Northwest to the Southeast, then veer more to the Northeast just before it vanished from sight and sound. John reported the object he saw moved steadily from the Southwest to the Northeast.


Noise?


John reported “it made no noise, went serenely." Paula reported “a terrifyingly loud roaring noise could be heard, the noise was incredible, overpowering, it made her insides churn and tremble”.


Emotional impact?


John said he thought “it was great! Not threatening in any way.” Paula was terrified by the experience, “I doubt I have ever been as terrified in my life as that day.”


Other Reports?


Both said they did not see, or hear, anything about the object they saw in any media then, or since.


Sighting Analysis


The details in the two sighting reports do have quite a number of similarities including the object’s size, shape, lack of wings, fins, and markings, unusually slow speed, steady horizontal movement and direction of travel between Stroud and Rushden, the approximate time of day it was seen in both locations is feasible, given it’s speed, the weather conditions were good in both locations – both observers got a good look at the object.


Of course, there are differences in the two descriptions, which include direction of travel, noise, exhaust, colour and emotional impact.


Overall, based on the available evidence, the similarities between the reports seem to outweigh the differences. Therefore, it is interesting to consider whether this was the same object seen on the same day in these two different locations.


A Similar Object?


The below screenshot is taken from the podcast Weaponized, Episode #7 Storming Area 51 and The Baghdad Phantom, from 6th March 2023, with Jeremy Corbell and George Knapp.



The link to the episode is:


The still picture (from a video) is one of several in the programme, taken with a thermal imaging camera in Iraq on 14th May 2022. The section covering it starts at about 1 minute 51 seconds and the first picture is at about 1 minute 54 seconds. The object moves progressively from left to right in each picture.


Jeremy Corbell emphasises that the black object in the lower middle part of the picture is NOT A ROCKET, because there is no heat signature and no flight surfaces (fins, etc). It is in controlled flight. He states that it has an undefined propulsion system / non-reaction propulsion system. This object has similarities with the object seen by Paula and John, but there is no information about it’s size, sound, or speed. However it does seem as if it was moving much faster than the speed reported by the witnesses.



Griff's Sighting


The Sighting: Around 1974-76

The Time of Year: Summer

The Place: Rushden, Northamptonshire


Griff thinks his sighting was a military jet aircraft. The details for what Griff saw and what Paula saw are certainly similar. Further research has produced some interesting facts that might throw light on what the object was. However, there are still some inconsistencies.


Sighting Details


During the early/mid 1970s Griff lived in Rushden, about 1.5 miles away from where Paula and where her friend Ivor lived, as shown on the map below



Pink dot = Paula’s house

Blue dot = Griff’s house 

Black dot = Ivor's house


Griff’s initial message read as follows:


“I remember that, probably around 1975. I was with a mate in my room in Rushden when all the clutter on the shelf started to vibrate and fall off. The noise was very loud and sounded like an aircraft in serious trouble and heading for the house. I rushed downstairs and out into the garden where I joined my dad to witness the military plane with flames being emitted from its tail. From subsequent news reports it was stated that windows were broken throughout the area. Despite the press contacting military bases no explanation was given and it was assumed the flames were afterburner on the aircraft. There must be lots of people who saw and heard this. It was quite terrifying to start with.


To add to this, agreeing with my dad that it was a jet aircraft. It was travelling very slow at first. It was travelling towards Chelveston base. My viewpoint was Wellingborough Road, opposite junction with station road. The precise year is debatable, but it must have been pre-1977 as I went to uni then, but with the specific mate with me would suggest 1974 to 1976.


I am sure it was a military plane. It was quite an unforgettable event. We saw it briefly coming towards us then heading away. I am positive it had wings, it was a stubby aircraft so depending on the view it could easily be mistaken for having none. The flame as I remember was out of the tail, a single flame and quite intense and the noise was incredible.


With regards to how long the episode lasted, I was in my room and would have been playing records on the music centre I had. The noise gradually increased and when it got really loud and things started falling off shelves, I honestly thought a plane was about to smash onto the house, so panicked and rushed down stairs, through the hall, breakfast room and kitchen to where my dad stood in the garden. In all I would guess the episode lasted 5 to 10 mins.


When I arrived outside I saw it to the South of the garden, it was low, slow and made that huge noise. It headed off and I saw it more from the rear, the flame stopped, the noise stopped, and it accelerated away very quickly."


Griff's drawing of what he saw:



“It came over to the South of the garden, from the West and headed Northeast - that is why we thought it may have been heading to Chelveston airfield for an emergency landing - this was a USAF airfield and and although i understand it was not still in use as a base it was nonetheless still had the structures in place. Not sure when it actually closed but I do remember being taken there as a cub scout in probably 1969 and meeting the US staff.


This seems to be the opposite direction to Paula's memory of the event but I am adamant it was heading that way - having said that memory is a strange thing!


Immediately after the event my dad switched on the radio hoping to catch a report about it but there was absolutely nothing. It wasn’t until the following week that the local Northants Evening Telegraph picked up the story, but then it was only a minor column in the paper referencing that it had broken windows and mentioning the denials from the military.


It was definitely lower than normal aircraft and by a considerable amount to the south by about 8 miles we had RAE Bedford and that used to occasionally fly military jets and even concord test flights out of there - it was more that sort of height.


As I remember it was a clear sky so no clouds to reference it against. I am not very good at estimating height but i would guess well under 2000 ft but that is a complete guess. Unfortunately both of my parents have passed away and more recently my old friend who was with me on that day. I am sure there must be many more witnesses to this event."


Other Witness Testimonies


Later on I recieved another message from Griff:


“Just to update you on this, I put the question to a Facebook group dedicated to Rushden and am already seeing responses of others who witnessed this.”


The group Griff posted on is called Rushden: Now And Then, and the post was made on 11th November 2023. His initial post read as follows:


“I am not sure if you or any of your readers can help me. recently I came across a story about a mystery object that flew over the town and caused windows to shatter and things to fall off the shelves in houses. I distinctly remember the event myself and it happened some time in the mid 70s. the noise was enormous as this plane flew over town spewing flames from the rear. From inside it sounded like the plane was going to crash into the house. I am trying to trace the specific year, and any other witnesses and whether any resolution as to what this aircraft was. I seem to remember this being a Saturday afternoon in summer and also remember the ET reporting the event soon after, albeit only a couple of paragraphs.”


He received numerous responses to this post, some from other direct witnesses:


"I remember it so I'll say it was 1974 or 75."


"I remember about 1975/76...There was a story of an American F1-11, based at Alconbury had an engine fire. It was 'limping back' to Cambridge one afternoon."

     

"Exactly right! We were out in our garden when it flew over and my dad, who worked at the RAE in Thurleigh at the time, said straight away that it was an F1-11 with an engine on fire. I don't know what the outcome was but do remember it being quite a big deal at the time in sleepy Rushden."


"I remember this! We looked up and saw it from our garden, basically something flying with flames shooting out from the back."


"I think i remember something similar in the 70's, looked just like a cigar with flames coming out the back. Mum could never find out what it was but it was low and nearly got chimney pots up Osborne close where we lived."


"I remember that as a kid, said it was a jet burning off fuel."


"I remember this, my sister in law worked in a jewellery shop and it shattered things in there."

"We moved up in May 1976. We had not heard it or about it. We lived in Melloway Road, if it was heard in Birchall Road, we would have noticed. So I guess it would have been 1975."


"I remember that. It was 1975. I was in Trafford Road park at the time. And first year at the boys school."


"I remember this incident very well, and i'm pretty sure it was 1976, during that very hot summer. I believe it came from one of the American air bases, and although friends tried to find out exactly what it was they were not able to, as it was veiled in secrecy. It was very frightening as the noise was terrific."


"I remember seeing this as a teenager one hot afternoon mid 70s. It was going at great speed, was very loud with fire spewing out the back but you couldn't define what it was. The windows did indeed shake and if memory serves me well USAAF Alconbury advised it was one of theirs (refuelling ) but we all said it was a cover up. I remember this I was a kid at my nans and her windows were shaking, it was very loud I didn't see anything but this was Raunds. My sister said she saw it and thought it was a missile. Nothing was said ever said about it and seemed like a cover up. I'm glad others remember it too I'd like to know."


"I remember it. It was 1975 or later. I was in a house at the top of Washbrook Road and saw it go over the Oakley Arms."


"I remember that. I was stood in a queue at the Co-op butchers shop in Birchall Road at the time. The whole shop was shaking. I stepped outside to see a low flying craft at around 1000 to 1500 feet high going in a straight line heading north. The craft had a huge tail of flame. It must have happened in the early 1970's though. There was a report in the ET the following day but it was inconclusive as to what it was."


"F-111s had a dump valve for fuel between the jet nozzles so might be. I’ve shared this to a F-111 group that pilots and associated crew are on. Might get some info."


Griff also provided a link to a previous post on the same group from March 2021 made by someone else:


Seem to recall as a kid in Higham Ferrers, around 1975/76 there was an incident on the sky, just above the cloud level. As kids we saw flames and a loud raw travelling from Wellingborough towards I think now believe was Alconbury. Thinking it was a meteor or spaceship, Gota love the 70s. Turned out I think according to the ET of the time it was an F1-11 jet bomber with an engine fire. Can’t seem to find anything on the internet......Help?"

This earlier post also received many responses:


"I remember it the sound omg it scared the life out of me. I thought it was going to crash into our garden."


"No, but think it landed at molsworth air base. rember reading something along them lines."

"I watched it fly over at Chelveston it was an F111 with a problem, it was dumping fuel this caused a long flame from the rear as the fuel dump valve was between the engines."


"I remember seeing that when we lived in Farnham Drive. It was indeed loud with a ‘flame’ coming out of the rear."


"I thought I was the only person to see it. If my memory is correct it was early evening but didn't know what it was."


"I remember that. It was indeed an F111. It was burning off fuel I think. I saw it fly over when I was standing on Station Road in Rushden."


"I remember that as a 14 year old the roar was loud it knocked some windows out at the factory where my dad worked"


The following link mentioned in the thread has information relating to fuel dumping of F-111 jet aircraft:



Someone in the thread asked "Why does the F-111 sometimes squirt a giant fire plume behind it? (NOT afterburners)"


The response to this was as follows:


"I used to be an F111 test engineer; the jet can hold about 19000 liters of fuel (without external tanks). At 0.81kg/Liter, that's 15390Kg (33,939 Lbs) of weight, which is substantial (the empty weight of the jet is 45200 Lbs / 20,500 Kg). Basically with a full load of fuel, the jet is 75% heavier.  Although the giant flame plume is cosmetic, the F111 can dump fuel like this in case you need to quickly reduce the weight of the aircraft; in-flight emergencies are one possible reason to reduce weight quickly. The fire is because the pilot lit the afterburners whilst dumping fuel. Assume you loose your flaps, or maybe you discover the brake lines are leaking... if you had to land on a short field (such as a small civilian airport), it makes sense to dump your fuel so you have a better chance of stopping quickly."


Below are pictures of F-111s dumping fuel, showing the flames from the engines:





"The 'Dump and Burn' as it was called here in Australia was used for 'effect' at air shows and for 'promoting' the Air Force as a great place to be. The 'effect' was really quite spectacular. And frightening to those who saw it for the first time, like here in Brisbane, resulting in many phone calls to the police of a UFO sighting.


It also has uses in an emergency, where you might find yourself above an airfield about to land, but with too much heavy and flammable fuel: you want as little fuel as possible on a crash landing, but you don't want to fly in circles to burn fuel, so you can use a fuel dump port instead."


Aircraft Possibilities


This evidence, from March 2021 and November 2023, seems to confirm that there was an object sighted and heard flying low over Rushden, probably in 1975. It was very loud, shook buildings and broke windows. It also had flames ejecting from the rear end. Some observers thought it was heading towards one of the RAF airbases in the North- to North-east direction, such as Chelveston, Alconbury, or Molesworth.


The aircraft mentioned by more than one person is the F-111.


The F-111’s exhaust flames were used at air-shows, for additional interest, OR, it was a way of dumping fuel prior to making an emergency landing.


So, I did some research into the F-111. I found that it was an American fighter aircraft, based at RAF Upper Heyford. This is located about 30 miles South-west of Rushden. From June 1970 this was the Headquarters of the 20th Tactical Fighter Wing (TFW). From November 1971 the first two F-111Es were declared operationally ready. They were nuclear weapon capable.



This aircraft was 73ft long and the most famous feature of the F-111 was it’s variable swing wings. This means the aircraft could change the shape of its wings in flight. It’s wings were swept back when flying at 2.5 times the speed of sound at low levels. In this position the wingspan was 32 ft, with an area of 525 square ft.


But if it wanted to land on a runway, it could move its wings into a forward horizontal position which was more stable and slower to allow for safe take-off and landing. In this position the wingspan was 63ft, with an area of 657 square ft.


In both the swept and forward positions, the wings would usually be visible to an observer, especially when seen from below, at a very low altitude, as can be seen in the diagrams of it below:



Terrain avoidance radar on the F-111a allowed it to fly low-level (down to 200ft above ground) supersonically day or night in all weather. However, that was at about 550mph.


Could it have flown much slower, say at about 10mph, as was estimated for Paula’s sighting?


The F-111’s minimum controllable airspeed would have been higher than 10mph due to its design and aerodynamics. Flying at such a low speed could be challenging for an aircraft designed primarily for supersonic flight. Various estimates suggest it’s slowest speed in horizontal flight would be around 110 knots (127 mph).


The F-111 was equipped with terrain-following radar and automated systems for low-level flight. These systems allowed it to maintain a consistent altitude above the ground even at high speeds. However, flying at extremely low speeds might compromise its stability and safety.


Note that the exterior of the aircraft was painted according to the different missions/events it was engaged in and was never a featureless white, or pale colour.


The F-111 could land on a grass field in less than 3,000 feet. Therefore, any of the 3 RAF airfields suggested to the North-east could have accommodated it, if it had needed to land due to some emergency.


Next, I looked at the 3 airfields referred to. Alconbury was mentioned by some FB respondents as one airbase the object could have been headed for. RAF Alconbury was the only one of these in operation at that period in the 1970s. 


I then discovered that there was a NATO Display Day at RAF Alconbury Airbase on Saturday 25th June 1975. RAF Alconbury was an operational air base located near Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire. It was used by the United States Air Force from 1951 to 2020. It is about 7 to 8 miles North-east of Rushden, as seen in the map below:



So, I asked Griff whether he thought his sighting could have happened on a Saturday? He replied:


“That is probably 95% certain if not more. At the time my friend and myself would parade the town each Saturday and quite often come back to mine to listen to the latest records I'd bought. This only happened on a Saturday and without a doubt he was there when this occurred, so I am pretty certain it was a Saturday”


This opened up an alternative explanation, which didn’t involve the object being an F-111 jet fighter.


On 28th June 1975, which was a Saturday, there was a NATO air show, where the star turn was a prototype of the General Dynamic YF-16  fighter aircraft. This special display was part of a demonstration tour at various European NATO airbases. This was it’s first ever appearance in the UK. They did not have an F-111 flying on that day, as far as I have been able to discover.


One online source gave the following report about that day, and a photo of the YF-16 jet fighter:


“This air show was classified as 'NATO' Air Day - it was our introduction to the next generation fighter for NATO... the F-16Without question the appearance of the new General Dynamic YF-16 demonstration aircraft along with its RF-4C Phantom 'chase' plane was the 'star' attraction.


Thankfully I had been at Bentwaters the day previous to witness when the pair first arrived in UK for their demonstration performance to senior NATO staff and VIP's. Simply awesome!


The pair would line up together on the runway, the Phantom in 'clean' configuration and await the count down to 'brakes off'. All burners engaged the F-16A in no distance was nose up and climbing while the Phantom was still rolling. As the Phantom rotated the F-16s was already rolling over to level out at around 5000'. “


This source provided the following photo of the YF-16 at that NATO Day:



In June 1975, the YF-16 was not yet operational in the United Kingdom, because the YF-16 program was still in its developmental stages in America. So this aircraft was a prototype / demonstration model. It had appeared at the Paris Air Show earlier in the month.

It’s presence in Paris and the UK during June 1975 was to show off it’s capabilities and to encourage some NATO countries to buy it in large numbers.


Interestingly, and possibly relevant, at the Paris Air Show, at Le Bourget, this aircraft made a 6 minute demonstration flight, which is not a long time in the air. However, the organisers accused it’s pilot of dangerous flying: they considered the YF-16 had attempted a "very dangerous manoeuvre exceeding the pilot's brief" and penalised it. The YF-16 pilot roared off in a spectacular take-off during a demonstration flight and made a roll with the under carriage down less than 50 metres (150ft) from the ground.


It landed at USAF Bentwaters on Friday 24th June, the day before the NATO day. The eye-witness does not say anything about any problems with any of the aircraft that were flying at the NATO Display Day at Alconbury – no emergency landings, or other incidents, etc. Indeed, there are no records of any accidents, or incidents for this aircraft ever happening in the UK.


Estimates for how slowly this fighter aircraft could fly, before stalling, are in the 180 to 210 mph range. This seems too fast for what Paula and Griff described seeing, though. This aircraft was 49 ft long and had a FIXED WINGSPAN of about 33 ft and a wing area of 33 square ft:



The underside of an F-16 during a vertical climb:



F-16 in afterburner:



I’ve not found photos of the YF-16 with flames from it’s exhaust that are as impressive as those for the F-111.


Summary


These photos would suggest that, seen from below, it would be easy to identify that the YF-16 was an aircraft – the wings and tail fins would be clearly outlined –  and not mistake it for a long tube/cigar shape with no markings on.


The manoevre described in the above NATO Display report of the YF-16 - “All burners engaged the F-16A in no distance was nose up and climbing”, is interesting. 


As is the fact that in Paris the pilot also flew at a height of less than 50 metres (150ft) above the ground, which the organisers determined was a dangerously low level. So, could this be the jet aircraft that people saw and heard?


Other aircraft flying on the same day included 43 Squadron Phantom FG1, 233 OCU Harrier GR.1, West German Navy MFG.2 Starfighter and the Belgian AF 350 Squadron F-104G Starfighters pair team known as the ‘Slivers.’ These Starfighters thrilled with flat-out straight-line speed, seemingly aiming at each other, creating screeching and howling manoeuvres.


Both Paula and Griff mention that the object took some time to pass overhead. Paula said it flew weirdly slowly and my report, based on how long it would have taken her friend Ivor to get from his house to Paula’s, estimates it was moving at less than 10mph. On the face of it, that seems most unlikely, because no aircraft can fly very far horizontally at such a slow speed.


Griff also mentions the object was moving very low and slow at first and the incident took about 5 to 10 minutes in total. That’s a long time for an aircraft, which is flying just above house height, to be heard and visible from the ground, especially in a built-up area with surrounding buildings nearby obscuring the more distant views.


However, both Paula and Griff did then describe how the object they saw  flew low over their house, and then angled upwards and suddenly disappeared. At the same time the loud roaring sound stopped.


Other Airfields


If it was an aircraft in difficulties, what nearby airfields could it have landed at?


In the early 1970s, due to budget cutbacks, the MOD decided to close Chelveston. The concrete runways, taxiways and hardstands were broken up and removed in 1977. It is about 3 to 4 miles North-east from Rushden and is suggested by the various reports, including Paula’s and Griff’s.



The imprint of the 11,000ft postwar jet runway is clearly visible in aerial imagery, as seen in the photograph below:



So, if needed, the runway probably could have been used for an emergency landing of a jet aircraft in June 1975.


RAF Molesworth is about 9 miles North-east of Rushden. It went into a maintenance status for twenty years after 1951 and closed to flying in 1971, with only the occasional aircraft using the airfield. It did have a 9000ft jet runway, which existed until about 1980. An aircraft that needed to make an emergency landing could do so there. 


Other Airshows


It is important to note that there were other Air Shows in the 1970s at RAF Alconbury:


1973: The Alconbury Air Show featured a dazzling display of aircraft, including the iconic F-4 Phantom II. Spectators craned their necks as the Phantoms sliced through the air, leaving contrails of excitement in their wake.


1976: The Harrier Jump Jets wowed the crowd with their vertical take-offs and nimble manoeuvres. The sun glinted off their sleek frames as they hovered like futuristic dragonflies.


1979: The majestic Blackbird, the SR-71. Its sleek, black fuselage seemed to defy both gravity and time. As it streaked across the horizon, it whispered secrets of speed and stealth.


Flight Speed


All the reports, together, describe flames coming from the rear of the object, which rules out it being something that was non-military.


When comparing the stall speeds of military planes with general aviation or civilian planes, military planes cannot fly as slow as general / civilian planes.

General/ civilian aircraft such as Cessna 152 and 172 are designed to be stable and economical, which allows them to continue a level flight at lesser airspeeds than a fighter jet.

This trade-off happens primarily in the wing design of an aircraft. A military aircraft wing is designed to continue generating lift at supersonic speeds which in turn reduces its ability to generate lift at slower airspeeds. Of course, this has to do with the small size of the wing relative to the airplane’s weight.


For general/ civilian planes, the wings are larger relative to the weight of the airplane and designed to operate within subsonic ranges. Therefore, planes such as Cessna 152 can fly as slow as 48 knots (55 mph).


The lowest speed a fighter jet can attain during controlled flight, typically ranges from 100 knots (115 mph) to 200 knots (230 mph) depending upon the design and other flight factors. Some of these design elements include parameters such as the angle of attack, the load factor, and the altitude. 


In optimum conditions and level flight, an F-16 has stall figures within the range of 160 - 180 knots (184 – 207 mph).

Based on this information, neither the F-16, nor the F-111 could have flown relatively slowly across Rushden at a low altitude for more than a mile. Yet this seems to have been what Paula and Griff reported happening.


Paula's Views On Griff's Testimony


I asked Paula if she might have misremembered the year and she was open to that possibility and that it could have happened on a Saturday, possibly the 25th June 1975. However, she still has some doubts that what she saw was an aircraft. Her description of how it disappeared is:


“Suddenly, within a garden’s length, it went upwards at speed and was suddenly gone – flames gone, noise gone, vibration gone. There was complete silence….”


She feels that this isn’t how a big, noisy aircraft would disappear. Compare this with Griff’s description of how the object disappeared:


It headed off and I saw it more from the rear, the flame stopped, the noise stopped, and it accelerated away very quickly.”


These descriptions are remarkably similar and jet aircrafts do carry out such a manoeuvre. 

These comments suggest that Paula and Griff could well have seen the same object. The differences in their descriptions – seen in their drawings – may well be caused by their different views of the object, as Griff suggests. He saw it both approaching and departing, whereas Paula mostly saw it departing.


General Discussion


After more than 45 years, it is clearly not possible to be 100% certain about what the object was that Paula initially reported to BUFOG. There are also some discrepancies about the suggestion that Griff and others have made and a link to the Alconbury Display Day that I thought may be an explanation.


Points to consider are:

  • There definitely was something that flew low over Rushden and caused many people to become aware of it.

  • It made a lot of noise, the vibrations from it broke windows and it had flames coming out of the rear.

  • It seems to have been flying in a North-east direction.

  • It happened in a summer month, in the afternoon.


The online consensus and Griff’s feeling is that the year was 1975. Paula isn’t so certain about that, but says it could have been then. This is obviously crucial to determine, because if it was 1975 then it was likely related to the NATO Display Day on June 25th. However, there were other airshows at RAF Alconbury in previous and later years in the 1970s.


The general online consensus is that it was in a summer month, during the early evening. Griff is 95% certain it was a Saturday. Paula agrees it could have been on a Saturday. The NATO Display Day was on a Saturday in June.


Bear in mind that some of the people who reported online didn’t recognise it as an aircraft and were puzzled by what it could have been. Paula is still doubtful that what she saw was an aircraft. Griff feels certain it was an aircraft. Some of the people who reported about it online thought it was an aircraft. Several people who responded online mentioned it could have been an F-111.


Inconsistencies


If it was an aircraft, then the two most likely candidates are the YF-16 and the F-111, as described above. However, there are problems with determining how likely it was either of these, as explained below.


The F-111 aircraft was in service with the USAF at Upper Heyford. This airbase is about 30 miles South-west of Rushden, and even further from RAF Alconbury. Therefore, the direction of flight is correct – the object was described by the online observers and Paula and Griff, as flying North-easterly. The F-111 certainly was capable of flying very low over the area and had an exhaust that flamed when it was dumping fuel, or performing at air shows.


BUT there are no reports, or photos, of an F-111 appearing at the 1975 NATO Display Day. Indeed, it would not have been there, because the star attraction was the YF-16. The other USAF fighter aircraft would have been kept away. Given the figures about it’s minimum speed, this aircraft could NOT have flown as slowly as reported by Paula and Griff. Why would an F-111 carry out such a major manoeuvre over Rushden at any time?


The YF-16 aircraft landed at USAF Bentwaters on Friday 24th June, along with its RF-4C Phantom 'chase' plane.  Bentwaters (RAF Lakenheath) is about 60 miles to the East of Rushden.

The demonstration flight was the next day, Saturday, at RAF Alconbury. The YF-16 aircraft would not have needed to fly anywhere near Rushden en route to Alconbury, because it is 7-8 miles further to the West of Alconbury. It was able to fly low, as the pilot showed in Paris. The afterburners were used at demonstrations, so could have been used at Alconbury.


However, where was the RF-4C Phantom 'chase' plane that accompanied the YF-16? There are no reports of a second aircraft. The YF-16 had to stay within visual range of the chase aircraft, because it was still a prototype and had no navigational equipment, so could have easily got lost once it had taken off. Therefore, it would not have been flying much beyond the boundary of Alconbury airfield.


Chase planes also ensure safety during the demonstrations and copy the manoeuvres the other plane makes. They also capture stunning air-to-air images and videos of the subject vehicle. These visuals are valuable for analysis, documentation, and public relations purposes.


It only flew for about 6 minutes for it’s demonstration flight in Paris, so it probably did a similar flight time at Alconbury. That suggests a shorter time in the air than reported by Paula and Griff, who saw something fly over Rushden, for around 5-10 minutes, when it would still have been 8 miles from Chelvaston. The YF-16’s minimum speed means it would have flown over Rushden in a much shorter time than that.


The object was reported as flying over Rushden from the South-west, which would have been a strange direction for it’s display at RAF Alconbury. Then, why would it be flying and using afterburners 7-8 miles away from the airfield, where no-one there would be able to see it?


An Experimental Aircraft?


If the 2 aircraft discussed already were not likely to be the explanation, could there be another one? If the date is correct and it was the 25th June 1975, then maybe one of the other jet fighters at the display was responsible?


Griff's description of the object seemed to provide a possible clue:


“I am positive it had wings, it was a stubby aircraft so depending on the view it could easily be mistaken for having none. The flame as I remember was out of the tail, a single flame and quite intense and the noise was incredible.”


I have emphasised the stubby aircraft detail in the description, because "stubby" seems to be an unusual word to use. It implies that the front of the object was not particularly elongated and that the object was relatively short and narrow when compared to other aircraft.


I decided to look at the Harrier “Jump jet”, because it seemed to have the manoeuvring capabilities described in the sightings. It was a jet and had flames coming out from the rear. It could fly at low altitudes. It could fly slowly horizontally:



Then I discovered that the Hawker Siddeley Harrier aircraft was being developed at RAE Bedford in 1975.


RAF Bedford was a research site of the Royal Aircraft Establishment between 1946 and 1994. It was located near the village of Thurleigh, north of the town of Bedford in England and was the site of aircraft experimental development work.


It is about 5-6 miles to the South-east of Rushden and 11-12 miles to the South-west of RAF Alconbury. In the early 1970s, RAE was tasked by MoD to enable Sea Harriers to recover to a vertical landing on a ship at night in poor visibility. A Harrier XW175 was allocated as the trials aircraft. 


The Harrier XW175 was a two-seater aircraft, which first flew in 1969. It was delivered to RAE Bedford in February 1975. It was unique as a military aircraft as it spent all its working life at RAE Bedford and Boscombe Down (Wiltshire) in support of innovative short take-off and vertical landing STOVL research programmes. So it would probably have been flying around the local area during these research and trial developments. It could hover at a low level and move forward slowly, steadily increasing speed to that of a typical aircraft.


The figures in the table below show that it was a smaller, especially a shorter aircraft, than the YF-16 and F-111:



The Harrier is much shorter and narrower than the F-111, in particular. It would, therefore, present a much smaller profile than the other two aircraft when seen from below, or at an angle. The flames from the exhaust could more easily obscure the details of it’s outline, which would make it harder for an observer to identify what it was.


A description of a Harrier XW175 in flight:


“When the Harrier jump jet takes off or hovers, its jet engine roars to life, and you’d witness a mesmerizing spectacle. Flames would indeed dance from the exhaust nozzles, painting the sky with fiery hues. The intense heat and power generated by the engine create this captivating display.”


It fits in with the general descriptions, and it could have flown at the slow speed indicated by the sighting reports. If it came from RAE Bedford it was also flying from a direction to the South of Rushden. There was one Harrier that was at the Display Day – a 233 OCU Harrier GR.1 Or, could it have been a Harrier out on a test flight from RAE Bedford?



Conclusions


Despite all this research, it is not possible to come to a definite conclusion about what people reported seeing. Based on their descriptions of their sightings, it seems almost certain that Paula and Griff saw the same object. Griff, and the responses from people on the local Facebook page, suggest 1975 as a consensus year. Griff is almost certain it was on a Saturday. Paula isn’t quite so sure, but doesn’t reject the possibility.


The date of Saturday, 25th June 1975 was when a major NATO Air Show at RAF Alconbury happened. The YF-16 jet fighter was on display there, but there are some reasons which might exclude it from being the object that was reported. If it wasn’t that date, there were other Air Shows during the 1970s in the region. There are similar problems with the other suggestion that the object was an F-111.


With the RAE Bedford establishment not far away from Rushden, perhaps something it was developing was responsible – such as the Harrier Jump Jet, which could perform much like the observed object. Aircraft they were working on would have needed to be flown dozens of times over the local area during the development stages. With something like the Harrier, it would have been done in secrecy. There was also a Harrier at the Alconbury Display Day.


Therefore, my main conclusion is that what was observed by Paula and Griff and the other people who went online about it, was most probably a jet aircraft of some sort. Which aircraft it was, where it came from and where it was headed for are still unknowns. Also, what was a jet aircraft doing flying so low over Rushden in the late afternoon, creating so much distress and confusion to the population there?


John also reported seeing something similar to what Paula reported, from his home in Eastcombe, near Stroud, in the early 1970s. When I compared the drawing he did and his description of the sighting, with what Paula provided, there were numerous similarities between them. So initially I stated that on the balance of probabilities they had both seen the same object.


However, John thought that he saw his object in 1972 or 1973, which is a 2 year discrepancy with the new date suggested for Paula’s sighting. Given my conclusion now, that a jet aircraft of some sort is the most likely explanation for what was seen over Rushden, and that it was in 1975, it means my earlier suggestion is not tenable. So John did see something, but it was probably not the same as what Paula or Griff saw.

 

New information can help us to understand unusual / strange sightings, but often it still doesn’t provide definitive answers. If anyone can come forward with more information – including pointing out whatever significant errors I’ve made – that would be interesting. If anyone has questions or additional information, about any of these sightings, please do contact me.


Copyright Ian Jones 2024





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