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Winter 1975-78 – Kings Norton, Birmingham – White Glowing Orbs Sighting

Updated: Dec 13, 2022

Birmingham UFO Group Case Report

Author: Dave Hodrien

Release Date: 08/12/2022

Last Updated: 12/12/2022

In November 2022 I was contacted by a lady named Julie Goldsmith from Kings Norton, Birmingham, via the BUFOG website. She had recently watched an episode of Unsolved Mysteries on Netflix. The episode was about a stunning multiple witness incident which occurred over Lake Michigan in 1994. There were aspects of the incident which had similarities to a sighting she had back in the mid 1970s. With a renewed fascination in what occurred she decided to get in touch to inform me about it.

Sighting Details

Unfortunately Julie cannot recall the exact year the sighting took place, but believes it was between 1975 and 1978 when she was 10 to 13 years old. She knows she would not have been any younger than 10 as otherwise she would not have been able to have seen clearly above her bedroom window sill. However she is certain that it took place in the winter months, between November to February, as it was fully dark by 9pm and she remembers there were no leaves on the trees at the time. Back then she used to live on a cul-de-sac named Beech Hurst.

Aerial map of Beech Hurst

It was between 9-10pm and she was standing in her bedroom with her mother Brenda having a chat. They were standing by the window of the room which had slats on it, but these were not closed at the time. Outside it was a clear and dry night and the stars were fully visible.

Julie suddenly noticed three bright white orbs of light to the East in the patch of sky visible over a nearby copse of trees. The lights were quite close to one another and in a horizontal line. They looked a little brighter and larger than the stars. They definitely appeared to be in the atmosphere but it was hard to judge their distance. Julie estimates that they were over the area of Walkers Heath Park, about a mile away.

Witness drawing of the line of white orbs
Photograph of the copse of trees (Not viewed from window)

All of a sudden the right most orb suddenly shot upwards at a sharp angle to the right before instantly stopping again! At this manoeuvre she remarked “Oh wow! Look at that!” This drew the attention of her mother who asked what she was looking at. Julie asked her “Did you see that light?” Her mum asked where it was and Julie pointed out the three orbs in the distance. Brenda remarked “I think it’s an aeroplane” to which Julie responded “I don’t think aeroplanes move that quickly.”

Drawing of the initial movement of the right most orb

Both Julie and her mother continued to watch the three orbs. About 10-15 seconds went by and then without warning the two other orbs suddenly moved at exactly the same moment. The left orb shot quite far up and to the left, and the central one shot down and to the right but by a shorter distance. Both Julie and Brenda remarked “Oh my goodness! What on earth is that?!”

Drawing showing the initial movement of the left orb
Drawing showing the simultaneous movement of the central orb

They wondered if the orbs were a strange light reflection on the slats of the window, but quickly confirmed that they were not by closing and re-opening the slats. The orbs were clearly objects present in the sky. They started to excitedly talk about what they could see.

About 20-25 seconds went by and then the orbs moved again! This time all three of them moved at once, moving into a vertical isosceles triangle formation. The witnesses continued to watch, fascinated by the orbs.

This behaviour continued for about 3-4 minutes, with every so often the orbs moving into different positions, usually at the same time. Then suddenly all three orbs blinked out at once. Julie and Brenda continued to watch for quite a while to see if they would return, but they did not.

The following day they checked the Evening Mail newspaper to see if anyone else had reported seeing the orbs but there was nothing. They discussed the incident for several days. Brenda advised Julie not to talk about it at school as she was worried she would be laughed at.

For Julie the sighting spurred an interest in the UFO subject, and she soon subscribed to a magazine called Unexplained. Several months after the sighting she discussed it again with her mother and suggested that they might have witnessed several UFOs. Her mother mentioned that the area of Primrose Hill to the East, close to Walkers Heath Park, was a known UFO hot spot, although Julie does not know why she thought this.

Aerial map indicating Beech Hurst and the estimated location of the orbs

Brenda’s Testimony

Julie informed me that due to her frailty, her mother would not be able to speak with me directly, but she would gladly get in touch with her and ask her to provide a written statement. Below is her response which was received via E-Mail and forwarded to me:

“Yes, I do remember watching those lights with you. But not too clearly. I thought about them quite a lot later on. But I began to think as time went on, with greatly increased air-traffic, it could have been something to do with police helicopters. The fact is, we took them seriously at the time.

I wish I could remember more details about our sighting, but it did happen, and they stayed for some minutes. Were there 3 or 5 lights? They were certainly very bright. Again, it was in the evening, and fairly dark. I’m thinking 9 pm?”

Soon after receiving the E-Mail Julie spoke with Brenda on the phone, and apparently remarked that several years later she saw very similar lights in the sky again, in exactly the same position as before.

Sighting Analysis

Sometimes the manoeuvres observed during UFO sightings are just as important, if not more important, than what the objects actually looked like. Obviously these objects were quite distant so we have no way of knowing if they really were entirely glowing, or simply had one or more bright lights on.

However the movements which the objects were seen to perform put most mundane explanations out of the picture. I feel that it is unlikely the objects were merely bright stars, and that the sudden movements were an illusion created by patches of cloud, which could not be observed against the sky, coincidentally hiding and revealing stars at the same moment. While such a thing could potentially be responsible for a single movement of a point of light, this continued for a number of minutes, with movement of multiple orbs, sometimes at the same moment. In addition to this, Julie seemed quite adamant that she had seen the objects physically move, not just blink off and back on. She also recalled that it was a clear night.

The objects were clearly under intelligent control due to the way in which they hovered motionless and then suddenly moved, often at the same time. They also all vanished at the same moment. This means they cannot have been lit inflatables or other natural phenomena such as earth lights (which only tend to occur in rural locations anyway).

They stopped moving for extensive periods of time so cannot have been aeroplanes or micro lights. Despite Brenda’s thoughts that the lights might have been related to police helicopters, they clearly moved much too quickly for that to be the explanation.

Several search lights hitting the base of clouds and being suddenly moved to different positions could potentially create a similar effect. These could conceivably also be switched off at the same time too. However Julie mentioned the fact she could see the stars, so therefore there would not have been any cloud for search lights to bounce off. Usually the glow of the beams themselves would be partially visible, especially at a distance. The objects also sound too bright and defined to have been search lights, and I do not feel this is an adequate explanation for what was seen.

If this was a modern sighting I would immediately have suggested several drones as a possibility, as these have the capability of performing sudden darting manoeuvres. However this incident took place in the mid-1970s, decades before drones were commercially available or utilised by the police or even military. This fact makes this sighting truly anomalous.

At the start of the report I mentioned that Julie got in touch because of the similarities between her sighting and the one covered on Unsolved Mysteries (Season 3, Episode 2). The controlled manoeuvres she and her mother observed were somewhat similar to those seen during the Lake Michigan case of 1994. In this case numerous objects were seen on radar moving suddenly at the same time to different positions in the sky.

If you have any information regarding Julie and Brenda’s sighting, or have ever observed something similar please get in touch.

Copyright Dave Hodrien 2022



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