Sunday, 2 December 2012
Watching the skies for unidentified flying objects was a trend that became more noticeable after the Second World War with reports of flying saucers cropping up everywhere. I was fascinated therefore of an early account of a cigar shaped object seen in the skies of the Midlands and Wales in 1909. It was described in the Tamworth Herald as a boat cigar shaped making a whizzing noise and travelling at great speed. At the time there were fears of Germany aggressive intentions. It was concluded that the mysterious airship was a secret weapon of the Germans.
The real hysteria that gripped the nation about “flying saucers” started in the late 40s coinciding with the start of the space race and the developing Cold War between the Soviet Union and the West. The peak of such sighting occurred in the late 60s with accounts of many UFOs seen locally. A hot spot for such sightings seems to have been Werrington. In October 1967 a local saw through a window a glowing orange-red, cigar-shaped object hovering low in the sky, a bluish-green area visible on its underside. It was a clear night. The brilliant light from the object tended to conceal its outline and illuminated his room like the full moon. After several minutes, the object accelerated and sped away at speed, its front portion increasing in brightness until it appeared white
Two years later a police officer was driving a marked police vehicle in Werrington when he was advised by radio to look for an unusual object heading in his direction. Moments later he observed a ‘V’ formation of nine UFOs. There was no sound at all and they moved at an exceptionally high speed. The policeman thought the object had mother of pearl effect with colours swirling all around each other. It was a clear night with little cloud cover. He reported his sighting over the radio and heard another officer saying he too had witnessed the lights. The next day he visited Leek police station with another five officers who had witnessed the formation. They were told to keep quiet about their experience.
Of course the majority of these sightings can be explained by satellites, aeroplanes or celestial objects such as meteors. However the persistence and the variety of such incidents does make you wonder whether we are alone. In the manner of a narrator of a B movie from the 50s we should continue watching the sky