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Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Haunted Skies blog the facts about UFOs!

Coming soon !


                                  New book from artist/author Jason Chapman well done young Jason for having a go!

Newspaper coverage on Police sighting of UFO!(August 2012)over last few days.
Will they ever get it right no! 
Will they ever seek to question what the hell is happening out there No! 
I am not a UFO fan I am a retired CID Officer with nearly 30 years in the job and the Publisher/co-author of now seven books dedicated to preserving the history of the British UFO phenomena.    But thanks for crediting the blog!
No wonder the Officer asked that his identity be keep secret! bearing in mind the Police felt that any subsequent newspaper publicity may well bring the force into disrepute. The second cutting is from the Metro and was sent to us by UFO Investigator Bill Eatock, the first clipping from Don Ramkin. Suffice to say,there are many details that are incorrect in these two versions. 

Haunted Skies report into West Midlands Police Officers UFO sighting 02.25- 5.8.2012   

At 9.25am the 10th of August 2012 we made our way over to Coventry Police where we met up with the Officer in the front office.  On this occasion we were accompanied by Mr Bob Tibbitts a personal friend and formerly the head of the Coventry based UFO Group (CUFORG)  

The Officer (who asked that his name be withheld after consultation with Dan Barton of  the West Midlands Police Press Office,) was accompanied by a colleague, who confirmed that he had received call on the radio from the Officer following the UFO having been seen and that all communication was then made via a personal phone.

The Officer now 12months from retirement told us that he was travelling along the A45 out of Coventry heading towards Birmingham, towards the Stonebridge Island along the darkened section of the A45. Weather conditions were described as being clear with a Moon and intermittent cloud cover although fog developed later. About a quarter of a mile past Map location SP280812

“I noticed a light in the sky which was pulsing rhythmically. It was very bright and had a bluish tinge to it. I thought at first it was plane and then realised as it was only a single light this was not likely to be the case, as I had never seen an aircraft in that  part of the sky. A couple of seconds later it shot off at an incredible speed silently heading towards the Birmingham direction. As it did so the pulsating continued but of course diminished as it moved away, now over the Birmingham Airport direction. Suddenly it shot straight upwards into the sky at a phenomenal speed far to fast to have been any aircraft. About 2-300yars past where I had seen it I pulled into a lay-by on the left and radioed a colleague  also on duty that night and told him what I had seen”.

The incident was then reported via mobile phone rather than contacting the Force Control room using the Police radio for obvious reasons.

The Officer then contacted a relative to report the matter and then made his way to Birmingham Airport where he discussed the matter with the ATC and the crew of the Police Helicopter.    According to ATC nothing had shown on Radar and no flights were plotted for that time (15minutes before and 30minutes later)

The Officer dismissed any suggestions made that he had seen a fireball meteorite, a sky lantern or jet aircraft.   He feels that what he saw wasn’t man made; and maintains an open mind as to the identity of the object.  He also stressed that if it had been an aircraft travelling at the speed why it didn’t break the sound barrier
 as it moved through the sky.

While we were unable to identity what it was the officer saw, we had of course come across many other examples of this phenomenon before during our research.
Those examples also include occasions when film has been taken of these pulsating flickering objects which are seen stationary in the sky before suddenly shooting away at speeds which rule out the possibly of any terrestrial explanation.

One such example took place in Greenlands near Redditch a few years ago. The witness a taxi driver called the Police who attended but were unable to offer any explanation.  

Another witness living in Longbridge Birmingham also filmed a UFO over the Birmingham area in 1995. Interestingly she told of seeing a dark hardly noticeable object rotating around a luminous object creating what appeared to be the pulsating effect. 

Whether these have any bearing on what it was the Officer saw we can’t say, all we can say is that although these are examples of Unidentified Flying objects  which continue to be seen around the skies of the UK we should only judge each case on its individual merits and not jump to any conclusions, rather than attempting to sensationalise incident like this (as are often seen in the media)by suggesting that they are extra terrestrial in origin, nothing may be further from the point!

UFO over Walton on Thames In June 1998 Mr Alan Howard from Walton on Thames who was  very familiar with the passage of  aircraft  and the occasional Airship as used by Fuji and Orange   Telecommunications was sat is his armchair watching TV   when he  noticed an object in the sky  through the window climbing steeply, and presumed it was a balloon that had come adrift, ‘Suddenly it stopped in mid air and  began to   descend in a  falling leaf  motion, before slowly rising upwards I asked my partner Pam what she thought the object to be, and continued watching  wondering if it was tethered to the ground in some way.

Then an aircraft appeared over the trees in front of us heading out of Heathrow, at which point the object whatever it was  raced towards the plane like a missile, and stopped short of the aircraft  in mid air  for a second or two before  moving quickly away into  a nearby cloud, we were both literally struck dumb by what we had  witnessed. 

Moments later the object dropped out of the cloud and continued to fly around the sky making impossible tight turns diving and climbing. I went and fetched my camera and took a clip of film of the UFO which by now was quite small through the viewfinder”

Throughout the following days and weeks Mr Howard scrutinised the newspapers hoping to see that somebody else had seen the UFO but found nothing. (Source :UPN Investigations London Elaine Waite)

At 12.25am 2nd August 1998, a resident of Bury St Edmunds contacted the Police after sighting eight to ten lights rotating around a larger object moving across the sky. Five minutes later at12.30am a revolving circular object with square lights was seen over the A4 Cambridge near to the M11 junction by a motorist and his wife (yet another UFO sighting from this locality). At 1.40am a pulsating glowing object with an outer ring was seen hovering and circling the sky over Wrexham North Wales and reported to the Police.

 A Cleethorpes housewife was hanging out her washing at 1142pm when she saw ‘three lights forming a triangle in the sky’ bright enough to illuminate the house with two flashes of light. - ten seconds later they vanished from view.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Haunted Skies Volume 7

I find it odd that while we have continued to write and catalogue reports of UFO activity going back to the 1940’s, now contained in 6 Volumes, with another one coming covering the period 1978-1979, we are completely ignored by the media.   Time and time again we have been asked for books with a promise to review them and feature our work, so far nothing. Surely this is rather odd in itself?

I must profess that this lack of interest in us just spurs us on. At the end of the day these books are not about us, but about those people who have had the courage to come forward and just report what they have seen.  

We are determined to carry on despite massive personal costs and continuing problems in obtaining the service of a illustrator. Sadly these are times when money is very short and people are more concerned with just coping with everyday life problems….

Nick has doe a great job, but I don’t agree with the statistics he hands out, i.e 99% may be hoaxes. Clearly the majority of sightings we have outlined in our books are unexplainable; the evidence of those very personal sightings indicates this to be the case.   As far as ASSAP was concerned I was invited to talk but it never transpired, as I was never placed onto the schedule of speakers.    

Reports from the 1970's still coming in......

In November 2012 Mr. James White now aged 71 contacted us about what he witnessed during 1979 while on the way home from Oxford to Bicester one evening between 11.30pm and 12.30am

"At the time I was a mechanic at Cowley, it was a clear night, no other cars on the road It was like a ball of energy  that came down from the sky I was coming home from Oxford to Bicester .When I was near Wendlebury I saw a light in the sky , which came towards me and then turned at right angle before moving just in front of the bonnet, I thought to myself I will run it over so I put my foot down but is still stayed with me. I wondered if it was sort of x raying me or examining me that the impression I had. It seemed controlled in its actions. Then it suddenly shot up into the air and went away towards the direction of Buckingham. When I arrived home I told my Wife she said you should report it, I said no people will think I am a bloody idiot."   Mr. White told us that the object was totally silent and appeared to be just a ball of energy rather than any UFO.

 Diamond UFO seen

 Roger a retired Police Offcier contacted us...

Having read your recent article in the latest NARPO magazine I am prompted to write to you concerning my own experience of an unexplained sighting.  This is the first time I have written about it although I did raise the event with my duty Sergeant shortly it happened.   

In 1965 I joined Kent Police as a 19 year old and after initial training was posted to Gillingham in the Medway towns.  Gillingham sits alongside the River Medway and there are unhindered views across the river estuary mouth out across the North Sea to its horizon with the Essex coastline to the left.

I was the young probationer Constable on my section who walked or cycled.  I never rode in a police vehicle unless it was to take me to the scene of some incident such as a sudden death or RTA where I was left to deal with it.  

About a year had passed when changes to the members of my section resulted in the loss from it of the more mature officer and I was now considered suitable to drive and patrol in police vehicles.  I cannot recall the exact month of this particular night duty but it was in the early months of 1966.  I was driver of the area 999 car with a much older Constable crew member from Rainham Police Station.  We covered both areas and it had been particularly busy with a variety of calls through the night duty which had commenced at 10 p.m.

It was about 2 a.m. when I drove to an area overlooking a car park, a day-time picnic area and outdoor swimming pool at an area of Gillingham called The Strand.  It was an area subject to crime and I knew it  well. I parked the police vehicle in an elevated position looking over this area facing towards the River Medway which was about 500 yards away.  My view also took in an uninterrupted view towards the North Sea and its horizon with the Essex coast to the left.  It had been raining previously but had now stopped.   It was now a perfectly clear night and visibility was excellent.  I could see the lights of the coastal towns of Essex to the left and the blackness of the North Sea and the sky above it on its horizon.  I also knew this view well.

As I looked through the screen I could see movement of lights forming a pattern hovering in the blackness above the horizon of the North Sea.  I asked my colleague if he could see what I was looking at.  He told me he could not even though I described where they were.  I got out of the vehicle to have a better look and saw that there were about 9 small lights forming a diamond pattern.    They were fairly close together and quite clear to the naked eye.  I could see the lights of the coastal towns of Essex to the left but these hovering lights were not close to land and were out to sea.  The lights were not coloured and appeared to be pulsing slightly.  My eye sight was perfect and I was not wearing spectacles or contact lenses.

I watched these lights for possibly 20 seconds and they had formed a diamond formation.  I initially thought of fireworks or flares but there was no movement by the lights or any diminishing of their brightness.  They remained static in the same place and in their diamond formation throughout.  I informed my colleague of what I was witnessing but he remained within the vehicle.  It was difficult to judge their distance but they appeared to be well out on the horizon, above the darkness of the sea, and far beyond the coastal towns of Essex to the left.  They were almost pin sized but quite visible.

After about 20 seconds all of the lights suddenly split their formation and travelled away at very high speed.  They all went in different directions but in straight lines away from where they had been.  One or two went up, others to the left and right and others down towards the sea.  They all travelled at high speed and disappeared altogether.  It left me looking at the void of blackness of the sky where they had been.  I looked at the area for some moments trying to understand what I had seen but they had disappeared and did not return.

Stationed at Gillingham with the North Sea and River Medway on my doorstep I had seen fireworks and flares discharged previously but these lights were not the same and were neither.  I got back into the police vehicle and told the officer with me what I had seen.    A short time later we went to Gillingham Police Station.  Whilst there I looked at our Force Policy Book which covered all work practices and procedures by Kent Police.  There was a section dealing with unexplained sightings and UFO’s.  It advised how to report such matters.  As I was still a Probationer Constable I spoke to the duty Sergeant who was a very mature and experienced officer who had been stationed at Gillingham for many years.  I told him what I had seen and I then suggested that I should report the matter as per Force Policy.  He dismissed this idea and I took no further action.

 I had many postings throughout my service and I was stationed several times within the Medway Towns in various ranks.  Of course there were many times when I wondered just what I had seen back in 1966.  In 1995 I retired from Kent Police as a Superintendent and by coincidence my house was situated on high ground about one mile inland from The Strand.  It provided an uninterrupted view across The Strand, the River Medway and out to the North Sea with the Essex coastline to the left. I often looked out across this view at night but I never did see the diamond formation again.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Haunted Skies Publishing has arrived! Volume 7 on the way

 Front cover by David Sankey (c) 2012
 From Bob Tibbitts. When mentioning me re my services would you also mention that I create CD artwork please and that my 'company' name is iSETand the email address is:

Michael Brandt.  I just heard your podcast about flying objects...
I live in Winnipeg Manitoba (Canada), and recently saw flying orb of white light right in front of me after i seen it and ran up to it, it lit up the whole area and flew up on some power lines (like a big power plant with electric fence) it sat there for at least a good minute before it flew up in the air and over the town houses next to were we were!
Anyways contact me if you want to hear more... Also I'm not sure were to report to about ufo sightings I feel this needs to be documented! Maybe I should of contacted non-emergency I just wasn't sure but I did call 311 the operator that helps people with situations in Manitoba, and they said nothing came up on there computers.

We have emailed Micheal asking for further information but have not received a reply. 

From Cal Cooper who spoke at the recent ASSAP Conference

Hi John,I just wanted to contact you as I read the review by Brian Russell who made some errors about my talk. He stated that I was meant to give a talk on 'UFOs and the Paranormal' but spoke about my book instead. I was never actually booked to speak about the latter title, but was in fact asked to speak about 'Interpretations of Anomalous Phone-Calls from Aliens'. Even though I re-emphasied this, the advertised title was never changed (to my annoyance). At last year's ASSAP conference I spoke about returning to this kind of research, my book and data collection was completed in March this year, so this was the first time for ASSAP I'd spoken about it. The talk at the UFO conference was to advertise an article written by C.R Foley and myself which will appear in the next issue of Anomaly. The article is about bridging the gap between Ufology and Psychical Research.

I just wanted to clear that up as I think Brian may have been confused, especially by the title of the talk and then what I spoke about. Plus I'm not sure how Brian pronounces UFOlogy, but personally I've always heard it pronounced as 'you-fology', in and out of academic circles.

Great blog on Haunted Skies, I'll keep following and hope to see you at the next conference

 Police car levitated off the ground in 1978 and turned upside down!

This is one of our current investigations, just raw script not yet proofed for the book.

During the summer of 2012 we wrote to the National Retired Police Officers magazine (NARPO) asking them if they would be prepared to publish  an article from us appealing for any of their members to contact us with regard to any sightings of UFOs  or inexplicable phenomena they may have encountered while on duty.

In early November the Magazine printed the letter from us following which we were contacted by a number of officers one of whom was retired Detective Inspector from Kidlington near Oxford. (He was 19 when he joined the Force in 1959)

We went to see him on the 16th of November this is what he had to say.” I was promoted to sergeant collar number ‘1977’ on the 5.1.1978. At the time of the accident occurred I was posted to night duty and driving towards Aylesbury on the A41at about 3am in early September 1978 in a brand new Ford Escort which had 35miles on the speedometer.

It was a clear dry night with excellent driving conditions, so I switched off the car headlights. (Authors: This may sound a rather dangerous practice, but it was common to drive occasionally blackened out, in order to spot lights in the nearby activity that may be the result of criminal activity, not forgetting that by doing this you could (conditions prevailing) see other vehicles approaching) in which case you would of course immediately put the car lights back on) I had my overcoat on with the collar turned up; the next thing that happened was that I was aware of the being upside down and pointing in the other direction towards Bicester.

 I began to crawl out from the (open door)? or window?  But was prevented from doing so by the epaulette on the left hand side of the traffic coat catching something, in the car, but I managed to free it and crawled out onto the road. My first feeling was of relief; I remember thinking how wonderful the first’ suck’  of water was from a rain puddle on the tarmac, as it had started to rain accompanied by that peculiar refreshing smell of rain on the dry road. I had an impression of the local surrounding being very blue reminding me of an old fashioned TV Screen a royal blue colour

A lorry pulled up in front of me the driver got out and helped me to my feet after advising him I wasn’t seriously injured, although my back was in agony, I then asked him where he was going he told me Bicester. I looked around at the Police car and was shocked to see that the top of the vehicle had been squashed down. The roof was now 15-18” above the top of the windows.  There was a massive dent in the roof. I stood there in shock wondering how the bloody hell this had happened, as I had not struck any other vehicle or obstacle in the road. (It was now 3.10am)

I made my way over to the nearby cottage and knocked on the door, a woman opened the door and spoke to me, she said, words to the effect” You were quick I’ve just phoned the Police the crash awoke me. “I explained that I was the officer concerned. A short time later PC Michael Horne arrived and we stood pondering on what had caused the car to flip over onto its roof with significant force.

He checked the side of the road grass verge and nearby trees, and could find no sign of any collision with the Police car or skid marks and was just as perplexed as I was at to what had caused the car to end up like this.

An Ambulance arrived and took me to John Radcliffe Hospital at Oxford, where I was treated for the back injury. A Police Inspector then took me home. 

I still have no idea what it was that caused the accident, it was suggested that the car had skidded on a patch of oil, but this wasn’t true. Strangely another officer who attended the scene told me he had seen a mysterious blue light in the sky over the locality of the accident as he was on the way there. Was there a connection with what I had seen? Strangely I believe that there was a period of time that I was unable to account for. 
Police Car seen along same stretch of road in November 2012

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Bob Tibbitts is now available for work!

Getting your book published! 

If anyone has aspirations to publish their work we recommend that they consider using the expertise of Bob Tibbitts to prepare and design the PDF (print-ready PDF), a vital requirement of the print-on-demand process. This can then be sent to a publisher (this way you have control).

Bob is always willing to help and advise as to how the dream can be realised.  Bob has many years in the printing and publishing industry and has been assisting us using up-to-date software to ensure a smooth passage from dream to reality!    If someone has the script and images, then Bob will be pleased to discuss the matter further without obligation. Bob's early work is shown below circa 1971!


Haunted Skies Publishing are looking for illustrators
that can assist us. In return you can have a couple of pages to insert the family dog, goldfish, pet snake or  family photosif your willing to help us it's the least we can do.   These images will be for Volume 8 in colour!

ASSAP Conference Review  Sent in by Brian Russell.

The recent UFO conference organised by the Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena (ASSAP) was billed as a summit on the future of UFOlogy. It was held at the University of Worcester on Saturday 17th November 2012.

The University of Worcester is a pleasant enough venue, although it was disappointing to find the event wasn’t sign-posted when we arrived. Along with other delegates we made our way to the main building, which had a local archaeological conference in full swing with dozens of book stalls and food counters.

By contrast the ASSAP event was in the impressive-sounding  conference centre, a 1960s brick out-building on campus. We arrived to things still being set up - a marked contrast to the archaeological conference.

Arriving early gave us time to find a seat and have a look at the one and only book stall.

The Speakers

Rev. Lionel Fanthorpe
Well, what can you say about Lionel? Everybody loves Lionel! Lionel kicked off the proceedings by opening the event in his usual enthusiastic style.

Ian Ridpath
The first real speaker of the day was well known astronomer and UFO sceptic Ian Ridpath. I know he is a sceptic, but I have to say that his was a very good talk. Very professional and very well presented, which made up for some of the holes in his arguments that all UFOs are mis-identifications of known astronomical or meteorological events.

Paul Vella 
It’s never good to start a lecture by saying that you don’t know much about UFOs! His subject is bigfoot, so not sure what he was doing here! Still, he gave an interesting history of flying saucers and aliens in cinema and tried to show how these depictions (good and bad aliens) was influenced by politics. So, for example, during the Reagan years in the White House we should have seen films depicting ‘bad’ aliens. Unfortunately, as Paul admitted, quite the opposite was true! Oops!


Due to overrunning and late starting, lunch was 20 mins. Mad dash to student union (5 mins), wait a long time (5+ mins) to be served  as none of the staff had prepared any food and even though there were three members of staff behind the counter we all had a very long wait! This left  approx. 10 mins to eat your food (less if you dared to order anything hot)!

Sacha Christie
Interesting speaker. I had been looking forward to this speaker as I had read a little about her and was keen to find out more about her experiences. She was a good speaker though she appeared a little nervous and defensive. Unfortunately there was very little information given out about her family's abduction experience in 1997, which would have given more contextual narrative to her main argument: abductees are real people with real experiences; they are just as confused by these experiences as everyone else. Some interesting points about a multi-disciplinary approach to abductions.

Trystan Swale
Trystan is a nice chap. He is sceptical with a capital 'S', and probably with good reason. His talk was on crop circles, and the feel was that this was an easy topic for a sceptic to choose so they could make fun of it. Potential genuine paranormal experiences were quickly brushed over, leaving the audience members I spoke to feeling disappointed.

Kevin Goodman
Probably the best talk of the day. I always like to hear Kevin talk about Warminster. Balanced approach with interesting historical details and a nice video featuring Arthur Shuttlewood. Kevin always comes over as a genuine, down-to-earth guy trying to work out what his experiences at Warminster were all about. Although sceptical with a small 's'  about some of what went on in Warminster, Kevin at least is open-minded about what could have happened in this small Wiltshire town.

Cal Cooper
Doing his PhD in parapsychology at Northampton Uni. makes Cal uniquely positioned to talk about ‘UFOs and the Paranormal.’ Very good speaker. His subject was ‘UFOs and the Paranormal’, except he didn’t talk about this - instead he talked about his new book Telephone calls from the Dead (which he talked about at last year's ASSAP conference)! He threw in a couple of cases where people claimed to have had phone calls from aliens although missed the famous Arthur Shuttlewood case. The second speaker who started his talk with saying he knew very little about UFOs, and he pronounced UFOlogy wrongly throughout his talk!

John Wickham
To be honest, by this stage we had had enough and left early (nothing against John, who seemed like a very nice guy). John, from BUFORA, was standing in for Tony Eccles. Feedback I have heard from people I know say his talk was good but again, nothing new.

Lembit Öpik
Well, unfortunately Lembit couldn’t make it. Known more for being a former MP and marrying a ‘Cheeky Girl’ than his UFOlogical research. But don’t be too upset; if you must see Lembit speak on all things strange, he is at the ASSAP conference at Bath University next year - try and contain your excitement!

Overall, from comments I heard from other audience members, it was a very general conference covering the basics that a lot of people already knew. There was nothing very new presented at the event.

The event itself was well organised, though there were a few glitches, namely a P.A. system that didn’t work properly all of the time, hand-dryers in the gents toilets that drowned out the speakers, and for quite a few of the audience, members of a certain West Midlands UFO group who insisted on whispering loudly and opening bags of sweets through every presentation!

So there you have it. A rather strange choice of speakers, some who openly admitted they knew very little about UFOlogy. Why ASSAP didn’t go for speakers who actually knew something about the subject was a source of much puzzlement to everyone at the event! Conclusion: nice try, but could have done a lot better!

Monday, 19 November 2012

Haunted Skies update

Hilary Porter photo
James Mitchell writes to us with his photographic analysis of the Hilary Porter photo.
We applaud him for his excellent detective work. While nobody can categorically say
or prove this was the explanation, it is nether less interesting and offers some insights
into matters such as this.

James, I hate to be a “smart Alec”, especially after my somewhat critical post on ufology, but I think all of the artifacts on Hilary Porter's christening photographs can be explained.
Although I have to say I'm no expert in photographic analysis, and I could of course be wrong, I do use old cameras myself and am familiar with most of their faults.

Firstly, the “figure”, I believe this to be an illusion, rather than a photographic artefact.
If you look carefully at the window, the apparent “figure” is composed of whole panes of leaded glass, suggesting that these panes reflected the light falling on them (and / or passing through them) differently to the rest due to being of a different colour or condition to the rest. They even may just have been cleaner, or, given the flexibility of leaded windows, angled slightly differently to the “lighter” panes.

Pareidolia, or the imagination's ability to find meaningful patterns where there are none – as in “faces” in the fire or clouds – does the rest. The suggestion of an archetypal hooded figure, especially in connection with a church or other old building often associated with hauntings also helps with the illusion.
As to the “swirl”, notice that, although it doesn't fall in the same place on the photographs, it can be overlayed on itself if the vertical photograph is rotated through 90 degrees, as the camera would have been to take the photograph, with both images having the same orientation with respect to the film.

This suggests to me that the film was damaged when rolled up, either when on the original spool or on the spiral inside the developing tank.

To illustrate what I mean, think of sticking a pin in a roll of wallpaper. The holes wouldn't line up with the pattern as, like a film, the paper is wound in a spiral, the effective diameter of each layer reducing towards the centre of the roll. The holes in the paper would, however, line up above each other when the paper was in a roll, and their position would be the same each time with respect to the edges of the paper.
Similarly, the “swirl” is in a different place with regards to each photograph, but not the roll of film itself.

Without examining the actual negative the exact cause is hard to determine, but I'd say the film was physically damaged, or it was incorrectly loaded in the developing tank preventing even development.

In contrast to this, the “numbers” seem to be in a fixed position relative to each frame (photograph), which suggest that they were made when the film or print was flat and imparted to each image separately, remembering that, as in the above example, both vertical and horizontal images would be orientated the same way with respect to the film and paper they were printed on.

The first suggestion that springs to mind here is that light leaked in through the red window in the back of the camera which was used to view the exposure number when winding the film on, something that often happened with this type of camera, especially if the cover for the window wasn't closed or window itself was damaged. (Note that, judging by the period, I'm assuming a roll-film camera was used.)

The second is that an ink stamp (i.e. identifying number or photographer's details) on the back of the print has penetrated through to the emulsion on the front, or, with the prints stored next to each other in an envelope or box, the ink from the back of one print has damaged the surface of the one beneath.  Note also that the numbers - if that's what they are - appear to be reversed, which would also support such a scenario.
Given that the emulsion of the print appears to be reticulated (blistered), I think that, on balance, I'd go for the second of the above explanations.

It is, of course, impossible to be definite about the actual causes without viewing the original negatives or at least the prints, but I feel confident that should it be possible to scrutinise these, then faults such as I have suggested, all of which are well known to those familiar with film photography, would be found.

I hope I haven't spoiled the mystery for anyone (especially your friend Hilary) with my speculations, and I hope I haven't come across as a “debunker”, although I'm happy to accept the criticism of “photography nerd”, or, indeed, just “nerd”!


Retired Police Sergeant, Roger Crowhurst, -It was the summer of 1960 and I was a Police cadet stationed at Chiswick in South London.  One of our more menial tasks was to do school crossing duty, but because no-one would give us youngsters legal power to stop traffic by hand signals as the Constables had, we had to do so with a 'Stop Children Crossing' metal board and pole and a white cotton full length coat.  Most embarrassing, but the pole was handy for whacking the roofs of cars which failed to stop for us....

Lunchtimes were the worst as, though we manned each crossing for over an hour, usually only a trickle of children crossed the road to go home for their lunch.  On this particular day it was dark, raining hard and stormy, with occasional flashes of lightning.  A few women were shopping opposite my place on the pavement and I was just 5 yards from a towering oak tree to my left and I wondered just how long one could put up with this boring and wet job - indeed I wondered if I had actually chosen totally the wrong career.

Suddenly there was the loudest high pitched screaming sound I had ever heard, coming from the sky above me and to my front.  It was similar to the sound of a jet fighter and increasing rapidly in crescendo.  I looked up and saw what seemed to be a perfect empty circle in the sky - about the size when a split second away of a football and similar to when one inadvertently looks at the sun and sees an empty circle.  It was coming straight for me.  My brain screamed 'METAL POLE, METAL POLE!, and I instinctively threw the wet metal sign I was holding into the roadway.

As I did so, still watching the phenomenon, which I wrongly assumed was a crashing RAF jet, it veered sharply to my left and struck the wet oak like a white hot flaming cannonball with an ear splitting 'BANG!' and a massive explosion of fire which engulfed the entire tree in total flames, spitting fire and smoke like a huge exploding firework and flinging burning debris in all directions.  Almost immediately the torrential rain extinguished the blaze, leaving the old tree smoking, crackling and steaming, almost leafless and black from top to bottom.

I found myself on the pavement, sobbing, shivering in fear, wet and icy cold.  Across the road by the shops, several women were sitting on the wet ground, crying and wailing loudly.  Pulling myself together and understanding that I was the only authority figure at the scene, I gathered  some composure, walked across to the newsagent's and gasped 'Call 999 for fire, police and ambulance.  We've just experienced ball lightning!'

The ambulance took us to Casualty at Hammersmith Hospital, where we were put in separate rooms with the blinds down and in the dark for an hour or two and given hot sweet tea for our shock.  The Doctor kindly gave me a week off work to get over it.  Strangely, I had read Arthur C. Clarke's book on ball lightning only the week before....  


I was a Sergeant in the London Metropolitan Police in 1979 and Station Officer at Wallington Police Station.  At about 3am one night duty a flustered man aged about 30 years rushed to the front counter area.  He asked me to believe that he was not mad or intoxicated and that he and his wife and two young boys had been driving back on the A22 road to their home in Hackbridge, Wallington, from Eastbourne, where they had spent the day at the beach.  They were very late back as the car had broken down several times (it was a faulty fuel pump) and he had had to fix it at the roadside.

They had turned off the main road a few minutes earlier at the traffic lights by the Propellor Public House on Purley Way, Surrey, heading west towards their semi-detached home in Hackbridge.  As they approached the Paynes Poppets factory on their left, parents and boys (aged 8 and 10 years?) were now awake prior to arriving home.  Suddenly the engine of the car died and the car lights extinguished as what they described as a massive, almost world-size glowing green globe, filled the sky ahead and above them.  They said it sped at tremendous speed from their left and then hung, stationary, in the sky for a full minute. 

The two adults shouted in both fear and excitement, then the boys began to cry.  They all agreed the thing was massive and global and glowed a flourescent green.   There were no markings on it, as on the moon for example.  Suddenly the globe shot - 'faster than a jet plane' - to the right and downwards in roughly a 45 degree trajectory towards the ground, disappearing behind the hill in their foreground.

Such alleged sightings reported to police had to be telephoned to a secret Royal Air Force Establishment in North Yorkshire.  Minded that the man was, in my opinion, obviously mental, I contacted the RAF Duty Officer there, relating the tale with apologies and adding that the informant was 'obviously a raving nutter'.  He astonished me by saying that the informant was definitely not a nutter.  That the globe had been seen and details recorded by the relevant authorities and the public, by over 360 people thus far, from North Africa, across Spain, western England and to our sighting in southern England, where it had disappeared or landed 'Somewhere in your area'.
I was to immediately separate the family members and they were to be interrogated by my staff in separate rooms.  A statement was to be taken from each one, detailing the 10 points that he gave to me i.e. size colour, speed, what they thought it was etc.  This was done and I was shocked to find that the four family members had given exactly the same recollections in every detail.  To me as a professional, this was absolute proof that they were telling the truth beyond any doubt whatsover.  It was from this night that I became a firm believer that UFO's really do exist.
Following my second call to North Yorkshire I was instructed to immediately send a police car or motor cyclist with the family's signed statements the 500 miles to the RAF station, which I duly did.  The RAF officer then instructed that I should get as many officers as possible to search the 3 sq. mile uninhabited Hackbridge Marshes.  This is a natural and unstable gravel area, on which the Victorians used to pump London's sewage and is not open to the public.  I and several dozen officers searched the Marshes until after daybreak but no trace of the globe, or yet any trace of soil or gravel disturbance was seen.
I informed the RAF duty officer of the result and, now convinced and enlightened, asked just how many confirmed sightings of UFO's there were in the UK each year.  "Oh, thousands..." he replied, matter of factly.
Police car accident September 1978

Letter sent to the Oxfordshire Mail today- Can the readers help?I am a retired Police Officer from the West Midlands. Following an incident in January 1995 when Police Officers were directed to a report of a UFO seen over a Birmingham suburb, I decided to make my own enquires into reported UFO activity

to establish whether there were any truths in such reports. Over 15 years later I am still engaged on a fulltime basis along with my partner Dawn Holloway with cataloguing UFO sightings as I believe they represent an important part of our social history, what they are and where they come from are questions I cannot answer.  We have written and published 6 Volumes of Haunted Skies covering the period from 1940-1977 and are working on Volume 8 which covers the period 1978-1979(420pages) We are hoping that some of the readers may be able to assist us with any UFO sightings that they may wish to bring to our attention. In particular we are interested in any incidents that have taken place along the A41 between Bicester and Aylesbury. As we have received a report from a retired Detective Inspector who was involved in an accident along that stretch of road, during September 1978 when his Police vehicle turned over while on patrol one night. (opposite the cottage on the left)Incredibly no logical reason could be found for the cause of this action. If any one can assist we can be contacted on 0121.445.0340 or email  John Hanson and Dawn Holloway

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Haunted Skies 11th November 2012

          Sunday 11th November 2012
My thoughts lie with my memories of my ex Father in law ex CPO ‘Ted’ West whodied in 1974. He was on HMS Kelly when the ship went down at Crete in 1941.Ted was on the multiple pom pom guns and shot down a Stuka that was dive bombing the ship, before it went down. He was a real hero and a privilege to know.
Margaret Fry has been in touch she is keen to make a response to the article published in the Sun; I shall look forward to receiving it.
The below images were sent to us by Hilary Porter and Ken Parson of Beams. This couple have been assisting us over the years with various stories and photographs, well done you two and thanks for all of you help.

This is Hilary when she was christened! Who or what is the image in the window?

           Volume 7 is progressing this is the bumper edition 
           of Haunted Skies and will contain 420pages. 
           Fantastic stuff and all this covering only twoyears! 
           Very few Chinese lanterns then!   

           I have applied to Nielsens book data to obtain the 
           ISBN numbers they are usually purchased in blocks 
           of ten. When these are available the PDF file will be
           uploaded to Lightning Sources who have been 
           publishing the books up to now. So this is really 
           exciting for us as itwill be our first (published) book!  
           If anyone wants a signed copy of Haunted Skies 1-6  
           please ring us on 0121.445.0340,if not a chat, you are 
           more than welcome.Some very good MIB reports 
           coming to us from the London area- we will update 
           you on this as soon as we get them!

            We are still looking for anyone that might want to 
            assist with the illustrations. These books are self 
            funded by us, we don’t make any money, in fact we 
            run at a colossal loss, but the information is priceless
            and we both want these books to be made available.

                 Ex RAF George Bernard Dye. He and his crew sighted a UFO in 1944
             while on a bombing mission.