The Stephen Darbishire Photo: 1954
The Lakenheath Incident: 1956
The Lakenheath Incident – also known as the RAF Bentwaters UFO – was a series of radar interceptions followed by a firsthand encounter with a UFO that took place over two Royal Air Force bases in Suffolk during the night of the 13th of August 1956. The incident began when USAF radar operators, stationed at Lakenheath, locked on to what seemed to be an incoming aircraft traveling at extreme speed. Additional blips indicated another group of UFO’s moving more slowly and in a north–easterly direction. The blips eventual merged into a sing large radar signal, much larger than that created by a B36 Bomber – the largest aircraft in the USAF at the time. At 22:55, a UFO was detected approaching RAF Bentwaters from the east at an estimated speed in excess of 3000 MPH. Later during the night two RAF de Havilland Venom jet aircraft were dispatched to intercept a radar blip approaching Lakenheath. One interceptor was forced to return to base due to engine problems but the second, achieved visual contact. The UFO, which was described as an intensely bright ball of light changed course and pursued the Venom for around ten minutes. The incident was recorded as part of the covert USAF investigation into UFO’s known as Project Blue Book (1952 – 1970) and it was one of very few incidents that the Condon Committee were forced to admit that it could not explain.
- Project Blue Book was a systematic study of unidentified flying objects carried out by the United States Air Force from 1952 to 1969. It had two goals. (A) To determine if UFOs were a threat to national security, (B) to scientifically analyse UFO-related data. Many hundreds of UFO reports were recorded and studied.
The Warminster Thing: 1964 – 1976
During the 1960’s and early 1970’s the town of Warminster experienced an unusually large number UFO sightings and unexplained audio related incidents. In fact, the Warminster phenomenon started around 1964 with the occurrence of strange and unidentifiable noises which sounded like roof tiles being rattled or sticks being broken. Some claimed to have heard and felt a deep vibration – the kind often associated with ultra low frequencies. These noises were experienced by hundreds of individuals and often caused anxiety and discomfort. They continued until 1966. The phenomena was nicknamed the Warminster ‘Thing’. The first visual sighting of a UFO took place in 1965 and was described as a ‘Silvery Cigar” in the sky. Over the next decade many ‘UFO’s’ were seen by the residents with nine events being carefully studied and documented. During the early 1970’s the number of incidents decreased and by 1975 they ceased to occur. Many researchers believe that there may be a connection between the Warminster events and the proximity of the restricted military area at nearby Salisbury plain
Broad Haven Landing: 1977
The ‘Broad Haven Incidents’ started at lunchtime on 4 February 1977 at the Broad Haven Junior School. During a break between lessons, some 14 youngsters – aged 9 to 11 years old – witnessed a UFO land in a small field next to their school and claimed they saw a humanoid with pointed ears wearing a silver suit leave the ship and examine the ground nearby. The children told the headmaster of the school who made them each draw a picture of what they saw without discussing the incident with each other. The similarity between the drawings was remarkable and the authorities were notified. The national newspapers picked up the story and Broad Haven quickly became the focus of private, media and military investigations. Over the following months many other ‘visitations’ were witnessed including fireballs, more 7ft silver suited aliens and even UFO’s seen hovering near to ‘The Stack’ a coastal rock formation in St Bride’s Bay. A large number of unexplained events seemed focused on and around Ripperston Farm some three miles south east of the School. It is worth noting that the farm is located less than one mile east of the abandoned WWII Talbenny Airfield. In a further case Mrs Granville, the manager of the Haven Fort Hotel, saw an oval UFO land in an adjacent field. Two silver suited figures emerged and seemed to examine something on the ground that later turned out to be the entrance to an abandoned Royal Observer Corps bunker.
- The Broad Haven Landing is one of the very few UFO cases to officially be investigated by the UK Ministry of Defence.
- Over the years several people have come forward and claimed that they were behind the Broad Haven UFO sightings and that it was all just a hoax. However, people who actually experienced the events are dismissive of these claims. As one woman is said to have put it: ‘If you think I cant tell the difference between a space creature and a man dressed in a boiler suit you must be an idiot yourself.’
The Dechmont Woods Encounter: 1979
At around 10.30 am on the 9th of November 1979, Mr. Robert Taylor of the local forestry department parked his pick-up truck on a side road at the base of Dechmont Law (Hill) located between the Deer Park Golf and Country Club and the M8 motorway. Together with his dog, he walked up a grassy path to a southwest facing clearing roughly 35 metres in length by 35 across. He was shocked to find a large sphere-like craft roughly 7 metres in width and made of a dark metallic material. The texture of the UFO was rough like sandpaper and certain sections were transparent and similar to the windows in a cockpit of a plane. He is said to have walked closer and saw two smaller spheres, each looking somewhat like a WWII magnetic mine, exit the craft and roll towards him. The spheres then seemed to attach themselves to his trousers and draw him towards the main craft. He was aware of a hissing noise and the smell of gas after which he fell unconscious. When he woke the craft was gone and he was unable to speak. He staggered back to his truck, drove home and, at the urging of his wife, reported the incident to the local police. An investigation of the site discovered ladder shaped impressions in the soil and indentations where the secondary spheres may have rolled over the grass. The findings were considered inconclusive to prove the existence of a UFO.
- Character: What makes this UFO event particularly important is the general consensus that Robert Taylor was a man of calm character with a down-to-earth nature and not one for fanciful stories. He is said to have stuck consistently to the same story for over three decades.