MAPIT was first Established in 1973 making it one of the longest running organizations in the UK. Foundered by David Reese who constructed Skywatch Magazine. Today, MAPIT is run by Steve Mera and the magazine has transformed over the years to become Phenomena Magazine.
  • Wow! It's amazing to be here! Thank you for the invitation and very soon I will publish my articles and research! For now, I invite you to download the latest issue of Phenomena Magazine in Spanish!
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  • The NEW British & U.S. Investigators Training Course in Ufological Studies and Aerial Phenomena, launches September 1st 2018. This almost 300 page course as packed full of investigation and research methodologies. Contributors consisting of leading figures within the subject of Ufology, academics and researchers bring their most current knowledge. A New UFO course for the 21st Century Ufologist.

    For more information, contact Stellarcorses at:
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    On Saturday, November 13th 1999. I received a telephone call from a man calling himself Stuart Murphy. His message was recorded on my telephone answering machine. This Message is as follows:

    “This is Stuart Murphy here, I live on the corner of Winter Hill and something is in the sky, I’m shi***g my self here. I wondered if you can investigate or something. Oh Jesus”……….

    The Line went dead!... Due to the possible urgency I contacted Mr. Murphy by the telephone number that was obtained from my caller display. The time was now 12.51 am on Sunday, November 14th 1999. A short conversation with Stuart took place:

    He mentioned that he worked on Andrew’s Farm which is about five or six minutes away from his home. He had been working late at the farm on Saturday, November 13th 1999 when suddenly he heard a strange droning sound. He got up and looked out of the farmhouse window to see a large bright light hovering over the farm & nearby field. He described how he felt terrified and threatened. The light then moved over towards the cattle. It hung in the air for a few minutes. The cattle were darting around trying to get away from this thing. After a short time it moved off into the distance. Mr. Murphy was worried for the cattle and quickly ran out to check them keeping one eye on the distant object. No sooner had he reached the field he noticed the strange object quickly turn in flight and head back towards him. He ran as fast as he could back to the farmhouse. He remembered finding himself running for his life as the object was now directly above him. He looked up at it, shielding his eyes, but all he could see was bright light, it seemed to be only feet from him Stuart claimed. He reached the farmhouse just in time to see the object lift slightly and stop over the field yet again. Whilst the object hung over the farm, Mr. Murphy had contacted the police who apparently did not take the incident seriously and told Stuart to contact an organisation. At that time, Greater Manchester Police had details of our organisation in Manchester as we had done some work with them the month prior to this incident.

    Mr. Murphy immediately contacted our head office and left a message. He explained that he was talking to us on a mobile telephone which belonged to the farm owner and that he had worked at this particular farm for about 15 years as a Cattle Hand.

    During my conversation with Mr. Murphy I told him that it was important to obtain all the details and that it’s best to make an arrangement with him so to discuss the incident in more detail. Mr. Murphy agreed to contact us again and arrange a meeting. He said that he had a lot of work to do over the next few days, but that he would contact me. His conversation was cut short, due to the farm owner being in the vicinity and Mr. Murphy not wanting him to know that he had contacted anyone about this odd incident.


    Most of the conversation with Mr. Murphy entailed calming him down and telling him to take his time talking. He had a strong Irish accent and I could not understand him when he talked too fast. There were many cursing words, which is an expected reaction due to the incident he claims to have witnessed. Mr. Paul Rookes and Teresa O'Neil, Qualified Psychologists listened to the telephone message of Mr. Murphy’s and both commented on the vexation in his voice.

    I did not expect to hear from Mr. Murphy until Wednesday, November 17th, however, he telephoned me on Sunday, November 14th at approximately, 10.30 pm. Once again, he was very upset and it took considerable time to calm him down and to get him to take his time talking. He explained that three official looking gentlemen dressed in suits claiming to be from the MAFF (Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries & Food) had visited the farm during Sunday afternoon and had first talked with the farm owner and apparently threatened him that the farm may be closed if he was not to co-operate. They then took Mr. Murphy aside and told him that he was not to say anything to anyone about what he had seen on that Saturday night and if he does that his and his wife’s life maybe in danger. They then asked him if he had understood them, to which he agreed. Mr. Murphy then remembered that he had contacted me and thought it best to tell them. They did not seem surprised he claimed, they just said that if someone else gets involved, then they too would find themselves in trouble. Their attention then drew to a mark on Mr. Murphy’s face. He had got up Sunday morning with strange marks on his right cheek and forehead. It was red, sore and itchy. Mr. Murphy had no idea what it was. However, the strange men in suits seemed to know exactly what it was. They asked him when he had found the marks, when he told them it was that following morning, they insisted that he go with them to have some tests done. Mr. Murphy refused, but again, the men reminded him that he and his wife could be in danger if he was not to co-operate. Mr. Murphy reluctantly agreed. It was arranged that the suited men from the MAFF would collect him from the farmhouse the following morning at 8.00 am. After they had left the farm owner told Mr. Murphy to do as they asked or he would loose his job…

    At this point, Mr. Murphy did not know when he would talk with me. He ended the call quickly by saying ‘I need to go, the farm owner is coming’…

    The Investigation:

    On Monday, November 15th 1999, I visited the area at 6.30 am in an attempt to locate the Andrew’s Farm and Mr. Murphy. By 9.00 am I had still not located the farm, so I headed back to Manchester and planned another trip. At 10.15 pm that night, I telephoned Mr. Murphy, but this time talked to the farm owner. I asked the farmer if I could talk with Stuart Murphy. The farmer asked who I was, to which I replied, ‘I am a friend of Stuart’s’. The farmer then told me that Stuart has gone away for a few days. I then asked, ‘was Mr. Murphy collected this morning by the MAFF?’ The farmer paused….. Then said, ‘I have been instructed not to comment, please do not ring here again’. The phone went dead… All very strange!!!

    Once again, the following day, I was unsuccessful in locating the farm. The location of Winter Hill is a maze of country roads leading to numerous farms. I eventually attended Horwich Police Station with the strange story in hand. I talked with WPC Trudy Robertson. She said that she had taken on board what I had told her and was most helpful regarding the search for the farm. She looked at her sheet of farm names but was unsuccessful in locating it. She had never heard of Andrew’s Farm, however, she told me that some farms may be listed under Lancashire rather than Greater Manchester, thus it would be best to contact Adlington Police Station to ask them to look at their list of farms. I did inform her that if the case be authentic, then three possible crimes had been committed:-

    1. Physical threatening.

    2. Abduction.

    3. Impersonation of an MAFF Official.

    WPC Trudy Robertson, (Badge No. 6513) told me that no crime had been reported and that she could not do a trace on the mobile telephone number without a crime first being reported, nor could I file a missing persons report because I was not a relative. She said she would continue to look for the farm and ask other officers, and if she finds anything of interest, she would contact me. I thanked her for helping and left for Adlington Police Station. When I arrived at Adlington Police Station it was closed. This particular police station is not often used and simply looks like a converted house. I left with a plan to contact them at a later date.

    By all accounts, I could find no references to the farm. I did however; locate a hill by the same name. It was then that I noticed a dark blue coloured Jeep which was very close behind me. I purposely turned into a private road leading to a small coffee shop and the Jeep continued to follow. I pulled into a small car park area and the Jeep pulled up right behind, blocking me in. I got out expecting some type of confrontation with the driver. The gentleman was approximately 35 years of age and was dressed in blue jeans, jumper and wearing a light coloured cap. He asked me what I was doing up near the farms and why I was looking around. I simply told him I was looking for a farm a friend works at. He asked where I was from, but, I told him no more and he got back in his Jeep and drove off. I turned around and headed off towards Georges Lane, but first stopping at a mobile snack bar known as the ’Sizzling Grill‘. Whilst having a coffee I could not help think that something suspicious was going on.

    I got back in my car and continued my search… At the top of Georges Lane, I turned right onto Matchmoor Lane and followed it for about two miles. If I had carried straight on I would have ended up at the Quarry which is still very much active with workers. If I had turned left I would have come to a small forest with a signpost at the corner. The sign gives mention to the Bolton Metropolitan Council Trees and Woodlands Section along with a telephone number of: 01204 522311. Eventually, following Georges Lane I came to Old Hearts Farm. Obviously, not the right one as it was not a cattle farm. A few hours had past and I had still not located this damn farm. This was beginning to frustrate me… I eventually headed back to Manchester to conduct some research and plan yet another visit.

    On Tuesday, November 16th 1999, at approximately 10.00 pm the farmer was contacted again by telephone and this time gave me his name. With this new information I decided to conduct a search for a farm with the same name as the owner... yes a long shot, but I had nothing else to go on at the time. A fellow investigator had conducted several telephone calls as well and had contacted the MAFF in response to the incident. He was told that there are people that visit farms who impersonate MAFF agents. He eventually received a return call from a Director at the MAFF who told him that they knew nothing of the alleged abduction, and that they do not even operate on Sundays.


    The mention regarding people impersonating the MAFF and visiting farms is very interesting and could have been information that was accidentally given. I can find no reference to any public mention regarding impersonations of MAFF agents. This I found unusual.

    Another investigator, Deborah Newton, managed to obtain a second version of the Electoral Register and had been in touch with several farms, local vets, Bolton Council, and the Cattle Market at Horwich. The cattle market director had informed Deborah that no cattle had recently been received from the Horwich area.

    On Sunday, November 21st 1999, I visited the location once again in a final attempt to locate the farm or the where abort’s of Mr. Stuart Murphy. One Farmer told me that Andrew’s Farm was on the corner of Winter Hill and through Belmont, on the other side of Winter Hill. This was later confirmed by Deborah Newton who contacted me via telephone. She had contacted yet another farm, and the farmer there claimed to know of an Irish gentleman by the name of Stuart Murphy, a cattle-hand that works in the area, but he could not tell me where he worked as he was not sure. I was also told that the corner of Winter Hill is near the Tockholes area near Chorley. I headed off in that direction. As I turned a corner I could clearly see a farm. Locals informed me that the farm was indeed called Andrew’s Farm. I couldn’t believe it, had I finally found it? I parked up and went up and knocked on the farm house door. A gentleman eventually answered and claimed to know nothing of Mr. Murphy. I do recall though that the gentleman was looking around as if expecting to see other people around. I asked him if there was another Andrew’s Farm around. ‘Yes’ he replied and in fact pointed me in the opposite direction. As I was walking back down the farm lane back to my vehicle, a blue Jeep turned into the farm and shot up to the farmhouse. I recognised this straight away. It was the very same driver and Jeep I had seen following me around. Very Coincidental?

    The distance between the first time I saw the Jeep on Coal Pit Road and the second time at the farm is approximately 13 miles. It is also a coincidence that the very same Jeep was to arrive on the farm that I had been looking for, for almost a week, and, out of some very few cattle farms in the area, this was one. Cattle could clearly be seen in the nearby field. I also noticed some dark marking on the grass as if something had been burnt their. Now… I don’t like assuming anything without evidence, but something fishy was most definitely going on…

    I parked up and watched the farm for about ten minutes. During this time, two other vehicles had arrived at the farm, a light blue Austin Montego Estate with roof racks on and a green Volvo. A few minutes later all three vehicles left the farm and went off in different directions. The Jeep was followed and was seen pulling behind some terrace houses five minutes away down Bolton Road in Abbey Village. The Jeep seemed to be associated to one of five houses and the middle house was for sale.

    I remembered that we had been told by the farmer that Stuart Murphy no longer worked at the farm and Murphy and his family were moving back to Ireland. It was decided that I go public with the information hoping to flush out witnesses or even Mr. Murphy himself. As the days followed, several investigators complained about having problems with their telephones. Newspapers in Ireland printed an article in hope of finding Murphy to no prevail.


    Now… it has been suggested that someone may have gone to huge lengths and expense to create an elaborate hoax, but I cannot help think about the following…

    1. The original call from Mr. Murphy was not call bard.

    2. Mr. Murphy seemed to be genuinely upset and worried.

    3. At no time have I been asked to visit any location or go out of my way. In fact, Mr. Murphy commented on ‘leaving this alone, in case I get into trouble’.

    4. Several coincidences, such as the Jeep, possibly finding the farm, and that it was a cattle farm, and a few problems with telephone lines such as breaks, echo effect, and a timed regular pulses.

    If this case be true, I have a gentleman called Stuart Murphy that reported a UFO on Saturday, November 13th 1999, and then reporting an unusual red sore and itchy mark on his face the following morning, along with three official looking gentleman posing as MAFF officials who threatened the farmer of closing his farm, and physically threatened Mr. Murphy regarding the safety of his wife and wanting him not to mention to anyone about what was seen. Finally the abduction of Mr. Murphy by these officials at 8.00 am on Monday, November 15th 1999 who took him away for several tests concerning the mark on his face. Also, the farm owner informing me that Mr. Murphy no longer works at the farm and that he was moving back to Ireland.
    Finally, not forgetting the farm owner has said that he had been advised not to discuss the matter with anyone.

    All very interesting….

    I have shelved the investigation for numerous years hoping more evidence would come to light. Apart from many reports of strange things seen in the sky throughout that area, no information has surfaced. Of course, if you do your research; It’s not the first time so called ‘Men in Black’ have popped up in the area. Earlier reports of a Close Encounter caused quite a stir when the strange suited men visited a witnesses’ house in hope of obtaining information. I believe the witness had to undergo extensive treatment on her teeth, which had started to mysteriously crumble after having a close encounter with a UFO. (Details of which can be found in Jenny Randles book ‘Men In Black’, investigated by Arthur Tomlinson.

    Case still open & unsolved?

    Steve Mera
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  • The Solway Spaceman.

    On May 23rd 1964 a local Cumbrian man by the name of Jim Templeton took one of the most unusual photographs ever. A photograph that is thought to depict a possible alien figure in the background is still very much debated. Some claiming the figure in the photograph has a rational explanation, some believing it is some sort of floating extraterrestrial in what looks like an astronaut suit of some kind. Whatever the strange figure was... one thing all researchers agree on..., is that the photograph was not a fake or doctored in some way. Whatever Jim Templeton caught on camera that sunny day back in 1964 remains a mystery... A mystery that may never be solved!

    Jim Templeton, a fireman by profession had taken his wife Annie and his two daughters Elizabeth and Francis to Burgh Marsh for the day, a location known for its outstanding natural beauty situated close to the Solway Coastline – approximately eight miles west of Carlisle, in Cumbria (UK), and considered to be a historical location after King Edward I allegedly died in 1307 of dysentery whilst traveling back from Scotland.

    Jim was an amateur photographer and was always keen to take photographs of his family. On this particular sunny day, Jim wanted to snap Elizabeth wearing her new dress. Jim had taken numerous photographs that day, but one of them turned out to be rather odd. As Elizabeth posed for him sitting on the grass holding some wild flowers that she had recently been picked, Jim raised his Kodak SLR and snapped a photo that was to become one of the most remarkable photographic mysteries ever.

    A number of days later, Jim called into the local chemist to deposit his Kodak film for development. It was then sent off to Kodak laboratories for processing before being returned. When Jim collected the photographs the manager remarked to Jim that the photo’s had turned out well on the then new Kodak gold film and that it was a pity about the one photograph spoiled by the tall man behind her.

    Note: Photographs were taken on (KODA-colour X at 100th of a second at f16).

    Jim had no recollection of anyone else being around that day whilst he took photographs. He quickly opened them to discover the one photograph that depicted an unusual figure that appeared to be standing right behind Elizabeth at an odd angle, (as if floating in the air). How had Jim not noticed this bizarre tall figure encroaching his shot? Jim headed back home to show his family the photos. Annie, Jim's wife claimed that there was no other person on the marsh that day. The strange being only appeared in one of the three photos he had taken that day. Jim was completely puzzled.

    Jim told a number of his friends about the unusual figure he had caught on camera, and it wasn't long before a reported from a local Cumbrian Newspaper contacted him. After showing them the photo they agreed to run an article hoping others may have also captured the mysterious figure on film and would come forward with their story. Soon after it went to print, Jim was plagued by reporters from National Newspapers asking him questions and also wanting to feature an article.

    Keen to solve the mystery Jim submitted the photograph to a police officer at Carlisle who in turn forwarded it to Penrith where photographic analysts studied it. Eventually Kodak carried out checks on Jim's camera for faults and experts in photographic development obtained the original negative and checked it for signs of overexposure, faulty film stock and evidence of tampering. After a short time, the negative and camera were returned along with a letter stating they could find no faults with Jim's camera nor any problems with the negative or evidence of tampering. In fact... Kodak were just as puzzled as Jim as to what the mysterious figure was.

    As the weeks passed, the Cumberland News team sent details about the unusual photograph to Australia following a request. It would seem that they were equally interested in the story and Australian newspaper reporters contacted Jim and requested a copy of the negative and went on to published an article. A couple of weeks later Jim was contacted by a technician who worked on the ‘Blue Streak missile project’ in Woomera in Australia. He was told that the technician had spotted similar looking unauthorised figures in white, wandering around the launchpad, during an aborted countdown on May 23rd. The very same day Jim had photographed the mysterious figure on Burgh Marsh.

    When the site was checked later by security officers, there was know-one to be seen nor any tracks found. The operator who had reported the incident was later sent on leave for a short time. This unusual incident allegedly happened within hours of Jim snapping his photograph, on the other side of the world. Coincidence... or is there more to it? After making some enquiries Jim learned that rockets used for the Blue Streak missile project were being manufactured at RAF Spadeadam, in England which was situated about 26 miles east from Burgh Marsh.

    The photograph and negative were exhaustively examined not only by the Police but also Kodak’s experts. Because they could find no evidence of tampering or a hoax they decided to offer a reward of free film for a year to any person that could solve the mystery, as to how this figure got into the picture. To this day the reward lies unclaimed.

    Some time later Jim was visited at work by two strangers wearing dark coloured suits driving a dark Jaguar who claimed to be Government officials. They pulled Jim out of his day job at the fire station, to show them the site where the photo was taken. Jim reluctantly agreed and went with them to the location. On arrival they asked Jim to show the exact spot, where the photograph was taken and quizzed him about the weather conditions at that time, also, had he seen any other people around or animals. The mysterious men then asked Jim if he had seen an alien, to which Jim replied, he hadn’t actually seen anything whilst taking the photograph, only afterwards he had caught the figure on film. It was at that point that the men retreated to their car and promptly drove off, leaving Jim with a 5 mile walk back to the firestation.

    Jim told Australian reporters about the conversation he had had with the technician from the Blue Streak Missile program. After which they contacted the test facility and requested to view the blue streak film taken on the May 23rd, but were told that they could not assist due to the film missing from the archive where it was usually stored.

    The following year, Jim and his daughter Elizabeth returned to Burgh Marsh to take several more photographs. Afterwards the film was sent off as normal but the negatives were returned unprocessed for no apparent reason. For a while, Jim said he had to send photos to be processed under the name of his neighbours so to get the processed.

    More recent research carried out brings the whole story about the Blue Streak missile launch being aborted on May 23rd 1964 into speculation. According to historical documentation the first Blue Streak launch test was scheduled for June 2nd 1964 but was aborted due to a part failure on the on-board systems. The missile was in fact launched on June 5th, three days later. There is also little evidence to suggest that a photograph circulating the internet of two figures dressed in white stood beside the Blue Steak missile are in fact alien in origin. Though it has been confirmed that the photograph was taken at Woomera test facility in Australia, no confirmation has been obtained in regards when exactly the photograph was taken. Some researchers have suggested that the photograph was taken either June 2nd or June 5th whilst technicians conducted maintenance on the missile and the two figures were simply technicians. On close inspection the figures do not look like the mysterious figure Jim Templeton had snapped.

    The only known fact in this case, is the photograph has never been conclusively proved to be fake and Jim or his family have never attempted to make any serious money from it. Whatever the figure was that Jim had caught on camera that day 50 years ago, continues to baffle photographic experts. Its a mystery that simply... won't go away!

    Steve Mera.
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  • Devils Tower.

    Brought to international attention by the hugely popular movie, Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), by Steven Speilberg, Devils Tower has been a sacred place for a number of Indian tribes since prehistoric times. There are various legends are told about the origin of the tower.

    One story, common to the Kiowa, Arapaho, Crow, Cheyenne and Sioux indian’s, concerns a group of young girls who were pursued by a giant bear. According to the legend, seven young Indian girls were playing in the near by forest one day and a great bear came upon them, which immediately gave chase. The girls fled swiftly through the trees in an attempt to lose it, but the bear slowly gained on them. Recognising the hopelessness of their situation, the girls jumped upon a low rock and prayed loudly to the Great Spirit to save them from the terrible beat. Immediately the small rock began to shake and grow larger, pushing the girls upwards, lifting the seven girls higher and higher into the sky. The angry giant bear jumped up against the sides of the still growing tower and left deep claw marks, which may be seen to this day upon the rock walls. The tower continued to soar upwards towards the sky until the girls were pushed up into the heavens, where they became the seven stars of the Pleiades star costillation. Known to the Indians as Mateo Tepee or Grizzly Bear Lodge, the tower is actually the remnant of a volcanic extrusion that occurred 60-70 million years ago.

    Rising around 1,200 feet above the nearby Belle Fourche River, the tower was first seen by white explorers during a United States. Geological Survey in 1875. The surveyors called the rock Devils Tower after an old Indian name, The Bad God's Tower. It was first climbed, using a long wooden ladder which was attached to the rock face, on July 4th, 1893. It was proclaimed the first US National Park by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906, and the tower is today one of the most popular climbing locations in the country and over 20,000 ascents have been made.

    Jutting magnificently out of the relatively flat surrounding terrain, the tower is a greatly honoured vision and site of local Indians. Its use as a place of spiritual guidance has continued to the present time, for both Indians and non-Indians, and many visitors have reported seeing strange light phenomena and UFO's flying about the tower's summit.

    Ellen Mitchell
    9/20/2007 3:51:07 AM

    Triangular shaped craft

    In 2002, September 7th I friend Morris Saunders and I were on our way to New York for the 1st anniversary of 9/11. We were stopping at all the National Monuments that we could along the way. We went to Devil's Tower and camped that night ( He has the journal) The park was full so we went to a parking/pull off area and just threw our bags down on the ground (it was so dark). After adjusting to the blackness we realized how amazing the stars were. I decided to get some sleep having driven for 12 hours. The next thing I hear is Mike waking me saying "look up" in a quiet voice. My eyes adjusted and I saw a triangular shaped but transparent distortion of the night sky that I thought to be very high up. It moved from point to point and in no way I've seen anything move before or since. I can't say how long we watched it but it slowly moved in it's strange way to what I believed to be the East. I have to say that I slept better that night than I had in months. When I awoke I found that we had a perfect view of the tower, it was so black we couldn't tell when we got there that it was right in front of us!! Anyway...that's what happened and I'll never forget it.

    Steve Mera.
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  • An investigation of a strange vision 97 crewmembers of the LST-410 ship had during World War II, whilst in the Mediterranean. Below is a letter to the National Geographic Society from Mr. S. Barnes (crewmember).
    Washington DC, USA / Dated : August 1992...

    From Mr. S Barnes.

    Dear Sir,
    A few days ago I came across a small advert in the National Geographic Society Magazine. This prompted me for the first time to put into writing after nearly 50 years, an experience I, and the crew of a Tank Landing craft, had in the Mediterranean during the last war, bordering on the supernatural. This was directly related to an article in the National Geographic Magazine. I still have no rational explanation of what we saw. Why didn’t I write earlier ? My only excuse, I was always going to write tomorrow or later, I was in no hurry, I had no fears about forgetting details about what I saw, and 98 of the crew of the Landing Ship Tank 410. So I contented myself from that day to this, telling people, my wife, family and friends, but never writing till now. What also prompted this letter is that I am nearly 71 years of age, if I don’t write, then this fantastic experience will never be known. On our return from the Mediterranean to England, I read an article in the National Geographic Magazine which not only confirmed what we saw, but gave dates and details of similar sightings from years ago. It was the information in your article which prompted this letter and the expression - bordering on the supernatural. I drafted on rough notes, the full story many years ago, these I use now.

    My story starts in New York docks in 1943, where I first saw the ship I was to serve on for the best part of the last war. The ship was an American built Landing Ship Tank, its number 410 (LST 410). The ship was commissioned by the Royal Navy crew of which I was a petty officer electrical mechanic, the ships company totalled 98 officers and men. Some weeks later, we left New York and arrived in the Mediterranean at the close of the North African Campaign. The piling material for our first invasion. Sicily on ‘D’ day, July 10th 1943. This was followed by the invasion of Salerno on ‘D’ day, and later the invasion of Anzio again ‘D’ day. A few months later it was back to England and the ‘D’ day invasion of France, June 6th 1944. It was approximately July 1943, whilst in the Mediterranean the following occurred. We were steaming at our normal speed of 10 - 11 Knots, position East of Malta, (well out of sight of any land). At approximately 9.00 am I left the dynamo room which was in the bowels of the ship and made my way to the upper deck, to see what the weather was like. It was a beautiful day, the sea was calm, the sky a deep blue colour, except for a low bank of cotton wool clouds which formed an unbroken wall on our starboard side. A few moments, and back to the dynamo room where a faulty governor on one of the diesel generators was producing varying voltage. Approximately one hour later, a clattering on the iron ladders, told us someone was coming into the dynamo room. It was one of the seamen from the upper deck, who attempted to convey some information to us by pointing excitably upwards with a pointing finger, and attempting to shout over the roar of the diesel generators.

    After several attempts at lip reading and putting our ears to his mouth, we took the message to imply ‘had we seen the City in the Sky’. More excited gestures and he was gone. With visions of cloud formations which vaguely resembled a city, the long climb up the vertical ladder, a second climb onto the upper deck, the opening of a water-tight hatch and the job in hand, I stayed in the dynamo room. Some 20 minutes later, another visitor, this time one of the engineers from the engine room, who extremely excited mouthed ‘go on the upper deck, see the City in the Sky’. This definitely indicated something different. Collecting my steel helmet, life belt and respiration, I climbed from the dynamo room and was soon in brilliant sunshine on the upper deck - completely blinded, after the dim lighting on the ladder. As I regained my sight I saw 40 - 50 of the ships company lining the guard rails on the starboard side, all gazing up to the sky at an angle of approximately 40 degrees, likewise the gun crews on the gun platforms, the lookouts and the bridge personnel. On the starboard side resting on the top of the cotton wool clouds, was the most beautiful city I'd have ever seen. The city looked about one mile away, in full colour, like a gigantic colour television screen, but approximately one mile wide. (My original notes did not contain the words colour television - as they were not invented then). The city was positioned on the clouds with the rear of the city higher than the front so the whole was in elevation. Now the hard part. How to explain in ordinary words how fantastically beautiful the whole city was. There were ‘buildings’ the very, the very name an insult, these were glistening white palaces with turrets and castleated walls in white marble, sat in fantastic gardens and tree studded parkland, bordered with lawns, flower beds, fountains and pools all in fantastic colour.

    Walking, playing, sitting on the lawns and fountains were many people and families, even children and dogs. Although the ship was out of sight of land, it seems strange, we could see people, let alone identify children and dogs, but as previously stated, we were looking at a city one mile away. The people although very small could be identified as men, women, and children. The ladies were wearing long black skirts which reached the floor like those in Victorian times. On my original report I have made two drawings, one of the city and another of the size of the people. The dog was running all over the place. Through the centre of the city ran a beautiful wide thoroughfare with side roads on each side. Each side road were fringed with fantastic lawns, vivid flower beds, flowers and wonderful palaces. The wide thoroughfare was aligned exactly with the starboard side of the ship, we were all looking along it as it tapered to nothing in the distance. (Even the name thoroughfare or roads are crude in trying to explain how wonderful everything looked). Along the side roads and main thoroughfare, ran a constant stream of traffic, fine looking cabs drawn by a horse, an open coach, drawn by two horses. A type of London scene, but like a Victorian scene. These would stop at the side of the roads or thoroughfare, passengers would disembark, others would enter and the cab or coach would join the main stream. At this point, the comment of the ships company give a much better impression than trying to put this in writing. Such as :- ‘Look at that coach near the two fountains, four people have just got out. That tiny dot must be a dog, its running about’. ‘See that big fountain on the left near the marble entrance on the left, there’s a group sitting under the trees, on the grass. They must be having a picnic’.

    And many, many more… Suddenly from the starboard Oerlikan gun platform by one of the gun crew, a remark caused complete silence. ‘Hey, there’s no army transport, it’s war time and there’s nothing’. This remark started a flood of similar observations :- ‘Hey, there’s no motor cars or trucks or lorries of any kind’. ‘There’s no bicycles, buses or trams’. ‘Where are the houses, shops or hotels’. There’s no telephone poles or wires, not even posters or signs’. ‘There’s no theatres or cinema's’. ‘Have you noticed?, there’s no concrete or bricks or slate roofs’. Being an electrical mechanic I looked for the power station or pylons. Nothing! Likewise, gas works or rubbish tips. None! No railway lines, stations or docks. Only the marble buildings or palaces, glistening white, set in fantastic colour, as far as the eyes could see. Now a remark that really describes what we were looking at :- ‘It’s like peace time, but its not modern’. For some three quarters of a hour we stood and gazed and wondered. The city had not changed one fraction. I left the upper deck for the dynamo room (duty called), to check how things were going. Some half an hour later I again stood on the upper deck, the city was still there, just as before. Duty again called, and down to the dynamo room again, to receive another visitor clattering down the ladder after 30 minutes or so, with the mouthed words ‘Come up top - the city is breaking up’. On deck the city had indeed started to break up, just like a gigantic jigsaw puzzle, with some of the parts missing, not from the edges but all over. Some 20 minutes after all that remained was a few pieces, an odd flower bed, some people, a palace, and a carriage, each piece just as bright and colourful as earlier. It was most strange to see, a beautiful blue sky dotted with little coloured irregular shaped pieces, with moving people in some of them. Shortly all was gone, the sky and cotton wool clouds as before. The city became a memory, as we were recalled to England, for the invasion of France ‘D‘ day.

    We were given five days leave after one and a half years action. On arriving home I was soon telling my adventures during the invasion in the Mediterranean, and of course, the City in the Sky. My mother and father and wife well remember this. Then came ‘D’ day France and then, later, another five days leave. It was on this leave, or the previous leave, which would be approximately two months before or after ‘D’ day, that my father, who was a caretaker in a Manchester Technical College, brought into the house a pile of magazines. These were National Geographic Magazines, going back some 12 months. The college had these delivered to the staff room each month. After they were finished with they were given away. As he handed them to me he said, ‘You can read these, there’s some good reading’. I read several magazines till I came to one, which on the page, had a heading which seamed extremely interesting. ‘Legends of the Sea’; or something similar. I know that just before the heading, was a reproduced old map, with little cherubs in the corners, blowing air into sailing ships sails. The article contained, (I’m thinking many years ago), the Flying Dutchman, Sea Monsters, Giant Octopus, The Sea of Dead Ships (Sargiasso) etc, But one title stood out which I remember) :- The City in the Sky. This certainly made me sit up! It read, ‘For many years, Ancient mariners sailing in the Mediterranean, have reported seeing a most beautiful City in the Sky’. I think there was a description, there was certainly a list of dates when the City was seen. The sightings read, 50 years ago 75 years ago, 110 years ago, and even 150 years ago. These dates are as near as I can remember. This of course was fantastic; to hear that the crew of the LST 410, were not the only ones to have seen this ‘City’. But not as fantastic as the next few lines which hit me straight between the eyes. This simply stated that in all the sightings of the City in the Sky, each ancient mariner reported that ‘It was a City not of their time. A City at least 100 years in the past’. I was shaken, as again I recalled the words of the crew of the LST 410, ‘Hey there’s no motor cars or lorries etc etc’. Also the ladies in their long Victorian type skirts, Cabs and London type horse drawn coaches and ‘It’s like peace time, but it’s not modern’. No power stations, railways, or gas works. Surely any city or mirage of our time, would in the three or more hours on viw have at least some present day aspect. There was none! Not even the modern motor car. To conclude with a technical question, which to me, is just as fantastic as the above :-

    On reading this report, the city was in view from approximately 9.00 am till 12.30 pm, when it finally broke up. As stated previously the city was positioned with the main thoroughfare pointing directly at the ship on our starboard side. The city was in view for approximately three and a half hours. The LSTs speed was approximately 8 / 9 Knots. Total distance would be approximately 40 miles. At no time did we see the city in any other position or angle; but from the first sighting at 9.00 am, the main thoroughfare pointed exactly at the starboard of the LST 410 and remained like that for the whole duration. At 1.00 pm when the city finally broke up, one would have expected to see the city in the distance (if at all); but it wasn’t. It was still in the same positon on our starboard side. I freely admit, that if I had received a letter as this one, a city 100 years or so in the past, which was capable of keeping pace with a warship, Id have very serious doubts, but then again, what about the many previous sightings, the ancient mariners. I wonder did it keep pace with their ships? Why did this city position itself so exactly on the clouds, that we saw it from its best viewing point - straight through the centre? And, as we steamed at right angles to the city for 36 - 40 miles - for the city to have been in the same position, could only mean one thing. The sighting must have turned to keep itself aligned with us, or moved with us? The latter seems more feasible. If the city had turned, we would have seen the city as it broke up Astern! To conclude : I have no explanation at all for what we saw, only that the above is a true and exact account of what myself and the crew of the LST 410 saw. Unfortunately due to the excitement of the invasion of France, the original National Geographic Magazine was mislaid (Circa 1944). I would dearly like to have any information in your archive regarding the sightings before and after and the dates. What would really be fantastic, would be to match these accounts with any you may have. As previously stated, this account was copied from my original. I have a pencil sketch of the city also, showing the layout. A final thought - could this sighting is added to the others (old mariners sightings). I am aged 71, the sighting was nearly 50 years ago. Does this make me an old mariner?

    Finally, just a few points which later come to mind :- The city during its total sighting time did not fade, shimmer or move in any way. The people cabs dogs did move. Very solid with no fancy colours. Square construction in general. The palaces were constructed of marble or similar, with walls terminated at the top as sketched or similar. There were no :- 1. Flagpoles. 2. Signs. 3. Posters. 4. Seaside. 5. Docks. 6. Ships. 7. Round Towers. 8. Apex Roofs.
    9. Brickwork. 10. Concrete. 11. Spires. 12. Minarets. 13. No colours of any kind on the buildings. On reflection : the direction of the traffic was on the left! As it is in Britain. The sighting took place whilst in the Mediterranean. It is impossible to convey the massive size of the city when drawing it on an A4 piece paper. There were hundreds of people in the city moving. All moving! A few years back I contacted our first lieutenant, aged 93 and nearly blind.


    Mr. S. Barnes BEM BSc Hons.
    Ex PO Electrical Mechanic.
    LST 410.

    During the latter part of January 1998, I was confronted with an investigation regarding one of the most profound things I have ever heard. Mr. Sid Barnes, was an Electrical Mechanic on board the LST (Landing Ship Tank) 410 during the second World War. Whilst in the Mediterranean during 1943, he and 97 crewmembers witnessed a huge vision in the sky for over three and a half hours. Mr. Barnes, remembers reading of such phenomena in a National Geographic Magazine sometime in 1944 which has prompted him to attempt to relocate this article and any subsequent information. As you have read, Mr. Barnes set a rather detailed letter to the National Geographic Society in August of 1992. Unfortunately, the National Geographic Society were not very helpful... Well….. You can imagine the work we had ahead. To begin with, I thought it best to become well acquainted with temperature inversions, often called mirages. I finally came across several interesting cases:- A mirage is usually defined in terms of an atmospheric distortion and an optical illusion. Light from an object may be bent (refracted) or reflected by air, and the mind of the beholder is liable to see something which is not what it appears to be. For example, a thirsty traveller in the desert may be looking at the sky reflected on a layer of hot air over the sand. The mind, however, sees instead a pool of water and may even add to the imagined scene the palm trees of a surrounding oasis. Some Canadian scientists have used "mirages" to explain lake monsters being nothing more than a piece of wood floating on a placid lake or a UFO as a bright planet seen through a turbulent sky. Although this may be true sometimes, I would rather see some explanation as to how a vast and detailed image of a city might be projected into the sky, if it is only a mirage.

    In the Transactions of the British Association for the Advancement of Science of 1847, Dr. D.P. Thomson reported that "during the exhibition of a panoramic model of Edinburgh, in the Zoological Gardens at Liverpool, on Sept. 27, 1846, about 3 P.M., an erect image of Edinburgh, depicted on the clouds over Liverpool, was seen by two residents in the Great Park at Birkenhead, for a period of forty minutes." Edinburgh is about 325 kilometers north of Liverpool. Another extraordinary mirage was reported in the London Times as having occurred on July 28, 1846, at 3:30 A.M., near Stralsund (then part of Pomerania and now Germany). During a short walk from the city on the Baltic shore, witnesses saw in a pale blue light the image of Stralsund looming over the Isle of Rugen on the opposite shore for a period of 15 minutes. The image was clear enough that details of the facade of the Gothic church of St. Mary could be "distinguished with ease." An American prospector, Mr. Willoughby, claimed he heard an Indian legend of a city appearing in the sky each summer near Mount Fairweather, on the Alaska-Yukon border. Mr. Willoughby said he first saw the mirage in 1887 and offered a photograph as proof that the phenomenon was real. In 1889, the New York Times reported that 'the city in Willoughby's photograph had been identified as Bristol, England'. This story and the photograph were included in a later edition of 'Miner Bruce's Alaska'. Two other cities were said to have been seen over the Muir Glacier in Alexander Badlam's Wonders of Alaska. Badlam reprinted Willoughby's photograph, which depicts a view of a city from a hillside with house fronts and church steeples clearly visible; and, if not claimed to be photographed in Alaska, it could readily be accepted as a photograph of Bristol.

    However, a second photograph is presented with an African or Asian city superimposed upon another of a glacier. Badlam writes that the photographer had captured the mirage's image by aiming his camera into a pan of quicksilver and that the city seen in the sky was believed to be sunken in the waters of the bay in front of the glacier. The third city was supposedly sketched from a photograph, but the fanciful spires and towers of the artist more closely resemble the looming mirages of Arctic icefields or the Fata Morgana of the Straits of Messina than anything else. Badlam's stories are as hard to swallow as a plate of "snow worms" set before a tenderfoot in Alaska, yet the stories of cities in the sky were repeated by other witnesses. One of the members of the Duke d'Abruzzi's expedition to Mount St. Elias, C.W. Thornton, told Miner Bruce he saw what looked like a city in the summer of 1897; L.B. French was quoted by the New York Times in 1889 as seeing houses, streets, and large buildings, either mosques or cathedrals, near Mount Fairweather; and, a correspondent of London's Weekly Times and Echo returning from the "Yukon Goldfields," saw a city in the sky in June of 1897 and wrote: "...whether this city exists in some unknown world on the other side of the North Pole, or not, it is a fact that this wonderful mirage occurs from time to time yearly, and we were not the only ones who witnessed the spectacle." Phantom cities may have loomed over Alaska, but the fact that no sizeable city could be found within a thousand kilometers of Mount Fairweather did not deter the scientists of the time from speculating that some extraordinary property of the atmosphere would show a scene from distant Bristol. What other evidence apart from the testimony of witnesses and Willoughby's photograph would offer any credence to cities being seen above the wilderness of Alaska? The same phenomenon exists in Ireland. The "Duna Feadhreagh," or fairy castles, have long been reported. On the coasts of Antrim, Donegal, and Waterford, enchanted islands have been seen rising from the depths into the skies.

    The Chronological Description of Connaught, written in 1684, says: "There is, westward of Arran in sight of the next continent Skerde, a wild island of huge rocks; there sometimes appear to be a great city far off, full of houses, castles, towers, and chimneys, sometimes full of blazing flames, smoke, and people running to and fro. Another day you would see nothing but a number of ships, with their sailes and riggingsa; then so many great stakes or reekes of corn and turf." At Rathlin, in 1817, a green island was believed to arise out of the sea every seventh year upon which could be distinctly seen people "engaged in various other occupations common to a fair." At Youghal, a walled town was seen distinctly in October of 1797. By June of 1801, the mirage had grown into an unknown city with mansions and forests behind. Such marvels were recounted by Dr. Thomson in his Introduction to Meteorology and before the British Association for the Advancement of Science in 1852 by Mr. M'Farland (who had witnessed a fairy island arise from the ocean off Portbalintrea in June of 1833). Sir Charles Lyell, the distinguished geologist, wrote of seeing a mirage of Toronto in the sky over Lake Ontario during his second visit to North America. What I find intriguing is that such accounts of extraordinary mirages take on forms which are recognisable, they are seen on repeated occasions, and sometimes a panorama of images and events are observed. Not only have phantom cities been seen in the skies, but also armies and ships, described in detail. Such phenomena may have less to do with atmospheric conditions than with displays of a ghostly nature on a vaster scale. In the British science journal Nature, accounts of mirages in Scandinavia, such as the one here in May of 1882, may have helped prompt an earlier acceptance of tales from a sourdough in Alaska and the legends of the Irish:

    The frequent observations of the mirage in the south of Sweden is very remarkable. From time to time we are told that whole landscapes, cities, and castles, with moving objects, have been observed reflected on the sky for hours, and we again learn that a similar display of the forces of Nature was seen one afternoon last month over the lake of Orsa, in a remote part of Dalcarlia, lat. 61 degrees, which is stated to have reflected a number of large and small steamers, as if plying on the lake, and from whose funnels even the smoke could be observed to rise. Later on the scene changed to a landscape, the vessels now taking the form of islands in the lake, covered with more or less vegetation, and at last the mirage dissolved itself in a haze. The phenomenon, which lasted from 4 to 7 o'clock, is said to have furnished a most magnificent spectacle. As for the ship... Landing Ship Tank, abbreviation LST, naval ship specially designed to transport and deploy troops, vehicles, and supplies onto foreign shores for the conduct of offensive military operations. LSTs were designed during World War II to disembark military forces without the use of dock facilities or the various cranes and lifts necessary to unload merchant ships. They gave the Allies the ability to conduct amphibious invasions at any location on a foreign shore that had a gradually sloped beach. This ability permitted the Allies to assault poorly defended sectors, thereby achieving operational surprise and in some cases even tactical surprise. The National Geographic replied to Mr. Barnes during September 1992. This is what they had to say:-

    Dear Mr. Barnes,
    First of all, thank you for a captivating letter. I scoured the Society’s library and comprehensive index for any mention of the phenomenon that you reported, but have come across precious little – not even the National Geographic article that you say that you read. In our comprehensive index, I was excited to find mention of a brief reference to the phantom ship ‘The Flying Dutchman’. Unfortunately, the reference – in an August 1942 article about South Africa’s Cape of Good Hope – did not include information on the ‘City in the Sky’, or the other sea legends that you mention. Enclosed is a copy of that brief reference. The Subject Guide to Books in Print, an index of American magazines, did not list any articles by the title ‘Legends of the Sea’ between July 1934 and April 1947. (I checked the guide thinking that there was a possibility that you saw the article in another publication). Next, I turned to our library’s books of maritime folklore. Though these books yielded much information on phantom ships and the like, I did not find one mention of the ‘City‘. Nevertheless, I have enclosed excerpts. Finally, I checked the Society’s extensive collection of clippings from various newspapers, magazines, etc. Although I found articles on an interesting and slightly similar phenomenon, there was nothing about the ‘City’ - and nothing to challenge its drama. A couple of questions occur to me Mr. Barnes. Have you had recent contact with any of your shipmates? Did any of them attempt to photograph this event? It might be worth-while to try to track down some of your shipmates, as they might have come across information that is eluding you and me. Although I have only superficial knowledge of the following organisations, perhaps they will be able to provide some helpful information:

    The Centre for Short Lived Phenomena. Post Office Box 199, Harvard Square Station, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02238, U.S.A.

    The Society for the Research and Investigation of Phenomena. 73, Old Mint Street, Valletta, Malta.

    The International Fortean Organisation. P.O. Box 367, Arlington, Virginia 22210-0367, U.S.A.

    The Society for the Scientific Exploration Department of Astronomy. P.O. Box 3818, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia 22903 U.S.A.

    The World Institute for Advanced Phenomenological Research & Learning. 348 Payson Road, Belmont, Massachusetts 02178, U.S.A.

    The Institut Metapsychique, Int’l, 1, Place De Wagram, F-75017 Paris, France.

    The International Collectors of Unusual Data. C/o Raymond Nelke, 2313, Shields Avenue, Saint Louis, Missouri 63136, U.S.A.

    The Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained. P.O. Box 265, Little Silver, New Jersey 07739, U.S.A.

    I am disappointed not to have found references to the ‘City in the Sky’, especially since I was fascinated by both the story and by your compelling account of it. I am keeping your letter on file and returning a copy to you, in case you did not keep a copy. Please let me know if you come across any further information, Mr. Barnes. I do hope that the information I have provided will prove helpful.

    Thank you for writing.
    Yours Truly,

    Patrick J. McGeehan
    Research Correspondence
    September 24th 1992.

    So far, I had obtained an overwhelming amount of information regarding Mr. Barnes, the LST 410 and Temperature Inversions. To begin with, it was necessary to confirm Mr. Barnes actually served on the LST 410. This was the easy part. I obtained Mr. Barnes Service Records, stating that he served as an E.M. Electrical Mechanic.

    Further information obtained consisted of:

    LST photographs, The original LST Naval Training Videos from the Central office of Information, Maps of the Mediterranean and the LST 410 routes, drawings of the City in the Sky by Mr. Barnes, Generator Diagrams, Photographs of Anzio, and crewmembers of the LST 410, LST commissioning documents from the Ministry of Defence Naval Historical Branch, Operation Shingle documentation, Operation Husky documentation, LST 410 movements from August 1943 – April 1944, Documentation regarding the study of the Brocken Spectre, The LST 410 plans and specifications, LST load and unload data, letters to and from other crewmembers of the LST 410, Recommendation for decoration for several crewmembers, LST 410 movements from June 1943 – September 1944, references to the ‘City in the Sky’ or ‘Cities in the Sky’, The LST Association details and information, LST plans and video and audio recordings. The list goes on and on… But what of the real important stuff I was needing? Ship and Deck Logs, Muster Rolls and Crewmember Lists, and of course, as much information on this type of anomaly as we can find… I have conducted some lengthy research in hope of finding the old National Geographic article that mentioned the ‘City in the Sky’. I conducted an in depth search through all of 1941, 1942, 1943 and 1944 of the National Geographic and unfortunately only found a small piece regarding the ‘Flying Dutchman’ in April 1944 National Geographics Supplements. I also quickly realised that such temperature inversions that take place in the Mediterranean such as Fata Morganas would obviously show an inverted image of a city and certainly not in its up-right normal position. Inverted thus taken from the word Inversion…

    It was not until a year later I found my answer... Some phenomena can be explained in scientific terms, others still remain a mystery, often due to the lack of reported incidents, the rarity, or the simply lack of funding to support a scientific based investigation. As suspected a rare type of Fata Morgana (superior type) mirage was responsible. Castles in the air is a term often used to describe imaginary constructions, it can also be used to describe a very real optical phenomenon known as the fata morgana effect, in which different levels of hot and cold air distort the appearance of objects on the horizon to make them look like, well,... castles in the air. The term first entered English usage in 1818, when it was used to describe an occurrence of the phenomenon in the Strait of Messina, a narrow body of water between Sicily and the region of Calabria in southern Italy. Technically, fata morganas are a type of mirage, related to those visions of water in the desert, or less exotically, to those seeming pools of water on the highway on a hot day. However, the latter two are examples of inferior mirages, while fata morganas are classified as superior mirages. It’s not that fata morganas are inherently better than the others; the difference lies in the way each mirage is produced. What Mr. Barnes and his crewmembers witnessed was a rare form of Fata Morgana which is known to take place in the very location they were in. A matter of being in the right place at the right time. An atmospheric phenomenon that is rarely seen twice in a lifetime. As for the strange image in the sky, it must have been of a place which existed somewhere, even though it looked as if it was Victorian like. If such a city was real, then it most certainly would have looked as if it was from the past. I have tried to find such a city which would resemble the descriptions given, but have found nothing vaguely similar. If the crewmembers had seen something from the past, then we may be dealing with a completely new type of unknown phenomenon, one which stores images and many year later, projects them into the sky... Truly strange!

    For now, I'm more than happy to conclude a rare form of atmospheric phenomena and close the case on a mystery that's lasted over half a century...

    Steve Mera.

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  • Ribble Valley UFO Incident.
    July 5th 2000, UK

    Mr. Robert had contacted me after obtaining our telephone number from UFO Magazine. Mr. Robert is 35 years of age and apparently a wealthy gentleman who is currently in the process of selling a company for 2 - 3 million pounds. He has recently moved into a farmhouse in the Ribble Valley area. He claimed to have had a previous UFO experience when he was a child and that he has no interest in the subject, he is a level headed gentleman. Mr. Robert has by all accounts assured me that his initial telephone call is not a wide up of any sort.

    He claims that, approximately three weeks ago, he awoke about 10.30pm to a strange noise. At first he thought it to be a Quad Bike engine sound. He got up out of bed and walked to the window. (It was at this point Mr. Robert became agitated). He stated 'I wish I had never looked out of the window'. In the distance he noticed the noise coming from a combined harvester, probably from one of the local farms, as there is sheep in a field near by. He then suddenly looked to his right and was amazed to see, what only can be described as a metallic spinning top shaped UFO, just hovering completely silently about 50 feet away, (Making this an initial CE-1). Mr. Robert watched as the object slowly moved from left to right in a falling leaf motion about ten foot side to side. He described the object to be shaped like a spinning top with a centre rim, and just above the rim was what looked like, portholes. One porthole had a blue light, as if there was illumination from inside the craft. There were belt type straps on top of the object and recalls how the moonlight reflected of the top of it, as if metallic in structure. Mr. Robert then described watching a small blue light move out of the object and move around. This light was flashing a blue colour, similar to the colour of the new type of headlights on vehicles. He turned his head and looked out to the field. At first he saw the sheep that seemed obviously scared and huddled together, before they ran off out of sight. It was at this point Mr. Robert turned and ran over to his bed to awake his wife. In a matter of a few seconds he was back at the window trying to explain to his wife what he had seen. When he looked out he was shocked to see nothing! The strange craft and the ball of light had completely vanished.

    Mr. Robert claims that he has had no stress at home or at work and things in his life are going very well. He cannot comprehend his experience. He went on to say that there had been a few other incidents since the initial one approximately three weeks ago. On one particular occasion, he and his wife were awoke by yet another odd sound. He described it as a humming or buzzing sound that had a little bleep or something at the end of it. The sound was intermittent, about once every three seconds. On investigation, he noticed the sound emanating from the side of his house. Mr. Robert also recalls his pet dog, (a 20 week old Alsatian) that was kept in the porch area due to it not being fully house trained, whining. He went down and opened the front door not switching any lights on what so ever. He stood at the front door in shock as he watched a light on the ground disappear. He described the light as if there was something at the side of his house that had a door and inside was brightly lit. The light was as if being shone onto the ground through an open door which slowly closed. Mr. Robert dared not look around the corner and quickly locked the front door and ran upstairs. By morning, Mr. Robert had noticed his extremely clean water in his swimming pool had turned an unusual mucky green colour. (I am currently unaware if this particular incident is related to his experience) but worthy of note.

    Mr. Robert claims that his wife refuses to fully believe him yet she did hear the strange sounds herself. Mr. Robert seems to have been psychologically disturbed by these experiences. He has found it difficult to concentrate and becomes extremely scared at night, so much so, he has resorted to going to bed early, whilst still light, in hope of sleeping right through the darkened hours. Mr. Robert claims to have reported his initial experience to Accrington Police Station, to which, two police officers attended his home and took a statement, (indicating an incident number). Mr. Robert indicated he had worked as a police officer or in association at sometime in his life and thought it best be completely honest with them. He found the police unhelpful. Not long after his police report he received a telephone call from well known researcher and author of the UFO subject who was obviously attempting to obtain further information. Mr. Robert was unsure of who this person was and how they got to find out about his experience. He did not disclose much. He worried that if he had talked with this person that his information would be publicised. This is not what he wanted. It was at this point Mr. Robert felt he needed to talk with ‘someone’. He had at times become very upset and even found himself crying. He didn’t know what to make of his experience and was extremely scared.

    At this point I informed Mr. Robert that he should attempt to record any of these events. He agreed and said he would set up recording devices such as a video cameras etc. He said that he would be back in touch with me soon and would agree to allow me to visit him at home in a few weeks.

    July 6th 2000.

    Mr. Robert has agreed for me to visit him on Tuesday 11th of July 2000, at 10.30am..

    A preliminary interview was completed and information reviewed and verified. The two incidents took place in two different fields which belong to two different farms. Access was obtained to these locations via permission from the farm owners. Necessary field equipment had been obtained and report forms completed. A water sample from the swimming pool had been taken and was sent off for analysis, for which the results shown that there was a rational explanation for the discolouring due to PH levels and chlorine concentration. Confirmation from Accrington police station of the incident was obtained. Mr. Robert had telephoned the police station three times during the early hours of June 14th 2000. Two officers did attend the location but apparently found nothing. He also reported the incident to the Ministry of Defence via their telephone answering machine. Mr. and Mrs. Robert have also reported a strange pulsating sound that moved around their living room. This has also been heard rushing over the roof of the house. Preliminary observations of the area show no anomalies. Field tests carried out with use of a Geiger counter revealed no unusual findings.

    A secondary interview and visit was arranged for around 8 weeks later whilst I conducted some research. However by week 6 I was contacted Mr. Robert who informed me that he and his wife had simply up and left their home after hearing the strange noises throughout the home again. They were temporarily renting a home elsewhere and their farmhouse was to be sold. Mr. Robert said, ‘I want to thank you for your help, but I simply could not stay in that house another night’. The whole thing scares me to death…

    Steve Mera.
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  • The Jones Abduction?

    It was summer of 1979. Lynda Jones a thirty six year old housewife from Didsbury, Manchester was in her kitchen when she received a telephone call from an old friend. Lynda arranged a meeting and over a long leisurely lunch she and her friend chatted about the old days and lost aquaintances. It wasn't long before Trevor, (Lynda's Husband) had to leave for work. He was on a 2.00pm till 10.00pm shift at the local factory. Trevor left his wife and friend to chat away in the afternoon sun of their back garden looking over their his chidren Christopher aged five and Lisa aged fifteen. Time quickly passed and Lynda's friend reminded her he had to be on his way before it gets dark, as he had visited on an old bike which had no lights on it. Lynda offered to show him a short cuit home which would takle them over the near-by fields. Lynda, her friend and children set off, it was around 7.30pm when they had arrived at Simon's Bridge located near the River Mersey. After saying their goodbyes, Lynda and her children headed back, taking their time to look at wild flowers, which was one of Lynda's interests. With her Oxford Dictionary of Wild Flowers in hand they regularly stopped to examine an intriguing flower. There was no rush, as Trevor would not be home for at least another couple of hours.

    Suddenly Lisa shouted out 'Mum, the Moon is coming towards us'. Lynda turned to see a strange object racing across the sky, travelling towards them. 'It was like the shape of a rugby ball only a lot bigger' and was a bright orange in colour recalled Lynda. It had come into view from behind a crop of trees on the golf course situated on the other side of the river. 'The object had a spinning effect and it seemed to be travelling towards us at an angle'. 'Get Down!, Lynda shouted out, get down in the grass'. As she crouched down in the tall grass with her two children next to her, she braced herself for an explosion, innitally thinking it may have been a plane from the nearby Manchester airport in trouple or on fire. There was no sound what so ever. Slowly looking up out of the grass Lynda saw the strange object pass overhead and then suddenly drop in a vertical motion behind an embankment which was part of the flooding defence of the River Mersey. It was then she realised the strageness of the total silence, not even the sound of birds nor the traffic from the distant busy roads of Didsbury Centre.

    Lynda stood with her children in hand, taking a few steps towards the embankment, wondering if what ever it was had crashed. Lynda had a compelling urge to move closer to the top of the embankment. First walking then running up. She was suddenly stopped dead in her tracks by an amazing sight. There, about 25 yards in front of her lay an object which she could only describe as biblical looking.'It was so weird'. Lynda did not know anything about UFOs nor had any interest in the subject. With her children stood beside her, Lynda stared at the object taking in all the detail. 'The object was about sixty feet across and hovering about two or three feet above the ground. 'The object was disappearing and then re-appearing'. 'The object had a light on the top of it'. 'It was a bright white light that was somehow separated from the object itself'. Lynda felt drawn to light, and as she got closer the light got brighter. As Lynda got nearer to the object an organge ball of light appeared from the far side of the object and started to move towards her in a slowly rotating fasion. 'As I walked towards the object I thought I would soon be looking in at them and watching what they were doing, 'said Lynda'.

    Suddenly Lisa shouted out: 'Mum, come back, come back'... The shock of hearing Lisa's voice jolted Lynda back to a terrifying reality. 'I had a feeling of Deja Vu, really strong, then suddenly I realised what I was doing'. I thought 'Oh My God!' 'were going to die'. Lynda quickly turned and ran, grabbing her children by their hands and almost dragging them down the embankment. When they got to the bottom Lynda started running so fast that her son Christopher struggled to keep up. 'Oh No!, 'Its there again Mum screamed Lisa'. The object was now travelling along side them. Lynda too scared to slow down picked her son up and carried on. 'Don't stop shouted Lynda, keep going'. 'Mum look, there are two of them now, Lisa screamed'. On the edge of exhaustion, Lynda supressed the urge to turn around and look. 'Keep going!', screamed Lynda. 'Don't look back Lisa, just keep running she yelled'. As they ran across the grassland, Lynda noticed something really strange. The experience was having some sort of odd effect on their surroundings. Lynda noticed that the grass was terribly overgrown at least six feet in height and seemed to be folding down on iteself as if it was being pressed down by some force coming from above and reavealling an escape route. 'It was the strangest thing I've ever seen'.

    Lynda found herself still running when they had reached the edge of their housing estate. 'We never stopped running until we were safe inside our house', said Lynda. Lynda looked up to se Trevor standing their who said' What's wrong, what's wrong with your eyes?' Lynda looked in the mirror and could see that the skin around her eyes was red and scaley. 'Lisa had ran straight upstairs to the bathroom presuming she may had wet herself in fear and Christopher though shuck up seemed okay' Said Lynda. Trevor seemed concerned. Lynda told Trevor what they had seen from start to finish and afterwards Trevor asked us all to draw a picture of what we had seen. He was later startled to find all the pictures looked identical. Then suddenly, Lynda realised Trevor was home, he should have not been home from work until 10.30pm. 'What time is it?' she asked Trevor. It was now around 10.50pm. Lynda had lost around a hour and a half of her life. She had left their cofmortable semi-detached home in Disbury around 7.30pm and had seen the object around 9.00pm. She had ran a good ten minutes yet they had arrived home about 10.40pm???

    Lynda would have to wait until the winter of 1980 before discovering more about her experience. In the meantime, Lynda and Trevor told very few about the incident. The local Manchester International Airport reported nothing out of the unusual of that particular day and there seemed to be no other witnesses. Lynda eventually was talked into undergoing a series of hypnotic regression sessions. Each sessiopn was apparently recorded onto videotape and produced around ten hours of material. Lynda found the entire experience too disturbing and was so frightened refused to view the majority of the video recordings. Lyda said 'I was very upset watching myself under hypnosis'. 'At times I was becoming extremely upset by whatever I thought was happening to me'. 'It was just too much!' However, over the years Lynda had pieced together a vague account of what may have happened to her during the missing one and a half hours, based upon memories during her hypnotic regression sessions and numerous dreams and day visions. Christopher & Lisa also had recalled other events...

    'I remember at the point when we had turned to run away from the object, I saw several people running towards the object'. 'These 'people' looked like men, dressed in long dark coats and wearing trilby hats holding what looked like satchels'. 'There was also a strange mist that surrounded them and when they got close to the object, they simply disappeared'. 'Also, the children and I remember seeing anoth cloud of mist around two or three feet high and in the mist was some more men, all around five feet tall, dressed in a one piece jumpsuit, all carrying something'. Lynda recalled how odd it was that they all looked identical. She then recalled floating or a moving sensation. 'The next thing I remember is being inside a room watching six strange beings coming in'. 'They were human looking, wore dark suits wityh high necks'. 'They looked oriental, they had slanted eyes, dark hair and a yellow / olive complection'. 'I seemed to know one of them'. Lynda then went onto report the impression of being physically examined on a table. 'I remember that they put something on my legs and they went really cold'. 'Eveny time I tried to see what was going on, a bright light would shine in my eyes'.

    Even now... many years later, Lynda still gets frightened about her memories of the event. She refuses to speculate about what was being done to her whilst on the table in the strange room. Over the years since her experience Lynda like many other alleged abductees has suffered from a real life medical condition. She discovered that her menstrual cycle had been affected after about a month after her experience. Lynda tried to get on with her life and forget what happened to her, however she would often find strange markings on her body which would disappear just as quick as they had appeared. 'The marks would just suddenly appear, but after showing them to Trevor, they would have disappeared before I got to show my doctor'.

    'The weirdest thing was a few months after my experience. I had what only can be described as a 'Show'. 'It was some type of waxy material, I immediately made an appointment to see my doctor'. 'After talking with him, he told me that I had had a miscarriage; 'But I wasn't even pregnant I replied! He seemed adament about his conclusion'. Lynda's menstruation did not return and she was refferred by her doctor to a gynaecologist. Many examination were carried out in hope of finding her problem. It was not long until Lynda had to see a specialist at her local hospital. Lynda was told that the results from the examinations were successful and that they had found 'something'. Her Fallopian Tubes had been examined and scar tissue was found on them. Lynda was told that the scarring was the result of an ectopic pregnancy. Even though this can be fatal and extremely painful, Lynda reported no discomfort what so ever. 'I don't know what happened to me, but something did'. 'To tell you the truth, it's made me realise about other odd things in my life' Lynda stated.

    Immediately after her experience a strange mark had been found on Lyndas jeans. The strange mark mysteriously even looked the same shape as the object she had seen. The mark on the jeans were later analysed at a University Institute and concluded to be printer ink, however why was it in that same shape? and Lynda did not even own a printer. Over the years Lynda has disgussed the incident in depth with her children, There memories of that day have never altered, the only one thing of further interest is Christophers memory of seeing a large tv type screen with a picture of his mother and themselves on it. Lisa also remembers the object jumping back a couple of times as Lynda approached it. As if to say 'Stay Away'.

    During 1987, Lynda was working as a beauty consultant and was required to wear a plastic name badge whilst on duty. Her name mysteriously dissappeared from the name badge within hours of wearing it. This happened numerous times to replacement badges without explanation. Lynda was now keen to report unusual things in hope of them never manifesting into anything disturbing. Investigators had arranged to have some analysis conducted on the name badge. The conclusion was rather odd... 'Radio Waves'. Scientists stated that the badge was adversely affected due to radio waves. Strange... It was not long afterwards Lynda left her job, due to the fact of feeling uneasy. 'Staff thought I was some sort of Witch or something! Lynda Stated.

    After her experience in 1979 Lynda had to re-evaluate other odd experiences in her life, including a missing time episode she and her husband Trevor shared back in 1972 whilst out in their E-Type Jaguar. It was early evening and we had decided to go for a drink at the Swan Public house in Knutsford, Cheshire. They had taken the country route, but when they had finally stopped at traffic lights around 9.00pm the car suddenly began to spin. One minute they were sat in the car going around and around and then the next minute they were sat at the traffic lights again on green. They turned the next corner to find that the pub was in darkness. They quickly realised that the pub had closed and that it was around 2.30am. Lynda could not explain the car spnning as Trevor clearly had the handbrake on. Trevor also claimed to have seen bright lights behind them whilst spinning. A total of five and a half hours were missing with no explanation.

    Other unusual experiences include a man wearing a trilby hat seen numerous times. On one occasion Lynda had seen him in her back garden and had rang the police. When the police attended a couple of them went to the rear of her garden. Lynda noticed that they had been down there for quite sometime. Eventually on returning Lynda asked if they had found anyone down there. The police officer replied... 'Yes', 'There was someone down there but they simply disappeared'. 'Where did he go' said Lynda. 'No' replied the police officer, 'He really did simply disappear'. Lynda noticed that the officer looked shocked and confused. The officer quickly left and Lynda was no better off finding out who the mysterious man was. On another occasion Lynda was asked to attend hospittal for a particular test and after having the treatment later found that there was no record of it, nor did the doctor exist. To this date, Lynda receives common telephone faults and unusual letters in regards to further tests to be carried out. Lynda has also been asked on more than one occasion if she had been in contact with radiation???

    I asked Lynda to describe the object she had seen back in 1979, simply for the fact that human perception does alter as the years pass and, I was privy to the original information reported. 'The object was nothing like what is generally reported as a UFO'. 'It was not a disc nor triangular in shape'. 'I have looked through many UFO books but never seen anything that looks remotely like what I saw'. 'The object was as if it was in two parts. The bottom of the object looked like the shape of a boat and seemed to be made of some type of lattice. It was grey in colour with small round things all over it. The top part of the object was just all 'light'. I have thought about this a lot and I believe there was something there but I could not see it because of how bright the light was. Directly above this entence light was a pole or rod of somekind with a strobing red or orange coloured light on it. I thought this to be at the rear of the object. Between the bottom part of the object and the light at the top part I could clearly see the field behind it, as if it was see through. You could also partially see the lattice as well and it hovered about two or three feet off the ground without making a simple sound. In fact, there was no sounds at all. The object was pulsating backwards and forwards. After a minute or so, or what I thought was a minute, the bottom right side of the object seemed to disappear and was replaced with a strange mist. At that point I grabbed the children and ran for it'. Lisa did give mention to when they were running away, the object flew off and followed a civil aircraft for a few seconds before rushing back towards them and splitting into to separate objects.

    I quickly realised... Lynda's facts had never altered from its original reporting.

    Around 1988 Lynda and Trevor had visited friends in Nottingham, and on heading back through the countryside the car headlights and interior lights started to fade. This apparently happened several times, fading then growing brighter then fading again. Trevor was becoming worried as his vision of the road ahead was becoming hard to see. At that time they were travelling in a borrowed Volzwagon Golf with a deisel engine. After a while Trevor decided they could not continue safely and pulled into a lay-by to wait for another vehicle to pass, so they could fallow its tail lights through the darkness. Suddenly, Trevor shouted out 'Lynda, look up'. Though hesitent at first Lynda looked up to see a large bright circular cradt slowly rising. It seemed as if the object had been directly over them before assending so high it became a dot in the night sky. Thankfully, a red sports car slowly passed, a chance for Trevor to now follow its lights. They quickly jumped back into the car and headed off. They had followed the vehicle in front of them for several miles, its tail lights were bright and easy to see. Lynda tried to put the object she and Trevor had seen out of her mind, and thought to herself she can discuss it more in depth once they were home and safe. Then suddenly Trevor said 'Where the bloody hell is it?' The car they had been following in front of them had suddenly vanished from sight. There was nothing but the darkness. At least the lights were working a little better now. Trevor recalled the strangeness of the event as he looked for a turn off, even a small lay-by where the red sports car they had followed could have turned into, but there was nothing. Just a straight road ahead. On arriving home they had both realised that the jouney took around three hours longer than it should have. Over the next few days the car was checked out by a mechanic who could find no problems with any of the wiring. In fact, the lights never faded again.

    During her driving test, Lynda recalled another strange incident when a dark coloured classic car suddenly drove out in front of her and the driving instructor. Luckily Lynda's responses were fast and she slammed on the breaks. She remembered seeing the driver and passengfer of the classic car dressed in dark suits and wait for it..... wearing trilby hats!!! The driving instructor was surprised at Lynda's responses as he stated 'I wouldn't have even seen that'. Lynda also recalls seeing a strange man when she had gone to the bathroom window only to see him stood there wearing a dark suit and trilby hat, this time he was surrounded in mist and was somehow glowing from head to toe in a strange orange light. She watched him looking at her from the garden for a minute or so before completely vanishing. Lynda has been plagued with many unusual experiences including hearing a mysterious buzzing or bleeping noise, seeing strange balls of light and of course... the odd apparition. Approximately around 2002 Lynda's periods returned, even though she had been told by experts that she will never have them again. An apparent specialist also told Lynda that all her ovaries had been removed somehow. She has even been diagnosed with numerous fatal illnesses, one of which was a rare bone disorder which would result in her bones slowly crumbling. None of these illnesses have never manifested.

    So what about any official reports. Apparently a few weeks after Lynda's experience the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) telephoned her for a detailed report of the incident so that they could forward it to the Ministry of Defernce (MOD). The gentleman from the CAA did confirm to Lynda that they were in fact aware of the object. Of course its no surprise to find that the Ministry of Defence claim to have no record of the event upon request.

    Finally, when I asked Lynda if she could recall any unusual events taking place in her life when she was a little girl, she replied... 'Yes', 'I recall apparently going missing for a few hours in some near-by playing fields. My family were out looking for me. But I had not left the playing field and don't remember seeing anything odd except my parents reaction when they saw me. They said that they had been to the field several times but there was no sign of anyone there. I don't understand what happened, it doesn't make any sense. On another occasion I remember seeing a fare over near the fields, yet apparently I was the only one to see it. I remember seeing the spinning lights of the rides and funfare...

    Lynda tried to find out what she had seen and began to question other local residents, however, she's yet to locate any other witnesses apart from herself and children that saw the object on that particular day, however, a couple of residents did say that they had seen something similar on other occasions. A few weeks after the UFO sighting, the location where the object was seen was apparently visited by parkland officials who, for some reason took up the old grass and re-seeded that particular area. About a foot of soil and grass was taken away. Now a divot can easily bne seen, especially after heavy rain where the divot fills with water.

    All Lynda's has ever wanted is just a normal life, but her life is filled with anomalies which are anything but normal...

    Notes :

    After reading over and over Lynda's experience one cannot help draw upon the similarities to the alleged biblical experience of Ezikiel - 597 B.C.
    After all, Lynda did say the object reminded her of something biblical. Ezikiel saw the object come from the North, just as Lynda did. Also, Ezikiel described the object as bright as fire and to consist of a wheel within a wheel (possibly two separate stages). Also, Ezikiel claimed to have seen agel like beings (or beings of fair complextion). Of course, one can see these similarities but it all comes down to interprtation of events. In Lynda's case, one thing stands out more than anything else. He experience is like no others and indicates a more profound encounter away from the stereotypical reported incidents that often involve small gray beings with large dark eyes and silver coloured saucer shaped craft with a very physical appearance...

    Steve Mera.
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  • Strange goings on at the Peak District.

    I first became aware of this particular incident on the afternoon of Thursday the 27th of March 1997. I received a telephone call from a Mr.Geoff Green, reporter for the Manchester Evening News regarding an incident that had taken place on Monday the 24th of March in the vicinity of Ladybower reservoir, in the Peak District. He informed me that there had been several witnesses to a probable aircraft in trouble or a downed aircraft in the area and a full scale search and rescue operation was swiftly deployed. Considering the aid of mountain rescue officers, the local police and Royal Air Force personnel, no aircraft was said to have been located.

    Mr. Green had conducted some hours of research regarding the area of Ladybower and could only accumilate information regarding phantom aircraft that had allegedly been witnessed in the same vicinity throughout the years. The phenomenon of phantom aircraft seem to be a form of apparition and investigative procedures are usually draw a blank. Such apparitions are usually only a visual phenomenon. The sound often associated with phantom aircraft is often abscent. Is it true to state that the vicinity is steeped in history regarding World War II bombers, which once flew the area during the operation known as the Bouncing Bomb or the (Dambuster Run). This was an experimental bomb that was deployed some 60 feet above the water. Ladybower played a major part in the testing of such military programs. Most of the crashes were due to bad visibility. Low clouds and high ground is every pilots nightmare. A number of more recent crashes have also taken place throughout the area. Not only is this area known for its ghostly apparitions of silent bombers but on occasion apparitions of pilots themselves are reported. The area is littered with crash sites and most if not all are well illustrated in books which can be obtained from any of the local visitor centers.

    Due to the fact that no aircraft had been found after an in depth search and rescue had been carried out, Mr.Green presumed that the alleged sightings of an aircraft in distress was an apparition and not a physical object. However, to conduct such an in depth search of this large area and for it to be swiftly put into operation; I presumed that maybe something was detected on radar, such as a deflection of some kind that may have resembled a physical object. But never the less this immense search and rescue was carried out simply on the statement of witnesses. I find this a little hard to believe. Manchester International Airport was later contacted in hope of obtaining some information regarding the search and rescue. I were told they were unaware of any activity in the area of the Peak District pertaining to an aircraft crash and if there had been, they would certainly have known about it...

    There was some information found on the internet. Graham Birdsall of UFO Magazine had put an article together concerning the goings on in the area of the Peak District. He wrote:

    "This is a news breaking story which has been developing all day (Tuesday 25th of March). Last night between 9.30pm and 9.50pm, three independent reports were received by South Yorkshire Police of an aircraft in trouble. One member of the public told police officers that they heard a loud explosion. This was close to the Ladybower Reservoir on the A57 Snake Pass Road. The police press office have been inundated with telephone calls all day following media announcements as early as 6.15am. Seven mountain rescue teams were called out from South Yorkshire and Derbyshire. No aircraft has been reported missing and no wreckage found. The search has now been called off. Members of the public observed two Sea King helicopters hovering over the area and there were reports of at least six military aircraft in the region. According to one witness, these were in pursuit of an Unidentified Flying Object. Around this time, dozens of eye witnesses in Wigan, Lancashire, (most out to observe the Hale Bopp comet) observed a huge flying triangle overhead. At Baildon Moor, Shipley, West Yorkshire, a flight of military jets were seen in close formation heading West over the Pennines into Lancashire. The telephones have not stopped ringing all day. Teams are making their way to the area this evening (Tuesday 25th of March) to liaise with other researchers to acquire more information".

    It was obvious by this time several organisations had heard about the activities in the area of Ladybower Reservoir and possibly some of the UFO reported incidents. This was to shed a new light on the investigation. Were we investigating the phenomenon of phantom aircraft, a UFO or something that has a more mundane explanation? This investigation was starting to become more intrguing by the day.

    Andy Roberts from the British UFO Research Association (BUFORA) was also to join the investigation. Andy stated:

    "Despite almost two days of searching remote moorland, police and mountain rescue services found nothing, despite over fifty people having now reported what appeared to be either a plane in trouble, a large white light, an explosion and a huge glow. The event took place at approximately 10.06pm on Monday 24th of March 1997, during the evening and within minutes the services were out searching for a presumed crashed plane. Since Monday other witnesses have reported seeing a UFO at this exact time and in the same area, whilst others have stuck to the more traditional 'plane or fire' theory. An amateur video was taken at allegedly this time of what detectives say 'is' a small fixed wing aircraft in trouble. This is to be analysed and screened on local TV news sometime over the next couple of days. The local press have been having a field day and linking the incident to sightings of 'Ghost World War II bombers' which have been seen in the area on numerous occasions. David Clarke from the Sheffield Star newspaper has been liaising closely with police and mountain rescue leaders, who say that 'nothing' was legitimately in the skies over the North Peak District at that time. Obviously if this was some secret project or military activity of some sort, we would not know anyway. The police admit to being baffled and are considering all and any possibilities, just as they did in the 1970s in this area, when it was plagued by a 'Phantom Helicopter' which needless to say was never identified. There were also reports of a sonic boom being heard. This was allegedly recoreded in Leeds and then later analysed by the Seismic Unit at Edinburgh University and low and behold, the recording was at 10.06pm which coincidently is the exact time the incident took place at Ladybower. The scientific team from the Seismic Unit went on to say that there were three possibilities to what had caused the sonic boom."

    1. Concord passing over.
    2. A Bolide Meteor.
    3. A Military aircraft in the area.

    "Concord can certainly be ruled out. A Bolide Meteor would be a likely cause. It is illegal to perform a sonic boom over built up areas unless the aircraft was in some form of distress. Ifthat were the case, we should of had a statement from the Royal Air Force. A military aircraft in the area seems like a good description of what many people claimed to have seen and probably misinterpreted. This however, does not explain the amateur video of a supposed aircraft in trouble. The Royal Astronomical Society's Bolide / Meteor expert, Howard Miles, was of the opinion that it could well have been a Bolide but he had no reports from that evening. However, just because there were no reports doesn't necessarily mean that one hadn't occurred. I have also spoke to another witness who observed a hovering light projecting beams of light down onto Majorie Hill (the apparent center of the sighting area) at approximately the same time and from a different direction to most of the Sheffield witnesses. This 'appears' to fix the phenomenon firmly in one spot. There are numerous witnesses to interview over the coming weeks and I predict this story will be one of the biggest in the UK this year. It has many parallels with the Berwyn Mountains (Wales) event of 1974 which has suddenly attained fame in this country as a crash retrieval but which seems to have prosaic orgins. This case may well be similar. It should be borne in mind that on the night of the event, it was crystal clear (itself a rarity in those parts) and a great many people were out looking at the skies in a Hale Bopp sensitized state. Thinking with my psychosocial hat on, it could all be construed as a Bolide Meteor and other astronomical events (such as the Virginids meteors which have been out in force) which have been misperceived and is slowly but surely turning into a UFO flap. On the other hand it could be something far stranger. Finally, I have recently received reports that people also witnessed triangular UFOs in the area at the same time".

    Information had also been obtained stating that the desk sergeant of South Yorkshire police station on the night in question received three telephone calls from people complaining of a low flying object over Sheffield. Also that a thermographically equipped helicopter was involved in the search and rescue operation, looking for a wreckage of a possible downed aircraft, but found nothing.

    Reports about a crash in the region of the Midhope Valley have so far been unfounded, with the general trail of investigation leading back to a gentleman by the name of Martin Jeffrey, who claims to have photographs of a 'crash site'. This is the same man that claims that he is being harassed by the security forces from the area of the crash. 'Hunderds of soldiers', if rumour be true. The photographs allegedly show an area of grass that had 'turned blue' in colour by the UFO. The following day Andy Roberts from BUFORA went on to say:

    "The video of an aircraft I mentioned earlier has now been viewed and it does in fact depict an aircraft - but! At the end of the section you can clearly hear one of the filmers ask what time is it, and is told 10.30pm which puts it around 20 minutes after the original bangs and flashes".

    Investigator and aircraft enthusiast Alan Smith informed me that many small fixed wing aircraft do in fact perform test flights in that area. This is so that they can obtain their pilots licence and that they sometimes purposely stall the engine and restart it again. This he states is part of the test and all pilots need to know how to handle such a situation. Could it have been a small fixed winged aircraft witnesses saw and thought was in distress? I doubt it. Most of the residents would of certainly been aware of these types of pilot tests in the area. What intrigues me is, 'what led them to believe that they had witnessed a UFO'?

    On March 31st, I telephoned RAF Valley to try and obtain confirmation of a search and rescue operation with military involvement. I was told that they new nothing of a search and rescue operation nor any military involvement, however, I was told that I may be able to obtain more information if I ring back on Tuesday, due to most of the staff being currently on leave. I agreed, but come Tuesday I was told the same thing... that they had no knowledge of a search and rescue nor any military involvement. I also contacted David Clarke at that time working for the Sheffield Star newspaper to see if he could shed any light on the incident. David didnt know a lot, however he did give me the telephone number of the infamous Martin Jeffrey. Later that day, Gerald Greeves, reporter for the Daily Express telephoned me to obtain information about alleged sightings of World War II bombers in the area of the Peak District. I agreed to assist even though I knew that there may be a rather different explanation in regards to what really went on.

    The article the Daily Express ran was called 'Ghost Planes'. This went on to give mention of old crash sites and local tours provided. There was also mention of a well known sighting of a Phantom Bomber by Tony Ingle who was walking his dog at the time of his sighting. Mr. Ingle claimed to have witnessed a phantom bomber from the second world war and that there was an absence of sound. He also gave mention to his dog and that it would no longer go down that particular road since that day. What I was surprised about, was that this particular article did not shed any light on the incident that took place near Ladybower.

    Manchester International Airport was contacted and again I was told that they knew nothing of the search and rescue operation in the area of the Peak District nor knew of any military involvement. Quite odd... They claimed that if there were any military involvement then they would have certainly known about it. If any aircraft were in fact in the location of the Peak District that night, surely Manchester Internation Airports radar system would have picked them up.

    I decided to give Martin Jeffrey a call regarding what went on up near Labybower and to ask him about what he had experienced and photographed. The call was recorded and this is what Jeffrey had to say:

    "I was the first one on the case and I was there when the military were in the area. I've been in touch with Graham Birdsall from UFO Magazine and the photographs are currently being analysed. I believe that they may be appearing in UFO Reality (magazine). You won't get confirmation from anyone about the search and rescue I've tried that one myself, know one's saying anything. It's a waste of time. This case is a lot bigger than you think, there's been a lot of activity leading up to this big one. Some even believe that this may be the next 'Roswell'. There's a lot to it. I have been investigating this for some time now. I will also tell you that the military aircraft came from RAF Waddington and that Monday night (24th of March 1997) there was an indian man stood on the A57 Snake Pass Road which is next to Ladybower Reservoir covered in what seemed to be Diesel Fuel but whoever it was they never found him. He was said to be flagging people down in a panic. This could be another clue but I'm not too sure yet. I have been in touch with the local police and found out that one UFO report came from an officer himself, I believe that this one was a simple case of misidentification. He was looking at a burn off from an industrial facility, it was even in the opposite direction, so his account doesn't matter. I will let you know more when I have conducted more investigating".

    During my research I visited Ladybower a number of times and conducted a few interviews. I even discussed the incident with local fishermen and the owner of a local mountain bike rental store which is situated next door to the visitors center at Ladybower. He said:

    "Yes' a search and rescue operation did in fact tale place, I saw it myself along with others, but as far as I know, nothing was found. As for light aircraft being in the area, that's nothing new, they fly up and down here all the time. I have on occasion seen military aircraft fly down here but it's not all that often".

    All in all, the gentleman was quite helpful. Also a couple of fishmen had witnessed four large 'prop jobs' flying in formation down Ladybower about half an hour before I had arrived. These were described as Hercules Transporters. Apparently they were flying about 400 feet above the reservoir heading in towards Manchester. Again this could not be confirmed by Manchester International Airport. It looked to me that Manchester International Airport were either not being completely honest, or were pretty clueless as to what was going on in that location...

    I had also taken a number of photographs in the area and noted the activity in the vicinity. The only thing that springs to mind is that three people, possibly from the forestry commision were putting out small fires that had spread up a nearby hill side. It was not established what had caused the fires in the first place. On April 2nd 1997 South Yorkshire Police were contacted again in hope of obtaining more information in regards the activity in the area. I was immediately put through to the headquarters and then later put through to the operations room where I was told that they did not know anything of a search and rescue operation nor did they know of any military activity in the area. However, there last statement came as a surprise... 'They had not received any UFO reports or aircraft being seen to be in trouble'. I then contacted Glossop police station and was told by the desk sergeant that they had heard of some UFO activity, however it would be best to contact South Yorkshire Police regarding the matter as they can tell you more about them. I informed the desk sergeant that I had already tried this and they had told me they knew nothing). The desk sergeant replied "They must be playing silent Sam".

    Steve Yarwood a fellow investigator and good friend informed me that he had been in touch with the RSPCA regarding animal injuries or death in the area of the Peak District. None had been reported. It was not until April 4th 1997 that we managed to get confirmation of the search and rescue operation and that they had in fact been a military involvement. This was to be found in the pages of the RAF News, a newspaper that is only distributed around military facilities. The article read:

    "Crash mystery baffle emergency services, The incident occurred on Monday 24th 1997 in the remote moorland of the North Yorkshire Moors. Witnesses state hearing a crash or explosion. Over 150 personnel conducted a search and rescue operation. After 24 hours of finding nothing, the search was called off. Sea King helicopters were used from the 202 Squadron at RAF Lakenfield".

    How uncanny, the RAF state that the search and rescue operation was conducted in the North Yorkshire Moors. On hearing this I contacted North Yorkshire Police and mountain rescue services. Guess What! They both said that they were not involved and that the incident happened in the Peak District. They advised me to contact someone in the area where it happened. They were aware of the operation but it was not their area to cover. Finally they finished off by saying, "Maybe You Should Contact........(wait for it).........South Yorkshire Police.

    If an aircraft had come down over the North Yorkshire Moors, I assume the West Midlands radar would have picked it up. Guess What!... West Midlands didn't know anything because I rang them and asked. Two letters have now been sent to the National Aeronautics Technical Services (NATS) which use to be the Civil Aviation Authority and still no reply. I asked them for information or confirmation of the activities that took place in the vicinity of Ladybower. Their response never came... A letter was also sent to the Ministry of Defence enquiring about any UFO reports in the vicinity of Ladybower. I letter back from the MOD confirmed that they had not received any UFO reports from the particular area at the time stated.

    Even though I had obtained confirmation from a none public source a mystery in regards to what actually took place remains. The residents near Ladybower believe something unusual happened. Did an aircraft come down in the vicinity? Was it a light aircraft or a military jet? or was is a Bolide Meteor?

    So, to begin with, Graham Birdsall of UFO Magazine clearly stated that South Yorkshire Police did in fact receive three independent reports of an aircraft in trouble or distress, contrary to this statement, South Yorkshire Police deny any knowledge regarding this matter. Also, there had been difficulty in trying to obtain where this activity exactly took place. As for now there has been mention to Ladybower Reservoir, Midhope Valley, Majorie Hill, Hope Forest and wait for it.... North Yorkshire Moors. Several times it has been mentioned that one witness heard an explosion, witnessed military jets pursuing a UFO, saw lights beaming down to the ground and so on... When does one witnesses statement constitute such an operation. The police press office was said to have received telephone calls regarding this matter, some as early as 6.15am. In fact the word 'inundated' was used. Contrary to this statement, South Yorkshire Police headquarters know nothing of these incidents.

    There has also been mention that no aircraft nor wreckage was found. In order for a wreckage to be found one must first establish that an aircraft is missing. The area in question is no doubt under the flight jurisdiction of Manchester International Airport and they can't even give confirmation of the search and rescue operation which aparently involved aircraft. There have been mention of people seeing two Sea King helicopters in use in the area of Ladybower, however I would find it more interesting to find out who was in fact receiving the reports. Going back to when I mentioned the military pursuit of a UFO. Many think it may have been a UFO 'chase and shoot case', however, one little thing seems to be a miss... Evidence! I had been told that it was not unusual to see military aircraft in the vicinity of the Peak District from time to time. There was mention to UFO activity in Wigan and throughout Lancashire regarding triangular flying objects which were seen whilst witnesses were in a comet Hale Bopp sensitized state, yet a second letter to the MOD triggered a response. The MOD claimed that there were no reports of UFOs seen in Wigan on that particular date. If the case was turning into some kind of UFO flap, then any military aircraft in the area would certainly been thought to have some connection with the UFO reports.

    Articles state that a search and rescue operation was conducted for two days, however this is not what the local residents state. They say that the search only lasted a day at maximum, which was also confirmed in the RAF News, even though they had put down the wrong area. There has been mention of up to fifty witnesses, however I believe that this figure may have been exaggerated somewhat. It had been stated that the rescue operation was on its way within 20 minutes. After talking with the local rescue operation department, I find the whole remark about 20 minutes interesting, because according the the ROD (Rescue Operation Department) it can take up to 40 minutes to locate the vicinity where a severe incident may have occurred. An apparent sonic boom was recorded in Leeds and analysed by the Seismic Unit at Edinburgh University. They stated that the boom occurred at the time the UFO incidents took place. But it seems to me that the UFO has not yet been established. Going back to the witness that claimed he saw beams of light coming down from the sky onto Majorie Hill. If this be true, he may have misidentified the helicopters search lights.

    OK. What about Martin Jeffrey... He had claimed to have seen a crash site, photographs where the so called UFO had turned the grass blue and hundreds of soldiers in the vicinity. Hmmmm. Sounds a little unbelievable. This is what David Clarke & Martin Jeffrey wrote about the incident...

    '1. There clearly was a military exercise taking place centred upon the Peak District that night, one phase of which (now officially admitted) is timed from 7.30-9.30pm, when the RAF claim all their aircraft were safely grounded and accounted for. However, the evidence from both witnesses in Derbyshire and South Yorkshire and the sonic booms recorded by the BGS suggest a covert part of this operation continued after the “booked” operation had been officially completed. Many more aircraft were involved in this exercise than has been officially admitted, as is clear from the 13 low-flying complaints lodged with the RAF on March 24 from widely separated areas of the British coastline. It is clear that a formation of Tornado aircraft travelled across the Peak District on a southeast to northwest flightpath between 9.45 and 10pm, coinciding with the first of two sonic booms recorded 12 minutes apart from the Sheffield area'.

    '2. At least three groups of observers reported sightings of UFO-type phenomena during the course of the evening of March 24. These were the reports from 7.40 pm in Barnsley (uncorroborated), a second shortly before 10pm by a single observer in Dronfield, Derbyshire., and a third by a single witness in Stannington, Sheffield, who saw what she described as a cigar-shaped object. The proximity in time and space to the sightings seconds later in Bolsterstone of a low-flying aircraft suggests this latter observation was a misperception of a airplane flying at low altitude with an unfamiliar light configuration, as was suggested by a number of witnesses in the Bolsterstone area. Much has been made of these sightings by the ETH believers, to whom “triangle UFOs” have become an article of faith in their beliefs. However, when they are examined in context of the sightings of military aircraft quite clearly taking part in a low-flying operation after the fall of darkness, it becomes clear that the “triangles” are misperceived aircraft taking part in this exercise. These were almost certainly Tornado fighter/bombers, delta-winged Jaguar aircraft, and other smaller training craft'.

    '3. The most specific evidence connecting the Howden Moors incident with the military are the sonic events recorded by the British Geological Survey at precisely 9.52 and 10.06 pm on the evening of March 24. The MOD have claimed they “have no record” of RAF or NATO aircraft causing these sonic booms, which were recorded in the Sheffield area by three separate seismograph stations in the case of the later event. However, the BGS clearly state that the explosions “could only have been caused by a military aircraft reaching supersonic speed.” Breaches of the sound barrier above land are clearly a serious offence which could result in a Military Police investigation and/or a court martial. In addition, the explosions which were recorded played a large part in the decision by South Yorkshire Police to launch a major air and land search which it is estimated cost the taxpayer in excess of £50,000. Evidence from some police sources and the statement of a senior manager atYorkshire Water suggests the RAF did admit responsibility at a later stage in the search operation. However, so far the MOD have refused to discuss whether any investigation was initiated as a result of the Howden Moor incident, and continue to deny any connection between the sonic events and the exercise which they maintain was completed by 9.30pm that night'.

    '4. Coincidental to the military operation, it is clear from the evidence of the eyewitnesses and the police log that at least one, possibly two, light civilian aircraft were operating in the sky above north Sheffield, and northeast Derbyshire, both before and after the events which triggered the search and rescue operation, coinciding with the second sonic boom. One of these fixed-wing, propeller driven aircraft was recorded on camcorder video by witnesses in northern Sheffield shortly after 10.30pm that night, and despite a police investigation the pilot and airfield involved has never been identified. It is clear also that a second, and somewhat larger fixed wing aircraft, followed a flightpath across the north of the city shortly after 10pm, flying east to west along the Ewden Valley at an altitude below 500 feet and disappeared in a northwesterly direction over the Midhope Moors towards the Howden Reservoir. A light aircraft could not accelerate to supersonic speed, therefore there must have been two aircraft in the same area at that time. It follows therefore that the aircraft reported in the vicinity of Bolsterstone that night must have been either a civilian aircraft flying illegally in breach of CAA regulations and having filed no flightpath, or a military aircraft which was playing a role in the covert military operation which was clearly ongoing that evening'.

    It is true to state that David's information is correct as more information over the years has come to light. But remember. The above statements 1 - 4 were compiled by David Clarke & Martin Jeffrey. So what part in these 4 statements did Jeffrey have anything to do with? Where is this information that Jeffrey had initially told me? Jeffrey claims to have been told about the activity in the area of Ladybower by a Sheffield reporter and claims to have been the first one at the site where he had seen hundreds of soldiers. He claims he was harassed by the security forces. Jeffrey is, or was the director of investigations for YUFON (Yorkshire UFO Network) and Andy Roberts stated that Jeffrey is a hothead of ufological rumour and desire and suggests that he does not believe that he is involved as much as he states he was'.

    I contacted Graham Birdsall and asked if he knew anything of Martin Jeffrey's photographs or analysis being carried out. Graham laughed and said he had no idea what I was talking about. My next point of call was John King, editor of UFO Reality magazine. I asked John the same question. John replied "I have had no such photographs, know nothing about any analysis be carried out and cetainly know nothing about a Martin Jeffrey's article featurring them". So, I guess I was told a pack of lies by this guy. I believe Andy was right! So... even though I have great respect for David Clarke, I guess he should be a little more careful who he associates with and especially who he writes articles with... I suppose its easily done.

    Finally, there was numerous TV coverage of the search and rescue and I believe the Strange But True series may have also covered something on it.
    Another investigator called Max Burns claims a further twist to the story! He claims a witness called Jonathan Dagenhart saw the co-pilot of a Tornado fighter jet which was destroyed by a large triangular shaped UFO it was pursuing above the Peak District on the evening of March 24th 1997. Apparently, after bailing out of his aircraft, this co-pilot parachuted onto the A57 Snake Pass, one of the busiest tans-Pennine roads linking the cities of Sheffield and Manchester. Despite being soaked to the skin with highly inflammable aviation fuel, the co-pilot did not radio emergency services for help but decided to hitch a lift from a passing mini-bus in which Mr. Dagenhart and friends were travelling to Sheffield.

    How true this is I do not know, but the case has became a bit of a free for all. If there is some truth to Max Burns claims then it might suggest that the fires near the A57 were somehow connected to a downed or explosion of a Tornado jet. But.... Hey, the chances of that happening and in a location that the public are allowed to travel backwards and forwards without restrictions are very slim. Who knows.... Max Burns did telephone me one day and asked me about Jeffrey's remarks, I told him exactly how it came about and what Jeffrey's said word for word.

    Whatever it was that was seen that night. It remains a mystery!

    Steve Mera.

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