(There)… was a wave of sightings that occurred on the 30th and 31st of March, 1993. We had several hundred reports that came our way. Many of the witnesses were police. A lot of police in the southwest of the country, in Devon and Cornwall, saw something. Now, as with all of these big waves of sightings, quite a lot of the reports were fairly mundane, lights in the sky.
But even so, it was quite late at night — most of these reports were between, say, 1:00 and 1:30 in the morning — and because there were police officers on night patrol, you’re dealing with more than average recognition training, and people used to being out and about, and used to seeing lights and other things in the sky. Repeatedly, I heard the phrase, «This was like nothing I’d ever seen before in my life.» People were genuinely quite spooked by this.
What was generally reported was two lights, flying in a perfect formation, with a third, much fainter light — our old friend the flying triangle, really. The lights were described as being in a triangle formation. It’s difficult to say, of course.
It’s quite possible they could have been three separate things flying in formation, but the impression from talking to witnesses was that this was a triangular craft with lights mounted on the underside, at the edges.
The most interesting reports, of course, were the ones which occurred at close distance. There was a family in Staffordshire who apparently saw this thing so low — and they described it as either triangular or diamond shaped — that they leapt into their car and tried to chase it.
They didn’t succeed, although at one point they thought it was so low that it had actually come down in a field. It wasn’t there when they got to it. They described a low, humming sound, a very low-frequency sound. They said you didn’t just hear this sound, you felt it, like standing in front of a bass speaker.
The really intriguing thing was that this object, whatever it was, then proceeded to fly over two military bases. It was seen by the guard patrol at RAF Cosford, about three or four people, [who] made an instant report of this, obviously because it had flown over their base. They checked radar.
There was nothing on the screens, nothing at all, and there was nothing scheduled to fly. No military or civil aircraft should have been airborne in that area at all. They phoned the nearby base at RAF Shawbury, about 12 miles away from Cosford. The meteorological officer there took the call. He was a man with about eight years experience of looking into the night sky and then doing the weather report for the next day.
So he knew his way around objects and phenomena. Now, to his absolute amazement, he saw a light in the distance, coming closer and closer. That light eventually resolved itself into a solid structured craft that he saw again flying directly over the base, but at much closer proximity than the guard patrol at Cosford had seen it.
He estimated that the height of the object was no more than 200 feet. Its size, he said, was midway between a C-130 Hercules transport aircraft and a Boeing 747. He heard the low hum, too. He had not spoken to any other witnesses, except the Cosford people, who I don’t think had reported the sound. He reported this low-frequency hum.
Perhaps most disturbingly of all, he reported this thing throwing a beam of light down at the nearby countryside and fields just beyond the perimeter fence at the base. And this light was tracking backwards and forwards, he said to me, «as if it was looking for something.»
The beam of light then retracted, and the craft moved off. It was traveling very slowly, I should say, probably no more than 20 or 30 mph. Then it gained a little bit of height, and then it just shot off to the horizon in little more than a second. Needless to say, that was a description I had come across many times in other UFO reports, the virtual hover to the high-Mach accelerations in an instant.
I launched a full investigation. I made all the usual checks, trying to track down aircraft movement, satellite activity, airships, weather balloons, meteorites, etc., etc. I drew a blank — with one exception — and then put a report up the chain of command. The exception was a ballistic missile early warning sensor at RAF Fylingdales, in North Yorkshire.
It is estimated that at some stage in the night there had been a rocket reentry of, I think, Cosmos 2238, which might have caused a very brief firework display in the high atmosphere. It’s just possible that some of the vague lights-in-the-sky sightings might have been explained in that way, although Fylingdales didn’t seem very sure on whether [the satellite re-entry] was actually going to be visible from the UK at all.
But, clearly, it wouldn’t explain the sighting of the family in Staffordshire and, most importantly of all, the direct overflight of the military bases, particularly the meteorological officer’s report. He had obviously seen a structured craft.
This to me really [refuted] any idea that these things are of no defense significance. You had a craft which, whatever it was, had penetrated our defense region. It wasn’t on our radar, and we hadn’t got our air defense fighters out. So whether it was extraterrestrial or not, there was something which we all should have been very concerned about.
The debate got bogged down in the search for Aurora, the alleged hypersonic replacement to the SR-71 Blackbird. We were chasing our tails trying to find out whether there was such a thing. We were asking the Americans, «Are you operating a prototype aircraft in our airspace?» That, of course, was nonsense.
You simply would not do that from a diplomatic and political point of view. It would undermine the entire structure of NATO if you were putting things through someone else’s airspace, particularly a close ally, without seeking the proper diplomatic clearance. But we had to ask.
And the Americans, having had similar reports, I guess, since the Hudson Valley wave [New York state, mid-1980s], had been quietly asking us if we had some large, triangular shaped object that could go from 0 to Mach 5 in a second.
Our response was that we wished we did. This was the bizarre situation: that we were chasing the Americans, and the Americans were chasing us. Meanwhile, I suspected a third party was having a laugh!