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Last Updated: September 9, 2010 21:00

The following article was published in “The Rochdale Observer (UK)” 10TH March, 2004


Kids thrilled by close encounter of mystery kind

MYSTERY in the skies... Daniel Hamer, Louis Stansfield, Jessica Hamer and Cameron Stansfield. 

A GROUP of children playing in Littleborough reckon they have had a close encounter with a UFO. So vivid was their experience at about 7pm on Thursday they have started to draw what they saw. They say the spacecraft hovered slowly just over the rooftops for several minutes and then shot off at hyper speed.

Lindsey Stansfield, of Timbercliffe, Summit, said her sons, Louis, aged eight, and Cameron, aged five, were playing with friends on a trampoline outside their home when they spotted the ‘extra terrestrial’.

She said:

              “The children saw the object flying slowly above the houses. Some of the children thought it was triangular in shape and others square, but it could have been to do with what angle they saw it. It had red lights around the edge and yellow lights in the middle. They rushed in to tell us about it, but the time we got out it had gone.”

The children say the object had stopped above the house behind us and then shot off in hyper drive. Later that evening they started drawing pictures of what they had seen."

“I would like to know if anyone else in Littleborough saw the object."

Louis said:

              “I looked up and saw some lights flashing in the sky. I went in the house to get my mother, but when we went out it had gone.”

A spokesman for the National Air Traffic service said:

              “There was no reported alien activity in controlled airspace that we are aware of.”

A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Defence said:

               “I am not aware of any other reported sightings. We do have a UFO report line telephone number so that people can report things which they cannot explain.”

She said sightings were checked to see if they had any defence significance, whether the UK airspace may have been compromised by hostile air activity. But this had not been found to be the case.

“We believe that there are rational explanations for such sightings such as aircraft lights or natural phenomena,” she added.


An Astronomer’s writes to The WHY? Files

 Dear Geoff,

                  I have just recently (two days ago), by idle browsing, come across The Why? Files, which should tell you just how little interest I have had up to now in ufology. On the rare occasions that I have seen other web sites on the subject they have struck me, frankly, as nothing more than sensationalized rubbish of the Omygosh! Geewhizz! variety. I have been an amateur astronomer for more than forty years, and I have to tell you that I am by no means a convinced believer in visits by alien space ships and little green men, or little grey ones, for that matter. However, as I found your site to be of a reasonable and serious nature, in fact pretty much the only one of its kind, I thought you might like to add an experience of mine to your records. I'm afraid it falls into the category of "just one more unverifiable story", but I tell it simply for what it's worth. I certainly don't want any publicity out of it.

               One day back in the summer of 1967 I was sitting in my garden enjoying the sunshine and planning an evening's observing. It was one of those rare days in England when the sky is totally clear of cloud and haze, and is a pure unblemished blue. A rare day indeed.  On getting out of my deckchair to go into the house I noticed almost at the zenith two tiny dots, like little seed-pearls, against the blue. As it was the season of garden fetes I assumed they were party balloons and thought no more of it. I eventually resumed my seat in the garden and for the next half hour went on planning for that night's astronomy. At some point I became aware again of these two "pearls", and in the intervening half hour or so neither had moved relative to the other, nor in their position in the sky. I decided that it was unlikely they could be balloons, so I went into the house and brought out the smallest of my telescopes, a 3-inch refractor, and fitted an eye-piece which gave 50x magnification. Through the scope, the first of the pearl-like objects appeared as a blank and featureless fuzzy disc, much like an illuminated household light bulb, so I took my eye away from the scope and adjusted it to focus on the second object, at which point both of them disappeared. They didn't shoot off across the sky, nor fade away; one second they were both there, plain as day, and the next second they were gone. I swept the sky more or less continuously for the next hour using wide-field binoculars and the small telescope, but neither object reappeared. I have not personally seen anything else similar in forty years of observation. I have no idea what they were, nor did I immediately jump up and down thinking "My God, I've seen a ufo!" They could have been almost anything at all.

          However, there is an interesting corollary to this story. A few years ago, I saw a piece of film on tv which was taken by a surveyor in one of the American desert areas, which showed two pearl-white objects, exactly similar to the ones I saw that day, but on the film they were moving, in parallel and towards the horizon. As far as I can remember, the commentary said that the objects were followed at a short interval by two US Airforce fighters.

         There it is, make of it what you will. As an experienced observer I'm familiar with all of the things astronomers come across, from birds to satelites to aircraft to hot air balloons, day or night: nor, as it happens, am I likely to mistake Venus or Sirius for a ufo. I've thought about the incident regularly over the years, but I'm no nearer to a solution.

     Good luck with your site. Maybe one day you'll turn me into a believer.

                Kind regards, P.

"jellyfish like objects"
The following was reported to the WHY? Files by the witness and was also published in The Daventry Express

Submitted to: The WHY? Files
Subject: UFO Sighting
Location: Daventry, Northamptonshire, England.
Date_and_time: 07/22/03 10:00PM (Roughly) GMT
Direction witness was facing: South West/West.
Approach: Directly in front of me.
Departure: Overhead. (Rooftops)


It was Tuesday 22nd July 2003.It was a clear summer evening, around 10ish. I was standing at my back door having a cigarette. Became aware of two black dots in the distance. Remember them changing course as soon as I'd noticed them. They headed straight toward me. At this point i didn't know what they were. Just thought it a little strange they both turned in uniform with one another. Really vague recollections about the next bit. Remember trying to look for them again.Seems like the next thing i know these objects are over my head. Yellowy brown in colour, with a darker centre. Pulsating, which created ripples across craft. May have gave off slight swishing sound, but can't be sure.They were overtaking one another in the sky. One would take the lead, then the other, and so on. Got a really good look at these objects for what seemed like 30 seconds or so. Could've been longer, I'm not sure. Their motion and the fact they were pulsating gave the impression of a jellyfish swimming in bursts. My youngest son had joined me in the garden at some point. He saw what i did. I left them going over the roof top and ran through to the front of my house, assuming my son would follow, and straight into the garden, calling my other two sons as i went. Remember looking up where the objects should've been. Only to find they weren't there. My youngest at this point was still in the back garden, and he shouted 'Daddy UFOs!' It seems that about the same time my older two were pointing to a point further on in the sky where the objects were. Now, these objects were apparently in at least two positions in the sky simultaneously. Which I'm sure you'd agree is weird. My youngest joined us shortly at the front. I tried to see these objects again, but never did. We waited there a minute or two, then came indoors. The objects i saw were filmed by a BBC cameraman an hour or so previous in Worcester.

Other_descriptions: Yellowly/Brown. Dark spot in middle. Ripples accross craft. Jellyfish like motion and appearance. Overtaking one another in sky. Gave slight impression of swimming because they were pulsating.

Height_and_speed: Unsure. Not particulary fast or high.
TV_Radio_reports: Was featured in local paper, and got a quick mention on CNN.

Thanks to the witness Adrian Dalton for his report...


M.O.D. UFO Sighting Reports

16th February, 2007 - The M.O.D. (Directorate of Air Staff) released the following reports under the FOIA.

UFO Reports 2002 Whole of the UK
UFO Reports 2005 Whole of the UK
UFO Reports 2003 Whole of the UK
UFO Reports 2006 Whole of the UK
UFO Reports 2004 Whole of the UK

To read all of these reports you will nedd Adobe Acrobat reader or similar. To download the latest Free version just click Here


UFOs over Merseyside? 'Fraid Not!


A reader of The WHY? Files sent these photos which he took whilst gardening yesterday, 21st March, 2007. He commented:
........ its not hard to see why some people get so excited about what they photograph..... you would swear that it had a structure to it !

These are , as far as I know helium balloons at about 3000 feet(14-28p.m.)....but even though the camera was pretty steady the images produced were quite interesting and reminiscent of some I have seen which claimed to be UFOs.
Curiously the balloons were moving together about 50 feet apart at a steady rate , from North to South....whilst the prevailing flow at that level and above was from east to west ! Of the two balloons , one looked oblong , the other jellyfish like......but I'm sure that's just distortion / artefact effect.
Ring trail cropped up around midday(12-37p.m.). Interesting vapour trail which is similar to the doughnut on a rope type.
Its all down to stable air conditions and the condensation trail forming a "smoke ring"........but I'm sure others might say different.
Just to show how steady the camera was , on the same settings as the balloons I shot the WiZZAir Airbus....which seems sharp enough and was moving much faster !

The original photos are too large for website presentation but they are available for research purposes.Please contact


Another Strange Object in Merseyside Skies!


Yes, the same visitor to The Why? Files has photographed another strange object in the skies over Merseyside.

He comments:

I was out yesterday morning, 31st August 2010, setting up the scope during the morning as I hadnt used it for some time. While doing so I spotted a small glint about 10000 feet. thought it was a small a/c , so pointed the camera and hey presto see attached...

The skills of a highly accomplished astronomer were needed to photograph this object

A small GIF animation demonstrating the object moving.

It must have been 10 feet across at least to give this size of image at that height. I used exactly the same config to image ISS last night...also attached.

The International Space Station photographed later on in the day using the same settings

Its just a helium balloon , probably from a wedding the day before....pretty big 'un though ! It was drifting quite quickly in a westerly direction,through quite a busy sector of air traffic.

What with these things and Chinese lanterns its not surprising there is a bit of a surge in sightings


Continue to Part 4