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Close encounters of the Oxford kind
IF YOU ever needed conclusive proof an alien spaceship had landed in Oxfordshire, then here it is...
Or, at least a crayon drawing of the alleged incident.
The county’s UFO experts and paranormal buffs have been scouring the National Archive for Ministry of Defence (MoD) files of mysterious sightings, which went live online yesterday.
And among reports of close encounters was this detailed pink and purple crayon drawing of a large sphere, scaled at 40ft tall, featuring the Ankh, the Egyptian symbol of life, which was sent to the MoD in November 1998.
It showed the UFO, adorned with flashing lights, painted a bright shade of pink and powered by two propeller blades, flattening a cornfield in Oxfordshire.
Although the anonymous sender did not specify where they had witnessed the sighting, the spotter did attach a cryptic note. It reads: “I have developed contact with these craft, and their enemy forces.”
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the MoD did not investigate any further.
But Michael Soper, of Wheatley-based Contact International UFO Research, said the drawing was typical – though rather more detailed than most.
He said: “This does not lead me to think they are fantasising, or dramatising it. Many people who put a lot of detail into things have actually had a very real experience.”
Mr Soper is also an expert on crop circles, believing many, including one in a field near Garsington in 2005, were not hoaxes.
More than 8,500 pages of UFO discussions, sightings and reports were released by the National Archives on Wednesday – the largest batch of UFO files to be released so far.
Mr Soper said the files were hard to sift through electronically. He added: “I am sure the military has its own agenda in making this as difficult as possible for people to access.”
But Thomas Norton, a spokesman for the National Archives, said the files were electronically bookmarked and added: “People are more than welcome to have a look for themselves.”
The files reveal hundreds of reports of UFO ‘sightings’, including an incident in which a flying saucer hoax by students was treated as a potentially real alien invasion of the UK.
In 1998, the same year as the pink sphere was spotted, householders in Didcot reported strange pulsating lights in the sky, sparking a flurry of calls to the police.
Officers concluded it was electrical activity during a storm.
Later that year UFO spotters investigated sightings of a bagel-shaped flying saucer with red flashing lights, near Benson, Cowley and Bicester. Police insisted it was an airship.
In 1995 D-Day veteran Patrick Churchill, from Witney, reported seeing a dazzling green sphere with a long tail over the county. Others reported similar sightings.
In 1988, Thame Town Clerk Roland Devaney and wife Val, saw a “circular machine with flashing lights”. Several neighbours also saw it.
Six readers contacted us in 1977 telling us they had seen a mysterious silver craft spotted by Rita Goodey over Kennington.
The truth about the sightings may still be out there, as no official body has yet been able to give an explanation.
- See nationalarchives.gov.uk