We published much comment about Shuttlewood’s skywatching techniques in the good old days. Here, in a report published in Merseyside UFO Bulletin, Vol. 2, No. 4, July/August 1969, the man himself reports on one of his skywatches.
Thirteen people were in our skywatching party at Cradle Hill, Warminster, on the evening of Wednesday, 27 August 1969. An unlucky number? Not so far as a dramatic double UFO sighting and landing were concerned, on this auspicious occasion, anyway! Accept or reject the following – that is your prerogative.
My team mates, Bob Strong and Sybil Champion, left the hill at 9.30 p.m., after we had been observing for about an hour. They went off to Starr Hill, midway between Battlesbury and Scratchbury, other well known viewing points locally. The remaining 11 were:
Ex-naval commander’s wife, Mrs Kathleen Bent; her friend Mrs Eileen Keck, of Winchester; Mr Ian Cowan and his wife Kathryn, Bournemouth; American Mrs Gwen Smith, of Seattle; Mr Christopher Trubridge, Gosport; his friend Mr Robert Coates, Yorkshire; an American-speaking visitor who calls himself Diophantes, from Sirius 6 (his own claim, not mine); Mr Julian Butler, Mr John Alford and myself, of Warminster.
At 10.10 p.m. the attention of several pairs of eyes was caught by what Mr Butler described as “a burning bush”, about 600 yards south-west of our vantage point on Cradle Hill. It is a little right of the West Wilts Golf Clubhouse and a few hundred yards short of it, at a point near a long and straggling hedgerow.
Frankly, I suspected it was rubbish being burnt by the farmer, Mr Geoffrey Gale (it is his land); but we all commented how strange that this circular flame should suddenly erupt, without warning, and no smouldering or smoke noticed prior to this by our keen-eyed group.
Chris and Bob immediately tore across the intervening land. Others, self included, climbed the white gate and followed at a more leisurely pace. (Perhaps because we are older?) The burning effect “died” on the ground and we were instantly aware of a large orange ellipsoid that hung stationary over the top of the lighted clubhouse at low altitude – we estimated somewhere around 100 feet at most. It was immobile for a good three minutes, according to my watch.
John said: “It’s far too big and brilliant for Mars, although it’s the same colour.” Julian said: “No – Mars is away to the left, higher over Cop Heap.” And there was no lingering doubt when the object, increasing radiance, started to move to south-east, across Cop Heap and away over the shoulder of Battlesbury towards Starr Hill.
It was huge! It moved slowly, sedately, throwing off a brightful and fitful halo around the main body of the craft.
We had now picked out a second, similar shaped object, much higher than the first, smaller because of this factor and a dull mat white in hue. It was keeping pace with the bright orange UFO, tailing and trailing it. But our attention was abruptly dragged from the visual treat…
I had sped back to the main group of watchers, eager that one in particular – she is over 80 years of age – should see the second and smaller UFO, too. She was so thrilled as I pointed it out, able to view it easily with the naked eye. The others had spotted it and I heard cries coming from the field – and tearing towards us, ashen faced, were Chris and Robert.
They drank hot coffee to recover from shock and shattered composure. Then they blurted out an amazing story. When they reached Kidnapper’s Hole, where the hedge ends, they saw the flame or “burning bush” peter out; and in its place was a tall figure, dressed in a tight-fitting black suit that had a sheen reflected in their torchlight. A gold-coloured “sash” or “bandolier” (the youths’ terms) was around its neck and shoulder, winding around the waist.
Bob is 6 ft 1 in tall. He thought the figure to be a good foot taller than he. Chris confirmed this. Long, dark hair falling to the shoulders, bright eyes – and rather “feminine” features, the lads felt. The figure did not move – but they, overcome by fear, could not approach nearer than about 30 yards from it. Courage and nerves failing, they ran back to the hilltop.
The two were closely questioned by the rest of the watchers while I made my way across the field, bathed in moonlight. I had a torch and was beaming a friendly message in morse code in front of me, to relieve my own apprehension and any felt by the visitor. My knees were knocking, I admit, yet one can never reach understanding of the unknown when fear triumphs over genuine love and concern for all others…
Nothing was seen of the figure from then on. Chris, Bob, Julian and John revisited the spot near Kidnapper’s Hole where it had stood: they all saw the hedgerow, clubhouse, two trees on the skyline; none smelled smoke or ashes.
Perhaps in the general excitement, because one is caught in the thrall of something truly inexplicable and unworldly, one says peculiar things at times like these, which are inordinately charged with human emotion. “I’ve an idea they will be back, but not in the same form,” I recall predicting to the watchers.
Events at around 11.45 p.m., extending to about 1 a.m., on Thursday, 28 August, were probably more puzzling than the earlier sightings and landing. Forming a triangle in themselves, in a perfectly clear sky shot by a full moon’s rays and a myriad stars, three cigar-shaped formations appeared. They were cloudlike, yet having a density and “roundness” to them, quite plasma-like.
One was over Battlesbury, to the east, the two others over the Cradle Hill copse area. Two vanished after a while, then the third – over the copse – broke in half. The bottom portion cut away, separated from the rest, and was transformed into a pyramid shape, symmetrical and of a three-dimensional quality in the atmosphere.
It was at times completely opaque and solid, at others transparent, so that one could see through it and view the interior. It was startling – and provides another facet to the whole subject and significance, maybe, of ufology. The only one of the 11-strong group not witnessing this pyramid was Mrs Bent, asleep in her car after a long journey, a tiring day and night…
Bob Strong and Sybil, meanwhile, watched the two UFOs glide gently overhead from their sighting point near a farm barn near Starr Hill. They curled away east, winking lights seen at ground level by the two observers – Bob is a former RAF bomber crewman – at a spot near the horizon to the east.
Ground-to-air communication between earth base and craft? We can only surmise and theorise on this possibility. But 13 witnesses of the two objects – noiseless and gliding slowly until they spun at swifter speed upward – are far better and more convincing than one poor soul on his own.
The area around Kidnapper’s Hole (the name has an ominous ring to it, yet the landing there was open and probably coincidental) showed one small patch of burning the following morning. Even so, it did not appear to be recently caused, and no rubbish had been ignited there for days.
So – back to square one in the giant jigsaw puzzle of the Great and Spectacular Unknown that these craft constitute? Not quite… This sighting and landing were in keeping with sundry strange incidents around Warminster over the past five years; especially the singular case of the “flying sword” UFO and “phoenix bird” sighting that hovered overhead for three minutes, amethyst in colour until duck-bobbing away, when it changed to crimson. These stories, true and with witnesses present, will have to “keep” for the time being.
We are inclined to believe, from available evidence that has steadily accumulated on the local UFO front, that there exists at Heaven’s Gate, on the Longleat Estate near Warminster, a point on our earth where a “window” or “gate” exists that allows two dimensions to converge, meet and – who knows – even communicate. What our scientists would term a “time warp”, in effect. More of that anon…
Of one thing we are sure: although I am an Essex man, reared there and born in Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire, Warminster is a place which will be remembered for many years. It could be that – whatever is designed to happen in future – it will be a focal point of any big cosmic operation affecting our planet. May I leave you with a sobering thought?
If any big power on earth developed a metal that cannot be detected by radar, resisting and not affected by radio waves, this would create the biggest threat yet to present world peace. It would further heighten nuclear buildup dangers. It just might be that such a metal has been perfected – and near future years will prove much.
But we can be quietly confident that a greater intelligence from a different dimension on our earth, in concert with extraterrestrial travellers who are more enlightened in universal knowledge, will be keeping a wary eye on these threats – and could even neutralise the launching of nuclear warheads onto unsuspecting peoples in the next decade.
No bets taken – but it is worth thinking over, carefully…