In the UK there are reports of strange aerial phenomena back at least to the turn of the century and maybe several centuries before that. For example, on 23rd March 1909 PC M. Kettle of Peterborough (which was then part of Northamptonshire) reported a strange airship. There were many other reports of this object from around the country. Throughout 1909 there were many similar reports around the world of these mystery airships. One of our members working on a project on early UFO reports for the British UFO Research Association has found references to Northamptonshire reports from the 1790s.
Since that time there have been many other reports throughout Northamptonshire. Around 1954/55 an eight year old boy was digging in his garden near Rushden when he saw a strange ovoid shaped cloud and heard a voice giving him instructions. He has also had a number of subsequent UFO experiences.
In May 1978 at 23:30 a witness saw strange manoeuvering lights in the sky over Finedon. In 1977 researchers carrying out a skywatch exercise saw two separate stratnge lights over Harrington. In 1980 a man in Northampton General hospital saw through the window a strange object over the town. There were several reports from the Corby area during the 1980s. In 1994 a Harringworth woman awoke at about 04:15 on morning and observed four or five white lights. In 1997 a woman from Kingsthorpe in Northampton reported round red objects moving fast over the town. In October 1998, two witnesses from Kingsthorpe reported seeing two triangular objects moving from the south to the north. The two objects were seen a few minutes apart.
On 22nd November 1978 a Nortamptonshire lady was on her journey home from work at 17:15 when she saw a dumbbell shaped object over the A5 road near Weedon. She passed under the object then turned off the main road into a lane which lead to her house. As she drove up the lane the engine of her car stalled and she observed strange lights dancing around the car. When the lights disappeared the car engine re-started and she was able to continue her journey. Fortunately the witness sat down and wrote a detailed description of what she had seen whilst the details were still fresh in
her mind. The witness, Mrs Oakensen has written a book “One Step Beyond” describing her UFO experiences and the events that followed. A similar object was reported approximately two hours later by four ladies who saw it near Preston Capes, about four miles from Weedon.
On Wednesday 20th June 1984 a witness saw an object over Northampton. At 40 minutes past midnight he saw what he describes as being a Chinese lantern. It was an octagonal object about 20 feet long and 35 feet in height. At each of its 8 corners there was an orange light. It made a sound like electricity shorting out and there were occasional blue sparks. The witness estimates that the object could not have been more than 100 feet from the ground. It passed within 35 yards of the observer. Then the lights went out and it just vanished. There were reports from other people of strange lights seen over that part of Northampton at around the same time.
This witness has made several reports of other events seen on other occasions, including one near Great Houghton in March 1983. On that occasion he observed a small white sphere hovering above a nearby field. The engine of the motorcycle he was riding cut out, but restarted after the UFO had gone. To some of these UFO reports there are other independent witnesses adding strength to his story.