The following story has nothing to do with Hollywood, making it somewhat out of place on this blog. However, it's one from my own back-catalogue and, until now, it has never appeared online. It was originally published in 2007 in Issue 25 of the now-defunct UK publication Paranormal Magazine.
“On a summer’s afternoon, in either 1948 or 1949, my mother, Brenda, was walking with our dog and myself in the area we called simply ‘The Field’ at the back of our housing estate… in what was then the outskirts of Chippenham in Wiltshire [England]. Whilst there, she saw an unusual, occupied aircraft…”
So began a handwritten letter addressed to this author; tidy and succinct, it documented a mother and daughter’s close encounter with a peculiar flying object, piloted by apparently non-human beings. Many years later, the daughter, Karen – a mere toddler at the time of the incident – solicited from her mother, Brenda, a detailed description of what they had both witnessed that day, making a written record of her response.
Brenda had no trouble in recalling the details:
“We were walking through ‘The Field’ when this aircraft came out of nowhere and stopped nearby. There were two beings inside, sat facing one another. The aircraft was like a boat with a see-though cover. The two beings inside were neat and compact; they were dressed in grey and had helmets with a sort of crest on top. They were looking towards us, then one of them raised a hand as if he were waving. Then the aircraft just went.”
Through further conversation with her mother, Karen was able to establish that: “there was no accompanying sound or scent with the aircraft; that it was in view for no more than three minutes; it was about nine feet long, and stopped approximately fifteen yards away at bungalow-roof height; there were no trains on the track nearby at the time; and that the area was otherwise deserted.” Their dog, incidentally, “was interested in the aircraft, but was not alarmed.”
Regarding her nondescript recounting of the object’s departure, beyond stating that “it just went,” Brenda had difficulty expressing the character of its movement: “She said that it didn’t exactly vanish instantly, it just ‘went’ very rapidly,” Karen related.
After examining the details of this previously undocumented report, I was keen to establish the accuracy of its content, and to gauge the sincerity of its writer. Speaking with her by telephone, I found Karen to be charming and genuine – an intelligent and well-spoken woman whose bewilderment at the event described was evident nearly sixty years on. What, then, to make of her story?
It was obvious that Karen had no prior interest in UFOs, and no ufological knowledge of which to speak, and at no time had she or her mother sought to publicise their experience. Indeed, the witnesses’ names as written here – ‘Brenda’ and ‘Karen’ – are pseudonyms, a reflection of Karen’s continuing desire for anonymity (their real names and backgrounds are known to me). The event, as recalled by Brenda, was described in considerable detail; the shape and dimensions of the object, as well as its aerial position in relation to the witnesses all were clearly recalled, so too the basic physical appearance of its occupants (including their attire). Incidental information such as nearby rail traffic (or lack thereof), and the reactions of their dog, was similarly noted.
During our telephone conversation, Karen told me that her mother had always been a ‘no nonsense’ sort of lady, and had been reluctant to speculate about the precise nature of the ‘aircraft,’ or about the possible origin of its occupants. Sadly, Brenda passed away a few years ago, but despite her apparent nonchalance at what she and her daughter had witnessed, she had always acknowledged the high-strangeness of the event: “She said that she realised that what she was seeing was ‘something very different,’” Karen wrote in her letter, “but that she wasn’t alarmed or afraid. She felt the beings were friendly.”
Unbeknownst to her, what Karen had reported was a typical close encounter of the third kind(CE3 – which refers to any sighting of a UFO at close quarters (within 500 feet of the witness/s), during which accompanying occupants are also observed. Though many thousands of such encounters have been reported over the decades, Karen’s has considerable ufological significance in that it stands as one of the earliest CE3s on record in the modern (post-1947) UFO era, not only in the United Kingdom, but anywhere in the world.