Tuesday, 10 September 2013

A recent UFO sighting of my own...

I hope those of my readers in the UK enjoyed the exceptionally good weather we had this Summer (makes a change from recent years!). Aside from enhancing my visits to relatives and in-laws in different parts of the UK, the long sunny days allowed me to digest much more reading material in my back garden on the subject of UFOs, which I shall summarise in a future post.

In the meantime, I would like to share with you an interesting 'sighting' I had whilst recently walking through the area I live.

I should point out that although I am now in my mid-forties, I am very fortunate to still have very good eyesight and have yet to need glasses for any activity.

The sighting

The date was Wednesday 28 August 2013. I can remember the time of the sighting as I was walking on my way to see a matinee screening of the film 'Elysium' at my local Odeon cinema which was at 13:15pm. The sighting itself started at approximately 12:45pm. I was on my own (my wife being at work) and was in a quiet residential back street in the South London area where I live.

The sky was a brilliant cornflower blue with virtually no clouds. I just happened to look up in a northwesterly direction and noted the positions of at least two airplanes, both cruising at completely different altitudes, with one really high up (I couldn't hazard a guess at the specific altitude I'm afraid) and the other probably at base cloud level (had there been any significant cloud cover on the day).

What particularly caught my eye was a very bright object in-between these planes (in terms of guessed altitude). It seemed as bright, if not brighter, than the star Sirius would be at night-time, except this was in a clear early afternoon sky. The light was intense, white and occasionally fluctuated, but did not 'twinkle' like a night-time star would. Also of interest was its long, near-stationary position relative to other points of reference, such as the rooftops of houses over which I could see it and one of the airplanes I had first noticed. My impression was that the light source was artificial and not a natural phenomenon. There was no - even distant - accompanying jet engine or rotor noise that I would expect to hear from either a plane or helicopter. Remember I was on a quiet residential street with little or no ambient noise.

I also remember being annoyed for two reasons: that I hadn't got my binoculars with me (which though fairly portable, I only generally carry around with me when in more rural surroundings); and that the duration of the sighting was in danger of making me miss the start of the film I was going to see - in that it lasted almost 15 minutes.

Just to make sure I wasn't the only person who could see this, I asked a lady who was passing by if she could see it too (which probably unnerved her a bit and I can't say I blame her!). She had to physically cross the street to look over the rooftops from roughly where I was standing but she did indeed confirm that she could see the object too and that 'no. I wasn't going mad'. The lady then rather matter-of-factly carried on as if seeing a very bright stationary object in the daytime sky was no big deal!

I continued watching the bright object, whilst the planes disappeared on their respective flightpaths and others came into view, concerned that I would need to tear myself away soon if I wanted to see the film, as I was still some five minutes walk away from the cinema.

Then, almost as if to allay my concerns, at around 13:00pm the object very slowly appeared to descend. I say 'appeared to descend' because it could have been moving straight away from me relative to my position (in other words further northwest) which would also give the impression of descent. As it was I found myself slowly walking further and further back to keep it in sight above the rooftops until I almost banged into a tree on the kerbside.

Conventional explanation?

Now here's a list of the things, I personally believe this object couldn't have been which make the sighting interesting:-
  • An airplane because I could initially see at least two of those in the sky at the same time which did not resemble this object in any way and the object 'hovered' or remained stationary for at least 10-15 minutes. Incidentally there was no vapour-trail from or near the object;
  • A Chinese lantern, hot-air balloon or party balloon as the object remained stationary for a lot longer than any of those would;
  • The Moon - because I saw the Moon quite clearly in another part of the daytime sky and nowhere near as bright as this object;
  • Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Sirius, Arcturus or another similar such celestial body because having read up on this aspect of astronomy, it is extremely rare for these to be seen with such luminous intensity in the daytime - and they do not move across the sky in as short a time-frame as this object did at the sighting's conclusion.
  • A 'sun-dog' or rainbow effect as there were no clouds near the object, which these phenomena are usually caused by and the object was only one apparent colour - a very intense white;
  • A bird as most birds - as far as I'm aware - rarely hover for fifteen minutes and aren't luminous or emit intense (even reflected) light!; and
  • A firework or laser show given that both of those would be more transitory, more obvious to even the casual observer and almost always take place at night.
I should also point out that, although it was a late Summer's day there were, as far as I am aware, no thunderstorms or associated atmospheric electrical phenomena in London that day.

Now it is possible that, given the objects 'flight characteristics' what I saw could have been:-
  • A helicopter, (real or model) or a camera drone; or
  • An airship.
However, for it to have been any of these, it would have to have had:-
  • a highly polished reflective surface to reflect sunlight with such intensity, for such a duration and at just the right angle for me to see it for nearly quarter of an hour; or
  • very bright searchlights pointed in my direction for nearly fifteen minutes - but why would either an airship or helicopter being using searchlights in the daytime?
Supporting evidence?

In view of the above, it is a source of intense frustration to me that I didn't have my binoculars or any other means of getting a closer view of the object. Also a video or image on my iPhone camera wouldn't have done it justice given the limitations of digital zooms - something analogue or optical zooms are much better for in these circumstances.

So no images or video to back up my sighting I'm afraid and no way for me to discern what the actual shape of the object was from such a distance. I have however found a recent UK video online (made incidentally the day after my sighting) which shows an object closely resembling what I saw. The video was posted on Youtube under the poster's heading "ufo (saucer) Derby Uk 29/08/2013". I cannot vouch for this video's authenticity however.


To me at least, my sighting currently sits within the pure definition of an Unidentified Flying Object, and I hasten to add - not necessarily with any of the E.T. connotations many automatically assume with such a sighting.

Given the above, I would be interested to hear from anyone who saw something similar on or around that time in the skies above South London, or indeed any other part of London which may help to 'triangulate' the sighting or even throw more 'light' (no pun intended) onto what this object was or might have been.

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