In February of 1996 I was travelling back from a friends house in Old Trafford, Manchester when I saw something strange in the sky. Some unusual lights shot backwards and forwards before disappearing. I watched the lights for a minutes or so before they simply vanished, as if they had simply turned off like a light bulb. On arriving home I informed my partner and she told me that the neighbour next door had called round to tell her that Talk Radio were talking live to four students near Old Trafford Cricket ground who had apparently seen an unusual object in the sky. By the time I had turned the radio on and tuned into the right station I had missed the on air interviews. So, I went off to bed with the thought of contacting Manchester International Airport.
The following day I telephoned M.I.A. to see if I could obtain any information in regards last night sightings. Eventually I got put through to an Air Traffic Control officer who told me that the airport was in fact closed that evening due to runway maintenance and aircraft were diverted to East Midlands. I was also told that their radar would not have been pointing towards South Manchester so picking anything up would of been an impossability. Finally the officer informed me that there had been no reported sightings to them. I thanked him for his assistance and put the phone down. I sat for a while thinking about what he had told me. Something just didn't sit well with me. I decided then to make an official reported sighting to them. I got back in touch and this time talked with someone else. As soon as I had mentioned I wanted to report an unusual object in the sky over Old Trafford last night, the officer asked if he could go through some questions with me. I of course agreed. The officer sounded like he was reading the questions from a Ministry of Defence sighting form. He asked me if there was an unusual stillness in the air during my sighting and if I had noticed any unusual feelings. Odd questions, yet I was aware of these simply because its the exact questions on our own UFO sighting report forms. After he finished questioning me I asked him if there had been other reported sightings. He replied 'Yes, there had been quite a number of them last night and that we were just about to contact R.A.F West Drayton'.
Interesting... The first officer I had talked to just a few minutes ago had told me that there had been no reported sightings, yet this officer told me the opposite. What was going on...? I decided to contact several newspapers in hope of obtaining and details from witnesses that may have reported their sightings to them. One such newspaper, 'The Area News, situated in Old Trafford, Manchester were very helpful. I talked with the receptionist who informed me that some of her staff had seen the unusual lights themselves. A reported from the Metro News, a spill-over of the Manchester Evening News telephoned me. He interviewed me for an article over the phone and afterwards he gave me the telephone number of a gentleman called Mike who was apparently one of the student witnesses that had been on the Talk Radio show and that he did not want to talk with the media.
I contacted Mike and told him that I was investigating the reported sightings in Old Trafford. At first he was alarmed that someone had obtained his telephone number. I stressed to him the importance of information. Mike was most upset that the radio station had given out his telephone number. I eventually convinced Mike to tell me what he saw. I was in for a shock! It turned out the Mike and the other three students were not students at all, but on duty police officers. I couldn't believe my luck. The four police officers were on duty that night and had seen a strange object darting about the sky. Mike described the object as triangular shaped with a small square shape on the front of it. As they watched they could see that there was some type of metal structure underneath. The officers who worked at Talbot Road Police Station was directly opposite Lancashire County cricket ground where the object was seen in the sky.
Mike seemed very uneasy and told me that he had received a couple of telephone calls from people who sounded official asking him questions. They called themselves Mr. Salt and Mr. Green. As I carried on with my questions, Mike suddenly said that he did not want to say anything more until he had checked me out. So... I gave Mike my name, address and contact telephone number and asked him to get back in touch with me when he was satisfied as to who I was. Mike agreed...
I wrote a couple of letters to Manchester International Airport in regards to the sightings in the Old Tafford area.
Of course, like most investigators I was not going to allow this to put me off. I fact, his call did the opposite and fueled the fire. Again I got back in touch with the newspapers asking witnessed to come forward. I also rang Talk Radio and the man I talked to was completely aware as to what I was talking about but did not want to assist. He told me that they had received a number of phone calls and that they should not pursue the story. Wow! this 'was' turning into a conspiracy. I also had contacted R.A.F. West Drayton myself who would not divulge in any information, neither would the Ministry of Defence after contacting the Staff 2a - (the MOD UFO Reporting Desk). I eventually contacted West Midlands airport and asked them if they were aware of any unusual sightings in the Manchester area and I was instructed to contact a PR Office in London... How odd! The PR Office was not helpful either as they said no reported incidents had been logged. Was I ever going to get to the bottom of this?
On February 23rd 1996 I received a telephone call from Mike. I was surprised, I didn't think I was going to hear from him again. Mike had apparently checked up on who I was and had talked with his fellow police officers and convinced them to meet up with me whilst they were off duty. An arrangement was agreed upon. We were to meet up at a known cafe in the Manchester area in a few days time. Mike finished by asking me if I had any contacts in the Police Head Office. I replied 'No, why'? Mike just said 'Never mind, I'll see you soon'.
I still think Mike was a little suspicious, but why was he? The following day I received a phone call from Mike again. This time he sounded most upset. He told me that two men had been to visit him and that he will not be meeting up with me and no longer wanted to talk about it. I tried to calm him down and said 'OK Mike, I understand, I don't want you getting in trouble, I agree its probably best for me not to meet up with you, but can I conduct a short interview with you over the phone just to get the details correct in our report, and then you can forget about the whole thing'? Mike reluctantly agreed and I conducted a lengthly interview on the phone. I thanked Mike and told him not to worry.
As the days past I managed to locate several witnesses. I visited each of them and got their information down on paper. I also, started to hear rumours of further UFO sightings on that night in and around the Morcambe area. I was going to have to check this out.
After several weeks of investigating and travelling around the country I was able to compile an overall report...
It all started on February 8th 1996, as I was driving home I spotted something odd in the sky. At that very time PC Gorden and 3 other police officers were on duty at the Trafford Police Station on Talbot Road, Old Trafford, Manchester. They look out of a window and noticed a strange object darting about the sky before slowing and hovering over Lancashire Country Cricket ground. They were so intrigued as to what they had seen, they decided to tune their radio in to different radio stations in hope of hearing something about the UFO. They eventually came to Talk Radio where someone had just rang in with a UFO sighting. Talk Radio gave out their number and urged people to ring in if they had also seen a strange object in the sky over Manchester. Mike, caught up in the moment telephoned the radio station and he was interviewed live on air.
Mike described the object as being triangular with girder type structure on its underside. There were several lights on it, three large red apex lights and four smaller white lights grouped together in the middle of the object. According to the officers, the object was massive, and made no sound whatsoever. After a short time the object stopped and hovered over the cricket ground then suddenly accelerated to an amazing speed and performed aerobatics the Red Arrows would have been proud of. They watched the object for several minutes before it sped off in a southerly direction.
It was not long afterwards I contact Mike and conducted a brief interview over the phone. Mike told me that a couple of official sounding men had been in contact with him and we asking him questions, and that the men introduced themselves as Mr. Salt and Mr. Green. A second conversation with Mike took place about a week later and he had agreed to met up with me along with the other police officers, however the following day Mike contacted me again to cancel our arrangement. On that afternoon Mike was visited by two men claiming to be Ministry of Defence officials. Mike asked them for I.D. and they clearly showed him their identification badges. The two men were smartly dressed in dark suits and introduced themselves as Mr. Salt and Mr. Green. (The same two men that had rang him earlier last week). Mike asked them in and they went through to the lounge and sat down. They told him that he should not of contacted the radio station. That he should have reported it to his superior officer and that there was a strict protocol in regards UFO sightings. He also should have never talked with a UFO investigator (myself). They went on to say that the unusual object was a top secret aircraft and the subject was considered extremely sensitive. They told him that he could lose his job if he didn't co-operate and that he had clearly broken protocols in regards how the sighting was handled.
Even though Mike was unaware of such a protocol, he gave no argument. At that, the two men stood up and said they would be in touch with him soon and not to say anything to anyone about what he and the other police officers had seen. As soon as they left, Mike rushed to the phone and telephoned the other officers. He was surprised to find that the two MOD officials had already visited them earlier that afternoon. All agreed that it was best not to talk about what they had seen. Mike contacted me and understandably cancelled our agreed meeting.
A few days later I talked with a friend who was a retired police officer and he informed me that he was aware of such a protocol to UFO sightings. There was a form that asked certain questions and then it was sent to the Ministry of Defence. Was this form the illusive MOD UFO Sighting Form...? I respected Mike's wishes and never contacted him again. But... that was not the end of the investigation. Further reports had come to light...
Michelle Baker and Gary Lorton were travelling back to Michelle's mothers in Salford, Manchester on February 8th. As they drove down Barton Dock Road Gary looked up and saw a huge triangular object slowly cruising across the sky. They quickly turned the car around and watched as the craft met up with a smaller one and stop over an industrial facility known as Cortholes Chemicals. They recalled a woman walking her dog who also stood watching the objects. They described them as massive mechanical type structures that hung in the sky without making a sound. They watched them for a few minutes before they slowly moved off towards the Carrington area.
On learning of this I immediately visited Corthole Chemicals and talked with security officers. They grinned and said 'Oh yeh, our UFO'... On February 8th security officers Graham Mitchell and Roy Burgess were in their guard house when Tom, a delivery driver rushed over to them pointing up to the sky. Roy and Graham stepped out and looked up. They couldn't believe their eyes. above them around 200 feet were two strange looking objects. There was a large one... it was huge, and a smaller one next to it. Both were triangular in shape with red and white lights on them. Roy rushed back to the guard house and telephoned Chris Keaton, the on duty night manager who also came out and watched the objects before they silently moved off. I was able to interview all who had seen the objects and Chris was kind enough to show me where they were in the sky. As he pointed up I noticed several security camera's around, but as Chris said, 'The damn things are all high up and pointing down at the guard house, security gates, the truck parking area and entrance doors. Not one of them would have been pointing up at the sky, otherwise, we would have had them on film. Shame... All in all, two security officers, four truck drivers, the night manager and around 16 other members of staff watched the two strange objects that night hang over their facility before moving off towards Carrington.
Peter Wilson, a headmaster for a local Manchester school was out walking his dog with a friend on the evening of February 8th. He was walking along a dirt path by the side of the River Mersey in Broadheath when his friend shrieked. Directly above them was a huge triangular shaped craft, moving silently. They described the object as having three red apex lights and a large red light in the center of the craft, which seemed to be detached from the object somehow. Peter was rather alarmed and reported the sighting to the local police station as soon as he reached home. WPC Allen took the call at Altrincham Police Station and told Peter that she would inform a couple of police officers which were in the area. The officers apparently attended the location but the object had mysteriously vanished.
It was now Apirl 1996 and rumours were circulating amongst investigators that R.A.F. West Drayton were alerted to the UFOs and had possibly scrambled some jets to intercept the mystery objects. By May of 1996 the Ministry of Defence had confirmed they did in fact receive several reports of UFO sightings throughout the area of Manchester and Lancashire. Other UFO groups across the North West were also a buzz with UFO reports of strange triangular crafts.
In September of 1996 I visited Morcambe to conduct a lecture on UFOs and was surprised to learn they too had also had their fair share of triangular UFO sightings. There were several other lecturers that discussed local sightings and even video film showing the large triangular crafts was shown to the public. The BBC were also there filming for a TV show about the recent UFO activity and I was pleased to assist them with an interview. Afterwards I travelled directly to Red Rose Radio in Lancashire and was interviewed live on air, during which several members of the community rang in to say they had also seen strange triangular objects in the night sky, silently moving about. It was as if whatever had visited Manchester back on February 8th 1996, had also dropped into to Lancashire before disappearing.
Whatever the mystery objects were, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said they were not acknowledged on their radar. Manchester International Airport said they had not received any reports of UFO sightings and later seemed to change their story. They also said that the airport was shut that night in question when in fact, after talking with an aircraft enthusiast, was informed that aircraft were seen going in and out of the airport as normal that night. After contacting the MOD again, they informed me that they had never heard of a Mr. Salt nor Mr. Green and would not visit UFO witnesses period. They did however confirm that they had received a number of reported sightings throughout the North West. To date, there may be over 400 separate reported incidents. Incidents that still remain unexplained...
Compiled by Steve Mera.
Of all witnesses I feel are credible, are sweet little old ladies. Mrs. Spittle, an elderly woman from Stretford had been looking out of her flat window situated on Urmston Rd on the evening of February 8th. She had been sat watching television when she heard a bit of a commotion outside. She got up and looked out of her window. There were a few young teenagers playing about outside. She thought nothing more of it and went to sit back down. However as she did, something up in the sky caught her eye... She was amazed to see a huge triangular craft flying at low level and moving slowly. She described the object having three bright lights on it and a large red light in the center. Mrs. Spittle lived on the fifth floor of a five story block of flats and had an excellent view of the object. She watched as the object moved slowly, then stop then dart backwards and forwards a few times and then stop again.
Mr. Spittle watch the object for a couple of minutes before fetching a neighbour. Mr. Tompson from next door came into the flat and watched the object before it shot off towards Manchester Town Center. Both said the craft was huge, made no sound and moved as if it wasn't real... It would seem that a number of witnesses claimed to have seen the object/objects move off towards the Carrington area. Even though Carrington is no stranger to UFO sightings I could not find any evidence to the object/objects being seen there. Of course, the unusual thing about UFO sightings is that why only several people seem to see them when in fact thousands should have done?
Further sightings were being reported right across the country...
Adam Spencer a CID Police Officer and his father Ray, a retired police officer were out in Stretford that night. Adam had been watching an unusual light in the sky for at least 20 minutes whilst eating his tea at a local cafe. When he left he was surprised to see the light hovering in the distance over Manchester. Adam had seen many police helicopters and refuses to believe it was anything but unusual. He described the object as a dark triangular craft, illuminated with bright powerful white lights. Adam rushed to his car and grabbed his instamatic camera but on pressing it he realised that the batteries had gone flat. In his disappointment Adam wrote down the details of his sighting and both Adam and Ray later stated that they had never seen anything like it before. Ray who was a little bit of a sceptic said 'It was truly unusual'.
Sightings took place over and in the vicinity of the Shell Oil Refinery in Carrington, Chechire.