It’s written in response to the recent media coverage of UFO sightings and makes for a very interesting read. Rich clearly has a great deal of knowledge in this area. Ed
It was 6.30 am on the 13th of October 1996 when I saw my first UFO.
It was a large ball of white light that pulsated in and out but made no sound at all.
It appeared on the horizon north of me as I reached the top of Hunnyhill in Newport. At first I thought it was a planet still visible in the morning light, but soon dismissed this thought as the object drew nearer. It passed over the island from northwest to southeast at a high altitude. When I returned home which was only 10 minutes walk away, I recorded what I’d seen immediately.
Thinking I would see a rational explanation for my sighting I kept an eye on local media. Instead of an explanation the local paper that came out a few days later had an article about the sighting asking for more witnesses to come forward. I felt obliged and in doing so discovered that two other people I had never met had seen the same object on the same morning, one in Ryde and one in Shanklin.
Both were just as bewildered as I was and had no explanation as to what we saw. At the time I was studying media at the local college and used these skills to start documenting the UFO phenomena on the Isle Of Wight as best I could and have been doing so ever since.
Ten years down the line I think I have managed to sort out genuine witnesses of UFOs from miss observed known aircraft, hoaxers, attention seekers, and the mentally ill.
It hasn’t been easy, many things I’ve investigated have turned out to be normal air traffic in this area and there are plenty of cranks out there ready to mislead genuine seekers of the truth. In many cases police have been called to investigate claims from frightened witnesses. In these cases you can usually rule out hoaxers. You see, hoaxers are likely to tell me or other journalists nonsense, but in my experience they won’t involve the police, as if found out, they could risk prosecution for wasting police time.
Over the years I’ve had the experience of investigating UFOs and dealing with the sort of people that surround the phenomena at first hand. I always interview witnesses on cases I’m dealing with myself and feel that everyone should do the same when writing about these things, as I’m sure many journalists in the past have not done the same, leading to many well known examples of UFO literature being fake.
There are many physical signs people give off unknowingly when they are lying that journalists are trained to look for. Also I think I have had my fare share of witnesses that are clearly suffering from mental illness and can now tell early on in an interview if this indeed is the case. It is always more newsworthy if you have independent witnesses reporting the same UFO as this is much more harder for people to fake.
Over the years, I have looked at the UFO enigma on the Isle Of Wight as a whole and tried to look for patterns in its behavior.
For some reason, certain areas on the island are more prone to strange objects in the sky than others and also the shapes of UFOs are quite unique to our shores, particularly the kite shaped UFO and white triangle that make a ghostly appearance in our skies now and again.
It seems to depend on where you are standing, that increases your chances of seeing an aerial apparition. Many people see strange things in the skies when they are traveling along particular stretches of road, curiously these are the same roads that yield countless ghost reports. Also we seem to get both ghost sightings and UFO reports at the same time, we seem to get them both in ten year cycles.
Maybe all paranormal activity is somehow connected and that it is a natural phenomena of the island that simply wells up from time to time and unleashes an energy of some kind manifesting itself in strange apparitions on the land and in the sky.
I don’t believe the modern myth that the UFOs seen over the island are secret military craft. This doesn’t make sense because anyone who wanted to spy on our air force’s newest creation could simply come to the Isle of Wight and see them in flight, lets face it when the stealth bomber was top secret twenty five years ago it was not being tested over populated areas for the same reason.
In all my investigations I have found no evidence to prove the existence of extraterrestrials, although I maybe proved wrong one day, when we finally hear from those elusive little Grey men.