Wednesday 12 October 1994

The Warminster Thing Exhibition

Photograph copyright Danny Howell Photographic Archive.

Ken Rogers, a former journalist with the Daily Express newspaper and a dedicated UFO enthusiast, who died in January 1994, bequeathed his collection of notes, cuttings, books and videos concerning unidentified flying objects to Warminster.

Using extracts from some of these sources Danny Howell (Curator) and Glenn Head (Assistant Curator) of the Dewey Museum, Warminster, presented an exhibition on the subject at Warminster Library during the summer of 1994.

The exhibition, which roused considerable interest, has long since been dismantled, but still remains a talking point for many of the hundreds of people who came along to see it.

The display featured not only photographs but also the written testimonies of local people and visitors to the area, who were intrigued by things they saw and heard, prompting much speculation - was it military activity or the possibility of alien encounters, or something else with or without a simple explanation?

For anyone wishing to know more about this fascinating part of Warminster’s history, we feature here some extracts from the exhibition, beginning with a selection of accounts concerning UFO sightings and encounters, which were amongst the many files of cuttings and reports contained in the Rogers Bequest:

Eric Payne, 28 March 1965:
Eric Payne was walking the four miles from Sutton Veny to his home, having just dropped his girl friend at her house. It was 11 p.m. on March 28 1965 and Eric had just reached a point a little short of the bend in the road near Drayton’s School at Bishopstrow, when he heard a whistling noise that developed into a loud buzzing. It was not coming from the telegraph wires by the roadside, although it was similar to that kind of noise. He said, "I am not sure from which direction it came. Fog was so thickly banked-up by then that it blotted out most of the sky. It was pitch dark, anyway. Then the object made itself felt. It flattened tree-tops on either side of me, making a tremendous racket. If you imagine a giant tin can with huge nuts and bolts inside, rattling just over your head, you will know how it sounded. I looked up to see if it was a low flying plane. I felt great pressure on my head and neck. I lifted my fists to try and push it off, but the pressure was too much for me." A knife edged wind tore through his hair and burned his eyes. Unable to ward off the invisible attacker, Mr Payne had his arms bent back by the hidden power of the soundwaves. His eardrums felt as though they were about to burst.

"Before it came for me I could spot nothing in the sky except a shadow. It was lighter in colour and shaped like an oval dish. But I couldn’t be sure as the light was very poor. It could easily have been a bank of mist rising, as no aircraft lights or anything like that were visible. But it set up a jarring clatter that no plane could ever make. It was the shrill whining and buzzing which nearly drove me mad. My head was pushed from side to side and I had no use in my arms and legs. The downward pressure was tremendous and I crawled round in the road for a bit, then sank down on the grass verge, which was soaking wet. All I wanted to get rid of was the choking hold the Thing had on me. It was like a vice."
When the experience started, Mr Payne could feel heat and a prickling sensation as though sharp needles were digging into him. Then the soundwaves passed and collecting his shattered wits, he made his way home, where his parents admitted he arrived looking pale and shocked.

Mrs. H., 19 May 1965:
Mrs. H____ claims that she saw unusual objects in the sky on three separate occasions during the week of 19 May 1965. The objects were cigar-shaped and "covered with bright lights which winked and blinked. The lights were various shades of gold and yellow and most vivid." The first two hung over the Longleat area; the third over Heytesbury. She continued, "They were quite stationary, with no beams or rays and no noise whatsoever. All were high in the sky." While Mrs. H____ watched, they gradually faded, "To disappear into the blue."
Mrs. H states: "I saw the thing again quite clearly on 7 July 1965, when our cat kept howling his head off to be let out. My husband was fast asleep, so I did not disturb him. I went down and let the cat out. No sooner had he stepped onto the path outside the door, than he scuttled into some bushes by the wall, fur bristling. I soon saw the reason. There was this large red ball in sight in the south, which rose in to the sky and hung down, opening up once more into a flaming poker. It had a black rim at the base. When I first saw it, it was the size of our front room to my eyes - it was so close. It hung in the air for about ten minutes. A sizzling or crackling sound, not unlike eggs and bacon frying in the pan, could be heard; after which it disappeared altogether." Her cat kept his head down, wailing behind the bushes until the light had flickered and died.
She saw a similar object over Copheap adjacent to the northern downs of Warminster at 9.57 am on 6 November 1965.
William Marson, May 1965:
William Marson is a salesman, and he and his wife and baby daughter live in a bungalow in Hillwood Lane. This bungalow was singled out, it seems, for attacks from ultra-sonic blasts. Two aerial attacks came in one 1965 May night, when their sleep was disturbed by a great bouncing and bumping noise over their heads. It was as though a load of stones was being tipped against the roof and the back wall of the bungalow. Mr Marson said "I thought tons of coal were being emptied from sacks and sent tumbling all over the place. It all began with an electric crackling." Both Mr. and Mrs. Marson testified that the bedroom ceiling creaked and the high-pitched whining was then heard, quite dwarfing the whispers that preceded the battering. Eddies of disappearing shockwaves left a legacy of a bitterly cold bedroom. In the morning the Marsons expected to find a large pile of stones and rubble outside, but there was nothing. Neither was there even minor damage. Soil samples were subsequently taken from the garden by a Fleet Street UFO research group.

Nigel Phillips, 3 June 1965:
On 3 June 1965 Nigel Phillips, the 12 year old son of Rev. and Mrs. Phillips, was doing his homework in the vicarage study when he happened to glance out of the window and saw what he took to be "a glowing apparition" in the sky. He dashed upstairs for his telescope and his shouts roused the rest of the family, who all rushed outside for a clearer view. Nigel scanned the sky with his magnifying instrument, which, although hardly more than a toy, served its purpose well. With its aid he drew a penciled sketch of the cigar-shaped glowing object. The circular shadow was heavily penciled at the lower tip of the cigar. It looked like an aperture rather than a projection.
The drawing was photographed and enlarged for insertion in a national daily, together with the above story. For the record, many UFO researchers believe that the family saw a mother ship that unleashes smaller saucers and discoids into flight from anything between 50 and 200 miles high.

Roland Matthews and Tony Powell, July 1965:
In July 1965 Mr. Roland Matthews saw strange craft over Shearwater. He was fishing on the lake in company with Tony Powell who also observed the phenomena. Each saw them several times; Mr. Matthews on four occasions, Mr Powell on three. Once Mr. Powell had dropped off to sleep when two bright, spherical objects flew over the lake. Mr. Matthews woke him excitedly - and they watched the objects flying to and fro before settling above them, hovering and tilted inwards towards one another like an inverted ‘V’ in the sky.

Mrs. Fear and Clive Fear, August 1965:
In August 1965 it was midnight when Mrs. Fear and her son both saw a great ball of fire in the sky. It hung in one spot between Boreham Barracks and Battlesbury. "It was red in colour one moment, orange the next," recalled Mrs Fear, "Clive pointed out that at times it appeared to be a mixture of both colours, the red running into the orange glow or tongues of orange fusing with red. This made it flicker in sections. It remained in this position for a quarter of an hour, perhaps longer, as we did not time it. Then it vanished like a searchlight beam when it is turned off. But it is easy to recognise a searchlight by shafts of pale light leading upwards through the darkness. This - we both realise now - must have been the Thing. We did not mistake it for the moon. It was well to our right."

Mr. and Mrs. Scott, Corsley, August 1965:
Mr. and Mrs. Scott saw an object in the sky from the window of their Corsley flat late in August 1965. Said Mr. Scott, "The object was flying at even height, probably in the atmosphere, but very high indeed. It was travelling in a perfectly straight line from approximately south to north. In sight for a few minutes, it glided through the air smoothly and evenly. It looked as though it was made out of polished aluminium and was my far the brightest object in the sky at that time. It was dark at that hour, with plenty of stars about. The shape was unusual. At times it appeared to be tubular and rounded, at others circular." Mrs. Scott said, "It was moving along quite slowly, and at a constant height, from south to north. It looked like a very bright star, but much bigger and more of an egg shape."

Mr. H____, 10 August 1965:
On the evening of 10 August 1965, Mr. H____ was about to take out his wife. He was washing up while she got ready upstairs. Suddenly the window shook violently under the impact of a soundstorm. "As though buckets of gravel were hurled against the glass, heavy and rasping," he said, "My wife came tearing downstairs, half dressed. She had heard it too. We went out and looked in all directions, but nothing was in sight which could have caused such a terrific noise."

Walter Curtis, 17 August 1965:
On the 17 August 1965, dozens of houses were rocked on Boreham Road Estate, Warminster, by the impact of a detonation which has so far not been explained. Said Walter Curtis, "It kicked up such a terrific row that I thought our roof was going to lift right off. It was a huge blast. A whole series of jolts and vibrations were felt underfoot. For twenty seconds or so, it seemed that the house was a ship, tossing in a big storm at sea. From here we often hear the far-off thudding of heavy shells or that rat-a-tat of machine guns when the military are carrying out battle practice. This was no comparison; nothing like that; it was the biggest explosion I have ever heard. It shook all the ground round here. In any case the army firing safety limit is supposed to be at least three miles from our houses, so it is a mystery." His wife added, "It was as though a gas main right opposite us had blown up. I suffered pins and needles in the legs and toes from the vibrations."

Dennis and Bobby H____, Chapmanslade, August 1965:
Brothers Dennis and Bobby H____ saw a double aerial phenomena at Chapmanslade one August night in 1965. Dennis attested, "They were two twinkling stars, specks of light a long way up. We noticed them because they moved. It was when they came flashing down by us, growing in size enormously before blacking out over our heads, that we nearly panicked. They were round and orange in colour and reminded me of the lights of a car. They kept the same distance all the time and shone brightly. They were first white in colour, and then gold, flecked with red." At fourteen, a year younger, Bobby had seen the phenomenon before. Dennis had laughed at him, unable to swallow the unlikely story. Bobby’s account differed slightly. "A big jungle cat's yellow eyes tearing down from the darkness," he said, "I was scared."

Central Car Park, Warminster, 29 August 1965:
Four senior boys at a Swindon High School were camping on waste ground near the Central Car Park, Warminster on 29 August 1965, their tent pitched near a large tree. Suddenly the boys saw a bright orb of light over the downs. In a sudden flash it divided into two pieces. All four boys saw the phenomena. Graham C___ said that the later shapes were even brighter than the first. Far more brilliant than any star in the sky at the time. Much closer, too. Norman L___ described the brightest of all as "zig-zagging from side to side rapidly, alternating with a sharp up and down movement." Then it streamed across the sky at an angle of forty-five degrees over the horizon. Christopher C___ said, "This one was visible for well over a minute and got up to all sorts of dodges. There were no tail or wing lights. It made no sound, so it was definitely not an aircraft. Nor was it a shooting star, or stars, which I have seen, many times." Graham added, "It was a wonderful sight. The last two kept changing speed and altering course. Other people must already have seen them."

Mr and Mrs John K____, Crockerton, August 1965:
Mr. and Mrs. John K___ were sitting in their car one night in August 1965, waiting for local friends at Shearcross, Crockerton. Mrs. K___ said. "I spotted what I first thought to be the winking red lights of an aircraft. As we watched, however, we were rather disturbed at its activity. For it seemed to be jigging up and down and back and forth quite swiftly, losing height all the while. John said it looked big for a plane’s landing light but that, if it was, the aircraft must be looping the loop as it landed. It then vanished from sight behind the ridge of trees by Shearwater just short of Longleat. We mentioned this to our friends when they turned up, but they had no ready explanation."

Warminster, Summer 1965:
A local farmer found, one morning in the summer of 1965, that several acres of land left fallow near Warminster, were "a mass of weeds" - they were silvery thistles of a rare type that virtually ceased to flourish in England in the year 1918. A number of people examined the thistles, including a highly qualified staff from a horticultural college and students from botanical gardens and unversities.

Harold and Dora Horlock, over whose garden in East Street "a large red poker" hung suspended for some while, then flew off with a noise "like the crackling of frying bacon," made news copy and a BBC ‘Points West’ programme after ordinary thistles in their front garden soared to a prodigious height of almost twelve feet as opposed to the expected 3 feet 6 inches, that same summer.

Annabelle Plowman, 7 October 1965:
Annabelle Plowman is a confidential clerk for the War Department at 27 Command Workshop of REME, Warminster. Twice, within one hour, she was badly scared when apparently coming into within a hair’s breadth of physical contact with the crew members of a UFO. She was then Miss Randall, living in Warminster. In a few days she was due to marry John Plowman of Stockton who is Chairman of the Warminster and Westbury branch of the National union of Agricultural Workers. He is employed at Manor Farm, Stockton.

Because her motor scooter was being repaired, Annabelle was driving John’s car towards his home on Thursday 7 October 1965. The time was 11.32 pm, as they neared the skew railway bridge just short of Heytesbury. This is an accident prone part of the highway to Salisbury from Warminster. So they approached the bridge carefully, heeding the double white lines. Then, rounding the left-hand curve, they experienced the first shock of that night. Annabelle swerved the car violently to its offside to avoid a figure sprawling over the highway on top of the bridge. It was slumped on the nearside paving, with part of the anatomy, legs and feet protruding well into the road. "If I had been travelling at speed, I would definitely have run over his feet at least," she said, "It gave us both a fright at that late hour. I thought it was a tramp, but John said it was more probably a drunken soldier. He thought that he caught a glimpse of a rifle lying by the man's side on the pavement by the parapet."

Mr. Plowman was not sure whether they had entirely missed the reclining form. It seemed to him there was a distinct jolt as they pulled the car out to the right. At his insistence, Annabelle halted the car a few yards further along. John ran back to the bridge, very worried that the man was injured by the impact. Yet no trace of the figure was to be seen - nor any tell-tale bloodstains marking any injury. The person had vanished. Mr. Plowman searched under the bridge, the side of a nearby hill on one side, fields on the other, and combed the railway embankment thoroughly, before returning to the parked car.

Mrs. Plowman said later of their experience: "We knew that the Army do quite a lot of manoeuvres around this area, so we dismissed it as troops on exercise." Said Mr. Plowman, "How did the man manage to disappear so suddenly? He was nowhere near that bridge when I ran back and that was barely seconds after Anna stopped the car. My search lasted for about twelve minutes."

Further shocks were coming. At about 12.25 am Annabelle was returning along the same route, bound for her own home after dropping her fiance at his home. As she was nearing the same bridge again, she saw on the far side a bright orange glow, close by the railway embankment. This was almost opposite the turning off to the village of Norton Bavant, which was on her left as she travelled towards Warminster.

"It was a large orange ball. I had changed down a gear to take the bridge, yet the engine at full throttle was missing and conking out. For a moment as I drove over the top of the bridge, I had the impression of being pushed backwards. My full-beam headlights dimmed flickering like a candle in the wind. This caused me nearly to hit the bank, with the motor suddenly coughing and spluttering. I literally crept along the short stretch of road towards the left-hand turning to Norton Bavant. I kept my foot down hard all the way. I was almost blinded by the dazzling ball of light to my right."

"Just beyond the junction with the Bavant road, an unlit vehicle was parked. What sort it was I really do not know, apart from it having a circular shape. I could not clearly pick out any discernible features, because the light from the opposite side was so powerful. It was glaring and hurt my eyes, yet cast a haze over the highway. That may sound a paradox, but it is true."

"The object spun out into the road in front of me and my engine stopped altogether. There was no need for me to slam on my brakes, although I did so automatically. I saw red and blue sparks fly from the spinning rim of whatever it was. Then, bright crimson in colour, it flew off at a tangent to my right. From the corner of my eye I noticed it blaze a trail in the sky. I do not know whether it disappeared or hovered after that, because I had to watch the road in front. Luckily I did so, as then something even more terrifying happened. Straight in front of me there appeared two people."

"They were right in the middle of the road, one more on my side than the other. I almost bowled them over, having to swerve to the edge of the road on my offside to avoid them. I probably brushed against the sleeve or trousers of one, they were so close. To begin with, I thought they might be soldiers on a night scheme. They wore dark woollen balaclavas on their heads. These clung tight and showed only a small portion of their faces. I could see only their noses in fact, and the merest suspicion of eyes, wide-spaced and deep-sunk. They were not wearing Army uniforms. Their clothes were of darkish material, either black or deep grey, and skin tight. From the thighs down the material glistened as though wet, very much like skin-divers or frogmen."

Later Annabelle composed her thoughts and tried to assess the situation. She reckoned the men came from the unlit vehicle parked on the left of the highway, as the luminous craft had taken off. "But at the time I only thought of escape. By that stage - after the orange ball turned red and flew off - the engine worked beautifully again. I passed the strange men in dark clothing and tore over the brow of a small hill. I had my foot down at full pressure and I made for home as quickly as possible. Events like that night I would sooner forget. It was horrible."

Mrs. Plowman did not report the matter to the Police as she felt that she would have looked an absolute idiot if there had been an ordinary explanation for it.

Mrs. Downey, 7 October 1965:
Mr Downey was out walking on 7 October 1965 with his labrador pup enjoying the sunny afternoon, when he decided to use his Coronet 35mm camera to take a picture of the Corsley Village Church. Anxious to include the two peaks of Cley Hill in his picture, he hesitated for a while and the took the shot. The camera has a fixed setting and speed. But it was not until he took the film to be developed on the following Monday, that he noticed the silver-white object in the sky. Only when the film together with the negatives reached him the following week, did he have the shock of seeing the Thing in all its glory on his photograph. "There was not a single cloud in the sky that afternoon," he claimed, "I simply had no idea that the Thing was practically sitting on top of Cley Hill. I think it is some experimental device of ours and nothing to do with spacecraft."

P.C. Eric Pinnock, 30 November 1965:
Police Constable Eric Pinnock was on town patrol in the Bishopstrow area on 30 November 1965. He was startled by "a bright silver ball twice the size of the moon" hurtling through the sky to vanish over Sutton Common. P. C. Pinnock said that when he was confronted with this "giant plate of light" in the sky, "It lit up the whole horizon with an unearthly glare." He saw it only briefly. It was huge and obviously flying low, and it seemed to be spinning in flight. There was no noise from the object.

Ian Hann, 8 December 1965:
Commercial traveller Ian Hann on the night of December 8 1965 was ten miles from Warminster, on the Bath Road, when he was overtaken by something that reminded him of a large built-in Land Rover with a modern solid roof. It passed him at a speed well over 60 mph and had no lights. He noticed that it had no windows at the side or rear. When he switched on his spotlights, after it flashed by, he saw there were no rearlights, no red reflectors, nor a number plate. Neither did it appear to have any wheels - yet there were two green lights winking on the roof. Mr. Hann was rather annoyed at being overtaken by an unlighted vehicle and he gave chase for a distance of about two miles. Suddenly there came a high-pitched whine of deafening impact and shrillness.

"It was so sharp and piercing that I had to put my fingers in my ears and steer with my elbows," said Ian, "It sounds crazy, but it is true. Then it stopped - and it quickly became enveloped in yellow smoke. Next moment it had disappeared from sight, smoke and all. I halted as soon as I could and rushed to the spot, but there was nothing. I looked in the fields on either side of the roadway. It had been swallowed up without trace in the darkness. I got back into my car and began to shake, as I was extremely frightened. I am quite certain I did not dream it; it was too real. The worst feature was that awful whining in the air."

Roger Rump, 1965:
Roger Rump was travelling back to Hillwood in 1965 to deliver some chicken food he had collected in Warminster for a friend, when he saw an orange glow in the sky. It was stationary for a while, then flew off in the Mere direction. It made no sound. A friend in the services, based on Salisbury Plain, assured Roger that it could not have been a helicopter, as such aircraft are not permitted to fly low and hover over a town, as did this object. "I was so fascinated by the object, that I followed it out as far as Mere in my car," said Roger. "I may be mistaken, but by then I thought it was making a certain amount of noise. Soon after this, it faded into the distance."

Boreham Field, 17 January 1966:
On 17 January, 1966 a 'chain of white lights went over Boreham Field estate, popping noises blowing some out.' Two schoolgirls and a scout spotted them at 8.55 p.m. Those which did not vanish changed direction several times.

School of Infantry, 20 March 1966:
"At 2.12 p.m. on 20 March several people at the School Of Infantry saw a metallic object heading southwards. Two other craft were whiter in colour and did not seem to reflect the sun’s rays as much as did the first. They followed it almost at once. One was given the nickname of "Flying Beetle" as it had four pincer-like legs jutting out. All three plunged into a large white cloud between Crockerton and Sutton Veny and did not emerge, instead disappearing inside the cloud."

Mr. Strong, 28 March 1966:
On 28 March 1966 Mr Strong noted that two "yellow autumn leaves" dropped in a wayward manner from the burning heart of a craft in the sky overhead. It was in the Wylye direction, to the south-east. This is well to the south and remote from the military area of the plain.

Bob Strong and Sybil Champion, 29 March 1966:
At 11.10 p.m. on 29 March 1966, Bob Strong and Sybil Champion were returning from Lords Hill. At Crockerton they saw a blood-red object fly across Shearwater Lake before ascending and departing northward.

Mr. and Mrs. Clements, 29 March 1966:
Mr. and Mrs. C. W. Clements from the Midlands, had passed the lake at 9.52 p.m. the same day. They and their grandson Richard, saw a crimson ball swoop down and fall straight into the centre of the lake; it did not reappear.

Arthur Shuttlewood, 31 March 1966:
Arthur Shuttlewood and two companions took a three inch telescope along when they went on a skywatching trip on 31 March 1966. They observed through this telescope an object that appeared to the naked eye to be a bright star, low on the northern horizon which, through the telescope, was seen to be an elongated cigar of light, with segments of light on the underside that glittered. A hull outline, much blacker and denser than the night sky behind, could be made out. The dome on top of the cigar was giving out dazzling green and crimson light in alternating beams. Mr Strong discerned that a smaller object then appeared in the sky and after being observed for five minutes, flew straight into this cigar from a seven o’clock position and did not reappear.

Charles Hudd, 1 April 1966:
On 1 April 1966 Charles Hudd reported for duty at Central Car Park, Warminster. Four other men were at this vantage point and observed a huge silvery cigar sail over the downs from west to east. It was high up and made no sound. Just before it reached Copheap it started to stretch into a long poker of hot fire. A crimson glow flooded its entire length and it burst and split in the centre with a glaring flash of light at the breaking point. There was no sound of any explosion which all present expected. After the silent detonation six small blobs of red fell from the gap between the two halves of the object and spun downwards. They twirled for a fraction of time; then they steadied and stopped, changed colour from red to silver and raced away towards the north, behind Copheap and out of sight.

Skew Bridge, 4 April 1966:
On 4 April 1966 a senior officer of the Bank of England was motoring through Warminster from Salisbury to Bath. Reaching the Skew Bridge over the railway near Heytesbury, he sighted a cigar shaped object gliding overhead, six orange balls trailing in its wake. The larger craft, having unloaded its passengers, moved southwards, but the tiny balls, with a sudden shift in colour from orange to whitish silver, sped away in all directions. Three seemed to head for Cradle Hill. After coming off of a night’s military exercise Lieutenants Ashwood and Davies were leaving the officers’ mess when they observed an object flying overhead at a terrific speed. It appeared round in shape and "somewhat similar to a spinning-top". It made no noise and was moving from east to west, having navigated Cradle Hill in its flight. The two officers watched it for between ten and fifteen seconds before it altered course, rose high and vanished from sight, leaving a bright trail behind.

Susan Everett, April 1966:
Miss Susan Everett described lights she saw near Battlesbury in April 1966. "A chain of whitish puff-balls, with spluttering noises as they went out of sight." This again was an evening sighting, with a crackling of electrical quality as the objects passed overhead.

Mrs. Patricia Trimarto, 20 April 1966:
On 20 April 1966 a bullet-shaped object, very bright and showing three lighted windows was seen over nearby Westbury by Mrs. Patricia Trimarto. It moved across the sky just before midnight and this witness had a distinct impression of being able to see into the object - that might be due to her very keen eyesight. It was soundless in flight.

Dawn Flanigan, May 1966:
Dawn Flanigan is a keen equestrian and often goes riding over Salisbury Plain. She and a friend had several peculiar visual experiences in May 1966.
"While riding over Salisbury Plain," she says, "In the general direction of Imber village, we saw to our left - about five miles away, I would estimate, to the north - a long object, silvery and metallic, that remained stationary over a wood."
"Frankly, we paid little attention to it at first, as we are accustomed to seeing strange sights over the Plain. The Army and Air Force are often on manoeuvres in that area, although we keep out of their way when riding. The afternoon was warm and sunny and the object glittered ever so brightly. The glint caught our eyes and we stopped to have a good look then. It was a briefly flashing pencil of silver in the sun. The next day, about mid-afternoon, we saw a similar thing. But this time it was slowly moving over the tops of some trees. Again we stopped and watched. We expected it to twist and turn, or perform some aerobatics, as we now assumed it to be a glider. But it simply vanished from view completely, only to reappear a few seconds later at the far end of the wood. Then it sank slowly down behind it and out of sight."

"The belt of trees just seemed to swallow it up. We now realised it was not a glider or anything like that, because it had an elongated shape, was without wings, and shone much too brightly in the sun. Mr girl friend and I changed direction and padded our mounts towards the wood as fast as the rough terrain would allow."

"On arrival there, we could find nothing to link with the strange air machine. Nonetheless, the horses were most reluctant to enter the wood - and quite impatient to leave, we noticed. They grew ever so restive and began snorting, tossing their heads."

"All in the small space of time between the beginning and end of May, we saw this sort of thing happen on several occasions. In fact we investigated another three times. In each case we found nothing on the ground. There was one particular occasion, the last, I shall never forget."

"That was when our horses became so frightened that they reared up and bolted across the Plain for home. Needless to say, we did the same, rather than be stranded out there in the wild," she admitted, reflecting that there were certain copses in the area that horses will not enter. "It is as though they possess a sixth sense, warning that danger lurks in the undergrowth there."

Margaret C. Logan, 31 July 1971:
"At about 12.45 a.m. a golden-amber coloured object appeared to come out of the ground in the direction of Stonehenge. It glided smoothly from the Stonehenge direction, pulsating slightly as it began its journey. The object drifted over the farmhouse which can be seen from the barn, and which was indicated by the presence of a light. The object then began to flash from gold to red, gold, red and then back to gold. By this time the object had reached the dip which is apparent before the skyline follows the rise of Starr Hill. Here the object rose, keeping the same level above the horizon, by following the contour of the hill. When it passed over the tumulus, which is at the highest point of Starr Hill, it appeared to rise slightly in a vertical manner. It then travelled a short distance farther, still following the contour of the hill, and quickly faded out."

Sally Pike, 31 July 1971:
"My husband and I were with a group of 16 people on Starr Hill, near Warminster; during the five hours we were sky-watching, we observed five UFOs, two of which were exceptionally interesting sightings. The craft rose from behind some hills in Stonehenge direction, and proceeded to travel quite low, across the sky from east to west. Its flights was erratic, as it kept stopping and starting, as though observing something. As it started to turn in its flight path the yellow light changed to dull red and began to pulse on and off in rhythmic flashes. This continued for some minutes, then the light returned to its original yellow glow. The object was in sight for, perhaps, ten minutes, then faded out. About thirty minutes later a further craft appeared from the same spot and repeated the journey, this time minus the pulsing red light. When seen through binoculars it seemed a domed shape with the light on top, though one could not be 100% sure, because of the distance. I believe I definitely saw something not of this planet."

F. Pullen, 25 August 1971:
"We were standing at the barrier hut when an Australian named ‘Mitzie’ noticed a red and white flashing light just above the horizon in the north east. We watched it for five minutes when we were joined by two people from London and a young man called Cleeve from the BUFORA (British Unidentified Flying Object Research Association) caravan. We pointed the object out to the new arrivals and, still keeping it under observation, proceeded to the Army "Zeroing Point 1A". We then watched it for a further 10 minutes until it blacked out."

Cleeve Stevens, 26 August 1971:
"At about 12 a pulsating object was spotted by myself and a number of witnesses. At times it appeared triangular and other times just a white glow. Later it (or a similar object) appeared in the opposite direction, but it slowly faded behind the hill. It then reappeared again where it was before, at one point we walked nearer to where it was last seen, when it appeared yet again. When it had blacked out we began to edge back towards the V. P. 5 barrier where I saw it (the UFO) again to my right. It was still there when we left the barrier, but not so bright."

R. P. Mason, 25 July 1972:
"We started to observe from Cradle Hill at about 10.00 p.m. and a formation of UFOs came to our attention at about 10.15 p.m. They appeared above Long Wood, were amber in colour and appeared occasionally as one, sometimes two and sometimes in a formation of three. The lights disappeared sometimes and then reappeared in the same place. One of the lights during a three light sighting veered to the right, curving down slightly."

Mrs H ____, undated:
Having had dinner with her son, Mrs. H____ had returned to her home in West Parade and was just retiring to bed, as it was fairly late. Then her rooftop was suddenly besieged by a deluge of vibrations. Mrs. H____ sat on her bed, heart pounding, until the soundwaves swished into silence. Having been previously disbelieving of "the thing", she was now quite convinced that it existed.

Mrs G____, undated:
"We were travelling by car," said Mrs. G____, "From Wells to Southampton via Warminster and Stonehenge. We pulled off the road just outside Warminster, near Heytesbury for a picnic. We went down an unmade track, probably a hundred yards from the road. At the side of the lane was the abandoned wreck of a car. From this vehicle, and all the fencing posts in the immediate vicinity, emanated a rhythmic thumping, as if from an underground pump of a low reciprocating type. This sensation could mainly be felt by touching the old car and adjacent fence posts, but it was clearly audible from a distance of several yards. There was no building or works to account for the presence of an underground pump in the area. It was the desolate nature of the countryside which caused us to wonder about this odd effect and comment on it."

Kathleen Penton, undated:
"I was opening an upstairs window at my home in Warminster," said Kathleen Penton, "When I saw this shining Thing going along sideways in the sky from left to right. It glided over quite slowly in front of the downs. Porthole windows ran along the whole length of it. To my eye, it was the size of the whole bedroom wall - enormous. The windows were lit up, the colour of yellow flames in a coal fire. It was very much like a train carriage, only with rounded ends to it. And it did not travel lengthways, but was gently gliding sideways. My husband and daughter thought I had dreamed it all." (This report was confirmed by six other persons; and preceded reports of flying air trains at Weston Super Mare and elsewhere.)

Mr. Whatley, undated:
The rays of the setting sun were slanting over the peaks of Cley Hill when Mr. Whatley drove along the main road from Corsley to Warminster, his empty truck bouncing up a hill leading to the main Longleat Park gates. The sky was a deep orange-pink. As Mr. Whatley glanced towards Cley Hill, he noticed an object reflected in the light of the sunset. It seemed to be clinging to a side of the near peak of the hill, spinning and tilting slightly from side to side. Mr. Whatley had seen Mr. Faulkner’s ‘flying saucer’ photo and was able to confirm that the object he saw was very similar. He quickly accelerated and left the object still hovering in the distance.

We will have more about the Warminster Thing exhibition in our next blog, which we will post tomorrow.