Weird Norfolk: Close Encounters of the Third Kind in Norfolk’s skies
- Credit: Archant
Remember, remember the beginning of November…it was the month, back in 1995, when Norfolk's skies were lit up by close encounters of the third kind.
More cynical readers might put the sudden spate of UFO sightings in the Norfolk town down to early celebrations for Bonfire Night, but those who saw the strange lights or gliding objects in the sky know that earthly pyrotechnics can't explain what they witnessed. The first account of something strange in the sky was on November 2. Computer engineer Nick Colman was driving home from work when he saw a bright light tracking his car as he approached Aylsham – just hours later, a man telephoned police at Great Yarmouth, reporting a suspected UFO at Freethorpe.
Worried Nick, who was
working for a computer company on the Sweetbriar Industrial Estate and was 30 at the time, watched as the light appeared in his rear view mirror and moved round to the side of his car before shooting up into the sky in front of him.
'At first I thought it might have just been a halogen lamp but when it started moving to the side of the car, where there was no road, I knew it wasn't. It couldn't have been a helicopter because it was too low to the ground and I have never known a helicopter shoot up so fast,' he said.
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'I told about 20 people about it later that night and then I read about the sighting in Freethorpe. Someone told me if could have been a reflection in my windows but I was smoking a cigarette so my window was wound down.'
A man called Great Yarmouth police in the early hours of the next day, reporting a blue and white flashing disc over fields at Freethorpe. A police spokesman later told the Norwich Evening News that there had been no more reported sightings of the strange lights.
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But there had been another sighting, a day after Mr Colman's, this time in Appleyard Crescent in Norwich at around 8.15pm.
Painter and decorator Glenn Webster captured the extraterrestrial visitor on camera: in the video, a shape-shifting black object can be seen moving swiftly from side-to-side before spinning rapidly and zooming off into the Norfolk night.
Looking slightly like an axe-head (although the 'bites' out of the disc were later found to be caused by the camera's zoom lens shutter), the strange-looking object excited some of the country's top UFO experts.
So stunned was Mr Webster, 32, by what he saw that he tripped and fell while filming. His video clearly shows the shape first appearing in the sky over Norwich as a huge bright light zig-zagging from side to side. As Mr Webster ran outside to get a better shot of the object it zoomed off towards Yarmouth.
'I was stunned when I first saw it and reached for my camcorder. When I zoomed in on the shape I couldn't believe it. I moved forward and tripped over my hi-fi. The object made no sound and I gasped when I saw it shoot towards the moon,' he said.
'I have always been a bit sceptical about this type of thing but this was simply amazing.'
The video was watched by Ian Simmons, British contributing editor of the Fortean Times, the journal of strange phenomena, who said: 'the object doesn't behave like anything we know about. It appears to be something which could well be extra-terrestrial.
'Originally I thought it sounded like the shape the afterburner of a jet fighter makes, but after watching the video, that can be ruled out. It's too clearly
defined a shape and too large. Many other UFO sightings can be put down to views of the planet Venus, but that can also be ruled out in this case. This falls into the category of a very mysterious light, or shape. Many of the famous UFO sightings show a solid object.'
Norfolk UFO Society chairman Alex Clark said at the time: 'Based on descriptions given so far, I have never heard of an object like this before. After watching the film we could decide to hand the tape over to the British UFO Research Association which has computer technology to make accurate assessments of size, colour and heat patterns.'
A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence told the Norwich Evening News in 1995: 'The MoD does not normally investigate unless there is a Services interest. We are not aware of any evidence that this is a matter of defence concern.'
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