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BUFORA British UFO Research Association
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The British UFO Research Association
Investigations & Research since 1962
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Robert Moore - Biography

Robert Moore began active engagement in ufology in the early 1980's and has followed the twists and turns of the subject since then, sometimes as an active participant, other times like a Forest Gump type observer. He was among one of the first wave of BUFORA Accredited Investigators and signatory to the Code of Practice.  He left Ufology in 1999, studying archaeology and graduating with a BA degree in 2007 during that time.
He returned to the subject in 2010, diversifying into apparition research.
 
He joined ASSAP in 2012 and now serves as their Vice Chairman. He has recently written a study of the Loxley Wood Somerset Highwayman apparition (in 2021).  His other interests include archaeology, history (not the same thing!), wargaming and role-playing games (RPG) (both as
a designer and player). To date he has authored the fantasy War of the Roses era game "Cousin's War", the "weird 1970s" RPG "Thriller 70" and is working on "Futures" a generic Science fiction RPG.   He currently works as an administrative assistant in the worker accommodation industry.
 
 

Recent US Government UFO study initiatives; an overview

Robert Moore
In 1969 the United States government believed it had finally demystified the UFO controversy, following the negative conclusions of
the University of Colorado study project. This was instigated in 1966 when a wave of sightings in Dexter, Michigan generated
congressional interest among various senators most notably future president Gerald Ford. The USAF had, since 1952, been running a UFO
study effort called Project Blue Book but by the late 1960s it was widely viewed as institutionally negative and at administrative low ebb
(having less than half a dozen permanent members of staff).

When the findings of the University of Colorado study were published in 1969, the project director, Dr. Edward Condon (ironically chosen for
his reputation of being unafraid to confront officialdom) rejected the reality of UFOs, prefacing the printed version with a negative assessment
of the subject. However, it didn’t escape the notice of various commentators that a quarter of the sightings assessed by the project were
deemed “unexplained”. Additionally, certain staff members left the project, unhappy at Condon’s negative approach
 
Nonetheless, while flawed as a debunking exercise, its conclusions were deemed sufficiently sound to justify the termination of Project
Blue Book in 1969.  Thereafter, the US government resisted any further initiatives to instigate another official UFO study efforts. When
Jimmy Carter (who observed what he interpreted to be a “UFO” in 1969) was elected president in 1976 he asked NASA to establish a
study project on UFOs - which the agency quickly rebuffed. Additional attempts, often involving prominent members of the American
UFO community equally failed.  Nonetheless, Col. John Alexander founded the Advanced Theoretical Physics Project in 1985, a semi-official
group where UFOs, parapsychology and the consequences of exotic physics were discussed. They were careful not to generate paperwork
that could be uncovered by Freedom of Information requests.  It seems no significant conclusions regarding the subject were made, other
than there was no official UFO “cover up” policy or any secret continuality study. This effort is a little tainted regarding its connection to
Major General Albert Stubblebine (infamous for his unsuccessful attempts to pass through walls) and indirectly to Jim Channon and his attempts
to found a hippy army unit with Jedi-like powers (the “1st Earth Battalion”). Indeed, if there were any breakthroughs in regard to UFOs and
its relationship to US officialdom it came through the passing of Freedom of Information Act legislation which released a torrent of
information of post 1960’s UFO events, although most of this documentation was often heavily redacted.
 
Time passed but the UFO issue failed to go away, especially in the United States... MUFON (Mutual UFO Network) became the default
agency dealing with UFO incidents in America, although not always without controversy... And there the status quo rested. A notable event
at Stephensville, Texas in January 2008 caused notable interest but in its wake left everything as it was. While MUFON concluded the event
was inexplicable, the USAF claimed the sightings were instigated by an exercise involving a mass formation of fighter jets
 
But before that, in 2004 (unknown to even most informed people at the time) an event occurred that would be a notable catalyst for change.
On the 14th November 2004, off the coast of San Diego, a training flight of F18 jets associated with the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz were asked
to investigate aerial anomalies in their vicinity, most notably one described as resembling a “tic tac”. This was subsequently filmed by
an additional aircraft vectored in to investigate this manifestation.
 
In December 2017 details of two “UFO” videos - informally known as Gimbal and FILR – were discussed by the New York Times
and subsequently posted online. A similar video - termed Gofast - was leaked a short time later and promoted by The Washington Post. Notably,
the FILR video capture was reputedly related to the 2004 USS Nimitz event, while the other two were filmed between 2014-2015 in
other locations. All seemed to have been taken from a fighter jet cockpit, the display annotated with various technical read-outs that
seemingly demonstrated their anomalous nature.
 
It subsequently transpired these videos had been in the archives of a project called AATIP (Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification
Program). This little-publicised - but unclassified - study initiative had been commenced in 2007 and had received $22 million of
government funding over a period of five years. It had been initiated through the intervention of Democrat senator Harry Reid in
conjunction with aerospace contractor Robert Bigelow. The later is known to have an interest in UFOs and has lobbied for the
recommencement of official UFO studies for several decades. Around 2009-10 he sponsored a UFO study initiative in conjunction with
MUFON, focusing on detailed data recovery in regards to potentially significant events; some confusion exists as to the findings of this study.
As with the so-called MUFON STAR TEAM project AATIP focused on data potentially of use in the development of better aerospace
technology (including offensive technology).
 
The head of ATTIP was an individual with a colourful and contested past called Luis Elizondo, who resigned from the project in 2017 in
protest over undue secrecy in relation to (and affecting) this study effort. It is widely believed (and claimed by Elizondo himself) that he
leaked the Gimbal,FILR and Gofast videos to the US media as a response to his misgivings. While ATTIP was officially terminated 2012
it is suspected other initiatives continued its work. At least one assessment was published by AATIPP, including one (it is said) in excess of
400 pages, but has never been publically released. Since that time Elizondo has been involved in various public UFO initiatives (most notably
To the Stars Academy) and has assisted with various US UFO documentaries for the History Channel and other broadcasters.
 
Shortly after the videos were released (in December 2017) the existence of AATIP was formally acknowledged by the Department of Defence
and that the now famous three videos were authentic
 
A hint of what ATTIP may have concluded is possibly reflected in various interviews made by Elizondo relating to what he terms the “5
notable “Observables and Physics of the Phenomenon”, these being:
 
1: Anti-gravity lift (flight without wings and with little resistance from gravity/atmospherics).
 
2: Sudden and instantaneous acceleration (a noted attribute of UFOs since 1947).
 
3: Hypersonic velocities without signatures (reported high speed manoeuvres by UFOs generating no sonic boom).
 
4:  Low observability (i.e. “cloaking”)
 
5:  “Trans-medium travel” (i.e. the ability to seemingly easily traverse between environmental mediums such as the atmosphere, bodies of
water - and possibly space).
 
The use of the term “UAP” (unidentified Atmosphere Phenomena) instead of “UFO” in this and subsequent US government study efforts
is notable. It has been suggested this is due to the term “UFO” being equated with “alien spacecraft” in popular culture, while “UAP” is
more neutral; the former definition rendering project funding more difficult. Equally, the “new” term has been  adopted to frustrate Freedom
of Information Act requests. It is also likely preferred as it’s a more neutral term; “UFO” implies the phenomena observed is both “flying” and
an “object”, while “UAP” merely implies it’s merely a manifestation visible in sky. In all likelihood it is a combination of all three. The term
was also used by the 1997 British Condign study (enacted on behalf of DI 55 (tech)) and has over the past decade seems to be popular
amongst those conducting any official study, whatever the underlying motivation. The Condign report’s author, Ron Haddow, It is likely to
have acquired the term from the British UFO researcher Jenny Randles, who used it to define a type of “UFO” likely to be explained as a
natural atmospheric plasma-type effect. It was seemingly created  sometime during the mid-to-late 1970’s - the earliest printed use the
author can find is in Randles and Warrington’s  UFOs a British Viewpoint, published in 1979. Haddow referenced several notable
concepts discussed by British UFO researchers during the 1990’s in his report and this represents his most socially significant “borrowing”.
 
On June 24 2020, as a consequence of these developments, the US Intelligence Committee made it an official requirement for
selected government bodies to monitor and assess UAP events. Following this, on June 25 2021, the Office for the Director of
National Intelligence publically released a preliminary assessment of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena, now widely known as the Pentagon
UFO Report. Various Government agencies contributed to this assessment (including the US Army, Navy and Air Force along with the FBI,
FAAM NOAA the NIC etc). Their main conclusion was that “limited data leaves most UAP events unexplained". This comparable to the British
Air Ministry’s oft cited stance on the issue. But while the MoD believed that, with further data input, most (if not all) reports are likely
explicable in prosaic terms, the Pentagon report adopted a different, more broad-minded interpretation. While it concluded these events could
be instigated by objects such as drones from rival foreign powers it considered this unlikely.  It also alluded to a number of reports within
the study dataset it considered difficult to explain in rational terms; exhibiting to some degree the various 5 notable “Observables and Physics
of the Phenomenon” cited by Elizondo. It is notable that, while three notable events contributed to this new wave of governmental
concern (including the Nimitz event), the study assessed a further 141 accounts, of these, only 1 could be given a rational solution.
 
It stated this overview was merely an overview and gave recommendations and objectives for future study. On its release there was
controversy as to its actual composition with anything from 2 to 300 or more pages reputedly classified and not released to the public. 
Shortly afterwards a new official UAP study project -  the Airborne Object Identification and Management Synchronization Group – was
launched to continue the work initiated by the Pentagon UFO Study. On July 20th 2022 a new directive was released by the Deputy Secretary
of Defence renamed and expanded this initiative, rebranded as the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO). Additional to this, on
June 22 2022 NASA announced the launch of their own UFO study initiate, unrelated to any of the UAP projects; its aim being to use the
various tools available to modern science to shed more light on the UAP issue.
 
So, what is to be made of this? It is clear, despite the wishes of some in the US Government back in the 1960’s, the UFO issue has not
gone away. The topic has continued to linger in the public consciousness for decades, both in America and globally. It appears the
US government’s renewed interest was instigated by a number of apparently inexplicable events involving service personnel (most notably
the USS Nimitz incident) which have galvanised efforts for a renewed assessment of the UFO issue. The influence of influential lobbyists such
as Robert Bigelow has also been a factor. The DoD and NASA are both relatively new initiatives but do appear to be relatively impartial. The
final conclusions of these studies thus could go either way and will doubtless be influenced by the quality (or otherwise) of the case studies
they encounter.  One hopes that they will be unswayed by ideological actors on either side of the “UFO debate” and provide some
definitive answers. But also that it will not obsess over exotic technological solutions and take into account both psycho-social factors and
the long history of encounters with “the other”.

Sources (accessed 24/07/22):

Condon E  U (et.al.)  Scientific Study of Unidentified Flying Objects (Condon Report) Bantam 1969
Randles J and Warrington P  UFOs a British Viewpoint   Robert Hale 1979.
Hynek, J A.  The Hynek UFO Report Sphere 1981
Alexander, J  UFOS: Myths, Conspiracies, and Realities St. Martin's Press;  2012
Ronson, J.  The Men Who Stare at Goats. New York: Simon & Schuster. 2004
https://military-history.fandom.com/wiki/USS_Nimitz_UFO_incident
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentagon_UFO_videos
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/pentagon-ufo-navy-warship-video-b1830418.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Aerospace_Threat_Identification_Program
https://www.history.com/news/ufo-sightings-speed-appearance-movement
https://www.dni.gov/files/ODNI/documents/assessments/Prelimary-Assessment-UAP-20210625.pdf
https://www.defense.gov/News/Releases/Release/Article/3100053/dod-announces-the-establishment-of-the-all-domain-anomaly-resolution-office/
https://www.defense.gov/News/Releases/Release/Article/2853121/dod-announces-the-establishment-of-the-airborne-object-identification-and-manag/
https://www.nasa.gov/feature/nasa-to-set-up-independent-study-on-unidentified-aerial-phenomena/
 
 
 
 
May 2022
UNDERSTANDING THE UFO NARRATIVE IN 2022
 
Welcome to BUFORA and a general look back at 2021, as we navigate our lives during these troubling times from the pandemic to the lifting of all restrictions this year, followed by the distressing conflict in Ukraine.
 

2021 was an interesting year for BUFORA, the total number of sightings decreased again last year.  During 2020, annual sightings were 583 and 2019 produced over 1000 sightings. One of the main reasons for the huge number of sightings during 2019 were the launches of the Starlink Satellites, which, unsurprisingly produced huge numbers of reports to BUFORA, as huge numbers of these satellites moved across the sky.  As the public became aware of the Starlink Satellites, numbers of sighting reports decreased during 2020 with recorded sightings almost halved from 2019.

 

Now, returning to 2021, sightings tumbled again during this year.  BUFORA received 259 sightings and I have itemised the categories as below:

General Sightings ....................................................               100

Sightings with Photographs/Video Footage ............               103

Historical Sightings .................................................               37

High Strangeness ....................................................               19
 
It is interesting that there were 19 reports of high strangeness experiences, as this figure means that over 7% of reports to BUFORA last year were those reports that witnesses felt were incidents that were more curious than an unexplained light or object in the sky.

However, some of these reports were requests for hypnosis in order for the witness to understand the reality of what had occurred.  BUFORA has held a moratorium on the use of hypnosis to elicit an objective understanding of these perceived high strangeness experiences, since 1982 and this has become a critical directive within the BUFORA Code of Practice.  Therefore, BUFORA always advises extreme caution towards those requesting regression hypnosis as an investigative method to discover the reality of a strange experience. However, we are always happy to email or talk with witnesses, who feel they wish to pursue this avenue of investigation, to explain the very significant reasons why hypnosis should not be used in these circumstances and how it can create a false narrative and understanding of these experiences.  Also, why it can also be dangerous in a percentage of cases.

An extract from the British Journal of Psychiatry about autobiographical memory states the following:

Memory is known to be fallible, altered by the passage of time and subject to error and distortion.  Two interacting components, personal memories and autobiographical facts, are described.  Individual autobiographical memory is unreliable; people will sometimes have startlingly accurate memories of some events yet be unable to remember considerable parts of their past experiences.  Newly acquired facts may alter personal memories through reorganisation, reappraisal and revision.  Autobiographical memory develops over the preschool years and becomes more detailed with age. It becomes enriched through social construction and through active reinterpretation of experiences while remembering.  However, confidence in one’s memory does not correlate with the accuracy of the memory, nor does the detail involved in the memory or its emotional strength give any indication of its accuracy.
 
It is becoming more apparent that we need to understand the functions of memory and memory retrieval with more clarity in order to realise the fallibility of hypnosis and accurate memory retrieval, specifically in relation to close encounter experiences or perceived ‘abduction events’.
 
Below is a link to an article on hypnosis on the BUFORA website addressing the many problems concerned with this issue, including the ‘abduction’ debates and an in depth look at memory and beliefs and how these can all come together to play a role in how people perceive puzzling, extraordinary human experiences.  In addition, we look at how these experiences then go on to be reported to a UFO organisation, often based on beliefs and imagery downloaded into our consciousness from the huge number of UFO motifs and information ‘thrown’ at us from the media and thousands of blogs, articles and internet sites.
 
 
If the above link doesn't work, copy & paste it into your browser.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Investigators’ Training Course (ITC):

In addition to sighting reports, other BUFORA enquiries have been very busy with 100 plus enquiries for the Investigators’ Training Course (ITC) during 2021, which has been extremely busy for the last few years. Potential candidates come from very diverse backgrounds, all sharing an interest in the subject of unidentified aerial phenomena, which we refer to as unidentified flying objects. 

On behalf of the BUFORA National Investigations Committee (NIC), I would like to offer many congratulations to four candidates, who have completed and passed the ITC recently.  They have excelled in their commitment and progress during the course and we welcome Ash Ellis, Jane Towers, Dylan Edgar and Will Thurbin to the BUFORA NIC and look forward to working with you all!
 
There are two examination papers expected and several more candidates currently enrolled on the ITC   
 
Enrolment for the month of May promises to be very busy, as further enquiries continue to come in.  As a voluntary organisation, BUFORA must limit numbers on each of the enrolment dates in order for our voluntary tutors to give their time and commitment for tutoring each person enrolled on to the course, which can take a minimum of ten months to complete.

To enrol on to the course each potential candidate contacts BUFORA initially to have an informal chat about their interest in the UFO subject, and their reasons for wishing to enrol on to the course.  This conversation is followed by more detailed information about the ITC and the diverse landscape of the UFO field of study.  This comes together to give more clarity, awareness and understanding about the reality of the UFO narrative, rather than the way it is presented via the media, publications, blogs, websites and television documentaries.  Starting with a ‘blank page’ can be both revealing and rewarding, when enrolling on to the course, and presents candidates with a different ‘lens’ and understanding with which they can address the many questions which surround the subject. 

The next step is the reading preparation prior to enrolling, which gives candidates a fundamental grounding of how modern-day Ufology is considered and constructed, based on our interpretations of the witnesses’ sighting reports, photographs, video footage and reported high strangeness experiences.

We also require all candidates to read and sign the BUFORA Code of Practice prior to enrolment and to complete an Investigator’s Questionnaire, which remains confidential. 

After this, the real work begins, and the course does require commitment and dedication as candidates come to realise that the substance of the course looks at the huge number of objects and lights that can be observed and misidentified in the sky.  This, together with the critical human component, can influence how we perceive and interpret sightings, based on our memory, beliefs and perception.  These factors, together with angles of viewing, particularly at night, can have a major impact on inaccuracies in our reports.
 

National Investigations Committee Meeting:

The BUFORA National Investigations Committee (NIC) are hoping to have a meeting later this year around October to welcome new investigators and those candidates who are currently on the ITC.  This will give us all a chance to meet and have some real time social contact with lunch and some brief talks about investigation, research, photographs and the media.

Plans for this are in initial stages at the moment, and we will let you know all the details nearer the time, and hope to choose a venue that will be close to a main transport hub to accommodate everyone and make it a little easier for us all travelling to a central location.

There will be more information on this in the summer.
 

Behind the Scenes at BUFORA:

In addition to sightings, photographs, video footage and high strangeness reports together with tutoring the BUFORA Investigators’ Training Course, there is much work going on behind the scenes carried out by my BUFORA colleagues.

BUFORA receive many general enquiries every month covering questions about local groups, college and university students who may be considering a thesis on the UFO subject.  There are also writers wanting information for their books, magazines and articles who contact the organisation, in addition to many requests from the Media and Press for help with information about specific areas of the subject.  This includes television production companies making documentaries for selling to various television networks.  Sometimes private individuals contact BUFORA when searching for information about historical UFO cases, which they, or someone in the family, observed years and years ago, sometimes 50-60 years!

We at BUFORA do all that we can to assist in any way possible.  Therefore, as a voluntary organisation we are always busy in processing many enquiries, in addition to the many sightings and photographs being reported on a regular basis.
 
 

To understand the modern-day UFO narrative and how it has evolved over the last 60 plus years, we must take the extraordinary power of the internet into consideration, as this has been a compelling force in hugely expanding our limited information in every aspect of our lives. 

The UFO subject now has thousands of websites, forums, blogs and the media, which can give it a very high profile indeed.  This creates a constant ‘background noise’ of so much information it can be overwhelming in attempting to understand all the motifs and diverse theories which surround the subject.  Critical thinking appears to be limited with all manner of extra-terrestrial and varying theories abounding and setting the pace for how the public absorb UFO information. 

Rigorous debate is in short supply in embracing a more objective approach to the subject, so that the essential groundwork can be understood as to the reality of unidentified aerial phenomena.  Numbers of sightings that remain unexplained are far rarer than promoted in the media and internet.  Sightings and photographic reports to UFO organisations need to be reported quickly, preferably within 24 hours, as this is important for a clearer memory of the sighting and all the details that are needed to give a more accurate description.  This enables the investigator to follow up the report and be able to draw together the account to give a probable or definitive explanation

Reports of more curious encounters, that are felt to be up close and personal experiences, have become more prevalent during the last few years with descriptions of contact with something perceived to be of non-human origin.  There has certainly been a higher profile in the media of accounts of extraordinary human experiences, sometimes believed to be a brush with an extra-terrestrial presence. 

There has certainly been an increase in documentation of the ‘abduction’ phenomenon in the media, UFO conferences, publications, and various articles, and websites.  This has set the tempo for a renewed fascination with the idea of the extra-terrestrial hypothesis (ETH).

What can this all mean?  There have always been ebbs and flows in ufology, as interest wanes and then renews when UFOs regain a high profile, as more sightings and high strangeness experiences are reported and some media focus their attention on the idea that extra-terrestrial visitation could be a possibility as strange tales of puzzling encounters with something unknown, missing time, lights in the sky and up close and personal experiences connected to these episodes that can cause anxiety and an intensity of feeling that something truly astonishing  has happened to a witness, and they have no idea how to account for the actual nature of what they feel occurred.

What is interesting is how the high strangeness UFO narrative has transitioned from mythology and folklore stories of encounters with fairies, to the modern day ‘‘grey aliens’ . Travel back in time a little to the 1970s, onwards and BUFORA received several reports of encounters with the ‘little people’.

To illustrate this let us look at a couple of cases, one from 1976 which took place in the village of Bournmoor near Fencehouses, County Durham.
Two women, a grandmother and granddaughter, were walking home at around 9pm.  in cool dry weather conditions, after visiting a friend's home in the village, when they noticed a strange object on an area of waste land from a mine shaft. They walked closer to the object, and saw that it was oval in shape, about five feet long and three feet high, standing on what looked like chrome or steel runners. The main part of the object was glass-like with an orange coloured section on top. The grandmother reported that when they reached the object, she saw a bus travelling down the road and at the same time, the wind and nearby traffic noise appeared to cease, and when she touched the side of the object it felt warm.

Two strange looking small beings, described as about the size of a large doll, then appeared inside the object. They had long white hair, large eyes and claw like hands. The women became frightened and hurried away, and when they moved away from the object, normal street noise resumed and the bus passed by as it had been prior to first observing the object. -The object then took off at high speed and with a humming noise

The incident lasted about ten minutes, and it was reported that the watches of the two women had both stopped as they approached the object but worked normally again afterwards.  The older witness also reported that on the following day she could not plug her vacuum cleaner into the electric socket, because force seemed to be pushing it out, and that her daughter had needed to plug it in for her.
 
Diana Logan (pseudonym) – A69 Co Durham:
 
The next very curious case occurred on 2nd January 1995 on the A69 near Brancepeth. (Photograph above)  Diana Logan , a nurse,  was driving to work very early in the morning to a busy medical ward.  It was still rather dark, and she had the lights on, as she travelled along the quiet A69 road.  Suddenly, she became aware of a small figure climbing sideways up the grass verge next to the road.  She described a ‘small leprechaun-sized man, yellow in colour with almond shaped eyes' appearing to climb the grass verge at the side of the road with a 'puppet like action'. The lady slowed her car to walking pace where she was only yards away from the figure and observed it walking sideways up the grass verge for a couple of minutes. She emphasises that this was not wildlife of any known kind and was stunned for several days by what she had seen. (See photograph showing the grass verge where Diana observed this figure).

Diana then decided to continue her journey to work, as she didn’t want to be late.  She made a call to the local police to describe what she had observed.  They were insistent that she had seen an animal of some kind.  She was adamant this was not the case! 

Both myself and a BUFORA colleague, Dave Newton, followed up this report by visiting with Diana and her family, in addition to visiting the site of her sighting, on the A69 so Diana could show us, where she had observed the figure.

I managed to validate her call to the police, which they had logged and talked with them.  Naturally some laughter and disbelief ensued, so this brought my conversation to a close!

We were unable to establish whether there were any other sightings of this figure, because of the added problem that New Year’s Day had fallen on a Sunday and 2nd January was a bank holiday, therefore many people were doubtless still enjoying the New Year’s Eve holiday and still asleep.

This case was documented with Strange Daze Magazine and BUFORA, and interestingly, I was contacted by a local bus driver in the area, who informed me that there had been several other sightings of ‘little people’ over the years in the surrounding area , which had been reported by several other people. Additionally, there was also an account from a paramedic, who observed a ‘strange small figure’ in the vicinity of the above.  Of course, these were all anecdotal narratives, but nevertheless, of possible significance.   

To conclude, I think it would be intriguing to consider briefly addressing reports of curious balls of light, which, on the surface appear to be linked to vehicle electrical failure in some cases (See BUFORA’s Vehicle Interference Reports compiled by Michael Hudson and Geoff Falla).
 
 
If the above link doesn't work, copy & paste it into your browser.
 

Other cases of these ‘balls of light’ have been reported where the witness believes there has been interaction with them creating an altered state where time seems to stand still. 

Below are some eerie reports from Cumbria during the 1990s that illustrate some witnesses’ accounts of these balls of light.
 
Strange Tales from Cumbria:
 

There are some unusual reports that reached BUFORA in the early to mid-nineteen nineties from areas in Cumbria particularly around the Alston region.

The first case involves a ball of light and vehicle interference, which took place on New Year’s Eve in a remote area called Hethersgill, near Carlisle in Cumbria

Liz, a taxi driver was driving her father’s taxi.  It was 1.30am on New Years Eve 1993 and she had dropped off some passengers at their home near Hethersgill village.  Liz turned the taxi around and was heading back towards the main road to Brampton, when the Citizens Band (CB) radio in her car became difficult to hear and she was unable to understand what her sister ‘Helena’ was saying.  The lights went out and the taxi just came to a standstill.  Liz was extremely annoyed that on the busiest night of the year her car had broken down. She got out to walk back to the house where she had dropped off her customers to ask to use their telephone, when she became aware of a brilliant ball of white light that appeared to pop up from the rear of the taxi and just hovered about six feet in the air.  It then moved to just above the roof of the taxi and hovered there.  Liz told me she was not frightened by this but fascinated and drawn to look at this ball of light.  Suddenly it shot away so fast she describes it as looking like a shooting star (meteor). It moved towards Longtown near the Scottish Border.  Amazed by all this, Liz got back in the car and tried the ignition, but the car suddenly jumped forward and the lights came back on.  She then received a shock as the CB radio boomed out to her very loudly. She had turned the volume up fully prior to the car losing power, the car was still in gear causing it to jump forward and this is when she became scared.  Her sister was shouting her name on the CB and asked where Liz had been for the last half an hour.  This came as a shock to Liz as she felt she had only been out of the car for about 5-10 minutes.    She informed her sister that she had just seen a shooting star, which had hovered over her car.  This was the only frame of reference that Liz could think of for what she had observed. The following day Helena told Liz that there had been a report of a UFO sighting on the radio that morning.  It was observed near Dumfries.

A colleague and I investigated this case as far as possible in February 1997, four years after the incident.  We talked with Liz and her sister Helena, who confirmed that she had lost all contact with Liz on that New Year’s Eve.  She also confirmed that it was half an hour before she was able to contact Liz on the CB.

The trigger that led to Liz initially contacting BUFORA was due to an unusual incident which occurred in November 1996. We visited the area where this incident occurred.  It is quite an isolated location on a long hill with several bends and surrounded by fields and farmland.  Liz’s father David, who is also a taxi driver had been ferrying passengers from the ‘Talkin Village pub to the Hallbankgate area which lies to the southeast of Hethersgill when he and two passengers had noticed a ball of light that appeared to be hovering in some trees at nearby farmhouse.

After dropping these passengers off he picked up two other passengers from the pub.  By this time it was 1.40am and driving up the hill and past the farmhouse again and on their right hand side they observed a strange figure appearing to come through the gate from the field to their right onto the road.  They describe the figure as appearing to have some kind of hat or helmet and also in front of the figure there appeared to be a ‘white sheet’ or something that appeared to be stuck to his outstretched hands.    David swerved to avoid this figure and cannot understand what he would be doing out here on a bitterly cold night at 1.40am in this remote area.  He also cannot understand why he did not stop the car and ask if he needed help. We spoke with David at length at the location where they had observed this figure.   It appears that there has been anomalous activity around this area particularly around the farmhouse with unusual light activity being reported. Unfortunately, the people who own the farmhouse and run a bed and breakfast did not wish to be interviewed as they were concerned it would affect their business, so we were not able to receive any corroboration for the claims of other unusual activity that apparently had been occurring in this area.

However, a significant footnote here that may be relevant is the location of Spadeadam close to this area.  This site is an Electronic Warfare Training Range and used to teach NATO pilots how to avoid/engage/classify potential enemy electronic threats they might come up against in time of war.  It is also a test site for British Gas, to test their pipes to see how much pressure they will take before exploding.  These tests were sometimes conducted at night and could reach 200 feet into the area causing explosions that could be seen for mile.

This whole area is interesting and in 1994 BUFORA received some curious reports from near Alston, Cumbria, detailing unusual balls of light that seemed to appear from nowhere observed by a family camping in a remote area a couple of miles from Alston.

Meanwhile in Cross Fell, Cumbria, a shepherd experienced some kind of very unusual events whilst looking for lost sheep on the summit of Cross Fell in  1988.  She tells the following story in a letter to BUFORA and talks about ramblers in the area, who have reported unusual anomalies, which causes them to feel apprehensive and uncomfortable and glad to return home after dark.

The shepherd concerned had been out with her partner searching for some sheep that had gone astray. It was winter and there was a great deal of snow.   They agreed to separate and go in different directions to search for the sheep.   She tells the following story.

The dogs and I sat on the summit rocks to eat sandwiches and have a well-earned rest when suddenly there was violent swishing rumbling sound. Looking back over the summit ridge itself towards the Dunfell Radar Beacon was a peculiar cloud or disc, which hovered for a second then disappeared down Eden Valley.  I decided to retrace my steps down off the summit and continue looking for the sheep at a lower level, when the second weird event occurred.  Not only were there my tracks and those of my two collies, but two more alongside them of a much larger size and deeper tread.  No one could possibly have made them in the short time that I turned to observe the strange cloud.  My way up was at all other times.  Also, one of my collies started to sniff at the strange tracks, her hair bristling on her back, and then she bolted down into the valley yelping.  I decided to beat a hasty retreat after her.  However, on reaching the lower slopes and safety, I bravely looked around up the slopes and saw five black clad figures approximately eight feet tall judging by the rocks they were standing by.  They stood motionless for about a minute then melted away.

At a later date and again as I walked on the aforementioned lower fell slopes in search of yet more sheep, I saw what looked to be a Halifax bomber banking badly between Cross Fell and Dun Fell.

Again it was a very calm day and it made no sound.  My first thought was ‘Oh no it’s going to crash’, but the horrible crunch sound never came, nor was there any sign of the aircraft either climbing out or gliding away down the valleys in the distance.

Further research has revealed that in August, several months after this shepherd’s experiences, two tornado jets collided in mid-air above the nearby village of Blencarn. Four airmen died. 

A further irony is that Cross Fell has witnessed at least four plane crashes.  Among them was a Halifax bomber, which went down in 1943 killing all its crew.

To conclude this article, I would like to extend my thanks to all my BUFORA colleagues Mark, Easen, Tony Eccles, John Wickham, Michael Hudson and Dave Newton for all their dedicated work, energy and time on a day-to-day basis.

I would also like to thank all our visitors to the BUFORA website with their sighting reports, enquiries, and many questions in endeavouring to gain more knowledge about the UFO subject. 

On behalf of BUFORA we would like to send each of you our very best wishes.
 
 

Gloria Heather Dixon

May 2022

 
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April 2022 - VERY SAD NEWS:

The BUFORA team sadly inform you of the very sad news that our dear friend and colleague Norman Oliver has passed away.

Norman was known by many of the past and present BUFORA team, for many years he was a very valued member and a great ambassador not only for BUFORA but for the whole UFO community, his kind contribution to us all was immense.
 
His knowledge of our subject was vast, we remember him giving presentations to the public, he was a very approachable, polite, caring and a genuinely decent kindhearted man who was always happy to share his time with everyone who was privileged to have met him.

He was a true gentleman, we wish there were a lot more people like Norman Oliver in this world, if there were, it certainly would be a much better place.

Rest in peace our dear friend Norman, you will be sadly missed.
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Dr David Clarke UFO interview - Project Condign, D155 and UFOs in the UK.

This gives readers information on the content of the interview.

Please click on the link below:

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bc2w3OSgiR8 

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February 2022:

CLARIFICATION FOR FUTURE CANDIDATES TO THE BUFORA ITC

The BUFORA Investigators’ Training Course has been very busy during the last few years, and I would just like to offer some more information about how enrolment to the ITC works, from initially emailing BUFORA to enrolling on to the course.

After a potential candidate has contacted BUFORA to express interest in the ITC, I will invite them to call me at a mutually convenient time, to talk with them about the course and their knowledge of the UFO subject. This call will usually take about 30 minutes or more depending upon questions they may have.

I will then give them the next enrolment date for the course and ask them to email me and let me know if they are interested in enrolling.

When I have received their email confirming their interest, I send further information about the course, which will include a list of credible authors, the BUFORA Code of Practice for their signature several articles for their preparation prior to enrolling on to the course, an Investigator’s questionnaire with their personal details (which will remain totally confidential) and other information that is relevant to the course

The ITC takes a minimum of 9-10 months  to complete and requires commitment and suspending various beliefs and familiarity with the subject from the internet , media and various UFO documentaries , movies and discussion from UFO forums etc.  This will give a candidate the ability to start from a ‘blank page’, which will serve them well as they progress through the course of six modules and an examination paper.

The standard marking from their BUFORA Tutor will be conducted by extensive commenting to their responses within each module. This will give them an in-depth understanding of the reality of the UFO subject and the central recurring theme of the human condition, our perceptions, our beliefs, our memories and how these all come together to try to define our interpretation of a sighting or high strangeness experience.

We have been very busy with the current influx of candidates enrolled on to the ITC in addition to numerous new enquiries coming into BUFORA for enrolment on to the course.

In view of the huge interest, I would just like to let readers know that the next ITC enrolment will not be until June/July 2022

On behalf of the BUFORA NIC, I would like to express how much myself and my colleagues are enjoying tutoring this course.

It is so true that we are all students and teachers at the same time learning much from each other.

With my best wishes to each of you.

Heather Dixon

BUFORA National Investigations Committee Tutor

January 2022

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18.08.21 THE UFO THAT NEVER WAS?: The Calvine Photographs by Dr David Clarke.

THEUFOTHATNEVERWAS.pdf
 
13.04.21 The Believer: Alien Encounters, Hard Science, and the Passion of John Mack by Ralph Blumenthal Reviewed by Neil Nixon

Book Reviews
     
05.04.21 Notification of Investigators' Training Course Increase in Cost

 
07.03.21 Tiny Humanoid Captured on Camera

 
09.02.21 BUFORA Video and Audio Recordings

BUFORA Video and Audio Recordings
 
09.02.21  BUFORA Analysis of sightings reported 2020 and looking ahead to 2021

The Future of Ufology in 2021.pdf

08.01.21  Happy New Year to our readers

NEWS
 
21.08.20 The Rendlesham Forest UFO Conspiracy by Nick Redfern reviewed by Tony Eccles

18.07.20 In Memory of Robert Rosamond 

31.05.20 Photographs and Video Footage Evaluation Delay

01.05.20

Sightings of the Space-X Starlink series updated for Jan-April 2020 see link below
 
12.02.20

BUFORA Analysis of sightings reported 2019

01.01.20

Recent sightings of the Space-X Starlink series of satellites
 
21.11.19

The Real X-Files - Archives for the Unexplained (AFU) Sweden
 
08.11.19

In Memory of Rod Howarth
17.02.19

Strange "Blue Tube" object near Blood Woof Super Moon identified


03.02.19

The Peculiar sighting of the 'Space Skull'
 

New Investigation Report "An Alien craft sending energy beams to the ground - Or what? by Mark Easen"

10.01.19

New article "Investigating Ufology 2018 by  Heather Dixon"

27.10.18
 
New Vehicle Interference Report available to purchase A4 278 pages 1188 cases
 

21.01.18

New Article "Reflecting on UFO Images by Mark Easen"

>Reflecting on UFO Images by Mark Easen

30.11.17

BUFORA make available all publications available online free of charge

 



 
If you wish to report a sighting or experience, please use our dedicated ‘report a sighting’ page on this site.
it is easy to complete and send to our team of specialists.
 
All BUFORA investigators are fully accredited and trained with witness confidentiality assured.
 
We have a dedicated team of specialists covering various kinds of specific case categories,
ranging from high strangeness categories through to photographic analysis.
 
 
 


 
About BUFORA:


BUFORA is a non-cultist and scientifically evaluative organisation since its formation in 1962 when a number of UFO
research organisations and individuals formed with an inaugural meeting at Kensington, London.

These included societies such as the British Flying Saucer Bureau and the London UFO Research organisation, early magazine producers and individual investigators.

The BUFORA Journal was produced from 1962 and under various titles, was the mainstay of contact for members until the website took over exclusively in 2005. A magazine format may return in the future.

Hundreds of cases have been published in the journal and special study booklets have been produced in over half a
century of ongoing focus on all aspects of the UFO phenomenon.

Conferences have been staged since the 1960s at regular frequencies, with our fiftieth anniversary staged in London in 2012.

BUFORA continues to be a major contributor and consultant to news, documentaries and articles over the decades, with many prominent UFO authors as part of its team throughout its history.

Since the 1970s, the association has run a specialist training course in investigations. BUFORA also formed a code of practice for investigators which continues into the present, with all reports lead by the witness in every case.

Special studies include ongoing data collection, such as the Amnamnesis project and Vehicle Interference Reports.
BUFORA adopts an open and analytical view to all cases and report categories and continues to explore the UFO phenomena with an open mind, with no belief systems or exclusive theories in its continuing investigations.
 
An excellent introduction to the UFO subject can be found on the tab:


"Guide to UFOs"

If you have any further questions, please

get in touch with the team via our contacts page.