I found this site by accident, and it sparked a memory of something I observed 40 years ago.
The actual date is lost to me now, but I believe it was Autumn 1970, possibly October as it was dark at 7:00 p.m. when I left my parent's apartment to attend an evening institute class.
It was in a suburb of North London called Finsbury Park. I was 20 years of age and considered myself observant.
My parents apartment was at the top of a block about 50' off the ground. Their front door led out onto a balcony walkway with an unobstructed view over approximately a half mile square plot of land that had about six water filtration reservoirs surrounded by a collection of low buildings that I would guess, housed tool stores, offices and maintenance vehicles.
Apart from the residential viewpoint I was looking from, there were blocks of houses to the left and to the right of the filtration plant. A busy main road ran along the front of the plant site, about a half mile from where I was standing.
What I saw from the balcony was a cone of very bright light pointing down from above. The wide circle of light slowly and methodically searched the reservoirs and buildings in circular motions. The sky was inky black and the reservoir area was only lit by low powered security lights as the place was only worked in during daylight hours and never, as far as I can recall, at night.
At no time during this sighting could I make out any shape looking up at the apex of the light beam.
I called my father out and asked him what he thought it might be? He said: I think it's an helicopter.
I invited him to listen and he had to admit that all he could actually hear was the faint sound of the traffic on the main road, half a mile away and nothing else.
We stared at the light for another five minutes, then my father suggested that it might be a secret silent running helicopter with an astonishingly bright light that we don't know about? I suppose it was as good an explanation as we were going to get, though I rather doubted it on the grounds that if the military had perfected such a thing, then why did they insist on using extremely noisy machines in war zones, to this day? That's the thing about helicopters, the noise, you can always hear an helicopter even if you can't see it, the noise will bounce off buildings and trees which will make you look in the wrong place for it even if it's behind you.
Unlike this thing which was somewhere in front of us and poss! ibly above us, but totally silent.
I left the apartment and made my way down to the main road. On the way, I entered a gap in the houses and this time got a side view, ground level looking up at the cone, still I couldn't see anything on top of it, and it remained totally silent. Next I went to the main road and stared at the same view, this time with my parents apartment block behind the light source. No silhouette, no sound other than the traffic behind me as the beam of light continued on it's rounds of the site. I stopped a man passing by and asked him to look at the light. He didn't, he just looked at me then accused me of being a drug addict. I got on a bus to go to my class and tried to get some passengers to look out of the window, most just looked at me, and the only guy who bothered to look out said it was an helicopter.
Helicopters were not that common in the U.K. back then as they are now. Police helicopters and Air Ambulances are such a common sight these days that they seldom register. Certainly the military had them back then, but you never saw any in suburban areas.
When I witnessed this event, I was keen to tell as many people as possible. Firstly, when I tried to inform whatever authority I could find, the Police, local government, newspapers, Water Authority and the BBC, was treated with disbelief or just plainly ignored. The only thing the Police was interested in was where I had obtained the Water Board's, Water Authority, phone number from when I told them that I had already spoken to them, and they told me to contact the Police.
Over the years, I have related that story to people who I believed might make some intelligent use of it, but all I've ever got was ridicule and anger. One smart guy I thought better of, shouted:
You saw a helicopter.
And refused to talk about ever again.
People who were not there at the time and people who were not even born at the time have accused me of being on drugs, drunk, mentally unstable or just a plain old liar. Some have offered physical abuse while a few have actually hit me. The worst I suppose was having someone at a party tell the other guests that I'd seen a flying saucer with little green me in it. No. I would try to explain, what I encountered was a UFO. It was above me, so Flying. It was, I'm sure, an object, and it was and remains so, unidentified.
A couple of years before that happened, I saw what appeared to be an aircraft flying high in the night sky. The single tiny white light was constant and moved in a straight line across the sky quite slowly giving the impression of great height. Then directly above me, the light made an abrupt 70º angular turn and shot upwards and was gone in a second. The various explanations I have been offered, either cynically or violently have been:
You saw a...comet, a shooting star, a meteor, an aeroplane, a spy plane, a weather balloon, a satellite, a Chinese Lantern, the Moon and even Venus. It's little wonder I haven't mentioned these things too much over the last four decades.