Torquay Sightings

Torquay Sightings

Date: April 26 – 28 2008

Location: Torquay, Devon, England

I and my family was witness to the major sighting on April 26, and took it upon myself to visit and interview all the others following response to a newspaper report of my own sighting. I have absolutely no reason to doubt these people’s veracity or integrity and, similarly, no doubt that there was something unusual going on in the area over this weekend, backed up by similar sightings, at similar times, in England and, all over the world. I set out the sightings in what appears to have been time sequence: 26th April 2008 5.30am

The first came from an amateur photographer with some knowledge. He is closely involved with a local community issue of some sensitivity and consequently has been unwilling to publicly release his name, although I have met and spoken with him and have no reason to doubt his veracity.

He lives just outside Torquay, a coastal town in the south west of England. On the morning of April 26, he was going fishing on a friend’s boat from Brixham just up the coast from Torquay and was travelling on the ring road enroute when he stopped to take a photograph of the sunrise at a popular beauty spot with extensive views of Tor Bay.

This was at 5:30 a.m. and was taken in the direction of Torquay. Having taken the photograph, followed by another about a minute later on a different exposure, he continued on his way and went on his fishing trip, taking other photographs throughout the day. One of those photographs was of terns perched on the rail of the boat, an unusual shot, of which his friend wanted a copy. So, on his return, he downloaded the photographs onto the computer and was surprised to see, on the first sunrise shot, a bright speck of light above the tree line. The conditions apart from the sunlight on the horizon, were heavily overcast with low cloud, a situation which had prompted him to take the striking photograph in the first place.

This bright light could not therefore have been mistaken for Venus, which was not visible at that time anyway, or anything other than something below the cloud line.

Enlarged, the object appeared to have a discernible shape, almost like a squashed bell or squashed, truncated triangle, with what appeared to be a dark cross shaped object at the leading edge.

There also appeared to be a cone shaped tail as though the camera had captured it in flight.

The second sunrise photograph taken moments afterwards and at a different exposure shows no sign of the object. As an experienced photographer he discounts any sort of lens flare and the secretary of the Cornwall UFO organization whom the newspaper consulted describes the photograph as apparently showing something of interest.

Visiting the site later I was able to extrapolate from the image and the tree line that the approximate direction of the object seen would be in the St. Mary Church area, where, coincidentally or not, the major sightings took place later that day.

It would have been quite high in the sky to have been seen above the tree line and quite probably inland to have revealed the detail that the later enlargement showed. There is anecdotal evidence, from a conversation he had with a friend some days later, that later that day a bright object was seen in the sky in broad daylight en route to Newton Abbot, some 7 miles distance from Torquay and inland, which then disappeared.

April 26th, 2008 between 9:20 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. my own sighting, which drew all the other reported incidents, took place in the evening of April 26th.

No specific time was recorded when the sighting started but, extrapolating back from the second incident when we were back in the lounge at 9:30 p.m. after the UFO had passed I estimate the first incident to have been at, or around, 9:20 a.m. Our lounge window overlooks the approximate direction of the flight paths to Exeter Airport some 22 miles away.

Consequently we are well used to seeing aeroplanes, at varying heights, throughout the day. Light aircraft following those routes are extremely rare and are always at a height where their engine noise can be clearly heard. Even high flying jet engines can be heard when outside. The police and Coast Guard helicopters frequently overfly and, again, we are well used to seeing these, sometimes with spotlights operational and always with engine noise apparent except when seen from a fair distance away when the spotlight, though bright, appears minuscule.

The weather was clear and dusk was rapidly turning into full dark. My wife saw a bright light approaching from the Paignton/Brixham direction over the roofs of houses intervening. It appeared as though it was a landing light of an aircraft, flying low, although aircraft showing landing lights this far out from the airport, 22 miles away, are very rare.

It approached at a steady pace, at about the speed and height of a fairly low flying light aeroplane. Extrapolations later carried out of the estimated flight path showed it to be almost precisely on a south to north alignment. Perceived size was probably that of a ten pence piece held at arms length. The color of the light was exactly as one might perceive an aeroplane’s landing light, whitish, although I did perceive scintillations of red as it passed. The light was diffuse, with no immediately discernible outline, although I would describe it as elliptical in footprint. Whether it was refraction through my spectacles I don’t know, but I believed I could discern north/south/east/west spikes of light within the overall light in the manner of an illustrative representation of a star pattern. This lent it an almost diamond shaped perception, although I do put this down to refraction and optical illusion.

There was absolutely no engine noise and no navigation lights apparent. The object passed silently over the house, where we were observing it from the front door, and we followed it again from the rear of the house where it continued silently on its way, at its former speed, beyond a belt of trees at the top of the garden. The apparent trajectory over the trees and the angle at which it appeared to travel towards the horizon again suggested to me that it was a fairly low flying object.

Anything higher flying would have remained in vision longer over the top of the trees which are set well above the tiered garden at the back of the house.

This sighting, in the latter stages, was also observed by my son. Having been mystified by this sighting we returned back to the lounge, my son to his room. Some moments later my wife announced another, similar, light approaching. It was much the same color as the other light, although I did perceive it as redder in hue. It took almost the same path, although later observed to be slightly to the west, and appeared to be travelling at the same height and speed. Again this disappeared behind the belt of trees at much the same angle of descent, although slightly to the west of the path that the first object had taken. Again there was no engine noise and no navigation lights apparent.

This time the sighting was also observed almost throughout by my son and his girlfriend. We have no explanation for these sightings and later enquiry of Exeter Airport revealed that there were no landings scheduled for that time of night on that date. We were so taken with observing the objects that we totally overlooked the possibility of taking photographs. As a corollary, some 30 minutes later a light aircraft did fly by, very low, with engine noise, navigation lights and even the fuselage visible in the reflected glow from the cockpit lights, making the comparison with the unexplained sightings that much more striking.

April 26,2008 9:30 p.m. – 9:40 p.m. The second family who saw something almost identical to my own sighting live, live in Thurlow Road in Torquay, which is just about 3 streets removed from my own house and perhaps some ¼ mile away, just over the brow of a hill on the opposite side of the valley which is Chatto Road. Their experiences appear to corroborate my own, although the timing is slightly different. The rear of their house faces the front of mine, were they within sight of each other. Mr. Webley was on the patio at the rear of his home burning some rubbish at around 9:30 p.m. when he perceived a bright light approaching from what was later estimated to be the north. It approached his property at a steady pace and appeared to be at what the family agreed was about 500' to 600'. They describe it as orange to red in appearance and about the size of the head of a yale key held at arm’s distance at its closest approach, it appeared to shrink in size as it receded. It appeared to stop and hover at a point estimated to be about 220 yards away judging from the recognized configuration of the roof line in this built up area, then moved slightly to the east and moved back towards the north, finally disappearing in the distance.

This was witnessed in the latter stages by the whole family. Some estimated 3 minutes later a second, and brighter, object appeared from the north again, paused in the same spot and then gradually dimmed and faded away without moving off.

On this occasion one of the witnesses managed to capture a video on her mobile phone. She says that, at its closest approach, she could discern green and pink coloration within the overall brightness and later study of an enlarged download on the computer clearly shows a green ring in the center of the object. At its brightest the children describe it as though something was on fire in the sky. Friends of the family were later known to have witnessed this phenomenon. From the time recording on the phone video the family was able to precisely extrapolate the sequence of events. The video ended at 9:40 p.m., the second sighting lasted approximately 3 minutes, only part of which was recorded, there was an interval of 3 minutes between the first and second sighing, the first sighting was estimated to have been about 3 minutes.

Interestingly these phenomena occurred immediately following the phenomena I and my family had experienced, I noted the time my second sighting finished as 9:30 p.m. Interesting also is the fact that the sightings these second witnesses experienced were moving in a north to south direction whilst mine were in a south to north direction,and almost exactly on the same line when plotted on a map and then compared, plotting is relatively easy to calculate since the tree line over which my sightings disappeared is clearly visible from the second family’s property.

What is intriguing is that they should have been able to see the earlier phenomenon that I had witnessed, since the rear of their house faces in precisely the direction where it would have been visible, but they did not. I also should have been able to witness their phenomenon, at least partially, since the suspected line of flight would have been slightly to the east of what I had witnessed, which would have brought at least part of the trajectory into view from my lounge window. Similarly I did not witness their sightings, nor did my wife who habitually sits nearer to the window than I do, nor did my son and his girl friend who had taken off by car in pursuit of the second object that we had sighted, travelling in the direction from which the second family observed their sightings to have approached. We have all spoken of 2 objects, however, the possibility arises that they could be the same object seen at different time intervals and possibly engaged in a quartering activity.

April 26, 2008 about 9:30 p.m. and April 28th, 2008 3:50 a.m. This third set of witnesses report different activities. Their reported sighting took place at 3:50 a.m. on the morning of Monday 28th April. They live in Great Headland Road in Preston, immediately overlooking Tor Bay, with Brixham to their right, west, and Torquay/Exeter to their left, east. Their lounge and bedroom windows look over the bay. The witness could not sleep that night and got up. As she often does, she looked out of the bedroom window at the night sky and she saw a white object describing wide circles at a high speed, fairly high in the sky above the flat, only half the trajectory was visible from her position. She called her husband and by the time he saw it, the whole of the trajectory was visible, this time over the sea, suggesting that it was spiralling outwards from the position when first noticed. It was a clear night but with high cloud cover. The witneeses desribe the object as white with an apparent cone shaped tail as it traversed the sky on its trajectory. As they watched it shot off, in their words, in the direction of Dartmouth, overland between Paignton and Brixham.

At this point the witness’s husband describes the object as appearing like a truncated triangle and used the palm of his hand and fingers to illustrate the point. They are unable to estimate a height for the object but, from descriptions given to me on site, it appears that it was possibly flying at the extreme height of a light aeroplane. They are adamant that it was not an aeroplane, no navigation lights and no engine noise, and was moving much too fast for any object they have seen from their extensive panoramic windows overlooking the bay. He describes the path that the object circumscribed as being like you might imagine a football stadium would look when viewed from a height. My interest, and my own experiences, elicited reference to further sightings that they had been reticent to report to the newspaper when they reported their sighting of the Monday morning.

These took place on April 26th, bracketing my own and the second family’s sightings, when at approximately 9:00 p.m. one of the witnesses perceived a diffuse red object appear in the sky over the sea and shoot off again in the direction of Dartmouth. More interestingly, at around 10:00 p.m. her husband reports seeing a red light hovering over the sea at height, in much the same direction as his wife’s sighting that evenng and referenced by a church tower, and shining a spotlight onto the water. At the time he put it down to either a police helicopter or coast guard helicopter, although no engine noise was apparent, and they would normally hear that even through the double glazing. The light then extinguished and the object flew off towards the east. He is used to observing, he keeps a telescope in his lounge and his son runs a boat so he will have some knowledge of navigation and bearings.

Later enquires of both the police and the coast guard reveal that there were no operational helicopter flights at that time and on that date and additionally the coast guard elicited the view that no helicopter would use a searchlight at the height described, since it would diffuse the usable light too much.

Timeline of events Saturday April 26th 5:30 a.m. Unknown object photographed in the direction of Torquay, and more particularly the St. Mary Church area where the major sightings took place that evening. There is anecdotal evidence of a similar bright object being seen in broad daylight towards Newton Abbot, 9:00 p.m. approximate time. Diffuse red light observed over the sea at Preston shooting off to the west, 9:20 p.m. Bright, reddish light observed travelling a south to north flight path over Dower Road, Torquay, 9:25 p.m. Similar object observed following an almost identical path over Dower Road, Torquay, 9:30 p.m. Time noted for the end of the second sighting, 9:31 p.m. Bright red light observed by the second family following a north to south flightpath towards Thurlow Road, Torquay, hovering moving slightly away to the east and moving away, growing smaller, 9:37 p.m. Second, brighter, red light observed by the second family following the same approach, again hovering and then extinguishing, this time recorded on mobile phone, 9:40 p.m. Time recorded on mobile phone as when the second sighting ended, 10:00 a.m. approximate time Bright red light observed hovering at height over the sea at Preston and shining a spotlight on the sea which was then extinguished before the object moved off to the east, Monday April 28th, 3:40 a.m. White, truncated triangle shaped object observed at some height describing spiralling circles above the witness’s property and then out to sea before shooting off toward the west. Checks carried out Exeter airport confirm that there were no landings of aircraft scheduled at or around 9:30 p.m. on April 26th, Devon and Cornwall Constabulary confirm that there were no police helicopters operational over Preston/Paignton during the evening of April 26th.

,Maritime Coastguard Agency similar confirm that there were no coast guard helicopters operational over Preston/Paignton during the evening of April 26th.

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