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Summer 1967/68 - Smallbridge, Rochdale - UFO Landing Incident

Birmingham UFO Group Report
Author: Dave Hodrien
Release Date: 28/12/2014

Introduction

I have known about this incident for a number of years. Both mine and my wife’s family are well aware of my interest in UFOs and chairing of Birmingham UFO Group. On numerous occasions my stepfather Geoff Walker has talked about the fact that when he was young he and a number of children had witnessed what they believed to be a landed craft while living at Smallbridge, Rochdale. While visiting them this year for Boxing Day I figured it was about time that the incident was officially put down on the record. So for the first time I asked Geoff to go over everything he could remember in detail.

Incident Details

It was the summer of either 1967 or 1968. Geoff was 6 or 7 years old at the time and living with his parents in a house on Ashbrook Hey Lane. Near to his home on Hollowspell lived his school friends Michael (also 6/7), John (7/8) and Debra (4/5).

Aerial map of Ashbook Hey Lane and Hollowspell, with Geoff’s old house marked:


Photograph of the house Geoff used to live in:


Just along the road from where Geoff lived is an area of park land which he and his friends used to call “The Rec”. The lower part of the area is a gradual hill covered in bushes. The upper part is a grass field that used to have football fields and a playground at the Eastern edge. Geoff and his friends would often head to The Rec to hang out together.

It was late in the afternoon of a clear and sunny day in the school holidays when Geoff, Michael, John and Debra decided to go to the playground at The Rec. They met up at the corner of Hollowspell and headed to their destination. Despite the fact that it was pleasant weather there was no-one else up there at the time.

While playing on the swings they suddenly became aware of a strange whirring sound. Geoff also remembers seeing a light out of the corner of his eye to the West of them on one of the football pitches. They all looked around not knowing what to expect.

The football pitch had a slight dip in it to the middle, and it was here that they could now see a strange object. Geoff cannot remember the exact shape of it, only that it was quite large in size, he estimates about 20-25 feet across. He thinks it may have been a disc but cannot be certain. What he recalls more clearly is a doorway opening in the side of it. The door was triangular in shape and opened downwards from the top. Pink-ish purple coloured light spilled out from inside of the door. There were also other lights above it, probably attached to the body of the object.

Aerial map of The Rec showing the position of the witnesses where the remnants of the playground can still be seen (A) and the position of the object (B):


Sketch by Geoff of the triangular doorway with light above it:


Geoff and his friends were all extremely frightened of the object and just turned and ran in unison. He does not remember whether anyone shouted out. They ran down the hill, through the trees at the base of The Rec, and along Ashbrook Hey Lane. His friends ran back to their house on Hollowspell. Geoff continued onward to his own house. It was only now that he felt safe again.

Aerial map showing the route back home that the witnesses took:


He recalls telling his parents about what he had witnessed and believes that his friends did the same. However they brushed off the incident and didn’t really take him seriously. He remembers that after the incident he did talk about it with his friends on numerous occasions, and that for a good while they did not return to The Rec to play. Also when they went back to school after the holidays they told their teacher about the incident and he got them to all draw what they had seen. Unfortunately Geoff has no idea about what happened to these drawings.

The incident weighed heavily on Geoff’s mind for a long time and he has never forgotten about what he witnessed all those years ago. There were times when he wondered whether it had just been a dream, but later on he realised that it was just as vivid an experience as anything else which had happened to him back then. He is absolutely certain that the incident took place and that whatever they saw that day was highly unusual.

Incident Analysis

This certainly appears to be a multiple witness encounter with a large landed object. While neither Geoff nor his friends actually witnessed the object approach The Rec or descend to the ground we can assume that this is what occurred, as otherwise they would have seen it when they initially arrived at the field. The fact that they all saw the object and the strange whirring sound they heard which drew their attention to it suggests it was physically present rather than a hallucination of some kind.

It sounds much too large to have been a remote controlled model. And the fact that the lit triangular doorway opened in the side of it means it cannot have been a large inflatable that had floated to the ground.

Unfortunately I am not able to speak with the other witnesses as several years after the incident Geoff moved away from the area and did not keep in touch with them. But from what he has told me I have no doubt that the incident took place and that it more than likely involved a landed craft at close proximity.

The doorway that opened could suggest that they were being invited aboard. Or possibly if they had remained in the area they would have met with the occupants. This is of course something we will never know for sure. However it remains a very interesting event and I am grateful to Geoff for sharing it with me and allowing this report to be released.

Copyright Dave Hodrien 2014


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