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14/09/1972 – Solihull – Disc UFO Sighting



Birmingham UFO Group Report
Author: Dave Hodrien
Last Updated: 11/02/2013

Note: For reasons of anonymity pseudonyms have been used

This report covers a stunning multiple witness sighting of a disc-shaped craft seen in the area of Sheldon in 1972. It features a detailed overview of the experience provided by one of the witnesses, a written statement from one of the other witnesses and numerous drawings.

Sighting Details

Back in 1972 Sarah was 12 years old. She and her family used to live on the Coventry Road on the outskirts of Solihull. The houses at this location are up on an embankment and are very close to the South West corner of Birmingham International Airport.

Aerial map showing the sighting location on the Coventry Road:


Aerial map showing the proximity of the location to Birmingham airport:


 It was 8pm on the evening of 14th Septmeber 1972. Due to the time of year it was already dark, and the weather was cold but still. From what she remembers she was outside the front of the house. She looked to the North and saw a disc-shaped object in the gap between two trees growing on the embankment. She pointed the object out to her mother, younger sister Karen and several neighbours, who were also present.

Modern photograph of the sighting location in the direction the UFO was seen. The two trees on the embankment no longer exist, and on the opposite side of the road Eagle Court has now been built:


The UFO was a smooth curved metallic disc. From their position it filled the 15 foot gap between the trees. It appeared to be around 200 yards away from them on the other side of the Coventry Road, and they were viewing it at an angle of about 45 degrees. Sarah estimates it was about 20 feet in diameter, and about 15 feet in depth. Around the circumference of the object were two rows of bright multicoloured lights. One of these rows were moving in a clockwise direction and the other moving anti-clockwise. Sarah wonders if these lights were the UFO’s power source. There were no other markings on the object but it was clearly visible.

Sarah’s drawing of the UFO:


UFO artwork Sarah found online which reminds her of the UFO:


The object was hovering completely still in the air. As they continued to watch, Sarah noticed that there were a number of helicopters moving around in the sky near to it. They appeared to be observing it. Everyone continued to excitedly watch what was happening for 20 minutes. After this time, the object suddenly vanished. To Sarah’s recollection, nobody observed the object through binoculars or attempted to photograph or video it.

After the experience, Sarah says that everyone was strangely quiet about what they’d seen. Nobody spoke about the incident for a number of months. She thinks perhaps this was due to how shocked everyone was.

Sighting Analysis

This is a very impressive sighting, and one which has all the hallmarks of a genuine craft sighting rather than mis-identification of something mundane. It was clear that it was a metallic disc with rows of coloured lights. Due to the fact it was observed for a good period of time by multiple witnesses it must have been actually present in the sky and not a visual hallucination of any kind. Due to the relative close proximity of the object it is clear that it was not any known commercial/military helicopter or aircraft.

There are a number of reasons why it is very unlikely to have been an electronically lit inflatable. Firstly it remained completely stationary for 20 minutes. If it was a balloon it would certainly have drifted during this time on air currents. The only way in which it could have remained stationary for so long would be if it was tethered. But then how would the object have suddenly completely vanished from view? It would have remained until it was pulled back down to the ground.

Also we need to take into consideration the fact that helicopters seemed to be observing the object. This suggests that individuals at Birmingham airport were aware of the presence of the object, and had sent out helicopters to get a closer look at it. If it was nothing more than an inflatable then they would have quickly lost interest in it. If it was tethered, it would have been pulled down. An unusual aerial object this near to the airport would certainly have caused concern and possibly viewed as a hazard to planes taking off or landing at the airport. In October 2012 I investigated an incident involving a black sphere over Sheldon within ½ mile of the Coventry Road. In this case the airport sent out a police helicopter to locate the object and planes were also redirected for a number of hours (Click here for the official case report) Could something similar have occurred here?

It is also unlikely that the object was some kind of remote controlled model designed to look like a UFO. It appeared to be quite large in size, so would have needed quite a considerable method of propulsion in order to stay airborne. Also it was a clear night, so surely the witnesses would have seen it fly away rather than suddenly vanish?

It is a pity that Sarah’s mother or neighbours did not think to photograph or video tape the object, especially due to the length of the sighting. However they were probably too busy watching what was taking place and it did not come to mind. This is not suspicious in any way, and is the reason why many sightings end up with only testimonial evidence to back them up.

I have asked Sarah’s sister and mother for testimonials to include in this report. Once I hear back from them they will be included. Sarah has informed me that she has had a couple of other interesting sightings over the years, which she will share with me in due course.

Copyright Dave Hodrien 2013

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