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Spring/Autumn 1985 – Erdington, Birmingham – Saucer-Shaped Lit UFO Sighting

Birmingham UFO Group
Author: Dave Hodrien
Release Date: 17/03/2015

Sighting Details

It was shortly after midnight on a quiet night in 1985. Stephen Downing and his girlfriend (now wife) Sue were on their way home from Sue’s parents’ house. It was a clear night with no wind. As Sue drove onto North Park Road on the Brookvale Estate in Erdington they noticed something very unusual up in the sky ahead of them.

Aerial map of North Park Road:


Over one of the three story houses about 120-130 metres ahead of them was a saucer-shaped object. It was positioned about 15-20 metres above the roof of the house and was motionless. The object quite large and appeared to be between 50-60 metres across. The main body of the object was quite shadowed but around the edge was a ring of glowing white rectangular windows/lights. On the underside of the object was a number of multi-coloured lights, each one seemingly housed in a unit of some kind.

Stephen’s and Sue’s drawing of the UFO (drawn independently of one another):



Sue was frightened of the object but Stephen was more excited by its presence. He wanted to get out of the car to get a better look at it, but Sue did not want to stop. In the end Stephen opened the passenger side door which persuaded Sue to stop the car. David stepped out and began to slowly walk closer to the house the UFO was hovering above. He immediately became aware of several things. Firstly the object itself appeared to be completely silent. However he could also hear a crackling sound coming from the M6 motorway which runs adjacent to the road. There was also a blue coloured light.

Photograph from North Park Road in the direction the UFO and blue light were seen. Note that the row of housing in the distance was only built in the 1990s, back in 1985 there was a grass covered slope which allowed for an easier view of the motorway:


Stephen stopped a short distance ahead of the car and stared up at the UFO for between 2-3 minutes. Unfortunately he had no camera on him at the time. Sue was still very concerned by both it and the unidentified blue light so called out for Stephen to come back to the car. He turned to look at her a moment. As he did so the object accelerated at an incredible speed and flew away to the South East. Stephen turned back round just in time to see it moving away extremely fast. It flew out of sight in less than a second.

Intrigued by the blue light and crackling noise coming from the motorway, Stephen crossed the road to get a better look. It was now that he realised that a gantry for motorway signs was being constructed using arc welding torches. He returned to the car and they drove the rest of the journey home.

After the incident Stephen and Sue kept the sighting to themselves. However six years later they mentioned it to a friend. They asked them to both write up the sighting and then mentioned they would pass them on to someone who would be interested. However they never heard back from anyone regarding this.

Sighting Analysis

This is a very impressive multiple witness sighting which is hard to explain away as anything mundane. The object hovered motionless at first for a number of minutes so could not have been a plane. Both its appearance and lighting were nothing like a helicopter, and also at the distance it was observed at the rotor blades would have easily been heard. A large lit balloon or other inflatable is also out of the question because of the sudden manoeuvre the object performed. This combined with the size of the object also means it cannot have been a remote controlled model. Even though Stephen did not see the moment that the object began moving, the fact that he did still observe it leaving the area means it cannot have been an optical illusion or light reflection on a cloud. It certainly appears to have had solid structure to it, and the movement it performed suggests that it was under intelligent control.

With all these explanations put out of the question I feel that there is a high likelihood this was a genuine sighting of an advanced craft, possibly of extra-terrestrial origin. It is interesting to note that the UFO left the area as soon as Stephen glanced away from it. Did this happen on purpose, or was it merely coincidence that it began moving at this precise moment after being observed for a number of minutes? It is unlikely we will ever know for sure.

This sighting highlights the fact that UFOs can be seen by anyone when least expected, it’s just a matter of being in the right place at the right time.


Copyright Dave Hodrien 2015

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